Welcome to Real Hope. Real Life. We are so glad you are here!

You may be asking, “What do these women have in common? How do they know each other?”

First, we all have Christ in common! We have responded in faith to the truths of the Gospel and have joyfully surrendered our lives to the Lordship of Christ. We all go to the same church, The Orchard – Barrington. And we are all regular women with sometimes messy lives.

About Real Hope. Real Life.

We desire not only to share the messiness of our lives, but the hope that is available to us through the saving grace of Jesus. We want you to know that you are not alone in your struggles. There is much freedom and hope on the horizon for us, and it’s available for you, too.

It is an honor to share these stories of real hope through the good news of Jesus Christ (the Gospel) in our real life situations. You will notice that the focus of each woman’s story here is not on the story itself, but on the Gospel.

Laura Kleinschmidt, Content Manager

As Women’s Ministries Director of my church, The Orchard – Barrington, I have the privilege of hearing women share their stories. What impacts me most is seeing how God is changing and sustaining them through the life and work of Jesus. It is my delight and joy to share some of these stories with you. I pray you’ll be encouraged by the real hope of these real life women.

I am married to Dave and we have three wonderful kids in their 20s. I love learning and pursued my Master’s in Counseling in my mid-life years in order to serve and love the women at our church better. I enjoy kayaking, laughing while playing tennis and corn puffs (fake popcorn that has the texture of Styrofoam).

Anna Wojtul, Editor

I have been a Life Group leader at the Orchard for a few years, and one of my favorite things about leading is seeing the unique and profound ways God is at work in the lives of the women in my group. The Gospel really does apply to every aspect of our lives! Through serving as an editor for Real Hope Real Life, it is my joy and privilege to help tell the stories of how God pours grace over even our deepest struggles, meeting us in our need and changing us to be more like Christ.

I have been attending the Orchard since high school and have worshiped at the Barrington campus since 2014. I work as a copy editor for a medical journal, and I love words and grammar. I like to channel my love for words through writing poems and short stories, and I tend to dedicate most of my free time to my other favorite hobby—knitting.

Meredith Hodge, Editor

I have a passion for bringing the hope of the Gospel to all who will listen. It is an honor to serve in the church and come alongside women in their suffering and painful circumstances. The Lord rescued me and brought me to him through my rebellion; now that I know the power of the saving grace of Jesus Christ in my own life, I can’t help but share it with you!

I have been happily married to my wonderful husband Matt since 2009 after meeting through The Orchard. I serve as the Executive Director at Refuge for Women Chicago, a faith-based non-profit organization that provides aftercare for sexually trafficked and exploited women. I’ve also been a contributing writer with Unlocking the Bible and write my blog about faith-led freedom and grace-filled growth.