Posts Tagged ‘Anne Lamott’

Finding A Way To Be Who God Wants Us To Be

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The words, “The most courageous thing we can ever do is to be who God created us to be” challenge.  We spend so much time skirting around that very “trueness” of God’s intention for our lives.  The good news of course is that God’s intention is who He has already created you to be!  These words of Anne Lamott get right to it:

We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?

Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.

And God is for us in that endeavor, a fact lost in many religious circles.  He not only remains steadfastly for us in that endeavor but modeled the journey himself … no small miracle… in Christ, “God as a human being.” (True Christianity 538)  More interested in our character than in our comfort, there may just be place to rest for you there.   Knowing that with mess, comes the answer. He lives it.  So can we.


“Thoughts on Hearing Anne Lamott, Author of “Help, Thanks, Wow”

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Last night I was privileged to hear Anne Lamott, author of “Help, Thanks, Wow” speak in Bryn Mawr.  I even got to meet her before the event.  She has been a favored contemporary author for years – up there with Richard Rohr, Shane Claiborne, Walter Brueggemann and Mary Karr.  What her voice adds to my life is an honest and freeing appraisal of life.

  1. We are so ruined
  2. We are so loved
  3. We are in charge of so little
As a single mother, recovered drug addict, alcoholic, and still practicing neurotic she speaks movingly to that first point, one I find deeply relieving in its unadorned honesty.   We are all so goofy, for lack of a better word.  My congregation is blessed (cursed?:)) with a Pastor who compulsively worries.  From donations to the future of Penn State football to children in the Gaza strip, my worry at times knows no bounds.  It is nice to hear from a fellow Christian – a follower of that “sweet brown eyed Jew” as she would say it – that even in a life connected with God, we are just so ruined … and loved.
From that place, I can with God’s grace, despite myself, more peacefully draw alongside of the simple truth that I am in charge of so little.
Then, to use her words, “You can go from monkey island, with endless chatter, umbrage, and poop-throwing, to what is happening right in front of me now.”  A good place to be!