Dec 012014
 

About 2 weeks ago, on the evening we were marveling in the miracle of our community and Holiday Hands, I got this message from one of our sister Warriors:

Dearest Glennon:

I am a late-comer to the Momastery revolution. I only just started following you a few months ago, so I had no idea what Holiday Hands was when it popped up in my Facebook news feed today. Within a few minutes, I found myself scrolling through the pages of listings, clicking on some to find them already taken, looking for one that seemed right for me. And then I found one. A mom of two kids, one six-year-old girl and one four-year-old boy. Their dad lost his job earlier this year, and although he’s employed again now, they are still trying hard to catch up on a lot of bills. For whatever reason, this one fit me, and I emailed the mom. We corresponded about a few things, and then I set about finding the right gifts for her kids.

It wasn’t until I Googled “best books for six-year-old girls” that I realized that I hadn’t chosen this listing. It had chosen me. It wasn’t until I Googled that phrase that I remembered that I shouldn’t have to Google this topic, because I should already know all the good books for six-year-old girls. You see, my oldest daughter, Hudson Lily, died in May 2010 from a sudden and very aggressive bacterial infection. She was only 17 months old. Her sixth birthday is coming up on December 1, and every year at this time, I always think about what she would be like, what kinds of things she’d be into now, what would I be getting her for her birthday or for Christmas.

One of the many things I do to honor Hudson’s life is try, in whatever small ways I can, to help others. In fact, every year on her birthday, we invite everyone we know (and everyone they know, and everyone they know) to do One Good Thing in honor of her. So although I hadn’t actually been thinking about Hudson when I first started perusing the listings, I realized immediately that it was her sweet spirit guiding me to do so. She is why that listing chose me. And as soon as I realized it, I began to cry. I emailed that wonderful mom again to tell her how grateful I was to her for giving me an opportunity to keep my precious girl’s spirit alive by sharing with her daughter the things that I might have been buying for my own daughter if she were still with me.

And after I thanked her, I wanted to thank you, too. Embracing gratitude and serving others and making sure Hudson’s life still has meaning in the world she loved so much are the only things that give me any consolation whatsoever in the darkest moments of this life without her. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do all three of those things through Holiday Hands. I’m grateful to you.

With love and gratitude,
Mandy

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Hudson

Today is the day, my friends. Today is the day Mandy and her friends and her family celebrate One Good Thing, in honor of sweet Hudson’s 6th birthday. Let’s celebrate precious Hudson and Mandy by doing ONE GOOD THING.

Today, let us be Together Rising.



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


Nov 252014
 

Love Note to the World

Last night, on Facebook –  I posted a prayer for Michael Brown’s mama. Craig and I don’t watch the news often, but last night we felt we should in order to hold space for the announcement alongside our country. So Chase, Craig, and I sat down on the couch to wait together. Chase doesn’t do this often anymore- but as tension mounted on the TV screen -he laid his head on my lap. As I played with his hair I  couldn’t stop thinking about the mama who lost her boy. I thought about my Anna and her Jack, and how once she told me that her whole body just aches to touch him again. Anna and I and Michael’s mama and Chase and Jack and Michael got all mixed together in my heart. I spend a lot of time, every single day, grieving with mothers. That is where I connect quickest and deepest – to hurting mothers. That is often my entry point to people’s pain. That’s the door I open to walk inside and try to feel how things might feel. So that is the prayer I posted.

So many people became so upset. So many felt that my prayer for Michael’s mom meant that I had “taken sides.” At first I was stunned by the reaction, but after staying up until 1am to read stories sent to me by mothers who had lost their police officer sons and daughters to violence, I started to understand. I started to see that if someone had posted a prayer only for the police officers, their only personal entry point to this story, I might have been confused, too. Maybe even angry. I understand. I stayed open and soft and I understand.

There was a woman on the firestorm thread last night who was very angry with me. She called my prayer one-sided. she used many, many exclamation points which made me feel yelled at. I understand about exclamation points now, too. She had a very, very different entry point to Ferguson. And her comment became the catalyst to more anger. I felt angry at her, just as she felt angry at me. Many called her a racist, which was not helpful and hurt her deeply. She stayed open, which was sort of amazing to me. She apologized directly to me even though many told her not to. Then she wrote to me and said that she was sitting in her home reading the horrible thread and crying.

I wrote this back to her on our page:

I’m so sad and near tears, too. In my experience that means something good is about to happen. Let’s ask God to help us make this shit holy. Maybe we start here: I can tell you’re a good woman. I think we both had good intentions but we somehow hurt people. So we are the same, you and I. Question: will you keep the 4.5 minute vigil with me? If you will, we can do it together and I will pray for Officer Wilson for you and you can pray for Michael’s mama for me? 

 She wrote this back:

 Yes, Glennon, I will join you in the vigil. I will pray and pray for the Brown’s and their grieving hearts.

And then I wrote this back:

It’s a deal sister. Let us do it. I’m glad we both left our comments if it ends with this. We had a human, GOOD moment here sister. I love you. I do.

And so during the 4.5 minute vigil, and later in bed, and this morning- I prayed hard for Officer Wilson. I prayed for all the officers and their families. As a result – my heart has opened to all. My heart is a wide, wide door this morning. My entry point is all of us. That is the point of prayer maybe- not only to change the world  but to change our hearts so we have new eyes with which to see the world. We can’t just TALK and DO. We have to be still first and stay open and listen so we know what to say and do.

I think that choosing the “side” you identify with the least, and making them the focus of your prayers is as close to God as we can get.

Don’t just pray for the ones you love easily- pray for the ones you want to love. It works. It works.

Tracy, did it work for you too? I love you, sister. We made peace last night- even if it was just here and in our own hearts.

God Bless Us, Every One.

G

 “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it
takes to sit down and listen.”
~ Winston Churchill

*************************************************************

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

Amen.

(A Benedictine Blessing)

Open Doors

 



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


Nov 242014
 

Let it Go

You guys. It’s Monday morning. Let’s start the week by letting go of something heavy. What’s weighing you down right now and how would your life be different if you Let it Go?

Is it a belief?

I need to produce to be worthy. I need to be perfect to be loved. I need others to be a certain way so that I can be happy. I can’t get started until I’m thinner, healthier, tidier. Life is supposed to be easier. I’m doing it wrong. His behavior is a reflection of me. Everyone else has it better. I’m not good enough. It’s too late.

Those are all lies and they’re weighing you down like a backpack full of rocks. You can’t get your work done because you are carrying burdens not meant for you.

Is it a relationship?

Please remember that often, gentle goodbyes are acts of great courage and kindness.  Holding an unhealthy relationship close is not love. Listen- is it kinder to hold someone close and hate her or let her go so you can love her? We are called to LOVE and the truth is that you will only be able to love some people from a safe distance. Hold space for yourself.

Is it a grudge?

I read a story on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page recently that I can’t stop thinking about. She was listening to Mark Nepo talk about his pain around his relationship with his father. Nepo spent decades mentally rehashing hurtful memories, reliving times his father had hurt him. One day Nepo realized that he was spending all of his time preparing for a trial that was never going to happen. It was as if he thought that one day, he would have his moment. He would sit down with his father and a judge and be able to plead his case. He needed to have his case thoroughly prepared so he could win. And it stunned and freed him to accept the fact that there would be no trial. He was wasting his time. He let it go. “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.” -St. Anne Lamott

When we let something go that’s been weighing us down, we can feel the relief in our bones. We feel our shoulders unfurl and our lungs expand. We take a deep breath and lift our faces to the clouds. We feel stronger, braver, free-er.

Peel off the backpack. Lay it down and walk away.

And  for goodness sake – “Stand up straight and realize who you are – that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight. ” -Maya Angelou

Love,
G



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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