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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: 2019
Nov 19, 2019

When Kelly Minter moved to Nashville years ago it wasn’t to become a Bible teacher or to write a cookbook, she was pursuing the music dream. After multiple signed and failed record deals, Kelly had the chance to do two things she hadn’t set out to do: write and publish a Bible study and travel to the Amazon. Both of those opportunities took her down unexpected roads, or through unexpected “open doors”.

 

A jump-right-in kind of conversation where we felt like we starting with years of friendshipas our foundation, Kelly felt like an instant sister. We hear about her newest book, a cookbook she wrote with friend and chef Regina Pinto. We learn about the books that have influenced Kelly’s interest in healthy, fresh food and how her brother’s pizza dough didn’t make the cookbook cut because it is just too complicated. A woman of humble spirit and mighty strength we were inspired to get cooking and invite others over.

 

A delightful interview you won’t want to miss. The “work sweatpants” vs. “home sweatpants” tip that any work-at-home woman can relate to is enough of a reason to tune in.

Nov 12, 2019

Do you have a favorite place to go and relax or reflect? A spot you feel a little more at home in the world? Chances are it is a place your soul can breathe and open up.

Whether we are experiencing deep loss, processing an experience, or simply taking a pause from the hectic pace of modern life, we all need those places of peace.

On today’s episode, Linda Lawrence Hunt describes how deep grief and loss birthed first a global foundation, then a passion for creating a warm and inviting space where countless individuals could come and find respite. She inspires us to not only find that for ourselves, but to create it in our own unique way for others.

Whether choosing new paint colors, planting a garden, cooking a savory meal, or building a fire, we can all create places where souls can breathe.

Nov 5, 2019

On this Election Day special, Kathryn Freeman talks us through civic engagement, difficult conversations, and asking questions to learn. A seminary student who already holds a law degree, Kathryn has worked for over a decade in public policy. But don't let that intimidate you, Kathryn simply loves people and wants systems to work on their behalf.

Kathryn reminds us that as the Church, we are like God's orchestra: we each have our unique role to play. We can't all be experts on every issue, but we can learn and be passionate about a few. She thinks a good starting place is to focus on issues that most impact our neighbors. She also reminds us that ultimately God cares about justice and the work is his. We are meant to do our part that helps us love him and our neighbors well.

As we approach family conversations over the holidays, Kathryn offers us great tips on how to learn and listen in order to better understand various points of view. A sisterhood conversation on being world changers for good right where we are.

Oct 29, 2019

We’re beating the Christmas stress this year. Do you want to join us? Bring on the joy, peace, and merry! One of the primary ways we plan to do this is by employing a concept called “third way thinking.”

The third way is about getting creative, opening up possibilities, and planning. We like this concept here at The Sisterhood, and we really like it as we discuss how to do the Christmas season better.

In this episode we cover expectations vs. expectancy, how to navigate difficult dynamics around scheduling Christmas, planning for traditions, and what it might look like to rethink gift giving.

It may seem early to be talking about and planning for Christmas, but come December you’ll be so glad you did. A peek into what we’ll be covering in The Christmas Remake, this conversation will get you ready for “less stress and more memories” this season.

Oct 22, 2019

You may be familiar with Auntie Anne's Pretzels, the soft warm pretzels served around the world. What you likely don't know is the story of Auntie Anne herself. The most we've ever cried during an Open Door Sisterhood interview, Anne Bieler's humility and gratitude for God's redemptive love is moving.

Having grown up in the Amish community of Pennsylvania, Anne learned to value family, faith, and hard work. However, she did not learn how to talk about her feelings. So when tragedy hit when she was a young mother, Anne didn’t know how to express her grief. The pain she experienced from the loss of a child changed her story.

Anne tells of the darkness she encountered during the years that followed and the redemption she experienced through confessing her secrets to her husband and receiving his love and acceptance. Her message of confession and the power of sharing our stories will leave you changed.

Oct 15, 2019

If 70% of success in sports is mental training, then the most critical area of any sport is the six inch playing field between our ears. Turns out, the same principles that are used for mental discipline training for athletes are also secret weapons for everyday people like us who regularly face difficult scenarios, dilemmas, and problems.

Trisha Kroll joins us to talk about her experience playing Division 1 volleyball at the University of Kansas, and what she learned about the mental part of the game. She and her husband own and run a non-profit organization called The Difference Maker whose mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of athletes by training, equipping, and inspiring them in sports and in life.

Whether you are listening to this to be able to help your child, to educate your athletes, or to simply become stronger mentally, you will walk away with nuggets of gold to start applying today!

Oct 8, 2019

For more than two decades Sissy Goff has been counseling girls and their families. In recent years she has noticed an increased number of girls struggling with worry and anxiety in her counseling practice. This is backed up by national trends. In this episode we explore why that is and what parents can do to help girls of all ages recognize their worry and manage it so that it doesn’t manage them.

From naming your worry to running around the block to calm down to intentional breathing exercises (for girls and parents), Sissy gives the sisterhood practical approaches to parents as we help guide our daughters through the waters of worry.

For any woman and anyone who loves girls and wants to know more about how to care for them, this conversation with Sissy Goff isn't to be missed.

Oct 1, 2019

Our fall kitchen series is designed to help inspire and equip you to get dinner on the table. Meal time matters. Studies show that families who set aside time for family dinners reduce their children’s risk of destructive behaviors and foster belonging, safety, and confidence.

But let’s be honest. We also want our food to taste good when we gather around the table! Today Melissa D’Arabian joins us for Part 2 of this two part special series with tasty recipes and helpful ideas. Winner of Season 5 of The Food Network Star, Melissa is no stranger to the kitchen or to creating delicious meals for the masses and also for her family of six.

Whether you are cooking for a crowd, or cooking for a small few, this episode will underscore the value of the table in your life.

Sep 24, 2019

Abby and April, as they're known at The Open Door Sisterhood, know a thing or two about getting dinner on the table. Both working moms with lots of mouths at home to feed, they both love to cook and have a realistic approach to what actually works. From meal planning to trying new recipes, these two real-life sisters give us practical tips to everyday cooking.

These ladies are the chefs at The Open Door Sisterhood annual Mastermind Retreat. We have tasted their food (and experienced their low-stress approach in the kitchen) and can fully vouch for their expertise. Delicious, healthy, and simple food is what they focus on in their own homes and they bring that to their readers at their Everyday Table blog. Rightly named they are speaking to the man or woman who may not have experience or time to do something fancy, but still want to cook delicious food.

This is the first of a two-part series on getting dinner on the table. We know fall is the time families are getting back in their routines, and you sister, are trying to figure out what's for dinner. Listen to our friends talk about the simplicity of meal planning and how it can save you time, money, and stress. And who doesn't want that?!

Sep 17, 2019

We are celebrating our 200th episode on The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast! To celebrate we thought it would be fun to answer questions from our listeners. So…. you asked and we answered.

In this episode you will hear about our childhoods, how we came to faith, what jobs we had before podcasting, and who influenced our lives growing up. You will also get a peek into what episodes impacted us personally of the last one hundred.

Sister, we want to express our deep gratitude for joining us every week and for becoming a part of our Sisterhood tribe. We are continually impacted by the people we encounter through this podcast, including YOU and our guests.

Thank you for taking that next step, for doing that hard thing, and for being a world changer for good right where you are! #powertothesisterhood

Sep 10, 2019

"You become what you behold" -William Blake

Ruth Chou Simons looks for God's beauty all around her. Whether out her back door in Durango, CO, or in the faces of her six sons, or the leaf of a plant in her living room, beholding what God creates reminds her that she is not in charge. It also helps shape her into a woman more aware of God's purposes.

In this conversation we talk to Ruth about her love of art, her very long "overnight success", how Instagram gave her a push toward making her art public, and how she chose to live where she does. A homeschooling mom, business owner, author, and artist, Ruth is very down to earth despite her Renaissance woman credentials. You will find a friend in her as you listen.

For the woman who wonders if her ordinary circumstances matter. For the one who wishes she was doing something fabulous. For the sister in need of a reminder that her one life is surrounded by beauty. Do not miss this Open Door Sisterhood conversation.

Sep 3, 2019

Why can’t all of our relationships be easy? And why is it that some are harder than others? This week’s episode explores difficult relationship patterns and the skills needed to have hard conversations.

Scott Vaudrey, retired ER physician, pastor, and executive coach, teaches us how to talk through a difficult conversation, and what work we need to do in our own heart beforehand.

The tools offered in this episode could dramatically change your important relationships.

Aug 27, 2019

Christina Meredith went from homeless foster youth to Ms. California to an active member of the U.S. Army. An unlikely path, yet when you hear this interview you will find Christina to be a likely heroine when it comes to overcoming. Her fortitude and clarity of thought are evident. From childhood abuse to foster care to homelessness, Christina found God in the middle of her most difficult circumstances and credits her healing to his power.

In this episode we hear some about Christina's childhood, how ROTC gave her the structure and discipline she needed as a teenager, how she advocates for foster youth today, and her suprising entry into the pageant world (it started in a Whole Foods!) From confusion as a child to feeling like an outsider as a young woman, Christina's resilience is remarkable and her reliance on God is inspiring.

Not your typical soldier, Christina defies "typical" in all areas. Fighting against statistics of where she "should" be, Christina believes God has her where she is on purpose. You won't want to miss this Sister Interview.

Aug 20, 2019

The Open Door Sisterhood's First Ever Book Club Episode!

Do you feel like your family is spinning out of control? Do you sometimes wish you were closer and more unified with those living under your same roof? Or maybe you're a parent who does a lot for your children, but you lack real connection & relationship.

You're not alone. Every parent struggles to live intentionally, and every family must learn that foundations are built moment by moment over a long period of time.

If you are ready to kick your fall off with greater purpose and deeper relationships, this episode (and bookclub) is for you! Beginning September 1st, we will be exploring what it practically looks like to reclaim your home, one action at a time.

BONUS: In today's episode Krista also gives her "top 5 tips" in various areas of Reclaiming Home. You won't want to miss it!

Aug 13, 2019

"If the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it."

Belinda Bauman believes we have capacity to hold each other's pain. She is a woman who has witnessed the consequences of war, has listened to horrific stories, and has wondered what she is to do with the grief she is holding as a result of bearing witness. A conversation that highlights Belinda's adventurous life path while taking us on the journey of what it means to practice empathy.

It was the story of one woman on the other side of the world that changed Belinda's perspective and gave her eyes to see empathy in a new way. In this conversation we hear about their friendship, about Belinda's mandate to tell her friend's story, and how that developed into One Million Thumbprints, an effort to raise awareness about violence against women in war torn countries.

Both practical and inspirational, you won't want to miss this beautiful message of incarnational love. From sister to sister, around the world and back, we can practice our empathy muscle by listening, changing our perspectives, and actively peacemaking in our world. No better way to be world changers for good right where we are.

Aug 6, 2019

Is there anything more powerful in our lives than relationships? They can bring us to the heights of happiness and also to the pit of despair. Some are simple, some are very complicated. Every one of us must navigate our way through these rough relationship waters our entire life journey.

John Townsend, a nationally recognized expert and voice in this arena, joins The Sisterhood to offer his expertise on how we can do relationships better. From creating a life team, to discerning if a person is trustworthy, to learning how to ask for what we need, Dr. Townsend offers solid navigation principles.

This interview hits hard on the practical - - you will walk away with helpful ideas you can implement immediately with the people right around you.

Jul 31, 2019
After deciding to follow Jesus, Vivian Mabuni believes the most important question in our lives is "Who is in control?" In this conversation we hear from the the themes of her new book Open Hands, Willing Heart. Vivian points us back to surrender, a process that isn't done just once in the Christian life, but over and over.
 
We know you will find Vivian as warm and inspiring as we did. This episode is full of gems. From her new podcast idea to the value of learning from voices with diverse cultural, ethnic, and life experiences. She shares about assumptions she's made about people and times she's doubted that God would provide. A fellow journeyer, Vivian speaks truth grounded in her own struggles.
 
Sisters you won't want to miss this episode. We felt like we made a new friend (and we actually did!) Vivian's desire to live with open hands and a willing heart to serve God however and wherever he calls is just what the sisterhood is about. As you prepare to walk through the door God has opened in front of you, grab your earbuds and listen.
Jul 23, 2019

Generation Z is the first group in history to grow up in post-Christian America. They are also considered the first “digital natives.” This influences culture, and culture influences our children. As parents it is vital that we learn how to communicate and walk alongside in a way that equips and empowers.

Eight years ago Vicki Courtney released two wildly successful books that handed parents five conversations they needed to have with their son or daughter. What Vicki didn’t know is how quickly culture would evolve. She was recently asked to revise the books and proceeded to add sixty percent new material. She shares with the sisterhood what she learned about our children’s generation.

Whether your child is five or fifteen, you will greatly benefit from the wisdom discussed in this episode. A must listen for every parent!

Jul 16, 2019

When Shelley Brouwer's third child Hallie was born, she had no idea how her life and understanding of it would be turned toward heaven. Born with special needs, Hallie's optimism and welcoming spirit impacted everyone she met. In this episode we hear about Hallie's life and Shelley's process of living with her and now living without her.

A raw conversation about what it means to live an unconventional life marked by special needs. How Shelley's identity changed with Hallie and then again as Shelley came to faith. We hear about Shelley's home staging business that started accidentally with a friend and has grown beyond expectations to now stage over 85 homes a month.

For the mom of the special needs child. For the mom who has lost a child. For the woman who is wondering if the Christian faith has anything to offer her. For the friend of anyone in these places in life. This episode will keep you thinking for weeks after as together we explore the value of one life and its impact on the world.

Jul 9, 2019


Whether we like it or not, life is a series of changes. How we navigate those changes is vital to our future as well as our health and well being. Studies show, however, that most of us resist change and do everything we can to avoid it.

Kristen Strong is no stranger to change. When she married an Air Force pilot, this set her on a course of moving every few years and living a life completely opposite from that of her predictable childhood. Kristen had to learn to adapt to new surroundings, value the growth that accompanies change, and most of all, to rely on her faith to sustain her during the hardest times.

If you find yourself in the midst of any change - from the change in a relationship, to a change in health, a physical move, job change, or any other circumstance that has turned your world upside down, this episode will offer encouragement for the journey.

Jul 2, 2019

Cara Meredith joins The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast in a candid conversation about race, marriage, and parenting. Cara recounts her eharmony romance with her now husband James, son of the civil rights leader by the same name, James Meredith. Their courtship opened her eyes to the privileges she unknowingly had as a white girl growing up in the United States. She recognized blind spots she hadn't considered as she viewed the world through her husband's experiences.

In this episode we talk about marriage, families of origin, expectations, talking to kids about race, and selective history. We cover mistakes made, intentions, trying again, and imperfect attempts at learning. A conversation for us all as we "give up on saving face" as Cara says, and move toward honesty and what is true.

Pick up a copy of Cara's book The Color of Life and in the meantime push play to hear how listening and learning are helping Cara understand God's creation with a more complete picture.

Jun 25, 2019

Many of us struggle to make time for fun. With so many practical needs shouting for our attention, we forget to value it and honor it like we do with other important habits.

Mandy Arioto, president and CEO of MOPS International, joins us to share how she weaves creative fun into her friendships, marriage, family, and world.

We talk about how friendships flourish when a person stops trying to be cool and instead goes over the top, why Mandy put on her wedding dress at the beach for her ten year anniversary, and how the absurd actually cements memories for a lifetime.

You will be inspired to welcome spice back into your days and kick boredom out the door!

Jun 18, 2019

New York Times bestselling author Ruth Soukup didn't set out to found a large company when she started her blog Living Well, Spending Less, but as she shared her journey toward financial peace with her readers, she realized how much her experiences and practical tips were resonating with readers. Now she reaches more than 1 million women per month encouraging them to create a life they love. "Do it scared" has been a mantra in her own business and when she found her readers quoting it back to her, she knew it was a topic worth exploring.

In this episode of the podcast we hear Ruth's business story and talk through her new book Do It Scared. Ruth's research uncovered 7 archetypes of fear, different ways we limit our actions because of fear. Ruth tells us about each type, its upside, and its limiting belief. From perfectionism to fear of rejection, we all have at least one fear archetype we lean toward. Find out what yours might be.

A quintessential Open Door Sisterhood conversation that pushes us all to take that next step, do that hard thing, to be world changers for good right where we are.

Jun 11, 2019

When Mary was growing up on a mountaintop in a small logging town in West Virginia, she never dreamed that she would one day become a Yale Law graduate turned wedding photographer sensation. Yet, that is exactly what happened. You will be captivated by Mary's compelling story, and at the same time learn about the art and heart of photography in today's episode.

We cover practical tips and tricks as well as the art of storytelling through the lens. If you are a simple iPhone photographer, or one who makes a living behind the camera, you will love learning from the best of the best in the industry.

Jun 4, 2019

In an Open Door Sisterhood Podcast first, we are doing a joint episode with the Surviving Sarah podcast! That means you can listen to half of the conversation here on our podcast and head over to Episode 180 of the Surviving Sarah podcast to listen to the second half of our discussion about...you guessed it, Surviving Summer!

We are choosing to do this shared episode with our great friend Sarah Bragg because we want you to get to know her. And bonus, we brought on two more of our shared friends, Kate Merrick and Morgan Tyree, as the experts in how to be intentional about being with our people and using time well in the summer months. In this episode we talk about being present. What does that mean? How are we distracted? And what are we distracted from? Over on Surviving Sarah we talk through the time management aspect of summer so that WE CAN be present with those we love best.

This is also an Open Door Sisterhood Podcast first because we feature five, yes five! voices. Consider it your sisterhood round table on intentional approaches to making the most of your summer (especially if you're a mom!) From social media to busyness, we all need to see the forest from the trees and lay out what is most important to us in the summer months.

Head over to Surviving Sarah Episode 180 to hear the other half of our conversation.

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