A child running to the man

The idea came suddenly, like the sun finally bursting through the clouds. Summer Shepherd, on-air personality for Life 102.5, had been looking for an idea for a podcast, but the topic she was really passionate about—stories—was already taken by another Wow God podcast, The Unfolding. What should she do? Producers at the Wow God network had given her the go-ahead to create a podcast—all that was missing was the topic. 

And then, Jason Sharp, an executive at the Wow God podcast network, made an offhand comment at a virtual conference that changed everything. He said, “if you want to hear cool God stories you listen to The Unfolding, and if you want to learn about parenting, you listen to Summer.” 

Now, Summer didn’t feel especially equipped to talk about parenting. She didn’t have all the answers, or even most of them. But she understood that there’s something freeing about admitting that to yourself. She saw that there was deep value in being a voice for others who are trying to piece things together. 

She said, “‘… not knowing what I was qualified to speak on, I realized that’s what I needed to speak on. I needed it to be less ‘here’s how to do this thing’ and more ‘no, seriously, how do I do this?’”  

That phrase, “no, seriously, how do I do this?” wasn’t meant to be the title of the podcast, but it stuck because it really encapsulated what Summer hopes to relay in every episode.  

In the podcast, Summer explores difficult topics related to parenting and those that “just aren’t talked about enough in the church.” And in her podcast, she still gets to pursue her passion for stories by exchanging them with her guests. She enjoys getting to facilitate both “fun, lighthearted” discussions and those that are a bit heavier for the purpose of helping “others feel safe in their own mess.”  

Summer admits that she is “a hot-mess mom who loves to tell stories.” She sees that there’s so much value in realizing that you simply can’t do everything. 

Parents often feel enormous pressure. They have a responsibility to guide a child as they find their way in the world. A parent must be an example, a helping hand, a comforter, an encourager, and even a teacher. How can you be all those things at once? How can you be there for your children?  

Summer described how true vulnerability plays such a huge role in her podcast—and in your journey as a parent:  

I think that there is such beauty in authenticity and honesty … seeing that play out on the podcast, when I’m willing to be honest about my struggles … and when I see my guests do the same thing, I’ve seen how that has opened the door for our listeners to find permission in themselves to be honest and to let go of that illusion of isolation…. We’re all asking, ‘No, seriously, how do I do this?’  

As she’s developed the podcast, Summer continues to see how important these types of conversations are. Parents face difficult problems, and that’s why it’s good to talk about them. Sometimes, even admitting you don’t know the answer is enough, and just verbalizing what’s on your mind so that someone can be there for you can provide so much healing. 

Brokenness is a hard topic to wrestle with. We all want to be whole, but none of us are, and God even wants us to come to Him in our broken state (Psalm 51:17). As Summer put it, “God uses our brokenness to reach and teach people.” 

Summer has seen herself grow through this podcast. She’s learned a lot from her guests, and God has spoken to her about elements of her own spiritual journey through this podcast.  

Parenting might feel like walking on a tightrope or finding your way through a maze. Maybe you just became a parent, or maybe you’ve been on this journey for years. Either way, maybe you can find some hope—and laughter—in Summer’s No Seriously, How Do I Do This? podcast. Listen to the podcast to hear Summer and her guests discuss parenting from a new viewpoint. 

Summer shared, “Whether it’s an episode where we’re laughing until we cry or we’re crying because it’s hard, I feel that I always want people to know that they are loved intrinsically, unconditionally, for who they are … by the God of the universe.” 

Find out more about Summer’s story by reading the story behind the host

“God uses our brokenness to reach and teach people.”

—Summer Shepherd

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