Apr 212015
 

Be Still

I used to believe that I couldn’t handle pain. I thought I was too broken, too sensitive, too fragile for life’s beauty and brutal, so I hid from all of it inside addiction. Addiction is a lonely, dark and dangerous world—but it feels safe because no one can hurt you there but yourself. It’s an effective way for one person to make herself completely invulnerable to the world.

Addicts choose dramatic hiding places but we all have them. What is your hiding place? Hint: it’s what you grab for when you feel vulnerable—it’s where you run so you don’t have to feel all the feelings that life insists you feel.

When you start to feel: do you numb with booze or food or shopping? Do you scroll, scroll, scroll to escape every time you’re left alone with your self? Or do you deflect discomfort with unkindness? All unkindness is pain deflection. Folks who think pain is a hot potato toss it to the next person so they don’t get burned. That’s all. People who are unkind just believe they can’t handle the pain that comes their way.

We are all so afraid of pain. We think it’s our job to avoid it. Whatever it takes to avoid it. But we shouldn’t be afraid of pain, we should be afraid of our fear of pain. Because all these things we do to avoid the pain hurt us much more than the pain would have.

Pain is not a sign that you’ve taken a wrong turn or that you’re doing life wrong. It’s not a signal that you need a different life or partner or body or home or personality. Pain is not a hot potato to pass on to the next person or generation. Pain is not a mistake to fix. Pain is just a sign that a lesson is coming. Discomfort is purposeful: it is there to teach you what you need to know so you can become who you were meant to be. Pain is just a traveling professor. When pain knocks on the door—wise ones breathe deep and say: “Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.” Tweet: Pain is a traveling professor. Pain knocks & the wise say: Come in—sit with me. Teach me what I must know. @momastery http://ctt.ec/P1J7a+

For me, the opposite of addiction, compulsion, unkindness, war is: stillness. What I have now in my sobriety that I didn’t have before is simply the ability to sit with quiet, with discomfort, with beauty, with pain with whatever life brings to my feet without struggling against it. Without slamming the door on the wisest teacher on Earth. My pain comes and it stays for a while and then it leaves. It leaves me better, bigger, wiser, softer, kinder so I don’t want to avoid it. It is turning me into the me I dreamed of becoming.

Sobriety, sanity, peace is just surrender, after all.

We want to KNOW what to do, we want to KNOW who we are, we want to KNOW our path so we can be less afraid and the only way to KNOW is to stop grabbing and running and striving and trying so hard to KNOW and just:

Be Still.

BE STILL and KNOW.

Let it be. Let pain do its work. You do yours. Be Still.

Be Still



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Apr 152015
 

A few weeks ago our minivan got a flat tire. Craig and I stared at the van in the driveway for a while until I said. “So, what happens now? Do we, like, call 911 or something?”

Craig got to work trying to fix the tire and I called Bubba and said, “Can I borrow your truck? Gotta pick up the kiddos. “

I started down our street in Bubba’s pick-up truck on a ninety-degree afternoon. Bubba doesn’t really believe in air conditioning, but he does believe in keeping all his fishing gear in his truck. Hot fishing gear smells nice. I turned on the radio and of course, Prairie Home Companion came on. Garrison Keillor is one of the handful of folks Bubba trusts. I understand. I turned a corner and the sun poured through the dashboard so I pulled the visor down hard. When I did, this is what I saw:

High school

My mom’s high school picture.  Taped to the inside of Bubba’s sun visor.

These two kids are together twenty-two hours a day but just in case she’s busy – my dad needs to be able to see his bride. Because when you find your treasure, you keep it close. Bubba’s bride is his treasure. That’s what he still calls her after four decades together. His bride.

I dropped off the truck later that day. I took this shot of them before I left:

Kissing

Happy 42nd anniversary, mama and dad. Your marriage is our family’s treasure.

P.S. EXCITING DEVELOPMENT! Later that day I borrowed Craig’s keys and headed out to his car. With a little squeal of anticipation, I slowly pulled down his sun visor. You can imagine my surprise when I did not find my smiling face there. Sooooo weird. Surely there has been some kind of mistake, I thought. BUT NEVER FEAR! Mistakes can be fixed! I ran back inside the house and discovered a PLETHORA of  DELIGHTFUL images that are certain to MAKE CRAIG’S DAY! Then I found some super strong tape and ran back to Craig’s car and took care of business.

2

3

I feel good about this special gift I’ve given Craig- which is a custom car-collage of his bride. I cannot wait to see the look of AWE and WONDER on his face when he sees all of my faces staring down sweetly at him. You’re welcome, honey, I’ll say. I just do not know what that man would do without all my selfless reminders to him about how much he adores me.

P.P.S. I decorated my own visor, too. Yes, one of the pictures is shirtless. Leave me alone.

1

Remember what your treasure is. Keep it close.

P.P.P.S. Here are a few more Happyish Ever After Tips that Craig and I have learned along the way. Carry On, Warriors.

Love, Bubba, Tisha, G, and C



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


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


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