Pardon the Mess with Cynthia Yanof

By Christian Parenting

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Reviews: 1

 Aug 1, 2019
I enjoy listening to you and your guest while driving to work. It gives me hope, inspires me to press on, and laugh. It lets me know that parenting can be messy but God is good and He will finish the work He has begun in me. Thank you.


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.

Episode Date
Praying the Psalms over our Kids: The key to interruptions

The last several years I’ve prayed that my kids will live interruptible lives. I’ve prayed for it because for so long, I was completely unwilling to have my own life interrupted. I like things to be planned out, organized, and on my schedule. So much so that I wasn’t open to the things God was calling me to that might “mess up” my best laid plans. 


But now knowing what I know, most of God’s greatest plans for my life have come in the form of interruptions. And we see these same God-ordained interruptions in the lives of Noah, Mary, Abraham, and so many other biblical heroes. 


The Psalm we’re praying this week says that God “thwarts the purposes of his peoples” in favor of his own greater plays. Why? Because his plans stand firm and impact generations to come. 


So join me in praying interruptibility over our kids this week, so that God’s plans will trump any plans we make that are less than his very best. 

Oct 03, 2022
The Real Truth behind critical parenting with Ken Wilgus

Let’s be honest. There’s not a one of us that doesn’t often feel like the Simon Cowell of our family having to correct, instruct, redirect, and . .  . sometimes criticize. We don’t call it criticism, but so often it feels that way for us (and definitely for our kids too). 


Ken Wilgus is with us today talking about the real truth on critical parents and critical kids. We dig deep into issues of boundaries and respect, both of which are the hidden gems if we’re trying to avoid this issue.  Ken is a licensed psychologist and always a fan favorite because of his practicality and willingness to lay it out there in areas we don’t love to discuss.


We also talk about the real truth behind overscheduling our kids as well as why we continue fighting parenting battles not worth fighting. 


I’m so glad you’re exploring the “real truth” with us this fall, it’s always more fun when we’re all in it together!


Resources from today's show: 

Dr. Kenneth Wilgus

Feeding the Mouth That Bites You

Sep 29, 2022
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.

Sep 26, 2022
The Real Truth on Making your Marriage a Fortress with Gary Thomas

I hope you’re enjoying our real truth series as much as I am. 


If I’m honest, most of the real truth topics we’re covering are areas of my life that could use a little bit of attention, and I’m guessing you’re dealing with the same things too! 


Today is no exception as we visit with Gary Thomas, the King of Marriage. I mean, perhaps “King of Marriage” is not exactly in his bio, but when you write books like Sacred Marriage and Making your Marriage a Fortress, you’re pretty much royalty where I’m from.  


We’re talking today about the many things threatening our marriages and how we prepare today for what may be a struggle tomorrow. If for no other reason, you can’t miss today because Gary has the best encouragement for pursuing emotional attachment with our spouses even when life happens and there’s barely a moment to spare. 


We also have a great discussion on finances in our marriages, which pretty much lives in the top ten of problems married couples face.


I’m so thrilled to have Gary Thomas back with us today, and I know you’re going to love him!


Resources from today's show: 

Making your Marriage a Fortress

Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters

Sep 22, 2022
Praying the Psalms over our kids: A blessed life

We’re off to a great start in praying for our kids this school year and I’m so glad you’re doing this with me! Week one (last week) we prayed for our kids’ salvation, which is hands down the most important thing we can pray for them. 


This week we’re praying for a blessed life. But there’s a hitch! We want to know God’s version of living blessed instead of relying on the world’s definition. Psalm 1 is our focus passage and we’re given a very practical visual on the way that sin progresses. We’re reminded of the theme all throughout the Bible that God blesses obedience and judges disobedience, and a blessed life requires following God’s word. 


Join me this week as we talk about the road to a blessed life and what that means as we pray for our kids. Oh, and be sure and share this with your friends! It’s such an honor to pray together for our kids to know and love the Lord.

Sep 19, 2022
Real truth about gaming with Drew Dixon

Is your husband child a gamer? (Just kidding.)


Is it hard for you to relate? 


Do you wonder if there’s any redeeming value in it? 


Have you wondered what the Bible would say about gaming? 


Are you lacking a framework for determining what’s appropriate and what's not?


If you responded “yes” to any of the above, today’s your lucky day! 


Drew Dixon is the cofounder of Love Thy Nerd, and has been speaking + writing about video games for over a decade. Today he’s answering the questions we’re all asking on behalf of our kids that love video games… perhaps a little bit too much. 


His new book Know Thy Gamer: A Parent’s Guide to Video Games is a great resource on gaming, and I so appreciate him bringing practical advice today on parental controls, free to play games, and loot boxes (I didn’t know either). 


If you live with a gamer or know someone who does, this is a great way to expand your knowledge base on the real truth about gaming. 


Resources from today's show: 

Drew Dixon: Love Thy Nerd

Mentioned on the show:

Common Sense Media


Sep 15, 2022
Praying the Psalms over our kids: Salvation

It’s week ONE of our 2022-2023 Monday prayer podcast, and this is where the journey begins to pray our kids through the school year!


This year we’re following the Christian Parenting prayer journal, Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids. If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, now’s a great time to do just that. 


I love the Psalms because it’s 150 songs, poems, and expressions of faith from real-life people who teach us how to pray, what to pray, and when to pray. And hidden in these vulnerable, pretense-free words, we learn the keys to being still, following our shepherd, seeking wisdom, fearing God, living with contentment, and so much more.


So today begins our journey through the Psalms, focusing on Jesus as our Salvation. There is nothing that can save us or our children but God. And because our sin separates us from him, he sent Jesus to pave the way through his death on the cross for our reconciliation to God for all eternity. 


Our greatest prayer as parents (and what we begin with this school year) is that our children will confess their sins and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I can’t think of anything more significant to pray for this week. 


So don’t miss out as we kick off this series. And please, share this with your friends, small group, Bible study, or anyone else that is ready to pray for our families together!


A huge thank you to First15 Worship for the amazing instrumental music!

Sep 12, 2022
The real truth on giving feet to your faith with Kirk Cameron

Kirk Cameron won over our teenage hearts on Growing Pains many years ago. And I hate to be the one to do this to you, but it’s been over 37 years since that show premiered. So now who's feeling old? 🙋🏼‍♀️


Since that time, Kirk has given us a crash course on what it looks like to stand for the principles of our faith, including some amazing projects centered on social media, marriage, and family. His latest project is a movie coming out in theaters this weekend called Lifemark. He and the Kendrick Brothers tell a beautiful story about choosing life and the significance of adoption. And I can’t wait to take my family to see it. 


Kirk and his wife Chelsea (his girlfriend in Growing Pains) have adopted four children, and I love how their biblical beliefs have guided their family values. Kirk gives some solid advice today for living out our faith authentically and boldly, and even throws in the top three parenting principles he and Chelsea have used in leading their family. 


Don’t miss any of this good stuff today! 


Resources from today's show: 


Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters

Sep 08, 2022
The real truth on teen dating with Steve Frissell

Step right on up if you have a teen that’s starting to date or if the sheer thought of it makes you break into a cold sweat. 


There are so many questions behind the topic of dating and how to best shepherd our kids when they start down this road. Thankfully, we’re tackling it this week with Steve Frissell, an Executive Pastor at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. 


Steve and his wife have been married for 26 years and the story he shares of their high school dating mishap is not one you will soon forget. They have six children now and Steve has an incredible word on balancing truth with grace when walking our kids through dating. He also shares ideas on conversations we need to have with our kids and thoughts on purity culture if you grew up in that era like so many of us. 


When I tell you that this is a podcast you need to hear—well, this is a podcast you need to hear. 


And just in case you missed it last week, the next few months we are going to be digging deep into the “real truth” behind common issues we face in our spiritual lives, parenting, and just in life generally (like dating). 


Here are a few coming your way the next few weeks:

  • Real truth in marriage with Gary Thomas
  • Real truth in anxiety with Louie Gigglio
  • Real truth on gaming with Grant Dixon 
  • Real truth about the Holy Spirit with Max Lucado


I can’t wait for you to hear today’s conversation with Steve Frissell!


Resources from today's show: 

Steve Frissell on Instagram

Riverbend Friends

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Sep 01, 2022
The real truth on being godly women with Brittany Ann

Today begins a new series that I’m so excited about on Pardon the Mess. 🥳


We’re going to dig deep into the “real truth” behind common issues we face in our spiritual life, parenting life, and just in life generally. We’ve been working super hard behind the scenes to get the perfect guests to encourage and instruct us in some important areas, and here’s a preview of what’s coming up: 

  • Real truth about the Holy Spirit with Max Lucado
  • Real truth about teen dating with Steve Frissell
  • Real truth in marriage with Gary Thomas
  • Real truth about anxiety with Louie Gigglio

And (drum roll please), we’re kicking it off this week with Brittany Ann to talk about the “real truth” on being godly women. Brittany is an author, blogger, speaker and has a great word for us on upping our spiritual game. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those conversations that will leave you feeling guilty or not good enough—it’s just a great reminder on small changes we can make to experience big dividends in our walk with the Lord. 


I can’t wait for you to hear this conversation with Brittany Ann today, and be sure you’re tuned in the next few months as we hit some really important “real truth” topics! Oh, and share us with your friends that could use some encouragement—that would be a huge gift all around.  


Resources from today's show: 

Called to Act Conference, September 13-15, 2022

Fall in Love with God’s Word

Riverbend Friends

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Aug 25, 2022
Uncommon Influence with Tony and Lauren Dungy

If you love football and want to be inspired to live each day with purpose, you’re going to love today’s show with the Dungys. Tony Dungy is a football legend, playing for many years in the NFL and then coaching professionally with the Colts and Buccaneers. He’s a Super Bowl champ and now works as a football analyst for NBC. 


Tony and his wife Lauren have been outspoken in their faith every step of the way as the Lord has given them opportunity after opportunity to boldly share their story. They join us today to talk about living with ‘uncommon influence.’ We discuss what it looks like to listen for God’s voice and move forward in the things with eternal impact that he has for our lives. 


And for those of you wondering, yes we did talk a little bit of football and he has a great Peyton Manning story. We also get a great word on youth sports, and there ain’t a one of us that couldn’t use that. 


The Dungy’s love for foster care and adoption will encourage you, and I have a feeling you’re going to walk away inspired by these sweet people and their commitment to living big for Jesus. 


Resources from today's show: 

Uncommon Influence

Riverbend Friends

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Aug 18, 2022
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

NIV Teen Study Bible

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Aug 11, 2022
Raising Emotionally Strong Boys with David Thomas

Boys… whatcha gonna do with them? Just kidding. 


But they really are unique creatures and if you’re raising one or more, you know that finding ways to help them communicate and express their feelings in a healthy way can be challenging. 


David Thomas is a Pardon the Mess favorite, and he’s with us today discussing the importance of raising emotionally strong boys. Don’t miss his insight into why our boys suffer from higher rates of suicide, addiction, and pornography abuse—oftentimes because they haven’t learned to deal with their emotions in a healthy way. 


Here are a few highlights:

  • Modeling healthy communication with our boys 
  • The three “R’s” of emotional health 
  • How anxiety and depression present in boys
  • What healthy relationships look like for boys
  • When pulling away is okay… and when it’s not 


David’s new book, Raising Emotionally Strong Boys is a must-read. Check it out and all the other great resources offered through Daystar Counseling!

Resources from today's show: 

Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can Build on for Life

Raising Boys and Girls

NIV Teen Study Bible

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Aug 04, 2022
Raising a rebel in today’s culture with Sean McDowell

I’m so happy to have Sean McDowell with us again today! We’re talking about practical ways to equip our kids to intellectually defend their faith. Sean is an author, speaker, and well-known apologist in today’s culture (just like his dad, Josh McDowell). 


Sean and I talk about the confusing messages our kids are facing and how these messages are different from the ones in the past. We also talk about how to teach our kids to be bold in speaking up for their faith… with compassion and grace. 


There’s so much you don’t want to miss on today’s show with Sean McDowell—he’s a big deal and you’ll love all he has to say about apologetics, preparing our kids intellectually, and his new book that is a great resource for our teens! 


P.S. If you haven’t purchased our new prayer journal, now is a GREAT time to do that. We’re kicking off in September so grab your copy now! 


Resources from today's show: 

A Rebel’s Manifesto

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Jul 28, 2022
When you feel like “the worst person in the world” with Scarlet Hiltibidal

Is your face melting off from the heat? We used to just call this ridiculous weather “Texas in July.”  But the odds are if you’re in the United States or Europe, you’re doing a little bit of sweating right alongside us. Not to mention, if you have kids home this summer and you didn’t plan enough activities, there’s some sweating involved with that too. 


Thankfully we have Scarlet Hiltibidal with us today. She’s an author, speaker, and mom who knows what it’s like when you’re trying to be everything to everyone. She found herself feeling like “the worst person in the world” after years of hustling, striving, and trying to prove to God and everyone else that she was good enough. 


Today she shares with us how important it is to come to terms with our status as sinners, and how to pivot from striving to chasing after the right things—the eternal things. She also gives us practical ways to defeat the lies we struggle with and stand on the truth we find in Jesus. 


Can’t wait for you to hear from Scarlet this week! And then stay tuned because we have some awesome shows coming your way to prepare us for back to school. Stay cool! 


Resources from today's show: 

You’re the worst person in the world

Signals: How Brain Science and the Bible Help Parents Raise Resilient Children

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Jul 21, 2022
Sexuality: What your kids need to hear from you with Dr. Juli Slattery

A friend recently mentioned to me a podcast, Java with Juli, that has completely changed how she approaches the topic of sexuality with her kids. Fast forward to today, and Juli Slattery is joining us to talk about sexuality as it relates to our marriages, parenting, and so much more.


Now most of you know that talking about sex makes me squirm. So if for no other reason, you need to listen today because words are said in this show that have not been said in the 300+ podcasts I’ve released of Pardon the Mess. 😬


Here’s a run down of what we’re covering:

  • Developing a deeper intimacy with your spouse
  • Discipling your kids on the subject of sex
  • Must have conversations with your kids around sexuality
  • Discussions for when your kids struggle with pornography
  • Messaging our kids are hearing from the current culture

I would say this is probably a podcast to listen to solo before throwing it out for the whole fam on the way to the beach. You’ll thank me later!


Please, please take time to listen to this important podcast and then share it with others as we work to improve our conversations in our families around sexuality. 


Resources from today's show: 

Juli Slattery’s resources:

Authentic Intimacy Ministry

Java with Juli Podcast 

God Sex and Your Marriage book

Finding the hero in your husband

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Jul 14, 2022
When your kids trigger you with Sissy Goff

I hope everyone had an amazing 4th of July! We spent the last week in Boston on vacation and it was amazing, exhausting, and everything you can imagine from spending a week with your kids in small spaces. That makes today’s podcast especially timely (for me at least).  


Today we have the privilege of hearing from Sissy Goff, a fan favorite when it comes to understanding our kids. Sissy is the Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee, and a dear friend to our show.


Sissy is unpacking some important topics to consider during the summer months, and a few issues that are probably cropping up in your home as well as mine. 


Here’s a few of the things we discuss:

  • Why our kids trigger us and how to manage it
  • What our kids need from us this summer
  • How to instill confidence in our kids
  • Ways to help our kids with friendships
  • Teaching responsibility 
  • Ideas on entitlement and discipline


I’m so grateful you’re with us this week. You’re going to love what Sissy has to offer.


P.S. I’m so excited that our 2022-2023 prayer journal is out! Grab your copy now so you’re ready to hit the new school year running when it comes to praying for our kids. We will be praying the Psalms over our kids and it’s going to be amazing! 


Resources from today's show: 

More from Sissy Goff:


Raising Boys and Girls

Raising Boys and Girls Podcast 

A Parent’s Prayer Guide: Key Psalms to Pray Over Your Kids

Jul 07, 2022
“Best of” with David Thomas and tips for raising boys

This week as a part of our “best of” Pardon the Mess interviews, David Thomas is with us to talk about all things related to our boys. 


Picture this: you’re picking up your son from the first day of school after waiting to hear all about his day. Even as he’s closing the car door you begin asking the most critical of questions like... How is your teacher? What friends are in your class? Who did you meet? Did you talk to any girls? What did you have for lunch? Are you tired? Why are you so quiet? Were the kids mean to you? 


Apparently unaware of the millions of questions swirling in your mind, your son simply responds that his day was “good.” I feel your pain (like really feel your pain), and David Thomas from Daystar Counseling in Nashville does, too. 


David talks with us about our boys’ developmental stages: explorer (0-4), lover (5-8), individual (9-12), wanderer (13-17), warrior (18-23). We also discuss the best ways to communicate and connect with our boys, which apparently does not involve barraging them with questions the second they get into the car (my bad). 


So glad you’re with us today. 


Resources from today’s show:


Raising Emotionally Strong Boys by David Thomas

Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters

Every Home for Christ

Jun 30, 2022
“Best of” with Jennie Allen and the heart of friendships

We’re using the next several weeks to release some of the “best of” Pardon the Mess interviews. With over 300 episodes and lots of new listeners, we don’t want any of you to miss a thing. 


Today we’re re-releasing our conversation with Jennie Allen on the lies we believe about friendships.


Jennie shares what she now knows about friendships, what they are, what they aren’t, and what impedes us from the God-given deep connection we so desperately need.


Here are some of the great topics we discuss when it comes to finding your people:


  • The different roles our friendships play 
  • What to look for in friends 
  • Putting yourself out there 
  • Choosing a fire pit over Netflix  
  • Noticing who is already around you 
  • Decisions in our careers, neighborhoods, and family that impacts friendships 


Don’t miss this much-needed conversation on the importance of our friendships and reminders that finding community is not impossible with a little bit of intentionality. 


Resources on today’s show:


Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World

Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters

Every Home for Christ

Jun 23, 2022
“Best of” with Ken Wilgus talking about parenting teens

I hope you’re enjoying summer and hopefully getting a little extra time with your kids!


The next few weeks we’re going to be sharing some of the “best of” Pardon the Mess interviews. Hard to believe we’ve released over THREE HUNDRED episodes! With so many new people joining along the way, we want to be sure you didn’t miss some of our favorite interviews. 


Today we’re re-releasing our conversation with licensed psychologist Ken Wilgus, and he is talking with us about parenting teens. 


If you don’t have a teen yet, no worries, because you can never prepare too early for navigating the treacherous waters of adolescence (just kidding—kind of).


Dr. Wilgus shares his ideas behind “planned emancipation,” the strategy of preparing our kids for adulthood by carefully and progressively letting go of our control in key areas of their lives.


We talk about this in the context of giving freedom in the music they listen to, the friends they pick, and even the state in which they keep their rooms.


Glad you’re with us today!


In this with you, 


Cynthia Yanof | Pardon the Mess 


Resources from today’s show:


Feeding the Mouth that Bites You book


Feed the Mouth that Bites You podcast 


Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters

Every Home for Christ

Jun 16, 2022
The Art of Getting it Wrong with Stephen and Amanda Miller

Imagine having seven children and living in an RV. I know, I can’t either. Stephen and Amanda Miller are doing just that and today we get a sneak peek into their lives! 


In his new book, Art of Getting it Wrong, Stephen reminds us that our failures are not final, and that it’s in those same failures where we learn to live courageously. It’s so easy to think our worth is equal to the sum of our successes and failures, but Stephen and Amanda help us dispel that notion and encourage us to follow God’s lead. 


We also talk about adoption and finding God’s calling in our lives, and the Millers detail how God is using YouTube and their millions of downloads (literally) to point people back to him. 


Thankful to each of you for joining us and can’t wait for you to hear from the Millers! 


Resources from today's show: 

The Art of Getting it Wrong

The Miller Fam YouTube

Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters

Every Home for Christ

Jun 09, 2022
Let’s talk about books for our kids . . . Part 2

Hey Friends,

I often get questions on books I would recommend for our kids and honestly, more often than not, I draw a blank. 


That’s why today’s bonus episodes of Pardon the Mess are dedicated to some of our very favorite authors and the children’s books they have written. These are books you can trust and your kids will love. Below you’ll find overviews of the books as well as links to the podcasts where we get the behind the scenes scoop with the authors. 


Let’s start with our younger kids (ages 4 to 8) and a conversation I had with Tricia Goyer and Amy Parker about their wonderful book, The Grumbles: A Story about Gratitude. Gratitude is a much needed quality in our kids, and this book (and our conversation below) provides great reminders for summertime.


Another great book for our littles is Claire and Anna Avidon’s, I Can Do Hard Things. These two ladies chat with us about refinement, perseverance, and encouraging our kids to take the hard road when God calls us to it. 


For our older kids (think ages 8-12), there’s a great devotional by Sarah Humphrey and Amy Parker called Solomon Says Devotional: 100 Days of Wisdom from the World’s Wisest King. Based on Solomon’s life, the book offers amazing lessons on peer pressure, finding your voice, living in confidence, and so much more. Sarah gives lots of wisdom in our conversation, so don't miss it. 


My last recommendation in this bonus episode is for girls ages 8-12, and it’s all about friendships. The ladies from The Ruth Experience remind us of our need for deep friendships  and the importance of being present, not setting up artificial boundaries, and being willing to invite others into our lives. Their book, 100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls is a great one for helping our girls navigate friendships. 


I hope these resources are a huge help to you! Grab a book and guide your kiddos well this summer. 


Resources from today's show: 


The Grumbles: A Story about Gratitude by Tricia Goyer and Amy Parker. 


I can do hard things by Anna Avidon and Claire Avidon. 


Solomon Says Devotional: 100 Days of Wisdom from the World’s Wisest King by Sarah Humphrey and Amy Parker 


100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls: A Devotional by Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl, and Kristin Demery. 

Jun 04, 2022
Let’s talk about books for our kids . . . Part 1

Hey Friends,


I often get questions on books I would recommend for our kids and honestly, more often than not, I draw a blank. 


That’s why today’s bonus episodes of Pardon the Mess are dedicated to some of our very favorite authors and the children’s books they have written. These are books you can trust and your kids will love. Below you’ll find overviews of the books as well as links to the podcasts where we get the behind the scenes scoop with the authors. 


Let’s start with our younger kids (ages 4 to 8) and a conversation I had with Tricia Goyer and Amy Parker about their wonderful book, The Grumbles: A Story about Gratitude. Gratitude is a much needed quality in our kids, and this book (and our conversation below) provides great reminders for summertime.


Another great book for our littles is Claire and Anna Avidon’s, I Can Do Hard Things. These two ladies chat with us about refinement, perseverance, and encouraging our kids to take the hard road when God calls us to it. 


For our older kids (think ages 8-12), there’s a great devotional by Sarah Humphrey and Amy Parker called Solomon Says Devotional: 100 Days of Wisdom from the World’s Wisest King. Based on Solomon’s life, the book offers amazing lessons on peer pressure, finding your voice, living in confidence, and so much more. Sarah gives lots of wisdom in our conversation, so don't miss it. 


My last recommendation in this bonus episode is for girls ages 8-12, and it’s all about friendships. The ladies from The Ruth Experience remind us of our need for deep friendships  and the importance of being present, not setting up artificial boundaries, and being willing to invite others into our lives. Their book, 100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls is a great one for helping our girls navigate friendships. 


I hope these resources are a huge help to you! Grab a book and guide your kiddos well this summer. 


Resources from today's show: 


The Grumbles: A Story about Gratitude by Tricia Goyer and Amy Parker. 


I can do hard things by Anna Avidon and Claire Avidon. 


Solomon Says Devotional: 100 Days of Wisdom from the World’s Wisest King by Sarah Humphrey and Amy Parker 


100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls: A Devotional by Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl, and Kristin Demery. 

Jun 04, 2022
Digital safety in our homes with Chris McKenna

Are you overwhelmed with technology?


Do you wonder how to keep your kids safe while also teaching them to use it responsibly? 


Have you wished for a biblical perspective on digital safety that goes hand in hand with the practical? 


For me it’s yes, yes, and yes.


Today we have Chris McKenna with us and he’s the founder and CEO of Protect Young Eyes. We’re talking about a digital trust framework for our families and practical tips for keeping our kids safe. He’s giving us ideas on router filters, appropriate ages for kids to have phones, and important conversations to have while they are still under our roof. 


Today is a big drink of water for those of us thirsty for technology answers!


Resources from today's show: 


Gryphon (routers in general)

The PYE App

Talk About from Awana - Try one month FREE with promo code: PTM

Jun 02, 2022
Praying for our kids: Wrapping up the school year with Bunmi Laditan

It’s hard to believe that way back on September 13th of last year we began praying our kids through the school year and that today is our last day! 


We’ve prayed for our kids to have connection, purpose, salvation, humility, and countless other attributes of our faith. Many of you have been with me each step of the way as we’ve asked the Lord to stand in the gap of our parenting while also drawing our kids to him. I’m so grateful.  


This week is our very last week of the school year, and Bunmi Laditan is joining us to wrap it up. Please, please don’t miss this last week because Bunmi is amazing and you will love her. Also we are finishing up our year talking about why we pray for our kids, how to do it well, and how to respond even when we don’t see the answers we are praying for.  


Bunmi has a new book out this summer on prayer, and it would be a great way to pray for your kids the next few months before we kick things off again in September. Speaking of the next school year, (drum roll please) we’re praying the Psalms over our kids, and I cannot wait to see how God uses this study to lead our families closer to him.  


So thank you for praying with me this school year. Thank you for always sharing these podcasts with your friends and small groups. And thank you for allowing Pardon the Mess to speak into your parenting each week. I’m truly blessed to walk the road with each of you who want to love the Lord well in your parenting.  


P.S. The prayer journal for the 2022-2023 school year will be available starting in July. Listen to Pardon the Mess on Thursdays for more information on how to grab a copy for you and your friends. 



To learn more about Bunmi Laditan, check her out here

May 30, 2022
Walking our kids through grief with Lisa Appelo

Happy Summer!


I hope you’re having a great ending to the school year and ready for a fun-filled summer! I know that summer can bring a mix of emotions for most of us, so no guilt as we navigate these days well with our kids. 


Today Lisa Appelo is with us to discuss grief and how to walk our kids through it. This is so important for when our own kids are grieving, but also for when those around us are walking hard roads and need support. 


Lisa lost her husband suddenly and has led her seven children through this enormous loss for ten years. She shares some critical principles of living through grief such as being authentic, making a safe space for your kids to mourn, and giving grace as each person grieves differently. 


There’s a whole lot of wisdom packed into today’s podcast—so listen to it, take a few notes, and share it with someone who might be struggling in a hard place today. 


So grateful for you!


Resources from today's show: 

Life Can Be Good Again: Putting Your World Back Together After It All Falls Apart

More from Lisa Appelo

Talk About from Awana - Try one month FREE with promo code: PTM

The Biggest Story Bible Storybook

May 26, 2022
Praying for Uvalde and all of our schools

There are no words at a time like this and, if you’re like me, the news feels almost suffocating this morning. I want to take a minute to lead us in a special time of prayer for our friends in Uvalde as well as for all of our students.


Take a minute to listen to this special edition podcast and join me in praying for Uvalde and our schools. 


Also, I wrote an article several years ago after the school shooting in Florida that I want to share with you. It’s equally relevant today, and I hope it’s a renewed call to action in praying for our children and schools. 

We are not powerless in school shootings

May 25, 2022
Praying for our kids: Patience

We are down to the last two weeks of praying through our 2021–2022 journal, which is really hard to believe! Yet it also seems fitting to be praying for patience as we’re staring down the barrel of summer and preparing for lots of extra time with our kids the next several months. 


It’s not lost on me that very few of us feel like we’ve mastered patience when it comes to our kids, which is why I’m thankful for my good friend Noel Pearce joining us today to work through it. We will not only pray for our kids to be patient with their siblings, friends, teammates, and parents, but also that they develop the discipline of waiting patiently for the Lord. 


Pray with us this week, and then don’t miss next week as we close out the school year praying God-sized dreams over our kids! 

May 23, 2022
Finding Peace in the midnight moments with Joni Eareckson Tada

“God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” 

— Joni Eareckson Tada


The ten words above have marked me from the very first time I heard Joni Eareckson Tada speak them. And today Joni is sharing her heart behind these words and much more on a show you definitely don’t want to miss! 


Joni is an author, speaker, artist, and the most incredible example of loving Jesus in the hardest places that I’ve ever known. She suffers with quadriplegia, and, even so, has traveled the world sharing her hope in Jesus. 


Joni very candidly talks to us about her accident and the words she prayed just months before it happened. We get a little insight into how she’s learned to love Jesus even when life’s midnight moments of despair come creeping in.  


There’s literally no way for me to hype today’s show enough, so please, please take a minute and go listen. 


Resources from today's show:

Talk About from Awana - Try one month FREE with promo code: PTM

The Biggest Story Bible Storybook

May 19, 2022
Praying for our kids: Submission

The word “submission” oftentimes has a negative connotation in our culture and is probably not any of our go-to prayers for our kids. But submission is exactly what we’re praying this week because submitting to the Lord means placing ourselves under his authority—and that’s a big component of accepting Jesus and living for him  


My good friend Stephanie Martin joins us today to talk about how she prays for her family, and, as always, gives us a few laughs along the way. We also have a good discussion on how to submit our will for our kids to God, and we all know that’s not easy most days.  


Join me in praying this week that our children submit to God through obedience to his word, a lifelong commitment to worship, and a desire to live to the higher standard to which they have been called. Can’t wait to pray together!  

May 16, 2022
Gen Z and their faith with Grant Glover

Attention❗️: If you have children born between 1997 and 2010, today’s podcast is especially for you! 


We’re talking about all things Gen Z, and even if your kids aren’t technically a part of Gen Z age-wise, please take a few minutes to listen to this fascinating conversation with Grant Glover. He does an amazing job breaking down how Gen Z views the world as the first generation of kids with 24/7 access to technology. We get a peek behind the curtain on their inner-narrative and the loneliness so often associated with this age group. 


His insight on raising kids in a post-Christian culture and how that impacts their feelings about church is so, so good. And although I love this entire conversation with Grant, you have got to hear the very end where he shares the one thing that has had the greatest impact on him staying the course in his faith. 

This is a podcast that is going to stick with me for a long, long time. I know you’ll agree! 


Resources from today's show: 

Off the Clock with Grant Glover

Talk About from Awana - Try one month FREE with promo code: PTM

The Biggest Story Bible Storybook


May 12, 2022
Praying for our kids: Humility

My mom (aka Dorothy) is joining us on the show today to talk about humility, and I promise you don’t want to miss the chance to hear Dorothy share some wisdom.  


It’s easy to skip over humility when praying for our kids because we live in a world that thrives on self-promotion and performance. But the Bible is full of warnings about pride and reminders that we are called to live each day with humility. It’s a foundation of our faith because it’s difficult to know your dire need for the Lord if you don’t have the humility to acknowledge it.  


We will also talk about the importance of teaching our children to put others first, seeking to build them up and not just working for their own self-interests. That’s a big one when it comes to social media and raising kids who use it with humility and grace. 


Join me and my mom today as we pray for humility for our kids! 

May 09, 2022
How to study your Bible with Jen Wilkin

Jen Wilkin is a speaker, podcaster, author, and someone who really knows how to study the Bible and lead others in doing the same. I am thrilled to have her joining us today to talk about the “why” and the “how” behind studying the Bible. 


Bible literacy matters not simply because it’s how we know God (which is a big one), but it also matters in our parenting because our kids need to learn to measure cultural truth with biblical standards. 


As summer approaches it’s easy to lose our routine and also the discipline of spending time with God. Let me encourage you to get a plan in place now so that doesn’t happen.  A great way to do this is to gather friends and do a Bible study like Jen’s in community. 


Don’t miss these practical yet significant words on studying your Bible.


Resources from today's show: 

God of Freedom

Famous at Home

The Biggest Story Bible Storybook

May 05, 2022
Praying for our kids: Purity

Kay Wyma is joining us today to talk about purity and thoughts to consider as we pray for our kids. Praying purity definitely means we’re praying for our kids to pursue it in their dating relationships, internet searches, music choices, clothes, and pure groups. However, we also know that purity is rooted in our identity, and when we know our worth it makes purity less about checking a box and more about trusting our Savior.  


I love how Kay reminds us that through the blood of Christ we are all clothed in righteousness, and that nothing our kids have done (or that has been done to them) can take that away. There’s a whole lot of soul issues around the notion of purity, and I’m grateful Kay is joining us today to break it down in ways we probably haven’t considered before.  


It’s hard to believe we’re in our last month of praying through the school year! Finish strong and join us in praying today! 

May 02, 2022
Trusting God’s heart with Alexandra Hoover

Do you ever struggle with the deep pain we feel in our lives and how to reconcile that with God’s loving character? I am guessing the answer for all of us is a resounding yes—I think we’ve all been there at some point or another. 


Alexandra Hoover is on Pardon the Mess today to help us set up a framework of seeing God both in the hard places and the highlights of our lives. She shares her own Ebenezer-stone moments and walks us through a process of finding our “starting stone” as a beginning place for remembering God’s faithfulness. 


This is such an important topic for each of us as believers who will inevitably face pain on this side of heaven, but it’s equally important for our kids. If we can begin to lay these foundational stones of God’s faithfulness in their lives, it will help them remember his goodness in the storms they will face in the future.

You’re going to love Alexandra Hoover!


Resources from today's show: 

Eyes Up: How to Trust God’s Heart by Tracing His Hand 


Talk About from Awana - Try one month FREE with promo code: PTM

A Great Calm

Apr 28, 2022
Praying for our kids: Mentorship

There’s no question that we (as parents) have the greatest influence on our children in the early years of their lives. However, more and more they will begin leaning on people outside of our home, and that’s why we’re praying for Godly mentorship over our kids this week.  


Lisa Clark is a dear friend who has mentored me in so many ways, and she’s on the podcast today sharing her thoughts on what mentorship is, what it’s not, and why it’s so important.  And let me say, she gives us a lot to consider when it comes to praying for our kids to be godly mentors to others as well.  


Can’t wait for you to hear these great words from Lisa Clark today as we pray for our kids' mentors. And don’t miss a little bonus at the end of the show as she gives her best parenting advice.  

Apr 25, 2022
Trusting the Waymaker with Ann Voskamp

Today, for the first time ever, we have Ann Voskamp on the show!


I doubt there’s much need for a formal introduction, but I’ll try to give you a few highlights. Ann is a New York Times Bestselling Author, speaker, wife, and mom of 7 kids who lives on a farm with a mass of pigs. She has the most amazing voice and speaks unique truth as someone who has raised a college kid while simultaneously changing diapers. Sounds familiar. 😳


But I really love her vulnerability in sharing some of the hard places she’s faced and how it has changed her perspective and how she lives out her days. One example is learning to live from a perspective of grace in her parenting and her marriage, and it’s a word we probably all need to hear. 


If you’re walking some difficult roads (or know someone who is) please take time to listen to Ann’s powerful message on finding the miracle in the middle of the obstacle. Lots of good truth today that I know the Lord will use to speak into your life. 


Resources from today's show: 


Parent Prayer Challenge

Otter B Hopeful

Apr 21, 2022
Praying for our kids: Forgiveness

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” — Oscar Wilde 


Clearly this isn’t good doctrine, but it’s pretty funny and also relatable. 


This week we’re praying for our kids to be quick to forgive others because that’s a central message of the gospel. We’ve been forgiven over and over by the Lord so we’re commanded to forgive others in order to stay in step with the Lord and not harbor bitterness. 


As we consider forgiveness we will look at the life of Joseph who gives the ultimate perspective on forgiveness in Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me but God intended it all for good.” He trusted God’s authority over all places in his life (even the very hardest) which allowed him to freely and lovingly forgive those who hurt him most. 


Take a few minutes today to pray forgiveness over your kids and consider the deeper questions of why we forgive, how we forgive, and how do we point our kids towards the freedom that comes from the hard places of forgiveness.

Apr 18, 2022
Sis, Take a Breath with Kirsten Watson

Not only is Kirsten Watson the mother of seven kids (yes, you read that correctly) and married to former NFL great Benjamin Watson, but today she’s our guest and you’re going to love her. Talk about a lady who knows how to get things done while also living purposefully in her faith—she’s the real deal. 


Kirsten and I chat about raising kids in today’s culture, the truth behind youth sports, and why talking about diversity matters to every one of our families. I also really appreciated her words on slowing down, being purposeful in the moment, and taking some deep breaths while leaning into God’s word. 


Her new book is Sis, Take a Breath and it’s a great word for all of us in the throes of raising kids, while just trying to keep our heads above water. 


Resources from today's show: 

Sis, Take a Breath

Parent Prayer Challenge

Otter B Hopeful

Parent with Purpose - A Perfectly Imperfect Christian Parenting Digital Event

Apr 14, 2022
Praying for our kids: Salvation

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NIV).


I remember when my youngest son was at the age where you’d ask what he learned at church and it was always one word: Jesus. Like anything I would ask, he responded with “Jesus.”  


What was your snack today? Jesus. 


Did y’all go to the playground? Jesus.  


Did you hit anyone (listen to earlier podcasts for more on that one)? Jesus.  

But as they get older your prayer really does become that of all the things they can learn about in life, let it be Jesus. He’s their savior, comforter, redeemer, and only hope in a world that claims lots of paths to eternal life.  


This week as we talk about our kids’ salvation, I can think of nothing more important to be praying over them. And if your kids have already trusted Jesus as their Savior, thank the Lord for that great blessing and then join us in praying for the kids around us who also need this same message of hope and eternal life.  


Apr 11, 2022
I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet with Shauna Niequest

Shauna Niequest is with us today, and if you love New York City you’re going to love this show. Having moved to the city in the last several years with her family, Shauna’s learning to navigate a whole new way of doing things while also realizing there’s still some things (even as adults) that we don’t understand about life, and that’s OK.


Not only does she share her favorite things to do in NYC, but she also reminds us how to find new ways of doing things when the old ones no longer work. I love her thoughts on teaching our kids to live out their faith in the real world and the encouragement to find a life-long faith, even in the midst of faith disruptions.


Today’s show is full service for those of us who are still ironing out the hard places in our faith while also wondering where to go for the best pizza in New York. 


Don’t miss it!


Resources from today's show: 

I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet

The Long Road Home

Designed to Last

Parent with Purpose - A Perfectly Imperfect Christian Parenting Digital Event


Apr 07, 2022
Praying for our kids: Health

Praying good health for our kids is something most of us have intuitively prayed over them since the time they were born. As believers, we know that complete health and healing only come when we are in heaven with our Savior. But, until then, we will continue asking the Lord to keep our kids healthy and strong, protecting them from any illness that threatens their body or mind. 


But in addition to praying for physical health for our kids this week, let’s also include their emotional health and everything from body image, depression and anxiety to the social media and friendship issues they all face.  


Lastly, and most importantly, let’s not forget to pray for spiritual health for our kids. That’s asking the Lord to help them to truly know and trust him, exercising wisdom and discernment in all that they face each day.  


There’s a lot to consider as we pray for health over our kids this week. Can’t wait to do it together.

Apr 04, 2022
Let’s talk about marriage with Gary Thomas

If you’re married, or hope to be married, or have kids that may someday get married—today’s podcast is for you!


I’ve heard over and over again how amazing Gary Thomas is, and today’s the day we get to have him on Pardon the Mess. I can’t get over how much marriage wisdom is packed into our conversation, and here’s a few of the topics we covered: 

  • Is the goal of marriage to be happy or holy
  • The misnomer of being in a “hard marriage”
  • What if I married the wrong person
  • Red flags and critical conversations to have with your kids about dating


I can’t wait for you to hear these important words from Gary about our marriages. And I’ll leave you with a great quote from the show: “A great marriage is not something you find, it’s something you make.” 


Take a minute to listen to today’s show and then forward it to your spouse! 


Resources from today's show: 

All things Gary Thomas 

The Long Road Home

Parent Prayer Challenge

Parent with Purpose - A Perfectly Imperfect Christian Parenting Digital Event

Mar 31, 2022
Praying for our kids: Peace

This week we’re praying peace over our kids, and this seems especially relevant considering  the state of our world today. Peace for our kids means they are not consumed with fear and worry, but instead live filled with the peace of God which transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 


We will spend a few minutes in Psalm 9 considering King David’s formula for living in peace. We’ll see how even in the turmoil he so often faced, he always came to the Lord with (1) praise, (2) perspective on God’s bigger picture, and (3) a healthy memory for God’s past faithfulness in his life.


It’s all about peace on Pardon the Mess today—so share it with a friend!

Mar 28, 2022
Loving our kids unconditionally with Missy Robertson

Have I told you this week how much my family loved Duck Dynasty all those years ago? If not, let me reiterate our love by sharing a few of my favorite Duck Dynasty lines:


I live by my own rules (reviewed, revised, and approved by my wife) . . . but still my own. —Si Robertson 


You can talk any redneck into a challenge. That’s why so many rednecks die in strange ways. —Jase Robertson 


My advice is: Don't take yourself too seriously, laugh a lot, enjoy your time with family, and appreciate the unique talents of others. Trust in God, love your neighbor, say you're sorry, forgive, and work hard. —Willie Robertson 


Knowing my love for this family, you can appreciate how excited I am to have Missy Robertson joining us today.  We’re talking about loving our kids unconditionally and her new children’s book written about this important subject. Our conversation also comes at a very interesting time in her life as she and Jace were unexpectedly given custody of a newborn and are working through the details of that. 


Missy has a great word on standing in the gap for people around us and how their family has tried to live missionally before, during, and after the platform of Duck Dynasty. Her words on the importance of the nuclear family (and the attacks on it) are so good, and I’m grateful for the passion she has to speak into it. 


Having talked to so many of the Duck Dynasty crew in the past, I’m now grateful to meet Missy, and I know you’re going to love her! 


Resources from today's show: 

Because You’re My Family

Average Boy’s Above-Average Year

Parent Prayer Challenge

Mar 24, 2022
Praying for our kids: Service

This week we’re praying for our kids to be marked by a heart that longs to serve those around them. Not only are we literally serving Jesus when we do so, but we get a beautiful new perspective on life.


There are so many ways to serve others well, but we’ll focus our time on praying that our kids share the gospel, befriend the marginalized, and actively find ways to serve others in our homes and our churches.   


We’re also going to spend time praying for Ukraine this week. It feels overwhelming and oftentimes words even fail us. But with all that’s going on in the world, we can trust that where two or more are gathered—the Lord is with us and hears us.    


Thank you for being so faithful to pray with us each week. Pray for your kids’ eyes to be opened to the needs around them so that serving others becomes second nature in their daily lives.

Mar 21, 2022
Raising prayerful kids with Stephanie Thurling and Sarah Holmstrom

We spend a lot of time in these parts talking about the importance of praying over our kids. But this week we’re giving it a little twist and talking to Stephanie Thurling and Sarah Holmstrom about raising prayerful kids. Said differently—how do we raise kids who pray? 


As with all things when it comes to parenting, intentionality is the key, and today’s show is full of practical yet intentional ways to incorporate prayer into your kids’ daily routines.


Sarah and Stephanie have a powerful book on teaching your kids how to pray—and let’s just say when they refer to starting a “prayer chain” it’s what you’re thinking of from the ‘80s with lots of serial phone calls and casseroles. 


So glad you’re with us today! Be sure to share this with a friend. Let’s work together to raise kids who spend time with their Savior in prayer.


Resources from today's show: 

❤️ Raising Prayerful Kids

❤️ Average Boy’s Above-Average Year

❤️ How Much Is A Little Boy Worth?

❤️ Parent with Purpose - A Perfectly Imperfect Christian Parenting Digital Event

Mar 17, 2022
Praying for our kids: Resolve

We’re praying resolve over our kids this week, and a good working definition for resolve is “to reach a firm decision.” So praying resolve means we’re praying they reach a firm decision each and every day to follow Christ and grow in their faith.  


Resolve is critical for this generation, who is bombarded daily with social media, pornography, graphic music, widespread internet access, and so much more. To follow the Lord, they will need to consistently do the faith-growing practices of connecting with the Lord daily, following godly mentors, and walking away from things that are less than God’s best for their lives.  


Join me this week as we laugh a little bit about my half-marathon experience so many years ago, and the take-aways of discipline, muscle memory, and determination required to do the hard things in life. 

Mar 14, 2022
The real deal with learning differences and our kids with Dr. Housson

Learning differences impact so many of our families, and oftentimes leave us confused and concerned as we consider the impact on our kids. I’m so grateful we have the opportunity to talk about this important issue today, and I’ve brought in the best to guide our discussion.  


Dr. Matthew Housson has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and focuses his Dallas practice on learning differences, specifically diagnosing autism, attention disorders, learning disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders. 


He is preeminent in his field and is graciously giving us a crash course on topics like these: 

  • When is too young to test for a learning difference?
  • How do learning differences present themselves in elementary, middle, and high school? 
  • Does a LD mean lower intelligence? 
  • What are the different types of attention disorders? 
  • Is it ever too late for “early” intervention? 


My prayer is that we can dispel some of the myths and shed light in the dark places we fear on the learning difference journey. 


Trust me when I say you need to hear this today—if not for your own children, then for those walking these roads beside you. 


Resources from today's show:  

The Housson Center 

Parenting for the Present resources

Captain Absolutely

I Love You, Mom!

Parent with Purpose - A Perfectly Imperfect Christian Parenting Digital Event

Mar 10, 2022
Praying for our kids: Inerrancy

I’m guessing you pray inerrancy over your kids every day like I do? Just kidding, me neither.   


But I do believe inerrancy is a critical aspect of our faith and one we need to be praying for our kids. Boiling it down to one sentence—praying inerrancy means praying for our kids to believe that everything in the Bible is absolutely true. That’s it! 


And it’s especially important in a culture of relativism that believes there is no absolute truth. Some of the anti-inerrancy (assuming that’s a word) messages we hear today relate to the Bible being dated and not relevant today because we’re more enlightened now. Or that the Bible was written by too many authors, so it’s contradictory and not a reliable historical source.  


There’s lots more to this topic, but we’re going to keep it short by praying that our kids believe every word in the Bible is divinely inspired and the ultimate authority for their lives, no matter what the culture is telling them about the Bible.  


Join me in praying inerrancy this week—it’s a big one! 

Mar 07, 2022
Lies good moms believe with Kari Kampakis

The last few weeks we’ve discussed the various lies we believe when it comes to things like faith vs. science, or our friendships, or even lies our culture promotes such as Christians are intolerant and even dangerous. 


But this week we’re honing in on lies good moms (like you and like me) believe, and Kari Kampakis joins us to identity and dispel them. 


We’re talking about lies like: 


✨ My needs are second to the needs of my kids

✨ I don’t have time to rest 

✨ We’re to be comforters, not comforted

✨ Our personal wellness goals are selfish 

✨ We aren’t important outside of our role in the family 


I especially don’t want you to miss our discussion of having certain “malls” in our lives (you’ll understand when you listen) and how those places of stress and anxiety need to be identified. 


I can’t wait for you to hear this word from Kari Kampakis and all that she is sharing from her book, More than a Mom.


Resources from today's show:

More Than a Mom: How Prioritizing Your Wellness Helps You (and Your Family)

How Much Is a Little Boy Worth

Get your Early bird ticket to the 4 Perfectly Imperfect digital event, Parent with Purpose today!

Mar 03, 2022
Praying for our kids: Courage

It’s all but impossible to do the things God calls us to without courage. David, Joshua, Moses, and Samuel each challenged their people to be courageous in their last days before going to heaven. Why? Because living for God isn’t the easy road, and we will be called to places that are impossible without courage. 


I can’t help but think of what some of our favorite Old Testament greats would have missed without having courage. 


  • Moses without courage doesn’t leave his land and go to a foreign country
  • Esther without courage doesn’t speak to the king and save a nation
  • Moses without courage doesn't lead the Isrealite
  • Rahab without courage doesn’t house the spies


I could go on and on, but let’s just say it’s important to pray courage over our kids because they are going to be asked by God to do bold things in this culture. Let’s also pray that they have the courage to say no to things that are not from God like drugs, toxic friendships, gossiping, pornography, etc. 


We have one life to do the things God has called us to this side of heaven—and if the people in the Bible tell us anything it’s that we’re going to need a little courage along the way. Can’t wait to pray with you!

Feb 28, 2022
Lies we believe about friendships with Jennie Allen

You had me at hello, Jennie Allen! 


Too much? 


Probably so, but let’s just stop right now and say that our conversation today on friendship (and the lies surrounding it) is amazing. Coming from a place of starting over in her own world, Jennie shares what she now knows about friendships and what they are, what they aren’t, and what impedes us from the God-given deep connection we so desperately need. 


Here are some of the great topics we discuss when it comes to finding your people:

  • The different roles our friendships play
  • What to look for in friends
  • Putting yourself out there
  • Choosing a fire pit over Netflix 
  • Noticing who is already around you
  • Decisions in our careers, neighborhoods, and family that impacts friendships

Jennie’s book is out this week and you need a copy! 


Don’t miss this much-needed conversation on the importance of our friendships and reminders that finding community is not impossible with a little bit of intentionality. 


Resources from today's show: 

Noteworthy for Kids

FIND YOUR PEOPLE: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World

Feb 24, 2022
Praying for our kids: Character

They say that character is how you act when nobody’s watching. And as believers, we know that there’s never a moment where no one is watching because the Lord is with us at all times.  


This week we’re praying for our kids’ character, using Stephen’s life in Acts 6 and 7 as our reference point. Every time Stephen is mentioned in Scripture he’s described as being “full of faith” or “full of the Holy Spirit” or “full of God’s grace and power.” He had a reputation of knowing and living for God. Reputations matter, and a reputation marked by character has enormous impact.  


When we pray for character this week we’re praying not only for our kids' reputation, but for the actions that form their reputation, and for significant character-building opportunities in their lives. We’re also discussing practical marks of good character, like serving others, speaking truth in love, and reigning in on our words.  


Billy Graham once said that “[w]hen wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”  


Let’s pray for character together! 

Feb 21, 2022
Christians are intolerant, dangerous, and other cultural lies with Dr. Jim Denison

Jim Denison is with us today, and I believe there’s no one more in tune with our culture and the narratives we’re facing as believers. Jim and I discuss why it’s important to identify the preeminent lies of the day so that we can have answers and bring light to those who so desperately need the Lord. 


My hope is that today’s show gives you a new framework by which to consider our faith and encourages you to find your specific calling for the Lord. Although we cover a lot of ground, here’s some nuggets you don’t want to miss:


✨ How our culture has rejected Biblical morality 

✨ The problem with living in a society that believes there is no absolute truth

✨ The smaller earthquakes forming a greater tsunami for Christians in America

✨ Ways to counter the incorrect narratives and bring light to a dark world


We can be assured that if we aren’t willing to inform our kids about cultural issues of our day, the world will gladly do it for us. I believe today’s show is critical for raising kids who are eyes wide open in today’s culture, but also confident in God’s sovereignty and hope.

Feb 17, 2022
Praying for our kids: Respect

What is that one thing that totally gets under your skin as a parent? Messy rooms, bad grammar, laziness? For me it’s disrespect. 


It takes all I have not to lose my ever loving mind when my kids are disrespectful in our home or towards others. I think it’s because I know how detrimental it can be later in life if you don’t learn respect early on.  


Respect is significant, so I’m thankful we’re talking about it this week. We’re praying that our kids learn to show respect not just towards the authorities in their lives but also respecting those around them because all people are made in the image of Christ. But taking it even further—let’s pray they have an extra dose of respect towards God’s Word, his church, and the people he has put in spiritual leadership in their lives.  


Respect is one of the most important things we can teach our children as they learn to interact well with others. Let’s pray together over it this week! 

Feb 14, 2022
Lies we believe about faith vs. science with Louie Giglio

Louie Giglio is back with us today, and you need to drop everything and listen now! 


Okay, maybe it’s not that urgent but what a gift to have Louie join us in continuing our series on lies we believe as Christians. Today we’re discussing the common misconception that science and God do not line up, making christians have to turn a blind eye to certain science premises because of our faith. 


Louie encourages us to actually do the opposite and stay diligent in exploring science to see how all things lead us back to God. We also discuss how important it is to have these discussions with our kids so they aren’t blown out of the water having never considered this “science vs. God narrative” after they leave our homes. 


Louie has a new devotional out for our younger kids (ages 8-12) called The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science. Grab a copy for the little ones in your life as a great way to start science related discussions. 


Lastly, if you aren’t familiar with his Passion Conferences for college kids, today is your perfect chance for an insider’s look as Louie shares some of the most meaningful moments in Atlanta last month. 

Feb 10, 2022
Praying for our kids: Interruptibility

It’s borderline comical when you stop and think about all the people in the Bible who were simply going about their business only to have God completely “interrupt” their plans and completely change their course.  


I think of Noah stopping life to build an ark, or Abraham leaving it all to go to a foriegn country, or even Mary switching her wedding plans to baby preparations.  


Only God can take our ordinary days and make them extraordinary for his purposes—if we’re willing. It takes some real intentionality to hold our plans loosely and allow the Lord to interrupt what we have planned in order to accomplish what he has uniquely designed. And the same goes for our kids.  


This week we’re praying that our kids live interruptible lives in which they (1) live with enough margin to have time for the things God has for them, (2) learn to hear God’s voice in the still small moments, and (3) live with a willingness to go wherever he leads. 


Oh, and I have my own story of interruptibility that I share in today’s podcast—I hope it encourages you as we pray interruptibility over our kids this week. 

Feb 07, 2022
Lies our culture tell our kids with Molly Stillman

There are certain lies we frequently hear in our culture that, if not addressed, we just might start to believe as truth. It’s interesting the lies I’ve bought into throughout my life that I now look back on and regret. Lies I’ve accepted in friendships, in marriage, in my identity—I could go on and on.


I’m guessing you’ve got a little of this going on too, so let’s take a little time to hone in on these lies the next few weeks. Today I have  Molly Stillman with us talking about a prevalent lie our kids are hearing about “following their heart.” When you really dig into scripture and consider what God says about our heart, the problem becomes very clear (see Jeremiah 5:7–13) with letting it become our guide. 


Molly is a podcaster, author, speaker, wife, and mom. Extra bonus: she’s super funny. 


Take a few minutes with me this week (and the rest of this month) to consider the truths of Jesus that overcome all the lies we’re tempted to believe.

Feb 03, 2022
Praying for our kids: Protection

Praying protection over our kids is probably one of the easiest things we pray for them from the day they are born. But this week in praying protection we’re doubling down on asking the Lord to watch over them physically, spiritually, and emotionally. One key point I try to pray over my kids relates to the messaging they receive about their identity and also the messaging they believe about God and their faith.  


But anytime I get hyper focused on praying over the safety and protection of my family, I’m reminded of Francis Chan’s caution in his book Crazy Love.  He suggests that as believers we sometimes become obsessed with our safety and protection at the expense of asking God for whatever brings him the most glory and allows him to accomplish his purposes in our lives. Ouch.  


I truly believe there’s nothing wrong with praying for protection over our families—and it’s important we do so. However, I wonder this week if we can also pray that God’s divine purposes are accomplished through our families, and he is glorified even when that’s at the expense of our earthly protection.  


Lots to think about and pray over! 

Jan 31, 2022
The Never-Ending Dinner Dilema with Dina Deleasa-Gonsar

These people in my house want something to eat every single night and, well, it’s all together exhausting. Anyone out there with me?  


Thank goodness we have creator, writer, TV personality, and mom Dina Deleasa-Gonsar joining us today to address this age-old dinner dilemma. Dina created a popular food blog called


What I love about Dina is her commitment to her faith, her family, and making food meaningful without all the mom guilt attached. I also loved these things we discussed on today’s show: 


  • The ministry behind a meal and serving our family well
  • What to do when you fall into a cooking rut 
  • Favorite “cheats” from Costco and Trader Joes
  • Reminders that connection and intimacy happen around our kitchen tables

If you are tired of the every night dinner dilemma like I am, today’s episode is for you!

Jan 27, 2022
Praying for our kids: Contentment

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV).


Well that’s one way to put it bluntly, Paul. ⬆️


Today we’re praying contentment over our kids, and, let’s be honest, we probably need to be praying it for ourselves as well. Praying contentment for our children is praying they have an inner satisfaction and fulfillment no matter what their outside circumstances bring. 


A great starting place is to pray that our kids live with gratitude, perspective, and inner peace— even when life brings the hard things we all face. Contentment seems most elusive when we’re suffering, but I believe Joni Eareckson Tada (an amazing Christian woman and quadriplegic) says it best in this quote: “When life is rosy, we may slide by with knowing about Jesus, imitating him and quoting him and speaking of him. But only in suffering will we know Jesus.” 


Let’s pray this week for our kids to find contentment by pursuing and trusting Jesus no matter what life throws their way. Thanks for joining me as we pray this week, and please take a minute to share our podcast with a friend or two!

Jan 24, 2022
Finding God’s peace when you need it most with Janet Denison

As we’re approaching our 300th episode of Pardon the Mess, I am thrilled to welcome back our very first guest all those years ago: Janet Denison! 


Janet is an author, speaker, mother, grandmother, and friend who has given me a whole lot of parenting advice over the years. She’s joining us today to talk about finding “a great calm” in our lives even when everything around us feels completely chaotic.  


Here’s a few of my favorite topics we cover in today’s show: 

  • What Christian families are struggling with in today’s culture
  • How to build up the spiritual muscle of trust, especially in the hard times
  • Learning to wait on God with confidence and humility
  • Walking her own child through cancer and the middle of the night prayers


If you’re looking for some seasoned, biblical wisdom for raising kids no matter what you’re facing—you’ve landed in the exact right place today! 


For a limited time, our listeners will get 25% off a premium Abide subscription, when you visit   


Resources from today's show: 

A Great Calm by Janet Denison 

Love God, Love Others

Jan 20, 2022
Praying for our kids: Prayerfulness

Perhaps the greatest gift my parents have ever given me is the gift of growing up in a praying home. 


My parents have prayed before meals, before bed, and before every major decision for as long as I can remember. They’ve prayed over me more times than I can count, and I’m eternally grateful to them. That being said, I can think of many years in my own life where prayer was not a priority (and my life 100% reflected that). 


I don’t want that same story for my kids, so this week is especially meaningful to me as we talk about raising kids with prayer-filled lives. We will consider not just the “how to” behind prayer but also the “why to.” Prayer is the perfect thing to recommit to in a new year, so join me in praying prayerfulness for our kids this week (quite the mouthful).

Jan 17, 2022
When Wishes Change with Tricia Roos

Oh friends, I really, really can’t wait for you to hear today’s show with Tricia Roos. I’m so grateful to know Tricia personally and see first hand how the Lord is using her story to speak of his faithfulness even in the deepest places of loss.  


Tricia was three months into her pregnancy when she received a call that her unborn daughter had a rare condition that would be fatal. Against the advice of her medical team, she resolved to have her baby despite a chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18. In the midst of the uncertainty and pain, Tricia’s wish for a healthy baby girl changed into something more beautiful than she could have ever dreamed of.  


Tricia’s story is a reminder of how God’s transforming power allows us to love deeper, go further, and grow more than we could ever have imagined for ourselves. I especially love Tricia’s words on learning to live for something bigger than ourselves—a great perspective to consider in our parenting.  So glad you’re with us today!

For a limited time, our listeners will get 25% off a premium Abide  subscription, when you visit
Resources from today’s show:

When Wishes Change: What if the thing you feared most brings more than you dreamed? By Tricia Roos

See more from Tricia on her website, follow her on FacebookInstagram, and TikTok.

Jan 13, 2022
Praying for our kids: Excellence

Might I share with you one of my favorite quotes of all time? 


“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” - Francis Chan 


I heard that quote many years ago and it continues to guide how I look at the various things that occupy my days. As I pray for the Lord to show favor over my life and that of my families, I find myself asking him to not allow us to be successful in things that are insignificant. 


This week as we’re praying excellence over our kids, I think this quote needs to be in the back of our minds as we consider how we pray. So often we want our kids to be excellent at the things the world holds in high esteem, yet those same things often distract them from the bigger purposes God has for their lives.


We’re called to do all things for the Glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and excellence is critical to doing that well. Let’s join together in praying for our kids to show excellence in all the things he calls them to.

Jan 10, 2022
The four things I would tell my younger parenting self

I’m kicking off the New Year a little differently this year with no guest joining us today. Instead, I’m sharing some of the things I wish I had known as a younger mom. I try not to live with regrets, but I also know the value that comes by taking inventory in our parenting and acknowledging the areas of growth as well as the struggles.

The four things I’m sharing with you today began with an article I wrote several years ago from the perspective of “the oldest mom on the playground.” Since then, I’ve had opportunities to share these parenting truths to various groups, and the Lord has given me even greater clarity that I pray will encourage and challenge you.

I have no doubt that your social media feeds (like mine) are packed with all kinds of weight loss and exercise challenges for a physically healthier 2022. But I would also encourage you to avoid “back-burnering” (assuming that’s a word) your parenting and instead take this week to consider what’s working, what’s not, where you might need to be encouraged, and where you need to encourage others. I’ll start us off with today’s podcast on the four things I would tell my younger parenting self.

I would be so grateful if you would not only take a minute to listen, but then also share it with the other parents you’re walking alongside with each day.

P.S. As we begin this New Year, one of our prayers is that Pardon the Mess will reach more and more parents. One way you can help us do this is to leave a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. It would be a great blessing if you could take just a minute and do that for me today! So grateful 💕

Resources from today's show: Abide: For a limited time, our listeners will get 25% off a premium subscription, when you visit

Jan 06, 2022
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.

Jan 03, 2022
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.

Dec 30, 2021
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.

Dec 27, 2021
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 to get 10% off a yearly subscription, or 33% off Dwell for life. 


Dec 23, 2021
Praying for our kids: Joy

This is it! The Super Bowl of all holidays—it’s Christmas! 


This week as we’re praying joy over our kids,  I'm wondering what things have brought you joy this Christmas? Is it the small things like sitting by the Christmas tree late at night or car rides to look at lights? Or maybe it’s some of the bigger events that happen this time of year like parties and school programs.  


I think my deepest joy in this season has come during an unexpected trip to New York City with my mom and my daughter to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. There’s just something about NYC at Christmas, but also having the opportunity to do it with my mom and my daughter—well, what a sweet opportunity I’ve had to celebrate Christmas while being reminded that joy comes in all forms and fashions on this side of heaven.

Dec 20, 2021
The Blessing of You with Mark Batterson

When people ask me what books I consider “must reads,” I reference Mark Batterson 100% of the time. If I haven’t told you this week how much I love In a Pit with a Lion on A Snowy Day, then let’s just get it out there so you can add it to your Christmas wish list. 😀🎄


Knowing this, I’m going to ask you to excuse my gushing on today’s podcast since Mark Batterson is with us and talking about everything from Christmas in D.C., living with gratitude, speaking blessing over your kids, and so much more. Especially this time of year when we tend to be so consumer focused, I love his words on cultivating a lifestyle of gratitude and the heart behind his new children’s book, The Blessing of You


As we begin thinking towards 2022, I know you will love his wisdom on setting goals and implementing changes in our daily habits. In other words, for those areas of our lives that need some, shall we say “growth” this next year . . .  tune in for some great reminders on the importance of winning each day for the greater good. 


If you listen for no other reason, Mark Batterson shares with us some of his must read books and let’s just say I’ve already bought three of them. So take this show on the road today for your Christmas errands and be encouraged!


Resources from today's show:

Dec 16, 2021
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. 

Dec 13, 2021
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! 

Dec 09, 2021
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.

Dec 06, 2021
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 to get 10% off a yearly subscription, or 33% off Dwell for life. 

Dec 02, 2021
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. 

Nov 29, 2021
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


Nov 25, 2021
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.

Nov 22, 2021
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. 

Nov 18, 2021
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. 

Nov 15, 2021
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.”

Nov 11, 2021
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. 

Nov 08, 2021
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). 

Nov 04, 2021
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.

Nov 01, 2021
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.

Oct 28, 2021
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. 

Oct 25, 2021
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"

Oct 21, 2021
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.

Oct 18, 2021
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?). 

Oct 14, 2021
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. 

Oct 11, 2021
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  


Oct 07, 2021
Praying for our kids week four: Praying self-control

We’re a month into praying for our kids, and it’s not too late if you are just now jumping in! Each Monday morning we will pray an attribute of our faith over our kids with a short 10 minute podcast guiding us as we do it. It’s fast, it’s intentional, and it’s so important we cover our kids in prayer each day. 

This week we’re praying for our kids to have self-control and . . . well—there ain’t a one of us who couldn't use a little bit more of it. For example, please refer back to a few weeks ago when my youngest ingested a magnet and a marble within a few weeks. Bless it child, self-control! 

The thing about self-control is that it’s most noticeable when you don’t have it. And since our faith is typically displayed through our actions and not our words, self-control becomes pretty important in our daily lives. So this week we’ll be praying for our kids to have self-control in their words, friendships, dating relationships, electronics, marriages, finances, and everywhere in between. 

Can’t wait to pray with you!

Oct 04, 2021
The Intentional Father (and mother) with Jon Tyson

How do we raise sons of courage and character? That’s the million dollar question we’re tackling today on Pardon the Mess.  

Jon Tyson, Pastor of Church of the City New York, spent six years shaping, guiding, and mentoring his son from adolescence to adulthood believing intentionality was the key to raising Godly men in today’s culture. As a part of this journey with his son, he learned practical ways for fathers (also equally applicable to mothers) to shepherd their sons and maximize this pivotal time in their lives. 

Yes, it all comes down to intentionality and discipleship which is why you’ll love his advice on doing it well even in the middle of our crazy schedules. And then there’s a pretty significant mic drop when Jon throws down some of the greatest parenting wisdom I’ve heard in a long time: A huge “yes” to raising our sons intentionally requires a million “noes” to the smaller things. (Gosh that’s something I wish I would have embraced a long time ago.)  

Don’t miss our discussion on the shifts boys need to make between adolescence and adulthood and the absolute must of giving them our blessing before sending them off to do great things.  

You’re going to love Jon Tyson, and I’m so grateful you’re with us today!

Sep 30, 2021
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.

Sep 27, 2021
Holiness, same sex attraction, and finding our true identity with Jackie Hill Perry

We are coming in hot this week with Jackie Hill Perry. She’s chatting with us about holiness, what that even means, and why God’s holiness matters to our everyday lives.  

If you haven’t heard of Jackie Hill Perry, or JHP as I like to call her (not really, but kinda wanted to) you’re missing out. She’s been given the opportunity to share her story in all the big places and has an amazing testimony of working through same-sex attraction issues of her past, and the role God’s holiness has played in redefining who she is today.  

There’s so much you won’t want to miss, but here’s a few of the topics we hit on today’s show: why awareness of God’s holiness increases our trust in him, the problem with allowing our circumstances to have the final say in our beliefs about God, how to walk in love with those with same sex attraction, using our story to point to God’s greater good, teaching our kids that how you “feel” is not who you are

I’m just so grateful that we have this time today with JHP! It’s a conversation you won’t soon forget. 

Sep 23, 2021
BONUS: Praying Fearlessness for our kids

Praying fearlessness over our kids will likely result in a little bit of fear in our own lives—am I right? My youngest has already fully embraced the fearless life, and let’s just say it has caused me more gray hair than I care to highlight at this age. 🤪

Even so, as Christian parents we want our kids to live fearless when it comes to sharing their faith, walking in the ways of the Lord, and chasing after the God-things in their lives. I love that the anxiety and fear we face in this life is no surprise to God—he knew it was coming so he graciously gave us a Bible full of “fear not” verses.

Even though there’s nothing wrong with praying for our kids’ safety, let’s go a step further this week and pray for fearlessness in our kids, knowing that the one who created them will also protect and sustain them.

Click here to get a prayer journal:

Sep 20, 2021
Decluttering 101 with Allie Casazza

If I was braver I would show you a picture of my closet floor at this very moment in solidarity with all those slowly being overtaken by the clutter in their homes. But I’m not that brave, so let’s move on. Ha!

Allie Casazza has been on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and a whole lot of other places talking about ways to keep our stuff from stealing our joy. Coming from a place of deep stress and frustration in her own home, she realized that what takes up our space takes up our time. She discovered she was spending all her time maintaining her stuff. Sounds vaguely familiar, right?

Allie shares with us today her best tips for decluttering our houses one room at a time. She encourages us to set the intention for the room and align everything in it with that purpose (note: the intention for my closet is unclear at this time). Even if this all feels overwhelming, you’ll love her tips for small steps that will make a big difference.

Don’t miss our full-service show today on ways to declutter our kids’ stuff, our own stuff, the sentimental stuff, and all the rest that’s tripping us up (quite literally).

Sep 16, 2021
BONUS: Praying light for our kids

It’s finally here! Week one of our 2021-2022 prayer journal kicks-off today on Pardon the Mess.

If this is your first time to join us for the prayer podcasts, here’s how it works. Each Monday morning we will release a short, ten-minute podcast praying for an attribute of our faith over our kids. We will be praying our kids are marked by things like gratefulness, purpose, patience, resolve, courage, and so much more. We wrap up each week with a time of prayer—and, let's just say, you won’t want to miss it.  

This week as we begin a new school year, we’re praying our kids are light to all those around them. I can’t think of a more important thing to start with considering the opportunities they will have to share their faith and bring hope in a world that so desperately needs Jesus. 

I’m so glad you’re joining us to pray for our kids this year—there’s truly nothing more significant we can do for them each day. And please consider sharing this with a friend and inviting them to join us in praying each week! It’s perfect for small groups, MOPS friends, and anyone/everyone that wants to pray for their kids with new resolve each week.

Sep 13, 2021
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!

Sep 09, 2021
Help I’m Drowning with Sally Clarkson

It feels like we’ve weathered some pretty significant storms the last 18 months, both in the world at large as well as individually and as families. If you’re anything like me, there have been hard places that have caused you to cry out to God and, at times, even question his plans. 

I’m so thankful that Sally Clarkson is here today talking about the hard places we face, reminding us that storms are our training grounds for obeying God’s Word and walking in his ways.  

Sally shares with us some of the storms she’s personally faced and how walking with God has allowed her to build a life on the rock of eternal values. We talk very practically of these important topics: how to to observe but not internalize the difficulties we face, the role of our feelings when we’re struggling, walking our kids through hard things and the trap of busyness and distraction, raising kids who are out of the box, and tips for weathering marriage difficulties

Some days it’s nice to have someone just a little further down the road giving us perspective and wisdom. Today is one of those days, and Sally Clarkson is just the right person for the job! 

Sep 02, 2021
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!

Aug 26, 2021
God’s design for sexuality and teaching our kids to defend their faith with Sean McDowell

Sean McDowell joins us today to talk about God’s design for our sexuality and raising kids biblically in a confused culture that blurs the lines. We tackle topics like the shortcomings of the purity culture movement, as well as the biggest misconceptions our kids are facing when it comes to love and relationships.


Sean is a gifted communicator who speaks all over the world, equipping Christians to make the case for their Christian faith. Alongside his Dad, Josh McDowell, they are passionate about teaching believers (especially youth) to identify the lies in our culture and respond biblically. Sean shares with us some of the top faith issues facing our kids today and how to address them with truth while keeping an open dialogue.


His new book, Chasing Love: Sex, Love, and Relationships in a Confused Culture, is a much-needed deep dive into God’s design for our sexuality. Oh, and If you missed our conversation with Josh McDowell, please go back and listen to it ASAP. I promise it’s worth every second of your time to hear Sean and Josh McDowell—some of the top apologists of our day—share their thoughts on raising kids biblically.

Aug 19, 2021
Called to be people gatherers with Sarah Harmeyer

I had the opportunity to hear Sarah Harmeyer speak at an event in Dallas years ago, and her words have literally stayed with me to this day.

Long story short—after a pastor encouraged Sarah to be who God created her to be, she left a successful business career in pursuit of gathering people. It started by her sweet dad building her an outdoor table to host her neighbors, and thousands of people later, she has a ministry and business called Neighbor’s Table.

Sarah and her father hand-deliver their outdoor tables all over the country, allowing countless people to do life elbow to elbow just as Jesus did in his earthly ministry. Sarah encourages us to let go of perfectionism and keep it simple, opening up opportunities for meaningful conversation with a place for everyone at our table.

As we begin a new school year, it’s a perfect time to commit to being people gatherers in our neighborhoods and communities. Sarah says it this way, “I’m on a love mission. I just believe ordinary people, like me, can be called to love extraordinarily around the table. Why? Because we were made to do this.”

Aug 12, 2021
“Are You Really OK?” with Debra Fileta

Sometimes we confuse spiritual health with mental health, assuming they are one in the same when that’s often far from the truth. Knowing this, it seems appropriate to take a little deeper dive into our emotional health with Licensed Professional Counselor, Debra Fileta.

We cover a lot of ground today with topics like: ways to take inventory of our mental health, when spiritual answers don’t address our mental health issues, the importance of modeling emotional health with our kids, training our kids to identify their emotions, recognizing our kids’ default emotion and investigating the deeper issue.

And please don’t miss Debra’s advice on preparing our kids for dating relationships, the frequent pitfalls they may face, and resources we can use to navigate the dating years.

Here’s to a show addressing the very important mental and emotional health issues facing all parents!

Aug 05, 2021
Reading and loving the Bible with Tara-Leigh Cobble

Please tell me you’ve heard of the Bible Recap!

If not, get ready for some good ole’ fashioned indoctrination today with Tara-Leigh Cobble, the founder of the Bible Recap. She’s passionate about helping people not only read through the whole Bible, but love it in the process.

Tara-Leigh shares her personal story of being in full-time ministry for years before someone challenged her to read through the entire Bible. Only then did she start to feel God’s complete presence in her life and begin writing the commentary that’s the basis of the Bible Recap.

There’s so much I want you to hear in today’s podcast, but here are a few highlights: why it’s important (and do-able) for every one of us to read through the Bible, how using the right lens changes how we experience God’s word, common mistakes in reading the Bible, how 12 minutes a day can be life changing for scripture-starved believers, and incorporating scripture into the lives of our families.

If you’ve never read through the whole Bible—or maybe you’ve started (and ended) in Genesis more times than you care to discuss—may I please implore you to join Tara-Leigh and so many of us on the Bible Recap journey? You won’t regret it.

Jul 29, 2021
7 Traits of Effective Parenting with Danny Huerta

Here’s the thing about parenting—It’s really hard to evaluate how you are doing or identify areas of improvement when you’re in the thick of it every day. Because parenting comes with no performance evaluations or long-term guarantees of success, we often find ourselves simply trying to survive, not thrive (I speak from experience).


Danny Huerta from Focus on the Family joins us today with some valuable benchmarks to consider in our parenting journey. His new book, 7 Traits of Effective Parenting, very practically lists some of the most critical areas of our parenting and how to assess how we’re doing or where we need to make some tweaks.


Some of the traits of effective parenting we discuss include adaptability, respect, and intentionality—and believe you me, there’s some truth spoken today that I needed to hear and I bet you will feel the same way, too.


Danny also shares with us the areas of our culture he believes will most challenge our kids' faith and gives us his thoughts on how to prepare them to live biblically.


I hope you’re having a wonderful summer, and I’m so grateful you’re joining me on this parenting journey! 

Jul 22, 2021
All about boys with David Thomas

Imagine this: You’re picking up your son from the first day of school after waiting to hear all about his day. Even as he’s closing the car door you begin asking the most critical of questions like... How is your teacher? What friends are in your class? Who did you meet? Did you talk to any girls? What did you have for lunch? Are you tired? Why are you so quiet? Were the kids mean to you?


Apparently unaware of the millions of questions swirling in your mind, your son simply responds that his day was “good.”


I feel your pain (like really feel your pain), and David Thomas from Daystar Counseling in Nashville does, too. He’s joining us today to talk all about the boys in our lives, including their developmental stages: Explorer (0-4) Lover (5-8) Individual (9-12) Wanderer (13-17) Warrior (18-23).


We also discuss the best ways to communicate and connect with our boys, which apparently does not involve barraging them with questions the second they get into the car (my bad).


If you have a boy in your life, please don’t miss this episode with David Thomas. He’s an expert on all things boys, and your son will thank you (probably without using words) for listening! 

Jul 15, 2021
Raising a gamer with Drew Dixon of Love Thy Nerd

There are many things I don’t fully understand in parenting, not the least of which is video games. I don’t get what’s so enticing, or the anticipation surrounding “new skins,” or why every time I try to shut down my gamer I’m told they “just need to finish this level.”

Bless your heart for video games and those who love you.

Knowing that I’ve listed only a few of the mysteries facing every parent of a gamer, I happily present you with Drew Dixon on Pardon the Mess today to answer so many of our questions...

Drew runs a ministry with, hands down, the greatest name ever: “Love Thy Nerd.” It’s all about loving gamers well and helping Christians embrace those around them who happen to love a video game.

Here are a few gaming topics you will be empowered with after listening to Drew Dixon: What’s so fun about video games anyway, what misconceptions might I have about gaming, how do I connect with my gamer as a parent, what types of games are good and what types should we be avoiding, what’s up with chat rooms and should I be worried, what are some resources I can trust to navigate this gaming world with my kids?

If you find yourself frequently saying “take off that headset” or “that’s not really connecting with your friends”—well, today’s podcast is for you!

Jul 08, 2021
Discipling our kids in the most ordinary moments with Rebecca Carrell

As we’re pushing through summer and finding ways to be intentional in our parenting, I can’t think of many topics more important than discipling our kids.


Don’t anyone panic—discipleship is simply teaching our kids about our faith by pointing them to the Lord in the most normal moments of everyday life.


Rebecca Carrell joins us today, and aside from being a morning show host on KCBI, a mom, wife, and podcaster—she’s my very good friend. We talk very practically about discipleship in our own homes and the ways we get it right (and very often the ways we get it wrong).


There’s so much good stuff in today’s show, but one truth we need to own as parents is this: if we don’t disciple our kids in the Lord, the world will disciple them in something else.


Join me today as we discuss practical ways to point our kids to Christ while also opening doors for them to step out in their own faith. Oh, and don’t miss tips for using discipline as a tool to disciple our kids (and we all know there’s plenty of discipline required in the dog days of summer).

Jul 01, 2021
Lazy kids, screens, and other summer conundrums with Dr. Ken Wilgus

It’s summer, and although we’re all glad to have a little bit of normalcy this year as opposed to last, it won’t take long before these people (i.e. our kids) start their usual antics and send us on a one-way trip to the crazy train.


In an effort to help keep our wits about us, I bring to you Dr. Ken Wilgus today. Dr. Ken has been with us many times and brings a wealth of knowledge as a licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of adolescents.


Today we’re chatting about the age-old struggle of motivating lazy kids, and considerations for parents during the summertime versus issues of motivation during the school year. He also talks to us about video games, ratings, violence, social media, and concerns with social interaction when we don’t limit screen time.


There’s lots packed into today’s show, so give yourself permission to stop cleaning up the summer messes and sit back for a few minutes and listen to Dr. Ken. You won’t regret it (and your kids likely won’t notice you’re gone)!

Jun 24, 2021
A podcast for every dad (and those married to them) featuring Jeff Kemp

In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, Pardon the Mess is dedicating our whole show today to the dads we love!


Former NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp speaks all over the country, championing fatherhood by speaking into God’s design for dads as difference-makers in their families. Today we’re blessed to have him speaking into our own families by sharing his passion behind building up men, encouraging them to be strong leaders both in our homes and in the world.


Here are just a few of the powerful topics we cover: dads building healthy relationships with their kids, needs our kids have that are best filled by their dads, healing from our own dad wounds, ways to evaluate your fathering, a reminder for imperfect fathers to run toward their perfect father, and a month long challenge for wives to support and build up their husbands.


Not only do the dads around us need to hear this word today, there’s also great encouragement for moms that I can’t wait for you to hear. Join me in celebrating our dads with a great message from Jeff Kemp as we head into Father’s Day weekend.


Learn more about the Fatherhood Comission and Jeff Kemp

Jun 17, 2021
“Raising Up Dreamers” with Sheila Erwin

I’ve prayed for years that my kids would chase after God-sized dreams, so when I saw Sheila Erwin’s book on Raising Up Dreamers, I knew she would be perfect for our summer series on Pardon the Mess.


Sheila is the mother of Andrew and Jon Erwin, writers and producers of I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, and many other Christian films. Sheila shares with us the importance of recognizing our kids’ own unique giftings, then finding ways to help them maximize what God has woven into their design.


I loved her encouragement on working through learning differences in her own son’s life and now being able to see how these obstacles have become a gift to his flourishing career. We also have a great discussion around dream killers, and Sheila challenges us to make sure we allow our kids to chase after their own dreams, not ours (ouch).


I love this woman, and I can’t wait for you to hear her wise words. Let’s make sure we take some time this summer to look for what it is that God has planted in our children and find ways to help them maximize it!


Grab your copy of Raising Up Dreamers

Jun 10, 2021
The Peace Project with Kay Wyma

Alright guys, stop what you’re doing because I have the perfect summer experiment for us to do with our kids this month!


More accurately, Kay Wyma has the perfect 30-day experiment, and we’re talking all about it today on Pardon the Mess.


It’s called The Peace Project: A 30-Day Experiment Practicing Thankfulness, Kindness, and Mercy. What is it you ask?


The Peace Project is an experiment that invites us to experience lasting personal peace by getting serious about showing thankfulness, kindness, and mercy with everyone and everything we encounter each day.


Kay shares with us how this concept came about and the impact it’s had on her life and the lives of those around her. She’s practical in showing us what it looks like each day and how she’s lived in some really hard places this last year in complete peace because God reframed her perspective.


Let’s be honest: peace is a distant memory when all these kids are home all day asking for food, activities, and attention. I urge you to take a few minutes today to listen to our conversation and then join my family as we embark on this 30-day journey of showing thankfulness, kindness, and mercy.


There are few things we need more of on this side of heaven than peace. I just know God’s going to do big things through this experiment—so let’s do it together!

Jun 03, 2021
Raising kids with resiliency with Clint Schumacher

I’m so excited about today’s podcast with my dear friend, Clint Schumacher. He’s talking with us about the importance of resiliency which he defines as our “ability to deal with adversity in a positive and meaningful way.”


If we’ve learned anything from 2020-2021, it’s the importance of resilience in the face of uncertainty and allowing our faith to ground us during the hard times.


As much as I like to consider my own resilience and places where I need some work in this area, I’m even more excited about our discussion on fostering resiliency in our kids. I realize that given the choice we would probably prefer to shield our kids from all adversity, but that’s not realistic and doesn’t allow us to train them to walk the hard places well.


Don’t miss our practical discussion on the decisions resilient people make and common barriers to resilience such as resentment, shame, and self-pity. Oh, and don’t worry if you happen to have a kid who is . . . let’s say . . . lacking in the resiliency department (we’ve all got that one )—it can be developed with a little bit of intentionality on our part.


Take a few minutes to consider this important topic with me today, and then grab a copy of Clint Schumacher’s new book Second Wind: Decisions the Resilient Make to Overcome Adversity. 

May 27, 2021
Beginning again with Max Lucado

Max Lucado is on the show again today, and I kind of feel like it’s Christmas because... well it’s Max Lucado, and he’s pure gold! I’m sure I’ve said this many times before, but I’m hard pressed to find many authors whose books have impacted my faith more than those of Max Lucado.


I’m especially grateful as I’ve watched him bring God back into the narrative this past year, speaking to virtually every media outlet and giving hope to our struggling country. We talk about that today as well as so many other things you just don’t want to miss.


Here’s a little preview: truths to share with your kids post-pandemic, remembering the lessons we’ve learned as we re-enter life, teaching our kids to pray audacious prayers, how to disagree well with those around us, practical ways to spend time with God each day, and helping our kids work through their emotional hard places.


Take a few minutes in the midst of the May craziness to hear a good word from Max Lucado, and then please share it with a friend. And you will definitely want to grab a copy of his new children’s book Where’d My Giggle Go for all the littles in your life.

May 20, 2021
Praying for our kids: Marked by mission

It’s officially here, the last week of our prayer journal!


I have mixed emotions as we wrap up the 2020–2021school year, especially as the mom of a graduating senior. Yet I’m so thankful that even as we’ve braved the hard places of a pandemic, we’ve come together each week (okay, most weeks) to faithfully pray that our kids are marked by the things of God.


We’ve prayed that our kids are marked 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 (Matthew 28). The Great Commission is our central mission. The same is true for our kids.


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 are 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.


I’m so grateful for your investment in praying for your kids, and I hope you’ve seen God’s hand move in remarkable ways in their lives.


Have a wonderful summer and keep listening to Pardon the Mess on Thursdays as we have lots of great shows coming your way. 

May 17, 2021
Following God’s call on your life with Harmony Klingenmeyer

It was about seven years ago when my husband and I realized the Lord was nudging us to explore foster care. And just in case you’re new to the Pardon the Mess family, the long story is we finally did what we were called to do and our lives are forever changed by fostering and adopting our little one, JB.


As I look back on my 20s and 30s, I kind of wish someone would have kicked me in the pants and told me to slow down and pray about God’s unique calling for my life. Maybe it should have been obvious, but I was so busy chasing after my own dreams that I wonder how many of God’s dreams I overlooked in the process.


Because of this, I want to very honestly ask if you’ve prayed about God’s calling for your life right now? Do you know that he has very specific plans for your life which he created long before you took even one breath? Might I encourage you to not fall into the trap I did for so long of missing his still quiet voice because of busy schedules and big agendas.


We’re talking about all of this today, and I’m thrilled to have Harmony Klingenmeyer with me. We discuss the good, bad, and ugly of foster care—however, my prayer is that you will take foster care and use it as the blank to fill in for whatever God is calling you to.


I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to today’s show and then stop and pray that God will reveal any callings on your life that you may be missing. Take it from me—chasing after the things of God will change your life forever, and I’ve got a 5 year old cutie to prove it!

May 13, 2021
Praying for our kids: Marked by remembering

It’s almost unbelievable that we’re down to our last two weeks of praying through the 2020–2021 prayer journal. As we’re beginning to wrap it up, I’m just so thankful that you’ve been doing this together with me. 


As we pray this week for our kids to be marked by “remembering,” we’re praying they will trust God’s faithfulness in their present circumstances because they have seen his goodness in the past. 


I love the reference to an Ebenezer stone in 1 Samuel 7. After experiencing a huge battle victory, Samuel grabbed a stone as a memorial and named it Ebenezer, translated as “the Lord has helped us to this point.” Samuel knew the Israelites’ 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? Let’s talk about it on today’s podcast and pray together that our kids are marked by remembering that God will protect all of their days when they are surrendered to him. 

May 10, 2021
Lysa TerKeurst on “Seeing Beautiful Again”

Lysa TerKeurst joins us today for a second time on Pardon the Mess, and she’s coming in hot (that’s a good thing, BTW)! 


I’m continually blown away by how the Lord is using the hard places Lysa has faced in her marriage and health to show his goodness and redemption so powerfully. 


Lysa and I talk about so much today, but here are a few of my favorite discussion points: 


- Forgiving what you can’t forget

- What forgiveness is and what it is not

- Reframing life’s struggles as a tension to manage, not a problem to solve

- Reminders that bad moments don’t make bad mamas

- The importance of “Seeing Beautiful Again” even when it’s complicated


One more thing: I had a Pardon the Mess first during this interview where I may or may not have cried at one point. I know, right? 


But truth is powerful, and I’m so thankful that we have Lysa joining us on today’s show. Listen, share it with friends, and be encouraged!

May 06, 2021
Praying for our kids: Marked by humility

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.


We’re kicking off this week on Pardon the Mess by praying humility over our kids, and I’m hard-pressed to think of an attribute that’s more lacking in today’s culture than this one.


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.


Join me in praying this week for our kids to humbly serve others, admit their mistakes, and recognize 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).

May 03, 2021
Sally Lloyd Jones’s encouragement for when it all seems to be going wrong

Many years ago I heard Sally Lloyd Jones speak on a friend’s podcast and she made a statement that struck a chord with me: always make sure your definition of success is the same as God’s. 


That wisdom has stuck with me because so often I find myself judging success based on our culture’s version of it versus God’s definition. What a great parenting application when we stop to consider what we value for our kids and how we spend our time and resources in raising them. 


For years I’ve been dying for the opportunity to chat with Sally Lloyd Jones, and I’m thrilled to have her with us on Pardon the Mess today! 


If you aren’t familiar with her, Sally is a New York Times bestselling writer of over twenty-five books, including The Jesus Storybook Bible (which is required reading for every parent). She’s critically acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and, much more significantly, she is unbelievably wise and loves the Lord. 


Can I cut to the chase and just tell you that you can’t afford to miss this conversation? 


There’s so much we covered, but here are some highlights: God’s promotions often look like demotions, the importance of working the muscle of trust, hurry is often a sign that we’re in the wrong place, finding what sparks joy in our lives, a reminder that nothing can thwart what God has planted in the hearts of our children.


If you haven’t heard Sally Lloyd Jones before today, you’re in for a big treat. Don’t miss this one! 

Apr 29, 2021
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.” 

Apr 26, 2021
The freedom of telling your story with Ashley Abercrombie

Today’s podcast hits some tough topics we don’t often cover on Pardon the Mess. But these are very real issues facing so many, and I’m thankful Ashley Abercrombie is with us as we do it.


Ashley is a writer and speaker whose work has been featured in outlets like, Relevant, and Grit and Virtue. She is the author of Rise of the Truth Teller and Love Is the Resistance.


Ashley chats with us today about her last eighteen years of working through recovery from drugs, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, sexual assault, and an abortion. She’s realized that, as Christians, we’re so often tempted to live in the bondage of silence instead of overcoming our shame and sharing our stories. She’s found that only in breaking the silence will we experience full healing and beautiful glimpses of God’s redemptive hand at work.


There’s also a great word for those of us who struggle with the need to perform (guilty ✔️) and parenting our kids through the hard places they will face in their own stories.


Can’t wait for you to hear from Ashley today, and please share this powerful testimony with those around you who need to be encouraged to share their own stories.

Apr 22, 2021
Praying for our kids: Marked by our strength

As we wrap up the last several weeks of praying the greatest commandment over our kids, we’re focusing today on what it means 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, but instead it’s using our possessions, our time, our talents, our parenting, our volunteering—everything we’ve got—to love God and live for him.


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 them in every possible way for his bigger purposes.


Let’s join together this week and ask God to use our kids for his greater purposes right where he has them today, teaching them what it looks like to love him with all of their strength.

Apr 19, 2021
Grace draws everyone in with Bob Goff and Lindsey Viducich

It’s cool enough to have one opportunity to chat with Bob Goff, but then to get a second shot that includes his daughter, Lindsey Viducich?


Well, that’s the makings of a podcast packed with laughter and endless nuggets of truth.


Lindsey and Bob co-wrote Everybody, Always for Kids, and they describe it as a book of stories demonstrating how to live out our faith as expressed in love.


Take that in for a hot minute and consider how different our lives, our parenting, and our relationships would be if our primary focus was to express our faith through the lens of love.


As you might expect, there are lots of great stories coming your way on growing up in the Goff household and their crazy antics.


But I was especially challenged by their family goal of picking the meaningful over the practical in life and intentionally drawing others into our circle through the grace of Jesus.


Sit back and enjoy a few minutes of encouragement from Bob Goff and Lindsey Viducich—and then grab a copy of their new book so you can remind your kids that around every corner lies the opportunity to live bigger than ourselves, when we love “everybody, always.”

Apr 15, 2021
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.

Apr 12, 2021
A raw conversation about our faith with Angie Smith

Having never met Angie Smith before, I had no idea what I was missing out on until I had the most heartfelt, Spirit-led conversation with her for today’s show.


Angie is a mom, wife, speaker, author, and a much-needed breath of fresh air for all of us trying to live our daily lives for Christ while struggling through the bumps and bruises we face along the way.


Angie recently wrote a book, Woven, that’s a beautiful depiction of how the seemingly different storylines throughout the Bible are actually woven together into one big story of God’s love. If you’ve ever found the Bible to be confusing or even disjointed, Angie provides a deep dive into the bigger picture of God’s word and why it matters.


As much as I loved talking about her book, I was struck by Angie’s vulnerability in sharing about her real-time fight with depression and loss. 


Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say I walked away so thankful for a strong Christian woman willing to share the hard places of her journey so that we might be encouraged in our own journeys.


If you’ve ever had doubts about your faith, or struggled to understand the Bible, or even felt like life is too hard, I believe this conversation is exactly what you need today!

Apr 08, 2021
BONUS: Praying our soul over our kids

We’re continuing to pray through the greatest commandment to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This week we’re praying that our kids love God with all of our souls, 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. 


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. 


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. 


I’m so thankful you’re staying strong with me each week as we finish off this school year. Don’t miss today’s podcast and the opportunity to pray with me over your child’s very soul and the core of who they are. 

Apr 05, 2021
“Turn Your Season Around” with baseball legend Darryl Strawberry

Today is Opening Day for baseball, and in my baseball-crazy family, that makes today a big day!  


In honor of this momentous occasion, we’ve got the perfect show for you with baseball-great Darryl Strawberry.


Darryl has an amazing testimony of addiction, redemption, marriage struggles, and cancer. He shares some very practical principles that have changed his life, things like weathering trials with hope, nurturing godly friendships, and always believing in the power of prayer. 


And, of course, we also get some interesting behind-the-scenes scoop on his time in the Major Leagues and some amazing baseball moments. 


Incidentally, Darryl Strawberry is one of my husband Mike’s all-time favorite players, making it only right for me to ask Mike to join me on this show; however, in a strange turn of events, Mike actually relieved me of my duties and ran with the interview himself. 😂


Don’t miss today’s show with Darryl Strawberry and Mike Yanof talking all things Jesus, MLB, and allowing God to transform our missteps into ministry.

Apr 01, 2021
BONUS: Praying our heart over our kids

“Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV, emphasis added).


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 the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). 


It’s this verse that will guide us the next few weeks as we pray for our kids to be marked by loving God with their heart, soul, mind, and strength. 


We’ll kick off this week by praying for our kids’ hearts, which is not just critical to their health—it’s also the epicenter of their spiritual life. 


It’s central to their thoughts and actions and even the words that come out of their mouths. When Jesus talks about loving God with all their hearts, he’s referencing their emotions and decisions. 


In order to love God with all of our hearts, we have to prioritize spending time with him and in his word. 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. Join me on today’s podcast and let’s pray together for our kids. 

Mar 29, 2021
Brave conversations with our kids Part 3: Alcohol, drugs, video games, and addiction with Dr. Ken Wilgus

This week we’re wrapping up our Pardon the Mess series on brave conversations we need to have with our kids. Dr. Ken Wilgus is with us to talk about addiction and its impact on today’s kids. 


Believe you me, I would rather ignore this topic too and hope it never becomes an issue rather than face it head on—however, it’s too significant of a problem in today’s culture to idly stand by.


Dr. Wilgus and I discuss these topics: Defining addiction and the idea of addictive personalities, drugs, alcohol, and vaping—how to discipline when/if your child experiments, video games and the time our kids spend playing them, how parents can deal with addiction and avoid enabling, important conversations to have with our kids beginning at an early age 


I’m so thankful for the information Dr. Ken shares today, and I know we will all be better for having listened. 


Please take a minute to share this with your friends—it’s too important of a topic to take lightly.

Mar 25, 2021
BONUS: Praying fruit over our kids

As Easter approaches in the next few weeks, it’s the perfect time to begin praying 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, goodness, faithfulness, 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 the Holy Spirit produces fruit in our kids that leads others to trust Jesus and his great sacrifice at the cross.

Mar 22, 2021
Brave conversations with our kids Part 2: The birds and the bees with Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson

We’re kicking off week two of brave conversations we need to have with our kids, and it’s a doozie (or at least for me it is).


I, for one, am particularly proud of myself for being brave enough to have a conversation around the birds and the bees in the confines of my home, much less on a podcast with all of you!


Thankfully, Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson speak into this topic biblically and quite practically—and I couldn’t be more grateful. 


We cover everything from the hang-ups we have as parents when it comes to talking about sex with our kids, the importance of using correct anatomical technology (my bad), and shaping our family’s narrative in this important area before culture does it for us. 


If you struggle to have conversations around this topic and need a little encouragement and practical wherewithal... I promise that today’s podcast is for you! 


Check out there online course, Birds & Bees.

Mar 18, 2021
BONUS: Praying armor over our kids

This week we’re praying a hearty topic over our kids as we focus on the armor of God. 


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.


Take a minute to listen to today’s podcast, and then use the list above as your guide for praying all week for kids that are battle ready!

Mar 15, 2021
Brave conversations with our kids Part 1: Talking about anxiety with Sissy Goff

We’re focusing the next few weeks of Pardon the Mess on brave conversations we need to have with our kids. 


This week we have licensed counselor Sissy Goff with us straight from Nashville. We’re chatting about anxiety in our kids and some of the hard emotions they are facing after this last year. 


Sissy and I cover these topics around anxiety and mental health: Questions to ask your kids to gauge their anxiety level, strategies to implement when dealing with anxiety, eating disorders and other mental health issues increasing in teens, and common parenting mistakes in dealing with anxiety.


I especially loved Sissy’s explanation of anger being a secondary emotion that often stems from issues of fear and anxiety. 


It’s a good reminder that what meets the eye is not always a true representation of what’s going on inside of our kids. 


As we think through anxiety in our children this week, I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Sissy’s new book, Brave: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety


“All the girls I’ve ever met who are anxious have a few things in common: they’re bright and conscientious, they care and feel deeply, and they try hard. Those very gifts are sometimes the things that make us more anxious. Worry’s voice does not have the power to define you. That job belongs to you and the God who loves and delights in you.” 


What a great reminder of why we must have brave conversations with our kids around this topic.

Mar 11, 2021
BONUS: Praying refinement over our kids

As we begin a new week of praying for our kids, it may seem that praying they are marked by “refinement” is a bit odd; however, we’re asking the Lord to sift out any impurities that keep them from God’s best in their lives.    


Refinement is the process of using heat to remove impurities from metal. Only after the gold is refined do the most valuable qualities remain because the impurities and lesser qualities have been eliminated. 


God is in the constant process of refining all of us. Even though we’re created in his image, we are free-willed human beings riddled with impurities that don’t line up with who we were created to be. This refinement is best accomplished through trials in our lives, which may be uncomfortable in the moment but are important nonetheless.    


As we’re praying for our kids to be marked by refinement, let’s not ask God to remove our kids’ 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.


Looking forward to praying God’s refinement over our kids this week.

Mar 08, 2021
Faith, fitness, and Full House: My conversation with Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure is on the show today! It’s as if nothing else matters having just reached a new Pardon the Mess podcasting pinnacle. 😀 💕 🙌 


To say I love Candace is an understatement of epic proportions. 


First of all, she’s Hallmark royalty, and there’s not a one of us that hasn’t needed movies with predictability and a happy ending after the year we’ve weathered. And don’t even get me started with her Full House greatness that marked all of our childhoods. 


But then hearing about her life growing up in show business and how her faith has played into her career... well, it’s almost too much. 


Candace (which is what I call her now because we’re best friends) very vulnerably shares the struggles she’s recently faced with social media critics and her best parenting advice having raised three kids. She also talks about how she came to know Christ and the impact it has on all facets of her life today. 


Check out her new children’s book, Candace’s Playful Puppy, based on the fruit of the spirit, faithfulness. You’ll definitely want to grab it for the younger kids in your life. 


Yes, I’m all over the place, and yes I’m giddy! 


Please just take a few minutes today and enjoy our conversation with Candace Cameron Bure. 

Mar 04, 2021
BONUS: Praying surrender over our kids

This week we’re praying for our kids to live each day surrendered to the Lord.  


The idea of living a “surrendered” life may be one of those confusing concepts we hear about at church but don’t know how to practically implement. It’s the antithesis of trying to “work” our way into a right relationship with God—instead, it’s allowing 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.  


W. Tozer reminds us of the great benefit of living surrendered to God: “The man or woman who is wholly or joyously surrendered to Christ can’t make a wrong decision—any choice will be the right one.” 


Join me in praying that our kids live each day in a way that’s pleasing to God and brings him glory.  

Mar 01, 2021
The Life You Long For with Christy Nockels

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who inspired you to do the very thing that deep down you knew God was calling you to do? That happened to me with today’s conversation with Christy Nockels


She gave the most grace-filled, permission-giving reminder of the need for rest in our lives. As parents, that’s something that’s so easily neglected in the busyness of raising kids. 


Christy is a singer, songwriter, author, and host of the podcast Glorious in the Mundane. She shares with us how God taught her to begin living from a heart of rest during a season where he called her to leave a busy touring schedule to stay home with her family. 


In the quiet moments, God taught Christy to seek him in the deep places she had been neglecting so that she might live from the inside out instead of the outside in. (So convicting, but soooo good.) 


I walked away with so many truths for my own life, but I think these will resonate with all of us: We need rest. Rest comes from surrendering to our creator. Our tendency to “hustle” prevents God’s supernatural work in our lives. It’s critical we learn to guard our time in order to prioritize physical and spiritual rest. Living from the inside out comes from resting in our Savior. 


Join me today for a powerful conversation on rest. I have a feeling you’re going to walk away with the encouragement you didn’t know you needed. 

Feb 25, 2021
BONUS: Praying God's certainty over our kids

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t know what’s coming our way at any given time. 


One year ago this week, the World Health Organization confirmed an additional twenty cases of COVID-19 in the United States, bringing the total number of cases in our country to thirty-five. Even though the number was seemingly small at the time, it was unsettling not knowing what the future held with this virus at hand (and thank goodness we didn’t know).  


The one thing we can be certain of this side of heaven is that our lives are going to be uncertain.  


Yet even 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 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. 


Join me in praying for our kids to be marked by God’s certainty through all of life’s unknown roads.  

Feb 22, 2021
Single parenting, interior design, and God’s redemption with Susie Robb

I come to you today in the midst of Texas’ 2021 polar vortex.  


With great anticipation, we southerners were awaiting our first big snow in years. It was going to be sledding, hot chocolate bars, game nights, and family bonding. Until... we had an electricity crisis.  


My house has been running a temp of around 46 degrees INSIDE, and there’s been more family bonding than I care to share with you. That said, we’re grateful to be safe and to have food, and we’re looking forward to some fun memories to share one day.    


Nonetheless, we’ve got a great podcast for you today. 


I’ll keep it short and just say YOU NEED to listen to my conversation with Susie Robb. She’s an interior designer, single mom, and has a great word on God’s redemption in our lives.  


Besides giving us encouragement for single parents, she also shares design tips and even her favorite paint colors. Talk about full service! 


So thankful for each of you and praying you’re safe and warm. 

Feb 18, 2021
BONUS: Praying self-discipline over our kids

“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 ESV). 


Raise your hand if you feel like you check the box well when it comes to being marked by self-discipline. 


Me neither.


That’s why I’m glad we’re praying it over our kids this week. 


Self-discipline (or lack thereof) will impact every part of their lives, including dating relationships, finances, online accountability, marriage, physical health, and even their occupations. 


The author of Hebrews (in perhaps the biggest understatement ever) reminds us that discipline isn’t fun in the moment, but it’s a key step on 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


Let’s ask God to give our kids the self-discipline to look away, walk away, or find a way to pass by anything that interferes with God’s highest goals in their lives. 


Can’t wait to pray with you this week!

Feb 15, 2021
Raising kids with special needs: Support and encouragement for all parents

As we focus this month on loving what God loves, I’m so excited to shine some much-deserved light on our precious families raising children with special needs. 


Nichole Huggins, Director of Special Needs at Prestonwood Church in Dallas, Texas, joins us as both a mom to a son with special needs as well as one directly engaged in church ministry in this area. 


Today’s podcast is not just for the families in the trenches each day raising children with special needs, but it’s also a much-needed word for those of us who are called to walk alongside and support these families. 


There’s so much in this podcast that I can’t wait for you to hear, but here are a few takeaways you can’t miss: 


  • Even on the hardest days, you have hope, and you are not alone
  • The importance of seizing the God-moments in our parenting
  • Conversations every parent needs to have concerning kids with special needs
  • It’s okay not to be okay


Please take time to listen to this important conversation, and then share it with your friends who need this encouragement today.

Feb 11, 2021
BONUS: Praying God's presence over our kids

The entire theme of this year’s prayer journal is built around the notion of being “marked” by the things of God.


In a culture that threatens to mark our kids with anxiety, depression, and social media inundation (and in the midst of a pandemic), we’re praying that our kids will be supernaturally marked only by the things of God.


This week we’re praying for arguably the most significant “marking” in our kids’ lives: that they will be marked by God’s presence.


The presence of God is a core message from Genesis, with Adam and Eve in the garden, all the way to Revelation and the promise of all eternity with God. Living in God’s presence is significant for our kids because it’s assurance that they are never overlooked, unseen, or insignificant. 


We can find joy no matter what we’re facing in this world because of the presence of Jesus in our lives.


Join me in praying this over our kids this week.

Feb 08, 2021
Loving what God loves with Lisa Harper

We spent the month of January considering the different areas in our lives that might need some adjustments in a new year. We talked about our parenting, finances, and our physical and spiritual lives in the context of our faith.


Now as we move into February, we’ve got a month-long focus on love. More specifically, we’re considering how we might better love the things God loves.


You’re in for a big treat today because Lisa Harper is with us, and she’s amazing. If you haven’t run across her before, suffice it to say she’s hilarious, honest, real, and she really, really loves Jesus.


There are so many reasons to listen to Pardon the Mess today, but here are just a few topics you don’t want to miss:


Three traps women fall into with their faith. Is the gospel really good news this side of heaven? How do we experience abundant life in a turbulent world? Why we need to step into someone else’s story. Adoption being God’s megaphone for grace.


Oh, and I won’t lie—we covered a few other really important topics like Spanx, bathing suits, and chips and queso. 😜


Drop what you’re doing and join us as we lean into a month of loving the things God loves!


Check out Lisa Harper’s new devotional! 

Feb 04, 2021
BONUS: Praying purity over our kids

“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9 NIV).


This week we’re praying that our kids are marked by purity in their lives. 


The idea of raising pure kids in an impure culture can feel like an impossibly tall order as parents. 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.


But purity is not an accomplishment—it’s a relationship, as Dan Martin of Pure Hope Ministries shares with us on today’s podcast. 


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 cleanses us and makes us new creations. He gives hope that is everlasting and brings healing when we fall short.


Join me in praying for our kids to have purity in their physical relationships, in the way they dress, in the motivation behind their actions, in their pursuit of Jesus, and in the music and media that fill their minds. 


Let’s also pray that when they fall short, they know that the Lord stands ready to forgive them and give them a new beginning. 

Feb 01, 2021
Our finances and the money challenge with Art Rainer

We’re wrapping up January by discussing all things money with Art Rainer.

Art has written countless books on this subject and talks with us today about the biggest money mistakes we make.

He also gives suggestions on how to assess the state of our finances and how it’s impacting our marriages.

I love his approach to this sticky subject because it’s all based in Scripture and God’s design for our money.

This month, we’ve blown up the old adage that it’s taboo to talk about religion, politics, or money in mixed company. We’ve hit two of the three areas, and it’s been amazing.

As we wrap up a month of looking at a new year/new you in 2021, make sure you’ve caught these amazing guests:

Louie Giglio on our spiritual lives

Ken Wilgus on parenting our kids, especially our teens

Dr. Hillary Lewis answering our medical questions

Art Rainer and the money challenge

So thankful to kick off 2021 together!

Jan 28, 2021
BONUS: Praying confidence over our kids

Today we’re praying for our kids to be marked by confidence. 

As I think back on the mistakes I made growing up, many of those could have been avoided if I would have rooted my confidence in the Lord and not in this world.  

We will talk about practical ways to give our kids confidence in the character of God by pointing them back to our personal “stones of remembrance.” It’s sharing how God’s been faithful in the past to gain confidence in his faithfulness for our future. His character is unchanging.  

And as an aside, I felt oddly compelled to share my mom’s most embarrassing moment as a reminder of how fleeting our earthly confidence can be. It’s really good stuff you can’t afford to miss. 😂 

Remember, when we root our confidence in the things of this world, we will never find satisfaction. Let’s pray that our kids’ confidence comes from the right source: God himself.  

Can’t wait to pray together! 

Jan 25, 2021
Your medical questions answered with pediatrician Dr. Hillary Lewis

Do you remember all the questions you asked the pediatrician about your first child?  

I remember one particular appointment when my daughter was about six weeks old. 

I showed up at the doctor’s office with a list so long it barely fit in my SUV. The questions seem silly now, but I asked things like: How do I know when to change diaper sizes? (Duh, when the others don’t fit). And how do I know if the crib bedding is overstimulating her? (Thanks a lot, Babywise).  

Bless my heart, and thank goodness for patient pediatricians.  

Today we have the chance to collectively ask our medical questions to Dr. Hillary Lewis. 

Dr. Lewis is a pediatrician in Dallas who loves the Lord and is raising three kids of her own.  

Much like the litany of questions I asked all those years ago of my pediatrician, I’m bombarding her with some of our most common medical questions when it comes to our kids (and not how to determine diaper-sizing).  

We covered topics like: 

  • Physical concerns of COVID 
  • The emotional toll of COVID
  • Acne from masks
  • The COVID vaccine and its implications for our kids
  • Thoughts on the Gardasil vaccine
  • The age we can begin to see signs of ADD/ADHD
  • Balancing faith and science in our families 

I took one for the team and tried to ask the questions we’ve all been wondering about but haven’t actually voiced. Praying it’s as helpful to you as it was for me!

Jan 21, 2021
BONUS: Praying Hope over our kids

Remember in the book of Numbers when Moses sent the twelve spies into the promised land to scout it out and report back on the status? 

After forty days of reconnaissance, ten of the twelve spies called a kibosh, saying there was no way the Israelites could succeed in taking the land from these giants.

Of course, there were the lone dissenters, Joshua and Caleb, who believed that with God’s help there was hope and even victory awaiting them. The whole debacle left God disappointed with the Israelites (understatement) but also brought to light a bright spot when God applauded Caleb for having a “different spirit.”   

It’s this different spirit we’re talking about in today’s podcast as we pray hope over our children. 

We’ll take a look at Caleb’s life and see how his different spirit came from living with a God-drenched mind, giving hope even in the most hopeless of situations.  

We’re facing an epidemic of anxiety and depression amongst our kids that has gained footing during this pandemic. There’s no better time to be praying that our kids find the hope that comes only from Jesus.  

Let’s anchor our prayer time in this verse this week:

“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 40:31). 

Can’t wait to pray together! 

Jan 18, 2021
Parenting teenagers with Dr. Ken Wilgus

I’m glad you’re joining us this year on Pardon the Mess as we’re dusting off some areas in life that may need a refresh in 2021. We’re talking about improvements to be made in our spiritual lives, parenting, health, and finances. 

This week, licensed psychologist Ken Wilgus is talking with us about parenting teens. If you don’t have a teen yet, no worries, because you can never prepare too early for navigating the treacherous waters of adolescence (just  kidding—kind of). 

Dr. Wilgus shares his ideas behind “planned emancipation,” the strategy of preparing our kids for adulthood by carefully and progressively letting go of our control in key areas of their lives. 

We talk about this in the context of giving freedom in the music they listen to, the friends they pick, and even the state in which they keep their rooms. 

Brace yourself, it’s going to take a little bit of moxie to make it through some of this! 

As a mother of two teens, I can report firsthand that Dr. Wilgus has a great recipe for helping us raise kids who are prepared for adulthood without driving ourselves (and them) crazy in the process. 

Glad you’re with us today! 

Jan 14, 2021
BONUS: Praying Compassion over our kids

The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” —Exodus 34:6

The first characteristic God used to describe himself to Moses was compassionate

It’s amazing to think that we serve a God who is sympathetic to our struggles and burdened by what budens us. Knowing this, it seems only fitting that we focus on praying for our kids to be marked by compassion in their own lives.  

Henri Nouwen describes compassion as this: 

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.  

Today, we will look at the story of Joshua and Rahab, seeing God’s compassion in action as he spared Rahab’s life and even elevated her to be included in his own lineage.  

I’m challenged to revisit compassion in my own life and pray for the Lord to teach me to see the world through his eyes and respond as he leads. 

Join me in praying compassion for our families this week. 

Jan 11, 2021
“Goliath Must Fall” with Louie Giglio

“No matter how many times you’ve tried before or how loud the voice is that says you’ll never be different than you are, God says something else today. You. Can. Live. Free.”

—Louie Giglio, Goliath Must Fall


I’ve never really loved January and 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 kicking off 2021 with a month of shows speaking to the spiritual, circumstantial, physical, and financial ways in which we live. It’s practical advice each week on living more fully and freely in Christ.

Today, 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 2021 exploring new ways to live and parent fully in Jesus.

Jan 07, 2021
BONUS: Praying truth over our kids

I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year than by coming together to pray over our kids. I’m thankful to each of you for joining me every week as we pray for our kids and for his guidance in parenting them.  

This week we’re praying that our kids are marked by truth. 

As we do this, it’s important to define truth. We live in a culture of moral relativism, meaning truth is subjective and personal. But God’s word tells us the real story of truth: 

  • “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” —John 14:6 
  • “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” —John 17:17   

As we pray for kids marked by truth, we are praying that they have the discernment to go to Scripture no matter what they are facing. 

Kids marked by truth will not waver with every opinion thrown their way. Kids marked by truth will live with a higher standard, even when it’s unpopular. Kids marked by truth will hear the lies of the Enemy and recognize them as just that: lies. 

Living in God’s truth is a critical calling on our kids’ lives. Let’s kickoff this year praying this over them.   

Jan 04, 2021
56. A prayer challenge for 2021 with Chrystal Evans Hurst

Happy New Year’s Eve!  

Not that anyone asked, but I’m all in when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.  

I enjoy planning new healthy recipes, dusting off the gym membership, and even reading books on how to better parent these kids in my house. But, like most people, my resolutions lack resolve after about six weeks.  

However, this New Year I want to be especially intentional in implementing the things that will help me grow spiritually. I’m hoping to read through the Bible again, change up the way I pray, and dare I even mention journaling (at which I’m awful so I can never fully endorse).   

As you think through ways to refresh your time with God in 2021, you’re going to love our chat with Chrystal Evans Hurst today. Chrystal shares her heart behind the 28-day prayer challenge and how this book is based on the struggles she’s faced with her own prayer life. 

I really loved her wisdom on praying with our kids, specifically praying Scripture over them. That’s another thing I want to implement for 2021 in my own house.  

Go back and listen to Priscilla Shirer on the podcast last week if you missed it, and then tune in today to hear her sister Chrystal Evans Hurst on our show.  

Oh, and please don’t miss Chrystal’s vulnerability in sharing the hard places the Evans’ family has faced recently, as well as working through unanswered prayer.  

As we gear up for 2021, let’s resolve to do the things that will cause us to know God better in the New Year. I can’t wait to do it together.  

Dec 31, 2020
BONUS: Praying protection over our kids

I’m praying you had a wonderful Christmas with your family, taking every opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior. 

As we wrap up 2020, it feels like there’s so much to digest and reflect on after all we’ve been through. It’s crazy to think back to last year at this time and consider all the things we didn’t realize were heading our way. 

This week we’re asking for God’s protection over our children. 

It feels like the need for protection has new meaning after the year we just experienced. But can I encourage you to take a few minutes this week to reflect on how God has been faithful in protecting you and your family in 2020? 

As you do this, I want to share an excerpt of a letter I wrote to “Dear Pre-COVID Me” last year. My hope is that it will remind you (like it did me) to thank God for his faithfulness and presence in all of the hard places we’ve faced.  

Pre-COVID me, please know that somewhere along the way you’re going to stop to ask a really vulnerable but important question: God, where are you in the middle of this?

The answer may be hard to find as the days grow longer and the news seems darker. But dig deep. It’s there. He’s there.

You’ll find him in the still small places where he always has been and always will be revealing his greatest glory.   

Look for God in everything from the birthday parades to the family baseball games. You’ll find him in the return of families around the dinner table and the unrushed nightly bedtime routines. He’s on your countless walks around the neighborhood and in the Zoom reunions with extended family.

You’ll feel his presence when you’re playing board games with your kids, teaching them how to cook and clean, and especially when you see your previously overcommitted family finding rest and perspective in a new, simplified routine.

You’ll hear amazing stories of God working through our frontline workers, caring selflessly for the sickest of patients and often at the expense of their own families. He’ll be evident in the melody of pots and pans banging from the balconies of high-rises as people unite in the most difficult of times.

God’s hand will be visible as communities rally together to support local businesses and as friends and neighbors dust off old sewing machines to make face masks to protect each other. You’ll feel his presence when you look up to see the Blue Angels soar through the sky, or even as you look down and find messages of hope in colorful sidewalk chalk.

I guess what I would want you to know is that there are going to be some really hard times to weather, but, in the middle of the uncertainty, there’s an opportunity to reaffirm God’s promise that he is with us, for us, and will never leave us. 

I’m looking forward to praying protection over our kids this week with my friend Jerica Olson on the podcast. Glad you’re with us.

Happy New Year!

Dec 28, 2020
55. Parenting and the importance of identity with Priscilla Shirer

Merry Christmas Eve!  

As I’ve been reading through the Christmas story the last few weeks, I keep going back to the passage in Luke 2 where Luke describes Jesus’ birth and Mary placing her baby in the manger. It’s right after that sweet account in the stable that Luke takes a hard turn to writing about the shepherds hearing of Jesus’ birth by the angels.  

Shepherds, of all people, being among the first to hear the story of Christmas—that’s a good word for us. 

I’m reminded that only in Jesus do those who seem to lack in significance (e.g., shepherds) suddenly become essential characters in the greatest story ever told. It makes me think of the  similar insignificance I’m prone to feel in the daily grind of parenting—so many asks and sometimes little thanks.  

But it’s as the shepherds were simply keeping watch over their flock that Jesus brought them into the larger story. It’s in those seemingly small places of faithfulness in our own lives  that Jesus uses the mundane for his glory.   

We are anything but overlooked with Jesus. He takes our small stories and weaves them in the fabric of HIS greater story.  

Take a few minutes to thank Jesus today for your family. Ask him to remind you that what you’re doing each day for your family matters and has kingdom significance. 

This week as we’re celebrating Jesus, I’m excited to re-release one of my favorite interviews to date on Pardon the Mess. Priscilla Shirer joined us with a powerful message on identity that’s the perfect word as we wrap up a hard year.    

Priscilla is a wife, Bible teacher, mom, actress, and so much more. There’s so much to love about Priscilla, but what always sticks with me is the way she speaks so freely and powerfully about her faith while also practically reminding us of what really matters as we go about our days. 

Priscilla and I had the opportunity to talk about her life as she raises her three boys and how she builds them up with statements of affirmation. She reminds us that living in a place of knowing our true identity in Christ means all of our decisions come from the truth. When we do that, it shifts how we live our lives.   

Whatever you do, don’t miss the last few minutes as she talks honestly about the difficulties her family has faced the last few years and gives us words of encouragement for when we walk hard roads of loss and discouragement.

Dec 24, 2020
BONUS: Praying numbering days over our kids

I don’t know about you, but when we talk about numbering our days this time of year I go straight to the Christmas countdown. And yes, Christmas is FOUR days away! (Thankfully there’s always Amazon to save us in a pinch.)

But this week, as we’re praying for our kids to number their days, we’re thinking less mathematically and more missionally. We’re praying they make the most of every God-given opportunity, living today as if there might not be a tomorrow. 

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 NIV).

Podcaster, author, speaker, and my friend, Lisa Clark, is on the show today to guide us in praying for our kids. She’s just about the coolest grandmother you’ll ever meet and always full of wisdom and humor. Today is no different. 

Join me in praying this week that our kids learn to number their days in such a way that every decision and opportunity is viewed through the lens of eternity.

Dec 21, 2020
54. Hearing God's voice with Kari Jobe

Let’s just say we’re coming in hot this week before Christmas on Pardon the Mess

We’ve got worship leader, songwriter, mom, and wife Kari Jobe with us today. 

I’m guessing when she began leading worship in her church at thirteen years old, she couldn’t have imagined the songs of faith she would have the opportunity to sing across the globe in the coming years. Her newest song, The Blessing, is no exception to the remarkable work God is doing through her voice and career. 

I love our conversation today about how her parents taught her at an early age about the importance of hearing the voice of God. She shares how they would practice hearing from God and the impact that continues to have on her music today.

Kari also talks about a very difficult time she experienced with postpartum depression and how she was led to audibly speak God’s truth over her home and her own life. During this hard time, God gave her a very simple truth: my nature is good.

I’m struck by how much we all need that same reminder today—that God’s nature is good, even when the things around us feel bad. 

As you’re running all of those last-minute Christmas errands, tune in for this great conversation with Kari Jobe!  

And then go put her song “The Blessing” on repeat for the rest of 2020.

Dec 17, 2020
BONUS: Praying the Nativity over our kids

Can I be honest for a quick second? 

If anyone should have a podcast that talks about parenting, it’s sweet Dorothy Wilkinson (a.k.a. my mom). She’s kind, she’s funny, she’s the best cook around, and she loves Jesus and her family like few others. 

Thankfully, today she’s making her debut appearance on Pardon the Mess, and let’s just say you’re going to walk away wanting more Dorothy and less Cynthia. 🤪

As we’re praying for our kids to be marked by the Nativity this week, my mom talks about using the living room Nativity to talk about Jesus with our kids. She also encourages us to pray boldly for our kids to have a faith like Mary and a spirit that seeks Jesus like the wise men. 

And then, of course, she shares a fairly embarrassing story from my childhood involving a small mix-up in the McDonald’s drive–through. 

I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to my mom today. Join us to pray for our kids!

Dec 14, 2020
53. Raising kids who keep their faith with Josh McDowell

It may be hard to believe that one of the greatest Christian apologists of our time grew up in a home with an alcoholic father, suffered sexual abuse as a child, and made it his life’s goal to disprove Christianity in college. 

It’s clear that the only explanation for Josh McDowell’s incredible impact is the Lord’s hand.

What a great honor it is to have him with us on Pardon the Mess today. His work with Campus Crusade, as well as his books, have had a tremendous impact on my own life, and I know so many of you feel the same way. 

Josh talks with us about the importance of teaching our kids how to defend their faith because a faith without conviction will not be sustainable in this culture. He walks us through the practical steps of addressing their hard questions while keeping an open dialogue in our conversations. 

But I think my favorite part of the interview is when Josh shared this truth he’s learned over his many years of mentoring college kids through Campus Crusade: rules without relationship leads to rebellion.

We can all chew on that for a good while. 

Josh McDowell has addressed more than 46 million people, giving talks in 139 countries. He’s written or co-authored over 150 books, including More than a Carpenter, with over 27 million copies distributed, and Evidence that Demands a Verdict, which was named one of the twentieth century’s top forty books. 

Today he’s with us, and you don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear his wisdom.

Dec 10, 2020
BONUS: Praying joy over our kids

If there’s anything we need these days, it’s some good news. 

Can I get an amen?   

Some days I find myself mindlessly searching online for some hint of good news in the midst of all the hard.  

I love how Luke 2:10 very simply reminds us that the birth of Jesus is our good news. 

“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 NIV

Vaccines and good health are blessings we will never again take for granted, but the only lasting good news comes from the baby born in a manger all those years ago. 

This week we’re praying our kids are marked by joy, which is especially fitting as we celebrate Christmas. 

My friend Jonathan Pitts is joining us with encouragement on how to find joy in the midst of hardship. Losing his wife unexpectedly two years ago, he shares with us the “choice” in joy and how that guides him in parenting their four daughters.  

Jesus is the only good news we need today. 

Let’s have abundant joy as we celebrate Christmas and pray the same for our kids. 

Dec 07, 2020
52. The miracle of love with Chris Tomlin

I don’t know what weird world we live in where Chris Tomlin kicks off our Christmas season on Pardon the Mess, but I’m completely giddy about the show today.  

The lyrics from his newest Christmas album and title song, Miracle of Love, go like this: 

A baby born, a baby born
A miracle of love
A gift from God sent to us
From heaven above
And I thought I heard angels singing
A baby born, a baby born
A miracle of love 

Chris shares with us the double meaning behind these words as his family welcomes a “surprise” baby this month. We also get a peek into what inspires the songs that have been so impactful in how we worship, like “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”.  

I can’t think of a better way to start December than with an encouraging word from Chris Tomlin. 

Oh, and trust me when I say you’ll want to download his newest album, Miracle of Love, for all the Christmas errands on your list this month.  

Parenting, worship songs, collaborating with Florida Georgia Line . . . we cover it all today! 

Don’t miss it. 

Dec 03, 2020
BONUS: Praying integrity over our kids

When I was in fourth grade, I had a class assignment to prepare a report on a well-known person we considered to have strong integrity. 

Not joking, I did my report on Lee Iacocca (a famous automobile executive from the 1960s–80s). 

I know about as much about Lee Iacocca today as I did then: nothing. 

But I liked how his name sounded.  

What’s the point to this story? 

Basically nothing—other than that integrity matters and our kids need strong examples of integrity in their lives. 😂 

Enter Nehemiah. 

Today, we’re wrapping up our study of Nehemiah and considering the ways his life was marked by integrity. 

We’ll talk about how Nehemiah: 

  • answered God’s call on his life,
  • waited on the Lord, 
  • fasted and prayed routinely, 
  • and pointed people back to God rather than himself. 

These things and much more made him a man of integrity whom God used for great kingdom work.  

I’m looking forward to praying integrity together for our kids. 

And, for good measure, I’ll leave you with my “favorite” Lee Iacocca quote: “The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.”  

I can second that with God at the helm in our families,  

Nov 30, 2020
51. Start where you are with Rashawn Copeland

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.” —Psalm 107:1

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I hope today is a wonderful day full of family, food, and ample opportunities to thank the Lord for his provision in your life. I’m thankful for so much this Thanksgiving, but, in particular, I’m grateful for your support of Pardon the Mess

This year we’ve been blessed to remain in the top 200 of Apple’s Christian podcasts, and we even hit a huge milestone of 1 million downloads. 

None of this happens without the support of each of you, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.  

It’s Thursday, so we’re also releasing a podcast you won’t want to miss with Rashawn Copeland. He’s quickly become one of my favorite people around because of his joyful spirit and testimony of God’s redemption in his life. 

Rashawn will encourage you to accept yourself as a work in progress and trust that God wants to ignite a revival in your life. Don’t miss his story of how addiction, doubt, depression, and fear were transformed by God’s love and acceptance in his life.  

The title of his book is a message we all need today: Start Where You Are.  

Catch up with Rashawn Copeland 

Grab his book, Start Where You Are 

Nov 26, 2020
BONUS: Praying thanksgiving over our kids

Happy Thanksgiving week! 

Several years ago, I wrote “10 Signs of a Thanksgiving Epic Fail.” 

Although our Thanksgiving this year will look quite different from most, the article is still available should you need a litmus test for determining the success of Thanksgiving 2020. 

This week, we’re praying for our kids to be marked by thanksgiving. 

I can’t help but consider how the hardships of 2020 have revealed what’s truly worthy of our thanks. Even as we miss so many of the things we’ve enjoyed in the past, the promise that Jesus goes before us and protects us is more real and powerful than ever. 

We continue considering Nehemiah’s life and his example of making even our secular successes sacred by acknowledging God’s sovereignty. It’s a reminder to pray that our kids will always give thanks to the giver of all good things throughout their lives. 

I’m so thankful to each of you for entrusting your time and parenting to our ministry. I’m praying you will have little reminders all week that God works all things for our good and his glory, and that’s reason enough to give thanks!

Nov 23, 2020
50. Hello my name is... Matthew West

Today’s podcast is a must-listen to if for no other reason than hearing Matthew West describe 2020 in song. 

Yes, he sings in real-time for us, and it’s funny and total greatness.  

Most of us have loved Matthew West’s music for many years, but he takes it to a whole new level when talking about his family, raising kids while touring, and his battle with feeling like he has to constantly do more and be more.

He’s vulnerable about growing up as a preacher’s kid and going through the motions more than having a deep relationship with the Lord. He also gives us great encouragement on living our lives with no conflicting reports, especially as we’re raising kids who are watching how we live.  

Matthew West is a breath of fresh air in a year that needs some transparency and reminders of what really matters. His challenge to us is a worthy one in these days: don’t leave 2020 unchanged.  

You’re going to love Matthew West on Pardon the Mess today!

Check out Matthew West’s new album, podcast, and much more!

Nov 19, 2020
BONUS: Praying light over our kids

“A holy life will produce the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they only shine.” —D. L. Moody

That’ll preach, right? 

This week, we’re praying that our kids are marked by light. 

In a year full of profound uncertainty and anxiety, our culture desperately needs to hear the gospel message that Jesus loved us to the point of death so that we might live forever. 

That’s the message of truth and the light we were created to shine. 

On Pardon the Mess this week, we will consider how what we do in private allows us to shine light in public. 

And, as we continue looking at Nehemiah’s life, we will see that mourning what God mourns is a great starting place for sharing the gospel. 

“Lighthouses blow no horns, they only shine.” 

I’m praying that same thing for our families.

Nov 16, 2020
49. Shaping your daughter’s heart through prayer with Sheila Walsh

What are some things you wish you would have learned earlier in your Christian walk? 

I can think of so many, but I find myself wanting my kids to figure out early on that knowing about God isn’t the same as knowing God. A key ingredient to this is how we communicate with God in prayer. 

We’re talking about this and lots more with Sheila Walsh on Pardon the Mess today. 

She reminds us that vulnerability is a key component in teaching our kids how to work through the hard stuff they face. Suffering and pain will always exist, but in the middle of it we have the opportunity to point our kids back to God. 

Be sure to check out Sheila’s new devotional, Praying Girls Devotional: 60 Days to Shape your Heart and Grow your Faith Through Prayer

I know you’re going to love this conversation with Sheila Walsh as much as I did!

Nov 12, 2020
BONUS: Praying generosity over our kids

Alert: Only 46 days until Christmas! 

I know, how is it even possible that Christmas is coming so fast?

Yet at the same time, doesn’t it feel like last Christmas was seven years ago? 

As we’re headed into the home stretch of 2020, we have some important opportunities to pray generosity over our kids. This year, more than ever, it seems like an important time to teach generosity in our homes as the needs around us seem so significant. 

As we continue studying Nehemiah’s life, we will consider how his fear of the Lord and compassion for others drove a lifestyle of generosity. I can’t think of a better formula for praying generosity over our kids: fear of the Lord + compassion = generosity. 

On a much less significant note, on today’s podcast I also share an “overly generous” moment I had years ago, resulting in a bounced check to the church. Bless it. 

As we consider how to best live out the next forty-six days leading up to Christmas, let’s flip the script on our kids’ tendency to want more and instead pray they have hearts of generosity toward those around them.

Nov 09, 2020
48. When God rescripts our lives for “The Greater Story” with Sam Collier

It’s November, and that means it’s National Adoption Month. 

If you know anything about me, you know that foster care and adoption completely changed the trajectory of my family’s life. As this month marks the three-year “gotcha day” for our sweet little guy, I’m still overwhelmed by God’s goodness in allowing our family to participate in the amazing gift of adoption. 

In keeping with the November adoption theme, I’m thrilled to have Sam Collier with us today on Pardon the Mess. Sam shares his own adoption story and how, even in the midst of opposition, God was writing a story Sam never could have written in his own strength. 

I can’t stop thinking about the stories he shares about his adoptive family, meeting his biological parents on The Steve Harvey Show, and what it looked like for him to forego his own music dreams for a ministry calling. 

In all those places where you need a reminder that God’s in the business of giving us life to its fullest, we’ve got the podcast for you. Don’t miss Sam Collier’s encouragement to trust our own stories to the God who rescripts all things in favor of his greater story.

Connect with Sam Collier here.

Get Sam's book, A Greater Story.

Nov 05, 2020
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.

Nov 02, 2020
47. Parenting in politics: Part two featuring Jeff and Becky Leach

If you’re anything like me, there are very few things we feel less inclined to speak into than politics. 

Even so, it’s important to guide our kids well in these politically divisive days.

I recently gave a few considerations in an article I wrote on how to discuss politics with our kids:

Would the world recognize you as a Christian if all they knew was how you engaged in politics? Would your kids know Jesus better if all they heard was your political speak? The truth is our political opinions are unlikely to change minds, but quite likely to change our witness.

With all of that in mind, I am happy to introduce a two-part Pardon the Mess series to help us navigate this political culture. 

Don’t worry: under no circumstances will we be talking about specific candidates or parties but rather principles that will help guide our kids. 

In part 1, we have Jim Denison, co-founder of Denison Ministries, sharing ways we can disagree well and teach our kids to respect authority, even when we don’t agree with all of our leader’s actions. He reminds us that “winning arguments is not as important as winning souls.” 

In part 2, Texas State Representative Jeff Leach and his wife, Becky, give us an insider look at our political system and suggest ways we might support our public servants through prayer. 

I hope these podcasts equip you well in the coming weeks as we face the election and the days following. 

Oct 29, 2020
47. Parenting in politics: Part one featuring Jim Denison

If you’re anything like me, there are very few things we feel less inclined to speak into than politics. 

Even so, it’s important to guide our kids well in these politically divisive days.

I recently gave a few considerations in an article I wrote on how to discuss politics with our kids:

Would the world recognize you as a Christian if all they knew was how you engaged in politics? Would your kids know Jesus better if all they heard was your political speak? The truth is our political opinions are unlikely to change minds, but quite likely to change our witness.

With all of that in mind, I am happy to introduce a two-part Pardon the Mess series to help us navigate this political culture. 

Don’t worry: under no circumstances will we be talking about specific candidates or parties but rather principles that will help guide our kids. 

In part 1, we have Jim Denison, co-founder of Denison Ministries, sharing ways we can disagree well and teach our kids to respect authority, even when we don’t agree with all of our leader’s actions. He reminds us that “winning arguments is not as important as winning souls.” 

In part 2, Texas State Representative Jeff Leach and his wife, Becky, give us an insider look at our political system and suggest ways we might support our public servants through prayer. 

I hope these podcasts equip you well in the coming weeks as we face the election and the days following. 

Oct 29, 2020
BONUS: Praying an undivided heart over our kids

What distracts your heart from being fully focused on God? It’s not a rhetorical question but one we should all consider from time to time. 

Maybe it’s social media, consumerism, people-pleasing, the need for accomplishment, or even just the busyness of daily life. At any particular moment, I can honestly say there’s endless things with a hold on my heart. 

The distracting factors are different for each of us. But the call of the Lord is the same: to live with an undivided heart that is fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16:9). It is only with an undivided heart that we are able to be fully present and available to the plans he has uniquely created for us. When we give him our full attention, we are free from the distractions of this world. 

This week, let’s pray for our kids to live with undivided hearts. Let’s pray for our children’s daily obedience, followed by a complete commitment to the Lord’s will and plan for their lives. Let’s pray they develop a trust so deep in their Savior that they rely on his faithfulness instead of trying to orchestrate and control the details of their days. 

Join us on today’s podcast as we talk about King David and his journey to live with an undivided heart. Let’s pray that our kids’ commitment to Jesus isn’t overshadowed by the temptations to live in comfort, convenience, acknowledgment, and entitlement.

Oct 26, 2020
46. The Social Dilemma with Ken Wilgus, PHD

“Only two industries call their customers users: illegal drugs and software.” —The Social Dilemma


Well now, that’s a quote that will stop you right in your social media-ridden tracks. 


If you haven’t had a chance to watch Netflix’s new documentary, The Social Dilemma, let’s suffice it to say that the veil has been lifted on the ins and outs of social media algorithms and the impact it’s having on our lives. For me personally, it was eye-opening to see how manipulating and addiction-based social media has become, all in the name of buying our attention. 


Sadly, it’s working!


Licensed psychologist, Dr. Ken Wilgus, is with us today on Pardon the Mess discussing this very topic. With a specialty in adolescents and families, he breaks down The Social Dilemma as it relates to our kids and provides practical advice on important next steps.


Some of the areas we cover include:


  • The most important take-aways from The Social Dilemma.
  • Conversations we need to have with our kids relating to social media.
  • The impact of technology during puberty, especially in our girls.
  • Age-specific boundaries to set around social media with our kids (and ourselves).


This is an important conversation you don’t want to miss. There’s no need to be fearful, just informed and prepared. 


Let’s do it together!

Oct 22, 2020
BONUS: Praying Godly relationship over your kids

I’ve had the blessing of raising my kids with an incredible group of moms over the past ten years. We’ve weathered some really hard places together, while also enjoying some great successes. And I'm just so thankful the Lord has blessed me with friendships that are real and vulnerable. I am grateful for friends who are willing to fight for me and my family, when I’ve lacked my own will to fight. 


We all want those friendships for our kids. We know and understand the differences they have made in our lives. This week, we’re praying our kids are blessed with friendships marked by an uncompromising faith and deep loyalty. 


On today’s podcast, we talk about King David and his friendship with Nathan. Nathan was a friend who told David what he needed to hear, not just what he wanted to hear. He pointed him to the truth when David was living outside of God’s best. David and Nathan are a great reminder of why we want biblical friendships for our kids. 


We’re praying this week for the relationships that will have the most influence on our kids’ lives. We are praying for the spouses, friends, pastors, and mentors who will pick them up when they fall down and build them up when they’re struggling. 


Proverbs 27:9 says: “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” As you’re praying for your kids this week, take a minute to be thankful for the godly friendships in your own life. Remember to thank those who have shown you the truths of this Scripture. 


I am so grateful to be praying for our kids together this school year. And I can’t wait to see the godly relationships the Lord has in store for them.

Oct 19, 2020
45. “Standing Strong” in the face of adversity with Alli Worthington

How do you know when you’re hearing God? What’s the key to discerning his voice? If you’re anything like me, some days the loudest voice you hear is the one saying you need chips and queso—ASAP.


Thankfully, Alli Worthington joins us on Pardon the Mess today with a profound word on adversity and discerning God’s voice in the middle of it. When we learn to really hear from God, we are able to partner with him in the things he has planned for our lives. 


I love her clarifying point: we aren’t called to spin our wheels figuring out our “purpose” in life. The Great Commission is clear, our days on earth are to be spent telling others about Jesus. But our calling is individual to each of us. And in order to obey our calling, we must discern God’s voice. 


Don’t miss Alli’s five self-reflecting questions, guiding us to see if we’re truly hearing from God. Oh, and definitely, definitely don’t miss our discussion on letting our kids see us wrestle with God and refusing to sanitize God in their lives. 


So much good stuff!


Thankful for each of you. I cannot wait for you to hear today’s podcast!

Oct 15, 2020
BONUS: Praying contentment over our kids

“I would be content in life if I just had __________ (fill in the blank).”

Ever felt that way? I know I have. And when you finally fill in the blank, it seems there’s always something else new that finds it way back into that empty blank. 

Finding contentment in a culture that’s always chasing after the next big thing isn’t easy. It’s hard for us as adults. And it’s equally hard (or harder) for our kids. Given the right perspective, we can see that Christian contentment is far less about our possessions and far more an issue of the heart. 

Paul gives us a great word on contentment in Philippians 4:11–13:

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

We’re reminded in this passage that contentment is learned. It’s a matter of choice and discipline. A key component in the learning process is being able to discern what has earthly versus eternal value. Contentment is found in fixing our eyes on what’s eternal. 

Join us on today’s podcast as we talk about the life of David and how contentment (and times of discontent) marked his life. Let’s pray our kids have a life-long contentment, separate from what they do or don’t have physically on earth. And let’s pray that their contentment is rooted solely in Jesus. 

Oct 12, 2020
44. Embrace what matters, ditch what doesn’t with Kendra Adachi

I’m guessing there’s not one of us who couldn’t use a bit of practical parenting advice, considering all #2020 has thrown our way. Thankfully, Kendra Adachi is on Pardon the Mess today, and she’s bringing us just that!

Kendra passionately and candidly speaks into how to stop doing it all, so that we can do the things that really matter. Her mantra is quite genius: Be a genius about what matters and lazy about what doesn’t

Sign me up, right? 

With her thirteen guiding principles, she helps us work through issues we all face in raising kids. She even “lazy geniuses” a struggle happening in my home with my preschooler.  

Here are a few of my favorite takeaways: 

  • Live in your season because it won’t last forever
  • Name what matters and remove things that don’t support that
  • Build the right routines
  • Schedule rest by doing the thing that makes you feel most like yourself

Oh, and be sure to check out all of Kendra’s lazy genius podcast episodes, including how to make her change-your-life chicken, how to shop at Costco, or how to start a hobby. She even told me how to “lazy genius” when cleaning my bathrooms.

This girl has something for everyone!

Keep up with Kendra on Facebook and follow her on Instagram at @thelazygenius

You can also get Kendra's book, The Lazy Genius Way, here.

Oct 08, 2020
BONUS: Praying identity over our kids

Can you think of any early events that shaped your identity for better or worse? 

I remember one formative experience when I was a senior in high school. I heard a girl tell our group of friends that the reason I was admitted to a particular college was because my parents had connections. I’m fairly brilliant (ha!), so it was clearly not true. But it was hurtful just the same. 

I look back now and see how many of my decisions were made in response to that one careless comment. I wanted to prove to myself (and others) that I was good enough. It’s a small example with a big reminder. When we search for identity anywhere other than in the Word of God, we will be disappointed. 

This week, we’re praying that our kids find their identity in Jesus, not in what others say about them. The world will tell them their worth is based on looks, talents, failures, and accomplishments. God’s Word refutes that by saying they are already his sons and daughters (Romans 8:15), fully known and accepted by God himself (Psalm 139:1–4). 

Identity matters because it informs how we live our days. Join me in praying for our kids’ identity. Let’s pray that they will know they are valuable, loved, seen, and good enough—not because of who they are, but because of whose they are.

Oct 05, 2020
43. Levi Lusko wants you to “take back your life”

When it comes to parenting, working, praying, exercising—come to think of it, in most things—I find myself constantly running on empty. And I have a feeling I’m not alone.


We’re living in a time when it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and impatient. Thankfully, we have a Savior who wants us to live with freedom and peace. And he wants it so badly that he selflessly died so we might have abundant life. Don’t miss that truth—it’s life changing when you truly live in the freedom of it.


Pastor, author, and podcaster, Levi Lusko, joins us on Pardon the Mess to discuss our need to confront the pain, loss, and darkness in our lives. Only in acknowledging these hard places, can we find the complete peace and healing the Lord offers. More than that, God is faithful to use these hard places to do great things with our imperfect progress. There’s some hope we can all use today.


I always love having Levi on the podcast because he’s completely transparent and authentic. Today, he shares how his need for productivity became an idol. He also discusses how he battles with feelings of inadequacy as a father.


If for no other reason, don’t miss today’s podcast to hear me share one of my most embarrassing podcast moments. Sadly, it happened in an interview with Levi earlier this year. 

Bless my heart.


Thanks for listening. I can’t wait to hear how you’re encouraged to “take back your life.”

Oct 01, 2020
BONUS: Praying faith over our kids

It’s hard to believe we’re wrapping up the first month of praying for our kids in this new school year! This week, we’re praying for our kids to be marked by faith in God. Specifically, we’re asking the Lord to give them deep faith that endures in the good times, hard times, and every time in between.


We’ve been studying the life of Joseph. We’ve seen how Joseph’s faith kept him steady as he faced the difficulties of family divisiveness, being sold into slavery, false imprisonment, and even a famine. He didn’t know what the future held, but he trusted the God who did. That’s exactly what we want for our kids. 


In 2 Corinthians 4:18 we are given an idea of what it takes to live by faith: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”


Fixing our eyes on the unseen is foundational to trusting God. We’re walking in days when the “seen” things are scary and unknown. But the unseen things, they remind us that God is on his throne and he goes before us and behind us promising to work all things for our good and his glory (Romans 8:28). 


Join me this week as we pray for our kids to be marked by an enduring faith.

Sep 28, 2020
42. Fear Gone Wild with Kayla Stoecklein

On August 25, 2018, Kayla Stoecklein lost her husband to suicide. Andrew was a pastor of Inland Hills Church in Chino, California. In the wake of the tragedy, Kayla embarked upon a brave journey to better understand her husband’s battle with mental illness. She ultimately sought to overcome the stigma of suicide. 

Shortly after losing Andrew, Kayla wrote a letter that went viral. She apologized for not truly understanding his pain and promised to honor his name. I remember reading her letter, posted alongside the picture of their three beautiful children, and being shaken by the grief she was experiencing. I couldn’t help but wonder how God could possibly redeem such hardship in their lives. Two years later, I’m blessed with the opportunity to speak with Kayla and hear how God is faithfully using her story to help people navigate the difficult waters of mental health. 

September is National Suicide Prevention month. The statistics are a stark reminder that each of us will likely be impacted by suicide in some manner. On this episode of Pardon the Mess, Kayla bravely shares her difficult story. She gives us proactive steps for our own mental health and emphasizes the importance of letting others into our pain. 

Kayla is determined to ensure Andrew’s life is defined by how he lived, not how he died. I want to end with these beautiful words from Andrew’s last sermon, shared in Kayla’s book:

“We are all a mess, none of us have it figured out, all of us are broken, and all of us fall short. It’s the mess that brings us together and draws God near. If we weren’t all a mess, we wouldn’t need God.”

See more from Kayla:

Fear Gone Wild

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Sep 24, 2020
BONUS: Praying favor over our kids

This week we’re praying that our kids are marked by God’s favor.

I used to think God’s favor meant I would have success in ministry, my kids would stay on track, my dog would bark less, and my husband’s work would flourish. But with a little gray hair (which will forever remain highlighted), I’ve learned God’s favor looks a lot different than earthly favor. 

His favor is discovered in knowing that our name is written in the book of life. It is found in believing that there is nothing that can separate us from his love. 

As we pray God’s favor over our kids this week, my hope is that we would understand favor in the context of Joseph’s life. We’re told that God gave Joseph success in all that he did (Genesis 39:3). Wait, success in all he did? He was sold into slavery, falsely imprisoned, estranged from his family, and more. If that’s success, we might want to consider being unsuccessful. (Just kidding)

But we know Joseph had God’s favor because the Lord was doing things in his life that surpassed his biggest dreams. Joseph’s faith allowed him to trust God’s favor even through some seemingly unfavorable circumstances. 

We want that for our kids too! 

God longs for his children to be obedient, walk in step with him, and surrender to his purposes. Join me in praying that our kids live in ways God can bless, allowing his great favor to encompass all they do. 

Sep 21, 2020
41. God Speaks in Whispers with Mark Batterson

Is it really possible that we have been given the opportunity to have Mark Batterson on the podcast twice this year? Yes, it is! And it’s exactly what’s going down on Pardon the Mess today. Look at you 2020, actually giving us something good for a change. 😂

Mark is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC and a New York Times best-selling author of over eighteen books. When it comes to discerning the voice of God in our lives, Mark has a great word for us today. 

As you’ve probably heard me mention ad nauseam, Mark’s book, In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, has arguably impacted my faith more than any book I’ve read in the last decade (other than the Bible). So of course, I didn’t miss the chance to talk about it on today’s podcast. Mark and I discuss how to navigate obstacles we face with confidence, knowing how God’s story ends and his great plans for our lives. 

Mark and his daughter recently released a children’s book: God Speaks in Whispers. In their book, they share with us ways to teach our kids to listen for God’s voice and why we should pray for “long obedience” all of their days.

Lots of good stuff coming your way today! Dive in with me, and let’s be encouraged with the great reminder that God Speaks in Whispers.

Get your own copy of God Speaks in Whispers!

Mark is joining me for the Perfectly Imperfect digital event, learn more and register today!

Sep 17, 2020
BONUS: Praying stature over our kids

My middle-school son is a man-child. 


Or at least that’s what one of my friends called him after seeing him for the first time post-quarantine. I don’t know what happens to these boys between seventh and ninth grade, but they go from little lego building cuties to deep-voiced giants, basically overnight. 


It’s amazing (and shocking) to see them grow so fast. It’s also a great reminder to pray for their physical bodies and development. This week, we’re praying for our man-children (really, all of our kids) to be marked by stature. 


In praying over their stature, we’re praying for our kids to physically take care of their bodies. This includes everything from eating well to making the right decisions when faced with alcohol and drugs. We’re also praying for their physical relationships—that they honor the Lord as they approach the age of dating and in all relationships with their peers. 


Aside from praying for the physical aspect of their stature, we’re also praying for their stature as it relates to reputation. How they conduct themselves has the power to lead people to Christ or, if not done well, ruin their witness. Knowing that we’re called to live a life worthy of the gospel, let’s pray that our kids are marked by a reputation consistent with their faith in God. 

Sep 14, 2020
Reflections on 9/11 with Darin Kinder

Darin Kinder is a special agent with the United States Secret Service. He has spent his career traveling the world protecting presidents and leaders. On September 11, 2001, he was in the heart of New York City when the World Trade Centers were attacked. His heroic actions earned him the Secret Service Medal of Valor. 

As we approach the nineteenth anniversary of this somber day, Darin joins us on Pardon the Mess to share his reflections from September 11, 2001. He also shares where the Lord is continuing work in his life. 

Darin and his wife, Heather, are in the midst of raising four boys and are passionate about teaching them to live each day to its fullest for Christ. Darin challenges us to raise kids with a fierce faith—one that matches the intensity of our culture. He offers four ways to raise our children with a fierce faith and adds a few great sports analogies along the way. 

I’m frequently asked if I have a “favorite” podcast interview. And I honestly can’t point to just one. However, if I had to name one, I would choose my first podcast with Darin Kinder on Pardon the Mess. When I interviewed him last year, his words impacted how I live my daily life. 

Listen to Darin’s great word for us today on raising kids with a fierce faith. And then go back and listen to our first interview with Darin. His message pertains to living our lives with “dirty suits.” I promise it will make you rethink how you're spending your days and inspire you to dig into the hard places to which the Lord has called you. 

I’m thrilled to have Darin Kinder back with us today on Pardon the Mess. I know you will be too! 

The Valiant Ministries:

Tim Keller’s message:

Listen to last years episode with Darin Kinder!

Sep 10, 2020
BONUS: Praying wisdom over our kids

I’m thrilled to announce that today is the official kick-off of Marked by Prayer: A Parents’ Prayer Journal for the 2020–2021 School Year. On today’s podcast, we will begin praying our kids through this school year alongside my prayer journal.


Each Monday morning, I will release a short podcast that corresponds with the journal. The podcast will guide us in praying an attribute of faith over our kids. Simply subscribe to Pardon the Mess and you will receive a notification each time we release a new episode.


The idea of being “marked” surfaced from a realization that life leaves its mark on our kids as they face the inevitable bumps and bruises of being raised in a fallen world.


As parents, we’re constantly navigating the uncharted territory of raising kids in a culture inundated with technology, gender-identity issues, school shootings, social media, a pandemic, and more—all potentially marking our kids. But there’s really good news: God wants to mark them with a faith that transforms their lives from the inside out. 


It seems fitting that we begin this school year by praying that our kids grow in the same areas that Jesus experienced: wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). This week we will focus on praying for God’s wisdom over our children.


The world so often values the wisdom found in history, art, literature, and music. As believers, we’re reminded that true wisdom comes only from God (Matthew 6:33). And while the world has many “wisdom counterfeits,” I want to encourage you to pray that our kids seek the only true source of wisdom: Jesus. 


So glad you’re with me as we come before the Lord, praying for our kids each week. Don’t miss our podcast today and ever Monday morning, as we commit to doing the most important thing we can for our kids—Pray!


Grateful to be walking this road with you!

Sep 07, 2020
Changing our “what ifs” to “even ifs” with Christine Caine

Each time I'm given the incredible blessing of talking to Christine Caine, drinking from a firehose comes to mind. She brings wisdom and encouragement like no one else. And she does it with flair in her trademark high-impact, warp speed style. 


Today’s conversation is no exception. Here are a few of the nuggets with which you will walk away after listening to Christine on Pardon the Mess


  • How making our “what ifs” into “even ifs” brings calm in the storms of life.
  • The importance of making what you know about God bigger than what you don’t know about the future.
  • The peace we gain from viewing our current crisis through an eternal lens.


Christine Caine is an Australian-born, Greek-blooded, lover of Jesus. She is an activist, author, and international speaker. And she is the founder of a global anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign, alongside her husband, Nick. She’s one of the great female evangelists of our day.


I’m thrilled to have Christine on our show. Get ready for a good dose of truth, encouragement, and a few good laughs. Don’t miss this one!

Sep 03, 2020
Raising kids with a "sticky faith" with Kara Powell

I sit here writing to all of you after sending my daughter off for her “first last day of school.” I truly have no idea where the days have gone. Literally—yesterday I brought this wrinkled baby home from the hospital, in a onesie that swallowed her little body. I laid her in the bassinet wondering how I was old enough to have a newborn.

Seventeen years later, I’m speechless at the thought of her going to college. And I’m left pondering what we will need to go over before she heads out of our door. She knows how to do laundry ✔, she’s responsible with money ✔, and she is a good friend to those around her  ✔. 

But more than anything else, I want her to really know the Lord. I need her to understand that of all the things we stand for in this house, our belief that Jesus is Lord trumps everything else. Christ is for us and with us for all of eternity. 

So whether you’re holding your newborn today or (like me) looking straight into the final chapters before launching a kid to college, today’s podcast is for you!

Kara Powell challenges us to consider ways we can give our kids a “sticky faith” that stays with them through college and adulthood. She covers critical conversations we need to have with our kids. She offers advice on navigating tricky faith subjects we cannot afford to avoid. And she provides some interesting thoughts on involvement in church, and how to make it most impactful. 

Research shows that of the kids who graduate from a church or youth group, 40 to 50 percent will fail to stick with their faith in college. I’m not satisfied with that statistic. I know you aren’t either. Listen to my conversation with Kara Powell today, and join me in implementing the small things that will make a big difference in keeping our kids faithful to the Lord.

Aug 27, 2020
How do we disciple our kids with Matt Chandler

All in favor of being intentional about discipling your kids—raise your hand.  


Great, it’s unanimous. 


Now that we agree it’s important, how exactly do we do it? 


Today on Pardon the Mess, Matt Chandler walks us through the idea of discipleship. You are going to be so glad you invested your time in listening to today’s episode!


As overwhelming as it might seem, the Lord has specifically placed each of us in our children’s lives as disciple-makers. Thankfully, our job doesn’t have to be complex. As Matt puts it: “We’re simply called to do whatever we can, whenever we can, to help our family become friends and followers of Jesus Christ.” 


In their book, Family Discipleship, Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin lay out a very attainable rhythm of gospel-centered discipleship. It happens in three key areas of our family lives: time, moments, and milestones. Given even the slightest bit of intentionality, each of these three areas can be touched on practically and naturally. 


Matt Chandler is the lead pastor at the Village Church in Dallas, Texas where he lives with his wife and three children. He’s an amazing communicator. If you’re not already hooked, let me leave you with my favorite parenting quote from Matt: “We’re working for the thank you when they are twenty-eight, not when they are fifteen” (I haven’t been able to get his words out of my head).


Ummm—yes! Let’s make sure we’re doing the God things that our kids will thank us for when they are adults, starting with discipling them in the Lord while they are still in our homes. 

Aug 20, 2020
You’re not enough (and that’s okay) with Allie Beth Stuckey

Allie Beth Stuckey joins us on Pardon the Mess today to discuss our culture’s tendency to lean into meology—a me-centered theology. Instead of teaching the truths of scripture and discerning what the Bible says about God, we often turn our focus on what scripture says about us and look to find our value apart from God. 

Allie and I discuss the five popular myths our culture embraces:

Myth #1: You are enough. 

Myth #2: You determine your truth.

Myth #3: You’re perfect the way you are.

Myth #4: You’re entitled to your dreams.

Myth #5: You can’t love others until you love yourself. 

Each of these popular myths are dispelled in Allie Beth’s new book: You’re not enough (and that’s okay). 

Today’s podcast reminds us to be discerning of our culture’s messaging and always weigh it against God’s Word. It’s easy to hear biblical near-truths and mistake them for complete truths. The great news is: when we turn our focus back to the Lord, and recognize our inadequacies, we live in freedom. We are reminded that we don’t need to constantly strive to be enough because we belong to the One who is enough. 

Allie Beth is an author, the host of Relatable (a popular podcast), and a frequent political commentator on national media outlets. When she’s not at home with her husband and one-year-old daughter, she speaks across the country about the importance of biblical values. 

Aug 13, 2020
An honest conversation with Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real

What a privilege to have Matt Hammitt with us on Pardon the Mess today. You’re going to love our vulnerable conversation about his career, work-life balance, marriage struggles, and the challenges of walking away from old dreams when called by God to new ones. 


From 1996-2016, Matt was the lead singer and songwriter for the band Sanctus Real, touring the country extensively for the majority of the year. As he and his wife, Amy, began to have kids, Amy struggled with Matt’s touring schedule and the demands of raising their young family alone. 


The hit song “Lead Me” was born from the stress and struggle of balancing his marriage and family with his role in Sanctus Real. The lyrics of the song describe Amy’s need for Matt to lead their family well and to be more present. Although most of us are not lead singers of a band (or married to one), we can all relate to the push and pull between careers, dreams, and the huge responsibility of shepherding our families well. 


Matt has received three Dove Awards, has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, and recently released his book, Lead Me: Finding Courage to Fight for Your Marriage, Children, and Faith. 


This podcast is for all of us who have too many balls in the air and need a grace-filled reminder that God’s best for us sometimes requires a hard look at what we’re chasing. And it encourages us to really look at how our dreams impact the ones we love the very most.

Aug 06, 2020
Love your spouse like you mean it with Bob Lepine

“If you could give all couples a single piece of advice for pursuing a Godly marriage, what would it be?” Bob Lepine is an author, radio show host, and pastor. He joins us today on Pardon the Mess to answer this question and so much more. Pastor Lepine encourages us to build our marriages on strong foundations so they can withstand the storms that inevitably come with time (and kids). Most of us probably had 1 Corinthians 13 read as a part of our wedding ceremony, but have we gone back to see how we’re following through? Are we patient with our spouse? Are we showing kindness in our daily interactions? Are we willing to live sacrificially in order to honor our spouse? Let’s be honest, the last few months have been full of upsets to our normal routine. Our marriages are probably feeling some of the strain. Bob Lepine has a great word for us on living with the daily intentionality required to to strengthen our marriages. Join me in taking a few minutes to consider how we can love our spouse well, while honoring the Lord in the process.

Jul 30, 2020
Mini-Mess: Changing names 4

Today is our last mini-mess episode for July. We’ve been studying places in the Bible where God changed a person’s name (Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter) and the massive impact it had on his life. This series has been a great reminder of how God comes to his people when they need him most, transforming their lives from the inside out. 

The common thread in each of these transformative name changes resides in a deep encounter with God. I don’t know about you, but our mini-mess studies have really made me consider what I’m doing (or not doing) each day to foster transformational encounters with God of my own. 

Although we tend to overcomplicate it, there’s really no way to overemphasize the importance of prayer. And as parents, what a great privilege and responsibility we have in praying for our kids! 

While we are on the subject, I’m excited to tell you about my new prayer journal, available this week! Marked by Prayer corresponds with the 2020-2021 school year and serves as a weekly devotional guide to pray an attribute of faith over our kids each week. 

(insert picture or two of prayer journal)

Of all the daily things we do for our children, I can’t think of anything more important than praying for them. I hope you’ll take a minute and grab your copy of Marked by Prayer.

I’m so glad you’ve joined me in this mini-mess series. Check out the podcast this morning and please share it with a friend who might need encouragement during these days!

Jul 27, 2020
Identifying anxiety, panic, and fear in our kids with Ken WIlgus

Feeling anxious? 


You’re not alone. Studies indicate that over a third of Americans report feelings of anxiety and depression as COVID-19 numbers continue to spike. There’s no playbook for how to navigate life in a pandemic. It can leave us (and our kids) feeling discouraged as we ponder the future. 


But even without the stress of a pandemic, our kids face varying degrees of fear and anxiety throughout their lives, critical topics for all parents to consider. 


Ken Wilgus is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their families. He’s joining us today to talk about parenting our kids through fear and anxiety. May I just say, you’re not going to want to miss a second of this! 


Here are some of the areas we cover: 


  • The difference between fear, anxiety, and panic
  • Identifying when our kids are struggling with anxiety
  • The physical components of panic
  • Unhelpful things parents do 
  • The genetic components of anxiety and recognizing it in our own lives
  • Healthy coping mechanisms when our kids are fearful or anxious
  • Practical tips to prevent fear and anxiety before they occur


A friend sent me the link to Dr. Wilgus’ discussion on this topic, published on his podcast, Feeding the Mouth That Bites You. I knew it was just the word we need as we begin to think about back-to-school and all it entails. 


I can’t wait for you to hear Dr. Wilgus today. And I have a feeling that you may even want the teens in your life to listen as well. (I know I did!)

Jul 23, 2020
Mini-Mess: Changing Names 3

It’s week three of our “mini-mess” episode series! We’ve been studying places in the Bible where God changed a person’s name and how the new name brought new beginnings and clarity to that person’s calling. 

We’re digging into Matthew 16 this week, where Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter. This name change reminds us that when we fully grasp who Jesus is, we become “a rock” or “cornerstone” in the larger narrative of the gospel. We begin to see new significance and meaning in our days. 

Next week, we will begin to wrap up this study. There will be a lot of amazing applications you won’t want to miss! But for now, I hope you will remember: when we spend time with our Savior he transforms our lives in remarkable ways. Take time this week to dig into God’s word and consider the question of who Jesus really is in your life. 

Grab your Bible. Tune into the podcast this morning. And please share it with a friend who might need encouragement during these days!

Jul 20, 2020
A great reminder to “stand all the way up” with Sophie Hudson

I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t need a good laugh as we plow through another month of the weird new normal called 2020. You’re going to want to carry me off on your shoulders after our Pardon the Mess conversation with Sophie Hudson. And you will equally enjoy her book, Stand all the Way Up


Sophie has an honest and hilarious point of view on how to face the hard places in life that keep us up at night and make us want to “burn it all down.” During a hard time in her own life, she shares how she learned that the Lord has already provided all we need to “get up, straighten up, and stand all the way up” for our faith and the underdog. She reminds us that for every God-given task we are handed, he will equip us. 


Sophie is hilarious, vulnerable, and has a good word for us in a time when it would be easier to pull the covers over our head and wait for a vaccine. Be encouraged that in our hardest days the Lord can have the biggest impact, if we will just allow him to use our weakness for his great glory. 


Oh, and don’t miss Sophie’s words on turning fifty and her best advice to her younger self. It’s good stuff!


Check out Sophie and Melanie Shankle’s Big Boo Podcast!

Jul 16, 2020
Mini-Mess: Changing Names 2

Today we kick-off week number two of our “mini-mess” episodes, designed to offer quick biblical truths with lasting value. We’re studying places in the Bible where God changed a person’s name and how the new name brought new beginnings and clarity to that person’s calling. 

This week, we’re looking at Jacob’s life and how an all night wrestling match changed his name from “deceiver” to Israel (because he wrestled with God and man). This wrestling passage might be one of the stranger events we read about in the Bible, but it serves as a great reminder of how much God treasures his creation. It recalls how he will go to any length to have a deep and meaningful relationship with us. 

Grab your Bible. Tune into the podcast this morning. And please share it with a friend who might need encouragement during these days!

Jul 13, 2020
The six needs of every child with Amy and Jeffrey Olrick

I think we can agree that one of the hardest parts of our COVID-19 existence is the lack of connection with friends and family. In our present circumstances, it has become very evident just how much we need connection, and it starts at the earliest of ages with our kids.


I’m thrilled to have Amy and Jeffrey Olrick on our podcast today, discussing this very topic. They speak to the six needs every child possesses in relation to connection. Amy and Jeffrey’s integration of neuroscience and practical parenting is a great reminder that God created us to be relational, and our kids need us to be present, not perfect.


We chat about topics such as:


  • Delighting in our kids because of who they are and not because of what they’ve done.
  • The importance of setting boundaries and considering our motives behind them.
  • Giving ourselves grace on the bad days and knowing that parenting is a life-long pursuit.


You’re going to love how Amy and Jeffrey practically break our kids’ needs down into six essential areas. Join us and be encouraged.

Jul 09, 2020
Mini-Mess: Changing Names 1

What’s your name again?

One time I was podcasting someone fairly well-known, and within the first five minutes of our discussion, I called him by the wrong name (multiple times). Apparently, he wasn’t as well-known to me as I thought. Thankfully, his wife happened to be on the podcast too and she very graciously let me know that I had his name wrong. #Died

There’s a lot that goes into our names, especially if we go back and consider the significance of names in biblical times. We know that God has many different names, revealing different aspects of his character. And we also know that there are instances in the Bible where God changed someone’s name to give that person a new perspective and, oftentimes, a new beginning.  

This month, I’m trying something a little bit different. On Mondays, I will be releasing short “Mini-Mess” podcasts, giving quick biblical truths with lasting values. As you may have guessed, we will be studying name changes in the Bible and their significance on how we live our lives each and every day this side of eternity. 

As we continue to parent our kids in this new world with new rules, be reminded that God still rules. His word is an ever-present encouragement in the hard places we’re facing.

Grab your Bible. Let’s spend a few minutes together in God’s word.

Jul 06, 2020
Dealing with the fear virus with Pastor Ed Young

As I’ve been working through the new realities of this pandemic, I’ve felt a bit of fear creeping into my life. Maybe it’s because I live in a COVID-19 “hot spot.” Or, it could be that as things have opened up in our state, my family is inevitably facing increased exposure to the virus. Either way, my lack of control over things I previously thought I could manage has revealed how quickly fear can replace faith in my life.

I’m guessing I’m not alone.

Ed Young, Senior Pastor of Fellowship Church, joins us on Pardon the Mess today to talk through dealing with fear in these uncertain days. In his new book, The Fear Virus, he encourages us to get “historical, not hysterical” when we’re fearful. Being historical means going back to all the places where God has been faithful in our past and using those times to remind us that God will continue to be faithful in the present.

Pastor Young shares with us the significance of trusting God in the face of fear and how to do that practically: naming our fears, taking captive our thoughts, and praying for wisdom and guidance. Trusting God is a daily (sometimes momentary) decision, and in days like these, it often means we deliberately choose to cling to God’s words instead of the words filling the air all around us.

You will love Ed Young’s vulnerable and entertaining words for us today! I’m praying this podcast will refresh you and bring biblical encouragement as you identify the areas of fear you’re struggling with.

Jul 02, 2020
Encouragement for special needs parents with Jamie Sumner

The disciples were walking with Jesus one day when they happened upon a blind man. They asked Jesus whether the man’s parents or the man himself had sinned, causing him to be blind. Jesus said neither, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:1–3). And then Jesus put mud on the blind man’s eyes and gave him sight. 


Discussing the truths of this passage of Scripture might be my favorite part of today’s podcast: the reminder that whether it’s sickness, health, disability, or poverty, God can use all of these things for his glory! 


Jamie Sumner joins me with words of encouragement for those raising special needs children and for the rest of us walking the road with them. You will love her practical and heartfelt words describing her own journey in raising Charlie while also sharing some of the difficulties she’s faced with guilt, her marriage, finances, and managing disappointments and unmet expectations.


Jamie suggests how we can support those around us raising special needs children and how to guide our kids in their interactions with these precious kids. She encourages us to look at bravery in parenting from a different perspective and reminds us that our kids were God’s first so we can trust him in all the messy details. 


I love how she ends her book, Eat, Sleep, Save the World: Words of Encouragement for the Special Needs Parent


“Parenting a child who needs help to move, to speak, to interact with others is gritty. It takes courage and determination to know when to help and when to let go, when to fight for them and when to let them into the ring alone.”


Praying grit for every single one of us raising kids today!

Jun 25, 2020
Celebrating Father’s Day and our favorite “daddisms” with Steve Graves

Happy Father’s Day to our dads!


Father’s Day wasn’t officially recognized as a national holiday until 1972. And almost fifty years later, we’re still thankful for the opportunity to celebrate all the dads in our lives and what they mean to our families. 


As we think fondly of our dads this weekend, let’s not miss the opportunity to acknowledge the universal “daddisms” that make them who they are. 


For instance, when they say things like:


  • “Don’t spend it all in one place” (after giving you virtually no money at all).
  • “I’m not sleeping, I’m just resting my eyes.”
  • “When I was your age . . .”
  • “Don’t pay someone to fix that when I can do it.” 
  • “Were you raised in a barn?”
  • “They don’t make them like they used to.” 


And then there’s the little things they do like driving endlessly around parking lots in search of the“perfect” spot, or insisting we have a little cash before getting on an airplane (as if cash will be our primary concern if the plane runs into trouble).


It’s the small things that make us big fans of the dads in our lives. And if you’re fortunate enough to have a dad who loves the Lord and has led your family well spiritually, then you’re doubly blessed. 


In honor of our dads, we’re bringing you two podcasts this week!


Today, Steve Graves chats with my husband and me about crucial conversations every dad needs to have with their sons. 


I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend, and be sure to share these podcasts with the men in your life. 


Get Steve's book, 41 Deposits here!

Jun 18, 2020
Celebrating Father’s Day and our favorite “daddisms” with Jerrad Lopes

Happy Father’s Day to our dads!


Father’s Day wasn’t officially recognized as a national holiday until 1972. And almost fifty years later, we’re still thankful for the opportunity to celebrate all the dads in our lives and what they mean to our families. 


As we think fondly of our dads this weekend, let’s not miss the opportunity to acknowledge the universal “daddisms” that make them who they are. 


For instance, when they say things like:


  • “Don’t spend it all in one place” (after giving you virtually no money at all).
  • “I’m not sleeping, I’m just resting my eyes.”
  • “When I was your age . . .”
  • “Don’t pay someone to fix that when I can do it.” 
  • “Were you raised in a barn?”
  • “They don’t make them like they used to.” 


And then there’s the little things they do like driving endlessly around parking lots in search of the“perfect” spot, or insisting we have a little cash before getting on an airplane (as if cash will be our primary concern if the plane runs into trouble).


It’s the small things that make us big fans of the dads in our lives. And if you’re fortunate enough to have a dad who loves the Lord and has led your family well spiritually, then you’re doubly blessed. 


In honor of our dads, we’re bringing you two podcasts this week!


In our first podcast, Jerrad Lopes of Dad Tired encourages men to lead well in their homes while also giving all of us wives some thoughts on how best to encourage our husbands as they lead. 


I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend, and be sure to share these podcasts with the men in your life. 

Jun 18, 2020
Protect young minds from pornography with Kristen Jenson

When it comes to technology, we’re raising our kids in a completely different world than the one we grew up in. The advancement of technology has provided some great benefits for our kids, most recently seen with online schooling successes during COVID-19. But technology has also given rise to some really sad statistics showing a steep increase in pornography use during quarantine.


Kristen Jenson, founder of Protect Young Minds, joins us today to discuss the impact of pornographic material on our kids. She highlights the importance of equipping them to deal with exposure to pornography from an early age. She believes the best filter we can provide is an internal filter, setting up a plan for dealing with pornography when our kids are inevitably exposed to it.


Kristen offers a great working definition of the topic and some easy ways to get past the awkwardness we may feel in discussing it with our kids. The reality is that really great kids are forced to deal with this issue in their lives, and as parents, we have the opportunity to set the stage for their success.


Don’t miss this encouraging and necessary conversation on a hard topic we will all face in parenting.

Get Kristen's books here:

Good Pictures Bad Pictures

Good Pictures Bad Pictures, Jr.

Jun 11, 2020
How will we respond?

We’re all trying to process the tragic death of George Floyd and the unrest in our country this week. Many of us, myself included, are hesitant to say too much for fear of saying something wrong or making it worse in some way. 

But, as believers, we are instructed to stand up for the oppressed and to love those around us “not just in words or speech, but with actions and truth” (1 John 3:18). 

So how do we do that well? 

I had the great privilege of having a conversation with a community of believers speaking vulnerably and practically about the issue of racism and the state of our country. I love the heart of each of these friends in sharing their pain but also spurring us on to do the hard things that pave the way for reconciliation and hope for all of those around us. 

On today’s episode of Pardon the Mess we discussed:

  • How it feels as a person of color to walk through these days
  • What has helped, and what hasn’t, as people have reached out to them
  • What it looks like to lament 
  • Conversations white families should have with their kids
  • How to “stand in support” of our friends of color not just in these days but every day

I’ll conclude with the words that a dear friend of mine, Jerica Olsen, sent me this morning.

“If the heart of God for his people hasn’t led you to stand up for the oppressed and defend those who can’t defend themselves - you might want to consider what God you’re aligning with.”

Let’s continue to align with Jesus and pray for his healing and direction in our country.

Jun 04, 2020
Chasing the Lion with Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson is with us today on Pardon the Mess, speaking about reframing our biggest obstacles. By reframing obstacles as God-ordained opportunities, we allow him to do his work in us. We allow God to ensure we give him the glory as having done something bigger than we could imagine doing ourselves. 

In a time when COVID-19 has thrown a complete wrench in all the things we call normal and predictable, today’s podcast is a good reminder that the size of our problems are far outweighed by the size of our God

Mark’s book, In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day, is one of those books that feels like it was written just for me in this season. One of my favorite quotes from the book (and there’s a lot) is: “God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time. But here’s the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time.”

For many of us, this season has been a forced slow down. It has been a time when God has shed light on places that need re-prioritizing and refocusing. Maybe you’re feeling called to something new. Maybe you need a reminder to not let what you can’t do keep you from accomplishing what you can do. Or maybe you’re realizing that your view of God seems smaller, the more you focus on the size of your obstacles. 

Whatever it is you’re praying for these days, I hope you walk away from this conversation encouraged to chase the lions in your life.

Oh, and here is one quick spoiler alert: my favorite part of our conversation happens at the very end (don’t skip out early). Mark reminds us that few people will have platforms that influence thousands of people. However, our greatest success is often when those who know us best respect us the most. As parents, let’s chase the lion of loving our family well and being the parents God has called us to be.

May 28, 2020
BONUS: Mark Batterson joins us in praying God-Sized Dreams for our Kids

“We’ll never be a perfect parent, but we can be a praying parent.” —Mark Batterson

Today we wrap-up nine months of praying over our kids this school year.  As I look back over the past few months, I’m amazed by the things we’ve seen and experienced in this country. We have witnessed things that we never could have imagined last August while taking our beloved first day of school pictures. 

Thankfully, none of it surprises God. 

If we’ve learned anything this school year, it’s that we cannot predict what tomorrow will bring. The events of these past few months have highlighted the importance of faithfully coming before the author of all of our days and praying for our families. 

This week we are praying God-sized dreams for our kids. Pastor and best-selling author of Praying Circles Around Your Children, Mark Batterson, joins me with a powerful reminder of why we pray for our kids. He provides encouragement to pray for God's bigger purposes for their lives. My favorite part of the podcast is talking about not making the mistake that King David’s dad, Jesse, made. All he could see was a shepherd boy in David, yet God was in the process of grooming a king. 

Join us today as we pray God-sized dreams for our kids and conclude a school year of prayer.

May 25, 2020
Foundations for shaping our family’s faith with Ruth Chou Simons

As a Mom, one of my recurring concerns is a focus on how to ensure my kids have a deep faith. When my kids leave the house, after eighteen years of growing, guiding, and leading them, I want them to understand why we believe what we believe. I realize that ultimately it’s up to them to decide whether to follow God or not. But I often find myself pondering the question: What is the best way for us to set them up to make the most important decision of their lives?

If this question is on your radar too, you’re going to love my conversation today with Ruth Chou Simons. We talk about the ordinary things in life that work to shape our family’s faith. We speak to the importance of individually pursuing Jesus and how our pursuits become a part of the fabric of our home. And Ruth shares her journey of balancing a career with family life—how she’s worked through seasons of saying “yes” professionally and other seasons where she’s been called to say “no.” 

Ruth is a best-selling author, artist, founder of Gracelaced, wife, and a mom to six boys. She offers an encouraging word for all of us today. As we plow through the mundane moments of everyday parenting, Ruth prompts us to keep our eyes on the bigger and better prize of Jesus. Join us and find rest in his promises.

May 21, 2020
BONUS: Praying patience for our kids

“The only thing getting thin during this quarantine is my patience.” – Author Unknown

I don’t know who said this, but I give it a resounding amen as we kick off week nine of sheltering in place. Who’s with me?

This week we’re praying patience over our kids, and I’m guessing few of us feel qualified to teach anyone a lesson in patience these days. Thankfully the Lord models his great patience in dealing with us and guides us with grace as we attempt to raise kids in this fruit of the spirit.

As we consider what patience looks like for our kids, we naturally think about it in the context of their siblings, friends, teammates, and especially their parents. But take a few minutes to listen to our podcast today as Kay Wyma joins me to talk about an even deeper level of praying patience for our kids – the discipline of waiting patiently for the Lord’s hand in their lives.

Praying and abundance of patience with you and for you this week!

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

May 18, 2020
Raising courageous girls with Terra Mattson

Terra’s ministry lies at the corner of theology and therapy. She is available NOW to share healthy relationship wisdom with parents of girls (from her new book, Courageous):

ª  How to raise courageous girls in a world of fear, anxiety and loneliness

ª  Teaching the truth about intimacy: we are loved and can have intimacy with God and others outside of sex

ª  Empowering daughters (and moms!) with five tools for creating calm in the midst of anxiety

ª  How emotions help us discover our authentic self and deeply connect with God and others

ª  Step #1 for raising courageous girls? Become a courageous woman

ª  Helping our daughters become resilient -- rather than avoidant or naïve or avoidant

ª  Learning to recognize three types of friends - and becoming a better friend

ª  The secret to honest relationships between moms and daughters 

ª  Why Terra intentionally travels the road of motherhood alongside other women


Terra Mattson is a licensed marriage and family therapist and the clinical director of Living Wholehearted, an organization she co-founded with her husband and business partner, Jeff, which is dedicated to helping leaders live with integrity. Terra is also the co-founder of Courageous Girls, a free web-based curriculum offering biblical and clinical wisdom to moms and daughters, and author of Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. Terra and Jeff have two daughters. 

May 15, 2020
Gospel hope for everyday moments with Risen Motherhood

Do you ever feel lacking in the mom department? Do you find yourself drowning in the mundane, frantically searching for a greater purpose in the throes of laundry, dishes, teenage battles, and potty training?


Me too. Every season of parenting offers hardships that leave me questioning: “God, when will I serve your greater purpose?”


Authors and co-founders of the Risen Motherhood ministry, Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler, join me today with simple, biblical truths about the power of the gospel in everyday life. We discuss reframing our view of the ordinary parts of motherhood through the lens of the resurrection. Emily and Laura counter the entrapments of comparison with a challenge to lean into others’ giftings, allowing them to feed into our kids and aid us in our motherhood walks. And we touch on navigating parenting children with learning differences. 

Join us as we explore beauty in the midst of the mundane. And make sure to check out Emily and Laura’s book, Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments.

May 14, 2020
BONUS: Praying Submission Over our Kids with Lisa Clark

Today I am honored to talk with my friend, Lisa Clark, about praying submission for our kids. Submission is often talked about in the church, but it is rarely understood in its full context. It is not just something to be modeled in marriage, but something to be modeled to our kids as well. Join Lisa and me as we talk about how we, as parents, model the same submission that Christ modeled in going to the cross. My hope is that you will take away practical ways to practice submission in your homes and pray it over your kids daily.

May 11, 2020
How sweet the sound with Laura Smith

Do you feel quarantined out? Are you struggling with feelings of getting it all wrong? We’re right there with you. 

Author, speaker, and mom of four, Laura Smith chats with us about giving ourselves grace as we parent in these hard days. We talk about navigating the disappointment our kids are facing, while also finding hope in the bigger picture of Jesus. 

Laura gives us a great reminder about using this time to model our faith well. She also discusses her new book and speaks to the power of hymns. Her insight and wisdom gave me new life! 

Join us today and walk away humming “Amazing Grace”—that’s a promise!

May 06, 2020
BONUS: Praying Humility Over Our Kids

I played in a band growing up. 

Okay, so it wasn’t so much “a” band as “the” band. I played the clarinet and—if I’m honest—I felt pretty good about it until I hit high school. The first time I saw my sporty friends head off to their games, dressed in cute uniforms, I became keenly aware that my elective of choice was lacking in the cool department. There I was, left behind holding my plume (you young kids google the plume and you’ll understand my woes). 

While practicing with 200+ other band members, I learned some great lessons on the hash marks of the football field. The lesson that has stuck with me the most is this: the greatest success in a marching band performance is achieved when the individual band member is completely unnoticed.

As we raise kids in a culture basking in recognition and praise, it’s counterintuitive to teach our kids the value of going unnoticed. It’s not that they aren’t gifted and called to use their talents for God’s glory, but it’s our job to teach them to be willing to do so in a way that draws attention to the giver of the gift rather than the gift itself. 

Jesus is the perfect model of humility. He came to earth in the form of a baby and lived a blameless life so that he could die on the cross and give us new life. He more than deserved recognition and acknowledgement for his heavenly status, yet he chose to demonstrate humility because he was sold out to his Father’s will and the bigger picture of the gospel. 

Join me and my dear friend, Julie Hildebrand, today as we talk about the important but difficult task of raising humble kids. And as we consider what humility really means this week, let the wisdom of Rick Warren sink in: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” 

May 04, 2020
A reminder of why true heroes matter with Eric Metaxas

If you have found yourself wondering what it’s like to live in New York City during a pandemic, Eric Metaxas is your guy! On today’s episode of Pardon the Mess, he speaks to this question and so much more.  

Metaxas is a New York Times #1 bestselling author, the host of the Eric Metaxas Radio Show, an international speaker, and a trusted cultural analyst on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. More significantly, he’s a devout Christian. He brings the encouragement we could all use during this pandemic, a time that has led many to cope with feelings of discouragement and despair. 

Metaxas shares the good he believes is coming from these challenging days and asks whether this time can lead to a revival in the midst of suffering. Eric and I talk about the heroes that are emerging during this crisis and highlight the importance of raising our kids to know their true heroes (instead of those society deems worship-worthy). 

His new book, 7 More Men, speaks to this topic. It chronicles historical Christian heroes of faith who inspire us to live out our faith, whatever the cost.

I was encouraged, inspired, and honored to do this interview with Eric and feel certain you will feel the same. 

Apr 30, 2020
BONUS: Praying Purity for Our Kids with Noel Bouche of pureHOPE

I’m not sure there’s anything more significant we can pray for our kids than praying for their purity. Our culture is riddled with confusing messages relating to sexuality, and pornography is pervasive in our technology inundated world. If we’re honest, raising kids with biblical purity can seem near impossible in today’s culture.


Noel Bouché of pureHOPE joins us today to talk about what purity really means (and doesn’t mean). He reminds us that purity is not adherence to a list of do’s and don’ts in sexuality, but it’s a lifelong pursuit that doesn’t end after adolescence or on our kids’ wedding night. Hint: as Christians purity is less about an accomplishment and more about a relationship.


As we pray purity over our kids this week, we’re reminded that Jesus always pierces the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome the truth (John 1:5); therefore, we put our hope in the One who brings hope and purity in the middle of a dark world. Let’s pray that our kids will pursue Jesus all of their lives because only in Jesus will they experience purity that comes from his transforming grace.

Apr 27, 2020
From Lost to Found with Nicole Zasowski

“There’s blessing in any story that ignites our longing for Christ.” —Nicole Zasowski

This is my favorite quote from today’s podcast, words that ring true as we consider our days in the COVID-19 pandemic. This time of uncertainty can either create more anxiety and unrest in our lives, or it can create a longing for an even deeper connection with Jesus, as we recognize that this world is not our home.


I’m praying we emerge from these hard days with a renewed hope that only comes from trusting in him. As we do this, I’m thrilled to share with you my conversation with Nicole Zasowski. We talk about identifying the things in life that keep us in bondage (think—performance, control, shame), and how freeing it is when we’re willing to give the reins back to the Lord.


During our conversation, Nicole vulnerably shares about her journey with infertility and how the Lord transformed her pain into healing. She focuses on how God is not the author of hardship, but that he is gracious enough to use our pain to accomplish his bigger purposes. What a perfect lesson during this week of National Infertility Awareness.


So grateful for each of you. Please know that I am praying for you as we continue to adjust to this new normal. Send us an email if we can add you to our team’s prayer list or to let us know how you’re doing.

Apr 23, 2020
BONUS: Praying Mentorship Over Our Kids

My husband, Mike, grew up in a wonderfully loving home, but his family did not know Christ. He did not learn about Christianity until high school, when some baseball friends invited him to Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

These high school boys didn’t have all the right words or the big doctrinal arguments that best resonate with my husband. Nope—Mike just remembers how they lived differently than the rest of the pack, and how it made him want what they had.

I’m so happy to have Mike on our podcast today, talking about some of the mentors who have impacted his life. I am excited to engage with him in prayer for those who will influence the lives of our children. And as an added bonus, we will share some of our family’s most recent quarantine chronicles. I can promise you—you won’t want to miss it!

As we’re spending lots of time with our families these days, it’s a great opportunity to model the importance of prayer to our children. Let us be an example of how to turn to God no matter what we’re facing. I’ve written a seven-day prayer guide to help families pray through these COVID-19 times.

Download your free copy today, and please consider sharing it with your friends!

Apr 20, 2020
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!

Apr 16, 2020
BONUS: Praying Forgiveness Over Our Kids

I wrote a blog a few years ago about a period of time when my daughter had a problem with apologizing. Actually, she didn’t have a problem with the act of apologizing, it was more of how she did it.

It went like this: I would get on to her for something, and she would respond by saying: “I’m sorry?” Eventually, I figured out what was making my skin crawl—her alleged apologies were presented as a question. The words were right, her heart was not.

Try it sometime during quarantine. When someone calls you out for being grouchy, respond with: “I’m sorry?” I bet they won’t love it.

We focus a lot on apologizing when our kids are young. But do we focus on the opportunity for forgiveness presented by an apology? Proverbs 19:11 reminds us that it’s not just good to forgive, but it’s to “one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

Rebecca Carrell joins me today to chat about forgiveness and praying it over our families. During these stay-at-home times, there will be a multitude of opportunities for apologies. And there will be equal opportunities for extending forgiveness. Let’s choose to pray forgiveness over our families and remember it’s a central message of the gospel—one that will have a lasting impact if modeled well.

Praying that quarantine is granting you many opportunities to speak truth to your children and allowing you the time to iron out some of the rough spots of parenting (like when apologizing and forgiving end up in the form of a question).



Don’t forget to follow Pardon the Mess podcast on Facebook and Instagram for encouragement and fun all in one place!

Apr 13, 2020
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.

Apr 09, 2020
BONUS: Praying Salvation Over Our Kids

Anyone else feel like in the midst of all this family time you’re doing great one moment, and then a few minutes later, you’re completely off your parenting game? Me too.

I think the hardest part for me comes when I allow myself to go down the road of “how long” and “how big of an impact” these times will have. Whatever you are working through these days, please know you’re not alone; we are right here with you. If we can pray for your family, please send us an email ( so our team can join you in prayer.

Also, I will be hosting Instagram live sessions (scary, I know) at 9 p.m. central each week with surprise guests speaking to finding God in the midst of uncertainties. For many of us, the hours before we go to bed are when the doubt creeps in, so we’re going to speak truth into the darkness and hopefully have some fun while doing it!

Please take a minute to follow @Pardonthemesspodcast on Instagram to know when we’re live and receive encouragement each day. If nothing else, you will see plenty of examples of my #parentingfails in this new age of togetherness.

Finally, don’t miss today’s podcast as we pray salvation over our families with Jerica Olson. There’s no better opportunity to shine light than in times of darkness. Jerica provides encouragement on praying that our families know Jesus and share him with everyone around us. Don’t miss it.

 Praying for you!

Apr 06, 2020
Setting up school at home with Erin Weidemann

Erin Weidemann joins Pardon 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!

Apr 03, 2020
“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.

Apr 02, 2020
BONUS: Prayer Health Over Our Kids

I was reading through the book of Daniel this week, and I came across the part most of us learned about in first-grade Vacation Bible School: the part where King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden statue and told everyone they had to bow to it.

When Daniel and his buddies refused to comply, the king promptly decided the next best step would be to turn up the temperature on the ol’ furnace and throw them in it.

Daniel, committed to living the truths of his faith in God, said these profound words as he faced the possibility of going down in flames:

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:16–17).

And God did deliver them, not allowing even one little scorch to their bodies.

I was thinking about what a Daniel kind of faith looks like for us at present, as we’re experiencing the angst of this potentially life-threatening pandemic. 

Are we sharing Daniel’s sentiment with those around us? 

Are we sharing that our God is able to deliver us? 

Even if he does not, we will not fall to the temptation of fear, faithlessness, and despair?

In his commentary of this passage, Warren Wiersbe says, “The devil tempts us to destroy our faith, but God tests us to develop our faith, because a faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted.”

As we face these days of uncertainty, many will find their faith tested. But even in the midst of the testing, we have hope knowing that, in the refining process, we will come out with a faith that’s even more trusted.

On today’s podcast, five-time cancer survivor and founder of Truth Becomes Her Erin Weidemann talks about the importance of praying for both the physical and spiritual health of our kids.

Erin’s testimony reminds me a lot of David’s. After beating cancer five times, she has complete confidence that her God is able to heal her over and over again. 

But even if he chooses not to in the future, she will choose to live each day at peace without worry or despair. 

Mar 30, 2020
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!

Mar 26, 2020
BONUS: Praying Peace Over Our Kids

Have you found your family doing some unusual things as you’ve had extra time these last few weeks? 

Us too.

For example, my family was sitting around yesterday searching pandemic playlists and laughing at the songs that have a completely new meaning in these days of social isolation. Here are a few we came across:

  • “Can’t Touch This” – MC Hammer
  • “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” — Elvis Presley
  • “All by Myself” – Eric Carmen
  • “Right Here Waiting” – Richard Marx
  • “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” – The Police
  • “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor

Stay with me, I’m coming back to songs in a second.

We’re praying peace for our families this week on Pardon the Mess

I love that when I wrote this prayer guide for our families over a year ago, the Lord knew this week we would need an extra dose of peace. (It’s as if God already knew what we would need before it even happened. Ha!)

I think a keyword for us in the coming days is truth

We need to be focusing on the truth of God’s word over the chaos in the world. We need to spend more time in Scripture and less time in the news and on our social media feeds. We need to be consumed with God’s promises instead of the world’s words of hopelessness.

What are we doing today to write a lasting song of God’s faithfulness? 

What song will our family hear us sing as we walk difficult days? 

Are we writing a song that could lead future generations to worship our Savior? 

One day, we will have the opportunity to look back on this pandemic and consider how we fared in a time when many found it difficult to understand God’s plan and questioned his goodness. 

For now, ask Jesus to write a song of peace and faithfulness in your life these next days and weeks.

Pray for a song that will speak truth and peace to our culture that needs Jesus, leaving a legacy of faith from your life.

What’s your song today?

Mar 23, 2020
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.

Mar 19, 2020
BONUS: Praying Service Over Our Kids

“You don’t have to worry about whether your world is under control. God rules. You just have to learn to trust him when his rule isn’t evident.” —Paul David Tripp

This week, as we’re praying our kids through the school year, we’re focused on praying about service for our families (especially in days like we’re facing now).

Paul Tripp’s devotional, New Morning Mercies, is relevant to what we’re facing today as it speaks to living in a world that seems out of control:

Honestly facing your lack of sovereignty over your own life produces either anxiety or relief. Anxiety is God-forgetting. It is the result of thinking that life is on your shoulders, that it is your job to figure it all out and keep things in order.

But there is a much better way. It is God-remembering. It rests in the relief that although it may not look like it, your life is under the careful control of the One who defines wisdom, power, and love. In all of the moments when life is out of your control, it is not out of his control.

As we walk through days of uncertainty with the coronavirus and the fear surrounding it, let’s focus on serving others by sharing the message of Jesus’ sovereignty. Let’s teach our children that, even in the hardest of days, we are called to love our neighbor and serve them in our words, actions, and finances, and by praying for them.

Serving others is an opportunity that is most present when people are suffering. We are here for a time such as this, and the Lord can use us mightily when we are willing to trust his heart and follow his plans.

On today’s podcast, we talk about serving in the midst of a pandemic and how to best speak truth into our kids in a way that marks them for years to come. This is the closest thing to 9/11 that our kids have faced, so the opportunity is great.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my blog on “Parenting During a Pandemic,” check it out here.

These are times of uncertainty for all of us—but not for our Father. I’m grateful to be on this journey with you as we trust God in our lack of control, knowing “it is not out of his control.”

Mar 16, 2020
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.

Interested in books Latasha recommends in today's episode? Check them out below:

Divided by Faith

The Color of Compromise

White Awake

Just Mercy

Mar 12, 2020
BONUS: Praying Resolve Over Our Kids

How are your New Year’s resolutions coming?

It’s been a few months since we kicked off 2020 and, undoubtedly, many of us have decided those naïve resolutions of January were simply a pipe dream. The crowds at the gym have died down while the lines at the In-N-Out Burger have maxed out.

I have the “My Fitness Pal” app on my phone. Every single morning, it pops up a notification around 10:00 a.m. asking if I’ve forgotten to log my breakfast. 

You’re precious, little app, but I haven’t logged my breakfast (or lunch or dinner) in about six weeks. But I do want to thank you for being so ambitious on my behalf and always thinking the best of me by assuming it’s just an oversight.

This week, we’re praying that our kids have the resolve to turn away from the temptations they face and a willingness to turn to Jesus when they need a way out.

Our kids’ generation is inundated with social media, pornography, graphic music, widespread internet access, and so much more. Their resolve will need to be mighty to withstand the temptation they will face in their lives.

Kay Wyma joins us today with a needed reminder that worth is at the center of the ability to show resolve. 

Our kids need to be reminded that they have immense worth in Christ and that looking away, or saying no, or living differently comes from knowing you who you are to Jesus.

In short, we’re praying, through Jesus, that our kids will have the strength and conviction to live set apart or holy in a world that is growing further and further away from Christ.

Mar 09, 2020
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!

Mar 05, 2020
BONUS: Praying Inerrancy Over Our Kids

As we pray inerrancy this week, you may be wondering what in the world that word even means. 

And, for that matter, why does it matter for our kids?

You’re not alone. I think we’ve all had that question.

To believe the Bible is inerrant means we believe it is “inspired” and “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). 

If that’s the case, then the Bible must be without error and completely trustworthy (2 Timothy 3:16) since God is without sin and cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). 

In other words, a perfect God cannot give us his word (the Bible) with errors or contradictions.

So, is inerrancy just a theological point debated by scholars or is it relevant to our parenting?

This concept is critically important for our kids because if they don’t believe in the absolute truth of Scripture, they will not use it as the anchor point for how they live their lives. 

The heart of the gospel is that Jesus—God incarnate—was born to a virgin to pay our debt through death on a cross and resurrection.

It’s a dangerously slippery slope if our kids begin to question the truth of the recorded events in the Bible, leading them to question the theology that goes behind these critical events. 

Our culture does not believe in absolute truth, and understanding the Bible’s inerrancy is foundational if our kids are going to live in a way that’s wholly pleasing to God.

Janet Denison joins us today to talk about inerrancy and reminds us that the Bible is not a book of suggestions but a guide on how to live our lives. 

In a world that often redefines God’s word to meet the cultural relativism of the day, let’s pray that our kids believe every word in the Bible is divinely inspired and the ultimate authority for their lives.

Mar 02, 2020
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.”

Feb 27, 2020
BONUS: Exposing the Lies Behind Suicide with Kay Wyma

We say this often, but parenting is one of the greatest blessings and one of the greatest challenges. There are really hard places in parenting that are much easier to avoid rather than address head-on. 

Suicide is one of those topics. 

It’s emotional, it’s scary, and it’s easy to feel inadequate when it comes to talking about it. That said, the CDC lists suicide as the second-leading cause of death in children and young adults between the ages of ten and twenty-four. We can’t afford to gloss over a topic so pervasive in our youth. 

This statistic has become more than a number in recent days as we have seen family after family impacted by suicide in our community. Many of you have asked us to consider entering the conversation and to provide biblical guidance and resources.

We heard you, and today we are doing just that by providing a special edition of content focused on suicide. 

Our prayer is that these resources are helpful as you consider the topic of suicide. However, we are not a substitute for professional help. If you are struggling (or anyone around you is), please get the help you need and deserve. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is (800)273-8255. 

Feb 25, 2020
BONUS: Parenting Our Kids Through Suicide with Mia Mbroh

We say this often, but parenting is one of the greatest blessings and one of the greatest challenges. There are really hard places in parenting that are much easier to avoid rather than address head-on. 

Suicide is one of those topics. 

It’s emotional, it’s scary, and it’s easy to feel inadequate when it comes to talking about it. That said, the CDC lists suicide as the second-leading cause of death in children and young adults between the ages of ten and twenty-four. We can’t afford to gloss over a topic so pervasive in our youth. 

This statistic has become more than a number in recent days as we have seen family after family impacted by suicide in our community. Many of you have asked us to consider entering the conversation and to provide biblical guidance and resources.

We heard you, and today we are doing just that by providing a special edition of content focused on suicide. 

Our prayer is that these resources are helpful as you consider the topic of suicide. However, we are not a substitute for professional help. If you are struggling (or anyone around you is), please get the help you need and deserve. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is (800)273-8255.

Feb 25, 2020
BONUS: Praying Courage Over Our Kids

This week we’re praying for our kids to have courage. The further our culture strays from God’s truth, the more courage it will take for them to live biblically.

I wrote an article last year about the importance of raising kids who can stand alone. I saw a picture on social media of a boy standing by himself while praying at his school’s “See You At The Pole” Day. I realized right then how important it was going to be to raise kids who can stand alone in their faith.

Passionately following Jesus, especially in today’s culture, is not going to happen if we follow the masses and blend in with the crowd. We’re called to be holy, set apart, sanctified, chosen, and on a great mission for Jesus. So are our kids.

Our kids will need a strong dose of courage to stand alone in the hard places.

It takes courage to:

  • stand up when everyone else is just standing by 
  • include the excluded, allowing no one to be left behind on your watch
  • walk away from the inappropriate images everyone is sharing
  • say no when it’s more popular to say yes
  • stay home because going might lead to compromise

Let’s pray that our kids have the courage to stand alone when they need to and that God will do something big with it when they do.

Feb 24, 2020
Loving Our Kids Like God Loves Us with Nell Bush

We’re talking all things love this February, and it’s only fitting we talk about our love for our kids!

Speaking of love, how was your Valentine’s day? 

Some years, V-Day (that’s what the cool kids call it) entails fancy clothes and a night out for a steak. Other years, it’s more of the boneless wings and a Diet Coke variety. 

Mine fell in the wings category this year, but I have no complaints.

As I approach close to twenty years of marriage, I’ve found that I feel most loved in the small places that receive no huge fanfare. It’s my husband’s sweet smile when he knows I’ve kept my patience after answering my toddler’s hundredth question of the hour. Or when I come home from a work event to a clean kitchen and an empty dishwasher. 

After you’ve been married for a while, it’s the small things that become the big things. Don’t let them go unnoticed.

Back to loving our kids.

Nell Bush joins us today to talk about being intentional in how we show love to our kids. 

We talk about practicing patience and love by accepting their inborn temperament and understanding their particular stage of development. 

She also reminds us of the importance of establishing a trusting environment through routines and rituals. 

And don’t miss her practical suggestions on disciplining your kids. It will give you lots to think about.  

Nell is a great parenting resource, and I can’t wait for you to hear her wise words.

Feb 20, 2020
BONUS: Praying Character Over Our Kids

It’s often said that character is how we act when nobody is looking. 

As a parent of a toddler, I cling to the hope that character evolves with age. 

For that matter, as a parent of teens, I’m counting on God’s promise that he will “finish what he started” and help me get them over the finish line (Philippians 1:6).

Character is a big one on the list of things we can be praying for our kids. 

It’s easy to mix up character and personality, and that’s why I’m so glad to have Janet Denison join us today to talk about the difference between the two and how it impacts discipline.

As we focus on our kids’ character this week, let’s pray God’s character into their lives so they will be slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17), rich in love (Psalm 145:8), merciful (Psalm 145:8), and compassionate (Romans 5:8).

The Lord is constantly searching for those with godly character to be used for his great purposes. Let’s pray he finds it in our children.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our newest Pardon the Mess product, it’s time! 

I’ve written thirty cards as a way to remind your kids of their identity in Christ. They are teen-inspired and a great way to put God’s truth in front of them in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere that will remind them that they are worthy because of who and whose they are.

Grab your copy today!

Feb 17, 2020
Social Media, Marriage, and Family with Kirk Cameron

This month, Pardon the Mess is focused on things we love, and we’re thrilled to have Kirk Cameron on the show to talk about family, marriage, faith, and raising kids. That pretty much covers all the things we love!

Kirk is best known for his 1980s portrayal of Mike Seaver in the sitcom Growing Pains. Since that time, he’s continued to act, direct, and produce films primarily in the context of his Christian faith. He’s married to Chelsea Noble (who portrayed his girlfriend on Growing Pains) and together they have six children.

Kirk visits with us today about his social media documentary, Connect, and his takeaway that we need to be relentless in connecting with our kids. We’re the first generation to raise kids with social media, and it’s important to stay current with technology and focus on our communication with our kids.

My favorite part of the interview is hearing Kirk’s heart behind why he continues to share his faith so publicly. He wants to hear the Lord say “Well done” at the end of his life, and that motivates him to continue to use his platform to tell others about his faith. He’s currently touring the country with a message that focuses on resetting our living rooms by pursuing God in our families.

Kirk is relatable, funny, humble, and godly. This is a podcast you’re going to love!

P.S. If you want to hear more from Kirk, check out his program Living Room Reset!

Feb 13, 2020
BONUS: Praying Respect Over Our Kids


There’s not a parent out there who hasn’t echoed the words of the legendary Aretha saying, “All I’m askin’ is for a little respect when you get home.”

This week, we’re praying for our kids to have respect. This is a core value that impacts all of their relationships, and it’s critical to walking well with the Lord. It starts by teaching respect in the home, and obedience is a key component as we raise our kids.

On today’s podcast, we talk about what it looks like to respect the Lord, starting with showing respect to the people around us who are his creation. We consider Scripture that tells us to honor and respect our governing authorities, and we talk about how to teach our children to disagree well with others. 

If we take it a little bit further this week while praying respect, we can also pray that our kids respect the word of God, respect their bodies, and respect those with authority over them in all aspects of their lives. That’s a lot to pray over this week!

I also want to make you among the first to hear about a new product I wrote that’s available for the first time this week!

Raising kids involves lots of discipline and correction to keep them on course, balanced with ensuring they know that their true identity in Christ has absolutely nothing to do with their performance or behavior. 

He Calls You By Name: 30 Reminders of Your Identity in Christ is a set of cards designed to be a visual reminder to your kids of their real identity. They are modern, they are biblically based, and they are a tangible way to remind your kids that they are loved and significant because of the One who loves them. 

The front of the card has Scripture talking about identity, and the back has a short summary of why that truth matters in their life and how it impacts who they really are. Grab a set of these cards to put in your kitchen, on your kids’ nightstand, or anywhere that will remind them of who they belong to and the significance such knowledge brings.

Feb 10, 2020
"You're going to be okay" with Robert J. Morgan

In today's episode, I talk to Robert J. Morgan, the author of one of my favorite books EVER, The Red Sea Rules

It’s about the Israelites’ journey across the Red Sea and ten biblical principles for when we face difficulties in our faith.

Pastor Rob got me thinking about the difficulties I’ve faced lately, as well as the way God has helped me in and through them. Which then got me thinking about my youngest son. 

When my toddler falls down, he always waits for me to pick him up and dust him off.

Even when he’s not hurt, he dramatically lays on the floor until I walk over to pick him up, dust him off, and give him a hug, telling him he’s going to be okay. And then, just like that, he’s off in a million different directions like nothing ever happened.

I’m coming off a time where I’ve needed to be dusted off. I’ve had some bumps and bruises come my way and I’ve been discouraged.

There’s just something about being helped up and assured that you’re going to be okay.

P.S. Pastor Rob just released 100 Bible Verses that Made America this week, check it out!

Feb 06, 2020
BONUS: Praying Interruptibility Over Our Kids

“The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.” —C. S. Lewis

The Lord uses people for his kingdom purposes who are willing to let go of their own agenda and go with his. To trade in their own personal security for something bigger than they can accomplish on their own. He uses those who live interruptible lives.

Many of the disciples were asked to literally lay down their fishing nets in order to walk with Jesus. Jesus knew that, only when they were willing to walk away from their own plans, he could lead them on the journey of a lifetime with the message of eternity.

At his very core, Jesus wants his people to have a deep connection with him. Through this deep connection, he’s able to lead us to places we otherwise would not go.

We will have nets to lay down if we’re going to follow Jesus—and so will our kids.

Praying for our kids to live interruptible lives is an interesting prayer when we know personally how frustrating it is to be interrupted. It’s not easy, but it’s right.

Let’s pray this week that our kids have a heart for God’s calling in their lives and that they will be willing to lay down their nets every day in order to follow their Savior.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”                                 
—Isaiah 55:8–9

Feb 03, 2020
Hard Places in Marriage with Lysa TerKeurst

As we continue our “New Year, New You” series this January, we’ve covered topics related to our physical health, emotional health, and finances.

This week, we’re talking about marriage, and I don’t know of a better person to talk to about this important but oftentimes difficult subject. Today, we’ve got Lysa TerKeurst!

Lysa is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. She’s married to her husband, Art, and they have five grown children. They live in Nashville, and Lysa is passionate about helping others experience Jesus by working through Scripture in the truest and most responsible way that everyone can understand.

Lysa shares vulnerably about her marriage and finding out about her husband’s infidelity and substance abuse. Living through that and seeing God restore her marriage, she encourages us in the hard places in marriage.

What we talk about:

  • Acknowledging that the Enemy is attacking marriages and seeks to isolate us
  • The importance of marriage check-ins with our spouse
  • It’s okay to be disappointed in our marriage but the importance of redefining disappointment
  • Why we all need counseling in combination with exercising discernment
  • How to trust the Lord in the times when you can’t see his hand

She’s practical, she’s wise, and she gives us lots to consider in our marriages! Take time to listen to Lysa TerKeurst on Pardon the Mess and share it with your friends!

Jan 30, 2020
BONUS: Praying Protection over our Kids