(in)RL…Beyond Computer Screens

I’m a friend-girl.

I. Love. My. Friends.

And with this explosive, ENFP personality…well, if I meet you and we strike up a conversation and even heart spill just a little, you are my friend. For life, if you would like. :)

The hard thing about what I just wrote? Is that 99…probably .9…% of the world doesn’t work that way.

Talk about a tough reality check.

And with the different places that life has taken us, it’s no surprise that I have often felt as if my heart was torn to shreds with each goodbye I was forced to say.

And so when we moved to the land of I-don’t-know-a-soul-here (aka: C’ville ;)) in ’10, I was starving for friends. God was so Good (still is!) and He gave…I am so blessed to walk this journey of life with some amazing sisters. I hold them in my heart forever.

And in 2011, I decided to join the blogging world. I did it more as a way to process the b-gillion life changes we had going on at the time, but it turned into so much more.

Early on in my bloggy-journey, I came across (in)courage.

It was exactly what I needed…a place where women come together online to connect and grow and sometimes-laugh-or-cry.

And last year, the incredible Lisa-Jo and her awesome team of women launched the first (in)RL Conference…taking an incredible online community and making it an (in)Real Life one. Women all over the world met up, shared stories, laughed, cried, drank coffee…


In real life, instead of through computer screens.

And so when this year rolled around, I knew I wanted to be part of it again and even (gasp!) signed up to host it.

Because even though I cherish my amazing online friends, I know the value of having those friends in real life, too.

Two days ago, four of us got together in my small living/dining room.

We drank coffee, chatted, made some incredible, small-world connections, laughed…

Took the time to enjoy the kind of friendship that sits on a couch and shares stories from feet away instead of time zones.

It was an amazing morning-turned-afternoon…and four women who came together as strangers…left as friends. (Ok, ok…I knew one of them already. ;))

And as I’ve reflected on (in)RL and the way God is using it, literally, all over the world…it’s a reminder to me that we all need friends.

We all need community.

And we need to have it (in)RealLife.

Preferably with coffee, chatter, and lots of laughter. :)


And mega-props to my awesome friend, L…who accomplished quite the feat in actually getting this picture. Really. :)



  1. I loved reading this. We had a small group too–and I know all of them IRL! But, we were blessed.

  2. I love these lines at the end, “It was an amazing morning-turned-afternoon…and four women who came together as strangers…left as friends. (Ok, ok…I knew one of them already. )
    And as I’ve reflected on (in)RL and the way God is using it, literally, all over the world…it’s a reminder to me that we all need friends. We all need community.”

    You have a testimony of God’s goodness right there! It’s amazing how God is able to unite us, thought it seems like we are worlds apart — not just geographically, either. 😉 Beautiful.

  3. I’m confident your hospitality and openness blessed your new friends.

  4. Bummed I couldn’t come over. Next time. 😉

  5. I so love hearing stories of hearts being knit together. What a wonderful one yours is. Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings and much love!

  6. I love hearing your story but I also have to admit that I am a little (ok a lot) jealous of all the inRL get togethers this past weekend. God just didn’t work things out that would have allowed me to attend a meet-up. However, I have been so blessed and incouraged by those of you who did get together. I am already planning for next year.

  7. Go Mel… I still don’t have it in me to host, lol… Perhaps next year. So glad to hear God is connecting you in such a beautiful way.

  8. The nearest one for me was an hour away…and it was on my son’s first birthday this year so as much as I wanted to go, I wanted to cherish the day with my family. Maybe next year…and hopefully it won’t fall on his birthday! Glad you had a great time, and what a blessing to host. I see you are going to Allume. 😉 I’d love to go, but not sure I can pull it off. It’s in the same city I went to university in which gives me somewhat of the heebie-geebies. I’m not a southern girl at heart. Nope.

    • Happy birthday to your little one! I think you made the right choice…and I hope his celebration was full of sweet memories. :) I’ve wanted to go to Allume for a while…I’m blessed that it worked out this year…and I’d love to see you there! (Gotta admit I’m curious where you went to school now, but you don’t have to share if you don’t want to. ;)) Wishing you a wonderful week, friend!

  9. Isn’t hosting so much fun? This was my second time hosting and the group doubled (…from 3 to 6). God is faithful and I love the way he knits us together for His purpose. I love everything about inRL

  10. Hi Mel! Oh, I just love your place over here! I love learning about you and your love for community–and the beauty of the gathering you invited His girls into on Saturday. I see you are going to Allume! I so hope to meet you there! Bless you!

    • Thank you for your sweet words, friend! I’m so excited for Allume…and looking forward to meeting you (in)RL! Blessings! :)

  11. This is just a beautiful picture how we could be strangers and become fast friends through Him. I love that you stepped out to host, trusted they’d come, and connected when they did. I love how the morning lingered into afternoon with coffee and chatting and the beauty of budding friendship. Just lovely!

  12. So glad that you hosted as well!! We had a small group too but it was fun and it is just making another connection…which I so long for here!! Have a wonderful week!!

    • I love that it’s an opportunity for connections…praying that God will continue to bring those friends into your life! Blessings, my friend! :)

  13. I am considering hosting next year, but I have to start thinking/praying about it now. I am not a hostess by any means, but am thinking I want to try.

    I wandered over here from the link up on incourage, and I am so glad I found you!

Speak Your Mind