Feb 272014
 

Carry On, Warrior

Friends. Our new-old book is about to get herself reborn.  Carry On, Warrior is being released in paperback on April 8, and is available for Pre-order Now.

In the publishing world, much of the magic, apparently, happens with the paperback release. And you guys – you are my magic makers. I need you today. It’s hard for me to say I NEED YOU. It’s so much easier to ask WHAT DO YOU NEED? But you have generously asked me thousands of times during the past 5 years: how can I support you and Momastery?

Today’s the day. Here’s how:  Please pre-order Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life today. 

There she is. Isn’t she lovely?  There are so many reasons you will love her, let me count the ways . . .

TOP FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD PRE-ORDER THE BOOK TODAY:

  1. SHE’S GOOD.  Our Carry On, Warrior is changing people’s lives. She was a Good Reads Finalist for Best Memoir of 2013 and nominated by Books for a Better Life as the Best Relationship book of 2013. She’s earned more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon and most importantly, she’s helping people laugh and break open and she’s inspiring and comforting her readers. I am so proud that she keeps wandering the world, whispering to stressed out folks:  HEY, FRIEND. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK, ALREADY. She is a powerful little love ninja and I’m so glad she’s on the loose.
  2. SHE’S NEW. This paperback has a whole lot of new material. She has a brand new essay that didn’t appear in the hardback and 15 pages of Q&A with me on a wide range of new and untapped topics. Also, I wrote my VERY OWN Reading  Guide – not just for book clubs (which it will be PERFECT for) but also to help individual readers kick-start truth-y, real conversations with the folks in their lives.
  3. SHE’S A HOPE SPREADER.  Carry On, Warrior has a NEW COVER – which is the Happiest Most Celebratory Cover you ever did see — and she has a new subtitle: THE POWER OF EMBRACING YOUR MESSY, BEAUTIFUL LIFE. I changed the subtitle from “Thoughts on Life Unarmed” because . . . well, because people kept asking me if my book was about gun control. But also because YES! MESSY BEAUTIFUL! The POWER IS IN THE AND/BOTH! The HOPE IS IN THE AND/BOTH! Life and relationships are messy AND BEAUTIFUL. We don’t have to work so hard shining them up – we just need to look harder for the beauty in the mess. Because it’s there.
  4. SHE’S AFFORDABLE. Since she is currently on pre-sale promotion, Carry On, Warrior is likely cheaper today than she’ll ever be again (less than $11 at national retailers!).
  5. YOUR ORDER IS REALLY, INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO MOMASTERY’S FUTURE AND MY WRITING FUTURE. My dentist has a sign on her wall that says “Ignore your teeth and they’ll go away.” Same goes for writers. We have to show up for our writers so they can keep showing up for us.  What this community does today in terms of presales sends a direct message to the publishing world. I would love for that message to be: This writer’s community supports her, so you should too.

Please do not convince yourself that since you are just one person, your purchase won’t matter. In publishing today –  EVERY BOOK SALE MATTERS. Let us not forget that Momastery has been built on the power of one joining other ones to make a difference.  Please imagine that the publishing world is the jungle and We Monkees are the Whos. Today each one of us needs to chant as loud as she can- We are Here! We are here! We are here! So that the publishing world keeps believing in the power and future of our community.

SO . . .

If you can, buy twelve books and stack your gift-giving reserve for Mother’s Day, end of the school year teachers’ gifts, or baby shower gifts!

If you can, buy ten books for your book club! (I am going to Skype into the book club meeting of the first 25 reading groups that pre-order ten or more books today — Get more information here.)

If you can, buy three books for your neighbor, sister, and mama.

If you can, buy four books and drop them off at a therapist’s office, recovery center or children’s hospital- anywhere that folks need to be reminded that even when Life is Messy, There is Beauty to be Found. And that Warriors Carry On.

If you can, Buy one book and Pass It On.

If you can, buy twenty books and send them to us! We’ll get them to mamas who NEED Carry On, Warrior’s hopeful message but can’t afford to buy her (email us at [email protected]).

If you can, buy one thousand books and create a kitchen island out of books (worth a try- I saw it on a DIY show once).

Whatever you can do, just please, please use your voice and your money today to say: I believe in your work, G.  I believe in this community.  And I want it to continue.

Thank you, friends. It’s an honor to serve you and be served by you.

Love Takes Teamwork



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


Feb 242014
 

Sacred-Scared

This is the fifth and final day of the Sacred Scared Series.

This series is about refusing to be ashamed of our humanity. The world is changed by scared people who JUST GO AHEAD AND SHOW UP SCARED AND FULLY HUMAN instead of waiting  to morph into some sort of superhero before they start living. World changers show up, with their insecurity looming and their knees shaking – long before anybody gives them permission to show up. Don’t wait for permission and don’t wait for perfection. Do what you need to do.  Fail wildly and try again. Fail again and try again, again. Keep failing and trying ’till you die. THAT’S THE STUFF.  All the magic and connection and excitement and LIFE is in the flailing and failing with other messy, beautiful, brave folks. Trust me on that one. Love, G

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Meet Shauna.  Shauna Niequist is the ludicrously successful, bestselling author of something like 40 million books. She’s a hugely sought after speaker and big time world changer.

And Shauna is afraid that she’s a fraud.

sn-pic-300Oh, heavens. Even my greatest insecurity is sort of run-of-the-mill and non-spectacular: I don’t feel secure, ever. I don’t feel enough, ever.

I don’t know that I have ever in my life felt pretty enough, talented enough, good enough, any kind of enough there ever could be. I don’t have that. I can’t imagine that. I’m always steeled for the moment I’ll be measured and found wanting, no matter the criteria, no matter the scale. Whatever good is, I’m not that. Whatever first place is, I’m coming in last. Whatever it means to win, I’m not one of those girls who wins.

In my heart, in my secret heart, I know I’m irreparably flawed, put together at the factory all wrong, with shoddy workmanship. In my heart, I know I’m a lemon.

I knew that writing books wouldn’t make me feel enough—other writers had told me. And they were right. My mind logs every bad review and less than interested face in a crowd, but my heart immediately discards kind words or positive reviews. Publishing feels just like the rest of my life, but louder: people say nice things but I can’t hear them, and my failings ring in my ears, deafening.

It is truly hilarious-slash-awful that my job now requires me to stand on stages, wear microphones, stand next to people while they take pictures and post them on Instagram. I don’t want to be on a stage, amplified, photographed. I want to be invisible. I want to be under your radar, so you can’t see me or make fun of me or find about the real me, the one who’s sure she’s about to screw things up.

If you picture my life like a photo, sometimes I wish that we could keep everything the same, but photoshop me out, and photoshop someone better in. The outsides of my life—all the other things in the photo–are so good: the people I walk through life with, the work I’m honored to do, the experiences we share along the way. I’m scared the person who might wreck it all is me. I feel like someone else would do a better job of living my life, like the outsides of my life are really special and lovely, but the person on the inside is always messing it up. The raw materials of the life I’m building would yield something so much more spectacular in someone else’s hands.

That other person, that better person would be so much less emotional, less sensitive, less easily hurt. That person would be strategic and disciplined and marketing-minded. That other person would remember birthdays. That other person wouldn’t be so scared all the time. That’s maybe the core of it: that other person wouldn’t feel so profoundly not enough. That other person wouldn’t constantly feel like they’re about to be found out, kicked out, left out.

I believed for a long time that losing weight was the last key to the last lock, that a lifetime of shame and self-loathing would vanish if I could just get my act together and wear size whatever pants. And now I do. And I feel proud of my hard work, and I like shopping better than I did before…but wouldn’t you know it, that not enough feeling found all sorts of new places to land—it’s a shell game.

My greatest insecurity—that’s the question? It’s that I’m fundamentally not enough for my life. Some people, it seems, have a sense of place and belonging in the universe, a sense that they were made just right, that they belong here on the earth without pushing and trying and tap dancing. I don’t have that feeling. I can’t imagine what that’s like. The closest I get to that feeling is when I’m with people who love me, and when I pray. That’s why I do a lot of both, because when I’m with people who love me and see me, and when I pray and listen for God’s voice, sometimes for a split second I feel secure. Sometimes, for a heartbeat, I feel enough. I’ll  take it.

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

And now meet Sarah Bessey. Sarah is an author and a speaker and a mama and wife. She’s also a woman of deep faith and because of her deep faith-  she is a feminist. She is a believer in women and a fighter for women and she is- well, she’s just one of the best we’ve got.

And Sarah’s afraid she’s not thin enough.

SB-picture300When Glennon approached us about this project, I knew exactly what I had to write about. And so I nearly said no. I put off writing this paragraph until the last possible moment, bargained with myself, justified my silence. But instead, I’m here. I’m here and I’m admitting that I carry shame and guilt about being overweight. I despise full body photographs of myself. I resent my friends who are thin when they talk about “needing to lose weight” — if they need to lose weight, what must they think of me?  I ignore the size on my jeans. I wear black to camouflage my tummy. I avoid catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror after a shower. I change with the lights out. I battle with resenting my own body and the way it has changed over the years.  I feel so achingly and painfully average, a stereotype, like the chubby misfit mama. And it’s so much worse when I am around other Christian women leaders because they are so well put together, so beautiful, so seemingly effortlessly thin, so motivated, and I want to hide.   I know better – I do!  But apparently sometimes I don’t. I know I’m overweight – trust me – but for me, it’s not really about the weight, it’s about how I am often awash in shame and self-loathing about it. Our culture tells me that I am only loveable or sexy if I look like a thin movie star, there is no room for my softness, and sometimes, God forgive me, I believe them. I elevate popular culture’s opinion of me over what I know about being fearfully and wonderfully made, over my husband’s love and desire for me, over my logic, over my own convictions. over my beliefs about who I am in Christ.  I’m still overcoming the lies and some days, let me be honest, some days I am not an overcomer. And so I have boundaries set up. Not only boundaries about my health and wellness and good habits, but boundaries about what I can say and what I can’t say – even to myself. I enforce kindness to my own body, about how I think about myself and talk about myself. For instance, I am not allowed to call myself fat, never. I am not allowed to criticize other women’s appearance.  I want so much to spare my daughters from this shame. I know that they will sing my songs first, and so that is why I make such an effort to sing a song of wonder and beauty about diverse expressions of womanhood as a form of resistance to the lies of our world. But sometimes, I can’t manage to sing anything beautiful to my own self.

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

And there you have it, friends. You can be a STAR and be a “fraud.” You can be a FEMINIST and worry about your weight.  You can be brave and afraid. YOU ARE A HUMAN- YOU CONTAIN MULTITUDES*.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE EITHER/OR – YOU CAN BE AND/ BOTH/ALL. And you can SHOW UP and BRING IT ALL AND USE IT ALL in service to yourself and others.

In short and in sum: BA- BAM!

Love, G

*Whitman, sort of



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


Feb 222014
 

Sacred-Scared

This is Day Four of the Sacred Scared Project.  You can read more about it here.  And check out Day OneDay Two, and Day Three.

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

Meet Tara. Tara Livesay is a midwife in Haiti. She’s a writer, a defender of the poor, a revolutionary. She’s a shero.

And Tara’s afraid she’s not smart enough.

TL-pic-300I have frequently benefited from  Glennon’s ability to be vulnerable. When other people are vulnerable, I find myself inspired to cover less, hide less, and tell the truth more. I’m told by friends that I am a very bad faker anyway so it is best for me to just be honest because nobody believes me when I’m posturing or pretending anyway.  I don’t really know if this is a compliment, or a criticism but I figure real > fake – and then veritas vos liberabit and all that jazz.

When Glennon asked me to write about my insecurities, my fears, and the empty places in my soul, I confidently replied, “Sure thing, I can do that.”  For the next two weeks I went about my life wondering why in the world I’d agreed to such a terrible idea. I lamented saying yes. I was annoyed to realize that people read Glennon’s blog. I wondered, how can I choose which fear thing trips me up most?

At 41 years of age, I’m thankful to be much more free than the 25-year-old Tara. That Tara loathed herself and carried heavy shame everywhere. It took years to dump and finally bury that shame.  I would like to say that releasing the shame of my promiscuous past and giving the failures of my teens and twenties over to God means that I’m healed and totally free of insecurity and self-doubt.  Sadly, that is pa vre (not true).

The other day I asked, “Troy, I want you to tell me the truth.  You have known me for 17 years. What is my biggest insecurity and where do I doubt myself most?”

He hesitated before replying.

“I think you believe that you are not smart, you compare yourself to others, and that belief and comparing game often holds you back. Your incorrect belief that you are not smart causes you to lack confidence.”

This is a true statement. It was in the top three of the mental list I’d made prior to posing the question.

I can remember taking tests at a very young age and thinking, “I’m not as smart as these other people. I won’t pass this test.”  As I’ve bought into those messages and carried them with me over the years it has sometimes kept me from pursuing my goals and dreams. It has caused me to shrink back at times.

I don’t always work hard or give things my all. The truth is, I am afraid to try my hardest and still fail so I don’t usually fully apply myself. This way I always have an excuse available to explain the failure.  I’m not a natural student and I am a high-anxiety test-taker. Those things are true. Rationally, I know those things do not make me stupid but that is how I have viewed myself for 30 years.

I compare my writing to really deep, great writers and think, “I shouldn’t write. They sound much smarter.”  I compare myself to smart and accomplished midwives and think, “I won’t ever be that smart. I shouldn’t be pursing midwifery. ”  I am currently three plus years into my journey to become a certified midwife. Even this many years in and nearing the end of this part of the journey, when I open my books to study for the big exam I fight the voice in my head telling me I won’t ever really memorize and understand what I am reading; I am not smart enough and will ultimately fail.

When given beautiful and generous opportunities to share the work we are a part of in Haiti in front of a larger audience, I have to be in a very good place in order to speak publicly. If I’m not totally jazzed up and ready, I freeze and feel too afraid to speak. I’ve been known to just sob and nobody can even understand me. (Then Troy covers for me, he talks, allowing me say little to nothing.) The core of that fear of public-speaking is the feeling that I’m not smart enough or articulate enough to speak to an audience.  When I write I can hide behind a keyboard and take the time I need to say things exactly as I want to, but when speaking, I fear sounding like a dummy.

I pretend that I am confident in my abilities.

I pretend that I am certain of myself.

But oftentimes I am thinking, “Quit now before you fail.”

Like all of us, I’m a work in progress. Life is messy – I am messier.  I have to talk to the little voices that say rude things to me. If I decided to wait until I feel smart enough to start something new and challenging, I would not start very many things. I had to make a choice to do things afraid.

A friend recently shared this quote, it was an excellent reminder that I am not alone.

“Every last one of us struggle with something; fear of rejection, embarrassment, shame, not being good enough…bring all of your fears to God and allow Him to say: “Do not be afraid, you are accepted.” -Henri Nouwen

If we cannot master and conquer the “do not be afraid” part  -  I think we just have to do it afraid.

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

Meet my precious friend, Jamie. Jamie Ivey is a wonderful writer, an activist, a mama and wife to a fantastic man.

And Jamie’s afraid that her marriage will crumble.

ji-300Marriage is one of the greatest gifts in my life and yet something I fear the most.  I love my husband, and he loves me, but deep down inside I’m always living in fear about what is to come.  Always waiting for things to be too good to be true.

Infidelity is something I know well.  Not in my personal marriage, but in ones close to me.  I have tasted the hurt from it and I almost can’t get that taste out of my mouth.  It’s something that has ripple effects and sometimes the waves are so big I feel like I’m drowning and other times I’m just treading water, but I never seem to be able to get out of the ocean of fear.   For me I never know when the waves are going to come and take me over.

I hear a story about someone cheating on their spouse and all of a sudden I feel as though my chest is caving in and I can’t breathe.  All I think about is that this could be me.  What if my husband cheats on me?  If he/she can do it, then so can mine.  It’s crippling.

Then the moment passes and I’m back to treading water.

A few months pass, or even a few years and then it’s personal again.  Someone I know has chosen someone else besides the one they committed too and I’m drowning again.  Gasping for air.  The feelings of fear and worry come crashing in on me.

It’s a vicious cycle and one that I try desperately to get out of.  I hate the waves.  I fear them all the time.  It’s as if my hurt is so deep in those times, and it makes me fear this wave attacking my house.  Overtaking my family.

My husband hates this cycle as well.  He’s never given me any reason to fear this in our marriage and yet it is this hurt in my heart that I feel will always be there.  These hurts have led to one of my greatest insecurities in life.  My marriage.

I pray about this almost more than anything in my life.  I want to trust my husband with all my heart, and most days I truly do.  It’s in the middle of the ocean where the waves are so heavy that my heart struggles to trust.  I hate it.  I hate it.  I hate it.

My husband is the lifeboat that gets me out of these waves.  He can see it coming and he’s always there.  Always reassuring.  Always helping me get back on my feet when I feel as though the despair, worry and fear are crushing me.  He’s so patient with my fear, and understands where it comes from, but yet is always reassuring me in his love for me, his faithfulness to me, and my need to trust in Jesus with my marriage.

I hate the ocean of fear.  I want to be on dry land.  No one can tread water forever.  I’m begging Jesus to help me get to the land.  He’s my only hope.

 

Happy Weekend, Friends. If you can’t beat fear, just do it scared.

Love, G



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