Discovering Teachers You Never Knew You Needed

This is 31 conversations from the front porch day 21… you can read the rest of the series here.

31 conversations from the front porch with jkmcguireDay 21: Discovering Teachers You Never Knew You Needed

When we stepped away from church, during that year of silence, and the years that would follow – I started to really read. I have always been an avid reader, but this time away from shouting voices made it possible for me to focus on learning and hearing and discovering voices that I never would have found before. I was a wisdom-hunter with a hunger to know and understand the lives of others more deeply.

I discovered new teachers. I was learning to bear witness to the work of God in the lives of those many in the Evangelical community would label, “Suspicious, or Unsafe.” I embraced these rejects with my recently rejected pains – and I found healing in their pages, and stories and themes.

They taught me how to walk the path with open eyes, to witness the world, to stand on holy ground, and to forgive myself for allowing others to treat me in a manner that was not healthy for me. They taught me how to be vulnerable, to write well, to open my heart to myself first, how to love God more fully, and how to be a more content wife and mother.

anne lamott quote

I can remember discovering the words of Anne Lamott. She came to know God in a drug-induced stupor and her ideas about God were completely foreign and left of everything I had ever been taught from my history in the American Evangelical culture. She was a glorious breath of snark and holiness. I thought that if God could accept and love this woman – even though she is completely different than me and completely different from every wise grownup I had ever known up to that pointthen I can live a holy, sacred life and live it well without fear of what God thinks of me. God’s love of me is not dependent upon how right or left I lean. It is never dependent upon how well I behave myself. If He can see her (which he does) and accept her story as she is (which he does) then this Christian good girl has something beautiful and significant to offer the world around her too.

Teachers are more than just those who have met us in a classroom. I have found some of those most helpful insights into life and love and living well while turning pages from a library book.

So I want to share a sample list of the writers who have taught me through the writings. These are gratitude chasers, nature lovers, wisdom seekers, relationship gurus, writing coaches, fiction writers, memoir writers, humanitarians, pastors, thinkers, priests, monks, doctors, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, wives, husbands…

  • Sue Monk Kidd
  • Gerald May
  • Anne Lamott
  • Ann Voskamp
  • John Eldredge
  • Dallas Willard
  • Richard Foster
  • Susan Forward
  • Thomas Merton
  • Henri Nouwen
  • Mother Teresa
  • Ann Graham Lotz
  • Richard Stearns
  • Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Brennan Manning
  • Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • Pete Wilson
  • Philip Yancey
  • Maya Angelou
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • J.K. Rowlings
  • Shane Claiborne
  • Henry Cloud & John Townsend
  • Brene Brown
  • Glennon Doyle Melton
  • Julia Cameron
  • Dr.Paul Farmer

i do not understand the mystery of grace quote anne lamott jkmcguire

Exercises For Your Own Front Porch Conversations

One Question Today – who are your teachers? They can be more than authors. Who inspires you to live more fully alive?

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