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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Aug 3, 2021

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

Jul 27, 2021

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.

Jul 20, 2021

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.

Jul 13, 2021

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!

Jul 6, 2021

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.


Jun 1, 2021

Today is the last episode in the “Secrets Of A Centered Soul” series, and Alex and Krista talk about what they learned, what they loved, and some practices they employ that weren’t discussed in the series.

From being in nature, to journaling, to intentionally creating spiritual friendships, you will hear how Krista and Alex keep their souls centered, and how they are continuing to grow.

This episode feels like sitting down to talk to a sister about the series as a whole. It’s straight talk, pure and simple. Join us!



The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

“Try practicing your way into faith” – Blaise Pascal

“There’s nothing accidental about the spiritual life.  It requires our intention – our agency.  It requires that we show up.” -Dallas Willard

I Told The Mountain To Move – Patricia Raybon

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

“If the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy. There’s truth in that. Both sin and busyness have the exact same effect—they cut off your connection to God, to other people, and even to your own soul.” – Corrie Ten Boom

Pray As You Go App

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun

Walter Brueggemann – Praying the Psalms

May 25, 2021

As we talk about what it means to have a centered soul, we must talk about how we communicate with God. Prayer is our ongoing conversation with the one who made us and loves us. It's mysterious and sometimes overwhelming to consider God hears any of what we feel or say. We invited award-winning author Patricia Raybon to this series to talk with us about how we talk with God.

Patricia reminds us of the simplicity of prayer. It is about spending time with God. This means we don't have to always be talking, we can simply be. But when we have something to say, we don't need to edit, we can bring our full thoughts and hearts into the ongoing conversation. Prayer takes time and Patricia reminds us that we can't skip over relationships, we must invest time.

We find our prayer life is often reflected in our tangible life. We can love people well by being with them, making ourselves available, and putting aside our agendas. Honest, agenda-free prayer helps us love others better because it gives us the practice we need to be open to what unfolds. If you feel intimidated by prayer, stuck in your prayers, or wondering if praying is even real, push play and listen in to our conversation.

May 18, 2021

Habits. Many have them around morning coffee, exercise, repetitive words, or before bed rituals. But have you ever considered turning your faith into a habit?

As we dive further into our Secrets To A Centered Soul Series, Jen Pollock Michel, an award winning author, helps us see how turning our faith into a habit can transform our days, and eventually, our entire lives. Through the five practices of seeing, living, loving, knowing, and obeying, we learn how to nurture a vibrant life of faith.

May 11, 2021

The Holy Spirit can feel a bit mysterious, the part of the Trinity we can't quite get our arms around. In our continuing series on Secrets of a Centered Soul, Jeannie Cunnion shares with us about the gift of the Holy Spirit that all followers of Jesus receive. Jeannie doesn't want us to miss out on all the Holy Spirit has to offer us. From comfort to counsel to power, we have a gift we can tap into.

Jeannie shares with us 5 things we can know right now that will help us better understand and receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is for our good, never leaves us, and dwells within us. In this episode, we talk about the healing power of the spirit and what it looks like for someone else to walk in the spirit. If you are facing challenges and are asking God for help in taking that next step, doing that hard thing, the Holy Spirit is available to you.

For the person who is seeking a new hope, wanting to know God's nearness in a powerful way, this conversation will act as a reminder that the Holy Spirit is our strength and we can face so much more when standing in its power.

May 4, 2021

What role does movement and the body play in spirituality? Elizabeth Peterson, spiritual director and yoga instructor, is here to guide us in our understanding.

In this Secrets of the Centered Soul Series, we are looking at various ways to deepen our relationship with God. In this episode we talk about why movement matters and the healing power found in being present in our bodies.

For the first time ever on our podcast, we have Elizabeth guide us through a short live spiritual practice. We pray it will be a blessing for you.

If you are looking to grow spiritually, you’ve come to the right place.

Apr 27, 2021

We are kicking off our new series, Secrets of a Centered Soul with pastors, spiritual directors, and Enneagram trainers Doug and Adele Calhoun. They share how the Enneagram is a tool that helps us better understand ourselves so we can know better how to connect with God.

As Doug says in the episode, "So much about the spiritual life is about awareness." The Enneagram helps us become more aware of our blind spots, patterns, and false narratives so that we can put on the new identity that Christ offers his flock. We go through the "not enough narrative" of each Enneagram number and which spiritual practices can help each number better connect to God's heart.

This new series is about tools and frameworks you can use in your everyday life to live with a centered soul. One that is centered on Christ. "And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." -Colossians 1:17

Apr 20, 2021

In this final episode in our Spring Refresh Series, our Sisterhood Home Coach, Krista Gilbert, answers your questions about problem areas, redecorating, and how to refresh an outdoor space.

We talk closet clutter, when to keep an item and when to give it away, how to organize kids’ papers and artwork, and what to do with the many paper piles around the house.

Krista also gives an easy to follow four-step plan for redecorating a space that needs some love.

You will love this practical episode as you refresh your home this spring.

Apr 13, 2021

Jam packed with practical ideas, professional organizer Lisa Trigsted shares with the sisterhood her best tips on stuff management for a family. Known on social media as Neat Freak Mckinney, Lisa shares her simple yet life changing tactics for families who are swimming in stuff.

So what does Lisa suggest? First, edit out the extra things. Then maintain new organizing systems with a weekly reset. These simple tactics can change how your family manages and relates to stuff. Once organized Lisa encourages listeners to challenge themselves to a spending freeze and eventually incorporating the one-in-one-out rule.

We spend a good part of the conversation covering how to get family members on board with an organizing plan and how to tackle big projects and maintenance as a team. Lisa understands the real-life challenges moms have in keeping a space organized and doesn't shy away from the "but how?" questions. You will feel absolutely inspired and empowered to tackle that stack of papers or overstuffed closet after listening to this episode. So go ahead and push play for your next dose of our series on Spring Refresh.

Apr 6, 2021

Krista has been home coaching Alex on her laundry room the past few weeks to kick off spring cleaning, and we are talking about the experience on the episode today. The laundry room dilemma led to coaching around other spaces, and also to identifying some important internal discoveries along the way.

We explore what holds Alex back from doing what she knows she needs to do in her home, how she was able to push past those obstacles, and what she learned and accomplished.

You will hear parts of your own story in this one and it will encourage you to make changes that will propel you forward.

If you are a person who needs a little bit of motivation to get your spring refresh going, or any kind of refresh, this is a great place to start.

Mar 30, 2021

We've all been home a loooonnnngggg time and it may be our spaces need a spring refresh. Wendy Trigsted is working to make a peaceful home. It doesn't just happen though, she intentionally thinks through the systems that need to be in place to make things run smoothly. From laundry systems to Easter baskets, this mom of four gives us her tips to simplify in order to increase peace.

This is the first episode of our series on Spring Refresh in our homes. Heavy on the practical Wendy shares with us how she cleans out a closet, how she stores and uses her cleaning supplies, and how she decides if she should make a purchase for her home. In the first five minutes of this conversation, Wendy gives us three easy, quick tips we can do TODAY to create more peace in our space (and bonus they are all 100% FREE.)

No matter the size or style of your home, the ages and stages of those you live with, you will be able to increase peace this spring season. You won't want to miss this very practical conversation with Wendy Trigsted. Her principles work well for any family size or season. And who doesn't want a little more peace as we refresh for spring?

Mar 23, 2021

In this episode Krista and Alex wrap up the series Teens: The State of the Union. They discuss what impacted them most, what changes they are making in their parenting because of what they heard, and what felt practical.

They also weigh in on their experience parenting teens – what’s been hard, what’s been helpful, and what they would recommend.

Join us as we have a sister to sister conversation, and as we attempt to make the most of the teen series.

Mar 16, 2021

Communications professor Heather Thompson Day talks about Gen Z's use of technology and social media and how these tools impact how they communicate (or don't) with the world around them. From developing a low tolerance for discomfort to managing how others perceive us, Heather offers professional insights into how social media is shaping a generation.

For parents of today's teens who feel at a loss on how to help their kids navigate this world of screens, posts, and likes, this conversation gives insight on practices families can take together. From meditation on Scripture to family check-ins we can open new channels of connection with our kids that help them identify and feel their feelings while learning about disappointment and discomfort.

Social media can feel like a beast (because it is!) and Heather doesn't let us forget it has addictive features that rewire our brain when we're engaged with it. We don't have to despair though. We can have meaningful relationships with our teens that help anchor them in the actual world and gives them the tools to better manage the technology.

Mar 9, 2021

Are you in a house with a teenager who is experiencing big emotions? Or maybe there isn’t enough communication around emotions and you want to help your teen be able to name them better. Whatever your situation, this podcast will offer tools to help you parent well through the emotional ups and downs of adolescence.

David Thomas, a well known therapist and author, brings his expertise to the conversation. He talks about the four emotional milestones that will help any teen, why the Enneagram plays an important role in this conversation, and how we can coach our children on how to handle their big feelings.

David is a fan favorite around The Sisterhood and this episode underscores why. After listening, you will walk away better equipped to parent your teenager with more love, grace, and hope.



  • Vocabulary – to name what I’m feeling in life
  • Perspective – learning to put all of life in the right category (pain scale)
  • Empathy – a well researched ingredient to healthy relationships. The ability to understand the feelings of another.
  • Resourcefulness – taking the emotion to something constructive

In essence, it’s helping our kids learn how to identify what they feel & how they feel about it

If they can’t see it on the grown ups they trust, it’s incredibly hard to develop it.

Are My Kids On Track?

The Backdoor To Your Teen’s Heart
“To the degree that teens can predict you they will dismiss you.”

The Path Between Us – Enneagram book

Suzanne Stabile’s Podcast – Enneagram Expert

Mar 2, 2021

Katie Bulmer has been traveling the country talking to sorority women about identity, strength, sisterhood, and of course relationships! Katie comes to The Open Door Sisterhood with insight on the big questions parents can help their daughters ask as they enter the dating world. Questions like, "What is important to me?" "What am I dating for?" "What am I looking for in a relationship?"

We also cover, how technology impacts dating today, what science can teach young people about "hook up culture" and bonding, how media and pornography influence teenagers' impressions of sex, and how we as parents can ask questions that help our daughters (and sons) come to answers about what they want for themselves.

Katie's expertise falls on the girl end of the spectrum, but many of the principles we cover are great for both boys and girls. Have lifelong conversations with your kids about dating and sex, model the healthiest marriage you can to the kids in your home, and pray without ceasing for both your child and the person he or she is dating. We can't go wrong with these overarching goals leading the way.

Feb 23, 2021

Sex and pornography are topics that feel uncomfortable for parents to talk about, but if we aren’t our children’s main sex educators, culture will be.

If you wonder how to navigate this over sexualized society with your teen or pre-teen, this interview will help equip and encourage.

Rodney and Traci Wright, authors of How To Talk With Your Kids About Sex, travel the country as speakers and educators about healthy sexuality.

We cover how to start talking about sex early, what it looks like to heal from our own experiences, how we can frame this topic in a way that is helpful, and why vulnerability is important.

Consider sharing this episode – most parents need help navigating this tricky topic.

Feb 16, 2021

National trends show we are sending kids off to college with impressive resumes, but without the tools to handle their emotions or make meaningful social connections. Educator Margo Long joins The Open Door Sisterhood to give us the "state of the union" as far as teenagers' social and emotional health. A lifelong educator of educators, Margo has spent her career training young adults as they enter the education field. She has worked specifically with gifted students who often have the academic skills to complete assignments or talent to compete athletically, but not the emotional and social skills to be truly successful.

Margo reminds us that it is never too early to introduce the language of feelings to our kids. We can ask them about tasks AND ask them how they feel about the tasks at hand. We can also practice speaking and listening through regular times at the dinner table or through weekly family meetings, giving everyone the chance to take a turn sharing successes and struggles. As kids grow we give them age-appropriate space and responsibility so they can practice the range of social, emotional, and academic skills they will need to be successful adults.

The pandemic has made it especially difficult for teenagers to have meaningful connections with people outside of their immediate family. We can be intentional about their stressors and our conversations around them as we move ahead. This conversation can help us coach our teens with a little more intention.

Feb 9, 2021

Every year Alex and Krista do a round up of their favorite things from the past year. From beauty products, gift ideas, kitchen gadgets, clothing picks, TV shows and more, they give their best and most useful tips.

It’s Valentine’s Day and though YOU are really our favorite, we also like to share other “practical” favorite things with you. Part 2 of this episode will be sent to our email subscribers this week via email. Sign up at The Open Door Sisterhood to get the second part.



Monat Hair Products

Anastasia Beverly Hills
Brush #7B
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Brow Powder Duo
Monochrome Moment – Blush Brush #1

Burt’s Bees Hand Cream


Secret Hitler Game

7 Wonders Game (strategy)

Gold Pepper Mill

iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Car Mount Phone Holder Desk Stand Pad & Mat for iPhone

Le Creuset Stoneware 9 x 12

Ed Emberley’s Complete Funprint Drawing Book  

Studio Series Ink Pad Set (15 colors) 


Cozy Earth Sheets – Krista’s item of the year

Mon Chateaux Luxury Collection faux fur rugs

XFi Pod Wifi Extender


12 qt. Yedi Air fryer

The Always Pan – replaces your fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest.

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee Machine

Costco Business Center to stock my own convenience store




Pray As You Go my item of the year

Lightroom & Canva


Faux leather Spanx leggings

Scallop apple watch silver/gold jewelry strap

Street Level Reversible Tote – black

Barefoot Dreams Lite Long Cardigan

Ann Taylor Loft seasonal clearance

Amazon essentials

Jannuu face masks


The Bridgetown Daily – walked Krista through COVID

The Art of happiness with Arthur Brooks

Nice White Parents, 5 part series by the NYT

Feb 2, 2021

Eryn Eddy wasn't setting out to develop a lifestyle fashion brand. She simply wanted to reinforce the message she was giving her music fans, "You are worthy of love." Her unplanned t-shirt adventure has turned into a business shipping products around the world. But in all of that fashion merchandising, Erin began to absorb the message for herself. She began to dig deep into what it means to be worthy of love and practice self love. This meant examining long held beliefs about herself and contrasting them with what the Bible said about her. It led her to places of honesty with herself and with God.

In this 30-minute conversation we talk through what resilience looks like, how to determine if someone should be speaking into you, and how caring for ourselves allows us to better care for others. We cover how to take first steps when feeling overwhelmed and how those first steps give us confidence for next steps. Eryn tells us what she wrote on her mirror with dry erase marker and why she celebrated with a night in a Tiki Airstream trailer.

If you are wondering how to deal with feelings or thoughts that are destructive, this episode could be a good place to start. It's easy for us to tell you that "God loves you", it's much harder to absorb that message. This conversation will offer some first steps toward health.

Jan 26, 2021

Learning to stand up in our confidence is a life-long, ever changing journey. What even is confidence and how do we get it? and why do we feel confident in some areas and not others?

As we look at getting Healthy in 2021, we feel that this topic of confidence is important for our journey ahead.

Alli Worthington, author, business coach, and speaker gives us sharp insight on this topic. Her book, Standing Strong: A Woman’s Guide To Overcoming Adversity And Living With Confidence offers us a road map for developing confidence in our lives, both this year and life long!

Jan 19, 2021

Moving our bodies is essential for health. Running and walking is one simple, yet powerful way to do that. Running and track coaches Shawn Young and Dorina Gilmore-Young give us some strategies on how to start even if the thought of running a block sounds exhausting. We cover so much more than running though. We hear their story of love after tragedy, how running can be a spiritual practice, finding community in exercise, how to get kids moving, and setting goals and face setbacks.

These two met through running, but their story took a few turns on the trail and in life before they married. Part love story, part training guide, this episode of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast reminds us that moving our bodies can get us closer to God and to each other. That sounds like so much more than losing a few new year pounds, doesn't it? Grab your earbuds and go on a walk outside and listen to this special conversation with husband and wife and co-authors of the new book Run, Walk, Soar, Shawn Young and Dorina Gilmore-Young.

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