Bold, Brave & Beautiful Podcast with Barb Roose

Welcome to the Bold, Brave & Beautiful Podcast! Welcome to the corner of the internet where Jesus-loving women meet to win at life together. Life is tough, my friend. But so are you. You can do hard things and here on the Bold, Brave & Beautiful Podcast, we’re here to help. Join me and amazing special guests as they share inspiring lessons of faith, stories of courage and practical next steps that you can follow toward the adventure of faith and purpose that God has for you. Let’s jump into the journey to live bold, choose brave and be beautiful in Christ together.
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Bold, Brave & Beautiful Podcast with Barb Roose








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Oct 16, 2017

Did you know that a girl’s confidence peaks at the age of nine?

Statistics report that 7 out of every 10 girls don’t feel like they measure up.  

Moms, how can we raise our daughters with the confidence to pursue courageous and fearless lives?

Today's Better Together podcast guest, author and Proverbs 31 Ministry speaker, Lynn Cowell, tells us about her journey to discover what it means to be brave and courageous in her life. As women of all ages fight to find that same confidence, Lynn wants to equip our young tweens so that they can find confidence sooner in life. She is the author of the new book, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless, a companion guide written for girls between the ages of 8-12 years old.

I loved so many things about our conversation!  One of the most powerful observations was when Lynn explained how culture drives our girls to build their confidence on three shaky foundations: 

1. Someone (like a relationship with someone);

2. Some Place (career/status); or

3. Something (beauty, education).

But, all of those things can be lost or taken because much of life is out of our control. So, to help our daughters, let's journey along with them to help them to build unshakeable confidence on an unshakeable God because they can’t lose God!

What if your confidence has been shaken? Lynn has something for you, too!

Lynn has a new Bible study for women titled Make Your Move: Finding Unshakeable Confidence Despite Your Fears and FailuresThere are a lot of strong, confident women in the Bible! Lynn has created a Bible study so that you can learn from these women, some of them you might not know, but they will inspire to reach for God's best!

Mom, if you have a daughter in elementary school or junior high, would you do me a favor and check out Lynn's website. Our world is coming hard after young girls, but we can equip them to stand strong and confident in Jesus' name.


Lynn’s website – including free resources!

Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You

Make Your Move: Finding Unshakeable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures

Lynn's books can be found at Proverbs 31 or at your favorite Christian Retailers.


Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 Ministries author and speaker who helps moms become wise women so they can raise wiser daughters.


Connect with Barb! Barb Roose is the host of the Better Together Podcast. Connect with Barb online at or

Sep 25, 2017

What frustrates you about clothes and fashion? 

On this episode of the Better Together podcast, fabulous fashion expert Shari Braendel is back! Recently, Shari asked her audience about their top fashion dilemmas. Over 1000 women responded to Shari's survey and here were the top three questions:

1. How do I dress for my body?

2. How do I pick the right style for my hair?

3. How do I put together an entire look?

In this episode of the Better Together podcast, Shari answers those three questions with fabulous fashion tips and suggestions that you can begin using today! If you've been struggling to figure out a new hairstyle, you'll love her practical tips. I learned so much!

Here's what I just love about Shari - she believes that every woman is a VIP. You might beat yourself up every day, but it doesn't have to be that way! Listen to the podcast and find out about Shari's newest VIP website to help women look and feel put together each day. Trust me, you'll want to check out the link below!


  1. Text the word “fashion” to 44222 and get a free bundle of goodies from Shari! (No strings attached!)
  2.  Click here to check out VIP Membership site 
  3. Fashion Meets Faith Website
Sep 10, 2017

In the newest episode of the Better Together podcast, I talk about the following four bridges that build connection with our teen and adult daughters:

1. Kind Words - How do you speak to your daughter? What we say is most often a reflection of our heart, not our daughter's actions. Our kind words can actually heal the emotional and physical pain that our daughters experience in life.
2. Discover Her Love Language - Do you know your daughter's love language? Both of you can take the free test at the When you invest 10-15 minutes per day in "speaking" her love language, you build resiliency into her life and she'll have the reserve to dig deep and tackle the problems that she's facing.
3. Ask Before You Accuse - How many of us jump to conclusions when a negative situation happens? We can build a connection instead of creating conflict when we calmly and kindly ask, "Can you tell me what happened?" and listen to what she has to say.
4. "Open the Door" - Getting our daughter to talk can be tricky because she has a lot on her mind. I share a tip to open up communication with your daughter. Listen to the podcast to find out more!


The Parenting Teens Summit  

An online experience designed to help you thrive as a parent of a teenager. Over 40 different Christian authors and thoughts leaders are ready to share their unique insight with you. Featured speakers include Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Juli Slattery, Dr. Paul David Tripp, Craig Gross, Kimm Carr, Craig Groeschel, and Dr. Kathy Koch, among others.

Parenting Teen Summit starts September 11-27! Click here to find out more and register!

FREE eBook

Mom, is your young daughter comparing herself to her friends? Has she made comments about how she looks or shows signs of low self-esteem? Download a free copy of my ebook, 10 Beauty Essentials to Teach Your Daughter. Reach her now with God's beautiful truth so that she can learn how to push back against our culture's impossible beauty standards. It's not too early to help your daughter avoid an ugly struggle with beauty. Click here to download.

Aug 27, 2017

How do we learn contentment in a culture that is always pushing us to pursue more? What are we missing out on if we're always searching for the next best thing?

Author Melissa Spoelstra shares lessons that we can learn from her new Bible study, Numbers: Learning Contentment in a Culture of More about the Israelites' journey through the wilderness. While God planned to bring them to the Promised Land, their arrival was delayed because they complained too much.

Listen as we talk about why we default to complaining  - even though we know shouldn't. What are some of the secrets to contentment that we can learn from God's word? 

Here are the takeaways from today's episode:

1. We can learn to "secret" to contentment, even if everything in our lives are upside-down.

2. Join Melissa's Contentment Project - Have you been complaining a lot lately? Learn to move from complaining to contentment by participating in Melissa's "Contentment Project" starting in early September. Click here to sign up today! 

3. Check out Melissa's new Bible study, Numbers: Learning Contentment in a Culture of More. Available at all Christian retailers. 

Aug 7, 2017

In this episode of the Better Together podcast, host Barb Roose shares five positive statements that women can use before, during and after their shopping experience.

As one who has battled an ugly struggle with self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image, Barb shares godly wisdom for women at every age and stage in life. These five statements reflect God's truth about women.

Here are the five statements:
1. If it doesn't fit, I promise not to buy it.
2. I will buy the best for my budget.
3. This label is not my value.
4. This piece of clothing isn't right for me, but it's right for someone else.
5. I am God's beautiful daughter and trying on these clothes won't change that.

Barb recommends that women repeat these statements when before entering the dressing room, while disrobing as well as after shopping.

Better Together with Barb Roose is on iTunes. Subscribe by clicking here.

Barb would love to hear from you!

Twiiter/IG: barbroose



May 23, 2017

So, you and you friend have gotten into a fight. What now?

A few years ago, I hurt a friend. It wasn't on purpose. There was a conflict between my friend and another person. I thought that I was being helpful - a bridge-builder per se. I stuck my nosy nose into the situation and gave my worthless two cents. The next day, my girlfriend called in tears to let me know that my well-meaning words put her in an awful position. I felt awful. I'd hurt my friend. 

Have you ever been hurt by a friend? Have you ever been the one to hurt a friend's feelings? No matter which side you find yourself on, it's painful all the way around!

After last week's Better Together episode with my guest, Natalie Chambers Snapp, I heard from many women who've dealt with friendship break-ups, heartache, betrayal and pain. It's so hard sometimes!

I love how Natalie shared her "PEG System" to help her think through friendship conflict. Here's an explanation and something that you can consider if you have a friendship that is broken right now:

Pray - Instead of taking our pain to friends, take your pain to God and ask for clarity on what's going on.

Examine - Ask yourself tough questions like:

  • What's my role in this conflict?
  • Can I be with my friend in the future without replaying the hurt?
  • Do I need to talk to her about the problem OR is this a "me" issue that I need to work out with God?

Go Straight to that Person - Direct dialogue, but Natalie lists a few conditions in the podcast.

This podcast is jam-packed with solid Biblical insight about not only friendships, but Natalie challenges our hearts to realize where God needs to work within us.

REMEMBER: I'm giving away a copy of Natalie's NEW Becoming Heart Sisters Bible study! It's available at Christian retailers nationwide, but you can enter to win a copy by clicking here and leaving a comment on the podcast blog page. Winner will be drawn on June 5.

CLICK HERE to leave a review about this episode on iTunes.


About Natalie…

Author Natalie Chambers Snapp uses her own and others’ stories of successes and failures to illustrate what she has learned about girlfriend relationships. Healthy boundaries, honesty, tact, sharing, and agape love all play a part in being and maintaining a circle of close confidants. She also deals with the inevitable challenges that face many relationships including how to handle conflict; life changes like a new baby, move or divorce; and when it is right to “break-up” with your friend.


May 22, 2017

What is it with women and friendships?

As much as we know that we need good girlfriends, we can't seem to stop ourselves from friendship drama! We're surrounded by a culture that has dipped the term "BFF" in 24 carat gold, so if you don't have a BFF, then you're hopelessly alone forever. On the other hand, we're flooded with "Real" television shows that make backbiting, pettiness and betrayal the norm. Recently, one "Housewife" was kicked off her reality television show because she spread rumors about another housewife plans to drug another woman. What's going on here? Do we even know what good friendships look like anymore?

Today, I'm talking with my friend, Natalie Snapp, author of the Bible study, Heart Sisters: A Bible Study on Authentic Friendships. She's a strong, courageous sister in Christ whose life experiences have given her a passion for helping women develop healthy authentic relationships with each other. Her writings specifically address women who've been hurt by friendships and are looking for healing.

In this episode, Natalie tells us about the bullying that she endured in high school from other girls. She'll also tell us about what happened when she realized that her non-Christian friends seemed to handle friendship conflict better than her Christian friends. 

You'll learn about the two ingredients that all healthy, authentic relationships must have as well as learn how your mother's approach to friendship may have impacted your life. 

GIVEAWAY: I'm giving away a free copy of Natalie's Bible Study, Becoming Heart Sisters on June 5. Enter by posting a comment on the blog page for this podcast. 

About Natalie...

Author Natalie Chambers Snapp uses her own and others’ stories of successes and failures to illustrate what she has learned about girlfriend relationships. Healthy boundaries, honesty, tact, sharing, and agape love all play a part in being and maintaining a circle of close confidants. She also deals with the inevitable challenges that face many relationships including how to handle conflict; life changes like a new baby, move or divorce; and when it is right to “break-up” with your friend.

May 8, 2017


Last week, it rained for several days straight in my little corner of the world. It rained enough that I regretted passing up that fabulous pair of rainboots that I saw at the store. My soggy sneakers held up just fine...

Since we experience all four seasons in my area of the country, heavy spring rains always seem to wash away the last vestiges of winter and pour in the freshness of the spring season. 

Is your life ready to embrace spring?

Did you know that every season has a metaphor? If you aren't familiar with this concept, here's a quick overview:

  • Summer = sunny and steady
  • Fall= transition and uncertainty
  • Winter = reflection and rehabilitation
  • Spring = fresh and hopeful

So, now it's spring. Do you feel fresh and hopeful? I'm trying to be!  After a long winter, I need to fill my tanks a little after a long winter. So, these days, I'm focused on finding things that inspire me toward godly momentum and creativity.

One of my main places of inspiration is walking outside. There's something about the fresh air and walking underneath God's big blue sky that just makes me feel close to God. And I LOVE flowers! Lucky for me, I live in a historical neighborhood filled with lots of amazing gardens.

Another source of inspiration is when I travel to speaking events. As I write out this paragraph, many of your faces that I've met over the past few months float across my memory - and make me smile. I'm inspired when I think about all of the women that I've met and all of the stories that I've heard.

For me, being inspired is all about putting myself in situations where my heart, mind and soul can be connected to God and connected to others who also long to be connected to God. 

I don't know about you, but the farther I get away from God, the more draining life seems to be. So, my goal each day is to make purposeful plans to find connections with God and others such as.

Here's a quick list of six ways that I find inspiration:

1. Walking outside and focusing on God's beauty of creation,
2. Sitting with a friend over coffee as she tells me about how God is stretching or growing her faith,
3. Attending a conference or event that will challenge me in my faith or help me expand my skills,
4. Consuming books or listening to podcasts by people who write/speak about their faith or craft,
5. Journaling or reading old journal entries to see how God has stretched and grown my faith.
6. Traveling to new places and meeting new people lets me see faith from lots of different and powerful perspectives.

Now, this is my list. But, it's not the be-all-end-all list. However, if you're looking for some ideas, perhaps my list might motivate you to create your own list.

Don't forget, inspiration is essential for living!

Inspiration keeps us moving forward. Inspiration is essential for resilience and keeping us hopeful. Inspiration keeps us looking toward the future when we're tempted to focus on the past or the negative circumstances in the present.

So, what should go on your inspiration list? Share what inspires you in the comments on the blog page for this podcast episode.

My friend Cathy West joins me for this week's Better Together episode and shares how she finds inspiration for her stories. Her newest book, The Memory of You, just released a few weeks ago and Cathy gives us some inside scoop about a powerful story that many of us can relate to. Cathy also explains why fiction stories have the power to help us work through some of our struggles.

Click here to find out more about this story of a woman who deals with PTSD after the death of her sister. She discovers the freeing power of forgiveness, confession and faith.


About Catherine West...

INSPY Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children.  

Apr 28, 2017

Do you ever battle insecurity?

We all do! Even if usually you feel like Confident Connie on a good hair day, there are times when our inner critic pipes up and whispers, "You'll never pull that off."

Some of us grew up in homes hearing "You're useless" or "You can't do anything right." Those words planted seeds of insecurity in our hearts. For others, a big mistake or a crushing failure planted a powerful seed of insecurity in our hearts. 

Insecurity whispers "You'll never good enough, no matter how hard you try."

When we're insecure, we're always second-guessing ourselves, even when we know we're doing the right things. When we're insecure, we're afraid to look toward the future in hope because we fear pain and failure.

But, what does God say to us and our insecurities? I love the words of Jeremiah 29:11 - some of you already know these words by heart:

 "I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

God is not planning disaster for us. He's not planning disaster for you, my friend. Yes, we'll encounter hardships and tests to grow our faith, but through faith, we can walk with confidence in God's plan for our lives.


If you're always second-guessing yourself, but you want to dream big dreams, I want you to listen to my interview with award-winning author, Catherine West. I met Cathy a few years ago at my literary agency retreat and she's real and lovely and someone that you can totally relate to!

On this episode of Better Together, Cathy and I will talk about her battle to overcome worry and insecurity. All of us will benefit from Cathy's five life lessons about how to get off the ledge of insecurity as well as having the guts to go for our dreams. If you don't have time to listen, click here to access those five life lessons on Cathy's website.



By the way, Cathy's new book The Memory of You just released a few weeks ago - it's amazing! Click here to find out more about this story of a woman who deals with PTSD after the death of her sister. She discovers the freeing power of forgiveness, confession and faith.


About Catherine West...

INSPY Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award. Catherine’s latest novels are The Things We Knew (July 2016) and The Memory of You (March 2017), Harper Collins Christian Publishing.

Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at


Website –

Facebook -

Twitter -

GoodReads -

Pinterest -

Google + -

Instagram –

Amazon -


Apr 20, 2017

Oh my, goodness!

Last week, I shared my story about a year-long battle with depression as well as a powerful podcast interview with my friend, Melissa Maimone

Boy, did I hear from you! I've gotten more notes and messages about this podcast than any other. One woman shared that God used our discussion to confirm that she needed to talk to her doctor about depression. Praise God!

Depression is a medical condition that can make us feel alone, fearful and hopeless. At its worst, depression can make us feel that we're too broken or damaged to be loved. Even by God.

God loves you just the way that you are. There is nothing that you can do to change His opinion about you. 
Christians are uncomfortable with depression. By refusing the recognize depression as a medical issue, Christians often downplay, even dismisses its devastating impact on families, our careers and our health. Too often, Christians feel ashamed about being depressed or they're shamed by others who tell them to pray harder or think more positively.

In this week's Better Together episode, Melissa and I tackled depression, God and faith. For years, Melissa felt like she'd disappointed God, which totally wasn't true! She speaks to us in a powerful way about a compassionate God who loves us as we are and gives us the strength that we need. Melissa discovered that depression doesn't mean that she's sentenced to a life of unhappiness. Friends, Melissa is one of the most radiant people that I know!

If you've been dealing with depression or you secretly wonder if you are depressed, I hope that you'll listen to this week's podcast. Also, check out the resource links provided below. You can take a quick screening quiz to find out if you should talk to your doctor about depression. I'm also sharing some other resources that will equip and encourage you.



Online depression screening tool *If you take the quiz, please take your concerns and results to you healthcare professional no matter the outcome of the quiz.

Gathering Dandelions: Meditations and Musings on Faith, Fracture, and Beauty Mistaken for a Weed by Melissa Maimone

Mental Health and the Church - Interview with Rick Warren 


About Melissa Maimone...

Melissa Maimone is a vibrant, inspirational Christian speaker and author of “Gathering Dandelions: Meditations and Musings on Faith, Fracture, and Beauty Mistaken for a Weed.” 

Affected by depression and anxiety from a young age, Melissa inspires women to discover the beautiful strength and grace available to them—even in the darkest of places. With her unique blend of theology, humor, insight, and storytelling, Melissa shares with powerful vulnerability that a hopeful, joyous life is possible no matter what your circumstance.

She lives in Southern California with her husband Danny their two children, Elizabeth and Cole.

Apr 13, 2017

"I had no idea that my life would look this." 

Melissa Maimone is a Christian speaker and author. When you meet her, the first thing you'll notice is her bright smile and warmth. Yet, Melissa has struggled with major depression for most of her life.

Can you relate? 

Depression is extremely common in women, yet we're still struggling to find the courage to talk about it.

In this week's Better Together podcast, Melissa and I dive into her personal story, including some difficult aspects to her story. At one point, a serious event forced Melissa to find new tools to help her cope with her depression. She shares some of those tools with us as she talks about the common questions Christians with depression ask: Is my lack of faith keeping me from being healed?

Melissa addresses that question with grace and a profound observation that may completely shift your perspective completely. 

QUESTION: Have you struggled with depression or anxiety? What advice would you give a woman who feels ashamed about being depressed or a woman who refuses to get treatment for her depression? Leave your comments below.

RATE THIS EPISODE ON ITUNES! Help other women discover this podcast on iTunes by rating this episode. It's really easy! Just click here to leave a review.


About Melissa Maimone...

Melissa Maimone is a vibrant, inspirational Christian speaker and author of “Gathering Dandelions: Meditations and Musings on Faith, Fracture, and Beauty Mistaken for a Weed.”

Affected by depression and anxiety from a young age, Melissa inspires women to discover the beautiful strength and grace available to them—even in the darkest of places. With her unique blend of theology, humor, insight, and story-telling, Melissa shares with powerful vulnerability that a hopeful, joyous life is possible no matter what your circumstance.

Melissa has been a featured speaker at various Christian camps, women's events and retreats throughout the United States. She is part of the speaking team for Seasons Weekend, created by author and dramatist Nicole Johnson. Melissa has appeared on TBN and KKLA Christian Radio, and has been published in Welcome Home magazine.

She lives in Southern California with her husband Danny their two children, Elizabeth and Cole.

Apr 10, 2017

My first exposure to human trafficking came in 2010 when I walked by a wooden shipping crate and saw a young girl huddled inside. She was tucked into a corner of the small crate wearing a t-shirt and pair of shorts. Her head tucked into her knees with long, dark hair covering her face. How did a human being get shoved into a wooden box? How is that possible?

Luckily, the young woman in the box was an exhibit at our church women's conference. Every half hour or so she was free to stand and stretch her legs. At the end of the night, she packed up her display and drove home.

But millions of humans around the world aren't free to go home. 

Over the past few years, a lot of attention has been directed toward human trafficking. 

One of the things that I fear is that we think that talking about the horrors of human trafficking is the same as actually doing something about it. Even as I type these words, I'm feeling the pressure of the question, " Barb, what are you going to do about it?"

My freedom means that I'm often too busy to consider someone's desperate slavery.

In part 2 of my Better Together episode with Merrie Karimov, women's pastor at Discovery Church in Orlando, which ranks #3 in Florida for human trafficking. However, we know that forced slavery occurs in every community, including yours. 

Merrie's interview walks you step-by-step through how you can get involved with human trafficking, but here's a summary of what we should know:

1. Make sure that you are educating yourself about what's happening in your local community.
2. Find out which human trafficking organizations are already doing the work and partner with them - you don't need to start something.
3. Remember that we are not the savior of the survivor. God doesn't need us to fix them, just love them in a responsible and sacrificial way.



Fight4Freedom at Discovery Church (Orlando)

Harbour Hope International 

US State Department Report on Human Trafflicking (2016)


About Merrie...

I am passionate about life, love God and love people.  I am the wife of a “Rusky” (Russian), mother of twins AND one adorable big brother.  I am a daughter, sister, friend and all around adventurer at heart.  I am candid and creative and live to cultivate, invest in, develop, & mobilize others.  I believe that inside every person is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered, developed & encouraged.  

Connect with Merrie via email at


Apr 3, 2017


Do you find it hard to say "no" when someone asks you to do something that you don't want to do?

Do you feel a driving need to keep the peace, even if it means that you have to stuff your real feelings and keep silent? 

For many women, being a people-pleaser is a survival skill that we picked up during our younger years. Maybe we wanted to earn the approval of our parents or boyfriend or we wanted certain kids to like us. No matter our motivation, the driving need to be liked or accepted is something that we've all had to deal with at one time or another.

Today's guest, Merrie Karimov, shares her story of growing up as a people-pleaser. She'll tell us about how a powerful daily encounter with God helped her break free from living for other's approval in order to live for God's approval alone.

Merrie will also tell us about how finding her identity in Christ gave her the courage and confidence to say "yes" to some incredible God-driven opportunities, like moving to Russia when she was 20 years old.

If you've struggled with people-pleasing or you want to be inspired by someone who said "yes" to God in a HUGE way, you'll enjoy part one of my conversation with Merrie Karimov.


I've developed a free download for you! Like Merrie, we need to live God's approval and not humans. So, this free sheet includes several verses that we can say to ourselves each day to help us focus on our identity as God's children rather than trying to get people to like us. CLICK HERE to download.


About Merrie...

I am passionate about life, love God and love people.  I am the wife of a “Rusky” (Russian), mother of twins AND one adorable big brother.  I am a daughter, sister, friend and all around adventurer at heart.  I am candid and creative and live to cultivate – invest in, develop, & mobilize others.  I believe that inside every person is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered, developed & encouraged.  My guilty pleasures include sipping coffee with my hubs & blowing raspberries on my babies’ bellies.

Connect with Merrie via email at


Mar 27, 2017

How often do you find yourself scrambling to put together dinner? Are you tired of relying on pizza or grocery store rotisserie chickens to bail you out when there's nothing thawed in the fridge?

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to latch onto a group of women interested in transforming their families' dinner time experience. Once a month, we'd spend 3-4 hours preparing 10-12 delicious freezer meals in our individual homes. Then, we'd meet at a designated location and exchange our meals with each other in a 15-20 minute "meal swap." 

I'd drive home a cooler filled with entrees and side dishes, all prepped and ready to hang out in my freezer until I thawed it for dinner. We enjoyed meals like dijon pork loin with Israeli couscous, Monster Meatballs, Chicken Enchiladas with salsa rojo, chicken fajitas with all of fixings, Million Dollar Spaghetti and so much more!


Not only did our family enjoy great dinners without the epic mom-meltdown, but our meal swap group also discovered how our meals would make a difference. 

In this Part 2 episode with Laura Bell and Alison Frye, we'll share more stories about our meal swap experience and how we used meal swap to bless our neighbors, friends, people at church and even families overseas.


Would you like to host a meal swap group in your neighborhood or at your church?

Download the first 12 pages of our cookbook, Never Make Just One. We provide step-by-step instructions so that you can successfully set up and launch your own meal swap group. Give it a try! Click here to download the free sample. We've included a sample recipe for you to try!

WANT TO BUY THE ENTIRE COOKBOOK? Here's a link to the entire cookbook. You can purchase it for $5.00. All of the proceeds will benefit mothers and children served by our Moms on Mission team traveling to Honduras this summer.

Mar 20, 2017

Mom, what's for dinner?

Ahhh, the daily question that haunts mothers all across America. It's well-known that 4pm-7pm is a mother's least favorite time of day. Between after-school or daycare pick-up, sports practices or music lessons and figuring out homework, tired mamas often dread tackling dinner time preparation. As much as we'd love a hearty, healthy homecooked meal, what we want more is someone to make it for us!

But, what if you could enjoy a great home cooked meal with your family without all of the dinnertime craziness?

On today's Better Together podcast, we're going to talk about something that revolutionized dinner at my house. In fact, if I'd found out about this 20 years ago, our family would have eaten at home much more often and I would have cried a lot less!

Join me and my friends, Laura Bell and Alison Frye as we talk about meal swapping. This concept began as an experiment, but soon, it changed our lifestyles and transformed our families' dinner time experience.

This two-part episode also includes a great bonus! You can download the first 12-pages of our cookbook, Never Make Just One. You'll get all of the details on how to begin a meal swap group in your community, plus we include one of Laura's recipes from the cookbook.

SPECIAL OFFER! If you'd like to purchase the entire Never Make Just One cookbook for $5.00, 100% of the proceeds will go toward helping moms and babies in Latin America when our Moms on Mission group heads to Honduras this summer.



Click here to download the first 12 pages of the meal swap cookbook (free)

Click here to purchase the Never Make Just One cookbook for $5.00. (You'll receive it via email. This is a digital download. There are no hard copies available.)

Mar 6, 2017

Have you been praying for something for a long time? Maybe you've been praying for:

...healing in your marriage or for a marriage proposal;
...healing from a cancer or another disease;
...the restoration of a broken relationship;
...a pregnancy or solution to infertility; or
...a loved one's salvation or freedom from an addiction.

Whenever we pray, we do so with the expectation that God will answer our prayer in some way. But, what do we do when it seems like God isn't doing anything at all? 

Speaker and author, Marlo Schalesky grappled with this question during her 20-year battle with infertility. During this new episode of the Better Together Podcast, Marlo and I about what she's learned about waiting on God when the waiting gets hard. We talk about her new book, Waiting for Wonder and what we can learn from Abraham's wife, Sarah's long wait for baby. gritty conversation is a no-hold bars honest reflection on how God can handle our heartache while we wait for His divine purposes to be fulfilled in our lives.

This gritty conversation is a no-hold bars honest reflection on how God can handle our heartache while we wait for His divine purposes to be fulfilled in our lives.

As you listen to the podcast, if you know of a woman who's been struggling with waiting on God, especially one struggling with infertility, share this podcast privately with her.



Marlo's Website

Marlo's Book - Waiting for Wonder

Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of 10 books, including both fiction and non-fiction. Her novels have garnered the high honors of the Christy Award and ACFW Book of the Year. Schalesky’s non-fiction releases include Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary (Zondervan) and the latest, Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timetable (Abingdon Press).

More than 1,000 of Schalesky’s articles have been published in various Christian magazines, including Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and In Touch. She has contributed devotional books for couples and children. She is a speaker and regular columnist for David C Cook’s Power for Living.

Schalesky is a graduate of Stanford University and has earned her Master’s in Theology, with an emphasis in Biblical Studies, from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is the founder and president of Wonder Wood Ranch, a California charitable organization bringing hope to a hurting community through horses.

Schalesky lives with her husband, six children and a crazy number of animals at her log-home ranch on California’s central coast.



Feb 20, 2017


Yesterday, I took my two younger daughters to a Black History Month community event at our local art museum. Artists from our community shared their talents inspired by African-American composers and musicians. A multiracial audience experienced a variety of unique expressions from performers of every race and culture.

As the mother of three bi-racial daughters, I wanted to seize this opportunity to let my girls see and hear people who could elevate the unique gifts, talents, and passions of their ancestors.

In this week's Better Together podcast, I want to seize an opportunity to share with you, too. I'm interviewing a Caucasian woman who's life radically transformed as a result of deciding to use her life and voice to elevate racial reconciliation and social justice. Her name is Cara Meredith, the daughter-in-law of civil rights leader, James Howard Meredith. 

This is a candid, authentic conversation about race, family, motherhood. It's the conversation where you might feel God poking at certain patterns of thinking or challenging different stereotypes. Just know that God's just waiting for you to give Him permission to dig out that stuff and replace with His love for people. 

 In this week's episode, you'll hear about...

  • Cara's reaction to finding out that her new boyfriend's dad was a civil rights icon;
  • Some of the struggles that Cara and I have encountered while raising bi-racial children;
  • How Cara and her husband are intentional about instilling pride in both sides of their children's heritage;
  • Important, but tough internal conversations that we all need to have if we're ever going to turn the tide on the volatile issue of race.


About Cara Meredith...

Cara Meredith is a writer and speaker from Seattle, Washington. A member of the Redbud Writers Guild, she is co-host of the Shalom Book Club podcast and an adjunct professor at Northwest University. She lives with her husband and two young sons, and consumes guacamole whenever she gets the chance.

Connect with Cara...

Cara's blog

Connect with Cara on Twitter

Connect with Cara on Facebook


Cara with her husband, James Henry Meredith and their two sons.



Cara's father-in-law, James Howard Meredith talking with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr during the March Against Fear in June 1966. Meredith organized the small march and planned to walk from Memphis, TN to Jackson, MI. However, Meredith was shot on the second day of the march, but recovered in a local hospital. In the wake of the shooting, civil rights organizations rallied and over 15,000 people marched, including Dr. King.



Feb 8, 2017

Are you exhausted by all of the work that it takes to plan and execute women's ministry events at your church?

Does it seem like the same women volunteer all of the time and you'd like to see some new faces get involved?

Are you worried that no one will take over if you decide to leave your women's ministry position?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions or you know that your women's ministry leader would answer 'yes', then this podcast is for you!

My name is Barb Roose and I'm a Christian speaker and author. However, I served on staff at a local church for 14 years, most recently as the Executive Director of Ministry. As a former volunteer, ministry leader and church staff, I know all of the hard work, late nights, sweat, tears and prayers that go into planning women's events. I know what it's like to dream and plan - only to feel frustration when volunteers don't show up. But, I've learned some key principles to recruiting and retaining high caliber volunteers along the way.

One of the people that I've learned from is Cindy Casey, a fellow ministry leader and long-time local church staffer. Over the past 15 years, Cindy has recruited hundreds of volunteers. She is truly one of the best volunteer recruiters I know!

Take 10 minutes and listen to my short interview with Cindy. She'll talk about how she recruits leaders, especially young leaders. Cindy will also talk about how she activates and appreciates her volunteers.

If you enjoy this podcast, send me a note! My hope is to bring hope and help to you. What you do in your church and community matters so much and my prayer is that God can use me to support you along the way.

Feel free to email me at with your volunteer recruiting questions or issues. If there's an interest, I'll do another podcast with the answers to your questions.




Feb 5, 2017



How often do you criticize yourself? Too many of us have a running negative dialogue in our mind about our faults, failures, shortcomings and mistakes. 

In today’s Better Together podcast, we’re discussing how self-compassion is the key to treating ourselves with the kindness that motivates us toward self-care and resiliency.

As a former ministry leader, now life coach, I've observed that self-compassion is the one thing that women consistently refuse to give themselves. Too often, we don't believe that we deserve self-compassion because we believe that we can only be kind to ourselves if we're perfect or only if we try really hard. That's just not true!

Here’s what self-compassion is not:

Self-compassion isn’t self-pity.

Self-compassion isn’t self-focused.

Self-compassion isn’t selfish.

Self-compassion is a precious balance of grace and truth. This means that we treat ourselves with love even though we realize that we are flawed and make mistakes.

You need to treat yourself with self-compassion. So, I am thrilled about this episode of Better Together. But, I'm so concerned that you're going to make up some excuse not to listen...

Beautiful friend, if you can stop criticizing yourself, then you need to listen to this episode.

If you grew up in a home where the adults in your life didn't or couldn't give you what you needed, then you must listen to this episode.

If you're always feeling guilty about taking care of yourself, then veto that guilt and take the time to listen to this podcast while you're getting dressed, doing housework or driving to work.

Today’s podcast guest is Kim Fredrickson, author of Give Yourself a Break: Turn Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. As a marriage and family therapist, Kim taught her clients the principles of self-compassion. As a breast cancer survivor, Kim still practices these techniques on herself.In today’s broadcast, you’ll learn and learn:

In today’s broadcast, you’ll learn and learn:

  • The reasons why women obsess about caring for others, but quickly neglect themselves;
  • The impact of not learning about or receiving self-compassion as children;
  • How to revisit our old baggage and mistakes and reframe our self-critical thinking;
  • How to talk and treat ourselves with self-compassion on a daily basis.

If you listen to today's broadcast and you think that your friends may need to hear Kim's wisdom, please share this post with them.



Kim's Website

Kim's Facebook page


About Kim...

Kim Frederickson spent 30 years as private practice marriage and family therapist and college professor. She considered it a privilege to bring healing and hope to individuals, couples' and groups in private counseling sessions as well as workshops and speaking at conferences and seminars. In 2013, Kim was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. After finishing treatment, Kim realized that she was experiencing shortness of breath. Within six weeks of testing, Kim was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and terminal lung disease. 

Even as she deals with such devastating diagnosis, Kim relies on the same self-compassion techniques that she taught her clients for many years. "I've decided to be a good friend to myself. Self-compassion helps me to be kind and caring to myself in the ways I talk to myself, take care of myself, encourage myself and accept the volumes of prayer and support my friends and family offer. I know God has a purpose for this in my life, and in the lives of others."

Jan 29, 2017

Do you ever struggle to find time for Bible study and prayer? Goodness, I think that I can hear all of the amens going up around country!

I get the struggle. I LIVE the struggle. I love Jesus, but I get distracted. Don't let me pick up my smartphone and accidently hit the Facebook app instead of my Bible app. 

But, are we missing our blessing?

When I spend regular time in Bible study and prayer, I can feel it! The sweetness of God's Holy Spirit leads me and I am so blessed. In a world filled with rising chaos, the Holy Spirit supplies the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control that blesses my life. (And my family likes me so.much.more.

But, what happens when I don't spend time with God?

I get grumpy.
People start getting on my nerves.
My words lose their sweetness.

I couldn't find the exact quote, but I remember Rick Warren saying that when he doesn't spend time with God:

...after 3 days, he can tell the difference.
...after 5 days his family can tell the difference.
...after 10 days EVERYONE can tell the difference.

Do you want God's Word to flow deeper into your heart and mind? I'm not talking about just doing a deeper Bible study, but do you want the truth of the scriptures to bury deep in your heart?

Listen to this Better Together podcast episode Nike tells us about a question that she's been asking God. She also tells us about an ah-ha moment that she had while reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 that taught her about embodying God's Word, instead of just reading God's Word.

If you haven't listened to an episode of the Better Together podcast, now's the time! (It's only 10 minutes long - you can do it!)

Jan 15, 2017

Are you tired of watching people fight with each other? Do you get discouraged when you see Christians unfriending each other, not just on social media, but in families and friendships

If so, then you’ll be encouraged by today’s podcast. I’m sitting down for an important conversation with Bible study teacher and author, Melissa Spoelstra for a kingdom conversation on the Bible teaches Christians to handle disagreement. She recently released a Bible study on the book of 1 Corinthians, a New Testament letter written to church leaders trying to deal with the fighting and drama in their churches. Sound familiar?

Melissa is the author of the Bible study, 1 Corinthians : Living Love When We Disagree. This is such a well-timed topic for our culture today, especially for Christians.

How do we love each other even though we don’t share the same perspective or convictions? We do know this: That when Christians disagree poorly, the gospel message gets lost and lost people stay lost without that message of hope. Friends, we’ve got to change this!

In today’s podcast, Melissa shares powerful content on living love by sharing:

  • How Jesus proposed instead of imposed himself on others;
  • How we establish middle ground or common ground when we’re in the midst of a disagreement;
  • How Paul’s counsel to the leaders of the Corinthian church provides encourage and practical advice for us to apply to our lives today.

Find out more about Melissa's book and Bible studies by clicking here.

About Melissa...

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ.

She is the author of the First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree, Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness, Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible studies, and Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids. 

Find her on Twitter @melspoelstra and Instagram @daring2hope, and follow her blog at

Jan 12, 2017

Have you ever felt like your child was your parenting report card? If he or she was doing well in school, then you felt great. But, if your precious cherub was causing the teacher to pull her hair out, then you were failing.

How do we snap out of making our kids our “report card” and instead love and raise them as God calls us to do?

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to direct our children onto the right path so that when they are old, they will not leave it. If the Bible tells us to teach our kids God’s ways, how do we teach when we’re not always sure on how God wants us to live?

Today’s guest, Melissa Spoelstra coaches moms through eight areas that we need to teach our children so that they can develop their own relationship with God. As the mother of four kids, aged 20, 16-year old twins and 14, Melissa understands the difficulties and hard decisions that go along with parenting. According to Melissa, parenting is never about perfect, but intentionally planning out how to disciple our children so that they can learn to love Jesus.

In her book, Total Family Makeover, Melissa discusses how Jesus modeled certain disciplines, like prayer, mentoring and service. Then, Jesus taught the disciples how to integrate those same disciplines into their lives. Melissa will share her experiences as a mom, stories about how she’s “failed forward” as a parent and encouragement for any mom who’s at the end of her rope.

In today’s podcast, listen to my interview with Melissa as we discuss:

  • Why we make our children into our parenting report card;
  • How not to disciple your children into worriers;
  • The CRUCIAL importance of finding a mentor mom to help you stay sane during your parenting years;
  • The differences between parenting young kids and parenting older kids;

Melissa Spoelstra’s Website

Melissa’s Recommend Parenting Resources: