Dec 032012
 

We got our Christmas tree yesterday.

Actually, Craig got our tree. He was up late with a sick Tish so I let him sleep in. By the time he woke up I was annoyed about my gracious offer to let him sleep in, annoyed that he accepted my gracious offer, and annoyed at my kids for being so awake for so long. When Craig’s sleepy, unsuspecting head walked out into the living room, I shoved the keys into his hands and said, GO. Tree time. Go get our tree.

Craig, Amma, and Chase came back two hours later with Our Tree. I tried to smile but it was hard because I hated it.

I hated it. The tree was half dead. I turned to ice. I avoided eye contact. I stopped smiling. Craig fell silent.

I grabbed at the branches and tried to cover the dead spots and said again and again with my best martyr voice:

“It’s fine. I’ll make it work.”

Strings of unspoken words flew from me to Craig and back again. We argued silently, while the Christmas music played in the background and the kids broke every fifth ornament.

Me to Craig: Why can’t you do anything right? Every decision you make screws this family up.

Craig to Me:  Why is nothing I do ever good enough for you?  Every judgment you make screws this family up.

In retrospect, I know that this argument started early Saturday morning, before my family even woke up. After my coffee, I went online and scrolled through my friends’ Christmas pictures on Facebook. I looked at the pretty lights, the carefree smiles, the loving embraces and I thought: why does this look so easy for everyone else? All of these families. They are perfect. I will never have this again. My family is – publicly and privately –  screwed up. We are broken. All messed up.

Why doesn’t anyone else look tired and messed up?

I should know better. I do know better. I know that there is Facebook life and there is real life. There is Christmas card family and Christmas tree family. One is not a lie and the other truth – they are both true. It’s just that you need both to get the whole story.  And we get a lot of “half stories” nowadays. Now that we spend more time with social media and less time with each other.  Now that we spend more time with our hundreds of Facebook friends and less time with our handful of real friends. Our real friends might tell us the whole story. But we don’t have time for all of that, so we only see the shiny stuff.  And whether we know better or not, we compare our family’s imperfect insides to other families’ shiny outsides. Even thought we KNOW (thank you Brene!) that comparison is a recipe for pain and panic.

Last week my internet was acting screwy and I couldn’t get directly to the Momastery page, so I wrote Momastery into my Google browser and hit the first link that popped up. What came up was forum after forum of people trashing me and my family. As I read the first page I thought- I can’t believe that people are talking about another human being like this. Oh my GOD.  It wasn’t until I got to the second page that I realized- OH MY GOD. They are talking about ME.

They said that I am a neurotic nightmare. They said that my family is a fraud. They said that Craig only married me because I was pregnant and that our marriage was doomed from the start.  They said that I made up the The News for publicity. They said –  over and over again  –  that I am a terrible wife. That I am a bad mom. An awful mom. That I don’t deserve my kids and that they deserve better than me. They said that my family was totally screwed. They did not use the word screwed. I read page after page, link after link of the same. I’d never seen any of it before. I’d really believed, as I later told Sister, that the internets were just being really, really nice to me.

I sunk that night. Really, really deep. I sunk until I hit a place deep down in my soul that said:

Glennon – The jig is up. They have found you out. They are right. You are a fraud as a mother and a disaster of a wife and you are completely unworthy of love.

I’m okay now. I know that I chose this life. I chose to live out loud and I know that if I am going to live here –  in this amazing, vulnerable place where I get to see the best that humanity has to offer every single day –  I also have to accept the worst.  That’s the way of life. You either accept the beautiful and the brutal or you accept neither.

If you choose a life of compassion, you cannot only choose it for yourself and your friends. You must also choose it for those who would set themselves up as your enemies. It’s the only way to peace.

I choose everyone. I choose all of humanity.

Humanity is at its best and most brutiful within the family. And so I think that this holiday season we should honor all different kinds of families. Not because they are perfect, but because they are sacred. Every family is sacred because in a family, God is there. God is love, and so where there is love between people, any people – especially broken, messed up, weak ones – there is God. And THAT is what makes a family beautiful. It’s not the clothes and the smiles and the decorations. It’s the struggles and the miracles that happen when we love each other through those struggles.  It’s God in there.

It’s the pain and the loss – the half dead trees that life hands us and it’s how we say – FINE. I am going to make something beautiful out of this. Because it may be half dead, but that means it’s also half aLIVE. And if you are breathing and have someone, anyone to love today, than your tree is half alive too. If you have someone to love, then you have a family. Even if the love is messy and broken and the person you love seems far and beyond. Where there is love, there is God. And so whatever it looks like and feels like this year- your family is sacred. I honor your family this year. Family is hard, but we can do hard things.

I am proud to say that this year, I represent the broken families. The divorced ones and the together by a string ones and the recovering ones and the ones who have suffered great, great loss this year. I represent the moms who didn’t whistle while they handed ornaments to their children this year…but instead gritted their teeth and smiled fake smiles because DAMNIT THIS HOUSE WILL HAVE SOME MOTHER FREAKING CHEER. I represent the parents who have never been so grateful for Christmas specials and movies because: I can rest. I can rest and still celebrate. I represent the Love Warriors. The warriors who know that family is not the people you see on the Christmas cards. It’s the sacred space between them.

Look for the holes in those pictures this year.The spaces between arms and curls and precious little knees. GOD IS THERE. Say a little prayer for every family you see.

God- stay close to the family in this picture. And that one and that one and that one. Snuggle in between them and stay all year. Remind them , constantly, that their mess is holy.

Me too. Remind me, too.

Love,

G

 

 

 

Dec 062012
 

 

 

I’m so excited. So, so thrilled and delighted and amazed today.

Last December 6 there were 1400 of us. Remember those days? They were our beautiful beginning days. As of this December 6, we have grown to become a family of more than 51,700. We have welcomed over fifty thousand new Monkees in one year.  And we have done this – this wild, lovely, family-growing fun – through one Monkee deciding to Pass It On to another, like a gift.  A gift of an easy breath and a soft place to land and a home to celebrate you – in all of your beautiful, broken glory.

And even though we’ve expanded so fast, we’ve borne the growth beautifully. We’ve proven to ourselves and to visitors that Love Wins. That the TRUTH will set us free to love ourselves and each other more fully. And that we, every last one of us, belong to each other. Not because we’re the same- but because we’re human. We DID hard things. We made it through another year STRONGER. BETTER. TOGETHER.

It’s time to celebrate, friends.

Remember my favorite word? The word that transcends every different religion and culture and time?

It’s Namaste. The divine spark in me recognizes and honors the divine spark in you.

 Divine Spark. That’s what each and every one of us carries. You’ve got GOD IN THERE, LOVE!  SO DO I!! It’s so freaking amazing, when you take a moment to consider it. When we come here, my divine spark speaks to yours and you speak back. The best me speaks to you. The best you responds.  God in us. That’s the magic of here. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine….

Here’s how we’re celebrating this magical year and our 50 THOUSAND MONKEE MILESTONE and THIS special thing that WE DID TOGETHER this year.

MONKEE GEAR!!!!!!!

 

This is our Divine Spark shirt. It’s actually a hope shirt – not a Monkee or Momastery shirt – because this message of sharing the light and fire inside us is not ours. It’s everyone’s. It’s EVERY. ONE’S. So pass it on, Monkees. Pass It On!

 

 

This shirt is cozy, warm and forgiving, like Momastery.  It’s amazing with skinny jeans and heels (New Years EVE!) or with sneakers and jeans for the kids’ soccer game. It’s BEST with yoga pants on the couch, obviously. It’s sooooo good that way. It can be sassy, too – order a size up for an off-the-shoulder flash-dancey look.  In case you’re one, here’s what models look like in the shirt. And you’ll be thrilled to know that our shirts have been printed in the US on fair-trade certified tees!!

 

 

Every penny we earn from the sales of the Pass It On shirt will go to defray the costs of maintaining and bettering the Momastery website. Up till now, Craig and I have been paying all the costs ourselves. It became time for a new plan, because WOWZA  - as this place gets bigger and bigger, so do our bills.

Buy the Divine Spark shirt for yourselves, for your family and friends. In honor of our 50,000 newest friends, we have 5,000 shirts. The first 2,500 ordered are guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas!  Please –  GO SHOP!!!

I have heard it said that there are no good answers, only good questions asked in good company. Thank you for being such incredible company. I love living this brutiful life alongside you.

Love and Namaste-

Glennon

 

*** Thank you, precious Kelle, for the pictures and for being you!

* Thank you, Joey, for the inspired artwork!

Dec 102012
 

First published…I don’t know. A long time ago. 

 

Come, they told me… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,Our Newborn King to see… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

Our finest gifts we bring… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

Today before the King… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum, Rum Pum Pum Pum, Rum Pum Pum Pum,

So to honor Him… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

When we come.


 

Baby Jesus, Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

I am a poor boy too… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

I have no gift to bring, Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum, Rum Pum Pum Pum, Rum Pum Pum Pum,

Shall I play for you… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

On my drum.


 

Mary nodded… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

The ox and lamb kept time… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum,

I played my best for Him… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum, , Rum Pum Pum Pum, Rum Pum Pum Pum,

 

Then He smiled at me… Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum


Me and my drum…


 

 

Amanda and I sat on the kitchen floor last Friday and listened to The Little Drummer Boy again and again and I cried and cried. Amanda snuggled deep into my lap and she kept turning around, cupping my chin in her hands, tilting her little head and saying, “Are okay?” Are okay?” I nodded, held her tight, inhaled her neck and used all of my senses to take her in. I marveled at how she could offer me so little, how she could, in truth, be such an incredible drain, and how I could still adore her so completely. How I could cry just thinking of her. How I’ve memorized every roll on her thighs, every red streak in her hair, the feel of her velvety cheek, and every expression her face has ever made. How there is nothing she could ever do to make me love her any more or any less. How she is already everything she needs to be for me. How she is a reflection of all that is true and good in me, because I made her.

When she started rubbing her eyes, I put her inside her crib and watched her fall asleep. I love her most at the moment she decides to trust me to keep her safe, and so her eyelids close and she falls away and just breathes. And when she awakens and I walk into her room, she turns her face toward me, throws her arms in the air and says Mama, and it’s enough to drive me to my knees in gratitude and awe and never get back up.

 

Maybe God gave me my little girl so that I might understand how he feels about His little girl.

 

I know, with my whole body, mind, and soul, that the way I love my baby girl is the same way God loves me. He has memorized every hair on my head and he watches me sleep and wake and when I cry He pets my hair and says “Are okay?” He has never, ever let go of my hand. When I run, He follows, and He never grows tired or weary. His plans for me are more beautiful than I can dream and He wants me to come to him like a child because that’s the way He loves me most. Empty handed. Utterly dependent, with no gifts to bring. He looks at my face and my outstretched, empty hands and He sees his little baby girl. The little girl He created. I don’t have to be a grown up with Him. I don’t have to be a wife or a mother or a friend or a teacher or a writer or a woman in his presence. He created me solely because He wanted someone to love. So that’s all I have to be, someone to love. He wants me to rest in the truth that there is nothing I can do to make Him love me any more or any less. He already knows about the choices I made yesterday – no need to be ashamed, and he already knows what will happen tomorrow – no need to be afraid. He doesn’t want me or need me to be anything more than the needy bundle of tears and love that I was the day I was born and that I am today, on the kitchen floor. He just wants me to sit still and accept His gift, which today is the sensation that my heart might explode as His love and adoration flow from Him through me, His baby girl, and into my baby girl.

This is when Jesus smiles at me, I think. When I offer him my broken, overflowing heart. When I play for him with whatever I have, which is nothing. He doesn’t want me to wait to play for him until I am better or different, or until I have something more worthy to offer. He was a poor boy, too, he understands. He was rejected and afraid and exhausted but he played his song for me anyway. And all he wants is to hear my song in return. He wants my song, the one only I can play, today. Not tomorrow.

And if it seems too good to be true that I’d have a song worthy of Him while I’m still broken and naked and crying, I need only to remember that the most beautiful song the world has ever heard was sung by our Jesus when he was all of those things, hanging on a cross.

That man who died for me, Jesus, my God, wants me to play for Him. And Mary nods her agreement, so I play, without fear of how I might sound. And here’s why I’m not afraid to play my song in the face of God. You have asked how I can share my heart so openly, why am I not afraid to disarm myself and tell you my truth, even when it’s ugly or scary.

 

It’s because there is no need for weapons or armor when one is already standing inside a mighty fortress.

 

It’s because while I want you to say that you like me, to tell me I’m okay, to say that we are the same, you and I… I don’t need you to say those things. If no one ever likes or loves me again and I am left with only God, I will still have too much acceptance and love to handle well, or respond to appropriately, or endure gracefully. I can tell you the truth of my heart because when you handle my heart imperfectly, it’s okay, I forgive you already. You don’t have to love me perfectly. I don’t depend on you for that. You can be human, and you can make mistakes with my heart. Because if you hurt me, if you accidentally ignore me, if you love me imperfectly, I still have perfect love to turn to, to remember, to feel. And so I feel safe with you. And you can feel safe with me too, because I will never expect you to be someone you’re not. We don’t need to be afraid of each other. Perfect love casts out fear.

And when I tell you about Bubba and Sister and Husband and Tisha and you say that you wish you had a perfect family, too, please understand that my family is not perfect. Lord, no. None of us loves each other perfectly. But I don’t need them to love me perfectly because I already have perfect love. We are all wired to need perfect love but none of us is wired to offer it. Because we are meant to find it only in God. So I don’t ask my family for perfection. I forgive them their humanness, and search for their divinity, knowing that we usually find exactly what we we’re looking for. And when I catch glimpses of their divinity, I notice and share it. Just like my family and Jesus do for me.

I believe that God guided these words, and that they are meant for you. It’s not an accident that you are reading them. He wants you to know that He loves you like you are the only little girl in the world. You don’t have to be a grown up for Him. You don’t need to bring Him gifts. Just play. He’ll listen and smile. And we’ll dance.