Dec 012009

Our first guest post this week is from Adrianne, a fiery and soothing redhead who owns a large portion of my heart. Adrianne and I both love Jesus, our families, and each other- and neither of us sees much reason to change out of pajamas, ever. These four commonalities have proven to be enough to forge and sustain one of the most rewarding friendships I’ve ever enjoyed.

Adrianne wrote some kind things about me in this post, which was sort of against the rules. My instinct is to explain or joke them away. But instead, I am going to try to be a bit graceful and grateful this morning and just say thank you, friend. I love you, too.

Thanks and Praise

I met Glennon in the summer of 2005. My husband and I moved from DC to the burbs when I got pregnant with our first child. I didn’t have any friends in Northern Virginia, and I was desperate to make connections with other women. So I joined a group called Mothers First and before too long, I was a co-leader. A few days before one of our regular Tuesday morning meetings, I received an email from a woman named Glennon, telling me that she had recently moved to the area and was going to be at the next meeting with her toddler son. We were a friendly group of gals, always happy to have new moms interested in our group. I welcomed her and assured her that I would be there to greet her at the next meeting.

Our regular meeting place was the local library. I walked in holding hands with my daughter and checked in at the desk to make sure our room was reserved. I quickly glanced over at the sitting area and noticed a woman sitting in one of the chairs. A little boy was standing next to her. I vividly remember thinking, Oh, please don’t let that be her. In the one glance I had taken of Glennon, I decided that I could definitely, absolutely not be friends with her. She was impossibly pretty. She was also petite and curvy, which isn’t fair at all. Women should be one or the other, right? She looked like every popular girl in junior high who had ever been mean to me. Please don’t let that be her.

It was her.

Since then, I have grown to adore her. The more I learn about her, the more I like her. And I cannot tell you how much fun it has been to see so many of you grow to like her, too.

When I read Momastery and all of your lovely comments every day, I feel especially lucky to know Glennon in real life. So many of you only know her through her beautiful writing and her photographs. I suspect that many of you feel close to her, and believe me when I say that I know those cyber-relationships can be very real and meaningful. After all, I am a woman who met and pursued my husband on the internet. Our relationship began with emails and online chatting, and I loved him before I ever saw him. So I understand the power and intimacy of written correspondence. With that said, I also have to tell you that being in the same room with Glennon is really something. All the light and love that pour out of her writing also pour out of her eyes. Her face doesn’t only light up when she smiles. Her face is lit all the time. Her love of The Lord illuminates her. Yes, she really is as lovely as she seems. I’m telling you this because if I were you, this is something I would wonder about. I wondered the same thing about my husband back when I was first wooing him online. So for the record, the answer is yes. Glennon is the real McCoy. All of her kindness and humor transfer over into real life. I know. I can hardly believe it, either.

I am sure that Glennon is cringing as she reads this. She’s horrified that I am using my stint as a Momastery guest writer to tell all of you how wonderful I think she is. In the Melton household, bragging is a felony offense. Just ask Chase.

Now that I have taken my chance to assure you that Glennon is the real deal, it’s time for me to move on and say what I need to say.

The problem is, deciding what I need to say has been surprisingly difficult for me. You should know that it is only on very rare occasions that I find myself at a loss for words. Under normal circumstances, my problem would be narrowing down the list of hot topics that need my attention. I’m extremely opinionated, and I usually have a lot to say. I’m the same way when I pray. I have a lot tell God, and I often ramble at Him. But when I sat down to pray about what to write in this blog post, I tried hard to be still, not say much, and just listen.

I am sorry to report that I was unsuccessful. I was not able to turn off the dialogue running in the back of my mind while I prayed. Usually, that dialogue is a running ticker of my household to-do list. But this time, it was thoughts of thanks and praise that wouldn’t leave my head. While hoping for some divine writing intervention and trying to be still, my thoughts kept wandering back to this community. I am incredibly grateful for this cozy little piece of cyber real estate, and I can’t stop marveling at the revolution that recently started here. Eventually, I gave up trying to be still and pray like a grown-up. It occurred to me that maybe God wants me to just roll with what’s in my heart.

Here it goes.

Thank you, God, for putting Glennon in my life. I sometimes joke that I won the friendship lottery that day I met Glennon in the library. But I know that our meeting was no accident. God knew what I needed, and he gave it to me. He put her in my path because He knew she would share her stories with me, and He knew I needed to hear them. I needed to hear stories about suffering and bondage that end with hope and freedom. And I needed to hear them from one of the pretty girls for whom everything had always looked so easy.

Thank you, God, for making my friend Glennon your faithful servant. Because every time she draws nearer to her Savior, she brings me along for the ride.

Thank you, God, for Monkees. In a world where groups of female friends are often seen as troops of superficial girls scurrying off to gossip or talk about fashion, recipes, and dieting, you are a reminder that we are far deeper than our respective stereotypes. (I realize most of you learned this lesson the first time you saw The Breakfast Club, but these things take me a little longer.) Thank you, God, for helping us lift each other up and love each other and pray for each other rather than compete or judge. Thank you for giving so many Monkees the courage to share their joys and sorrows on this blog because every time I read it, I feel more hopeful than I did the day before. Thank you for leading me to a group of women who are trying hard to treat other people the way they want to be treated.

Thank you, God, for our Momastery. I think of this blog as a campfire by the sea. Glennon started the fire and invited the rest of us to join her. Because the fire has such a lovely glow and keeps out the cold, many of us were drawn to it and our numbers grew fast. Now some of us are adding fuel to the fire and most of us are crowding around it for warmth while our circle grows bigger and bigger. This fire of ours is just now starting to crackle and hiss and throw sparks high into the sky, and very soon we will stop having to crowd around it for warmth because our magnificent bonfire will give off so much heat that we’ll have room to dance, skip, jump for joy, and sing Hosanna to the highest if we are so inclined. The thing about our Momastery that I am most thankful for, Lord, is that it’s also a place where I am safe to just sit quietly by the sea, enjoy the warmth, and watch the others dance and feed the fire.

Thank you, God, for making my heart grateful today.

Thank you, Monkees, for allowing me to be part of the Revolution. Let’s keep it going, shall we?

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

Nov 272009

I’m at Bubba and Tisha’s house on the water, and I just woke to discover that it’s raining hard outside. I couldn’t be happier. I secretly love rainy days, for the same reason that I secretly love when my kids get mildly sick. Rain and low grade fevers are invitations to stay unshowered in pajamas and snuggle on the couch. The rain says “don’t bother making plans, really. Just relax.” I certainly enjoy the sun too, but it can be a little bossy and self centered, with all its shining and shining and insisting that we get dressed and go outside to enjoy it. The rain is less demanding, and I appreciate that.

Okay, now for the big news.

It has been said that there are no stupid questions. I am about to prove that theory wrong once and for all. Here goes -

Hey internet…Can you keep a secret?

Because we’ve got some exciting secrets to discuss, my precious Monkees.

One of the people who helped publish my first book has suggested that it’s time to transform Momastery into a book proposal. He thinks we could get published and revolutionize a whole lot more Monkees. I KNOW. It’s exciting. The Revolution might have an opportunity to convince many more people to try being less jerky.

I know that this is wonderful news for all Monkeekind. But I am struggling, friends. I was supposed to have this proposal done and mailed two weeks ago, and I haven’t even started. Every time I try to write it I turn into a little teeny eeny mouse paralyzed with fear. I sit motionless at my computer and the only parts of my body that move are my shifty mousy eyes which are propped wide open in terror. It’s not good. I’m scared I’m going to let us down. But the good news is that I think I’ve identified my problem. I’ve been trying to go it alone, and that is never how Revolutionary Monkees do. I need you.

Neither Momastery nor the Monkee Revolution have ever been about me. They have always been about you. You have made this blog what it is. First of all, your encouraging responses have given me the confidence to dig deeper and to keep on writing. Because I did have a hunch that maybe I could write and maybe you’d like it. But I’ve also seen the American Idol auditions, so I know that a whole lot of people suspect they are good at things that they should actually never, ever attempt to do publicly.

But when I sang, you stood up and clapped, and then you started singing with me – and that is the moment that our song went from pretty good to knock- your –socks- off fantastic. People write to me again and again to say that your comments are their very favorite part of the blog. To them I always say well thank you, thank you very much. But I get it. Me too.

I am going to use the next two weeks to bang out this proposal and send it off to my editor. Because I believe deep in my bones that our revolution is worthy of national attention. The world will be better for having heard our message of love and inclusion and humility. To that end, here’s what I’m asking of you. Can you pray for me? Can you pray that God will tie me up so that every word that is written is His and not mine? Can you pray that He will transform my weakness into writing that will feed, comfort, and awaken sleeping Monkees everywhere? And if you’re not a pray-er, could you think brilliant thoughts and email them to me for the book? That’d be great. And you better believe that when it gets published, ours will be the first book with 217 names, or however many monkees there are when the time comes, in the acknowledgements. Yep. That’s the plan. Because this book will be about and by and for YOU. Also, because that’ll make it seem longer.

You know, all of sudden, I’m feeling pretty good about this new adventure. Because now that I think about it, people are always offering me this lovely compliment:

Glennon: What you don’t know could fill a book.”

Maybe they’re on to something….

One last thing- even while I’m busy working on the proposal, the Monkee show will go on. Our show will always go on. It’s important to the Revolution that we meet every day without fail. So this post will stay up on Monday, since most people will probably wait until then to read it. Then, for the following week and a half, guest writers will be posting on the blog. They are excited and very, very nervous.

While you read their hearts’ offerings, please think of an encouraging comment that you’ll leave for them. They will be checking every ten minutes, throughout their entire day, to see if you liked them. Trust me on this one. Please be gentle with their hearts. I love each one of them very much.

Also, while you read…consider what you’ll write about when it’s your turn. Because you see where this is going, right? This blog, this book, this revolution is about you. Each of us has something equally important to share. Shoot me an email when you’re ready to Say What You Need to Say.

I love you Cheeky Monkeys.

What a wild ride, huh?

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