We’re counting down to April 26 & 27 when our (in) real life conference kicks off! And these are a few of our favorite posts from women who participated in last year’s event. We’re sharing them here so you can get a peek at what all the excitement is about and come and join us. Register here — it’s FREE!


I’ve talked about (in)Real Life a lot lately. And I’m going to talk about it again.

Just today. Promise.

It’s just that it was SO. SO. Incredibly. GOOD.

Here’s the thing. When I signed up for it ages ago, I was pumped to meet fellow (in)courage readers and bloggers…and just make some new friends. That’s totally the ENFP in me. Truly all about relationships.

But I also knew I couldn’t host a meet-up, though I did consider it. Too many factors weighed in on that one, and to top it off, I had committed to leading a workout that morning just a few hours before it kicked off. I watched the meet-up lists for weeks, sure that one would be happening at least somewhat close to me.

It didn’t happen, and I was disappointed. I knew that if I attended one of the closest ones to me, it still meant more than an hour of driving one way, and I didn’t have it in my day.

Instead, I mentioned it to a friend.

I’ve got an awesome community of girlfriends here. Oh, they’re like coffee with extra-yummy creamer on a gloomy, rainy day. They just make my life better, sweeter, and more alive. But the one thing we don’t have in common is blogging. Some of them enthusiastically read my blog, and I so value that they show their love to me in that way. But they don’t follow other blogs, and so I knew they didn’t completely understand what a huge part of my life this place called (in)courage is.

But I opened it up anyway, asking if any of my friends would like to join me.

And two of them did!

Our day looked different from most (in)RL meetups. We already knew each other.

But we still brewed the coffee, ate some awesome food, kicked up our feet…

And something happened that day.

We walked away knowing each other’s hearts better. Because let’s be honest…we all have joys and sorrows and need those people to love us and pray for us and just be there for us.

I’ve been so thankful for this community of love that God has given me…but I’m even more thankful now.

As we watched stories unfold…

…like incredible ways God answered prayer for dear sisters-in-Christ

…and how God used a woman who was willing to be obedient to reach many, many women in Kenya

…like the reminder that we were created exactly as He wanted us to be…and WE. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.

…and listened to the beauty of blended voices as women from around the world read Truth together

…we laughed together, we let a few tears drip together (ok…that was probably more me), we shared our hearts, we loved a little deeper.

We were community. We still are.

The day didn’t end up looking at all like what I had originally thought it might…but I have no doubt that God was in it, and He worked it out exactly as it should have been. He knew what I needed more than I did and met me exactly where I was. As He always, always does.

Thank you to my beautiful sisters at (in)courage for giving us this incredible weekend! I want to hug you all! What a blessing you are…and will continue to be…in my life.

Oh, I heart community!


 By: Mel

Photo courtesy of Dawn Camp

You’re each invited, you know. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s so rewarding to connect with other sisters in Christ beyond the blog post. Tune in from home on Friday to watch the Webcast and meetup with friends on Saturday and watch together. Go on, you’re much braver than you think. Just CLICK HERE to register.

  • http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com Kristin Taylor

    I appreciate your story here because my closet friends in my everyday life — who are the people who sustain me, encourage me, and live life with me in so many ordinary ways that they’re extraordinary — don’t read blogs like I do or really connect with people online. I tend to assume they won’t appreciate how God has encouraged me in this way. Thanks for reminding me that God is bigger than my assumptions!

    • http://barefootmel.com Mel

      You’re welcome, Kristin! Thank you for your kind words. I think I assumed the same thing without realizing it…when (in)RL is really just a celebration of community exactly as we are and everyone is welcome. :) Blessings, friend!

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    You are encouraging me to want to seek out a group.

    • http://barefootmel.com Mel

      I hope you do, Lisa…I know you’ll be so blessed! :)

  • http://www.comingaliveministries-jenn.com Jenn Hand

    I was reading this.. loving it.. thinking I want to have coffee with that girl.. haha.. and then realized it was you MEL.. I have so come to love you and your ENFP self! blessings friend

    • http://barefootmel.com Mel

      HA! This made me smile really BIG. So great to see you here, my friend! That coffee will happen soon…we’ll find a way! :)

  • Debbie

    So beautiful. Needed this so much.

    • http://barefootmel.com Mel

      Oh, thank you, Debbie! Blessings to you. :)

  • http://www.winsomewoman.blogspot.com Kim

    This really speaks to the power of two or more gathered in the name of Jesus. Thanks for the reminder of the power of fellowship and sharing our hearts . . few or many!

    • http://barefootmel.com Mel

      Thank you for that great insight, Kim…so true! Blessings! :)

  • Beth Williams

    It is one thing to have friends-know people. God wants far more than that for us–He wants us to bond with others & really get to know them—deep down in the nitty gritty. He wants us to be community & pray for others–their hurts, sorrows, and rejoice with them in their blessings.

    Can’t wait for this year’s meet up!

    • http://barefootmel.com Mel

      Thank you for your insight, Beth…so true. And, me too…I can’t wait! :) Blessings!