Last Sunday morning, as we do most Sunday mornings, Tim and I went to the 9:30am service at Palm Beach Community Church to start our week off on the right foot. Appropriately kicking off football season with a four-week series of sermons dubbed “Hard Knocks” (which you can listen to live recordings of here if you so choose), last week’s message – Better Together – brought up how often we tend to withdraw and hide, pretend we are okay when times get tough, rather than reach out to our friends and family and community for support. During the service, we were encouraged to introduce ourselves to those sitting around us, as well as to think about the ways in which we could develop deeper relationships in our day to day lives. As usual, the message hit home with us and we spent the car ride home reflecting.
We talked about the times we have ignored phone calls or texts, shut people out who had never been anything but generous and kind to us, declined offers for dinner plans to instead sit at home on the couch and watch re-runs of Chopped, or put off getting together with anyone simply because we were too lazy to put forth any effort whatsoever to be social.
While it sounds awful, I credit a little bit of this anti-social behavior to the fact that our time together is limited (remember that travel schedule?). Still, it’s a lousy excuse to close ourselves off from the outside world when we ARE available and could be enjoying our time together while deepening our relationships with others as well. Initially we felt guilty, but more importantly, we were inspired to make some changes.
Thus began the quest for a late afternoon/early evening beach blanket party to bring friends together. Nothing formal, just a canopy for a little shade, a few blankets and chairs for relaxing, and everyone’s own snacks and beverages to share. With a football to toss, a warm ocean, and plenty of sand and the setting sun to soak up, what more could we possibly require?
God must’ve known we were trying because this is what he gave us to work with:
Okay, so once again, I totally slacked at my blog photography… I feel so bummed to have missed out on photo opps which would have included Blake, Max, Brian and his sister Kate who got a kick out of my beach snacks (antipasto, people, do I need to remind you that I don’t mess around?)… Zach and April and sweetest little 6-month old Colin… Patty and German and their little towhead, Hayden with his sand bucket… kite-surfing and football-throwing and playing in the waves… ugh. I am such a jerk. Use your imagination this time and I PROMISE I will get better at this blogging thing!!!
For now, all you get are a few shots I snapped toward the end of the day when the group was winding down…
Both Tim and I agreed, the day couldn’t have been more perfect. We had a great turnout, which was a pleasant surprise… we met some new friends, and got to spend time with some old friends we hadn’t seen in a while, too. It’s definitely going to have to be a regular event.
Today as we made our all-too-familiar trip to the airport, Tim and I talked about how, even though we were still bummed to be separating for another week of business travel, it felt different this time. While that car ride usually has us thinking of how fast the week flew by, the things we should have done, adventures we could have shared, time we wasted in front of the computers or the TV… today instead we were thinking of how much fun we had this past week with each other and with friends, how blessed we are, and how we’re looking forward to (and going to make sure we have) more weeks like that.
Life is short, time is precious. Make the effort, treasure your friends, and make memories every chance you get!
And remember to take pictures. ;)