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Essentially Good and Worthy of Love

Welcome to Grace and Space, a weekly newsletter from the Deconstructing Mamas Podcast! GRACE for who you have been, are now and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be!

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At twenty one, my hair was falling out in huge clumps and patches, to the point where I started wearing a hat at all times to cover my bald spots. I threw up almost once a month sue to extreme stress induced nausea.

I had deeply internalized the message that I was fundamentally broken and unworthy of love and acceptance, and that I should be thankful to receive mercy I didn’t deserve.

For much of my twenties, I was in deep emotional pain I did not understand, and felt tremendous shame about the way that pain manifested in my actions. I could not understand my behavior as indicative of pain and a need for compassionate care, I only saw it as more evidence that there was something wrong with me. I was dissociated, drinking to numb my pain, lashing out at myself.

Now, I look back on that girl with such deep compassion and tenderness. As a mother, I know what it looks like to see my young child lashing out in frustration, pain and confusion. I know he is not behaving this way because he is “bad” and deserves to be punished and threatened into compliance - what he needs is my arms around him, my witness to his pain, my ability to be a safe adult who can remain regulated and hold him steady when his young nervous system cannot. I know what it feels like to have his body relax and breath deepen in my arms.

My understanding of divine, unconditional love has deepened and expanded beyond what old doctrines once allowed. I am continuing to open myself up to more wonder, more reverence for the mystery of life, more curiosity, more compassion- less judgement, less closed, dogmatic certainty, less dehumanization of myself and others. I am reclaiming my story with pen and paper, archetype and rhyme, prose and pictures- and all the while, I am reaching back to the girl I once was, and embracing her with the compassion she always deserved.

**this was originally published on Stephanie Stalvey's Instagram page**


This Week on the Podcast:

I’m trying to be in alignment with what I understand what the true principles of love to actually be. (Stephanie Stalvey)

The compassionate and kind Stephanie Stalvey is our guest this week on the podcast. Stephanie is a deconstructing mama of one, high school art teacher, and painter writer and comic book artist extraordinaire. She loves music and animals and going to the beach when its cold.

She's been irresistibly drawn to making comics since she was a kid. Comics are intimate, they are rock and roll, they’re visual prose that gives both the writer and reader a highly personal experience of the story.

She's currently  working on a long form memoir that focuses on her experiences as a mother, a lover, and 90s church kid. In her work, she reflects on coming of age inside the evangelical church and her subsequent reckoning with religious and spiritual ideas as an adult.

On this episode, just like in her comics, you will hear Stephanie's portrait of a continual pursuit to understand herself, her ideological inheritance, her relationships,  her God, and her place in this wild, strange, sacred world we all share.

You can find the Stephanie in these spaces:



Latest News:

Join our private PATREON group. For as little as $3/month, you will get lots of extras from Lizz and Esther, including deeper discussions about topics on the podcast, first dibs on knowing about future exciting projects and perhaps some special deals exclusive to those projects and our NEW QUARTERLY ZOOM DISCUSSION GROUP where we dive lots deeper into the things we need to sort out with parenting and deconstructing.

We love our podcast!

We love our guests!

We love our amazing assistant, Julie!

We love helping you walk the tricky tightrope of parenting and deconstructing at the same time!

We do NOT love asking for help (or money) in order to keep it going!

But we also don't love feeling alone in this!

Head to this LINK to join us! You won't regret it! And plus, the reality is that you will help us keep the lights on over here at Deconstructing Mamas. We really really want to! Thank you in advance!


Resource Alerts:

We've been working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring you our favorite books for deconstructing and reconstructing for both children (all ages and stages) and adults. And we are ready to share them with you!


Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode that's coming up on Tuesday, March 26 with Stephanie Stalvey.


One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.

Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,

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