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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Feb 25, 2020

Do you ever feel like you aren’t fully enjoying your life? Or that you don’t like the person you have become? Do you sense that life is moving so fast that you are missing it?

In this interview, John Mark Comer (one of Krista’s favorite teachers) shares the secret to discovering a full and meaningful life. It isn’t an intuitive answer, yet one that holds great power if we take hold of it and put it into practice.

You will be challenged and delighted by the wit and wisdom shared in today’s interview – don’t miss it!

A Community of Honor in a Culture of Contempt – sermon on Bridgetown Podcast (one of Krista’s all time faves)

Feb 18, 2020

One of the frightening aspects of human trafficking is it can happen to anyone. While we may have the vision of a woman being kidnapped, drugged, and forced against her will, this is often not the scenario. More likely it happens very slowly and subtly, with someone a victim knows.

Rebecca Bender has such a story. A normal, small town teen, Rebecca was a high school athlete and honor roll student. After meeting a man she fell deeply in love with, her projected future of happily ever after turned into a living nightmare.

This is a sobering account of one woman's story into the world of human trafficking, and how God plucked her out and gave her the intelligence and skills to help FBI, homeland security, and police forces around the globe, as well as those recovering from exploitation.

This is an interview you don't want to miss.

Feb 11, 2020

It’s that time of year again. As a tribute to Valentine’s Day and all things practical, Krista and Alex talk about things they are loving right now.

Are you looking for a great movie? Recipe? Perfume? How about a tip that makes their days go well? At the end of Sister Interviews we hear what podcast guests use to make their lives work well. We hear what they can’t live without. This is the episode where your hosts share their best collection of favorites from the last year.

As the sisterhood we are part practical, part inspirational. This episode lands in the practical.

Feb 4, 2020

Have you ever had a season where you doubted God? Do you fear that one of your children will never come back to faith? Do you wonder if God is angry at you for asking hard questions?

Today Robin Dance joins us to share how God brought her through a long season of doubt, and how she ultimately ended up on the other side of it.

If you’re struggling through darkness today and don’t know where to find the light, this interview is a great place to start.

Macon, Georgia

Berghausen, Germany

Berghausen Castle

Neutrogena Make Up Wipes

EOS lipbalm

Mint Ice Breakers Gum

Max Lugavere – Genius Foods

Samin Nosrat – Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Becky Keife – No Better Mom for the Job

Richella Parham – Mythical Me

Sarah Mae – The Complicated Heart

Steven Pressfield – The War of Art

Valentine Tea Party

Robin Dance’s Apple Pie

Melanie Dale



Jan 28, 2020

Understanding how we operate and how others operate can move us toward relational health. The Enneagram is a popular tool to understand people's motivations and behavior patterns. It seems fitting to look at this paradigm as we finish our 2020 Healthy Way series on The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast.

Enneagram expert Marilyn Vancil walks us through our authentic and adapted selves and how we can move from unhealthy patterns to more integrated selves. It is here we will find freedom to live out of who God made us to be. Marilyn shares the "suffering" of each Enneagram type when they live from their adapted selves. She offers a guide to pivot toward health in each pattern.

Here's to a healthy 2020 sisters! We know that our bodies, souls, and minds can be renewed as we head into the new year. Sometimes it's a matter of simply taking that next step and doing that hard thing so we can be healthy enough to be world changers for good right where we are.

Jan 21, 2020

It's week #3 of The Healthy Way Series and we think it's time to cover a topic that profoundly impacts our souls: how we engage with the Bible.

Have you ever struggled to make reading the Bible a regular part of your life? Do you sometimes wonder what makes the truth in the Bible the absolute truth over every other individual truth out there? Have you been hurt by a Christian and refuse to engage because of the hypocrisy you see and experience?

In this interview, Lauren Green McAfee, PHD student of public theology and founding member of the team who started Museum of the Bible, tackles all of these tensions and also helps explain why it is critical we take our engagement with the Bible seriously.

If you want to get healthier spiritually this year, this is a great place to start.

Not What You Think: Why The Bible Might Be Nothing We Expected Yet Everything We Need

Museum of the Bible

U Version Bible App

The Bible Project

The Lumo Project 

The Bible Re-Cap Podcast – Tara Leigh Cobble

NIV – MESSAGE Dual Translation Parallel Bible

NRSV translation of the Bible

Seeds Family Worship

Blue Letter Bible App

The Organizing Box

Jan 14, 2020

We feel we're in a constant struggle with technology. We see the benefits (it's so helpful when it's helpful!), but we also experience the consuming nature it can have when overused. Psychologist Dr. Doreen Dodgen-Magee trains young people and adults around the country on how to manage technology. She is realistic, funny, engaging, and understanding. She helps us see our need for controls without shaming our tendencies to use.

If you've wondered if technology is affecting you, (hint: it is!), you'll want to listen to this incredibly helpful conversation. Dr. Doreen helps us remember that we are embodied souls that need to be present where our bodies are. Technology is not going away, we must find a way to manage it so it doesn't manage us.

We know this episode will go down as a sisterhood favorite. Part practical, part inspirational, it will help you to take that next step, do that hard thing, to be a world changer for good right where you are.

Jan 7, 2020

It's time for our annual Healthy Way Series! Each Tuesday in January we dive into a different aspect of health. Today we are kicking it off with Alisa Keeton, founder and director of Revelation Wellness, and Wendy Speake, author of the 40 Day Sugar Fast.

Alisa begins by educating us on why movement is so powerful - not only for our bodies but for our emotional and mental health as well. If you want to be inspired, encouraged, and challenged, no one does it quite like Alisa. You will find fresh motivation and courage for the New Year through her words and coaching.

Wendy follows discussing the benefits of cutting sugar from our diets. The reasons may surprise you. We expect her to talk about the physical benefits, and she does, but Wendy also dives deeply into the spiritual growth that comes with saying no to sugar for a period.

Join us as we re-commit to health and to living more fully and alive!

Dec 17, 2019
We've been there. Aimlessly wandering through the store, looking for things to fill the stockings. With a week left before Christmas, this task of getting stocking stuffers is often left to the last minute scramble. It can feel both unnecessary and wasteful. How do we add some fun, practicality, and creativity to this Christmas tradition?
This episode may not change your life, but it could change how you stuff some stockings next week. Sisters we are talking about the practical, the fun, the themed and the surprising. Be warned we laugh through much of this quick 30-minute conversation. Are you ready to stuff some stockings?
Dec 10, 2019

What if there was one approach to people that would change everything about the way people feel about working for you and being in relationship with you? In this episode we talk about the one thing that will bring success to any organization, family, church, and business.

Jeff Henderson, entrepreneur, speaker, pastor, and business leader shares his wisdom learned over years of experience and through his interactions with Chick Fil A founder and president, Truett Cathy.

This interview has the potential to positively change the trajectory of your future and life, both personally and professionally.

Dec 3, 2019
Our first ever dad/daughter interview! And just in time for the holidays when family interactions can be more frequent and addictive behaviors can flare. Rob Koke and his daughter Danielle Germain tell us about her journey with addiction and how her road to recovery felt from both of their perspectives.
A story full of loss, grief, redemption, and new beginnings. It gives us all a place to stand and begin the difficult conversation (both internal and with others) around addictions. The humility that Danielle and her dad bring to this conversation gives us all freedom to approach our relationships and our coping mechanisms with more honesty.
Whether you are a parent wondering how to support a child, a person living with addictions yourself, or simply want to know how to better support the people around you, this interview is for you. It is vulnerable, tender, and offers hope to all of us that recovery is possible.
Nov 26, 2019

Every fall we go on a quest to find everyday world changers. You nominate them. We choose them. They are incredibly inspiring, and prove that each one of us really can make a difference right where we are.We are featuring three women today.

The first is Rebecca Smith. Rebecca was a mom and Etsy shop owner who had a knack for sewing and an eye for design. When the business outgrew her, she hired a woman to help make bags who lived in her town. Little did she know the large impact that one small decision would make.

MaryLynn Kenary, our second world changer, has been living with cancer for more than two decades, and is currently in stage four. She shares about how she has used her condition to reach out to others and build a deeper faith.

And wrapping up the episode we have Alyssa Haley sharing about her big dream of creating a community center for youth right in the middle of the town where she lives.

Let's allow these women to inspire us to go futher and deeper.  And may it help propel us out of our comfort zones and into all that God has for us.

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.

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