Community (in)RL

community (in)RL

I can talk all. day. long.  

For real.  But this morning, I am finding it hard to put into words what happened in my heart and in my home Saturday morning.

Six women walked through my door.  Six women with six different situations.  The only commonality was they all knew me.  One has known me my whole life and one only knew me through the stories she’d heard for years.  The rest fit somewhere in between.

We ate and chatted in my kitchen because isn’t that where women always get started?

As we slowly moved to the comfy couches in my living room, coffee in hand, the mood had changed.  There was anticipation and a little bit of fear.  The open sharing of events just passed had shifted.  It was as if while we walked through the dining room all our insecurities and uncertainties took over.

(in)RL decorations

I put in the (in)RL introduction video and prayed the next hour would be real and encouraging.

We introduced ourselves and everyone got prizes.  I asked the questions, “What is community?”  and “How do we find it?”

Slowly the answers came.  But then, the third question in, it happened … that moment when we all knew, “This place is safe and I’m not alone.”

“How have you been hurt by community?”

Stories poured out of difficult situations and we nodded and shared our own times of struggle.

We read these verses

1 Thessalonians 5

We realized community is about being willing … willing to come alongside, willing to encourage, willing to be accountable other others, and willing to love.   We acknowledged community is hard.  But we are open to live this way, prepared to walk through the hard times, to stay even when leaving is easier, to fight through the conflicts, to endure the tragedies, to celebrate the happiness, and to share the daily mundane—community is rich and vibrant! And we need community.  All of us.

we need community

How have you found community?

Thank you to the amazing people at (in)courage {like Lisa-Jo and Stacey!}  who have done an incredible thing with (in)RL!

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I loved, loved seeing and hearing you on the videos! And I love this line, “We realized community is about being willing … willing to come alongside, willing to encourage, willing to be accountable other others, and willing to love.” I’ve got to tweet that! 🙂 Or part at least!

  2. Sounds like an amazing day! I love reading about everything He did in the lives of my sisters through (in)RL! And I totally smiled when I saw you on the screen…so fun! Blessings, friend! 🙂

  3. You are so right, it is about being willing. And those verses…whoa, how perfect are they for this weekend?

    Be joyful.
    Work hard.
    Live peaceably.

    All of that and more. I just love God’s Word and I love that you saw to it to take your group to it on Saturday. I so wish we could have had cupcakes together and lots of coffee. We’d probably still be standing in the kitchen talking! 🙂


  4. Loved reading the connection your ladies made during (in)RL 2013! Isn’t it neat to watch sisters in Christ forming bonds in Him :-). I look forward to making my own connections next year. Thank you so much for sharing your heart during (in)RL. Words cannot express how much they touched my heart! By the way…I Love your tablescape :-)!

  5. Hey Teri Lynne, Just wanted to say thank you for sharing about your (in)RL experience. I was reading back through some of your posts and the verses you shared there were very timely. I had a conversation with someone at church on Sunday about our church, and I tried to speak wisely about what she was telling me. But that verse resonated so deeply. I need to remember that one God’s got this and two that I need to be in prayer for those in leadership whether I understand some of the things happening or not. Thank you for the reminder.

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