The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast

Longtime friends and authors Krista Gilbert and Alexandra Kuykendall share relatable, practical and fun conversations on faith, motherhood and leadership. Often inviting another friend into the conversation, listeners will be inspired to take that next step, do that hard thing, and encourage their family and friends to do the same as we walk through the doors God opens. Let's be world changers for good right where we are!
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The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast






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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 24, 2016

Do you need to re-center on the heart of Christmas?  In this short, 17-minute Hey Sister! special, Krista and her family read scripture to instrumental Christmas music. Play it while you drive, while you light the Advent candles, while you take a run, wrap the final gift, sit by the tree.  

Sisters, let's share the reading of scripture together.

Dec 21, 2016

The professional young woman has a unique set of life circumstances. Kat Armstrong wants her to know the Gospel of Jesus fits right there in the midst of them. However many professional women in their 20s and 30s are deciding church doesn't have a place for them. Polished is an outreach Kat helped found to gather young professional women with the idea of introducing them to the Gospel and to a local church.

In this episode we'll hear about Kat's process as she co-founded Polished with her friend Stephanie Giddons, how it has grown from an initial chapter to multiple sites, what it takes to start a new chapter and why they work so hard to make it all happen.

Kat is a mom, a pastor's wife and a passionate ambassador for Jesus right where she is. A world changer for good we like to call it around here at the sisterhood. Won't you listen to this episode? We are certain you will fall smitten with Kat, just as we were when we interviewed her. She is articulate, passionate and resourceful. This is an episode for any woman who cares that the women around her know God's love.

Dec 15, 2016

Mom of four girls Kari Kampakis is working to help girls everywhere navigate social media. What does that mean? Well it means getting to the heart of matter: what is your identity grounded in and whose approval are you seeking? These are the questions central to Kari's new book Liked: Whose approval are you living for? for tween and teen girls.

In this episode, Kari joins Krista and Alex as they talk through how to parent while not being the helicopter mom, helping girls decide when they're ready to jump into the world of social media, and having boundaries with technology use when girls are with their friends in person. This is a mom-to-mom conversation that moms of both tween and teen boys and girls will find helpful.

Dec 13, 2016

In the third part of our three part Christmas series Less Stuff, More Memories co-hostesses Alex and Krista focus on incorporating the story of Jesus' birth into the season's routines and activities. From stories and activities your preschooler will participate in, to ways you can incorporate spiritual rituals with tweens and teens, Alex and Krista share how they incorporate the nativity into Advent.

At The Open Door Sisterhood we cherish the Christmas season because it refocuses many aspects of our life on this holiday that commemorates our Savior's birth. Won't you join us for this episode as we talk through some practical steps as we steward the sacred story and pass it on to our children?

From favorite children's books to sacred music there are some intentional moves we can make as we keep this holiday season sacred.

Dec 8, 2016

Oh Christmas traditions! They can be so much fun! And they can be so much stress! In the second part of our three part series, Less Stuff, More Memories, Krista and Alex talk through how to create meaningful, memorable traditions during the holiday season with your family, when to take a break from a tradition and involving kids in the planning and execution of things they enjoy. Because traditions are about memories, not stuff, and that's our hope for this Christmas.

Traditions are about creating a sense of belonging that speaks into each member of a group or family's identity. Not in an obvious way, but in a subtle, "this is who we are" way. Let's make traditions something sustainable, fun and flexible as we plan out our time together. Is it time to modify an old standby? Drop a tradition that was good for a season? Or even start a new one? Can we say "we'll try this" without feeling the lifetime commitment the tradition word can hold? Join us in this conversation as we explore what it means to have meaningful Christmas traditions.

Dec 6, 2016

Christmas is known for its magic. It is also known for spending, stuff and stress. Why not recenter on what makes Christmas fun and meaningful? That is why we are doing a series on Less Stuff, More Memories. In this series we break down topics of gifts, traditions and the spirit of Christmas so we can focus on making memories with those we love. This holiday season doesn’t have to be about the stuff, it can be about the memories and the people who share them and ultimately the person. Jesus who came as a baby because God so loved the world.

This first in our three-part series covers gift giving. How can we give less stuff? And when we do give tangible items, how can we make them meaningful? Krista and Alex talk through how to give gifts that show love, alternatives to tangible things, and making gifts memorable and unique to the recipient.

No matter your Christmas budget you'll find this episode to be full of different ideas for the kids and grown-ups on your shopping list. 

Dec 1, 2016

Linda Lawrence Hunt is no stranger to loss.  After two bouts of breast cancer, losing her brother and parents, and walking through the loss of her daughter, Krista, in a tragic accident in Bolivia, Linda has known the pain that most only fear.  Linda herself went on a journey, desperate to discover how to find hope in the midst of such sorrow.

Springing out of the place rose The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, a tribute to her daughter's work and heart for people around the world, and her recent book, Pilgrimage Through Loss: Pathways to Strength and Renewal After the Death of a Child.

But even if you or a loved one haven't suffered a loss to that degree, this interview is for anyone who has experienced a loss of any kind - from a death, to a loss of health, to a loss of a relationship, or the loss of financial stability.

Linda offers hope, light, and strength to anyone traveling through the dark valley of loss.

Nov 29, 2016

We recorded this episode with Tricia Goyer while she had fourteen people in her home. So if it sounds like she is hiding in the bathroom, it's because she is. But this is the norm for this mom of ten who manages to feed people one soup pot at a time. Where her approach is an open-handed one trusting God to provide food, space and energy to love those under her roof.

You’ll hear how Tricia’s family grew from an unplanned pregnancy when she was 17-years old to the large family she has today, what adopting children with past trauma is like, and how homeschooling fits into it all. Her honesty about how she manages this whirlwind of a very full life reminds us that perfection is not the goal, obedience to God's prompting is.

Tricia is a true inspiration to us as she uses prayer and creative time management to write, parent and run a huge household. 

Nov 22, 2016

Katelyn Beaty has recently taken a big step. Into what...she is still waiting to find out. As the youngest and first female managing editor of Christianity Today magazine, Katelyn was doing work she found meaningful and interesting. And yet she sensed God calling her to a new season. And so she quit. With no backup plan. No "next" in order. Because sometimes that open door is very much into the unknown.

It seems fitting that this major work change would all be happening after the release of her first book on women, vocation and the Church (see below). We talk to Katelyn about her process to sense God's change for her next, what it looks like for women to use their gifts freely and how this presidential election has offered her opportunities to speak in venues like CNN and The Washington Post.

We recorded this interview the morning after the presidential election. Though the nation had only known the results a few hours, we could tell the divisiveness from the election cycle wasn't going away anytime soon. Listen to our conversation with Katelyn about how women in the Church can move toward unity despite political differences.

An insightful and inspiring sister interview that reminds us all that God's spirit is one of dignity as we do our work in the world.

Nov 17, 2016

How-to guides about how to plan well for big holiday meals abound, but food preparation is not the only piece of the pie in making our Thanksgiving or Christmas meal tradition meaningful and fun.  Along with meal planning, it is helpful to think through how to set the table for connection (even before we sit down to eat), how to proactively avoid family conflicts, and how to use mealtime to build relationships and deeper bonds.  


Nov 15, 2016

Emily Ley is a woman who understands busy. As the founder of Emily Ley Paper, Inc. and The Simplified Planner, she runs a business while parenting three children under five. And she recently released her first book, Grace Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy. It helps that her business is centered around women simplifiying their lives, she knows the systems that work.

A jam packed episode of helpful tips, from Sunday night routines to saying "no" to good things, Emily tells us how she developed a planner with the busy woman in mind. She doesn't over-complicate the life management tool, she (no surprise) keeps it simple. And as a busy woman she practices what she preaches.

You are sure to find Emily charming, inspirational and full of ideas on how to live with a posture of grace over a posture of perfection.

Nov 10, 2016

Every group, big or small, has a culture.  If you've visited another country, you've seen the way people act and how they feel about being a part of that nation.  There are certain norms, behaviors, and rituals that shape the people in that environment.

Companies also have cultures.  Think of Nike.  It is the innovator of athletic wear, and its brand communicates what they value:  sports, comfort, trends, pro sports, female athletes, and working out...hard.

Every company has a mission statement that drives their company culture.  Likewise, we as families also have a culture.  If we create a family mission statement, it helps drive that culture that we are creating in our homes.

Listen to this episode to help you create a family mission statement for your family.

Go to to download a template for your mission statement.  

Nov 8, 2016

This episode of The Open Door Sisterhood is close to our hearts because it talks about two things we can't escape: parenting and grace. Mom of four boys and author Jeannie Cunnion joins us as she talks through what parenting with grace looks like in her life. A fresh conversation on a classic subject, you will be sure to be encouraged and inspired to love others and yourself through the lens of acceptance and love.

Jeannie gives us great book suggestions, tells what it's like bringing a new baby into a house already filled to the rim with boys, and how parenting her fourth is different from parenting her first. Jeannie's warmth and genuine care for other moms is evident in this interview. We are sure you will feel the same care we did as she talked us through the good news that every day offers us new opportunities as parents to love our kids with grace.

Please join us for this conversation with our friend Jeannie, a trusted voice to learn from in a time when encouragement might feel rare. Airing on this historic election day, give yourself a gift of warmth and allow this new friend to remind you of God's love and acceptance for you as you stumble through the hard days.

Nov 1, 2016

Francie Winslow has a special place in our hearts. A woman of the Spirit, she humbly speaks wisdom to us at every turn. Whether her earnest prayers or gentle approach to guiding her children's hearts, we are always encouraged to take that next step, do that next thing.

As a homeschooling mom who tries to simplify her life in order to keep quiet and restful rhythms, she often goes against the grain, or at least the typical. She has been speaking and writing often these days on intimacy in marriage, but this episode centers on her family rhythms and her intentionally minimal use of technology in her daily life so that she might make space for God to speak to her heart and for her to respond.

In this episode you will learn how their family creates and practices daily declarations about the truth of who they are, how she is keeping multiple journals at once, and the power of words to build people up or tear them down. Like all of our conversations with Francie, you will leave feeling inspired to focus with more intentionality on the parts of your life and the relationships that matter most. Please listen to our precious sister!

Oct 27, 2016

Annie Pajcic’s last name rhymes with magic. That’s no surprise to us because she is pure magic and joy. in fact we think the expression “she lights up a room” was created with Annie in mind. She radiates Jesus with her every fiber. She is a joy because she overflows with joy.

In this episode, Annie talks with us from her home and studio in Jacksonville, FL the week following Hurricane Matthew. A mom of four, the hurricane might be a good analogy for how life feels sometimes. But Annie's joy prevails. An artist, Annie creates Bible studies for teen and tween girls and women that incorporate art making. Her ministry Thou Art Exalted Ministries, Inc., is a valued resource for parents and youth group leaders looking for creative ways to engage their daughters in God's word. In fact the aim of Thou Art Exalted Ministries is to equip this generation to know Christ through the creative expression of God's Word.

We promise you'll love this conversation about following dreams, making art and watching God do things you never thought possible. In true sisterhood fashion we hear everything from Annie's prayer life to her favorite chapstick. From using art as a conversation starter to why you must only use low temp glue guns when working with kids. An episode of fun and inspiration all wrapped up into one package. Kind of like our friend Annie.

Oct 24, 2016

What happens when a girl turns 21? How about when a podcast does? We have a little bit of a party. And we reflect on how far we've come and where we're going.

That's exactly what we're doing on this 21st episode of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast. Co-hostesses Krista Gilbert and Alexandra Kuykendall talk through what this whole podcast thing is about. Why they're doing it. What the intent is and what the core values of the sisterhood are.

Though these two typically interview other guests, in this episode they interview one another, giving listeners an insight into their friendship and their unique personalities. Join in to hear how they met in a college theater production, what keeps their lives working well as they each parent four children and the difference between full schedules and full lives.

Oct 18, 2016

You only need to go on Teresa Swanstrom Anderson's Instagram feed to know she likes all things girly and pretty. But don't let the pink and glitter fool you into thinking she is meek. Quite the opposite, Teresa is a fierce mother of six who has traveled to the other side of the world more than once to bring home four of her children.

In fact in this episode you will hear stories of Teresa's childhood years in Guatemala City where she often army crawled from room to room in the airport hanger she lived in with her family as gunfire rang around their makeshift home. Weren't we right? Fierce.

In this episode of the Open Door Sisterhood Podcast you will hear about Teresa's recent Bible teaching efforts, how she manages 5 school pick-ups and drop-offs, why she began throwing dinner parties for women she often didn't know well and how she welcomes dinners delivered on her doorstep (to a pink front door we might add). You will be charmed, entertained and inspired by Teresa's stories.

Oct 14, 2016

Did you know that as soon as 8th grade you can start preparing your child for college? Many of us wait until our student is a junior or senior to start the process, but there are some important things we need to know and do before that point. And if you are already there? Well, this interview will be very timely and important for you.

Jeannie Burlowski is my guest on this episode. She is a full time college consultant who helps parents set their children up for success after high school. Her new book, Launch: How to get your kids through college debt free and into jobs they love afterwards, will release in late 2016.

Whether you have young children, middle schoolers, or high schoolers, this interview will put invaluable tools in your college toolbox.

Oct 11, 2016

t's no wonder our interview with Jess Wolstenholm was all about living an authentic faith in front of our kids. It was her combination of authenticity and love for Jesus that drew us to her at our first "chance" meeting. Two years ago we sat next to Jess and her partner at Grace for Moms, Kristi Chowny, at a conference luncheon and immediately hit it off. Jess has a warmth and a genuine interest in others that is evident in every interaction. We know you will love her too.

During this episode we cover what it means to live an authentic faith in front of your kids, how to simply and naturally talk about spiritual matters as a family and Jess' newest discovery to help with dark circles under her eyes. (Sidenote Alex ordered this trick from Amazon within days of recording this episode). We know you will appreciate her emphasis on grace. There is no right way to mother and no right way to talk to your kids about Jesus. And yet Jess is full of great ideas and resources for you to try and find what works for your family.

We recorded this episode before the three of us were most recently together. Just this weekend Jess came to Idaho to spend time with the sisterhood at the Open Door Sisterhood Mastermind Retreat. Whether in person or through the podcast airwaves, Jess is a delight and an encouragement to moms. We know you will love to sit in on our conversation with her.

Oct 4, 2016

Kendra Tillman wants you to know you are stronger than you think. Yes you mama, with the work to be done at home and in the office. With dinner to be made and bills to be paid. She sees women doing the calling God has put in front of them and she is their cheerleader.

A mom of three herself, Kendra recently took a huge leap and quit her full-time job to pursue her dream of being a full-time entrepreneur. She made this move before it made sense on paper. But her husband was supportive and the change hasn't looked exactly as she thought it would, but that's what a step of faith is, one where the results aren't guaranteed.

In this episode we hear some about this recent decision, her annual event she puts on for women and teen girls in the Phoenix area titled, you guessed it, You Are Stronger Than You Think, and starting a local chapter of Black Girls Run. In our discussion on StrengthsFinder as a tool to know yourself and others better, we discover that all three of us, Krista, Alex and Kendra, share a top strength: Belief. Which explains a lot about Kendra's decision to take a risk in order to live as she believes God is calling her.

Sep 27, 2016

Sarah Harmeyer is a special guest on our podcast because she is so dear to both of us. In fact we taped this episode when Sarah was sitting in Krista's real life kitchen. Sarah is a people gatherer. A woman on a love mission as she likes to say and she has invited many to join her in loving people around the table.

In this episode you will hear the how and why behind Sarah starting Neighbor's Table, the difference between being a good cook and a good hostess, and why others are buying Sarah's dad's handcrafted tables. You won't want to miss this genuine expression of Sarah's desire to make others feel welcome in her backyard and how we can do that in our own homes with the people right around us.

Join Sarah on her love mission and listen to this episode to hear more about Neighbor's Table.

Sep 21, 2016

Our interview with mother and writer Wynter Pitts delighted us with surprises. With four girls at home Wynter unknowingly founded a magazine for tween girls. By unknowingly, we mean she didn't set out to make a magazine, she simply was a mom wanting to create something for her daughters. Appropriately named, For Girls Like You, organically developed into a quarterly magazine and is now a project her entire family works on together.

But the family's creative flare is not isolated to the written word. Wynter's eldest daughter Alena acted alongside Priscilla Shirer in the box office hit War Room. In this podcast episode we hear what the movie taping process was like, how Alena trained for the double dutch stunts and how a mother's understanding of God's use of her children was broadened.

Wynter's interview inspired us to broaden our thinking about how we could be world changers WITH our children right where we are. God's plans for Wynter's family are unique and suited just perfectly for who they are. What next step might you take with your family to walk through a door that God has opened?

Sep 13, 2016

Months ago Krista's sister, Kendra, said to Krista, "You have to meet Katie!" Soon after, Krista told Alex the same thing. And now we are saying to you, "You have to meet Katie!" 

A writing instructor at Whitworth University, a contributor to the popular Coffee and Crumbs blog, Katie's writing is stunning. It puts words to our feelings and more importantly points us toward a larger truth as we grapple with the uncomfortable. Her own journey this summer has been marked by her son's developmental diagnosis, moving him from temporary delays to perhaps lifelong challenges. This has shaped every aspect of Katie's life. From her work to her marriage to her faith, she keeps returning to what she knows to be true. About her family. And about who God is.

You will hear Katie's tender spirit in this conversation as we talk about this journey she is still on, what has helped her the last few months, and how she memorizes Scripture. From pens to cold brew coffee Katie's life (and writing) are in the details. We're not kidding when we say, "You have to meet Katie!"

Sep 6, 2016

Kendall acts as the Executive Producer and Emcee of MOMcon  (MOPS International's national gathering of over 3,000 moms) and has recently taken on the job of Leadership Experience Content Strategist for the organization. In our conversation we talk through how to make work/life balance decisions when there are kids to raise and expectations to be examined. What a difference a mentor makes and our responsibility to call out the good we see in others.

We also cover the rounds from who will be on the main stage at MOMcon, to what music Kendall is listening to and who she reads first thing in the morning. You won't want to miss this fun and significant conversation.

Aug 30, 2016

Cherie Lowe is known as the Queen of Free. She developed a reputation for freebies as she shared her story of debt reduction on her blog. Soon she was not only sharing money saving tips, she was sharing the heart behind why she and her husband Brian wanted to eliminate their consumer debt. And it wasn't just a little credit card bill, they had over $127,000 worth of consumer debt.

We talk with Cherie about their decision to pull back in spending, pay off debt and how that plays out in their current budget.  We also talk about how to use our most precious commodity:  our time.  

You won't want to miss this episode with Cherie. It is both practical and inspirational as we all try to be wise with our money.

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