Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed

Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed


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Anne Lamott meets Elizabeth Gilbert in this inspirational, side-splittingly funny exploration of the power of living with love, forgiveness, and honesty.

For years Glennon Doyle Melton built a wall between herself and others, hiding inside a bunker of secrets and shame. But one day everything changed: Glennon woke up to life, committing herself to living out loud and giving language to our universal (yet often secret) experiences. She became a sensation when her personal essays started going viral. Her hilarious and poignant observations have been read by millions, shared among friends, discussed at water coolers, and have now inspired a social movement. In Carry On, Warrior, Melton shares new stories and the best-loved material from Her mistakes and triumphs demonstrate that love wins and that together we can do hard things. Melton is a courageous truth-teller and hopespreader, a wise and witty friend who emboldens us to believe in ourselves and reminds us that the journey is the reward. Carry On, Warrior proves that by shedding our weapons and armor, we can stop hiding, competing, and striving for the mirage of perfection, to build better lives in our hearts, homes, and communities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451697247
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Pages: 269
Sales rank: 879,335
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Glennon Doyle Melton is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Carry On, Warrior and Love Warrior, an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Glennon is also the founder of the online community, Momastery, where she shares shameless, humorous, and inspiring essays about marriage, motherhood, faith, addiction, recovery, and connection. She is the creator and president of Together Rising—a non-profit organization that has raised over three million dollars for families around the world through its Love Flash Mobs, which have revolutionized online giving. Glennon is a sought-after public speaker both domestically and internationally. She has been featured on the TODAY show, The Talk, OWN, and in The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, Glamour, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, Newsweek, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and in other television and print outlets. Glennon lives in Florida with her family.

Table of Contents

Cast of Characters xiii

Building a Life 1

Waking Up

Sisters 11

Holy Holes 13

On Writing and Dancing 23

Day One 27

Chutes and Ladders 33

In Case of Emergency 39

Inhale, Exhale 51

Smelly Coughy Guy 55


Birthdays 61

Lucky Seven 67

Fireworks 69

Out to Lunch 73

Airing Our Dirty Laundry 75

Initiation 77

On Weaving and Repentance 85

Sucker-On Vacuuming 89

Easter 93

Unwind 105


Don't Carpe Diem 111

A Little Advice 117

Brave Is a Decision 121

Whatever, Honestly 125

One, Two, Three 129

Rejoicing 133

A Mountain I'm Willing to Die On 137

On Fish and Heaven 145

Transcendentalist 149

Officer Superhero 155

On Gifts and Talents 161

Mommy Do-Little 165

The Golden Coin 173

Closer to Fine 177

Holding On

On Crying and Pedaling 183

Namaste 189

Hard 193

What D'Ya Know? 199

On Profanity 201

Gifts Are Bridges 207

Hostressing 213

Room for One More 219

Letting Go

Treasure Hunt 225

Jubilee 229

Wherever You Go 233

There You Are 241

Healing Is Listening 245

It Will Be Beautiful 253

By God, There Will Be Dancing 265

Acknowledgments 267

What People are Saying About This

Rachel Held Evans

“Funny,honest, and brave, Glennon Melton joins the ranks of Anne Lamott, Sara Miles,and Barbara Brown Taylor by giving her readers a precious gift:permission—permission to doubt, permission to believe, permission to struggle,permission to laugh, permission to tell the truth, and permission to do it allimperfectly. Carry On, Warrior takes its place among the best ofspiritual memoirs as the kind of book readers will want to return to again andagain. It reads like a conversation with a close friend, but impacts theheart like an encounter with the divine.”

Geneen Roth

CarryOn, Warrior is a fierce, outrageous and laugh-out-loud book about emergingfrom addiction and living life at full-tilt.”

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

“Glennon embodies all that we want to be and fear we are not: she is authentic, funny, wise, loving, and resilient in the face of extraordinary challenges. But the magic of Carry On, Warrior is that by the time you finish the book, you realize you ARE all those things, and more. It is a book that actually makes you feel that you are loved and cherished. Has a book ever accomplished anything more marvelous than that?”

New York Times bestselling author of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, - Brene Brown

“Glennon Doyle Melton is church and Carry On, Warrior reads like one of those old rollicking hymns that make you want to stand up at the end and shout, “Amen!” Life is indeed “brutiful” but Glennon’s humor, warmth, and honesty are profound reminders that there is beauty in our struggle. I can’t stop thinking about this book.”

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Carry On, Warrior includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book clubThe suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Ten years ago, addicted and unwed, Glennon Doyle Melton discovered she was pregnant. Shocked and terrified, she did the only thing she knew to do: she collapsed on the bathroom floor and prayed. When she stood up, she decided to become a mother. She married the father of her child, a man with whom she had only spent ten sober nights, and vowed never to have another drink, cigarette, or drug again. In the decade since, Glennon has learned what it takes to be a loving mother, wife, sister, and friend. She wakes up every morning ready to do battle. Recovery is a battle; faith is a battle; living an honest life–one full of love, one where the truth of what’s inside is mirrored by the experience on the outside–is a battle. And like any good warrior, Glennon has realized that fighting these battles comes with incredible rewards. Carry On, Warrior is Glennon’s call to living out loud–being as honest and open as she can be, no matter what obstacles she faces. Obstacles abound—as they always do, for everyone. From financial struggles, to a thwarted dream to adopt a child, to helping her sister through heartbreak, to keeping the rug vacuumed. But Glennon’s journey has shown her that life lived honestly, openly, and in connection with others is one that is rich and full.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. In the opening of Carry On, Warrior Glennon is baffled: a woman says to her at church, “You are so pulled together. It makes me feel so apart.” (1) Why do you think Glennon decided to begin the book with this scene? How does she eventually reveal herself as not quite “pulled together?”

2. Compare Glennon’s present-day life to her low point on Mother’s Day in 2002. What did it take for Glennon to hit bottom? How did she decide so suddenly to turn her life around? Can you imagine doing the same in her position?

3. According to Glennon, “Life is brutiful”–equal parts beautiful and brutal. (7) How can something be both beautiful and brutal at the same time? Make a list of a few things that you consider “brutiful.”

4. After describing all the unsuccessful attempts to fill the hole in her life, Glennon writes, “If there’s a silver living to the hole, here it is: the unfillable, God-sized hole is what brings people together.” (21) Do you agree with Glennon that our weaknesses and our emptiness help us relate to other people? Why or why not?

5. Taking a cue from the writer Anne Lamott, Glennon reveals, “I have three prayers I repeat most often. They are: Please, Thank you, and WTF?” (40) What are the greatest sources of “WTF?” in Glennon’s life? What are your most common prayers? What makes you wonder, “WTF?”

6. Discuss the similarities and differences between Glennon and Sister? How have these two sisters taken different paths in life? How are their personalities similar, and how are they different? How do you think they’ve stayed so close over the years?

7. Discuss Glennon’s hilarious approach to housework, like the way she convinces Tish to help her “vacuum” the carpet? Why do you think her family is so tolerant of Glennon’s trial-and-error approach to bag lunches, laundry, and other daily tasks?

8. Consider Glennon’s explanation of Chronos, “regular time,” and Kairos time, “those magical moments in which time stands still.” (112) What are some examples of Chronos? What are some of your your favorite moments of Kairos, when time is suspended? What can you do to “Carpe a couple of Kairoses a day,” as Glennon suggests? (113)

9. Revisit Glennon’s “mommy resignation,” when she officially gives up listening to her children’s pointless stories, refereeing their fights, and smiling through their spills. (165) If you had to resign from your everyday duties, what would you be happiest to quit? Do you think you would miss any of those daily annoyances if you “resigned?”

10. Glennon believes, “Confidence and humility are two sides of the same coin.” (172) How does Glennon find confidence in knowing she is a “child of God,” and how does knowing everyone is a child of God make her feel humble? What is one good way to remind yourself to feel confident and humble every day?

11. After one of her blog readers made a comment about Glennon’s abortion, Glennon realized, “I walk onto this field every day without armor or weapons, by choice, and so the risk is that every once in a while, someone will ignore the rules and shoot.” (192) What are the unspoken “rules” that the anonymous commenter ignored? What kinds of risks does Glennon take when she writes about her life online? What are the rewards that make those risks worth taking?

12. “We are each an island, but [God] gives us gifts to use as bridges into each other’s lives. When we lay down our gift, we walk right over it and straight into another heart.” (209) Think about the “gift” that your best friend, your spouse, or another loved one has offered you. How does that gift give you access to that person’s heart? What gifts do you think you offer in return?

13. Revisit the painful story of Glennon and Craig’s efforts to adopt a child. What are the main obstacles that they encounter? How do they face these obstacles together, and how do they recover from their disappointment?

14. Glennon lists the “widening circles” that protect her: her husband, children, community, and faith. (7) Try to picture the circles of protection in your life. Who are the loved ones in your widening circles?

15. Glennon and Craig consider their family “religious rolling stones”–they hesitate to commit to a denomination. How does Glennon keep Jesus in her heart, even when she doesn’t have a regular church? In what ways does her daily life resemble a sort of prayer?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Check for updates on Glennon’s phenomenal website, When you’re ready to commit to living mindfully, as Monkees do, visit to join the community and lend a helping hand.

2. This book club meeting will have no “hostress”: welcome to stress-free hosting! Make this meeting a potluck, and ask everyone to bring something to eat or drink. Pajamas and bring-your-own-glass are optional, but encouraged!

3. According to Glennon, “Dancing sober is just honest, passionate living.” (25) Get your book club warmed up with a session of sober dancing! Play your favorite pop song or visit the “Feed Yourself” section on Glennon’s website to download her Momastery Mix at and get everyone moving, no matter how silly it looks or feels.

4. Anne Lamott, Maya Angelou, Geneen Roth, Joan Didion, Emily Dickenson, Elie Wiesel, Ken Follett, Kathleen Norris, Sylvia Plath—these are just a few of the writers Glennon mentions in Carry On, Warrior. To see a list of some of her other favorite books and movies, visit the “Feed Yourself” section of her website at:

5. When she gets fed up, Glennon puts on one of her “paper bag hats,” where she can “breathe and hide.” (177) Make paper bag hats–with smiley faces and breathing holes, of course–with your book club members. All you need are some leftover shopping bags, a marker, and a sense of humor!

6. Take a look at, Monkee See—Monkee Do, the not-for-profit charitable organization that emerged from Glennon’s website. The mission of the group is to acknowledge needs in communities and do something about them. Their work is an expression of Mother Theresa’s philosophy that we can do no great things, only small things with great love. What small steps could you take to make a difference in your own community? Read the stories of the families Monkee See—Monkee Do has helped and see how you can get involved by visiting www.

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Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
ChimmyM More than 1 year ago
Such a fantastic read! And it may come as a surprise to some that I'm not a parent! Just. Read. This. Book. A few pages in and you’ll start to understand how Glennon Doyle Melton's storytelling creates a palpable sense of community for anyone who is navigating life's "brutiful" moments. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her story as she has done on her blog – with honesty, humor, sincerity and grace. Like any profound, soulful, gifted writer, she sheds light on our own experiences so that we can confront our own vulnerabilities, strengths and innate beauty with tenderness, acceptance and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Glennon says what every woman is thinking in a funny, honest, and uplifting way.  If I could rate it higher than 5 stars I would.  A must read for every woman, but especially the moms out there!
LaudLitLady More than 1 year ago
I have followed Glennon Doyle Melton's blog, Momastery, for a little over a year. She is funny, and supportive of all women out there parenting, loving, and just living through everything life dishes out. A girlfriend gave me the copy she'd pre-ordered. I loved Glennon's self-deprecating humor, realism, faith (and did I say humor?!) so much that I sent copies to my mom, sister, and my best friend. It is hilarious and heartwarming. I highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book right when I needed it. I think everyone should read this book. It helps people accept themselves better n to find the love inside of themselves. It doesn't matter if u are a recovering "fill in the blank" or not, a christan or pagan I think this book speaks to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed thus. I follow Momastery and enjoy it too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A joy to read. Funny, honest and full of love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All I can say is thank you for writing this. I ama mental health therapist and found this inspiring to me and for all the ladies I work with. I also worked in foster care so this has touched me in many ways.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very real, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always entertaining. The author is a little flaky, at times, but loving all of the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honest, insightful, hilarious, brutal and beautiful all at the same inspiring must-read.
NYJudester More than 1 year ago
I read it in 36 hours and it is the very best book I've read in years. I laughed, I cried and I changed the way I communicate in my relationships - most importantly my marriage. It validated so many emotions and realities that allowed me to relax and enjoy the ride. I bought 3 copies for friends who I knew would benefit from it. And recommended it to 6 other people including my mom. It is heartfelt reality of marriage and children and this thing called 'life' that we often trudge through. It helped me fall back in love with my husband and have been enjoying a much more engaged relationship - and he has no idea I read this book. Yet he's changed just due to the way I communicate with him. Its been life-changer for me! I just can't say enough about this book - oh, and I'm now reading if for the second time, as a refresher!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My sister gave me this book and I in turn purchased another to give to a friend. This book is a wonderful mix of thought provoking observations on how we move through life coupled with hilarious stories. I find myself thinking about parts of this book and quoting it from time to time. Its a refreshing way to look at life and to be more open with ourselves and others at the same time. Plus, I laughed out loud so often, my husband kept asking what was so funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really couldn't put this book down. She speaks the truth that so many keep hidden away from the world. The book reminds me of being with all my best friends, thinking the same thoughts, and enjoying the moment it's voiced so we can all talk about it with each other.... She writes the truth; we can do hard things. ;)
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KelliN More than 1 year ago
I've been reading (and loving) Glennon's blog, Momastery, for over a year now. I was thrilled when she announced her book deal and have been waiting for Carry On, Warrior for what feels like forever. I'm not usually a lover of non-fiction but this book was outstanding. It made me cry several times, and as Chris Tomlin would say, "it made my heart want to sing." I love Glennon's blog, but this book was even better and really spoke to my heart. Some of the essays in the book have been previously published on her website, but much of the book is new material. And for new(ish) followers of the site, like me, it was nice to be able to read Glennon's story in order, instead of piecing it together through the blog. Glennon describes herself as a hope-spreader and truth-teller. She lives an open and honest life, and that honesty is what speaks to me. I see so much of myself in her and feel like she knows how I feel, even though she doesn't know me. She describes this as the divine inside of her speaking to and recognizing the divine in me. And I think she's exactly right. Reading this book was like hearing a bell toll: all of it rang true for me. I'm so glad I bought a hard copy of Carry On, Warrior. I want to be able to easily flip back to my favorite parts and highlight certain quotes and go back and read this book again just to savor it. I feel like Carry On, Warrior is more of a book for women, especially mothers, but I think that it would appeal to just about anyone. Highly, highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cheritol More than 1 year ago
This is a great afternoon read. Since reading this book, I find myself thinking, only God can fill my hole. It is a book of forgiveness, resilience, and faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous!!!  Loved it!  Will be reading it again!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I commend the author for overcoming her struggles in a positive,upbeat manner. I question the lack of any 12 step program utilized and wonder if that is correlated with 8 re-locations, just a thought from an over analytical therapist. Overall it is a fun easy read and I love the use of Namaste.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you could hide ever deeper from life, you might uses Glennon's method of self-deprecating humor and call it 'honestly', but what you should say is, "I suck as a person." then try to change yourself. That's what Glennon does and its popular because it makes you feel like its okay to be a bad person, but it isn't. Glennon want's us to confront our inadequacies with acceptance? It is a funny joke or meme to say, "Carpe Diem? I can't seize 15 min, let alone a whole day!" But, honestly yes, you can. You are a stay at home mother with nothing else to do. People do it all the time. Get off facebook, stop being selfish with your time, and take care of your family. This book is like watching someone bang their head against the wall while saying, "Aren't I a dummy for beating my head against the wall?" Yes, yes you are. It really is no wonder why her marriage failed/nearly failed. File this book in, the (giving up on) Self Help section. Read this if you want some validation for the lack of effort you put into your marriage and family.