The Fellowship of Friends

I love being with people! I love making new friends and getting to know old ones better. I love opening up my home to entertain. I’ve always loved it. My mother had lots of really cool crystal and serving trays and the like. We rarely used them. I, on the other hand, use all of my cool dishes. I sometimes even think of dishes so I can use them. This summer, Coach and I have opened our homes to our co-workers, church family, and friends on Thursday nights for a potluck cookout and games. It has been the highlight of many of our weeks. Coach fires up the grill for hamburgers, hotdogs, and whatever else our guests bring for the festivities. I have a set of 32 plastic dishes and two two-gallon drink dispensers. I get the condiments ready and burger toppings and we wait. Our guests begin arriving with the most wonderful dishes–pasta salads, fruit salads, homemade cobblers, homemade cookies, baked beans, fresh veggies, and wine. The meal is never the same twice and seldom is the group of people. We eat and fellowship. Once we are stuffed, we break out a game of some sort–Monopoly Deal, Phase 10, Apples to Apples, Trivial Pursuit, or the PS3. And it’s been great! (Minus the antics of the monkeys, but that provides great free birth control to the singles and recently married in the group.)

This past Thursday was our last as the dining hall opened Sunday night. It was probably one of the best (although we dearly missed one of the staple couples who was at every other one). We had old friends and new ones. One guy came who is a new employee. Coach and I had never met him. Great guy and supper smart! (He was my Trivial Pursuit partner, but I earned a wedge with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. So there!) Another new face to join us also a new employee who played volleyball in college and spent a year teaching in Malawi. Coach’s team is going to send her school soccer equipment, because they only have one soccer ball. Another gal also has a Masters in Religious Studies, so we are kindred spirits when it comes to teaching world religions. One of our long-time friends (and the reason we moved to Ga., because she called Coach to set up the interview) had been to several. She always bring the best yummies and such a great sense of humor. Another staple of the cookouts is a great friend and a lively spirit who enjoys good company and a good laugh. (She is also the friend who went with me to Little Monkey’s appointment when Coach couldn’t.) And while I was excited to meet and get to know these people, if I am being honest, I was most excited by the attendance of a childhood friend who I haven’t seen since his graduation. We grew up in the same neighborhood; went to the same church; his mom and dad taught me Sunday School; and we were friends in high school. Due to the wonders of FB and how small the world is, it turns out that he lives about 10 minutes from us. As I said, I hadn’t seen him since the mid 90s when he graduated from our high school. It was such a blessing to reconnect and meet his lovely wife. It has been a wonderful mix!

When we had kids, it put a damper on our social life–bedtimes and nursing and what not. Now that the boys are a bit older and it’s easier to find a babysitter (although to be honest we prefer to hire two as we have some energetic and tricky little monkeys), we are reentering our own lives–dates nights, friends, and the like. It is wonderful to share ourselves and our home with others. It’s difficult to understand the importance of that fellowship until it’s not there, whether you’ve just moved, had a child, or lost a dear friend. I am happy to say that Coach and I understand our friends are a blessing in our life and are grateful for each chance we have to spend time with them!

Think of those around you who might need a friend. Reach out!

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