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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Last week, we asked this simple question out on our social media pages: "What phrase or Bible verse makes you cringe when someone tries to "help" you with your deconstructing?" Your responses were fast and furious. "The heart is desperately wicked..." "But the Bible says..." "Lean not on your own understanding..." "God's ways are higher than our ways..." "God wouldn't give you more than you can handle..." "Broad is the way that leads to destruction..." Even writing those out for you to peruse feels super cringey to us and all kinds of trigger warnings from our amygdalae are firing at rapid speed. So what the bloody hell (sorry Brits for the cursing) are we supposed to when we're standing there once again dumbfounded at hearing a response from a "well-meaning" friend or family member who wants to "help" us find our way back to God? We're not much for advice-giving here in these parts, but we all need some help in the nitty-gritty of deconstructing and parenting and just trying to make it through the day and actually through this very uncomfortable conversation we find ourselves in. Here are our half-thoughts and some options (and we'd love you to comment with yours because, you know, this is a community and all that): 1. These responses are mostly about them, not about you. This journey you are going on is very uncomfortable for them for a host of reasons (the primary one is that they are scared out of their doggone minds that you are heading to hell) and they are trying to get themselves back into some kind of regulation so if they "tell you the truth in love" (YIKES), they are back off the hook for your eternal salvation (remember those days?!?). 2. You are allowed to change the subject or walk away slowly (or quickly) or block them on social media or politely fight back with what you've been learning, whatever decision makes you feel most safe and comfortable and empowered and all that. You are not responsible for anyone else's freak out or spiritual journey (PHEW!). 3. This is going to sound weird, but it's okay to look for something you agree with them about. Example: "I'm so glad we are both trying to figure out how to be the most loving versions of ourselves and how God is all intertwined with that...we'll figure it out" (or whatever version fits for you and this person). 4. You are not alone. We both watched the Hillsong documentary this past week and once again, were reminded there is a large shift taking place in western religion right now (and especially Christianity). Toxic ideologies and practices are coming to light and people are fighting back loud and strong now. We are with you as you recover and repair the damage done to you in the names of "love, God, church, family...." and seek to break the cycle with your own families. We are so glad you are here with us, doing this. Cheers to all of us! Our bravery.
Our passion. Our healing. Our curiosity. Our desire to make the world, and especially our own, a much more loving and better place! PODCAST THROW-BACK HIGHLIGHTS:
Can you believe we've had 40 (yes, count them, 4-0) podcast episodes so far? And according to the "Google" and to use the knowledge of some biblical scholars (LOL), in "Sacred Scripture," the number “40” signifies new life, new growth, transformation... So there you have it. PROOF! This week, we are highlighting FOUR of our "first-season episodes" that literally changed our lives and our ways of thinking about this deconstructing and parenting gig. SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO CATCH UP ON ANY YOU'VE MISSED! NOT QUITE ENOUGH with our own Lizz Enns Petters (EPISODE #1) To launch our podcast, Lizz, one of the dynamic hosting duo and known as the Deconstructed Mama, shares her story of hardship, heartbreak, and hope. Find out how "not quite good enough and not quite bad enough" landed her in some very unlikely real life spaces and why she started to go down the path to deconstruct her faith. UNTIL IT DOESN'T with also our own Esther Joy Goetz (EPISODE #2) Esther, the second half of the dynamic hosting duo and known as the Dolly Mama, shares her story of growing up in a developing war-torn country with her Evangelical missionary parents and how this impacted her faith journey. Listen in to hear how it all came down to this formula:
“Do all the right things, make all the right, godly choices and life goes the way it should.”
UNTIL..IT...DOESN'T What happens then? How can we be led by love instead of pushed by fear? YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE GOOD with Jenny Vanderberg Shannon (EPISODE #7) Jenny (find her HERE on the "gram") tackles the harmful and toxic ideology of "being a good girl" and how one phrase by renowned poet, Mary Oliver, "You do not have to be good" brought great healing to her broken heart and freed her up to figure out what had been haunting her all her life and what could change.
THE RELIEF GRIEF SANDWICH with Cindy Wang Brandt (EPISODE #12)
Cindy Wang Brandt, author of that quote, cohost on the Parenting Forward podcast and author of Parenting Forward, really digs deep into the subject of religious trauma and how that plays out in parenting. How can we heal ourselves, make good boundaries with our families of origin and give ourselves grace and space in the process?
Support Us PLEASE and Join Our Private Facebook Community Don't forget to sign up for our private and exclusive Deconstructing Mamas community on Facebook for those of you who want to move to the next level with us via our PATREON platform.
At this level, for as little as $3, you can ask questions, experience a safe and welcoming community with others who are deconstructing and receive special surprises along the way from Lizz and Esther.
We've been doing this for several months now and it's been more than we could have imagined. We love it there and think you will too! Head to this LINK to sign up!!
Here's what one of our most favorite humans of all time, Rachel Held Evans, had to say about this book:
"In Parenting Forward, the reader is treated to a robust and accessible guide to breaking the cycle of authoritarian, fear-based parenting in favor of a paradigm that pursues and celebrates equality, autonomy, and fully-embodied health and wholeness "one tiny act of love at a time and moving on to the next small right thing."
Cindy Wang Brandt's words are powerful and necessary if you are navigating the tricky tightrope of parenting and deconstruction and reconstruction, which, if we know anything, you probably are.
Enjoy this Snarky but VERY TRUE Reel! It may make you laugh, cry, shake your head or whatever! Don't forget to turn the sound on when you get there! It will make it all that much more fun! Happy Deconstructing, Friends!
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!