Light ‘Em Up :: Courtney DeFeo {Ep 50} . . .and a giveaway

December 2, 2014 | 33 comments

A couple of years ago my son recited John 1:1-5 for the school Christmas chapel and I’ll never forget how dramatically he spoke these lines:

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)

The light shines in the darkness.

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'” John 18:12

Following Jesus is not just walking in the light but having the Light.

“You are the light of the world. . . Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14a & 16)

More than anything I long for my boys to know the Source of the Light and shine for His glory.

Thankfully, my podcast guest today, Courtney DeFeo, helps make my desire a reality. 

In this episode she shares three different ways to help our kids grasp God’s heart, walk in the Light and shine for Him.

AND she is giving away a copy of her new book, “In This House We will Giggle”. . .enter to win one of two ways:

  1. Encourage Courtney in the work she is doing OR
  2. Leave a review on iTunes so more moms can find the podcast and be lifted up

Either way, comment below (click here if reading via email). GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

What we chat about:

  • How a Christmas rant blog post led to the Light ‘Em Up movement
  • Her goal to create something easy for moms to add into a busy season and simply enough for young children to participate
  • Who her family decided to display generosity
  • Heather’s personal story of doing Light Em Up with her kids (her husband wasn’t in London. . .he was duck hunting. same thing, right?)
  • An idea to involve your kids in the planning process
  • The story behind her ABC Scripture Cards

  • What motivated the verses she chose
  • The heart behind her new book, “In This House We will Giggle”.
  • How the book is structured to help moms creatively show kids Godly virtues–who Jesus really is.
  • Why Courtney got so dressed up for our phone interview
  • This verse of encouragement:

Answer me quickly, Lordmy spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:7-8

Connect with Courtney:

Website :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram :: Pinterest

Show Notes: 


What random act of kindness could your family do this Christmas to shine a light for His glory?


How to listen to the podcast:

1.Listen on the blog. Click through to and click the play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – access the podcast in iTunes (Click here to access via iTunes). You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.

*If you missed past episodes, you can listen via iTunes or click on this page of the GodCenteredMom site to find a listing of all the episodes.

**Check out this page for instructions on how to leave a rating or review on iTunes:


  1. Shonda

    This is really going out of the box for me. I am pretty uncomfortable around strangers, but my little 3 year old daughter says hi to everyone. And when she does, she usually gets a smile or hi back! One year we made cookies and gave them to all of our neighbors with a little note. I think we can leave a note and treat for our mailman this year. I have Courtney’s list and I think it’s something that we can try to implement in our home. I’m willing to try to step outside of my comfort zone and bless other people.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Isn’t it amazing how our children can help us grow? Courtney’s stuff is great. Printing off some tags and adding them to some candy to pass out around town…so simple and so fun!!blessings!

  2. inezadams

    So thankful Courtney DeFeo posted a link to this podcast. Exactly what I’ve been looking for! Left a review on iTunes. This is also the third year for our family to participate in Light ‘Em Up. What a blessing this has been to our family, and I pray others have received the blessing as well!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you so much for leaving a review. it truly does help other moms find the podcast. had a mom from Sarajevo message me today. . .she had just “found” it and had been inspired to change how she was communicating about her children. what a privilege we have to minister internationally from laptops in the fringe hours while children sleep. thank you for helping this ministry continue to spread hope and love!! And 3rd year!! wowzers! love that!

  3. Debi Schuhow

    Random act of kindness’ that my family, or myself, could implement this year could be to be more patient and generous with each other. To refuse to get caught up in the “gimmes’, and show each other that we appreciate each other by being generous with our time.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      oh that’s a good one Debi that may be trickier than handing a stranger a candy cane. yeah. . .I think I need to consider adding that to my Light Em Up list. thank you for sharing! seriously.

  4. Jessica

    Love this podcast and love this episode! Thank you so much for the encouragement and the resources!!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      you are so sweet jessica! so glad you have enjoyed it. blessings!!

  5. Katie DuBransky

    Thank you so much Courtney for sharing your heart and your talents with moms around the world!! I often get so overwhelmed with all of the ideas and things I “should be” doing with my kids and I really appreciate your focused and simple approach to loving on our kids and sharing the Lord with them.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      right? she is so good at taking an overwhelming task and making it doable…and fun! and all for God’s glory. boom. the whole package. thank you for encouraging Courtney today!! blessings.

  6. Amy Grable

    How fun to hear Courtney’s voice on the podcast. My family has done Light Em Up for the last 2 years. I just recently shared all about it at the Moms group at my church. Her scripture cards and book are on my Christmas wish list too. Thanks for helping us be so intentional with our kids.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      hey friend!! love that you’ve been doing Light Em Up for years!! And you are spreading the word to your community. . .very, very cool! I would like to snag a set of Scripture Cards myself. Thank you for your consistent encouragement! blessings.

  7. Becca

    Oh, my goodness, between this podcast and Kat Lee’s, God really knew I needed to listen after the day I had. Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement! The verse at the end was just what I needed, too.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Always amazed at how God can use the things we create over the internet. May He continue to minister to Your Spirit through His Word. blessings!

  8. Rachel

    LOVE this idea! We’ve done some acts of kindness in the past, but I’m hoping my kiddies are a little more aware this year and we can implement some more things to encourage generosity in their hearts. Thank you SO much for this podcast! Every episode encourages my momma-heart!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Courtney’s stuff is soooo good and makes the whole process so easy. In fact this past week I just bought a big pack of Sweettart candy canes (b/c I like fruity flavor vs. peppermint!) and kept them in the car. Passed them out a McDonalds, when we got our haircut and to the security guard at carpool. It is soooo fun to be generous. Thank you for your kind words about the podcast. Thankful you are being encouraged!

  9. Denise

    Love your podcast always, but was especially moved by this episode and am determined to get my kids involved in giving!! Thank you both!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      what a humbling statement. praying for those who are touched by your acts of kindness, may they know the heart of God and feel His mercy, His tender loving kindness, through your actions. hands and feet of Jesus!! blessings.

  10. alusru

    I’ve never heard of Light Em Up. This was a really encouraging and helpfully informative podcast. I definitely agree with what Courtney said about this being every mom’s desire but not having the skills and/or time to put everything together AND execute. Thank you Courtney for using your skills and talent to equip us! I would really like to read her book! Heather, I’ve been really, really enjoying your podcasts. I’ve been meaning to leave a review on Stitcher because that’s what I use, but would it be more helpful to leave the review on Itunes? Or i guess both? 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you so much for your encouraging comment. very thankful Courtney’s info was helpful to you. so glad you are enjoying the podcasts. Any place you leave a review would help and let other moms know it’s available. I got a note from a mom in Sarajevo today! how cool is that? thank you for listening. seriously.

  11. Tracey Goold

    Thank you so much for sharing this podcast. After a recent divorce, I realize I will bear the main responsibility of sharing God’s virtues with my two boys. I am looking for ways to practically live out the virtues in a way that will be impactful to them. Great ideas here. Thank you so much for all the information, encouragement and support you share with us!!!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Tracey I’m sorry to hear about your news but I am confident God will honor your desire. Praying He provides godly men in leadership at your church (youth pastor, sunday school teachers) to come alongside you as you train up your boys. The fact that you listened to this podcast tells me that you care and love your boys deeply. and that’s the best way to show them Christ. Lord, I lift Tracey up to you this holiday season. With the new dynamic to their family I pray You would be close. I pray for her community to provide help and support and love. May she how greatly You love her. Amen.

  12. lindsaystevenson

    Several years ago I had come across Courtney’s site and been inspired by Courtney’s Light Em Up. It was great to hear her on the podcast today and be reminded of it. Thanks to you both for sharing your words and hearts with us.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      I so glad you’ve enjoyed Courtney’s light em up idea! Isn’t it wonderful! I really enjoyed hearing her stories and more of a “behind-the-scenes” look. blessings.

  13. Alicia

    Recently, the Lord has been tugging at my heart to get my rear end back in gear to dig deeper and build my relationship with him. What better way to do that than to build that relationship while involving my kids? Currently we are doing the Truth in the Tinsel and my 3 year old daughter is really catching on and excited to learn about Jesus and how much God loves her. My son is only 4 months but he does enjoy watching sister do her crafts and loves listening to her sing songs while we craft 🙂 Since this has been such a big hit with my kiddo, I’ve been digger deeper and looking for other ways to involve my sweet girl but, with practical application that fits in to our busy schedule. I so appreciate your blog and for this podcast. I can’t wait to follow along closely and take your tips to heart. I think it was a total “God thing” for me to find your blog!! God Bless you and thank you for thinking of us other mommas and for sharing whats on your heart.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      oh Alicia, thank you for your encouraging words. what a sweet picture of you sitting with your darling 3 year old daughter, and your 4 month old son watching. . .teaching her the about God’s great love through Jesus. Thankful you are loving Truth in the Tinsel. It is perfect for preschoolers. blessings in all you do and the time you spend loving your precious little ones. blessings.

  14. Michelle

    ok this podcast really hit home with me Heather! i cant thank you enough for this ministry. I always look forward to Monday mornings because I know I get to listen to a new podcast or relisten to a one that really hit home for me. Ok Courtney Defeo was awesome! I related to her in so many way because as a working mom i too have to balance that tension between the time i need to spend my three year old and the work i need to do to serve my family. On top of that, the holiday season can often place so many demands on what we want to get done and yet don’t want to do it with a heart that is weary. I’m looking forward to reading her new book and implementing that next year, along with the scripture cards. We are using as a family the verse Matthew 5:16 this month to be a light on to others and looking forward to doing the Light it up acts of kindness. My son is already at that stage where he wants things and demands things, and I don’t want him to get caught up in the consumerism of it all, that I found myself doing growing up!! Keep up the great work Courtney and Heather of encouraging us moms during this season of our lives!!! God bless

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you michelle for sharing your story. so thankful Courtney encouraged you, particularly in regards to all the demands you have placed on you. may you feel the warmth of God’s grace and embrace this Christmas. you are doing a good work, keep it up!!

  15. Jess

    Sounds like such a needed book around here! Love the podcast for bringing such great interviews and resources 🙂

  16. kasmith03

    In the past we have chosen to “sponsor” a family for Christmas and buy them gifts…we keep it anonymous, but the idea of hospitality has been so strong on my heart since Allume…there has to be something more we can do to help the needy, invite a stranger to dinner and be a light. Kristin

  17. Sarepta

    My son has just started school this year and I have really seen his heart for his peers emerge. He aches for his friends to know the Lord and how to make Godly choices. I think for this season we will include various items that point to the manger and not Santa in the Xmas Party favors. My son wants ways he can share who God is and I think this is a perfect foot in the door for him.

  18. Jill

    I love this idea! My kids are naturally drawn into the “I want” mentality and I want to open their eyes to the needs of those around them. When I was little my dad started something he called the Surprise Package company. Every year in the fall we would pick a family in need and my siblings and I would find ways to make money around the house or elsewhere so that on Christmas Eve we could drop off a “surprise package.” Usually it was money, occasionally a specific thing the family needed. But the best part was keeping it a secret. As a kid I loved keeping such a big secret! And doing this year after year with my family built in me a desire to help others and I want to do the same thing with my kids. My oldest is 6 this year and I think it’s time we started something like this in our family. Thanks for the post! I love your podcasts!

  19. Grace

    What a blessing this podcast was! Thank you so much Courtney for sharing what God has been doing in your life!


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