Wrapping up this year's Christmas is Coming Series, Krista and Alex talk about what God is teaching them, what they are letting go of, the power of "Oh Well," and their ritual for reflection as they contemplate the past year and look forward to the one ahead.
Christmas is a time of joy, but it also highlights the pain some are experiencing. Krista and Alex offer a helpful prayer and perspective as people navigate both.
Listen in as you are driving around shopping for last minute gifts, whipping up something special in the kitchen, or taking a much needed walk. Let's finish out 2021 together!
Tama Fortner is a mom to college aged kids. She can look back with clarity on the ways she managed (and mismanaged) the Christmas years throughout her mothering career. This episode is full of Tama, Krista, and Alex’s insights on helping moms manage Christmas, keeping the special without keeping the crazy.
Tama shares some easy recipes, how she divides and conquers on food responsibilities, and how she creates gifts themed around what someone loves. We talk through how to manage a child’s gift request that parents aren’t willing or able to fulfill and how to approach the child about the why behind the decision.
Whether you are wanting to simplify food or gifts, you are wanting to ensure you keep the holiday season meaningful, or you simply want some fresh encouragement as you step into a busy few weeks, this episode will break down how a few moms consider food and gift choices this time of year. Tama’s new devotional book is titled Simply Christmas, and it’s about keeping the simple in Christmas.
In this last episode of our Legacy Series, Alex and Krista share about how we can harness traditions and rituals to help build family legacy.
The holiday season is the perfect time to be having this conversation, as Thanksgiving and Christmas provide opportunities to pause, reflect, and order our lives.
Legacy is what is left behind after we are gone. Each one of us leaves a mark, either intentionally or unintentionally. Our actions, repeated over and over again, create an invisible thread between us and others.
Today Daniel and Kendra Tillman, co-founders of Living Well Today Marriage Ministry, join us to talk about the impact marriage has on legacy, how a blended family can make a positive impact, and how kindness and humility change a family.
The Tillmans also encourage parents to take their role seriously, while simultaneously offering their children freedom to have their own relationship and journey with God.
Legacy is a big concept. Join Open Door Sisterhood podcast hosts Alex and Krista as they talk about what legacy means to them. When applied to a family system a healthy legacy can pass down values and seeds of faith that will impact generations to come. That sounds nice doesn't it, but HOW do we live so that we know we are leaving the kind of legacy we are wanting?
First we must know what our goals are. How do we want to be remembered by those we leave? What do we want to remain once we're gone? When we get those questions answered, we will know where we're headed. Then we can make decisions on opportunities offered us based on those priorities. We can implement habits into daily life that ensure we are making micro decisions toward the kind of life we want to live and the legacy we want to leave.
If you are wanting to live with intentionality, if you are considering what your larger family story has been, if you want to be intentional about how you shape your family story from here, push play. And then leave a comment here about what legacy means to you. How have you seen it play out (healthy or unhealthy)? And how would you like to leave the world better than you found it?
There are two words that encapsulate this episode: humility & faithfulness. These are themes that many talk about, but are difficult to practice and live out. So when a person encounters someone who embodies these traits, it is a rare and precious gift.
Pastor, author, and speaker Eric Peterson is the son of the late Eugene Peterson, who wrote The Message translation of the Bible. Eric describes what it was like growing up as the son of a spiritual giant, what he learned from his father’s example of humility and faithfulness. A fourth generation pastor, Eric shares how his own ministry was impacted by not only Eugene, but also by his grandfathers.
Krista was moved to tears several times in this interview, as it speaks to the profound power of a life well lived, and the impact that leaves on those following behind.
This episode reminds us that legacy is not left in things, but in people and relationships.
Rachel-Ruth was born into a family known for its Christian faith. Her mother is Anne Graham Lotz and her grandfather is the evangelist Billy Graham. Rachel-Ruth, now a mom to three teenage daughters of her own, talks about how the seeds of a faith legacy are planted and then watered.
Authentic is a word that comes up quite a bit in this interview. Rachel-Ruth says living an authentic life in front of our kids will let them know Jesus is relevant to everyday situations. Admitting when we mess up, asking for forgiveness from our kids and from Jesus, and moving forward are all key. For moms who want to make a spiritual change in their life, so they can authentically model a life of faith to their children, Rachel-Ruth simply says, "Start today." Pick up your Bible, read a few verses, and tell your kids what you are learning.
From someone who is known by her family's legacy of faith, Rachel-Ruth reminds us that we all can plant the seeds. We all have the ability to choose a life that follows Christ and if we are moms, our kids are watching. Tune in to hear Rachel-Ruth's three questions to ask when reading the Bible. It will transform how you read Scripture and how to encourage your kids to do the same.
If there was ever a time we needed kindness, it’s now. And as we approach the holidays, the discipline of practicing kindness is especially important.
Joining us for the last episode of our Seeking Out Goodness Series, Becky Keife, author of The Simple Difference, and community manager for (in)courage, reminds us that simple actions make a significant difference, and that we don’t have to agree with people to listen well and treat them with dignity and respect.
Becky helps us define what kindness looks like, and offers practical examples of how we can move into the holidays reflecting the kindness Jesus models.
As we seek goodness in the world, turning to our own actions is a great place to start.
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It seems fitting on that on the day Alex's new book, Seeking Out Goodness, hits bookshelves, we would invite a number of sisters to share with us about how they are seeking out and finding good in the world. We asked the attendees of the 2021 Open Door Sisterhood Mastermind Retreat to share with us how they are seeing God at work and how they are seeing evidence of his goodness.
From family to creation to provision of a bathroom for a family of six, these diverse answers remind us that we all see echoes of God's goodness through different lenses. For many it's how we interact with others, for some it's about God's direct gifts of his presence and his word, and for others, it is new friends and kindred spirits that bond quickly.
This is a sisterhood roundup. We want to hear how you are looking for and finding God's goodness in the world. Tell us here, and more importantly, put on new eyes so you can see God's goodness. Whether this is a reminder of what you've known for a long time, or good news you are hearing for the first time: God is with us, he has not left us, and he is good.
D.J. Jordan has worked for CNN, Fox News, U.S. representatives, and a U.S. Senator. Today he is Senior Vice President with Pinkston PR firm in Washington D.C. He is seasoned at looking for the good in places and people and he helps us remember as Christians we can look for the good in every sphere of public service. Despite what the media tells us, Christians are working together for good across typical divides. There is good to be found.
From the reputation of D.C. politics to the changing cultural tides, D.J. explains how faithful Christians can not only look for and find the good, we can help make good happen. In this episode, we talk civil discourse, bipartisanship, and being a trusted neighbor. We discuss ministries that are engaging culture with common values and action and how there are consequences for good that we may not know this side of heaven. We cover how the loud minority often gets the megaphone and the faithful servants are in the background doing their work. Yes, there is good to be found, we just need to do a little investigating to find it.
If you are looking for a rich conversation around how we as Christians can have both private and public engagement with our non-Christian neighbors in a way that is meaningful and hope-filled, this episode is for you. It will encourage you. There is good to be found and we can be world changers for good right where we are to do our part to change the cultural tide.
Seeking out goodness is a discipline on ordinary days, but it is even more important in hard seasons of life. Joining us in the Seeking Out Goodness series is Lisa Whittle, author of The Hard Good.
Lisa knows the pain of loss and can relate to resisting change. Yes she also talks about the sadness that accompanies our unwillingness to accept the present and adapt. She encourages looking for love rather than the let down, and seeking contentment in the small.
If you are in a season of hard, loss, or change, you will love the wisdom poured out in this episode.
Our very own Alex has a new book releasing in a few weeks and we want to give you the FIRST sneak peek at some of what she covers in the pages. In this episode, Krista interviews Alex about why she wrote the book, why the process of looking for what is good is important to us, and how she structures practical next steps so listeners can begin seeking out what is good.
Whether you are overwhelmed with heartache or the state of the world, or just feel a little bored with the monotony of your daily life, this book is meant to give you tools to have new eyes to see what is already around you. God is still good. He is still here. And so we can trust that his goodness continues all around us, we just need to find it. This book is about the process of seeking out goodness.
Because Alex wanted this book to give the practical how, she uses Philippians 4:8 as her structure. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV) How do we see what is noble? Or admirable? How do we look for the lovely? Or consider what is true? How do we do this all with humility and kindness? This episode is just a taste of what Alex covers in the book. We hope you listen and let us know how you are looking for the good right now.
Fall is the perfect time of year to push the refresh button on our lives.
Hosts Krista Gilbert & Alexandra Kuykendall talk about their favorite home systems, chores, work / life balance, and tried and true recipes.
Abby Turner is ready to encourage the sisterhood to open our homes and invite people over before we overthink things. Why? Because hospitality isn't about the fancy menu or immaculate home; it's about people! It's about serving as Jesus served. When we discipline ourselves to make our homes and tables available to others, we are ensuring that we are serving those around us. We can't wait for the perfect time, because that will never happen. Abby says hospitality is a discipline, not a spiritual gift.
In true Open Door Sisterhood fashion, Abby is part practical and part inspirational. Not only does she provide a faith foundation for why we should practice hospitality, she also gives us lots of things to think about as we look ahead to fall and even the holidays. Planning goes a long way. Grocery stores can help with the prep. Simplicity can help make it happen. And again, it's all about the people! So what can we do ahead of time, to be able to enjoy people in the moment? This episode provides some clues to help eliminate avoidable holiday stress.
Abby gives us some great easy recipe ideas, she offers her best holiday timesaving tips, and she reminds us that we can bring the fun to others. Whether it's taking a friend dinner at HER house or simply bringing a friend a coffee on the soccer sidelines, hospitality is about having a heart of service and we can do that anywhere! Don't wait another second, go ahead and push play and get ready for a fall hospitality reset.
A chill is in the air and the seasonal shift is beginning. As we wave goodbye to summer and welcome fall, we are also looking to refresh our routines, home systems, and menus. Today begins our new series: Fall Reset.
Sarah Molitor, from @modernfarmhousefamily on Instagram, joins us to share her practical ideas on time management and home systems. As a homeschooling mom of six boys, we have a great deal to learn from this capable mama. She also lets us in on her secret to dinner time (it has to do with a sheet pan), and the fall traditions she treasures the most (you won’t expect this one).
You will be inspired to reboot your own life this fall as you listen to our inspiring conversation. Get a cozy pumpkin spice latte and settle in with us for this great episode!
No question, motherhood stretches us. In our Sister Straight Talk episode of this series, Krista and Alex talk about how expectations and transitions are big opportunities for mom-growth.
Expectations, or should we say unmet expectations, are a trademark of motherhood. Our hosts talk about the "macro" and "micro" of mothering expectations. From how our kids will complete a chore to how we'll feel as moms, we often don't know we have expectations until they aren't met. Transitions are also a constant. As soon as we feel we've mastered, or at least have a handle on, a certain phase of parenting, things change. How we respond to these changes can impact the tone of our families and who we are becoming as women.
No matter the stage of mothering you're in, from pregnancy through the empty nest, you have a chance to meet expectations and transitions with open hands and a readiness to stretch out of your comfort zone. God uses your role as a mom, to shape you in good ways. These stretch marks can sometimes feel like battle scars, but they tend to help us grow in traits like patience, resilience, and wisdom, all traits that are good to increase. Join this relatable, hope-filled conversation with your sisters who give it to you straight on motherhood.
Building resilience in motherhood is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our families. We need it as moms, and our children need it as they make their way through life.
Joining us on the third episode of this Motherhood series, Rhonda Stoppe speaks honestly and candidly about the challenges she faced as a mom, and how she found the strength and faith to keep taking steps forward. Rhonda raised a son with special needs, adopted a child who needed a home, and struggled through two different moves.
You will be encouraged and inspired to love God deeper, trust Him more fully, and see trials as opportunities through this episode.
We are in a series highlighting the various ways motherhood grows us. Often we do not think about how creativity can be an integral part of motherhood, but that is exactly what can emerge if we allow it.
Rachel Kang, founder of Indelible Ink Writers, talks about how she finds time to write in small pockets of time while parenting her two young boys, and how motherhood has increased her imagination.
Often, moms neglect their own creative pursuits to care for the needs right in front of them. In this episode we look at how creativity and the duties of motherhood can not only co-exist, but enhance and strengthen the other.
Sarah Bragg, host of the Surviving Sarah podcast, says motherhood has grown her up. She has changed through the challenges she's faced as a mom. And boy isn't that true of motherhood? We try new things, face new feelings, overcome new challenges and as a result we are stretched in ways that don't leave us. These stretch marks act as our reminders of growth and that our children are a gift God uses to grow us up as well.
In this episode Sarah brings her candid voice to the conversation as we consider what it means to live an authentic life in front of our children, how to accept our limitations while choosing growth in some areas, and how honesty helps with both of these efforts. We consider the women we ARE vs. the women we wish we were and how we have to get past some of the mothering expectations (read pressure) we put on ourselves.
Motherhood is a gift. In large part because our kids act as a mirror, or as Sarah puts it, a highlighter, to all of who we are. We discover parts of ourselves (from anger to unconditional love) and skillsets that help us understand ourselves better. You will walk away from this interview remembering that God already sees and knows every part of who you are as a woman and a mom. You can let go of some of those self-imposed expectations and celebrate the unique, creative person you ARE as a mom.
We've had our summer school of sorts with professors from around the country talking to us about how art and faith enhance each other. Consider this episode with Krista and Alex the class discussion. Our two podcast hosts sit down together and talk about what challenged them from the previous episodes in the series, what they want to change in their own lives as a result, and how engaging with creative works enhances our understanding of who God is and who our neighbors are.
These two talk about the power of story, the need for shared experiences, their creative outlets, and God's reflection in us as makers. Though you get to listen in on their thoughts, this is meant to be a group discussion. Tell us about what struck you! Where are you inspired to interact with the arts? How has art impacted your faith? What kind of creative expression gets you feeling or thinking?
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -Pablo Picasso
Music is powerful and has echoes of the eternal within it. It also can see us through difficult and dark times.
Ginny Owens, an award winning singer / songwriter, author, and speaker joins us to talk about the role music has played in her life and faith from a young age. As a blind singer who literally sings in darkness, she also carries the message that anyone can learn to find a melody in dark and lonely seasons.
You will be captured by Ginny’s story, and inspired to find your own way to weave music into your faith story.
When we think of art, we often think of the canvas and the painter. Visual arts, from paintings to drawings, sculpture to tapestry, are creations that can both inspire and intimidate us. Art historian Dr. Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt joins us for our "summer school series for grown-ups" on faith and art to remind us we have what is needed to interact with the visual arts. We don't all need to be art historians to be able to appreciate and respond to the artwork around us.
Elissa is an art and art history professor at Covenant College and gives us insights on how to think about our own interactions with visual arts. From the importance of seeing art in person to appreciating the making involved we can all learn more about our neighbors by interacting with the work. Elissa encourages us to not automatically dismiss art we don't care for, but use our discomfort as an opportunity to learn more about the stories involved. In this way art we don't like can be a bridge to learn, and therefore love our neighbors, more fully.
Whether you're looking for some inspiration to approach your local museum with new eyes, or you are wanting to pull out some pencils and paper to sketch your backyard view, this third episode in our series will help you see the world around you with fresh eyes and know that there is much to find that is true and beautiful.
We often don’t think of theatre as an avenue for exploring our faith, but today on the series we discuss the unique role the theatre arts can play if we engage as a participant or active audience member.
Mitchell Thomas, chair of the theatre department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, joins us to share his expertise. We talk about how storytelling can help us as we move through life, how we can bring our faith to the stage in multiple ways, and why it’s important to explore all types of theatre.
At the end Mitchell shares multiple theatre exercises that will give your family permission to be silly together in your own living room. Krista has experienced the fun these bring as Mitchell is her brother and he does these around the campfire every summer with her family.
This is a topic you may have not thought a great deal about and it may just open up a whole new world – listen in!
We're back! The podcast took a break in June and we are back with a new series on faith and the fine arts. We like to think of it as a summer school for grown-ups where we get to take all of the electives we didn't have time for in school. As we think through the arts, we can look for what is true and beautiful and how that is a reflection of God's nature. That's our kind of curriculum!
We are kicking the series off with English professor Karen Swallow Prior to talk about the benefits of reading good literature. We discuss why reading literature matters, how our reading habits are changing with technology use, and the importance of setting aside time and space to appreciate the beautiful. Karen explains how experiencing lessons with a character helps to grow our empathy in a different way than simply reading the moral of a story and how reading can enhance our Christian faith.
It's not too late to do some fun summer reading. This conversation can inspire you to pick up an old classic or a modern novel. Karen reminds us that speed doesn't matter when reading through a novel, so no pressure to check books off your list, but she does share some of her favorites in case you need a recommendation from a professor. Consider this your summer school English class that will change how and why you are picking up that great novel.