Mama God (Grace & Space from the Deconstructing Mamas)
I was in my 30s before I first heard God referred to as She in a church service. It was actually during a song. Just one verse had been revised to include feminine pronouns.
I have a Maker
She formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in Her hand
She knows my name
She knows my every thought
She sees each tear that falls
And She hears me when I call
But that one verse was enough. Singing those familiar words to She broke open a dam inside of me. I began to weep in my seat. I didn’t realize how much I had felt excluded as a woman from the concept that we are all “created in the image of God” until that moment amid my tears.
Sure, I’d been around many people who talked about how every person was part of the image of God, and technically the sacred text I was raised with says right in Genesis 1:26-27 that God created earthlings/humans in God’s image, male and female, God created them. However, every song, every prayer, every work of art, every metaphor for God that any leader ever used in my presence as a child and young adult was decidedly and intentionally male. As a child, I internalized that God was male because that was the stronger, better option.
That pervasive, patriarchal idea of God equals male, which then has turned into male equals God has damaged us all at every level from personal to societal, and it needs to change. -Daneen Akers- P.S. TISSUE ALERT: Check out more about the beautiful felt "Mama God" figure in our featured picture.
This Week on the Podcast: Daneen Akers is the author of those thought-provoking words and Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints, an illustrated children's book about people of diverse faiths working for more love and justice in their corners of the world, even when that means rocking the religious boat.
Daneen believes deeply in the power of stories. Her past projects have explored faith, identity, and belonging. Daneen loves the gloaming, the time of day when it’s starting to grow dark and there’s magic in the air. She’s also very fond of books, walks in the woods, songs around a campfire, snuggles with her daughters, and large pots of hot beverages enjoyed with friends. She lives near Asheville, North Carolina, with her family. Most mornings she’s woken up by an enthusiastic Carolina wren outside her window. She is the mother of two children, and they have been primary motivators for her writing about a faith that works for the common good.
In this episode, we explore the idea of God in the feminine, as our Mother and discuss why it's important to introduce that concept to children, especially since we espouse that God is either above gender, or genderless. It's a fascinating discussion and will open up your mind, and especially your heart to the "many-breasted One." We also find out about her latest endeavor, a wonderful children's book soon to be released, Dear Mama God, that we have introduced below. Daneen is passionate and knowledgeable and at the same time, has a tenderness that will leave you wanting more. Listen in! You can find Daneen at the following places: Website: holytroublemakers.com dearmamagod.com Twitter: @daneenakers
Instagram: @daneenakers @holytroublebook
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Esther is the weekly featured author in
Deconstructing Hell, which is set to release late this year and takes dead aim at one of the most destructive doctrines of Church history: the doctrine of eternal suffering for the non-believer.
Esther's chapter is titled, "Pushed by Fear or Led by Love?" (raising children with a gospel of value and dignity vs. fear). Here is an excerpt from her chapter. "Wailing and gnashing of teeth and a lake of fire that burns forever and ever is the most damaging of all teachings surrounding Hell when it comes to children. For children to be thrust into even the notion of extreme violence and eternal torture, and for it to be tethered to a God who supposedly loves them creates confusion and distrust and fosters anxiety, shame and depression. How could it not?"
One of our favorite follows on Instagram is Happy Whole Way.
Cara and Rachael were both former pastors who bravely walked away from old beliefs, jobs, and community to find a beautiful, new life waiting for them on the other side. Knowing first-hand how difficult this journey is, they have devoted ourselves to teaching women the tools necessary to move through this hard time of deconstructing so you can relate to yourself and others in a completely new way.
One last thing. We, in these parts, love Halloween, and hope that you have a great one! We hope it's filled with costumes, candy and mostly connection with the people you love. Also, isn't Lizz adorable? >>>>>> We also 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!