Lori’s messy parenting journey

I’m thankful to have Lori Wildenberg, author of her parenting book, Messy Journey. In it she shares her own journey with a wayward child, offering resources and hope for other parents with similar stories. I have the privilege of interviewing her here today.

Here’s Lori:


And here’s her latest book:

How would you describe your writing in general to someone who hasn’t read any of your books?

My books are written for moms and dads in the trenches of parenting. They are for parents who are looking for another way to raise kids other than simply behavior modification or natural consequences. If families seek to encourage grace, responsibility, and interdependence my parenting books will provide faith-based, practical, and easily applicable help and support. My mission is to help families build connections that last a lifetime. My parenting philosophy is not only to encourage desirable behavior but to raise kids in a way that encourages character development and spiritual growth. It is best to work from the inside out rather than the outside in; grow the heart, adjust the behavior.

What inspired you to write Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home?

Life doesn’t always go the way we expect. As parents, we can do everything “right” and still have a child who veers off the expected path. With my daughter’s permission and input, I share our journey— the struggles a prodigal child brings and how to live life in the middle of the mess.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30 second blurb?

Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. This book is filled with stories from dozens of Christian parents and some prodigals. It includes my personal journey with my same-sex attracted daughter. The book is vulnerable and honest. No matter why a parent has a prodigal (or if you love someone who does) this book will bring comfort, help, and encouragement. Practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating a relationship with a detoured child who is rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior are given. There is hope.

What sparked your interest in this topic?

This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child.

What do you hope readers will gain from the book?

My prayer is that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented they feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.



  1. Lori Wildenberg May 10, 2017 #

    Mary thanks for interviewing me on your blog! Love to you! ~Lori

    • Mary DeMuth May 10, 2017 #

      My pleasure!

  2. Susan G. May 5, 2017 #

    Thanks for this Mary and Lori.
    I know this book will encourage so many parents of ‘prodigals’. While I don’t have a young prodigal, I do have an adult son with children who does not have a relationship with the Father, and I found this interview filled with comfort, encouragement and hope. And know the book will be even more so!
    Bless you both!

    • Mary DeMuth May 5, 2017 #

      I’m so glad this blessed you!

    • Lori Wildenberg May 10, 2017 #

      Susan, Thanks so much for your kind words.I’m so glad you have found this interview helpful. Let me know what you think of the book. Many blessings friend!

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