For a long time I felt like a pitcher.

Full to the brim. But with nowhere and no one to pour out into. I would wake up and get up and go to work and come home and make supper and love on my kids and my man and go to bed still feeling like my pitcher full hadn’t found the empty it needed.

It was a long frustrating two and a half years.

During that time I started blogging.

I started pouring out a few words a few nights a week and when I went to bed I discovered that I’d given away a little something.

After a while the words turned into a steady stream and some of them filled glasses at other tables. I was still working full time at a job that didn’t seem to fit me, but at nights I was pouring out the most satisfying encouragement into other women and discovering the wonder of being filled up by their words.

(in)courage was one of those places.

Holley and Stephanie invited me to write with them. To join them in their calling to encourage the hearts of women. To create a place where women could feel welcome, just as they are. Where we could all put our dirty, sandy feet up on the coffee table and tell our real, hard stories. A place where people would listen.

A place where women were brave enough to be vulnerable.

Pouring into (in)courage emptied me and left me feeling the most satisfied I can remember.

For nearly a year I wrote once a month for (in)courage. It gave me community, a place to dream, and the satisfaction of pouring out my ideas, creativity and passion for encouraging women.

Then in the summer of 2010 (in)courage and DaySpring invited me to join their team as the community manager for (in)courage and social media manager for DaySpring.

I jumped with both feet.

Since then I don’t remember ever feeling like my pitcher was an awkward accessory. It’s just that it’s not enough.

In June last year we felt the prickles of God telling us that one website couldn’t possibly pour out enough to fill up all the women coming looking for living water.

Instead He wanted to connect the women in real life community so they could pour love and encouragement and support and Jesus sisterhood right into one another’s parched cups. Without having to leave a blog comment. Without having to travel across the country to a conference. Without having to worry about baby sitters or days off work or plane tickets, hotel rooms or high heels.

He wanted to bring the conference right to the women He loves. We call it (in)real life or (in)RL.

This is me talking a bit about that dream. Click here if you can’t see the video.

You’re so invited you know. It’s this April 27 & 28 and only costs $10 to register and you get a free T-shirt and Simply Marvelous card pack with that.

On Friday afternoon we’ll kick things off with a community keynote {a lot like this awesome sauce trailer} that you can tune into from home.

And Saturday? Saturday’s the exciting one. Saturday’s the chance to step out and connect with local (in)courage friends you didn’t know lived nearby. There’ll be video content that meetups can tune into, which explore the topic of gritty, beautiful, messy, real life community together.

Can you imagine? Getting to connect beyond the blog box?

What a holy wonder.

Oh say yes – come and join us – nearly 500 women are already planning on meeting up in 250 cities all over the world! You can find the (in)courage meetup that’s closest to you right over here. And if you’re feeling brave, why not grab a girlfriend and host one yourself?

(in)real life. It’s what we’re made for, after all.

Messy, wonderful, redemptive community. All you have to do is pick up a pitcher.

And if I haven’t convinced you, tune into Bonnie’s place tomorrow – all 30 of us from (in)courage are gonna take turns sharing this month why we’d love to have you join us for (in)RL this April!

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