We are all looking for the perfect gift. What gift is more treasured than our Lord? Many of you deeply desire for your children to know Christ in a special way this Christmas. In this video broadcast, we encourage you to first receive from the Lord, because we can’t give what we don’t have ourselves. In order to celebrate Christmas, use this time to seek reconciliation and give generously what you have been given. We can very simply honor the birth of our Lord through the very gift of ourselves to others.
This is our fourth Advent broadcast and would love to hear your reaction. By signing up for our email newsletter we will also send you links for a great Christmas album that your family will enjoy. At the end of this is a sample with our daughters singing the Angel Gabriel.
Make Advent a time to renew your family's faith life with scripture.
This the audio version from the Advent video series from Messy Parenting. Our hope with this series is to help you make Jesus Christ the King of your family and unleash God’s power in your parenting. This is the second of the four part series.
This week we focus on "Making the Word of God Flesh in Your Home". In 20 minutes we share 3 ways to make scripture come alive this Advent (and throughout the year).
"Seven days without prayer makes one weak."
The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are full of many tasks, which are fun and beautiful, but also may take our eyes off of the One we need most at this time. Making room for prayer in our busy schedules isn’t just something that is important during Advent, but is an essential part of parenting and living as a Catholic in this crazy world. In this podcast, we take some time to define WHY we should pray, HOW you can pray, and, most importantly, WHEN you can pray.
Why should we parents pray?
1. Out of justice, because God deserves your prayer
2. To gain inner peace and take time to slow down
3. To refocus on the meaning of life and remember what matters most
4. To receive grace and strength for your day
5. To seek His blessing, provision, and protection for your family
6. To listen to God and receive His wisdom for your life
7. To allow God to love you. Gaze upon Him and let the Lord gaze upon you.
“A child will have many friends and companions in their lives, but they will only ever have two parents.”
The role of parents in the lives of their children cannot be underestimated. Of course, we have a natural and biological role that is irreplaceable for our children - we are to protect and provide for them - but we sometimes forget our irreplaceable emotional and spiritual role. The world would like to tell us otherwise, but we need to stand firm in the truth that we have a dignity and responsibility as parents that we can't surrender. When your children are young, you are not there to be your child’s friend, companion, or buddy. You need to be the authority figure, the protector, the image of God the Father to them. This is a daunting task, but God will give you the grace you need.
Because this podcast is so important, we've listed an outline of it below.
What is your “irreplaceable role”? How can you take your rightful place in the life of your child in a way that no one else can?
“Life is pain, your highness. And anyone who tells you differently is selling something.” - The Princess Bride
Children today are less able to deal with failure, rejection, and pain than ever before. As parents, we hate to see our children suffer, but how do we prepare them for real life? How do we help to make them strong, but flexible at the same time? In this podcast, we discuss how hard it is to see our precious children struggle, and we point out the pitfalls that we parents can easily fall into. We also give three principles you can implement in your parenting to help form resilient kids.
"You left just as you were becoming interesting.”
~ Professor Henry Jones to Indiana Jones
All throughout our children’s lives, we are laying a foundation, a foundation upon which the rest of their lives will be built. How we relate to them, the consequences we provide to their behavior, and the teaching we give when they are teens (or even younger) will affect how we relate to them when they become adults. Parenting an adult child can be heartbreaking or amazingly satisfying, depending on the decisions they make. In this podcast, we give seven tips on how to parent your adult child and help them to launch into the world of adulthood.
“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
We thought we were really nice people before we had kids. Our children can sometimes trigger anger that we didn’t even realize was there, anger that can surprise us with its violence. To overcome unrighteous anger, we need to understand why we get angry (sometimes it's not unjustified!) and make a plan for how we are going to deal with it. This can be a difficult issue for many people because it takes humility to admit when we are wrong, and vulnerability to deal with our own brokenness.
Show Notes: Check out these resources.
“For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents' help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized on the road of Christian life.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1255
Our world presents images of cartoon fairy godmothers and mob-boss godfathers, but in actuality, being a godparent is a lifelong commitment with spiritual significance. To be an effective godparent, we need to be in a relationship with our godchild as a Christian as we assist the parents in the faith formation of their child. In this episode, we discuss how to choose a godparent, the importance of godparents in the life of the child, and how to be a godparent who actually makes an impact on the life of a young Catholic. Listen in to learn more about this important relationship.
This sponsored podcast is dedicated to Katie Stockermans.
“If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.”
~ Corrie TenBoom
If we are too busy to pray, eat with our family, or play with our kids, then we are too busy. When we look at our family’s schedule, we need to make sure that we have the “big rocks” in place. We need to make sure that we invest time in those things that we say are our top priorities. Show me how you spend your time, and I will show you what you value. In this podcast, we talk about families and our busy schedules. We look at how we can juggle it all and make wise choices for our children and ourselves. Really, most of our podcast ideas boil down to this - how do you make it all happen?
Thanks to the Master Planner for sponsoring this episode!
"The future of evangelization depends in great part on the Church of the home."
~ St. John Paul the Great
Every Catholic is called to evangelize. No matter where you are in life, we are to spreading the gospel of Christ in all we do. Does that mean that we need to carry a bible in the diaper bag and preach on the street? Not necessarily (though a bible in your diaper bag is a good idea!), the first step in evangelization is to love. When we evangelize as a family, that means that we first love, serve, and preach the gospel to our own children as we create a home in which others can come to be served and cared for. Your family can be a witness to Christ as you show how to love as Jesus loved. Thank you to Sean and Aine Ascough of Ireland for sponsoring this podcast!
Show Notes: some resources we mentioned in this episode:
“The more ready you are to give yourselves to God and to others, the more you will discover the authentic meaning of life.”
― Jason Evert, Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves
Chastity is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and a virtue that frees us to love others for who they are, not for what they do for us. The foundation of chastity should be intentionally laid when our children are young, so this virtue can fully flower in their teen years and beyond. This podcast isn’t a “chastity talk": it's fifty minutes of practical advice on what this virtue looks like when lived out in a family of all different ages and stages of development. Thank you to the Piwnicki family from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Crystal Lake, IL for sponsoring this podcast!
“You can learn many things from toddlers! For example, how much patience you actually have.”
One blessing of having ten kids is that we have matured and learned enough about kids to appreciate the toddler years of children #9 and 10 much more than those years with children #1 and 2. Our advice to parents of toddlers is to start by enjoying them! It's hard to do when they are destroying your house and embarrassing you in public, but with a few strategies and consistency on your part, you can begin to see that this little bundle of creative energy has been amazingly designed by the Divine Creator. It’s all part of His plan to get this child to adulthood and independence, and to get you to heaven!
“It is in the family that young people have their first experience of Gospel values and of the love which gives itself to God and to others.”
~ St. John Paul the Great
As Catholic families, we want our children to be open to the call to the priesthood or religious life, but how do we do that in a practical way? Where does this call come from? How can we support our children in responding to that call? Ultimately, the answer comes down to teaching our children to love and know Jesus, because the path ahead of them can only be walked with His help. In this podcast, Father Joe Doman, Alicia’s younger brother, shares his vocation story and insights into how the laity can foster vocations. We also discuss how to support the priests who care for us in our parishes.
“Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”
God could have made food boring, dull, and simply to sustain us. But He didn’t. He made food good! Added with human creativity and work, food becomes a sign of love to our families. Parents work to buy food, prepare food, and serve food to nourish their children. It’s amazing how much work goes into just feeding people! In this podcast, we talk about feeding babies, the kind of food we give our kids, our perspective on organic and non-GMO foods, and why we think it's important to consider the philosophy of food that you are passing on to your kids.
“More than ever necessary in our times is preparation of young people for marriage and family life.”
– St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio
Preparing for a wedding can be a whirl of appointments, deposits, planning, decision-making, “Pintresting,” and, sometimes, drama. But the wedding is just a day: marriage is a lifetime. Preparing for marriage is a very serious and important task for any couple. Marriage is naturally fraught with difficulties, and that's especially true in our culture, today. There is little support for faithful marriage, and many of us come from families who have given us poor examples of what a healthy marriage should look like. In this podcast, we list some topics that couples really need to discuss as well as some of our own insights on how to renew the sacrament of marriage in our Church.
Show Notes: some resources we mentioned
“The future of evangelization depends in great part on the Church of the home [the family].”
- St. John Paul II
The deepest desire for many of us as parents is to pass on the faith to our children. According to many statistics, upwards of two-thirds of young people are leaving the faith. So it's obvious that most parents are facing an uphill battle in this area and must intentionally evangelize their children. What is the secret formula for success? What does it look like to be an evangelizing parent? In this podcast, we share the top five ways to evangelize your kids. Gain some insight, spark a conversation, and go deeper in the work of evangelization. Listen in and share your ideas.
“Once you’re a parent, your relationship matters more, not less, because now other people are counting on you.”
Marriage is under attack, but many times the attack is not direct and aggressive. Instead, it is slow and subtle – couples simply drift apart. How do we keep this from happening in our marriages? In this podcast, we share five ways to keep your love alive in your relationship. Each of us must continue to pursue and discover our spouse, no matter how long we have been married or how well we think we know each other. During this episode, we also share how our listeners can help us spread this ministry of Messy Parenting. Listen in!
There are few tasks in parenting that can be as challenging or as rewarding as disciplining sons and daughters who are moving from childhood to adulthood, otherwise known as teenagers. This is an important time of transition for both them and their parents. Old ways of communicating and protecting them will not be as effective as they were. Some families breeze through this time, while it takes a heavy toll on others. In this podcast, we would like to give some foundational principles that we have found very helpful in discipling, not just disciplining, children who are going through this amazing and critical transformation in their lives. This podcast had so much information in it that we decided to break it up into two parts. This is the second part.
"Don't throw away your friendship with your teenager over behavior that has no great moral significance. There will be plenty of real issues that require you to stand like a rock. Save your big guns for those crucial confrontations."
~Dr. James Dobson
There are few tasks in parenting that can be as challenging or rewarding as disciplining sons and daughters who are moving from childhood to adulthood, otherwise known as teenagers. This is an important time of transition for them, and it is a time of transition for parents as well. Old ways of communicating and protecting them will not be as effective as they were. Some families breeze through this time, while it takes a heavy toll on others. In this podcast, we would like to give some foundational principles that we have found very helpful in discipling, not just disciplining, children who are going through this amazing and critical transformation in their lives. This podcast had so much information in it, that we decided to break it up into two parts. The second part will be out next week.
“Father Mike Scanlan was a priest of the New Evangelization before there was a New Evangelization.”
~ George Weigel
Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, who died on January 7, 2017, the week before this podcast, impacted many lives with the saving message of Jesus Christ. He was a friar, priest, preacher, teacher, healer, and university president, but to us, he was a spiritual father. In this podcast, we take some time to reflect on the lessons that we have learned from this man that we would like to share and continue to make real in our lives. We know you will benefit from hearing about this great man because he taught us both how to love Jesus in a deep, real, intimate way. We hope we can honor his legacy by continuing to proclaim the Gospel in the best way we know how -- by sharing these stories with you. The debt we owe him is beyond all measure. Thank You, Jesus, for this gift, this privilege, this humble friar who has changed our lives for all eternity.
“Human beings look separate because you see them walking about separately. But then we are so made that we can see only the present moment. If we could see the past, then of course it would look different. For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well, and when they were part of his grandparents. If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would look like one single growing thing--rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other.”
― C.S. Lewis
We all come from somewhere. We are part of the human family, but also we are part of a particular family with a history. So many of us, especially Americans, have lost the appreciation for our family tree that we should have. It’s important that we know where we come from, so we can pass that on to our children and to future generations. In this podcast, we talk not only about the importance of knowing our ancestry, but also about maintaining connections with extended family and teaching our children their family history through videos, keepsakes, and photos. All of these things are important in keeping us grounded in our place in history.
Catholic tangent: I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts!