Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
If you’re new here, the Let’s Encourage One Another podcast was born in March 2021 as a ministry out of my work at Love Does That. The purpose of Love Does That was really to reach out to women who were hurting or grieving—and teaching you to reach out to them, too.
But the podcast is not where I started. In fact, spiritual direction is not where I started, either.
As we near the end of the year, I’ve been reflecting on the journey that God has taken me on, from starting as a handmade sympathy gift shop as a side hustle, to leaving my position in children’s ministries, to serving now as a spiritual director and leading the Journal Gently program.
And I’m going to do something a bit unusual today and actually share pieces of my story at Love Does That through the podcast interviews I’ve done. Because if you listen to them in chronological order, you can hear what has changed since the beginning and what has stayed the same.
So I’ll highlight each one and the topic of our conversation, and I’ll link to each one in the show notes below so, should you find yourself with some extra time over the holiday season or even early next year, you can hear more of my story and background and get to know me a little better.
This is Legacy Podcast, episode 33
The very first interview I did was for Lindsey Johnson’s This is Legacy Podcast, formerly known as the Legacy Entrepreneur Podcast, episode 33. In our conversation, we talked about my business, Love Does That, and how I made handmade sympathy gifts for women who were hurting. But we also talked about the questions that people have when they are caring for a hurting friend—what do I say, what do I do—and how I was trying to help answer those through my work. It was actually through my participation in Lindsey’s program that I was able to write the copy for my website, some of which even made its way into the intro of this podcast.
Handmade CEO Podcast, episode 49
The second interview I did was with Maria Larin from the Handmade CEO Podcast, episode 49. She focuses specifically on businesses with handmade products, so you’ll hear about not just the tear bottles that we make, but also the handmade cards I used to offer. We also talk about being an introvert and using business as a way to reach out to those who are hurting, which is interesting to think about since I now focus on serving other introverted women. You’ll also hear me mention my Etsy shop… did you know I started on Etsy? Maria served as a business coach of mine when I focused on handmade gifts. I loved her gentle spirit and quiet nature.
Christian Woman Leadership Podcast, episode 149
The third podcast I was on was Esther Littlefield’s Christian Woman Leadership, episode 149. We, together with her co-host Holly Cain, talked about my background in church ministry and then how I shifted into the business world. And in the midst of that, we talked about why encouragement is so important for leaders to both give and receive, what encouragement can look like, and even learning to trust again if you’ve gotten hurt in the past. Esther has also served as a business coach of mine, both when I was getting started in the online space and then again as I transitioned from focusing on sympathy gifts to being a spiritual director (a spiritual director who still happens to offer some sympathy gifts in her online shop). Esther has been such a blessing to me.
Now, all of those interviews were before I started my own podcast. As I said, Let’s Encourage One Another started in March of 2021 after some encouragement (ahem—did you catch that? Encouragement!) from my friends to share in an audio format and not just in a blog post.
Grant Writing Simplified Podcast, episode 41
The fourth podcast I was on—the first one after starting my own—was Teresa Huff’s Grant Writing Simplified Podcast, episode 41. She was doing a series about whether to start a business or a non-profit, and I spoke to my experience being a business that still helps and supports others. In fact, you’ll often hear me refer to Love Does That as a ministry-based business; while I use it to help bring in income for our family, it is definitely designed to serve and care for others. Teresa knows her stuff when it comes to grant writing and I love watching her help others who want to be grant writers.
The Care Ministry Podcast, episode 11
My fifth interview was with Laura Howe, from The Care Ministry Podcast, episode 11. Laura and I have very similar missions when it comes to caring for those who are hurting, but she is working directly with churches and their care teams while I work more with individual women who are caring for their friends and family members. I love what she does! Laura and I talked a bit about my personal background and story, and then we dove into how a Blue Christmas service can help minister to those who are carrying grief during the holiday season.
Live It Out with The Planning Woman, episode 125
My sixth interview was with Jennifer Booth from the Live It Out with the Planning Woman Podcast, episode 125. Jennifer and I talked about how to include journaling as part of a quiet time routine—what it can look like, how it can benefit you, and different things to keep in mind when you are using journaling as a spiritual discipline. This is really where you hear me start to talk more about journaling, which obviously plays a big role in what will become the Journal Gently program!
Halfway There Podcast, episode 284
My seventh podcast was on the Halfway There Podcast with Eric Nevins, episode 284. Now, my interview with Eric was a little different in the sense that we mostly talked about my journey as a Christian—growing up in the church, some challenges that I faced when I was older, and how Christ has become such a friend to me. This was definitely one of the most personal interviews I have done, more focused on me than on my business, but as you listen, you’ll hear how my story has impacted what I do now.
Bible Study Made Simple Podcast, episode 32
Coming up next at my eighth podcast was with Eva Kubasiak on the Bible Study Made Simple Podcast, episode 32. Now, Eva is fantastic when it comes to learning how to study and read the Bible, and she and I talked about imaginative prayer, which is one of my favorite spiritual practices. I explain what it is and we walk through an example together. It’s a fun, meaningful, and short episode that will really help you see my heart for God’s Word.
A Season of Caring Podcast, episode 145
And most recently, just released a couple of weeks ago, was my interview with Rayna Neises of A Season of Caring Podcast, episode 145. Her podcast is dedicated to those individuals who serve as caregivers to aging parents, especially those with Alzheimer’s. She has such practical advice for those who find themselves in this situation. Rayna and I spoke specifically about grief and all the little losses that caregivers experience, and how they can process that grief in their caregiving season. So if you’re finding yourself in that situation, check out her podcast and get some support in that area.
A Few More Resources
So, again, if any of those grab your interest or you want to learn more about me or Love Does That, then I encourage you to take a listen. Links to each show are below, but you can also go to lovedoesthat.org/featured-on to find any and all podcasts I’ve been on. I try to keep that updated as new opportunities arise.
You can also go back and listen to episodes 6 and 24 of my own podcast. On episode 6 I share the message that gave Love Does That its name, and on episode 24, I share more about that decision to step down from children’s ministries to go all in with Love Does That. Both give you a glimpse into Love Does That and how God has led me here.
Invitation to Journal Gently
Now, my friend, earlier you heard me mention the Journal Gently program. If you like listening to the podcast, if you gain value from that or from reading the emails I send out, then Journal Gently really is a great first step to working with me.
It’s an 8-week program designed to help you carry your grief and trauma to God through writing. We talk about creating a healthy and sustainable writing routine, building your support team, spiritual practices that lend themselves well to journaling, taking care of your body and soul in the process, and more.
Plus, you get more than 20 writing prompts to use. Because of its gentle pace, you’re only encouraged to choose one writing prompt a week, so there are plenty to use afterward. If you’re on my email list, you know I like to share journal prompts! But these are special writing exercises that help you process what is going on with you or teach you how to write your story in a way that feels safe and accessible.
In fact, one participant wrote, “I had a really lovely time tonight answering these questions.” Now, will it be hard at times? Of course. But the program is designed to help you recognize when it becomes too hard, what topics to start with, and even creating a list of topics not directly related to the grief or trauma you experienced. It is so very good, my friends.
You have a couple more weeks to take advantage of the seasonal code to save $30 on registration. That is my gift to you this holiday season. And if you want to take advantage of the seasonal code but don’t want to start until January, just put your preferred start date in the Order Notes section when you check out. That’s not a problem at all. You can learn more and sign up at lovedoesthat.org/journalgently.
Okay, my friends, that is all for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting another peek into my story here at Love Does That. Until next time… let’s encourage one another.
- Quick Link to All Podcasts: http://lovedoesthat.org/featured-on (will be updated as I’m on other shows)
- This is Legacy Podcast, episode 33: How to Help Someone Who is Hurting
- Handmade CEO Podcast, episode 49: How to Create a Business Supporting Others
- Christian Woman Leadership Podcast, episode 149: How to Give and Receive Encouragement as a Leader with Kari Bartkus
- Grant Writing Simplified Podcast, episode 41: Serving Through Ministry-Based Business
- The Care Ministry Podcast, episode 11: The Power of Standing with People Who Are Struggling
- Live It Out with the Planning Woman Podcast, episode 125: Incorporating Journaling Into Your Quiet Time with Kari Bartkus
- Halfway There Podcast, episode 284: Kari Bartkus and the Friendship of Jesus
- Bible Study Made Simple Podcast, episode 32: Imaginative Prayer with Kari Bartkus
- A Season of Caring Podcast, episode 145: Processing the Grief of Caregiving
- Episode 6: The Message That Ignited Love Does That
- Episode 24: An Example in Spiritual Discernment and Decision Making: Going “All In” With Love Does That
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.