Happy 2019 podcast listeners! Every single year I look back at the fabulous guests we had on The Happy Hour and I think how can this get any better in the new year. And in fact, every single year we still capture phenomenal interviews with such fabulous guests. It never fails that God brings the right ladies to our show every year, and you listeners keep showing up every single week as well.
Last year we had over 4.5 million downloads and released over fifty shows into the world. We learned so much about our audience and about podcasting, and honestly, 2019 will hands down be our best year ever for the show.
I thought I’d share some of our most listened to shows last year in case any of you are new listeners and want to spend some time catching up! Most of these are from the beginning of the year because well they have had more time for people to listen, but none the less this gives you a good starting point if you want to spend some time catching up. One of the best things about the new webpage is that you can listen to the shows right on the front page. You can even scan through and find whatever show you are looking for. I love that new feature and hope you do as well!
TOP 10 LISTENED TO SHOWS FROM 2018:
- Jackie Hill Perry – Jackie and I begin the show talking about gospel diversity and the power of indifference. She describes how we can gain knowledge about the issues, but not take that knowledge and change how we live out our lives. The perspective she gives about the impact of indifference and inaction is powerful. In the second half of the show, Jackie shares her story of how she was living a life of homosexuality and how God pursued her and saved her in a way only God could. You are going to love hearing her talk about how her public ministry began just FIVE months after she decided to follow Jesus – her first public testimony was all because she wanted a free t-shirt! You guys, Jackie is bold and she speaks some powerful truths. When I asked her if she was afraid to fail, she said “Either I trust God or I don’t… If I fall, then I fall and I get up and trust God some more”
- Christine Caine – Christine and I start off talking about what it means to speak the truth in love, and how proclaiming the truth with boldness should not be out of the ordinary. Christine shares her story including how, at 33, she found out she was adopted, and the impact of enduring 12 years of abuse. She vividly describes the moment when Jesus began the transformation of her life. She says, “Jesus saved my soul…the Word renewed my mind and changed my life.”Christine and I then talk about how our lives look when we live with an orphan spirit instead of truly believing our identity as daughters of a king. We talk about how we react to the unexpected shows truth about our faith. She reminds us as we all face hurt and troubles in our life that what Jesus did for us is bigger than what people have done to us – Jesus is better!
- Mo Isom – Mo and I dive right into the hard stuff and start talking about sexual sin. In Mo’s book, she discusses her past and struggles with sexual sin. At 19, she felt Jesus calling her to an intimacy fast. Mo describes how the fast reset her heart, but also when she started dating again (her future husband!), she saw how quickly the temptations could set back in and we must continually fight against our sins.We then discuss the problems of pornography and the truth that so many women are silently struggling with this addiction. Mo describes the problem so well when she says, “it fulfills our instant urge, our instant want, but it never satisfies.” Mo and I both get fired up talking about having this conversation with our children. We both believe so strongly in the importance of heart transformation and relationship so we can be ready when the world throws out all its “false sexpectations”.
- Suzanne Stabile – Suzanne starts off the show sharing some history about the Enneagram including how it can be most helpful and ways to utilize it most effectively. She shares her thoughts on the prevalence of the Enneagram lately and reminds us that the Enneagram is a tool to help understand the motivations of our own and others’ behaviors and “offers us nine ways of seeing the world.”Suzanne and I then talk about the Enneagram with children, parenting, and adoption. She is often asked about using the Enneagram in parenting. Suzanne tells us that a person’s number can be well determined by just 5 years old, but she urges caution and believes it should not be taught until 16. But don’t worry if you’re wondering, but what can I do now? She gives us wise advice and encouragement for a place to start: “If you want to use the Enneagram for parenting, then be the healthiest person in your number.”
Suzanne also shares that she was adopted, and how that has influenced her work. Suzanne speaks the truth when we talk about adoption, trauma, and how wounds can heal, but we must recognize they are always part of the person.
- Priscilla Shirer – We start out the show talking about family and ministry – you guys have heard Chrystal and Wynter on the Happy Hour before, and it’s awesome hearing how they do life together and support each other. Priscilla and I talk about trying to teach our kids the importance of those daily tasks we all need to do (i.e. cleaning, cooking!) and being ok when maybe it’s not quite how we would have done it – the struggle is real!
Priscilla then shares how she started writing The Prince Warriors series – can you imagine if your 4-year-old came up to you and asked, “Mom, will I be in a battle one day?” This is what happened to Priscilla and you are going to love hearing what happened from that question.
In the last part of the show, Priscilla shares how she came to act in movies. I think we can all relate to feeling afraid, intimidated, and unequipped to succeed. But, I know you will feel encouraged as you hear Priscilla describe how God led her and made what felt impossible, possible, and expanded the reach of the ministry greater than she could have imagined
- Candace Cameron Bure – Guys, if you thought you loved Candace before, you are going to love her even more after listening to our conversation. She is as warm and genuine as we all imagined her to be. In our conversation, we talk about growing up on screen, taking a 10-year break to focus on her family and the challenges of living a life of faith in the TV and film world. You’ll hear about how she makes decisions on roles she plays in an effort to stay true to herself and honoring to God.We also talk about her book writing career and her newest book, Kind is the New Classy, releasing on April 24. Make sure to head over to Amazon to pre-order and reach out to Candace to let her know how much you loved hearing her on The Happy Hour!
- Ruth Chou Simons – Ruth and I start out the conversation talking about how she got her name when she immigrated to America – you may not believe this but, it came from a man who didn’t even know her and he named her parents at the same time as well! We discuss the importance of teaching culture to our children and making sure it doesn’t get in the way of learning about God’s grace.Ruth then shares the amazing story of how her mom came to know Jesus and how a woman she barely knew invested in her mom. It’s such an encouragement that our actions can make a bigger impact than we may ever realize!
In the last part of the show, we discuss the different strategies Ruth follows in how she runs her business and how she decides what gets posted on Instagram. We also talk about fighting for our marriages. No matter what the situation, we always need to remind ourselves of what is true and tell ourselves the Gospel.
- Katie Davis Majors – Katie and I start out the show talking about Katie’s journey to Uganda and adoption of her 13 girls. When Katie was 18, she made her first trip to Uganda and knew she’d be back. Katie tells us how 80% of East African children are in orphanages not because of a lack of family, but due to poverty. Katie learned that in some cases simply paying for school would allow those children to stay with their families. Katie kept sponsoring more kids, and more and more people joined in to support these kids and Amazima Ministries was born!Katie then shares how she came to know and foster 3 girls. When it became clear that there was no family for these children to be reunited with, they became Katie’s daughters through adoption. The stories continued and by age 23, Katie was now mom to her 13 beautiful girls.
We then talk about the difficult season she walked through facing multiple losses. Katie speaks about the loneliness, pain, and questions she had and describes how near God was to her in that time. She reminds us, “we can bring our hearts to God, He sees them anyway, and He loves us regardless.” I also appreciated her honesty in talking about challenges that can happen in adoption with connecting with your children.
- Aaron & Jamie Ivey – My guest for The Happy Hour # 200 is my all-time favorite guest on The Happy Hour, my husband Aaron Ivey. Friends, I cannot believe that The Happy Hour is celebrating its 200th episode!!! I want to thank each and every one of you for listening, sharing the show, joining us in Book Club or Happy Hour Live, and supporting If You Only Knew. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m honored and humbled to be able to share so many women’s stories. These stories made us laugh and cry — sometimes at the same time! — and have encouraged, inspired, and most importantly pointed us to the Gospel.
On today’s show, Aaron and I share some favorite moments from The Happy Hour. We hear a little bit from twelve different episodes and we get to talk about everything from the single life, married life, kids, how men and women look at approval, diversity, creativity, and more. I would have loved to share clips from every single episode, but if you want to catch up on any shows you missed, maybe a Happy Hour podcast binge is in order!
- Brittany Brooker – Brittany starts out sharing with us how when she was 25, she lost her husband Patrick and was left a widow with three young children under the age of 3. It was unimaginable, but Brittany describes how even starting with the night before Patrick died, she can see how God was preparing the way for her to be able to walk through her worst nightmare.Brittany tells us about the pain of not only losing her husband but having to see her children grieve. She so honestly shares her cries out to God. You guys – it will give you chills as you hear how God answered prayer after prayer, and people kept showing up. It is such an encouragement to all of us that we can show up for one another — even what may seem too small or too crazy can actually make a huge impact in someone’s life.
In the second half of the show, Brittany describes how God brought her to meet her husband Daniel, who is also a widow. After about a hundred emails they finally had their first phone conversation — which of course lasted 5 hours! Brittany talks about the tender navigation of bringing two grieving families together. She stresses the importance of grace, therapy, community and allowing everyone to process their feelings and know it’s okay to feel sorrow and joy at the same time.
Brittany has gone through much suffering in her short life, but in her story, you can so clearly hear how Jesus continually brings hope and provision, and that we all have opportunities to show up for each other!
What a year it was on The Happy Hour! Did you have a favorite show that wasn’t listed here? Comment below and let me know. I love hearing what you love! I’m so excited for 2019 and can’t wait to see all the phenomenal shows we bring you this year!