Apr 142015
 

Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans is my Faith and Writing and Thinking Hero. She’s a champion for women, for the poor in spirit, for the LGBTQ community, for doubters, and also for those who’d shut all those people out. She speaks her truth to and from inside the religious machine and I don’t know many braver things than that. Recently I emailed her publisher and said: “I really think Jesus and his buddies walk around heaven wearing ‘TEAM RHE’ hoodies. I really do.”

I was at a church convention in Nashville last year and I came down to the hotel lobby early to wait for my ride. There was a lady sitting alone, so I went over and asked if she was headed to the convention. She nodded and told me she had come all the way from Canada. When I asked what prompted her to travel so far  she said, “I came to see Rachel Held Evans. I work in a church and I pour out my whole life for it. I love my church. But the sexism is so heavy. I hear it and feel it all the time and it’s crushing. They let me work 13 hour days but they won’t let me serve communion. They let my friends and I cook and clean and care for the children, but they won’t let us speak from the pulpit. They think of us as helpers, not teachers. They really don’t think they can learn from us. One night I found Rachel’s blog, and I couldn’t believe that there was this VOICE. This beautiful, bright, strong, smart, bold woman speaking with authority and love and without apology. She didn’t seem to be asking permission to speak. She just had so much to say. And I bought all of her books. And now I read her every day before work, to remember that it’s okay for me to have a voice, too. To remind me that I am equal to the men in God’s eyes, even if I’m not equal in their eyes.”

After I pulled myself together, I said. “Yes. I know exactly what you mean. Exactly. Yes. Me too, to all of that. Also, I know Rachel. Would you like me to introduce you to her today?” And she said, “No. I don’t want to take any more of her energy. I just came to be in the same room with her. To prove to myself that she’s real. So that when I go back to my church and continue to fight the fight—I can have a real picture of her speaking and teaching in my mind. I just want to have an image of men and women in their seats, looking up at Rachel teaching. That’s all I need.”

Can you imagine how many women have begun believing they’re worthy because Rachel keeps publicly and loudly insisting that God insists that they are? I believe that Rachel’s name will be in the history books. I believe that she’ll go down as a trailblazer in the faith, a warrior who sacrificed her own safety and popularity for the people she felt called to love. The first time I met Rachel I was shocked because she’s just the size of a regular person. I expected her to look like the Statue of Liberty or something. Her humanness made me appreciate her courage even more. Like Dorothy Day said— “Don’t call us saints. We don’t want to be dismissed that easily.” Rachel is not the Statue of Liberty. She’s just a lady who probably feels scared and hurt by the criticism and character crucifixion that inevitably comes to anyone who insists on her worthiness out loud—but she keeps showing up anyway. Because she believes that her calling is more important than her fear. THAT IS MY KIND OF WOMAN. That is the kind of woman who changes the world. And that is why I am beyond honored to have written the foreword to Rachel’s latest masterpiece: Searching for Sunday—which releases TODAY.

 

Search for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Foreword

Whenever I want to scare myself, I consider what would happen to the world if Rachel Held Evans stopped writing.

As I tore through the pages in this book, I realized I’d been waiting my whole life for Searching for Sunday. The Jesus that Rachel loves fiercely is the same Jesus I fell in love with long ago, before I let the hypocrisy of the church and my own heart muddle everything up. Searching for Sunday helped me forgive the church and myself and fall in love with God all over again. It was as if, over time, road blocks had been set up between me and God and as I read this book I could feel Rachel’s words removing them one at a time until by the end of the book I was looking directly at God again.

Rachel’s Christianity is a daily discipline of boundless grace–for herself, for the church, for those the church leaves out. The faith she describes in Searching for Sunday is less of a club to belong to and more of a current to enter into—a current that continuously carries her toward the people and places she’s been taught to fear. Rachel finds herself not only loving these people, but learning that she is these people. In Searching for Sunday, Rachel convinces us that there is no them and us; there is only us. This idea of hers is both comforting and slightly terrifying. I have a hunch that comforting and terrifying is exactly what faith should be. Tweet: I have a hunch that comforting and terrifying is exactly what faith should be. @rachelheldevans @momastery http://ctt.ec/2JUK6+

Searching for Sunday is, quite simply, my favorite book by my favorite writer. From now on when people ask me about my faith, I will just hand them this book. Sweet Jesus, I’m grateful for Rachel Held Evans.

—Glennon Doyle Melton

WHO WANTS A COPY???? HER PUBLISHER ASKED US TO GIVE AWAY FIVE SO LET’S ASSUME THAT MEANS TEN. JESUS SAYS WE ARE FREE OF THE RULES! GRACE FOR ALL! RHE FOR ALL!! Leave a comment below and I’ll randomly choose ten winners and get books in the mail to you tomorrow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SEARCHING FOR SUNDAY! WE ARE SO GLAD YOU ARE BORN!!!!



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


Apr 132015
 

GlennonWhat do you want people who love and serve the mentally ill to know?

Okay. I’m not really allowed to say what I’m about to say. In public, we people who are mentally ill are supposed to hang our heads and only speak of our challenges as things we want “fixed” for fear of folks accusing us of “glamorizing” our condition. We’re supposed to declare that our way of being is dangerous and wrong and everyone else’s way is better and we are supposed to want to join the troops and fall into line. And so those who love us are confused and angry when we are resistant to getting help, to taking our meds, to being “cured.” Every other sufferer of a disease wants to get better, why don’t you?

I’ll tell you why.

Because sometimes we understand that our inability to accept and live resignedly in the world we’ve been born into is chemical and personal and that we need help integrating. We hang our heads and say: It’s not you, world—it’s me. I’ll get help. I need to get better.

But other times—we turn on the news or watch closely how people treat each other and we silently raise our eyebrows and think: Actually, maybe it’s not me. Maybe it’s you, world. Maybe my inability to adapt to the world is not because I’m crazy but because I’m paying attention. Maybe it’s not insane to reject the world as it is. Maybe the real insanity is surrendering to the world as it is now. Maybe pretending that things around here are just fine is no badge of honor I want to wear.

We addicts—we have rejected the world as it is. We left the big world and started hiding inside the small world of addiction for a reason. So inviting us back into the world as it is — it’s not effective. We are too smart to rejoin a party we couldn’t stomach. And so when someone we love and trust wants to invite us out of addiction, she needs to consider what she’s inviting us INTO.  Okay—you want me to come out of here…but into WHAT? Because when we peek out of our world and into yours; when we look out and see everybody still shooting at each other—literally and figuratively—we think: no thank you. I’ll just take my chances in here.

I know that I needed to be invited not only out of addiction, but into a movement to change the world. I needed to join folks working to turn this planet into a gentler, saner, safer, more vivid place in which folks with wide-open eyes and tender hearts might survive and thrive. This is why the moment I stepped out of the world of addiction, I stepped into family, faith, art, service, and activism. I stepped into worlds of purpose. But I did not give up my resistance to the world as it is. I did not say: FINE, I’ll come back. I said: Fine, I’ll come back, but I’m coming back with a mission. I’m not stepping back into the matrix. I’m going to join the special forces who are trying to free everybody from it. Because yes, I’ve got these conditions—anxiety, depression, addiction—and they almost killed me. But they are also my superpowers. I’m the canary in the mine and you need my sensitivity because I can smell toxins in the air that you can’t smell, see trouble you don’t see and sense danger you don’t feel. My sensitivity could save us all. And so instead of letting me fall silent and die — why don’t we work together to clear some of this poison from the air?

What we who are mentally different need is respect. We know we need help managing our mental differences, but what we ask for is a shift in your approach to helping us. Instead of coming at us with the desire to change us because we are inconvenient to the world—come at us with the desire to help us because we are important to the world. We want you to see that with a little help, we can be your prophets, healers, clergy, artists, and activists. Help us manage our fire, yes, but don’t try to extinguish us. Tweet: What we mentally different need is respect. Help us manage our fire, yes-but don’t try to extinguish us. @momastery http://ctt.ec/e11Cc+ ‎ That fire that almost killed us is the same fire we’ll use to light up the world. And so we don’t want you to take what we’ve got, we just want help learning how to use what we’ve got for good.

Let’s work together—as equals. Because we need your science and you need our poetry. Maybe we are here not just to be saved by you—but to save you back.

 

This year I’ve been named a member of Honorary Committee for Mental Health America’s 2015 Conference, Chaired by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

I just wanted to tell you burning light givers that, while speaking at that conference and across the country this year, I’m doing my best to translate us to the world. I’m trying to be a bridge so that the people who love us can get closer to us – so that we’re not so alone in here. I’m trying to explain why we hurt the people we love and why we hurt ourselves. I’m aware that speaking for the light givers is the most important work I do. Just know that I love you and I respect you and I know how hard it is and I know how good you are in there.

Love to all the Light Givers and Love to all who’ve been burned by us.



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


Apr 102015
 
We Are Together Rising

 

YOU GUYS: IT IS ALMOST LOVE FLASH MOB TIME.  Your Together Rising Board has been sweating and praying and meeting and trying to determine the recipients.  For each of our past mobs, a clear theme emerged from our community and together we said: YES. THAT’S IT. That is the Next Right Thing and those are the Next Right People. That’s what happened with Project Home Indy and with the Croyles and the Vans and the Service Dogs and the Cancer Angels. But this time it’s been different. We’ve been waiting and searching and meeting but: nothing. No clarity at all.  And then one day last month my heart was feeling full of love and awe for the women in my life, so I logged on to our Facebook page and I introduced you to five fierce warrior friends and then asked:

Who are the warrior women in your life?

And YOU responded with your own stories of the warriors in your lives:

Brooke Kelli Lori Jenny Cathy Michelle

You told story after story about one HER at a time showing up, day after day, in your families and schools and offices and communities. And I thought: Man. Each of these women is actually a HER(O).

HERO

(What if little girls started reading this word differently? What if it sounded like “her”-o in our heads? Sometimes you have to change your understanding of a word so you can change your experience in the world. Just a thought.)

And then a cartoon light bulb appeared over my un-showered head and I emailed the Board and said: THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!! OUR PEOPLE KNOW WHO THEY WANT TO LOVE FLASH MOB!! THEY WANT TO RAISE UP THE ONES WHO RAISE THEM UP EVERYDAY!!!  LET’S LET OUR PEOPLE NOMINATE THEIR HER(O) and then Love Mob the bloody heck out of them! Let’s offer each HER SOME BIG, LIFE CHANGING GIFTS, SUPPORT AND LOVE. Let’s raise up the ones who relentlessly show up to get others rising. Yes. Oh my goodness, YES. That is it. ONE HER(O) AT A TIME!!!!! THIS IS OUR JAM, PEOPLE!!!!!!!

Yes, the Board said. THAT’S the next right thing. AND YOU – beloved members of this Momastery community, are the next right people!

LET’S DO THIS:

  1. Think of a HER(O) among your friends, neighborhood, church, school, workplace, family… a warrior who shows up every day to love and survive and thrive and serve. Someone to whom you want to say: YOU, HEY YOU! DID YOU THINK THAT YOUR FEROCITY AND TENDERNESS AND TIRELESSNESS HAS GONE UNNOTICED?? NOPE. YOU ARE SEEN. YOUR COMMITMENT TO SHOWING UP FOR LOVE IS ASTOUNDING. YOU ARE OUR HER(O) AND SO PLEASE CONSIDER THIS GRAND OFFERING FROM YOUR COMMUNITY TO BE OUR MOST SINCERE STANDING OVATION.
  2. Gather together a small (or large!) group of at least two other people who are willing to raise their voices with you in support of your HER(O). (We’d like you to work together, but Glennon–as the board’s resident pajama-lover/ introvert/loner–insists that if you are scared of people, it’s fine to nominate on your own. Everybody’s in baby, even raging introverts.)
  3. Click the “Apply” button below to submit your nomination by next Friday, April 17th, and tell us the story of your HER(O) along with BIG DREAMS about what GIFTS MIGHT LIGHT YOUR HER(O) UP EVEN BRIGHTER.

Trust us on this one: DO IT. SHOW UP FOR THE WOMEN THAT SHOW UP FOR YOU. It will be worth your time to gather together in honor of your person and put some effort into this. We will read every story and we will choose a few to to Love Flash Mob and we will choose EVERY HER(O) to honor and it will be sacred and holy and SO MUCH FUN. Don’t sit this one out. Be in this with us.
Be a HER(O) for your HER(O).Tweet: Be a HER(O) for your HER(O) @momastery #ToGetHERRising http://ctt.ec/6vQaA+

Okay, beloveds. Ready to work together to TO GET HER RISING? Then here come the BEST WORDS EVER:

LET US BEGIN!!!

Nominate Your HER(O)



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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