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!
Saturday I hosted an (in)Real Life meetup . . well kinda. You know, the one I’ve been planning, posting, and Facebooking about for a month now. The one I talked to all my friends about, invited the ladies from my Bible study to, announced in church. The one I prayed over, planned for, got way more creative than is normal for me, stayed up way too late to prepare for, woke up way too early Saturday morning cause I was so excited to welcome my friends.
Yeah, that one.
It was an incredible day. Full of surprises.
Like a failed internet connection.
And it didn’t fail until everyone had arrived, and it was too late to cancel what I had scheduled and promoted as a full one-day retreat. I had no “Plan B.”
“Man makes his plans, but God directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
As I made frantic calls to the internet company and tried every technological option my very “un-techy” mind could think of, I prayed pleading prayers.
“God, do you see me here? Do you understand how badly I need this internet to work? How disastrous this is going to be if it doesn’t? What the heck am I supposed to do with all these women who’ve come to my house with the expectation of a really great time of learning and encouragement that I am totally unprepared to deliver WITHOUT THIS VIDEO?????!!!!! I love you. You’re really great. Pleeeeeeeease. Amen.”
Slowly, the undeniable reality of my predicament began to settle in. My heart was in my throat. Hiding in the bathroom and crying was a tempting but unrealistic option. God and the internet remained silent.
Defeatedly, I looked up from the computer. And I saw my roomful of friends milling around my kitchen enjoying coffee, fruit, and pastries. The warm buzz of conversation was filling the air. Not a single one of them looked like they were ready to cry mutiny. Instead, they were all smiling, engaging each other in conversation, laughing, communing. They looked surprisingly like . . community.
The vision for the (in)Real Life event was to connect women to real life community. The kind you can touch. It wasn’t the way I planned, but what happened accomplished exactly that! Using the handouts as our discussion starters, we had phenomenal conversations. Our hearts were knit together and to God. We laughed, cried, worshiped, learned, and ate. Old friends were reunited, friendships were strengthened, new friendships were birthed. We enjoyed and celebrated community. It was an incredible day.
I’m looking forward to purchasing the (in)RL dvd, inviting back all my gracious friends plus all those who couldn’t make it, and enjoying the wisdom of the (in)courage writers.
The truth is I’m still a little disappointed that we didn’t get to watch the lovely ladies of (in)courage as they sat sharing on the couch. But by God’s grace . .
. . we got to be them.
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.
The same thing happened to me. I was so embarrassed, and unsure of where to go from there. I’m nervous to invite everyone again, based on that experience. I know I’ll regret not trying, though.
You can do it, BJ! Don’t be afraid to step out in faith…and you know, we have tips to help with technical stuff! Have you seen the tips page yet?
I understand, BJ. Even though it all worked out, I’m a little nervous about this year too. I’ll do all I can to prepare (we live in the mountains and internet can be fussy), and I’ll have the (in)RL DVD from 2012 as a back-up plan. Maybe you could get ahold of that too. Go for it and know that wherever two or three are gathered, Jesus is with us, so it’s bound to be good!
Lindsey van Niekerk says
Wow, Kim! What an incredible story! I love how God has a Plan B, even when we don’t see it or FEEL it at the moment!
You go, girl!
Yes, Lindsey! It makes me realize how I really CAN trust Him. His ways are higher than ours, and He always works things out for our good and His wonderful glory.
Elizabeth Anne May says
Beautiful story, Kim! Sometimes God has other plans in mind, doesn’t He? I’m hosting and attending my first (in)RL conference this year. I can’t wait.
That’s wonderful, Elizabeth! I’ll pray for His blessing on your preparations and meet-up (and a strong internet connection 😉
Christine Wright says
Kim, I love your brave heart!! And thank you for the reminder that our plans just might not be what God has planned for (in)RL 2013, whether you’re hosting or attending…but oh, how beautiful it will be!
Thanks, Christine! The story would have been very different had I hid in the bathroom, huh?! Yes, it will be beautiful because His daughters will be there 😀
Oh my goodness, that is something that would happen to me! Glad it still worked out. 🙂
Me too, Lisa! 😀
Yeah, Kim! Way to go, Dreamer:) This is a wonderful story.
It was a wonderful day! God did indeed show up & though the internet was quiet, God’s Spirit was not. I was there all day & Kim was wonderful & flexible. Every woman left very glad they came. Many seeds were sown that have grown & spread. I met several ladies that, a year later, we have kept in touch and are even seeking to minister to other women together with Kim. Im excited to see the internet/dvd version this year & “meet” the wonderful Incourage women, but last year really was the perfect example of how one woman’s simple faith to step out of her comfort zone opened the door for amazing ministry. Thank you, Kim, and thank you Incourage women!
XO, Steph! YOU all made the day.
Beth Williams says
Proud of you Kim for going on faith & letting God lead where He will. Perhaps His plans were for your group to make friends with each other quietly. Prayerfully the internet will be working this year and you all can enjoy the conference.
I did not attend last year, but will attend this year!
Thank you, Beth. I think you’re right 🙂
The story was great the photos were beautiful…. was wondering what you did with the little bottles and booklets? I’m hosting this year and excited (and scared)!
Thank you, Sarah. The booklets were for the printed handouts. The bottles were scripture “messages in a bottle” to go along with the beach house theme. I used scriptures where God speaks words of love and affirmation to us. I found the bottles pretty cheap at a craft store. Have a wonderful meet-up!