Did you ever have a pen pal when you were little? They were usually assigned to you through some sort of organization like Girl Scouts or through the church. The idea was to write to this person in order to get to know someone who lives far away. The internet has taken away the need for writing letters to pen pals. We can converse in real time with people we have never met. They can live on the other side of the world, yet be as close as our computer screen. Amazing!
On Labor Day we had the opportunity to meet a couple we highly respect, but have never really met. They blog. We blog. But they’ve been blogging a lot longer than we have. In fact, they said when they started no one even knew what a blog was. Yeah, that was a long time ago – ten years to be exact.
Meet Paul and Lori Byerly.
They were in Jacksonville for a conference and decided to take a side trip to Orlando in order to meet us. 🙂 We are so glad they did. From the moment they walked up to our front door, we were instant friends. Actually, we became friends over a year ago. Now we were becoming friends face to face.
We shared our stories how and where we grew up, how we were saved, how we met each other and how the Lord led us each to start our blogs. We talked about what we are currently reading and who our favorite authors are. Lori’s is C.S. Lewis and Paul agreed with her choice. Tom’s is Paul Tripp and mine is Andrew Murray. It was non-stop conversation, inspiration and just plain fun.
The internet is a wonderful tool, but there is nothing that can take the place of meeting someone face to face. We have a feeling this won’t be the last time we meet up, even though they live in the Pacific Northwest.
What I learned most from our time together is how real they are. They write the way they talk. They are genuinely in love with one another and express generosity, not only to each other, but to us as well. They encouraged us and even tried to help us figure out some things on the computer. My favorite part was hearing Paul say,
“Tom, you are a man who knows and loves your wife well. Seriously, I don’t think there are many men who have taken the challenge to study their wife as well as you have. You are exactly how I thought you would be based on how your wife has described you on The Romantic Vineyard.”
I loved watching Tom’s face as Paul commended him. He didn’t expect it, but Paul’s words were so true. One recommendation he made was for Tom to write more on our blog. He said, “Husbands need to hear from you and learn from you, and discover how you do what you do.”
So, we’re going to pray about how we can make this happen. Tom is very involved with the direction we take and the topics we choose, but as for the daily writing it is mostly me. He is busy with his job, and travels quite a bit, but we have an idea that might make this easier than we thought at first. We’ll let you know…
When was the last time you met a new couple face to face and shared your stories – how you met and fell in love?