Everyday Jesus: The Smiling Square Faces

Are you ready for yet another incredible installment of our “Everyday Jesus” guest blogging series? I sure hope so… because this one, written by my sweet friend Amy, is a doozy. Her perspective will surely make your scratch your head (in a good way!) and her personality will make you want to reach through the screen and drag her to Starbucks for a face-to-face chat about… well, anything! This gal is an incredibly talented writer and such a passion for Jesus that it’s contagious.

So yes, meet Amy. And be sure to show her the love both here and over at her place!

Always impressed by Him,

It’s easy to lose track of Jesus online. Bloggers blast out words at all times of day and night. Pieces of truth they are learning, and that truth is usually accompanied by a beautiful picture with a moving piece of scripture inscribed in cool font.Tweets and likes and +1’s, cloud my thinking, and it doesn’t make sense that Jesus can be the topic of almost every post I read and yet, somehow go missing.When I start feeling like this, I know it’s time to unplug, and I do so happily.Who will notice I am missing?Surely, the smiling, square faces from Arizona, Arkansas, and across the ocean are busy, and if I close shop for a time, it would go undetected. *Insert speculation about the quality of my online relationships.Amyonlinegirls

And so I pull the plug. No blogging for a week or maybe even two.

I decide Jesus is present in the quiet mornings of my home, and I need time to think about the realness of my smiling square “friends”.

And then I receive a text inquiring about my new job. From an online friend.
And an email asking if I need anything. From an online friend.
And a call filled with giggles. From an online friend.
And my iPad rings. Oh, it’s an online friend.

Jesus sneaks up.

He tells me my online friends may not be sitting in front of me, but He instructs me to embrace the love they share anyway.

Then, Jesus surprises me.

Although He doesn’t tell me, I get the distinct impression Jesus doesn’t feel all of the online chatter is shameless self-promotion, nope. Instead, I think He’s thrilled to be the focus of conversation and happy people are connecting in His name.

Your turn: Tell me about the people you have met online. Do you ever wonder about the authenticity of your online relationships? Have you seen real friendships bloom out of a shared passion for spreading ideas about Jesus online?

amyblog picAmy L. Sullivan pounds out words early in the morning and late at night. She doesn’t have any “online friends”. Nope, just regular ‘ol friends she happens to meet online. Want to be one of her regular ‘ol friends? Connect with her via her blog, her Facebook Page or on Twitter. 
Categories: Everyday Jesus | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

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49 thoughts on “Everyday Jesus: The Smiling Square Faces

  1. Sharita,
    Thank you for having me over to your house.

    I only wish I could reach through the screen and love on that sweet, baby girl of yours…ugh, she’s so cute she makes me ache.

    I appreciate the warm, encouraging, and real writing you bring to the online world. You are funny (embrace the suck) and wise (insert the name of a million different posts).

    Thanks for not only doing your ‘thang, but including all of us as well.

    • You are so SO welcome, dear Amy… I am so thankful that you are one of my online friends, and I can’t wait to someday make you a friend IRL when Jesus lets our paths cross.

      You are the bestest. Just sayin.

  2. Mariah

    Love these online friends, especially when they become IRL friends 🙂

  3. Oh, well, I think many people know how much I love my online peeps. Clearly, I love you and the fact that we’ve met IRL and I know you still love me even though I dislike a certain beverage. 🙂 And I LOVE that all the peeps in that pic (save one — who is that, I’d love to get to know the girl in the blue shirt?) are SDG sisters.

    • Jen,
      Girl, I know how you feel about online people and online community. It’s your passion!

      Blue shirt = Mariah. Looks like a Barbie, but don’t hate her for it…she’s insanely funny.

    • I think it is super cool that you have gotten to meet these peeps, Jen… Hopefully as my ministry grows and seasons of life change, that becomes a reality for me too 🙂

  4. While I don’t feel like I’ve established close online friendships, I have met lovely bloggers and follow inspiring blogs. He’s got to be happy about that.

  5. i met this really cool square face online and we write emails (that are NEVER irreverent) and meet up in a cool town and drink awesome coffee and spend time in stores not making fun of the bad items.

    and there’s another who trusted me to speak. like out loud. at her church. oh wait. that would be two friends who did that.

    yeah. i didn’t count on this happening when i started up a blog….

  6. I have two girlfriends that I met online in a poetry forum. In 1997. So I don’t doubt it can happen. I spend a good bit of real time with Farmgirl Paints, and there are a few other bloggers with whom I would love to spend some face time. Bloggy soul mates.

    BUT I too have to unplug, sometimes. I know it’s about time when I start have arguments with people in my head. I’ve decided to NEVER jump on a bandwagon and participate in the conversation about a “hot topic” unless the Lord specifically tells me to do otherwise, and so far, He hasn’t.

    • Seriously in 1997? Girl, you were cutting edge. As for the “hot topics” I avoid those bad boys too. I don’t mind having “hot topic” coversations, but I worry sharing ideas in a comment box doesn’t always express what we intend it to. We need to hear voice inflection and see the face.

    • Funny. I am a “hot topic” avoider too. So. Much. Drama. (GAG.) And I am so impressed about your longevity with the bloggy world– ’97? Super cool… I don’t even think we had internet in our house til 2000 (We were a little behind the 8 ball… plus, in 1997, I was 12. And mama said no. HA!)

  7. This is a great reminder, Amy.

    It’s easy to forget that we are engaging in real people when we sit tapping at our keyboards all the time. Many writers are introverts and I think that as we get caught up in the words we forget the relationships.

    Thanks for what you have written here. Linked up from Finding Heaven. Blessings.

    • Mel,
      Thanks so much for visiting. I used to think I was an extrovert who needed quiet time. Now, I think I’m an introvert who happens to like hanging out with people.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Mel! And yes, I sometimes am one of those folks who gets sucked into just tap, tap, tapping at the keyboard and shut myself into my army-wife-new-mama box… But I have a feeling that a season of massive change is on the horizon.

  8. That was such a fun day. I love meeting my “imaginary” friends in real life. I don’t wonder about how authentic our friendships are. I know if I pick up the phone you will talk to me as if we’ve known forever!

  9. Jenny Forgey

    Amy, I’ve met YOU online, and if it had only been you, that would have been enough to convince me that Jesus shows up online. Love ya friend! In Him, Jenny

  10. I write at times not wanting to put my ‘true’ messed up little world out there for the world to see, but I have learned thru time that friends get to know me and they can read right thru the lines. Recently over a post I had a call from online friend clear across the country. It was eight o’clock here, midnight there. Another time, I got a facebook message as we talked back and forth….praying for me. Online friends are real friends.

    • I totally agree, Marlece. Sometimes I also struggle with putting myself out there, blogging about the hard stuff, the failures, the doubts… but God has shown me that in those are when people respond the most, whether that’s reaching out to pray for me or asking prayer on their behalf… because it shows we are all just big ol flawed sinners. 🙂

  11. Yup. I have had the same concerns. Some are as suspected, but others are as real as in person. I have been delightfully surprised by the friends I have made online!

  12. Unfortunately,I haven’t made any real life connections online, but I have been encouraged and supported numerous times by different “bloggy” friends. I think the majority of people who friend me on face book or join my blog are ones who are curious or like something they read or saw…most of the time my phone isn’t ringing, I receive mostly business emails and I haven’t met a single blog person, “in person”. I don’t blame anyone, I think it is just life. So my perspective is the do what you can plan…I’ve been investing more heavily in a few close friends/family who live farther than a couple of hours from me and investing of course in my family at home. I have to trust God with the rest.

    • Take heart, Dionne– I haven’t met a TON of people from online world in real life (granted, I’ve only been doing this less than 2 years) yet the ones that I have met online are good friends and supporters– praying for me, and asking the same for them.

      Trusting God is a huge factor– and I have learned (ok, am still learning) that making myself vulnerable to others and opening up is a huge turning point for making those online friends become in real life friends.

      Plus going to a Jesus/bloggy/speaking/writing conference always helps. There’s a ton out there!

  13. Hey Amy, wow, yeah, I totally get this. Really. That’s why after catching up on a bit of reading, I’m unplugging–computer, Iphone, everything–for a whole week. I do question the authenticity, but I think that’s healthy because we need to remember where our most important life is lived out, and it’s not in a screen–and we only have one–we can’t do it twice. My baby girl is only 3 once. I loved Sarah Bessey’s post this week concerning this. I think we all struggle with this, and balance is elusive, but we can listen to that still small voice that whispers wisdom to our hearts and asks us to pull back to quiet. I also have been healed in community because of online friends. It’s totally real and true– I just need to pull back to see it sometimes–*thank you* for this lovely post. xo.

    • Ohhh, I haven’t read Sarah B.’s post, but I will make sure I do. Hope you enjoyed your unplugged time. Thanks for reading.

    • Stellar thoughts, Nacole. (Super cool name, BTW!) I have been called to unplug a few times as well– and it’s so freeing! And refreshing. Praying your unplugged time proves to be just that and so much more.

  14. Mary @ Woman to Woman

    Amy, when I began blogging, I had NO idea about a blogging community. I’m so grateful to have met so many beautiful women. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting any irl, but have talked with several via email and FB messaging, God often places it upon my heart to pray for the ladies that have entered my blog-world, and that certainly brings them to life for me!
    Thanks so much for this great post!
    I’m glad you came by my place!
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

  15. I always love seeing your smiling square face, Amy. 🙂 I do consider my online friends to be “real” friends, just as real as my in-person friends. It took me awhile to realize that truth, but the people behind the squares have proven their love over and over. One that I met in person ended up being a great friend to my daughter when my daughter went to college near her and attended the same church. I love how God works online and offline!

  16. Many think I am “SQUARE” – oh was that square faces? I probably am one of those too. Thank you for sharing your story at “Tell Me a Story.” It is difficult to get away from Jesus and all our “on line” friends.

  17. I’m blown away by the love from online friends…I recently wrote about an online community that helped me through a new season in my life. They are some of my dearest friends. Loved reading how your online friends were there for you.

  18. Oh, my , I ToTAlly relate to this one— I was, still am sometimes, so skeptical about “friends’ that I’ve never met face to face. And then one day I landed on this really cool blog where this one square face was writing about her passion for Jesus and serving as His hands and feet and all the while making me laugh out loud as I read those so-not-such-long-and-wordy posts she brilliantly penned. And SHE was the first blogger I ‘met’ online and thought, “I sure wish I could meet her for real. Too bad she lives so far away from my Iowa cornfields!’ And how I LOVE that Jesus can forge REAL relationships in any darn way He wants to. Count myself blessed to be your friend from afar, Amy. So glad you tackled this topic today- has me thinking. Oh, yeah, and i agree with Nacolea, too, those faces right in front of us still need to be priority. Online friends sure can be the icing on the cake, though.

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