Aug 302011

They’re gone.

All three kids are at school.

I have an hour and a half to sit in a quiet house and write to you. There are other things I might be doing instead. My house is a mess. There is clutter everywhere and unfinished paperwork and grocery shopping and well, you know. I’m ignoring it. That stuff will get done, eventually. But if I don’t sit down and focus, what I had to say today will be gone forever.

A little story for you.

Last week I woke up confused and sad and sick.

I have Lyme disease and sometimes it leaves me alone and I’m fine and other times it just clobbers me. I’m on forty two million pills each week (312 to be exact), so sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the pills or the disease that’s making me feel sick.

Ahh . . . the good old days, when taking drugs was such great fun. Not so much anymore. I love Jesus, but sometimes I believe in Karma a little, too.

Here are my pills.

Lots of those are supplements that are supposed to boost my immune system and help me fight the Lyme . . . I take things like BEE POLLEN and KELP and I eat things like Spirulina Cashew bars for lunch and kale smoothies for breakfast. I exercise several times a week and then sit in the sauna till I can’t take it anymore and then I scrub my skin with loofahs afterwards. All of this is supposed to release Lymie toxins from my skin. It’s all sort of insane. I have got to be the healthiest chronically unhealthy girl on Earth. Jesus, Spirulina?? These sorts of words are second nature to me now . . . a year ago Baked Cheetos were my healthiest choice. Life and Lyme are strange.

Anyway, this one particular day last week, I woke up feeling Lymie and stressed and confused about the adoption. We still have hope, there is hope, and this hope keeps us on edge. But still….nothing keeps happening. Nothing, nothing, and then additionally a little more of nothing for good measure. And so we hold out hope with no real reason to, other than our belief that hope is good. And so I was feeling both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by life.

I walked down the stairs to start the laundry and saw this on my doorstep. I have glass doors, so this gal was peering into my foyer, waiting to be noticed.

Just sitting there.

And I squeezed my eyes shut and then opened them again to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

Amma ran up behind me and yelled “WHAT ON THE HECK?” That’s her new thing.

I stepped outside and found Kristi in the bushes. Back story. Thank you, Bloggess.

I have tried to explain what Beyonce means to me to several people and I can’t seem get it out right. I’ll try again.

Last week at church my minister was serving communion and he held up the bread and explained to us that communion is a sacrament. He said that a sacrament is something visible, that points to something invisible. A sacrament is an earthly reality we create to point to a spiritual reality. It’s something we create, a symbol, that we can look at and touch to help us remember what we believe. Like a wedding ring. Because things we believe are usually invisible, making them trickier to keep believing in. We need to use our senses to help us keep believing. Humans need to see things, to touch things, to understand ideas.

And so that’s when I realized . . . Beyonce is a sacrament.

Stay with me here.

My friend Kristi, who I only met through Momastery, is deeply touched by my writing and yours. This community has gotten to her. She has always believed, deep down, that Love Wins, and that women should take care of each other, and that courage and kindness are what matter . . . but she’s never seen it proven right in front of her like she has here. She is inspired by us and our commitment to goodness and laughter. We help her believe, so she wanted to say thank you in a big way.

And one day she was driving down an old country road and she saw this rooster just sitting there. And she just knew. So she stopped her car and she said, Hey, how much for this chicken? This five foot, jagged edged, one eyed, rainbow rooster? And the lady told her, and she paid the lady. A lot, I think. Then she went to her house and made one of her amazing signs. And she turned the sign into a necklace and drove Beyonce and the sign to my house. Then she pulled Beyonce out of her truck by herself, risking Tetanus and all sorts of other diseases (because Beyonce will CUT YOU!) and she lugged her to my porch. And then she knocked, hid in the bushes and waited.

Kristi is a busy woman. She doesn’t really have time for a wild rooster chase. But it turns out she did have time, actually.

So now, every time I look at Beyonce . . . I think of how people will do crazy things for love. And how even though life is hard and there seems to be lots of nonsensical pain . . . there’s also plenty of nonsensical joy. She also reminds me to follow my God voice…because the God voice is what led me to start this blog . . . and good things have come of it. She reminds me that God uses my writing to move people and to help them laugh and forget some of the urgent things in their lives long enough to remember the important things. Like making each other smile.

I love Beyonce. She makes me smile.

Even so, she is a huge rainbow metal chicken. And we live in a fancy neighborhood in which yard art is not encouraged. So everyday Craig and I wait for our letter from the HOA suggesting that we “KINDLY REMOVE THE METAL ROOSTER FROM THE PORCH.”

But don’t worry. I’ve already prepared my defense. I will argue that Beyonce is an expression of my religious freedom. She is a SACRAMENT. She is a visible reminder of something invisible…of love, hope, joy, friendship. Removing her would be AGAINST my RELIGION. Beyonce and I’ll see ya at the Supreme Court, HOA.

For fun, I went through my house to show you the other sacraments I keep around, to remember what I believe.

I believe these three things.

I believe I have four children.

I believe my fourth is a baby boy. And that he’s in Africa.

I believe in Jesus. Crazy about the guy. Totally worship him.

I believe in Sisterhood. All kinds.

I believe in prayer as an act of love. I believe most everything is a prayer.

This sacrament is my favorite.

It’s a monkee painted on a rock. My mama made it for me last month. I rub it every time I get scared about the adoption or about my Lyme. So, all day. It says to me, your mom believes in you and loves you. Even when you do these crazy things, she believes in you. Even when she doesn’t understand what you’re doing, she believes that you do.

I love you guys. I’ll make you a Monkee rock if you need a reminder that you’re loved. I’m going to ask my mom to teach me.

My time’s up.

Love, G

Oh, one more thing. Great news on the VMAs Sunday nite.

Beyonce, With Child.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  37 Responses to “Sacraments”

  1. This is wonderful and before my time here. Fortunately, I already know Beyonce, so the moment I saw this chick (ha!) I knew from whence she came, figuratively. And as soon as you talked about the outward sign of a sacrament, I knew where you were going. So very cool. My Catholic schooling never taught me that a metal sculpture that might CUT ME could be a sacrament.

    (If this is actually a rooster, I apologize for incorrect gender assignment.)

    Big thanks to Kerry Switzer for posting the link to this.

    • Oh good, I’m glad you enjoyed it Meredith :-)

      (the backstory by The Bloggess had me laughing so hard – check it out too if you want a laugh and won’t be offended by the language – link to it is in the post)

  2. […] you’d like to read about Beyoncé being a sacrament to someone, click here. That way, you’ll know I’m not completely bat-shit crazy. Although it wouldn’t be […]

  3. I can't believe I just now found your blog. Love your writing, its really relatable and warm!

  4. God knows you have another son. Your adoption will go fine. When we couldn't have children I didn't believe God didn't want me to be a mother. He had a different plan for us. We have adopted 3 children, 3 different ways. One U.S. agency adoption, one Russian adoption and one U.S. Private adoption…3 perfect kids for us! <3>3>3
    [email protected]
    God's answer wasn't no after all. Just not yet. And not the way you think.
    (Don't tell my husband, but I'm certain I have another daughter, too.) 😉

  5. I LOVE this post! I believe you/we should take time out for ourselves and others, the other stuff will get done. Friends, family, God and prayer are amazing. I love Beyonce, I love what it stands for and it does belong on your front porch. So, now I would love to know where you got your signs and if you would make me a monkey, believe me I need a monkey in my life right now. I am a single mom of two boys "The Three Amigos" we were. My oldest son was killed 11 months ago and I struggle every day. I would love to buy a monkey from you or your mom, there are so many times I am afraid, angry, confused and sad. Thank you for always keeping me smiling, you truly inspire me. Thank you, XO Diane ([email protected])

  6. I was reading this and my little girl, 4, was peering over my shoulder unbeknownst to me. I get to the end and she sees the pic of your little girl with Beyonce. Daughter says to me "Who is that girl and can she come play with me? I want to play with that rad chicken!" Rad is her new favorite word, btw. I just smile and tell her that she cannot play with the chicken because it will CUT YOU! And that I would love to have a play date so I can have coffee with her mommy, but we live real far away. Love this article, just like the rest!

  7. I just have to say you bring a big ol' smile to my face!

  8. You truly are unbelievably amazing… this was a beautiful post.
    A beautiful testament.
    And reason one million and THREE why I blog.
    Why I read.
    Why I believe!!
    Thank you :)

  9. Anonymous on 9/18, while your intentions may have been fine, your reminder was not "gentle". Might I suggest that before you cast judgement here you put your darkest secrets on a blog and bravely put them out there for the world to see so that others might benefit? Perhaps if you did, you would find it easier to be gentle with those who have already taken this courageous step. Glennon does not need you to tell her her own story. She's doing a great job all by herself.

    So proud to be a reader and a friend,

  10. Hi! Just want you to know that this post finds me all the way in Canada encouraged and renewed. I love your blog. Please keep writing! xo

  11. Hi Glennon… may I make a gentle reminder that you DO have four children? Please don't discount the one you chose not to raise on this earth. I'm wondering if that's part of your desire to adopt, to make up for that decision?

  12. I LOVE chickens…all animals in fact, I think they silently remind us to get back in touch with the world around us. They seem to evolve and adapt without so much struggle and strife. There is more to life than work and school and stuff…LIFE of any kind is such a beautiful thing. And big chunks of metal replicating life is good too, though I am confident it is one step closer in embracing the real thing. My kids are off to school too and I am so glad your not cleaning either cause now I don't feel so bad. In fact, I plan to build a tortoise sanctuary in the back yard over the next few weeks…tortoises take things nice and slow and live peaceful, consistent and LONG lives (over 100 years), and they LOVE to eat up the stuff that we work so hard to eliminate from our lives: WEEDS and BUGS. I am actually going outside to plant weeds in my back yard this week! There is a metaphor somewhere in here.

  13. Thank you for posting this. When you posted the picture of the kids' first day of school and I saw the rooster and tag I began to think I was the only person in the country who hadn't had the wisdom to follow the Bloggess's lead and buy a giant metal chicken and name it Beyonce.

  14. I don't know what more to say than what has already been said. I love this! This post, this blog, Beyonce, sacraments, the whole nine.

    I especially love the thoughts on sacraments. I'll be ruminating on that for a bit :)

  15. Here's what I love about a good Momastery post – it starts with a little Lymie, moves quickly to Beyonce, throw in some sacrament and love, ends with a Monkee rock.
    love it!

  16. Holey moley! We have 7 laying hens (ie. real live chickens) and one of them is named Beyonce. I don't think I can look at her the same again. She's a living sacrament! (And no, we don't plan on ever eating her… just her eggs.)

    And yes, her partner in crime is Jay-Z. I do realize we named a female chicken Jay-Z, but the hens are great pets and my daughter loves them. There's a life lesson in there somewhere.

  17. G,
    Your comment about most everything being a prayer struck me. I read this earlier and have been thinking a lot about it too: "You must live a life of communion and prayer if you are to save others. … Pray and deny yourself, and you will be used marvellously to save and help others."
    I think it's a powerful sentiment although I haven't figured it out.

  18. I need a monkey rock. Need.

  19. There's a lot to love and smile and cry over in this post.

    But I'm mostly left guffawing out loud at "Beyonce with Child". So sassy.

  20. Two women I love and respect…Glennon and Kristi, fighting hopelessness together. That is what life is all about. Love you two girls!

    XO, Michelle J.

  21. Thank you… I have tears in my eyes, joy in my heart and I have hope and faith… that through Christ nothing is impossible. Thank you for reminding me and being there. You made a Monkee of me (0:

  22. I never thought of using that sign as a necklace. Brilliant. Love happy moments. Wonderful post.

  23. I know this was not the point of your post but I seriously don't know how you have time to do anything other than take pills. Like, that's a whole day's work right there, just sorting and swallowing all that. I feel like you should get extra credit for anything you do above and beyond the pill taking. Just saying.

  24. The hope inside your heart is a Sacrament
    It is also a Sacrifice, in that sometimes it hurts to keep hoping
    but this is the way God made you,&remember,more gifts ,than the sorrow you feel, have wellspringed through that precious heart of hope.

    Christmas is around the corner Lovie

  25. Wow. Just wow. What a great chicken.

  26. AHHHHH!! It's Beyonce!

    I totally saw a Beyonce today outside someone's house. I wanted to stop, park my daughters (contained in their stroller, of course) in front of her and take a picture, and then knock on the door, and see if these people know and love Beyonce as much as I do, and IF they do, if we could be friends.

    Maybe tomorrow…..

  27. Meghan, that is hilarious. I wish I had a fiance so I could try that out.

  28. First of all–I like the idea of Monkees hiding in the bushes, like insurgents…

    This is off topic, but I need to say it: When I got engaged, I simply couldn't COULD NOT refer to my now husband as my fiance (I couldn't handle the Alex Trebec-ness of the word) So I called him my Beyonce. No one ever noticed…they just heard fiance. And I know what you are thinking…yes, that did make me Jay-Z.

    We gave people a CD as a save the date and it had 'crazy in love' as the first song.

    My husband still calls me Jay-Z, and in terms of this post, my husband is MOST DEFINITELY my Beyonce, sacrament and all…

    Thanks G, we all needed this…

  29. The Episcopal catechism defines a sacrament as "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace." If Beyonce doesn't meet that definition, I don't know what does (okay, I know 2 things, or 7 if you're Roman Catholic). But I'll file an amicus brief if your HOA makes a stink.

    Holy stuff is happening here– so much laughter and tears and people being better than they knew they could be. It's a beautiful place, and we are thankful that you are here to remind us of all these simple and important truths.

  30. suuuurreee, kristi.

    just look at that picture on your avatar thingee. you are a total owly stalker.

    thank you for continuing to read and comment, lovies. it amazes and thrills me that you are still interested in my little essays.


  31. and i'd like to go on the record. i wasn't hiding in the bushes as much as i was trying to stay out of sight…on the edge of your porch…and that may or may not have involved using branches to camouflage myself. "hiding in the bushes" makes me sound sort of stalkerish. and i'm not a stalker. crazy. YES. peeping tom. NO.

  32. It never ceases to amaze me how you touch my heart, mind, spirit, and funny bone, sometimes all at once!
    Keep up the wonderful writing, G. You are fabulous!
    Julie P.

  33. I was reading this to my husband through my tears so that he could understand why I blog and why my bloggie world is so important to me. Thank you for making me smile, laugh, cry and then do it all over again. -Vicki

  34. G ~ i will always have time for you. and for the monkees. and if i don't have time, i can always make time. i'm good like that.

    love you!! xo ~ kristi

  35. everytime i read your writing these days, i feel like yelling "BRAVA" and "AMEN"! thank you, g!

  36. So now you HAVE to get a baby rooster for Beyonce and then make a video of Craig meeting it for the first time too!

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