Faith • Health • Marriage  • Parenting • Personal Growth •  Sisterhood


Sister Interview: Melanie Shankle

Melanie Shankle remembers her grandparents and the way they loved her through the small things. There wasn’t a parade or lots of fanfare. It was walking down the street in the afternoon for an ice cream. They made regular moments special because they loved her in them. The small things held meaning. In her new book, Church of the Small Things, Melanie considers the everyday elements of significance that make up a simultaneously ordinary and incredible life.

No surprise, we laughed our way through this interview with Melanie Shankle. From grey roots to Chris Tomlin as her college worship leader, to the recent increase in the tooth fairy’s payout and overall game, we cover the everyday moments that make up Melanie’s life. Her wit and willingness to laugh both at and with her own routines and decisions endear her to us. We are confident you will find a girlfriend, yes a sister, in Melanie Shankle.

For the woman who needs a lift in her day. For the woman who finds herself in a life of small things. For the woman who knows a little lighthearted sisterly talk would do her good, this episode is made for you.

Connect with Melanie on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can listen to this episode on iTunes. Click here to find this and other conversations.

A few things you heard mentioned on the show:

Oribe Root Color Spray

Melanie’s new book, Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up Life

Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life by [Shankle, Melanie]Texas A&M


Chris Tomlin

The Big Boo Cast, Melanie’s podcast with Sophie Hudson

Teddy Organics Rosehip Oil

Sharpie markers

Hummingbird Farms lavendar oil lotion

Youth For Christ

Melanie’s go to recipe:

Carlsbad Cravings’ slow cooker barbeque ribs

Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the SeasonWe’d like to thank our partner for this episode, Baker Books. At the Open Door Sisterhood we are all about doing life together, spurring each other on to relish the days God has given us. Baker Books wants to give one of you a Christmas pack that includes 5 copies of Alex’s new book, Loving My Actual Christmas, and some designed greeting cards with quotes from the book. Because this book was meant to be read with sisters.

We all know the Christmas season is a particularly difficult time for women to slow down and relish what’s right in front of them. An annual marker for many, it is a holiday that can often remind us how life is not going as we’d planned. Our family relationships remain strained, our finances stretched, and our schedules stuffed with too much to do in too little time. Following the formula of her book Loving My Actual Life, Alex shares with readers her own personal experiment to be completely present in her life as it is during the holiday season. Addressing the themes of Advent and Christmas, she reflects on hope, love, joy, peace, and relishing the season, with practical pullouts on common Christmas stressors, such as finances, schedules, and extended family. If you’d like to read through this book with some of your friends, enter the giveaway by leaving a comment here. We want to hear one area you’d like to improve this Christmas season.

Thank you Baker Books for this 5-pack bundle of books and cards.


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  1. Amy J. says:

    I was so excited to listen to this podcast today. I’m doing the online bible study for this book later this month. Thanks for a great giveaway! I always go into the Christmas season pledging to not just give ‘things’ but meaningful, heartfelt gifts. But every year, as it gets closer to Christmas, I find myself just buying ‘things’ because I run out of time. Through planning, I hope to not let that happen this year.

    • Krista Gilbert says:

      Awesome Amy! We are with you in that hope – we’re aiming for more meaning and less “things” too. Thanks for entering the giveaway xo

  2. Kristin Schulte says:

    I absolutely *loved* hearing Alex speak at MomCon a year or two ago (mommy brain–can’t remember) on her book LOVING MY ACTUAL LIFE, and am *so* excited about this new book LOVING MY ACTUAL CHRISTMAS. What a fun giveaway, and in perfect time to read before Christmas! I have four kiddos ranging from 10 years old to 4 years old and so my desire is to create a home that is filled with sweet and fun memories, but centered around the true meaning of Christmas. In order to make that happen, I need to plan ahead and simplify… learning ways to be intentional in this way and plan ahead so that I, too, am *present* during this time. (Krista–I went to MomCon this year in KC, too, and I started doing “my nights” with each of my kiddos thanks to your *fabulous* idea! It’s a highlight of their week!)

  3. Damaris says:

    I enjoy your podcasts!
    Thanks for the giveaway! I will enjoy my Christmas and will try to BE there with my 7 kids and enjoy the moments we share together…

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