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You Will Always Belong

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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Who Belongs? Do We?

It starts so young.

We ask ourselves: Who belongs? Do we?

My heart broke as my then five-year old came home from kindergarten one day with tears in her eyes.

"They won't let me in."

"Into what honey?" I asked tenderly.

"Into the blond club. I have brown hair."

UGH. REALLY?!?!?!?

Having been the only "red head" my whole life in many circumstances, this exclusion hit me right in the deepest part of the feels.

Who belongs? Do we?

It's not just hair. NOT AT ALL.

It permeates our whole life.

Middle school lunch tables.

High school sports teams.

College application processes.

Belief systems.

Interest or life-status groups.

Even families.

Who belongs? Do we?

Sometimes, the answer is a hearty "YES!"

We saved you a seat!

You made the team!

You have a thick envelope waiting for you in the mailbox!

Please be on our governing board!

Join our club!

Take my last name!


The looming question is quieted and we feel all safe inside.


Something goes amiss. Awry.

We wear something unacceptable to the leader of the lunch table.

An injury ends our season.

The tuition is too hefty.

We begin to question what we've been taught all our life.

Our new job schedule doesn't work with the club meeting dates.

We do something unforgivable.

Then the answer becomes a very loud and emphatic "NO!"


We are US and you are THEM!

We are INSIDE and you are OUTSIDE!

It's no wonder we hide and do whatever it takes to fit in and forgo our true selves.

We just want to belong.

To be on the inside.

To be loved.

It's part of being us. Human. Our crucial need to belong.

So what's our answer to: Who belongs? Do we?

I've been thinking a lot lately about Jesus' prayer at the end of his life that "they are ONE just as he and his Father are ONE." I can sense his desperation, his passion to will it so. He wanted everyone to know that they always and already belonged.



No US vs THEM.


WE ALL ALREADY BELONG. To God. To Love. To Each Other. And especially (and I'm working hard on this) to Ourselves.

**a version of this was originally published in Esther's "devotional" (Wit, Wisdom, Whimsy: Winter) and it's always in a state of evolving as she works through her own deconstruction and changing faith..who might be completely different next time she writes about it**


This Week on the Podcast:

“God is like a fort, strong and secure with walls that are mighty and safe. Inside, there are hidden places to hold you when you’re scared or need a quiet place to rest.” What is God Like (Matthew Paul Turner & Rachel Held Evans) The spunky and amazing Matthew Paul Turner is our guest this week on the podcast. Matthew is a dad of three, New York Time's best-selling children's author, and accomplished photographer and journalist.

Matthew's fiery, yet gentle spirit and his passion to help others belong to and be completely themselves and to understand the unconditional love of God is contagious.

On this episode, you will hear wild stories of burning Barbies and tears in parking lots, guns hidden in pulpits and unforeseen joy and healing. Matthew speaks of his long journey into deconstructing his faith, how his gift of writing children's books unfolded, and the gift of belonging that he has given to himself and now is pouring into others, especially his children.

You will find yourself laughing and crying all within moments of each other as you listen, but mostly you will find yourself, period. Don't miss out! You can find the Matthew in these spaces: Instagram: @matthewpaulturner Facebook: @matthewpaulturner



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:

From the national New York Times bestselling author of When God Made You comes a lyrical, beautifully illustrated story reminding children that their worth comes from who they were created to be from the very beginning, with all their unique gifts and personalities.

You belong! You do.

You have light inside you.

You can join the big story and help God make things new.

When you know who you are

and your people do too,

That light that you shine

is your power, your truth.

You Will Always Belong is a joyous reminder that we were created by God with infinite beauty and purpose from the day we were born, just by existing as who we are, with all of our quirks and differences. In this hopeful and encouraging children's book, parents and kids alike will be encouraged to live confidently and freely as their whole selves, certain that God created everyone exactly as they are supposed to be.


Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode that's coming up on Tuesday, March 19.


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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