Dates can be anything from a quiet walk to going out with friends, who are also enjoying an evening away from the kids to stay connected to each other. My favorite date night used to be walking around Breitbeck Park in Oswego, New York, as the sun set. After this we usually transitioned from the serene park to a noisy bar for drinking and dancing.
We still enjoy a quiet walk on a date but typically avoid the bar scene. Something I know now, that I didn’t then, I don’t need alcohol to have fun. If anything, I find life is so much more fun without it. Don’t click the “x”, this blog is not a lecture to avoid the bar, on the contrary, it’s to share our most recent date night with you.
Last night, Ed and I, joined our friends at the local tavern for a good friend’s forty-fifth birthday celebration. The invitation to attend came via Facebook and we accepted, marked our calendar, and made childcare arrangements instantly.
GASP! I had fun.
GASP! Ed and I both enjoyed catching up with our friends, some we haven’t seen in years. We even made new friends!
Close your mouth, it isn’t that big of a deal.
Neither Ed or I had to contemplate “to accept” or “not to accept” – we both knew this is where we wanted to be. I grew up in a small neighborhood and this was one of my oldest (no pun intended, lol) friends, so to not go, wasn’t an option.
Am I glad I went? YES!
Do I regret going? NO
Would I do it again? YES!
I won’t apologize for going and feel no need to make excuses. We went and it was a wonderful way to spend our date night. The stories went back to when we were toddling through our teens and into our adult years. My cheeks hurt when I got home from laughing and smiling so much. This is a great problem to have, don’t you think?
In addition to getting reacquainted with old friends and making new ones, there was a ton of delicious food. Some was even gluten free! This was a refreshing surprise so I also learned a couple neat tricks to cooking gluten free and we exchanged the best places to shop based on price and quality. An added blessing to the night for sure.
Is it my place to judge others for their drink selections? NO, I’m not perfect so who am I to snub my nose at anyone because of their choice. I wasn’t there to condemn but to enjoy time with friends and celebrate one’s birthday.
Is there evidence I hung out at the bar Last night? YES there is! In fact, I posted pictures I took on my phone as soon as we got home. It’s been a long time since
we were all out together and who knows when the next gathering will occur or what tomorrow will bring ~ so we captured this new memory on camera. The focus of the pictures isn’t on the location, it’s on the people enjoying each other’s company.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed
and who correctly handles the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15
While outside in the sprinkles checking in on Mary, I had the opportunity to visit with one of our friends.
I was humbled, thankful, and encouraged by it. I
hope you are too.
Friend: “I was surprised to see you were coming to the party tonight?”
Me: “Why? I wouldn’t have missed it.”
Friend: “I don’t know. I know this isn’t your scene anymore. You’re a new, no different person. Just didn’t think you would come because it was here. (bar)”
Me: “Thanks for noticing, but, I’m still Lisa, still your friend for the majority of my life. This was an important celebration and I wouldn’t have missed it.”
Friend: “Thanks, you made my day because you came. We have a lot of memories, don’t we?”
Me: “That we do, and now we have another one to add.”
No more words…a hug and we returned to the party inside.
Ladies and gents, it’s okay to join your friends and family for celebrations. I will go as far as to say, even if they are at a bar/tavern. As long as our attendance doesn’t cause us to slip back into the habits and negative routines we fought to overcome. I’m no better than anyone frequenting the bar. I sin, just like you. We all sin and fall short, our sins just have different names and some are more apparent.
My challenge for you is this – There are something we must turn from forever in order to walk with God yet there are many we can return to with our faith rooted, eyes focused, and heart transformed.
How can we witness to our friends and family if we avoid where they are? We can’t! How do I model and show God’s power and ability to change someone’s heart and outlook if I don’t reconnect, or stay connected, with the people who helped to make me who I am today. How do I meet new people if I stay home?
"Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour."
1 Peter 5:8