Pardon the Mess

With Courtney DeFeo
Latest Episode

Pardon the Mess

With Courtney DeFeo
Pardon the Mess with Courtney DeFeo
As parents, we know raising kids is the opposite of neat and tidy. Each day brings wins, losses and valuable lessons. Pardon the Mess is a place where we discuss parenting and faith in a biblical, approachable and relatable way. We may cry and laugh while we learn and grow together in our beautiful mess. Follow Pardon the Mess on Instagram and Facebook!
All Episodes:
Jun 13 • 51:48
My journey as a widow with Rachel Faulkner Brown - Story 2

For our Summer of Stories, I got the pleasure of interviewing a dear friend Rachel Faulkner Brown about her incredibly hard and beautiful life. In the first half of this episode, we talk about her journey with losing two husbands and walking that grief journey twice. She shares so much wisdom for other widows as well as practical tips for all of us enduring lifes toughest pain.

In the second half of our chat, Rachel bravely shares about their familys most recent struggle - an eating disorder that quickly took a grip on her daughter. She provides invaluable insight and practical advice from the deeply painful journey they have walked.

My favorite part of the interview is when she shares honestly about the shame we can feel as mothers. As she watched her daughter walk through the hardest season of her life - she was also faced with a choice to hold onto that control or release her to God. We all have these moments in parenting and we can learn so much from Rachels incredible faith journey.

Im so thrilled for you to get to know Rachel. She is a dear friend and a woman that has experienced Gods goodness throughout some of the deepest pain in her life. You will be inspired by her calling to pass on the love of God and hope to others in their darkest days.

In this episode, we chat about:

  • How to practically move forward when you lose your spouse
  • How to wrestle with God when horribly hard things happen
  • How to lean into God when life is upside down
  • How to love our kids when its hard and you must release control
  • How to parent a child with an eating disorder



Introduction and Background


The Importance of Honesty and Community


The Need for Aggressive Treatment


The Healing Journey and Future Hope


Prayer and Encouragement for Mothers

Connect with Pardon The Mess:

Christian Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from todays show:

Never Alone Widows 

Father's House Bible Study

There is More podcast 

Podcast with Rachels daughter about her eating disorder - Part 1

Podcast with Rachels daughter about her eating disorder - Part 1

Reverend Joanne Moody

St. Teresa of Avila Quote

Healing prayer - resource 1

Healing prayer - resource 2

Our Sponsors:
* Check out Seed and use my code 25MESS for a great deal:
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Jun 6 • 47:10
Grieving the loss of a child with Joy Phenix - Story 1

Welcome to week 1 of our Summer of Stories series! For the next 10 weeks, you will hear one powerful story after another. We are featuring 10 stories of incredible moms that have endured significant challenges. Through these stories, we pray you will remember that God is faithful and always with you through lifes most challenging moments.

Todays guest is my dear friend, Joy Phenix, who bravely shares her journey of losing her amazing son. Her story of loss and indescribable grief is so very hard to hear but oddly peaceful and sacred. 

My favorite part is when she encourages us to be a student of others grief journey. Every single person grieves at different times and in different ways. We cannot judge our friends or family members on that journey. This takes patience and grace and understanding. 

This episode is for anyone walking in grief - not just the loss of a child. All of us have seasons of tragedy and unthinkable hard times. We want to know how to trust God again and how to move forward in the midst of the pain. Joy will touch your heart in a profound way. I am deeply thankful for her willingness to share her story to help others. 

In this episode we chat about: 

  • How to endure the indescribable journey of losing a child
  • How we can help and support friends in their grief 
  • How to remember each person grieves differently and at unique times
  • How to normalize talking about grief through the process 


Introduction and Catching Up


The Power of Community in Times of Loss


Finding Hope and Healing Through Faith


Cherishing Memories and Finding Healing


Vulnerability and Trust in Difficult Times


Connect with Pardon The Mess:

Christian Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from todays show:

Joshs Celebration Service

Joys Instagram

Body Keeps The Score

Our Sponsors:
* Check out Seed and use my code 25MESS for a great deal:
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May 30 • 39:48
How to utilize (not avoid) conflict in your marriage with Michael Jr. and Ebony Wright

Comedian Michael Jr went from living in his car to one of the most influential and talented comedians in the country. In fact, he used to open the show for Jerry Seinfeld and went on to headline his own shows. He is now sharing the stage with his wife, Ebony, as they focus on strengthening marriages across the country.

This engaging couple shares many great pieces of wisdom and insight during our episode, but I really enjoyed how they speak about conflict. Its so easy to avoid conflict at all costs. They encourage us to utilize conflict for the greatness of marriage 

My favorite part (or least favorite) was when Michael Jr. asked me to share honestly about a recent disagreement I had with Ron. He went through the list of the fruit of the Spirit to see how I was handling a specific situation. And I bombed his test. It was embarrassing, but really challenged me on how I handle conflict. I love their hearts for marriage. They have a passion to remind couples that marriage is GOOD and it does work.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How easy it is to drift in marriage when kids are in the home
  • How to keep your marriage a priority and intentionally connect
  • How to utilize conflict instead of avoiding it



Introduction and Family Background


Letting Go and Trusting God with Our Children


Faith as a Consistent and Visible Part of Family Life


Merging Talents to Help Couples Find Joy in Marriage


Revealing Areas of Freedom Through Conflict

Connect with Pardon The Mess:

Christian Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from todays show:

Funny How Marriage Works

Assessment for your conflict resolution 

Emotions Wheel

Funny How Marriage Works Tour

Our Sponsors:
* Check out Seed and use my code 25MESS for a great deal:
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May 23 • 35:43
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 Sarahs life to start a movement called Neighbors 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 movement
  • Why your neighbors need community 
  • What an invitation can do for an individual
  • How we can preach less and simply love more
  • How to care for aging parents with compassion


Introduction and Catching Up


Stories of Love and Connection Around the Table


Building Relationships with New Neighbors and Introducing Sarah's Dad


Caring for Aging Parents with Love and Compassion


Closing Remarks and Action Items

Connect with Pardon The Mess:

Christian Parenting

Pardon The Mess 

Courtney DeFeo

Resources from todays show:

Sarahs Instagram

Neighbors Table

Invite Sarah to Speak

Table Talk Questions - source Close To My Heart

Kindness Diaries with Leon

Leon Logothetis

Gods Holy Spirit in Me kids devotional

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May 20 • 14:03
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 28:1920


Weve spent this school year praying for our kids to be marked by the things of God. Weve prayed that they live with integrity, confidence, generosity, endurance, and much more. But these are nothing more than admirable qualities if they arent used for Gods 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.


Were Gods Plan A for spreading the gospel. Theres no backup plan, theres no contingency, and theres 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.


Lets 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 weve 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. 

Gods word speaks: 1 Peter 2:9; Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 3:15; Ecclesiastes 12:1314

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About the Host

Courtney DeFeo

Courtney DeFeo is the NEW host of Pardon the Mess! She is the author of In This House, We Will Giggle and Treasured and creator of ABC Scripture Cards and the kindness movement, Light ‘Em Up Acts. She loves to encourage parents and women through speaking, writing, and podcasting. She also serves on the board of For Girls Like You and Lighthouse Family Retreat. Her deepest desire is to encourage others and give generously in a way that draws people to God.

Her most honorable mention is her husband Ron and their two wildly fun girls (Ella, 16 and Larson, 14). Courtney is passionate about Jesus, coffee, Auburn football, Coca-Cola classic, her dog Mazie, spending time with friends and family, and finding deals at TJ Maxx. Although they have lived in Atlanta and Orlando, they currently reside in the DFW area. Courtney’s family loves to serve at Compass Church, travel together, and consume large amounts of table-side guacamole. Connect with Courtney on Instagram or visit

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