I finished this beauty of a book a week ago, and have not been able to write since. I am afraid to write about this book, because I know what I will say will pale in comparison to the essays of the incomparable Glennon Doyle Melton of the blog, Momastery. I don't want to detract from the Truth, Redemption, Humor, and Pathos that are found within these pages, which has occupied my mind and heart since I finished reading. I also know this feeling would make my new friend Glennon* sad and despondent (as described in Building a Life) . So, in order to find some inspiration, (and to procrastinate by joyfully rolling around in her words even more), I dove in headlong and found this gentle, grace-filled, kick in the pants:
Which, thanks to my new friend Glennon, is an oft heard refrain in my house.
Here's the thing. I am intimidated and awed and humbled by the insight, honesty, and theology housed in these essays, and am simultaneously paralyzed by the TRUTH she tells, the beauty of her writing, and the feeling that my paltry attempts at composition are NOTHING compared to what real writers can do. To what she did. Because she has kind of said everything that I could. And then said some more. All while doing the things that I do all day, like raising children, tending a marriage, teaching, and messily attempting to live out my faith.
When reading some of these pieces, like I feel like girlfriend stole my brain. How did she know what I have been thinking all of these years? How did this stranger new friend get in my head? And damn her for writing it all down before I could! Reading is my inhale. Writing is my exhale. YES! Yes Glennon! How did you know?
Thanks to her courage and radical truth-telling, she has given voice to some Truths that I have always known, but hadn't found the words to express.
You Can Do Hard Things
We Belong To Each Other
Be confident because you are a child of God.
Be humble because everyone else is too.
And just when my inadequacy is about to take me, and this post, down, I read these words:
If, anywhere in your soul, you feel the desire to write, please write. Write as a gift to yourself and others. Everyone has a story to tell. Writing is not about creating tidy paragraphs that sound lovely or choosing the "right" words. It's about noticing who you are and noticing life and sharing what you notice. When you write your truth, it is a love offering to the world because it helps us feel braver and less alone. And if you're a really, really bad writer, then it might be most important for you to write because your writing might free other really, really bad writers to have a go at it anyway.
If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you're good enough. Just do it. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself.
So, I will write. Hopefully often. Certainly badly. Because as Brene Brown says, unused creativity is not benign. And I do have stories to tell. Even if my stories are revealed through the stories of others.
Thank you, my new friend and writing mentor, for sharing your stories. The world is bigger and bolder for it. Carry On, Warrior.
*Her work is so honest and REAL. She feels like my new friend. And in a way, she is.