This afternoon, the kids and I headed out to visit the neighbors. I try to do this every once in a while, but with the holidays and Michelle being sick before that, we hadn't been over for a while. It has been important to me for us to get to know our neighbors. I don't want us to just wave hi and have that be the extent of our relationship, so I've made it a priority to get to know two of our neighbors.
The first person we went to see is our neighbor right across the street. I bundled up the kids and picked up Michelle to carry her across the street. We weren't even off the front step before Steven insisted that I carry him (snow boots and all!). I agreed because he was already cranky, so I picked him up and started walking. It was all fine until we hit the street. We got several inches of snow yesterday, and our roads haven't been cleared (nor were they from last week's snow). I was half way across the street when I skidded and slid and fell smack on my bottom (while still holding both kids). I must have sat in the street for a minute trying to figure out what happened before coming to my senses and getting myself and the kids up and out of the street. (And yes, there were witnesses!)
We made it to Jon and Cathy's house without any further problems only to find out that Cathy was too sick for visitors and was sleeping. Steven and I had picked a picture of a hippo out of his coloring book to take to her as a thank you for the Christmas gifts she had given the kids on Sunday. She was our priority visit because I thought the kids might be an encouragment to her after her chemo treatment on Wednesday. She only has one more, but they are getting more intense. This time she started getting sick before the treatment was even finished. She has early stage breast cancer, and we've been going over to visit her and encourage her regularly this fall/winter. Her prognosis is very good, but she does not know God. Our neighbors know that we go to church (and notice when we don't!), and they appreciate that we pray for them.
After dropping the picture off with her mother, we went to the next neighbor's house, this time crossing the street without falling :) We hung out with Dave and Judy for a while, and Steven loved that they gave him a box of crackers to eat. He was very good and made sure that Michelle always had a cracker too. He enjoyed giving their dog treats, and he even told me when he had to go potty. It was nice to catch up with them after not seeing them for almost a month.
Both of these neighbors are older than us (they have kids our age), and I think we're kind of their adopted kids at times :) Neither have grandkids, and they love to see Steven and Michelle and play with them. Even more importantly, neither of these neighbors know God, but they are both open to what I've had to say. It's hard to know what to say, but it's far harder to have the courage to say what you need to say. I'm praying that when we dedicate Michelle they'll come to church with us. I'm pretty confident that they will, so I'm anxious to get a date set for her dedication.
I'm also getting ready to start visiting another neighbor. Her name is Rodi, and she is Romanian. She has two boys, one in school, and one who is a year(ish) older than Steven, and just had a baby girl last month. Her husband is a truck driver, so he is gone for extended periods of time. From what I understand, she doesn't know too many people, and all of her family is still in Romania. When I talked to her in October, she was scared to death to have another baby and didn't know how she was going to do it. I'm planning on going over and inviting her to the mom's group I go to at our former church. I don't know where she is spiritually, but I'm pretty sure that she doesn't know God either, and I want to be there to show her Who He is and be an encouragement to her as she adjusts to life with three kids.
Would you join me in praying for our neighbors?