Sisterhood Means We’re Better Together

Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
Isaiah 53:1 MSG

Dunk.

Slurp.

Chew.

Savor and repeat.

Because coffee and biscotti are always better together.

I couldn’t believe I’d never had Nonni’s Biscotti before. If the year were 1999 and I was prepping for apocalyptic computer shutdown, my Y2K supplies would definitely include Nonni’s. A month ago, a “sister” sent me a gift package with several of these life-sustaining treats. (I have yet to tell her that I nearly peed in my pants when I found a tub of them at Costco. Full disclosure—I bought two.)

It’s good to have sisters, isn’t it? But other than being lucky enough to have a friend who sends you snick-snacks, what exactly does it mean to have a sister?

My snack-mailing compadre is not my biological sister. In fact, we’re still getting to know one another. But despite lacking full knowledge of every aspect of our lives, we’ve made the decision to recognize ourselves as sisters.

Better Together

Sisters are many things. Over the next few months, Sisterhood Ministries is going to share what sisterhood means to us because we’re passionate about inviting other women to find and become sisters. We’ll talk about how sisterhood:

• Won’t let us go it alone
• Allows us to be ourselves
• Is a safe place
• Means having each other’s backs
• Is where we can take off the mask
• Reminds us we’re not alone
• Is a deep and powerful connection

This is the Body of Christ

We believe in sisterhood because we’ve seen the value of gathering with our sisters in ways that transcend boundaries and buildings and denominations. We long to live out the vision of the Church that we believe Jesus had in mind.

Our vision of sisterhood started rather simply. We, along with around 70 other women, had gathered for a retreat. We heard from a phenomenal speaker (we love you, Suzie Eller!), worshipped together, listened to each other’s stories, held hands, shared meals, prayed with one another, and cheered each other on as we conquered new activities. Basically, we did life together for those two and a half days, and we came out better because of it.

The secluded cabin in which we bunked—tucked in a tiny camp miles from a tiny town—became the backdrop for a fire that sparked in our souls. As we laughed and talked into the night, a cloud of conviction and a sense of wonder hovered over our cabin.

“This is what the Church should look like—and it needs to be shared.”

“This is what the Church should look like—and it needs to be shared.” Click To Tweet

Our Hearts are Full

When a bucket is full to overflowing, it has no choice but to spill. Our hearts were brimming with the fullness we had received, coupled with a desire to see others experience the same. Sisterhood Ministries was conceived in that tiny cabin. We just didn’t know it yet.

Nearly three years have passed since that gathering. The formation of this community has required the trekking of trails that only the Holy Spirit could enable climbing. But here we are, an official 501(c)(3), filling a tiny place in cyberspace and hoping to offer community and connection both online and in-person (see Traveling Retreats & Events).

You’ll be hearing from founding members in the weeks ahead, but here’s a sneak peek…

Mitzi is a seasoned educator who puts the rest of us to shame with regard to the number of plates she can spin! We’re so grateful for her leadership on the writing team. Her vision for Sisterhood Ministries is a place where we can reach out to others, share God’s word, and spread the Gospel. She loves encouraging women across the generations to seek Christ first. Click here to learn more about Mitzi.

Michele is affectionately known as “The Chaplain.” She is the heartbeat of our group. She’s quick to keep us accountable in our own faith and is a prayer warrior like none other. Her role as leader of Sisterhood’s prayer team makes perfect sense. Her hope for this community is that it becomes a place where women can walk into the loving arms of Jesus, where they will find freedom. Click here to get to know Michele.

Jodie is our joy warrior. She shows the rest of us how to love joy, live joy, and in particular how to fight for it when it seems out of reach. Jodie’s dream for Sisterhood Ministries is that we will encourage and refresh those who have a heart to build the kingdom. Her role as leader of the community team is a perfect fit. Click here to get to know Jodie better (and see why it’s obvious that community is her sweet spot!)

Kelly is a graphic designer and writer whose love of color has blessed us (and stretched “neutral queens” such as me!). It comes as no surprise that Kelly leads our creative team. Kelly longs to see women experience the Church-with-a-capital-C as this ministry envelops them in God’s love. Get ready to be blessed by Kelly’s authenticity and fiery faith. Click here to learn more about Kelly!

Laura is a textile designer and encourager. Her role as executive director is invaluable. (Someone has to keep the circus monkeys in line!) Laura will be the first to say that her life was changed at a retreat. Her experience forged her own dream for this ministry: An opportunity for women to experience the Church in a new way and grow in relationships face-to-face so that they can be inspired to take that forward. Click here to learn more about Laura!

And then there’s yours truly, Cindy the South Dakotan… the woman who can’t believe she gets to be in the company of women like the ones just listed! I’m a behind-the-scenes girl. Technically my role is president of Sisterhood’s nonprofit board, but I prefer to think of myself as just another girl in the canoe with a paddle. My hope for Sisterhood Ministries is that we will serve other women so well that they cannot help but serve others in turn. (Clearly, I’m a fan of
the “overflowing bucket” theory.) You can click here to get to know me better!

We’re So Glad You’re Here

Welcome to Sisterhood Ministries, friends. There’s nothing like walking out our faith with sisters by our side. Truly, we are better together!

{If you would, please comment below with an introduction. Tell us your name, where you’re
from, and what you’re hoping to find in Sisterhood Ministries!}

Reflection Questions

Is sisterhood something you long for or do you already have women in your life you can call sister?

 

If the answer is yes, consider ways you might invite other women to experience what you have.

 

If the answer is no, join us in believing that God’s desire is for all of us to experience sisterhood (including you)! We have been praying for you, other women, and even ourselves to experience sisterhood as God intended it to be. The fact that you are reading this is already an answer to our prayers. ❤️

Prayer

Dear God, we thank you that you make yourself known through others. Today we ask that you reveal yourself through our sisters. Please pour out your Holy Spirit over this community. Show us how to love one another in tangible ways. Create clean hearts in us that You would choose to flow through. Thank you for your son Jesus, the brother of all mankind who has shown us what it means to be sisters. Amen.

55 thoughts on “Sisterhood Means We’re Better Together

Michelle Shearin

My name is Michelle Shearin and I am from Littleton, NC. Jodie is a good friend of mine and my superhero when it comes to keeping my faith. She is a warrior just like you described. I,too, am a bucket overflowing kind of person. I can’t help but share Gods love when I’m full. The problem is sometimes I let my bucket get low. That’s when I need people like you girls on my side encouraging me to fill my bucket again. Life happens and I get slack on filling it until it’s empty and I “need” God. I’m trying to do better with this. Looking forward to this journey with the sisterhood. Thank you all for your love of God and sharing it with sisters like me.

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Jodie is a superhero to many of us! And you may not feel it or know it yet, but we bet you have the same kind of faith inside of you. We founded this group because we wanted to help people fill back up – because we ALL have been there many times. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and we are so glad you are here. xo

    Reply

      Cindy Krall

      Michelle, we’re so glad to meet you! You are not alone in the “empty bucket” scenario”. Because.. LIFE, right?! Thankfully we can encourage one another one. We’re looking forward to making the journey with you!

      Reply

    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    I love the gift that comes from walking through life together. The empty can draw from the full. The full can pour into the empty. I’m grateful for the many, including you Michelle, that allow me the honor of spilling and filling with them. Love you!

    Reply

    Michele O’Leary

    Michelle, are you one of the Michelle’s I met on Saturday? There were three of us at the golf course. Fill up, Sister, and we are here to encourage you, cheer you on, and walk with you. Welcome, Sister.

    Reply

      Jodie

      She is 💗

      Reply

Denise Desgrosseilliers

I’ve not had good experience in my female relationships and haven’t had any I can call a sister. I’m looking forward to being myself and not apologize for it. I’m looking forward to having sisters.

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Many people have had bad experiences, but we truly believe it’s worth trying again — and we’re so glad you’ve found your way here! Who you are is perfect and we celebrate the way God created each of us differently – but perfectly! Welcome, Denise!

    Reply

      Cindy Krall

      Denise, we believe that “iron sharpens iron”. One of the many perks of having sister’s! We are so glad you’re here!

      Reply

    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    Denise, we get your heart and we hear you. I think we each have those tough stories from our experiences. There is hope for beautiful sister friendships with Jesus. We are inviting Him in every step of the way. Thank you for your honest heart.

    Reply

    Kathy

    I miss you! Feel the same way, perhaps that is why I was drawn to you and the very authentic person you are.

    Reply

    Michele O’Leary

    Hello my Sister, Denise. You already have so many sisters wrapping around you. I love you. Michele

    Reply

Jodie Barrett

I’m so excited to be a sister! I agree that we are better together.

Reply

Michele O’Leary

Dear Sisters~

Welcome to our home. We love to sit on the front porch with our sisters sipping coffee or tea, but there are times we need to go into the home and see the messes of life…dirty dishes, piled up clothes, and crumbs on the floor. This is Sisterhood, looking past the mess of life, or there may be times we sit in the mess with our sister and lean in together. We love you already, AND we are better together: Sisterhood.

Love~
Michele

Reply

Sarah

I’ve been praying for a group (or even just one or two women!) I can be a part of. My church is small and I desire to be in a group with women around my age that I can form a friendship with and together we can grow and do fun things as well! Thank you for the prayers you mentioned in your reflection questions!

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Sarah, it’s such a deep longing in so many hearts… and we believe others are out there waiting, too! Welcome to the Sisterhood. You belong here and I pray that we can build those kind of friendships here!

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Sarah, we’re thrilled you’re here! I’m particularrly happy that you like to have fun because we love to laugh! You’re presence here is truly an answer to prayer. This community is a gift and we’re so glad you are a part of it!

    Reply

    Mitzi Neely

    Sarah,
    We believe you’ve found a great place to be. Each of us desires to have friends that we can count on and be totally transparent with. This is a safe place and you will find encouragement, love, laughter and more. So glad you’re here.

    Reply

Mary Tullila

Howdy do ..I’m Mary from eastern Kentucky. Home to the bluegrass, beautiful horses and bourbon. I’m a empty nester, remarried after suicide loss of prior lifetime and needing some sisters in Jesus!

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    My parents and grandparents used to take us to the horse races in Lexington when I was little. Such beautiful country! You belong here and I’m so glad you found us!

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Howdy to you too Mary! I love your description… all “B’s”! Bluegrass, bourbon and beautiful horses! I grew up on a farm where we raised horses. Nothing fancy but we loved them. My first? A leapord Appaloosa named Wimpy. Wimpy of all things!! We’re glad you’re Mary. You’ll find many sisters here to share life with. Blessings!

    Reply

Jenn

My job keeps me from regularly attending church and creating bonds with other women over our love for Jesus. I have been using Kelly’s prayer prompts for over a year and I love them! I am not sure what the The Sisterhood Ministries is all about, but I am going to stay tuned and find out!

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Thanks for coming to find out more, Jenn! (And thanks for using my prayer prompts, too!) We’re trying to build a place where women can be real, authentic, and grow together in their faith. We share the same Heavenly Father, so that makes us sisters. I hope you will find other like-minded souls here and take advantage of opportunities to get to know each other and strengthen our faith! Welcome to the sisterhood!

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Jenn, we already have someting in common becasue I love Kelly’s prayer prompts too! 🙂 Seriously, we hope you’ll hang around. We’re eager to see women connect in this community and we’re glad you’re a part of it!

    Reply

Bobbi Simmons

Two things.
A long time ago, I worked with Kelly O’Dell Stanley. I didn’t really know her well then, but was blessed to stay slightly connected through other friends. God is so good. Then I discovered how strong a faith she has, and shares in such wonderful ways. I love her inspiring words and pictures! I believe that great design can tremendously enhance understanding.
Second, in childhood, my parents took us to church three times a week, and all adults were addressed as Sister Jones or Brother Smith, etc. So when I learned from Kelly about this new “sisterhood,” I was all in right away. “I can call you sister because you call Him Father” resonated strongly.
So, hi everyone! I look forward to traveling with you for a while.

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Bobbi! Thank you for your sweet words! So glad you’ve found your way here with me! My church is like the one you went to in your childhood… it kind of amuses me when people call me Sister Stanley… but hey, I’ll take it, because we ARE a family. Thanks for following along, Sister Bobbi :-)… and I hope you find what you’re looking for here! xo

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    I love that Bobbi—“traveling with you for a while.” Made. Me. Smile! It’s so nice to meet you… SISTER!

    Reply

Wendy Weido

Hello – my name is Wendy Weido and I reside in Shreveport, LA. I am mother to Kimmie (currently attending college at East Texas Baptist University), who lives at home with me and two roommates. Kim’s dad and I divorced in 2005 after 12 years of marriage that was riddled with abuse that just escalated as the years passed. The experiences I have had only helped me grow closer to Christ – and I am by no means done growing or becoming the woman I was designed to be. My personality has hindered me in opening up in the past, but I’m working on that – slowly. Currently, I hold a full-time job outside the home, help my daughter with her college papers and DAILY encourage her to keep her focus on God and His will for her life, am caregiver to my roommates (one has Stage 4 COPD and the other is elderly – a son and mom combo). To say I’m tired is spot on, but I don’t feel like I exist unless I’m giving of myself to others. I know, I know – probably not the healthiest thing…but knowing myself and my past, it keeps my sadness away from me [out of sight, out of mind]. Actually hoping to make positive changes in the coming year…

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Wendy, Right this second I am praying for God to renew your strength and give you the energy to carry on and to keep serving others with such love! I’m also praying that God will do something in your life that is for YOU… maybe some fun new friendships would be exactly what He will send your way! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your REAL life with us. That is how friendships blossom, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you better. Take care, sister!

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    You have A LOT on your plate but one of the things that really stood out to me is your focus on helping your daughter to not lose HER. focus. Wow. You are setting a tremendous example for her. I’m praying for you tonight…we’re so glad you’re here Wendy.

    Reply

    Julie Lee

    Almighty God – thank you for your servant, Wendy. She is your hands, feet, arms, and heart to those in her life. Help her use that same love and power (your power through the Holy Spirit) to love herself. Pour your Spirit into her so her lamp continues to be full to shine your light. I ask this through your mighty and sovereign name, Amen.

    Reply

    Mitzi Neely

    Wendy,
    It’s so good to have you here. I’m an Texas girl and my husband is a native of Shreveport and we reside in East Texas– so we are close in proximity. And of course, ETBU is well respected and loved in our area. I’ll pray for you as you work full time, help your daughter (prayers for her too), and take care of your roommates. Each of those areas is a huge commitment but your faith and trust in the Lord will sustain you. Please take time for yourself so that you can feel refreshed and renewed in your daily walk. Welcome to Sisterhood Ministries!

    Reply

Chelsea Trease

My name is Chelsea Trease and I am from Mississippi! Being from a small town community, everyone knows everyone already. However, no one really knows anybody-meaning we’re all really good at pretending to be fine all the time. I have always longed for friends to have those deep, meaningful conversations with and to have fun times with too. There aren’t many women around my age who are mothers and happily married like myself and this makes it super hard to find any friends to share with without the fear of judgement. Can you believe in my hometown it is actually frowned upon for 20-something year olds to be married AND happy? I want a group of women (sisters) that focus on building each other up in Christ and support each other’s family instead of tearing each other down like most of my “friend” groups do back home. Positive vibes all the way!

Reply

    Michele O’Leary

    Chelsea,
    Oh, the pretending that we have it all together. I so lived that way too long. Shame is a poser that keeps us from moving forward and living real life with others. We, as Sisters, sharpen one another and cheer each other on. The way I see it, we are in the same family and on the same team: God’s daughters, doing God’s work. Welcome, we are thrilled you are here, Chelsea.
    Hugs,
    Michele

    Reply

Kelly O’Dell Stanley

Chelsea, thank you for getting real from the get-go! It is so refreshing to hear that someone is HAPPY and I hope that this group will be one way that your friendship circles will expand. Looking forward to getting to know you along this journey, and thanks for joining us!

Reply

Marybeth

Marybeth McGuire
Richmond IN
Hoping to find encouragement through sharing life experiences and encouraging others,

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    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    We hope to of that encouragement you are looking for. We are so glad you are here.

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Yeah! An Indianna girl! Welcome to Sisterhood Ministries friend!

    Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    My mother-in-law lives in Richmond… which almost makes us family in another way, too. Welcome, sister!

    Reply

Julie Lee

Julie Lee
Pearl City IL
Even though I have a vast array of friends, many who have been life-long friends, I still find myself lonely; longing for a “sisterhood”. A group who not only allows each other’s lights to shine but fans each other’s flames. Sisters who go deep without abandon… who share truth… who laugh loudly… who cry easily… who hug tight… who cares for the others in her reach who are longing for the same thing.

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    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    Julie, you share our heart on so many levels. We are ready to ban together, share the tough, let others shine, and fan the flames. We long for the same and trust that we are better together. Welcome!

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Julie your words resonated SO much. Cheering each other is a huge desire we have for this group. You beautifully captured what we hope this community becomes. We’re happy that you’re here!

    Reply

    Mitzi Neely

    Hi Julie!
    We’re so glad you’re here. This is a special place and it’s what sisterhood is all about–encouragement, caring, loving, and holding each other’s hand through the good and not so good. Welcome to Sisterhood Ministries!

    Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Yes! So beautifully put! So glad you found your way to us!

    Reply

Patricia

Hello, my name is Patricia and I am from Texas!!!! I too am from a small town in Northeast Texas with lots of lakes, trees, and great friends. I am fortunate to have Godly Gals I can socialize with on a regular basis and I know will be by my side in a moments notice if needed. However, I know that expanding this network of ladies is a great opportunity to learn new and exciting ways to worship our God. I look forward to participating in this group.

Thank you for y’all’s willingness to lead!

Patricia

Reply

    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Patricia, we love hearing where our new sisters are from. Sounds gorgeous—especially the friends part :-). Our theory is you can never have too many friends in your life… and we’re glad you’re here!

    Reply

Michelle

Hello. My name is Michelle from Michigan. This season in my life is full of change and heartache and leaning heavily on God. From divorce, selling my farm and moving my mom into assisted living all within a short time frame, has my bucket empty. But God reminds me this is only a season, and it will pass. Thank you for this place of encouragement!

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    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Hello Michelle from Michigan. Change is hard, isn’t it? In the past 8 years I’ve lost both parents, had a daughter get married, experienced becoming a grandmother, watched other family relationships fall apart, and sent my youngest off to college. Lots of adjusting, and it’s so hard sometimes. But having other women who will help encourage me and lift me up in prayer makes a huge difference. Glad you found your way here!

    Reply

Kathy

Hello, Kathy here from San Diego, CA. Like Sarah, I too long to find sisters that are believers, a group or even just one sister in the same season of life (middle schoolers at home) where we can grow together in God’s word, maybe do fun things. While I have many friends, I know the importance of having friends who believe. I pray God answers my prayers.

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    Kelly O’Dell Stanley

    Praying with you, Kathy. Lord, open doors. Build relationships. Give us the gift of true friends—sisters—to share our life with and learn about living out our faith in stronger, more powerful ways. We believe we are better when we do life together, and I pray that ever woman here will be able to bear witness to this truth through the relationships they form. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.

    And thanks for coming to us, Kathy!

    Reply

Micheal

Hello, My name is Micheal, I live in Capron, Virginia. I have completed some bible studies that Jodie had and loved them. I am looking forward to being a part of the Sisterhood Ministries. I was a late bloomer in learning about Christ and see myself with a lot to learn as well. Thank you Sisters for all you are doing.

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Hi Micheal, We are so happy to have you with us. That Jodie B has a way with God’s Word, does she not. We love learning from her. I was a late bloomer as well, so I always love meeting another. Welcome. <3

    Reply

Liz harrell

Hi, my name is Liz Harrell from Ahoskie NC and I am hoping to find a group of women to connect with about the Bible and how we use it in our everyday lives.

Reply

    Laura Adams

    Liz, I’ve lived in NC for most of my life and had to google Ahoskie! Just a few hours away from me in Laurinburg NC (which you’ll probably have to google lol). Welcome to the Sisterhood. We’re so glad you’re here. <3

    Reply

      Liz

      LOL! Small town life for sure!!! Looking forward to this experience!

      Reply

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