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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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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 18, 2018

If you aren't quite ready for Christmas yet, this podcast is for you.  In this episode we offer last minute holiday hacks that will help you get ready for the big day.  Or maybe you just need some fresh inspiration - this will help with that too!

Need appetizer or dessert ideas?  They're in here.  In a gift panic?  We offer an idea that won't require frantic running around the mall.  Struggling to "create Christmas?" Learn why it's best to draw on the five senses for holiday memories, and how we can think through that a little better.

This practical episode will move you toward the goal of the holidays:  to get centered & organized so that we can enter in to Christmas with the joy, peace, and love that Christ came to the world to give.

Dec 11, 2018

We know you are looking for meaningful gifts this time of year and so we want to introduce you to some sisters who will not only help you find beautiful, handcrafted items, they will also allow you to be a world changer for good right where you are. This episode features two women who are using retail as a way to employ others and then giving us the chance to partner with them by creating a market for these items that we can participate in.

Bethany Tran is the founder of The Root Collective, a custom shoe company with shoes made in Guatemala. Her travels five years ago led her to the slums in Guatemala City. Bethany knew people there needed jobs and wished someone would do something about creating them. She realized her passion for this issue was part of God's prompting to use her connections and talent to create a marketplace in the U.S. for Guatemalan made shoes.

Sabrina Dorman-Andrew was working fulltime and parenting her two three-year old daughters when her husband heard a woman at their church speak about sex trafficking in Uganda. Sabrina's efforts to sell Ugandan-made beads to support women leaving the sex trade opened her eyes to the world of trafficking. She now has two storefronts and an online store that carry fair trade products and products made by women at risk of being trafficked. From buying her first building (a story you shouldn't miss) to her new connections in Maldova, Sabrina continues to be surprised at God's provision and faithful leading.

If you want a little inspiration this holiday season, this is the episode for you. And if you want some tips on where to shop you came to the right place too.

Dec 4, 2018

In our efforts to make this holiday season more meaningful, we want less stuff, more memories. We think there's a good chance you do too! In the second part of our two-part Christmas series, Less Stuff, More Memories, we asked some of our friends to share their stories and tips on making more memories. Our guests share stories about what it means to create meaningful memories and sustainable traditions with their families. From serving others, to realistic holiday parties, to Christ-centered moments, this episode is a group round-up of stories and tips. Part practical and part inspirational in true Open Door Sisterhood Christmas style.

Alex and Krista also cover some of the tensions of Christmas and ensuring the memories we're making are positive ones. They also talk about how books can help make holiday memories, what a desire to serve together as a family during the holiday season could be prompting your family for the long term, and how gifts can help make memories. Everything conveyed in this episode is intended to offer you freedom sister. Freedom to not do more right now, in a memory making frenzy. Freedom to enjoy simple, slow tools that extend memories past now and into the new year. Freedom from pressure to do things perfectly as you focus in on the people right in front of you.

If you like this topic, we recommend you head over to Episodes 31 through 33 of the podcast for some of our best takes on Less Stuff, More Memories. Power to Christmas sisters when done sisterhood style.

Nov 27, 2018

No matter how hard we try, most of us struggle to make the Christmas season what we hope it will be.  If you are like us, you may be resolving to make it better than last year.  To do this, we must re-center on what makes Christmas fun and meaningful? That is why we are doing our signature series called Less Stuff, More Memories.

In this two-part conversation, we have rounded up some experts to share with you their best tips in two categories: less stuff & more memories.This first part airing today is all about how we can reduce the clutter surrounding the holidays, covering topics such as organization, budgeting, decorating, generosity, and gift giving.  

Today’s experts will give you ideas and tools on reducing the “stuff” of Christmas.  The goal here is LESS STRESS, and who doesn’t need more of that?

If you are reaching for a healthier and happier Christmas this year, you've come to the right place.  

Nov 20, 2018

Anne Bogel is a woman who lives the literary life. In fact she hosts the popular podcast What Should I Read Next? where guests talk through books they've loved and Anne makes recommendations on, you guessed it, what they should read next. Her equally popular website, Modern Mrs. Darcy, echoes her literary tendencies, while giving readers a taste of the practical along with the books.

In this episode of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast, Anne catches us up on her new book, how she came into blogging, and of course some reading recommendations. We learn how to pronounce her hometown of Louisville, KY, how to fit reading into a busy life, and how one idea to led to another and another to give her blogs, books and a podcast for readers. A gracious, entertaining, and lovely new friend, you'd expect nothing else from the woman so many turn to as their personal book club consultant.

If you are a bibliophile, look no further, Anne is a kindred spirit (all of you Anne of Green Gables fans caught that didn't you?) If you find learning imperative, this is your friend. If you simply want to know what someone who reads books a week considers her favorites, listen in too. You may just find your next request for your own Christmas list or library hold.

Nov 13, 2018

We know Christ came to speak life, but then how come our inner critic keeps showing up and stealing the mic? If we’re honest, she’s a harsh one, saying things we’d never dream of saying to others: You’ll never measure up, you’ll fail again tomorrow, you just can’t get it right.

Our guest Hayley Morgan joins the sisterhood to teach us how to talk back to ourselves in ways that promote truth, grace, and love.  We can learn to turn down the volume on the negative loops we run through our brains, and train ourselves to believe better, and therefore think better.  

If you've ever struggled to quiet the inner voice of negativity and doubt, this interview will be an encouragement and source of hope!

Nov 6, 2018

Candace Cameron Bure has been in the spotlight since she was a girl, but no one could be more down to earth than this mom of three. From her early days on Full House to her spot as a host on The View, fans have been following Candace through every phase of her life. In recent years she has been a voice promoting kindness and civility in all situations. After speaking with her we can see why. Everything about this woman is simultaneously thoughtful and bold. A true sister to watch and learn from.

In our hour with Candace we hear why parenting teenagers has been her favorite, how she fits fitness into a very busy schedule (it involves an electric toothbrush), deciding when to say "yes" to hard things, and the power of going first in kindness. We hear how she met her husband (and how he learned English in part by watching Full House reruns), about her new children's book, and when making a way into new territory often is simple obedience to God's call.

We recorded our conversation with Candace while she was in Canada taping a Christmas special for the Hallmark Channel. In the midst of long taping days, she made time for the sisterhood. We get the sense that's how she operates. Get your favorite cozy drink, put the Hallmark Channel on pause, and settle in for a great episode of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast. You will feel you have a new friend in Candace Cameron Bure.

Oct 30, 2018

When we hear the phrase "world changer" we often think of someone doing something big and crazy to make a difference in the world.  While those words definitely include those kinds of influencers, "world changer' can also be the everyday person faithfully showing up in small ways for those around her.

Welcome to the Sisterhood's 2nd Annual World Changer Quest.  In the fall we go looking for every day difference makers .  You nominate them.  We choose them.  Today we are featuring three of these women on the podcast. This year our focus was on people who are making small investments of their time for big impact on their worlds.

The first world changer is Sarah Quezada.  Sarah is passionate about bringing people to the table surrounding the  topic of immigration.   We talk about what opened her eyes to this issue, how we can foster difficult conversations, whether we find ourselves in agreement or not, and how we can treat all people with dignity, no matter their situation.

The second world changer is Krisi Sonneland.  An everyday mom of five, Krisi spends much of her time investing in Fellowship of Christian Athletes at her son's middle school, and volunteering with the high school youth group at her church.  We were both inspired and touched by Krisi's heart for today's youth, and found her words to be full of truth and love.

The third world changer is Grace Patterson.  Grace uses her work in an underserved elementary school to bring hope to children and glory to God.  At the young age of 25, Grace is committed to using her position to practically help children, and give them places to be equipped and encouraged.  

You will be inspired by these three women who have one thing in common:  they've decided to change their worlds for good.  And the good news?  You can too.  

Oct 23, 2018

Renee Swope doesn't want to let women's self-doubts have the final word. Rather she wants the world to experience all women have to offer when they hear God's call and step into what he has for them. Popular writer and speaker, Renee shares her own struggles with self-doubt and some practical tools she has to fight them as unwelcome thoughts and feelings creep in to her head and heart.

In this conversation we hear about Renee's 20-year tenure on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries. A journey that started with her volunteering when Proverbs 31 was simply a newsletter for stay-at-home moms, to growing with the organization. From overseeing the speaking team to the radio programming, Renee loved the opportunity to try new things and make existing elements better. It was her need for friendship that brought her to Proverbs 31 and in the process she learned about her own wiring, what she needs to live a healthy life, and how even at the height of all that fun where and how self-doubt played in.

If you find yourself comparing a part of your life to others', if you wonder if you're the right person for the job, if you think you don't have what it takes, self-doubt might be your battleground. Join us for this honest conversation as we examine the common struggle for all of us: believing what God says about us is actually true.

Oct 16, 2018

Essential oils have been around since the beginning of time, but they have not come center stage until recent years.  The craze has begun.  Popular in creating a spa-like atmosphere, essential oils are used for aromatherapy.  However, they don't just smell good, they also boast medicinal affects that many say help heal the body.  

Edie Wadsworth, a physician, was once skeptical about these oils and doubted they could make much of a difference.  But after experiencing the powerful affects of the oils personally, she went to work full time helping people get well using essential oils (and other healthy habits).  

In this episode we talk about why essential oils work, where to start, what oils are the most effective, and how to begin incorporating them into daily life.  If you've ever wondered what all the fuss is about, or if you just want to have a deeper understanding of essential oil use, this episode is for you!

Oct 9, 2018

Her name is Myquillyn, but she is known to many online as "The Nester". She helps us create cozy spaces in our homes, often with items we already own, can find outside, or can salvage on the cheap. For those of us challenged in creating spaces that speak, she gives us tips, and for those who are already in a constant state of furniture rearranging, she encourages us to keep feathering the nest. Her new book Cozy Minimalist Home tells us the why and how of creating an inviting space without all of the stuff.

In this interview we hear how Myquillyn now waits for the "right" item when decorating a room before running out and buying the cheapest she can find, how she works with what she has while in the waiting, and how she pairs back rather than adds more to create a cozy space. We learn some design tips that are hidden in her new book from choosing the right sofa to sizing an area rug to a room, the practical in us can't stop. If you want to know why you should buy a houseplant or a larger throw pillow, this is the conversation for you.

Just in time for fall and cozy weather, get your cozy minimalist self going with this fun, inspiring, and practical episode with The Nester. You'll hear one of our favorite family traditions ever, one you could start with your family in preparation for Christmas. In the meantime, take ten items out of a room and see how it feels.

Oct 2, 2018

Do you struggle with knowing what is your best yes?  Do you have a vision for where you want your life to go?  Successful businesses know what they value, know where they are headed, and can articulate it clearly.  We can do the same as individuals.

On the podcast Mary Tomlinson, former Disney Executive and President of On-Purpose Partners, coaches us on how to create our own two-word purpose statement that will give us direction and clarity for our lives.  The first part of the interview features Mary's coaching.  The second part is a "workshop" where Alex and Krista talk about how they landed on their personal purpose statements.

You may be surprised by how much this simple phrase will help you as you navigate life!

Sep 25, 2018

"They loved me back to life."

Sarah Thebarge knew what it was to feel alone. So when she met a Somali woman and her five daughters on a commuter train in Portland, OR she found an unexpected kindred sister. The story of their emerging friendship and Sarah's battle with breast cancer draws parallels between different circumstances with a common thread. In our interview with Sarah we hear how this everyday encounter changed everything about Sarah's story.

Now a physician's assistant in San Francisco, Sarah's story takes her through graduate school, across the country, and then across the world  to practice medicine in what was deemed "the unhappiest country in the world". The limitations practicing medicine in the developing world made Sarah more comfortable with the dying. Her own journey with breast cancer has helped her understand suffering.

From ordinary connections with our neighbors to how to impact a child's life in the developing world, we are inspired to look beyond our comfort and convenience to live the God-intended life. You will be changed by hearing Sarah's story and we are grateful to have her with the sisterhood. A beautiful conversation about what entering others' grief looks like and how it makes us truly alive.

Sep 18, 2018

Many of us confuse hospitality and entertaining.  We think that practicing hospitality equals a picture perfect table and gourmet food, and we end up feeling insecure and inadequate when our reality doesn't match the magazine spreads.  But what if true welcome was more about servanthood than performance?

 In today's interview, Jen Schmidt joins The Sisterhood to point us to the truth that authentic hospitality is about loving others well and simply opening up our doors for the purpose of making others feel special.  In an often cold and detached culture, we can be a part of helping others feel that they belong somewhere.  This can even happen on the go.  

If you want to live a life of welcome, this interview will help inspire you to do so!

Sep 11, 2018

Patrice Gopo's story takes her around the world and back. From Jamaica to the U.S. to South Africa with some Zimbabwe, Spain, and more thrown in, her ciruitous route is not just evidenced in her passport, but in her career path as well. We don't want to give it away, but there is some romance, some friendship, some career changes, and some self discovery. We talk through what it means to accept the nuance of someone's story and Patrice offers her own as an example.

A mom of two girls now, she fits her writing into the pockets of her everyday life. An engineer by training and then a businesswoman with a heart for justice, all of the colors in Patrice's life make up who she is. From writing in real life time chunks to growing up in Alaska, Patrice is an instant, trusted friend. You won't want to miss out on this rich conversation about race, friendship, and acceptance.

Patrice's experiences shaped her new book of essays, All The Colors We Will See. Head to bookstores to find her debut book (Barnes and Noble has selected her as a new writer to read!), but first head to the podcast to get a taste of what you'll find. You will be encouraged to make a way through nuance in relationships and life.

Sep 4, 2018

Books, especially those that are well written and crafted, have power.  If we allow, they can shape our thinking, mold how we see the world, and impact how we interact with others.  When we read about true heroes, we learn how to become one.  When we watch a character weather challenges, we find out what qualities are needed for to overcome.  When we step into another's shoes, we gain compassion we did not have previously.  In short, reading has the potential to literally change our lives.

Sarah Clarkson, author of Book Girl, joins us to share how books have influenced the trajectory of her life, and how they invite beauty, strength, and belonging.  The intelligence, insight, and depth Sarah brings to the discussion is, in itself, beautiful.

If you have been one of those who has never been a reader, or who simply isn't taking the time in life to read, this will inspire you to dive in to good literature to equip you for life, and feed your heart and soul.

Aug 28, 2018

"On the other side of our fear is our purpose."

Founder of the socially conscious fashion brand Noonday Collection, Jessica Honegger is a world changer by anyone's standards. Though she has a built a business from scratch, she doesn't always feel brave. Quite the opposite, she feels scared. But she does whatever is set in front of her anyway. This is where Imperfect Courage comes in. Jessica is on a charge to remind women that courage involves doing it scared.

In this unforgettable interview we hear how Jessica's parents shaped her, why she walked away from debutante life, her motivation for starting Noonday Collection, and how she recently got featured in Forbes. Jessica's energy inescapable. Her honesty is refreshing. And her challenge to all of us to do the thing in front of us scared is inspiring. Jessica has the stories in her own journey to back the charge to cheer each other on while not allowing fear to have the last word.

If you want more of the values of the sisterhood - rooting for other women, taking that next step, doing that hard thing, being world changers for good right where we are, you will not be disappointed with this interview. It could not epitomize The Open Door Sisterhood more! .

Aug 21, 2018

It's time to hit the books. If you are sending kids back to school, (or are the student in your house), the change from summer-mode to school-mode can be drastic. Podcast hosts Alex and Krista help us think through routines that will help families make that adjustment. Both moms of four kids, they cover everything from school lunches to their own grief at another summer done.

In true Open Door Sisterhood fashion this conversation is part practical, part inspirational as Krista and Alex speak to the why and how of getting families ready for the school year. You'll hear Krista's five things she does every morning and why Alex has a hair appointment this week (hint: it has to do with having something to look forward to after first day drop off). How do we manage the new level of crazy that comes with fall? This episode will give you some insight into how our hosts tackle the new year.

Sister, don't be afraid to make this school year about you too. This is a fresh start to focus on some areas of life that you want to tackle with fresh oomph. Take that next step, do that hard thing, so you can be a world changer for good right where you are. Whether that is in the carpool rotation or the office cubicle, this can be a great "year" to do something new or re-focus on an old passion. Made with you in mind, you won't want to miss this one-of-a-kind Back to School episode.

Aug 14, 2018

Most of us are all too familiar with the feeling of being overwhelmed.  Whether it is due to our own decision making, challenging news, unexpected events, financial strain or emotional weight, this is a topic we intimately understand.  The problem with this state of mind is it takes us out of the game.  We succumb to the stress and stop living a life of joy, abundance, and fruitfulness.

We are not the only ones who feel this way.  My guest, Kay Wyma, talks about how overwhelm also negatively impacts and damages our youth.  There is a solution.  All of us, adults and children alike, can stand up under the pressure, and lean into truth, hope, and light.

If you or your children are overwhelmed by any part of life right now, this is your interview!

Aug 7, 2018

Are you about to send your child off to college?  Or are you anticipating that time in the near future?   Author Carol Kuykendall is back for the second episode of this special two-part series where we discuss the joyful and complicated nature of letting go of our children as they move through the teen years and into college.

Starting with high school graduation, we talk about lowering expectations, and how to make your child feel celebrated and loved.  We then move to the much-anticipated college drop off:  how we can set it up for success, how and how not to say goodbye, and what each college student needs from their parent during this time.  Having spoken and written about this topic for decades, Carol offers timeless wisdom and sound perspective.

We know that this can be a vulnerable and difficult season for parents.  The sisterhood is with you!

Jul 31, 2018

There is something about letting our children step into the world that feels counter to our parenting instincts. Author Carol Kuykendall has been speaking and writing on the topic of parenting and letting go for decades. The re-release of her popular book Give Them Wings: Preparing For the Time When Your Teens Leave Home offers great opportunity for the sisterhood to talk about this topic. In fact, our very own Krista Gilbert contributed to the updates in the book and Alex wrote the foreword. In other words, we believe in Carol's message.

This is the first of a two part series on this topic. This episode covers the high school years: what we're feeling, how our kids are separating, and how we move into the "consultant" role. We cover fear, how to address it as it comes up, tailoring fun to our family and individual kids, and looking past the immediate to the long-term goal of adult relationships with our kids. We understand how we've likely been letting go in small ways for years and how fighting our urdges to rescue our kids from hard things hurts rather than helps them. A must listen for parents approaching and in the middle of parenting teenagers.

Within minutes we are crying as this topic goes straight to the tender place for a mother. No matter your phase of parenting, you will benefit from the principles Carol shares about letting our kids grow into the people God has called them to be. That is what we want after all. Sometimes it takes the sisterhood to remind us.

Jul 24, 2018

The Bible tells us to pray, and we also seem to know that language intuitively in our spirits.  When something bad happens, what is the first thing most of us do?  Pray.  But what really is prayer?  And does it make a difference to God when we pray?  Also, does it matter HOW we pray?  What does prayer really do?

These are some of the questions we tackle in today's episode with Elisa Morgan, author of The Prayer Coin.  Elisa lets us in on a little secret about the two essential ingredients to prayer, modeled by Jesus himself.  They are simple, yet have the power to transform our prayer lives.  

If you've been feeling stuck or stale in your prayer life, this interview will help.  If you want more authentic communication with God, this will lead you there.   If you want to know why prayer matters, this episode will answer that question.

Join us for this rich discussion on an important topic.  

Jul 17, 2018

Fear God, Live Brave. These are the principles that guide Katie Westenberg's daily decisions. What does it mean to have courage? Is it the absence of fear? How about the fear of God? What does that look like? Though heavy questions, Katie examines them within the context of her smalltown, mom of four life which not only helps us understand the concepts, but shows us how she is living them out. Author of the popular blog, I Choose Brave, our conversation with Katie is one you won't want to miss.

We hear about Katie's loss of a child in utero, how grief played out in the months that followed, what it's like to live in the same small town where she grew up, why she chose to homeschool her kids, and the life she imagined as a high school student. From book recommendations to her family's favorite summer cake recipe (sure to be a kid favorite since soda pop is involved) to how she schedules her homeschooling days, this episode is full of both the practical and the inspirational.

We are always looking for sisters to spur us on. Katie has been one of those women in our lives and we are thrilled to share her with the larger sisterhood. If you are looking for inspiration to do a hard thing and next steps for moving toward courage, this is the interview for you.

Jul 10, 2018

Using meaningful rituals is one of the best ways to celebrate those milestone birthdays that mark a coming of age or "set apart" occasion.  In this interview, Krista explains how her extended family uses rituals to mark two very special birthdays.  

This episode will spark your creativity and help you think through how you can incorporate meaningful traditions into your family or community for birthday celebrations.  Krista discusses the importance of ritual and how it deepens connections and provides a sense of belonging.  She then moves to the practical application of what her family does to mark the 13th and 18th birthdays of all of the children in her family.  

Whether planning a child's birthday or an adult's, you will be inspired to think of your own unique way of incorporating ritual and tradition to elevate important moments and transform them into unforgettable occasions.  

Jul 3, 2018

From motherhood to work life, Kayla Aimee has had to adapt to unexpected turns the last decade. Her first child arrived very early, a micro-preemie throwing her into the world of NICU mothering. Now a mom to two, Kayla and her husband recently switched roles in the work/home life and Kayla has gone from stay at home mom to family breadwinner. We hear how the transition has gone for her and her husband as they've swapped major roles in the home. In all seasons of family life adaptability has been key.

In this Sister Interview we talk about comparison, how to recognize it when it's happening, and when needed how to shut it down. Now a fulltime, professional social media manager, we hear Kayla's take on social media consumption, when to take breaks, and the importance of remembering no one's feed gives the full picture of a life or situation. A great reminder for all of us.

Kayla's latest book, In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence is now available. The perfect companion to our conversation with Kayla about avoiding comparisons and living into the life God has given you with confidence, no matter the unexpected turns.

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