Dec 012009

Our first guest post this week is from Adrianne, a fiery and soothing redhead who owns a large portion of my heart. Adrianne and I both love Jesus, our families, and each other- and neither of us sees much reason to change out of pajamas, ever. These four commonalities have proven to be enough to forge and sustain one of the most rewarding friendships I’ve ever enjoyed.

Adrianne wrote some kind things about me in this post, which was sort of against the rules. My instinct is to explain or joke them away. But instead, I am going to try to be a bit graceful and grateful this morning and just say thank you, friend. I love you, too.

Thanks and Praise

I met Glennon in the summer of 2005. My husband and I moved from DC to the burbs when I got pregnant with our first child. I didn’t have any friends in Northern Virginia, and I was desperate to make connections with other women. So I joined a group called Mothers First and before too long, I was a co-leader. A few days before one of our regular Tuesday morning meetings, I received an email from a woman named Glennon, telling me that she had recently moved to the area and was going to be at the next meeting with her toddler son. We were a friendly group of gals, always happy to have new moms interested in our group. I welcomed her and assured her that I would be there to greet her at the next meeting.

Our regular meeting place was the local library. I walked in holding hands with my daughter and checked in at the desk to make sure our room was reserved. I quickly glanced over at the sitting area and noticed a woman sitting in one of the chairs. A little boy was standing next to her. I vividly remember thinking, Oh, please don’t let that be her. In the one glance I had taken of Glennon, I decided that I could definitely, absolutely not be friends with her. She was impossibly pretty. She was also petite and curvy, which isn’t fair at all. Women should be one or the other, right? She looked like every popular girl in junior high who had ever been mean to me. Please don’t let that be her.

It was her.

Since then, I have grown to adore her. The more I learn about her, the more I like her. And I cannot tell you how much fun it has been to see so many of you grow to like her, too.

When I read Momastery and all of your lovely comments every day, I feel especially lucky to know Glennon in real life. So many of you only know her through her beautiful writing and her photographs. I suspect that many of you feel close to her, and believe me when I say that I know those cyber-relationships can be very real and meaningful. After all, I am a woman who met and pursued my husband on the internet. Our relationship began with emails and online chatting, and I loved him before I ever saw him. So I understand the power and intimacy of written correspondence. With that said, I also have to tell you that being in the same room with Glennon is really something. All the light and love that pour out of her writing also pour out of her eyes. Her face doesn’t only light up when she smiles. Her face is lit all the time. Her love of The Lord illuminates her. Yes, she really is as lovely as she seems. I’m telling you this because if I were you, this is something I would wonder about. I wondered the same thing about my husband back when I was first wooing him online. So for the record, the answer is yes. Glennon is the real McCoy. All of her kindness and humor transfer over into real life. I know. I can hardly believe it, either.

I am sure that Glennon is cringing as she reads this. She’s horrified that I am using my stint as a Momastery guest writer to tell all of you how wonderful I think she is. In the Melton household, bragging is a felony offense. Just ask Chase.

Now that I have taken my chance to assure you that Glennon is the real deal, it’s time for me to move on and say what I need to say.

The problem is, deciding what I need to say has been surprisingly difficult for me. You should know that it is only on very rare occasions that I find myself at a loss for words. Under normal circumstances, my problem would be narrowing down the list of hot topics that need my attention. I’m extremely opinionated, and I usually have a lot to say. I’m the same way when I pray. I have a lot tell God, and I often ramble at Him. But when I sat down to pray about what to write in this blog post, I tried hard to be still, not say much, and just listen.

I am sorry to report that I was unsuccessful. I was not able to turn off the dialogue running in the back of my mind while I prayed. Usually, that dialogue is a running ticker of my household to-do list. But this time, it was thoughts of thanks and praise that wouldn’t leave my head. While hoping for some divine writing intervention and trying to be still, my thoughts kept wandering back to this community. I am incredibly grateful for this cozy little piece of cyber real estate, and I can’t stop marveling at the revolution that recently started here. Eventually, I gave up trying to be still and pray like a grown-up. It occurred to me that maybe God wants me to just roll with what’s in my heart.

Here it goes.

Thank you, God, for putting Glennon in my life. I sometimes joke that I won the friendship lottery that day I met Glennon in the library. But I know that our meeting was no accident. God knew what I needed, and he gave it to me. He put her in my path because He knew she would share her stories with me, and He knew I needed to hear them. I needed to hear stories about suffering and bondage that end with hope and freedom. And I needed to hear them from one of the pretty girls for whom everything had always looked so easy.

Thank you, God, for making my friend Glennon your faithful servant. Because every time she draws nearer to her Savior, she brings me along for the ride.

Thank you, God, for Monkees. In a world where groups of female friends are often seen as troops of superficial girls scurrying off to gossip or talk about fashion, recipes, and dieting, you are a reminder that we are far deeper than our respective stereotypes. (I realize most of you learned this lesson the first time you saw The Breakfast Club, but these things take me a little longer.) Thank you, God, for helping us lift each other up and love each other and pray for each other rather than compete or judge. Thank you for giving so many Monkees the courage to share their joys and sorrows on this blog because every time I read it, I feel more hopeful than I did the day before. Thank you for leading me to a group of women who are trying hard to treat other people the way they want to be treated.

Thank you, God, for our Momastery. I think of this blog as a campfire by the sea. Glennon started the fire and invited the rest of us to join her. Because the fire has such a lovely glow and keeps out the cold, many of us were drawn to it and our numbers grew fast. Now some of us are adding fuel to the fire and most of us are crowding around it for warmth while our circle grows bigger and bigger. This fire of ours is just now starting to crackle and hiss and throw sparks high into the sky, and very soon we will stop having to crowd around it for warmth because our magnificent bonfire will give off so much heat that we’ll have room to dance, skip, jump for joy, and sing Hosanna to the highest if we are so inclined. The thing about our Momastery that I am most thankful for, Lord, is that it’s also a place where I am safe to just sit quietly by the sea, enjoy the warmth, and watch the others dance and feed the fire.

Thank you, God, for making my heart grateful today.

Thank you, Monkees, for allowing me to be part of the Revolution. Let’s keep it going, shall we?