Pardon the Mess with Courtney DeFeo

Courtney DeFeo and Christian Parenting

  • 42 minutes 37 seconds
    Do I have a drinking problem or thinking problem? With Jenn Kautsch - Story 6

    When I engage with young moms, I often get asked a lot about alcohol. These women are wanting me to give them an “official answer” about how a Christian woman should handle alcohol. And I often don’t have the specific answer they want - because it is so often in the gray area. And only the person asking the question knows what’s going on under the issue.


    Today’s story is about a mom that got curious about her relationship with alcohol in her early 30s. As you hear her story, you will be inspired to take an honest assessment and just get curious about your relationship with alcohol. She called it “getting sober minded.” 


    Although I don’t drink - I have my own vices which we discuss. I joke about my love of the phone, cookie dough and TJMaxx. If I’m honest, I often use those to outsource my comfort. This isn’t an episode for moms that drink - this is an episode for all of us. 


    My favorite part is when Jenn shares about the benefits of operating in a sober mind. She reminds us that being present with our kids is worth the fight. Let’s lean into Jenn’s story together and be brave enough to hear what God is nudging us to do in response. 


    Don’t forget to check in our Jenn’s community called Sober Sis and utilize all of the fantastic resources that are helping thousands of women become sober-minded and enjoy this life to the fullest!


    In this episode we chat about: 

    • Jenn’s journey with alcohol and finding a sober-minded life
    • How to pay attention to what God is saying to us directly
    • How to get curious about areas of addiction in our lives
    • How to fight for presence with our families 


    00:00

    Introduction and Connection

    02:33

    Early Years and Introduction to Social Drinking

    05:46

    The Influence of Mommy Wine Culture

    07:41

    Outsourcing Comfort and Dealing with Anxiety

    09:44

    Questioning the Relationship with Drinking

    12:30

    Understanding the Mindset and Motivations Behind Drinking

    19:28

    Questioning Your Relationship with Drinking

    21:57

    Introduction: Jenn's Journey of Sobriety

    25:08

    The Importance of Addressing the Root Cause

    28:40

    Taking the First Step: Sobriety Curiosity

    33:28

    Shifting Mindset: Gaining, Not Giving Up

    39:11

    The Power of Community in Sobriety

    42:59

    Personal Growth and Sobriety

    45:07

    Conclusion: Encouragement for Moms


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Get your 2024-2025 prayer journal, A Life of Faith


    Resources from today’s show:


    Pardon the Mess is part of The Christian Parenting Podcast Network. As a donor funded ministry, we rely on generous supporters like you to keep this show going. If you enjoy this podcast, please consider giving a gift today. Join the Christian Parenting Legacy Builders community




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    11 July 2024, 6:00 am
  • 44 minutes 53 seconds
    The hard truth about loneliness with Stacey Morgan - Story 5

    Happy July 4th!


    This week’s story features my friend, Stacey Morgan, who is an astronaut’s wife! Her life is truly fascinating. Her family is currently living in the Marshall Islands which is 5 hours south of Hawaii. 


    Stacey honestly shares the truth about loneliness. She has had to start over multiple times as a military spouse. I love her hard truth about loneliness: we have to make the first move. She also shares how her kids are thriving as they were uprooted from the cultural norm in Texas, and now live on an island with 1,200 people total. They are learning valuable life lessons about what’s most important.


    My favorite part is at the very end when she talks about her top learning as a mom of over 20 years. Her encouragement to “let go” was really timely for me. I am having trouble letting go of my oldest who is a rising senior. I need that reminder over and over again. 


    In this episode, we chat about:

    • How to navigate marriage when you are both strong leaders
    • How to start over when you move into a new city (or island! :)
    • Why community matters in motherhood
    • How to make friends as an adult woman 
    • What to do when you’re deeply lonely

    Chapters

    00:00

    Introduction and Background

    02:47

    Moving to the Marshall Islands

    05:58

    Supporting a Spouse's Career

    11:04

    Living in a Small Community

    15:01

    Transition and Loneliness

    23:57

    Supporting Military Spouses and Moms

    26:30

    The Importance of Community for Military Families

    31:16

    MomCo: Supporting Military Moms

    39:19

    Lessons in Trust and Letting Go

    44:28

    The Power of Grace and Understanding in Parenting


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Get your 2024-2025 prayer journal, A Life of Faith



    Resources from today’s show:


    Stacey Morgan’s site 


    Stacey’s Instagram


    Stacey’s Book: The Astronaut’s Wife


    MomCo - Military Meetups


    How to start an online MomCo group



    Pardon the Mess is part of The Christian Parenting Podcast Network. As a donor funded ministry, we rely on generous supporters like you to keep this show going. If you enjoy this podcast, please consider giving a gift today. Join the Christian Parenting Legacy Builders community





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    4 July 2024, 6:00 am
  • 47 minutes 21 seconds
    From blindness to healing with Kylie White - Story 4

    If she wasn’t one of my best friends, I don’t know if I would believe this story. However, it is true and real and incredibly powerful. My friend, Kylie White, was fully healed from near blindness. Her story and her miracle has exploded my faith the last several years. It has given me courage to pray bigger prayers. 


    I will never be over what God did for Kylie. Even though I’ve heard this story many times, I heard even more details during this conversation which exploded my faith yet again. God is so good. I’m truly excited for us all to have this reminder today through Kylie’s story.


    My favorite part is hearing how she got to the miracle day. Listen closely as she shares the years leading up to her miracle. Lean into what God was pressing on her heart. And let’s lean into what God wants to say to you through her story. What is He asking you to release and surrender? What miracle do you believe is too far gone? 


    In this episode, we chat about:

    • Kylie’s miracle story and healing 
    • How we can trust God and lean in when we don’t understand the full story
    • How to parent the pain endured with adoption
    • How to love our kids unconditionally 


    Don’t forget to share the Summer of Stories with your friends - so that they can also be reminded that: God is good. You are not alone. And He is with you during life’s hardest moments.


    Chapters

    00:00

    Introduction and Catching Up

    03:35

    Adoption and Navigating Challenges

    06:45

    Parenting and Unconditional Love

    09:40

    Experiencing a Modern-Day Miracle

    28:13

    Asking for Healing

    30:14

    Miraculous Healing

    35:23

    Confirmation of Healing

    39:26

    Orphan Prevention and Untold

    42:19

    Lessons Learned as a Parent


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Pardon the Mess is part of The Christian Parenting Podcast Network. As a donor funded ministry, we rely on generous supporters like you to keep this show going. If you enjoy this podcast, please consider giving a gift today. Become a Christian Parenting Legacy Builder


    Resources from today’s show:

    Kylie’s Instagram

    Kylie’s blog

    Untold - Nonprofit Kylie supports

    Father’s House - Bible study by Rachel



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    27 June 2024, 6:00 am
  • 39 minutes 38 seconds
    One unplanned pregnancy and the God-sized story that followed with Amy Ford - Story 3

    Welcome to Week 3 of our Summer of Stories series! For the next 10 weeks, you will hear one powerful story after another. We are featuring 10 stories of incredible moms that have endured significant challenges. Through these stories, we pray you will remember that God is faithful and always with you through life’s most challenging moments.


    I need everyone to take a massive deep breath before listening. And listen to the entire episode, not just the first few minutes. This is not a political episode. This is a story of one incredible mom, Amy Ford, that chose to keep her baby boy after an unplanned pregnancy and the God-sized story that followed. 


    My favorite part is when she shares about her love for the women that walk with the shame of abortion. She is for all women and all stories. And she walks closely with women who have endured every part of the unplanned pregnancy journey. 


    I am praying deeply that this story reaches an untold number of women and heals their hearts in a special way. And that we may join together and support women with unplanned pregnancies in the way God would. That we would love them deeply. 


    Don't forget to share this episode with women in your community that need encouragement and healing around unplanned pregnancies.


    In this episode we chat about: 

    • Amy’s unplanned pregnancy 
    • Amy’s encouragement for those who live with shame of abortion
    • How to create a safe and supportive church environment with unplanned pregnancies
    • How to turn towards God in some of life’s biggest mistakes or struggles


    Chapters

    00:00

    Introduction and Amy's Family

    03:34

    The Love Box and Volunteer Opportunities

    06:08

    The Rejection from a Pastor and the Healing Journey

    09:21

    The Impact of Amy's Story on Her Son

    14:35

    Creating a Safe and Supportive Church Environment

    19:28

    Healing and Hope After Abortion

    22:26

    Creating Safe Spaces in Churches for Unexpected Pregnancies

    26:34

    Taking Small Steps of Obedience

    29:15

    Celebrating Women Who Turn Towards God


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Become a Christian Parenting donor


    Resources from today’s show:

    Amy Ford

    Embrace Grace

    A Bump In Life

    Love Box

    Support After Abortion




    Our Sponsors:
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    20 June 2024, 6:00 am
  • 51 minutes 48 seconds
    My journey as a widow with Rachel Faulkner Brown - Story 2

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


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


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


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


    In this episode, we chat about:

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


    Chapters

    00:00

    Introduction and Background

    10:46

    The Importance of Honesty and Community

    30:28

    The Need for Aggressive Treatment

    39:07

    The Healing Journey and Future Hope

    48:17

    Prayer and Encouragement for Mothers


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Resources from today’s show:


    Never Alone Widows 


    Father's House Bible Study


    There is More podcast 


    Podcast with Rachel’s daughter about her eating disorder - Part 1


    Podcast with Rachel’s daughter about her eating disorder - Part 1


    Reverend Joanne Moody


    St. Teresa of Avila Quote


    Healing prayer - resource 1


    Healing prayer - resource 2



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    13 June 2024, 6:00 am
  • 47 minutes 10 seconds
    Grieving the loss of a child with Joy Phenix - Story 1

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


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


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


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


    In this episode we chat about: 

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


    00:00

    Introduction and Catching Up

    09:16

    The Power of Community in Times of Loss

    15:30

    Finding Hope and Healing Through Faith

    28:25

    Cherishing Memories and Finding Healing

    34:38

    Vulnerability and Trust in Difficult Times


    Enjoy!


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Resources from today’s show:

    Josh’s Celebration Service

    Joy’s Instagram

    Body Keeps The Score



    Our Sponsors:
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    6 June 2024, 6:00 am
  • 39 minutes 48 seconds
    How to utilize (not avoid) conflict in your marriage with Michael Jr. and Ebony Wright

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


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


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


    In this episode, we discuss:

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


    Chapters

    00:00

    Introduction and Family Background

    04:04

    Letting Go and Trusting God with Our Children

    08:54

    Faith as a Consistent and Visible Part of Family Life

    23:53

    Merging Talents to Help Couples Find Joy in Marriage

    29:19

    Revealing Areas of Freedom Through Conflict


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Resources from today’s show:

    Funny How Marriage Works

    Assessment for your conflict resolution 

    Emotions Wheel

    Funny How Marriage Works Tour



    Our Sponsors:
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    30 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 35 minutes 43 seconds
    How to gather neighbors and love people well with Sarah Harmeyer

    Happy almost Summer!! I am delighted to share the story of Sarah Harmeyer and her love for gathering neighbors. You will be so fascinated by her story of creating a table and setting out to have people over. Over time, she hosted thousands of people just one night at a time. She absolutely inspired me to get back out there and invite folks to my home. 


    You will be inspired and motivated and so very touched how God used Sarah’s life to start a movement called “Neighbor’s Table.” He took a nudge in her heart and kept expanding it across the country.


    My favorite part was at the end when we talked about her current living situation with her aging father. She is so tender and so gracious with his walk with Alzheimers. I pray that I handle my own parents with such care and compassion one day.


    In this episode we chat about: 

    • How a simple dinner party created a movement
    • Why your neighbors need community 
    • What an invitation can do for an individual
    • How we can preach less and simply love more
    • How to care for aging parents with compassion


    Chapters00:00

    Introduction and Catching Up

    10:01

    Stories of Love and Connection Around the Table

    22:59

    Building Relationships with New Neighbors and Introducing Sarah's Dad

    27:02

    Caring for Aging Parents with Love and Compassion

    30:53

    Closing Remarks and Action Items



    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Resources from today’s show:


    Sarah’s Instagram


    Neighbor’s Table


    Invite Sarah to Speak


    Table Talk Questions - source Close To My Heart


    Kindness Diaries with Leon


    Leon Logothetis


    God’s Holy Spirit in Me kid’s devotional




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    23 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 14 minutes 3 seconds
    BONUS: Marked by Mission

    “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” —Matthew 28:19–20

     

    We’ve spent this school year praying for our kids to be marked by the things of God. We’ve prayed that they live 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.

     

    The Great Commission is our central mission. The same is true for our kids.

     

    We’re God’s Plan A for spreading the gospel. There’s no backup plan, there’s no contingency, and there’s nobody else to tag in for our spot.

     

    But it all starts at home. It happens in the seemingly insignificant moments of reading Bible stories to our toddlers and the really hard places of pointing them to Jesus on the heels of their biggest mistakes and greatest obstacles.

     

    Please let us never underestimate the significance of our jobs as moms and dads, discipling our kids to share the gospel to the next generation.

     

    Let’s wrap up this school year by praying that our kids will be marked by the mission of Jesus, doing it with truth, discipline, purity, and every other characteristic of God we’ve prayed over them this year.

     

    Lord, thank you for the gift of my children and the privilege of praying over them this school year. Please mark their lives with a determination to fulfill the mission you created for them before they were ever born. Give [name] the wisdom to pursue you every day and a spirit of urgency in following your plans for their life. 


    God’s word speaks: 1 Peter 2:9; Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 3:15; Ecclesiastes 12:13–14




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    20 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 44 minutes 35 seconds
    Does my child need a therapist? Navigating anxiety with our kids with Dr. Cassie Reid

    When our children hurt (emotionally or physically), we simply hurt. One of the hardest jobs as a parent is to discern when to step in and when to let them live through hard seasons. I am so thrilled to introduce you to my very own therapist, Dr. Cassie Reid. 


    Cassie has counseled me and my own children through many seasons. It’s taken me years to find a good fit and I am beyond thankful for her wisdom and direction for our family. It is not always clear if our kids are just being kids - or if they are really struggling internally. 


    Listen in as Cassie and I chat about the challenges that come our way as parents. She shares many practical recommendations for us parents. 


    My favorite part is when she talks about the expectations we have for our kids. She challenges us to look inward and really work on ourselves and our own healing journey. She shares how our unrealistic expectations can start to produce extra pressure and anxiety and how to look out for that scenario in our homes. 


    In this episode we chat about: 

    • When to see a therapist or counselor
    • Why counseling is so important for families 
    • Two pieces of advice for parents that she wishes we all knew


    Chapters:

    00:00

    Introduction and Personal Connection

    01:36

    Dr. Cassie Reed's Background and Passion

    08:35

    Recognizing the Need for Professional Help

    10:06

    Finding Affordable Therapy Options

    12:55

    The Impact of Parental Anxiety on Children

    14:36

    Setting Boundaries and Recognizing Age-Appropriate Behavior

    22:26

    Setting Boundaries and Creating Space for Children

    23:49

    Managing Expectations and Apologizing to Children

    26:19

    The Impact of Technology on Children's Mental Health

    27:10

    Navigating Issues of Gender and Sexual Preferences as Christian Parents

    29:04

    Dr. Cassie Reid's Work in Spiritual Abuse Prevention and Healing


    Connect with Pardon The Mess:

    Christian Parenting

    Pardon The Mess 

    Courtney DeFeo


    Resources from today’s show:


    CassieReid.com


    Cassie’s Instagram


    Church Rehab by Dr. Cassie Reid


    Come Home


    God’s Holy Spirit in Me kid’s devotional


    My Daddy’s Hero



    Our Sponsors:
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    16 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 8 minutes 42 seconds
    BONUS: Marked by Remembering

    “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’” —1 Samuel 7:12

    The Israelites were in desperate need of a victory against the Philistines. Just as they were convincing themselves it was a lost cause, Samuel cried out to God and received an answer in the form of deafening thunder that scared away the enemy and secured an Israelite victory.

    Orthodox battle move? No. God protecting his people? Absolutely.

    No sooner than they finished their victory lap, Samuel stopped everyone in their tracks to make a critical point. He grabbed a stone as a memorial and named it Ebenezer, translated as “the Lord has helped us to this point.”

    Samuel knew their 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? Where do you need to start laying down stones as reminders to your family that God’s faithfulness in the past shows he’s trustworthy for the future?

     

    Lord, remind us to always pass down the stories of your faithfulness. Mark [name] with a good memory of your provision, giving them confidence to trust your heart when they can’t see your hand. Help us to celebrate the places where you’ve given us victory, making a lasting memorial of your faithfulness for generations to come.

     

    God’s word speaks: Deuteronomy 7:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Lamentations 3:22–23; Psalm 86:15




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    13 May 2024, 1:21 pm
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