There are 32 days left before our family will be packed and on the road in a 36-foot travel trailer with our 4 kids and hit the road on an epic business and personal adventure around the outer edge of the US.

As we prepare, one of the things that seem to be constantly on our minds is friendship. Friendships are deeply important to us. In fact, 2 weeks ago we celebrated our annual “Friendsgiving,” where we spend 5 days in the mountains of Colorado, eating, playing and having deep conversations with a group of 3 families. I once heard a quote, “friends are family you choose.” This quote has definitely played out in our lives, as we have not lived near our extended families for over 17 years. While friends do not replace our family, they do bring us a deep sense of community and belonging. A big question we are wrestling through with our Colorado friends is how can we stay in community while we are traveling around. Thankfully, rather than run away from the hard questions, they are leaning in. We are ever grateful for good friends because it allows for a healthy departure and a healthy return. As adults we can wrestle through this, but one of the challenges has been how to help our kids walk through this as well.

This has translated into scheduling some intentional play dates so our children can say goodbye and have some special times. One of our daughter’s friends is planning a special Christmas party with all of her school friends, and our boys are planning trips to the local indoor trampoline park, skateboard park and some video games with theirs. Each of our children plans to ask a close friend to help facilitate the signing of their yearbook because we will be gone during the end of the school year.

We feel loved and cared for. We feel pursued and sought out. We feel honored and want to also honor our friends.

A friend is described as somebody who trusts and is fond of another, a favored person who makes life better, a buddy, advocate, mentor with whom you share your life. We asked our kids at dinner last night how they were a good friend and how they struggled to be a good friend. We also asked them who was a good friend to them and who led them astray. In between trying to get four kids to answer all those questions, wanting seconds on food, and jeering each other, we hope they learn how important that friends can impact your life.

Were you a trustworthy friend today? Did you make someone’s life better today? Do you have a buddy, advocate, or mentor that you could share your life with?

Pray we all see the friends God has placed in our lives - both the silver and the gold ones!