Cynthia Yanof


messmerized PODCAST

Hi, I’m Cynthia! I am a wife, mom of 3, blogger and host of the MESSmerized podcast. I love Jesus, my family, foster care, and having lots of people around me as often as possible.

I believe God is found in the real life, everyday moments of parenting, marriage, friendships, and everywhere in between. Let’s look for him together.

Season 1 :: Episode 31

“Advent Joy” with Rodney Schell

When am I going to learn?

Seriously, I’m 20 years into this parenting gig and still insisting on family car rides to look at Christmas lights this time of year. It’s the definition of insanity how I do it over and over again expecting a different result.

In my defense, I’m envisioning a picturesque scene of hot chocolate, pj’s, and a spectacle of lights bringing warmth and joy to my family. In reality, it’s 30 minutes in purgatory in a confined space with unwilling participants yelling “don’t touch me” or “is anyone else having fun?” or “these lights blow.”

If we are completely honest, the family light-looking excursions are just one of the millions of ways we try to create “moments” this time of year, inevitably reminding us that no good deed goes unpunished. 

But even with all the great plans gone wrong, there’s plenty of reasons for joy.  You’ve probably heard it before, but joy isn’t just situational or circumstantial (thank goodness), but deeply rooted in the story of a Savior who left the highest position in heaven to come to earth as a baby . . . for you and for me. 

My good friend Rodney Schell joins us today sharing his thoughts on reframing joy with a spiritual perspective. We talk about a dear friend who, despite walking a life marked by adversity, radiates with joy because his life is anchored in the hope of eternity. 

My prayer this week is for each of us to take a few minutes to remember that joy is available in the midst of the hard. Let’s thank Jesus for the many blessings he’s given us, especially the gift of those who complain incessantly on car rides meant to form bonds and create Christmas memories. 😂😂😂


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