The Guy You Have a Beer With

Inspiration can come in the most unexpected places.

Sunsets, mountains, cups of coffee, a good book, the perfect autumn day. These, among other things, spin my creative wheels, and inspire my work.

I love, however, when inspiration sneaks up on you. Like the parking guy who does his job with such joy, or the way the train rumbles at just the right decibel to lull me into a sleepy dreamland.

I never thought a serial-dating, midwesterner-turned-city-slicker-designer could say the exact thing I had been trying to for so long, but could never put into words.

Aside from both working in the creative circuit, Timothy Goodman and I are two very different people.

I hopped on the 40 Days of Dating train pretty early in the project’s online debut. Like a middle school girl tearing open the latest issue of Tiger Beat, I pored over the daily entries  from a pair of designers in NYC doing a relationship experiment. (Don’t worry, for every 40 Days post, I listened to one hour of NPR, just to balance out.) 

While I admit, I did enjoy the gushy antics of their story in a Ross and Rachel “will they? won’t they?” kind of way, what I enjoyed most about the project was the way the couple processed and learned along the way. Even if I didn’t always agree with it.

When Tuesday morning came and the Great Discontent arrived in my inbox with the subject line: Timothy Goodman interview, I opened the email with the same enthusiasm as the 40 Days posts. Make that double the enthusiasm because I love TGD (TGD interviewed Jessica Walsh in September 2012, pre-40 Days).

When asked about what legacy he hopes to leave, Tim mentioned three things: to push creative limits, be supportive of people he cares about and,

“Maybe I’ll be remembered as a guy you were able to have a beer with.”

And that was it.

I expected his accomplishments, accolades, and creative passion to inspire me. It all does. But this caught me off guard.

In so few words, he sums up a worldview bigger than I think even he realizes. It is simple, yet inspiring. Almost so easy, most people overlook it altogether. I think what Timothy says is the same message Jesus wants us to get.

We think we need programs and projects and conferences, when all it takes is eyes that say trust me and ears that say I’m listening. Why make it complicated, when the answer could be as simple as gathering around the table with a friend?

Jesus did it, with disciples and sinners alike. The idea of meeting over a beverage or around food transcends cultures and beliefs and backgrounds.

Be the kind of person people want to grab a drink with. Not because you’re the richest, funniest, most talented, most attractive, or even most spiritual. Be the kind of person people have a beer with because you are just the kind of person who will take the time sit across from someone—be it at a bar, in a coffee shop, or around the kitchen table—and listen, love, and pour life out.

I may never win a Nobel Prize or discover the cure for cancer or invent the next greatest app (although I am still holding out on that one), but I can leave a legacy of compassion.  When people remember Carrie, I hope they say, “she loved and she listened and she believed for great things.”

I want to invite people into my life and into the freedom the love of Christ offers.

So let’s go get that drink. {Cheers}


  1. ashleyjhiggins · October 29, 2013

    happy to be at your table. even if these days our drinks are relegated to a late night tea over facetime. love you!

    • carriehokanson · October 29, 2013

      yes. thank you, facetime, for keeping the sacred rituals of late night tea chats possible even when we’re miles apart. and thanks to higgs, for always pulling up a seat at the crazy table.

  2. throughthelynds · October 29, 2013

    I think what I struggle with is that tug between thinking I should be “conference/project cool” when really, all I think I want, is to be the person you’d enjoy to have around your table or over coffee. Good thoughts!

    • carriehokanson · October 29, 2013

      Yes, I feel that tug as well. As with most things, there’s a balance to be found. I am learning if we focus all our energy and efforts on the projects and learning the 10 steps to be xyz and so on, we miss out on the simplicity of the one-on-one, face-to-face, real deal stuff. I’m all about a good conference, but if we get caught up in ministry, life even, looking a certain way, we miss the point and the promise.
      Lynds, I always want you at my table.

  3. lindseyann · October 29, 2013


    I loved this. I’ve been feeling challenged lately in my friendships and with finding new community and this put it so beautifully and simply. I think for me the biggest struggle is MAKING the time to sit down at the table. Leaving time in the schedule to meet people where they are you know, I always find myself over committing but this reminded me to make the time for intentional connection and community! Thanks for sharing!


    • carriehokanson · October 30, 2013

      Absolutely, Lindsey. I struggle here too. When we have a schedule full of this event or that meeting, we feel like we have control. We’re busy as all get out, but business makes us feel needed and important. Asking someone to coffee, while a seemingly simple thing, can bring unpredictable things—rejection even. Plans change and life happens, but you have to put in real effort to make it work. The good news is the pay off is worth the risk and trouble. Thanks for sharing your struggles, you are not alone!

  4. Ms Patti · October 30, 2013

    Soon, I will be close enough for an invite to your table! :). Date? Miss you! Love you!

    • carriehokanson · October 30, 2013

      Ms Patti, I cannot wait for you and Mike to be close by!! I know I’ll be at your table and you’ll be at mine. Love you!

  5. itschuntastic · November 7, 2013

    it’s ALWAYS 5 O’clock somewhere!

  6. Justin · December 26, 2014

    Love this.

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