Mar 302010

Some days are just too hard to write about. Like today. Today’s my baby Sister’s birthday. Tomorrow she leaves me for Rwanda for 9 months. Where she’ll use her law degree, her courage, and her faith to fight to protect brutalized little girls for whom noone has ever fought before.

So instead of writing, I sit here and think. Or try not to, rather. And I stare at pictures of her on my computer and I swallow hard. I have no clue where to start, or what to say, or how to even pray. So I think, I’ll just write nothing. It’s too hard. Everyone will understand. Sister will understand. And so I close up the blog. Nothing today, friends.

And I open my email, and this message is waiting from Lou. My Lou, your Lou. The Lou we all met through Momastery. And she writes this:

I’ve been thinking about Sister too. I hope you are posting the prayer for Sister this week. I still like that prayer, G. Usually whenever I go back and read something I wrote, I want to edit it. But I don’t have that feeling with that prayer.

Here’s Lou’s prayer. It’s by my bed. I am going to pray it every morning and every night until my baby sister is back in my kitchen. Cooking, preferably. I would love it if you would pray it once too. Just reading it today counts as praying, of course. Everything counts as praying.

Dear God,

I’m scared. About Sister. I don’t want her and her family to be scared all the time. I want them to be able to sleep at night. And wake up with hope and faith and excitement. And have peaceful hearts throughout the day. I lay all my fears down at your feet. Pick them up and take them away from me. So I can be strong and fierce and continue to pray for her work in Rwanda. Where they need her. Those who are oppressed. Who live in fear daily. Hourly. Those who have been treated unfairly. For Sooooooo Loooong. Thank you for all the experiences in Sister’s life that prepared her for this time in this place. Rwanda. Protect her and keep her safe. And healthy.

Provide her just-in-time emotional, physical and spiritual rest, energy, and stamina. Sufficient and abundant preparation in all aspects. Safe travels. Safe shelter. And MORE SAFETY for God’s sake. Not too many bugs! Good companions… relational and professional. Someone who makes her laugh! Someone particularly blessed with whom she can share her burdens! All the expertise needed. God-given slip ups on the part of the oppressors and God-given contacts from the oppressed with people at IJM. A flannel pillow or some other cozy thing. Bravery and courageousness for her and all those working with her and for all justice seekers and for all the oppressed. Sunlight, stars, and the beauty of God’s creation! That the right people will be placed in the government and in power to do the right thing. That the laws are in place and changed as needed to rescue the oppressed. The sound of children laughing and singing! That hearts will be touched and changed because of the truth and light God shines through her on these situations in Rwanda. Beautiful hearts and good memories! That those who are rescued will be healed and comforted with bandages, and people, and rest, and the Lord. The smell of coffee or tea or some other lovely thing! That oppressors hearts would also be rescued and redeemed. Some justice here on earth! Just the right amount and kind of contact from home that she requires and desires. Powerful prayers continually being lifted up for her. Seeing and feeling God’s presence powerfully every day! Did I mention safety, Lord? Keep her safe and secure, not only in your love and faithfulness, but in one piece, because G needs her back home here when she’s done. Amen.


I love you, Baby Sister.

I’m glad I still have a little Amanda to hold while you’re gone.

She can’t cook, though, Sister.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  38 Responses to “My Lobster”

  1. I like your family. And I love discovering these little gems in your blog. That prayer is lovely and one I will share with some young people I know called to to help in what seems to be forgotten places, with seemingly forgotten sufferers. In our daily lives in America where we have to feed children like 6 times a day and we get resentful that they are still hungry, it is something to remember those who are TRULY hungry, all the days of their life.

    Nice to know Sister made it home safely too, when reading this years later!

  2. My husband and I met your sister Amanda in Rwanda in May. I was on a "justice" mission trip with Saddleback Church and she came and spoke at a church where we were training pastors on will writing. We met a few more times and had so much fun getting to know her. Unfortunately, always on the run, I did not get even her last name. Editing my trip photos today I found a bunch of her and decided to google search "IJM Amanda blog and Rwanda" and I found you. My name is Jorden Collins my email is [email protected] I'd love to keep in touch with her.

  3. Prayers and love to both of you on your journeys, Glennon and Mandy! I can't wait to hear about the amazing things you both do. Remember, you can do hard things!

  4. Happy Birthday Mandy! Please know you will be thought of often. Beautiful prayer Lou. Thanks for sharing your lobster with us G. And hugs to you, G, on your big change as well.

  5. And G,

    May your little house on the bay be the balm to your body and soul that you need it to be. And may you grow to understand enough about the feeling you get when you look out over the water, so that you can call it up wherever you are, whenever you need it. You mermaid, you.


  6. Mandy,

    I can't help thinking that this is probably the birthiest birthday you have ever had–besides your first one, of course. Hugs to you. May this be a time of hope and anticipation for all things new, and gratitude for everything you have now that will never change.

  7. Doyles and Meltons BIG day ahead. Huge thanks to Lou for the prayer. I am ready to be a prayer warrior for Sister and this is just the way to get us started. Sister, don't worry a minute about Glennon – as she's hunkering down we'll lift her up. Go do GREAT things!

  8. Glennon and Mandy – you both have been on my heart since reading this early this morning. I have shed some happy and some sad tears for you both today, but mostly happy. I love new adventures as they provide so many opportunities to learn and love. I hope both of your new adventures provide just that.

    And I'll ditto Lou's prayer, 'cause I'm just not that eloquent of a writer.

    Love and prayers to you both. And happy birthday Mandy! (Good day – my son turned 9 today!)

  9. G- I am sad we did not get a chance to hang out again before you left..time just got away from us I guess… but hollar at me when you get settled in, maybe we can come up and visit you guys this summer..we are all about doning the sundresses and picking seashells.. Avery said she will bring the feed the birds.. safe travels to you too.. JB

  10. Happy Birthday Sister.. I think of you often, I think I have anticipated this journey you are taking more than "normal" people who don't personally know you, should..I worry about you and what you will see and do when you are in Rwanda.. but mostly I am hopeful.. hopeful that all of your hardwork and dedication will help many children and stop their suffering. I promise to pray for you and all the children you encounter every day..and I hope that you will keep us informed of what life is like there and please, please let us know if there is anything we can do for you to help. I personally want to hear it all..the good the bad..everything. Take care and be safe..JB

  11. Happy Birthday Sister.

  12. Thank you to Lou for those wonderful words. Praying now!

    Happy Birthday Sister! I am proud to "know" someone who is giving her time and talent to bring hope and salvation to people who have been forgotten. To know that such cruelty still exists in the world is horrifying; and to know that there are folks ready and able to face that cruelty down is inspiring. The fact that this is beginning at Holy Week/Easter reminds me of how much healing and redemption the world still needs. And thankful that Jesus is inspiring you to do that work.
    Safe travels to you and to the moving Meltons. These next months will be a new adventure for all of you. I look forward to following it all from here.

  13. Happy birthday, Amanda. Thank you for the work that you will be doing. Please keep us posted and let us know what we can do from this end.

    Hugs and love to all the Doyles and Meltons.

  14. Happy Happy Birthday Amanda! You are doing incredible work. I look forward to hearing about your experience through this blog….at least weekly perhaps? :-)
    G, Hang in there, girl. Good timing that you will be closer to Mom and Pop, no? This 1/329th is here for you too!

  15. Happy Happy Happy Birthday Sister! God bless you!!
    G, I was in my car this morning running errands and WGTS is having a share-a-thon thingy about sponsoring children through a very reputable christian charity . . . As I was listening they started talking about a little girl from Kenya named Charlene. She is 6 years old and they described her as wearing a dress that was much too big for her in her picture, but looking so cute as she tried to look her very best! She is a Monkee for sure! I knew at that moment that I am supposed to sponsor this little girl. I will do it in honor of your sister. I fully believe that God will provide the money I need to do this.
    So there you have it, a brand new Monkee in Kenya. I can not wait to share about her here and I will post a picture on Facebook as soon as I get it. The Monkees are going global! Love love love you!
    XoXo Susie.

  16. Happy Birthday to Mandy; love, prayers, blessings, gratitude, God's peace to you, Glennon, your family, and to Mandy.
    -Christie Phillips

  17. This 1/349th has read the prayer twice already. Amanda will make a difference. Congratulations to you both on your leaps of faith! You both have such amazing hearts and souls.

  18. Wow. I can't believe it's tomorrow! I don't even know where this came from! I must admit, it's really hard for me to read this blog pregnant b/c I just cry the whole time and need a nap afterwards.

    I will definitely be sending care packages to Rwanda. I will definitely be thinking about her and also about you G. I will come and visit whenever you want and we can make some fun treats for sister and perhaps video chat? (Figured you could use some help setting that up.) We love you guys and we will anxiously await Mandy's return.

  19. Happy Birthday Sister!!! You are an inspiration to everyone. We love you and will miss you much.

  20. Amen. Thank you Sister for bravely going to fight for our sisters who so desperately need you. Thank you Glennon for sharing Sister with the world.

  21. Happy Birthday, Amanda!

    I am praying for your safety and security in God's loving hands. And know that you take courage and are strengthened by His grace.

    You are doing His work and that is a gift to all of us. All of humanity.

    On MLK Day, there was a prayer with this statement in it:

    "We must work passionately to bridge the gulf between us, overcome the injustices that oppress us, and restore community among us."

    All the best to you and your fellow IJM team as you help to restore lives and communities that have been forgotten.

  22. Happy Birthday Amanda! I will say a prayer everyday for you. Your birthday reminds me of all the years of birthdays you are making brighter because of what you're doing for each girl and woman saved. God bless you.

  23. "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

    Mama T

  24. Happy birthday, Sister!

    Am praying.

  25. " because of their Sisters around the world" we ARE their Sisters are't we? And each others' Sisters. How perfect. we are our Sisters' keepers here.


    thank you, thank you for your prayers and love for our family. as you know, it means everything.

  26. Happy Birthday Sister. How awesome that your birthday can mark the beginning of a new chapter in your life. You are such an inspiration to all of us to DO SOMETHING. We are lucky G. has shared you with us…my prayers for your safety are added to the thousands of others. With 349 "registered Monkees" (and countless others) if we each pray for Amanda once a day, that's nearly 100,000 prayers G. Seriously, God will just HAVE to keep her safe to shut up all these women. :)

    Glennon – you're in my prayers as well. For the move (what a huge leap of faith!) and for your sadness and worry. Remember what my mom said about worry…it's the Devil's way of getting into your heart. Don't let him get in, he can really corrode things in there. Prayer and faith are what will keep that worry at bay. Place your fear and worry at God's feet and he WILL take it from you. And remember, we really are NEVER alone. You won't be alone here, Mandy won't be alone in Rwanda and those sweet little girls aren't alone either. Because of their Sisters around the world praying to our loving God to keep ALL of you safe.

  27. Cherish today Glennon. Savor the smell, site, touch, and sound. Try to just BE (I know much easier said than done when your personal Chef is going on hiatus). Hugs to the entire family. Cin

  28. Happy Birthday to Amanda – a very brave soul.
    Bless her and keep her safe in her travels and her mission.
    Bless her extended family and may their anxiety go away and replaced with even more pride than they must have already for Amanda (is that possible?).
    Go Amanda!


  29. Happy Birthday Mandy.

    I'm praying for you all.

  30. G, I know (too well) that confusing bag when your lobster leaves to do something brave and needed and powerful; you are filled with pride and awe and lot of other positive feelings. You are also filled with the things you don't always want to share with other people; fear, anxiety, "let someone else go." So, right when I read you "swallow hard," I did too, right then. I felt that immediate lump in my throat for you.
    I am in awe of your lobster. She is a brave, loving, courageous soul. But, so is your family. All of you. I read once that, "courage is not the absence of fear. It is being afraid and doing it anyway." I love that! I had it in my wallet for a long time. So, I believe it is okay that you are afraid and worried. What is important is that you support her regardless, which you do. You love her through that fear, you sing praises and well wishes to her through that fear and shower her with encouraging words through that fear. That is what you are doing. You are a brave heart and so is she.

    I love the prayer. It is beautiful and I am keeping Amanda in my prayers until she is back in your kitchen cooking.

    ps – i'm not rereading what I just wrote, b/c I'm late for the gym and I will want to make corrections and revisions. soo, there you have it.

    pps – Happy Happy Amanda!

  31. Remember this is for the glory of God and God doesn't let us down.

    Be a warrior Sister. We know you are.


  32. G,
    I will keep your sister in my daily prayers. The challenge she is about to endure is amazing and wonderful. Best wishes to you and your family on your adventure as well! I wish you lots of R&R and the best of times creating new family memories. I am not an official Monkee, but do enjoy reading your posts. They are just wonderful! Thanks for all you do!


  33. A long hard day.

    Bubba & Tisha

  34. Beautiful prayer, Amen.
    Happy birthday Amanda.
    Be courageous and Godspeed!

    Gal 6:2


  35. Carin, You are such a doll. We leave tomorrow, too, though. So we'll be by Bubba and Tisha who can cook for us. Also, Erin has really been making some progress with me in the kitchen. You wouldn't believe it. Lots of stirring going on. Thank you for your thoughtful, generous heart, though.

    And Krystal, yes. As of today there are 349 Monkees. So I figure each of you can be responsible for 1/349 of me. That would be great, and a big relief to Sister and Husband.

    Love, G

  36. First, Happy Birthday to Amanda. Thank you for being such an amazing Lobster for G and all the blessings that you have given your family. If only every woman was lucky enough to have a Lobster.

    Second, Glennon, try not to think of Sister as leaving "you" but headed toward something she is called by God to do. It doesn't mean she's leaving you in anything other than the physical sense… although that whole cooking thing is really important.

    And I've been thinking about getting the Monkees to pool together some $ to get you some meals from Let's Dish that Craig can cook so you don't have to even wonder how to get the tops off 😉

    Love you, Sisters.

  37. Happy Birthday Amanda. Best of luck doing your thing. We'll all take care of your sister over here.


  38. Beautiful sister, beautiful prayer. I will read it over and over again.

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