As a mom of four girls, I love seeing young women like Josie Kuhlman following God’s call on their lives. I also admire her focus and professionalism, because even when I was her age, I was still figuring out my blog and my calling. I’ve added Josie’s podcast to my app and I’m excited to introduce you to her. Without further ado, here’s Josie Kuhlman—tennis champ, blogger, speaker, and more!
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TKM: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Josie Kuhlman: Hi! I’m Josie Kuhlman, founder of the Beautiful Depths Blog and Podcast. I run my online ministry alongside two other fabulous women—Samantha Janolo and Kaylee Kuhlman. Through relationship, we seek to encourage, inform, challenge, and equip young adults in the pursuit of truth and joy found in the Catholic faith.
I’m a Florida gal born and raised from Jacksonville, and love my sunshine state. My passions in life include my Catholic faith, people, and tennis! I graduated in 2018 from the University of Florida, where I played on the tennis team for four years and even won a national championship!
After pursuing a brief professional tennis career, I realized God was calling me away from professional sports and to a life of service in the Church. I didn’t know where that would lead, but somehow I ended up in South Bend, Indiana, working for the University of Notre Dame.
As a big planner, I’ve slowly learned that the best adventures happen when I let go of my agenda and let God take the reins. I don’t know where He’ll lead me next, but I love surprises and know He won’t let me down. In the meantime, I’m determined to survive my first Midwest winter and explore all the coffee shops near Lake Michigan.
To read more about my story, or contact me for a writing or speaking engagement, click here.
TKM: When and why did you start your blog?
Josie Kuhlman: I started my blog, Beautiful Depths, in May of 2018 right after I graduated from the University of Florida. I did not know anything about blogging or follow other blogs, but the idea of starting one had been on my heart for several years. I love to write and felt called to share my faith with others in a bigger way and figured, why not online?!
It was also the perfect post-graduation project because at the time, I was pursuing a professional tennis career. There’s a lot of downtime in professional sports (with all the travel involved and lonely nights on the road in between practices and matches), so my blog gave me a purpose outside of tennis. It’s funny how God works because it was actually through my blog and online ministry that I realized He was calling me to let go of my tennis career and pursue working in Church ministry.
TKM: How did you come up with your blog name?
Josie Kuhlman: Developing a name was definitely the hardest part of starting a blog for me. I had a lot of ideas, but I wanted the name to convey all the topics I would talk about. To be honest, many of the names I initially came up with were already taken by other domains. I finally settled on Beautiful Depths because the whole purpose of my ministry is to encourage others to dive deeper into the depths of their souls to discover Truth and joy.
Essentially, the depths of our souls are beautiful because it is there that God resides, so we shouldn’t be scared to enter into that space.
TKM: Do you have a blog schedule or do you post when you feel like it?
Josie Kuhlman: I’m a very organized person so it was easiest for me to develop a consistent routine and schedule. From the beginning, I have posted a weekly blog post on Mondays and have used Hootsuite to post on social media three times a week.
Since then, it’s evolved a little bit as I’ve grown the ministry. I now have two other women helping me, and we recently started a podcast! We still release a blog post every Monday (in addition to a podcast episode), but have ramped up the social media posting to 6 times a week now. Each of us is in charge of scheduling social content and Instagram stories twice a week, so it’s a good balance and works out well.
TKM: What is your favourite part of blogging? your least favourite part?
Josie Kuhlman: My favorite part about blogging is knowing that I reached someone’s heart in an impactful way. When people message me randomly and thank me for writing a post—saying that it inspired them or motivated them to dive deeper into their faith—that’s what keeps me writing.
My least favorite part is trying to find ways to grow my blog and expand my audience. It can be exhausting and easy to fall into the comparison trap with other faith bloggers out there. Recognizing the value of each individual soul and knowing that all faith bloggers are in this together trying to share the love of Christ online has been a refreshing reminder at times I feel overwhelmed.
TKM: What advice would you offer other bloggers?
Josie Kuhlman: Know your why. Anyone can start a blog—it’s sustaining it with consistent posting and longevity that is particularly challenging. As bloggers, we open up and put ourselves out there online week after week, but often won’t get much feedback from our audiences. Have something to remind you of why you blog.
My ministry team and I created a mission prayer that encompasses all that we do and why we do it. I keep it taped to my computer so I see it often. When I feel overwhelmed or discouraged—wondering if we are making an impact at all—I pray that prayer. It reminds me that it’s not about the numbers, but the individual souls we reach. Even if just one soul is impacted by something we write or the content we put out, it’s worth it!
TKM: What is your favourite book and why?
Josie Kuhlman: There are so many good ones that I don’t think I can pick just one! He Leadeth Me by Father Walter Ciszek profoundly impacted my life by showing me what surrender to Christ and divine providence means in normal, daily life.
Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Dr. Edward Sri is also one of my favorites because it clearly explains and synthesizes the Catholic Church’s teaching on love and marriage, breaking down Saint John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility—a precursor to Theology of the Body. I just think Dr. Sri does an excellent job explaining the beauty of authentic love and how we are all called to live it out in our own lives, regardless of vocation.
TKM: Who is your favourite saint and why?
Josie Kuhlman: Again, there are so many good ones that it’s hard to pick just one, but Saint Teresa of Calcutta has always been an inspiration for me. My life is nothing like hers—I’m not a nun living in poverty in India serving the poorest of the poor—but her example of living for others inspires me to get outside of myself and love those around me. This life isn’t about self-gratification or getting what we want, and Mother Teresa reminds me that only a complete outpouring of ourselves is how we will find true joy.
Other notable saints in my “saint squad” include St. Therese of Lisieux, Saints Louis & Zelie Martin, Chiara Corbello Petrillo, St. Joseph, and St. John Paul II.
TKM: What’s a favourite family tradition that your family enjoys (for any time of year)?
Josie Kuhlman: Growing up, my family would go to 10 PM or midnight Mass on Christmas, followed by Waffle House (an open-24-hour southern classic). Picture a large Catholic family of 9 dressed in our Christmas best eating breakfast in a small diner, where the only other customers at 1 A.M. were homeless people. It created some of the best memories. Afterwards, we’d come home and watch It’s a Wonderful Life and fall asleep on the living room floor together.
TKM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Josie Kuhlman: I love connecting with other faith bloggers, so would love to collaborate in any way!
If you enjoyed this interview, you might also like last month’s interview with Roxanne from Catholic Homebody.