Meeting the neighbors

One thing I wish I was better at was getting out and visiting my neighbors more.  Our pastor often talks about talking to the people closest first.  How can we fly to Uganda and tell those strangers about God and his love, and not every tell the man or woman next door?

And yet, sadly we do – all the time.

This week I tried to really make a plan to get out and visit some neighbors.   {I am not advocating a Jehovah Witness like visit – more of a friendly neighbor, loving visit}  When I am in the middle of  a project though, I am reluctant to stop and make time for what I know I need to do. 

bread

So this week, I set aside my cabinet painting for a few hours, made some cinnamon raisin bread, gathered a dozen eggs and headed to see our sweet neighbor.  We know Billy Jo from his cattle next door.  he leases the land next door to us to graze his cattle.  He always stops to say hi to the kids, checks on them when he drives by and someone falls down.  He stopped to warn us when we fist got here about the cougar that lives in the area (sometimes).  He is just a great neighbor.  I have never been to his house to say a proper hello though, until this week!

 

farm eggsI took my two youngest along with me for our visit, and I am so proud to say that they were on their best behavior!  We stopped by his house, his wife answered a bit unsure what we were “selling” but when we explained why we stopped by she insisted we come in and say hello.  They were so appreciative of the bread and eggs, and when Billy Jo arrived home a few minutes after our arrival he sat and visited with us too.

It was so great to meet these lovely people, they have been here for 40+ years, are technically members of the same church (even though they have not been in ages), and have grandkids who will be competing in 4h with my kids. 

So I wonder, why is this important?  To get out and be neighborly?  Well, it is a dying tradition in our country for sure!  Also because I want my kids to not be afraid to go see their neighbors.  I want my kids to see me living the kindness I preach to them.  I want them to remember that mom made time to make bread to give to neighbors to show the love of Christ.  We do not have to show up and preach, we can show up and be kind, get to know them, and through our lives, I hope – draw them back into the fold of Christ and the church.

We are certainly not perfect – it took almost 18 months to get out and do this.  But Billy Jo did not seem to mind one bit.  We have a few more neighbors we need to get out and see, I hope to make that a priority this week again too!  I do believe when we bless others like this, it comes back to us ten-fold.  That is not why I am doing it, but it is great for the kids to feel blessed when blessing others!

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