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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: 2020
Dec 22, 2020

One of the most profound places we leave our mark is in the family. Christmas is a time we are spending concentrated amounts of time with those we love, and with those who are hard to love.

Rhoda Shultz is the queen of Christmas and the queen of family. But it hasn’t always been easy. She wrote a book about their difficult experience with their son, his prodigal journey, and what it looks like to reflect the love of Christ to our children and spouse in the midst of deep struggle.

In this interview Rhoda speaks of God’s work and purposes in seasons of uncertainty. She encourages all parents to pitch a tent in God’s faithfulness, allowing Him to complete the good work He began in us and our children.

Let’s listen in today and be inspired as we strive to love those right in front of us and make a mark that will live far beyond us.

Dec 15, 2020

Ruth and Patrick Schwenk were living a busy life of faithful service, planting a church, raising their four children, when 43-year old Pat was diagnosed with a blood cancer. Their faith became paramount as they navigated questions of mortality, certainty, and God's character. Could they trust that God was with them in the middle of this storm?

A tender, honest conversation about what it means to have faith tested. There were doubts, fears, support, love, pain, and trust. Ruth and Patrick talk about how they had to receive care from their congregation, how the illness helped create a culture of honesty within their church, and how they both had to learn to trust God's goodness like they never had before.

Obedience and faithfulness in the midst of unexpected suffering and stress change us and leave an impression on those around us. As we consider what it means to be faithful, we must consider where God is and who he is when life is uncertain and difficult.

Dec 8, 2020

Do you truly believe that God wants to use ALL of who you are for His purposes? Your natural gifts, abilities, and strengths, but also your pain, sadness, and failures?

When we are continually trying to live someone else’s life, we will never find purpose or satisfaction in our own. Jamie Ivey talks with The Sisterhood today about what it looks like lean into your unique self and integrate all of who you are in order to live out your unique calling in the world for the glory of God.

When we look at how to leave our mark in the world, beginning with accepting ourselves and our unique story is vital. Join us in this important conversation.

Dec 1, 2020

Katherine Wolf was just 26-years old when her life changed forever. She suffered a significant stroke that left her disabled. In a wheelchair, deaf in one ear, blind in one eye, and one hand that doesn't work, she spent years learning to eat and stand up. In this first episode on our new series of Leaving Your Mark, Katherine inspires us with her resilience and faith despite her continued challenges.

Katherine wants us to know her spirits are good now, but there were many dark days. Days when she wondered if God had forgotten about her or simply if it would be better if he'd let her die. She now knows that suffering is always a season. That it won't always be as bad as it is today and that God refines us in the dark places. Katherine's words of encouragement speak directly to our core as she reminds us that everyone suffers as part of life and when we hear God's voice in the midst of suffering we step into a new kind of identity and beauty.

If you don't listen to anything else this Advent season, we encourage you to listen to this conversation with Katherine Wolf. She reminds us that God comes in the darkness. This is exactly what we celebrate at Christmas. You will feel less alone after listening to this episode.

Nov 24, 2020

We thought we’d do something a little different to close our “Still Home For The Holidays” series.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we chose a section from the “Reclaiming the Table” chapter of Krista’s book Reclaiming Home to read to you in the first part of this episode. Krista talk about the importance of the family table and some tips on how to prepare meals in advance.

In the second part of the episode Krista reads a touching story from Alex’s book Loving My Actual Neighbor. This story is a reminder that a little bit of kindness and love can make a significant difference in the life of another.

Both of these will encourage and inspire you as you prepare your heart and your home for the Thanksgiving this year.

Nov 17, 2020

Looking for practical, helpful, and easy tips on Holiday decorating? You’ve come to the right place. Shannon Acheson of homemadelovely.com offers her best tips and holiday secrets.

We talk about organizing Christmas decorations, decluttering, how to put together a holiday vignette, what do when everyone has a different opinion on decor, and how to make old items new again.

Before you get your house ready for the holidays, listen to this first!

Nov 10, 2020

Every year families need to make adjustments to changes and for many families this will be a year of pivoting from holiday traditions. We are bringing our expert holiday merrymakers Jody McNatt and Terri Conlin to the podcast to share with us how they have made holiday changes over the years as their families have grown and what they are doing this year to keep the Christmas spirit going in their homes.


We talk about flexibility around traditions, having an empty seat at the table, incorporating new family members into traditions, and helping those still at home when someone needs to be somewhere else for the holiday. We invited these two women on for this particular conversation because they are especially good at creating spaces and moments that facilitate meaningful connections at home or apart.


Grab your coffee and some laundry to fold and join our sister circle as we talk through how to approach Thanksgiving with gratitude and transition into Christmas practically and spiritually. This holiday may look different than in years past, but it can still be meaningful and memorable (in a good way).

Nov 3, 2020

We will {still} be home for the holidays this year. This month we are in a series by that title. Our hope is to help you get creative as you navigate a holiday season like no other.

Sharing her best holiday hacks, The Lazy Genius, Kendra Adachi, joins us to talk about decision making, gift ideas, and how to streamline our processes. She also gives us her #1 gift idea for friends and teachers, and offers tools on everything from social media use to decorating.

This episode will get you in the Holiday spirit, offer needed perspective, and equip you with great ideas. Join us as we “lazy genius” this COVID Christmas!

Oct 27, 2020

If ever there was a year to celebrate Christmas, it's this one. We need the reminder that God loved the world enough to enter our space. Yet, we are coming off of a year of incredible heartache. We are carrying that additional stress into an already hectic (and yes stressful!) time of year. How do we increase peace?

In this episode, Krista and Alex give us their top ten tips to helping create some peace during this unprecedented time. These are steps you can take NOW (yes even at the end of October!) to be setting your family up well for a Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday in the middle of a lingering global pandemic. From practical tips to a bit of inspiration around why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, you will be inspired to make the upcoming season as meaningful as possible.

So don't forget to listen and don't forget to sign up for our Christmas Remake, a 3-week interactive course that gets you organized for everything from meal planning to decorating to shopping. As we say do the work now and your December self will thank your November self for all of the work you did.

Oct 20, 2020

For the past five weeks we’ve been talking about how to have hard conversations around suicide, politics, race, sexuality, and social media. Today’s episode wraps up that series with hosts Alexandra Kuykendall and Krista Gilbert sharing their takeaways on the series.

They discuss what they learned, what they are doing differently, what is sticking with them, and how they will approach hard conversations with new strategies. Krista and Alex also describe the difference between peace making and peace keeping (hint: they are not the same thing).

Join us as we finish out this series!

Oct 13, 2020

Election Day is 3 weeks away. Whether you're a person who typically likes talking political ideas, or you tend to shy away from these kinds of conversations, we can all agree this election cycle is proving to be tense. Likely you've already had some difficult conversations and you're wondering how to move through the next few weeks (and beyond!)

Our guest Sarah B. Anderson knows what it is to talk politics. She grew up in a family where her parents worked for politicians and they attended White House events. Eventually, her dad even ran for President! She gives us lots of tips on what it is to be a hope-bearer (a world changer for good right where you are) when political differences come up.

Should we avoid tense conversations? Do politics really matter in a kingdom worldview? What's our responsibility as Christians? How should we stand apart from the chaos of the moment? How do we model good civic discourse to our kids? What does unity look like when we have differing takes? All questions we cover in 40 minutes. Don't wait, press play on this timely and relevant interview.

Oct 6, 2020

As a nation, we are talking about race. True to the Sisterhood, we are diving into honest conversations around this topic. This is part 2 of a two part series, so go back and listen to last week’s episode if you missed it.

Today we are interviewing our guests about their personal stories. We discuss what it is like being a person of color in their communities, workplaces, and families. You will be inspired by their courage and strength, and troubled by some of their experiences.

Both of our guests are professional hard-conversation-havers. Maggie John is Producer and Host of the Canadian television show Context Beyond the Headlines where she does just that, gives context to the day’s headlines from her studio outside of Toronto. Shannon Polk is both an attorney and pastor, in the process of merging two congregations (one predominantly white the other predominantly black) into one in Flint, Michigan. They are trusted voices here at the sisterhood and we are so glad to have them for not one, but two episodes as we dive into how to talk about race.

We recorded these episodes a few weeks ago. Even since recording, the headlines have highlighted the reality, tension, and pain surrounding these conversations. They are difficult, yet important, which is why we are not avoiding them. We are approaching them together, as a unified sisterhood, fighting for a better way to have hard conversations.

Sep 29, 2020

As a nation, we are talking about race. For some these conversations have been going on for generations and for others open conversations about race are new territory. No matter where you find yourself in the larger conversation, this episode is for you.

Both of our guests are professional hard-conversation-havers. Maggie John is Producer and Host of the Canadian television show Context Beyond the Headlines where she does just that, gives context to the day's headlines from her studio outside of Toronto. Shannon Polk is both an attorney and pastor, in the process of merging two congregations (one predominantly white the other predominantly black) into one in Flint, Michigan. They are trusted voices here at the sisterhood and we are so glad to have them for not one, but two episodes as we dive into how to talk about race.

We recorded these episodes a few weeks ago. Even since recording, the headlines have highlighted the reality, tension, and pain surrounding these conversations. They are difficult, yet important, which is why we are not avoiding them. We are approaching them together, as a unified sisterhood, fighting for a better way to have hard conversations.

Sep 22, 2020

Suicide and mental health are increasingly important social issues. In the United States suicide rates continue to rise, and many psychologists and counselors warn we are in a mental health crisis. It is wise for us to learn and pay attention, for ourselves, our children, and those we love.

Kayla Stoeklein’s world changed suddenly and dramatically when her husband, a well known mega-church pastor in California, committed suicide. She was left as a widow and a single mom of three young sons. Kayla talks about her experience today and what she has since learned about mental health, suicide, and grief.

Sisters, this is a topic we can’t ignore. There are too many hurting, isolated, and burdened. If you find yourself in this place, we care, and you are not alone. If you are walking with a loved one who is struggling with depression and suicidal ideation, you also are not alone. We are carrying burdens together. Listen in.

 

HARD CONVERSATIONS SERIES: SUICIDE & MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide and mental health are increasingly important social issues. In the United States suicide rates continue to rise, and many psychologists and counselors warn we are in a mental health crisis. It is wise for us to learn and pay attention, for ourselves, our children, and those we love.

Kayla Stoeklein’s world changed suddenly and dramatically when her husband, a well known mega-church pastor in California, committed suicide. She was left as a widow and a single mom of three young sons. Kayla talks about her experience today and what she has since learned about mental health, suicide, and grief.

Sisters, this is a topic we can’t ignore. There are too many hurting, isolated, and burdened. If you find yourself in this place, we care, and you are not alone. If you are walking with a loved one who is struggling with depression and suicidal ideation, you also are not alone. We are carrying burdens together. Listen in.

 

SOME THINGS YOU HEARD ON THE SHOW

How to Journey Through Grief and Loss with Linda Lawrence Hunt

Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255

On Anxiety and Depression with Kay Warren (podcast episode)

What You Need To Know About Suicide Podcast Episode

 
Sep 15, 2020

We are diving into the topic of hard conversations. There are some general principles that apply when having respectful, mutually honoring conversations around difficult topics, and then there are a few specific topics that carry a particularly heavy burden. Sexuality is one of those hot button issues of the day that triggers high emotions. We hear from listeners often that this is one of those topics that easily brings up anger, controversy, or shame. Here at the sisterhood we want to give you useful, practical tools that help you in your actual lives. We created this series, and selected this topic, with you in mind.

Our guest, Dr. Juli Slattery, is cofounder of Authentic Intimacy. She is a psychologist who has dedicated her career to helping women have these hard conversations. She walks us through God's good intention for our sexuality, the varying components (it's not just physical!), and how to broach the subject when needed. From sexual abuse, to infidelity, to pornography, and masturbation, Juli doesn't shy away from the ways sexuality can be misused. But she also promises there is healing and hope.

If you are needing to have a hard conversation with someone in this area because one or both of you are struggling, Juli reminds us that gentleness and humility will bring us back to God's design for desired intimacy. An episode packed with both information and encouragement, it will help you talk about sexuality with grace and love.

Sep 8, 2020

Hard conversations are a part of life. This is especially true in our current climate. In this new series titled, “Hard Conversations,” we will be tackling how to move through these interactions with conviction, grace, and respect.

Today we bring on Daniel Darling, author and Senior Vice President of National Religious Broadcasters, to talk about how we engage in helpful and sharpening conversations on social media.

Many of us engage on social media to discuss current issues, and it’s important for us to think through how to do that well. Others ignore all posts regarding current events and opinions, and that may not be the way to go either.

Join us as we strive to have healthy and productions hard conversations.

Sep 1, 2020

We know that this is a school start like no other. It is an especially uncertain time for college students and seniors in high school. We bring you a sisterhood expert to help navigate conversations with the young people you love about school and life decisions during COVID. Emily Jamieson is an academic and life coach for young people. She spends her days helping them navigate school and life decisions and knows the unique circumstances and feelings they are experiencing right now.

In this interview Emily not only gives us insight into what college students and high school seniors are thinking and feeling, she gives us practical approaches to conversations that might be difficult. From how to give feedback to a resistant teenager, to fostering moments of creativity together, her ideas are grounded and based on years of mentoring young adults. For any grown up trying to support young people in the middle of a pandemic, for any parent wondering how to get their teenager out of their funk, for any loving mentor that is working to guide a student's decisions, you won't be disappointed in this conversation.

In true sisterhood style this episode is both practical and inspirational as we talk through how to best support college students and high school seniors during a pandemic.

Aug 25, 2020

Whether you are homeschooling or part-time schooling this year, chances are you need to re-purpose a space in your home to accommodate the needs of your children and family.

In this episode Krista Gilbert, a professional home coach, breaks down how to get creative about space, and how to make your home work for you in this season of COVID and life. We discuss creative ways to think about the spaces you already have, the questions to ask, and how to actually set up a space that will work for school.

As a bonus, Krista also gives her best tips and ideas for homeschooling, giving practical resources and hacks that will make your schooling experience more enjoyable this year.

Tune in families – you need this one!

 

Some Things You Heard On The Show:

kidney table  

flat-shelved shoe rack

Multi-Colored Markers

fun scissors

No Stress Chess

A Variety of Stickers

Mind Bender Books

Action Study Bible

Action Study Bible Devotional

Laminator

Rotary Paper Cutter

Kids Magazines

Kids Sports Illusttrated

National Geographic Kids

101 Things Every Girl Should Know

Clubhouse Jr.

Brio

Book Series

The Little House Series

Chronicles of Narnia

Educational Resources

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Children’s Book of Art

Rosetta Stone Spanish Program for Kids

Typing Club

Weekly Planner Pad

Boom box

Your Story Hour

Adventures in Odyssey

Hank the Cow Dog

World Map

 

If you enjoyed today’s episode we would love for you to rate the podcast in iTunes or tell us what you liked or learned.

And be sure to find us on the Gram! We love it over there.

Aug 18, 2020

It's back to school time. But likely this year school is looking a little different for your family. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of families doing school part-time or full-time at home, we've got some ideas for you. Seasoned homeschool moms Katie Westenberg and Erica from My Busy Bees and Me lead us through some of their best approaches to school and family 24/7.

The word of the day for moms doing school at home is freedom. That may seem counterintuitive given the fact we feel trapped at home, but we can have flexibility in how we approach everything from schedule to curriculum. We hear how Erica and Katie maneuver that fine line between teacher and mom, the books they like to read aloud to their kids, and the benefits they see to doing school together as a family.

Whether you are taking the educational lead as homeschool mom for the year or you are working with your children's teachers around online school, this interview will remind you that you can do new and brave things. You will be setting the tone for school at home in your house and your kids need you at your best. So put on your seatbelt mom, it's back to school time COVID style!

Aug 11, 2020

Are you deciding whether to stay at a job or find something new? In this episode Krista and Alex shoot straight about what questions to ask and what you might want to consider as you make your choice.

The last episode in the Work Flip series, they also discuss how COVID19 has impacted their work lives, how narrowing margins push toward innovation, and ten ideas for quick cash.

If you are wrestling with your work life, this whole series is for you!

Aug 4, 2020

Round Top Texas is known for two things: The Texas Antique Show and pies. Tara Royer Steele is the owner of the Pie Haven and when the pandemic shut down the annual spring antique show that typically sustains her pie shop for the next six months, she knew things had to change. Enter the creativity that constraints offer. Tara did a pivot on her pie business and found herself working in ways she never felt she had time to try before.

Tara is a real woman, a "street level" kind of Texas gal, that tells it honestly. We talk about how to get honest feedback from those around us, what it looks like to talk money decisions with a spouse, and how a "no" isn't necessarily an indication that a dream shouldn't be pursued, it might just mean an adjustment is needed. Tara shares about real life scheduling pivots, working to keep employees paid, and using what she had, a commercial kitchen and a community reputation, to build a new arm to her business when things could have been described as bleak.

If you are wondering if now is the time to make a change in your work life, if you are dreaming about something new, if you are finding some of the pandemic parameters might actually be opportunities, this is the episode for you.

Jul 28, 2020

Many people are re-considering work. Whether it is to increase income or flexibility, this unique moment in time has been a catalyst for change. Today we are looking at how to choose the most profitable idea and how to set up a plan to move forward.

Business expert Rachel Proctor generously shares her experience, wisdom, and advice on how we can pivot well or create a new business. From confidence, to branding, to the three P's of business, you will walk away more equipped and empowered to begin for the first time, or re-start.

Working women - we've got you! and we're all in this together!

Jul 21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created chaos for many families. Women are finding themselves in the middle of the upheaval, needing to make up for lost income or needing increased flexibility to care for children home from school. For those in frontline positions as part of their paid work, health risks may be an additional stressor as women determine what they need from their work life under unprecedented circumstances.

It's for this reason we invited Joanna Meyer to help us kick off our newest series, Work Flip, where we'll be exploring what it means to pivot in work due to the pandemic. Joanna leads the Women and Vocation Initiative for the Denver Institute for Faith and Work. She also serves as the Director of Events and Sponsorships, creating meaningful opportunities for Christians to consider what it means to serve God in and through their work. In this conversation we cover the God-given purpose of work, how women are uniquely called to vocation and leadership, and how the pandemic is offering unique opportunities for women to advocate for themselves at work.

Whether you work for pay or not (and we cover unpaid work in this episode), you'll be reminded that God gave us work as part of our design. When we feel different roles pulling at us, we can step back and use some creativity to meet the world's needs with our talents while (hopefully) gaining income. An episode for any woman in the world who knows she was made to be a world changer for good right where she is ... through her work.

Jul 14, 2020

The last episode in our “Hone Your Voice” series, Alex and Krista shoot straight about what it means to navigate conflict better while maintaining our voice. We also cover what it means to “steward” our voices. Meaning, what does responsibility look like when using our voice, especially as people of faith?

We wrestle in this episode with the hardest parts of having a voice and using our voice in a world often divided and in tension. We even give a specific real-life scenario and talk through how each of us would respond.

Come with us and explore, in earnest, these last important topics when it comes to honing our unique voice in the world.

---> Included in the show notes today is a FREE DOWNLOAD recapping our best tips from the "Hone Your Voice" series.  This is useful as a reminder or for teaching others. 

 

 

Jul 7, 2020

New York Times bestselling author and For The Love podcast host Jen Hatmaker, is a mom to five teens and young adults. For this reason we invited her on to our Hone Your Voice series to speak directly to moms as we help our teens and young adults discover, use, and hone their own voices. Jen's honesty leads us through a rich conversation we are happy to share with you.

With her signature wit, Jen reminds us that much of parenting is loving and letting go. We laugh (and cry real tears) through this episode as we talk about helping our kids step over the threshold of childhood and into adulthood. Jen reminds us that so much of parenting is modeling. We as moms must discover and use our own voices if we want our children to do the same. Here at the sisterhood, we couldn't agree more which is why we are bringing you this series.

So go ahead and push play and get ready to do some honest evaluation as you consider what it means to have a home with honesty, where failure is seen as opportunity for growth, and walking our kids into adulthood is something to be celebrated rather than feared.

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