I never could have guessed that staying home and raising my family could be so lonely. Life gets in the way of our best intentions. Careers require moves to states far away, naptime schedules make daily excursions so difficult, and building a network of friends tends to fall by the wayside. The pressure of the daily work can distract from the desires of the heart.
The wonder of the Internet is the ease with which we can build a network, a community, a web of loved ones around the world. Blogs, social networks and community sites are all ways we find each other. We find women we love. Women who are like-minded. Women who 'get us' and accept us.
Publishing a status update or a blog post is the modern equivalent of pouring lemonade on a hot afternoon and fluffing the pillows on the porch swing. We are welcoming each other into our lives. Our communities of friends live across our neighborhood, our towns and often across the world.
When I explain to my husband that friends I dearly love are coming for dinner or spending the night as they travel through town, he laughs and says he never imagined I would meet all my friends on the Internet. He trusts the transparent nature of our online medium. He knows that I know my friends who I have yet to meet face-to-face as well as ones I have seen weekly for years. The heart of the person shines brightly online.
Our community of friends, our web of love, our network is unaffected by distance, unhindered by naptime schedules and continually available. From prayers sent for healing from around the world, to tearful video chats that soothe troubled hearts, to sharing pictures of a little one's first day of school, our online community is strong and real.
God made us for love. He gives us the ability to share, to grow, to love, to build one another up, and do wonderful things for His glory. The online space can be dark and it is with love that we shine a light and use it for good. The power of our networks of friends and communities of women working together in love is a powerful force for good.
My message is one of thankfulness and encouragement. I have been blessed by the love and support of so many women in our online space. Keep building, Ladies, keep loving each other. Keep reaching out and shining your light in this world. The courage to share your lives, your words, your pictures touches more women than you will ever know. Women who just may become your good friends and some who just might come over for dinner one day.Leave a Comment
Becky K. says
Thanks for your encouragement, Allison! I can totally relate to the loneliness of being a stay at home mom. While I wouldn’t trade these days with my boys for the world, I know that my heart needs deep friendships and I’m trying hard to find those and nurture them.
Laura@life overseas says
Yes, online community is a wild concept. One that I am warming up to, especially since my current isolation is peaking unlike ever before. I have found a special friendship with people I have never met before, true.
Yet, I think the hard thing about online community for me is that because my computer is so available, all the time, it can tend to rob me of time I should be focusing on other things– reading to the kids, cleaning up the kitchen, breaking up a squabble. When I pursue friends for a lunch date, we have that hour of focused time, and then we say goodbye and I go back to life. When I pursue online friendships, there is no end to how much time I could pour into commenting or surfing or emailing or blogging– to the neglect (for me) of my kids I am supposed to be homeschooling.
Just a thought. Like anything, there is a rich goodness, if we can only balance the thing out. And, for me, practice some dag-gum self-control. 🙂
I’ve come to really appreciate some of my blogging friends. I stumbled across an online Bible study group and these ladies have become a wonderful support. They keep me on track in terms of my Bible study and it’s great to know that we can always ask each other for prayer when we need it. We belong to a small church and while we love it, there aren’t many women in the same stage of life as I am so the Bible study group has given me a very valuable connection to other believers with some of the same struggles as mine.
excellent thoughts! this is such a strong community!!
Mwajim Al says
My Favorite blogger is from Light a Lamp, Jaycee: http://www.lightherlamp.com/p/about-writer.html
She writes of the hardest things, the things we need to be reminded of as believers in this torrential world of ours. She doesn’t water it down, but rather with graceful truth, tells it as it should be. She writes of ups, and downs and encouragement – which is why her blog is one of my favorite places to be.
Oh how I love this Ali! Loving, building and shining your light! Thanks for ‘getting it’ and saying ‘it’ so gracefully!
Thanks for the encouragement! I have met some really amazing women through the on-line world. My favourite blogger person is http://pitterpatterart.wordpress.com/about/ because they are so inspiring. Their life inspires creativity and fun!
I linked to my favorite bloggy friend, Lynnette @ Dancing Barefoot On Weathered Ground. She’s a real mom with real stuff to share.
I love her and her sweet family rocks too!
So great to hear from Alli, today!
I linked up Tara @ Feels Like Home blog. She is always inspirational,offers great info. She is always positive.
thanks for the encouraging post. i had just featured 2 of my fave blogger who bless me and they are here
Mel's World with Melissa Mashburn says
You go girl! Always love a great chat with you Allie, you are an example of transparency, love, and warmth! Thanks for continuing to shine your light for Him all over the internet!
PS – Over the last couple of years I have been blessed to meet, stay with, room with, and have great adventures with some of my online friends.
Mel's World with Melissa Mashburn says
oops, forgot my link to one of my favorite bloggers (I could almost never just name one) …Sue Cramer, Praise & Coffee http://www.praiseandcoffee.com
Heather @ Not a DIY Life says
I agree, being at home can be lonely. Shortly after I got married in 2008, I actually went through a time of depression. I was so frustrated, because I felt like this was supposed to be the happiest time in my life. But while my husband does bring me joy every day, I needed to learn how to depend on my God for true contentment, and learn how to be the best housewife as possible. I had lost my job shortly before our wedding, and felt called to stay at home. But once I was at home, I felt despondent and worthless.
And then I turned to writing, and rediscovered the place God had for me all along. A place where I could take care of my health, our home, and our future children. A place where I could spend time writing and blogging everyday.
Now that I’ve been home for almost two years, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. This is truly where God wants me to be.
Here’s one of my dear online friends who encourages me on a day-to-day basis: http://thefaeryinn.wordpress.com. She didn’t have an “about page,” but her info runs down the side-bar of the page.
Online communities are so precious. I keep up with my children, crowning glories, friends, coworkers, cousins, and strangers-who-are-now friends. I find myself praying for sisters I’ve never met. How cool is that? I am also inspired to recommit to my blog. Not ready to reveal it yet, but words and thoughts are flowing. Thank you for affirming us, Allison!
Beth Werner Lee says
God made us for love. Yes, who tells you that?
The courage to share your lives, your words, your pictures touches more women than you will ever know. Oh, and I’m just taking babysteps with my live journal account. Years ago I thought about a blog and was asked, what content do you have? So I just dropped the idea, until now, when I’m reading and realizing I could have something to say and just need to start.
Thank you, ladies who have gone before.
Jerri Kelley Phillips says
One of my favorite blogs–because she is one of my favorite people with an amazing heart–is Lisa Buffaloe’s blog. http://www.lisabuffaloe.blogspot.com/
She’s real…kind…encouraging…seeking…and if you are ever in Idaho, she likes coffee, and you’re day will be better (and she’ll tell you her day is better, too) if you have a cup with her.
Melissa @ the inspired room says
Wonderful post Alli… friends like you who believed in me changed my life!! And Blissdom turned you all from “online” friends to “in person” friends too–all very real and precious online or off! Much love and thanks to you,
My favorite blog to read is by (in)courage’s own SimpleMom, at http://simplemom.net/about/. Another blog I love is by my two friends who are blogging about their year living in South Korea at http://52weekendsinseoul.blogspot.com/.
Jenni Saake InfertilityMom says
Allison, so nice to “meet” you. I have had similar experiences in online community where chat usernames soon become best friends and open-hearted acquaintances eventually lead to face-to-face planned meetings, overflowing with hugs. Praise God that He can take this tool that many do use for such dark purposes and redeem it with the Light of His glory through fellowship for Him! PTL!
Allison, this is great, and so true. I love hearing the passion for encouragement in your voice! Another blogger that I love is Bianca Juarez. 🙂 http://blog.inthenameoflove.org/?page_id=2 But, I also have felt community through everybody here at inCourage! What a great group of talented writers!
Denise Cornett says
One of my favorite blogs for encouragement is The Homespun Heart. Monica is very honest and encouraging in her posts.
http://www.aholyexperience.com/ by Ann Voskamp is my favorite blog. I would love to meet her in person.
Community is SO important! It’s something our small group @ church is trying to build more of and it helps so much! It’s always nice to have someone you know you can call … no matter what time of the day it is and they will be there to listen.
A blog that I love to read is http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/. She is always encouraging and it’s comforting knowing that you are not the only one going through the struggles of being a stay at home mom with a young child!
My absolute favorite is The Nester. She was my introduction to blogs and she reminds me that a home is for living and loving. All I can say is I’m hooked.
Hard to choose just one but I most relate to the posts by Biaca Juarez. She is real, funny, and does everything in the name of LOVE.
krista miller says
just send an email. thanks for an excellent opportunity & idea!!!
Dawn Camp says
Alli, there are lots of women I’m thankful for meeting online, many of which have translated into real life friendships, and you are certainly one of them. Love you, sister!
Ashley Pichea says
So true! I love my online friends, and even though I’ve never met most of them online, they provide me with such encouragement and support. Being a SAHM wouldn’t be the same without them!
thanks for the encouraging post and the reminder of how important community is.
Hi Allison, I am not a stay at home Mom actually I’m not a Mom at all. Not by my choice but by the choice of the Lord. At least for now. I do work out of the home, but not happily. Right now I have no choice as my husband doesn’t have a job. He lost his job over 3 1/2 yrs ago. Not a fault of his own. He is visually disabled. Only has about 4 – 5% vision. He has had a problem getting another one.
I have had a very lonely time for quite a while. So I know how important community and especially supportive women community is. I have only been on incourage for about a month. I have been very Blessed by it. I have mainly been blogging with Holley on her Heart to heart. She is such a Blessing to me. I feel that so will you. It’s hard to find faithful friends today. I feel that I am going through some rejection time with people in my church. People here locally. They want perfection and I can’t live up to that. I’m so tired of gossip about myself and other people. When people don’t know your situation and judge you and even gossip about you You get worn out after a while. I make mistakes, trip up, and I’m the first to admit it. I’m so far from being perfect. I hope to find some friends here in this community that I feel so Blessed to have come across. God is so Good! Accepting and encouraging people is my thing. Along with showing them Love and helping them when they go off the beaten path as they say. When they go wayward. That’s what I’m here for on this earth. With the Lord’s help I will become the person he wants me to be and do what it is that he has chosen for my purpose. I’m dealing with a lot of stuff right now but I want to grow in the Lord and Be all he wants me to be. As i go through this Journey I need women to help me along, giuide me, encourage me, listen to me, support me and most of all be wonderful prayer Warriors to help pray me through this difficult time.
Thank you for listening.
Sis In Christ
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