Jan 132010

So sorry I’m late this morning. My little man, Chase, got sick at midnight and has been sick every twenty minutes since. I’ve never seen a little one with a virus this strong. After six hours of snuggling him while he cried and shook, I said helplessly, “Honey is there anything at all I can do for you?” And he said weakly, “Maybe you could pray?”

It breaks my heart when my children are sick, but I know that there is something special about it too. Sickness slows everybody down and encourages all of us to circle the wagons and focus on each other. When my children are sick it brings out the best in me, because I feel so desperately needed. I’m the only one they want, and I like that. I just love them so incredibly much when they’re sick. I want to hold them all day.

And I was thinking, just now, that maybe that’s how God feels about my little Lymie self right now. I know Chase is going to get better, and God knows I’m going to get better. So we’re all just going to use this time now to focus on each other, snuggle together on the couch, and wait for little miracles.

Chase reminded me this morning that we are never helpless. We can always help those we love through prayer. So today Monkees, I pray that you find some quiet today, some silence, some stillness.

Here’s why. Take a minute with this. I think in it is the key to a joyful, peaceful life.

“The fruit of silence is prayer,

The fruit of prayer is faith,

The fruit of faith is love,

The fruit of love is service,

The fruit of service is peace.” – Mother Teresa

And apparently the fruit of mommy’s cooking is brutal illness.

As always, I remain hopeful.

P.S. Kristin’s friend Erin is in Haiti, visiting her adopted son, Geoff. Since it’s all just unspeakable, let’s all please pray for Erin and Geoff and all of the parents and children who already had so little, and now have less. There but for the grace of God go we.

Jan 142010

“Sometimes heaven is just a different pair of glasses.” Anne Lamott

In religious circles there is a lot of talk about the afterlife, about heaven and hell. This is certainly important to discuss, but when I read scripture, what slaps me in the face is that Jesus (and Buddha and every other spiritual teacher) focuses on the present more than the future. He teaches often about how we turn our earthly existence into heaven or hell based on our choices and perspective, here, today, right now.

Some people understand the “kingdom of God” as a place for “believers” and “the kingdom of hell” as a place for “non-believers.” Maybe. But I also think that those boundaries can’t be hard and fast. Because I believe till the cows come home. But I still find myself, quite often actually, feeling jealous and afraid and suspicious and isolated and angry and hopeless. Which feels a little hellish. And other times I feel loving and fearless and hopeful and connected and generous, which feels quite heavenly. So it seems to me that the kingdom of God and the kingdom of hell might also be places I shift between throughout my day, depending upon my attitude, where my heart is, how I’m looking at the world and at other people. And which kingdom I’m currently in depends on whether I’ve got my Jesus glasses on or not.

When I’m wearing my Jesus glasses, I see other people how Jesus sees them. Through my Jesus glasses, it becomes crystal clear that every person is my equal, and so confidence and humility come easy. Through my Jesus glasses, I see, laid out in front of me, ridiculous abundance. Through my Jesus glasses, I see that there is enough, that I am enough, and so is everyone else. When I don’t feel these things, I try to catch myself and find my glasses. Here at Momastery we like to call these Jesus glasses perspectacles. Because here at Momastery we are very, very cheesy and obsessed with puns. Also we like to use words that include everybody, not just Christians.

I used to be very suspicious of other women. I felt it was my duty to prove myself to other women. To defend my imaginary superiority. To hide my imaginary inferiority. I felt like I could never let my guard down, never relax. This was before I found my perspectacles. Now, mostly, instead of perceiving other women as competition, I put on my glasses and I see each woman God places on my path as a gift, an invitation, a resource, sent to teach me something I don’t yet know. Sent to help me heal in a specific way that only she can. Even when it becomes clear that the relationship is not going to work out, that we will have to part ways, she is still a gift because I am learning how to part ways with another child of God lovingly and gracefully. And so I get to practice taking care of myself and others. And I am able to relax. To stop grabbing and hiding. To understand that God sends exactly who we need, 100 percent of the time. This shift took a long time to happen. And it’s semi-permanent. My Jesus glasses still fall off. But now I know that when I find myself tightening up, feeling smaller and scared and defensive, all I have to do is find my glasses, put them on, and the world and other people will look blindingly beautiful again. And I will be able to breathe and be still in the understanding that the world is on my side.

God has sent me hundreds of invitations over the past few months, in the form of the Monkees. He invited one Monkee to the center stage of my heart recently, to help me learn how to look at my own health and body through perspectacles. I have never been an expert at that, but I think I might be finally learning. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn from Erin, that I want to share her with you. Erin has been working her Monkee bottom off for you. She has spent countless hours writing to us about wellness and creating a Monkee cookbook full of recipes that are so simple even I can make them. They are idiot (Glennon) proof. And of course, she’s decided to love us without ulterior motive. She doesn’t want to make any money… she’s making the “wellness books” for free. She is our volunteer Dr. Oz. And what she has to say could be powerful for us, because when a Monkee decides to love others by combining hard work with her specific gift, wellit can cause revolutions, people. IF the receiver’s hearts are open.

Erin will talk to us tomorrow about our feelings about our own bodies. Let’s, once again, get our perspectacles on and see Erin as an invitation to become a little more whole, a little better healed.

I love you Monkees. Have I told you that recently?

Jan 142010

Thursday Post # 2
We are all struggling with the horror in Haiti. It is just so painful. Sister is in training with IJM right now and is being exposed daily to the soul crushing violence that humans relentlessly inflict on other humans. That is just so painful. It is easy to become hopeless and shut down and look away. But when we do, let us catch ourselves. Let us find our Jesus glasses, slip them on, and then take another look. With our perspectacles on, we might just see, in the tears and in the rubble, an invitation to join God as He weeps and then works. In the post below are a few ideas about how to move from weeping to working, or how to do them both simultaneously. I once heard a minister say that “compassion is your pain in my heart and then through my hands. If it doesn’t hit the through my hands part, it’s not compassion.” See Erin C’s comment below if money isn’t the way you’re being invited to become involved. Monkees are creative, and we don’t give up until we find a way. Feel free to leave ideas for other giving opportunities.

SOS Children's Villages

Dear Glennon,

You have seen by now all the coverage that the devastating earthquake in Haiti is receiving. Staff from around the world have been working non-stop since 6 pm EST last night assessing the situation, making sure the children in our Haiti Villages are okay, and beginning to respond — with water, medical supplies and places to sleep.

The entire area is in very bad shape, and children are in danger. In addition to ensuring the safety and health of the children who live in our Villages in Haiti, we are opening our doors to children in the surrounding area who have no homes to go to. We are using everything we have to make sure children are safe.

We have asked for your help before, and it has never been more urgent.

Thank you for your support.

Heather Paul Signature
Heather Paul, PhD
Executive Director
SOS Children’s Villages – USA

SOS Children’s Villages – USA
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1250
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 1 888-SOS-4KIDS or 202-347-7920

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