We had an awesome time at (in) Real Life conference this past Saturday. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read on. If you do, I hope you’ll be encouraged from the Lord through this post.
(in)RL is a conference that comes to you. Women around the globe host a time on Saturday where local ladies can get together in real life. We spend so much time online, that we sometimes miss face-to-face time.
Last year was the first year I hosted an (in)RL conference. As I look back, I think I did it because a lot of other bloggers were hosting it & I enjoy having ladies in my home. We had a great discussion about community, but didn’t pursue getting together after (in)RL.
This year my heart was in a different place. I wasn’t even sure I would host it again, but God nudged me and I’m so glad he did. After sending invitations through evite & facebook, I began to pray for Saturday. I asked God to have just the right ladies attend.
And guess what…we had a wide variety of ladies.
Most of them only knew one other person in the room. But throughout the afternoon, several connections were made.
As women arrived, I introduced them to each other. My friend, Kyle (fellow homeschool blogger) arrived after several other ladies were there. When she walked into my kitchen, one of the ladies looked and said “Kyle”. Candice & Kyle had not seen each other in a few years. God brought them together this past Saturday, and they had a chance to catch up with each other.
Other women discovered they had mutual friends and other connections (Boy Scouts, medical school, etc) I was amazed at how God brought just the right ladies together.
After getting some fun snacks (including chocolate fondue recipe below), we met in my living room and took turns telling each other what food we wanted if we could have an endless supply. A fun icebreaker.
Then, I shared a few words about why I was hosting (in)RL. I wanted a way for ladies to find community & share their stories . . . to encourage each other. Since the video wasn’t working, we took a coffee break (Keurigs are wonderful for this).
Finally, the video worked and we listened to several stories. We talked about the need to share stories & have other ladies in our lives. We stopped the Keynote video mid-way and worked on our craft.
Notice the individuality of each jar.
Those that are crafty got started immediately.
Those that aren’t crafty (but wanted to make it), got help.
Those that aren’t crafty and could care less about crafts, visited with each other.
We spent the next couple hours around my breakfast table chatting away. Many of the ladies made new friends and had a great time.
What was most encouraging to me is this . . .
Before we finished the craft, Vicky said, “We need to do this again.” Several other ladies quickly agreed. They asked me to send out everyone’s email so they can keep each other, after Saturday.
Another lady told me several times how much she needed this time with other ladies. She wanted to stay home Saturday afternoon and be lazy. But she got herself over to my house and keeps thanking me for the connections she made on Saturday.
Did we pour our hearts out to each other? Not really
Did we discuss deep theological issues? Nope
Did we make new friends? Yep
I’ve already penciled in some dates over the next several months to have a craft day. It will be a great time to visit & get to know other Christian ladies.
Who knows, we might do a book club. But for now, we’re going to have fun making craft together, eating delicious food & chatting (a lot).
One thing for sure…
I plan to start sharing some of my stories online.
My goal is to share once a week (but not sure if I’ll have that many stories to share). I’ll still be sharing homeschool activities and how to homeschool ideas. But I’ve been convicted to share some of my personal stories and the way God is working in my life. I pray they will encourage you.
Question: Do you have ladies in your life that you can share your story? Or build community? How have you built better relationships with ladies? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Be sure to try this very easy Chocolate Fondue Recipe – Even your kids can make it.
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