I am super quick to dog myself out.  It’s not brilliant humility -so I’ve learned- but actually an unhealthy form of narcissism in which one focuses intensely on their downfalls.  Seriously? Yesssssss, Chile.  You can’t win for losin’.

Years ago, I remember the look on my mentor’s face when I told him I created lists of infractions to read off to God in repentance time.  I was young & a fairly new Christian.  After all, I had to be sure God felt 100% positive I’d explained everything.  It seemed only fair God knew who He was dealing with.  After I realized the false humility in that fallen practice I started to set down my weapons and stop fighting myself, have grace on myself.

Like most things that change my mind it had to do with the Bible, God’s people and a combination of Brennan Manning + Anne Lamott. There aren’t any two authors whose books have been more consistently influential in my life than my beloved Brennan & Annie.

Brennan, what with his nearly life long struggle with alcoholism taught me so much about how God + epic failure = grace.  (What a beautiful soul he was).

Annie, with her deep observations on every aspect of life reminds me to look deeper and see everything beautiful AND cruel in this big wide world with both eyes open, engaged and present, trusting in God for each warm & cold moment.


When I read them, these two gently nudge at me  to keep fighting for truth.  They sit next to me.  Each one side, the three of us smushed together in a couch made only for two.  We’re all sitting with our legs straight out in front of us, six hands folded, whistling, inwardly reflecting… “well, this is awkward.”

After a few minutes, Annie says, “maybe you should think about doing a book too,” and Brennan chimes in with some grunts of agreement.  I look back in between both of them, “do you guys really think so? Because, WHO could ever touch y’all? Certainly not me?” and then Brennan says something like, “Grace, if there’s any fight in you, fight to be you, fight to be who God made you to be.”

At least that’s how I imagine it would be if Brennan Manning, Anne Lamott & I were smushed on a love seat together.

And that makes me wanna use my voice, flinch, talk back, question & fight for all the right things, and more importantly the right people.

Whose books consistently speak to you?


“On Fridays around these parts we like to write. Not for comments or traffic or anyone else’s agenda. But for pure love of the written word. For joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker.

We love to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. For five minutes flat.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt: Fight.”

-Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday


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