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I am grateful to have had a bevy of beautiful conversations this year, but my conversations with Mike Foster stand alone. They have changed me, changed the way I understand the world, and changed my relationships. CONVERSATIONS WITH MIKE FOSTER DO THIS, PEOPLE. I can’t wait for you to listen in on what Mike has learned over many years doing his valuable work and, in turn, what he’s able to teach us. Known as the Mr. Rogers of self-development, Mike Foster is a best-selling author, speaker, and executive counselor empowering people to build strong lives by turning their setbacks into superpowers. Mike is a Certified Experiential Specialist recognized by the International Society For Experiential Professionals. He is skilled in utilizing creativity and interactive elements to help people maximize their growth. Like a grace-flavored snow cone on a hot, judgmental day, Mike’s chart-topping and highly acclaimed Fun Therapy podcast and STRONGEST workshop will give you the one-two punch you need to stop making excuses and start living a stronger, better life. Mike is the author of several best-selling books including Freeway and Wonderlife. His wildly popular Five Dates fun-books for couples empowers relationships to build a strategy of togetherness. His new book The 7 Primal Questions: The Real Reason Why You Do Anything and How It Changes Everything will release in the summer of 2022. His work has been featured on Good Morning America, FOXNews and the New York Times. He lives in San Diego with his wife Jennifer and their fluffy dog. You can find him online at MikeFoster.TV and @MikeFoster2000. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Maria Durso is who I want to be when I grow up, including her hair. Maria met Jesus in a dramatic way and she never turned back. She and her husband Michael pastored Christ Tabernacle in Queens, New York, an outgrowth of Brooklyn Tabernacle, for over thirty years, She continues to lead in various capacities there when not speaking all over the world about her story and the compelling news of the Gospel. She is a force, friends, and I cannot wait for you to listen in on our conversation. Maria Durso is living proof that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Having come from a childhood devastated by loss and abuse she grew up thinking she could mask her pain with drugs. Her lifestyle could have left her hopeless and alone—yet God kept and preserved Maria’s life. Understanding firsthand the effects of abandonment, loneliness and rejection, she ministers to those whose hurt lies deep in the heart and works to minister to those who need hope. Armed with discernment, insight into the true character of God, honest about her own experience, and down to earth, Maria is an intercessor, teacher, and powerful speaker. Maria has published two books, From Your Head to Your Heart, and Ageless. God continues to open doors for her to minister in conferences, seminars, and retreats. Connect with her at MariaDurso.com and @MariaDurso129. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Let’s talk about parenting and breast cancer and the pandemic and all the things that are distinctly PLAN B (C? D? Z?), but can we please figure out how to laugh about it? If that sounds like the way to go, you need to listen to my conversation with author Melanie Dale. Melanie’s newest book, Calm the H*ck Down: How to Let Go and Lighten Up About Parenting had me in stitches, even in the tough parts, which is, of course, the point. I think you are going to love hearing Melanie’s fantastic help on how to approach the life you’ve been given with laughter, honesty, and practical ways we can all lighten up. Melanie is the author of four books, including her latest, Calm the H*ck Down: How to Let Go and Lighten Up about Parenting. She’s a writer for the TV series Creepshow and her essays are featured monthly at Coffee+Crumbs. For the last five years she played numerous zombies on The Walking Dead when she wasn’t writing or parenting her three kids from three different continents. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
On this episode of For Real, I learn a bunch from author Marcus Brotherton, whose new book, A Bright and Blinding Sun, tells the true story of an accidental hero. Marcus has written extensively about military heroes, and I loved learning about how he distills huge movements in history into stories that show the triumph of the human spirit. We also discuss the woes and joys of doing publicity for your work and how to maintain a healthy mindset when in the throes of a book launch. This is a must listen if you are an aspiring author! Marcus Brotherton is a New York Times bestselling author and coauthor dedicated to writing books that inspire heroics, promote empathy, and encourage noble living. Four of Marcus’ books are New York Times bestsellers, five are national bestsellers, four have been optioned for movies, and one is an international bestseller. His books have also appeared on USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and ECPA bestseller lists. Born in British Columbia, Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, and a master’s degree from Biola University in Los Angeles, where he graduated with high honors. He lives with his wife and their three children in the Pacific Northwest. You can find Marcus online at MarcusBrotherton.com and @MarcusBrotherton. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
I have long loved and admired Sarah Bragg, so it was such a delight to have her join me on For Real! Sarah is the friend you want to move next door, fire up a pot of coffee, and put in a few hours of chatting on the front porch about what it’s really like to be a mom, writer, podcaster, and carpool driver. Sarah has a passion to help folks survive right where they are, and I know you’re going to love hearing her heart. Sarah Bragg is a popular podcast host, communicator, and author. You can find her on iTunes hosting the podcast Surviving Sarah. She is also the author of A Mother’s Guide to Raising Herself: What Parenting Taught Me About Life, Faith and Myself. She is also a wife, mother of girls, and a creative entrepreneur. Sarah and her family reside in Tennessee. You can find more from her at SarahBragg.com and @sarahwbragg. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
On this episode of For Real, we dive into the potential minefields of sex and intimacy, and Sheila Gregoire was the perfect person to help us know better in order to do better. It was an honor to chat with Sheila, a woman who is on the front lines of bringing hope and freedom to some dark spots in the church. For her book The Great Sex Rescue, Sheila interviewed 20,000 Christian women, and her research illuminates both what we are doing well and how we can move toward a more life-enriching, healthy view of sex and relationships. I learned a ton from Sheila and her book, and I can’t wait for you to listen in on our conversation. Sheila Wray Gregoire is the face behind To Love, Honor, and Vacuum, the largest single-blogger marriage blog. A sought-after speaker, she’s also an award-winning author of nine books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. Sheila has a Masters in Public Administration and Master of Arts in Sociology both from Queen’s University. Sheila built the successful blog, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum, with traffic of one million page views a month. Her email list is 45,000 strong and her social media reach is over 100,000. Her podcast, Bare Marriage, has more than 5,000 downloads each week. She is an award-winning author with seven royalty published books. A sought after speaker, Sheila has spoken at churches and conferences around the globe. She is a frequent contributor at Family Life Canada events. Her latest book, The Great Sex Rescue, was featured in the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and Washington Post. She has bylines at Religion News Service, Relevant Magazine, and other news sources. Sheila and her husband Keith, a pediatrician, live in Belleville, Ontario. They have two grown daughters and one very adorable grandson who lives down the road. She enjoys hiking, birdwatching, RV camping trips, and board games. And she knits - even in line at the grocery store. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode. 
Katherine Wolf is the kind of friend who changes every lens of your life from lackluster to technicolor. If it feels like you’re in a moment where you could use a shot of courage and hope mixed with some seriously honest faith, then this is the conversation for you. Katherine knows what all those things truly mean, and I learned so much from her in our conversation. Katherine is a communicator and advocate. She married her husband Jay in 2004 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Their son, James was born in 2007, and six months later Katherine’s life nearly ended with a catastrophic stroke. Miraculously, she survived and continues her recovery to this day, including having a miracle baby, John in 2015. Katherine and Jay have shared their journey of steadfast hope through their books, ​Hope Heals ​and ​Suffer Strong, and at speaking events both live and online before millions. Together, they founded Hope Heals camp, a community for families with disabilities like them. Katherine, Jay and their two sons live in the Atlanta area. To connect, visit hopeheals.com​ or ​@hopeheals Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Ambassador John Cotton Richmond is a real-life superhero. He combats human trafficking and slavery, he loves his family and friends like a beast, and he does it all with humor and humility. The guy should wear a cape. What an honor to chat with him on this episode! I cannot wait for you to listen in on our hope-filled conversation. Ambassador Richmond’s career has taken him to the front lines in the global battle against human trafficking. As a Partner at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, he focuses on the intersection between business and human rights. John advises companies on how to keep their supply chains free of forced labor and their workforces free of sex trafficking. Before joining Dentons, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed John, and he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons from 2018 to 2021. Serving in the nation’s highest-ranking position dedicated to human trafficking, John led U.S. foreign policy related to modern slavery and coordinated the U.S. government’s response to the crime. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, John served for over a decade as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, where he prosecuted numerous victim-centered labor and sex trafficking cases. He also co-founded the Human Trafficking Institute and lived in India for three years pioneering International Justice Mission’s slavery work. John has received numerous honors and commendations, including being named a “Prosecutor of the Year” and receiving the David Alred Award for exceptional contributions to civil rights. His work caused the former head of the FBI’s human trafficking program to call him “every trafficker’s worst nightmare.” John received his undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Washington and his law degree from Wake Forest University. Ambassador Richmond is a writer and frequent speaker on topics of faith, justice, vocation, and parenting and is a Fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute. He lives outside Washington, DC with his “Lovely and Talented” wife and their three robust and remarkable children. Find him on social media @JohnRichmond1. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Episode 10 - Jo Saxton

Episode 10 - Jo Saxton

2022-02-0801:06:30

Jo Saxton is a force, and she leverages that force to lift up others. I really tried hard not to fangirl with Jo, and to her credit, she humored my frothing like the pro she is. She coaches us beautifully in this episode, helping us know how to lead well, love fiercely, and be a people who pour oxygen into the dreams of others. I cannot wait for you to listen in on our rich conversation. Jo Saxton is an author, speaker, podcast host, and leadership coach. She has dedicated her career to growing leadership teams around the world and empowering women to find their purpose in their personal lives and in leadership. Born in London to parents who immigrated from Nigeria, Jo credits her family’s unrelenting work ethic and the grace of God for the bold, tenacious approach she takes to sharing her wisdom on identity, influence, and living an authentic life. She is characterized by her effervescent honesty and warm approachability, leaving audiences with practical next steps in areas that are usually a bit ambiguous. In her latest book, Ready to Rise: Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step into Your Influence, Jo tackles the real life issues women face — workplace harassment, sexism, low self esteem, financial woes, power battles, and old wounds — to help move women beyond disempowerment and together to grow their grit. While providing meaningful wisdom from her own journey to leadership, Jo also adds stories of empowered women from the Bible. Readers will be empowering to change their landscape and build new communities where diverse female leadership can flourish. Her previous book, More than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World, discusses the role of women in church and society. While her book, The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For helps readers address their past, accept their identity, and learn how to create a legacy they want. In addition to work as an author, Jo has also spearheaded an initiative aimed to help women grow their leadership skills. Jo lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Chris, and their two daughters. Find her online at JoSaxton.com and @JoSaxton. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
What a total joy to chat with my friend Heather Gudenkauf about the ups and downs of a writer's life, the importance of family, and her new novel, The Overnight Guest. In addition to being a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather is absolutely one of the kindest people I know. She lives with open hands and a deep desire to lift others up. I think you'll love hearing our conversation. Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of eight novels. Her debut novel, The Weight of Silence, was an instant NYT bestseller and remained on the list for 22 weeks. Gudenkauf’s critically acclaimed novels have been published in over 20 countries and have been included in many Best Of lists including Seven Thrillers to Read This Summer by the New York Times, The 10 Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2017 by The Washington Post, a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, and a Best Book for the Beach by ChicagoNow.com. Her upcoming novel, The Overnight Guest, will be released on Jan. 25, 2022. Find her online at heathergudenkauf.com and @Heathergudenkauf. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Just in time for a brand new year! Jennifer Taylor Wagner is my guest on today’s episode, and she is the perfect person to help us look into 2022 with a holistic view of health and wellness. Jennifer’s new book, Your Good Body: Embracing a Body-Positive Mindset in a Perfection-Focused World, is just what we need as we reframe how we view weight and scales and food and feeling good in our own skin. I can’t wait for you to hear her story and her hard-earned wisdom. Jennifer Taylor Wagner is a certified fitness instructor and successful blogger. She is passionate about challenging the way we think about health, wellness, and regularly writes on the topics of healthy living and body positivity. Whether it's hosting online webinars, speaking in churches, or chatting at MOPS meetings, she is committed to helping others find hope in their journey. Jennifer lives in Virginia with her husband, Phil and their two kids. Visit her online at jenniferwagner.co and @jennifertaylorwagner. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
What an absolutely fantastic way to end the year, with my mom buckling under my pressure to join me on the pod! Patti is wise and funny and beautiful, all things I want to be when I grow up. She won’t be the first to say it, so I will: The woman is a legend. For forty years, she nurtured a family, a marriage, a home, and a deep faith while also flourishing in a career as a professional violinist. These days, when I think about all the things she balanced, it makes me instantly tired and in need of a robust nap. My mom has been married to my dad for 51 years, and they have taught me all I know about loving each other well and still laughing like teenagers after decades together. This conversation was a Christmas gift to me, and I can’t wait for you to listen in. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
What an absolute unicorn-sighting-level treat to have Maria Goff on For Real! MARIA GOFF, YOU GUYS!! Maria has been a steadfast friend and mentor to me. She is the person I go to for real-world advice on family, parenting, and how to make life more beautiful. She is honest and warm and true to the bones. I can’t wait for you to get to listen in on our conversation. Maria Goff has made a career out of loving her family, serving her neighbors, and turning houses and retreat centers into restful places. She is married to Bob Goff, whom she calls the most helpful and interesting man in the world. They’ve journeyed to Uganda, Nepal, and Northern Iraq to start schools for marginalized kids. They have three adult kids, who are starting families of their own. She lives in San Diego where she and Bob continue to dream about fun and adventures yet to be had with their growing family. Find Maria at LoveLivesHereBook.com and on Instagram @SweetMariaGoff. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
This conversation was a really deep breath in and then out again. Stefanie Boyce is the best teacher of how to swim through the most treacherous, overwhelming waters and emerge with robust hope and honest faith. I hope you grab hold of her words and don’t let go. Stefanie Boyce is a speaker, yoga instructor, spiritual director, and director of The Oaks, a retreat center designed to help people create, rest, and celebrate in Southern California. In her honest, real-life approach that people have come to love, audiences have found encouragement, inspiration, and renewed hope. Guiding others from a perspective birthed out of her own journey of pain and loss, she encourages others to find beauty in difficult circumstances. In 2019, Stefanie launched her first business, The Inner Sanctuary, hosting workshops, retreats, yoga instruction, and private consultation. Blending her creative passions, psychology degree, church staff experience, and training in spiritual direction and yoga, Stefanie loves holding space for others to get curious, dig deep, and grow.  She is a wife and mother to three: Ellie, her brother Jayden and sister Brooklyn, both home in heaven. Learn more about The Oaks at OaksCenter.com and on Instagram @TheOaksCenter. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
If you are in need of some laughter and whimsy and a reminder of what’s good, this conversation with my friend Taylor Hughes is the ticket. Taylor is a magician, a keynote speaker, and an author, and he tells a great story. I can’t wait for you to listen in. Taylor Hughes fell in love with the art of illusion when his parents bought him a magic kit for his seventh birthday. More than thirty years and 3,000 shows later, Taylor has become known for his signature style of Magic Storytelling. He is a favorite at Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle, a highly sought-after Keynote Presenter, and his Comedy Magic Special Chasing Wonder is streaming now. His brand-new book Road to Wonder released on September 14, 2021, and is now available everywhere books are sold. Taylor is married to his high school sweetheart Katie, and they live in Southern California with their two daughters Madelyn and Kennedy. Find him on Instagram @MagicStoryteller and TaylorHughes.com. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
This episode! Yowza. It is definitely one to put on your "listen-again-when-I-have-to-remember-what's-important" list, friends. For years, Jennifer Dukes Lee has been living out the heartbeat of her call to grow slow, right where we are. She is doing this countercultural thing, and we can too. I learned so much from her in this conversation and in her book, Growing Slow: Lessons on Un-Hurrying Your Heart from an Accidental Farm Girl, and I can't wait for you to listen in from the fields where you are planting today. Jennifer Dukes Lee lives on the fifth-generation Lee family farm in Iowa, where she and her husband are raising crops, pigs, and two beautiful humans. She writes books, loves queso, and enjoys singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn't believe in Jesus; now he's her CEO. Find Jennifer at JenniferDukesLee.com and on Instagram at @JenniferDukesLee. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Nicole Baart is a gem of gems. She writes beautiful books, she lives (and tells) rich and worthy stories, and she shares my love of Dutch pastries. You need to be her friend. Nicole's new novel, her TENTH (!), releases soon, and after loving every single one of her books, I think this one, Everything We Didn't Say, is my very favorite. I think you're going to love eavesdropping on our conversation. Nicole Baart is the New York Times bestselling author of the upcoming Everything We Didn’t Say (11/2/21), a Book of the Month selection, You Were Always Mine, and Little Broken Things (available now). She lives in Iowa with her husband, five children, two turtles, and their beloved dog. Learn more at NicoleBaart.com. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Kayla Craig is smart, sassy, deeply rooted in a rich faith, and a beautiful writer. She also does a lot of laundry at her house and loves her husband, kids, and community with wild abandon. In short, you and I want to be her friend. Kayla's new book, To Light Their Way, is absolutely luminous, and it gives words to us in moments we just can't find any on our own. I think you'll love listening in on our conversation. A former journalist, Kayla Craig is adamant about paying attention and embracing curiosity in her work as a writer and podcast producer. She writes nuanced, nurturing prayers at Liturgies for Parents on Instagram and co-founded the Upside Down Podcast, a place for ecumenical conversations on faith and justice. She is also a podcast producer for Sacred Ordinary Days. Kayla and her pastor-husband, Jonny, live in Iowa, where they're raising four young kids who joined their family via birth and adoption. When she's not playing LEGOs with her sons or advocating for her daughter with disabilities, Kayla can be found sipping strong coffee. You can connect with Kayla at kaylacraig.com and on Instagram @kayla_craig and @liturgiesforparents. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
Episode 01 - Bob Goff

Episode 01 - Bob Goff

2021-09-2147:18

My guest for Episode Brand-Spanking-New-Number-One of For Real is the unparalleled Bob Goff. Bob is the New York Times bestselling author of a bunch of books that have changed the way I think and live, including Love Does, Everybody Always, Live in Grace, Walk in Love, and Dream Big. He is an internationally beloved speaker and the founder of Love Does, a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda, India, Nepal, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In his spare time (!), Bob is the Honorary Consul to the Republic of Uganda, co-owner of The Oaks, podcaster to millions, husband to Maria, dad of three, and grandpa of one with one on the way. Bob does not nap. I hang out with Bob through our work coaching and leading writing workshops together, and I can just assure you that I take notes every single time. Our conversation in this episode was no exception. It is rich with Bob’s hard-won wisdom and experience, and we cover everything from faith to parenting adult kids to how to really see people well. And chickens. We talk about chickens. Visit KimberlyStuart.com/podcast for more from this episode.
For Real with Kimberly Stuart invites listeners to eavesdrop on conversations with folks who live and love well, create beautiful things, teach us a ton, and let us in on what they know. Never one for successful small talk (JUNIOR HIGH WAS A STRUGGLE), Kim asks her guests to get right to it, mining stories of honesty and courage and finding plenty of snort-laughter and tears along the way. They tackle faith and grit and joy and sorrow—all of it, even the ugly parts— and leave us with hope and renewed perspective to walk the stretch of road that's  ours alone. For more on Kim and her books, visit KimberlyStuart.com.
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