Deconstructing Mamas

Lizz Enns Petters and Esther Joy Goetz

If you are trying to figure out how to navigate the tricky tightrope of parenting while you have questions, doubts and wonderings about your spiritual journey, this podcast is for you. It doesn't matter if your kids are smalls, middles, or bigs. We will explore what and how we are deconstructing from churchianity, harmful belief systems, and diving deep into the ways we can work this out in parenthood. We will also work through ideas for reconstructing a space for our families to thrive under new systems of love and freedom. We can't wait to bring you some hope that you are not alone and that it's really okay, even good, to explore all the possibilities that may have felt closed off in the past. This podcast will offer you grace and space to be exactly where you are and who you are. We are glad you are here. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Reclaiming Internal Authority - Esther Joy Goetz
1w ago
Reclaiming Internal Authority - Esther Joy Goetz
We tend to look for answers outside ourselves. From books. Church. From friends or family. Even from society. We are called deeper, to sink down inside ourselves, where what we need is intertwined with what the Divine has to offer us. The place where we can trust and rest and then go and do. (Esther Goetz)Our guest this week is our very own Esther Goetz. Esther is a deconstructing mama of four, an author and spiritual director, dedicated to helping you take your next step in the growth of your soul.On this episode, we explore the very important idea of reclaiming our internal authority that was taken away from us by high-control religion, culture and even family systems.We chat in depth about these ideas:The value of spiritual direction, what it is not and what it is.The difficulty of moving from external authority to internal authority. Some of the messages we’ve received in high-control religion.The importance of embarking on this journey to discover ourselves and take up the mantle of making decisions from a place of internal authority.Some practical tools for reclaiming our own internal authority.Taking the practices of spiritual direction and applying them to our parenting.Resources that Esther has for those who find themself parenting and in this ever-evolving faith journey.Our favorite words from this podcast episode were things like "companionship" and "connection" and "divine spark" and "holy listening" and "midwifery." Find out why when you listen.LASTLY, we have a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT at the end of the podcast about a resource that's coming up in the summer! WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!You can find Esther at the following:Website: estherjoygoetz.comSpiritual Direction: Heard and HeldSpiritual/Author Spaces:Facebook:  Esther, the Dolly Mama Instagram: @estherthedollymamaMoms of Big Kids:Facebook: Moms of BigsInstagram: @momsofbigs
It's Not Complicated - Malynda Hale
May 7 2024
It's Not Complicated - Malynda Hale
Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. - Malynda HaleMalynda Hale, mom, activist, singer, author and actress, is our guest this week. Malynda uses her voice through her music and social media presence as an educating activist to effect change within social justice, female empowerment, LGBTQ+ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, Antisemitism and Progressive Christianity.On this podcast episode, we dive deep into lots of that, but we also spend our time hashing out how to truly love ourselves and those around us, especially our kids. "It doesn't have to be complicated" was a theme that came up over and over again, something that felt like a balm to our over-busy and way-over-complicated lives.We spent time chatting through these incredible questions:1.  You are what you call a "progressive Christian. How would you define progressive christianity for yourself?2. You use your platform to fight for the things that are important to you, which we really respect and love. What social justice issues do you feel aren’t getting the attention they deserve in the Church?3. Your quote, "promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate," is powerful, and something that we strive for in our approach to deconstruction. How do you apply this to your life and why does it feel important to you?4. We talk a lot about how our own journeys shift the ways that we relate to our kids. How does your work as an activist and artist spill over into your parenting? 5. Picture yourself sitting at your dinner table with your daughter. What would be your overarching message to her about God, faith and herself?Our favorite words from this podcast episode were things like "normal" and "change" and "love" and "simple." Find out why when you listen.You can find Malynda at the following:Website: malyndahale.comInstagram:  @malyndahaleThreads:  @malyndahaleP.S. There is one passion project that Malynda speaks about on the podcast that we want to highlight this week.  R.O.C ERA is a non profit organization that was founded with the hope to make the impossible, possible by serving our underprivileged children in black and brown communities.They provide mentoring programs that curate experiences and expose them to programming that is not traditionally available to youth in impoverished communities. Programs that consist of visual and performing arts, fitness, nutrition, social and emotional skills.
Love Yourself - Amber Schultz
Apr 30 2024
Love Yourself - Amber Schultz
The Church needs to be called out and take responsibility for the damage it has done to people. The survivors should be heard. So no, I don't always talk about the good. Because until the darkness is exposed, and more people are removed from power that absolutely should not be in it, I will not be quiet. - Amber SchultzAmber Schultz, founder of Fundie Freed, a webcast devoted to telling religious trauma survivor stories, comes on the podcast as our guest this week. Amber is a single mama of three daughters and is highly passionate about breaking free from toxic religion and learning to love herself and others fully and without conditions.On this podcast episode, we hear Amber's own story of survival, having freed herself from an abusive family and church, along with the intermingling of those harmful systems. Amber walks us through these very difficult and important questions:You grew up in an abusive home, where silence and obedience were strictly enforced and you were kept under complete subjugation. Can you share with us, as you are comfortable, an example from your childhood that might give us deeper insight?Once you gave yourself permission to seek therapy, what were some of the toxic theologies that you discovered were, as you’ve described them, “lies you’d been told?”  What’s been the hardest lie to unlearn?You are learning to love yourself. Was there a specific “aha” moment or tool that has helps you to do this? (we all struggle here)We love your platform and your YouTube channel, Fundie Freed. Why did you create this space?We also talk loud and long about taking a different parenting path than the way Amber grew up and what key values she brings into her parenting as she navigates her life as a single mom with three girls. These are powerful and have to do with purity culture, bodily autonomy, emotional health and creating a safe space.You will be both heart-broken and filled with all kinds of hope as you listen to this episode. We hope you join in.You can find Amber at the following:Youtube: youtube.com/@fundiefreedFacebook: Fundie Freed Instagram:  @fundiefreed
Deconstructing Your Faith Without Losing Yourself - Angela J. Herrington
Apr 23 2024
Deconstructing Your Faith Without Losing Yourself - Angela J. Herrington
Deconstruction invites us to become really honest about what we believe, why we hold those beliefs sacred, how they influence the way we relate to our creator, and who is actually served by our beliefs. If we trust the process enough to lower our walls and honestly engage with our questions, deconstruction promises to reveal undiscovered bias, limiting beliefs, and any flawed doctrines that actively harm people. - Angela J. HerrringtonBack for round two, Angela J. Herrington, comes on the podcast as our guest this week. We are doubly-thrilled to have her back! Angela is a deconstructing mama to five kiddos, a deconstruction coach and as of late, an author to a brand-new book!Whether you are deconstructing due to curiosity, uncertainty, or a compelling inner voice, Angela helps you explore the deeply personal journey of faith deconstruction compassionately and without judgment. Together, the two of you will slog through the uncertainties and complexities of faith deconstruction. Laughing, crying, and raging against the toxic religious machine together.On this podcast episode, we find out why Angela is so passion about writing her new book Deconstructing your Faith without Losing Yourself and especially tackle these questions:1. Is deconstruction a trend? Why or why not?2. How do we navigate deconstruction without losing what feels like our core selves?3. What tools are there to sort through our ideas and beliefs and why is a sense of autonomy/internal authority so important in this process?4. How do we navigate the resentments that we might still hold for our old church, family members, belief systems?  We also discover what hope there is for our kids as we navigate a shifting and evolving faith, especially perhaps the importance of a relationship with themselves, so vital and different than perhaps the way we grew up.Angela is feisty and fantastic (if we say so ourselves). You will find yourself nodding along and saying lots of "me toos" and "amens" (if that's even still allowed - winky face).You can find Angela at the following:Website:  www.angelajherriington.comFacebook: Angela J HerringtonThe Faith Deconstruction Cafe Instagram:  @angelajherringtonPinterest:  @angelajherringtonX:  @angherringtonLinked In: Angela J HerringtonYouTube:  Angela J Herrington
Walking Out of & Into Spiritual Rooms - Emily P. Freeman
Apr 16 2024
Walking Out of & Into Spiritual Rooms - Emily P. Freeman
The question we need to ask is this one: Am I being pushed by fear or led by love?  (Emily P. Freeman)We are absolutely thrilled to have Emily P. Freeman join us on the podcast this week. Emily is a New York Times best-selling author, a mom to three, a spiritual director and podcast hostess. Her most important work is to help create soul space and offer spiritual companionship and discernment for anyone struggling with decision fatigue and trying to make a life in the process.Emily vulnerably speaks about her own spiritual journey and we walked through ways we can be pushed by fear instead of led by love and perhaps how to flip the narrative in our own life when it comes to making hard decisions, especially in the transitional space of walking out of and into the various "rooms" in our lives: faith communities, seasons, jobs, and so many more.She allows us a behind-the-scenes look into her own very difficult decision to walk out of the "room" of the church she and her family were an integral part of and all the emotions surrounding it: grief and relief to name just two. She guides into understanding how leaving something as important to her as church helped us to hold onto her very important faith.Our favorite part of the podcast was two-fold: when we discover why it's so essential to be your own friend during times of transition, especially during an evolving faith journey, and also how Emily has navigated walking in and out of many different spiritual "rooms" while in the throes of raising her three children.This episode will be a balm to your spiritual soul, a respite in the rush of life and give room for you to take a long, slow, deep breathYou can find Emily at the following:Instagram:  @emilypfreemanWebsite:  www.emilypfreeman.comPodcast:  The Next Right Thing
Deconstructing Spanking - Matt Shantz
Apr 2 2024
Deconstructing Spanking - Matt Shantz
*trigger warning*“My passion is to have a kinder and gentler world for our little people in faith spaces.” (Matt Shantz)Meet Matt Shantz, husband, dad, social worker in child and adolescent mental health, and spiritual mentor. Matt is our podcast guest this week and we are so grateful to have had one of the most complicated, difficult and needed conversations we've had on the podcast to date.This week, we tackle the subject of spanking and we do so in a way that will be informative and passionate, full of stories and science, but also allow room for both the heartbreak and hope.We discuss the trauma of spanking in all categories: physical, spiritual, emotional, relational and even sexual.We share stories (even our own) of harm and also of repair and touch on the way our view of God might be behind how we view the healthy "discipline" of our kids.We chat in depth about the research surrounding spanking, what it says and perhaps why the "Christian church" has been at odds with what's been found (i.e., why do many high-control religions deem spanking as necessary discipline?).Lastly, we move into a posture of hope for a kinder and gentler future. What can we do instead of resort to violence with our kids? Why is that so important? How can we repair our relationships with ourselves and our kids when we blow it? What should we do if we've been either the victim of spanking or the perpetrator of it?We are so incredibly grateful to Matt for his transparency, vulnerability and passion when it comes to this subject and also recognize that this might be incredibly difficult for some of you to listen to for a host of reasons.It's why we are so glad there is someone like Matt who provides spiritual care and mentorship for wholeness, embracing a client-centered and compassionate approach. Matt's focus is on integrating and supporting spirituality, nurturing emotional wellness, respecting individual beliefs and experiences. Through active listening and non-judgmental guidance, Matt hopes to empower individuals to find meaning, strength, faith and hope.You can find his good work at the following:Website: mattshantz.orgInstagram: @shantzmatt
Parenting After Deconstruction - Sarah Schwartzendruber
Mar 12 2024
Parenting After Deconstruction - Sarah Schwartzendruber
“You aren't going to mess up your kids' theology." (Sarah Swartzendruber) The brilliant Sarah Swartzendruber is our guest this week on the podcast. Sarah is a mama, pastor, kid's faith curriculum creator (Zippee) and cohort leader for Parenting After Deconstruction. Most of the parents who reach out to her know what they don't want to teach their kids, but they have no idea what they do want for their families. Sarah's passion is helping parents in deconstruction create healthy spiritual practices for their kids that answer the question, "What now? How can we do this well?"On this episode, we unpack the "tricky tightrope" of sorting through our own faith and spirituality while trying to raise our kids and Sarah works to empower us with the freedom to reimagine what parenting our kids with a healthy spirituality might look like. We also chat about where to start when it comes to what we pass along to our kids and you might be surprised, not surprised. We answer these three questions: 1. We said it in our intro, your quote, “You aren’t going to mess up your kids’ theology.” But what if we feel like we will and we are?2. How do we unwind our own fears from how we interact with our children and their faith journey?3. What are some ways that we can meet our kids in their curiosity about God, heaven, Jesus, etc. Sarah is brilliant, imaginative and funny, while at the same time, a kick-butt theologian who will help you to feel like you've got what it takes to walk this "tricky tightrope" in confidence and clarity, but mostly in compassion and curiosity. Don't miss out!You can find the Sarah in these spaces:Instagram: @parentingafterdeconstructionWebsite: www.parentingafterdeconstuction.com
Diet Culture & Extreme Religion - Trisha Wilkerson
Mar 5 2024
Diet Culture & Extreme Religion - Trisha Wilkerson
“Self-discovery is the goal. Self-compassion is the vibe." (Trisha Wilkerson)We start off Season Five with Trisha Wilkerson as our guest this week on the podcast. And it's really good! Trisha is a deconstructing mama, author, former pastor's wife turned certified Nutrition Coach. She works with individuals and groups, guiding a behavioral change process towards increasing overall wellness. Her style is wholeheartedness, with curiosity and gentle challenges.Trisha's journey in Transformation, Healing, and Holistic Wellness began in the Church, where she learned to listen and love. 25 years in the Evangelical Church taught me much about walking with brokenness and pain and learning how to heal. She learned how to lead people, counsel, write, and coach.But along the way, she began to discover uncomfortable truths about extreme religion and the trauma that results from the disconnection from our bodies and, in all honesty, disconnection from ourselves. She also researched the way diet culture and extreme religion are intertwined and how we can untangle the harmful messages of judgment and shame and move into a space of compassionate curiosity and deep connection with our bodies.On this episode, our fascinating conversation leads us into the murky waters of diet culture and how extreme religion was the perfect space for all the harmful messages surrounding the body and the constant striving for perfection. We also discover new ways of engaging with food, our "already good" bodies and the recovery of souls along the way. This time around, we find out, not what we need to be teaching our kids about faith, God and themselves, but what what they have to teach us.Trisha is kind, gentle and passionate and views journeying with others now as such an adventure– with not one destination! Embracing mystery has emboldened her to be curious and love people with more gentleness and dignity. Advocating for people has meant that she step into their stories with them and together seek change for their individual growth and healing.And pretty soon, she will have a book out called "Already Good" How Diet Culture and Religion Exploit Our Desires For Worthiness. Not sure about you, but we can't wait to get it.You can find the Trisha in these spaces:Instagram: @trisharwilkersonWebsite (her Wellness Coaching practice): www.trishawilkerson.com
I Might Be Wrong - Zack Hunt
Nov 28 2023
I Might Be Wrong - Zack Hunt
“Admitting we could be wrong about the things we are most convinced of, that are so fundamental to who we are, is painful and becoming someone new is scary.” (an excerpt from Godbreathed, Zack Hunt)Zack Hunt (sometimes known as Zaack Hunt around the internet, a deconstructing dad, former pastor, prolific author and BBQ magician extraordinaire, is our guest this week. Zack has spent the last decade writing about the interplay of faith and politics and when not doing that good work, he can be found traveling and trying out new restaurants with his wife, playing with their two little girls, and sneaking out onto his back porch trying to smoke the perfect rack of ribs on his beloved smoker.After we dive into Zack's never-ending and evolving faith journey, we dive into the space of how he got to the place of "I might be wrong," and where that wild idea that has taken him.We speak about all kinds of fancy theological terms like exegesis and "sola scriptura," but in the end of the day, we share stories about fear and grief and walking this very nuanced and difficult road of parenting in this new found space and how LOVE is the beginning and end of the story.Zack's humor will have you laughing and his vulnerability will have you crying.  And you will find out why it matter so much that we are all God-breathed. Plus, you will find out why the heck most of his internet spaces are Zaack.  Listen in.You can find Za(a)ck at the following spaces:Instagram:  @zaackhuntFacebook:  Zack Hunt (but if you are searching, look for @zaackhunt)Twitter (not X according to Zack):  @zaackhuntWebsite:   zackhunt.net
My Love, God is Everywhere - The Reverend Mamas
Nov 21 2023
My Love, God is Everywhere - The Reverend Mamas
“My love, God is here when you choose goodness and are living from your heart. When you follow the path of love, God is with you from the start. And God is there when you mess up, if you make a choice that isn’t best. It  doesn’t mean you’re bad; it just means you’re human-like all the rest.” (an excerpt from My Love, God is Everywhere)Victoria Robb Powers and Cameron Vickrey, also known as the Reverend Mamas, are our guests this week on the podcast.  Victoria is the Senior Pastor at Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and is the first female to pastor a Baptist church in the DFW Metroplex. She is a graduate of Baylor University and Brite Divinity School at TCU in Fort Worth. Victoria lives with her husband and three children in Lake Highlands. She loves to read, write, preach and teach.Cameron  is a graduate of Furman University and Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She currently works for Fellowship Southwest, sharing stories of ministry and mission along the US--Mexico border and advocating for migrants. She is also passionate about public education, and co-founded a nonprofit called RootEd, galvanizing parents of public school children to tell their stories and become advocates. Cameron lives in San Antonio with her family. Her free time is spent with her kids; wishing she were a gardener; teaching Sunday school to middle schoolers, and reading lots of books.On this episode, our conversation leads us to the deep questions of life and especially from kids about who God is and where God is and when God is.  We chat about subjects from soap operas and healthy theology to original sin vs original blessing to how reparenting ourselves while we parent our own kids is deeply healing.Their children's book, My Love, God is Everywhere, is a new favorite of ours and both Lizz and Esther have experienced its healing nature for us as grown ups (I think they both use it devotionally) and also the beautiful message it has for our kids.At one point in the episode, which you have to listen to find out, both Lizz and Esther had their pens out frantically writing something down that changed their perspectives forever.If you want to make room for your own child-like soul to breathe and heal, this is a must-listen to episode. Like seriously, folks. You can find the Reverend Mamas and their book in these spaces:Instagram:  @thereverendmamasMore about Their Book:  My Love, God is Everywhere
Deconstructing Hell - Chad Bahl
Nov 14 2023
Deconstructing Hell - Chad Bahl
"I would hope never to feel so confident in my theology as not to be willing to correct a wrong view once presented with compelling evidence." Chad Bahl (Deconstructing Hell)Chad Bahl is our podcast guest this week. Chad is a theologian, step-dad and author. Chad is also a kind, humble, deep, brilliant soul who is on a personal mission to seek the whole truth no matter what the cost.On this episode, after we find out one of Chad's fun and super unique hobbies and his surprising day job, we take a deep dive into Open and Relationship Theology (think and un-controlling, loving and co-partnering kind of God), the problem of evil, but mostly the horrific and toxic theology over Eternal Conscious Torment (otherwise known as Hell as many of us grew up understanding it).We also talk about our the book that Chad compiled and edited that Lizz and Esther had a chance to be a part of called Deconstructing Hell and how each one of us got to the place where, as we like to say in these parts, "hell is OFF the table." And then, especially how this "hell" thing plays out in parenting (hint, it's awful).This conversation will pretty much get you thinking out of the box and free you from that box that has kept you afraid and small. Because, being pushed by fear is terrible, but being led by love is something entirely beautiful.You can find Chad in these spaces:Facebook:  Chad BahlFacebook Group:  Deconstructing HellInstagram:  @bahlchadWebsite:   thelaytheologian.com
Liminal Space & Winter's Gifts - Kaitlin Curtice
Nov 7 2023
Liminal Space & Winter's Gifts - Kaitlin Curtice
“In a time when we love to keep ourselves separated from one another with our ideologies and beliefs, liminality asks how we exist in those in between spaces.” - Kaitlin Curtis (Living Resistance)Kaitlin Curtice is our podcast guest this week. Kaitlin is an award-winning author, poet-storyteller, and public speaker. As an enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi nation, Kaitlin writes on the intersections of spirituality and identity and how that shifts throughout our lives.She also speaks on these topics to diverse audiences who are interested in truth-telling and healing.As an inter-spiritual advocate, Kaitlin participates in conversations on topics such as colonialism in faith communities, and she has spoken at many conferences on the importance of inter-faith relationships.On this episode, we find out what Kaitlin means by liminal space and why it is such an important part of our spiritual journey. This fascinating discussion leads us into ways we can engage in the unknown, wilderness of deconstructing and parenting.We also chat about Kaitlin's new children's book, Winter's Gifts, the tale of a young Potawatomi girl named Dani whose family celebrates the darkest season of the year by treasuring the slowness that winter brings to our families.If you struggle with winter and want to you allow yourself to experience the gifts of the season that might seem bleak and hopeless, this episode is exactly what you need to hear. We sure did.You can find Kaitlin in these spaces:Instagram:  @kaitlincurticeFacebook:  Kaitlin B. CurticeWebsite:   kaitlincurtice.com
Stories and Solidarity - Dr. Drew Hart
Oct 31 2023
Stories and Solidarity - Dr. Drew Hart
“Following Jesus out of the entanglements of Christian supremacy and white supremacy are deep convictions. We believe God desires so much more from the Church than the frequently empty religiosity and hypocrisy we have become adjusted to.”  --Dr. Drew Hart Dr. Drew Hart, black activist, racial reconciliation expert, biblical studies professor and father of three boys, is our guest this week. Drew is the author of Trouble I've Seen and Who Will Be A Witness. Following Jesus out of the entanglements of Christian supremacy and white supremacy are deep convictions of Drew. He believes God desires so much more from the Church than the frequently empty religiosity and hypocrisy we have become adjusted to. When we begin to envision God’s dream for us together, we can strive for the flourishing of all people by doing justice and the things that make for peace.On this episode, we talk with Drew about his unique story being raised in a black evangelical church in a diverse suburb of Philadelphia and what happened to him upon going to a mostly white Christian college. What happened and why did that change the course of his life forever?We also unpack what it means to have true solidarity with those who are marginalized and oppressed and how we, as the privileged, can begin the work in our own hearts and in the lives of our children.This episode is chock-full of goodness and it is definitely one that you do not want to miss. Especially if racial reconciliation feels overwhelming and you don't know where to start.You can find Drew in these spaces:Instagram:  @druhartFacebook:  Drew G.I. HartWebsite:   drewgihart.com
From Constrictive to Expansive - Kyndall Rae Rothaus
Oct 17 2023
From Constrictive to Expansive - Kyndall Rae Rothaus
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:Instagram:  @kyndallraerothausFacebook:  Kyndall Rae Rothaus, Author Website:   kyndallraerothaus.com