Encouragement in Line

Lisa Kibler, dear friend and award-winning author, is sharing today’s post. You’ll find her writing entertaining, energizing, and inspirational. Please read her bio below and check out her amazing site. In addition to her experiences with widowhood, she shares exciting lessons from her life’s journey at https://www.lisakibler.com

Here’s Lisa’s post . . .

A while ago, a friend posted this graphic about introverts on Facebook:

I laughed and pointed at all of the truths about me and I thought, Wow! It’s not just me. I have company. And I laughed again. See “solo activities?” That key component makes me a poor mingler. Seriously! I’d rather sit in the corner and be a people watcher and eavesdrop, hoping to hear exciting fodder for a story or article (all names kept anonymous of course).

Going out to eat alone doesn’t bother me (I have been a widow for four years). Being a music lover, I even go to concerts teute seule (using a foreign language makes it sound daring, don’t you think?).

I’ve driven to a number of writers conferences all by my lonesome, as the old song says, loving the scenery and not worrying about detours to promising antique stores. When I arrive at a conference, I am happy to meet new people that share my love of all things writing, yet I usually get a single room because I am, well, me!

God had an interesting plan when He sent me to the 2017 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (let’s use the acronym, BRMCWC, shall we?) On the second day, I was in line for one of the yummy Southern meals (Hey! I am a southern girl who happens to have been born and raised in Ohio. Figure that one!), and a sweet Georgia lady and her cousin started talking to me.

As quick as sweet tea quenches thirst, Jeannie and Evelyn and I became friends. The line was long, and by the time we walked into the dining hall with our trays full of all things Rick Bragg would love, we had become beloved sisters-in-Christ. Yeah it happened that fast.

One evening after the day’s workshops and general sessions were over, we gathered in Jeannie and Evelyn’s room to shoot the breeze (although after a full day, my gun’s magazine was empty). These girls I love are extroverts—they are talkers extraordinaire—and I loved every moment of listening to their mesmerizing accents and family stories. They talked of their writing journeys and how they long for God to use their words for His glory.

They encouraged me. They were exactly what this introvert needed to move forward as a writing ambassador for Christ. I pray I am the same for them.

By the time the conference concluded, we cried and hugged and promised to stay in touch. I didn’t last through the next winter, and I flew to Georgia to reconnect and fill my soul with more encouragement (and more family members). My pastor would call it needing some Jeannieness and Evelynness. Our group is The Three Scribes, a moniker of mutual edification, encouragement, and accountability. I love us!

Looking at that graphic again, I see ways God uses Jeannie and Evelyn in my life: deep conversations, (we have extra long talks), text messaging (we regularly blow up each others’ phones), daydreaming (oh, the dreams of stories to write), and introspection (we pray for each other, a lot). Many times we have exclaimed that God brought us together.

Extroverts:

If you’re in a long line at a conference or any other venue, look for the introverts. We’ll be the ones staring at either our shoes or the far wall. We don’t bite, in fact, we love to chew on conversations with lots of people, one-on-one or even two-on-one. If you see me, I’m open for bribes of grits and/or sweet tea! 🤣

Introverts:

We need to be open for God-winks. They are unexpected and wondrous. Take a chance and let someone in. He or she could become a close sister/brother whom God will use to spur you both on to a deeper relationship with Him that in His time brings Him glory. And that’s what this life is all about.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Lisa Kibler, Author

Author Lisa Kibler is an award-winning writer/blogger and international speaker. She has been published in Celebrate Gettysburg, CBN.com, Refresh Magazine, Almost an Author, Faith Beyond Fear, and is a contributor to Heart Renovation by Lighthouse Bible Studies. Lisa is a mentor for Word Weavers, Intl. and is president of the Kent, Ohio chapter. She is editor of the Northeast Ohio division of One Christian Voice and is member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Writers Guild, Tribe Writers. She has just completed Someplace To Be Somebody, the memoir of former black nationalist, Pastor Marshall Brandon. Lisa is represented by Hartline Literary Agency. Her website is https://www.lisakibler.com

The “Things Introverts Love” graphic is from positivelypresent.

17 thoughts on “Encouragement in Line

  1. Jeannie: It is the Lord in you that encourages everyone you meet. I have definitely been a recipient of that gift. What an anointed threesome !!!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you, Susan. We all need encouragement and you have been that help for me many times.

    • Lisa, your account of our first meeting is right on! Your article warmed my heart and brought back good memories. I love it! And will share the article. I’m so proud of you, my fellow Scribe.

  2. Jeannie is an extrovert extraordinaire and it comes straight from the heart! I have been blessed to experience it as a friend and coworker! AND she has a beautiful smile to go with it!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Barbara, thank you for the blessing of your friendship which I treasure. What an incredibly diligent servant you are!

  3. What a heartwarming picture of the gift of making new friends! God -friends!

  4. I especially enjoyed Lisa’s advice to extroverts and introverts. It was in my late 20s that I forced myself to overcome my innate introversion and introduce myself to strangers in line–and found that they usually enjoyed interaction but were fellow introverts. I am thankful for the Jeannieness (and others’ encouragement) in my life via email and Facebook. And I’m thankful for the extroverts in my life who keep me entertained.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Glenda, I’m thankful you enjoyed Lisa’s post. Isn’t it amazing how God makes us uniquely and then brings us together?

  5. Amen Ms. Lisa. I haven’t yet had to honor of meeting you or your friends Ms. Jeannie and Ms. Evelyn in person yet, but I’ve met very few Suthin’ ladies who ae not master “ear-benders.” Am pretty certain it’s a DNA-thang, but I’m with you. There is nothing better than the melodic sounds of sweet southern ladies discussing the Lord. I’m betting you’ve spent time in southern Ohio, so I think this counts as partial credit anyway. As for introversion, I’m with you ma’am. I can visit, encourage, and interact with folks, but at the end of the day, I want to crawl into my “shell of solitude” to unwind for a few hours. Wonderful post ma’am. God’s blessings; and remember to reach out to everyone you meet. You might never know who God is bringing our way.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Jim, Lisa and I appreciate you reading and commenting. God does bring treasured relationships our way.

  6. Lisa, I laughed at “canceled plans.” I always love the opening that makes in my day! I’ve met wonderful friends at writing conferences too. Hope to meet you.

  7. I LOVED reading your story, Lisa! And I have been SUPER-BLESSED (is that even a word? blessed is blessed, right? … oh well) by my two new and fellow Georgia friends, Jeannie and Evelyn. Both are such an incredible blessing and so very encouraging!!! And, I’m guessing that I should be extra-thankful that their extrovertedness… (and I take it from the red line that THAT is NOT a word!) rubbed off on you, otherwise, I would’ve had wet hair at every meal at the Toccoa writing conference, because you were kind enough to let me be-bop down the hall and borrow a hair dryer from you!!! Isn’t God amazing how He brings us together? (Remind me – did we meet in a meal line or in a class….?) Can’t wait to see you three scribes this year at conference(s)!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      We were blessed to find you, Julie, another Georgia writing friend, and we cherish our friendships! See you soon!

  8. Lisa and Jeannie, As I read your post, I thought, “Has someone sneaked in a post from me?” Dear Lisa–I’m an introvert, too, and I’ve done all the things you mention (except not written as much as you). But, mingling is a challenge, I need my quiet time, and I admire those extroverts. Thank you for voicing what is often hard for us admit. Hope to see you at BRMCWC this year!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Katherine, I think all of us need to bend a little with our comfort zones as you and Lisa indicated. 😉 I like mingling but need my quiet time, too. We’ll both see you at BRMCWC.

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