When we moved into our neighborhood six years ago, we did not know the great gift that God was going to give in the form of our neighbors.
In a day and age in which most neighbors rarely see or speak to one another, our neighborhood is the exception. We love it. We know each other’s names. We look out for one another. We spend time together. (You’ll get to hear about the annual party in our neighborhood next month.) We help one another. Our neighbors are friends.
A massive oak in our yard died last summer and we had it chopped down the week that we were to leave for vacation. Various hiccups pushed us behind the schedule we had planned regarding the brush and wood that we had requested be left. As the sun quickly sat, Eric and I we attempting to load the trailer one more time. A neighbor saw us, grabbed some gloves, and worked with us until it was too dark to see.
One couple on our street recently had a lot of fish and invited the neighbors that were home for an impromptu fish fry. It wasn’t fancy or elaborately planned and that was the beauty in it. The last minute break from the chaos of the day to share a table. Another similar moment happened one evening as we were all visiting on a front porch while the kids played in the yard. It was time for dinner so, instead of going our separate ways, we had a pizza picnic.
I recently came down with a cold that put me down. I woke up feeling terrible and dreading the long day ahead of trying to “rest” while taking care of the boys. A neighbor sent a text saying that she was going to get a coffee and asked if I would like one too. I responded telling her that I was ill and so a warm coffee sounded especially good. She showed up with coffee, muffins, and went the extra mile by making lunch baggies for the boys!
The boys love our neighbors! They love talking to them, going to their homes, and helping them with little projects (watering flowers, saving a neighbor from tree frogs, and delivering those frogs to another neighbor’s water fountain are their favorite). If there is a basketball or t-ball game, it is not uncommon to see familiar faces from the neighborhood!
Eric and I tell the boys “the only way to have a friend is to be one.” Living here has taught us that if you want good neighbors, you have to be willing to be one. Building a relationship does not happen through mere will alone. It takes intentional acts. We have to be willing to take moment to say “hello”and share a beverage on a front porch. We should be quick to lend a helping hand. We must be willing to open our door and invite the neighbors inside our lives.
We are grateful for our neighbors and blessed to know them. We have always wanted to have neighbors just like you!