Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Celebrity Connection

Ten years ago if I were to connect on any sort of personal level with someone famous, it would require getting backstages passes to a concert, or standing in line at a book signing, or even pushing my way to the front of a crowd to try and shake hands with a passing actor. In recent days however, the rise of social media has made it possible to connect with celebrities in a much more tangible way. 

For me, I follow a few of my favourite writers, speakers and bakers as they share their thoughts via blogs, facebook and twitter. If Don Miller has a thought he would like to share, I can know about it within minutes. When Michael Hyatt posts a blog that impacts me, I can not only read it but comment and engage in the community discussion that the post creates. I have heard of others who have built relationships with such online mentors, even growing to the point of sharing guest posts on their websites or collaborating on projects together through this online connection.

On a couple occasions I have even had writers respond directly to me when I have commented on their blogs. There is something about knowing that they read my comment and replied themselves that is really exciting to me. Yes, this might make me a nerd. I'm ok with that. 

However, in all of this one thing I am learning is that those that I consider celebrities are still just people. They share their thoughts on things they love and are excited about, and attract like-minded people. They are well known and successful but still probably find the most satisfaction in being loved by family and spending time with good friends. They make mistakes, get tired or frustrated, and on occasion have to deal with the shadow side of their lives within their online community too. 

I do get excited about the idea of connecting with deep theological thinkers, creative writers, and leaders in various areas of life. I will continue engaging with these people at the level that I am able, and enjoying my occasional online brushes with fame. But the reality is I most likely still will not become their friends, or meet them face to face. And that's ok.

In his song Whom Shall I Fear, Chris Tomlin wrote the line, "The One who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine. The God of angel armies is always by my side." This blows my excitement about blog post comments out of the water. Forget about fame and celebrity status. Forget about being well known for writing transformational books or baking decadent new treats. The Creator of all people, all beauty, all love knows me. He doesn't just read my comments. He doesn't just know about me. He knows me intimately and is with me. He loves me and invites me to walk every day in His presence. He is not a celebrity but the King of kings, and I am His! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I have to admit, when I woke up this morning and saw the ground dusted with snow, and more of it falling from the sky, my first thoughts were not happy or grateful. No, they were more along the lines of - how much more of this can we take? I am completely ready for spring. Ready to be able to walk outside without boots and a toque. Ready to teach my girl about grass and bugs and sun protection!

However, it quickly dawned on me that even though it is snowing, I am safe and warm inside my home, and I still have plenty to be thankful for today. So this is an exercise in choosing to be grateful and filled with joy rather than focusing on the negative.

Today I am thankful for...

  • My home. That we are not homeless or nomads, needing to endure the elements all day and night. I am thankful to be inside and warm
  • My family. My husband and daughter are sources of joy that do not leave me whatever the season
  • Maternity Leave. Today I am thankful to live in a country that allows me to be home for a year with my baby. It is such a huge blessing.
  • God's presence. That he comes alongside me when I'm being drawn to a bad attitude, and guides me to His love and joy.
  • The promise of Spring. Even though it's snowing in April, it is still April! 
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Haven

Recently I was talking with some good friends about being wives, mothers, and how we see our roles in the family. It was wonderful to engage in such encouraging and uplifting conversation. One of the women talked about how she sees a big part of her role as making the home a haven for her children, and especially her husband. That as he works out of the home and takes part in various leadership roles, she purposes to make their home a place he can retreat to and find love, security and comfort. A haven.

A haven is a peaceful place in the midst of danger. A dry place to find cover from the pouring rain. A safe place to be vulnerable. A loving place to be truly yourself. It is where you set out from and where you return to. Where you are strengthened and embraced.

As a wife and mother, I love the idea of viewing our home as a haven, and viewing one of my roles in our family as creating and maintaining that safe environment. Our daughter is still in a stage where she does not often leave our care. I hope that at this point her entire awareness is love, comfort and being taken care of. So as I have been thinking about how I can make my home a haven, I have primarily been thinking about how to do this for my husband. Right now I am on maternity leave and Kevin is working full time.When I do go back to work, I am thankful my job is one I can easily leave at work. Kevin's primary work is in a ministry position that requires him to invest not only his time, but his heart as well. He holds a position with more responsibility and weight to it. It is good, and it is tiring.  I love the idea of being intentional about making our home a haven for him to come home to. I have spent some time thinking of a few things I can do to make our home a haven for Kevin.

First of all, I can take care of him. Do the daily life things that make him feel cared for. Make a tasty, healthy meal at the end of the day. Keep his clothes clean and dry. Take the few moments it takes to tidy the house before he gets home. Buy the groceries and bake the treats. And I have been learning more and more to do these things without asking for his opinion. He can truly feel at home and relax when these things are taken care of for him.

Next, I can share his burdens. Listen, without talking. Let him share his heart and help him figure things out. Be his sounding board. Support him through hard days and tough decisions. Recognize the responsibilities he has, the pressure he is under, and be the woman he comes home to when he needs to let it all out. Be his wife, his best friend, his confidante. Be trustworthy.

Finally, I can love him unconditionally. This includes all of the above and so much more. Make him feel noticed. Have fun and laugh. Hug and kiss. Let him be himself and make sure he knows he is accepted just as he is. Be aware of his needs and purpose to meet them out of love, not duty. Spend time with him. Make him aware of how you feel about him.

These ideas are really just an attempt to put words to a heart attitude. Is being a wife simply my half of a marriage contract that means cooking, cleaning and taking care of children? Or is being a wife a sacred privilege in which I get to uphold this man I love in both simple and significant ways? I want my husband to feel strengthened when he sets out each morning, and embraced when he returns home each day. I want him to feel our home is his haven.

I would love to hear your thoughts. If you are a wife or mother, or even if you just think about how you can make a haven for yourself, please feel free to leave a comment.