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

Compassionate Curiosity - Shelly Robinson
Dec 6 2022
Compassionate Curiosity - Shelly Robinson
"Motherhood is the hardest and holiest work because my kids reflect back to me what I haven't yet resolved within myself."  (Shelly Robinson)Shelly Robinson, mom of two, founder of Raising Yourself, certified family wellness coach, author of the Rebirth Journal, and creator behind the Connected Collection, a powerful bundle of transformational parenting tools, is our podcast guest this week and will round out Season 2.She's also a lover of tacos, coffee enthusiast, Enneagram 2, ENFJ, and a neuro-spicy (hello ADHD diagnosis at 43 years old), and homeschooling mama. Her top three values are authenticity, humor, and integrity.Shelly has taken my lived and professional experience as a coach and mother and made it her mission to educate and equip parents with the knowledge, tools, and support they deserve to reparent themselves, break cycles, and better understand the relationship between their childhoods and the way they parent.On this episode, Shelly walks us through the very helpful and necessary idea of having to reparent ourselves as we deconstruct systems that have kept our inner child hidden, voiceless, and often wounded. All the big picture, yet practical tips Shelly has for us on this episode will not only change the way you parent, but the way you treat yourself. This is really big and a whole new way seeing the world and especially the relationships that matter the most to you.  You will want to take notes and follow everything Shelly does and get your hands on the resources she has for you.You can find Shelly at the following:Instagram:  @raising_yourselfFacebook:  Shelly Robinson - Raising YourselfWebsite: shellyrobinson.comShelly has some incredible products for you. Check them out here:The Connected Kid Collection (launching December 12th)Get the support you deserve with the Connected Collection, a powerful bundle of parenting tools that will give you exactly what you need to cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself and with your child. What’s Included: 50 (physical) Connected Kid conversation cards;Dozens of online activities to supplement the cards; and100 page workbook called Reparenting the Younger YouRebirth Journal (Available Now)Grow a new way of parenting, cultivate more self-compassion, and relate to yourself and your child in a way that honors both your wholeness and worthiness.
Original Blessing - Danielle Shroyer
Nov 29 2022
Original Blessing - Danielle Shroyer
The funny, yet very insightful Danielle Shroyer, is our guest this week. Danielle Shroyer is an author, speaker, spiritual director, and former pastor. A founding member in the emerging church movement, Danielle served as the pastor of one of the nation’s first independent emerging communities of faith for nearly a decade. Her primary goal as a pastor was to help people going through a season of spiritual deconstruction find healthy, sustainable, and meaningful ways to reconstruct their faith.Danielle has a particular heart for the spiritual-but-not-religious, and has long advocated for fresh approaches to spiritual community. Over the years, she has offered guidance to struggling and transitioning congregations searching for new ways to embody their purpose. You can find her reflections on meditation and other grounding spiritual practices at www.beasoulninja.com.A resident of Dallas, Texas, Danielle and her husband have two children. She’s a self-declared nerd who reads voraciously and enjoys in-depth conversations about stuff some people may find boring. What she loves most in the whole world is watching someone do what makes their soul come alive. When she’s not working, you can often find her at the yoga studio or in her taekwondo dojang.On this episode, Danielle unpacks the revolutionary and healing idea of original blessing and how it informs and transforms the way we interact with ourselves, our children and the world around us. This is a MUST-LISTEN!You can find Danielle at the following:Twitter: @dgshroyerInstagram: @danielle.shroyerWebsite: www.danielleshroyer.com
Pastoring, Potatoes and Parenthood- Ben Cremer
Nov 22 2022
Pastoring, Potatoes and Parenthood- Ben Cremer
The fabulous Ben Cremer is our guest this week. Ben is all these things: Wesleyan. Writer. Chronic student. Constant investigator. Idahoan (Lizz and Esther had never met anyone before from Idaho). He is very well-known for the black boxes on social media filled with mic drop after mic drop of wisdom and cut-to-the-chase snippets that speak to where we find ourselves in modern Christianity in America.What happens when you talk about pastoring, potatoes (he is from Idaho, people) and parenthood in the same Zoom space? You get an amazing podcast episode!  Ben is a brandy-new dad who has big plans to raise his son and any future children without all the destructive "spirituality" that he was raised with. His story is a nail biter and while he was speaking, Esther and Lizz had shocked looks on their faces because they could hardly believe what they were hearing. It's a story that shows how harmful toxic religion can be, but also a story that gives hope that lives can be transformed and healed. A story that says, "it all stops here." A story that is much like many of our own.Ben has a weekly newsletter that dives deep into how religion and politics intersect. He already has over 5000 subscribers (two of which are us) in a very short time because it is chock full of information, wisdom and also hope.  You can sign up for it right HERE.You can find Ben at the following:Instagram:  @brcremer Facebook:  Benjamin Cremer Twitter:  @brcremer Blog: Constant Investigations
This Little Light of Mine - Torri Williams
Nov 8 2022
This Little Light of Mine - Torri Williams
“To be human in an aching world is to know our dignity and become people who safeguard the dignity of everything around us.”-Cole Arthur Riley-This Week on the Podcast:Torri Williams, our guest this week, is an activist and brilliant soul. Growing up in a small town which was prominently white and highly evangelical as a a black charismatic fundamentalist, she found herself constantly curious about her faith and how it played out, not only for herself as a black woman, but for others who were marginalized by the church and by society.Torri deeply believes in the power of dignity, something she views as given to every human being, regardless of race, belief system, sexual orientation, age, social status, gender and so much more.She is a fellow deconstructing mama, married to a "white rapper," and has a blended family that includes one adult child, three teenagers, and twin six-year olds. This makes for beautiful mayhem and allows her to speak into all of us as she navigates all the complexities of motherhood, including the intersection of her evolving faith, her passion for the marginalized (especially women of color) and parenting in a multi-racial family. In this episode, we explore why "curiosity didn't kill the cat" and how offering dignity can change our lives and the lives of our children. Dignity is the match that ignites our flames so that our lights can shine brightly for ourselves and others to be guided by and enjoy. It's one of the more powerful conversations we've had as Torri challenges our notions of who is allowed to sit "at the table" and perhaps why some are not. Lizz and Esther were much more quiet this time around because they were much more interested in listening than talking, and that tells you enough right there.One of Torri's favorite authors, black female liturgist, Cole Arthur Riley, is the author of the above quote, a young black woman and liturgist who has challenged and changed her. Listen to the episode to find out why...You can find Torri at the following:Instagram:  @torri1999
Mama God - Daneen Akers
Nov 1 2022
Mama God - Daneen Akers
"As long as a masculine god remains at the top of the pyramid, nothing else we do matters."  Dr. Rev. Will GaffneyDaneen Akers is the author of 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.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.comdearmamagod.comTwitter:  @daneenakers  Instagram:  @daneenakers @holytroublebook @dearmamagod
Internal Family Systems - Molly LaCroix
Oct 25 2022
Internal Family Systems - Molly LaCroix
"Why do Christians talk so much about love but often, fail to be loving?"Molly LaCroix is the author of that quote, a speaker and licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). She specializes in treating the impact of early adverse experiences and trauma, using the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model she finds as a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to healing, and a model deeply congruent with Christian spirituality.Molly and her husband live in Central Oregon, an outdoor paradise offering, among many things, Molly’s two favorite activities: hiking and downhill skiing. In 2018, Molly became “Minnie” to her first grandchild, a life-altering event. She loves telling people that every cliché you’ve ever heard about being a grandparent is true. Minnie and Papa visit their children and grandchildren in Southern California as often as possible.In this episode, we take a very deep dive into the places of trauma and paths toward healing, which require us to listen to all of the parts within us that battle with, protect and need to be fully integrated with each other. We found ourselves just wanting to know more and more.Molly is kind, gentle and brilliant, the perfect combination if you are in search of true, long-lasting self-discovery and healing. Listen in!You can find Molly at the following places:Website:  www.mollylacroix.comFacebook:  Molly Lacroix, LMFT Instagram:  @mollylacroixlfmtYou can purchase her book here: Restoring Relationship: Transforming Fear into Love Through ConnectionOTHER  MENTIONS:Pete Enns - Bible for Normal PeopleEmily P. FreemanRichard C. Schwartz, Ph.D.If My Brain Had a Morning Meeting with Tiffany Jenkins
Begin with the End in Mind - Brian McLaren
Sep 20 2022
Begin with the End in Mind - Brian McLaren
"Faith before doubt is about correct beliefs.  Faith after doubt is about revolutionary love.  Love is our ultimate goal."  (Faith After Doubt) In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Brian McLaren, author of that quote, is a stalwart in the arena of faith and deconstructing.  Brian wisely and warmly guides us gently through the four stages of childhood/faith and how to work through them in ourselves and in our own parenting.Plus, you'll find out his secret passion (hint: has something to do with sea wildlife...).Plus plus, find out what's more important than being "cool."You don't want to miss it!SHOW NOTES:Brian McLaren, husband to one, father to four, doting grandpa to five, former pastor to many, author of a boatload of books, and wise, WARM, spiritual mentor to millions tells story after story about his evolving faith journey and walks us carefully through to the end goal of faith expressing itself in transformational love, for both us and our kids. Brian D. McLaren is an author of several books, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is a core faculty member of  The Living School and podcaster with Learning How to See, which are part of the Center for Action and Contemplation. Website:  www.brianmclaren.netFacebook:  Brian D. McLarenInstagram:  @brian_mclarenTwitter: @brianmclaren OTHER MENTIONS:Walter Brueggemann#ad
Good (Hard) Grief - Lizz & Esther
Sep 13 2022
Good (Hard) Grief - Lizz & Esther
Who knew that when we asked our first question about the faith that was either handed down to us or we grabbed onto with all our might when someone shared the "good news," there would be so much loss associated with it.We were just asking a question, right?We were just pulling back the curtain to see what was going on behind there, right?But here we are, and one question turned into another and another and another, and we perhaps find ourselves with more questions than answers and the curtain has not only been pulled back, it's laying on the floor torn into shreds and what was going on behind there is exposed every which way.And the loss, the incredible loss that's hopped along with the questions and the torn curtain, is something that perhaps has surprised us (or maybe not so much). But it's there none-the-less.We are left with the loss of community, friendship, even family relationships, respect, certainty, all the things that held us for so long.And the searing grief that comes with losing all of these things, it feels like, in one fell swoop, is something we find ourselves surprised by, pummeled by or just hovering under the surface ready to make it's way out at the most inopportune times or ways (like in the shower or into our pillow or an outburst at a family reunion or on social media).We, your favorite podcast hostesses in the whole wide world, Lizz and Esther, kick Season Two off with a bang diving deep into their own losses (that might sound eerily similar to yours) and the painful, messy, necessary process of grief that is going right along with it.SHOW NOTES:Lizz Enns Petters, daughter of Bible scholar, Pete Enns, is on a mission to bring hope into the most awful of places, where mental health suffers at the hands of a rigid faith systems. Website:  www.elizabethpetters.comFacebook:  Lizz Enns Petters, The Deconstructed MamaInstagram:  @lizzennspettersTwitter:  @eepettersEsther Joy Goetz, wife to one and mother to four grown kids and all their people, has a fierce passion to restore hope for the sacred space where our hearts and our homes meet. This includes faith, marriage and motherhood.Website:  www.estherjoygoetz.comFaith:Facebook:  Esther, the Dolly Mama Instagram:  EstherthedollymamaMotherhood:Facebook:  Moms of BigsInstagram:  Moms of Bigs SPECIAL MENTIONS:Glennon DoylePete Enns Emily P. Freeman
Connecting to Your True Self - Liz Milani
May 24 2022
Connecting to Your True Self - Liz Milani
"Life is always moving. You have permission to move with it, to leave behind the things that do not serve you, and become someone new, someone more like you, more like your true self."In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Liz Milani, author of that quote, author of the PracticeCo app (daily devotionals that are holistic, inclusive and cliche-free) shares her  heart with us and our need to discover and connect with our true selves.SHOW NOTES:Liz is one-of-a-kind. Her tender, yet very passionate heart, along with her ability to laugh, while at the same time, communicate sacred truths is just what you need to experience.  She is a wife to one and a mom to three, her littlest having a special love relationship with cursing (find out more about that on our episode). Liz has done the hard work of leaving behind a toxic theology and the abandonment of herself because of it and has the mission to help others along their own paths toward freedom and wholeness.This podcast episode is chock full of messages that will make your heart sing, come alive and give you so much hope as you navigate the journey of deconstructing, parenting in the middle of it, but also how you, as a human, have permission to find out who you are, what you love and connect in ways that bring authenticity and vulnerability to the table of life.Liz has a way of asking questions that make you dive deep and feel hopeful. Buckle up.  It's an incredible way to round out our Season One.Instagram:  @thepracticeco  Facebook: The Practice Co Website:  www.thepracticeco.com SPECIAL MENTIONS:David Levithan
Love Matters More - Jared Byas
May 10 2022
Love Matters More - Jared Byas
"You can't love and control at the same time."In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Jared Byas, author of that quote, cohost on the Bible for Normal People podcast and author of Love Matters More, not only tells us what brought him to the place of deconstructing and reconstructing his faith, but speaks about the impact it has had on his parenting. There are so mic drops moments where Jared unpacks what it really means to love well and why we cannot love and control people (and especially our kids) at the same time and how our view of God plays into perhaps why we may have fallen into this trap in the first place. SHOW NOTES:Jared is a husband to Sarah and a father of four kids. He's a serial question-asker and ideas explorer. His favorite phrases are “Ok. But why?” and “Is there another way?”His passion is to explore new ways of being Christian and help people translate all of life’s big questions into a life full of meaning and connection.Some of the topics he finds himself drifting to most are:What does it mean to live life well?How might we open new ways of living for people?How might Christianity help us create meaning in our lives today?What is the Bible and what do we do with it?This podcast will perhaps give some of the answers to those questions and then some. It's a must-listen if you find yourself in a place where you are trying to love well in the middle of deconstructing and reconstructing your faith.Facebook: Jared ByasInstagram:  @jaredbyasWebsite:  www.jaredbyas.com SPECIAL MENTIONS:Bible For Normal PeopleGod Can't by Thomas Oord Soren KierkegaardJean-Paul Sartre
Trusting Myself - Sarah Meassick
May 3 2022
Trusting Myself - Sarah Meassick
"I sink beneath the swirling surf of words, fears, expectations, conditioning, and advice—and feel for the Knowing."  Glennon Doyle)In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Sarah Meassick, daughter of podcast host, Esther Joy Goetz, takes us deep into her childhood journey of fear, anxiety and the desire to be the "good girl" and how this manifested in full-blown OCD at a very young age, reinforced and perpetuated by the rigid faith system she grew up with (which many of us can relate to).Sarah and Esther walk through their mutual story of deconstruction, redemption and the freedom they have found in allowing themselves and each other the safety to be their authentic selves.  Sarah is tender and  brilliant, a combination that will have you sobbing into your tissues and cheering at the same time.SHOW NOTES:Sarah is a wife to one and a mom to one and a teacher to lots of second graders.  She is an avid gardener (somewhat crunchy), a yoga-lover, outdoor enthusiast and her heart comes alive as she creates safe spaces for her and all her people to learn and grow and come into their own personal fullness.You will want to be her best friend (or have her as your second grade teacher) by the end of the episode (or even before that).Find out how in the world it came to be that one of her best friends and her mom came to produce this Deconstructing Mamas podcast.  It's quite the origin story and will have you saying, "Whaaa?"Facebook: Sarah MeassickInstagram:  @sarahemeassick                          @half.acre_homesteadBlog:  Sarah, Plain and TallSPECIAL MENTIONS:Glennon DoylePete Enns Bible For Normal People
You're Not Alone - Jordan Harrell
Apr 26 2022
You're Not Alone - Jordan Harrell
"When I started writing about deconstruction, I shared because I needed to know there were others out there like me.  Now I share because I sincerely believe what I'm learning is good news."In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Jordan Harrell, author of that quote, brings her full self to this raw and healing conversation surrounding issues of rejection and exclusion in the small (c) church today. She unpacks her own story down this road to freedom and reminds us all that we are not alone no matter how much it feels that way.   Phew! Listen in and allow room for your soul to breathe.SHOW NOTES:Jordan is known for her gracious boldness in the deconstructing space around the internet. She inspires each of us to "call out" the harm and work toward healing.  She invites anyone wondering, searching, or questioning to jump on board and travel with her down the "slippery slope" where freedom lies at the end.She is a fellow deconstructing mama of three elementary-aged kids and a wife to a Texas high school football coach, which means life is filled with field houses, bleachers and game days.  When she isn't creating content (including fun merch - CLICK HERE) for coaches' wives and regular sports-loving people, she is an avid lover of exploring the mysteries of God and sharing her findings with the rest of us.  It's good good good stuff. You don't want to miss this conversation OR her presence on social media.Facebook: Jordan Harrell, Writer Instagram:  @Jordan Harrell, WriterSPECIAL MENTIONS:Friday Night WivesBrian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving GodRachel Held EvansDeconstructing Resources (put together by Jordan)
Out of Oppression - NakedPastor (David Hayward)
Apr 19 2022
Out of Oppression - NakedPastor (David Hayward)
"If we had total support, we would change more easily. It's the fear of rejection that prevents our transformation."In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, David Hayward, author of that quote, and known as NakedPastor around the internet, allows us to pepper him with your (and our) questions in this "Q&A" style format on this episode. Here are some of our favorites:1.  Why "naked," why "pastor," and why those two words together?2.  What was the turning point in your spiritual journey that gave you new lenses to see clearly how to truly love "without the fine print"?3.  What do you think heaven will be like? Do you still believe in one?4.  What can you say to our listeners who are parents, and already feel like they've made so many mistakes and wonder if it’s too late with their own kids?SHOW NOTES:David is "everyone's pastor," especially those who have been oppressed by harmful and toxic religious systems.  He has a personal mission to help others on their journey to freedom, having been on that quest for many years and finding so much of it now himself.  Not only is he the parent of three grown children, who he calls his best friends, he has a wife who he completely adores.  He is an artist and writer extraordinaire, creating works that speak to the soul that longs for freedom.  He believes that questions are the answer to authentic growth. It’s why he uses words and images to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who suffer under it.  During this interview, we felt like we had a long sigh for our deconstructing souls as David is one of the kindest and wisest people you'll ever listen to.Website: NakedPastorFacebook: NakedPastorInstagram:  @NakedPastorPinterest: NakedPastor Etsy: NakedPastorTwitter: @NakedPastorSPECIAL MENTIONS:Sophia Steadfast Print (little girl with rhino)Timber SeriesTill Doubt Do Us PartFlip It Like This (latest book)