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Happy New Year, friends! Welcome back to The Messy Table—where life isn’t perfect, but God is at work in the mess.

Well, the table has finally turned. Some of my lovely (yet stubborn) friends have been hounding me to take a turn in the hot seat since the launch of this podcast, nearly ten months ago. So today—for the first episode of 2018—you get to hear a bit of my heart, passion, and imperfect story behind The Messy Table, as well as where we’re headed in the future.

Life is messy, but God is good.

 

The amazing LaTonya Pratt, who was my guinea pig for Episode #1, is calling the shots and getting a taste of sweet revenge in the hosting chair. So wherever you are—at a desk, on a treadmill, in the car, or at your kitchen sink—grab your coffee, pull up a chair, and join us!

CONVERSATION NOTES

Kids + families: Bible App for Kids | Jesus Storybook Bible | Superbook | Chronicles of Narnia

Apps/Websites/Podcasts: YouVersion Bible App | The Bible Project (videos) | A Life Worth FollowingLet My People Think Podcast | Risen Motherhood Podcast | Secret Church 17: Scripture and Authority in an Age of Skepticism | Life.Church

Quotes: “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis

“There will come a day when we all see God face to face. This is when we will understand things fully. When God asks me to believe something that’s beyond belief, I decide if I will trust my five senses or have enough sense to believe in Him.” Justin Sullivan (see more of Justin’s story HERE)

Verses: Psalm 90:12 | 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 | John 11:25-26 | Luke 20:37-38 | Philippians 1:21-24 | Philippians 3:19 | Colossians 3:1-3 | Hebrews 13:14 | 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 | 2 Peter 3:8-9 | Deuteronomy 30:19-20 | Romans 10:9

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Christmastime is typically festive and cozy, merry and bright. But there’s a heavier side of the holidays that many people, unfortunately, know all too well. My guest for today’s episode at The Messy Table is the witty and bighearted Lindsay Torres—who’s bravely shedding some light on her #MeToo story, as well as sharing how she continues to find healing and forgiveness after sexual abuse.

“God takes a mess and makes a masterpiece.”

 

Lindsay is a mom of two boys, police officer’s wife, pharmaceutical rep, and just a down-to-earth, hilarious, she’ll-have-your-back-no-matter-what type of friend. I can’t imagine the pain she’s waded through over the years, but it’s an honor to witness the mysterious way in which “God takes a mess and makes a masterpiece.”

No matter your story or background, Lindsay’s imperfect journey will remind you who you are and shift your perspective toward the things of God. So grab your coffee, pull up a chair, and join us!

CONVERSATION NOTES

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Books: For Women OnlyArmor of God

‘Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.’ Revelation 12:10-11

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Today marks the TWENTIETH episode at The Messy Table (insert allllll the praise-hand emojis)! I want to start by shouting a gigantic THANK YOU to all of my amazing guests who have bravely opened up their lives and souls on this little podcast, for the sake of encouraging others and reminding us just how faithful our God is—even in the messes of life. I also want to thank YOU for coming alongside of us on this adventure. Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel, but I’m humbled and expectant for all that’s still to come.

So, thank you!

I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate this milestone than by inviting some of my precious friends to join me in the celebration! Today’s conversation with Kristi Ivey, Lindsay McKee, Lacye Stewart, Ashley Clinesmith, and Kat Robinson (aka The Village) is rich! We chat about how to sustain friendships as adults and how to keep Jesus front and center during an otherwise commercial Christmas, as well as heavier topics like wading through foster care, infertility, and marriage struggles. There’s loads of wisdom and insight pouring from these women, which has been gained through various experiences in various seasons of life.

“We know that, at any moment, we could call each other up and be at each other’s doorsteps—which has happened.”

Since December officially kicks off tomorrow, we’re running into the Christmas season with a super fun GIVEAWAY! Two identical bundles to be exact. Each gal offered something they’re loving right now—three books (The Best Yes, Sacred Marriage, and A Meaningful Christmas devotional), one pair of buffalo plaid earrings (made by Kat), a holiday candle, and some scrumptious Mary Kay body wash! You could win it all, and maybe even share with a friend.

To enter, simply: 1) Head over to The Messy Table in iTunes and make sure you’re subscribed + leave a rating/review, and 2) help spread the word by tagging some friends or sharing on social media (or both)! Easy peasy. I will announce the winner next Tuesday, December 5th. Until then, grab your coffee, pull up a chair, and join us for Episode #20 with The Village!

CONVERSATION NOTES

Books: The Best Yes | Sacred Marriage | A Meaningful Christmas | 5 Gears | Present Over Perfect | StrengthsFinder

Podcasts: Success Magazine Podcast | Read Aloud Revival Podcast

Sermons: Craig Groeschel at Life.Church | Matt Chandler at The Village Church | Andy Stanley at North Point Community Church | Steven Furtick at Elevation Church

 

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Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, y’all! I can’t wait to enjoy my favorite people and pumpkin EVERYTHING. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Sounds great, right? In theory. But how do we give thanks for the miserable, awful, hard stuff that life can sometimes throw at us? My guest for Episode #19 at The Messy Table is Amanda Taylor, and I can’t think of anyone better to shed some light on just how we can be grateful in every situation, both good and bad.

“No suffering is purposeless.” —Amanda Taylor

 

Amanda is a pastor’s wife, mom of five (plus one on the way), owner of a wedding-planning business called Embellished Weddings, and woman after the heart of God. Almost five years ago, smack the midst of having a newborn in the NICU and three young children at home, this steady wife and mama found herself chained to the floor in a phychiatric hospital. Never in her worst nightmare did she imagine having to fight through something as rare and difficult as postpartum psychosis.

In this conversation, Amanda and I chat about finding joy in the trenches of suffering and fighting for what matters most. Although her story is unique, the underlying message of hope, perseverance, and thankfulness is for EVERY PERSON. So grab (or reheat) your coffee, pull up a chair, and join us!

CONVERSATION NOTES

Podcasts: Risen Motherhood | Journey Women | Happy Hour | A Mom’s Story

Books: She’s Still There | One Thousand Gifts | We’re Going On a Bear Hunt

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

 

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