About the Author

Lisa-Jo is the best-selling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood. Her newest book, The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You invites us to get a good look at our middles and gives us permission to embrace them.

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  1. I almost missed this because of a missed detail. But I didn’t miss it, because of a friend. I dreamed of this kind of Jesus in the flesh living for a long time. My heart is full — so much love and joy and hope for relationships, both with God and with others — in real-life.

    Thank you… THANK YOU for this… My life is forever changed. Thank you for your dedication and diligence… truly. This was the best $10 I ever spent, which I know will reap eternal dividends.

    With love and blessings,

    Michele-Lyn

  2. I took Friday off from work so that I could be ready for this and now I think I need to take today off so I can read everyone’s posts! It was wonderful and God showed up in a major way on Friday at home and on Saturday with the ladies. This spoke to my heart . Thank you for doing this! Next year…my house!

  3. Just. the. happiest. tears.

    Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for bringing Your daughters face to face in the most powerful, healing ways this weekend!

    • Your Blog Reading with holley by your side was so beautiful. I couldn’t even gulp back the tears – I WEPT! To have a woman DECIDE to intentionally befriend is powerful and must be a true treasure. I hope too, to find this in my life one day. To be found worthy of such a friendship. Thank you for your courage and your sharing.

  4. Oh I missed this, though it was probably at a time I couldn’t do it, living about 10 hours ahead and having a full day, but next year…YES! Please!

  5. I loved every second of this. It meant so much to me. I am a missionary from England, serving and living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sometimes, with my lack of long-term stability, my life can be complicated. Friendships can be HARD. Not everyone appreciates that I can’t always find time to grab a coffee or that my limited finances mean I can’t make unplanned social trips. I have yet to make any REAL girl-friends here, since relocating last October and was just beginning to get overwhelmed and give up on having true community. Then I discovered (in) courage and my life changed. I discovered a group of wonderful women like Annie Downs, who is in her 30’s like me and single. Like Ann Voscamp who writes raw and from the heart, who knows what it is to be broken and like me still wants to serve. Like Holly Gerth who just figured out like me that she is Already Amazing. And I discovered so many more precious hearts and voices…And I realized that YOU are my community. You women. You writers. You are my real and day-to-day. And so as I fellowshiped in my room, on my own, over this weekend and wept tears of joy about ‘community’ and what it means and how it should look and be, I found a new resolve to make this true in my current circumstances. To not just be satisfied with seeking it out through a pc screen, but to at least TRY to reach across the divide. I know it will be hard, but I also now believe, it will be worth it. Thank you thank you. To me (in): RL meant SO much!

  6. It was an amazing weekend of blessing.

    As well as being part of an incredible global experience, I really felt the prayer support of other friends who could not join us on the day. Many who missed it are asking when they can see the DVD, so will definitely be buying it and have another “day of blessing”

    Thanks! We love you too!

  7. Had a great time doing the conference on my own in the end – although I would’ve loved to do it with fellow Sisters it wasn’t meant to be. And it turned out for the best, as I spend most of the weekend with a feverish baby on my lap, and attending the conference! At one stage Friday night during the live broadcast I was changing a nappy with one eye on the computer screen… 😉 Blessed to have been part of it. Thank you, Thank You!

    • And that makes us so so happy because that’s exactly the beauty of a conference that comes to YOU! Sick babies and tired mamas don’t have to worry about travel or babysitters – they can just tune in right where they are! So thrilled you were able to join us, baby and all!

  8. I had no idea how much this would impact me. I was not prepared for it! I invited about 25 women and had only my mom show up. And only because her previous engagement got cancelled. So I started the day on a pretty discouraged note. But then my mother in law and future sister in law came by around lunch, and I got to sit down with this beautiful woman my brother is about to marry and listen to her journey with Jesus [which is very new right now – super exciting!] and how He’s working on her heart and my brother’s heart. I can remember sitting there [nursing my one year old, lol] and realizing that THIS is what this event was for. It didn’t matter that my house wasn’t full, because Jesus still showed up and forged some community between me and Jaimie. After these past few weeks that have been a very lonely and dark time, Jesus really had my heart in mind with this event and had His way, even though it looked different than my way. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for putting this on!!!! I cried at nearly every video, and felt like you guys were talking straight to me, right where I am right now. You built up some treasures in heaven this weekend!

    • Oh Shepard!

      This – this has my eyes filling up “It didn’t matter that my house wasn’t full, because Jesus still showed up and forged some community” – oh how He loves us, oh how He loves us so!

      Yes – (in)real life isn’t about how many we connect with – it’s about connecting. Period.

  9. Wow, we are all so beautiful, aren’t we? Beautiful women, created by Him, created for community! Love to all my sisters in Christ!

  10. This weekend was so incredible! Even though I had to do it on my own, I did NOT feel alone at all! Can’t wait for next year… Hoping to join a meet up then… Or create one of my own!

    Thank you, thank you!

  11. I almost didn’t register. After my husband gone for two weeks, I knew that hosting or even attending would be too much. I needed a weekend at home with my family. But I registered last minute and determined to get any sort of wisdom I could. I am so glad I did. I loved, loved, loved seeing all those familiar faces of bloggers that I love so much and the wisdom was worth it’s weight in gold. Thank you for doing this. I hope next year to attend a meetup.

  12. So thankful for the energy you all put into bringing us face-to-face and side-by-side to remind us that we should not…must not…shoulder the burden of life alone.

  13. I love this – and seeing all of these pictures of everyone makes me both miss the friends that I’ve met over time at different conferences… and warms my heart that they were watching the same videos I was watching.

    Thank you for doing this – what a blessing.

  14. Saturday was so awesome! I was a little nervous since I was going by myself and din’t know anyone else there. Those nervous jitters were soon put to rest. The women there were so welcoming! My table mates were from all walks of life, I learned from them and I think I was to give back as well!

  15. I got teary scrolling through all these pictures – so much beauty and grace!

    What a fantastic success this day was — I was still talking about it this morning at school drop-off with another mom who came!

    Thank you to everyone behind the scenes at (in) Courage and Dayspring who worked months and months to pull (in) RL off so spectacularly!

  16. Can I just say how much we LOVE Lisa-Jo, Holley, Ann V, Kristen, Bonnie, Angie, and ALL the awesome (in) courage women. We do. We LOVE you girls – bigger hugs back to you all for giving us the gift of this week end x

  17. I missed this! But I will say, looking at these pictures made me smile and I the first thing I thought was… I have never met a single one of these precious ladies but they are my sisters!! I love looking at all these random posts and pic with a feeling of family I’ve never met:) God is just awesome like that!!!

  18. Boy, the things we learn about ourselves (in)RL! Yessirree. Those ladies showed me how to be real, vulernable and how I need to practice being that way more often (in)RL! What a blessing. Thank you (in)courage for all your hard work putting this together.

  19. We so much enjoyed our time together, encouraging one another and being encouraged by incourage!!…..from near Stratford, Ontario, Canada — and we love Voskamp too — could you tell by our banner in our photo??? …eucharisteo…. I give thanks for our beautiful weekend in community and open discussion about Jesus!

  20. My heart does not have words to express the gratitude to all for putting this event together. And this comment box could not hold all the reasons why it was amazing to me. I fought through sickness and migraines and mishaps to host a few women that actually showed up. The number did not matter, it mattered that I listened to Him who asked me to host. Because really it was for me. He showed that to me over and over as I cried through tears each and every time I watched a video, which may or may not have been 20 times. 🙂 What an amazing weekend! I cannot wait for (in)RL 2013!

  21. […] “Yup, we’re bringing the beach house to you with the goal of connecting women beyond the blog post! How? Well, with a day of (in)courage meetups – think mini beach house parties – all around the country and globe and a webcast for everyone to tune into. A local meetup on a global scale; friends will gather to watch live webcasts of (in)courage contri… […]

  22. How wonderful to see some many shining faces from all corners of the US and world! Amazing how God connects hearts!

    Thank you all at (in)courage for setting this up! This conference truly was the blessing I needed to have come into my life to help begin the breaking of fears of community with women…real community. Not this “nit-pick your own community” stuff…the real community God intended His children to all have within His church. Though the introverted, flesh-side of me wants to run…this weekend helped me run into God’s arms in faith and understand God designed me as a woman for a purpose and in turn, has a design for me to be involved (deeply) with women in my life.

    What a blessing this all is! Thank you so much!

  23. I didn’t get to attend the inRL event. I had purchased a ticket for myself and someone else not knowing who that someone else was. On Thursday my computer crashed and so I was unable to watch the livestream or the online videos BUT I did watch the twitter stream and I loved each little tweet about community and God’s love and just seeing each person interact. It was amazing – the Body of Christ in action. Thanks so much for doing this, next year I WILL have a new computer to be able to take part in this. I pray that the person who got to use my other ticket received an overflowing blessing!

  24. So amazing to see that it was in other countries. I was blown away on Instagram.

    Thank you for sharing the photo of my DIL, Lisa – Jo. We had a relaxing and bonding Hawaii (in)RL. I would so do this again. Can’t wait for the DVD’s to be released.

    Sending hugs and prayers of blessings to you and all at (in)Courage.

  25. I loved the conference this past weekend. I sat in my pj’s in front of my computer and enjoyed every minute of it. I had fun tweeting at the same time. I felt encouraged and loved and never alone. Thank you for each minute of this one!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  26. I loved it. ALL of it…I don’t think I could choose a favorite part. I met up with two sweet friends on Saturday afternoon, and we had such a good time that I was sad when it was over. I even spent part of Sunday afternoon watching several of the videos again because I couldn’t get enough of it! 🙂

    My (in)courage sisters, thank you SO MUCH for all the hard work you put into making this possible! I can’t wait for the next one! I feel so blessed to be part of this community.

  27. Thank you so much! God used this to speak to and heal my heart in so many ways!
    I watched the videos from my kitchen between running kids and flipping laundry and even though I was alone, I felt connected. It was wonderful!

    There is absolutely no other way I could have attended a conference in this season of my life, so this was a true God-send for me and I appreciate it more than I can say.
    Thank you and I’ll be praying for what comes next!

    In Him
    pk

  28. What an amazing time we had with the most special & beautiful ladies from Fargo, ND! Comments included:
    * I think I want to be a blogger now
    * I can’t wait for next year and to watch (in)rL grow
    * So thankful to be inspired without having to leave town
    * I was so moved, I want to be intentional about community – inspired me to start up my Blessings business again

  29. […] (in)courage did this weekend was truly astounding. Amazing! Over 1,700 women all over the world connecting and being real. Tears, laughter, and […]

  30. THANK YOU, (in)courage for hosting (in)RL!

    I’m SO glad I went. So glad my real life friend, Jen, invited me along and that as a result I made new friends {in(RL)}! The experience of online community merging with face-to face community was incredible!

    I so enjoyed meeting you, Lisa-Jo! =) Thank you for making me–for making ALL of us!– feel so welcomed and loved.

    Thank you also to all the women who worked so hard in making the day a success in opening not only the doors of their church to us, but in opening the doors of their hearts.

  31. Thank you!! This was truly a blessed event! Amazing women, amazing community – fed the soul! Wonderful!!

  32. We had an unexpected death in our family and I didn’t get on line. Can I go back and listen now? If so, how long will it be up?

    Thanks!
    Rita

  33. […] to connect girlfriends old and new. it was quite the event. women from around the world joined in. here is a peek into the event. so many amazing and beautiful women coming […]