Interview: Jeff & Nevie Mattson on The Dad Whisperer Podcast, Episode 180

Interview: Jeff & Nevie Mattson on The Dad Whisperer Podcast, Episode 180

Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield at The Dad Whisperer podcast recently talked with Jeff Mattson, co-founder of Living Wholehearted & Courageous Girls, and his youngest daughter, Nevie Mattson.

In this interview, Jeff shares about activating adventures with his two daughters.

As an added bonus, Nevie joins the conversation and shares about the adventures she has had with her dad in the great outdoors!

To listen, please visit The Dad Whisperer.

Am I doing this right?

Am I doing this right?

I take the plunge. I invite other women to join me. We form a new Courageous Girls group. We get about two steps in, and then I start to wonder, 

“Am I doing this right?” 

I look around. 

I observe. 

I consider that we’re all from different schools, different communities, different backgrounds. 

I realize we have fewer girls in our group than other groups before us. 

I realize our daughters aren’t sitting quietly; they aren’t participating. We didn’t get through the full lesson in our allotted time. 

I imagine it probably won’t work to do a 2-night retreat. I feel defeated.

Moms are complaining. Moms are asking me hard questions. Moms are wondering if I really know what I’m talking about. Moms are doubting they can fully commit to something planned months out. Moms are wrestling with their own insecurity about their own adult relationships.

This was not how it was supposed to go. Worry and self-doubt rise abruptly. Sometimes this all just feels — impossible. How is it going to work? Other leaders seem to have it all together.

I am feeling very alone and lost in this role as CG group leader. 

Then recently, I had the privilege of attending a CG leadership retreat with the founder of Courageous Girls, Terra Mattson. Women came from all over, each leading a little tribe of moms and daughters; each capable and rich in her own gifts, yet simultaneously doubting her own path as a leader. As the day rolled along, what a fine surprise it was to realize that every single one of us felt burdened with the need to do our CG group “right!” 

But what if we throw this word out? 

What if leading a CG group is more about trusting than it is about being “right?” 

Why do we, as women, find it difficult to walk the path God places in front of us? Why do we feel a nagging need to follow someone else’s map when our own route allows us to take full advantage of the unique gifts God gives us? Perhaps it is because another’s well-worn path seems comfortable and right. Perhaps it is because of fear. Or, perhaps it is simply the enemy drawing us away from the very experience that God purposes to create unexpected beauty in our lives? A courageous leader takes a deep breath, walks forward, and takes the plunge with the One who paves her path. 

Here is the truth: Every CG tribe is different —full of challenges yet so beautiful. And why shouldn’t they be? We are each unique. Our daughters are unique. We were created this way on purpose and it is all being used to the mightily important purpose of raising our daughters to be known and to be loved. Grace meets us where we are at and allows us to move forward in our individual ways and quirky differences. 

I am reminded of when Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG).”

Courageous Girls is about trusting the unforced rhythms of grace and not about being right.

Written by Beth Kershner

Courageous Girls Leadership Coach

Learn more at

Be Loved, Love Well