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. *snort*…love my girls and the moustaches. And all these beautiful amazing inspiring women from around the world! (totes stealing that computer keyboard ring idea!)

  2. Love, love, love these photos. I wasn’t able to find a group but I received so much and continue to receive from the videos. I plan to purchase them and go through with my Daughters-in-love. Keep fanning the flames of authentic relationships for us up here. Thank you all so much Incourage Team, my God increase you much more. Sending you love from Toronto, Canada.

    • It sounds like you have already “found” your group and are “hosting” whether you ever officially signed up or not, this year! 😀 May God keep fanning the flames and bless your circle of influence. <3

  3. This weekend was SO MUCH FUN. 🙂 I missed a good deal of the webcast on Friday and was so discouraged when I went to bed that night. But Saturday was just the most refreshing, encouraging, awesome time I’ve had in a while! I’m so glad I went. 🙂

    • Get on the email list now. Start looking for email invitations to sign up or host next winter/spring (the event have been in April so far). That’s it. Totally worth the heart and time investment! 🙂

  4. Scrolling through these pictures brought tears to my eyes. How is it that I can feel a kinship – a sisterhood – with these women I’ve never met? Jesus, that’s how.

    Our family joined a church in our new neighborhood three weeks ago. I hosted a meetup there on Saturday. Talk about craving community! A few minutes before I dismissed our group of five, our eldest attendee (who entered pushing her walker and rocking an awesome hat) said, “So, what’s next? What do we do now?” I floundered for a moment, then realized she was challenging us to take what we’d watched and discussed and put it into action. Another new friend was intrigued by a Bible study that was mentioned in the videos, so I think we are going to check it out and possibly continue meeting to go through it together.

  5. AWESOME!!! 🙂
    I agree with Monica! All my ‘sisters’ ! I will probably never meet any of you – this side of Heaven! What a day of rejoicing that will be!
    May He continue to bless you all with His Presence!

  6. Loved, loved, loved the day! I left my imaginary Chihuahua of fear barking at home, that I should be intimidated by the other women, what if I wasn’t wearing the right clothes, what if my food choice didn’t fit, yip, yip, yip.

    It was an experience that left me weightless the rest of the day, overflowing with joy, love and laughter. Thank you, thank you, ladies, for bringing the online into real life! xoxo <3

    • Kim! I love this 🙂 You find that chihuahua a new home – there’s no room for him in your life anymore! Celebrating you today, dreamer friend 🙂

    • Elaine. Please Don’t Give Up. Many of us women are scared, anxious, more comfortable in our pjs at home rather than stepping out to meet strangers (or friends for that matter). We’re afraid of what we don’t know. Of how we’ve been cast aside before and protect ourselves by not reaching out to others for fear of being hurt again. BE PROUD that you were brave enough to host. DON’T DESPAIR that no one showed up. this time. make a next time. continue to reach out. be the one who does. and you will find someone on the other end. I don’t know where you live, but if I were close, I’d meet up with you myself.

      • So much amen to what Lisa said. Hang in there. We hear you. Community is hard. And you are BRAVE for stepping out in courage. Thank you for opening your heart like that. And we ache the same at the feeling of no one showing up. Here’s to an unexpected friend when you least expect it -praying that for you today.

        • You two made me cry! And I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry when it didn’t happen for me! Thank you for your prayers & encouragement – that’s what I love so much about this site.

          • Elaine, don’t give up! 🙂 I know how you feel, I’ve been there SO many times. No location was close to me, either, and so I hosted – one person showed. I put it on my facebook, too, to invite all of the people I know in my area… no one wanted to come, no one asked about it – no one seemed to care. I wrote my post about seeking community even when it doesn’t seem to come to you. If interested, you can read it here: http://annaradchenko.net/2013/05/community/

            I know it’s hard, but it’s worth it. God has a plan 🙂 remember the videos we watched last weekend? It’s so easy to leave, but there is beauty and strength in staying – even if that means staying in community alone while you seek out others to join you. Don’t give up dear, God wants great things for you!

      • I TOTALLY wanted to go last year. There was none in my area and hosting wasn’t an option since I was fresh out of a 2-month hospital stay. I tried to talk it up so someone else might host, but there was NO interest from anyone else either. No people I knew in person, not on Facebook, not even in reply to my pleas on (in)Courage message boards. I was depressed and felt friendless too. :,(
        This year, as soon as it came up again, I started talking it up to everyone I could think of, posting everywhere, and praying, but honestly those prayers felt fairly hopeless. I would have loved to sign up as a host, but God continues to medically keep that option pretty firmly closed. After a few months of feeling like it wasn’t going to happen AGAIN this year, ONE lady I hardly knew expressed some interest but wasn’t able to host either. A few weeks later, a lady I didn’t know at all (one of her acquaintances) popped up on my email notification that she had signed up to host! In the end, there were 6 of us there. It was not at all what one of us expected from the day, but obviously a God think that we each were there.
        I’m sorry you opened your heart and home only to be left feeling empty, rejected, or discouraged. I just wanted to share that if God births a passion in you, it might be for some future year’s fruition. Hang in there!

  7. […] past weekend I was blessed to host an (in)RL (in real life) meet up for my community.  The videos, speakers, messages, truths, and heart-felt […]

  8. We had the best time. And I stuck my head out & sign up to Host! All went well. We had lots of food, including, chocolate.
    All is well & I want to do it again next year.

  9. I was blessed to attend inRL with my mom. There were six of us. Out of that group, two of us have already formed a Bible study/mentorship relationship and I think at least one other mentorship may soon be born out of that day, based on some comments that have been made.
    I was all nervous about how our first Bible study day would go with the friend I committed to pour into (but she is already pouring back into me too!) when everything that could go wrong with our planned schedule did go wrong (her daughter got left behind by her car pool and she had to make an unplanned drive across town right at our meeting time, my doctor’s appointment ran two hours late, my internet was down, we missed each other’s phone messages, etc.) and my house was far from Martha Steward presentable. About two hours later than planned, with frazzled nerves, on both ends, we mostly just talked this first time, read a little, prayed a little, but mostly just got to know each other there in my messy, far-less-than-perfect home. The next morning a note in my Facebook so filled my heart to read, “I haven’t felt so at home in someone else’s house in years!” Wow God!
    We’ve know each other for a while. Our daughters are best friends. We arrange play dates and chit-chat often. But we likely would have remained just acquaintances were it not for inRL and the challenge to intentionally enter in to community.

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