Whenever you put yourself out there, whether in a blog or in another form of writing, you risk inviting comments from the masses. It’s part of the deal; you share, others feel they know you enough to judge you.

Never mind the cowardly fashion of lurking on blogs and Facebook pages, of hovering in the wings of someone’s life, of not sharing your own thoughts and experiences and dreams so the playing field is even.

It is brave to share your insights and thoughts and feelings with the world. It is a kind of daring that only people who feel a lot can do; when we ponder the meaning behind the moments, we can’t help but say, “Do you know what I mean?”

And that’s a form of connection.

We are living in a connection era, but it’s hugely skewed. Some people are out there constantly but never really intimate with anyone. Some hide behind their comments on other people’s posts.

To be truly intimate, one must take down the brick walls they’ve constructed around them and breathe the same air as another, look straight into the pool-blue eyes of the person opposite them and not look away.

It’s a scary thing to truly connect with another person. But the risk bears the reward. To connect with another at soul level is the greatest gift on the planet.

You can’t get that on Facebook and you can’t get that from a blog. You can’t get that by running away to people you only keep at arm’s distance.

The thing I wanted most out of life was to become a mother. The passion with which I approach parenting is unparalleled in any work I do. I’ve consumed books and theories, joined groups and met like-minded moms. The thought behind every meal I serve, every day-trip we take, every academic, religious or other learning experience I choose for my children, I feel in my bones.

The gift of the three precious souls who grew inside me and crawl into my bed late at night for comfort and reassurance is truly God’s greatest gift.

For some time now, I’ve been mesmerized by the reality TV show, 19 Kids and Counting. Yesterday, I finally figured out why: because the parents have the conviction to live the way they want to, spending their days with their children and as a family, fighting convention. If I could do anything, I would travel the world with my children as our own form of home-schooling, just living and experiencing this life.

I don’t agree with the Duggars on a lot of levels, but I admire their conviction and their steel-toe focus on parenting.

And so, dear readers, as the year draws to a close, I invite you to ponder the meanings in your life. What matters to you? What is your life about? We have only a brief time on earth; make it worthwhile. The moments with my children tell me I am alive and I am worthy of the greatest revelations known to humans.

Don’t lurk or hide; don’t waste your time judging others in the public sphere. Admire the courage it takes to share one’s convictions with the world and then dig deep into your own life to find a situation where you can feel equally passionate.

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