Deconstructing Mamas

Deconstructing Mamas

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.


December 6, 2022 41 min

"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.


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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 health...

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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...

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November 15, 2022 53 min

The very wonderful Joy Vetterlein is our guest this week. Joy is a lifelong church girl and former-pastor-turned-misfit-rebel who got tired of being hurt and seeing other people get hurt by evangelical Christianity. She's here to help you find your own path to spirituality, especially if you feel like a "spiritual misfit" just like her.

Joy is a fellow deconstructing mama who spent much of her journey being the poster ch...

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“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, ...

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October 31, 2022 41 min

"As long as a masculine god remains at the top of the pyramid, nothing else we do matters."  Dr. Rev. Will Gaffney

Daneen 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 ...

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October 24, 2022 52 min

"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.


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October 17, 2022 49 min

"Deconstruction is an opportunity to deepen your faith, not just a rejection of what you believed in the past."

The author of those beautiful words, Angela J. Herrington, a fellow deconstructing mama of FIVE and a faith deconstruction coach, walks us through how unhealed trauma informs our ability to trust ourselves. We walk through how difficult and necessary it is to be on this journey to heal ourselves and the beauty that...

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October 10, 2022 36 min

In this episode, Cassie Gottula Shaw, a fellow deconstructing mama and brilliant faith researcher, walks us through something she's deemed "faith Jenga."  Listen in as we chat through the blocks of our faith, the carefully constructed faith towers we build, what we do with the blocks we want to pull out and throw away, and what we can work with the ones we want to keep going forward as we rebuild our new faith structure...

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October 3, 2022 50 min

This week on the podcast, we dive deeper with Pete Enns as we continue to navigate the tricky tightrope of parenting while deconstructing toxic religious systems and reconstructing our faith with love and freedom. One of the big questions we ask each other is this: WHAT IS SEEPING IN?

You definitely don't want to miss out on the sarcastic and very funny banter between Pete and Lizz and Esther's somewhat futile attempts to br...

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September 26, 2022 52 min

"We need to embrace better questions when we try to help relationships thrive, rejecting shame and judgment, and instead focusing on love, respect, and boundaries that encompass the entire expression of what it means to be human and healthy. "

In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Brittany Meng of the Bam Blog,  dives deep with us into the toxic nature of purity culture. 


Brittany is a mom of five, m...

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September 19, 2022 46 min

"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...

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September 12, 2022 48 min
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 p...
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"I can't see a way through," said the boy.
"Can you see your next step," said the horse.
"Yes," said the boy.
"Just take that," said the horse.

(Charlie Mackesy) 

In this BONUS SUMMER episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Erica Garthwaite, friend of Lizz and Esther (and part of their book club) brings her mic-drop wisdom to the table when it comes to navigating difficult topics with your kids a...

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"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...

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"Parenting may be less about raising our children and more about raising ourselves. It compels us to break our own cycles of shame and pain as we bring healing to our own childhood."

In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, 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 i...

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May 9, 2022 36 min

"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...

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May 2, 2022 43 min

"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 p...

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April 25, 2022 34 min

"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 unp...

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"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 &...

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