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Pardon the Mess with Cynthia Yanof

English, Christianity, 6 seasons, 485 episodes, 2 days, 10 hours, 44 minutes
About
Parenting is messy and we're not afraid to talk about it. Each week Cynthia Yanof has honest conversations with her guests about raising our kids in biblical truth in a fast-changing world. It's funny, it's relatable, it's honest, and it's going to keep you coming back for more. Let's walk the parenting road together, because there are no perfect parents - just a perfect God who loves us in the middle of our mess.
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How to gather neighbors and love people well with Sarah Harmeyer

Happy almost Summer!! I am delighted to share the story of Sarah Harmeyer and her love for gathering neighbors. You will be so fascinated by her story of creating a table and setting out to have people over. Over time, she hosted thousands of people just one night at a time. She absolutely inspired me to get back out there and invite folks to my home. You will be inspired and motivated and so very touched how God used Sarah’s life to start a movement called “Neighbor’s Table.” He took a nudge in her heart and kept expanding it across the country.My favorite part was at the end when we talked about her current living situation with her aging father. She is so tender and so gracious with his walk with Alzheimers. I pray that I handle my own parents with such care and compassion one day.In this episode we chat about: How a simple dinner party created a movementWhy your neighbors need community What an invitation can do for an individualHow we can preach less and simply love moreHow to care for aging parents with compassionChapters00:00Introduction and Catching Up10:01Stories of Love and Connection Around the Table22:59Building Relationships with New Neighbors and Introducing Sarah's Dad27:02Caring for Aging Parents with Love and Compassion30:53Closing Remarks and Action ItemsConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Sarah’s InstagramNeighbor’s TableInvite Sarah to SpeakTable Talk Questions - source Close To My HeartKindness Diaries with LeonLeon LogothetisGod’s Holy Spirit in Me kid’s devotionalPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/23/202435 minutes, 43 seconds
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Does my child need a therapist? Navigating anxiety with our kids with Dr. Cassie Reed

When our children hurt (emotionally or physically), we simply hurt. One of the hardest jobs as a parent is to discern when to step in and when to let them live through hard seasons. I am so thrilled to introduce you to my very own therapist, Dr. Cassie Reed. Cassie has counseled me and my own children through many seasons. It’s taken me years to find a good fit and I am beyond thankful for her wisdom and direction for our family. It is not always clear if our kids are just being kids - or if they are really struggling internally. Listen in as Cassie and I chat about the challenges that come our way as parents. She shares many practical recommendations for us parents. My favorite part is when she talks about the expectations we have for our kids. She challenges us to look inward and really work on ourselves and our own healing journey. She shares how our unrealistic expectations can start to produce extra pressure and anxiety and how to look out for that scenario in our homes. In this episode we chat about: When to see a therapist or counselorWhy counseling is so important for families Two pieces of advice for parents that she wishes we all knewChapters:00:00Introduction and Personal Connection01:36Dr. Cassie Reed's Background and Passion08:35Recognizing the Need for Professional Help10:06Finding Affordable Therapy Options12:55The Impact of Parental Anxiety on Children14:36Setting Boundaries and Recognizing Age-Appropriate Behavior22:26Setting Boundaries and Creating Space for Children23:49Managing Expectations and Apologizing to Children26:19The Impact of Technology on Children's Mental Health27:10Navigating Issues of Gender and Sexual Preferences as Christian Parents29:04Dr. Cassie Reid's Work in Spiritual Abuse Prevention and HealingConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:CassieReed.comCassie’s InstagramChurch Rehab by Dr. Cassie ReedCome HomeGod’s Holy Spirit in Me kid’s devotionalMy Daddy’s HeroPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/16/202444 minutes, 35 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Remembering

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’” —1 Samuel 7:12The Israelites were in desperate need of a victory against the Philistines. Just as they were convincing themselves it was a lost cause, Samuel cried out to God and received an answer in the form of deafening thunder that scared away the enemy and secured an Israelite victory.Orthodox battle move? No. God protecting his people? Absolutely.No sooner than they finished their victory lap, Samuel stopped everyone in their tracks to make a critical point. He grabbed a stone as a memorial and named it Ebenezer, translated as “the Lord has helped us to this point.”Samuel knew their battle win was significant from a tactical perspective, but he also knew the more significant win was the reminder that God had protected them in the past and he’d just done it again.Our kids need the same reminder today that Samuel gave way back then: The God who has taken care of us up to this point will do it again. He is faithful and trustworthy. What are the Ebenezers in your family? Where do you need to start laying down stones as reminders to your family that God’s faithfulness in the past shows he’s trustworthy for the future? Lord, remind us to always pass down the stories of your faithfulness. Mark [name] with a good memory of your provision, giving them confidence to trust your heart when they can’t see your hand. Help us to celebrate the places where you’ve given us victory, making a lasting memorial of your faithfulness for generations to come. God’s word speaks: Deuteronomy 7:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Lamentations 3:22–23; Psalm 86:15Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/13/20248 minutes, 42 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Mission

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” —Matthew 28:19–20 We’ve spent this school year praying for our kids to be marked by the things of God. We’ve prayed that they live with integrity, confidence, generosity, endurance, and much more. But these are nothing more than admirable qualities if they aren’t used for God’s kingdom purposes. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he gave us our mission. He told us to go and make disciples, sharing the story of his grace and love. The Great Commission is our central mission. The same is true for our kids. We’re God’s Plan A for spreading the gospel. There’s no backup plan, there’s no contingency, and there’s nobody else to tag in for our spot. But it all starts at home. It happens in the seemingly insignificant moments of reading Bible stories to our toddlers and the really hard places of pointing them to Jesus on the heels of their biggest mistakes and greatest obstacles. Please let us never underestimate the significance of our jobs as moms and dads, discipling our kids to share the gospel to the next generation. Let’s wrap up this school year by praying that our kids will be marked by the mission of Jesus, doing it with truth, discipline, purity, and every other characteristic of God we’ve prayed over them this year. Lord, thank you for the gift of my children and the privilege of praying over them this school year. Please mark their lives with a determination to fulfill the mission you created for them before they were ever born. Give [name] the wisdom to pursue you every day and a spirit of urgency in following your plans for their life. God’s word speaks: 1 Peter 2:9; Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 3:15; Ecclesiastes 12:13–14Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/13/202414 minutes, 3 seconds
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When you want more for your life, but feel stuck with Farrell Mason

If you are a parent, you know the feeling of just “making it through” each day. So often, we want more for our lives. However, we feel stuck and are not sure how to do that when there are children depending on us every day.My guest this week, Farrell Mason, shares about a time when she felt that her life was running her ragged. She decided to do something about how she lived her one precious life. She took action to create a more soulful life in the midst of raising six kids. Farrell Mason is a minister, a mom, a wife and a beautiful writer. She has a passion for standing with others in the midst of their hardest moments in life.  My favorite part is towards the end when Farrell offers very practical suggestions on how to love others well. She is so passionate about caring for yourself as a mom, but also leaning into simple ways we can care for our neighbors. You won’t feel guilt or more pressure to perform - you will feel seen and inspired to lean into more for your life.In this episode we chat about: How to live this one life wellHow to push against busy and impossibly full schedulesHow to pay attention to what your soul craves How to help your hurting friends Enjoy!Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Farrell’s Site - Bread and HoneyFarrell’s new book: SoulfullCome HomeChapters:00:00Introduction and Connection09:50Living a Full Life and the Importance of Time16:22Commitment to Intentional Living32:21Finding Hope in Difficult TimesPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/9/202439 minutes, 46 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Humility

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” —Philippians 2:3–4 We’re raising kids in a culture that basks in recognition and praise, making it difficult to strike the balance of teaching our kids to be confident in their God-given identity while also exuding a humble spirit. Humility is not ignoring their giftings, but it’s teaching them to be willing to use them in a way that draws attention to the Giver of the gift rather than the gift itself. Humility is also not a call to raise silent or passive kids. Rather, it’s teaching them a quiet and meek spirit before God. Jesus is the perfect model of humility. He came to earth in the form of a baby and lived a blameless life so he could die on the cross and give us new life. He more than deserved recognition and acknowledgment for his heavenly status, yet he chose to demonstrate humility because of his commitment to the Father’s will and the larger gospel story. He was righteously indignant when necessary but gentle and loving in leading his flock. We’re praying this week for our kids to humbly serve others, admitting their mistakes, and recognizing that all praise and glory belongs to the Lord as the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17). Let’s also ask the Lord to guide them in being passionate and outspoken when appropriate, but also disciplined enough to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). Lord, you’re the perfect model of living humbly while making a kingdom impact on those around you. Give [name] a spirit of humility and the desire to bring you glory, even when it comes with no acknowledgment. Help them to honor others above themselves and to live in your confidence so they don’t need praise or acceptance from others. God’s word speaks: Ephesians 4:2; Romans 12:16; James 4:10; Colossians 3:12Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/6/202410 minutes, 57 seconds
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Confession Time: 3 Parenting Regrets with Kari Kampakis

Do you have regrets as a parent? We all do! I have a long list myself. I thought it would be encouraging and super helpful for me to share just a few of my own regrets in the last 17 years of parenting. I asked Kari Kampakis to share her own regrets in this podcast episode. I have always loved Kari’s relatable and authenticity as a writer, podcaster and speaker. When I read her encouragement for moms - I feel like she has read my mind. She has a real gift for walking with moms so that we feel so seen. When you encounter Kari, you feel uplifted and equipped but never condemned or shamed. My favorite part is when she shares about how to love strong-willed children well. She shares a powerful story of how her husband approached her strong-willed daughter vs her approach. There’s such humility that pours from Kari when she speaks. It gives us all the permission to be honest about our mistakes. And to have the courage to pivot as we discover a better way. In this episode we chat about: Raising strong-willed kidsHow to decide if you should have another childHow to make health a priority in your home from the start00:00Introduction and Getting to Know Each Other06:21Parenting the Heart vs. Focusing on Behavior13:05Finding Joy in Every Season of Parenthood29:39Trusting God to Fill in the Gaps in Parenting35:56Delaying Cell Phone Use and Monitoring Social MediaConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:KariKampakis.comKari’s book: Love Her WellKari’s book: More Than a MomPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/2/202443 minutes, 1 second
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BONUS: Marked by Endurance

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” —1 Corinthians 9:24 The Christian life is more like a marathon than a sprint, requiring significant endurance if we’re going to make it through the obstacles we face along the way. From the day we accept Christ until we see him face-to-face, we’re continually building up endurance so we can best run the race set out for us. Having endurance in the context of our faith means we’re always in training mode, getting ready for the hard places of discouragement and suffering that will challenge our readiness for the race. We build up our endurance practically by staying true to the basics: things like spending daily time with God, finding Christian community, memorizing Scripture, and seeking discipleship. What a GIFT to have author and speaker (and track coach) Dorina Gilmore-Young on with us chatting about endurance. I absolutely loved her perspective as a widow, mom and coach - how endurance is something God produces in our kids through trials. We can pray for that process - that they may endure life’s hardships with Jesus as their strength. Let’s challenge our kids to run well so they will hear Jesus say at the finish line, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). Lord, before you created even one of us, you set us apart for your purposes. Give [name] the endurance to run the race you have planned for their life. Help them to stay the course when they run up against obstacles along the way, reminding them of the importance of putting in the daily work so they are prepared for anything they face.God’s word speaks: Philippians 3:14; Romans 5:3–4; 2 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 10:36Our Sponsors:* Check out BetterHelp : betterhelp.com/MESS* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/29/202412 minutes, 51 seconds
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Is private school better than public school? With Terry Ann Kelly

Pardon the Mess is sponsored by BetterHelp.Are you struggling with where your child should go to school? This common fear and worry can grip us all. We want so desperately to make the right choice for each of our kids. It can also be confusing when your friends all have different opinions on the matter or maybe your spouse is in disagreement with your plan. You will feel extremely encouraged by today’s episode with Terry Ann Kelly. She has practical advice for these decisions as well as grounding truths to calm our hearts. She is a grandmother, wife and mom and has many years of experience with schools. As the founder of Students Standing Strong, she has seen first hand that God can do anything with any child and any school.My favorite part is the story she shares about her son at the end. It is so refreshing to hear a very personal example of how God can use each of our kids in the most powerful ways at school every day. In this episode we chat about: How to seek God in tough school decisionsHow to bring your faith into the public school settingHow to call your kiddos higher in loving their classmatesEnjoy!Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Students Standing StrongMoms, Dads, and Grads Gift GuidePardon the Mess is sponsored by BetterHelp.Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out BetterHelp : betterhelp.com/MESS* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/25/202439 minutes, 9 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by our Strength

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” —1 Peter 4:10 As we wrap up the greatest commandment, we’re focused on how to love God with all of our strength. Contrary to how it sounds, loving God with all of our strength is not a reference to our physical strength. The Hebrew word used for strength in the context of the greatest commandment is me’od, which is translated as “much” or “very.”Loving God with all of our strength is loving God with our “much-ness.” It’s using our possessions, our time, our talents, our parenting, our volunteering—everything we’ve got—to love God and live for him. Said differently, wherever the Lord has planted you and with whatever resources he’s provided, use all your strength to love him smack-dab in the middle of it all.As we pray for our kids to love God with all of their strength, we’re praying that they use all of their party-planning skills, math aptitude, athleticism, and social media acumen for God’s greatest glory. It’s taking the seemingly small places in their life and asking the Lord to use it in every possible way for his bigger purposes.Spend time this week asking the Lord to use your kids’ gifts to bring God glory. Pray that he uses them for his greater purposes right where he has them, teaching them to love the Lord with all of their much-ness and strength.Lord, thank you for all the gifts and talents you’ve given our family. I pray that you will guide my children to use these gifts generously for your glory. With all of the much-ness you’ve given [name], remind them to serve those around them as they learn to love you with all of their strength.  God’s word speaks: Hebrews 13:16; Proverbs 11:24–25; Deuteronomy 16:17; Colossians 3:23Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out BetterHelp : betterhelp.com/MESS* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/22/202414 minutes, 42 seconds
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How can our kids keep their faith in college? with Campbell Stites

Pardon the Mess is sponsored by BetterHelp.It’s not often you get to interview a college kid about growing up as a Christian. The Stites are family friends of ours and a family we admire and respect so very much. I am often asking them for advice since they are ahead of the game by a few years. Today’s episode is a chat with their son, Campbell, who is studying political science at Texas A&M University. He has always been a leader and I have absolutely loved watching God grow his faith during his first year in college. He’s making some wise choices that we can all learn from.My favorite part of the episode is when he encourages parents to get interested in their child's interests. He shares about how his mom invested in his interests and helped foster a super close mom/son relationship. In this episode we discuss:How to make faith a priority in collegeThe power of friends and your circleHow to let boys have freedom vs controlling themThe gift of allowing your teens to failConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Moms, Dads, and Grads Gift GuidePardon the Mess is sponsored by BetterHelp.Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out BetterHelp : betterhelp.com/MESS* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/18/202424 minutes, 52 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by our Mind

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” —2 Corinthians 10:5 As we pray for our kids to love God with all of their minds, we have to consider that our mind is made up of our thoughts. So, in order to love God with all of our minds, we have to think about what fills our minds and how it impacts the way we love God.Our thoughts are significant because they have the potential to grow our love for God or distract and pull us away from a relationship with him and his great plans for our life. The Enemy loves to get a hold of our thoughts and make us question God’s goodness and protection in our life.For our kids to love God with all of their minds, we’re praying that they “take captive” all the thoughts that are destructive, not instructive. This process of taking captive their thoughts is accomplished by knowing God’s word so that their thoughts are weighed against the truth of Scripture. It also comes by considering what’s going into their minds and how that’s fueling (or lessening) their love for God. It’s praying that they evaluate the movies they watch, the music they listen to, and the voices they allow to speak into their lives. Since our kids’ thoughts have the greatest impact on loving God with all of their minds, let’s take time to pray over their thoughts and ask God to help them take each one captive. Lord, teach us to love you in all of the different areas of our life, including our minds. If our minds are made up of our thoughts, teach us to take captive our thoughts and bring them in line with your truth. Be with [name], helping them to guard what they allow into their minds so that it always honors you.God’s word speaks: Isaiah 26:3; Jeremiah 33:3; Colossians 3:2–3; 1 Peter 1:13Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out BetterHelp : betterhelp.com/MESS* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/15/202413 minutes, 23 seconds
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How to approach God when you have anger, doubt and frustration with Adrienne Camp

What a treat to talk to Adrienne Camp about how she is trusting God with her kids.  Adrienne “Adie” Camp, a South African singer and songwriter, was the lead singer of the Christian rock band The Benjamin Gate before launching her solo career. She is married to fellow musician Jeremy Camp, whom she met on tour in 2002. They have been married since 2003 and have two daughters, Bella and Arie, and one son, Egan. Throughout this entire episode, you will hear Adrienne’s heart to connect people in a very tangible way with Jesus. However, she acknowledges that we don’t always feel excited about that. Sometimes, we are sitting in a real place of doubt, frustration and disbelief. No matter where you are on your faith journey (or your kids) - I think you will feel so encouraged by Adrienne’s words and wisdom. In this episode we discuss:The desire to protect our kids from mistakesThe real grief experienced when you launch a child Getting honest with God - all our feelings and emotions included doubt and angerConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:As For Me - Adrienne’s latest bible study on Psalms Even Me - Adrienne’s book with her girls about their journey to AfricaAdrienne Camp’s Instagram Pardon the Mess episode with Jonathan and Peta PittsChristian Parenting Store (15% off with coupon PODCAST2024)Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : getpuroair.com* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/11/202433 minutes, 10 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by our Soul

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” —Mark 8:36Loving God with all of our soul sounds very important, but what exactly is our soul?Our soul lies deep down inside of us and is our very core. It’s the invisible part of us that connects us with God. It is where we are most at home, and it’s the most fundamental driver of who we are from the inside out. If you strip away all of our outward actions and how we choose to portray ourselves (or how others may define us), the soul is our truest self.To love the Lord with all of our soul, we’ve got to be faithful in private. We’ve got to be devoted to the things that drench our soul in Jesus and be willing to drop the things that don’t. It’s spending time in prayer confessing what’s in our soul, not just in our mind. As we pray for our kids to love God with all of their souls this week, let’s pray that they learn to love him with the very core of who they are—not by what they intellectually believe about him, or how they serve him, or what they communicate to others by their faith, but truly learning to love Jesus from the core of their being. Pray for the Lord to reveal the depths of their soul and teach them how to love him with all that they are. Lord, we confess to spending a disproportionate amount of time worrying about our earthly bodies, usually at the expense of our soul. Please teach [name] how to love you from their very core, giving priority to the only part of us that will live eternally. God’s word speaks: Psalm 119:81; Psalm 63:8; Deuteronomy 4:29; Matthew 10:28Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : getpuroair.com* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/8/202420 minutes, 46 seconds
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When you are beyond tired (soul exhausted) and don’t know how to get rest with Jess Connolly

I am taking a guess that 100% of us are exhausted. And this is beyond the physically tired feeling. You all will love the encouragement and wisdom on today’s episode by Jess Connolly. I have always loved her teaching and preaching - because she balances compassion and truth so well. She doesn’t leave us sitting in the challenges - she provides biblical, practical and realistic ways we can move forward in this issue.This idea of burnout and an unsustainable pace is not new information. We know we are in it but are not sure why or how to stop it as parents? So what do we do? Tune in to this week’s podcast chat with Jess - you won’t feel shame - you will feel equipped and encouraged to do the hard work of rest. We all know our souls are crying for it.I was so absolutely amused at the start of our conversation when I asked her about her cold plunge obsession. Is anyone else into the idea of purposely jumping into ice cold water? She actually gives a pretty compelling case to try it.Jess’ story of emotional, physical and spiritual breakdownHow to tend to your soul and stop feeling so defeated How to break the cycle of surviving vs thriving How can we respond to God’s invitation to restConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:JessConnolly.comTired of Being Tired - Jess’ new bookRaising Mentally Strong KidsOur Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : getpuroair.com* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/4/202432 minutes, 19 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Our Heart

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” —Mark 12:30 Remember the lawyer who tried to trick Jesus by asking him to name the greatest commandment? (Lawyers, am I right?) Jesus, knowing this guy’s antics, responded with, “Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” If we break it down, what does it look like to love God with all of our heart? Our heart is not just critical to our health; it’s also the epicenter of our spiritual life. It’s central to our thoughts and actions, where we spend money, and even the words that come out of our mouths. When Jesus talks about loving God with all our heart, he’s referencing our emotions and decisions. In order for us to love God with all of our hearts, we have to prioritize spending time with him and in his word. When we spend time with God, we start wanting to do the things that are pleasing to God and we care about the things that he cares about. Having time with our creator enables us to know what he wants for our lives, and we can’t help but pursue him and the things he values and wants for our families. Let’s pray this week that our kids learn to love God with all of their hearts, beginning with prioritizing time with him and pursuing him in all that they do. Lord, teach us to show our love for you, not just with our words, but with our lifestyle. Lead [name] to prioritize time in your word and learn to pursue you in all that they do. Remind us that loving you means also loving our neighbor. Make us aware of the needs we can meet around us. God’s word speaks: 1 John 4:7–8; 1 Corinthians 13:13; John 13:34; 1 John 4:19Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out undefined: undefined* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/1/20249 minutes, 25 seconds
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What do I do with my life? How to pursue your gifts while feeling trapped and unseen with Brooke Warnock

There’s not a day that goes by that I do not hear these same sentiments from a mom. And I have been there many times.I feel so lost.I don’t know what to do with my life.I feel overlooked and unseen.I feel like I don’t dream or use my gifts.In this episode, I get the pleasure of having a real life heart chat with my friend (and my Life Plan Coach) Brooke Warnock. She shares about her journey of raising 5 kids on a ranch - while wanting to use her unique gifts for the Lord. It can be a huge struggle for all of us.My favorite part is how honest she is about the struggle of using your gifts and raising kids. She will make you feel so seen as she shares her journey. I pray you feel so very encouraged that this is not the end of your story. In some ways, the motherhood years are just the beginning. If you don’t have your exact calling and purpose figured out - do not feel discouraged. I pray you never forget that God will use every bit of you and your giftings to raise those kids and build your home. In this episode we discuss: What to do when you feel trapped and unseen at homeHow to bring your gifts and talents into your home, not just your vocationHow to dream and redefine your life while embracing the seasons of parentingWhat is wrong? What is right? What is confused? What is missing?Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:BrookeWarnock.comBrooke’s free assessmentLifePlan with BrookePaterson LifePlanLost Valley RanchIf GatheringBlue Zones DocumentaryRaising Mentally Strong KidsOur Scripture Affirmation Cards are the perfect gifts for your kid’s Easter Baskets!Brooke’s challenge to ask these questions:What is wrong? What is right? What is confusing? What is missing?Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/MESS and get on your way to being your best self.* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/28/202455 minutes, 29 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Fruit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” —Galatians 5:22–23 As we celebrate Easter, we have the opportunity to pray that the power of the cross impacts every area of our kids’ lives. It is an incredible assurance knowing that, by accepting Jesus, our kids have a new eternal destination. But we’re also praying for a daily life transformation.When our kids become Christians, we should begin looking for (and hopefully seeing) fruit in their lives. Jesus said those who follow him will produce spiritual fruit, and it’s by this fruit you will know them (Matthew 7:20).In Galatians, Paul describes some attributes of a life without Christ, including anger, idolatry, jealousy, selfishness, impurity, and strife. In contrast, with Christ we start to see the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Thankfully, this is not simply a checklist of things we’re constantly trying to achieve. Instead, it’s produced by allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us.Without even trying, our kids will produce fruit that’s visible to the world around them. This fruit can either be produced by the Holy Spirit or produced by their own spirit. Our prayer is that our kids will submit to the Holy Spirit’s leadership, resulting in less of their own fruit and more of his.This week, let’s pray that Easter Sunday impacts the way our kids live on Monday and that they produce fruit that leads others to trust Jesus and his great sacrifice at the cross.He is risen! He is risen indeed!Lord, thank you for your sacrifice at the cross. Allow our gratitude for the significance of Easter to impact how we live every day. Grow our kids in obedience and holiness, naturally leading them to produce spiritual fruit. Help [name] to submit to your Holy Spirit in both the small and big ways, making their life a clearer reflection of you.God’s word speaks:  Matthew 7:17–18; Romans 8:6; Ephesians 4:1–3; Romans 15:13Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/MESS and get on your way to being your best self.* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/25/202411 minutes, 53 seconds
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How to find JOY in the everyday moments with Jenna Griffith

As soon as I heard about Jenna’s passion for JOY in the home - I knew I wanted to have her on the podcast. Parenting is hard, but there is a way to still bring joy into the everyday messes of motherhood. I absolutely loved her encouragement on how to get intentional about redirecting our attitudes, conversations and outlook to one that is joy. She reminds us we do have control of our mind - and we can reframe how we see all the tiny annoyances and messes. This doesn’t mean we never get down or get honest with the hard - it’s just an encouragement to not let negativity and frustration ruin some very special years as a mom.My kids would tell you I’m quite moody, but I do see the difference in our home when I find the good and let go of the tiny frustrations. My mood really impacts the home I’ve often called myself the CMO - Chief Mood Officer. Do you sense that your mood can often set the tone and even help redirect to joy?My favorite part is when we talk about community. Are you surrounding yourself with other parents that only complain? What can you do in those moments when everyone is complaining about their kids? In this episode we discuss:Jenna’s journey with postpartum depressionHow to find the good and joy in the everyday (even when it’s hard)Practical ways to bring fun and joy into the mess Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Jenna’s siteJenna’s podcastListener Kids YouTube ChannelRegister for Camp WinShapeOur Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/MESS and get on your way to being your best self.* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/21/202437 minutes, 16 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Armor

What a GIFT to have my dear friend Cari Trotter to pray for us this week about the armor of God. I was so incredibly blessed by our time and needed the chat and prayer myself.“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” —Ephesians 6:11–12 Most of us don’t spend a lot of time contemplating how to fight against the devil’s schemes, but Scripture does. Thankfully, Jesus has already won our ultimate battle by his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. But, even then, there will still be trouble in this world because we have a real Enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). As we face the visible (and often invisible) battles each day, Satan’s success hinges on catching us unprepared and with our guard down. Let’s pray that our kids are battle-ready by wearing the armor of God, as seen in Ephesians 6:13–17:The belt of truth: Pray that God’s truth will defeat the enemy’s lies in their lives.The breastplate of righteousness: Pray that they withstand attacks of impurity and wrongdoing by clinging to righteousness.Feet fitted with the gospel of peace: Pray for a willingness to go and share the gospel.The shield of faith: Pray for protection from doubt, fear, and anxiety.The helmet of salvation: Pray for a mind controlled by God.The sword of the Spirit: Pray that God’s word is their offense, knowing it’s sharper than any sword. Lord, the battles waged against our kids will be difficult and often unseen. Help them to be ready for anything they face through your protection and power. Mark [name] with a readiness that only comes from you. Prepare them with every tool necessary for victory in your name.God’s word speaks: Ephesians 6:13–17; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 16:13Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/MESS and get on your way to being your best self.* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/18/202416 minutes, 5 seconds
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How to raise world changers with Carlos Whittaker

If you know Carlos Whittaker, you love him. I have long admired his work in the world. He is honest, brave, vulnerable and simply loves walking with people. I find myself frustrated with the evangelical world when I see such divisiveness around tough topics and a dogmatic stance on every issue. Carlos encourages us that it’s possible to hold your belief and disagree with others in a way that draws people in.My favorite part is when we talk about his approach to parenting. His desire is that we have more conversations of hope than conversations of despair. This was a good caution for all of us - as we see so much in our culture that causes stress and worry. In this episode, we also discuss:How to walk with people not stand on issues How to raise less self-righteous kids that really see peopleHow to model kindness and create empathy in our kidsHow to raise little world changersConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Carlos’ InstagramGet Your Hope Up - Carlos’ new devotional for kidsLearn more about WinShape Camps!Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/14/202433 minutes, 6 seconds
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Week 27: Marked by Refinement

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” —1 Peter 1:6–7 The final stage in gold production is refinement, the process of using heat to remove impurities from metal. After the gold is refined, only the most valuable qualities remain because the impurities and lesser qualities have been eliminated. Scripture says that God is refining us. Even though we’re created in his exact image, we are free-willed human beings riddled with sin and impurities that don’t line up with who we were created to be. Just as the refinement of gold takes place in the heat of fire, refinement in our own lives often happens in the “furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). As parents, we want to keep our kids from the hard places, so we find ourselves stepping in when they face difficulties. But what if God is working most significantly in the hard places in their lives? What if changing their circumstances prevents God from changing their heart? As we’re praying for our kids to be marked by refinement, let’s not ask God to remove their obstacles but rather to remove their impurities. Let’s pray that when the heat intensifies, our kids learn to trust that the One who allows the fire will also bring them through it. Lord, you refine us so that we are cleansed from unrighteousness and become a purer version of who you created us to be. We ask you to take all of the difficulties and trials that [name] will face and use them as an opportunity to see a clearer picture of you. Thank you for loving us too much to leave us as we are. Refine us for your glory.  God’s word speaks: 1 Peter 1:6–7; Zechariah 13:9; Romans 8:18; Job 23:10Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/11/202411 minutes, 37 seconds
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Common misconceptions about faith and theology with Jen Wilkin

I am still thinking about this episode and this thought-provoking conversation with Jen Wilkin. I wish I could bribe every single one of you (and your spouse and small group) to listen to this episode. Jen is a self-taught theologian that speaks about the Bible and Christianity in a way that we can all understand. I believe you will be motivated to dive into your Bible and engage in more conversations about it. She challenges us to go beyond the one-way conversation that is Sunday morning and sermons. I learned so much from her breakdown of common misconceptions about faith and theology. My favorite part is towards the end during our discussion on parenting and faith. Her answers gave me some freedom and a sigh of relief. She also gave some very practical ways we can start the conversation of faith and Jesus with our little ones.In this episode, we discuss:What is theology and Bible literacy and why is it importantWhat is the benefit of learning the Bible for ourselves Why community and conversations propel us faster and furtherWhy it’s crucial to model faith conversations for our kidsConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Jen Wilkin’s siteJen’s podcastWomen of the WordYou are a TheologianRegister for Camp WinShapeOur brand-new Scripture Affirmation CardsOur Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/7/202429 minutes, 31 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Surrender

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.’” —Matthew 16:24–25 “I Surrender All” is a classic hymn that gained notoriety when Rev. Billy Graham began using it as the invitation song during his revivals. The words have such a great message for walking with Jesus: All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give;I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.I surrender all, I surrender all,All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all. Surrender is the antithesis of trying to “work” our way into a right relationship with God. A surrendered life allows the Spirit of God to enter into us, shaping us into something greater than we could be on our own.  The first and most significant act of surrender we can pray over our kids’ is their choice to surrender to the lordship of Christ by accepting Jesus as their savior. But, even after our kids have accepted Christ, we can pray that they surrender their words, plans, dreams, finances, and relationships to the Lord. Pray for our kids to have the discipline to surrender all they are to the Lord each day, committing to live in a way that’s pleasing and brings him glory. Lord, you become more when we become less. Please guide [name] to accept you as their Savior and surrender their lives to your glory. Help them know that surrendering to you is a lifelong process as they trust you with their burdens, fears, dreams, and aspirations. God’s word speaks: Philippians 2:13; James 4:7; John 3:30; Psalm 32:8Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/4/202412 minutes, 18 seconds
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How to teach your kids about hard topics - from diversity to bullying to loneliness With Trillia Newbell

Do you ever get overwhelmed with how to talk to your young kids about hard topics? I have been there. And sometimes, I actually disengage or ignore important topics because it feels too hard. I don’t want to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.Diversity is one of those topics that matters. It matters to God and it matters to me. Trillia Newbell is the perfect guest for this conversation. She was looking for a resource to guide her discussions with our own kids and couldn’t find it. So, she wrote “God’s Very Good Idea” to center the discussion of diversity around the gospel. In this chat, we also discuss another hard topic with our kids -  bullying and loneliness. We talk about the importance of friendship for our kids and how we can turn our kids to Jesus in these moments.My favorite part is when Trillia reminds us that the teaching is coming. Either culture is going to teach our kids or we need to get ahead of that messaging. It’s so very important that we frame tough topics with a biblical point of view and Trilia helps us do that so well.In this episode, we discuss:How to teach our kids about diversity from a biblical perspective How to discern between bullying and unkindness How to invite God into your loneliness  Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Jesus and the Gift of Friendship - Trillia’s new bookGod’s Very Good Idea (and other books) by TrilliaConnect with Trillia NewbellOur Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/29/202430 minutes, 18 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by God’s Certainty

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” —Proverbs 16:9 NLTWe just don’t know what we don’t know.History gives us some pretty funny stories of people who tried to predict the future but got it embarrassingly wrong. One great example is from 1962, when a record executive told the Beatles they “have no future in show business” because four-piece groups with guitars are a thing of the past. Oops.The only thing we can be certain about this side of heaven is that our lives are going to be uncertain. We don’t know that the next year holds for us or our kids. But God does.In the middle of uncertainty for Joshua, God reminded him that “every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you” (Joshua 1:3 ESV). The message to Joshua is the same message for us: with God directing our steps, not even one of them is unexpected or without purpose to the One who authors them all.This week, we’re praying for our kids to understand that what’s uncertain to them is anything but unexpected or unplanned to God. Knowing that, we can put our trust in the One who not only knows the future but also writes it.Lord, you don’t just know what the future holds, you are the future. Help [name] to stand firm in the face of uncertainty, knowing that you determine their steps and, in doing so, go before and behind them with power and authority over all things. We don’t know what we don’t know—but you do. God’s word speaks: Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6; Isaiah 45:2; Proverbs 3:6Our Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/26/202414 minutes, 13 seconds
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How to move forward when you are crushed and devastated with Laney Rene

I have long admired Laney Rene online and was so thrilled to get a chance to know her through this interview. She is beyond her years in wisdom and her faith has always inspired me. She’s a young mom so those of you with littles will definitely relate to our episode.She shares so tenderly about the loss of her son and how she experienced God in a new way through her pain. So many of you have gone through or are enduring tremendous pain. Painful parts of our story can feel so very crushing and devastating. So, how do we choose hope over despair? I believe Laney Rene’s story will encourage you.My favorite part is when she talks about when you know that God is real. And what to do when you doubt that he is real or that he is actually speaking to you.  I pray you will feel so very seen and loved through this conversation about how much God loves his daughters. During this episode, we discuss:How to allow God into the most painful parts of your lifeHow to choose hope over despair How to discover how much Jesus truly loves you and sees you as his own child  Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoOur Sponsors:* Check out Armoire and use my code MESS for a great deal: http://www.armoire.style* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/22/202436 minutes, 49 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Self-Discipline

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” —Hebrews 12:11 ESVNobody lacks self-discipline like our precious two-year-olds. Their language repertoire is heavy with words like no, mine, and more—typically accompanied with a hearty side of theatrics. As cute as it might be when they are young (or not), a lack of self-discipline creates some big issues later in life.Self-discipline (or lack thereof) will impact every part of our kids’ lives, including their dating relationships, finances, online accountability, marriage, physical health, and even their occupations. The author of Hebrews reminds us that discipline isn’t fun in the moment, but it’s a key step in the pathway to righteousness.The good news is that self-discipline isn’t just a matter of mustering up enough willpower. Rather, it's a God-given perspective that the greater reward in waiting is better than the immediate temptation we’re facing. Warren Wiersbe says it this way: “Discipline means giving up the good and the better for the best. There is nothing wrong with food or fun, but if they interfere with your highest goals, then they are hindrances and not helps.”Let’s ask God to give our kids the self-discipline to look away, walk away, or find a way to pass on anything that interferes with God’s highest goals in their lives. Jesus is worth waiting for, and self-discipline eliminates the pain and discouragement of settling for less than his best in their lives.Lord, help [name] to have the self-discipline to pass up the good in order to accomplish the great you have planned for them. Give my children an eye for your bigger picture in all areas of their lives, knowing the ultimate goal of righteousness is worth waiting for. God’s word speaks: 1 Corinthians 9:24Proverbs 25:282 Timothy 1:71 Corinthians 9:27Our Sponsors:* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/19/20249 minutes, 53 seconds
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How do I manage emotions as a parent? with Jennie Allen

Well, it makes perfect sense that I have a minor cryfest on this episode. In this conversation with Jennie Allen, we dive into our feelings and emotions and what to do with those.  You may have many feelings (like myself) or you may lean towards suppressing your emotions. Either way, we ALL have emotions and it’s important to understand how we handle those as faith-filled parents. I get super teary as we talk about our mutual friend, Wynter Pitts, and how her death really sent me for a loop. In that season, I felt grief like I never had before and wasn’t sure what to do with that. Jennie is the real deal as you will see. She pauses in the midst of the interview to affirm my grief and why that loss hurt so much. My favorite part is towards the end when we discuss how often our emotions get tangled up with our kids. When they hurt, we really hurt. She gives a couple practical ways we can avoid getting pulled into their worlds so far that we risk co-dependence. Don’t miss this episode! Learn more about…Why do we fear our emotions and avoid leaning into them?What do you do when you feel something?How to handle emotions when you’re an emotional mess or love to suppress?How do we care for our kids without going down emotionally every time?Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Jennie’s new book, Untangle Your EmotionsJennieAllen.comLifePlan with Brooke Warnock Wynter’s FuneralOur Sponsors:* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/15/202430 minutes, 24 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by God’s Presence

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” —Matthew 28:20We are on week 23. I am so proud of us! We have prayed every week together on Pardon The Mess for our kids. Today’s prayer features our friend Jeannie Cunnion. I love her heart for Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. She’s written several books on this topic and encouraged me tremendously to lean into God’s presence in my parenting.Connect with Jeannie!Jeannie’s latest study - Never AloneOur Sponsors:* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/12/202414 minutes, 33 seconds
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What’s the secret to happy couples? Let’s talk marriage with Ted Lowe

Either you’re happy in your marriage and want to remain that way, or you are not that happy in your marriage right now and feel frozen on how to fix it. My guest today is Ted Lowe who is an author, speaker and podcast host who has been helping to strengthen marriages for over two decades. You’ll love his relatable and doable approach to marriage and leave this conversation feeling encouraged, not ashamed.In this episode, we talk about the secret to happy couples. Spoiler alert - it’s our thought life. Join us as we discuss how scripture, research and neuroscience together provide a simple way to rethink how we see marriage. Ted gives us a couple of ways we can change our thought life today that will impact our marriage for the good. I was definitely convicted on this statement. Ted said, “how you think is how you treat them.” That is a true statement that I will remember for some time.My favorite part is when I ask Ted how a couple can take action together to improve their marriage. His answer may surprise you. It was a piece of advice I wish I had heard about 20 years ago. Let me know what you think!Enjoy!CourtneyConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:ForUsMarriage.com - Ted’s siteTed’s latest book: Us In Mind: How Changing Your Thoughts Can Change Your MarriageThe All Pro Dad PodcastTeen Study BibleLife is Messy, God is GoodOur Sponsors:* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/8/202436 minutes, 50 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Purity

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” —Psalm 119:9 The idea of raising pure kids in an impure culture can feel like an impossibly tall order as parents. Defining purity can be confusing and is oftentimes limited to discussions of physical relationships or online accountability. We sometimes mistakenly make purity a goal our kids must achieve, staying away from certain things or even keeping on a prescribed path until the finish line of marriage. Noel Bouche of Pure Hope Ministries says, “purity it not an accomplishment; it’s a relationship.”  It’s a relationship with Jesus, who comes to redeem us from the sin of this world and purify us to himself (Titus 2:14). He renews our minds and equips us to overcome our earthly temptations. He cleanses us and makes us new creations. He gives hope that is everlasting and brings healing when we fall short. Biblical purity is bigger than a checklist of things our kids should or should not do, but instead focuses on the bigger picture of the lifelong pursuit of Jesus. It’s not about our ability to perform but about Jesus’ transforming power within us.  There’s nothing wrong with praying for our kids to have purity in their physical relationships, the way they dress, the motivation behind their actions, their pursuit of Jesus, and the music and media that fill their minds. But let’s also pray that if and when they fall short, they know that the Lord stands ready to forgive them and give them a new beginning.  Lord, please bring [name] to you, purifying them through a renewing of their heart and mind. Give my kids the freedom to come to me no matter what they have seen or done, knowing that, as a family, we will offer grace and seek your wisdom. Help my kids to take captive their thoughts and find companionship with those seeking a pure heart and a life of righteousness. God’s word speaks: Colossians 3:5, 1 Timothy 4:12, Matthew 5:8, Titus 2:13–14Our Sponsors:* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/5/202411 minutes, 6 seconds
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Let’s end the mommy wars - working vs stay-at-home? with Paula Faris

Stay-at-home and working-moms: Embrace the season you're in with Paula FarisAs moms, we all work. We know that. However, our culture wants us to find a camp and defend it. We find ourselves in a “stay-at-home” world or a “working moms” world. Paula Faris is a dear friend of mine and is just who we needed on this podcast topic. Like many of us, Paula has worked in many lanes since becoming a mom. She has worked full-time on Good Morning America and The View. She has also had a season at home with her kids and is now working from home on her new brand, Carry Media.Paula and I chat about how often we (moms) judge each other’s decisions and what we really need is support and understanding. What if we could end these mommy wars and all get on the same train of support? In this episode, we also talk about how employers could help shift the work environment for mothers in the future. Paula speaks from the true heart of an advocate that is using her voice and platform to fight for the working moms.My favorite part is when Paula encourages moms to embrace each season. That we don’t need to defend our choices - but just follow God’s voice for our particular season and our family’s needs. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Paula’s book: You Don’t Have To Carry It AllPaula’s children’s book: Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?CARRY MediaPaula’s InstagramCynthia Yanof's book: Life is Messy, God is GoodOur Sponsors:* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/* Visit HomeThreads.com/MESS today and get a 15% off code for your first order!Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/1/202445 minutes, 40 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Confidence

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” —Jeremiah 17:7We all want to raise confident kids, but the hard part is making sure their confidence comes from the right source: God himself. We live in a culture that esteems strong finances, good looks, prestigious jobs, and realized dreams—none of which are lasting or fulfilling. When we look to find our confidence in the things of this world, we will never find satisfaction. Solomon, among the wisest and wealthiest of all time, describes the pursuits of this world as “utterly meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). He pursued everything the world had to offer only to conclude that there’s “nothing new under the sun” so we should only “fear god and keep his commandments.”The great irony of the gospel is that only in acknowledging our insufficiency can God do his greatest work by strengthening us.Let’s pray that our kids are marked by confidence in things with lasting value:The promise that God will complete every good work in them (Philippians 1:6)Their identity as children of God (2 Corinthians 5:17)The good news of the gospel and their eternity with Jesus (John 3:16)The opportunity to approach God boldly in prayer, knowing that he hears them (Hebrews 4:16)Lord, this world is filled with uncertainty that threatens to rock our confidence. But you are steadfast and reliable, showing favor on your children and building them up to accomplish your purposes. Please give [name] a confident spirit marked by their reliance on you.God’s word speaks: Psalm 27: 3, Philippians 4:13; Psalm 139:13–14; Romans 8:28Our Sponsors:* Check out HomeThreads.com/MESS to get a code for 15% off your first order!* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/29/20249 minutes, 20 seconds
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What is the God-sized calling on my life? With Cynthia Yanof

She’s baaaccckkkk!!! Did you know that Cynthia Yanof was the first host of Pardon The Mess? She passed the podcast baton to me in May and through this process has become a dear friend. I’m absolutely thrilled to catch up with her today.We talk about how to find and follow the God-sized calling on your life. She shares about her personal journey with foster care and adoption and what that step of faith did for their family. It will get you so excited and expectant to look for what God is calling you to do and to run after it. We don’t want to miss these moments that matter in our lives! If we’re honest though, we often feel like we don’t know what that looks like and how to discern what God is saying to us.I also loved when we chatted about the world’s expectations for us (and our kids) to be extraordinary. Her encouragement for us to embrace the ordinary is really encouraging. We see measurable “success” all around us and it looks so very big and flashy. Cynthia reminds us that the most God-honoring things we can do each day are likely not measurable.Be sure to go check out her new book, Life Is Messy, God Is Good, that releases next week. We are so proud of you Cynthia! And thankful for the way you’ve model faithfulness to God for so many years. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Courtney & Cynthia - Pardon The Mess announcement Part 1 and Part 2CynthiaYanof.ComCynthia’s InstagramCynthia’s PodcastCynthia’s New Book: Life Is Messy, God Is GoodDiscipleship Guide:  cpgive.org Our Sponsors:* Check out HomeThreads.com/MESS to get a code for 15% off your first order!* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/25/202440 minutes, 39 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Hope

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” —Isaiah 40:31A few years ago, Pew Research released a poll revealing that seven in ten US teens considered anxiety and depression a major problem among their peers. Of those participating in the poll, 61 percent indicated they felt pressure to get good grades, while 29 percent felt pressure to look good and 28 percent felt pressure to fit in socially.Considering that our culture’s expectations are so often arbitrary and impossible to meet, it’s not surprising that our kids struggle with anxiety and depression. When the world ties our worth to materiality and performance, it feels hopeless because we’re only as good as our most recent accomplishment or latest accolade.But, as Christians, our hope is in the Lord. Practically speaking, that means we’re not looking to the world to meet our greatest needs and desires, Rather, we look to God. Biblical hope is not just desiring for something good to happen in our lives; it’s a confident expectation that God will actually do it.There are so many reasons for our kids to be hopeful in the Lord: He has good plans for their lives (Jeremiah 29:11).He leads and teaches them in his ways (Psalm 32:8).He will fulfill his greater purpose in their lives (Psalm 138:8).He will establish their plans (Proverbs 16:3).He promises to work all things together for their good (Romans 8:28).The Pew Research statistics confirm what we already know: we need to diligently pray that our kids are not weighed down by impossible standards of our culture, but that they will be marked by a hope found only in the Lord.Lord, there is no hope without you. Use [name] as an instrument to take your hope to those around them. Take our days, Lord—the good, the bad, the easy, the hard—and show us the greater picture of hope found only in you.God’s word speaks: Ephesians 1:18; Jeremiah 29:11; Mark 9:23; Psalm 33:18Our Sponsors:* Check out HomeThreads.com/MESS to get a code for 15% off your first order!* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/22/20247 minutes, 8 seconds
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For all parents of sons! Is there a boy crisis? with David Thomas

David Thomas never disappoints! As a counselor with decades of experience, David has counseled thousands of families of boys. He brings powerful insight, practical tips, and heartfelt encouragement. You may be wondering if you are failing at this parenting thing or if there might be something wrong with your son. After this episode, I think you will feel much better about your parenting and your amazing son. David agrees with the assessment that there is a “boy crisis” happening, as this article suggests. Reach out to us on social media - do you agree? Are you seeing “disinterest” in your son’s world too?My biggest takeaway is when David distinguishes between “hard” and “harmful.” I have daughters - but I needed to hear this encouragement. Too often, I help them escape hard things because I believe they are in harm’s way when they are not. Many times, my kids are pushing back against discomfort and you’ll hear how this is needed and actually good for them.This is one of those episodes you need to listen to, file away, save, listen again, and then discuss with a friend. Do not lose hope! Jesus has you and your kiddos. I’m so thankful he brings us so many wonderful and biblical mentors like David Thomas to help guide us through these parenting challenges. Don’t miss the last part when David reminds us that we have an opportunity and many years left to equip, empower and encourage all the kids we love.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Dr. Anthony Bradley article about boy crisis Daystar Counseling Raising Boys and Girls InstagramRaising Boys and Girls Podcast Raising Emotionally Strong Boys (for parents)Strong and Smart (guide for boys)Babbleland Breakout- Dead Sea SquirrelsOur Sponsors:* Check out HomeThreads.com/MESS to get a code for 15% off your first order!* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/18/202449 minutes, 54 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Compassion

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” —Ephesians 4:32 Compassion is one of the defining characteristics of God. He’s sympathetic to our struggles and burdened by what burdens us. But, even more than simply feeling compassion and sympathy toward us emotionally, his compassionate nature moves him to act on our behalf. This compassion turned to action is most evident when we consider the cross. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That’s the overwhelming grace behind a compassionate God working all things for the good of his children.  If compassion is central to the gospel, what should it look like in our lives? Henri Nouwen describes it this way: “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless.” As we pray compassion for our kids this week, we’re praying that it’s more than a fleeting emotion. Rather, we’re praying that it’s evident in their actions. Pray that they stand up for the vulnerable, fight for the oppressed, and are intolerant of injustices around them. Lord, your word calls us to have compassion and love for others. Please give [name] a compassionate heart to see the things that burden you and a spirit of determination to help others in whatever way you lead. Slow us down and give us discernment to see the needs around us and not to tolerate the things that break your heart. God’s word speaks:1 Peter 3:8; 2 Corinthians 1:3–4; Colossians 3:12; Lamentations 3:22–23Our Sponsors:* Check out HomeThreads.com/MESS to get a code for 15% off your first order!* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/15/20249 minutes, 47 seconds
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3 ways to stop wasting your time and money with Shawna Sullivan

Happy New Year!!!Do you love the reset that comes with a New Year or does it stress you out? Either way, I think you’re going to find this conversation refreshing. It’s simple. It’s practical. And very doable.On Pardon The Mess, we talk a lot about being intentional with our families. We talk about our values and how we are going to instill those into our kids. The truth is that all of that takes time and money - which is not an endless pot. I wish it wouldn’t run out. As we begin the year, let’s hear from my friend Shawna Sullivan on some ways we can stop wasting time and money. And then, print her simple guide called “Make It Count” and just spend a few minutes thinking ahead through the year. My favorite part is when she encourages us to cut the mindless spending. She calls it a “slow leak.” I am so so guilty of this and I do think it would help our budget a ton if I’d cut the slow leak (also known as TJ Maxx).You will not feel judged or shamed in this episode. You will feel encouraged to make some small shifts to steward your time and money more wisely this year. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Connect with Shawna on Instagram ShawnaSullivan.comFree Download - "Make It Count" Babbleland Breakout- Dead Sea SquirrelsOur Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/* Check out HomeThreads.com/MESS to get a code for 15% off your first order!* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/11/202436 minutes, 48 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Truth

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”—John 17:17Sadie Robertson Huff has said that when she went to her mom for advice during struggles in her teenage years, her mom would always “meet her with Jesus”Meeting our kids with Jesus just might be the most significant thing we can do in our kids’ lives. Satan is the father of lies, looking for ways to misguide and deceive us at every turn. Only in Jesus will we find real truth, especially in a culture that rejects absolute truth.Jesus, you are the truth that overcomes the lies of the Enemy and shines light in the darkness. Help my family to identify the lies we’re believing, replacing them with the truth of your word. Give [name] an increasing understanding of who you are and your great love for them. Fill our families with hope, joy, and truth that comes only from you.God's word speaks: Psalm 119:151; John 14:6; 2 Timothy 3:16; John 10:10Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/* Check out Homethreads and use my code mess for a great deal: www.homethreads.com* Check out Puro Air : https://getpuroair.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/8/20249 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to pursue your passions during the seasons of motherhood with Ruth Chou Simons

Happy New Year!!! Let’s take a big sigh together. The New Year can be intense and overwhelming right out of the gate. I don’t know if you’re entering 2024 with a lot of shame or excitement. This episode is such a breath of fresh air that made me feel hopeful.I did this interview live at my church (Compass Church Colleyville) when Ruth was the guest speaker at our Christmas women’s event. It was so fun to do this in person and get to meet and sit with someone I have long admired.You will sense PEACE when you hear from Ruth. She just oozes truth and encouragement that we all need in our lives. We have some fun and also discuss some parenting tips along the way. When a mom of 6 BOYS speaks up, I listen.My favorite part is how she provides a way to read the Bible. A lens we can have to simply get to know the character of God with every moment we’re in His Word. For many years, I think I looked for me in the story and left feeling really discouraged and not enough. When we look for God instead - it can be a game changer in how we encounter our Heavenly Father.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Connect with RuthRuth’s latest book, PilgrimPre-Order Ruth’s next book, Now and Not YetRuth’s jeweler, Mud Lowery Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/4/202437 minutes, 11 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Numbering Days

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” —Psalm 90:12 Every seasoned parent knows how quickly time passes when you’re in the throes of raising kids. It seems like one day they’re toddlers and the next day you’re visiting colleges. Despite being cautioned that “the days are long, but the years are short,” it’s still hard to appreciate how fast it passes until you’re on the other side looking back. As we start a new year, it’s a great time for our families to remember to number our days because time is fleeting. Counting our days is not meant to be mathematical, but missional. It’s living today as if you have no tomorrow. It’s making the most of every God-given opportunity, knowing that missed opportunities are often our greatest regrets. David understood the brevity of life when he wrote, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure” (Psalm 39:5). As we pray for our kids to number their days, ask the Lord to give them the wisdom to evaluate every decision and opportunity through the lens of eternity. Lord, you are the God of the past, present, and future. We claim your promise that for every good work you begin in our kids, you will carry it to the point of completion. Please impress upon [name] the importance of numbering their days, knowing there is nothing more important or significant than the plans you have for them in this moment.God’s word speaks: Psalm 39:4; Ephesians 5:15; James 4:14–15; Psalm 144:4Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/1/202410 minutes, 38 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Numbering Days

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” —Psalm 90:12 Every seasoned parent knows how quickly time passes when you’re in the throes of raising kids. It seems like one day they’re toddlers and the next day you’re visiting colleges. Despite being cautioned that “the days are long, but the years are short,” it’s still hard to appreciate how fast it passes until you’re on the other side looking back. As we start a new year, it’s a great time for our families to remember to number our days because time is fleeting. Counting our days is not meant to be mathematical, but missional. It’s living today as if you have no tomorrow. It’s making the most of every God-given opportunity, knowing that missed opportunities are often our greatest regrets. David understood the brevity of life when he wrote, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure” (Psalm 39:5). As we pray for our kids to number their days, ask the Lord to give them the wisdom to evaluate every decision and opportunity through the lens of eternity. Lord, you are the God of the past, present, and future. We claim your promise that for every good work you begin in our kids, you will carry it to the point of completion. Please impress upon [name] the importance of numbering their days, knowing there is nothing more important or significant than the plans you have for them in this moment.God’s word speaks: Psalm 39:4; Ephesians 5:15; James 4:14–15; Psalm 144:4Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/1/202410 minutes, 38 seconds
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Simple Skin Care & Beauty Secrets with Heidi Miller and Lindsay Harrison

I am so excited about this month’s episodes. They are designed to be lighthearted and very practical - like we all sat down and had coffee. Today, we are headed into a chat about simplifying our style and skin care with two of my besties.Get fired up for some lighthearted banter about jeans, winter shoes, budget ideas, places to shop, aging skin care, drugstore favorites and much more. I hope you will feel practically equipped and slightly amused with our real life friend chat. Heidi is a pastor and extraordinary leader in our town. Our families do life together on the regular. She’s one of the very first friends I met here in TX. Lindsay is a Bible teacher and woman of many talents. She is the best party planner I know and loves to celebrate her people so often. She has scooped up my girls on many occasions and loves them so well. My favorite part is at the end when you get a pep talk from each of them. They do care for themselves and have fun with style and skin - but it is not the main thing. They remind us that our worth never lies with our physicality. These two radiate from the inside. Everytime I am with them, I feel so seen. Their smile, their hugs and their sincere interest in me is something I want to emulate. That kind of beauty is not sold at drugstores or Nordstrom. It’s cultivated after a lifetime of pursuing Jesus and living out their faith.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Heidi’s Birkenstock ClogsHeidi’s eye creamHeid’s Vitamin C SerumLindsay’s Elta MD tinted moisturizerLindsay’s MoisturizerLindsay’s Facial ScrubLindsay’s Exfoliating Cleanser Fab Fit FunNuulyCourtney’s legendary shoe clipsYour gift by December 31 DOUBLES to equip more parents in 2024!Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/28/202342 minutes, 33 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by the Nativity

“‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” —Matthew 1:23 When I was growing up, my family had a beautiful Christmas nativity in our living room that had been hand-painted by my grandmother. I remember the meticulously adorned kings, the elegant white angel, and the pristine animals more fit for a banquet than a barn. It would have met anyone’s definition of the perfect nativity set except for one thing: we lost baby Jesus. This was quite the conundrum since it wasn’t something a quick trip to Hobby Lobby could remedy. But, even without Jesus, my mom continued to display her nativity because the significance behind my grandmother’s handmade gift meant more than the splendor of a perfect nativity set. Christmas is full of pretty decorations, sparkly lights, and all the things that make this time of year special. But, much like my mom’s choice to continue displaying our nativity set, we’re praying that our kids grasp the significance behind the splendor as we celebrate Jesus’ birth. The significance comes in praying for a faith like Mary, who was willing to say yes even when it didn’t make sense. Or learning to walk in obedience like Joseph, who did the God-ordained things, not just the easy ones. It’s going any distance to meet Jesus like the wise men did. It’s approaching him like the lowly shepherds, in complete awe and wonder of the newborn King. Pray this week that our kids don’t just see Christmas for all of its splendor but live marked by the significance of Jesus’ birth and the message of the nativity.  Lord, allow the significance of the nativity to mark our kids as we celebrate your birth. Give [name] the faith of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, and the awe and reverence of the shepherds. Strip away the splendor of a secularized Christmas, showing our family the deep love you showed by coming to earth as a baby. God’s word speaks: Luke 2; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:14; Luke 2:14Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/25/202313 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to read the Bible when it feels overwhelming with Tara Leigh Cobble

What a delight to chat with Tara Leigh Cobble - founder of The Bible Recap that has reached over 320 million people. I know we all want to read God’s word and believe it’s important. However, the majority of folks experience the feelings of being overwhelmed and lost during that process. Tara has so much encouragement because she has also been there.You will just love her encouragement and disarming nature as it relates to reading our Bibles. I feel so ill-equipped sometimes to lead my kids when I am stumbling through myself. As you enter this New Year timeframe - make sure you listen to this one and get re-energized to make reading your Bible a priority for 2024. I am agreeing with her ending prayer - that we may fall in love with who God is through reading his word this year. As she describes, it’s 20 minutes a day that could change our lives and our families.My favorite part is at the end. Tara shares about how she didn’t like God after the first time through the Bible. Her pastor encouraged to try again with a different lens that changed everything. She is now on her 15th time through and more in love with Jesus than ever. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Connect with Tara LeighBible Recap - Start HereNEW Bible Recap Kids DevotionalYour gift by December 31 DOUBLES to equip more parents in 2024!Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/21/202335 minutes, 24 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Joy

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.’” —Luke 2:10 The odds are pretty good that you will sing “Joy to the World” at a Christmas service this season. It’s a classic Christmas carol with a great reminder of why we have joy. Joy to the world, the Lord is come!Let earth receive her King! These simple words explain the reason for our joy as Christians: Jesus has come. But how do we live with joy in a world with such real suffering?  Max Lucado talks about two different types of joy: contingent joy and courageous joy. Contingent joy is based on our circumstances and how things are going in life. Courageous joy is based in Jesus and is with us no matter what we’re facing.  Contingent joy focuses on the situational; courageous joy focuses on the eternal. Joni Eareckson Tada is an author, speaker, and artist who was paralyzed as a teenager as a result of a diving accident. She says her joy comes from knowing that “God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” She’s focused on the eternal. Joy is one of the attributes the world sees in us and doesn’t understand; it’s a great testimony, especially when it’s displayed in the hard places of life. Let’s pray for our kids to be marked by joy, not just at Christmas but at all times, because it’s not based on today but eternity.  Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Jesus, you are the reason we have joy. In complete humility, you came to earth as a baby, to pay the price for our sins so that we might live eternally. Reveal in [name] a joy that’s rooted not in their circumstances but in you alone. God’s word speaks: Philippians 4:4; Psalm 118:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18; Romans 12:12Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/18/20238 minutes, 54 seconds
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Simple Ways To Gain Peace in Your Chaotic Home with Krista Gilbert and Wendy Trigsted

I am so excited about this month’s episodes. They are designed to be lighthearted and very practical - like we all sat down and had coffee. Last week, we got to chat about simplifying traditions around Christmas. And this week, we have two more of my dearest friends to talk about all things HOME & SYSTEMS.You are going to wish these two could come over and sort your entire house. They are both super gifted at making homes practical, functional and beautiful. I got so many new ideas during our conversation (and laughed often). They crack me up!My favorite thing about them is how they view the home and how they always bring it back to the PEOPLE over the stuff. In the age of social media, I get so wrapped up in the appearance and making my home “look” just right. Sometimes, I just forget to make it work for our lives and the values we uphold as a family. Krista shared this verse which really encouraged me and I pray it encourages you as well.“You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” - 1 Corinthians 10:23 Merry Christmas!!!CourtneyConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:KristaGilbert.comKrista’s InstagramKrista’s newest podcast for leaders - The Transformation TriadOpen Door SisterhoodOur Time To Rise PodcastWendy’s Site - The Peaceful HomesteadWendy’s InstagramShop The Peaceful Homestead - Scripture Cards, Candles and moreWendy’s Home ConsultsWendy’s Laundry SystemWooden organizers for ziplocsSpice jars with labelsGift Wrapping StationBrunch With BabsGet Neat With LisaUnderwear sorterOur Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/14/202345 minutes, 40 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Protection

“The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” —Psalm 121:7–8It’s hard to feel safe when the news all around us tells a different story. But we can trust in the Lord’s protection because there is nothing he cannot do. He created everyone and everything in the universe and has complete control over every detail of it.As parents, it’s often especially difficult to trust God’s protection when it comes to our kids. We constantly need reminding that our best defense on their behalf is a commitment to praying for them. Even when we question God’s protection over them, we can trust that he’s sovereign, good, and never acts contrary to his loving nature. The real truth is that nothing can ultimately harm those who rest in the grip of our heavenly Father. Paul reminds us of this truth when he says: “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).Jodie Berndt joins us for this mini episode to pray with us that when the world seems really scary to our kids, they will remember the One who created the world. He’s our fortress and protector, guiding our very steps and guarding our every path.Lord, we pray for protection over our children that only comes from you. We pray not just for their physical protection but also for their spiritual health and protection. Please remind [name] that faith in you brings healing for all eternity because nothing can separate us from you. Keep them in your presence and protect them both today and always.God’s word speaks: Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 34:7–9; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Deuteronomy 31:6Connect with JodieWebsite: https://jodieberndt.com/Instagram: @jodie_berndtFacebook: @JodieBerndtWritesOur Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/11/202313 minutes, 8 seconds
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Simple Christmas traditions and the pressure to make it all magical with Katie Douglas and Kylie White

You are in for a treat! Courtney brings two of her very best friends on to get real about Christmas traditions. These three have been friends since their kids were babies and now they can look back over 18 years of parenting and share perspective. In addition to some fun and simple ideas, they also share about the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves during the Christmas season. They talk about everything from Santa, to the elf, and most importantly Jesus. They share some of the favorite traditions that their kids really remember.My favorite part is at the end they each give parenting encouragement. Spoiler alert - it involves lots of grace. I am so incredibly grateful for these two moms and how they have walked so closely with me all of these years. They are wise, humble, hilarious and two of the best Jesus-loving mommas I know. We didn’t even get to the miracle of Kylie White. She was healed from going blind. It’s a story I’ll never be over. You can listen to her miracle story here.Merry Christmas!!!Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Katie’s InstagramKylie’s InstagramKylie’s MiracleKylie’s blog Pioneer Woman Cinnamon RollsLight Em Up - Acts of KindnessOur Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 to get 50% off: https://www.factor75.com/Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/7/202348 minutes, 7 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Integrity

“The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.” —Proverbs 20:7 NLT When we think about God’s character, we probably think of attributes like righteousness, holiness, mercy, love, and justice. The Bible reminds us that the character of God is unchanging: he’s the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He’s dependable, he’s consistent, he’s compassionate, and he’s a God of integrity who desires the same for us. Integrity is more than how we respond in a given situation or a prescribed moral code we follow when life gets tricky. The word integrity comes from the Latin root integer, meaning whole. It’s a reference to our whole person, both who we are in public and in private. D. L. Moody has said that character is what you are in the dark. The same could be said of integrity.  As we pray integrity over our kids this week, we’re asking the Lord to guide them to live with biblical standards in all areas of their lives. At one point or another, integrity will impact their finances, profession, marriage, parenting, calling, and even the words that come out of their mouths. Let’s pray that “what they are in the dark” reflects God’s light in all areas of their lives. Lord, you call us to a higher standard because you love us, you’re for us, and you know what’s best for us. I ask you to give [name] the desire to live with integrity in all areas of their life. Guide us as a family to value honesty and live set apart.  God’s word speaks: 1 Peter 3:16; Proverbs 12:22; 2 Corinthians 8:2; Proverbs 21:3Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/4/20238 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to show kids they are never alone with Levi Lusko

I have long admired Pastor Levi Lusko and his ability to portray the absolute power and sovereignty of God in a way that we can all understand. He is a gifted pastor, teacher and communicator that always leaves me feeling seen, known and inspired.I first heard Pastor Levi at Passion Conference and have followed his teachings since that time. Today’s conversation centers around how to marvel at God’s creation and how to remind kids they are never alone in this big world. Our kids naturally look up at the moon and the sky and have so many questions. And Jesus even suggests that we are more like kids!His newest devotionals for families, Marvel At the Moon, is a real passion of his to help start conversations about God’s majestic universe. His desire is that every child (and adult) will remember they are never alone in their real-life struggles. After my conversation with him, I promptly went to order 5 copies for families that I love. He shared so many fun facts about the moon that I had never heard before. My favorite part is at the end, when he encourages all parents to not shy away from the failures. He encourages us to lean into the very normal road of messing up - and how God will use every bit of it. It felt like such a moment of grace washing over me. I pray you will feel that too. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show: LeviLusko.comThrough The Eyes of a Lion (His daughter’s story)Marvel at The MoonYoYo StrollerPassion ConferenceThe Marriage DevotionalOur Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/30/202329 minutes, 10 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Light

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” —John 1:5A quick glance at the news confirms that our culture’s moral code is growing further away from the truths of Scripture. With the widening of this gap, our kids will likely face more scrutiny and persecution for living biblically than many of the generations before them.Even so, we have the message of truth and are called to share it. In the middle of a world of darkness and uncertainty, our culture desperately needs to hear the gospel message that Jesus loved us to the point of death so that we might live forever (John 3:16). Each new day presents opportunities for our children to shine God’s light in the darkness around them. It’s accomplished by refusing to conform to the world. Instead, pray that your children live set apart in how they talk, what they prioritize, and how they do life. Living counterculturally provides the opportunity to point others to the true source of our light: Jesus.Ask the Lord to ground our kids in the confidence and determination necessary to stand firm in a culture that rejects absolute truth. Pray that they won’t pass up a single chance to shine the light of Jesus in a dark world.Jesus, you alone change lives. Help [name] to be brave enough to live set apart for you. As our culture grows further away from the truths of the gospel, give us more opportunities to share our faith in you with love and conviction. God’s word speaks: Matthew 5:16; John 8:12; 1 John 1:5; 1 Peter 2:9Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/27/202311 minutes, 53 seconds
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Living through deep loss and wrestling with God with Jonathan and Peta Pitts

Tissue alert! This one was incredibly special to me - a tearful and honest check in with Jonathan and Peta Pitts during a deeply painful season of their lives.Although, those in the midst of grief will absolutely resonate - I do believe this episode is for every single one of us. Somewhere in our stories, we endure deep loss and are left standing with many questions for God. This week of Thanksgiving can be really hard for many families and I pray this message touches you in a profound way.  We talk about Joanthan’s loss of his late wife Wynter Pitts, his new marriage to the amazing Peta Pitts, the often unseen role as a step-mom, their recent loss with a miscarriage and then stillborn and so much more.  They are raw and honest with their pain - yet incredibly hopeful.I used to host a podcast with Wynter about raising girls. We were about 4 months into the podcast when she suddenly passed away - leaving behind her husband and 4 precious daughters.  She was a treasured friend of mine. As you can imagine, this episode was emotional and very sacred to me. You’ll hear a moment, when I realize that Peta is an answered prayer of mine. In those early days of Wynter’s passing, I begged God over and over again to bring those girls another mother that would love them and see them like Wynter did. And He did that and so much more.My favorite part is when they share that they still choose Jesus, despite the hard questions and doubts. They share this verse that really stuck with me.“Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68–69)Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show: The Mothering Journal - More on Peta’s Writing The Mothering Journal InstagramPeta’s InstagramJonathan’s Instagram For Girls Like You - magazine and resourcesGod’s Story Club (NEW)Jonathan’s Book on Loss of WynterI Am Yours by Wynter PittsCourtney & Wynter’s PodcastQuestions about death by Tony Evans“Jesus, the Light of the World”: An Advent Devotional for Kids!Our Sponsors:* Check out Bearaby: http://www.bearaby.com* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/23/202340 minutes, 45 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Thanksgiving

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” —Psalm 107:1 The Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 despite having recently lost half of their population to a harsh winter filled with contagious diseases. By celebrating their first successful harvest, they reminded a young nation of the importance of giving thanks in all circumstances. Today, most of us spend Thanksgiving day knee-deep in the traditions of turkey, football, and family time; however, as Christians, we also celebrate on a deeper level, knowing that all of our gratitude is owed to the Lord. We’re praying this week that our kids live marked by thankfulness—even in the hard places. When the road they face is difficult, pray that they give thanks that Jesus goes before them and has won every battle waged against them. We’re promised that God will work everything according to his purposes, so we can be assured that God desires to bring out the good in whatever they are facing. Paul reminds us from his jail cell in Rome that, in Jesus, we can sing, make music, and be thankful in all things (Ephesians 5:19–20). Ingratitude is a sin, thankfulness is a choice, turkey is dry.Happy Thanksgiving! Lord, every good and perfect gift comes only from you, and we have the privilege of celebrating that this week. As we celebrate Thanksgiving as a family, give my kids a deep connection with you as the giver of all good things in their lives. Help [name] to be marked by thanksgiving no matter their circumstances. God’s word speaks: Psalm 100:4; Colossians 3:17; Psalm 107:8–9; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18Our Sponsors:* Check out Bearaby: http://www.bearaby.com* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/20/20237 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to heal while broken with Toni Collier

This is a big statement, but accurate: Toni might be our funniest guest so far. I was so highly amused by her experiences with krumping and twerking in the club. And I was deeply moved by her passion to help broken women find hope and healing. Toni is a returning guest to Pardon The Mess because you all LOVED her so much the first time. She is the founder of an international women’s organization called Broken Crayons Still Color and helps women process through brokenness and get to healing and hope. Toni is a speaker, podcast host, author, pastor and mom of two adorable kiddos. My favorite thing about Toni is that she confronts the hard things. She believes the best way to meet life’s challenges is head-on. She is honest and real - and never ever steers away from sharing the real pain involved in her own life - from survivingserving abuse to a tough divorce and much more. In the same breath - she brings you back to hope. We all need the reminder that being broken isn’t the end of the story.Enjoy!CourtneyConnect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show: “Jesus, the Light of the World”: An Advent Devotional for Kids!ToniCollier.comToni’s First Book, Brave Enough To Be BrokenToni’s Latest Book for Kids, Broken Crayons Still ColorToni’s Suits, Shop ClassierToni’s Threads’ Epic [email protected]/SubscribeOur Sponsors:* Check out Bearaby: http://www.bearaby.com* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/16/202335 minutes, 11 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Generosity

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” —Matthew 6:19–20Everything we have has been given to us by God.When we really stop and think about this truth, it can’t help but reframe how we operate in light of God’s generosity toward us. The gospel calls us to be generous, not just because it benefits those around us, but because it benefits us.To be marked by generosity, our kids need a few foundational truths:God owns it all, and we are simply stewards of his wealth on earth (1 Peter 4:10).Generosity is a matter of the heart, and giving is an act of worship (1 John 3:17)God’s generosity is unmatched when you consider the gift of Jesus (Romans 5:8).Generosity is not just a financial matter. Our kids can practice generosity even now by having a compassionate heart, a willingness to include others, advocating for the underdog, and freely extending forgiveness.When we give to God, we never lose. Instead, we gain the opportunity to participate in his larger kingdom ministries. Being faithful in little leads to opportunities to be faithful in much (Luke 16:10).Lord, if you didn’t provide us with one more thing this side of heaven, we would still be overwhelmed by your generosity at the cross. Give [name] hearts of generosity, teaching them that our greatest gain comes from giving away what was never ours to begin with.God’s word speaks: 2 Corinthians 9:6–7; Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35; 1 Timothy 6:17–19Our Sponsors:* Check out Bearaby: http://www.bearaby.com* Check out Factor 75 and use my code messcourtneydefeo50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com/Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/13/202312 minutes, 53 seconds
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When parenting is so hard - that you don’t have the words to pray with Kayla Craig

It didn’t take me long to hear that Kayla Craig is a peaceful, gentle soul. You can absolutely tell she is a parent bathed in prayer and has a heart to help parents in the midst of really painful journeys. Kayla speaks about her child with Down Syndrome and shares about a time that a “book of prayers” helped her find the words when she didn’t have any.My favorite part is towards the end when we are talking about when kids have hard questions about faith, and being okay with some of the unknown parts and mysteries of following Jesus. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:“Jesus, the Light of the World”: An Advent Devotional for Kids!Kayla’s WebsiteEvery Season Sacred - Kayla’s latest bookKayla’s PodcastOur Sponsors:* Check out Bearaby: http://www.bearaby.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/9/202327 minutes, 54 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by God’s Word

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” —James 1:22Many of us have heard Bible stories for as long as we can remember. We learned about a young boy named David defeating a huge giant with a slingshot, an honorable man named Noah building an ark having never experienced rain, and the story of Daniel walking unharmed out of a lions’ den because of God’s protection.As children, these stories were entertaining. As adults, they are the foundations of truth by which we’re called to live.Being marked by God’s word means we don’t just hear it; we are changed by it. As parents, we commit to teaching our kids God’s word when they are little so that the foundational truths of Scripture are planted in their souls for when they grow older.We’re praying for our kids to gain an understanding of the bigger picture of God’s word this week, that they understand how God gets the greatest glory when we boldly face our giants in God’s strength, like David did. We’re praying that God will call them to obey when it makes no earthly sense, like Noah did. And, as they grow older and weather some long, hard places of suffering, they will know they were never alone, like Daniel did.Lord, your word never returns empty. We claim this truth as we raise our kids in Scripture, praying that you give them a deeper understanding of the Bible and its priority for their lives. Keep [name] from simply hearing your word, but give it life and meaning that changes the way they live.God’s word speaks: Luke 11:28; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 7:24Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/6/20239 minutes, 42 seconds
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Parenting in a tech world with Titania Jordan

This is a big one. Titania Jordan, Chief Parent Officer and CMO of Bark, is with us today. Please don’t miss this conversation and share it with friends. You likely have the feeling of fear rising up in you as you see the topic. As parents, we have to face the beast of technology. The safety and overall health of our kids is on the line. The good news is that you are NOT ALONE in the struggle, and Titania is one of the experts in this field providing amazing resources to help us in the journey. We get very practical in this conversation and I believe you will walk away feeling seen, understood and supported. Titania and I are both honest with how we have personally dropped the ball and what we would do differently looking back. She is so good about encouraging progress over perfection. My favorite part is when Titania encourages parents to practically look at your child’s demeanor and behavior and trust your gut. Be brave enough to get help for them if you sense something has altered their behavior in a significant way. At Christian Parenting, we wanted you to provide further support on this topic of technology. We have compiled some of the best resources Christian Parenting has on technology and put them in one place for you to easily find. Get your free copy of Technology Simplified now!Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:The One Year Pray For Family BibleTitania’s InstagramTitania’s book - Parenting in a Tech WorldParenting In a Tech World - Facebook GroupBark AppBark PhoneHelp Desk at BarkAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/2/202344 minutes, 8 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by an Undivided Heart

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” —Psalm 86:11 We’re called to teach our kids to love Jesus when they wake up, when they go to bed, on the way to baseball, on vacation, coming home from preschool, getting dressed for prom, when someone was mean to them, and everywhere in between. We’re training them to live for Jesus in all circumstances. As parents, it often means we’re less concerned with academic potential and more interested in our child’s heart for the lonely kid at lunch. It’s relentlessly praying that our kids’ inclinations to pursue popularity won’t dilute the truth of their calling and identity in Christ. It’s a mindset shift to the eternal when everyone around them seems focused on the temporal. But, even with the best of intentions, our hearts become so easily divided this side of heaven. It happens when our commitment to Jesus starts to be overshadowed by our desire for comfort, convenience, entitlement, and entertainment. As we pray this week for undivided hearts, we’re praying that our kids understand at an early age the importance of an unwavering commitment to Jesus. It’s praying that they have a God-given resolve to follow his word and his calling on their lives, whatever the cost. Lord, teach us to appreciate that the small things of earth will someday be the big things in heaven. Teach [name] the significance of an undivided heart, marked by a commitment to following you—even when it’s the harder path. Give our family a new spirit of determination to seek you and rely on your faithfulness.God’s word speaks: Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 36:26–27; Jeremiah 17:10; Psalm 51:10Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/30/20236 minutes, 50 seconds
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Am I too far gone? with Max Lucado

What an honor to chat with Max Lucado! Max is a pastor, speaker, and bestselling author with more than 145 million products in print, which have been translated into 56 languages and distributed across 80 countries worldwideWe talk about my favorite book written by Max, You Are Special, which I believe every family should own and read often. We also spend some time talking about the story of Jacob and how his life can encourage all of us. His story points us to a crucial truth we can know and understand about God - that he never gives up on us.My favorite part is when we chat about the topic of grace – how to explain that to our kids and live it out when it’s hard. I confess that I like offering grace and have difficulty receiving it. His encouragement to me hit home and I will remember it for a long time.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:My Time with GodTonight We Pray For The MommaMax Lucado’s new book, God Never Gives Up On YouCourtney’s favorite Max Lucado book, You Are SpecialMaxLucado.ComAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/26/202328 minutes, 45 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Godly Relationships

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” —Ecclesiastes 4:9–10On her wedding anniversary—and just weeks after unexpectedly losing her young husband—a friend posted this short tribute: “We made a good team and completed each other. When I failed, he stepped in and where he failed, I stepped in. It was a partnership made in heaven and ordained by God.”This is a modern-day paraphrase of the Ecclesiastes verses describing godly relationships. It’s spouses, friends, pastors, and mentors who pick us up when we fall down and build us up when we’re struggling. It’s those who see bigger potential in us than we can see for ourselves and pray God’s biggest plans for us when we don’t have the strength to pray for ourselves. Godly relationships are easily identified because they bear such impact, love, and support that we somehow know the purpose is greater than just for our pleasure. Rather, it is God-ordained and for his glory.As we pray for godly relationships for our children, pray that the Lord guards and anoints every relationship that impacts their lives. Pray for the Lord to bless them with deep, biblical friendships like Ruth and Naomi, godly mentors who speak truth like Nathan did to David, and spouses with an unrelenting love like Jacob and Rachel.Lord, we were created to have relationships that draw us closer together and closer to you. Bless my children with friends, spouses, mentors, and others who build them up and point them back to you. Protect them from influences that are not your best in their lives. Teach [name] not just the importance of having godly friendships but also the gift of being a godly friend.God’s word speaks: Proverbs 22:24–25; Ecclesiastes 4:12; Proverbs 27:17; Proverbs 17:17Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/23/20237 minutes, 2 seconds
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When Your Words & Anger Impact Your Family with Sarah Molitor

I LOVED this conversation with Sarah Molitor from Modern Farmhouse Family. We talk through the way words, anger and lashing out can be a pattern we despise in our homes. Just reading that may bring up some shame in your heart, and if so, this episode is for you. She is filled with such grace as she shares about her own experience with this struggle. We also take time to remember how powerful words can be in a positive way. She encourages us to look for opportunities to speak life over our kids and families, and enter into their own sin with loads of grace and forgiveness. My favorite part is when Sarah shares a really pivotal moment in her marriage when it so easily could have fallen apart. She gives us all hope that hard family moments and seasons aren’t the end of the story. You will feel so seen through her story and vulnerability. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:My Time with GodSarah’s New Book, Well SaidSarah’s website, Modern Farmhouse FamilySarah’s viral gender reveal Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/19/202340 minutes, 7 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Contentment

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” —Philippians 4:11At one point, John D. Rockefeller was the world’s richest man and the first billionaire in America. When a reporter asked him how much money is enough, he responded, “Just a little bit more.”“A little bit more” is our culture’s mantra. And it’s not just limited to more money. We want more friends, more toys, more accolades, more popularity, more recognition, more respect, more security (and on and on and on).At the end of the day, contentment isn’t about our possessions, it’s about our heart. So often we think we’re discontent because of our job or bank account, but really our discontentment is a struggle with God’s measure of provision for our lives.In Philippians, Paul writes about being content whatever the circumstances. In doing so, he gives us a significant hint as to how contentment works: it’s learned. It’s consistently taking ourselves back to the cross, knowing that only through the lens of the gospel can we move from grumbling about what we don’t have to gratitude for what we do have but don’t deserve. Let’s pray that our kids can grasp the gift of contentment in a culture of “a little bit more,” allowing them to fully appreciate God’s provision in their own life while celebrating what he’s doing in the lives of others.Lord, help my kids to live marked by contentment. Teach them to value people over possessions, appreciating that all their needs are already met in you. Reveal the greed, entitlement, and idolatry that leads to being discontent, and bring [name] back to a posture of gratitude no matter their circumstances.God’s word speaks: 1 Timothy 6:6–8; Matthew 6:31–33; Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 37:4Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/16/20237 minutes, 33 seconds
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Let’s Define “Influencer” in a Biblical Way with Dr. Jonathan Murphy

It’s not everyday we learn from the Department Chair and Professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. You will love hearing his wisdom and encouragement for us everyday folks as we live in a world of many “influencers.”Influencing is not bad. Our world has just fallen off course in how we go about leading others. And some of the way we do it - is often fake and inauthentic. Jonathan reminds us that influencing was God’s idea way before the Kardashians owned it. Influencing is so much more than social media. He shares about the way Barnabus encouraged and influenced others and what we can learn from his inspiring exampleAbout halfway through, I was holding back the tears as he talked about the calling of motherhood and the unseen, thankless days we often live. We all need those reminders as parents. I am thrilled for you to remember you can live out your kingdom purpose in the midst of everyday life. We have opportunities to influence all around us. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:My Time with GodDr. Jonathan’s Murphy’s websiteAuthentic Influencer by Dr. Jonathan MurphyAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/12/202337 minutes, 55 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Identity

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” —Jeremiah 1:5 In a world saturated by social media, it can feel like an uphill battle raising kids who are confident in who Jesus says they are, not in who the world professes they are. Our culture critiques us based on looks, talents, failures, and accomplishments. Thankfully, the Bible gives the real story of our identity, reminding us that we are:Adopted as a sons and daughters of Christ (Romans 8:15)Chosen by God to declare his praise (1 Peter 2:9)Created with a purpose that God prepared in advance (Ephesians 2:10)Citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20)Fully known and accepted by God (Psalm 139:1–4) When our kids are marked by their true identity in Christ, they can live free from the exhausting cycle of trying to please others in order to gain approval. Only in the wake of this freedom can they chase after the person Jesus created them to be, not who our culture wants them to be. Pray for our children to know that they are valuable, loved, seen, chosen, and good enough—not because of who they are, but because of whose they are.Carefully, meticulously, intentionally—that’s how you created every single one of your children. You made no mistakes in the creation process, and you knitted us together in the direct image of yourself. Lord, remind [name] that you alone assign value and that their value is secure and unchanging.God’s word speaks: Ephesians 2:10; Jeremiah 31:3; John 15:16; Romans 8:1Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/9/20236 minutes, 20 seconds
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Empty Nester Wisdom (and life coaching) from Krista Gilbert

This one was difficult to title, because it is PACKED with wisdom and practical ideas. We cover topics from empty nesting years, to codependency issues with moms and kids, to living with no regrets, to practical ideas around traditions and celebrations. Krista is an author, speaker, life coach and podcaster that feels like your best friend. You will hear her tenderness as she relates to all of us as moms and the real challenges we face. You will also hear her wisdom and encouragement to keep growing as a woman and mom. I love how she encourages those with empty nests to be okay with two opposing feelings - joy and sorrow. And how she is coping with watching her kids launch into the world. My absolute favorite part is the last 10 minutes. Moms of younger kids - you will LOVE her ideas for traditions and celebrations. Find out what her “my night” tradition is - and why her kids remember that as a highlight. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:KristaGilbert.comBook Krista to speakKrista’s podcastKrista’s Freebies - Celebrations & TraditionsCoDependent No More by Melody BeattieDr. Kelly FlanaganAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/5/202344 minutes, 35 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Faith

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10 ESV God is not surprised when we are fearful. In fact, the Bible is packed full of Scripture reminding us that we don’t need to fear anything because God’s love and protection are perfect. When we choose to follow God, it’s not signing up for the easy road. We will face challenging times over and over again, and the choice will be ours: Are we going to choose faith in God or surrender to fear in the face of uncertainty?Let’s help our kids pick faith over fear remembering these things:We’re instructed to take our worries to God in prayer (1 Peter 5:7).We have assurance that he hears us when we pray (Psalm 34:17).God promises he will love and protect us no matter what we face (Deuteronomy 31:6).In John 16:33, Jesus very plainly offers that in this world there will be trouble. But, in Christ, we need not fear, for he has overcome the world. In other words: let’s remind our kids to be courageous, knowing that no matter what they face, Jesus has already beaten it!God’s word speaks: Joshua 1:9; Psalm 34:4; 2 Timothy 1:7; Psalm 27:1I’m grateful for: ____I’m praying for: _____Lord, remind us that you are the author and creator over all things. You control the rising of the sun, the orbiting of the galaxies, and each and every star in the sky is placed there by you. Teach [name] to trust you in the difficulties each day. Replace fear with faith, knowing you have power over all things.Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/2/202310 minutes, 46 seconds
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Empty-Nester Wisdom with Jeff & Wendy Henderson

You guys LOVED the Empty Nester Wisdom series - so we’ve got another one to add to that list. This time, it’s a couple I LOVE and adore. My former pastor and my mentor - they just happen to be married. The Hendersons have encouraged my life and helped guide me through some of the biggest decisions in my life, and I don’t say that lightly. They are often my first call when making a choice that would impact my family.In this episode, we discuss their current life stage as empty nesters and their advice for other couples. We also chat about “what to do next” - how to make tough decisions as a united couple. And even, when to involve kids?My favorite part is how they reflect on the things they prioritized as a family and why. They are both so super intentional and it has truly impacted the way I engage with my own kids. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Without WaveringNoteworthy PrayersJeffHenderson.ComWendy’s InstagramWhat to Do Next, Jeff’s latest bookKnow What You’re For by Jeff HendersonAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/28/202337 minutes, 7 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Favor

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” —Psalm 84:11As we continue praying wisdom, stature, and favor for our kids, it’s notable that Luke 2:52 tells us young Jesus himself was growing in all aspects of his life: mentally (in wisdom), physically (in stature), and spiritually (in favor with God). What a great reminder to pray over all the areas of our kids’ lives, not limiting our requests to God.It’s abundantly clear we already have God’s favor when we consider our name is written in the book of life despite our unworthiness. But as we pray God’s continued favor over our children, we’re simply asking him to accomplish things in their lives that would be impossible for them to do on their own.David experienced God’s favor in his face-off with Goliath, the Israelites saw God’s favor when the Red Sea parted, and Sarah definitely had God’s favor when she received word of her pregnancy.The good news about God’s favor is that he’s looking for people to bless with it. We’re told that “the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT). In other words, God is literally looking across the earth for those he can bless because he loves us and wants to make our lives significant for his glory.God’s favor is unlimited and unmistakable in our lives, but we’re best positioned to receive it when we’re obedient, walking in step with him, and surrendering to his purposes.Let’s pray that our kids live lives God can bless, allowing his favor on all that they do.Lord, thank you for showing your great favor on us. You give us significance and purpose far beyond what we could do on our own. Empower [name] to live each day in a way that you can bless, teaching them daily the importance of obedience to your word.God’s word speaks: Psalm 90:17; Ephesians 2:8–9; Numbers 6:25–26; Proverbs 3:1–2Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/25/202310 minutes, 29 seconds
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The Parents Behind a Worldwide Name with Lauren & Chris Tomlin

Spoiler alert: these two are as normal as all of us. They are raising kids in the midst of a tough world and chaos at home - they just happen to minister to a worldwide audience. There is an authentic faith in both of them that is so refreshing. You will see why so many of us have been blessed by Chris’s songs throughout many years. I have so many favorite parts from this conversation. I get to catch up with my long time friend, Lauren. Together, they share such wise and practical parenting tips for us, and then we end with a story from Chris - how one man blessed him with a prayer (that he would write songs that the world would sing). It’s truly unreal that the exact words he spoke came to life. It’s a powerful reminder for us to speak what God is telling us about the people in our paths. It could bring millions to the Lord.  Lastly, be sure to listen to Lauren’s simple yet profound routine to pray with her girls as they head to school. She asks God to speak to them about how much he loves them every day. Her desire is to teach them to hear how God speaks personally to them.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:How to Really Love Your Child by Dr. Ross CampbellHome For Dinner by Mike PenceMother Hunger by Kelly McDanielForOthers.ComWithout WaveringFlourished and RootedAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/21/202339 minutes, 29 seconds
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Marked by Stature

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” —1 Samuel 16:7If we want our kids to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor like Jesus, how should we pray when it comes to stature? Merriam-Webster’s definition of stature speaks both to physical height as well as status or reputation; both are key areas we can pray over our kids.Praying for physical growth is praying that our kids remain healthy and develop into adults who can best accomplish God’s plans for them. It’s remembering that our bodies are God’s temple, so we are called to care for them with the same concern and reverence we would show the physical church. It's praying over our kids’ physical relationships, their decisions related to alcohol and drugs, their health, and praying over everything that impacts their bodies.Along with physical growth, stature includes praying over our kids’ reputations. Our reputation has the power to lead people to Christ or, if not done well, ruin our witness. It’s what the world looks at to see if we practice what we preach. Knowing that we’re called to live a life worthy of the gospel, let’s pray that our kids grow a reputation consistent with their faith.Lord, we know you’re more concerned with our heart than our physical appearance, so cultivate in [name]a heart that’s marked by their faith in you. Guide each of my children to make decisions with both their body and reputation that honors you.God’s word speaks: 1 Corinthians 6:19–201 Corinthians 13:11 Proverbs 22:1 Philippians 1:27Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/18/20239 minutes, 42 seconds
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How to Pass on a Legacy of Faith with Korie and Willie Robertson

True confession: I was absolutely nervous on this one because I am such a fan of Korie and Willie Robertson. My admiration isn’t because they are famous - it’s because of the way they handle that fame. From afar, they feel so real and genuine and committed to honoring God with all they have and do. They were absolutely genuine and so much more!In this episode, we talk about their parenting advice for all of us. We talk about kids having free will and how to handle when they make poor choices. They really encouraged me to think about the “why” behind the rules we enforce in our homes.My favorite part is when we talk about their new movie, THE BLIND, that is coming to theaters on September 28. Long before Willie’s dad, Phil Robertson, became a reality TV star, he fell in love with Miss Kay and started a family. However, his demons threatened to tear their lives apart. THE BLIND shares never-before-revealed moments in Phil’s life as he seeks to conquer the shame of his past, ultimately finding redemption in an unlikely place. It was so inspiring to talk through their desire for the film and why it was important to tell their family story. THE BLIND is a story of redemption which will encourage so many people in their own journeys to find hope.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Without WaveringFlourished and RootedThe Blind Movie Willie’s Instagram Korie’s website Korie’s Instagram Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/14/202331 minutes, 28 seconds
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BONUS: Marked by Wisdom

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” —Luke 2:52The Bible gives us little glimpses of Jesus as he was growing up, like the reference in Luke that he grew in wisdom, stature, and favor. As we kick off a new school year, it seems appropriate to pray for the same areas of growth for our family that Jesus experienced.The world values the wisdom found in history, art, literature, and music, but, as believers, we’re reminded that true wisdom comes only from God (Matthew 6:33). Solomon was given the opportunity to ask God for anything when he became king. Feeling inadequate to fill David’s shoes, he asked for wisdom to govern his people well. God was so pleased with his request that he gave Solomon greater wisdom than any other man (along with lots of wealth). What a great reminder that God’s wisdom is unparalleled and that he’s generous to give it to those who ask. As we pray for kids marked by wisdom, let’s pray that they are receptive to God’s instruction and resolved to live in the wisdom it provides. The world has lots of wisdom counterfeits; pray that our kids seek the only true source, Jesus.Lord, your wisdom is more precious than gold and you generously offer it to all who ask. Provide [name] with wisdom in the words they speak and the roads they walk. Give my family a desire to always seek your direction and clarity in their lives.God’s word speaks: James 1:5; Colossians 4:5–6; Proverbs 2:6; James 3:17Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/11/202315 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why are goals so hard? With Jon Acuff

Raise your hands if you have goals? And sometimes, way too many goals? Me too! I have MANY goals and accomplish very few of them. It can be super frustrating to keep missing the mark on your personal and professional goals in the season of raising kids. Jon Acuff to the rescue! I was so delighted to interview a New York Times bestselling author and INC Top 100 Leadership Speaker about the idea of goals.I have always been drawn to the way Jon communicates in the business space and we can learn so much from him as parents. He has the ability to make complicated topics simple. In this episode, he will motivate you to make progress in life - while giving yourself grace. He really encouraged me to realize that the distractions and busyness of our lives are stacked against us, but there is hope and ways we can combat this reality.My favorite part is when we discuss my pattern of quitting things. He gave me such great counsel on how to go after my goals in a realistic and healthy way. You’ll also get a laugh out of the moment he realized his kids dropped a nap. He was furious. I can remember that moment myself. Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The MessCourtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Without WaveringJonAcuff.comJon’s book for teens, Your New PlaylistJon’s newest book, All It Takes Is a GoalJon’s InstagramJon’s podcast, Colleen Berry episodeAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/7/202336 minutes, 8 seconds
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Practical Parenting Tips & FAQs

Parents, you will love listening to this episode together. Monica doesn’t just encourage moms - but brings an important message to dads as well. Although we definitely discussed parenting boys (because she has 4 of them), we also cover topics that all parents can appreciate.From sibling relationships to their faith to their hobbies - Monica is so practical yet wise. She has a passion for how we can help draw out the amazing potential that each child was born with. Each child was created by one amazing Creator and we get to help influence their lives. It's a refreshing approach that you’ll enjoy.Be sure to listen in for YOUR questions! Many of you submitted specific questions on Instagram and she answered so many of them with great advice.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The MessCourtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Marked by PrayerConnect with Monica!Monica’s websiteThe Monica Swanson PodcastMonica’s newest book, Raising AmazingMonica’s book, Boy MomOutdated by JP PokludaAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/31/202331 minutes, 21 seconds
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Real Talk for Moms of Girls with Grace Valentine

Calling all moms of girls, high school girls, college girls and young adult girls - trust me when I say “PRESS PLAY” and “SHARE!” I was blown away by this 27-year-old young woman who simply gets it. She is so honest, hilarious, inspiring and challenging. Your girls need to hear her story and how God has used her.From being bullied to battling an eating disorder to partying in college - God drew her back to himself and has exploded her influence in the most beautiful way.I have heard about Grace from multiple college kids and now I completely understand why so many of our girls are hanging on her words. She shares truth and wisdom and she’s incredibly relatable.You will LOVE her!Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Simply Be BoxGrace’s websiteGrace’s devotional Grace’s InstagramYoung LifeAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/24/202332 minutes, 4 seconds
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Rethinking Adversity with Mike Erwin

If you look next to “DeFeo family” in the dictionary - you will not find words like “grit” or “adversity” next to us. Although all families endure some really hard things, we are generally not actively looking for opportunities to experience hardship.My time with Mike Erwin was fascinating. He really opened my eyes to all the ways we can introduce adversity to our kids and why “comfort” is a really dangerous pursuit as American families.Mike Erwin is a husband and father living on a 32-acre farm. He is also one of our nation’s heroes - he served as a lead intelligence planner for one of the largest NATO-led combat operations in history and earned two Bronze Star Medals from his tours. You can understand why he is an expert in the subject of adversity - but he’s also a dad raising little ones just like us!My favorite part is when he encourages us to let our kids struggle. He explains how this can bring incredible confidence that our kids won’t learn any other way.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The MessCourtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Classical ConversationsMike’s websiteThe Positivity ProjectTeam RWBThe Comfort CrisisLeadership is a RelationshipOne Mile Run DocumentaryPardon The Mess  is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.orgAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/17/202331 minutes, 43 seconds
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Balancing Work & Mom Duties with Cynt Marshall

As I hung up with Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, I had this urge to cry. The conversation was so touching and inspiring. I really wish every company out there was run by this woman. We talk about everything from faith to parenting to basketball and her great glasses.You will fall in love with her during this episode, too. My favorite part is at the end when she gives practical advice to us as parents. She reminds us that it truly takes a village. That we should never try to go this road alone and forget to ask for help. I know you will enjoy her humor, her authenticity and her passion for people. We can learn from her in our role as parents and leaders within our workspace.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The MessCourtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Cynt’s book, You’ve Been ChosenCynt’s website and consulting companyDallas MavericksMarked by PrayerPardon The Mess  is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.orgAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/10/202340 minutes, 35 seconds
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Finding Your Identity with Jamie Winship

Jamie Winship is quite possibly the most interesting and fascinating person I’ve ever interviewed. From his career in law enforcement to his work in the CIA to raising his kids in some of the most dangerous cities in the world - he has seen evil in a way most of us will never understand. He’s also seen God at work in profound ways. Jamie will share stories that will expand your faith and also make you shake your head in awe.In the beginning of the episode, Jamie shares about learning to hear God’s voice and how it impacted his work in miraculous ways. My favorite part of the episode is when he shares specifically about finding our own identity and how we can help our kids learn to find their identity as well. And do not miss the story of when God used a skateboard and his son living in Baghdad to share the glory of God.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The MessCourtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Jamie’s websiteJamie’s bookMarked by PrayerDead Sea SquirrelsPardon The Mess  is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.orgAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/3/202340 minutes, 27 seconds
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Empty Nester Wisdom with Sharon Mankin

Have you ever wished you had a mentor or life coach? Sharon Mankin is a mentor to many and one of the most incredible coaches I’ve ever been around. She is dedicated to her beautiful family including her precious grandkids.Sharon is a speaker, coach, and mentor from the DFW area. When she isn’t loving on her people, she is helping others learn how to lead themselves and lead others well. I treasure her wisdom and you will treasure each moment of this conversation. You’ll feel seen and encouraged through her words as she helps us think through everything from best stain remover, to family vision statements, and everything in between.If you missed the first two “Empty Nester Wisdom” episodes, head on back and enjoy the wisdom with Kristen Hatton and Jennifer Scott.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The MessCourtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Marked by PrayerConnect with SharonCoffee Talk - Biblical Teaching & MentorshipTreasured Study (inspired by Sharon!)Learn about yourself by asking Questions for Feedback from Family and Friends Mom’s best stain remover! OxycleanMary Smith’s (Time Saving!) Sheet Pan RecipeSouper Cubes for space saving meal prep made easy!The Power Moments by Chip and Dan HeathSarah Harmeyer’s Neighbor’s TablePardon The Mess is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.orgAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/27/202340 minutes, 50 seconds
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Empty Nester Wisdom with Jennifer Scott

When I was a young mom (yes, before social media took off) - I LOVED reading blogs. They made me feel seen, understood and more normal in my parenting journey. I have followed Jennifer Scott and her blog for almost 15 years. And every time she shares something, I read it and re-read it and try to absorb her wisdom. You are going to LOVE her heart for her kids, her vulnerability on where she’s still growing and her obvious relationship with Jesus that oozes out of her heart. You will feel like you grabbed coffee with a best friend and mentor.Be sure to make it to the end, we discuss her “adulting” list. It’s such a fantastic checklist of things we can be practically teaching our kids before they leave our nest.Be sure to listen back to Part 1 of our Empty Nester Wisdom series with Kristen Hatton and stay tuned for Part 3 with Sharon Mankin.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Connect with Jennifer on InstagramJennifer’s Blog Jennifer’s Adulting List The Christian Parenting 2023–2024 prayer journal is now available! Marked by Prayer is a weekly journal that includes a short devotional around a topic, space for you to journal what you’re grateful for and what you’re praying over your children, and a sample guided prayer.Pardon The Mess  is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.orgAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/20/202335 minutes, 37 seconds
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Empty Nester Wisdom with Kristen Hatton

So many of us parents are fearful about the “teen years”, but are so hungry for advice. That’s exactly why I had Kristen on today to give us encouragement around this topic. We want to prepare and be intentional without taking control of our kids’ entire story. You will love her practical tips while feeling a major sense of peace that God has got it!Be sure to get to the end and enjoy my favorite part. Kristen opens up honestly with her struggle with perfection and how it impacted her daughter. She explains the power of transparency and embracing mistakes. She reminds us that we ALL need Jesus - not just our kids. The more we can show that to them - the more that faith and trust will take hold.Connect with Pardon The Mess:Christian ParentingPardon The Mess Courtney DeFeoResources from today’s show:Classical ConversationsConnect with Kristen on InstagramKristen’s website Kristen’s new book, Parenting AheadPardon the Mess is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.orgAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/13/202333 minutes, 41 seconds
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Praying the Psalms over our kids: The key to “good enough”

There’s a lifetime worth of banter in Christian circles around the question of being “good enough.” This week we’re laying it down and considering Psalm 27 as David speaks into this question while hiding out because his life is in jeopardy.     He calls God his light (hope), his salvation (rescuer) and his stronghold (deliverer). Nowhere does he evaluate his own value or abilities, but over and over again he refers back to God’s. Yet maybe the greatest words he writes, and those we can be praying for our kids, are his heart’s desire to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”   I’m praying this week for our kids to flip the “not good enough” script and trust that God is more than enough for all they face today and each day. Join me in praying for your kids and trusting God to fill the gaps where our parenting skills inevitably fall short.
9/26/202215 minutes, 57 seconds
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Back to school anxieties with Mia Mbroh

I remember as a kid having a range of emotions the night before school started. I would lay in bed with questions swirling like…    Did I pick the right back to school shoes?  Will my friends still like me?  Is Mrs. Smith as mean as everyone says? Will my favorite lunch table have enough seats?  Will the coach yell at me again for being the slowest to run the mile in PE? (oh wait, maybe that’s just me)   Whether or not our kids are willing to admit it, they are facing some of the same back to school jitters that we did. Even harder are some of the safety concerns they face that undoubtedly weigh on them this time of year.    Mia Mbroh is with us today and as a licensed counselor, she’s worked in private practice as well as in school settings. She’s helping us navigate some key areas of concern including school safety, friendships, bullying, and academics.   She has a good word on how our families can rewrite the narrative when it comes to what matters in school and how we will represent our faith this year.    Take a few minutes to listen to Mia’s great words for back to school, and then share it with a friend.    Also, we’re gearing up our Monday prayer podcasts in September so be sure to grab a copy of A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids if you haven't already!   Resources from today's show:  Be sure to check out A Sticky Story by Mia Mbroh. You can get your copy by emailing her directly at [email protected].  NIV Teen Study Bible A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids
8/11/202245 minutes, 31 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Purpose

Happy New Year!  This time of year always inspires me to consider necessary life-style changes, incorporate missing things into my routines, and find ways to live a new year filled with amazing opportunities better than I did the year before. Or at least that lasts for a few weeks! But I’m always thankful for the routine in place of praying for our kids, and I love that we’re beginning 2022 by praying purpose over each of them. People so often struggle with the age-old question surrounding their “purpose” in this life, so we’re tackling it as we pray over our kids this week. (Spoiler alert: our purpose is to glorify God.) Praying for our kids to have purpose in their daily lives means praying they glorify God not only in how they live their earthly lives, but also in how they prepare for all eternity in heaven. We will break this down a little bit further and also take time to begin this new year asking the Lord to show our kids the things he has uniquely created for them to accomplish. So grateful you are joining me to pray this year! Share our podcast with a friend or two and ask them to join in as we  pray for our families.
1/3/202218 minutes, 17 seconds
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Best of 2021: “Goliath Must Fall” with Louie Giglio

I’ve never really loved the post-Christmas letdown.   But the one thing I do look forward to each year is the opportunity to make adjustments in my life, allowing me to live more purposefully and biblically. That’s why Pardon the Mess is revisiting one of our favorite episodes of 2021. Louie Giglio joins us to talk through the spiritual aspects in our lives that may need some tweaking.   Louie is pastor of Passion City Church and the founder of the Passion movement. Having devoted his life to working with young adults, he shares the number one thing he believes our kids need before leaving for college.   We covered so much in today’s show, but here are a few highlights: Living with “congruency” in our lives Louie’s personal battle with anxiety and the role humility has played Questioning God’s timing and his plans for our lives Helping our kids win the battles against their giants   I’m so thankful you’re here, and I can’t wait to kick off 2022 exploring new ways to live and parent fully in Jesus.
12/30/202141 minutes, 29 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Generosity

Are you ready to ring in the New Year later this week?   My crew is skiing over the next few days, and my greatest hope is to enter into 2022 without any casts, crutches, or major casualties. We set the bar pretty low over here.   But as we take time to consider a new year and all the new opportunities before us, I love the thought of praying generosity over our kids. The Bible speaks of generosity often because God knows how quickly our allegiances can be divided, and he wants all of our affection and trust to be centered wholly on him.   Just as it’s a great time to consider what generosity looks like in our own lives, we are also praying it for our kids. And it’s not just financial generosity we’re considering since most of our kids don’t have a financial empire at this point—but we’re praying our kids generously serve others and love the people around them well.
12/27/202110 minutes, 9 seconds
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A Very Merry Conversation with Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle

It’s the week of Christmas, and if it ain’t already done, it ain’t gonna happen. Well maybe not, but nonetheless you need today’s podcast. Melanie Shankle and Sophie Hudson from the Big Boo Cast are sitting down for a hilarious conversation on so many things that I had a hard time even coming up with a title for today.  I love their wisdom on extending grace to our kids and how the whole notion of Jesus’ grace changes our families. Sophie also has a new devo on grace that fills a big gap in the devo world for teenage girls. I realize you’ve got some serious last minute Christmas crazy going on right now, but here’s a few additional topics you can’t miss on today’s show:  The very real struggle of real versus artificial trees Holiday traditions if you’re into that kinda thing  Walking our kids through tough friendships  Raising kids who can cheer on others Saying “yes” to your kids as often as possible Social media thoughts from a few moms who’ve lived it  I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!  Enjoy this well-deserved break with Sophie and Melanie. Resources from today's show:  Grace Upon Grace Journaling Devotional: Trusting God No Matter What by Sophie Hudson The Big Boo Cast  Go to https://dwellapp.io/pardonthemess to get 10% off a yearly subscription, or 33% off Dwell for life.   
12/23/202141 minutes, 53 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Connection

At the risk of saying this ad nauseum, may I once again mention how desperately I want our kids to truly know God and not just know about God? Maybe it’s because I grew up in an amazing Christian home and went to church every time the doors were opened but didn’t really know God personally for many years that leads me to drive home this point so often.   But at the end of the day our kids need more than just head knowledge about Jesus—they need daily connection. That connection is exactly what we’re praying for this week, and I came up with a somewhat lame acronym to guide us as we pray (it’s better explained on the podcast):   S - Salvation by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior  T - Talking to God and establishing a prayer life with significance   A - Acknowledging God’s work in their lives   T - Thirsting for God’s word and his plans for their lives  Even as there’s so much that feels STAT, or high priority these days, let’s flip the narrative and pray with urgency that our kids have a connection with the Lord that changes their lives. 
12/13/202112 minutes, 56 seconds
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When Life is Falling Apart with Sheila Walsh

I feel like there’s not a whole lot that needs to be said when introducing Sheila Walsh as the guest for today’s show. I mean after all, she’s godly, funny, and real. She’s not afraid to speak into some of the darkest places she’s faced and how God has met her there so faithfully. But that’s exactly what we talk about today as we chat about her new book, Holding On When You Want to Let Go. She vulnerably shares about walking through another bout of depression this last year and how reading the Psalms has been so therapeutic. She identifies lies we believe about God when we’re in the middle of life’s struggles, and ways to reframe the narrative we allow in our hearts and minds.  Sheila and I have lots of fun talking about all things Christmas, but I also know this time of year can be difficult for so many, making her words very timely and necessary.  So glad you’re doing this with me each week! 
12/9/202135 minutes, 25 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Favor

As I read through the Christmas story this time of year, I’m reminded of the great favor God has shown on us. Even before the world was created he devised this plan of sending his son in the form of a baby so that we might have the opportunity to spend all eternity with him. He knew we would be rebellious, self-indulging, and sinful people, yet only by his favor are we not left in this desperate place—instead we’re lovingly called children of God. As we pray favor over our kids this week, let’s begin by praying they can experience even the tiniest glimpse of the significance God’s favor has over their lives. How that changes the dreams they chase, the people they serve, and the routines they follow! And as we pray they fully experience God’s favor, let’s also pray that they live in a way that allows God to bless all they do and be a blessing to all those they encounter. It’s a great privilege to start each week by praying for our kids. Take a minute to listen to today’s podcast and also share it with a friend as we focus this month on the things of significance in the midst of the craziness.
12/6/202111 minutes, 30 seconds
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Reclaiming the peace of Christmas with Tama Fortner

I’ve figured something out about myself the last few years when it comes to holidays, especially Christmas. I’ve realized that even though I say I have “no expectations” of what Christmas should look like and I wholeheartedly believe that it’s important to let go of the idealism behind the “perfect” Christmas—I still carry around some deep rooted expectations that leave me feeling disappointed when things don’t look like I had hoped.  I see it on the dreaded Christmas card photo day when I lose all signs of godliness trying to get my people to dress right, smile right, and have a good attitude while taking a picture that means virtually nothing to them (but for some reason is so important to me).  Or maybe it’s in the need to have the perfect “fun gift” for my kids each Christmas morning, or to host the most festive party, to be invited to the right events, or even when I’m knee-deep searching for the most meaningful Christmas show that’s entertaining, yet life-changing (but on a week night because our weekends are crazy in December, but not too long because it’s a school night, and we need Santa pics right before so it can’t be too early, and why can’t they have a snack bar because these people have to eat . . . ).  I’m guessing I’m not alone in this madness which makes today’s podcast with Tama Fortner very timely as we consider reclaiming the peace of Christmas. Tama suggests ways to camp-out at the intersection of ordinary and the divine, finding joy in the important things and dropping the rest of it.  We also consider the Christmas story and how Mary’s uncalculated yes can change our approach to the holidays and everyday. Here’s to kicking crazy to the curb this Christmas!     Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom's Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays: A Devotional by Tama Fortner Read, Ask, Go! Interactive advent devotional for the whole family Faithful Counseling: Get started today and enjoy 10% off your first month. Discount code “pardonthemess" Go to https://dwellapp.io/pardonthemess to get 10% off a yearly subscription, or 33% off Dwell for life. 
12/2/202131 minutes, 58 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Hope

If your pants are a little tighter and the stress level a little higher this Monday after Thanksgiving, you’re not alone. With all the shopping, wrapping, parties, family gatherings, cooking, and baking—it may feel like a little hope is exactly what it’s gonna take to keep going.   Kay Wyma is with me today (I mean seriously, she’s the best), and we’re talking about the role hope plays in our lives and the lives of our children. As we pray hope over our kids this week, we’re reminded that only the Lord can strengthen, restore, and deliver on the great plans he has for each of our lives. Knowing this, we can pray for our kids to find hope even on their most discouraging days as he faithfully restores their strength and gives them a kingdom perspective.   Can I encourage you these next few weeks to keep up the good work of praying for your kids each week? If you’re like me, it feels like sometimes the first things to go in the craziness of the holidays are those things that have the most significance. Prayer is significant, so let’s keep on keeping on the next few weeks. 
11/29/202113 minutes, 50 seconds
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Speaking truth into the darkness with Ellie Holcomb

On today’s show, Ellie Holcomb joins us to talk about seeing Jesus for who he really is and guiding our families to practice the truths of scripture and trust God even in the midst of the unknown. She very practically shares how she speaks truth into the darkness by using fighting words from scripture.  Ellie is an amazing singer, author, songwriter, speaker and, most importantly, mom. She literally draws me closer to Jesus every time I hear her speak. I’m so thankful for these few minutes with her today and can’t wait for you to hear her heart for the Lord.   Resources from today's show: •  Fighting Words -100 Days of Speaking Truth into the Darkness by Ellie Holcomb • Ellie Holcomb's new record, Canyon •  Tyndale Kids and Compassion International globally-inspired, interactive resources that make planning family time a snap • Read, Ask, Go! Interactive advent devotional for the whole family • Dwell app:  get 10% off a yearly subscription, or 33% off Dwell for life  
11/25/202141 minutes, 50 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Gratefulness

Happy Thanksgiving week!  Just curious, is anyone besides me completely grossed out by the whole cooking the turkey thing and pulling out the innards? Honestly, I could do without the turkey in general and just park myself in front of the sides for a fine little Thanksgiving. With great timeliness, my Mom is joining me on the podcast today to talk about Thanksgiving, praying for our kids, and everything in between.   One of my favorite things about this time of year (aside from the food) is the opportunity to reflect on and appreciate all that the Lord has done in the last year. Just as everything in me wants to rush right into Christmas decorating and gift shopping, I’m reminded that gratefulness is so critical for my soul and I desperately need to thank the Lord for his faithfulness day after day.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, join with me and my sweet Mom to pray gratefulness over our kids. Let’s pray they acknowledge the Lord’s faithfulness in their lives, seeing him in the big and the small, the successes and the failures, and the trials and the triumphs.   Truly the Lord is the giver of all good things—let’s celebrate this truth by praying our kids are marked with a heart of gratitude.
11/22/202113 minutes, 23 seconds
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That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

It’s a hallmark day at Pardon the Mess because for the first time ever we have Annie Downs on the show. Annie lives in Nashville and is an author, podcaster, speaker, and expert on all things related to having fun!  You guys have no idea how long I’ve waited for a chance to chat with sweet Annie. Having followed her for many years, I’m absolutely in awe of how she lives out her faith in fresh and exciting ways, challenging believers to figure out what looks fun in their own lives (and then actually go out and do it).  Today she reminds us that God uses all things in our lives to prepare us for his greater purposes. I love her quote that God “full circles all things,” meaning he takes even our missteps and detours and uses them for his greater purposes. But more than anything, I want you to hear Annie’s encouragement on having fun as Christians (so often we miss that component in life) and the importance of helping our kids figure out what “fun” looks like in their own lives both now and in the future.  This is the perfect time of year to be thankful for all that God has done for us. A great way to express this gratitude is to live with joy and chase after the fun things God has created for each of us uniquely. I just know you’re going to love Annie Downs like I do after today’s show. 
11/18/202137 minutes, 13 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Discernment

When I read the verses above, it makes me think of how nice it would be to simply hear a voice telling me how to proceed in certain situations and the resulting confidence I would have in knowing that I’m getting it right. And then I’m reminded that the Holy Spirit does just this when we listen expectantly as believers.    My dear friend Stephanie Martin (and one of the most discerning people I know) is joining us today as we pray for discernment in our kids’ lives. We’re talking about teaching our kids to be attentive to God in all things and praying they learn to hear God’s voice in their lives from an early age. Not only is having discernment critical in our kids’ lives—but we’re also praying they have people around them who help them discern truth in all the situations they will face. 
11/15/202112 minutes, 4 seconds
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You be YOU with Jamie Ivey

There’s just nobody like Jamie Ivey when it comes to having a hilarious conversation filled with lots of truth and vulnerability. This girl loves Austin, Texas, her family, parenting, marriage, and encouraging people to walk the path God has uniquely designed for them.  Today’s show was such a great reminder for me that what we do matters, and that our job is to be faithful where God has us (instead of wishing our lives looked like someone or something else). I love Jamie’s thoughts on gauging if we’re staying on our own God-given path and also the gift of being a cheerleader for others.  Jamie and I also talk about marriage, teaching our kids to live comfortably in their own skin, and so much more that you just can’t possibly miss! Take a few minutes to listen to my conversation with Jamie and then share it with a friend who needs the reminder that God wants “you to be you.”
11/11/202137 minutes, 32 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Time Management

Today we’re talking about time-management on Pardon the Mess, and my husband Mike is making a cameo as we pray over our children.   As a young mom I so often remember being told to treasure each moment because “the days are long but the years are short.” Now as a mom who just celebrated a fairly large milestone birthday, I realize the absolute truth of those words both in raising kids and just in life generally.   Because it’s so hard to truly appreciate how precious each day is when you’re young, we’re focusing our prayer time this week on praying time management for our kids. Their days, like ours, are filled with so many demands as they balance school, activities, family, and time with the Lord. Let’s pray as they do this each day they learn to make wise decisions with their time and use it in ways that best honor God’s purposes in their lives.   I love the wisdom of  Psalm 90:12 as it relates to time management: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The Lord is our sole source of all wisdom—so let’s ask him to guide our kids this week. 
11/8/202113 minutes, 19 seconds
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Adoption, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and a ‘Surrendered Yes” with Rebekah Lyons

November is National Adoption Month, and I’m thrilled to be talking with Rebekah Lyons about adoption, following God’s callings, and what a ‘surrendered yes’ looks like in each of our lives. And then there’s the fact that I’m slightly obsessed with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and Rebekah (having lived in NYC for several years) tells us all about it. Basically I’ve reconfirmed my commitment to get there someday very soon!  Here are some of the important topics we cover in today’s show:  The gift of adoption and the many ways God can show us how losing our lives is really gaining true life The three parts of a surrendered yes and what that means in your own life A pivotal question to ask yourself when considering if you’re obedient to God’s callings I can’t wait for you to hear today’s show, and, in honor of National Adoption Month, I give you a recent picture of my sweet little one (along with a few links to articles I’ve written about our adoption journey). 
11/4/202135 minutes, 12 seconds
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Praying for our kids friendships

It’s November, and as we begin the countdown to Thanksgiving I naturally think of friends, family, and doing life together. Because of this, all month long I’ll be bringing some of my favorite people on the podcast to join us in praying over our kids. You’ll hear from people like my husband, my mom, and several of my sweet friends with lots of wisdom.  To kick it off today, we’re praying for the friendships in our kids’ lives. One of my dearest friends, Brandie Rodgers, is joining us as a mom who has prayed every single day for her three kids to have Godly friends. She has some sweet reminders on why we pray this for our kids and how God honors our prayers when we do.   We know that friendships can be a great blessing to our children, especially when they have good ones. Let’s pray this week for our kids to have at least one authentic, godly friendship to build them up in each stage of their lives. Let’s also pray they are good friends to others, showing kindness, encouragement, and inclusivity to those around them.   So glad you’re with us! P.S. Did you know that we text out personalized scripture each morning corresponding with our prayer journal? To send your kids scripture each morning (and yourself too!) text ‘textingtruth’ to 888-308-9684.
11/1/202113 minutes, 41 seconds
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A conversation every parent needs to hear on drugs and addiction

When my son was about five-years-old he repeatedly urged me to say no to “rugs.” I was perplexed at his stance against floor coverings until I realized he was referring to drugs. Apparently he misunderstood a well-intentioned friends' advice on avoiding drug use—and it still makes me laugh today. But I digress.  This week is red-ribbon week in public schools and the perfect time for us to talk about the tough subject of drugs and addiction in our kids. Richard Capriola has great wisdom in this area from his work as a mental health and addiction counselor the last two decades, most recently at the Menninger Clinic in Houston.   Here are some of the important topics we cover in today’s show:  The drug(s) of choice for our teens today Signs of drugs and alcohol use in our kids What to do if you suspect drug/alcohol use in your child The difference in clinical addictions and process addictions Warning signs of self-harm Treatment options Encouragement for parents who are walking through addiction with their kids Please take time to listen to this important topic. If you’re like me, you may feel like it’s not relevant to your kids today or even that it’s a heavy subject you would rather avoid. But we don’t know what we don’t know about the future and who may need us to be knowledgeable in this area. So let’s do it together. Check out The Addicted Child book by Richard Capriola.
10/28/202146 minutes, 31 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Praying accountability

If David was named a man after God’s own heart yet still needed accountability, how much more do we need it in our own lives? That’s why we’re praying this week for our kids to have mentors and friends (i.e. Nathans) who point them to truth when their actions don’t line up with God’s word.   Accountability is not only important for our kids now, but also as they leave our homes one day and need truth spoken into their marriages, finances, and careers. It’s so easy to be influenced by the norms of our culture, making accountability incredibly important from people who will say what we need to hear and not always what we want to hear.    Only after Nathan confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba did David confess and repent making his relationship right with God. It was in the blind spots of his sin where God placed accountability in David’s life. It’s those same blindspots where we will be praying accountability for our kids both today and all of their days this side of heaven. 
10/25/20219 minutes, 49 seconds
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Living on purpose with Sadie Robertson Huff

She needs no introduction yet I’ll give her one anyway. Sadie Robertson Huff is with us today and she blows me away every single time. Sadie is a Duck Dynasty daughter, speaker, podcaster, New York Times best-selling author, and now in her most important role . . . . a mom!   Sadie talks with us about the ups and downs of being a new mom while also balancing God’s public calling on her life. She shares her best advice on fighting anxiety and the reminder that every single thing we fear still bows down to Jesus.   I also love her philosophy on Instagram and the encouragement that Christians need to be in this space pointing people to Jesus. Suffice it to say that today’s show is an encouraging word for all of us raising kids in today’s culture, determined to show our kids how to follow God in the middle of the chaos.  Resources from today's show: Live On Purpose: 100 Devotions for Letting Go of Fear and Following God by Sadie Robertson Huff All The Feels for Teens by Elizabeth Laing Thompson Otter B Joyful by Pamela Kennedy Faithful Counseling Get started today and enjoy 10% off your first month. Discount code “pardonthemess"
10/21/202136 minutes, 29 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Identity

What we believe about ourselves informs virtually every aspect of our daily walk in this world and with Jesus. If we don’t continually ground our identity in the Lord, we begin searching for identity in the things of this world. Paul Tripp says it this way: “Identity amnesia leads to identity replacement.”  Join us this week as we not only pray identity over our kids, but also address some of the lies they believe about their value.  Here’s a few identity reminders as you get started praying over your kids:  You are valued- Matthew 6:26  You are forgiven- 2 Chronicles 7:15  You have hope- Exodus 14:14  You are known- Jeremiah 1:6  You have purpose- Ephesians 2:10  I can’t wait for us to spend a few minutes considering God’s word on identity and ways to remind our kids of who and whose they are.
10/18/202111 minutes, 41 seconds
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Don’t Mom Alone with Heather MacFadyen

It’s double fun today with Heather MacFadyen AND Kay Wyma joining us on Pardon the Mess.    Kay and I talk with Heather about her new book, Don’t Mom Alone, and all the reasons it’s critical we seek community as we raise our kids.    Some of my favorite topics we hit are: Ways to find our people and raise our kids in community  Why we struggle to let others in when life gets messy  Tying our worth to our kids’ performance The myth that there’s a “perfect Mom” formula    I’m so excited for Heather’s book that’s out THIS WEEK! So take a quick listen to our conversation and then go grab a copy so you “don’t mom alone” (see what I did there?). 
10/14/202138 minutes, 37 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Finding fruit in their lives

Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—it’s hard to think of a list of attributes our kids need more than those listed in Galatians 5:22–23.   Thankfully we’re spending this entire week praying the fruit of the spirit over our kids. As we do so, it’s important to remember that the fruit of the spirit isn’t something we’re simply hoping they will work harder to accomplish; but instead we’re praying it’s evident in their lives because the Holy Spirit is present and guiding them to live as God calls.   If you haven’t already, can I encourage you to memorize these verses this week? Even better, memorize them as a family. I’ve found so many times in my life that the scripture I’ve memorized naturally comes to mind at the perfect moments because I knew the verses, and the Holy Spirit directed me to their truths.   Thank you for praying with us each week! I’m overwhelmed by the response from parents just like you who want nothing more than kids who love and follow the Lord. These days matter and praying for our kids is significant. 
10/11/202111 minutes, 37 seconds
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Raising Jesus followers with Anne Graham Lotz and Rachel-Ruth Lotz Wright

“I’ve been raised in a family where telling people about Jesus is as common as drinking water.”—Rachel Ruth Graham Lotz   If you’ve ever wondered about the legacy Billy Graham left for his family then the quote above pretty much says it all. I don’t know about you, but in my house there’s a lot of things happening as common as drinking water, but it’s not telling people about Jesus. 😫  Either way, I’m so honored to have Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham’s daughter) and Rachel-Ruth (Billy Graham’s granddaughter) joining us today on Pardon the Mess. I had the opportunity to hear Anne speak many years ago, and the authority and wisdom with which she spoke is still with me today.  Rachel-Ruth and Anne talk have some great insight for us today relating to:   The importance of being faithful in your highest place of influence The biggest faith challenges our kids will face in their lifetimes  Four critical facets for passing the baton of faith to our kids Walking the hard teenage years well as families  Anne and Rachel-Ruth also share practical ways to study the Bible, so be sure and check out the resources I’ve linked below. I can’t wait for you to hear this powerful conversation! Jesus Followers by Anne Graham Lotz and Rachel-Ruth Lotz Wright  Anne’s guide for studying the Bible  Anne’s website and other free resources    
10/7/202144 minutes, 44 seconds
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BONUS: Praying influence for our kids

If anyone can appreciate the impact influencers have in our world today, it’s our kids. They are inundated with social media influencers telling them what to buy, how to look, and what to do in given situations. But despite the somewhat negative perception we may associate with our culture’s “influencers,” as Christians we are called have influence in our own circles and our kids are too.  Today we’re praying that our kids will visibly and authentically live out their faith, and in doing so draw others to him. It’s no coincidence that they are part of the teams, friend groups, and clubs they are in—it’s by design. So we’re praying that as they go about their days they will have influence through their words, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12). Even though our kids will likely (hopefully) never have the influencer status of a Kardashian, we’re reminded that it’s the significance of the message not the size of the audience that matters. Let’s pray they are faithful influencers of the gospel message that our world so desperately needs.
9/27/202112 minutes, 55 seconds
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A parent’s back to school guide with Mia Mbroh

If I had to pick just one person to speak into the nitty gritty of starting a new school year, it would 100% be Mia Mbroh. She’s not only a licensed professional counselor, but she has also worked directly in the school trenches giving her a unique insider's perspective.    In the only way Mia knows how, today she brings us an honest and vulnerable look at the good, bad, and ugly that our kids are facing in this new school year. And as a part of that, I can promise you don’t want to miss a second of her advice on showing grace and letting go of some of the high expectations we’re holding onto for our kids (ouch, my toes).    There’s a really, really good word I needed to hear on walking our kids through hard friendships, social awkwardness, and the hard places we face with learning differences. And take note if you have a junior high or high school child, she addresses ways to best connect with these little darlings and gives a HILARIOUS dog/cat analogy.    If your kids are back in school, don’t miss the wise words of Mia Mbroh!
9/9/202143 minutes, 27 seconds
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Un-hurry your heart and life with Jennifer Dukes Lee

I don’t know about you, but it feels like now that school is back in session I can finally exhale and breathe a little bit knowing there’s going to be more routine in my days.  Maybe it was getting one ready for college, or mentally preparing for high school with my middle son, or the beginning of kindergarten with my youngest—but life has felt like a lot the last few months.  If you’re feeling this same way, today’s show with Jennifer Dukes Lee is for you. Jennifer shares with us a time when she was at a breaking point in her own life and realized the need to “un-hurry” her heart. She gave herself permission to slow down and wait for the better things that come only with slow growth and deeper connection with the Lord.  I love the practical advice she shares from her new book Growing Slow and how we can: stop living in hurriedness and instead rest in Jesus, trust the winter seasons in life to God even when we don’t see his hand moving, find rest knowing that the small, slow things we do in parenting often produce big fruit in our kids’ lives. I’ll leave you with my favorite parenting quote from Jennifer: “In my most insecure moments as a mom, the only thing that ever gave me hope and guidance was the gospel.”  Amen and amen!  Don’t miss this much-needed word for all of us taking a deep breath at the beginning of a new school year!
8/26/202140 minutes, 53 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Marked by endurance

Many years ago I trained and ran a half marathon. The end. (Not really, but kind of.)    In doing so I learned a whole lot about what it takes to build endurance so that you can run the race well. I also learned a lot about chafing—but I digress.    The Christian life is like a marathon in that it requires significant endurance if we’re going to make it through the obstacles we face along the way. Having endurance in the context of our faith means we’re always in training mode, getting ready for the hard places of discouragement and suffering that will challenge our readiness for the race.    Practically speaking, we build up endurance by staying true to the basics: things like spending daily time with God, finding Christian community, memorizing Scripture, and seeking discipleship.    This week, we’re praying for our kids to run their spiritual races with endurance. We’re praying that they keep their eyes on Jesus, setting aside anything that weighs them down or keeps them from running effectively.    Take a quick moment to listen today and pray with me, and enjoy a few insights into my short stint as a “runner.” 
4/26/202111 minutes, 2 seconds
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Praying for our kids: Marked by our mind

As you know, we’re praying the greatest commandment over our kids this month—that they will love God with their heart, soul, mind, and strength.   As we pray for our kids to love God with all of their minds this week, we’re reminded that our mind is made up of our thoughts. In order to love God with all of our minds, we have to think about what fills our minds and how it impacts the way we love God.    Our thoughts are significant because they have the potential to grow our love for God or distract and pull us away from a relationship with him and his great plans for our life. The Enemy loves to get ahold of our thoughts and make us question God’s goodness and protection in our lives.   For our kids to love God with all of their minds, we’re praying that they “take captive” all the thoughts that are destructive, not instructive. We’re also praying about what’s going into their minds and how that’s fueling (or lessening) their love for God.   Let’s start this week together by praying over our kids’ minds and all that they will think about today and every day.
4/12/202111 minutes, 42 seconds
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BONUS: Praying God's word over our kids

I was on a radio interview recently where the host asked me how to teach our kids about God without cramming the Bible down their throat. I guess I understood his general sentiment, but my initial thought was “can we ever give our kids too much of God’s word?” Today we’re praying for our kids to be marked by God’s word because we know that God’s word is the only true wisdom in life. If God’s word is active and alive (Hebrews 4:12), God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), and our only refuge (Psalm 18:30), I’m not sure it’s possible to overplay its value.  This month we’ll be talking (and praying) from the context of the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah had a deep love of God’s word which guided him in doing God-sized things while leading others to repentance and action.  Listen to today’s podcast and join me in praying for our kids to be marked by God’s word in their lives. Pray that they will know their infinite value and his great love for them even in the midst of today’s uncertainties and hard places.  There are a million things we do for our families each day, let’s be sure praying for them is at the top of the list.
11/2/202013 minutes, 34 seconds
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BONUS - Praying Prayerfulness for Our Kids

I always bristle when I read the passage in Matthew 26 where Jesus asks the disciples to stay awake to keep watch and pray with him the night before he’s arrested to be crucified. Do you remember what happens? Not once or twice, but three times Jesus comes back to find the disciples asleep because apparently “their eyes were heavy” (Matthew 26:43). This passage makes me sweat a little bit because I kind of think that might have happened on my watch too. It’s easy to think that surely if Jesus specifically instructed us to stay awake to keep watch and pray, we would understand the urgency and make it our first priority to get it done. But then, if you’re like me, we find ourselves lying in bed each night with great intentions to pray for our families and, well, our eyes get heavy. Today on our podcast, Becky Jones joins me to talk about our prayer lives. She reminds us of God’s grace in the places where we haven’t prayed well in the past but also encourages us to make changes moving forward by treating prayer as a continual conversation with God instead of a list to check off. As we’re praying for our kids this year, let’s pray they understand the transformative power of prayer and how it leads to God’s guidance and provision in their lives. Let’s also pray that their lives are marked by prayer and they can remember it being a significant priority in our own lives. Your eyes may be heavy, but God has asked us to pray always (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Let’s do this!
1/13/202020 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep. 18 - Praying for Our Kids

We’re continuing our prayer emphasis in 2020 by praying this week for our kids to be excellent in all that they do. When you think about excellence and praying it for your kids, what comes to mind?   For me it’s the cheesy inspirational posters in middle school classrooms back in the day with sayings like: “Excellence is never an accident” or “Excellence is not being the best - but doing your best.”   Well let’s just say I did my best in math and nobody has ever accused me of excellence in that arena. But that’s neither here nor there.   It’s easy to get excellence confused with performance. Scripture is clear that we are called to excellence because it honors the one who created us, and he alone is the only true model of excellence. Performance is cumbersome and puts the focus on us, but praying the Lord’s excellence in our kids will rightfully take the pressure off of them and allow the Lord to shine in their lives.   Let’s pray that our children approach all their work with a goal of excellence, not in order that they might be looked upon favorably by others – but so that God will.   “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
1/5/202012 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep. 17 - Praying for Our Kids

It’s that time of year when we start thinking about resolutions. Or at least we start thinking about the fact that we aren’t making resolutions this year. Either way, I think it’s natural to take a step back over the next few days to evaluate where we are in life and what we want to continue doing and/or the places we want to make some adjustments. It’s also the perfect time to start praying for our kids to know their purpose this year (and all the years to come). I’m so happy to have Craig Denison with us today to talk about the concept of knowing our purpose and why we pray that over our kids.  Craig and I drill down on what our true purpose is in the Lord and how we can pray that for our families. Take a minute to listen to our podcast, and then, as we approach January, pray that your children seek God’s greater purpose for their lives this year, not allowing the mundane things of life to trump the mission he has anointed for them. Happy New Year, and I look forward to walking the parenting road together in 2020!
12/30/201914 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep. 16 - Praying for Our Kids

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! What a week to pray joy for our children. The simplicity of the words of one of the most famous Christmas carols says it all: Joy to the world, the Lord is come! We have joy in this life because of one thing: the Lord is (not has) come. The baby we celebrate this week left his heavenly home to be born in a manger so we might have eternal life. He brings forgiveness, redemption, and, yes, joy for all of us at Christmas and all our days. No matter what we face in our earthly lives, he has overcome all things, and we live in victory through Christ our Savior. The Lord is come—present tense! He’s come for our ups, our downs, our good, and our bad. He is our Lord in all things. Rebecca Carrell joins us today to talk about the importance of praying joy for our kids, especially when, as parents, it is so easy to be hyper-focused on their happiness. And she has a great reminder for us on how joy in our lives can actually become our strength. In Christian circles, there’s always a lot of discussion on having “joy” in our lives instead of “happiness.” If you haven’t listened to our interview with Max Lucado from last week on happiness, take a minute to do that! Max has a great point when he says that God wants both joy and happiness for us. This week, join me in praying that our kids have the kind of joy that comes not from the things we can give them but from a Savior who knows them and wants a personal relationship with them. And let’s pray that when they face the inevitable difficulties of life they may remain joyful, knowing that Jesus came to earth to heal, restore, and make all things whole. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10
12/22/20198 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep. 15 - Praying for Our Kids

If we’ve learned anything the last few weeks, it’s that acts of generosity are all around us this time of year – but definitely not in the form of a Peleton bike gifted to your wife and a resulting a video diary of her fitness journey. That, my friends, is dangerous territory. I remember my Dad used to say you never give a gift with a plug to your wife for Christmas (meaning an appliance). Now I believe we can all agree that one might be wise to stay away from gifts with a plug AND a pedometer. That’s just a little Christmas advice for you as we all finish up our shopping this year. You’re welcome. This week, as we continue to pray for our children this school year, we’re praying for generosity in their lives. Kay Wyma joins us today with a great reminder that true generosity stems from acknowledging all the Lord has done for us. Chew on that for a minute: Generosity naturally spills over to those around us when we live with gratitude for what the Lord has done in our own lives. I can’t think of a better gift we can give our kids this week than praying they live lives marked with gratitude. Praying they show generosity in their friendships, being happy when others succeed, and compassionate when they do not. Let’s also pray generosity in their areas of influence by including peers who are overlooked, and always being willing to serve those around them when they see needs. Let’s pray our kids live all of their days rooted in generosity with gratitude for who Jesus is to us – beginning all those years ago when he came to earth as flesh, born in a lowly manger so everyone could be offered eternal life with him. I can’t think of an easier time of year to show generosity because of what Jesus has done in our own lives. Let’s share that with our kids. Take a minute to listen to our podcast today while you’re driving, shopping, or sitting by the Christmas tree. And think long and hard before you purchase your beloved a blender, vacuum, or a Peleton bike. Ha! Note: If you missed our podcast with Kay Wyma last Thursday, take a minute to listen today. She unpacks the song “Joy to the World” and gives us practical ways to hydrate our souls this holiday season. It’s just the word we all need as we make the final lap headed into Christmas.
12/16/201914 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep. 14 - Praying for Our Kids

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16 “All things were created through him and FOR him.” I’ve read this verse many times before, and it only hit me today that we are literally created for Jesus. We exist FOR Jesus. We are his creation and his joy, and it only makes sense that he truly wants connection with us and our children. He wants our affection, our companionship, our good, and our not-so-good. He created us to have community with him—that’s his great desire for our lives.   It’s easy to focus on the things that will bring us and our kids temporary happiness. But don’t forget to keep praying for the things that are lasting. Pray this week that our kids won’t find connection only in social media, friends, teams, or activities, but that they will have encounters with Jesus that change the trajectory of their lives and are only found in connection with their creator.  It probably goes without saying (which naturally means I’m going to say it anyway), but we need this same connection daily with the Lord. It is hard to find extra time in our days, much less time to be alone and be quiet. Join me in committing to spending time with the Lord each morning and asking him to quiet your soul so you can experience true connection with him.
12/9/20199 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep. 13 - Praying for Our Kids

As we continue to pray through the school year for our children, it’s almost unbelievable that it’s already December! Today we have a special guest joining us on the podcast, my husband Mike. Last week you may remember we prayed that our kids would live out of a place of gratefulness, which was apropos as we celebrated Thanksgiving. This week we are praying that they would have the Lord’s favor in their lives.   We have the Lord’s favor as his children; however, we also must live a life that he can bless and use for his greater kingdom purposes. Thankfully, we know that when we miss the mark, he’s quick to forgive and restore our relationship. Join us as we pray for our children to live a life that allows God’s favor on all they do.
12/2/201916 minutes, 1 second
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Ep. 12 - Praying for Our Kids

This week we are discussing gratefulness and the importance of a good memory when it comes to knowing what God has done for us. We talk about places in the Bible where people gave thanks, even when their situations were less than optimal. God is the giver of all good things and therefore worthy of our praise. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s pray that our children exude gratefulness in the big and the small, the successes and the failures, and the trials and the triumphs. Pray that they grasp that all things come from him; therefore, we praise his mighty name.
11/25/201913 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep. 11 - Praying for Our Kids

It’s week 11 of our prayer journal, and we are praying this week for our kids to have hope. All around us, people are placing their hope in earthly things that cannot possibly deliver. Let’s pray that our children put their hope in the Lord, the only One who can strengthen, restore, and deliver on the great plans he has for us. Without hope, our kids will face anxiety, depression, and much more. Ask the Lord for a hope that carries them in their days of discouragement and that he will daily renew their strength. In his book Unshakable Hope, Max Lucado has a great reminder as we pray hope for our kids this week: We are building our lives on the promises of God! Because his Word is unbreakable, our hope is unshakable. We do not stand on the problems of life or the pain in life. We stand on the great and precious promises of God. Thank you for joining us as we pray hope over our kids this week!
11/18/20198 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep. 10 - Praying for Our Kids

Today we begin week 10 of praying our kids through the school year. This week, we are praying specifically for our kids to have discernment. I can think of no one better to join us this week than Janet Denison. Janet is the founder of Christian Parenting and someone who has shaped my parenting in so many ways. Janet chats with us about what discernment is and the difference between straight-up discernment and biblical discernment. She reminds us of the importance of modeling discernment with our kids and also teaching them to listen for the Holy Spirit in their lives. I don’t know about you, but when I started to think about praying for discernment for my kids, I wasn’t positive about what that would all entail. But don’t worry: Janet fills in the gaps for us today. Join me this week as we pray that our children know God’s voice and can discern his path for their lives. Pray also that they learn to discern biblical truth and are led to make choices that best exemplify their faith in Christ.
11/11/201915 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep. 9 - Praying for Our Kids

Today we begin week 9 of praying our kids through the school year. This week we are praying specifically for our kids to understand the importance of time management. Our children’s days, like ours, are filled with so many demands for their time. If we teach them the importance of managing it now, it can have a huge impact on their adult lives. I have a sweet friend joining us on our podcast today, Summer Dale. She shares some great reminders of why it matters that we teach our kids time management skills so they can effectively accomplish God’s greater plans for their lives. Let’s pray that our kids manage school, activities, family, and time with the Lord in a way that best honors God and brings his perfect wisdom. The best life for our children is one spent prioritizing the things of God, not the things of this world. Join us this week in praying our kids manage their time well as they balance the demands of life with the higher purposes of God.
11/4/201914 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep. 8 - Praying for Our Kids

It's week eight of our prayer journal, and we are praying friendships for our children this week. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of friendships in our lives, especially good friendships that point us back to Christ. The Bible is full of examples of true friendships, even giving us prescriptive advice for the kinds of friends to look for and even how to be a good friend to others. If you’re like me, I routinely pray for my kids to have good friends without thinking much about it. But this week let’s take time to dig into God’s word and pray for our kids to have solid Biblical friendships, not just people to hang out with. Psalm 27:9 says a “sweet friendship refreshes the soul,” and if you’ve had the privilege of Godly friendships you know that to be true. Let’s pray that for our kids this week. Today marks two months that we’ve been praying for our kids this school year! Thank you for being so faithful to join us each week to listen to our podcast, and pray as a community of believers for our kids to know Jesus and live in a way that honors him. It would be such a blessing if you would take a minute to forward our podcast to your friends, spouse, small group—or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. If you have not ordered a journal, they are still available. Either way, we want you to join us each week as we pray for our kids. Our goal is to form a community of parents committed to praying for our kids this school year. In doing so, we pray you will tangibly feel God’s blessing on our families and schools, and that we will have testimonies to share with each other of the great things God accomplished this year. The verse on the cover of our prayer journal is Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” May we all be found faithful in prayer this school year!
10/28/201911 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep. 7 - Praying for Our Kids

It’s week seven of our prayer journal, and we are praying for our children to have accountability in their lives. Several years ago, a dear friend of mine encouraged me to start praying that my children would get caught in their sin, leading to accountability and restoration. I didn’t know what I thought about praying for my kids to be caught, but I started doing it any way. Oh my, I found that to be a bold prayer. The friend I’m referencing is on our prayer podcast today, talking with me about accountability and how that has worked in her life and with her kids. We share some personal stories and hopefully give you lots of encouragement. Start praying today for your kids to have people in their lives who hold them to the higher biblical standards. Pray that they have teachers, employers, pastors, and friends who will have the courage to say the hard things in their lives out of love and help them see their sin for what it is. A huge thank you to each of you who have joined us every week for these Monday morning prayer podcasts. We’re overwhelmed with the response we’ve received. It would be such a blessing if you would take a minute to forward our podcast to your friends, spouse, small group—or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. If you have not ordered a journal, they are still available. Either way, we want you to join us each week as we pray for our kids. Our goal is to form a community of parents committed to praying for our kids this school year. In doing so, we pray you will tangibly feel God’s blessing on our families and schools, and that we will have testimonies to share with each other of the great things God accomplished this year. The verse on the cover of our prayer journal is Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” May we all be found faithful in prayer this school year!
10/21/20199 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep. 6 - Praying for Our Kids

Today we begin week six of our prayer journal, and we are praying for our children to know their identity is found only in Jesus, not in this world. Psalm 139:13–14 so beautifully reminds us that God perfectly and very personally created each of us in our mother’s womb. We are very intentionally made in the image of God and have great worth and identity to the Lord who has created us and calls us by name. Let’s remind our children that they are created in the image of God, uniquely gifted for his glory. They are not the names this world calls them but are called righteous and redeemed by the Savior. Take a minute to listen to our podcast this week as we discuss the names culture has given our children in contrast to the names Jesus uses in Scripture to describe them. Identity is a big topic for our children and one we cannot afford to miss praying over them. A huge thank you to each of you who have joined us every week for these Monday morning prayer podcasts. We’re overwhelmed with the response we’ve received. It would be such a blessing if you would take a minute to forward our podcast to your friends, spouse, small group—or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. If you have not ordered a journal, they are still available. Either way, we want you to join us each week as we pray for our kids. Our goal is to form a community of parents committed to praying for our kids this school year. In doing so, we pray you will tangibly feel God’s blessing on our families and schools, and that we will have testimonies to share with each other of the great things God accomplished this year. The verse on the cover of our prayer journal is Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” May we all be found faithful in prayer this school year!
10/14/201910 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep. 5 - Praying for Our Kids

Today we begin week five of our prayer journal, and we are praying for the fruit of the Spirit to be present in the lives of our children. Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—these are not just “good” attributes we hope to see in our kids, but these qualities are evidence that the Holy Spirit is moving in their lives. Notice that we are praying to see the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, not the fruit of their actions, the fruit of their parents’ rules, or the fruit of their works. I know that preaches to me. If your children have accepted Jesus as their personal savior, pray for them to be able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit in their lives, naturally producing fruit that comes only from their relationship with Jesus. If your children have not yet accepted Christ, let’s continue to pray salvation over their lives and that they will know their desperate need for the Savior. A huge thank you to each of you who have joined us every week for these Monday morning prayer podcasts. We’re overwhelmed with the response we’ve received. It would be such a blessing if you would take a minute to forward our podcast to your friends, spouse, small group—or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. If you have not ordered a journal, they are still available. Either way, we want you to join us each week as we pray for our kids. Our goal is to form a community of parents committed to praying for our kids this school year. In doing so, we pray you will tangibly feel God’s blessing on our families and schools, and that we will have testimonies to share with each other of the great things God accomplished this year. The verse on the cover of our prayer journal is Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” May we all be found faithful in prayer this school year!
10/7/20198 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep. 4 - Praying for Our Kids

 It’s week four of our prayer journal, and we are praying for our children to have self-control.  Quick Note: Please subscribe to Pardon the Mess on iTunes or wherever you listen to our podcasts. Once you subscribe, you will receive notifications each time a new episode is out. In the next few weeks, we will stop sending out the weekly email reminders of our prayer podcasts (like this one), and we don’t want you to miss out. Once you subscribe, you will be notified each time we release a new episode. Okay, back to self-control. You may be thinking that self-control is not one of the more exciting things you will pray for your kids; but my goodness is it a critical one. Self-control (or lack thereof) has the capacity to impact our kids their entire lives. It shows up in dating relationships, finances, online accountability, occupations, health, marriage, and lots of other places. Take a minute to listen to this week’s podcast and pray with me as we consider self-control and how it impacts our kids. It may sound a bit dry at first, but the deeper you get into the concept, the more you realize the huge implications behind it. I hope you are enjoying the podcast we release each Monday morning, giving a few thoughts on the topic we are praying. Hopefully this is an encouragement as we band together to pray for our kids this school year. It would be such a blessing if you would take a minute to forward our podcast to your friends, spouse, small group – or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. If you have not ordered a journal, they are still available. But either way, we want you to join us each week as we pray for our kids.  Our goal is to form a community of parents committed to praying for our kids this school year. In doing so, we pray you will tangibly feel God’s blessing on our families and schools, and that we will have testimonies to share with each other of the great things God accomplished this year.  The verse on the cover of our prayer journal is Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” May we all be “faithful in prayer” this school year!
9/29/20198 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep. 3 - Praying for Our Kids

Today is the start of week three of our prayer journal, and we are praying for our children to have influence. Every group our kids participate in has influencers, whether they’re good or bad. It’s not by coincidence that our kids spend their days with certain people, doing life together through school, sports, and other activities. Let’s pray that our children will be influencers in their circles and have the courage to live out their faith authentically and in a way that marks the lives of those around them. I hope you are enjoying the podcast episodes we release each Monday morning that give a few thoughts on the topic we are praying. Hopefully, this is an encouragement as we band together to pray for our kids this school year. It would be such a blessing if you would take a minute to forward our podcast to your friends, spouse, small group—or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. If you have not ordered a journal, they are still available. Either way, we want you to join us each week as we pray for our kids. Our goal is to form a community of parents committed to praying for our kids this school year. In doing so, we pray you will tangibly feel God’s blessing on our families and schools, and that we will have testimonies to share with each other of the great things God accomplished this year. The verse on the cover of our prayer journal is Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” May we all be found faithful in prayer this school year!
9/23/201911 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep. 2 - Praying for Our Kids

Today is the start of week two of our prayer journal, focusing on praying for our children to be fearless. As a part of our prayer challenge this school year, I am releasing a short podcast each Monday morning with a few thoughts on the topic we are praying. I will also take a few minutes to pray out loud with you for each of our children. Take a few minutes today to listen to our podcast and think about what it means to pray for our kids to live marked by a spirit of fearlessness. Consider what the Lord may someday call them to do that will require them to get out of their comfort zones, going to places that require complete trust. Let’s start praying for them today to be equipped for just that. It would be such a blessing if you would take a minute to forward our podcast to your friends, spouse, small group, or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. Our goal is to form a community of parents committed to praying for our kids this school year. In doing so, we pray you will tangibly feel God’s blessing on our families and schools, and that we will have testimonies to share with each other of the great things God will accomplish this year. The verse on the cover of our prayer journal is Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” May we all be found faithful in prayer this school year!
9/16/20199 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep. 1 - Praying for Our Kids

Remember that time we purposefully prayed for our kids every day with such vigilance that lives all around them were changed? Me neither!  Today we start week one of our prayer journal, focusing on praying for our children to be a light in their schools. As a part of our prayer challenge this school year, I am releasing a short podcast each Monday morning with a few thoughts on the topic we are praying. I will also take a few minutes to pray out loud with you for each of our children. It would be such a blessing if you would take the time to listen to our podcast and join us in praying together. It would be equally amazing if you would take a minute to forward it to your friends, spouse, small group—or anyone you feel led to ask to join you in praying each week. Let's pray light this week! 
9/9/201910 minutes, 43 seconds