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MESSmerized

Author: Cynthia Yanof

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Welcome to Cynthia Yanof’s newest podcast, MESSmerized.

Each week you’ll hear funny, authentic, and vulnerable conversations around everyday life, parenting, and following Jesus. A variety of guests will challenge us to pursue a life filled with the things that really do matter.

Cynthia Yanof is the host as well as an author, speaker, wife, and mother. She’s relatable, funny, and dead-set on never taking herself too seriously. Whatever mess you’re walking through, odds are she’s right there with you.

Don’t miss a week as we dive headfirst into faith, family, and everyday ways to be MESSmerized by Jesus.


Copyright @2023 MESSmerizing Media
63 Episodes
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We’re answering “how to” questions these days on MESSmerized, and today we’re tackling the awesome yet complex topic of friendships. I think of all the things I’m asked to talk about from my book, most often I’m asked about the topic of friendships and how to cultivate the really deep, meaningful ones.    Thankfully the queen of friendships (I made that up on the spot by the way) is with us today. Amy Weatherly is covering the good, bad, and ugly of doing life with others, and why it’s so important we prioritize friendships.    Amy gives us five great take-aways on friendship today, but I’m going to give you just a few below and let you listen to the rest on the show: Deep friendships require time Deep friendships mean creating rituals and traditions (DO NOT MISS the rest of her amazing points)   I also want to mention that summer is a GREAT time to show some intentionality by gathering friends and strengthening relationships. I’ve done several book clubs in the past and always been grateful I put myself out there.     If you’re interested in a book club this summer with friends, I’ve got an amazing idea for you. My publisher, Esther Press, has named Life is Messy, God is Good as their summer book club book, and you can join today and receive book club questions, videos for each chapter, and lots of other fun things.    This is a great way to do a book club with either an online community, or with friends in your neighborhood that you hope to bond with this summer. So jump in today and listen to Amy’s friendship fine points today and then consider who might want to join you for a summer book club on Life is Messy, God is Good.    So grateful for you guys!     Sign-up for the Life is Messy, God is Good summer book club!   All things Cynthia Yanof Here for it by Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston
It’s week two of our new series asking “how do I _____” questions. Each week we’re bringing in amazing guests with practical advice for all areas of life. If you missed last week with Courtney DeFeo, we talked about cheering on other women, and you definitely need to go back and listen if you missed it. So so good. 🎉   This week we are tackling marriage, and I’m so excited for you to meet Dave and Ann Wilson. They are pastors, speakers, and hosts of the nationally syndicated radio show Family Life Today. But more than that, they are hilariously honest and real as they talk about marriage and how they’ve gotten it wrong over the years, and the lessons they’ve  learned along the way.    Today Dave and Ann are giving us five tips for improving our marriage, and you don’t want to miss them. I’ll give you two of them to peak your interest (but definitely go listen to the show for all five points and lots of fun discussion around them):  Don’t run away from conflict Deal with your family of origin baggage   Yep, that’s just the beginning, and I promise you will leave encouraged and full of practical ways to work on your marriage this week.    So grateful for you guys and I would be incredibly grateful if you would leave a review for the show so that others can find us!   Have a great week!   All things Cynthia Yanof Life is Messy, God is Good Dave and Ann Wilson Art of Marriage by Family Life  
It’s May and if you’re anything like me, you’re already tired just thinking about all of the end-of-year conferences, award ceremonies, track meets, class picnics, and everything else headed our way. But don’t worry, we will survive it all together!    That being said, I’m SUPER EXCITED that May is finally here because TODAY is the day we start a new series on MESSmerized. (And trust me, you’re  going to LOVE it! ❤️❤️❤️)   The next few months we’re examining “how do I _______?” questions on the show. In other words, each week will be conversations with amazing guests who will give their top 5 tips for “how do I” topics like these:   How do I save money?  How do I deepen my friendships?  How do I strengthen my marriage?  How do I accept my child’s hard diagnosis? How do I find joy?  How do I survive summer with teens?    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what’s coming your way. So tune in each week for shorter, summer-friendly podcasts complete with 5 timely, practical, and biblical tips for living out the messy places of life.     Oh, and speaking of practical and biblical, I can’t think of anyone better than my dear friend Courtney DeFeo to kick-off this series today. Courtney is host of the Pardon the Mess podcast and joins us to talk about cheering on other women in our lives. This is especially near and dear because Courtney has done this so incredibly well in my own life.    Tune in this week as we kick-off our new series with Courtney DeFeo. Oh, and leave a review and rate MESSmerized pretty please wherever you listen to podcasts!   All things Cynthia Yanof Order Life is Messy, God is Good All things Courtney Defeo Christian Parenting Pardon the Mess Podcast
Have I told you this week how much my family loved Duck Dynasty? It was/is such a genius way to get people laughing while still instilling biblical truth and good old fashioned family values. The prayers around the table at the end of each show still get me.    Today I have the privilege of chatting with Willie Robertson about all things Duck Dynasty, and it’s far past due since I’ve interviewed basically everyone in his family except for him.    Willie’s stories are amazing, including how he tried to fire Cy, how Duck Dynasty got started, and how he got Phil signed on to the idea of reality TV.     But Willie is really passionate about sharing his faith, and that’s a big part of our conversation today. He talks about how his parents instilled this in his life, and how he’s trying to do that for his children as well. Willie’s new book Gospeler (which I mispronounced all throughout the show 😅) challenges us to let go of our excuses and get bold about sharing our faith to a culture who desperately needs it.    When I think about fun interviews I’ve had the privilege of being a part of—this one definitely lands somewhere near the top! I can’t wait for you to listen.   Cynthia Yanof  P.S. For those interested, I’m currently booking speaking engagements for the fall of 2024 and spring of 2025. I would love to be a part of your next event, so click here and fill out the form if you’re interested.     Gospeler: Turning Darkness into Light One Conversation at a Time  All things Cynthia Yanof Life is Messy, God is Good  
Seeing as though I have a first-grader and all, empty nesting seems a lifetime away. But for so many of us it’s one of those things that sneaks up in an instant leaving us and wondering what’s next and how to parent these new adults in our lives.   Jim Burns is an absolute delight and comes today with lots of practical information on how to prepare for the empty-nesting years. We discuss how women tend to cope with kids leaving home versus men, and he shares plenty of super relatable insights from his own experience.    We also talk about how to parent our adult children and when to give advice and when to shut-up and smile until called upon. I think one of the mic drop moments in this interview for me came was the reminder that “our words have the power to bless and to curse.” (Remind me to buy a gag for my mouth.)    Please take a few minutes to listen to this fun conversation with Jim Burns, and then share it with your friends who are approaching this same empty-nesting road.     All things Cynthia Life is Messy, God is Good Jim’s ministry: HomeWord Finding Joy in the Empty Nest Doing Life with Your Adult Children  
I hope you enjoyed the solar eclipse yesterday and the reminders of God’s majesty and power over all things on heaven and earth. Not to mention, if the stats are accurate I’m guessing you listened to Bonnie Tyler at some point during the day because. . . .  why not?   Her 1983 hit song, Total Eclipse of the Heart, reached number 1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart in the US during the solar eclipse yesterday. Bless our hearts for being so predictable and slightly cheesy when it comes to eclipse protocol. But whatcha gonna do, every now and then we fall apart. (I apologize in advance for my lyrical references throughout this email, it’s stuck in my head now.)    Monica Swanson is with us today, and she’s a wise friend with lots of wisdom on raising kids, building strong family relationships in our families, and the pitfalls to avoid in each stage of parenting. But what I like the most about Monica is she’s one of us who knows all too well those moments of thinking I don’t know what to do, I’m always in the dark.    She also has several kids out of the house and great advice for when we worry that the best of all the years have gone by. She suggests several things we can do now to help further our relationship with our kids later. And don’t miss her thoughts on working through body image issues and the importance of rescripting our thoughts to line up with God’s truth. It’s her way of saying turn around bright eyes, and wake up to who you really are. (Okay, that one was a stretch).  Thanks for listening today, and when you’re finished I need you more than ever to leave a review for MESSmerized and also this episode with a friend.     All things Cynthia Order: Life is Messy, God is Good Monica’s book Raising Amazing The Monica Swanson Podcast  
I come to you today with a slight problem. Okay, it’s a little bit bigger than slight.    I’m a huge Candace Cameron Bure fan stemming back from Full House and bleeding all the way forward into the Hallmark Christmas movie era and now Great American Family Channel. Not to mention I’m obsessed with QVC and all of that makes me a HUGE Candace Cameron Bure groupie.    Why is this a problem? Thanks for asking.    Well she’s on today’s show and let’s say I was a lot. Like a lot too much, and she was ridiculously precious and even played along. And there was this moment at the end where out of nowhere I began channeling my inner Jimmy Fallon and did a “bit” with her. Yes, I did a “bit,” and it’s somewhere between slightly funny and massively cringy . . . and I apologize.    Nonetheless, Candace is amazing, and today we’re talking about everything from her obsession with sumo citrus oranges to standing up for our faith in today’s culture. Her words about losing dear friend Bob Saget are precious, and the way she met her husband is hilarious.    So listen in today and prepare yourself to go see her movie Unsung Hero later this month in theaters. We MUST support Christian films, and this one is about the Smallbone family (For King & Country) and will be excellent.    And as you find yourself thinking “bless Cynthia’s heart” through this episode—just remember that most of the time, I keep it together! Ha.    Can’t wait for you to listen!   P.S. Can we talk again about how much I love watching QVC? And that Candace is the queen of QVC, and somehow I need to go there with her some day? Who can make this happen? 🤪   Unsung Hero Movie Great American Family Channel  The Candace Cameron Bure podcast
I hope you’re taking some time this week to slow down and spend a few minutes pondering Holy Week and all that it means to your faith. My prayer is that we don’t come out on the other side of Easter the same way we went into it. I pray that the very reminder of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross sparks a new hope in our lives, causing us to want more God in our lives than we currently have.    Every year on Good Friday, my husband pulls out the ol’ “It’s Friday . . . but Sunday’s Coming” message at some point when we’re all in the car together. He gets mocked for this predictable move every year, but gosh it's a message we need to hear on repeat. Take a minute to listen this week and even follow Mike’s lead and throw it on the car radio for the fam.    On today’s show we have Lisa Whittle talking with us about revival, and how to experience it both on a corporate and personal level. Lisa is passionate about the importance of desiring and wanting more God in our lives—which leads to a personal revival that can literally change everything about how we live.    I especially appreciate her list of things that keep us from revival, or wanting more God. Things like our need for comfort, control, and even popularity. This is a perfect word for us going into Easter, and I pray it challenges you in the coming days.  
According to the CDC, mental illnesses are the most common health conditions in the United States, with more than one in five adults suffering in some capacity. I say this not to be a downer, but to provide perspective as we consider the importance of treating ourselves well and seeking out the help we need.   Laura Smith is with us today talking about her new book, Holy Care for the Whole Self. After years of counseling, she’s come to realize that the very techniques medical professionals suggest for improving our mental health are also the biblical principles we read about throughout Scripture. Things like gratitude, community, rest, and exercise.    If you’re anything like me, it often feels like taking care of yourself is a luxury we don’t have time for in this season. I’m praying today’s show helps remind us that self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity, if we want to be our best selves to our friends and family.    Take a few minutes today to listen to my conversation with Laura, and also get a little info on the book I’m reading right now and the “secret place” I set up while my family was out of town this weekend.     P.S. Many of you have reached out about having me speak at your upcoming events, and I’m so honored. Yes, I do lots of speaking and would love to talk about foster care, parenting, marriage, the messiness of life, or anything else! Reach out here and let’s get things rolling.   Holy Care for the Whole Self by Laura Smith Practicing the Way by John Mark Comer All things Cynthia Support MESSmerized!
I’ve had the unbelievable fortune of interviewing Bob Goff several times over the last few years, and he never disappoints. Yes, he’s an author, podcaster, philanthropist, attorney, and much more. But I think my favorite thing is how he gives the most ordinary situations a “Bob Goff spin,” showing us how to live out the gospel in ways that are simple yet profound.    Today we’re discussing how he got talked into writing books and the details behind that little career pivot. He also shares some insight on discerning when God is leading us into new callings. If you take nothing else from this interview, I hope you’re challenged to consider what your “next brave step” may be in following Jesus in today’s culture.    I realize it’s Spring Break for many and there’s lots of traveling. This is a PERFECT podcast for the whole family. So listen in—you won’t regret it.   Order Life is Messy, God is Good Support MESSmerized  All things Bob Goff    
I’m so excited to have my friend Kristen Hatton with us today. Not only is she a Licensed Professional Counselor-Associate, but she’s also a brand new empty nester with a great perspective on fostering relationships with our kids now in preparation for when they live away from our homes.    We talk a lot about communication in today’s show, with Kristen highlighting several reasons why our kids may not feel safe or comfortable talking to us. Even with the best of intentions, there are things we inadvertently do each day that close the lines of communication with our kids. She may or may not have stepped on my toes in this area as I realize I’m guilty of several of them. Ha!    I especially love her list of seven ways to “parent ahead” (also the name of her book), which includes things like active listening, setting boundaries, normalizing awkward topics, and avoiding the temptation to nag. Listen in to get the complete list and her explanation as to why these things matter.    Kristen is one wise mom, and I can’t wait for you to hear our conversation today!   Parenting Ahead by Kristen Hatton All things Cynthia
My name is Cynthia Yanof and I’m addicted to my phone (and my watch, and Netflix, and Diet Dr. Pepper, and Mahjong . . . . too much?)   Good thing Joey Odom is with us today! We’re coming in hot with a grace-filled word for those of us all of us who need to be reminded that we can’t allow technology to trump our relationships. We’re talking about navigating our phones in a world where they are so helpful and critical, yet can also be harmful and a crutch.    Joey’s thoughts on untethering ourselves from our phones is sobering and practical. He gives very do-able suggestions that we can start implementing today. He also reminds us that we’re all learning to navigate phones together for the first time, so don’t beat yourself up.    I know it may be a hard topic to get excited about because the majority of us have guilt around our lack of technology boundaries . . .. however, this is a 30-minute conversation you won’t regret! Have you read Life is Messy God is Good yet? If so, post yourself with your book and/or a favorite quote and tag us on social media. We would be love to repost stories of MESSmerized listeners loving this book!   All things Cynthia
Joni Eareckson Tada had a diving accident as a teenager, leaving her a quadriplegic. Since that time God has used her life in incredible ways to impact millions of people all over the globe for Jesus.   Joni has an incredible word for us today on finding peace in our lives by abiding with Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I know how to spend time with Jesus, praise Jesus, and even talk about Jesus. But sometimes “abiding” with him feels complex and needs a little more explanation. Joni’s doing that for us today.   Also, can I suggest that if you or someone who has been walking through a hard time, waiting for God to answer and it seems he’s silent—today’s show is a great one to share? Joni knows all too well how to trust Jesus in seemingly impossible circumstances.    I truly can’t wait for you to hear more from Joni today!   Joni and Friends The Practice of the Presence of Jesus by Joni All things Cynthia Order Life is Messy, God is Good  
It’s one of those rare times where it’s just me and a mic today with no guest to be found. Be assured, I’m bringing lots of random thoughts laced with humor (and hopefully) wisdom along the way. But with the addition of lots of new listeners the last few months, I’m realizing it’s time to share some of what’s on my heart as well as how Life is Messy, God is Good came to be.    We’re going to talk very practically today about building our homes on a firm foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). I’m being brutally honest about how that’s looked for our family including practical considerations on living with purpose, perspective, and finding the right people. And spoiler alert, at the end of the day it’s the storms of life that reveal our foundations, making it critical that we build lives that dig deep into the rock of Jesus.    I can’t thank you enough for supporting me the last many weeks as we’ve been pushing out my first book-baby. I think my two c-sections might have been less stressful than pushing my words and stories into the world for everyone to see. Doing this with you guys, however, has been a great pleasure. Thank you for the support, and please continue praying for this book to fall in the hands of all those who need a good laugh and a hearty dose of biblical truth.    Enjoy today’s show and please consider sharing it with a friend.   All things Cynthia  
Yesterday was an incredible day and I’m so grateful for your support of Life is Messy God is Good. As we continue the push towards getting this word out, I would be so grateful if you would leave a review on Amazon (or wherever you purchased the book) as well as continue sharing on social media and recommending it to friends. Please accept my deepest and heartfelt THANK YOU!   Today’s show is a continuation of our discussions with friends and family  who made a cameo in my book. Darin Kinder is not only in the book, but his story of surviving the 9/11 attacks as a Secret Service Agent has impacted my life in the messiest and best of ways.    Darin is with us today to talk about living courageously and raising kids willing and able to do the hard things. And let me assure you, Darin’s words are powerful and unforgettable. In fact, I’m not sure a story outside the Bible has impacted me more than Darin’s account of 9/11 and seeing God show up in the messiest and most tragic of situations.    Take a listen today and even share with a friend! So grateful for you.   All things Cynthia Order Life is Messy, God is Good Darin Kinder's The Valiant Ministries Darin Kinder's Story in Episode 2 of MESSmerized
I’m writing to you from the airport in Dallas on my way to Nashville for book interviews. You guys, Life is Messy, God is Good is two weeks out from making its debut. YIKES! If you don’t follow me on social, be sure to do that now so you can see my fun updates.    As you know, on MESSmerized we’re doing a little series called “behind the mess.” We’re bringing some folks on the show that are featured in the book, and today it’s two of my favorite people! My two older kids, Kate and Brett, are the featured guests, and I can’t wait for you to hear from them.    Kate is sharing a little bit about the transition from high school to college and how she’s seen God show up as things have gone off-script at times. Brett and I have a conversation about learning to drive, cherry bomb exhaust systems, and the pressures of figuring out who you are in high school and what you want for the future.    Can’t wait for you to hear from them. Oh, and if you haven’t already, today is a GREAT day to order my book. Okay, off to board and cram everything I own in a tiny space under my seat!      Pre-Order Life is Messy, God is Good All things Cynthia
It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching THREE weeks until my book releases on February 6th (small panic attack as I’m typing this). In honor of the big day coming up, we’re going to do a fun series on MESSmerized the next few weeks where I interview people who are written about in the book. It’s a behind the scenes look at the ways life gets messy for so many of us, and how to find God in the midst of it.    This week my dear friend Sharon Haynes is joining us. If you have not heard our story about fat camp and the french fry, you MUST LISTEN today. Aside from Sharon’s hilarious story, she has a poignant word on the hard places of losing our parents, raising kids who make rogue decisions, and keeping it real with our closest friendships. I can’t tell you how much I love today’s show and Sharon’s willingness to lay it all out there.    On a side note, I’m going to be sending out an email later this week with some ways you can help me promote Life is Messy, God is Good in the coming weeks. I would be so grateful if you would take a minute to read that email and consider sharing news of my book with your friends, family, and small groups. And of course, if you haven’t already ordered a copy can I ask you to do that today?    So grateful for you and can’t wait for you to listen to our series on going “behind the mess.”     Pre-Order Life is Messy, God is Good
If you’re anything like me, your heart remains heavy for Israel in these days. It's hard to wrap our heads around the war, God’s bigger plan for their nation, and the hardships so many are facing in the Middle East.    Knowing this, I am so excited to have JoAnn Doyle from Uncharted Ministries joining us today. She’s got an amazing perspective on Israel through the lens of someone who has been ministering to Jews and Muslims in the Middle East for many decades.    While the news coming from Israel has been hard, there’s also an encouraging story behind the story that more Muslims have come to faith in Christ in the last 10 years than in the last 14 centuries. And more Jews have come to embrace Jesus as Messiah in the last 20 years than in the last 2000 years.    All this comes as a much-needed reminder that God continues to pursue his people—and he’s doing it right now in Israel. Take a few minutes to be encouraged as you listen to JoAnn share incredible stories of how God’s working in Israel and Gaza, and ways we can make a difference individually during this critical time.    P.S. Guys, we are ONE MONTH away from the release of my first book Life is Messy, God is Good. Pre-orders are a ginormous deal and it would be such a blessing if you would consider grabbing a copy (or two or three) today! So grateful for you and can’t wait for you to read it. ❤️     Pre-Order Life is Messy, God is Good Uncharted Ministries
Happy New Year! 🥳🎉🥳🎉🥳🎉   (Said with my most hoarse voice confirming I do in fact have my annual January cold. 🤒)   I don’t know about you, but my social media is jam-packed with everyone’s 2024 resolutions and things they are adding, things they are dropping, and ways they are going to make the most of the new year. And I applaud the ambition!   That being said, I’m wondering what God would have us resolve for this new year? What is he calling us to do and how do we create enough margin to hear his still small voice in the middle of the everyday chaos?    Today Pastor Libin Abraham is joining us to talk about keeping the awe and wonder in Christmas long after Christmas is over. And as a part of doing that, how do we take moments to pause and consider where God is leading us this year?    There’s so much packed into today’s show that you seriously cannot miss, but don’t miss these challenging words from Pastor Libin: God moves at the pace of your next yes.   So what’s your “next yes” for 2024? Listen in today and let’s figure it out together.    P.S. If you love MESSmerized would you consider sharing it with a friend today? Help us continue building our awesome community in 2024 by inviting people to come alongside us.      All things Cynthia  
If you’re in a post-Christmas coma, you’re not alone! Eating cookies for breakfast and watching Hallmark movies instead of entertaining your kids is fine everyone . . . we are doing our best!    That being said, can I invite you to join me and two of my favorite people for a few minutes to talk about love? Yes, it’s the last week of our Advent series and love is our topic.     It’s easy to see God’s unrelenting love for his people through Jesus’ life, from the manger to the cross. But how does this kind of love change us practically in our everyday lives?    Heather and Stephanie are lots of fun, and I promise you will be encouraged as we’re facing a new year and all of the unknowns. And speaking of a new year, I want to thank every single one of you for being a part of the MESSmerized family, and the calling God has placed on my life.    It’s been a privilege to walk through parenting, faith issues, spiritual rhythms and so much more the last eight months. I can’t wait to see what God is up to in 2024!       All things Cynthia Pre-Order Life is Messy, God is Good Sidetracked with Heather and Cynthia  
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