What does it mean to honor your life? In this episode of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast we dive into this question with author and speaker Chrystal Evans Hurst. She starts by asking "Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered, 'Where did I go? Whose life am I living?'" After hearing from many women, Chrystal believes this is a common feeling. That we are disillusioned from our daily purpose and need to get back in line with how God made us. That somewhere in our journeys we drift from that little girl and the spark she had for life, to a woman disappointed with where she is.
In this episode we talk through expectations, disappointment, changes big and small, and how to get to "ground zero" of our lives. Crystal shares the acronym GAIN (Gifts, Abilities, Interests and Nature) as a tool that can help women reconnect with, or discover for the first time, who God created them to be. We talk through facing feelings head on versus stuffing them and the behavior that results from both. We also hear about Chrystal growing up the daughter of church planters and what Sunday suppers looked like in her house.
A dynamic conversation, Chrystal does not disappoint in either the laughs or the wisdom. Her journey has included being a single, teen mother, homeschooling her kids, serving at her church, and writing her first book with her father. We welcomed Chrystal with a wholehearted podcast hug into the sisterhood and we know you will find her a kindred spirit in this journey of living out our faith within the context of our circumstances. This episode is all about taking that next step and doing that hard thing in order to honor the life God has given you.
Are you someone who has to move a lot because of a job? Or maybe you are a military family who has to continually plant, and then uproot. Or maybe you have recently made a decision to move because you want to be closer to family or friends. Whatever the reason, today on Hey Sister! we are discussing how to create home wherever you are -- whether you are choosing the place, or it's being chosen for you.
My guest today is Bekah Di Felice. After years of moving as a military family, Bekah decided to write about her journey to create home amidst the transience in her new book, Almost There: Searching For Home in a Life On The Move. We talk about how we create a new definition of home, what it means to be a pursuer of people, what the first thing is that a person should do when moving into a new house, and practical ways we can make a new geographical location feel more familiar.
We also touch on how people can help others create a sense of home who are moving into their area. Too often, when we are the ones who are rooted in a place, we forget to keep reaching out and inviting others into our comfortable circles.
This interview will offer fresh inspiration as you strive to make home wherever you are!
Michelle Warren swears she's not political, that she simply wants to help her neighbors. It was this drive that thrust her into the advocacy arena. As the Advocacy and Strategic Engagement Director for the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), Michelle directs national advocacy around platform issues: immigration, mass incarceration and education equity. Her desire to advocate for policies on behalf of her neighbors took her on an unexpected path, back to graduate school to get her Masters in Public Administration, and now traveling around the country speaking to groups about these issues.
Michelle's community work started locally in Denver where she continues to be involved in her church, and works to fit in laundry and grocery shopping for her family amid her busy travel schedule. Michelle's proximity to those living with fewer resources inspired her desire to be informed. This in turn pushed her toward action, believing that God calls us to act when we see injustice played out. Whether immigration reform or incarceration, Michelle sees beyond the issue as purely theoretical or theological, but to the people impacted by the topic at hand.
A quick mind and a passionate resolve combined with a desire to follow God's call to justice, you'll be fascinated to hear how each step in Michelle's journey led her to where she is today. For the woman who wonders if she should take that next step, for the one who is willing to do the hard thing, for the Jesus follower wondering if God is calling her to get off the bench on an issue and into the advocacy arena, this episode is a must.
Movement is healing according to Edie Littlefield Sundby. So when she was diagnosed with stage 4 gallbladder cancer, Edie began to walk. Her journey became a pilgrimage. A long and hot one along the El Camino Real Mission Trail. First through California and then through Mexico, making her the first person since the 1770s to walk the sixteen-hundred-mile mission trail. But our interview with Edie starts at the beginning, her beginning. One of 12 children on an Oklahoma cotton farm, no electricity, working from an early age, then putting herself through college and moving up the ranks of tech companies and starting her own, she had nothing to prove when the cancer diagnosis came.
A pilgrimage is often a journey to the past. Edie Littlefield Sunby hiked the El Camino Real Mission Trail as a way of dealing with her present. However as she took step after step of gratitude along her journey, she connected to many of her childhood lessons of grit, gratitude and God's provision. This sister interview gives us a peek into Edie's childhood on an Oklahoma cotton farm, her rise in the corporate tech world, and her pilgrimage of miles and miles through the desert with only one lung. We hear about the vaquero cowboys who guided her through the Mexican portion of the trail, how her husband could follow her progress through the desert, and why she felt compelled to take this journey.
Truly a story like none other we've highlighted on the podcast, you will not want to miss Edie's tale of grit and healing. She is a woman of deep faith and strong character. Her determination to live paired with her acceptance of her diagnosis is inspiring.
Have you ever gone through a season that knocked your confidence? Or maybe you've never figured out how to harness confidence at all. Whether you are struggling with getting confidence back, or striving to discover it for the first time, this interview will give you fresh insight into what creates confidence and how we reclaim it for our own, despite our circumstances.
Using her own story as a starting place, Tricia Lott Wiliford shares how she lost all confidence and joy after watching her husband suddenly die in her arms. As a widowed single mom, she was thrust into a two year darkness. The trauma birthed a deep depression from which she was not sure she would recover.
In this interview we discuss how to grieve well, what confidence is, and how we can lean into joy even in the midst of adversity. We also dig into courage journals, the "I'm too much" syndrome, why it makes all the difference to smile first, what her brother taught her about jealousy, and her unbreakable rule in the dating world.
You will love Tricia's honesty, warmth, and wisdom in this interview!
Nicole Johnson knows busy. As a mom of two and a dramatist with Women of Faith she was maintaining a steady pace. And then a life event sent her in a downward spiral she couldn't escape. She realized she needed to find internal calm in the midst of external crazy. This episode is our conversation with her about this journey.
Nicole explains what it means to react verses contemplate in stressful moments, why fear and avoidance of being still can cripple us, and how facing hard feelings is often not as hard as we think it will be. We talk through the Prayer of Examen, what that has meant for Nicole and how she makes a quiet space in her home when she needs to recenter. This is a conversation that challenges us to stop in order to be in the difficult places. Not something we often want to do. But as Nicole explains we can find a richness of God's presence and care for us in our brokenhearted places.
You will want to listen in to this conversation. In a world of busy we can intentionally and unintentionally avoid our pain. In our attempts to mask the difficult we miss how God can meet us in all circumstances, feelings and fears. We don't need to keep moving sisters. We can stop and feel the pain and hurt. God meets the brokenhearted right where we are. He is already in our grief and fear. We need to stop long enough to recognize and settle into his presence.