Cynthia Yanof: How To Navigate Messy Parenting with Faith and Hope


“Can we just be challenged enough to say, “It’s going be dirty and messy and hard, but at the same time, would we want to go to heaven any other way?” And if we want to raise kids, I pray for my kids every day that they chase after the God-sized dreams. But if we want that, then we have to do that ourselves – we have to model it. And so, my challenge for myself and my family and for all of us is to envision that.” – Cynthia Yanof.

Cynthia is a wife, mother, podcaster, blogger, and everyday girl who is committed to not taking herself too seriously. She hosts the popular MESSmerized podcast and spends her days laughing, parenting, and praying for her family to chase after their God-sized dreams. Her first book, Life is Messy, God is Good, is available now on Amazon.

During this episode, Cynthia discusses the impact of adoption on family dynamics, the importance of living with the end in mind, and the transformative power of faith. Cynthia shares personal stories of parenting struggles and triumphs, highlighting the need to challenge oneself and live life unafraid of getting messy.

Key Takeaways:

  • The lies parents believe, such as being defined by their kids’ successes and failures, feeling inadequate, or seeking universal acceptance.
  • Navigating the messy moments of parenting with faith and humor.
  • Empowering parents to align their beliefs with God’s truth.
  • Encouragement for parents to help their children envision their future through exposure and support.
  • An anecdote about Cynthia’s son’s struggles with reading in first grade and how it led to unexpected positive qualities in him as a teenager.
  • Emphasizing the importance of believing in God’s plan for children, even in difficult times.
  • Cynthia’s experience with foster care and the transformation it brought to her and her family.
  • The impact of adoption on the family’s dynamics and the spiritual growth resulting from stepping out in faith.
  • The inspirational story of a secret service agent during the 9/11 attacks, emphasizing the idea of not going to heaven in a clean suit.
  • Encouragement for parents to live each day with the end in mind, embracing the call to do the hard things and model godly perseverance for our children.
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