Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed Glennon Doyle Melton
This book came highly recommended from a number of my colleagues, and it did not disappoint me. Her honesty and her faith shine through on each page. She has wrestled with faith and that comes out not because she knows all the answers but because she is living in the questions. This book was easy to read not because she wrote about easy things-it was easy to read because I liked her and was rooting for her. This book will make you laugh and cry. Maybe don’t read it on an airplane like I did. If you enjoy stories, give this book a try.
I love books that help me see things better-books that clarify through a story or explanation. This book brought God a little more into focus for me. Without explaining God, she made God seem a little closer and more involved in my life. And I am thankful for that gift she gave me.
As I said, I was impressed by her honesty. It is refreshing because it seems so rare despite all the books that claim to tell all. You’ll quickly realize that there is much more to this woman than you expect or guess. In one story, she tells about her inability to volunteer because she has a criminal record. It saddens me that she couldn’t volunteer because of her record. I’m wondering how do we keep people safe while still allowing people to share their gifts?
In the story, Smelly Coughy Guy, she ponders peace. And this made me wonder what is peace? What does peace look like in my life? Am I so busy looking for a perfect version of peace that I miss peace as it exists within me?
So who needs to read this book? I needed to read it. Maybe you do too. If you need some inspiration and encouragement to see God in the everyday, you should read this book. If you appreciate honesty, you should read this book. If you enjoy short chapters, you should read this book. If you like books where you are invited to journey alongside someone else for awhile, then you should read this book.
“It hit me that maybe the battles of life are best fought without armor and without weapons. That maybe life gets real, good, and interesting when we remove all of the layers of protection we’ve built around our hearts and walk out onto the battlefield of life naked” (4).
“I like to compare God’s love to the sunrise. That sun shows up every morning, no matter how bad you’ve been the night before. It shines without judgment. It never withholds. It warms the sinners, the saints, the druggies, the cheerleaders–the saved and the heathens alike. You can hide from the sun, but it won’t take it personally. It’ll never, ever punish you for hiding. You can stay in the dark for years or decades, and when you finally step outside, it’ll be there. It was there the whole time, shining and shining. It’ll still be there steady and bright as ever, just waiting for you to notice, to come out, to be warmed. All those years, I thought of God and light and the sun as judgmental, but they weren’t. The sunrise was my daily invitation from God to come back to life” (19).
“Maybe because other people are the closest we get to God on this side. So when we use them to find God in each other, we become holy” (21).
She made me wonder-what God-given gifts have you been hiding that need to be shared with the world? She said, “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” (25).
“Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try to snatch from each other. They’re sacred. They are part of each person’s journey” (49).
“Repentance is a fancy word used often in Christian circles. I don’t use fancy religious words, because I don’t think they explain themselves well. Also, fancy language tends to make in people feel more in and out people feel more out, and I don’t think that’s how words are best used. Words are best used to describe specific feelings, ideas, and hearts as clearly as possible–to make the speaker and the listener, or the writer and the reader, feel less alone and more hopeful” (85).
“I don’t believe in advice. Everybody has the answers right inside her, since we’re all made up of the same amount of God. So when a friend says, I need some advice, I switch it to, I need some love, and I try to offer that. Offering love usually looks like being quiet, listening hard, and letting my friend talk until she discovers that she already has the answer” (117).
She shared how she takes time each night to talk with her child about any sadness or worries he had during the day. “I think this worry talk is a ritual worth keeping. Because if we empty our hearts every night, they won’t get too heavy or cluttered. Our hearts will stay light and open with lots of room for good new things to come” (135).
“Much of the Bible is confusing, but the most important parts aren’t. Sometimes I wonder if folks keep arguing about the confusing parts so they don’t have to get started doing the simple parts” (141).
“Being a child of God is a free pass to be brave and bold and take great risks and spin around in circles with joy. If and when I fall, who cares? He will always be there to pick me up. That’s his job. He’s my Father. So if I seem noncompetitive, if I seem as if I don’t care if I’m the “best” parent or housekeeper or dresser or whathaveyou, it’s not because I don’t care about being important. It’s because I believe I am the most important thing on earth. Why would I care about competing in any other category when I am already a child of God?” (175).
“So many of us spend our time trying to find God in books, but maybe the simplest way to God is directly through the hearts of his children” (189).
Even if you never read this book, I do hope you’ll always remember- “Be confident because you are a child of God. Be humble because everyone else is too” (176).