Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Neighborhood Challenge-They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love

I was very inspired at my MOPS meeting the other week. There was a young woman who was a mother of two (I believe) and a missionary who spoke. Part of her lesson was about raising children and she said, and I paraphrase, that by attending ONLY and primarily to your children's needs that you raise them to be self centered people. You need to model for them the focus that you would like them to have.

About a week later we had something horrible happen to someone right on our street. One of our neighbors murdered his ex-wife's boyfriend then killed himself. In the news article it said that the police were familiar with this family before and had been called for domestic disturbances. This was terribly sad to me because while I was friendly with their two boys (we have chatted it up about hockey a few times). I had never spoken to either the mother (who moved out 6 months ago) or the father and I had no idea that this poor woman was abused or even had even moved out. As I tried to sleep that night a verse kept popping into my head.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind
and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31

Obviously I wasn't working on loving my neighbor or modeling the love I want my Bug to have for those around us. I didn't even know their first names. This kicked around my head for a few days and I prayed about it trying to figure out how I could accomplish this. I am outgoing by nature but just going to someones house and introducing myself, uhh do people really do that?

As I thought and prayed over it, I thought about how God made me, my strengths and what gives me joy. God has given me a love of baking and cooking. There are so many things I would love to bake and cook but with working on my weight I am also working on not having so much temptation in my house. LIGHTBULB!! I can bake and cook and just drop off treats to my neighbors with a little note on it introducing our family and letting them know they are in our thoughts and prayers. As we get to know more and more people we can make a neighborhood map with peoples names on it and we can pray for them as a family.

The first neighbor we dropped off treats to was the woman and her children that I had mentioned previously and I was NERVOUS like shaking nervous. I brought Bug and we rang their doorbell, they answered and I just introduced myself and handed them a plate of molasses cookies with a note letting them know they were in our thoughts and prayers. Bug and I just went out today with our second drop of carrot cake cupcakes and met a new neighbor. It is definitely a bit nerve-wracking to me but I am hoping that it will get easier each time. The woman I met today was so sweet and is stopping by with her husband tonight so they can meet the hubs.

We are going to work on doing this once a week and it will take awhile but we should be able to get everyone on our street at least once a year. It is just a small thing but hopefully it will open my eyes and Bug's eyes to the needs around us we can pray for.

What are your strengths and what can you do with them to show others love?


mama k said...

A great challenge for us all! Good for you for using your "gifts" to bless others. :)

Margot said...

What a great way to use the gifts God has given you!

*shell* said...

Great idea and great way to reach out to those around you!

Courtney K. said...

That is so great, Kristi! Jesse and I lived in our neighborhood for 5 1/2 years, and it wasn't until the fire that we met many of our neighbors. I am going to make an effort to be a consciously good neighbor when we move home! I also see myself as outgoing, but I am surprised at how shy I can be around new people!