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Occasionally, it's, "Hi! I'm Kernada, and I have brown hair!" or "Hi! I'm Kernada, and I like your jacket!"
But for the most part my daughter walks down the street or around the park shouting to ANY strangers who might be in close enough earshot to hear her, "Hi! I'm Kernada, and I have two moms!"
I always smile, because I love her extraversion (even though I don't understand it), her friendliness and desire to make connection, and her absolute pride in her two moms.
I also cringe just a little, because I wonder what people are thinking. I know no one is assuming, "Oh, this kid was probably in foster care and now her foster mom and birth mom are her joint legal guardians," and I'm definitely not going to join my daughter in shouting an explanation across the playground to the person minding their own business walking their dog who didn't ask anything about us.
Do they assume she's got a stepmom? Do they assume her parents are gay? It's weird because the gay thing is half true--she's got one gay mom. But it's also not true, because it's not WHY she has two moms. And I know, it doesn't matter what people think or assume. I'm proud of the family we've created, and if my kids had two gay married parents, I'd be proud of that too. I also know there are lots of blended families out there with a variety of arrangements, and no one should be making assumptions.
But I live in Waco, Texas and WHAT IF THIS RANDOM PERSON MY DAUGHTER IS TRYING SO HARD TO BE BEFRIEND JUDGES HER FOR HAVING TWO MOMS? Doesn't want their kid playing with her on the swing set? Thinks our family is a bad influence on society, either because we believe in divorce or in same-gendered love (I've practiced both)?
I want so badly to protect my baby from any and all unfair judgment. But I want even more for her to use her voice, feel her pride, speak her truth, and be her glorious, outgoing, aggressively-friendly, joyfully exuberant self.
Someday someone will stomp on her enthusiasm. But may it never be me.
This Week on the Podcast:
Kyndall Rae Rothaus, a preacher, poet, feminist theologian, spiritual director, and preaching coach, is our guest this week. She is the author of Thy Queendom Come: Breaking Free from Patriarchy to Save Your Soul (2021) and Preacher Breath (2015). She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Nevertheless She Preached, a national, ecumenical preaching conference designed to elevate the voices of womxn on the margins and the founder of the Soul of Preaching Project.
Kyndall is a sought-after public speaker whose piercing insights into the human spiritual condition are delivered with poetic and rhetorical brilliance. She is an award-winning preacher and spoken word artist. Kyndall spent eight years as a Senior Pastor in Baptist churches in Texas, where, among other things, she left a legacy of fighting for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church before leaving institutional church work to start her own business working with individuals to heal from religious trauma and re-imagine their spirituality. Kyndall is a queer woman and the single mom of two adopted children who are the biggest joys of her life. On this episode, we uncover the big ideas behind the "Queendom of God" and also why being queer provides one beautiful way to move from being constrictive to a life that's expansive. Kyndall also talks about how hard and holy being a single, queer mom of two adoptive little girls is and the overarching message she wants these two beautiful souls to know in their bones. Kyndall is passionate and tender, knowledgeable and compassionate. She has a deep respect, awe, and curiosity towards those who come across her path and her work as a spiritual director is to bear compassionate witness to the depths of others' lives, and, where appropriate, call forth the transformation their soul is in the process of birthing themselves. This episode will have you nodding your head, feeling seen, and brimming with hope for your deconstructing future. You can find Kyndall in these spaces:
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Our guest has a book that might just help you to make a big switch-er-roo inside yourself. Here's the recap: We are all born inside a fence. Not the same fence, but we all have our own variation of restrictions-passed-down-to-us. The narrative passed down to Christian women by patriarchal religion tells us not only that we are bad, but that we need someone outside ourselves to save us. We need a revolutionary new spirituality, and a revolutionary term to describe it: the queendom of God.
Telling the stories of some of the strongest women in all of Scripture -- like Delilah, Deborah, and Jael--as well as some of the most brutalized--like the daughter of Jephthah -- Thy Queendom Come offers a new path forward. In the queendom of God, we are no longer waiting on a rescuer. We realize we are ready to conceive and give birth to new life--a creative act between God and us, no masculine authority necessary.
We can, as women, say yes to the divine annunciation, quite apart from any sinner's prayer, the blessing of priests, or an ordination by men. We can leave the narrow kingdom behind and embrace a more vibrant, just, and inspiring spiritual life in God's queendom.
Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode that's coming up on Tuesday, October 24.
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,
Lizz & Esther P.S. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE!