Saturday, June 4, 2016

Friday Night Fires

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 156: Today, I am grateful for Friday nights around a fire. 

For many, many years...during the summer (and into fall), "Friday Night Fires" have been a tradition for us and the Leander family. It began when Todd and Jill gave us their old Weber grill, when they upgraded to a new gas version. We used it for toasting marshmallows... s'mores... and sometimes... sausages or hot dogs. It became our raised fire pit.  

The kids are now adults...but they know that on Friday nights we still gather. All are welcome if it works in their schedules.  A fire is a draw. When they were little...they would ask  "Are we having a fire?" The memories are rich. Honestly, I do not know how the time went so fast. Our "baby" is nearly 20. Friday night traditions are probably 27 years old. We've had to adjust to some changes...but the end of the week... still finds us together. 

Todd and Ryan just completed a fire pit at Todd's house. It is really sharp. This is a "found photo" but their pit is pretty similar, minus the stone floor and stone sofa (although I am sure this will inspire them). We christened it last night with jumbo marshmallows. 

There is something about the smell, the dancing lights in the flames and the company of old friends that make it really special. Comfortable conversation. Laughter. And...even some silence.  There is nothing like old friends. A few more "old friends", Mark and Kim, joined in. Let me be clear, we are not "old"... but the friendship is well seasoned and easy. 

We listened to a pair of frogs "talking"...and boys of all ages did some frog hunting. It was a catch and release hunt and so much fun. The tiniest frogs can make the biggest sounds. I was shocked at the size of the frogs compared to the size of the clucking sounds they were making. Nature is fascinating.

I get to repeat my gratitude once a year if I want (my rules). This is one that often makes the repeat list. But, not always for the same reasons. This time, it is a reminder of the treasure of long friendships.

You see...when life has bumps and is good to have "a tribe". Some are related. Some "family" is chosen. They help us celebrate the joys and divide the sorrows. When I think of Fridays...and fires...and enduring gratitude cup fills and spills over.

When I think of our friendship...I wonder if it is the kind of closeness that Jesus felt with Martha, Mary and Lazarus. 

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and LazarusJohn 11:5

It wasn't a casual friendship for Jesus...but more of an kinship. It was a home, where he could feel at home. I imagine, that was a rare experience for him. I imagine it was one of the places he could truly relax. There was a reciprocal quality...not just Jesus being on the giving end. They served him, fed him and loved him back.  They were his close friends...his people.  I think he recharged when he was with them. No wonder he loved them.

It is good to have "your people" around you. Ours have grown from boys to men, and although it happened too fast, there are some gifts in this season. The boys are now old enough to "play with fire" and do some of the tending to the flames. And...although the men will always outnumber us...we've added some girls...and it is good. 

Today, I am grateful for Friday nights around a fire...and our tribe.

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