Month: November 2017

“Every virtue, every firm habit to do good is far more powerful than any vice that pulls us away from the true joy of God. Mercy is giving people more love than they deserve which is exactly what God does for us” -Damon Owens

Episode 13 – Modesty As an Act of Charity with mom of 7 boys, Susan Husband, definitely stirred up some chatter on facebook when it released back in the Spring. Several comments really struck a chord with us in the way that stirred our hearts to keep the conversation going. There are a lot of women out there who have been hurt by this conversation on modesty and it has been causing women to feel as though they are carrying the entire weight of the issue. Men and women really are both truly wounded with all that goes with this issue. Men are bombarded and women are blamed.We were thrilled to have Damon help us dig into the truths of who we are in God’s family and how we can apply these truths into our everyday choices of not only what we are wearing but mostly how we present ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. 

Our Guest:


Damon Owens, an international speaker and evangelist for over 20 years, is the founder and executive director of joytob. Following four-years as the first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia, he served as Chairman of the 2016 International Theology of the Body Congress. In 2002 after 16 years in the technology sector, he sold out of his firm and founded Joy-Filled Marriage New Jersey, and New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association, non-profit organizations dedicated to building a marriage culture through training, seminars, and conferences. Damon and his wife Melanie taught Natural Family Planning (NFP) for 14 years, and served as NFP Coordinators for the Archdiocese of Newark (NJ).

A Certified Speaker for the Theology of the Body Institute, National Trainer for Ascension Press, and presenter at the 2015 World Meeting of Families, Damon keeps a full international speaking schedule at conferences, marriage seminars, universities, high schools, seminaries, and parishes on the good news of marriage, sexuality, Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family, adoption, and NFP.

Damon currently lives outside Philadelphia with his wife Melanie and their eight children.

You can also connect with Damon on Facebook and Twitter



Show Notes:


SPECIAL MUSIC by Teresa Peterson – pre-order her new Album, Faithful

You can see her music video for Faithful here on Youtube


 Call to Action – 

See the other person’s heart and not their outerwear. Seeing and understanding that mercy is love’s second name. Let us ask the Lord to give us the Grace to see others the way He sees them. 

Scripture – 

13 Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” – John 4:13-15

Saint Quote –

It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal. – St. John Paul II


This is the portion of the podcast where we follow up with what YOU, our listeners, have given us to talk about. We are following up on our conversation with Emily Stimpson Chapman from episode 28. We continue to talk about the female body imange and how really all issues must lead us back to the wonderful counselor, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Though some struggle with a negative view of their bodies, others may see how they can manipulate others with their beauty. We talk about how we all just need to focus on how all beauty is of the Lord and is for the Lord and to share the Lord with the very hungry souls world around us. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Thriving in the Trenches!!

We are so THANKFUL for YOU!!



Show Notes:

In-law jokes and in-law bashing seems to be en vogue among the married population. When Megan and Becky were asked to do an interview by best-selling author and speaker, Carrie Gress, about the role of in-laws in our lives, we realized how much this topic is not covered in the media and decided to do an extra podcast on the topic. With the holidays coming and more time with family, the topic seems even more timely. You can read the original article here and then listen to us expound on the interview and share more of our hearts on the topic.

***Disclaimer – there are some family dynamics that do absolutely require safe boundaries and that may include distance and limited time together. We are not professionals and are not addressing these types of situations

Many of us are likely very familiar with this week’s guest, but you may not know all of her story. Emily Stimpson Chapman shares with us how she went from being terrified to eat at all to one who throws the best of parties with the best of  foods and the best of beverages. Emily’s view on the role and nature of woman, whether single or married, is so beautifully woven through the truths our Church teaches. If you have not checked out her new book, The Catholic Table, we suggest you do! So let’s talk about our bodies, food, wine, and hosting the best parties. This is the most delightful conversation with some jaw-dropping truths sprinkled throughout the episode.

Our Guest:


Emily Stimpson Chapman is a freelance Catholic writer based in Pittsburgh, PA, and the creator of The Catholic Table, a blog about food, friendship, and hospitality. Her books include The Catholic Table: Finding Joy Where Food and Faith Meet (Emmaus Road, 2016), These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body (Emmaus Road, 2013) and The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years (Emmaus Road, 2012), and The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States (Image, 2014).

A prolific essayist and journalist, Emily writes regularly on “all things Catholic”—from politics and catechesis to higher education and the media, with a special focus on the Church’s teachings on marriage, sexuality, and femininity. Over the years, her writing has appeared in Our Sunday Visitor, First ThingsTouchstoneFranciscan Way, the National Catholic Register, Faith and Family, and elsewhere. It has been honored by both the Catholic Press Association and the Associated Church Press, and was included in Loyola’s Best Catholic Writing series.

Emily holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude), where she studied political science, history, and English literature. She also did graduate work in political science at John Hopkins University and theology at Franciscan University. Before moving to Steubenville, Emily worked in Washington, DC, first as a Legislative Assistant to then Congressman Jim Talent (R-MO), then later at the Heritage Foundation, where she served as Special Assistant to former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.



Show Notes:


Call to Action – 

As women, this week let’s shift the focus to needing to take care of our bodies rather than trying to control them. We can also apply this to any other situation in our life that we re trying to control rather than caring for it and letting God be in control.

Scripture – 

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread[c] the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” – John 6:56-58

Saint Quote

“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures, we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son Jesus.” – St. John Paul II


“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’…On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”

—St. Cyprian of Carthage
The Unity of the Catholic Church, 1st edition, A.D. 251

Show Notes:

  • Washington Post Article on the Reformation noted in episode.
  • Acts 1:12 – This is where we see that the Apostles were “seats of authority” that had to be and remain filled. Again, seeing how the Holy Spirit led the choosing in the casting of lots. Again, watching Peter stand up as the mouthpiece of all the disciples and apostles.
  • Acts 15 – The first Church council showing evidence for Peter’s papal authority, how the magistereum works, and how Church dogmas and doctrines have been formed through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Without these historical councils, we would not have the Christianwide accepted teaching of the Trinity, the 2 natures of Jesus, and the (much disputed) table of contents of the Bible.
Scroll to top