Neighbors: My Children

As we prepare for our Thanksgiving holidays with family five hours north of us, I’m reminded of needing to take special care of my children, my little live-in neighbors.  You see, I know the upcoming drive is going to be rough.  They’re going to want to get out of their carseats and they’re going to scream when we don’t let them.  They’re going to need to go to the bathroom fifty times and we’re going to have to stop each time if we want to save the upholstery in our car.  They’re going to fight because, “Emry touched my foot!” or “Lexi said I was a bother, not a brother!”  The baby is just going to scream, because she does that randomly when you least expect it.  This drive is  going to test my mothering skills and my ability to stay calm – which is a feat in itself.

In preparation for our five hour drive, I’ve spent a whole day listening to Christian music, especially my current favorite, “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real.  The lyric, “so Father give me the strength, to be everything I’m called to be, oh Father show me the way to lead them, won’t you lead me?” is especially pertinent.  Beyond the five hour drive, though, I pray this line to help me be a leader in my house to my little live-in neighbors.  I know that I can do nothing without God’s help.

This post is short, but I wanted to touch a bit on something in preparation of a day in which we talk about everything for which we are thankful.  I’m not a “day 1, day 2, day 3: I’m thankful for” fb, twitter, blog poster.”  I’m thankful for the air in my lungs, a new day to experience, my husband, my children, my parents, my sister, and my friends.  I’m thankful that I get to hear screaming and fighting on the way to visit family, because others have lost these noises and would give anything to have them back.  I’m thankful for my readers and those of you who support me.  Most of all, I’m thankful to be one of Christ’s own.

May God bless you in this time of thankfulness!

Neighbors: Reader Advice Needed

I brought up my “neighbor project” in my small group fellowship this evening as an example of the correlation of faith and action.  However, as I reflected, post response, I realized that I really hadn’t done much of late towards my neighbor project.  Short of saying hello to the neighbor at our school Fall Festival, I hadn’t really reached out to any more of the unknown neighbors.  In fact, lately I’ve been kind of not-so-neighborly in my thoughts and words behind the closed front door.

I’ve posted before about the little tyrants [ahem, children] in our neighborhood.  Since new families have moved in, bringing new children with very different learning of what is socially acceptable than I, I’ve slowly fallen backwards into my “curmudgeon next door” ways.  I find myself griping about the kids walking through our yard when there is a perfectly good street three feet away; it’s always too loud outside after hours; the kids just won’t get out of the middle of the street when I’m trying to pull into my garage.  I get so frustrated that I’m frustrated about being frustrated.  I’m ready to be okay with the children doing whatever they do outside and not stressing about it.

What should be my next move?  Do I try to work on my approach to the children in the neighborhood or do I move on to the next unknown neighbor?