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A Clean Out the Fridge Party

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

Within seconds of sending the text my phone lit up with responses:

I’m in!

Sounds perfect.

Love it. But what if we all show up w/brownies?


I responded to the last text:

Worse things could happen. And no one ever has leftover brownies.

The flurry of texts was prompted by a simple invitation I sent to several girlfriends. I didn’t overthink who to invite, but knew these particular friends had husbands who worked late or traveled frequently.

 Dinner tomorrow. Early. 5ish. Bring what u have in fridge/pantry. Come as u r. Kids too


Emily Post would probably roll over in her grave knowing I extended a dinner invitation via group text, but sometimes the best gatherings are spontaneous. Don’t get me wrong, I love planning a party, but an impromptu get-together in your home with friends can be magical.

 So often I let the busyness of life become the boss of me. I’m not doing bad things, just too many good things – carpools, school meetings, track meets, grocery and dry cleaning runs, cheer tryouts, ministry, writing deadlines, orthodontist appointments – you know, all the daily activities that come with being a wife, raising four children, and ministry.

Before I know it, it’s been far too long since I’ve connected on a meaningful level with my friends. Sure I see my friends, but often our exchanges are quick and usually contain catchall phrases like “it’s all good” or her fake twin “I’m fine.” Neglecting friendships takes its toll.

We were created to be in relationship with one another. Friendships matter greatly to our overall health and well-being. When we neglect to nurture relationships a part of our soul dries up and puts the friendship at risk. Filling our cup back up, so to speak, doesn’t have to be hard or require a major event.

The night after I sent the invi-text-ion, three girlfriends and their children showed up with the most random assortment of leftovers. Someone brought half a wheel of Brie {from a party the week prior}, which paired perfectly with the half empty box of crackers from another friend’s pantry. We had just enough fruit salad, plus a Caesar salad kit, to round out three BBQ ribs, two slices of brisket, and a plastic container of spaghetti. Even the children contributed to the feast with a package of Skittles found in a backpack and store-bought cookies that came home from a Spanish class party.

Eclectic? You bet – in a very loaves and fishes kind of way. With little or no pre-planned effort we came together for an evening of friendship and fellowship. We spread our leftovers over the turquoise table and marveled at the manifestation of a true feast.

We talked about all the things girlfriends talk about when they finally have time together outside the carpool or grocery store lines. At the end of the night, with full hearts and tummies we all wondered, “why don’t we do this more often?” And, thus the tradition of the Clean Out the Fridge Party was born.

The point isn’t how you gather or what you eat. The blessing comes when we simply show up and are present in each other’s lives.

Have you ever had a Clean Out the Fridge Party? Share with us ways you’ve hosted a gathering in unexpected ways.



KSchell bio photo    

Kristin Schell is on a mission to love her neighbors. She put a picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting neighbors, friends, and even strangers, to hang out and do life together at The Turquoise Table. A gatherer at heart, Kristin brings people together for delicious food and stories at her table and online home www.kristinschell.com

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