Living Life in the Front Yard
Kevin & I have lived in our neighborhood for almost three years and have tried to be intentional about meeting our neighbors. We go on walks with a cute baby and dog and try to talk to those we pass along the way. We've brought brownies to a few people we've met. We attend the neighborhood gatherings. We have a park directly across the street from our house, and as Amelia has grown and wanted to play over there, we try to be out there more and more. We try to go over and meet new people when we see parents out there with their kids. Even still, we make casual small talk and never really make much connection. If you know me at all, you know that meeting new people and small talk is not my thing. Meeting new people and engaging your neighbors in our current culture is hard! Most people, ourselves included, pull into their garage and shut the door without ever seeing their neighbors.
We had the Sharps over this past Sunday to share a meal together. They are in the Moore Regroup with us, and our group has been trying to meet up outside of our formal time more often, sharing meals together and sharing life together. Dinner kept the four parents on our toes as we tried to keep four girls under the age of five seated and eating at the same time. Even still, it was such a blessing to look up and see Amelia sitting at a little kids table with her friends and enjoying true community, even as a toddler. It was also a blessing to get to know the Sharps better during our brief conversations in between kid interventions. After dinner we went outside and ate brownies while the girls played at the park. Another couple we've never met came down for their daughter to play. One of the Sharp girls asked their daughter "where do you go to school and church?" just as we had been explaining that we were friends from church to her mom. We were able to tell them a little about Redeemer and share some nice time together in the nice weather. It seemed so natural and friendly and exactly like true community is supposed to be. I connected with the neighbors on Facebook later and found out they know another neighbor I had been trying to connect with as well. We will be getting together for a play date at the park soon and fishing at the pond behind their house.
I've been reading a book called "The Turquoise Table", and it talks about living life in your front yard to try to engage your neighbors. Sunday night seemed to be the perfect example to that. Kevin & I have tried to engage our neighbors over and over again, but by having someone else there from our existing community, it made it so much easier and more natural and a lot less pressure. It shows how important our Regroups are. We are truly trying to live ALL of life redeemed. That means watching your kids slide and swing together and engaging those around you. It means looking for the opportunities God will present you in your every day moments, being thankful for them, and taking advantage of them. I encourage you to get connected in a Regroup. If you're already in one, call up someone from your Regroup this week and spend time together. Look for ways you can be outdoors in your neighborhoods and ways you can engage those around you.