Nov 122011
 





I’m tired this morning. Not weary tired . . . peaceful tired. I did my best tired.

Our Holiday Hands project is winding down. I made an announcement that I wasn’t taking any more requests a week ago, and God giggled. The requests continued to pour in, and every single time I thought we were out of offerings, an email arrived in my inbox or a check appeared in my mailbox. By the way . . . how do all you people know where I live??? Maybe you enter “Beyonce” into your GPS. Say hi to my girl.



As of today, we’ve had over two hundred Monkees participate in our Love Project. Actually, the number is so much bigger than that. Many have spun off their own Love Projects, or held vigils at the website . . . praying for me and for all the givers and receivers. Every single Monkee has been a giver and a receiver in his or her own way. I continue to be completely astounded by the generosity and courage and trust and love that has been offered with no strings attached. I don’t know how much money has changed Monkee hands, don’t think it really matters. But I’d guess it’s been more than twelve thousand dollars. And maybe a million pounds of toys and clothes and gift cards and love. I’m not the best estimator of poundage though.

A single mama in Atlanta who has six children that sleep on two dirty mattresses is receiving seven brand new beds and mattresses this week. Three special Monkee babies received ipads to help their big brains. Friends nominated struggling friends who don’t even know about our Monkee family, and those shocked friends received boxes full of love and goodies and money . . . out of the clear blue. One woman wrote to me and said,

“I’ve prayed every night for the past week for a miracle for our family, and one bigger than I could have imagined arrived in the mail yesterday. It was like it came straight from God.”

Well, yep, of course it did.

When we believe in love enough to trust and give and open, God uses us as miracles for each other. And the world, quite literally, becomes a more miraculous place. Heavenly. On Earth as it is in heaven. So many of you gave even though you barely had enough for yourselves this year. That is faith. That is knowing that when we pray, give us this day our daily bread, God will always provide. He may not give us enough for the year . . . as a matter of fact, if He does, it’s probably not ours to keep. Money, love, energy, they’re like the manna from heaven that rained down on the Israelites each day during their forty years in the desert. We are to use up today’s portion and leave the rest, trusting that todays portion will arrive right on time again tomorrow. If we get scared and save too much, if we hoard our manna, it begins to rot. Because it shows that we do not believe. We do not believe that we serve a loving God who will provide for our needs, one day at a time. And who offers us the honor of providing for the needs of others. We are free to give our extra, because tomorrow we will be provided for again. We can live without fear.

Suze Orman would probably really, really hate that whole paragraph, but whatever.

When I started this project, I was a little nervous, because Craig and I were only offering $600, and I knew the needs would far exceed that amount. But look what happened. We offered what we could, and our offering multiplied. It was loaves and fishes, people. God took our little offering and made it enough, more than enough, through you. Thank you for being a part of our loaves and fishes miracle.

I plan to write down the stories that came out of this Love Project. Trust me, there are many miracles that are screaming to be documented. I’ll get them to you, promise. For now, if you’d like to write a message about how this experience affected you or your family . . . please tell us about it in the comments here. Instead of writing a thank you letter to the folks who sent your gifts – write it here. Because the love of all of Monkeedom was behind every gift. And because there is a lot of ugly in the world right now and it is our responsibility to keep testifying to the light. To encourage people not to lose hope, to prove that STILL, EVEN SO . . . Love Wins.

“Darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable . . . but lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.” We must not spend too much time in front of CNN becoming more and more jaded. We must yell louder about love and listen harder for it. Love is all around us. There are two dogs in this human fight …the dark one and the light one. The fearful one and the brave one. The evil one and the good one. The winner inside each of us will be the one we decide to feed. Feed your Love and Hope and Joy Dog. Let the other one wither away.

NOOOWWW….

This is going to be my last post until the New Year. It’s time for me to get back to my family and friends and start preparing my heart for the holiday season.

By prepare, I don’t mean shop, I mean get quiet and pay attention.

I’m actually finished with my Christmas shopping. My friends and I decided to start an “I’m Dreaming of a Green Holiday” Facebook Group for our neighborhood. Everyone went through her toys and took pictures of the gently used toys that her kids’ had grown out of. Then each person posted those pictures on the FB page and we basically traded toys. I found three things that each of my kids will love, just sitting in the basements and garages of my friends’ homes. It’s been an amazing way to help the environment and the wallet. Too much waste at the holiday. Too much time at the mall. And I’ve gotten to know my neighbors better. Passing on my kids’ toys has felt like loving them. Highly recommend.

I’m done with Craig’s gift, too…because my gift to him is going to be this: for the month of December, we are going to make out three times per week.

This might not seem like a big deal to some of you – but it’s CRAZY talk to me. I decided, though, that some physical lovin’ is what we really need more than anything else. I’m quite interested to see what this Love Project does for our relationship. Don’t tell him though- it’s a surprise. He’ll never read this- he usually quits after the first two paragraphs and then tells me how amazing the whole essay is. I know this because he ONLY uses examples from the first two paragraphs.

The reason I’m prepared to make this sexy commitment that I have some energy back. For the past three weeks I’ve been on a “cleanse.” Basically, it’s meant that I have eaten no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no wheat, no gluten, nothing artificial, and no caffeine for three weeks. All I’ve eaten is fresh vegetable juices and smoothies and salads and beans and nuts. And quinoa. Pounds of quinoa. So much so that Sister has started referring to me as “Quinoa Tifa.”

Tragically, the cleanse has seemed to work. I’ve got more energy than I’ve had since I was diagnosed with Lyme. And so, as of today, I’m accidentally a vegan. I have to be, but I think when people ask me why I’m a vegan, I’ll say, “because I love animals.” Just seems more noble than: I had no other choice.

Another Melton happening is that we’re considering taking permanent action to make sure there are no future Melton babies. We have discussed, at length, the logical reasons for this. Like: we have our HANDS FULL already – my health is not great now – by the time I’d be healthy enough to even consider getting pregnant again I’ll likely be 37 – an accidental pregnancy would be tough while battling Lyme . . . and on and on. On paper, it’s a no brainer. But I’m having such a hard time with it. Why do I have such a hard time with this? Am I addicted to babies? I don’t even like pregnancy. I hate it, actually. So is it normal to be so illogically ambivalent . . . when all the signs point to – YOU ARE DONE, LADY. BE GRATEFUL AND ENJOY. DON’T PUSH IT. I don’t know. I just get confused and sad.


Anyway.


I read this quote this other day that said; “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” In light of recent news stories, this idea seemed timely, so I’ve been thinking a lot about what my main thing is. My main thing has been harder than I thought it would be to identify. It seemed like my main thing should be something that couldn’t be taken from me, that wasn’t related to any particular phase of my life . . . something that could remain my main thing forever, no matter what happened.

I eventually decided that my main thing is loving God, myself, and others. Maintaining balance between those three vocations. Each day and through the years.

I want to spend enough quiet time to hear from God about how to serve myself and others. Then I want to ask for the energy and wisdom to carry out what He requests of me in the quiet. And I want to be open and present enough to receive love from my husband and children and family and friends and strangers and neighbors. And I want to always, always, care for myself first. I want to feed myself good food and breathe in fresh air and stretch and rest and explore my passions and dreams so I can maintain gratitude for the opportunity of living this beautiful life.


I shall try to keep this main thing my main thing.


You won’t hear from me on the blog until after the New Year, but I’ll still be working hard for you behind the scenes. We’re re-launching the blog on Word Press in January, because Blogger refuses to let many of you comment, (including Adrianne) and this is unacceptable. Each Monkee needs to be heard. I know some of you are freaking out right now because MONKEES DON’T LIKE CHANGE. I promise to work with a web designer to make sure that the site looks almost EXACTLY the same as it does now. Okey doke? No fancy stuff. If you have any ideas for bettering the site, let me know in the comments, please. I need you. This is OUR blog, not mine.


Also, Sister and I are working on a big idea. We are considering self-publishing a Momastery book next year. I’m scared . . . which makes me think it might be the right idea. Scared/sacred. Close. What do you think?


2012 is going to be our Most Magical Monkee Year ever. I have so many ideas for us, and I hope you are planning and plotting, too.


It’s going to be a long month and a half without you. But we must take time to rest and reflect and gather energy. And every once in a while, we must look away from the screen long enough to look inside and outside.


I LOVE YOU. Thank you for being a miracle. If you can take the time to share your thoughts about the million questions I’ve asked in this post, I’d love it. I really want – need – to hear from you. This is your special place, and I am so honored to be your host. And so grateful that I don’t have to feed you.

Love Wins,

G






Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  58 Responses to “Yep. We Were Right….”

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  2. After receiving the gift of the iPad for our very special daughter right before Christmas – My husband and I immediately wanted to say thank you to the person who made it possible, since that's the way we were raised, right? Thank you notes after Christmas and all that. However after reading the post of how it all began, I truly wanted to ponder it all in my heart – how God works – before I tried to somehow get our thanks and gratitude into words. You know how prayers of thanks seem so inadequate at times? We have felt that way many times with our precious Lydia – when we knew nothing of what God had planned for us as we followed a compulsion to adopt a special needs child, then travel to China (I do not like being out of my comfort zone of familar surroundings, so there wasn't much about that trip that was fun for me, however I knew that girl out there was waiting for us and we had to bring her home), then we had to figure out by daily prayer how to provide for this child who seemed so far from us mentally and emotionally. We have seen God at work, almost daily, in her life, and the gift of this iPad was one more miracle that God has used to show us that Lydia is in His hands and He is letting us be a part of how her life will unfold. Everyone in this latest miracle followed your parts perfectly as part of His plan! And again, the words "thank you" seem so inadequate – to Glennon, Amy, Mr. S. and all of monkeedom. I know that Lydia's life will be the testimony of thanks to all who are a part of the very special "village" that is raising her by God's design. Just remember that name – Lydia Russell – and stay tuned to what God will do!

  3. I cannot begin to say thank you enough for the care package for my boys. The Legos — and let me tell you, LOTS of amazing Legos — as well as some warm gloves, sweet books, puzzles. It was the nicest thing anyone has done in a long time. Because of this, my boys will have their Christmas dreams come true.

    Thank you. Thank you.

    – L

  4. I just received my package from my families. Wow, wow, WOW. J will be nicely dressed, he will have 3 nice presents, I will have a full tank of gas and no worries I will run out of gas on my way to Christmas. I might even get to deliver a special gift to my little girl to her adoptive family and there is even something for me. I'm complete, a heavy brick has been lifted and I can go to sleep with less wheels turning in my head. I thank my monkee families from the bottom of my heart. Jax is loved and so am I. There is nothing more than THANK YOU, it will be a GREAT Feeling knowing jax won't ask me if we will run out of gas on our way. As lately I have and its alittle embarrassing but I have made it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Kari

  5. Glennon, I just received my package from my family. I cried as I opened it. Ms. J and her family were SO generous. I had NO idea I would be loved so much. Tis Christmas will be a sigh of relief thanks to her. I can't wait to repay it back next year. Intact I want to give to a single mom next year so sign me up:).
    Thank you for being a miracle network. Now enjoy your holiday:)

  6. To our dear Monkee Family in DC~

    I don't know how you knew our children's birthday was last week (unless you checked out my blog and if you did, please keep coming back!!)or how you knew that they are OBSESSED with Mickey and Minnie right now, but when they saw their new friends, there were squeals of delight from them and tears from Mama!

    I don't know whether we have 2 friends in DC (2 different addresses) or just one very generous family but thank you again and again from the bottom of our hearts! I tell Ben and Emma every time I put their warm new clothes on them that there are people out there who love them even though they will never meet. I still wish I knew your names!

    Have a blessed holiday season!

    Wendy

  7. Cat- I'm sorry. Yes, there are folks who need you. Can you email me?

  8. I love your blog and we will miss you. Hope you have an amazingly blessed holiday season.

    also, I signed up to send someone a gift or money, but don't think I ever received a name – is there anyone left who needs something? I'm still game.

    Appreciate you!

  9. To fellow Monkees who helped me via my grandma.

    I wrote about how she was truly struggling. Her giving spirit was squished by her own financial woes, and a true giver has a hard time being happy when she can no longer give.

    I received checks from generous Monkees in NC. I spent 2 days trying to figure out how to tell my Grandma what I had done. Two days coming up with the most perfect words to describe the absolute selflessness of 2 strangers who just want to help HER. To explain how I was at a loss of words to describe what she meant to me, because, well, we just don't say "I love you" enough. But, let me tell you, the look on her face when I explained every detail, explained about 2 monkees giving her hope and just a bit of themselves to do her well, it was breathtaking. She didn't believe it, and I could tell her heart just swelled up.

    Then at work, a co-worker Monkee dropped an additional check off to me. I didn't realize it was so until I got home and opened the envelope. I am totally taken aback by the spirit of this whole idea.

    Her heart has been lifted, I can see a little bit of ease in her face. There is hope for her in small doses, and I can not express how truly grateful I am. How truly grateful and in awe we both are.

    Thank you, Monkees. I look forward to the day we can give back.

    - More Than Two to Tango

  10. As someone with "just enough", I was a bit jealous that I hadn't yet found a way to participate. Well, I found one! I was able to match up a free massage with a friend of mine who is a totally single Mama and a Doula. I'm feeling the Monkee love now, thanks!

  11. Glennon,

    I am the poster with the husband and daughter with serious medical conditions that constantly require treatment.

    I wanted to let you know that the freedom, joy and stress alleviation that the Holiday Hands project has given my family this holiday season is really beyond words. What I can tell you is that I received NUMEROUS generous checks and even a box of goodies for (**Gasp**) myself.

    We are using the monetary gifts to pay off medical debt that still looms over us. The pure joy in knowing that we can pay off 1 or 2 medical bills without it coming from our own, already empty pockets, is SUCH a huge stress relief during the Holidays. Really, there are no other words. You just have NO idea…

    The box of goodies for myself has already been put to good use too. I have to admit, I was leary of using the things in the basket (tea, soup mix, new socks, chocolate, etc.) because it is VERY rare that I get to enjoy something and really take care of myself. I began with the box of Godiva chocolates and I quickly began to accept and ENJOY taking care of myself for once. Just the mere thought that someone that I have never met could care so much about ME to send me little things meant the world to me!

    Thank you again – I can't wait to get back on our feet financially, have our whole family healthy again (I pray for this every night), and one day be able to reciprocate the good deed that you have provided me for others in need. You, and all of the Monkees here, are angels on earth. Thank you!

  12. Suzy! I have loved getting to know you and your precious boys! I wish we lived closer because I'm sure we'd be friends. And of course it's okay that you shared the Thomas story . . . but you left out the part that my SAM (who refused to wear it) gave it to your SAMMY (who loves it and looks adorable in it) and somehow that seems like some kind of sign to me. And besides VA, LA is my favorite state and when I found out your location I felt that was another sign. Meant to be, I tell you!

    Love and hugs,
    MK

  13. Always learning…that was beautiful!!!

    Love, G

  14. I am compelled by the holy spirit to speak up on God's behalf. While I recognise various health and logical reasons of the brain to have, want, or NOT want a child, the decision (if we are talking about the same rules in heaven here) should always be one left in the hands of our Lord. Before I surrendered my complete life and service to God, my husband and I made the choice that after having our 4 we would be done. It was a well thought out plan, but neither of us were prepared for the desires of the spirit that can completely override any logical thought. We now find ourselves in such desire for more little loves runing around our house. Of course God is still working through this situation, as we surround ourselves in a multitude of volunteer ministries to help children, and have recently stared to inquire about adopting a special needs child. But I will never stop wondering, if we had chosen His will instead of ours, if He would have blessed us with another little saint of perfect love representing my and my husbands union. Having one "disabled" child already, there is one thing I know for sure. It is that we not only belong to one another, but we are each essentially necessary to create one body in Christ. The more we follow His will in all aspects of our lives, the greater concept of heaven we will attain in this life and the next.

  15. P.S. MK, I hope it was okay to share the Thomas the Train story :) And ya'll, I meant her extra hand-me-downs. She originally offered both 6yo and 4yo stuff. I reread my comment and it sounds like MK went kinda wild and just offered up all of her 4yo's clothing :)

    P.P.S. Glennon, I totally get the confusion/sadness you feel at the thought of being "permanently" done with procreation. I had the option of having my tubes tied when I had #3 and I BOO.HOO'd. at the thought of it and couldn't do it. We are probably going to have husband "take care of it" next year and even though our hands and finances are completely full with three, I still get sad at the thought.

    P.P.S. I don't remember who, but someone posted a comment suggesting using a different browser other than Internet Explorer to post comments, and I have to say, that works like a charm for me. Tell Adrianne to maybe try Google Chrome or Firefox? Until the new blog site comes out that is :)

    P.P.P.S. (last one, promise!) Loaves and fishes = AWESOME.

  16. (Part 2 – wow, never had Blogspot say my comment was too long…)

    AND THEN, it turns out that the Monkee mama from our matched Monkee family is actually from a small city that is about 10 miles away from the small town where I currently live. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    Another non-coincidence was an email from MK after I'd sent her a picture of my 4yo wearing the Thomas the Train sweatshirt that her own 4yo had refused to wear. She said how as she packed it into the box, she'd felt a little sad that he wouldn't wear it and wistful at the thought of him growing up so fast, and was happy to see my 4yo in it. Reading that, I was so thankful that was the sweatshirt he grabbed up and wanted to immediately change into when he saw it. To be able to give back in a such a small yet sweet way to MK was a treasure in itself :)

    So, thank you, Monkees. Thank you, Glennon. Thank you MK and your generous boys for sharing their clothes with us. Thank you Tatman and your lovely family. Thank you for your generosity and for not judging if our needs were worthy, but most importantly, remdinding me that I'm not alone.

    Love wins. And love you all.

  17. I kept trying to post a reply to the Holiday Hands Update but was having technical (and emotional) difficulty. That post had me in tears. It was this part that turned them into TEARS (all caps):

    And that’s why we don’t need to judge whether someone’s particular need is worthy. It doesn’t matter. Because we are not really about meeting that particular need. We are just meeting that particular need in an effort to meet the REAL need. Which is: “TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE. PROVE TO ME THAT LOVE WINS.”

    Backstory: My husband and I moved from our homestate to Virginia where we had an AWESOME network of friends that we'd met through our church. We then moved back home one year after having our first baby thinking it would be easier/better to be surrounded by family. We didn't realize we could do hard things. Having my children know their grandparents, godmother (Nanny), great-grandparents, and cousins is INVALUABLE to me. Completely invaluable. I'm grateful for their relationships it every single day and it would be hard to match that if we were still 1700+ miles away. However, we've been home 4 years now and I still have not formed the same relationships here with girlfriends as I did there, and we have not formed relationships with couples w/kids as we did up there. This occasionally leads to feelings of aloneness… and possibly slight regret over moving home. (Just slight. I do love our family and many, many good things have come from us being here.)

    Aside from that we are not well off but we are not going hungry either. So basically, every little bit helps. I shyly asked for MK's 6yo boys clothes that she offered on the first Holiday Hands post and immediately felt kinda bad afterwards. Turns out she was feeling kinda silly that no one had asked for them yet and in addition offered her 4yo clothes. Relief! Sweet Jesus, thank you.

    So we received 3 large heapings of boys clothes via postal mail from MK. 'Tis was not cheap to ship and she didn't accept a dime from me. My boys were UBER excited to open these boxes and discover each new piece of clothing. So excited they actually put the clothes into the drawers themselves!! And then my 4yo was even MORE excited when he realized that the "new" pj's his brother got meant he could now be handed down a certain dinosaur pair that he's been coveting for a while now. Their JOINT excitement had me TRIPLY excited. The 6yo is usually the one to get the new & exciting stuff so it was great to see them share that.

    Then, as I sat wondering how we were going to pay for Christmas and chiding myself for not getting a head start like I always say I will ("One present a week starting in September!" Mmmhhhmm….), Glennon sent me a little message saying I'd been nominated to be paired with a monkee family who had a little more than enough this year and was ready to help somebody in someway. It was hard to accept because we certainly don't struggle in the same way as many do, but I tried to remember that our struggle is our own and not to be minimalized. I more than appreciated the offer of a little holiday cheer.

    And then when I read the HH Update post, I lost it. I'm not alone afterall. DUH. I knew this. Besides our loving family, I knew I had a network with Momastery. I just forgot that in order to be a part of that network, I have to BE A PART OF IT. If that makes sense.

    (to be continued.)

  18. Visiting from Derfwad Manor. LOVE LOVE your blog! How did I not know about you? See you around!
    -kate in MI

  19. I'm so grateful to have been involved in this beautiful project of love. I'm a Monkee who didn't need money or things at this time, but I did need the chance to get to care for someone. I often feel more alone than I'd like, and I don't always know what to do with all the love I want to give. Then came Helping Hands. A brave Monkee asked for something that would help her, and that courage ended up giving me something that would help me too. I told the brave Monkee that this opportunity was just the kind of thing that I was hoping to do, but even MORE the kind of thing I was hoping to do than I'd even hoped for, if that makes any sense. It's been a beautiful gift that's made me more grateful than ever to be a part of this group and its wonderfulness.

    So thanks to that brave Monkee. Thanks to those of you who gave by asking and those of you who gave by giving. They both matter. Putting the two together is what makes our connections.

  20. It is so easy to sit back and say, "I can't make a difference! The world is too big, the problems are too vast!" But this holiday helping hands project showed how false that attitude is. A difference can be made by all of us. Helping just one person, is one less person that hurts, and that is success, beautiful success….that is what this is all about.

  21. From Katherine:

    My Monkee had a point and shoot camera that broke two years ago. There are so many wonderful things she wants to do with a new camera, but mostly, I think it's just not okay for a mama of 5 to be without a camera to capture those fleeting childhood moments. So her dream camera is headed her way as soon as she tells me how to get it to her. :) I haven't told her yet that I have more money mentally set aside for her than the camera costs. I'm afraid she might not survive that revalation! But the most fun has been watching God work: How my Monkee mentioned aloud her wish for a new camera the day before she found out she was nominated. How God whispered to me that I was supposed to do something for my Monkee, and not for her family, something that she might be too afraid to wish for, long before I even knew who my Monkee was. How she feared telling me what her true dream camera was, but then God asked her how small she thought He was. Oh, how God is smiling down on all his Monkees right now! :)

  22. I also meant to thank Kourt, Marley (loved the balloon analogy!!), Terri, Lauren, Meghan, Jennifer and Jenny for sharing their stories! Love Love that we are all so connected!

  23. I was a part of Jennifer's wonderful Monkee family (Jennifer of car trouble and warm-clothes needing daughter fame.)

    I jumped on board when Glennon began this endeavor because I believe in what she was doing. I believe in helping people who need help, ESPECIALLY people who need just that little extra to get through a difficult time in their lives.

    I loved that this little project addressed the needs of a variety of people, from those who are just struggling now, to those who struggle to make ends meet year after year. I love that every single person had a story and was willing to share it. Stories are what truly brings us together; they are the only way for us to see who a person truly is, to see into their soul.

    Our little Monkee family shared a bit about ourselves over email and I loved getting the chance to get to "know" just a few Monkees just a little bit better.

    I think that's the part that I loved the most.

    Yes, I loved giving and helping Jennifer in her time of need, but more importantly, I loved that this huge Momastery community just became a little bit smaller for me. I loved that we made a connection with one another, however brief.

    Having said that, I'm going to have to make an admission.

    I was grateful that Jennifer was one of the first to respond. Partly because that way I knew she was a Monkee.

    Unfortunately, at times, my skepticism gets the better of me and I began to wonder if, as the news of this wonderful program spread, untrustworthy people would post their "needs".

    It took a bit of time, but then I remembered what I've had to be reminded of before: that God calls us to be his hands here on earth, and not to judge. If I hear his call to help another, it is my job to listen, not question the motives of the recipient. If I hear God's call, I need to act.

    Well, I heard God's call as did so many others, and we all acted on that call: givers and the recipients alike. Look what happened. Christmas just became a little brighter for each and every one of us and this little project turned into a gigantic outpouring of love!

    (If you're interested, I wrote about the original experience I had that pushed me towards giving without judgement not too long ago at: http://befriendingfaith.blogspot.com/2011/06/just-ask.html)

  24. Dear Glennon,

    What has Helping Hands meant to me…. Wow, that is a hard one as it has been such a spectrum of feelings. So to back up a bit, things at home had started seeming very hopeless again, addiction is a powerful disease with some very tight grips and we were dealing with all of this again…so then I read your Helping Hands post and thought, this is what I need, to feel like I really am helping someone, maybe because I felt like I wasn’t able to help my own? Maybe…. At any rate I shot you off a reply…. Then I waited…. Then I shot you off another reply…. And then I waited some more…  and then I got your email. 4 of us had been paired with this single mom who was very much in need, I thought, OH MY GOD. I only can do $300, what if that’s all each of us can do, how in the world are we going to get 6 kids beds?!?! But I had faith, I figured Glennon knew what she was doing and thus far everything else she did worked out so this would too. That was really empowering! And then the responses to this family just poured in! Each email would bring a new blessing and more tears from me! It has been amazing! So then I spoke to my kids, and shared with them what this family needed, and we thought about how they could help too, hence the fleece blankets.

    I just love the Monkees and what they do for humanity, and what they do for me. I feel like I was kind of an observer, I felt a connection with Glennon but was still kind of reserved. Then Jack died and I was a part of the outpouring of love and support and grief for Anna, I started feeling then like maybe I am a Monkee too, maybe. Then Helping Hands arrived… and I am a Monkee. And I feel such joy and gratefulness to be a part of such a wonderful community of strong, compassionate, non judgmental people. So this group and this movement have given me such hope again… for that I am so very thankful.

    Much love to you Glennon. I will sorely miss the posts, but am so happy you are taking some time for yourself and your loved ones.

    xo

    Jenny

    P.S. It is always intimidating to write a long response because you write so beautifully, I guess if I wrote as well as you I would have my own Blog so I am posting away…lol!!

  25. I am one of the beneficiaries of the Helping Hands project. I'm still amazed by the whole thing.
    There are so many aspects of this wonderful experience that I've come to appreciate. Things I didn't even anticipate until they happened.
    When I read about the Helping Hands project, I was so touched that Glennon would offer to help people in need this way. I didn't even consider that I was one of those in need at first. I was too proud to admit that even to myself.
    I needed to get my car fixed. And at first I just thought that I might be lucky enough to get some help getting my daughter some clothes for Christmas. That was a huge relief for me. But then I became aware that efforts were being made to pay for my car repairs, also. I was overwhelmed. I mean, none of these women knew me. And there were certainly other people who had much more serious needs than mine. I couldn't believe I was getting this need met.
    The first time I went to the mailbox and opened two envelopes with checks in them, I cried. Right there at the mailbox.
    I was moved by the money, absolutely. But even more meaningful than that was the feeling of worthiness I felt. I'm not a complainer, by nature. I don't spend too much time feeling sorry for myself, normally. But I had been feeling pretty down about needing to get my car fixed and the upcoming holidays. For the first time in a long time, I felt valuable. And appreciated. And important. Those are priceless feelings, and I still carry them with me. These feelings were validated each time I received a gift in the mail.
    This beautiful group of ladies: Amy, Caroline, Andrea, Rebecca, Molly, Holly and Heather sent checks, gift cards, jewelry and lovely messages written in pretty cards.
    Thank you to each one of you. Thank you for caring about me and my daughter. Thank you for alleviating my stress this holiday season. Thank you for making my car repairs possible. My daughter and I will be happy to be warm this winter, instead of having to walk in the cold. Thank you for how happy my daughter will be when she opens the gifts you've allowed me to get her.
    And thank you for letting me feel cared about. I'm so grateful for all of you.
    Love,
    Jennifer

  26. Going healthy vegan is so hard. But I do love me some quinoah. Make it into salads with mango, avo's and cilantro and dressing. Yummy.

    The birth control thing? I agree. Gotta wait till you won't have regrets.

    And the husbands Christmas present? Just had friends tell us that they give each other naughty Santa stocking gifts each year. Maybe you could add a little something to his stocking as the grand finale? :)

    This husbands Christmas present is going to be similar. His birthday present was me making lasagne from scratch. A truly epic present in this house.

    Blessings on your quiet season.

    Love,
    T

  27. Meghan,

    Love you. Thank you for caring so much and for taking the time to write this beautiful message. Means so much to me.

    You have a brilliant child.

    :)

    Love, G

  28. Hi G, Hi Monkees:

    I want to respond in a million ways–and I am going to do my best, but I may need to come back if I remember more.

    The first thing is I have LOVED holiday hands, and I have NEEDED holiday hands. I have posted before, that I have a very sensitive four year old who is and has been struggling with the idea of poverty and hunger. As her mama, I realize that every time I have a conversation with her, I am really talking to myself. Here is what I keep saying,

    –to those who much is given, much is expected: My family is in EVERY way, one of those, and any minute I ignore that is a minute I ignore all the sacrifices others have made on our behalf.

    –Church was the place I heard the most about the hard topic about the poor and the needy and what is expected of we the "given". My daughter and I have started going to church again. I truly have G and you all to thank for that. I understand that my discomfort with some of this "Lordy" stuff here, has to do with the fact that I have been neglectful of that part of me. I am bringing my daughter because I can see/feel she needs it, too. The church we have found isn't perfect, which is actually perfect, you know? But I can FEEL something there, so I am going to keep going.

    I have extra, which means I am in the blessed position that I can SHARE. And sharing is AWESOME. That's it, period. I had to fake a bathroom break during a conversation with a good friend (I hate when these things happen, but it is important when they do) when she started to say that she wouldn't want me to accidentally teach my daughter that drug addicts "deserve" money the way some other people do. UM WHAT? After I calmed down, I came up with my language for my daughter: "if you have extra just SHARE. Your job never has to be to decide who deserves…after all everyone does. Just find someone, and give. That is enough."

    So what has holiday hands meant to me? It has been an outlet for my extra, and tangible way to actively participate in something that means a lot to me (you all), and has helped me learn myself better as a parent. My kids and I sent off another box today. We have the address and we know there is need…off goes the extra.

    I asked my four year old to say something about this, here is her quote: "I always have so much warm clothes and a house, but sometimes kids and men on the street don't have a house or toys. You can look in your playroom and give them some and then they feel happy and you feel happy." So there you have it.

    G, let me know how project smooch fest goes…there is actual data (science data) that we study in marital therapy that "practicing" actually helps the body to "notice" desire more. Believe it or not, there is like data on sexy underthings…(I AM NOT KIDDING).

    And I want to thank you again for the support through the Penn State stuff. I actually prayed for McQ, in church the other day (after having googled him, to see just what 6'4" 280 looks like). Some of my pain has moved a bit, so I have decided to go with LOVE. Prayer and LOVE. Because as we monkees know…we belong to each other, and love wins. It just does. Every time.

    A thousand times. Thanks.

    Meghan

  29. there is an amazing site that is geared towards turning blogs into books http://www.blurb.com it is very easy to use, you just point it to your website and it "slurps" your entries, photos and all, and then you can format it however you want to. i did it with my personal family blog to have a hard copy for myself and i am in love with it, the quality is amazing, the price is great, and the site is set up to allow you to sell your books commercially as well. it is also very easy to use. good luck, thank you for what you are doing here, and in the World!

  30. Glennon: I love you, too. Your blog echoes what I wrote on Friday. Be sure to post the new blog's address here on the old one. Mazel Tov.
    http://janeels.blogspot.com

  31. CORRECTION!!!! to my post above. KATHLEEN!!!! Her name is Kathleen! I am sorry, I work with 3 Katharines! Brain fog!

    Terri H.

  32. Glennon, have a very merry, extremely sexy, very restful holiday season! Looking forward to a happy, healthy New Year with all of us!

  33. Both Leslie and Terri have been awesome for my niece Phoebe! I had to wipe away the tears before I could even see the computer screen to be able to type! Glennon your words are so inspiring and your acts of kindness and generosity have spawned so much in all of us. Leslie and Terri are just two lovely women that have touched my life. Thank you to all of you. xoxo

  34. Haha, husband. You two make me laugh. I am really glad to hear you are taking the rest that you need, and taking care of yourself! As they say on the airplane, "Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others."

    Jessica

  35. I am SOOOOOO excited for a Momastery boooooooooooook. Oh happy day oh happy day! I don't need ANYthing for Christmas ha ha ha! I will wait for next year. I have been obsessed with getting a book to savour because reading on the internet gives me headaches (sorry). A Kindle user I will never be.

    ****************
    I can't wait to read everyone's story so I will check back periodically! AND I want to thank Monkee Katharine in PA (who knew Glennon in college) who "adopted" us – my new granddaughter Ava for Holiday Hands and we will have a super, first Christmas for Ava. Ava is two months old today and is SO advanced (yessirreee) so by Christmas she will totally be into it. I was so stressed about Christmas and the little one and this took away my anxiety (and my daughter's who does not work – she is raising her babe) and melted and warmed my heart. I was able to decorate the house today because this gave me the motivation to do so. Thank you Katharine! I was able to pay it forward to a special little (preemie) Phoebe who received her goodie box. I'll be checking in on Phoebe here and there to see what else she needs as Ava outgrows her things.

    Glennon, I am so stoked to hear that you are feeling better! What you are doing (and avoiding) makes perfect sense. Keep it up! I seriously need to cut out the sugar on this end and white stuff (flour, etc). Happy Holidays to you and thank you again for all you have done here. Amazing. Happy Holidays to all the Monkees and your families too!

    HUGS**
    Terri H.

  36. Thank You for Our Daily Bread, Indeed! Love you Glennon!

  37. Enjoy your well deserved break! What you did here over the past month is incredible and inspiring. Can't wait to hear the stories of how it changed lives. I hope you enjoy some quality time with that sweet family of yours

  38. P.S. I think husband did read it all the way through!

  39. The first post I ever read of yours was "Anna", and I thought, "man, this girl should be PUBLISHED!" So I'm thrilled to hear you're gonna do it!!

    Also, after I got hooked on reading your stuff, I went back and read your old Lyme posts and I though, "man, this girl should be VEGAN!" I thought about telling you 100 times, but I hate the idea of being THAT girl, so I never did. So I'm thrilled you figured it out on your own. I didn't start being a vegan out of principle either, but after almost two years, I definitely find peace in knowing that I'm kinder to the world. Watch Food Inc. and you'll know what I mean. The New Testament has a lot to say about not being a vegan, and I used to struggle with that, but God and I have worked it out. And a few times a year I cheat and have fish. After all, Jesus ate fish, right?

    Anyway, just a final story about that. I found myself in Applebee's (the worst restaurant EVER) with my husband and 2 daughters- 6 & 4 at the time. After I gave my very complicated special order, my younger daughter screwed up her face and said "Mommy, I wish you would be human instead of vegan!"

    Anyway… your Holiday Hands project was beautiful. I couldn't participate, but I do thank God for all of you. I'll miss you, and have a very Merry Christmas.

  40. G,

    You are one of the most amazing women on the planet!

    If anyone is unsure if love wins or God exists, they need to hear about the Holiday Hands project. I can’t wait to read all the stories!

    “Darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable…but lightness has a call that’s hard to hear” is one of my favorite song lines EVER. I’m going to an Indigo Girls concert this week and will be thinking of you.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better and think your Christmas gifts for your kids and Craig are fabulous. I bet there are a lot of Monkee spouses who hope their Monkee uses your gift idea!

    I’m a midwife and nurse practitioner and a lot of my life’s work has been around birth control and trying to help people have wanted babies. My advice about doing something permanent is NOT to do it if you are ambivalent. There are plenty of highly effective options (IUD anyone?) you can use until you are sure (or go through menopause, whichever comes first).

    I know I have to figure out my own main thing, but I love yours enough that I’m writing some of it on my bulletin board. Really is there more any of us can aspire to than loving God, ourselves, and others?

    As for the book, if the question is whether people want to read what you’d write, well that really isn’t a question now is it?

    I hope your next several weeks are a wonderful time of rest and renewal. Soak up all the hope of Advent and joy of Christmas!

    Peace and love,
    Francie

  41. Re the birth control, the best advice I've ever received about anything permanent is, If you have to talk yourself into it, you're not ready. Which might not be true for everyone — I mean, I'm pretty impulsive in general — but, it makes sense to me.

    Love you, Mama — take care of yourself. Be merry.

    -Sharyn

  42. Do NOT do anything permanent on the birth control thing – because you definitely are not settled in your mind about this. You're saying (or implying) "We SHOULD" do such and such – whenever you hear SHOULD, that's a red flag.

    Believe me, I know. You can email me for details.

    This whole Christmas angel thing was awesome.

  43. I have a friend who has a sign in her office: "I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants!"

    This makes me giggle.

    I am, with you, kinda bummed that it worked! But, you know, also glad. :-)

    Merry holidays early! Now go wear out that handsome husband of yours who DOES read your entire post!

    xoxoxo

    Mary

  44. Just this minute created a similar fb group out here on the west coast — terrific idea. Thanks for helping keep things honest and simple :).

    Inspired to action,
    JessH

  45. Love your idea of trading toys with friends. Blown away by your Helping Hands project. Also scratching my head over Beyonce–is that The Bloggess' Beyonce??

    Anyway, wishing you a wonderful holiday season with your family.

    Be well. And enjoy taking the time to just be. :)

  46. rest well!!

    xoxo ~ kristi

  47. Glennon and family, I hope you have the awesome Holiday season you deserve.

    Because I have "just enough" this year, I haven't participated in the Holiday Hands project, but it has gotten me thinking about how I can share somehow. I haven't figure it out yet, but I'm working on it. Thanks so much for the inspiration>

    I'm hoping/planning to spend some more time meditating/listening in the new year.

  48. i helped someone self-publish through Lulu.com. Was totally a breeze and you can do e-books or regular books. check it out! I think you'll find it easier that you imagine…

    good luck with the vegan thing!

  49. It truly was loaves and fishes. Happy holidays, Glennon and family.

  50. i am SO glad you are feeling better!! i'm going to pray it continues! like. forever!

    thank you for inviting so many to join you in being His hands. it's not easier that way. it IS bigger and more and amazing. but not easier. SO many more are blessed when we let others join us. awesome.

    it IS hard to make the decision to not have MORE. but, i've never regretted it. (i know, i know, people are REALLY thinking, "that lady should have stoppped a long time ago!" right??) but, really, i think we know when we're done. sounds like you might know.

    enjoy enjoying christmas!

  51. Glennon – You know I am forever grateful for the spiritual healing I get from you and your blog. Adding to that is my new Monkee family you helped me adopt. This is my thank you letter.

    Both my parents are gone and the last 3 months of last year, my aunt, uncle, and mother all passed. There is only my sister and me and she is in liver failure. (I believe you know all this but I want anyone still reading this to understand how much I needed this Monkee project.) As if dealing with her health and trying to make a new normal, her wonderful family is having terrible financial problems mainly due to her not working and the medical bills. The filed for bankruptcy and THEN their air conditioner breaks in the middle of summer in Florida. Not just breaks, but has to be replaced to the tune of about $5K. I really could go on and on about the black cloud that hangs over their head. I am constantly struggling with my feelings for her family trying to hold it together with no money, her health, her 2 teenage kids who are trying to adust to this new normal and her very supportive husband working any and all jobs he can, which keeps him out of the house too much. My older sister swallowed any pride she had left and asked me for help with the mortgage for December. She said, "I can't have us lose the house. When I'm gone it will be a stability my kids need." Not even having money to pay their mortgage meant that Christmas was just not gonna happen. That is where my new Monkee sisters came in. You matched me up with Sasha and Jean and they wanted to know how they could help. What was the best thing they could do to make their situation better. And although I'm so greatly relieved my sister's family will have a Christmas due to the kindness of people she has never met, I'm probably most thankful for the emails they send me.

    There is a part of me that is the little sister that grieves for the loss of my family and the fact that sooner than I ever imagined, I will be left alone with no one who knows my history, no one who knows what my mother was like or can remind me of shared memories. My Monkee sisters read my emails and make me feel like I won't be alone and that they truly are there for me.

    The best analogy I can give is that I'm a balloon. After awhile I start to not float so high and eventually fall to the ground. Sasha, Jean and your blog, dear Glennon are the helium that fills my balloon back up and helps me float high in the air again.

    Love to all Monkees,
    Marley C.

  52. "Thank you" just doesn't cut it. There's nothing I can say here that adequately reflects how amazed I am at the Holiday Hands project, at the sentiments behind it, at the depth and realness of your post here. It IS going to be a long time till you're back in January, and I'll miss you. But there is so much, just in this last post, to digest and consider and delight in – so I'll be back reading this over and over again.

    Enjoy the time "off" and thank you for inspiring a great gift for my own hot-bodied husband, a man too long ignored. I think he'll probably be pretty grateful too. :)

    Namaste. For realz.

  53. Glennon, thank you. You're understanding/figuring out your main thing at a much younger age than I did/am. It's beautiful to be on the journey with you through your blog…

    I'm so pre-ordering your book. I'm already missing your blog posts. I'm pondering your past posts. LOVE the make-out with your husband intentionally idea–we're never too old to make out with our husbands. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts, heart, prayers between now and January 2012.

    Love,
    DG

  54. Blown away by the Monkee movement/generosity/love.

    Also, 19 days till December. Who's to say it can't start earlier or continue into the entire 2012 year? Just sayin' :-)

    -Husband

  55. Glennon, you have the best heart I have ever been privileged to know. You make my heart swell with happiness, and that is a beautiful gift.
    Thank you, for being you, for sharing yourself, for inspiring us, for bringing out the best in us. Thank you.
    I have never, ever said this to someone before in this way, but, I love you. You are a wonder.
    Love,
    Jo

  56. Kay. I can die happy.

    Tears of joy.
    Thank you, Kourt. Love you and D.

    G

  57. UI believe in people. And I now believe in miracles. I don't remember how I stumbled upon helping hands but I did. I Am a single monkee. of a little monkee that had adhd, anxiety and some other issues. His doctor has said a ipad is a great therapy and learning tool since sitting down and learning from books will never work. He needs hands on learning.
    I could never afford one. I feel food and clothing are more important. As a single working mom the funds would never be there.
    Then I replied to a post about how ipads do really help and Glennon worked a miracle and literally 3 days later this GENEROUS kind hearted man sent my monkee one!!!!!! Not asking for ANYTHING in return. I was shaking and crying and pinching myself. It is wrapped and ready for Christmas morning. I decided that's all he is getting. I went straight home and told D to go through his toys and what he does not play with less fortunate kids will receive.
    I have decided all gifts will be handmade and we are done so by November 19 I can really teach D what Christmas is about and I am thinking about taking him to volunteer for the less fortunate and homeless on Christmas if they allow kids,but between then and now we will volunteer at various places.
    Thank you Glennon and Mr. S for a miracle. I can't wait to see his improvement.
    Kourt

  58. I can't wait to hear all the stories. I'm going to be checking here compulsively, I just know it. You are amazing for starting this whole giant thing.

    Here's hoping you get everything YOU need for Christmas (obviously your husband will!)…

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