Sunday, February 1, 2009

I love my computer; it's where my friends live

11 years ago I discovered online bulletin boards and I found a group of friends. We were all talking about marriage and if/when/why to have kids and everything else in our lives. We even decided that we wanted to meet in person so many of them come out to Dallas where we spent a couple of days hanging out.

Back in those days, it was very weird to meet people on-line and become friends. It was far weirder to actually plan to meet those people in real life. I got plenty of disturbed looks from others whenever I talked about my online group. But these women are amazing! When the organization sponsoring the bulletin board decided to discontinue it, we created a private yahoo group where we continued the friendships. Then we added a journal aspect. After 11 years and a ton of kids, we're still friends, we still keep up with everyone's lives, and we still ask for advice from each other.

Now the world of blogging and twitter has made online friendships a whole lot more normal. We trade comments and emails with people all the time that we only know because we knew someone who knew someone who did a search and found a blog and they liked it and passed it on. I've gotten to "know" some wonderful women from their blogs and it's so cool on those occasions when I actually get to meet some of those women in real life. There's occasions like SheSpeaks which could create a spin-off called Blogging With the Stars. Then there's occasions like the past two weeks when I invited a fellow local blogger to church and she came! Twice! Then we all went to lunch!

I found Jess's blog somehow awhile back and have gotten to love her honesty with her struggles and obvious flat-out love of Jesus. When she wrote that they were church hunting, I left a comment inviting her to our church and our class because I really wanted to meet her. Two weeks ago, I was sitting in church and had the strongest feeling that I needed to be looking out for Jess and her family. When they walked into our class, I immediately recognized her husband and I think I kinda overwhelmed them by pouncing on them before they had even made it all the way into the classroom. An enthusiastic welcome :-)

Can I pause and say that Jess is really pretty? Maybe it's the way her face shines or her very cool jeans, but it's just something that has stood out the past two weeks.

I was so glad to see that Jess and the family came back this week and I got to spend a little more time talking in class and then over lunch. We went out, laughed a lot, got to know each other, and I can definitely say that I really like their family. Mr. at Home is fascinated by the fact that Hugh is an actuary.

Yep, this whole online friend thing is a good thing. Between blogging, bulletin boards, email, Facebook, and Twitter, I can be involved in the world while still being quiet at home.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

well, yesterday when i first read this, i couldn't stop grinning....

NO - you didn't overwhelm me AT ALL -
you made me feel so welcomed that at felt at home in a church for the first time in almost a year.

thank you.

i'm glad i got to know you on your computer - but i'm even more thrilled to be getting to know you outside of it!

i love you!

jess