Encouragement, Life

A Day in the Neighborhood {Finding Life :: A 30-Day Challenge}

This morning I decided to weave my way through our neighborhood for my 3 mile walk.  Walking through our neighborhood is never just a walk.  It’s conversations on  yards and front porches.  It’s waves and hello’s down each street along the way.  It’s catching up with neighbors and sharing our stories.

Grandma Carrie always told me you can learn something from everybody.  My neighbors are great teachers.

Several friends and neighbors celebrating Mrs. Donna’s 90th birthday last year.

My first stop …well, we call her “Miss Donna” — our friendly neighborhood watch lady.  I believe she’s  91 years old, but she runs circles around the rest of us.  She still mows her own lawn, has  beautiful, well-manicured flower beds, walks just about every morning, and still manages to watch over the safety and well-being of the neighborhood. If you stop by her house, she will probably offer you some candy or chocolate and a Dr. Pepper. She cares deeply for all of us and tries to make sure those in need get taken care of.

She offered up some good advice to those who wonder what to do with their day–“Go visit a shut-in!”  And she followed  that up with …“Don’t sit on your good intentions!”  Good words to live by!  Life!

Later in the day, there were more conversations in the yard  with a single mom and her two sweet babies.  Life isn’t always easy.  “God sees you,” I tell her …but I need to see her as well.   Miss Donna’s words replay …“Don’t sit on your good intentions.”  Our paths have intersected for a reason.

Around the corner, a neighbor sits in her living room and our conversation centers around a recent cancer diagnosis. This is not her first rodeo.  There are many uncertainties but she still wants to make us her famous chocolate cobbler or sugar-free cookies.  Community.  Friendships.  Life!

Stopping by another neighbor’s house, we talked about their air-conditioner going out  in this hot, humid Alabama summer and how they were finally able to get a new one.  She praises God through every storm and prays like nobody’s business.

As she and I were talking, I looked up. And there it was … in a yard just down the street …a tree …with a shape in the middle.  Do you see it??

I told her  God keeps showing me hearts everywhere and we talked about how much He loves us and how much of His wonder He wants to show us  …if we’ll only look.

Mama always said, “You can’t out-give God,”  and it seems like loving your neighbor is like loving God.  And every time  I try to reach out and love my neighbors, God gives me so much in return.

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)

Today’s Challenge: Take a walk in your neighborhood.  Let God direct your steps.  Ask Him to open up conversations along the way.   

#Day26 ~ Finding Life :: A 30-Day Challenge


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