I didn’t know what I was reading when I bought “Carry on, Warrior” by Glennon Melton. I vaguely remembered hearing her name somewhere but did not realize she was the author behind the wildly popular blog, Momastery, until I was a few chapters in.
Wow. I was really blown away by how in touch Glennon is with the way I personally think about the world. She approaches life with kindness, gratefulness, gentleness — and framing circumstances we encounter in life with those words makes everything better. Okay that sounds like I’m praising myself but that’s not what I mean. What I mean is, that’s how I TRY to approach life — doesn’t always work out that way every second though 🙂
But what I loved most and will resonate with me, perhaps forever, is her go-to phrase, “We can do hard things.”
Glennon is a recovering alcoholic, bulimic and drug addict. She was arrested five times when she was younger. She had an abortion. Somehow — and she gives major credit to God for this — she quit all her bad habits cold turkey when she became unexpectedly pregnant the second time and turned her life around.
She starts the book talking about when women say to her, “I wish I was like you, you have it so together.” Women that don’t know a thing about her. Women that think just because she’s cute and thin and married with three kids, that she’s got it all under control. They’d never guess her arrest record keeps her from adopting a child — or that she once lived with puffy cheeks, bloodshot eyes and acid scraped teeth from all the throwing up.
Sometimes the only way to get through stuff is to tell yourself, “I can do hard things.” It’s simple but it’s a mantra we can all use.
Glennon talks about life being “brutiful.” It’s beautiful and brutal — sometimes at the same time, sometimes only the brutal part or only the beautiful part. Life isn’t easy, stuff sucks sometimes and we can all start to feel crazy, frustrated, angry, irritated. But you get through it — you do the hard things.
I have just discovered the book mark tab on my Kindle Reader (slow learner) so unfortunately I don’t have my favorite quotes to leave with you here but there MANY. Here’s one I found that resonated:
I think one of the keys to happiness is accepting that I am never going to be perfectly happy. Life is uncomfortable. So I might as well get busy loving the people around me. I’m going to stop trying so hard to decide whether they are the “right people” for me and just take deep breaths and love my neighbors.
The kindness and spirit behind this book is the kind that makes just want to to BE better. It makes you want to lay down your grudges and judgments and just start feeding the world more love and positivity.
This might sound silly but yesterday on Facebook, I posted this article about a woman who went to Dunkin Donuts and video-taped herself yelling, berating and being an obnoxious jerk (that’s being generous.)
After I got very angry with the idea that people like this woman actually exist, I stopped and thought to myself — God made her. God loves her. I don’t know what has happened to her in her life, or what hardships she is going to face. She acted like a jerk and her behavior was clearly unacceptable but…I didn’t like how I felt hatred in my heart towards this girl. So, I got rid of the hatred. And I think that’s what we all have to do sometimes to lighten the load of suckiness that life can — at times — bring. That was just my little thing but this book was part of what made me consider it.
Another story along those lines, this from my aunt:
“I am shaking as I post this. At the grocery store this morning, the man and woman checking out in front of me called the cashier a f**** N-word. Her response? “God Bless you Sir, I will have you in my prayers”.
I was so upset and angry but she just kept smiling and praising our Lord and Savior. When I was putting groceries in my car, I saw this man..I told him he was a disgrace, but if the lady he talked so horrible to could pray and forgive him….I guess I should too.”
Hearing that story really got to me. I’m overcome with awe for a woman who could respond to that kind of hate in such absolute LOVE. That’s what I strive to be like but I don’t know that I’d be able to do so in that situation. I can only pray that God will help me become more full of love, love, love.
These are the kinds of things this book makes me think about. Love, acceptance, overcoming and accepting the reality of your life day by day.
And what I love in the book is that at one point, she mentions people asking her, “So when did you get better?” And she doesn’t like that question, because shes says:
“Better is a troublesome word for me. Better suggests increased value and I think I was worth exactly the same when I was a fall-down drunk as I am now: a sober, loving, creative wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. I prefer the word healing to the word better.”
So now matter where you are or where you’ve been, your value hasn’t changed. You’ve always been God’s kid and you are wonderfully made — just as you came. Before I go — and you decide to buy this book (you should) — just remember this week: