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Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith (edition 2008)

by Anne Lamott

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1,508394,904 (3.79)51
Member:EmmeA
Title:Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith
Authors:Anne Lamott
Info:Riverhead Trade (2008), Paperback, 272 pages
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Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Ugh. As a fan of Anne Lamott, I have to say this is not one of Anne's best books. There are WAY too many political rants in this one. It was readable, but I had to skip many chapters b/c it was annoyingly full of political vitriol. And the title thoughts on faith leads one to believe that the content will be just that- thoughts on faith. This was more a compilation of anecdotes with some mention of grace. I'm moving on to another book of hers which I hope will be better. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
Grace (Eventually) by Anne LaMott
4 stars
Anne Lamott has written a series of personal essays examining a wide range of life experiences and her personal struggles with sobriety, parenting and ultimately keeping faith. She speaks honestly and exposes her personal flaws with insight and humor. She is as forthright about her ultra-liberal politics as she is about her fundamental Christianity. I enjoyed her humorous turn of phrase and I appreciated the message of her constant struggle for, as she termed it, grace, eventually. I had some favorites among the essays. I loved her take on teaching a pre-school Sunday school class. (It ended with everyone on the floor creating a big art project with their butts in the air; a perfect synopsis of much of my teaching career.) She wrote hilariously about helping out with a special needs dance class and about starting a one person revolution. She had wonderful things to say about librarians in an essay about protesting the closure of a public library. And when she wrote about being the single mother of a teen-aged boy, I wanted to call her up and invite her out for coffee. I don’t think it would be necessary to share either her political views or her religious beliefs to appreciate this collection.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Loved some of this. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Anne Lamott’s writing speaks to me. Her complete honesty, no doubt. The way she speaks her truth about her life. The words she strings together to make me understand how she feels. I recognize myself in some of what she writes about.

She makes me think. And then she makes me giggle as I think about how I might also panic because my dog ran off out of sight on our walk. Although I think I’d be more worried about the rattlesnakes.

And while I was reading, I was reminded how oddly grace works in my life. How, really, it’s not so bad. How when I’m not paying attention and wallowing around in my own mire, grace comes along and does something unexpected. Then I feel all right and ready to keep going.

Her books have literally been life changing for me. bird by bird taught me about the discipline of writing, of being creative, every day. Whether I want to or not. Grace (Eventually) reminds me to wait patiently for the grace which envelops me and takes care of me. Reading Anne Lamott is like meeting a new, old friend with whom I could share an afternoon talking about the deep things in life, while cracking each other up. ( )
  AuntieClio | Jan 9, 2016 |
nonfiction, Anne Lamott, religion, Christianity, inspirational, memoir, humor,
  JMlibrarian | Oct 15, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Where is the Life we have lost in living?

-T. S. Eliot
Dedication
For Sam

and for the kids and youth of St. Andrew, who taught me how to be a teacher

and for the kids and youth of Marin City

Love you, bless you, keep you.
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There is not much truth being told in the world.
Not too long ago, I was skiing in the mountains where my son, Sam, and I spend a weekend most winters.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 159448287X, Paperback)

Through Anne Lamott's many books (including six novels, her bestselling parenting memoir, Operating Instructions, and her popular guide to writing, Bird by Bird) the subject she keeps returning to is her faith, her deeply personal--"erratic," she says--journey in Christianity. Her latest book, Grace (Eventually), is her third collection of her "thoughts on faith," and she took the time to answer a few of our questions.

Questions for Anne Lamott

Amazon.com: This is your third book on faith. How has your perspective changed since you wrote your first one?

Lamott: I wrote my first book on faith when Bill Clinton was president, and I was in a much better mood. I wrote Plan B during the run-up to war in Iraq, and the ensuing catastrophe, so I was very angry, but trying to reconcile that pain and hostility to Jesus's insistence that we are made of love, to love, and be loved, to forgive and be forgiven. Some days went better than others. Also, my son Sam was in his early teens, and that was a LOT easier than when he turned 16 and 17, his ages when I was writing the pieces in Grace (Eventually).

In general, I think Grace (Eventually) is a less angry book. I like how I'm aging, except that my back hurts more often, my knees crack like twigs when I squat, and my memory fails more frequently, in more public and therefore humiliating ways. But I think I complain less. As my best friend said when she was dying, and I was obsessing about my butt, "You just don't have that kind of time."

Amazon.com: What does grace mean for you? How can we better communicate it to each other?

Lamott: Grace is that extra bit of help when you think you are really doomed; also, not coincidentally, when you have finally run out of good ideas on how to proceed, and on how better to control the people or circumstances that are frustrating or defeating you. I experience Grace as a cool ribbon of fresh air when I feel spiritually claustrophobic. Sometimes I experience it as water-wings, something holding me up when I am afraid that I'm going down, or the tide is carrying me away. I know that Grace meets us whereever we are, but does not leave us where it found us. Sometimes it is so small--a couple of seconds relief here, several extra inches there. I wish it were big and obvious, like sky-writing. Oh, well. Grace is not something I DO, or can chase down; but it is something I can receive, when I stop trying to be in charge.

We communicate grace to one another by holding space for people when they are hurt or terrified, instead of trying to fix them, or manage their emotions for them. We offer ourselves as silent companionship, or gentle listening when someone feels very alone. We get people glasses of water when they are thirsty.

Amazon.com: Many of the essays in Grace (Eventually) first appeared in Salon, the online magazine, and that's the way that many readers first found you. How do you see the Internet changing the way people read and write?

Lamott: The Internet makes everything so immediate and spontaneous, which I totally love--UNLESS it has to do with the immediacy of people's negative response to me. Several of the Salon pieces in Grace--for instance, the story about the horrible fight with my son, and the piece about turning the other cheek while being ripped off by The Carpet Guy--generated a couple hundred letters, many of them extremely hostile. Perhaps "spewy" would be a better description. I also sometimes get knee-jerk responses to my mentions of Jesus in my Salon pieces that seem to lump me in the same tradition as Jerry Falwell. But for the most part, I love the populism and egalitarian nature of the Internet: everyone counts the same.

Amazon.com: What stories do people tell you, when they've read your books or know you are a writer?

Lamott: People tell me how relieved they are that I try to tell the truth about how hard it can be to be a mother, or a daughter, or an American in these times. They tell me stories about how awful their own teenagers can be, or how awful they themselves behaved towards their kids or parents; how hard it was to finally be able to adore their mothers, or to forgive their fathers. They tell me their sobriety dates. They whisper to me that they are Christians, too.

Also, they ask if I am able to read their manuscripts, and the name of my agent, and my e-mail address. They ask if we are going to survive the current political difficulties--and I promise them we are. They ask how old my son is now--17 and a half--and how he is doing, which is fantastically, after some of the hard months I wrote about in Grace.

Amazon.com:What lessons do you think you can pass on to others: to your readers, to your son? What lessons does it seem like people have to learn for themselves?

Lamott: All I have to offer is my own truth, my own experience, strength and hope. I can pass on the tool of a God Box, and how for 20 years I have been putting tiny notes in mine and promising God I will keep my sticky fingers off the controls until I hear God's wisdom: sometimes I get an answer because the phone rings, or the mail comes, but at any rate, during every single terrible problem and tragedy, I have been given enough guidance and stamina and even humor to bear up, and be transformed, for the good. I always tell Sam that if you want to make God laugh, tell Her your plans. I tell Sam that if he listens to his best thinking, he will suffer: and to listen to his heart instead, to listen in the silence, and to seek wise counsel.

Amazon.com: You've written nearly a dozen books (including an incredibly popular guide to writing): does writing get any easier? Does it get harder?

Lamott: In a very important way, writing gets easier, because I've been doing it full time now for thirty-plus years, and just as you would get better and better if you practiced your scales on a piano, I've gotten better, and can try harder and harder pieces. But writing is always hard. It does not come naturally to me at all. I sit down at the same time every day, which lets my subconscious realize it's time to get to work. I give myself very short assignments, and let myself write really terrible first drafts. But I grapple with the exact same problems every writer does, which is having equal proportions of self-loathing and grandiosity. I sort of live by the Nike ads: Just Do It. So I sit down. I show up. I do it by pre-arrangement with myself, because I know I'll feel sad and terrible if I shirk on that days writing. I do it as a debt of honor, to myself, and to whatever it is that has given me this gift of being able to tell stories, and to make people laugh. Laughter is carbonated holiness. Other people's good writing is medicine for me, and I hope mine is too, for my readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:07 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Wherever you look, there's trouble and wonder, pain and beauty, restoration and darkness--sometimes all at once. Yet amid the confusion, if you look carefully, in nature or in the kitchen, in ordinariness or in mystery, beyond the emotion muck we all slog through, you'll find it eventually: a path, some light to see by, moments of insight, courage, or buoyancy. In other words, grace. Lamott knows and lives by this belief, most of the time. In these essays, she recounts the missteps, detours, and roadblocks in her walk of faith.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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