Living in Harmony – An excerpt from our NEW book “Sister Strong”

sister strong living in harmony with the women in our lives mandi hailey gardiner together unity sisterhood new book

It’s here!

Our first book, “Sister Strong” is finally available for you, your sister, your mom and your favorite Auntie Betsy to read!

(YOU get a book, YOU get a book, EVERYBODY GETS A BOOOOOK!)

You can buy “Sister Strong” from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book, Books A Million, or Target!

The whole process of writing this book was really special, and I’m so grateful that I got to capture some meaningful stories and moments alongside my cute little sister Mandi.

sister strong living in harmony with the women in our lives mandi hailey gardiner together unity sisterhood new book

She is a great soul, I tell ya!

We hope that after reading this book, you’ll be inspired to love the women around you just a little bit better.

And to trust that the Lord will be there to help you on your way!

I wanted to share an excerpt from one of my chapters in “Sister Strong” called “Living in Harmony.”

Much love you all of you, my fellow sisters!

Living in Harmony

One of the questions we get asked most often is “How do you get along with each other so well?” The short answer is, we don’t. At least, not all the time. Our relationships as sisters and as members of a performing group together have always been intertwined and sometimes hard to separate. We were (and still are) a seminormal, albeit large and crazy, family with imperfect relationships. What you see in our videos and interactions online are just moments, little glimpses into our sisterhood. While we strive to be positive and to create encouraging and uplifting content, we’re often only showing you one small aspect of our family dynamics.

Like most siblings, we do sometimes struggle to get along with each other. It became challenging to find balance between our working and personal relationships with each other and to keep things fun as we grew older and our differences and desires have become more distinct. Harmonizing together may come naturally to us as sisters, but our ability to walk in harmony with each other doesn’t always come as easily.

Allie and Abby, bless them, have the great “gift” of being able to sing convincingly off-key, on purpose. One of them will start singing and everyone joins in with their own “harmony part,” creating a real disastrous mess.  It makes us laugh until we cry when we sound that awful together, and we couldn’t be more proud of our younger siblings who have carried on the tradition.

The discord we create when all of us are singing off key is similar to what it’s like to live in disharmony with each other. When we allow contention and discord in our relationships it’s like trying to sing together without paying attention to the structure and arrangement of the song entirely. We may be members of the same family, with shared physical traits, similar senses of humor and love for music, but as individuals we are all very different from each other.

So how do we do it? How do we live and work together and love each other when we experience the disharmony that naturally results as we make mistakes, experience hardships and heartbreak, and feel separation growing between us? The truth is that we don’t have it all figured out, but we are constantly learning as we go, making adjustments in our lives to allow space for each of us to flourish.

Picture this. You and your friends decide to come out to one of our concerts and, after finding your seat, pulling out your snacks, and getting comfortable, wait in anticipation for the show to start. When the big moment comes and the curtain rolls up, we’d walk out on stage and the crowd would go wild. But then each of us would pick a random starting note and proceed to rock out to our first song together. It wouldn’t matter if we nailed the lyrics, stayed on tempo, and sang our harmony parts correctly in their respective keys because together we’d sound awful!

What if, instead, one of us pulled out a pitch pipe, played a chord on guitar, or softly played our starting note on the piano so we would all know where to begin? Starting on the correct note would allow us to find our individual harmonies and sing our song together in the right key. Our harmonies would weave in and out of each other, occasionally landing on the same notes as one another, and the song would still flow beautifully even though each of us would be singing different parts.

Just like we’d need to hear our starting note to center ourselves before singing a song a cappella, when our lives are centered on Jesus Christ, He makes it possible for us to live in harmony with each other.

From “Sister Strong: Living in Harmony with the Women in our Lives”.