This fall has been a strenuous one in terms of work and travel.
I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work and travel like I do, but that doesn’t mitigate the wear that being away from home for 4-5 days a week has on me at times. It does, however, make the times I’m home and with friends that much more enjoyable. I think thats why this past Saturday was such an incredible time of relaxing, spending time with friends, and playing/watching a LOT of football. It was Sarah and my first experience with a beautiful cultural phenomenon called “Friendsgiving.”
Let me give some context. Our friends Corey and Heather have hosted a friendsgiving event for the past 6-7ish years at their home in Pittsburgh(and now Nashville). They’re awesome people who like to have lots of folks around and are always willing to host/sacrifice for friends. Anyway, when we were with them a couple of weeks ago, it dawned on us that we should try to replicate their ancient tradition of friendsgiving at our home in Chattanooga. So, that is exactly what we did.
Heather and Corey made the drive down I-24 with a couple of friends in tow, and we invited as many people as we could from Chattanooga. It was an awesome experience.
Although many folks couldn’t make it due to prior commitments, we had a blast with the hodgepodge of people who did come. There were friends we’d known for years, folks we live and work with now, and people we had never met before this weekend. A surprisingly high-quality football game broke out in Coolidge Park to kick off the weekend appropriately, and then the incredible food, ensuing naps, and some downtown strolls brought us down the home stretch for a successful weekend. It was incredibly simple, yet one of my favorite memories of this year.
I tell you all of that to tell you this: the main reason friendsgiving was such a success was due to the founder (Corey) constantly reminding us why were there in the first place. Anytime we’d be missing ingredients, or a food item, or people couldn’t make it – he’d joyfully and enthusiastically remind us “THIS is what friendsgiving is all about!! We’ll just figure it out! HAPPY FRIENDSGIVING everyone!” It was a huge encouragement to me. This entire season of thanks and holidays is not about having everything right, or eating at exactly 1:00 pm, or even having all of the right people at the right time, etc etc etc.
Instead, its about enjoying the gifts we’ve been blessed with, the people we get to share those gifts with, and to remember and thank the Giver who provides every good and perfect thing for us. That’s exactly what happened this friendsgiving. My hope is to continue that theme and thought throughout the rest of the holidays.
So, to all of my friends, readers, and the random guy who clicked on this by mistake – Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you each enjoy the blessings you have and can take some time to reflect on what has happened this year. Good or bad, we’re all blessed to have another day to believe, trust, try, and do more. Friendsgiving was a simple but great reminder of that.