Jan 262010

Yesterday was heavy. We need a break. And we have been provided a magical break by our own resident song writer, Bonzo. Bonzo is one of Sister’s dearest friends, but I am trying to steal her. Bonzo is fiercely wise and brave and loyal, and we are very lucky because she believes in the Monkee Revolution. I appreciate that she stands by me and loves me in spite of the fact that I talk about Jesus a whole lot. Bonzo and I are learning to love and trust each other even though we don’t totally understand each other. Maybe because we don’t totally understand each other. I think respecting differences is important in a friendship. Also, a mutual obsession with Bon Jovi helps.

I got this email from Bonzo a few nights ago:


Ok. Well, as you may know, moderation is not my inclination. Half-ass is no ass. SO. Since you have gotten as big a kick out of the Monkee Anthem as I have, I have decided to complete it for you. It BROUGHT ME JOY to know that this might BRING YOU JOY. AND NOW, when we have karaoke at the Monkee slumber party, we can sing the whole song:

Our Anthem:

Monkee Medicine

By Bon Jovi and Bon Zo

I ain’t got a fever, got a Momaster-ery
It’ll take a lot of cloisters to hold our community
I got lots of Monkees, it’s exactly what I need
Gonna take more than a shot to really compromise our glee
I got all the symptoms count ‘em 1, 2, 3

First we read
That’s how we started falling in love
Then we bleed
We spill our guts and then we get back up
And we feed
That’s how we keep on falling in love
Now this Monk’s addicted and our words are the drug

Your love is like Monkee medicine
Monkee medicine is what I need
Shake it up, just like Monkee medicine
Dancing around in the Momaster-ery

Mon – Kee medicine (is what I want)
Mon – Kee medicine

We’re loving and we’re fearless and it’s giving us a thrill
The more we give, the more we have, so every Monkee gets her (or his!) fill,
We get tired very quickly whether home or off to work
But we give it all we’ve got when we try not to be a jerk
When we someday have our slumber party, we’ll all go berserk

First we read
That’s how we started falling in love
Then we bleed
We spill our guts and then we get back up
And we feed
That’s how we keep on falling in love
Now this Monk’s addicted and our words are the drug

Your love is like Monkee medicine
Monkee medicine is what I need
Shake it up, just like Monkee medicine
Dancing around in the Momaster-ery

Mon – Kee medicine (is what I want)
Mon – Kee medicine

We need some inspiration when we’re running out of air
So we found our own formation and our flock is pretty rare
Every day we really want to throw the towel in
We put on our perspectacles and try it all again.

Your love is like Monkee medicine
Monkee medicine is what I need
Shake it up, just like Monkee medicine
Dancing around in the Momaster-ery

I mean, are you kidding? Tell her how brilliant she is. BRILLIANT.

P.S. If you are interested in more information about the project that was introduced yesterday, please email me so I can get you on the distro list. Shake it up today, Sweet Monkees.

Jan 252010

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27

Warning: I spent a lot of quiet time with God this weekend. As a result, I’m about to get my preach on. Unsolicited advice is coming your way. So sorry. Really, really sorry. Here goes.

After our first Momastery book club meeting, a discussion followed about how Sister has found her calling, and how many of us are still searching for our own personal calling. I’d like to share some of my thoughts about that.

Here’s the truth, as I see it. If we call ourselves Christians, and we know how to read, we already know our callings. Our callings are to joyfully and tirelessly believe, love, pray, forgive, seek peace, tell the truth, and reach out to touch the poor and the oppressed. Those are our callings. Those are the things that Jesus did. Those are the things He told us to do. Our callings are not a mystery. Our callings are written in the Bible (and the Koran and the Torah and the Bhagavad-Gita) and on our hearts, in black and white and red.

Churches often tell the Biblical story of God calling Isaiah to be his prophet and Isaiah’s beautiful response: “Here I am, Lord! Send Me! ” God and Isaiah’s trust in each other are intriguing, even enviable to us. We think: Man, that Isaiah was so lucky to have been contacted directly by God. To have been chosen. I wish God would make things that clear for me. But the thing is that God didn’t call Isaiah personally. God made a general call. God needed some ground forces to help the poor, and so like He always does, He said “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah heard God’s eternal call and cried out “Here I am Lord, Send me!” Isaiah wasn’t singled out, he didn’t receive a Holy Evite… he was quiet and focused enough to hear the words that God has cried since the world began and will continue to cry until the world’s end: Help my suffering people. If you love me, feed my sheep. Isaiah heard and answered. And then he received further instructions, and then his personal gifts were discovered, honed, and used.

Here’s the deal, Monkees. I feel like Jesus could use a few new publicists. I think He might prefer the Christian Church to feel less like a country club or marketing blitz and more like a 12 step program in an ER. (Hello, Welcome to church! My name is Glennon and I’m a jerk, so I need Jesus. You look like you’re hurting, how can I help you heal?) I think a lot of us feel the same way. We feel like there’s something off with the version of Christianity that seems to be more concerned with guarding “rights” than the defenseless. We don’t want to be Christians who judge, exclude, hide, or use fancy words that make people feel left out. We don’t want to be Christians who believe God cares more about politics and power than poverty and disease. We don’t want to be Christians who accept Jesus and then assume our work is done. We know what type of Christians we don’t want to be. So now it becomes important to ask “what type of Christians DO we want to be? What is the point of Christianity anyway?”

Jesus said the point is REVOLUTION. Jesus said that the point is unlearning everything the world has taught us about what’s safe and what’s “normal.” Jesus said the point is to joyfully and tirelessly, love, forgive, seek peace, tell the truth, and reach out and touch the poor and the oppressed. Jesus said the point is that when you become a Christian, your work has just begun.

This can feel like a hell of a lot more to add to our already overflowing plates. But if our plates are too full to say “Here I am!” to God’s calls, then we might consider clearing our plates and starting over. Because we don’t have to do God’s things TOO. We have to do God’s things ONLY. That’s why Jesus said “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When we decide that we only want to do His work, and nothing else, our lives become clearer and lighter. Everything starts to make sense. Whenever I feel stressed, I stop and ask myself, is this something worthy of stress? Because there are things that are, and there are things that aren’t. And when the things we are doing are God’s things, the stress feels different. It feels less like “Oh My God, I’m powerless and small” and more like “My God. I am more powerful than I could have possible imagined.” His burden is light. And it’s so freaking exciting. Maybe the burdens we’re carrying now are too heavy. Maybe they’re boring. Maybe some of them are the wrong burdens. Maybe we should drop them and pick up God’s burdens instead, together.

A few weeks ago, I had a little vision. I was brushing my teeth and a picture popped into my head of me and my three children, sitting on a picnic blanket in the middle of a forest. I left the extra food and water with Chase and ran back to the car to get something. But I got lost in the woods. And I was gone for days. And by the time I returned to them, Amanda had died of starvation. I looked at Chase and he still had piles of food behind his back. I fell to the ground and pounded the dirt and wailed and said “Why, Chase Why? Why didn’t you FEED YOUR SISTER?” And Chase said, “Mommy, you gave the extra food to ME.”

And I thought: Oh My God. That’s it. This Earth is just a little picnic blanket that God’s left us on for a short while. And I’m afraid that when God comes back, if we have extra while our neighbors are dying, He is going to say, “What happened? I left enough for all of you. I gave extra to you because I trusted you to share.”

Monkees- I have myself a little dream. I want us to start a project together. I want us to find someone, somewhere, who is taking really good care of orphans and could use some help from us. I want us to come together and pool some of our time, talent, prayers, dough, and raw Mama Bear Monkee Passion. I want a group of Monkees to reach out to a group of children who’ve lost their parents, and I want us to care for them. Not just throw money at them, but care for them, pray for them, get to know them, love them, for the long haul. I want us to get to know each other and God better through the process. I want to have Monkee slumber parties at which sweatpants are mandatory and make-up is banned and we eat (organic) Cheetos and pizza and dream up dreams for the children and plan ways to make those dreams come true. We have all wondered if this Momastery love, this Monkee Revolution is “real.” Yeah, it’s real. It becomes real today.

Will you join me? Will you answer God’s call with me? Will you jump up with me and the Monkees and say “HERE I AM, LORD! SEND ME!”

P.S. Also, will you comment and tell us if you know any organization that you have personal contacts with and might be a good match for us? We’d like to find an organization that focuses on orphan care, doesn’t already have a lot of support, and will allow us to partner with them in many ways. We have a team of Monkees chomping at the bit to start researching your ideas.

Jan 212010

Hi Monkees,

Wow. Yesterday was special..

I’ve decided upon a new plan for myself as the facilitator of this blog. I am going to get up at 4:45 to write to you every morning, like I always do. I am going to think all day about what might inspire you and what you might need and want to read about, like I always do. Throughout the day I will check the blog obsessively every ten minutes hoping there are new comments, like I always do. In the evening, after I put my three kids to bed, I will sit down and write a draft of the following day’s essay, like I always do. And then I’ll get up the next morning and do it again, because I love you. But I’m not going to respond to the comments publicly anymore. I think that might be your job. My job is to begin the day’s discussion and yours is to take it and run and respond to each others’ brave love offerings. I love your comments, I actually really need them. They make me feel like what I’m doing is valuable and appreciated. But I can’t respond to each one, or the five hours a day I spend on Momastery will turn into eight and that won’t be fair to my family. If I can’t respond to all of them, I don’t want to respond to any, because I don’t want to hurt Monkee feelings. So I will be reading them and rereading them and cherishing them and saving them, but I won’t be responding publicly. I hope you understand.

I also wanted to mention that when you email me, I will get back to you. I love your emails as much as your comments. It just might take me a while. Amma has started taking off her diaper and pooing in various parts of the house and I’ve been spending a whole lot of time following my nose, armed with Spot Shot lately. So I ask for your patience.

I would like to say a few more things. I love women. It has been my experience that when women are loved well, they eventually turn out to be pretty damn lovable. Finding true friendship, even in a group dynamic is not impossible. I know this to be true. It’s just hard work. And most of that work involves work on ourselves, not other people. If we want to get along with competitive women, we’ve got to be less competitive. If we want to love prideful women, we’ve got to lose some of our pride, etc etc. When we pull out the log from our own eye, we can see clearly enough to notice that the speck in our neighbor’s eye is not as big as we originally suspected. I know this to be true, because I’ve seen it happen again and again. It sure is hard to take sometimes, like Bad Medicine. But we can do hard things. That’s the beauty and challenge of Momastery. We are learning that the problem and solution to much of our isolation is INSIDE, not outside. While we learn and practice, let’s remember to be gentle with each other. People are without their usual armor here, so be more gentle than necessary, please.

In keeping with our bird theme, I’d like to share a poem that my dear friend, Joey, sent me a few months ago. She’s a Monkee, and she said that this poem reminded her of us. Apparently there is a whole lot we can learn from all of God’s creations. Have a wonderful weekend, Silly Geese.

The Goose Story

fall, when
you see Geese
heading South for
the Winter, flying along
in V formation, you might
consider what science has dis-
covered as to why they fly that way:
as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an
uplift for the bird immediately following. By
flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least
71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community
can get where they are going more quickly and easily
because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

a goose falls
out of formation,
it suddenly feels the drag
and resistance of trying to go it alone
and quickly gets back into formation to take
advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose,
we will stay in formation
with those who are headed the same way we are.

the Head Goose
gets tired, it rotates back
in the wing and another goose flies point.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs
with people or with geese flying South.

honk from behind to
encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What do we say when we honk from behind?

and this is important,
when a goose gets sick, or is
wounded by gunshots and falls out
of formation, two other geese fall out with that
goose and follow it down to lend help and protection.
They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until
it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation
to catch up with their group.