Not too long ago, I decided to find out just who exactly “Chewbacca Mom” is…

I know some people might be thinking, “You mean you didn’t know!?” but aside from being someone who typically does not haunt social media, I’m also living outside of North American culture for the time being. So yeah. Anyways.

Chewbacca Mom is now one of my role models.

I mean really! A geeky mom from Texas decides to share a video of how she bought herself a Chewbacca mask and laughed uproariously as how funny it was! And it was.

The video was so infectious because her laughter was, and because it showed just how awesome those little moments of simple joy really are. I also now want to have a Chewbacca mask.

When I watched this video, I was laughing right along with her. It was awesome! I think another reason that it resonated with so many people was simply because she was being herself – and loving it. Seriously. Genuine genuineness. And THAT’S something I can get behind!

She was unabashed in her laughter, in her unwrapping of a Star Wars toy that many in that parking lot around her would’ve thought was for someone else (at first) and in her sharing of herself. I love it.

I would have loved this video just because it was all about a geeky mom geeking out, but… after looking a little further at who Candace Payne – the mom behind the mask – is, I liked her even more. On her Facebook feed, where all the world is free to follow her awesome shenanigans, light-hearted content and hope-fused messages, I found she is also Christ-centered. That sold me. I watched a clip where she met Christian singer Jamie Grace for tacos, indirectly filmed the cars in the parking lot as they handed the camera back and forth, and talked about how powerful one of Jamie’s songs, “Fighter” is – in choosing love and choosing joy. It, along with other things I found on her feed and elsewhere online, revealed a bit more of the person she is in Christ.

It’s only been a couple months since she shared that video on May 20th. As of this time, her video has 160 million views, 3.3 million shares, and 2.9 million likes. Since then, she has received about $420,000 worth in gifts from Kohl’s, Hasbro, Disney, and Southeastern University (a Christian university in Florida) – the largest chunk being a $400,000 scholarship for her kids.

Why has she garnered so much attention and blessings? Well, I think it’s because she’s got Christ at her centre. I’m not trying to say, “If you’re a Christian, you’ll have videos that go viral and get gobs of money!” Not necessarily, but this mom in Christ has been dropped in the spotlight, and she’s doing what it seems like she’s been doing for a while: sharing her joy, making the most of what she has for others, and sharing her faith. And her love of Star Wars.

She’s only been in the spotlight for a relatively short time, and no doubt the attention will slowly peter out and people will forget about Chewbacca Mom…but not completely. I think it’d be hard to forget that 4:20 long video that is almost half laughing, that is full of a freedom someone can only truly get from living in Christ (yes, I’m writing a post about how Star Wars and Jesus work together), and that is all about the simple things. I think her mark is made. She’s already used her recent fame to raise money for charities and give out more sweetly tangible joy, love, and hope through her newfound fanbase on Facebook. All because she shared about a geeky purchase and laughed. A lot.

Genuine genuineness. Y’know… because people like real people enjoying being real.

And that’s what I strive for. Not because I want people to like me, or because I want people to give me $420,00 for being myself (as great as that would be), but because being real is the best way to share myself, my faith, and what I’ve learned. And, y’know, the goodness that is Star Wars.

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