Intentionally Gracious Neighbors

This is what I saw when I looked out of the Jitney Studio window yesterday...

Remember (on FB) when I talked about our water bill being outrageous?? Well, the utility guy came out Monday and checked for a leak. 

Which we had.

We were losing about 1/2 gallon per hour so our friend, Shane, came over Monday night and helped JD with a solution. JD came home early yesterday from work and began fixing the leak.

I'm not sure what he would've done without all of the little neighborhood helpers though....

Kid: "Is Mr. JD a hard worker?"
Me: "Yes. Mr. JD is a super hard worker!"
Kid: "Yeah. I'm a hard worker too." (with arms folded and nodding his head)

Haha! Oh, I loved it.

In all seriousness though...

When we began our house search, we fervently prayed that God would place us in a neighborhood where we could share the love of Christ. 

On the contrary, one of the first things we recognized when we moved in is how stinkin' awesome our neighbors are and how deeply they share the love of Christ with us. Seriously. Almost every one of our neighbors came to our house to introduce themselves to us within the first three days of us moving in the house. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but we feel like that's a pretty rare gift.

What these photos don't show are the men in the neighborhood who walked from the comfort of their homes to help JD with a solution. One of our neighbors is a former plumber, so he actually rode to Lowe's with JD for a small item he needed. He gave him a play-by-play in what he needed to do. 

These men (and kids) saw JD outside and chose to help a neighbor in need instead of sitting in their comfy chairs in their warm living rooms.

From unloading our packed Uhauls to car rides to freshly-baked cookies to cookouts to finding / killing a snake to helping with the lawn mower, our neighbors are always there with a helping hand. Just yesterday, I saw our little neighbor, Blake, push our garbage can from the curb to our garage door because the wind had tipped it over.

That's not normal. 
But it should be.

While all of the neighbors are amazing, I do feel the need to shed some light on two special families we've grown close to...

(I actually drafted the blog post below in the summer but I'll share it with you now.)

Our next door neighbors have three precious kiddos and we have so enjoyed getting to know the family. The parents are incredibly gracious and we've never met kids that were so eager to serve others. Alyssa (5 yrs old) asks me every day if she can help me water our garden and Blake (7 yrs old) walks over with his mom's gardening gloves to help us pick up sticks in the yard. The youngest daughter normally follows Alyssa around and helps water the garden too. :)

Blake walked up behind me when I was working in the garden one day with his hands behind his back. "I've got something for you, Wincy" (we're still working on the whole name-thing here). Knowing that he was a 7-year-old boy, I'm thinking he's holding a spider or cricket in his hands with the hopes of scaring me. I was shocked when he held out his hands with this lovely little peony he picked from his mom's garden. 

The day we were moving in all of our big stuff, our neighbor up the road, Julia, brought us a basket of goodies (Pringles, granola bars, pretzels), raspberry sweet tea, lemonade, and this fantastic bouquet of flowers she put together from her garden. 

Did I mention that God has blessed us with incredibly gracious neighbors?

We are in constant awe of where God has brought us. We know that it's only through Him that we live on such a wonderful street and that He has surrounded us with yet another family to join into.

JD and I have a LOT of work to do in terms of loving our neighbors more deeply and being intentional in helping them out whether in need or not. 

Do you have any ideas for helping to draw your neighborhood together?