It's pretty easy to be kind to my next door neighbors, to drop them off fresh chocolate chip cookies, hot cinnamon rolls and send my kids over to keep the walks and driveway shoveled. I know them and have a personal relationship with them so blessing them and caring about them just comes naturally.
I want 2013 to be the year that I'm "Neighborly" to all the people in my life circle. You know the ones at Walgreen's where I pick up my photos, the carry out people at the Grocery Store, the lady at my favorite Tea Shop (really a Gas Station that serves fresh brewed Tetley Tea) and the lady at the front desk at the Gym. Really what I want is to make these casual relationships into opportunities to share about Christ and to spread a little love around!
One area that I've made a great stride in this area is with two of the carry out people at the grocery store. Both of them have special needs and I've noticed that a few of the customers don't have time to deal with them when the have them carrying out their groceries. I've decided to take the time. My new friend Betty really likes Little House on the Prairie and Seventh Heaven. Two shows I'm more than able to talk about, and since I've been to DeSmet South Dakota, my knowledge is pretty intense. In fact, Betty would really like us to take a road trip to Missouri to visit Laura's homestead.
My other new grocery store friend; Kristen is more into sports and we talk Hockey and Football. I'll admit I'm not as well versed in these subjects, but I think she's more interested in having someone listen than talk anyway. For Christmas this year, I brought them each a hot fresh pan of Pioneer Women's Cinnamon Rolls and they were thrilled. Betty even told me to make sure to remember her birthday this spring. Oh, and that she really likes chocolate. I'm thinking those famous Chocolate Chip cookies will make a great birthday gift.
What I've learned is that by being open to these people, I've realized how easy it really is to make the "people in my neighborhood" smile just a little more.
I'm still working through ways to bring up God more in my conversations, but I figure by modeling warmth and compassion to those people I'm sharing the love of Christ through my actions. Sharing Him in a bolder way will come.
All this thinking about ways to bless my neighbors reminded me of one of my favorite childhood shows; Mister Roger's Neighborhood and the song he used to sing as he walked in the door and put on his slippers and zippered cardigan: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.