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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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.

Jun 26, 2018

Do you ever wonder how the next generation is going to grow up with a healthy view of sexuality?  Do you struggle talking about sexuality yourself?  Sometimes we want to start conversations with those we love, but we just don't have the words.  On this podcast we dive into the important and vulnerable topic of healthy sexuality with honesty and candor.

Pastor and Pure Desire speaker Rodney Wright joins us to help clarify shame vs. guilt, what intimacy really is and how we move toward it in relationships, and how an understanding of neuroscience matters when it comes to pornography and addiction.  We also talk about why early intervention is critical, when a behavior is a problem rather than a pattern.

If you are a parent, you can't miss this episode.   But really, don't we all need it?  Any human who struggles in big or small ways in the area of healthy sexuality will benefit from this discussion.  Let's learn how to talk about this together and how we can foster helpful and faith-filled conversations in our homes and relationships.

Jun 19, 2018

Jamie Ivey is a woman on the go. Fellow mom of four, wife to worship pastor Aaron, creator and host of the very popular podcast, The Happy Hour With Jamie Ivey, it's no surprise she has lots of energy. She also has a refreshing honesty as she talks about her own journey, her struggles (both past and current), and her faith. There is no pretense here, simply a woman who shares her story so others can see Jesus in the redemption.

We laughed a good deal, we covered some tough stuff, and we get great podcast recommendations from the podcast master herself. From traveling for work, to grandparents stepping in, to her husband's cooking, to pornography, we cover A to Z and back again. No topic is off limits, no question too personal. An encouraging word on how to be a safe person for other women when they confess sin and loving God more than pleasing people.

The perfect episode to listen to as you go about your actual life. Part practical, part inspirational, Jamie is the quintessential sister. We think you'll agree that this is one conversation that will go down in sisterhood history as we talk about the freedom offered through Jesus alone.

Jun 12, 2018

S-U-M-M-E-R  T-I-M-E!  It's what we wait for all year long.  We often have high hopes and big dreams for our summer months, yet the reality of unscheduled days can hit hard.  If you have kids at home this summer and want some help figuring out how to do the daily schedule well, we're here to help.  Or if you want tips and ideas on what to read, what to eat, and what to wear this season, this episode is for you too!  

Krista and Alex tackle all things summer.  From designating a day of the week for baking, to the best porch swing to purchase, to how to get your kids off their screens, to the best bag for travel, they help you think through these fun and important months that break up the school year.  

Jun 5, 2018

What does it mean to be a woman of legacy? To have an impact beyond today? The Open Door Sisterhood is set to equip women to do just that, design a life that has an eternal imprint. And mother/daughter duo Jackie Green and Lauren Green McAfee, of the Hobby Lobby Green family, are on a similar mission to inspire women to think past today. Their new book Only One Life features women throughout history who have followed God's call to live with legacy in mind.

Our conversation with Jackie and Lauren covers stories from their own family and decisions to women featured in the book. We talk through generosity, specific callings, what is eternal, and how we can discern where God has placed us for influence. Nothing could reflect the spirit of The Open Door Sisterhood more than this conversation with two women walking through the doors God is opening to act as world changers right where they are.

From fighting busyness to the discipline of saying "no" we hear how these two women discern the opportunities in front of them. A multi-generational message that rings true no matter your stage of life, we can be sowing into what will last for eternity. An inspiring conversation that pushed us to once again consider this one life we've been given and how we are spending it.

May 30, 2018

Summer is the perfect time to break out the fishing poles, pop the tent, and hit the trails.  It's a chance to put the electronics away and open ourselves up to good conversation and creative thinking.  For the first time in Open Door history, Krista's husband, Erik, an avid outdoorsman, joins her to talk about camping, backpacking, and mountain climbing.

If you are wanting more connection with your family, if you are tired of feeling pulled apart or distracted by the pace of modern life, or if you want to break through barriers in a relationship with someone close, this may be one way to do that. 

Join in the conversation and be inspired to plan your next adventure in the outdoors!


May 22, 2018

Hannah Brencher didn't aim to create a global love letter writing campaign. A recent college graduate, she was living in New York City and feeling isolated. She realized writing letters to strangers helped her take her focus off of herself. In her struggle with depression, this focus switch helped her mental health. But when she started sharing about her letter writing, her services were requested and before she knew it people around the world were writing their own love letters.

In our conversation we hear Hannah's TED Talk story, what her parents said when she told them she was quitting her job to write letters, and how she met her now husband after ten days on a dating site. Hannah talks about her depression, how a major setback in her mental health prompted the writing of her second book, and how routines help her stay healthy. Hannah's story is almost unbelievable and yet it's real. One letter on a subway has turned into an international movement to encourage strangers through words.

Hannah tells a story about one letter campaign recipient who said the letters "restored his faith in humanity." If you are needing a little good news today, listen to this episode. It's about looking beyond ourselves to see the people right in front of us.

May 15, 2018

What if you could learn a tool that would change the way you communicate?  What if you could speak in a way that inspires action and change?  Would you be interested?  Us too.  That's why The Sisterhood invited Dr. John Trent to come on the show to talk about a time-tested communication tool:  word pictures.  Jesus used them, and as it turns out, so should we.

Word pictures help us convey our thoughts and feelings with clarity and honesty.  They help cut through confusion and misunderstandings, and convey love in ways that our family and friends will never forget. It's absolutely true.  Krista has tried this out already and it's working.  She believes this will forever change the way she communicates with others both personally and professionally.  Listen, learn, and then give it a try!

May 8, 2018

Shannon Polk is a modern day Renaissance woman. An attorney, a nonprofit consultant, and most recently an associate pastor, Shannon combines head work with heart work. We'll hear how Shannon lives an integrated life as pastor, wife, and mother, how her legal training impacts her ministry work, and how racial reconciliation plays out in her own church. From uncomfortable conversations about race to finding out from doctors that she would only have one child, Shannon's story is rich with pursuing God in every part of life.

At The Open Door Sisterhood we encourage women of faith to walk through the doors God is opening. Shannon has sometimes wondered about the timing, but has always trusted God's wisdom in making things happen when he has. Whether you are 40 and pregnant, a woman working with all men, a mom trying to maneuver work-home tensions, this interview has something for you.

We have a knack for spotting sisters from a distance. We're so glad we invited Shannon up to the mic, so we can learn from her story. Don't miss this interview. You'll be better for it.

May 1, 2018

We are committed to helping you with practical matters in your life here at The Sisterhood, so we like to offer suggestions and help on financial health, knowing that this is an important need.  As summer approaches, many of us dream of vacations and memorable experiences with our friends, family, and children, but the question must be answered:  how do we prepare for them financially?  My guest, Emily G. Stroud, helps us answer this question.  Offering helpful tips and ideas, Emily walks us through what it looks like in the budget to put a priority on special trips and experiences.

Along with vacation advice, Emily also offers tips on smart investing as we plan and prepare for the future.  While some of these aren't new concepts, they bear repeating, over and over and over again, because we all could use reminders on what is the wise way to handle our money.

Listen in and plan to do those FUN things with your people!

Apr 24, 2018

New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Bevere, joins The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast in a one of a kind interview. We talk about her newest book Adamant: Finding Truth in a Universe of Opinions. Lisa explains how she establishes fences (not walls) in her own life to ensure she has clarity of mind and purpose in pursuing God in a time in history where "anything goes" messages question the idea of absolute truth. Lisa explains why scripture is her foundation for clarifying confusion and finding comfort in trial.

A woman on the go, (like from continent to continent), Lisa must steady herself with good habits. We hear how she journals with Scripture, the Bible translations she prefers, the commentaries she goes to first, and her espresso habit. If you are a woman looking for inspiration to know God's word better and with more purpose, this episode is for you. Lisa inspires us to search for truth in God's own words rather than from memes and tweets.

God puts a longing for eternity in each of our hearts. We can look for answers and hope in news feeds or people, but Lisa claims we will always be disappointed. Our adamant, unchanging God is the only place we can go and find our longings fulfilled. Why not cut through the noise of our times, and search for hope in the one who does not change?

Apr 17, 2018

'Tis the season for....ORGANIZING!  Is anyone else getting the spring cleaning - throw it out - organize every drawer in the house- bug?  Us too.  That's why this week the sisterhood is hosting Morgan Tyree, a professional organizer, to talk about tips and tricks for organizing the various sections of our homes.  

This organization will help you in countless ways.  Not only will you know where things are and what you have, but you will also reclaim the peace of mind that comes from having an organized, functional space.  Because, after all, house clutter = mind clutter.  

Join us as we dive into this healthy seasonal rhythm of spring cleaning / organizing!

Apr 10, 2018

Sherri Crandall is a woman willing to walk through the doors God opens, even if she's not quite sure what's waiting for her on the other side. Her most recent move took her from a place she loved to a place God had been preparing for years. As doors have opened she has seen just enough of God's preparation to say "yes" and then has been surprised when looking back at the details he has woven together. Sherri is warm, welcoming, thoughtful and persistent. The kind of combination we can't get enough of at the sisterhood.

In this interview we talk about Sherri's job changes, her family, her son Spencer's country music career, her love for moms around the world and her relationship with Monica Rovira which unknowingly set her on the path where she is today (psst you can listen to our interview with Monica on Episode 41). You can hear Sherri's warmth shine through, her general positivity, and her desire to dream on others' behalf. From homemade spaghetti sauce to cheering on our kids and everything in between, you'll walk away with at least one good tip for your daily life.

Everyone deserves a friend like Sherri. Since we can't introduce her to all of you in person, we figure this is the next best place. Listen in and be encouraged sister. God prepares details before we understand or see them. Sherri will attest to that.

Apr 3, 2018

For the past several years, there's been a buzz about a self-assessment tool known as the Enneagram.  The purpose of it?  To know thyself.  It is a system of classifying personality types based on a nine-pointed starlike figure inscribed within a circle.  While it may seem the Enneagram suddenly surfaced into the milieu of culture, in fact it has been in existence for centuries.  If you've ever heard anyone say, "I'm a 2 with a 3 wing," or "That's such a 7 thing to do," chances are you've encountered Enneagram-devotees who have used it to further their self-discovery.

Suzanne Stabile is a highly sought-after Enneagram Master who has taught over 500 workshops worldwide.  She joins The Sisterhood to teach us the basics of this system:  the origin, what exactly it is, how we can use it in our individual lives, how it helps us in relationships, how to understand our motivations, and what it looks like to be healthy and unhealthy in our number.  We also address criticisms of the Enneagram and talk through how it differs from the other self-assessments out there.

If you are looking to understand yourself and others better, if you've heard about the Enneagram but can't get a handle on exactly what it is, or if you simply want to learn more about this helpful tool, you've come to the right episode.  Listen in and learn!

Mar 27, 2018

Karen Stott is the master at the work-life balance. Not afraid of the "b word", she sees balance as maintaining a healthy rhythm in her workload while knowing her own capacity. When she was building her photography business, Karen had a difficult time finding a support system that would encourage both work and family, so she started The Pursuit Community to help women entrepreneurs.

We gain some insight into Karen's approach by what she tells her children about completing a task: Do it with excellence, do it to completion, and do it with joy. If she can't meet those standards on an assignment, Karen takes a pass. We hear how camping is her husband's love language and how Karen is learning to speak it, why Voxer works as a work tool within a restricted work schedule, and what essential oils are her daily go-tos.

You won't want to miss this interview with a woman who truly is working to be a world changer right where she is and is giving other women the tools to do the same. If you are looking for some inspiration on how to reconnect with your husband or want to learn how to make your shower a diffuser for essential oils, tune in to our conversation with Karen Stott.

Mar 20, 2018

Some couples choose to be childless in our culture, but when this decision is not made by choice, it can be devastating.  Almost 5 million couples in the US experience infertility at some point in their marriage, and many more suffer miscarriages, or the loss of children.  Some singles who are moving beyond child-bearing years also mourn the idea that they will not get to experience biological parenthood.

Whether you or someone you know is navigating childlessness, this conversation with Chelsea Patterson Sobolik will be a ray of hope.  Receiving life-altering news at age 19,   Chelsea is no stranger to the deep pain that accompanies barrenness.  While her story may be different than yours, you will find the common threads of disappointment, struggle, grief, and sadness to be the same.

Krista also shares a personal story in this interview that became a defining moment in her life (caution: she cries more than she has in any other interview to date).

From her office on Capitol Hill, Chelsea provides some helpful resources for walking through childlessness, offers suggestions of what we can do to support foster care and adoption, and helps us know what NOT to say to a woman struggling with this issue.

Mar 13, 2018

Belle means beautiful in Latin, and that is exactly what Erin Weidemann is trying to help girls define.  Using women of the Bible, Erin has created a company whose mission is to teach girls about prayerfulness, patience, bravery, leadership, and loyalty.  The hope is that girls would not only learn about these women of faith, but would then adopt those traits and live them out in their daily lives.

Erin's enthusiasm is contagious, and her ideas brilliant.  She uses five women of the Bible (Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth and Deborah), five traits, and five virtues to teach timeless character.  As a former teacher Erin incorporates language, visual elements and acronyms to help girls learn the practicals of traits like courage (see SHIELD acronym in the show notes). In fact it was her years of teaching that inspired her to consider how to teach her own daughter about the women of the Bible and Bible Belles was born.

Whether you are listening for your daughter or for yourself, you will walk away inspired to deepen your faith, character, and leadership. Because these women's stories and the virtues we learn from them span time, space and stage of life.

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