Oct 272009
Here’s our backyard, where we come to take deep breaths.

Below is the place from which we will make our next 911 call and finally receive our set of free steak knives from the ER! Fingers crossed!

This is where the neighborhood kids come to roast marshmallows and sing camp fire songs. Actually, that has never happened, and never will because it seems like a lot of work. But doesn’t it LOOK like that’s what happens here?

Mission accomplished.


I can’t show you the front of my house, because my mom loves my children very much and she’s afraid if you know where I live you will come steal them. After reading some of your emails, I’m actually more afraid you’ll come steal Craig.

So I’ll just tell you that it sort of looks like this. Our driveway fountain is a different shade of yellow, but you get the idea.

Actually, that’s 50 Cent’s house. Our house is relatively small, compared to most in our area. You can’t tell in the pictures, because the camera adds five inches. But it’s little. We step on and over each other a lot. And Amma sleeps in the bathroom because we’ve run out of quiet rooms.

Sometimes I complain about this “space situation” to myself and others, saying “I just need more space” and “we’re growing out of this house,” and “if we only had….” and other stupid, stupid lies.

The truth is that we don’t really have a situation. This is a situation:

Number of children in the world

2.2 billion

Number in poverty

1 billion (every second child)

For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:

· 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)

· 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)

· 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)

(Anup Shah, Poverty Facts and Stats, GlobalIssues.org)

And in light of the truth, a baby sleeping in a bathroom is not really a “situation” at all. As a matter of fact, owning a private, warm, functioning bathroom in which to lie your baby down is a luxury for which most of the world’s mothers wouldn’t dare dream.

So when Craig and I hear each other forget the truth and get confused about what we do and don’t have, we remind each other gently to shut the hell up and kiss the ground.

And we square our shoulders and bravely carry on without a jacuzzi tub or his and her walk in closets.

And then I lay my head on Craig’s shoulder and we squint through fresh eyes at our precious little home. Our home that has sheltered us from so many storms and kept our children warm and safe. And we notice that our house reminds us of the Giving Tree, because it recreates itself to meet our family’s every need. Now it’s a newborn hospital wing, now an urgent care for recovering relatives, now a preschool. Our home wraps its arms around us, takes us back in again and again, and adjusts us we change and grow.

As St. Anne says, sometimes heaven is just a different pair of glasses. I don’t know much, but I know that’s the truth.

So we keep those glasses of gratitude firmly in place and we remember to complain right. Instead of “we don’t have enough space for our stuff,” we say “we have too much stuff for our space.”

And then we throw away some of Craig’s stuff.

Because he needs to learn to simplify, people.

Thanks for visiting.

Ya’ll comeback now.

Welcome Morning

Anne Sexton

There is joy

in all:

in the hair I brush each morning,

in the Canon towel, newly washed,

that I rub my body with each morning,

in the chapel of eggs that I cook

each morning.

In the outcry of the kettle

that heats my coffee

each morning,

in the spoon and the chair

that cry “hello there, Anne”

each morning,

in the godhead of the table

that I set my silver, plate, cup upon

each morning.

All this is God,

right here in my pea-green house

each morning

and I mean,

though I often forget,

to give thanks,

to faint down by the kitchen table

in a prayer of rejoicing as the holy birds at the kitchen window

peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,

let me paint a thank-you on my palm

for this God, this laughter in the morning,

lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,

dies young.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  17 Responses to “The Ground We Kiss”

  1. Lula is sleeping soundly in our bathroom as I write… and talk about a 'suite' of rooms when out of town on a budget? bathrooms and/or big closets are our spare rooms! insert pack 'n play and baby/child, and voila!

  2. This is a wonderful post. It reminds me of the book – The Table Where Rich People Sit which I share with my daughter as often as possible. What a grounding and balancing essay – Thank you!

  3. This is great! So happy to know that there are so many women out there who are trying to live by this…we are so rich already!

  4. Thanks for helping me with my "perspectacles" this morning! I agree with Jami–bigger house, more cleaning! I am also reminded about the time we lived overseas in military quarters (townhome style) with 4 families, 16 kids and about 4,000 sq ft. for the whole building! Sweet, sweet memories! Houses should be sized by the amount of love inside, not by square footage!

  5. Love this, Glennon! So rich in ideas and perspective. I love the poem, too. Thanks, Glennon, for your writing and your reminders.

  6. If I had a nickel for every time I said "we need more space", I would probably have… well, enough money to buy more space! Thank you, for reminding me that as long as I have my family and God in my space, it's all the space I need!PS- "Perspectacles" might be my new favorite word!

  7. Thanks for the reminder and the perspective. I go back and forth between loving where I live so much and then freaking over the fact that there is ZERO space. "Too much stuff for our space" is so true. I am saving this. Megan

  8. Mmmm, marshmallows…..Such a treat to read your words, Glennon. :)

  9. I'll take today's message as advice during my search for a place to make home. And I think I'm going to make a wood sign that reads, "Complain Right".Chimmy

  10. Well said G. Your fountain IS a different shade of yellow! I've never noticed until now.There is an energy in your home that's way bigger than 50Cent's house. It's like, at least Puff Daddy size. Don't sell yourself short.Love you. Thanks for another day of inspiration.

  11. Thannk you for the reminder and perspctive of "needing more." My husband recently inherited a very large, matted and framed picture of 50 Cent. Since your house is like his, maybe it can go where your old TV was? We are trying to have less stuff (at least of my husband's) in order to stay in our cozy home.

  12. I want you to know that your blog has made me at least try to be a nicer person. I really don't understand how anyone could not LOVELOVELOVE food because I wake up thinking of what I'll eat all day, but maybe it's your faith and your wicked smartness that keep you full rather than food? I donno. Anyway, I tell about 40 billion people a day to come read your blog because it's so good, but I'd never steal your kids…I have too many of those already. I think I might have to print out your blog entries though because my mom's on dial up and refuses to turn her computer on now that she's retired. She'll love you!

  13. Thanks guys.Rachel…may be we could call the glasses of gratitude "perspectacles."We probably shouldn't though.Have a wonderful day.

  14. I like that phrase you used: "glasses of gratitude" – it's a good one!And my kids and I would totally come and roast marshmallows with you guys!!! sounds like fun :)

  15. Thank you also for the perspective Glennon. We have missionary friends in Austria who have 2 bedrooms and 4 children. When their only daughter reached, ahem, maturity, they reconfigured so that she has her own room, the 3 boys are in the other, and the parents are on the fold out couch in the living room. And the mom wrote, "I just love how our little house reconfigures to our every need." That gave me some fresh eyes!And I love the poem, and I love your marshmallow zone and I love your blog and I love you!"The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard, dies young." WOW~Have a GREAT day — you MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  16. Thank you for this little dose of reality this morning Glennon. Just this summer we were a week away from putting our house on the market because we "needed" something bigger (even though each of my 3 have there own very comfy rooms). God showed us both through the course of staging our house that where we are is exactly where He needs us right now, regardless of our "needs". Through all of this I have learned to LOVE my house, and like you said, adjust to our real needs as necessary. In fact, it's been kind of fun to recreate the house I already have (and much more affordable!). Thanks again!Jennifer

  17. Glennon, Well said! As I always say to my husband… the more house we have the more CLEANING there is to do! And who wants to waste their life cleaning 24/7? As always your blog is an inspiration-Jamiquantico9

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