(in)RL Community

While I would love to tell a story with beautiful words like those of the wonderful incourage ladies, let’s face it, that would hurt my brain a bit. I am a documenter..a recorder of events, details… So here is my story of what happened on Saturday.

I had signed up to host an (in)RL gathering again. Don’t ask this introvert why she does stuff like that? The Lord leads and I follow.

inRL2014-QuotePrintable-Markley

Y’all know I hate shopping, and it has been crazy busy around here, and then it was raining on Friday night. So Saturday rolls around…as in, it is the morning of the gathering, and we are finally preparing for the event. Norm goes out to buy a few things for our snack spread, but as 1PM neared, I was wondering where he was. He was out buying all the groceries instead of what was just needed for the afternoon. Who doesn’t love a man who can shop? But bless his heart, I needed to get stuff into the oven!

So I am now trying to figure out what to do…set out the cheese and crackers, cut up the strawberries, etc or perhaps make myself presentable, now that I had at least finished putting out the favors and hung up some postcards I got from Dayspring.

The doorbell rings and it is my first guest, a blogger I have only met online, Barbie of My Freshly Brewed Life. And then, another guest, a friend’s friend I had only met once before. And then my final guest, the table leader in my MOPS group. I am still plating things and forgetting to offer drinks.

We get started, and I love the flow of conversation even as we were getting to know each other. We watched a clip from the video content, and after hearing some of the stories shared, we begin to share a little of our stories. I love that God brings together strangers who have completely different stories and brings us into community with one another. We are all mothers, but it is more than that. We are all daughters of the king.

I wish I had planned better, and that we had more time together, but I am thankful for growing relationships and making new friends.

I didn’t even get a chance to take photos of everything before it all started, and I forgot to take a group pic before Nikki had to leave for her appointment, but I’m glad I got a few (that are scattered through this post) that sums up our afternoon together.

And what you didn’t see was the mess…the house wasn’t even all cleaned before my guests arrived, and my favors were a hodgepodge of stuff left over from last year’s gathering and other things I had on hand, and I taped up the postcards at the end to hide the blue painter’s tape I used to hang the string up because I don’t have cute washi tape. But you know what? No one cared about that. They didn’t come to see if my baseboards were dusted or not (by the way, they’re not dusted). They were there to be in community together. There is something powerful in sharing ourselves with others. There is camaraderie in letting others in on our fears. He draws us to Himself and helps us to defeat whatever is holding us from shining. “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

So this weekend…I am thankful for makeshift TV stands with a TV borrowed from my brother because we (intentionally) don’t own a TV. I am thankful for Trader Joe’s yummy snacks. I am thankful for the behind-the-scenes incourage team who makes this (in)RL weekend possible. I am thankful for stories….our stories…God’s stories. I am thankful for community.

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8 thoughts on “(in)RL Community

  1. I have 3 kiddos and I knew my house could never be “clean”. And you’re right. No one cares if it’s clean enough, they just need somewhere to be. So glad introverts like us can have a beautiful time hosting too. šŸ™‚

  2. Joyce, thank you for opening up your home for community. I enjoyed meeting you and the other ladies. The snacks were yummy and I didn’t notice your messiness at all. What I noticed was a home filled with love. So thankful to know you through blogging! Thanks for recapping!

  3. I just love this! How you invited women into your story and shared life together (I’ll be honest – I’m grateful a friend offered her house for our meetup, otherwise ladies would have been surrounded by more than a few dust bunnies & piles of laundry! Keeping community real, messy & totally worth it!)

  4. I love that real community cares more about the people than the setting! I’m sure your house is warmly loved-in perfect mess….just like mine! :0 Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. Pingback: Favor Disguised as Friction | BLOGGERNEECY

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