Podcast - Kate Bowler

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Life isn’t always bright and shiny, as Kate Bowler knows. Kate is a young mother, writer and professor who, at age 35, was suddenly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. In warm, insightful, often funny conversations, Kate talks with people about what they’ve learned in difficult times.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 14

Love Mercy

with Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson (founder of the Equal Justice Initiative) is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable among us.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 13

The Season of Waiting (And Waiting…And Waiting)

with Kate Bowler

Christmas should feel different. Shouldn’t it? It is the symbol of plenty, of fulfillment, of more-than-enough-ness, and of the expectation that perhaps while we wait for Christ’s birth, we might practice being a little more loving, more forgiving, more patient. Advent is a chance for us to wait for the kingdom of God to break in together.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 12

Music That Makes Us

with Fred Penner

Fred Penner is a Canadian sensation whose television show and hit songs were part of so many of our childhoods, but I didn’t realize the heartache he experienced that led him to this work. His gentle wisdom and songs have invited us—children and adults alike—to stay curious and kind in a hard world.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 11

Every Family Has a Story

with Julia Samuel

Julia Samuel is a psychologist in the UK who specializes in working with families who have experienced complicated stories of loss and love. So often we can feel overwhelmed by our histories – our family histories – and need a boost to confront dysfunction, speak the truth, and find trusted people to help us look back and look forward.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 10

The Art of Gathering

with Priya Parker

How do we gather in meaningful ways? After the pandemic took apart so many of our favorite ways of hanging out, we might be out of practice. Or too tired or overwhelmed. Listen in to hear Priya Parker share about how to show up for other people and ourselves in creative ways. 

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 09

Wounded Healers

with Jay & Katherine Wolf

In the face of impossible circumstances, sometimes the best we can do is learn to love what must be done. Listen in to hear Katherine and Jay Wolf’s tender story of hardworn hope.



SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 08

More Life, Fewer Explanations

with Stanley Hauerwas

Why doesn’t God fix our pain? Listen in to hear world-renowned theologian Stanley Hauerwas’ thoughts about why Christians are not exempt from difficult circumstances and why people need fewer explanations.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 07

Worthy of Boundaries

with Melissa Urban

How do you know when a boundary is needed? This episode offers practical wisdom on boundary setting in order to manage our limited capacity—especially for those of us navigating chronic pain or illness or caregiving.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 06

Full Circle Faith

with Jeff Chu

How do you find grace for people who believe things very different than you? And what does it look like to make communities a place where you don’t actually have to “fit in” to belong?

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 05

Everybody Has Something

with Mary Laura Philpott

Why is it that so much love makes us afraid for all we have to lose? And how does recognizing that everyone has something they are dealing with help us hold our love and fear together?

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 04

A Good Funeral

with Thomas Lynch

What do you learn standing so close to the edge with so many people? Listen for wisdom on mortality and hope—like how the habits of love are hard to break and what makes a ‘good funeral’ directly from a thoughtful and funny funeral director himself.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 03

When Success Isn’t Success

with Arthur Brooks

Might success or happiness be redefined after life has forced us off the productivity train? For those of us who find ourselves wondering if we could be more than the sum of our jobs, this conversation is for you.

SEASON 09  |  EPISODE 01

Showing Your Scars

with Ibram X. Kendi

A terrible diagnosis at any age often creates a sense of urgency. Ibram and Kate discuss how their shared diagnoses put them to work and allows them to honor the fragility of life. 

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 14

Suspicious of Joy

with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

How do you pray when you’ve run out of words? In this funny and poignant conversation, the Archbishop shares about seasons of grief when God has carried him and other times when he has felt alone. 

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 13

Survival of the Kindest

with Susan Cain

How is it that joy and pain seem to coexist at once? If you ever feel like you didn’t have a word for the sweetness of longing (and why your compassionate heart is a gift), this conversation is for you.

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 12

Embracing the Complexity of Pain

with Haider Warraich

If you are someone (or loves someone) who suffers from chronic pain, this episode is for you. Haider talks with such gentleness about when your pain isn’t believed and how doctors can do a better job at treating their patients in pain. 

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 11

Remaking Home

with Tara Westover

How do you navigate the baggage of our childhoods? Tara speaks so honestly about why people aren’t “doing their best” and why that fact restores some dignity. 

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 09

Mythbusting Parenting

with Cammie McGovern

We often have very romantic expectations about parenthood. Parenthood is about a mythical child who will be perfect in a way we haven’t quite put our finger on, and the journey to love them to teach us something reasonably easy about ourselves. But what if we are not the parents we thought we’d be? Or our kids are not the kids we thought we’d have?

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 08

Counting your Somethings

with Mitch Albom

How do we count our blessings without imagining that God is teaching us a cosmic “lesson”? Mitch Albom walks right up to the edge with the complicated questions around grief, loss, and hope. 

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 06

Peace for Our Anxious Selves

with Taylor Harris

Everyone loves to get VERY BOSSY when it comes to our fears. “Don’t worry, be happy!” Just be brave! But maybe ‘being brave’ doesn’t mean ignoring our fears but living alongside them. After all, we live in a world that offers us few guarantees, don’t we? 

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 04

Tolerating Imperfection

with Kate Baer

Poet Kate Baer found herself inundated with the demands of motherhood, and little time to write. Nothing was easy and then, at a breaking point, it felt impossible. If she wanted a creative life, she was going to have to redefine “perfection” (perfect mom! perfect woman!) and learn to tolerate a lot more imperfection instead.  

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 03

Giving Up on Perfect

with Kate Bowler

Good Enough became a little permission slip for us. A little shrug that takes us off the hook for perfection and reminds us that we are human. Again today. Inside fragile bodies and contingent relationships and a whole web of love. 

SEASON 08  |  EPISODE 01

The Courage to Try (and Wisdom to Know When to Let Go)

with Katie Couric

Katie has so much to teach us about what happens when our problems cannot be easily solved—no matter how hard we try. In this vulnerable conversation, Katie shares candidly about the lengths she went to avoid grief, but why she had to learn to face it nonetheless. We need the courage to try (and the wisdom to stop). 

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 16

Never, Ever Enough

with David Brooks

How do we reach for wisdom instead of self-help solutions? Much to their embarrassment, New York Times columnist David Brooks and Kate Bowler often find their books in the “Self-Help section.” David sat down with Kate at the historic Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. to talk about her book, No Cure For Being Human, and the twisty-turny journey of living without easy answers. 

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 15

Loving a Stranger

with Sarah Sentilles

We’re given a story of birds and bees where two people fall in love and out of their love blooms a perfect little creature. But far too often and for far too many, that isn’t the case. 

Writer Sarah Sentilles always knew she wanted to be a mom, so she entered into the foster system with the hope of adopting. But the process was not as simple as she had anticipated. 

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 14
Cindy McCain

A Special Kind of Brave

with Cindy McCain

What does courage look like in the face of the impossible? Cindy McCain had a front row seat to history, as wife of Arizona Senator and presidential candidate John McCain.

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 13

Learning to Hold On, Learning to Let Go

with Richard Rohr

Life is painful. Period. But are there some aspects of our faith or our posture toward the world that can change how we experience it?

Father Richard Rohr is everyone’s favorite preacher of love. Love for each other. Love from God.

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 12

Staying Awake to Our Pain

with Alexi Pappas

When she was a child, Alexi Pappas lost her mother to suicide. So when Alexi faced a season of deep depression she knew had to find a different way forward. That’s when her training as an Olympic runner became invaluable

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 11

Life After Loss

with Jerry Sitter

How do you move forward after an incalculable loss?

Jerry Sittser lost his wife, young daughter, and his mom in one horrific accident. But even as his world stopped, the world kept spinning. He had to learn how to parent his three surviving children in the wake of such grief.

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 10

Toxic Positivity

with Susan David

Do you ever feel a pressure to be positive? Harvard psychologist and bestselling author of Emotional Agility, Dr. Susan David studies the psychological skills critical to thriving in times of complexity and change. Spoiler alert: we don’t need to force ourselves to think happy thoughts. Perhaps there is a better way.

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 09

Simple Pleasures. Small Joys.

with Stanley Tucci

Stanley Tucci is a total foodie—of course, he starred in Julie and Julia and brought us the mouth-watering CNN special, Searching for Italy. But when he was diagnosed with oral cancer, his ability to enjoy food might be ruined permanently. 

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 08

The Scandal of Grace

with Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey is well-known for his bestselling books like What’s So Amazing About Grace and Disappointment with God. But behind all of that spiritual wisdom was a family secret: his sick father left the hospital against the doctor’s advice, trusting in God to heal him. He wasn’t healed. Out of this experience, Philip has wrestled with deep questions of faith and doubt and suffering. 

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 06

Gentleness for Our Awkward, Anxious Selves

with Tony Hale

What if we never fit in? Or always miss the script that everyone else seems to so easily understand? From Arrested Development’s Buster Bluth to Veep’s Gary Walsh or Toy Story 4’s Forky, Emmy Award Winning actor Tony Hale is an expert in awkward.

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 05

Taste Like Love

with Antoni Porowski

What kind of food tastes like love to you? Food has a beautiful way of making us feel less lonely in our pain or in our isolation or in our grief. Star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Antoni Porowski understands the power of a delicious meal to bring us together and remake us with love. 

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 04

Can We Be A Tiny Bit Happier?

with Gretchen Rubin

Is it possible to be happier? Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin wondered if she could discipline herself to take tiny steps in order to be more content with her actual life. But what about those of us facing something daunting or insurmountable or tragic? Is it possible for us to be happier?

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 03

What Your Childhood Means for Your Health

with Nadine Burke Harris

Can trauma you experienced as a kid still affect you now? What about the traumatic experiences of our parents and grandparents? Is there a way to undo what California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris calls the “toxic stress response”?  

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 02

Embracing the Yes/And

with Cecily Strong

Can hilarity and sorrow co-exist? Comedian and actress Cecily Strong (of Saturday Night Live fame) is professionally funny. But after a series of losses, she was forced to discover how devastation and love sometimes exist at the same time—both in great measure. 

SEASON 07  |  EPISODE 01

Can People Change?

with Malcolm Gladwell

The Self-Help Industry would like to convince us that everyone is capable of change. Just drink this! Read this book! Pick up this daily habit! Follow these 5 Steps! But how much change are we really capable of?

SEASON 06  |  EPISODE 19

Bonus Episode: Debunking “Everything Happens for a Reason” with Kelly Corrigan

with Kelly Corrigan

The Everything Happens team is still on a bit of a summer break, but don’t worry! We’ll be back in August with all new episodes. We thought it might be fun to surprise you with this bonus episode. Kate spoke with her friend, the brilliant and hilarious bestselling writer Kelly Corrigan on Kelly’s Podcast: Kelly Corrigan Wonders. Together, the two debunk conventional wisdom like the notion that “Everything Happens for a Reason.”

SEASON 06  |  EPISODE 18

Season Finale: How Far We’ve Come

with Kate Bowler

In our season six finale, Kate takes us back to the very beginning. In this episode, you’ll hear the unlikely beginning of the Everything Happens podcast, the most terrified Kate’s ever been (for fun reasons), and how love and beauty can surprise us in some of the most unlikely of spaces.

SEASON 06  |  EPISODE 17

Julianna Margulies: Getting Unstuck

with Julianna Margulies

Chaotic childhoods can leave us feeling stuck. Stuck in the roles and relationships and chaos that once felt familiar. Actress Julianna Margulies (best known for her roles in ER and The Good Wife) found incredible success, but nothing seemed to free her from living into past, traumatic dynamics.

SEASON 05  |  EPISODE 33

A Not-So Hallmark Christmas

with Nikki DeLoach

The pandemic has introduced many to living with uncertainty. But for some, uncertainty has always been their norm. Actress Nikki Deloach has starred in several Hallmark Christmas movies, but her life hasn’t matched the happily-ever-after plot-lines of her characters. Nikki’s dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of dementia and her son was diagnosed with congenital heart defects in utero… all in the same week.