It was a song I was sick to death of hearing.
Kristen moves to a new town.
Kristen makes friends just in time to move again.
Friends promise to stay in touch with Kristen.
Kristen’s friends literally and figuratively disappear into the wild blue yonder.
So when the Air Force moved us to another new town, I figured I’d hear the same old song. Making friends usually wasn’t a problem, although sometimes it took an eternity to do so. But while I found people to hang out with, I did not have real heart friends. You know, the kind of friends that stick close whether you live next door or across an ocean. The kind of friends you can share subjects beyond the weather and “what’s happening.” And with this latest move I was just plain over it, done putting forth effort to make friends when nothing lasting would come from it. Besides, with small children and a busy husband who traveled, heaven knows I had enough to keep me busy.
But busy was really all the more reason I needed community. I needed to keep trying, because the only way to guarantee never making friends is never trying again. And since people refuse to fall out of the sky to my doorstep or apparate Harry Potter style to my home, I needed to do what I could to extend the hand of friendship first.
Lo and behold, this time I did make real friends, the kind that seep into your heart and strengthen your soul. Yes, eventually I did move to a new state. But when I did, these friends put in as much effort to stay connected as I.
And after a decade of meandering around different parts of the country, a couple of these women and I have come full circle and live in the same town once again. But this is the thing: If ten years ago I hadn’t reached out to other women, I wouldn’t have these heart friends now.
For me, the best way to bring others into my heart was to first bring them into my home. Enter (in)RL 2012.
(in)RL was born out of two years spent listening to women in the comments at (in)courage craving local, real life community. Derived from the social media acronym “IRL” or “in real life,” (in)RL is an invitation to share what we’ve learned about community and encourage women with stories and suggestions for connecting deeper in real life.
Think of it as a FREE girl’s weekend away that doesn’t require packing or plane tickets, where women can kick off any expectation of perfect, set aside their fears, their shyness, their worry that they’re not good enough, and find some of Jesus’ words of rest woven into every video shared here.
So last April, I opened my home, made a few treats, boiled water for tea, and called it a tea party. DaySpring and (in)courage did all the hard work by providing entertainment in the form of beautiful video content that encouraged us heart and soul. I looked like a hostess-hero while they did all the hard work.
It’s not as easy as having friends fall out of the sky, but perhaps it is the next best thing.
I’m hosting a meet up for (in)RL 2013, and if you’re in the Colorado Springs area, I’d love to welcome you into my home. Some details:
Registration for (in)RL 2013 is open TODAY and it’s FREE! When you register, you will be given directions on how to either host or attend a meet up in your area. Click here to attend my meet up. And if you also want to be a hostess-hero, click here. When you do register, you get free stuff! Everyone will receive a copy of the premiere (in)courage ebook, “The Best of the Beach House 2012.” But if you register today, Monday January 14th, you will receive a copy of the (in)courage 365 Daybrightener while supplies last.