The nicest surprise in the bloggy-world!

It’s a strange but true thing, this bloggy-world in which bloggers and blog-readers live and love and share life with people they’ve never met face-to-face.  Something sweet takes place when one bears one’s soul in the cosmos and another one hundreds (or thousands) of miles away relates and responds in kind.  It is like having an old fashioned pen-pal out there… and a friendship is formed, grown heart-first.

It reminds me of the sweet relationship story in the movie Julie and Julia where Julia and Avis De Voto were dear friends via pen-palling… and when they met face to face it was as if they had known each other all of their lives. 

That sweet phenomenon has happened to me a few times since I began blogging in 2008.  And every time, it has been like meeting a long lost sister face to face.  In fact, I grieved leaving dear “in real life” friends in Nashville and prepared to start over, making new friends in Mississippi, only three things remained the same in my life:  Jesus, family, and heart-friends in the blog-world.  I consider some of these bloggers to be true friends, and we have supported and encouraged each other through some awfully difficult days – just like “in real life” friends do.  Friendship, no matter how or where, is such a gift from God! 

I’ve shared about meeting a a few of these blog-world friends.  In the past three years, I’ve had the joy of face-to-face meeting Sarah, of Nesting in Pleasant View; her sister Christy, of Between Here and Home; and Heidi, of Mom’s, Ministry, and More.  And now to add to that happily growing list, I finally met my dear sister-friend, Kim, of At Home with Kim.

Kim was one of the first blogging friends I met heart-to-heart.  When she began blogging, she blogged under the name “Kim…and her coffee.”  Waaaaaaay back in 2008 and the earlier stages of blogging, those of us with similar names felt an immediate connection.  Between both of us having “coffee” names, AND loving and living through Jesus, ours was a friendship just waiting to happen.  As I read and replied to her blog and she read and replied to mine, we began chatting through e-mail. 

Kim kept the names of her children anonymous back then, and the day she entrusted their names to me in an e-mail, I knew we’d moved to a new level of friendship.  I remember the first time we talked on the phone.  It was so sweet to hear the voice behind the blog – and of all things… it didn’t sound Southern!~  I hadn’t given a single thought to where she really lived until then.  Not that it matters one bit… it was just a shock.  And I’m sure she was just as shocked to hear the Southern accent in my voice.  Thinking about that day still makes me smile! 

Like many of my “in real life” {known in blog-language as “IRL”} friends, Kim (and other bloggers) constantly encouraged and prayed for and supported us when life got tough, and they hung in there with us from the time of    “The Rubber Meets the Road”  all the way through “Would You Like to See Where We Live, Finally?”.  It’s always been a prayer of mine to get to meet Kim face to face, IRL.  And God granted that request just a few weeks ago in the most unexpected of ways!

Kim and her family planned to come through Nashville on the 1st leg of their Spring Break, and I had told her of some fun places to tour and where to buy some incredible cowboy boots. 😉  But we never talked about specific dates.  I was scheduled to speak at a church in Nashville a few Saturdays ago, so I drove up on a Friday and stayed with my friends, the Joyces.  I was about two hours outside of Nashville when Kim texted me that she was about two hours outside of Nashville!  I immediately called her!  Neither of us knew when the other would be in town, but both of us were there on the same weekend!  It would have been just plain wrong if we had not tried to visit face to face!  Kim’s family was so sweet to happily let her have some time with me, and we met at Panera for coffee on Sunday morning before both of us continued on our ways.

It was as if we had known each other all of our lives.  We couldn’t talk fast enough, and time flew.  All too soon we had to get on the road.  But I’ll be speaking about 2 hours away from her this fall and the Lord willing, she is planning on coming to the retreat!  I pray that all works out to God’s glory!!!

Kim shared a lot of delicious recipes on her “Kim…and her Coffee” blog and soon changed her blog name to a clever “Quit Eating Out”.  Then she began running and incorporated encouragement for healthy lifestyles, so she changed “Quit Eating Out” to “Recipes to Run On.”  But recently she’s settled on a name that fits everything she shares –  “At Home with Kim.”  Kim shares all kinds of life encouragement, moments, recipes, ideas, etc, – and if you don’t know her or read her already, you’re missing out.  BTW, Kim is a much better cook and recipe blogger than I am, for sure!  She learned how to make Kale Chips, for heaven’s sake!  I don’t even know where one would buy some Kale around here! haha!

Kim wrote about our visit on this blog post, and just reading it makes me smile.  I will always be thankful for meeting my friend, Kim – both in the blog world and in real life.  Stop by her blog and give her a hug from me. 🙂  And, follow her on Twitter (as Kim and Her Coffee), and Facebook as At Home With Kim.

As I wrap up this post, I can’t help but think of so many of you that I’ve met heart-to-heart, but not yet face-to-face.  One of these days, as the Lord can be glorified in it, I pray that He will let us become friends IRL.  Until then, I remain so thankful for you and your presence and encouragement in my life.  Thank you for coming back to Smelling Coffee, and for the sweet responses you leave here, or reply in e-mail, or leave in Facebook.  I’m so thankful for your friendship!

Much love to all of you.  I pray for you often and praise God for putting each of you in my life.  As the Golden Girls’ theme song says, “Thank you for being a friend.” 🙂

Jennifer

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com