Helping siblings forgive one another with Courtney DeFeo

If your house is anything like mine, you are all too familiar with rushed and fake apologies. Siblings get in a fight and one apologized to the other under their breath while rolling their eye at the same time. Can you relate?


Today I am joined by my friend, Courtney DeFeo, and she is helping us emphasize forgiveness in our houses. Courtney and her husband, Ron, decided forgiveness was going to be one of their core family values so today she is sharing how to prioritize and model forgiveness in our homes.


Courtney and I also touch on the challenge of raising our oldest kids (because we don’t know what we are doing), the difference between conviction and shame, and how you have to decide what is helpful in your parenting vs. what is harmful and making you feel shame.


I love how she encourages us to quit comparing ourselves to other moms—God made us all unique to parent our own unique kids and we can rest in that.


Courtney is the host of Pardon the Mess, an author, a speaker, a mom of two teenage daughters, wife to Ron, and a proud dog mom. I have the joy of calling her friend and you will too after this episode. Make sure to listen until the end because I ask her some rapid fire questions and you will love what she says!

Connect with Courtney

Social Media:




Privacy & Opt-Out:

Nurturing creativity in your kids with Andrew Peterson

Jesus will change your life when you let him into it and my guest today, Andrew Peterson, is the perfect example of that. Once Andrew decided to follow Jesus, he led him down a path of sharing his gospel with everyone in creative ways. As a singer, song writer, and author, Andrew has had the privilege of pointing generations of people to Jesus through his work.


Today we talk about his heart behind writing The Wingfeather Saga, his passion for creativity, how he encouraged creativity in his home, and he offers encouragement for how to parent a child who doesn’t quite fit inside the box.


You will love how Andrew leans into grace for all things, especially parenting! He reminds us that we will have regrets because we aren’t perfect. But with time, we get the privilege of watching how God redeems our mistakes and turns them into something beautiful!


You will love this conversation, enjoy!

P.S. Andrew is on tour right now, so check out his website to see if he is in a town near you!

Connect with Andrew

Social Media:




Links mentioned:

Giving Tuesday:

Privacy & Opt-Out:

A new perspective on Thanksgiving with Raymond Arroyo

Hi Friends! 

We have a fun interview today, just in time for Thanksgiving! Most of us know that there is a funny little tradition for the President to pardon a turkey on Thanksgiving day. But do you know where that tradition came from? It actually started with Abraham Lincoln and his son, Tad. My guest today Raymond Arroyo wrote a children’s book that tells the story!


Today Raymond and I talk about how we are parenting in a challenging time, but we can learn from parents who have gone before us, the influence we have in our kids lives and the influence they have in ours, how Abraham Lincoln grew in faith over the years, what he meant Thanksgiving to be, and what mercy means for us and our kids.


I hope this episode gives you a unique perspective on my personal favorite holiday! I put a link for mirliton dressing below, so you can try a new recipe this year! 

Remember that, at its core, Thanksgiving is about unity, mercy, and the family we are blessed with. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

With love,


Connect with Raymond

Social media:



Links mentioned:

Last chance to get your copy of Jesus, the Light of the World before December 1!

Mirliton Dressing

Privacy & Opt-Out:

Let’s talk about school: seeing beyond grades

In this bonus episode, we are talking all about school, grades, and the parent/teacher relationship!


I’m joined by Tracie Potts who is a mom of three adult kids and a grandmother of two. She is Advisory Board Chair of Learning Heroes, which is an educational nonprofit focused on family engagement. She is a former National PTA Family Engagement fellow and board member. Her 12 years of PTA volunteer work include local, council and state leadership roles, and leading her middle school to become a National PTA School of Excellence.


Today she is helping us understand a parent's role in their child’s education, the difference between grades and grade level performance, how we can best support our kids in school, and how we can show our teachers appreciation.


Whether you are a teacher, a parent, or both, I think you will be really encouraged by Tracie and what she has to share.

Links mentioned:

Privacy & Opt-Out:

Raising confident kids vs. kids who need to perform with Terra Mattson

Terra Mattson is a dear friend of Christian Parenting and someone I really look up to as both a mom and a woman of faith, so I cannot wait for you to hear from her today.


Terra is a licensed marriage and family therapist and executive coach who authored Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace and partnered with Christian Parenting to develop the Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughter Courses.


Today we talk about performance based parenting…what is performance based parenting and how do we know if we are doing it? The truth is being human is messy and it doesn’t always look perfect so sometimes we try to become perfect and performance based---but the message of the gospel is the opposite of that. So how do we raise our kids with this in mind? How do we help them through struggles and point them to Jesus and his grace? We also talk about the importance of doing our own work in this area so that we can help our kids discover their identity in Christ.


You will love this conversation!


With love,

Steph Thurling



Connect With Terra:

Social Media:



Links mentioned:

Courageous Book

Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters

You are Special by Max Lucado

Privacy & Opt-Out:

Celebrating Advent with kids with Charity Rios

You are going to love my guest on the podcast today. Charity Rios is a mom of four young boys, an author, a writing coach, and a delightful person! She is so passionate about teaching kids about God and helping them develop a strong relationship with the Lord.


Today we are talking all about the season of Advent and Christmas. I know it feels so early, but Advent starts December 5th and all the Christmas décor has been out in stores for months!


Charity shares her heart for teaching kids about Jesus and following him, she gives us some examples of how she celebrates Advent with her family and encourages us to simplify our holiday traditions so that it’s not so overwhelming. And we, of course, cover the new Advent devotional that she wrote just for kids...Jesus, Light of the World


Listen to the end to hear Charity’s hope for kids who read this devotional, we were both brought to tears. I hope this episode encourages you in your walk with Jesus and in parenting kids to passionately follow Jesus, too. I also hope it helps you feel ready to enjoy the Advent season focusing on what really matters: the gift of Jesus’ birth.

Connect With Charity:

Social Media:



Links mentioned:


Ann Voskamp Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

Little People Nativity set

Privacy & Opt-Out:

Embracing God's plan for your life with Tabitha Schmitt

Today I am joined by my friend Tabitha Schmitt, who has one of the most powerful stories of God’s faithfulness that I know. Tabby was 36 weeks pregnant with her second baby when she found out he would have extreme special needs. But God, in his goodness, took a story that the world would consider tragic and radically transformed her heart and changed the direction of her family forever.


Tabby is a wife, a mom of three, an artist, a children’s book author, a small business owner and is passionate about raising a generation of fiery warriors for God’s Kingdom.


Today Tabby and I talk about how God writes our stories, directs our paths, and prepares the way for us. He works all things together for good, even when we can’t figure out how. She encourages us that it’s okay to raise our kids in a way that is different from what the world views as “normal” because we are not supposed to be of the world anyway.


This story is so good, you don’t want to miss it!


Connect with Tabitha








Privacy & Opt-Out:

What to do when your kids feel rejected with Michelle Donnelly

Have you ever been thrown a curveball and asked a question like, “Where is God in this situation?” or “Is God still good, even though this is so bad?”


I think we have all wrestled with those thoughts before and my guest today is here to talk all about the answers to those big questions.


Michelle Donnelly runs PlusONE Parents, a ministry devoted to helping single parents overcome overwhelming situations to rebuild God-empowered lives and raise up a new generation.

She has a Bible study called, Made for More: A Bible Study for Single Moms (and anyone else whose life hasn’t gone as planned).


It’s the last part that got me…whether you are a single parent or whether your life just looks a little different than you expected it to…this conversation is for you.


Michelle and I talk about some big things, we cover: how God is faithful even when life doesn’t go as planned (no matter what that looks like), how to walk your kids through rejection, the importance of community, and how you can support single parents in your community.

Connect With Michelle:

Social Media:



Links mentioned:

Made For More Bible study

More resources:

For more on the war in Israel, please visit this collection of resources from Denison Ministries.

Privacy & Opt-Out:

BONUS: Helping your family understand the conflict in Israel

We have never done this before, but we are releasing a bonus episode of The Christian Parenting Podcast!

In this bonus episode, we are talking about the crisis in Israel. I have talked with a lot of parents about what is going on, there are a few things that seem to be true:

  • Parents are overwhelmed by this topic
  • They feel unprepared to answer any questions that their kids may have
  • They aren’t sure how much to tell their kids
  • They don’t have hours to do research and don’t know where to start


If you are feeling any of these things when you think about, or hear about, the Middle East, you are not alone and we are here to help! I am joined with Dr. Jim Denison to learn all about what is currently going on in Israel. Dr. Denison covers questions like:

  • What is the history of Israel and Palestine? Who are these two groups of people? Have they always been in conflict?
  • Who is occupying whom? How do we balance that as American Christians?
  • Who is Hamas and how did we get to this point of war?
  • What does the Bible say about what is going on?


We also share how to talk to your kids about the war in Israel, how you can pray for the Middle East as a family, and how your family can support families who are affected by this crisis.

There are a lot of related resources available, so check out the links below:


Privacy & Opt-Out: