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 depression
  • How 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 Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from today’s show:

Jenna’s site

Jenna’s podcast

Listener Kids YouTube Channel

Register for Camp WinShape

Our Sponsors:
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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 16:13

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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 people
  • How to model kindness and create empathy in our kids
  • How to raise little world changers

Connect with Pardon The Mess:

Christian Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from today’s show:

Carlos’ Instagram

Get Your Hope Up - Carlos’ new devotional for kids

Learn more about WinShape Camps!

Our Sponsors:
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BONUS: 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 23:10

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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 important
  • What is the benefit of learning the Bible for ourselves 
  • Why community and conversations propel us faster and further
  • Why it’s crucial to model faith conversations for our kids

Connect with Pardon The Mess:

Christian Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from today’s show:

Jen Wilkin’s site

Jen’s podcast

Women of the Word

You are a Theologian

Register for Camp WinShape

Our brand-new Scripture Affirmation Cards

Our Sponsors:
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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 32:8

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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 Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from today’s show:

Jesus and the Gift of Friendship - Trillia’s new book

God’s Very Good Idea (and other books) by Trillia

Connect with Trillia Newbell

Our Sponsors:
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BONUS: Marked by God’s Certainty


“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” —Proverbs 16:9 NLT

We 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 3:6

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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 life
  • How 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 Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Our Sponsors:
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