(in)RL: I Heart Community

I’ve talked about (in)Real Life a lot lately. And I’m going to talk about it again. :)

Just today. Promise. :)

It’s just that it was SO. SO. Incredibly. GOOD.

Here’s the thing. When I signed up for it ages ago, I was pumped to meet fellow (in)courage readers and bloggers…and just make some new friends. That’s totally the ENFP in me. Truly all about relationships.

But I also knew I couldn’t host a meet-up, though I did consider it. Too many factors weighed in on that one, and to top it off, I had committed to leading a workout that morning just a few hours before it kicked off. I watched the meet-up lists for weeks, sure that one would be happening at least somewhat close to me.

It didn’t happen, and I was disappointed. I knew that if I attended one of the closest ones to me, it still meant more than an hour of driving one way, and I didn’t have it in my day.

Instead, I mentioned it to a friend.

I’ve got an awesome community of girlfriends here. Oh, they’re like coffee with extra-yummy creamer on a gloomy, rainy day. They just make my life better, sweeter, and more alive. But the one thing we don’t have in common is blogging. Some of them enthusiastically read my blog, and I so value that they show their love to me in that way. But they don’t follow other blogs, and so I knew they didn’t completely understand what a huge part of my life this place called (in)courage is.

But I opened it up anyway, asking if any of my friends would like to join me.

And two of them did!

Our day looked different from most (in)RL meetups. We already knew each other.

But we still brewed the coffee, ate some awesome food, kicked up our feet…

And something happened that day.

We walked away knowing each other’s hearts better. Because let’s be honest…we all have joys and sorrows and need those people to love us and pray for us and just be there for us.

I’ve been so thankful for this community of love that God has given me…but I’m even more thankful now.

As we watched stories unfold…

…like incredible ways God answered prayer for dear sisters-in-Christ

…and how God used a woman who was willing to be obedient to reach many, many women in Kenya

…like the reminder that we were created exactly as He wanted us to be…and WE. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.

…and listened to the beauty of blended voices as women from around the world read Truth together

…we laughed together, we let a few tears drip together (ok…that was probably more me ;)), we shared our hearts, we loved a little deeper.

We were community. We still are.

The day didn’t end up looking at all like what I had originally thought it might…but I have no doubt that God was in it, and He worked it out exactly as it should have been. He knew what I needed more than I did and met me exactly where I was. As He always, always does.

Thank you to my beautiful sisters at (in)courage for giving us this incredible weekend! I want to hug you all! What a blessing you are…and will continue to be…in my life.

Oh, I heart community!



  1. This was such an incredibly sweet post. And I am glad you mentioned that you were friends already with the two girls that showed up because I think sometimes we take our friends for granted unintentionally, and we fail to connect with them. I am so glad you guys got to get to re-meet each other better and love a little more.

    • Thanks for your sweet note, Maria! I think it’s so important to pour into the friendships we already have…but never be closed to new ones, either. Thanks for stopping by today! Blessings. :)

  2. Oh Mel – I want to hug you right back!!! A day with friends and fellowship was exactly what we had in mind. I LOVE that you and your girls were able to connect even deeper through this time of shared community. Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into your friendships – they sure sound like the kind of rich hot chocolate that I love :)

    warmest of wishes

    • Thanks so much for your sweet words, Lisa-Jo! Maybe someday we can sit down together and have some of that hot chocolate…sounds fabulous! :)

      Many blessings!

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