We set out Friday evening with our friends Curtis and Jyl to watch the fireworks with the rest of our city. We went early to find a good, grassy spot to set up camp and found a great place just across the street from the launch zone. With the help of seven kids, we soon had the chairs and coolers unpacked and placed in the growing patch of shade as the sun began to set. Although our little area was small, the kids still found a way to run around and play. The adults sat together and visited to the sound of our children laughing (and occasionally crying) as we waited for the sun to finish her descent in the sky.
The Griffins have become such good friends to our family, in no small part because Trevor and I have found good friends in Curtis and Jyl separately. If you are married for any length of time, you will develop friendships with couples based on the friendship of the wives or husbands. Sometimes these relationships are brought into a marriage at the beginning, and even though you might not click with the wife of his best friend, you can still hang out and have a good time. She's not someone to whom you would tell your innermost thoughts, but she's fun to have over with her husband for a movie night.
Then there are some couple friends that don't really work because you might love noshing about scrapbooking, cooking and how fun it would be to decorate a little girls' room with her, but the husbands have absolutely nothing in common. There is no animosity, but they really have nothing to say beyond the initial pleasantries. You really want the "married couple friends" thing to work, but you find that it's just uncomfortable to be together in that capacity.
So when you find a married couple where both husband and wife are good friends individually, and we all have fun collectively you feel like the stars have aligned and all is right with the world. Our children are friends and play well together (even fighting at times like siblings), and we have a genuine love for this family. God blessed us with many dear friendships since we've moved to Oklahoma, and we've been grateful for each one because we needed that support without any family here. Our friends have become our family, and it's simply God's hand of providence that we have been cared for so lovingly.
So as we sat in the balmy July air watching the fireworks burst in the sky above us, I looked around at Trevor, Curtis, Jyl and all the kids and said a prayer of thanksgiving for our life here. Thankfulness for living in this great country and for having friends with whom we can share these celebrations. Most importantly, thankfulness for these friends who are of an eternal variety and although miles and circumstances might separate us in this life, death never will.