Bloom where you are planted!
Growing up I didn’t live in a neighborhood. In fact, I grew up on a farm with a large pasture in the front and a very large pasture in the back. When I walked out any door of my house, the first thing I usually saw were cows, not people! Funny how during my whole adult life I have lived in a neighborhood with a cul-de-sac and I love it!! I went from growing up in a small town to living in the capital city of our state. Don’t get me wrong. There are times when I miss the small town and the benefits that came with that environment. I really miss that our kids didn’t get some of the extreme benefits of growing up like I did, but nevertheless, I love people and being social. I have loved having neighbors instead of cows!
“Bloom where you are planted!” We have been fortunate to live in 2 GREAT neighborhoods in the last 25 years and I can honestly say, the friends/neighbors that we have made are one of the BIGGEST BLESSINGS of my adult life. Of course, there are many different personalities, backgrounds, lifestyles, and interests, but the variety of people have enriched my life and my world tremendously.
Just last night there was a neighborhood gathering at the stop sign at the end of our street. A neighborhood email sent out just days before prompted anyone in the neighborhood who was home to come out. I had a blast! It was great to catch up with people I never see. When we lived in our first neighborhood, our kids were young. The other children and my kids playing outside readily brought us together with our neighbors. We had more opportunities to really get to know our neighbors and develop strong relationships. There were long days of play, picnics in the yard, wading pools and bicycle rides. I really miss those days now that our kids are grown. Last night’s impromptu gathering was a reminder to me to be more intentional in visiting and creating opportunities to see our neighbors, even if our kids are grown.
This past fall, while having a small gathering at our house on a Friday night, I got an alarming call from our next door neighbor, Jane. She was in the ambulance with her oldest son, Dylan, who had been severely injured in his high school football game. She asked for prayer and her voice was shaking. It made me physically sick! Dylan, in many ways is like a son to me. Recently he described me as his “Second Momma”. An extreme compliment to me! Just as big of a compliment is the fact that Jane called me from the ambulance for prayer!!! Jane and Mark have been our neighbors in both our neighborhoods, so the relationship between our 2 families is one that has been nurtured for years.
Since that Friday night call, Dylan, 11 months later and 5 surgeries completed, is still working to heal his leg and foot. My Blood family lives 2 1/2 hours away so over the years some of my closest neighbors have served me like “family.” In Galatians 5:14 it says, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” I realize this passage is talking about more than the people that live around you. But the point I want to make is this: it is so easy to live this verse to those who live nearby, “bloom where you are planted!” In the season of life of young kids, it was easy to whip up a batch of cookies and share with the neighbors. Today, with different things taking my attention, it hasn’t been as easy, but it is something I am committed to do going forward.
I want to encourage you, the reader. You never know who lives nearby that might need you! Due to the deep relationship that was established years ago with the Salleys, which originated from living close by, I was able to be that “neighbor” for them. So thankful, as they have definitely been that neighbor to our family in COUNTLESS WAYS. Be encouraged to go the extra mile to those who live nearby. You can’t imagine how SIGNIFICANT your willingness to be a neighbor could be!