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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family

Parenting is not a clean-cut, simple process for those who like to follow the rules. Family life is messy and unpredictable, but it is the greatest adventure you will ever have. We are Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of 10 children ranging from 10 to 27 and we would like to invite you into some of the conversations we have had with each other about marriage, parenting, and Catholic family life. Our hope is that our conversation sparks a dialogue between you and your spouse that leads to greater unity and intentional Christian parenting in your home. Listen in to our podcast and start the conversation as we seek to lead our families to heaven. Visit us at https:///www/MessyFamilyProject.org for resources, guides, links and show notes.
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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family
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Now displaying: 2019
Dec 17, 2019

We started this topic in our last podcast MFP122, but there was so much to cover we had to continue the discussion! In this podcast, we discuss the different ways boys and girls deal with aggression and why parents need to teach self-control differently to their sons and daughters. Navigating friendships is another way in which parents need to understand gender differences. Don’t have the same expectations of peaceful play for your sons and daughters - they each have their own challenges! And as kids get older and become adults the process of independence looks very different for moms than it is for dads. All of this is good for parents to realize so they can appreciate the gifts of their children and their amazing uniqueness found in their personality, temperament, and gender.

For more information and resources visit https://www.messyfamilyprojetc.org

Dr. Leonard Sax’s book: https://amzn.to/2OkCn5G

Nov 25, 2019

In a culture that is proclaiming gender as “fluid” and is encouraging “gender-neutral” parenting, we proudly stand and say boys and girls are defined and different.  Wonderfully different. And did you know those physical variations extend beyond simply the obvious? Boys and girls have distinct wiring in the brain, eye structure, and hearing acuity.  Boys overestimate their abilities, and girls underestimate them. Boys feel just as deeply as girls, though they are less verbal. The distinctions are many and sometimes subtle. What does this deeper understanding mean for parents? The more parents realize how their sons and daughters are uniquely made, the better they will be able to understand and guide them to further maturity. In this podcast we draw from the research of Dr. Leonard Sax in his book Why Gender Matters, which we highly recommend.  There is so much ground to cover we split this into 2 podcasts! Part 2 coming next week.  

 

Advent Kit for Families:  https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/give/

Tampa Event: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/tampa-february-15/

Dr. Leonard Sax’s book: https://amzn.to/2OkCn5G

Nov 4, 2019

The power of a name, the importance of memory, the responsibility to heal the world, the reality that God dwells with us - all of these are lessons that we as Catholics can learn from the Jewish people. At the end of October 2019, we had the privilege of being guests of the Foundation Stone Institute who hosted us for a trip to Israel and the holy sites there.  We had a powerful experience visiting the places where Jesus lived, worked, preached and healed. The trip gave us a deeper understanding of our Catholic faith, but also of the Jewish people, our “elder brethren”. There were many insights that we had and lessons learned, but in this podcast, we decided to limit ourselves to four things that we walked with that we think families can benefit from.  These values have been held by the Jewish people for centuries and we can and should learn from them.  

 

Support this show and ministry at https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/give/

Oct 24, 2019

Every parent wants their children to be happy, but it seems children today are more unhappy than ever before! Part of the problem stems from the expectations and pressure on our kids and part of the problem is that most of us don’t recognize the path to happiness ourselves. Dennis Prager states, “Happiness is a moral obligation.”  We all need to realize that happiness is a choice, not something that just happens. We need to teach our children that happiness is under their control, show them the choices that lead to happiness, and then form them with the self-discipline needed to make those choices. We can’t force our children to be happy, but we can give them the guidance and tools they need to choose it for themselves.


Find out more about our mission and vision for the future: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/join/

Oct 16, 2019

There are few bigger changes in life than going from having no children to having children. After that the next biggest life change is every child that comes after!  Moms and dads who have newborns need the support of family and friends in a particular way as they make these transitions. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and even brothers can all listen to this podcast to learn about how they can support new parents at this critical time.  It's good for parents to know that it is important to be honest about the feelings they are having because sometimes expectations do not reflect reality. Being open to life is not easy but it can bring you more joy than anything you've ever done. It can also bring more unity and strength to your marriage if you keep lines of communication open and if you are willing to be vulnerable.  

 

To contact us, and for more information and resources visit us at https://www.messyfamilyproject.org

 

Event Info: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/speaking/events/

Sep 25, 2019

We believe there is a conspiracy afoot in the world against marriage and family life, but it is not a conspiracy of earthly powers; it is a spiritual one.  Parents, by raising a family you have entered into this battle, so you need to keep your eyes open and take spiritual authority within your home and within your own life. In this podcast we discuss things like how the Evil One tries to deceive us, how we can give him footholds in our lives, and how we should respond to his attacks. By freeing yourself up to love, living in the light, and taking authority in our own lives we can live a life spiritual freedom, allowing nothing to hold us back. Remember, Christ the Victor has come to bring us life and it is by His grace and in His name that we shall overcome. 


Show links and more info can be found at: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/mfp118-know-your-enemy-spiritual-warfare-for-parents

Sep 11, 2019

There are different types of love, but the love that is exclusive, belonging to husbands and wives is eros, a passionate, romantic love which is an essential part of any marriage. As parents we are concerned with so many things - keeping our families financially afloat, the many needs of the children, feeding and clothing everyone - it is easy to neglect to fan the flame of romance between you and your spouse.  In this podcast we give you some encouragement and practical ideas for ways wives can pursue their husbands and how husbands can pursue their wives. We talk about WHY this is important and HOW you can do it better than you are today.  

Take Our Listener Survey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MFP2019-podcastsurvey

The Four Loves by CS Lewis - https://amzn.to/2LncWyW

Love Languages episode - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/mp-015-love-languages/

Messy Family Minute Weekly Email - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/sign-up-for-minutes/

Aug 22, 2019

St. Francis would tell his followers “Let us begin again for until now we have done nothing.”  This is a great inspiration for us because sometimes we feel like we are always beginning again with new habits, plans, and goals for our family.  We are the most consistently inconsistent parents out there! But we have become less stressed out about our inconsistency because we see that it is an opportunity to begin again with our children.  It is hard to create habits in ourselves, let alone a group of children! But habits are an important part of formation, as the quote above from Stephen Covey shows. Since we have made so many plans with our family, we would like to share with you some of what we have learned in creating habits for your family.  In this podcast we discuss questions such as how do you create appropriate habits for your family? How do you come up with a plan with your spouse? How do you keep those kids motivated?  

 

7 Habits of Highly Effective Families: https://amzn.to/2Zj05l1

The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family:  https://amzn.to/2ZgndRj

Amazing Camp for Teens: https://cysc.com/


Special weekend in Tampa for couples in February 2020… interested in hearing more? https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/tampa-february-15/

Aug 1, 2019

Our society not only devalues mothers, but also underestimates their importance in the life of a newborn child.  Some biologists believe that humans are born too soon because so much formation happens in the first years of life outside the womb.  The essential element in this formation is the mother. No matter how much time a mother spends with her child vs. being in the workplace, the quality of her relationship with her infant is what makes the difference.  In this podcast, we use the book Being There: The Importance of the First Three Years by Erica Komisak as a reference for parents seeking to do all they can to develop a healthy, securely attached, independent child. 

 

Buy this book : https://amzn.to/318grhz

Get our messy family newsletter: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/join/

Family Retreat Kit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/family-retreat-2019-3/

 

Related shows

Every Mother is a Working Mother - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/mp-046-every-mother-is-a-working-mother/

High Powered Parents - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/mp-092-high-powered-parents/

Jul 10, 2019

Social fragmentation, the break down of the family, isolation, and stress has wounded and broken many of us. Families need to be honest about their need for professional help - honest with themselves and with those around them.  It is a sign of strength to admit weakness! Plus, there are burdens that parents simply cannot carry alone. Marriage counselors, child therapists, 12 Step groups, doctors, and support groups are all resources that families can and should take advantage of in order to function in a healthy, holy way.  Counseling can offer hope, healing, and a path forward. Listen in as we discuss some of the challenges and obstacles, what to look for in a counselor as well as a note on therapy for children. 

 

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty’s A Catholic Guide to Depression - https://amzn.to/2XAWqmF 

Mike interview with Dr. Kheriaty for EWTN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SIWlQ0ZUqY

Article on choosing a good therapist  - https://www.catholiccounselors.com/choosing-a-therapist-a-guide-for-catholics/

Jun 21, 2019

Parenting is a path to holiness, that is clear.  Part of this growth in your holiness is taking on the responsibility for the formation of your children.  It's hard to form people! But it is a job for unselfish, dedicated parents and no one can do it better than you can!  In this podcast, we discuss principles that are important to keep in mind as we form our children. Ideas such as your children are not the center of your family, but part of a community; that you need to teach your children to give themselves away; that trust is earned and love requires boundaries.  We pick a few other rules that we have found to be important in our parenting to pass on to you. Along with parenting philosophy will come some very practical insights also that will help you form your children and bring peace to your household.

 

Family Retreat Kit and Videos: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/family-retreat-2019-3/

 

Related Episodes and Blog Post:

The Irreplaceable Role of Parents (episode): https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/mp-079-the-irreplaceable-role-of-parents/

The Irreplaceable Role of Parents (blog post): https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/the-irreplaceable-role-of-parents/

Growing a Family Culture: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/mp-096-building-a-family-culture-part-1/

Jun 5, 2019

During our tour of Australia, we had the opportunity to meet many listeners and make some amazing new friends.  One of our events was a day seminar for engaged and newly married couples with an Australian ministry - The Marriage Project.  During the day, we had a time to take questions from the audience and we loved it! It was great to experience firsthand the desire that these couples had for intentional, authentic relationships with each other and with their greater community.  We answered questions about blending families, challenge of children and marriage, discerning family size, and even our most important piece of advice to a newly married couple (that one was hard!). We hope you enjoy hearing us interacting with our listeners and hearing us really think on our feet!  

 

Catholic Family Fests: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/speaking/events/catholic-family-vacation/

Summer Family Retreat Box: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/summer-family-retreat-box/

May 28, 2019

“The family is indeed more than any other social reality, the place where an individual can exist ‘for himself’ through the sincere gift of self...it is the ‘sanctuary of life'”

~ St. John Paul II, Letter to Families, #11

This episode is our first LIVE podcast, recorded during our Australian Tour in May 2019.  During this tour, we presented a seminar sponsored by our good friends (Australians, read “mates!” ) at the Marriage Project.  In this talk we examined the question “What is the nature of family?” Society cannot define was this nature is, because society did not give family its nature. Family has a given meaning all its own. According to St. John Paul II, a family is a community of life whose mission it is to guard, reveal and communicate love. It is a man and woman bound together in a life long commitment whose love is fruitful.   Therefore, our understanding of marriage must be seen within the context of family, since not only do we all come from a family, but we are made for family.

Apr 30, 2019

 “Are you the adult you want your child to become?”
~ Dr. Brene Brown

High emotions and the advent of adolescence seem to go hand in hand.  Instead of getting caught up into our children’s emotion and the drama that may ensue, parents need to truly be “the adult in the room” and be an example of how to deal with strong feelings in a appropriate way.  To do this, we parents need to be self-aware and conscious of our own woundedness and need for healing. Only then can we be an example to our children and a source of hope sending the message that they CAN overcome.  We need to empathize with our child and empower them to master their emotions while using their intellect and will to act, thus integrating all their faculties to act virtuously. It's hard for parents to teach pre-teens and teens how to handle drama, but this is the job of hard-working, devoted parents!

 

Additional resources for this episode:

 

Apr 4, 2019

Have you ever felt like your world was going up in smoke?  Listen in as we explain this dramatic story of our car fire, where no injuries occurred or lives lost, but the disaster was complete.  Though the loss was great, God’s faithfulness and providence was even greater. We felt it was not a coincidence that this happened during the season of Lent because we are able to see the themes of fasting through detachment from goods, mercy that was shown to us, and the prayer that protected us and our children. No matter how Satan plans our demise, God can always have the victory.

 

Video and article: https://messyfamilyproject.org/resources/video-lent-and-how-we-narrowly-escaped-a-car-fire-aleteia

 

Join our newsletter (don’t miss out): https://messyfamilyproject.org/contact/subscribe

 

Cana 90 meditations: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/tag/cana90/   

Mar 19, 2019

“The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI

Men today can’t do anything right. The world has taken the idea of masculinity and distorted it to the point that it is barely recognizable from the ideal man celebrated one hundred years ago. As dynamic Catholics living in this time, we want to celebrate men and encourage them to reclaim their true identity and realize who God created them to be - fully using their gifts and masculine qualities to serve others. In this podcast, we use the apostolic letter “Into the Breach” written by Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, AZ to put forward and answer three questions - What does it mean to be a Catholic man? How do men love? And why is fatherhood so crucial?

Referenced in this episode:

The Apostolic Exhortation: Into the Breach

Wild at Heart:

Abba’s Heart:

Check out past posts for Cana 90

Mar 5, 2019

“Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.”
~St. Peter Chrysologus

We have a very exciting program to share with you all in this podcast that we are doing for Lent. We know that we want to bring our wills and our hearts closer to God, but how do we make sacrifices and offer up our wills as a married couple? What do sacrifices in Lent look like when you are raising children and are already laying down your life and your body for them? Our beautiful faith provides the answer for us. Offer up our prayers and fasting to subdue our wills and then show mercy first to those closest to us, our spouse and children. Allow all the “built in” sacrifices that we do NOT choose during the day to become an offering pleasing to God. Do it all under the authority of your spouse, who you also have authority over. Listen to this podcast and sign up for more ideas, structure, and accountability in Cana 90!

Sign up for the Cana 90 program: https://messyfamilyproject.org/cana90

 

Feb 21, 2019

  “Wash the cup not because it is dirty, or because you are told to, but because you love the person who will use it after you ~St. Teresa of Calcutta

Very frequently people will email or write to us asking for our organization secrets, tips, or techniques. Our secret is.. We don’t really have one. We do have principles and a philosophy that we live by, but the perfect system of organization for our home still eludes us. But, what we can give you is an overall view of how we make decisions and communicate with our children on making our home run so children are clothed, fed, and get where they need to go (for the most part!).

Doing chores and managing schedules takes up much of our time as a family, but in the context of family culture, that is actually not the most important part of your family. Family operations needs to be seen in the context of your WHOLE family life and parents need to make sure the rest of the family culture is not neglected because so much energy is spent on our physical needs. Listen to the podcast, and then take a look as some of the resources that go with this podcast on our website. Also we have more practical tips listed on a blog post (Tips on Chores).

Great Products and Resources:
Please use these links as the ministry gets a small commission if you sign up the free app or purchase any of books or products.  We love and use these:

This books was so helpful in our household management - Don Aslett's Make Your House do the Housework

Also we have used this to help keep the Hernon army well fed. Perhaps you should consider Once a Month Cooking

Previous podcasts referenced:

Feb 6, 2019

“Love is never something ready made, something merely given to man and woman, it is...a task which they are set. Love should be seen as something which never ‘is’ but is always only ‘becoming’...” - St. John Paul II

 

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
- Brené Brown

There have been times in our marriage when we felt ourselves drifting apart. Not because of any one catastrophic event, but just because we weren’t working on our relationship. We were just getting by. But in a culture antithetical to marriage, just "getting by" is not enough. All Catholic couples need to work to cultivate a dynamic, vibrant relationship, strong enough to bear the demands of family life, and weather everything the world will throw at it.

The reality is, we are never done working on our marriage. In this podcast, we discuss the importance of “checking in” with our spouse to see how we are doing. To do this effectively we need to practice how to listen but also practice being vulnerable. This podcast has a worksheet that you can download at our website and use as a tool to work with your spouse towards a more intentional, unified marriage.

Download our three-part guide to a more united marriage at https://messyfamilyproject.org/marriage

Also you will find other items we mentioned like a parish bulletin insert and how to celebrate and advocate for marriage online.

It's not about the nail video- https://messyfamilyproject.org/resources/its-not-about-the-nail

Today we discussed a great book called Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. If you get a copy at Amazon by clicking this link, our ministry gets a small donation. Thanks in advance!

Jan 29, 2019

A parenting fail is simply a lesson wrongly considered.

~ Mike and Alicia Hernon

Have you ever let your emotions get the better of you? Have a discipline plan go south? Have a fun family time turn into a disaster? Yes, us too. All parents make mistakes! Even though we have a marriage and family podcast and we share advice and ideas, please don’t think that we (like you!) haven’t had some big “fails” ourselves! In this podcast, we share some stories of things we have done that didn’t turn out the way we planned. The good news is that through these fails we have learned lessons that stay with us even today. Hopefully you will be able to see yourselves in our stories, laugh a little bit and maybe even learn something from these examples of our own messy parenting!

Jan 16, 2019

“A family doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be united.”

Families are busy - running from place to place with little time to look where they are going or to even form an idea of what they want their family to look like. The Family Board Meeting is a tool that couples can use to cast a vision for their family and create concrete goals that will make that vision a reality. In this podcast we discuss the importance of this time, talk about elements of a Family Board Meeting, and we give suggestions on logistics that will make it happen.

Go to our website https://messyfamilyproject.org/our-resources/free to download the guide that can go along with this podcast. Creating a vision for your family and setting goals as a team is a powerful way for couples to be more intentional about building their own family culture.

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