Jan 292010
 


Anonymous said…

I love, LOVE this blog, but sometimes feel lost when I read it because I am agnostic/atheist…not quite sure. Anyway, Glennon, in terms of ideas for future posts, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, since so much of the other stuff you write about resonates with me.


Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for being brave. There are a lot of people who enjoy this blog and love the Monkees, but feel conflicted when they read my posts about Jesus and the Bible. Thank you for speaking up for all of them.

When I write about Jesus, it’s because he’s on my heart and mind. Often, my heart and mind are the only two topics I have to write about. I don’t write about Jesus because I am secretly hoping that my posts will persuade you to love Jesus too. I really don’t. I write about Craig a lot, because I think that he is an incredible man who has helped save me. I don’t write about him secretly hoping that you will want him, too. Please, no. The man is vulnerable these days and could probably be lured away by a decent casserole. Be kind. We need him.

I get a lot of emails from people who are concerned that my faith posts will alienate readers. These readers are worried that people will read my thoughts about Jesus and decide that since they don’t feel the same way, Momastery must not be for them. I LOVE these people because they care about the Momastery so much that they are trying to be tender zookeepers. But I try to remind them that Monkees are not Monkees because we are all the same. My goal as a writer is not to be as neutral as possible so everyone is tricked into believing that we are one big homogeneous crew. That is not sustainable or real. That is like trying to solve racism by demanding that everyone become “colorblind.” I don’t think that the best way to learn to celebrate and cherish differences is to pretend we don’t see them, or worse, that they don’t exist.

My goal is to share my life and thoughts as honestly and gently as humanly possible, in hopes that others will do the same, and in hopes that eventually we will all find that we don’t have to be afraid of each other. I think that learning to talk about and listen to differing ideas about faith without becoming personally offended is a worthwhile skill at which a lot of us are a little rusty. If everyone would practice this skill more, the world would be a much less horrifically violent place. Somebody needs to figure out how to be different and still have peace. Why not us?

The important thing for you to know, Anonymous, is that I don’t secretly think that you need to believe in Jesus like I do. I don’t secretly believe anything, Anonymous. If you’d like, you can read about my faith here.

For purposes of full disclosure, Monkees do have a few common beliefs, you can read about them here. That’s all though. Mostly, we are all very, very different. We are beautiful mysteries to each other and that is okay. That is great, I think. We don’t need to solve each other. We don’t even need to understand each other. We just need to treat each other kindly.

Anonymous…I am so grateful that you are here. It sounds like you and I are different. I do believe in Jesus and in the Bible as I understand it which is admittedly, not much. I really am a freaking walking bundle of faith. I am so full of faith that there is little room in me for anything else, like common sense. I run into things a lot, Anonymous, and I do things like accidentally store my keys in the oven and throw books in the washing machine and drive to Maryland when I am trying to go to the post office, which is two streets away. I live in Virginia, Anonymous, not Maryland. One might think that since He’s on my mind so much, God would help me out with these little details. He doesn’t, though. I don’t really get that.

Anyway, Anonymous, my point is that if you are a gourmet cooking atheist who is often complimented about her facial symmetry and obedient, demure daughters and doesn’t have to shop for pants at Gap Kids and still get them hemmed… then we are different, yes. But I don’t see that as a problem. I will never try to change you, because the truth is, in my heart of hearts, I don’t think you need to change. I hope you don’t think I need to either. I think that might be a good start for us. I bet we’d really like each other.

And I promise never to send you a “Jesus Loves This Chick” shirt. Mine’s cute though. It’s hot pink.

I’m so glad you’re here.

Have a wonderful weekend, Sweet Anonymous.

Love, Glennon





Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  56 Responses to “A Love Letter”

  1. I like to every once in awhile pick an old post and read a piece from before I became a reader of momastery. I am so glad to read this post today, but more especially these comments. One place this blog is good is in the comments. The sharing and exchanging of perspectives, stories/histories. It is hard to not feel like an anonymous monkee with there being soooooo so many more monkees now. Refreshing to read these monkee love letters!

  2. just lovely. what perspective you have brought to me in how i talk and listen and love.

  3. Thank you, MK! That was really nice.

    KW, I'm really interested in hearing more about the Social Justice class you teach! It sounds like it might be the way I was raised, and the way my family tries to live now.

    I like the point you made about the picnic story and how it still works with the religious elements removed. I had been thinking that the words, "If we call ourselves Christians" could be replaced by "If we call ourselves Muslims" or "If we call ourselves caring people" or a number of other phrases, the whole piece would still work. It would still work. Thanks.

  4. KW (otherwise known as *the* anonymous), I am so glad to hear from you! And I understand what it's like to work at a Catholic University while not being a Catholic. I worked at Georgetown University (loved loved LOVED my job), but I did keep my Baptist upbringing on the down and low.

    Jenny and Kelley, thanks for the shout-outs in your comments. I absolutely love writing about my parents, although I feel like I can never do them justice. If either of you wants to make more personal exchanges, feel free to email me at adriannebrubaker@ho[email protected]

  5. Josie, I'm a fan of kind unsolicited advice with no strings attached, and I'm a fan of what you just wrote. Beautiful!
    :)MK

  6. I'm *the* Anonymous who requested Glennon's post, and I can't believe what an unfortunate time it was for me to be unable to access the internet, thereby missing this conversation while it was ongoing. As I read the first couple of comments, I felt a bit sheepish that I had not signed my name. But, as I read through these posts, it is apparent that there are many "Anonymous" monkees that feel similarly to how I feel.

    Glennon, thank you so much for writing about this and for giving us the opportunity to reflect on your beliefs and share our own (or lack thereof!). I am an avid follower of your blog, so obviously your writing about your beliefs has not deterred me from reading–I have not felt alienated by your religious posts. I celebrate the differences among people, but often fear that believers would not similarly embrace a non-believer. For those who feel that they cannot announce their love of Jesus or God in a public space, you have no idea how alienating it is to share that you DON'T actually believe (could you imagine the hot-pink t-shirt announcing "I don't believe in God"!!!). As a college professor at a Catholic University, where there is a crucifix in each classroom, I am in a strange position where my students are mostly very religious, but I can't even communicate with them at this level (and I would not dare announce my absence of faith). So, this discussion has been a breath of fresh air. I really, really appreciate it. And, it was very funny, which I also really appreciate.

    And, I also have to say that I really liked the picnic story from a couple of days ago. The message is an important one, and still works even when the religious elements are removed. Although I do not have spiritual beliefs that guide my actions in life, I am a strong believer in Social Justice as a principle (I teach a class on this, in fact). Therefore, I feel well guided and believe that I am setting a good example for my son. Ultimately, being a good person and helping others is always a positive thing. Howard Zinn's work is one source of strength and inspiration (he is amazing–you should read some of his work!) but there are many others, too.

    Thanks to all for a great discussion. I, for one, wish we could do it in person!

    KW
    P.S. Glennon, I'm glad you decided to respond to comments…at least for this time.

  7. I love Blink!

    So I was reading about Elizabeth Gilbert (author of "Eat, Pray, Love") the other day. She said she had a really hard time writing her second book because she was thinking of all of her readers, millions of them, who had read and LOVED her first book. It was like they were in the room with her. She wrote 500 pages with all these people in the room with her. And then she said she had to throw it away. And just write for a small audience of friends and family, and be true to her own voice and where she wanted to go. Not to write the way she thought her readers wanted her to. Even if it meant alienating some of them. Because at one point she was even thinking, "Well, maybe I just won't be a writer anymore."

    I think when a writer puts anything before their own personal truth, the writing will suffer. It is a writer's ability to get at the heart of her truth and convey it with specificity and strength and craft that draws us in.

    And if we're all going to be honest with each other, can't we share unsolicited advice once in awhile? It's up to us to take it or not.

    So here's my unsolicited advice, G, don't dilute your truth.

  8. This was my favorite post/comment thread since reading Momastery. Not exactly sure why but so much resonated. Religion, growing up with a pretty traditional religion, trying to make sense of things, at some point accepting the stuff you can and working on the rest (religion and comments). I have always loved when people could put it out there and feel like it was going to be okay even if things got passionate. It's not an easy thing. Especially for women. Men argue and then pat each other's backs and go have a beer afterward. I want to do that!

    MK-when you wrote, "Do you think we could have this conversation if all of us were in one room? Does taking the time to write out our answers give us time to gain perspective and speak gently?" I also had the thought of us all enjoying a good ol' fashioned salon session. You know when people would gather in living rooms on good upholstery and just talk about the latest politics, current events, hot topics over civilized hors d'eoeuvres and chardonnay? I do think there's truth to your comment about how writing gives us time to think. Anyway- good on ya' Monkees! Loved the chat.

  9. It's been a long week for me so I'm just now getting around to reading everything. I don't think I could say a thing that hasn't been said except that when I pray, Glennon, I pray for you. I know it's bound to be hard on someone as open and caring as you to hear all of our words and try to keep the boat afloat.
    Of course, as I've said before, my prayers go through twitter (in my mind) and so it'd say something like "dear God please take care of glennon and the monkees…we're new but we care and we can do hard things". Then I really hope he follows me on twitter. (my twitter name is saucywench, so why on earth WOULDN'T he. right?)

    PS. glennon, i'll just say this here since I'm too lazy to go back…I hope you turn the tv back on. Launch my line is almost over but The real housewives of new york is about to start back up. I'm sure you would never mush up your brain with these things but you should, they're fab.

  10. Thank you everyone for such thoughtful, diverse comments. Adrianne, your story about your parents particulary struck a chord with me, because their marriage sounds so much like my own. Although my husband believes in a higher power, he is adamant about not going to church, prayer, reading the Bible, even talking about God. But he always encourages me to go to church, genuinely and sweetly respects my faith and commitment to Jesus, and never obstructs or interferes with me teaching our children about God and the Bible. Which I think is very big of him, since I'm not sure I could sit by and leave him uninterrupted to teach our lovies something I didn't agree with. So, that makes me sure that God's grace is going strong in my hubby whether he wants to acknowledge it or not.

    Love you all! Have a great weekend.

  11. Ruth, hello!
    I get the pictures from google images. if i need an image of a surprised monkey, i type in "surprised monkey" and get 100 options. so cool.

    mk, do we get to read your poem?

    adrianne and jenny, thank you.

    maryann, i read your late night comments first thing each morning!

  12. Wow, 4:51 AM, I LOVE your name. So much cooler than MK. How can I say it in English? Glad you're here!

    :)MK

  13. Maryann, I chortled when I read your "Are you a JMU person too?" question. My mediocre high school GPA would have given the JMU admissions team a good laugh.

  14. G-where do you get your awesome photos that you use on your blog?

  15. Lovely, loving post Glennon. I have to say that I usually make more of the “me too” or great post comments, but today I feel compelled to write a bit more.

    I grew up going to church. I believe in God and Jesus and all, I think… But in my adult life I have never take the time or energy to find a church to call home or to really get to know Jesus and God more. Like others have stated, I want my children to get to know Jesus and God. I enjoy that my daughter is learning this through preschool. But I ultimately want them to make their own decisions about religion and their personal beliefs. I do feel like you, luv2run in being unable to really answer some of the questions my daughters asks. At times I feel a bit as if I am failing as a mom, because I don’t know the answers.

    Anyway, I enjoy reading what Glennon has to, so lovingly, say about Jesus; but I know I am not there yet. However, when reading Glennon’s words about faith and religion I feel comforted and never attacked or pressured. In fact, in being a Monkee here I have never felt any such pressure to believe or do or think as others. I can show up if I want and respond if I wish or I don’t have to do either – although I do always show up and read J. I can embrace and enjoy others just as we are. I never have to hide or put up any fronts. I don’t feel that very often in the “real” world (love that this is not an un-real place though either).

    That being said, today after reading Adrianne’s response, I had tears in my eyes. I completely appreciate you sharing that story of your parents with us. I find myself in that situation now. Here’s why…as one of my friends stated (and I am completely in the same boat) “It’s not that I would mind going to church with the kids on Sunday mornings, but it is just not one more thing that I want to do with the kids by myself and not with my husband as he won’t go…” There are so many things that my husband and I do NOT do as a family that going to church to learn more of Jesus is just not so high on my list. Just as Glennon has so eloquently stated, she does not want to persuade other to love Jesus as she does; I do not feel it is my right or job to convince my husband to go on this adventure to learn about my faith just because I want to (and want the kids to know of Jesus). I found comfort in hearing about your parent’s marriage of 50 years. I found comfort in knowing that my husband could support me in the way your dad supported your mom. They made it work. I don’t think I will necessarily run out and join a church on Sunday or anything (baby steps here…) but it gives me the courage to know it can be done. Thank you.

    I wish I had the energy to acknowledge all the other comments that I enjoyed or learned from as I read today. I do appreciate reading all that everyone has to share – honestly, thank you for taking the time to share. Oh and I must add Bird by Bird to my growing books to read list.

  16. Thanks Adrianne — I love to read yours because you know G so well and you are thoughtful and also really funny at times. Are you a JMU person too?

    I can't post until I get home in the evening and by then I am sure most monkees are putting kids to bed, snuggling with their husbands or in bed. I on the other hand am a night owl as well as a monkee and stay up late then hate myself in the morning when I have to crawl out of bed way too early.

  17. Maryann, I read it. I *always* like reading what you have to say.

  18. Things I like most about being a Monkee and reading this blog.

    1 Glennon shares herself –openly and honestly with us on a daily basis.
    2. We are not expected to agree or disagree and there is not right answer to any subject we discuss
    3. Monkees are all different with lots of different ideas and outlooks but we all love and accept our differences. Wouldn't this be really boring if we all thought and felt the same way and always agreed.
    4. I can freely express my opinions and feelings and you all validate me and love me even if you think I am a little weird.
    5. Granny perspectives are accepted and appreciated.
    6. I LOVE to read the interaction and get to open my mind and heart to others points of view and grow with them.
    7 I love Jesus very much but I also love all of the monkees that don't or are not sure. It's okay to be yourself. It's that awesome.
    8. We get to look at pictures of Craig without shirts on and contemplate maybe someday getting to see the real things. WOW !!!!!

    On another note. I always read with interest the comment about not being able to talk about God and Jesus in school. I have been teaching for 18 years and have never been told I could share my faith with my students. I have only been told not to tell them I will fail them if they don't share my beliefs. Matter of fact one of the things I tell the kids when I am introducing myself the first day of school is that Jesus is my very best friend and I love him very much. Today we were finished with writing linear equations and got into a big discussion of books, plots and characters. We were talking about where authors get their ideas for plots and one student brought up stories that correlate to Bible stories. Then they asked me what my favorite one was and we were off. Somehow another student asked me about the guy who's brothers threw him in a pit and took away his coat of many colors. I ended up telling them the whole story of Joseph and the discussion wound around to the awesome musical written about it. NOt even sure how it all happened I just always answer their questions to the best of my ability and we get into really interesting conversations. My principal always quotes a scripture verse at the end of his graduation speech each year and I don't think there has ever been a complaint. So all the things said about not being able to talk about God in Schools depends on where you teach. I found this true in Virginia, Alabama and now in Georgia.

    I know most of you won't read this but I really like putting my thoughts down —so here they are.

  19. MK, if you come visit us at your old stomping grounds, I'll lend you my bird by bird. :) yay for you for writing!

  20. love bird by bird! i like to imagine anne lamott with her index cards strewn out all over the place.

    adrianne, love the story of your parents. thanks for sharing that.

    bonzo, i'm so glad you're here. i always appreciate your perspective.

    g, i remember you saying (yesterday?) we're like a giant venn diagram. overlapping and finding commonalities and respecting and appreciating differences. i love it here. thank you for what you are doing.

  21. Shoot! I was going to ask Glennon to loan me her copy of Bird by Bird until mine comes in the mail – I keep forgetting to order it and my writing teacher suggested it.

    Dang – I guess I might have to drag my shopping-hating hermit-butt to the Borders.

    :)MK
    (PS – I just wrote the first poem that I'm a little teeny bit proud of. My teacher made me do it, but still . . . not as painful as I thought it would be. I think this place is making me braver.)

  22. Also, you can kiss your Geneen Roth books good-bye. I'm not giving them back.

  23. Oh, good. Because honestly, I never planned on giving it back to you.

  24. A- that book is yours. I bet I have given away 20 copies of Bird by Bird. I like to buy it again because every time i buy it i feel like i'm buying a coffee for anne lamott, since she gets a few bucks with each sale.

  25. Uhm, G, I hope your last comment doesn't mean that you're going to ask for your copy of Bird by Bird to be returned. I'm not ready to part with it just yet.

  26. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    thank you guys for caring enough to spend time here.

    i just got home from helping one of my best friends, Christy, find her wedding dress. Christy is the friend i wrote about in the chutes and ladders post. im still a little choked up from watching her try on those dresses. i won't even try to explain how beautiful she looked. im so grateful to have been there. i got to hold the veil.

    bums and kate, let's have a writing club! let's all read bird by bird together…best writing book ever. have you guys read it?

    "writing is easy. you just sit down at the typewriter and bleed."
    hemingway

  27. luv2run,

    I don't think that being confused about religion and faith or having questions makes you "suck as a mom" in this area of parenting. Not one bit.

    I was raised in a small Baptist church. My mother was a founding member,and she eventually became the first woman ever to be ordained a deacon there. She loves Jesus and has been His faithful servant since she was a girl. I adore my mother, and I like her a lot, too. We are very close.

    My father is an agnostic. When I was a young girl, he was the one who washed my hair every Saturday night and rolled it into pink foam rollers while it was damp so that it would look pretty for church the next morning. When it was time to leave for church on Sunday morning, he always had our Bibles and our offering envelopes lined up in neat little piles, ready for us to grab as we walked out the door. Several times a year, our church would ask members to show up on a Saturday to pitch in with needed repairs, and my dad was always there. He used to spend entire Saturdays helping my mom bake when it was our family's turn to provide refreshments for the congregation hall. He was a tireless supporter of our church, and he always had high praise for our church family. He used to say, "Those folks are good to your momma." The only time he ever attended church was on Christmas Eve because my mother insisted that we be together as a family that night. (He always looked terribly uncomfortable, but he never complained. I remember feeling very sorry for him.) My dad doesn't believe in God, and he does not believe that Jesus Christ is his savior. I adore my father, and I like him a lot, too. We are very close.

    Although I often wrestle with my own spirituality, I do love Jesus very much. But please know that I have no more respect for my mother than I do for my father. They were both very honest and loving with me and my brother. I was one of those lucky kids who grew up in a house full of love, where I was able to marinate in it until I was good and juicy and ready for the world. Neither of my parents ever seemed afraid to say, "I don't know." (You might be wondering how their marriage survived this contrast, and I'm not sure. They have been happily married nearly 50 years.)

    Much love to all Monkees,
    Adrianne

  28. Hello Dear Monkee friends!

    I've been wanting to write all day, but thinking and thinking and trying to find a few moments.

    The beautiful thing about this community is that we can take the time to really listen and think and respond. It's a great place to practice how I think we are called to be all the time. But for me that is easier in this forum because I can take my time and choose my words in a way I can't in "real life." I don't know that this is un-real life, but it does allow me to be a better version of myself. I feel safe enough to rant or joke or spill my heart, and I don't have many people or places to do that.

    I think the problem with religion is that it is a divine institution run by people– and people are messy and broken. I have lots of Episcopal clergy friends and it has taken time for me to really realize that they are just as messy as any other group. It's one thing to come out with a great sermon each week– it's another thing to be perfect all the time. None of us is. But when I hear about clergy who have used their position to break the trust that they are supposed to be creating in a community, I am angry and sad for all those whose faith is compromised.

    I am a life-long Episcopalian and really do find that to be the environment where my gifts and interests come together. I've wondered about seminary for years, but also know that there is plenty of work for me to do without being ordained. I get to teach, preach, pray, lead– most anything I want– and I can say no to what I don't because I'm a volunteer.

    WARNING: I'm going into teacher/preacher mode:
    One of the things I love about that particular denomination is that it was formed on the principal that we don't have all the answers, but that if we can hang together, God will see us through. Plenty of folks remember that King Henry VIII wanted a divorce and broke away from the Pope in order to do that, creating the Church of England (which became the Episcopal Church of America after the Revolution). The less familiar part of the story is that Queen Elizabeth, tired of all the bloodshed and turmoil that followed the break between England and Rome, ordered a compromise. She said that everyone should just pray together and leave room and time for things to come together. Today, that makes for a huge, messy tent worldwide, but it is also a great model for getting through conflict.

    I love that we don't all see things the same way in the Momastery– on topics big and little. But we stay together, keep talking and loving and know that we will be okay. I am thankful that Glennon is so generous and articulate with the contents of her heart and that she engages and loves each of us so fully. I think this is a model for how we should be getting along with others all the time.

    have a great weekend!

  29. I'm wondering if Glennon's beautiful writing came with her DNA. I love Bubba's writing almost as much as I love hers.

  30. Writing Seminar — Me too, me too.. could you please write about this, Glennon?

    Kate R.

  31. P.S. And besides, once again, this is her blog she is so graciously sharing with us so she can say what she wants, nani-nani-boo-boo.
    (I'm saying this teasingly!)

    T.

  32. I am not super regligious. I am Episcopalian. I too am not real keen on all the orgganized religions and how many so called "Christians" really judge and look down upon "their neighbor" and don't turn the other cheek (in MY experience – NOT you Monkees here at all!!!!) HOWEVER I really love reading Glennon's blog and get her. I don't mind her references to God, Jesus, etc because I do believe in God and Jesus. We all pray differently. I myself, in bed (heck with the knee stuff my knees hurt too much) while I try to sleep, going over the days events and thanking God for little blessings of the day or to help someone.

    Just a shout out to G that no matter what I still enjoy the hell, opps I mean heck out of this blog! She is inspiring. Peace!

    T.

  33. i actually think it's more remarkable that we can be gentle here, without seeing each other's faces.

    i think it's a miracle, but im easy.

  34. The Bible is hard. I'm teaching 6th/7th grade Sunday School this year, and we're focusing on the Old Testament. I'm finding that it's very hard to explain the times when the Old Testament seems to go directly against what's in the New Testament. For example, I've read more than once that God doesn't forgive sins, but yet that's the exact opposite of what the New Testament says and that's only one of the things that befuddles me. It's hard.

    I have a lot of trouble with the creation story and with the stories about God telling his people to go into the land of another people and kill them. Again, it's hard to understand and I have no answers.

    BUT, for some strange reason, I continue to believe in and find great comfort in God. And I love helping my young students consider answers to the hard questions, even when I don't know them myself.

    I think all people have questions and doubts, no matter what their faith. I have decided to embrace my confusion and go with my gut on this one. Strange, but true.

    Abbey, I agree with most of what you wrote and enjoyed reading it, but I was surprised because of all those hymns we sang at your wedding. Remember "Here I am, Lord"? Or were you too busy chatting it up with that cute Tim? ;)

    Do you think we could have this conversation if all of us were in one room? Does taking the time to write out our answers give us time to gain perspective and speak gently?

    :)MK

  35. dear g – a bit off topic. but, someday, can i attend a glennon doyle melton writing seminar? i'd love to know what the process is like for you. i've always been interested in writing, but am way too scared to be really honest with myself to be any good. i have never shared anything i've ever written (other than funny songs or haikus). i think, on some level, i even edit myself in my most personal journals. i am terrified that someone might see and not like my words. you are an inspiration for me.

    love, bums

  36. Brave Bonzo! I have trouble with the gentle thing, too. Growing up in New York with six older, sarcastic siblings will do that to a girl.

    I can see your point about the Picnic Blanket day, because I felt like it was one of the few days on the blog when there really was only one appropriate response: "I'm in." (My little rebel heart just couldn't post that day. Even if I happen to be in.) With huge kudos to Glennon, there are almost NO days when there is only one appropriate response.

    Glennon can only represent Glennon. (Glennon on THAT particular day. She should be allowed to be as inconsistent as the rest of us. Loved the TV turn-around yesterday.) Anyway, I love that she does it so eloquently and with such humility that it encourages me to reflect on the places where we don't overlap with respect and love. And if I suspect that my reflection might help someone else out, I'll comment about it.

    Glennon invites different viewpoints, but she can't represent them all. The key to celebrating Monkee diversity is OUR job–to speak up.

    In earlier dates of the blog, there were a LOT of "me too" days. Nothing wrong with that. Solidarity is lovely. But I almost never posted back then, though, because I rarely feel a simple "me too." On the rare occasion I have a "me too," it usually has an asterisk.

    But I'm LOVIN' it these days. I used to read the post in the early morning, reflect on it, and comment or not comment. But these days, I wait for a couple of hours, so I can read a little more of myself in all the others who comment honestly and openly. It seems that each day on the blog invites more voices, more asterisk-explainers. And I learn SO much from the dissenting voices.

    Thank you, Glennon. Thank you, Bonzo. Thank you, me tooers. And thank you, asterisk-explainers.

  37. uh- oh, i'm not that into big and long and heavy these days. thats what she said.

    ill go for the biography. thank you brooks.

  38. on christians –

    "Here’s the secret – true believers in Jesus don’t leave people out." – SouthLakesMom

    on my faith -

    "out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. i'll meet you there." -rumi

    i believe there are many paths to the peace and love and wholeness we all seek.

    my grandfather was a presbyterian minister, but even he wanted to preserve some of the now pagan beliefs and rituals akin to many African tribes. he wrote a book about the spirituality of Africans before the bible was introduced, comparing them and showing how connected they are so much so that the pagan beliefs shouldn't be abandoned.

    i believe everything is connected like that. we may not understand it or see it, but i look at the pre-bible african beliefs and see how they connect to native american spirituality and those of other indigenous people scattered across the world.

    On Momastery -

    Glennon has said it all here in her post today as she has in all of her other posts.

    Thank You, Glennon!

    On Monkees -

    No two are alike. And I truly believe that that is the way we all like it.

    Anonymous, thanks for helping us address one of the world's greatest challenges. Imagine all the trouble there is in the world, great and small troubles, all over the simple fact that people are different.

    "Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another." – elizabeth cady stanton

    Have a great weekend, Monkees!

  39. Oh yay! Howard Zinn died this week. :( A People's History is an amazing book, but it's big and long and heavy. His biography is also really inspiring – You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train.

  40. Interesting reading today.

    One of the little mantras that I get meaning out of is, "stand for something, or fall for anything". I think that is one of the beautiful things about this community of people: they are STANDING up, even if their reason for standing up are very different.

  41. YAY Anonymous for coming clean with your thoughts on Jesus.

    I was a recovering Catholic so to speak for years and years. I stopped going to church when my priest (and most of you from LB probably know who I'm talking about if you went to Nativity in Burke), when all he would preach about was money this and money that. We need more more more. The last mass I went to was with my sister and we were standing in the back of the church along with about 50 – 60 other people because there were not more seats (and who wants to go to church and sit in one seat while your family sits on the other side of the church?) and Father Sal telling us "Either find a seat or leave", so you know what? We left and so did a lot of other people, even some that had seats.

    And then a few years later, how ironically, Father Sal was arrested by the FBI for stealing money from his own church. So for years I had a bad taste in my mouth for the church.

    It wasn't until a few years ago that I found my way back because I think it's important for my children to learn about Jesus and make their own choices as to what they will believe in.

    I find it hard to believe in the same things that Anonymous was saying about the boat, the burning bush, etc. My biggest issues are with the church's belief in Abortions and same sex relationships and marriages. I can't raise my kids to believe that being "Gay" is wrong. I just can't and I won't, no matter what the church says. When they talk about that in CCD class, my children will not be there that day.

    I go to church and I love to go to church and I love to learn about Jesus and God, Matthew, Marc, Luke and John and all the rest but I have my own beliefs and I want my children to learn all they can about the faith and make their own choices when they are older.

    On a side note Glennon, I have ended up in Maryland several times. Stupid construction, road signs and damn those map quest directions.

    Love to all my Monkees.

    Jennifer M

  42. Brooks,
    Thank you.

    I just went to Amazon to order one of Howard Zinn's books. I would like to know as much as possible about the people who helped you become you.

    Is this a good place to start… A People's History of the United States (1980)…or should I order a different one?

  43. Monkees,
    I have come to be okay with the way Glennon talks about Jesus, even though I don't feel the same way about him as she does, because I have learned that Jesus makes her feel cherished and safe-in-her-skin, and because Jesus makes her want to be the best person that she can possibly be. I also have people that make me feel cherished and safe-in-my-skin (my husband, for instance) and that make me want to be the best person that I can possibly be (Howard Zinn, for instance). So although I absolutely don't understand faith like hers, nor do I want that for myself (see Abbey's post…ditto Abbey), I do understand and appreciate where it gets her.

    Full Disclosure: I do skim the parts about Jesus in her blogs. I just wrote and deleted 7 different one-paragraph-explanations of why Christianity (like all organized religions) turns me off, and why I don't care to read about it. This is not the forum for that discussion. Suffice it to say that this blog has always had a heavy Christian tint, and I read it anyway. You have no idea the volumes that speaks for Glennon's writing. I simply do not read Christian ANYTHING!

    Also, when in Northern Va., it is very very easy to accidentally end up in Maryland. It is also very easy to accidentally end up on 66 at rush hour…Every. Single. Time. you visit your sister.

    Love,
    Brooks

    PS – I erased and re-posted because it was at first addressed to Glennon, and I realized it should be addressed to all Monkees. :)

  44. Abbey, I don't know what to say. I just really needed your honesty about God and your love for me today.

    I am going to keep this forever.

    Thank you. I love you.

    G

  45. Anonymous, I absolutely can't get to a place where I believe in Jesus and God. I'd like too, because I think it gives an enormous amount of security and cool pink t-shirts, but I just don't get it. I've NEVER gotten it. I remember sitting in church as a LITTLE kid thinking, "You expect me to believe this guy built and arc and did WHAT? Killed us all because he didn't like what he saw?? And bushes just bursting into flames??" HUH? And I actually remember REALLY trying the breaking up bread into more servings thing to see if it was possible. I always remember having questions like this and always remember thinking that God surely wasn't my kind of guy to allow such massive, horrific suffering and expect constant praise…..seems like he'd actually want us to spend more time on each other. If he is the creator, then why did he create us as he did? Re-configure, re-configure! Instead, I opt to just try to better the lives of my fellow humans. I try really hard not to be a jerk, I give when I can remember too between bouts of trying to get my children to stop licking cheerio dust off the floor, I pretend to like animals, etc. Less than a mile away from my house a tiny boy named Aveion was born when my Allie was born. He was premature, then neglected so severely that he was only 9 pounds at 14 months before they took him away from these monsters of parents. Less than a month after he was given back to his parents he was murdered and thrown in the trash. They just found his body at a landfill a few days ago. This tiny boy was born to suffer. I often think that if this kind of thing is in "God's Plan," then I'm going to have to find something else to believe in. I turn my little ears completely off when I hear people say things like "That wasn't God, that was people" etc….I can't listen to it. I can't get that. YET. Maybe one day.

    Anonymous, I hope you can help me with this too….do you feel backed even more into a corner about it when people try to "convince" you or pray for you? It DOESN'T WORK for me. AT ALL. If you look at me with puppy dog eyes like you're SORRY for me, then you've just really hurt your agenda (for those who have one….Monkees I know do not have secret agendas :)) Just as strongly as I don't understand how to believe in God, people don't believe how you couldn't possibly feel the way they do. I think when it happens, if it happens, it is supposed to happen organically and personally. It is not going to happen because some Baptist boy accosted me and warned me of the dangers of hell if I didn't turn my little blonde heart right around NOW.

    For anonymous, in case you've never met Glennon….she's trying to love everyone for who they are, and she MEANS it. I love her Jesus posts because I never feel attacked about it. I LOVE hearing her perspective because I love perspectives that are different from my own. If we all experienced some Monkee love, maybe we could go a few days without shooting each other up. It's all about accepting what you can't change and respecting each other's boundaries.

    I'm not at all saying I'll never believe in God. I'm just saying no one can MAKE me. And because of Glennon's excitement and love for Jesus, I have a feeling that if it does ever happen for me, she'll be the very first person I think of :)

    Glennon, I hope you don't try to please everyone….I hope everyone does exactly what you do when you love us all no matter our level of "dirty heathen" :) You could write about Jesus every day and I'd still come back to catch that glimpse into your heart!

    Abbey

  46. Bonzo, I mean no disrespect regarding your opinion..however i really liked the "Picnic Blanket" post..I thik it was Glennons way of taking alot of what has happened in our world today coupled with how alot of us are feeling..desperate to help those who are less fortunate than we are..and rallying us together to do good! I in no way took it as alienation or making people feel "alone" I think the complete opposite..it was more team building in my opinion. I appreciate that type of unsolicited advice. Anyway.. not trying to be confrontational.I'm just saying..not every post is for everyone..isn't that the point? we all relate to different things differently..much love.. JB

  47. Maybe you're right, Bonzo, maybe you're right.

    I will be thinking and praying about what you've shared.

    Love, G

  48. Since I may be one of the intended recipients of this love letter and since I have said in a previous comment on this blog that I get a little squeamish and nervous when our conversation turns to Jesus and the Bible, I felt the need to explain myself.

    I enjoy reading when you write about what’s on your heart and mind, be it Jesus, Craig, pans, or Lyme. And, while some of your posts may make me or other readers uncomfortable, that may be one of the reasons we come here: to hear about viewpoints and experiences very different than our own to consider and learn from. While other Monkees may be concerned that any post on faith will alienate readers, that is not my concern. When you write about your faith or any other topic, you are just speaking your truth (and I have said before how much I liked your “On Faith” post). But, admittedly, I was troubled by the Picnic Blanket post. That post seemed to go against the Momastery philosophy of not giving unsolicited advice and trying not to oversimplify issues (a philosophy which I think has helped to make this community what it is) and seemed instead to be prescribing a certain course of action based on a certain set of beliefs and then asking for a show of hands. I worried that that post might have made some people feel alienated and excluded and alone, when on most other days the Momastery makes people feel refreshingly energized and included and NOT alone. My zookeeper instinct had nothing to do with the ‘what’ and everything to do with the ‘way.’

    So: I promise I’m not trying to steal Craig (as cute as he is), I promise would never wish for your writing to be neutral or to pretend that differences don’t exist (ugh), I promise I don’t want you to stop loving and writing about Jesus, and I promise I don't want you to try to please everyone, least of all me. I just thought that this community might benefit from another viewpoint (I may be wrong about that, and, if so, I will try to excuse myself as gracefully as possible).

    This comment may not be welcome, but it is my attempt to share my thoughts as honestly and gently as possible. (Being gentle has not always been a strength of mine, so I apologize in advance if this is not gentle enough.)

    With love,

    bonzo

  49. luv2run,
    I was raised with all those things you said you weren't and I am STILL confused about Jesus and God and church. But I think it's okay to be confused. And, even Glennon who is not confused about these things, spent a long time "church shopping" until she found a place that felt right for her and her family. My point is just that there are no easy answers when it comes to this stuff. But I'm glad you feel safe and comfortable here b/c this is a good, good place :)

  50. Luv2run,
    I love your openness and appreciate your presence here so much. I think maybe hyperventilation sometimes is just letting us know that some things are bigger than we are. Like pans are big and scary to some of us. But we have each other to walk with and be honest about whatever it is that makes us hyperventilate and maybe better able to just breathe. I hate that some churches are scary places and some Christians scary people, because that makes Jesus seem scary. I am thankful everyday for Momastery, where I can just be me. Scared when I am scared. At peace when I am at peace. And trying not to be a jerk.
    Thank you for being YOU! Love, Liz

  51. Glennon- I think you know the secret!! Being honest and pure and true is the MONKEE way. You can't worry about trying to please everyone. If people don't want to read something, they won't. If people aren't getting fed here, they will go elsewhere. You can't make everyone happy all the time. I like how we say it in third grade- You get what you get and you don't throw a fit! It might not pertain to this exactly but I thought it was funny!!!
    -Lisa P.

  52. The words Jesus and God makes me sweat=CONFUSED!!!!

    1. The word Jesus scares me but for some reason, not when Glennon says it.
    2. I was not raised in a church but believe in something, not sure what that something is. I thank that something after long runs because I know something got me through it.
    3. When my boys ask me about God and/or the Nativity scene I start to hyperventilate.
    4. I got baptized, married and confirmed into the Episcipal Church for my husband when I got engaged because he had to get married in a church or it wasn't under God. I love him so I will support his beliefs. Still dont know what all of it means but I got in line and did my thing.
    5. My oldest boy came home from preschool (years ago now, he is in first grade) and wanted to say prayer…..ok…..tell me what you got kid cause I dont know any. I felt like this mommy sucks.
    6. My boys ask about God and baby Jesus and I refer them to their dad because this mommy has not clue, again hyperventization kicks in again.
    7. Gone to church (for my kids…..long story) but haven't found a comfort zone in any of them. I dont know the songs, prayers, when to sit, stand or shake hands or turn to which page in which book.
    SO MANY MORE THOUGHTS!!!!!

    I got a lot of questions about religion. Glennon your talk doesnt scare me like it would if I went to church. This is a confusing subject for me but appreciate you writing about your Jesus and teaching me along the way. Hopefully you will teach me enough that I wont suck as a mom in this area of parenting.

    luv2run

  53. Anon – I endorse everything Glennon has said above, and I want to add more.

    Those of us who love Jesus can’t help but ooze him out of our pores. It’s kind of like when you fall in love – you want everyone to be as happy as you are at that moment. And it’s meant to be that way – if we love Jesus the way He loves us, we want EVERYONE to know about how wonderful His love is. How forgiving and how complete.

    Yet, many of us in our daily walks through schools and culture are told that we cannot share who our first love is. Imagine if you went to a place where everyone in the room could discuss, in detail, their husband or boyfriend and talk about how wonderful he is. But you were handed a note as you walked in the door that said “under no circumstances may you discuss or praise or endorse your boyfriend or husband.” Many of us would say we don’t want to be in that room after all.

    So when we come to Glennon’s blog and talk about Jesus it isn’t to exclude or intimidate. We’re simply talking about Who rocks our world. Would we love it if anyone else came to love Jesus because they heard about his love here? Sure! But would we NOT love anyone who doesn’t love him? NO WAY! Here’s the secret – true believers in Jesus don’t leave people out. Make no mistake, we agree that there are many celebrities who profess to speak for Him that make us cringe. They need to go back to His own words and study them some more.

    When I was younger and thought I knew more than I have realized I actually do, I thought the Jesus-thing was a great con to keep people complacent. And a wise older friend said, "that's okay for you to think that. But I'm giving you a Bible because if you're going to understand anything about Western Culture, history, archeology, anthropology, human relations or laws (I was graduating law school), you need to know what's in this book." It was much, much later that I actually started reading the book and appreciating how the principles and history contained in there framed the very best parts of our system of laws and our culture.

    Glennon has a God-given talent for writing the truth in love, without judgment and without condemnation. If the rest of the Jesus-loving Monkees can live up to that, we will truly embrace all the Monkees in the tree!

    So stick around and tell us who/what rocks your world! Maybe it’s the belly-laugh of a three year old. Maybe it’s the snaggle-tooth smile of a first grader. Maybe it’s your S.O. (although he’d have to go a long way to be hotter than Craig). True lovers of Jesus want to know about other people’s loves. We want to know YOU and understand YOU because true Jesus lovers are RELATIONAL. Real Jesus lovers try very hard to NOT BE JERKS!

  54. G – you are so kind and gentle. And I don't say that to boost your ego or make you feel good. Although – I hope you do feel good. You are able to say those things that most of us can't and I appreciate that.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Tricia

  55. good morning, g. hope you don't have any doctors appointments. and you can steal some extra jammie time or a nap today. have a wonderful weekend.

    anonymous, we're so glad you're here. pick a name any name and join the conversation so we can get to know you better.

  56. Love you to the moon and back, G.

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