Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Justin Bieber and Honouring my Marriage


I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the Biebs from the beginning. I can clearly recall the battle in my head while hearing one of his very first hits; ‘is this a girl singing? Or is this a guy? For sure a girl… but…maybe…it could be a guy?’
I’m sure I’m not the only one who had those thoughts.
It’s OK. You can admit it to me.

While not caring too much about his music or career, then hearing of his continually negative progression into adulthood that was shared throughout the world courtesy of our good friend, the media, I kinda had this ‘I’m not a fan of Justin Bieber’ mentality.

My wonderful husband, on the other hand…

JP loves the Biebs. Not even kidding.
Since he is a legit Belieber, we obviously had to go see the first Justin Bieber movie. While I tried to hold onto my indifferent ways, I couldn’t help but look at Justin in a whole new light. Was I becoming a belieber!? Naw, but I definitely had more respect for the dude knowing he works hard and is actually talented.

Fast forward through a few years of hearing crazy Bieber tabloid stories, husband-wife full-album Bieber dance parties in our living room, and the fact it’s 2016 and our dear Justin has done a lot of growing up, we land here—the point where I found myself anxiously anticipating his new album, Purpose, which came out this past November, and now even more anxiously awaiting his upcoming Winnipeg tour stop in June.

If you haven’t been following Justin lately, he seems to have turned a few things in life around. Not only are his latest songs the catchiest things I’ve heard in a while, a few recent interviews had led me to really appreciate the growth he’s been having. I’ve been especially intrigued by his statements of faith-- finding grace through God for his life and expressing how his purpose is to show that to others. If his catchy songs weren’t enough, look at this dude go!

While this seems like an advertisement for Justin’s new album, I can assure you it’s not (I’m not that popular that my speaking of something has any marketable value). It’s time to get real about why this post is here.

Recently amongst a group of ladies and I, the conversation came up of, in the crass yet culturally acceptable language, Justin Bieber's dick pic. While we are all quite different (different backgrounds, separate groups of friends, etc) we are all in happy and committed relationships with significant others we admire and are pleased to call ours. A girl had the image on her phone and was showing everyone. Comments were made on size and shape and whether it was ‘nice’ or not. There was laughter, and giggling, and comments about how funny it was the one girl had it saved on her phone.  One of the ladies wasn't around for the beginning of the conversation and was asked if she wanted to see. She replied with ‘No’ and walked away. Feeling a sense of comradelier after hearing her response, I, too, replied with no.

Obviously, these ‘no’ responses went against the flow of the conversation and how the reactions were going. One girl even exclaimed how it was ‘cute’ we didn’t want to see the photo.

JP's instagram- day off for Bieber
Here's the honest commentary of what I was thinking in the moment-- I respect my husband and our marriage, and looking at an image of another dudes thaaang doesn’t set an example of how much I love and honour him. I wouldn’t want him to be looking at images of girls like that—famous person or not. What message does that send to others in marriages, or those considering the vow of marriage? A marriage is when two people commit themselves to each other in every possible way—emotionally and physically. Viewing ALL of Bieber makes me dishonor my vow. That’s how I see it, anyways. I know some may disagree, I know the idea of porn being helpful to marriages is something the main stream media tells the world. I disagree. The facts are against these ideas. I wrote a whole blog post about it, which you can check out.

Not only that, women speak so often about how they don’t want to be objectified, they want to be viewed for more then just their bodies, and how self-esteem needs to stem from more than what other women and men say about how their body looks. Why do women find no shame in objectifying men? You can’t change the cycle by being part of the problem. A cycle ends when one person takes a stand outside of it and says ‘hey, this isn’t ok’.

Today a friend and I took that stand. While it can sometimes be hard to be the ‘odd ones out’ in a room of people who think the same way, it is so comforting to know I am honouring my marriage, my faith, and myself with the choices I make in what to view and what not to view.

And Justin, I still love your new album and am ridiculously pumped for the concert in June… maybe just be less provocative when there are paparazzi around, deal?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


If you’ve ever taken a personality profile test, you’ve probably stumbled across the part of the configuration process where you are provided a page of seemingly endless characteristics and qualities. Most of the time, you are instructed to either pick the words that most accurately describe you, or to select the words others would use to best describe you.

We pick the words we are familiar with—words we have heard before when people have talked about us, characteristics our friends and family mention they admire in us, or even those words we remember our astrological sign being strong in from when we read our horoscope as a kid in some teen magazine. These words probably don’t change much as time goes on—perhaps we add in a word or two down the line from recent accomplishments, or remove a word if we are limited in the number we are allowed to select. While we change as individuals, with variances in interests and goals and ideals, the very makings of who we are tend to stay somewhat steady. It is our character, after all, it defines us in the choices we make, our moral compass and how we choose to live our lives.

My standard go to descriptors would be the package of sentiments involving ‘honest’, ‘trustworthy’, ‘kind’, etc. Brave is definitely not a word I would ever circle, click, or otherwise select to describe the person I am. I’ve only recently accepted I’m an individual who craves adventure in their life—brave seems like a way too big of a jump in the progression of my character.

instagram: @loveinspireschange
While at a yoga inversions class the instructor was encouraging us, and our progress. Being an inversions newbie, I was just pleased I had the strength to even hold myself upside down, or do an arm balance, or really just be able to have my heels touch the ground in downward dog. When she got to me I had no thoughts or expectations of what she would say—if I think about it now I would expect something along the lines of how I’ve really committed to attending the class, which is fun and exciting! Instead, she surprised me with saying I was Brave. How I had no fear. How I was willing to try anything.

I smiled awkwardly at such remarks—I’m the honest, trustworthy, compassionate kind of girl. I’m not the brave, try anything kind of girl. Is this a real change? Is this part of how my character has been developing over the years? Would others describe me in this way? Or is it some elaborate facade I’ve unknowingly put up that others would see but wouldn’t be true in my heart?

I think we can get stuck in who we believe we are. We believe the characteristics of who we have been in the past to be the only unchanging truths we can centre ourselves on as life spins and changes and dives deeper in the unknowns. We don’t consciously sit there and think ‘This is who I have been forever, this is who I will continue to be’ per say, but if personality test after strength finder test after buzzfeed quiz can speak in what they see, I’m sure the answers we have been putting in since our youth would resonate with only slight modifications into the now.

The beginning of a new year brings the excitement of advancement and change. Challenge yourself to reflect on who you think you are and who you always have been, and look at where life has taken you and how it has shaped you to advance your character in unimaginable ways.

While steeping in the word Brave I am reminded of how bravery; being fearless, and enduring with courage, are things we can gain from a Christ-centred life. With God on your side there is no reason to be afraid. We can move forward confidently, with hopeful expectation of magnificent outcomes. The outcomes may be undefined, the first few steps may be shaky—but taking the steps is what makes you brave. Even if they are small, they are steps and the steps show courage.

I will willingly add Brave to my list of descriptors, and will look at words to remove which no longer serve the individual I am continually growing in Christ to be.  It’s fun to see how far we’ve come as humans constantly under development, it’s exciting to leave behind the old and embrace the new.

As we reflect and challenge our views of ourselves, I will leave you with this reminder for your 2016: As the live-action Cinderella movie tells us;

Have Courage & Be Kind.