Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom, writer, editor, marketing professional, and coffee drinker. You’re just as likely to find her hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait — are those her kids?) She is the author of many books, the most recent of which she co-edited with Lisa Hendey: The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections. She blogs at SnoringScholar.com and writes online regularly at CatholicMom.com and Integrated Catholic Life. Reinhard holds a master’s degree in marketing and communications and has worked for many years in corporate and nonprofit organizations. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and children.
When I first heard that Jennifer Willits from The Catholics Next Door was going to start a new podcast with her friend and former morning show personality Brooke Taylor, I was pretty excited, even though I don't have much time to listen to podcasts anymore.
The show, which is up to 15 episodes, is called "Good Things Radio." The idea behind it: two friends in the trenches of parenthood sharing the conversation with other women. It's professionally done, as you would expect from two former media experts, and it's entertaining in ways that few podcasts I've listened to are able to achieve.
Jennifer shared, "Throughout the years of my friendship with Brooke, I often joked about the idea of collaborating with her. I just didn’t know what it would be exactly. After a few years of hemming and hawing about this idea, something finally drove me to give this a serious consideration."
Brooke, on the other hand, found herself approaching it from a different angle: "I recently left my position as a morning show co-host at a Contemporary Christian radio station in Cleveland (OH) to be a stay-home mom. My husband and I have five children, one with special needs; and we both recognized I had been taking on way too much for too long, and needed to come home. Since I’ve been in radio from the age of 15, I knew it would be hard to quit broadcasting “cold turkey,” but I also wanted to honor my vocation as wife and mother first, and fulfill my promise to the Lord and my family to not “fill up my plate” right away. Podcasting has been perfect for that!"
The two became friends thanks to broadcasting: Jennifer spent four years on Sirius/XM's The Catholic Channel and Brooke was cohost of 95.5 The Fish's morning show for a decade. Brooke wrote in to Jennifer's show to get some advice about homeschooling; the resulting conversation has never stopped, in a sense.
"Having holy friendships is such a precious treasure!" says Brooke, and Jennifer concurs, saying that the friendship that resulted from that email was "a Godsend. I think our different personalities are so complimentary and is the basis of much of the witty banter that comes naturally between us in Good Things Radio. I’m blessed to call Brooke my close friend."
Jennifer sees their work on Good Things Radio as the answer to a need. "To be an uplifting moment in someone’s day while they run errands or just tackle the neverending demands of home life. To give a reason to smile and laugh through the seriousness and silliness between Brooke and myself and to remind everyone that good things are in fact all around them when you stop to notice them. I’d like to see Good Things Radio foster a community of friendship amongst its listeners."
Brooke adds, "My prayer is to join in solidarity with others who are walking through life trying to raise virtuous children, grow in holiness, and live out a joyful faith that will bring light into our homes and the world. It’s not an easy task, and those things are certainly not readily reinforced in our modern culture. So we want our program to be a place where we naturally understand each other and share that ground and common goals."
"I’d like Good Things Radio to reach anyone who feels alone and isolated in their life’s journey, but especially those parents out there who are living in the trenches of parenthood while struggling to grow in their faith," Jennifer says.
"Anyone in need of a holy “boost!”" is just the right person to be listening, according to Brooke. "We’ve entrusted our efforts to the Holy Spirit and there’s a certain peace about that! Hoping, praying that the Lord will take the podcast and place it in the path of those who most need it."
Says Jennifer, "Being a co-creator of Good Things Radio gives me the privilege and blessing of evangelizing to a new audience in a fun and fresh format. I love being a part of making someone smile and joining them in their faith walk. It’s a blessing that I take seriously because it comes with great responsibility, but it’s truly joyful work."