Do you ever feel like you live two lives? Recently, I've been feeling that way and I don't mean it badly.
On the one hand, the people I'm surrounded with on a daily basis, whether it's church people or local friends, or my family. Technically these folks might be located nearby and others might be in Texas or Ohio. Either way, these are the people I'm used to being around and interacting with. I love these people.
But on the other hand, my blog world and social media world have brought me some pretty amazing friendships I am constantly blessed by. I've never met these people in person and I can hope one day that might change, but the reality is most of these new friends live on the opposite side of the country from me. Not easy to just jump a plane and meet at the corner Starbucks. And yet, I love these friends just as much.
Through my blog and Instagram, I have this whole other group of fun friends! Kim, Jessica, and Hannah are probably my 'oldest' friendships through the blog world, going back to last year sometime. Amy is a newer friend I met through my Insta-world and I adore her! She runs five thousand miles a month and makes the best food! Her kids are flippin' adorable and she just seems amazing! She posts such cute things she makes or bakes, and I think 'in real life' we'd probably be great friends.
I do have some crossovers: friends IRL (in real life) who also have blogs. Jan and Meredith, specifically. I go WAYYYYY back with these two and love them dearly.
Mostly ladies, these people challenge me on a daily basis to dive deeper into Jesus, to be bolder in sharing my faith, to love more, and to BE more. All while sharing crafty ideas, yummy food pictures, encouragement, Scripture verses, or just what's going on in their own lives. I laugh all the time at these funny girls and currently am grieving and praying for a situation with another. It is indeed real life, and I love it all.
I say all this because I have been blessed and completely blown away by the generosity of these friends of mine. Last year about this time, it was fascinating to participate and follow along with Julie's Happy Day Project. Recently, I participated and shared about Hope4Sudan, which still needs your prayers and support, even though HALF the funds were raised in less than two weeks due to the blog community. Praise God! Even more recently, it's amazing how often you can support adoption needs by buying from etsy. All this with the help of old and new friends alike, on a computer. Amazing.
Friday morning as you now know, was my birthday. I expected and enjoyed the fun with Hubby and dinner with friends. Jan came over with homemade PDub's chocolate cake (also renamed CuppaKim's 5am cake) and a perfect and unexpected gift (Thank you!). What I did not expect and am completely astounded by, was the generosity and love and support from my 'virtual' friends!
I woke up to a Starbucks gift from sweet Hannah and an iTunes gift from awesome Kim, lots of happy birthday comments, which I also received throughout the day, all of this making the entire day a party. Everyone was so thoughtful and so encouraging!
I was teasing Amy through Instagram about how it was my birthday because she'd posted this amazing photo of something she'd made. Next thing I know, she's got a package in the mail! To ME! I LOVE mail. I don't care if it's a catalog or a thinking-of-you note, I adore mail. CC and I argue over who gets to check the mail all the time (the winner is whoever gets to the box first).
|My birthday package from Amy- check out that awesome rainbow bracelet!|
The generosity of people I technically have never met, but love just as much as those I have, is a wondrous thing to behold. I feel like it gives a glimpse into what Heaven will be like, when we're all continuously so selfless and giving. Of our time. Our thoughts. Our money. Our talents. Our treasures.
I can only hope to strive to be more like this now, before Heaven. I believe this shows His glory here, for others to see. I know folks who wouldn't dream of doing such a thoughtful thing as sending a birthday gift through email. Not that they wouldn't want to, but just wouldn't think to do it. Yet so much joy came from that simple act.
I need to do better, I want to do better. To ultimately bring God greater glory. And how cool would that be?!