Barns and such


Well.  My mom said that yesterday’s post made her want to throw herself off a building.

So there’s that.

But on another note, I got some emails from people who were saying that they’ve been there, felt that, got the t-shirt.  Go figure – it seems that loneliness runs in the culture these days.

Thank you, friends (W, C, M, L, H, and G), for your words of solidarity.  We should have a club.  It can be called the Walking Wounded.  Our mascot can be Toad the 3-legged dog.

Greta once heard a sermon in which the pastor (Richard Dahlstrom – holler) compared life to a barn.  You can keep your barn empty, and therefore, very clean and orderly – but that’s not what a barn is meant for.  A barn is made to house LIFE.  And if you invite life into the barn, then you’re bound to have to shovel some shit.

Except I think that Pastor Richard probably didn’t said “shit.”

Guys, I don’t even really say “shit.”  Sometimes the blog flies away from me, and all of a sudden, I’m a cusser.  In real life, I only say cuss words when I stub my toe (often) or Gabe drags the kitchen trash all over the living room (thrice now).

Anyhow, I’ve passed this barn analogy along to a few people, and it seems really pertinent to me all of a sudden.  To invite others in is to welcome the mess.  In a way, it’s what we’re made for.

A few months ago when I was in Nashville, I heard another pastor (Craig Brown – holler again) say that we’re so quick to say that we don’t need Jesus – that is, until we come into contact with other people.  Then, all of a sudden, people are bugging us and letting us down, and we’re failing and disappointing them and becoming the worst versions of ourselves – and without warning, we realize that we need a savior.

I tend to like the idea of being self-sufficient.  I don’t like to need anyone or anything – because what if the needing is met with… nothing?

But luckily, my needing isn’t met with nothing.  There’s grace enough for you, and – miracle of miracles – grace enough for me.



  1. mom on September 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    exhale…safe from the top of the building for another day! I love you. Fabulous post.

  2. Muggles on September 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    wow little hootenannie. You are a wise and wonderful woman. Recap: wow wise wonderful woman

  3. Shannon on September 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    You are an amazing woman, Annie. Shit filled barn and all. :)

  4. Meg on September 30, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Hi from a blog reader who lurks. I’m glad for God’s grace in the hardest of times. It’s relief that he is there. Know that when you write about struggling and hard times, even if you just scratch the surface of it on the blog, there are people who understand. People who have faced their own hard times and know the struggle. I’m praying for you, Annie. You will get through this. You may have a few mountains to climb, literally and otherwise, but you’ll make it through. PS. I like the barn analogy. The last word makes it more real. ;)

  5. Dad on September 30, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Dear Annie,

    You’re one of my heroes.

    First of all, you share vulnerably what isn’t working for you anymore. That itself takes so much courage. And you are brave enough to leave it out there, well before you have answers, a cure, or a plan. Powerlessness.

    And today, you begin to name both community and Grace, the One who is especially knowable in suffering when all our masks and armor are stripped off.

    It’s as if your place in life has something to do with inviting people to enter into powerlessness, trust and surrender, all borne out of pain.

    Like I said, you’re one of my heroes. I couldn’t be more proud of you. And I will try to walk in your footsteps.

    Love, Dad

  6. kendall on September 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Hmm. I was writing a piece earlier, exploring where forgiveness comes from, about the phrase “to forgive is Divine” and how else could it not be? But where I came to was that in order to know one is forgiven, one must experience being loved first… and most of us don’t love ourselves or others very well… no wonder THAT is Divine too:)
    Be loved.

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