But This Is My Real Life

I’ve been looking forward to today for quite awhile. Earlier this year, HisGirlAmber told me she’d be in Louisiana this month. I thought that the chances of our schedules aligning and us actually getting to meet were hopeful but unlikely. But then, a a couple of weeks ago, the stalker “pre-MIRL countdown” (that’s Meet In Real Life for those of you who are just tuning in) phone texts began. And last night I really truly realized for the first time that this was actually going to happen. I was going to get to spend some time with a friend who until today was only a friend who lived in my computer.

I don’t remember how I found HisGirlAmber’s blog. It was probably through Meredith. I can trace probably 85% or more of my friends who live in my computer back to a connection with her. If she ever starts charging me a finder’s fee, I’m in trouble. I think what I love most about Amber’s blog is that she gets right to the heart of the matter and finds God in the everyday minutes of life. I’ve left her blog encouraged, convicted, inspired…sometimes all of those at once! She doesn’t waste words. And she points back to Jesus every time. I love that she’s not cocky about her abilities but she’s confident enough to use her talents and passions to do great work for the kingdom.  The girl sat down and wrote a Bible study about the book of Daniel, people. Who does that? Besides Beth Moore?

So today was the big MIRL day. I was nervous. I’d like to think that by this point in my life I’m confident enough in my life to accept that not everyone’s going to get me and not everyone’s going to love me. And that maybe people can get along really well in the comments section of a blog and not have much to talk about when they’re sitting across a table from each other eating burgers (and cheesesticks) at a table at Fuddrucker. But I wanted them to like me. And I wanted it to be a fun day.

Did I mention they met me here at my house?  My house that was family clean but not company clean. Certainly not, please-judge-me-as-a-housekeeper-for-the-first-time-you-meet-me clean. But that’s my fault and another story for another day (or not). And Amber was bringing her best friend forever and her BFF’s friend. I felt like it would be okay, but I was sweating it a little.

They arrived a little early. For me, and this is really only my third MIRL, the initial hellos are the most awkward. But that lasted less than a couple of minutes and the rest of the day, as I said on Amber’s blog, was like picking up on a conversation with old friends that started a long time ago. I love those girls. Amber is the Amber I’ve already known all these months through our blogs. Sing4Joy Judi, her BFF, is the real deal and a great big walking heart. Ashleigh is an easygoing sweetheart who loves life and does a mean leprechaun leap. I haven’t weathered any storms with these girls. We don’t have a lot of history together. I don’t know every chapter and page of their stories (although they were very patient with my Barbara Walters interview questions). But those girls are my friends. More than that, they are my sisters.

I think MIRL is kind of a misnomer. This blog is real life to me. I’m not trying to go all Julie and Julia, but my friends who live in my computer are as true and real and dear to me as my friends who live outside it. I don’t expect everyone to understand that. I think those of you who read and comment on blogs regularly do.  I don’t think that I truly “know” every person who leaves a comment on this blog. But for many of us, the blog was just the starting point of our friendship. We have emailed, texted, called….and on special days, MIRLed. I wouldn’t trade a single friend with whom I’ve had the privilege of doing life with in the flesh. But I also wouldn’t trade the friends I’m doing life with in more untraditional ways. I am real here. I speak my mind here. Do I hold anything back? Of course I do. But I do that “in my real life,” too.

Today my computer life and “my real life” intersected for a few hours. My friends stepped out of my computer and into my world. We ate, laughed, frolicked (isn’t that the photographic direction you gave us, Judi?), letterboxed stealthily (another topic for another day…if you think you’re cool enough to handle it), and left very few stones unturned (literally and conversationally). Some time during the day, I couldn’t help but think about Heaven. One day, we are going to have the biggest MIRL party ever. We’ll MIRL with Jesus and then we’ll be together with the friends we’ve met and the ones we’ve never seen on this earth. As I sit here and replay moments from my day in my head, I get more and more excited about that day. And although I can’t find a Bible verse or a Randy Alcorn reference to prove it, I  think there might be letterboxing there. If you come unprepared, I’ll let you borrow my stamp!

Amber, Judi, Ashleigh, I love you girls and today will be a memory I’ll cherish. Thanks for taking the time to come and see me and share your lives with me. I feel honored and I hope we get to do it again this side of Heaven. Y’all come back now, you hear?

I was so geeked out I didn’t take a single picture! But Sing4Joy and HisGirlAmber posted one or two on their posts today. She Who Should Not Remain Blogless obviously didn’t post any pictures on her blog…because she doesn’t have one.  (sigh)

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “But This Is My Real Life

  1. Bari

    I am one of those lucky women who found you through a computer first; however sometimes people are destined to connect one way or the other and I am so glad God allowed me to know and love you! What a friendship gift of goodness you are!

  2. That was the greatest post.

    I am looking forward to meeting a few of mine this next year….I know I would know them in the mall if I heard their voice and I have never heard it except through their words on the computer.

    And I think your friends from today are going to College Station to see my blog friend Lisa now….I know her story must be one you hurt for…

    We must do lunch one day soon….
    Love,
    Teresa

  3. carpoolqueen

    Isn’t Amber just like I told you she’d be? You NAILED the description of her. So very glad that y’all got to hang out and frolick.

    Jealous of the cheesesticks, too.

    Ahem.

  4. Oh Amy, it sounds like a fantastic day! I’m happy for you and envious at the same time. Going to Amber’s blog now to see pics!

  5. What a great day for y’all. I can’t wait to have a MIRL day of my own someday.

  6. Oh, gracious.

    Those times are just precious. Really nothing like them!

    I adore Fuddruckers.

    I cannot wait until it’s Team SnoodleBelle’s turn. But, I will tell you there will probably be tears. In a good way…’cause I just love ya that much!

  7. Oh, I get it, honey. Oh, how I get it.

    I’m so glad that you had such a blissful time. 🙂

    And one of my goals for 2010 is to get you and me together! We live like 2 hours from eachother….it just seems wrong that we haven’t had our MIRL!

    xoxoxoxo

  8. Kay

    How wonderful for you! I’m jealous…. I haven’t really MIRLed yet, not to any degree of sitting down and chatting anyhow. Maybe one day….

  9. I have loved every second of getting to know you and can’t wait to MYIRL.

    I kind of lost count of how many awesome blog friends I met over the course of our Zoo Year. You’re so right–it’s too hard to explain to people how you can just fall in love with these gals online and then just pick it right up when you meet.

    God is so good. I’m so blessed.

    I needed this today, a day when I’m feeling so sorry for myself for no good reason.

    Love you!

  10. I’m so jealous they got to meet you 🙂 and I’ve met a few blog friends in real-life lately — what a fun treat it’s been . . . even though I totally get all middle-school-ish and nervous as can be every time!!

  11. What wonderful fun! So glad you gals got to “meet” & isn’t it neat how the Lord orchestrates things like this?!

  12. I’m so glad you all had a wonderful time together!

  13. I loved reading about y’alls get-together and can’t wait to see pictures. I’ve been sort of privately blogging for 3 years but just now venturing out into the blog-world and canNOT believe all I’ve missed. All you wonderful women, just writing away about your lives and families and God….so much wisdom and laughter to be shared!!
    Hoping to meet a whole slew of MIRL’s one day!!

  14. Washington Needs Whimzie.

    (good campaign slogan?)

    Soooo…thrilled for your MIRL. I think it was high time for a little frolic.

  15. Ashleigh

    I’m privileged to call you friend! I’m actually glad it took me a few days to get over here to read about our day, because now I’ve relived it just a little bit!

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