Aug 042010

So, we’ve decided to continue Momastery for another year, and I’m excited about that.

Many of you insist that Momastery has become a special community of women that shouldn’t be disbanded. I like that word, community. That seems like the right idea. If we are a community, then it follows that each of us is important and has a responsibility to one another. I will continue to do my part, which is to show up here several times a week and offer something hopeful, something funny, something true, something to help streamline your housework. And then, if you feel moved at all, your responsibility will be to respond. Me too or thank you or that was funny or I disagree will suffice. No need to say anything brilliant, no need to stick to the topic. Let this be a safe place where you share what’s on your mind, what’s in your heart. Let yourself be heard. Because we all know that the comments are what make this place a community. It’s the risks people take there, the relationships that are born, the stories that are told and read. It’s the chorus of me toos that comfort and inspire. Because let us be honest, bloggers are a dime a dozen. I don’t make Momastery unique. I am not a community. We are. Listen, I know you’re busy, I know it’s scary to put yourself out there, I know, trust me, I know. But it’s four am friends, and I’m here. Sodon’t eat and run. Leave comments, sign up as a follower, email me, share a poem, a song, a picture, a thought that will help the rest of us get through our day. Show us what beauty you’ve found. Each time that I do. We need it. I need it.

There was this guy who lived like a million years ago named Hafiz. He was a mystic, which means that he didn’t believe he needed religious rituals to communicate with God, because he knew that God was always holding his hand, whispering in his ear through other people and nature and stillness.

Hafiz experienced his entire life as one beautiful miracle after another. He was so excited about his big, loving God and his little, beautiful life that he could barely see straight or even speak in complete sentences. All he could do was skip around, hugging people and reciting original poetry. His joy was so boundless and ridiculous that they call him and his poetry ecstatic. I trust people like Hafiz. I’m inclined to listen to what they have to say. Because if your God doesn’t leave you awe-struck, then I’m not sure we’re talking about the same gal. Honestly, if I want to hear a list of scary rules and what horrific things might happen if I screw up and break them, I’ll just re-read my HOA documents. I think talking about God should be exciting and joyful and very, very confusing. So confusing that eventually we all give up and ask each other: Should we quit trying to hammer out the details and just hug and skip and write poetry together instead?

Anyway, in addition to being an ecstatic, mystical poet, I think Hafiz might have been a blogger. I read this the other night.

At This Party


I don’t want to be the only one here

Telling all the secrets -

Filling up all the bowls at this party,

Taking all the laughs.

I would like you

To start putting things on the table

That can also feed the soul

The way I do.

That way

We can invite

A hell of a lot more



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

Jul 312010

Dear God,

Please help me become real. Even if the process makes me a little shabby and worn out, God. Please keep on holding me tight until I learn to love, until I become real, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Love, G

A Psalm of Singlemindedness

by Joe Bayly

Lord of reality
make me real
not plastic
pretend phony
an actor playing out his part
I don’t want
to keep a prayer list
but to pray
nor agonize to find Your will
but to obey
what I already know
to argue
theories of inspiration
but submit to Your Word.
I don’t want
to explain the difference
between eros and philos
and agape
but to love.
I don’t want
to sing as if I mean it
I want to mean it.
I don’t want
to tell it like it is
but to be it
like you want it.
I don’t want
to think another needs me
but I need him
else I’m not complete.
I don’t want
to tell others how to do it
but to do it
to have to be always right
but to admit it when I’m wrong.
I don’t want to be a census taker
but an obstetrician
nor an involved person, a professional
but a friend
I don’t want to be insensitive
but to hurt where other people hurt
nor to say I know how you feel
but to say God knows
and I’ll try
if you’ll be patient with me
and meanwhile I’ll be quiet.
I don’t want to scorn the cliches of others
but to mean everything I say

including this.

Thanks, Wendi, for posting this poem, which made my heart sing.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

Jul 302010

Craig came home with this the other day.

It’s a new vacuum. An unsolicited new vacuum.

Back story:

Like cooking, I consider vacuuming to be something that show-offy people do. And also people who are not quite as deep and sentimental as I am.

The floors in my home read like a history of our family. In that corner you might find Cheerios from this memorable day, under that rug you’ll find sprinkles from that special day. It’s lovely, really. And since I am incapable of ordering pictures or assembling family photo albums, Craig and I just sit on the couch in the evenings, gazing from pile of floor crap to pile of floor crap, reminiscing. We find this quite special and creative. But if you are the vacuuming type, I don’t want you to feel badly. I’m just suggesting that kids grow up fast, so you might want to consider setting aside some floor memories. That’s all.

Several years ago, I started suspecting that my friends had different beliefs about vacuuming and memory-keeping. It seemed they were opposedto using floors as scrapbooks, because their carpets always had those fancy lines in them. You know the lines to which I’m referring? Those fresh, show-offy, “I just vacuumed” lines? So I started getting a little uncomfortable about my un-liney carpets. Now, one might predict that this discomfort led me to re-evaluate my vacuuming boycott, but one might predict wrong. I find my vacuum to be very heavy and ugly and inconducive to relaxing. There is nothing that leads me into a cursing tirade faster than trying to lug my vacuum up two flights of stairs. And Jesus said: if your vacuum causes you to curse, gouge it out . . . or something like that. So actually becoming a real- life vacuumer wasn’t an option, since I love Jesus. (If you do vacuum, I’m not trying to suggest that you don’t love Jesus. I assume it’s possible to do both. I’m just saying it’s not likely. Not likely at all. )

In any case, it was becoming clear that I needed to start thinking creatively about this vacuuming issue.

One day I was watching Tish stroll her baby-doll around the family room in a little pink baby stroller. And when my gaze fell to the floor behind her I noticed that the stroller wheels were making perfect lines across the carpet. Perfect, fancy “I just vacuumed” looking lines. And I thought…CHA-CHING!

For the last three years, before company arrives, before Craig comes home from a trip, every time I feel like playing dutiful housewife, I call Tish and ask her if she’d like to take her baby for a walk. And Tish says, “A reg-a-lar walk or a careful walk, mommy?” And I say, “A careful walk, honey.” When she was two, I taught Tish that a careful walk is when you stroll your baby back and forth across the carpet in such a way that the stroller lines run perfectly parallel to each other. . . back and forth, back and forth, back and forth . . . you see where I’m going with this. And so for three wonderful years, mommy sat on the couch and cheered for Tish while she and her baby-doll vacuumed.

And Craig would always come home and say, “WOW! You vacuumed!” with the same proud tone he uses when I cut a tomato all by myself. And I would just smile and bat my eyelashes coyly but never answer directly because honesty is very important to me.

It was a miracle, really. Except that one night I saw Craig looking quizzically at my carpet lines . . . and I realized with terror that he was finally noticing that my fancy lines were completely surrounded by our usual piles of floor crap.

I had anticipated that this might be the fly in the ointment. So I real quick mumbled something like “Stupid vacuum’s broken. But nice lines, huh? Look! Shark Week is on!” I have been mumbling variations of those sentences for three years now. With great success.

So when Craig walked in the house recently with this surprise vacuum, I was suspicious that he was suspicious.And so I watched his face verrrry closely. And right after he said, “Look! This will make life so much easier! I hate for you go to all that trouble with that broken vacuum and never get the results you want . . .” I noticed a faint smirk and an itty bitty centimeter of an eyebrow-raise. It was almost imperceptible. But I saw it. And so my first thought was . . . He knows. He knows about the stroller vacuuming. The jig is up.

But I recovered quickly. And my second thought was: Oh. The poor guy really doesn’t know who he’s messing with here. He has grossly underestimated the depths to which I am prepared to sink to preserve my way of life. He just doesn’t know.

The other day, after Craig left for work, I told Tish that I had a surprise for her. I announced that since she was such a big girl now, it had become time to pass down her itty bitty baby stroller to Amma, because I had bought her a brand new, big girl stroller. I explained that big girl strollers look very, very different than little girl strollers and even make big noises like cars! Because big girl strollers have engines.

Time for a careful walk, baby. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Your move, Hub-Dog.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

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