15 years after that surprise meeting with my favorite band from the 90s, I realize no one is better than the next person. Please don’t fan-girl over me.
The summer I was 20 I met the band Jars of Clay at a book convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
I was interning that summer at the North American Mission Board, and the meeting was completely accidental; I ran into and recognized the band members on the convention floor.
I flipped out.
“Are you Jars of Clay?”I asked.
“Yes,” they laughed. “Yes, we are.”
My jaw must have hung open for seconds.
But instead of composing myself, I continued to freak out–literally.
“Don’t freak out, don’t freak out, don’t freak out, Erin!” I trembled and repeated out loud over and over again.
They autographed a small poster I had picked up at their booth, laughed again, and continued on their way.
Reflecting on all this later, I was mortified at how I had behaved.
After all, those band members were just people–people like you, people like me.
Next month will mark the 5-year anniversary of my little spot of the blogosphere, and something has happened to me in the past few years that is a bit reminiscent of that meeting with Jars of Clay (OK–not quite so dramatic).
When I show up in public Facebook groups or an event, I’ve had ladies tell me: “I’m ‘fan-girling’ over you.”
Friends, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but please don’t fan-girl over me.
Yes, there are bloggers who don’t care about their readers so much as they revel in recognition.
Friends, I don’t want to be that blogger.
When the focus shifts to fame and financial gain, empire building and accolades, the glory is taken off of God.
Friends, God deserves all the glory. Any platform He has given me and others in this online community is for the express purpose of pointing you to Him.
No, not every post I write is full of Scripture and Bible study, but it is my hope that you will see my Lord woven into every aspect of this site, from embracing how He has made me and kicking cleaning schedules to the curb to how He has redeemed our marriage.
Bloggers don’t need fan-girling.
Instead of fan-girling, tell me you’re encouraged.
Instead of fan-girling, tell me you can relate.
Instead of fan-girling, ask me about my family.
Instead of fan-girling, tell me about your life. I want to know; truly, I do.
(Comment on the blog or send me an email. I struggle with too many emails from sponsors, but, you, my friends, make.my.day when your emails land in my inbox!)
I’m just as real as you, friends.
I have struggles and dreams and failures.
Yes, it’s a challenge to balance this call to write, this call to encourage, this call to help provide for my family while, at the same time, striving for a simple, ordinary life.
But I’m up for it.
A year ago, I met the President.
Was I nervous? I admit I was, but, in the end, the leader of the free world seemed like a regular person–a husband, a father, an individual with dreams and fears and struggles like the rest of us.
As I asked him a question and later shook his hand, I, thankfully, knew enough not to make a fool of myself.
Fifteen years after that surprise meeting with my favorite band from the 90s, I realize no one is better than the next person.
We are equals.
Are people to be respected? Yes. To be elevated? No.
I’m just like, you, friends. I’m just a wife, a mama, and a homemaker, who is learning right alongside of you.
So let’s go in grace, together.
I leave you with one of my favorite verses from my teenage years. May it continue to ring more true for me–and for you–every day:
“He must become greater; I must become less.” ~John 3:30
So I’ve never heard the term fan girl…. Is it just freaking out when you meet someone or does it imply idolizing someone?
It kind of implies idolizing. I don’t think everyone who uses that term means it that way, but I just want people to know I’m a regular person!
I have thought that it would be fun to run in the same circle as you, your posts are so down to earth and I enjoy your perspective. My favorite part is how you give the Glory to God always!
I should know better than to become a fan girl of anyone, autographs were ruined for me the first time someone asked my little sister for hers as a gymnast when we were kids. But I totally fell into that trap and was mortified when I finally met the blogger I looked up to while I was sick and looking my worst with a total brain fog. She was gracious and kind, but God used it to remind me that she is just another mom doing what God has called her to do. And when I looked up to her so much I was not looking up to Him. I am so thankful for His loving reminders!
It would be so fun to meet you in person, Melanie! I started this blog with the goal of showing my readers that I am just a mom like them, and my desire is that everyone who visits this site and see Christ, feel loved and welcomed, and feel that we could be friends if our paths ever crossed in real life!
And I might do the same thing if I saw Jars of Clay! I did it to Steven Curtis Chapman once!
LOL!! I was so embarrassed after! I met Third Day in an elevator a few years later and composed myself that time! LOL I once saw Steven Curtis in a parking lot!
I practically had a heart attack just seeing Jars of Clay in concert, never mind if I met them! Although I pretty much reacted the same way when I met Matthew West and Rebecca St. James even though I really tried not to act crazy! Thank you for being an encouraging and humble homemaker!!
I LOVED Rebecca St. James too! She was my favorite! I listened to her music and also read her devotional books! I recently found out that two of her brothers make up the band For King and Country!
Stefani @ Crafty Christian
This is a great reminder not to put other people up on pedestals just because of how much exposure they get. We are all human! I love how you always remember to give God the glory, it really is a great reminder that He deserves all of the credit. THAT is something to look up to!
Yes, we are ALL human, Stefani! Remembering that is so helpful!!
Stefani @ Crafty Christian
Admittedly, I was a little in awe when my husband mentioned that he knew you growing up. But funny enough, that actually helped me to see you as more of a person than as this successful blogger that I liked 🙂
Who is your husband, Stefani?! I am TOTALLY just a person!!
Stefani @ Crafty Christian
James Ganong, he grew up here in Charlotte and I guess your dads (Harvey is my FIL) worked together back when they still lived here!
well…I feel you on this one. 😀 No one is fan-girling out over me, but my husband is a pastor and most people do not know how to talk to me. I hope that people will be real around you. 🙂
Alison @ Tickling the Wheat
That’s too funny, Keelie! When I was in college, I dated a guy who was going to school to be a pastor and that’s the main reason why we broke up – I was too scared that I would be a terrible pastor’s wife. 🙁 In hindsight, I made the right choice (I ended up marrying the man of my dreams), but it still frustrates me that I let my ideals of the “perfect pastor’s wife” get in the way of something that could’ve been good. It’s the same with the “fan girl” mentality. When people idolize someone (or even put themselves at a lower place on the totem pole than someone else), it only hurts everyone involved. We’re all created equally….
That’s so true about how it can hurt everyone, Alison! Thanks for sharing your story–and glad you ended up marrying the man of your dreams!
I know that has to be very difficult to be a pastor’s wife!
Joanna @ MumsKidsJesus.com
Hi Erin…this is so refreshing to read. Thank you. It’s so easy as a beginner blogger to think ‘wow’ about all the bigger bloggers. But I never want others to start thinking that about me. You’re right…we are all mums, doing whatever God may have called us to do. It’s by his grace and gifting. All praise to him!
Thank you, Joanna! I don’t want people to see me as unapproachable. You are so right–we are just all doing what God has called us to do!
Sarah @The Teacher's Wife
Oh man- Jars of Clay!! Good memories! 🙂 What a great reminder, Erin, that we are all just people. Even the people we look up to. I will make sure to remember this if I ever get to meet you in person (although can I confess that I thought about you and Stacy from Humorous Homemaking when my family was driving back from Mississippi recently as we were driving in East Tenn and SW Virginia and I saw exits for the Charlotte area)! I vaguely remember y’all scoping together and wondered how long of a drive it was- ha! Happy 5 years!!
Thank you so much, Sarah! I would love to meet you in person! Stacy lives about 2 hours north of us! We did scope together when her family came to visit us last January!
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving
What a humble and lovely post! I greatly appreciated it tonight…along with your down to earth writing. Thanks for sharing so honestly here on your blog about your life. Oh, and Jars of Clay? I had their cassettes, too! 🙂
Thanks so much for the encouraging words, Kristen! Jars of Clay=the dream of teenagers in the 90s! LOL Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by!
Thank you for your honest perspective! I recently started my own blog and boy is it easy to get sucked into the celebrity mindset… It’s all about finding readers for *my* blog to read *my* words about *my* “perfect” life. Ha! You are so right that all this is God’s, all my things are His to give and take away. My blog, my words, even my family. What a timely reminder, thank you.
Love this! A great reminder that all glory should be given to God and no one is better than anyone else.
I recently started a Christian and inspirational design company (Ellyandgrace.com shameless plug!) and I have to remind myself to stay humble. That I receive 100% of my inspiration from God and without him I could do what I am doing. I love the verse you shared..I was needing some inspiration and found this just when I needed it!
Hey Erin…I think I’ve actually been guilty of fan-girling you at least once. I see what you are asking for in this post though. I think for me, I do get a little “wowed” to see bloggers I follow in other unrelated circles/groups because once upon a time I wanted to blog and one of the biggest things that stopped me was feeling like I had to have it all together or at least way more together than I ever do, so I see you guys being real and I’m impressed that you didn’t let fear stop you. I’ll keep in mind what you have said because you are right, all the glory needs to go to God. I appreciate your heart on this.