Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why I Love Social Media

Have you ever read a book and the characters become so real to you, that you find yourself thinking of them as actual living, breathing people?

I remember one of my friends sharing with me that a few years ago when the state of Indiana was experiencing massive flooding, her first thought was, "Oh no! I need to pray for the Baxter family!" 

Then she remembered that the Baxter family was actually from a fiction book series she was currently reading.

In my opinion, that's some dadgum good writing.

Well, to me, social media can be a bit like that.

Except the people on the other end of my computer aren't fictional characters.  They're actually real.

The friends I've made through social media are one of the most unexpected pleasures of having a blog.  Not only have I discovered an incredibly supportive and encouraging special needs community, but I've found people who express a genuine interest in my family, most especially Lily Bird.  There are friends the world over, most of whom I will surely never meet "in real life" who truly want to learn how to support special needs families.  They want to help spread awareness.  But most importantly to me, they pray for my baby girl.

Let me just share with you a couple of truly special and sweet social media moments.

If memory serves me correctly, Kimberlee, aka javadiva, was one of my first Facebook friends outside of those people I really do know.  Now we follow each other on Twitter and Instagram, too.  

Back in January, I posted this Instagram picture of Lily Bird taking a walk on Town Lake...

 and this was Kimberlee's (javadiva) comment:

Can you imagine reading something like that about your child?  From someone you've never met, no less??  Talk about melting a mom's heart.  Kimberlee has a BFF in me, for sure, whether we ever meet or not.

Then there's Joanna, aka smilinjo33, a fellow special needs mom who lives on a little island in Maine.  I can always count on Joanna when I need something researched online because she is a google queen.  She is also fierce when it comes to getting what her sweet daughter, Tess, needs.  

After sharing a "getting ready to call the doctor and not hanging up until I get what I need for my kid" online conversation with Joanna, imagine my surprise when a few days later, I got a sweet package from her in my mailbox.  Inside, this pin I'm wearing on my shirt...

that says, "Mama Bear is here", and, for Lily, a little stuffed animal lobster since the island Joanna is from is famous for it's lobster.

Again, all this sweetness from someone I've never met. Yet I consider Joanna a friend and am confident that if I needed help, she would do whatever she could.

And then there's Melaina, whose handsome son Owen is quite similar to my Lily.  We share stories of our kiddos and pass along helpful tips and ideas for sensory fun and learning.  Actually, Melaina's better at that than me.  But also?  Melaina just sent me a link to a candy store that features all natural treats geared towards people on special diets - "all the fun without the funny stuff", it says.  In my book, a good friend is someone who shares candy with you.

Then there's Karla.  And Karen.  Allie.  Lizbeth.  Debbie.  I could go on and on and still not remember everyone who has blessed me with their kind and encouraging words.

I might complain about technology and get frustrated when my computer freezes up or my phone runs out of charge or Facebook changes its settings yet again.  

But then I remember that technology has brought some pretty special people into my life.

And through social media, Lily Bird is being prayed for by more people than I can possibly imagine.

That is a gift.

The gift of friendship. 

And for that, I'm so grateful.


  1. You are one of those special online friends for me, Miss Lana! I am so thankful for my friends who live in my computer :)

    1. See? I knew if I named names, I would leave people out... Thankful for you, sweet Brandi. :)

  2. :) Love the mama bear pin!! Brilliant reminder right under your nose!!


    1. Thankful for you, Kimberlee! :) You are awesome. That is all.

  3. This was just exactly the boost that I needed this morning as I am waiting out yet another huge snowstorm and gearing up for three straight days of appointments at Children's Hospital. I'm all "va-klempt" (not sure if you ever are/were an SNL fan). I am so grateful for your friendship and knowing you are praying for my Toodle Bug as I am praying for your Lily Bird. :)

    1. Been keeping up with your "adventures" but haven't had enough time to comment - boo! Always praying for you and Tessie. And don't we all feel a little "va-klempt" every now and again? :)

  4. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Some of my best friends are right here, in my computer. You would be one of them.

    I heart you.

  5. I had a similar experience and wrote about it, too: http://icansaymama.blogspot.com/2013/03/in-love-with-girl-scout-cookies-and-my.html

    1. Read the post and how fun! That's exactly what I'm talking about - social media can be such a blessing in the most unexpected ways. :) You're one of my blessings, too, Joy. :)

    2. Awww, thank you Lana! I can only give that back to you! xo

  6. And you too are one of my special friends that even though I've never met, I feel like I really know. I love, love, love this online community and how we have all supported each other!

  7. Love you & the whole Rush family!! You brighten my days just when I need it most. And I know just what you mean. xoxo

  8. One of these days we are all going to have coffee together (well, Karen can have her chai)... the conversation will be legendary!



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