Produced by Ruth Amensen

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Episode 84 | Shame & Questions with Shannon Guse

As we continue our series on faith, family, and sexuality, we are so happy to welcome Shannon Guse to the podcast! Shannon has served at Faith Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, FL for 14 years doing youth and young adult ministry. She has a degree in health science education from the University of Florida and has her own experience with teaching faith and sexuality as she raised her, now 17 and 20 year old, children.


Episode 83 | Top Five with Sophie Maness

We're so happy to welcome Sophie Maness back to the podcast! Sophie is the Director of Christian Education at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. She is a certified christian educator with a Masters in Christian Education and uses that knowledge to lead workshops centered on faith and sexuality with parents and children alike. Sophie joined us for episode seventeen back in the day to chat about sexuality and faith and today she comes bearing even more knowledge on what she finds to be the top five most important parts of conversation on faith and sexuality. 



Episode 82 | Sexuality Series

Today, Jen introduces the sexuality series Parents Take Five will be covering over the next few episodes. Jen will bring a few different people on who are going to talk us through how sexuality, faith, and family intersect throughout different stages of our kiddo's development. These episodes will include language that you may not be comfortable with your children hearing so please be aware of that if you often listen with your little ones. 



Episode 81 | Acknowledging Trauma in Kids with Greg Allen-Pickett

Greg Allen-Pickett serves as the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hastings, Nebraska. Greg has an amazing partner in ministry in his wife, Jessica, and a gregarious and compassionate daughter in elementary school. They are loving life in central Nebraska with their ridiculous beagador dog named Luna.Today, Greg and Jen talk about ways we can acknowledge trauma and big emotions in our kids. He talks through some of the ways he and his daughter have processed his father's death together and how that's helped them both grieve in a healthy way.

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Episode 80 | Fear

Today, Jen sits in a bit of vulnerability. We all experience fear. Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, not doing things right. And, while we teach our kiddos they're good and smart and enough, sometimes we can forget what Scripture says to us adults about it as well.


Episode 79 | Talking to Kids About God with Paul Pastor

Paul J. Pastor is a writer, editor, and wilderness lover who lives in the woods near Portland, OR with his wife and three kids. His award-winning writing on Christian spirituality is widely recognized for its beauty and insight. He loves good questions (especially ones about God), big stories, and the holy wonder of living.

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Episode 78 | Staring or Caring

Today, Jen tells a story of a recent flight she was on and a struggling mom and son. This story, like so many that happen every day around us, reminded her of something the Bible tries to teach us about truly caring for those around us.


Episode 77 | Watering the Grass with Jerusalem Greer

Today's episode is part two of Jen's conversation with Jerusalem Greer. To see more about Jerusalem and her life, check out episode 76, "Happiness vs. Wholeness with Jerusalem Greer".


Episode 76 | Happiness vs. Wholeness with Jerusalem Greer

In today's episode, Jen welcomes author, parent who's survived those kiddo and teen years, and Episcopal minister, Jerusalem Greer. Jerusalem provides some golden nuggets in this episode so make sure to turn that volume up! She reminds us that, while this pandemic is harsh, "generations upon generations upon generations have weathered worse" and we can do hard things. There are things we can't (and maybe shouldn't) get our kids out of but that doesn't make us bad parents. That makes us more concerned about their wholeness than their happiness. 

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Episode 75 | International Women's Month with Gigi

On today's episode we recognize International Women's Month with a conversation between Jen and her Gigi! This is such a special episode for Jen as she gets to talk parenting with one of the people who spent a ton of time helping to parent her growing up.

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Episode 74 | Hands-On Spiritual Growth with Joelle Brummit-Yale

Life comes with a lot of interruptions. Interruptions as momentary and harmless as a kiddo who keeps asking what's for dinner in the middle of a grown-up conversation to interruptions as long-lasting and deeply impactful as the onset of an illness. In today's episode, Jen reminds us that scripture is full of these interruptions and gives us a deep hope in the midst of them.


Episode 73 | Two Years of Parents Take Five

Happy anniversary to Parents Take Five! It's been two whole years, 730 days, of editing podcasts, talking to guests, belly laughs, and deep recognition of our mistakes. Jen cannot thank you all enough for your support in this community so, as a token of her appreciation, here's a look back at some of the best moments and bloopers of the past two years.

Make sure to listen all the way to the end of the episode for a surprise addition that even our host, Rev. Jen, didn't know about. 


Episode 72 | Holy Ordinary Time
with Jocelyn Wildhack

In today's episode, Jen joins Ferncliff's Chaplain and Camp Director Jocelyn Wildhack to talk about the resources Ferncliff has been offering families so that overworked, pandemic-era parents aren't carrying the brunt of faith formation and entertainment of their kiddos all by themselves. Jocelyn spends her time at work sending worshippers on scavenger hunts, fills hundreds of boxes with sparkly pipe cleaners, and makes sure that no camper gets left behind.

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Episode 71

Life comes with a lot of interruptions. Interruptions as momentary and harmless as a kiddo who keeps asking what's for dinner in the middle of a grown-up conversation to interruptions as long-lasting and deeply impactful as the onset of an illness. In today's episode, Jen reminds us that scripture is full of these interruptions and gives us a deep hope in the midst of them.


Episode 70 | The Joy of Play with Coach Ryan Pt. 2

Ryan Stallings (a.k.a. Coach Ryan) has been coaching youth sports for the past fifteen years, ranging from flag football and baseball to basketball and soccer. For more information on Ryan's background, check out the bio of Episode 69.

In this second part to Coach Ryan and Rev. Jen's conversation, Ryan talks about ways he keeps the parents and players in a positive mindset and ​how he uses critical thinking to help his young players always look for growth.

*This episode was recorded before COVID-19 hit home for the United States in March of 2020. 


Episode 69
The Joy of Play with Coach Ryan

Ryan Stallings (a.k.a. Coach Ryan) prioritizes creating a fun environment for kids in sports, training that promotes personal growth and life lessons, and fostering mutual respect. A full bio can be found in the episode description wherever you listen to podcasts. Today, Jen and Coach Ryan talk about the one thing your kid truly wants to hear after a game and, oddly enough, it's the one thing us as parents need to hear sometimes as well. 

*This episode was recorded before COVID-19 hit home for the United States in March of 2020. 

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Episode 68
Welcome 2021

Happy New Year, Take Five friends! This new year has been long awaited and anticipated. But with it comes new stuff...and not so new stuff. Listen in with Jen about how we continue to keep ourselves grounded and thankful as we enter 2021.

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Episode 67
Merry Christmas from the Take Five Family

In today's episode, Jen's family joins her for a few minutes of reflection on the Christmas story and even more laughs. Merry Christmas and a happy new year from all of us on this side of the podcast!


Episode 66
Advent Week 3 with Anne Rus

Welcome to week three of our 2020 Advent series with Rev. Anne Russ of Doubting Believer! Anne and Jen have been partnering on episodes to talk us through Advent and this preparation season. Today they talk about ways families can change up their "regular" spaces to create some holy space for Christmas and Anne gives us all the permission to do whatever our heart and souls need us to do (or not do) this holiday season.

Episode 65
Advent Week 2 with Anne Russ

We're back with the second week of Advent episodes! Today, Anne and Jen talk about the grief that's going to come with this holiday season. For some kids, it'll be the first Thanksgiving or Christmas without their grandparents or cousins. For parents, this will be equally, if not more, painful for them to watch their kids miss out on these experiences. In the midst of all that grief though, Jen and Anne bring the reassurance that yes, everything is a little chaotic and everything was a little chaotic when Jesus was born. He still came then and he will still come now.

Episode 64
Advent Week 1 with Anne Russ

Welcome to our 2020 Advent series with Rev. Anne Russ of Doubting Believer! Over the next few episodes, Anne and Jen will be partnering on episodes to talk us through Advent and this preparation season. They're also introducing their Advent calendar they've partnered on! This Advent calendar has been made with busy parents and families in mind and is available on the Doubting Believer website and the new Parents Take Five website. We hope it helps prepare your heart and soul for the coming of Christmas.

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Episode 63
A Different & Same Thanksgiving

Today, Rev. Jen talks a little bit about Thanksgiving. A holiday that, back in April or May, we couldn't imagine would be affected by COVID. She talks about ways to keep the familiar and comforting parts of our holidays as well as ways to break in the new and different to accompany this new and different world we're living in. Make sure you listen all the way to the end for news about our Advent episodes and an exciting announcement about Parents Take Five.

Episode 62
Look Inside

It was important that we responded to everything happening right now as timely as possible.

These are unprecedented times we live in. And to process them, sometimes we need to take a step back and look inside. We hope this episode brings some tangible ways to process our current world.

Episode 61
Blur the Line

Today, Rev. Jen touches on the one subject on all of our minds right now...politics. She reminds us that our children are watching, listening, feeling, and processing during this time. So what will we be modeling for them?


Episode 60
Balancing & Faith with DJ Pryor

We're back with a second episode from American actor, comedian, and television personality, DJ Pryor. Last week, Jen and DJ chatted about his early life and how he's learned what to do and what not to do as a father. This week they touch on how to keep on parenting even when they're "pluckin' our nerves" and ways he models faith for his own children.
To learn more about DJ, and to check out the first half of this awesome conversation, go back and take a listen to episode 59, "Dadfluencer with DJ Pryor".

Episode 59
Dadfluencer with DJ Pryor

We are so excited to welcome DJ Pryor to the Parents Take Five podcast! DJ is an American actor, comedian, and television personality who's quickly becoming one of the most energizing and in-demand voices. With a gift of relatable expression, he has appeared on The Steve Harvey Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show and has opened for legendary gospel singer Fred Hammond just to name a few. DJ also helped all of us welcome in the New Year with NBC’s Toast to 2020 and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. One of Mr. Pryor’s latest endeavors is a partnership with multiple non-profits such as Harvard University and United Way, focus on Mental Health and motivational speaking, just to name a couple of his passions.

Over the next few episodes, we'll be sharing Jen's conversation with DJ. Today, they chat about DJ's early life and how he's learned what to do and what not to do as a father. One of this biggest goals as a parent is not to just be a present dad but to be an active dad. To check out the viral video Jen and DJ talk about at the beginning of this episode, click here: https://youtu.be/AY35eXTKVLY

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Episode 57
Pandemic Prayers with Katy Stenta

Welcome to the second part of Jen's amazing conversation with Katy Stenta! In this, she wraps up her thoughts around parenting children with special needs and talks a bit about her writings and the prayers for this pandemic world she's been Tweeting.

For more about Katy, check out the bio in episode fifty-six or her blog, here: https://tinyurl.com/y6at7vwl

Episode 56
Special Needs Parenting with Katy Stenta

Katy Stenta is a solo pastor in Albany, NY and a full-time mom, reader of fantasy and creator. She basically talks all the time...sometimes it’s to God, sometimes it’s through a blog, sometimes it’s to nonexistent book characters and sometimes it’s out loud. Today we have the first of a two-episode conversation with Katy where Jen chats with her about parenting special needs children, Katy's writing, her own personal theology, and so much more. Make sure you come back next time for the rest of Jen and Katy's chat.


Episode 55

In today's episode, Jen is back to talk about kindness. Something so simple, yet something we see so little of in our social media lives right now. Jen suggests a book on kindness you can read with your kids at the end of the episode called "Be Kind" by Pat Zietlow Miller.

Episode 54
Simple, Authentic, Repeatable with Traci Smith

Traci Smith is an ordained minister, mother of three, and author. Traci's passion is helping families find times for connection and spiritual nourishment amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. What began as a quest to help her own family has provided valuable insight for thousands of others. Traci believes faith practices should be simple, authentic, and repeatable. Today, Jen chat specifically about Traci's book "Prayers for Faithful Families" and the valuable ways we pray with our children.

To find more of Traci's resources, including her weekly Treasure Box Tuesday newsletter, check out http://www.traci-smith.com

Episode 53
Love God, Love Others, Love You with Aisha Brooks-Lytle

Today's guest, Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle, has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently the executive presbyter of the Greater Atlanta Presbytery (a network of 92 churches and over 400 clergy). Aisha is also a proud mom and a heck of a singer. She talks with Rev. Jen today about what parents need to hear and need to remember in this time of uncertainty and constant hard decisions.

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Episode 52
Big Feelings

Along with all the newness that's accompanying our "new normal", there are also a lot of big feelings coming along with it. We think that, as parents, we aren't allowed to feel or show these big feelings. Even more, we can sometimes forget that our little ones are feeling big things as well. In today's episode, Jen acknowledges those big feelings and talks through how to sit with and walk through those big, intense, and sometimes scary feelings.

Episode 51
List of 5 with JC McDaniel

Today we welcome back licensed therapist JC McDaniel to talk about his List of 5. This is a concept JC came up with in his marriage to show support and awareness of whoever may be the "heavy lifter" in the relationship. It's a concept Jen swears by in her own marriage. To be able to get the most out of this episode, make sure to check out episode 50, "Who's the Heavy Lifter?", first.

Episode 50
The Heavy Lifter with JC McDaniel

In today's episode, Jen sits down with licensed therapist, JC McDaniel. JC uses his own experiences as a father and husband to talk about the benefit of recognizing that this parenting thing was always hard even without the curve ball of COVID-19, how putting a new schedule in place within your family helps you all respond a little easier to life right now, and who happens to be the heavy lifter in your partnerships.

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Episode 49
Do Less...and Recognize

Today, Jen talks with us about, oddly enough, how maybe right now we don't need to be doing even more. Perhaps we need to be doing a little less and taking the time to recognize ourselves and our own hearts.

Jen also references a Brené Brown post in today’s episode. To read more from Brené about this, click here:


Episode 50
Do You Believe This?
with Gail Henderson-Belsito

Gail Henderson-Belsito is back this week to add onto the conversation. She talks about the way one of her favorite Bible stories has radically changed the trajectory of her faith when it comes to her marriage, her parenting, and her life.

Episode 49
How to Say "No"
with Gail Henderson-Belsito

Yesterday's episode welcomed Gail Henderson-Belsito, Jen and Gail chat about how to say "no". Gail homeschooled her children when they were younger and that huge life decision was one of the catalysts for learning how saying "no" to some things, means saying "yes" to other things.


Want More?

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