Seeing God’s goodness in the middle of loss with Jonathan Pitts

Wynter and Jonathan Pitts were married for fifteen years and twenty-seven days, until July 24, 2018, when Wynter unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord. Wynter left behind a family of four girls, a handful of books, and a ministry to tween girls—For Girls Like You. The niece of Tony Evans and the cousin of Priscilla Shirer, Wynter came from a strong family of faith.

Jonathan Pitts is a speaker and executive pastor at Church of the City in Franklin, TN. He joins us today to speak about seeing God’s goodness in the middle of the pain of loss. His testimony is faith-filled and rooted in the knowledge that God allowed his wife to complete her mission before he took her to heaven.

Jonathan shares some of the truths found in the last book Wynter and he completed just hours before her passing—Emptied: Experiencing the Fullness of a Poured-Out Marriage. Jonathan and I talk about marriage, raising girls, living life in quarantine, and so much more. Jonathan’s mission to carry out Wynter’s ministry, while raising their daughters, is going to encourage you!

Be sure to follow us on social media @pardonthemesspodcast to get notices on our Instagram Live events as well many other encouraging parenting resources. We want to walk the parenting road with you!

Praying when you don’t know what to say with Sheila Walsh

As we consider the death and resurrection of Jesus this weekend, we can’t help but be reminded of God’s great love for us—even to the point of death so that we might have eternal life.

Easter will look different in so many ways this year, but we can be especially grateful that Jesus is on his throne and there’s absolutely nothing in the world that can change the significance of an empty tomb and risen Savior.

As we continue to pray for the impact of COVID-19, I’m so thankful that we serve an approachable God who hears our needs and meets us right in the middle of the small and big things of life (like a pandemic).

Sheila Walsh, bestselling author and Bible teacher, joins us today on Pardon the Mess with a much-needed reminder that God is always listening and waiting for us. Sheila offers practical tips for praying when we don’t know what to say. She shares honest stories that remind us that God is not looking for perfect words or perfect people, just open hearts.

Sheila walks us through some of the common struggles in our prayer lives and gives great advice on what to pray when we have no words.

The prayer of a righteous man (and woman) is effective. In these hard days, let’s cling to this promise and be found faithful in praying for those around us. Sheila Walsh will encourage you as you do just that.

Setting up school at home with Erin Weidemann

Erin Weidemann joins Padron the Mess as many of us find ourselves (unexpectedly and suddenly) in the throes of homeschooling. A professional educator and now a homeschooling mama, Erin offers extremely practical ways to maximize our homeschooling operations.

You will love her “Top Six Tips for Setting up a Temporary Homeschool.” They are both grace-filled and doable for those of us who feel like fish out of water when it comes to homeschooling our kids. More than anything, I promise you will walk away feeling encouraged and capable.

During these times, Erin reminds us that our real goal is to form bonds with our kids and lead them to Jesus every day—the rest is icing on the cake.

Amen, sister!

“I Still Believe” with Jeremy & Adrienne Camp

Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Jeremy Camp experienced both love and gut-wrenching loss in his twenties after falling in love with Melissa Henning and then losing her to cancer shortly after their honeymoon.

I Still Believe is the newly-released film portraying their story of God’s faithfulness in meeting the deepest of needs, even in the midst of unimaginable loss.

Today, Jeremy is married to his wife of seventeen years, Adrienne. They have three children and are passionate about keeping Jesus in the middle of their life and marriage and sharing God’s love around the world any way they can.

Jeremy and Adrienne talk to us about the movie I Still Believe, as well as their new marriage book, In Unison. We chat about finding God’s blessings even in a pandemic and practical ways to navigate conflict in our marriages.

The Camps will encourage you with their deep faith and unrelenting message of the hope that is only found in Jesus.

Parenting our kids emotionally through COVID-19 with Sissy Goff and David Thomas

Do you feel like you’ve got more questions than answers these days?


Me too!


Which is why I’m thrilled that we have Sissy Goff and David Thomas on our podcast to walk us through ways we can support our kids emotionally during these tough days.


Sissy and David are on staff at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee, and have extensive experience counseling kids. They speak all over the country encouraging parents to raise their kids with intentionality, focusing on the most common struggles parents face in today’s fast-paced society.


One of the standout moments in our discussion was their advice that the best way we can help our kids work through their anxiety in these uncertain days is to manage our own. And then they give us some much-needed advice on how to practically do just that.


We also discuss the differences between fear, worry, and anxiety, and they help us recognize when our kids may be struggling and need extra support. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of talk about being hopeful and patient parents—and I may or may not have felt like that was semi-directed at me. Ha!


Although this interview was scheduled months ago, the Lord clearly knew we would need a word from David and Sissy at exactly this time.


So let me encourage you to take a few minutes today to hear from two people who love the Lord and our kids. Be encouraged as they practically walk us through ways to best parent our kids in these days of uncertainty.


P.S. Want to hear and learn more from Sissy and David? Check out their podcast here and some of their book resources available now!

Standing still in suffering with Ellie Holcomb

The Israelites were trapped with seemingly no way out. The Egyptian army was fast approaching from behind. In front, they faced the unpassable waters of the Red Sea.

In frustration, they cried out to God, asking why he would allow this desperate situation and questioning if he really cared about them.

And then Moses answered with twelve words of truth: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).

These twelve words are as relevant for us in the middle of a pandemic as they were centuries ago to a flailing nation with its back against the wall.

Singer, songwriter, and author Ellie Holcomb joins me today to talk about suffering and what this passage has meant to her in the seasons of struggle. We talk about knowing God better in the middle of hard times and how God’s word is our defense when we feel trapped and helpless.

My favorite part of our talk with Ellie is her reminder that suffering never has the final word in our life because Jesus is coming back. He alone has and is the final word.

Ellie is a sweet, sweet spirit who will encourage you as she shares vulnerably about balancing faith, family, and the work God has called her to accomplish. She also has a great word for parenting with intentionality, even when our days can seem very mundane and ordinary. And, let’s be honest, there are lots of mundane moments these days as we spend hours upon hours with our kids in a time of social distancing.

My prayer is that you will be encouraged today, in the midst of struggling, knowing that God is for us.

We need only to be still.

Be the bridge to racial reconciliation with Latasha Morrison

“It’s never too late to start today.”

That’s the challenge Latasha Morrison leaves us with on today’s podcast as we talk about diversity and racial reconciliation. I can promise you that listening to this forty-minute podcast will be one of the best uses of your time today. It’s that good!

Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, a nonprofit organization equipping folks just like us to serve as ambassadors of racial reconciliation. She speaks very practically and grace-filled about the need to listen, learn, lament, and leverage as we consider our part in this pervasive issue.

We talk about the call to being unified in Christ and that if one part of the body of Christ is struggling, we all have a responsibility to do our part to implement change. There’s so much to consider in today’s podcast, but I especially love the practical ways she suggests we teach our kids the truths about diversity beginning at an early age, starting with the books we read, the movies we see, and the restaurants where we eat.

The Lord has given a word to Latasha that we all need to hear, and I’m so thrilled to have her join us. Let’s keep the discussions on intentionality going this month as we tackle the uncomfortable but critical topics facing our families.

Get Out of Your Head with Jennie Allen

We’re kicking off a new series this March focused on intentionality.

I can’t think of a better way to get started than with Jennie Allen encouraging us to be intentional in identifying the toxic thoughts in our lives. 

Jennie says “the greatest spiritual battle of our generation is being fought between our ears.” And with an average of 30,000 thoughts a day going through our minds, it’s easy to see how quickly those negative thoughts can have a huge impact on our lives.

On today’s program, Jennie Allen, Kay Wyma, and I jump in the car for a carpool podcast of sorts. 

We talk about:

  • identifying our negative thought patterns,
  • acknowledging that we are in charge of our thoughts; they are not in charge of us,
  • the science behind our thoughts,
  • and remembering that God gives us the power to confront and overcome the toxic ones.

It’s a fun interview you won’t want to miss. We even drove through McDonald’s for fries during our chat.

We’re so fortunate to have Jennie Allen on Pardon the Mess. She’s a gifted communicator and the founder and visionary behind the IF:Gathering, an organization that equips women to know God more deeply and disciple others. She’s a speaker, author, podcaster, and much more.

Listen to today’s podcast on your favorite podcast platform, or watch the video here!

On the Bright Side with Melanie Shankle

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Shankle joins us on Pardon the Mess as we continue our February series focused on the things we love. Melanie has a great word of encouragement for us on truly appreciating friendship. She talks about what the ups and downs of friendship have meant in her life and reminds us that we have to make new friends in order to eventually have old friends.

We talk all about her new book, On the Bright Side, and the importance of finding joy in all that life has to offer (even when it doesn’t turn out like we expected). She talks honestly about raising her daughter, Caroline, and some of the tough spots of helping her navigate hard friendships. She reminds us to be careful with social media because it’s unfair to compare our inside with someone else’s outside.

You’re not going to want to miss this conversation because Melanie brings a word of hope and encouragement in a culture so often marked by online arguments, crazy politics, and unfiltered opinions. More than anything, she brings a needed reminder that faith in Christ is all we could ever possibly need, so cling to it and then look for all the gifts around us like kindness, love, mercy, and joy.

When life gives you lemons, always look “On the Bright Side.”