Get Real {Life}

The food kept coming, freezers full. Friends from church and school delivered desserts and veggies, roast and brisket, neighbors created a schedule of meals for my brother-in-law and teen nephews. The food piled high and we vacuum-sealed and froze portions for the weeks and months to come. Toilet paper and napkins, loaves of bread and CD’s of praise music for the family were dropped off all day long.

The hours and days following my sister-in-law’s death last week were the most beautiful display of community I have ever seen.

Her husband and sons are being held by their community of friends and neighbors in the plains of Texas. As my mother-in-law and other sister-in-law cut cake into pieces and I wrote dates on freezer bags, we talked about the beauty of community and how it’s with you in the ebb and flow of life. The joy and sorrow.

I walked away from that kitchen with a deep sense of thankfulness and a longing to create community just like my dear sister -in-law did. If filled her life and brought comfort in her death.

I’ve made it a goal in 2013 to work harder at this real life community thing. It doesn’t come natural for me, but I’ve seen the power of it up close and it’s good.

As women, there’s a tangible, real way for us to create community is thru (in)RL:


  • Registration opens Monday January 14th at 
  • It’s FREE!

 What is (in)RL?

  • About: (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.
  • When: The (in)RL webcast kicks off on Friday, April 26 and (in)RL meetups follow on Saturday, April 27.
  • What: Last year we explored the nitty gritty of community. This year we’re taking a closer look at what it takes to stay rooted in community when sometimes just walking away would be so much easier and tons more convenient. Women share stories of how they’ve chosen to stay through hard marriages, challenging parenting, worthwhile friendships. How choosing to stay has freed them more fully and unexpectedly than if they’d cut and run.

  • Everyone who registers on the day registration opens (today) gets a copy of our (in)courage 365 Daybrightener while supplies last (US residents only).
  • Everyone gets a copy of our first eBook: “Best of the Beach House 2012.”

I hope you’ll join me and be a part of this opportunity for connection today.


  1. 1

    Megan says

    This is very challenging as I just want to walk away from community right now. Or @ least organized community. I’m tired of doing what I think is proper and expected – what I should do, instead of what my soul calls me to do. May have to consider registering for the webcast. Maybe my definition of community is skewed – or maybe I need to dig into the hardness of community. I don’t know.

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  2. 2


    My condolences to your family — so happy to hear of the support coming in from all around, and that brings hope, too.

    I’m with you on the building of community. It’s against my natural bent, and man … it’s HARD!

    Looking forward to your follow-up on it. It helps to have a cohort who understands that I’d rather hang out in my comfy cave than run out to meet the wildlife who might make me adjust a little. :)

  3. 4


    I have the privalage to be apart of community like this. It’s just like having God himself right there with you. His chosen vessels. His hands and feet that bring healing to the hurting. What an overwhelming blessing. Praying for you as you seek out your own community.

  4. 5


    I am so thankful for the community of love and support that is surrounding your family during this time. I find that I truly have to work hard at this community thing. But it’s so worthy it. I’ve registered and am looking forward to connected with the women whose lives intertwine with mine on a daily basis!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>