Friday, September 5, 2014

Faithful Friday: Being Neighborly

Whoa, September.  How did you get so busy?

Evening practices and meetings, obligations, birthday parties, reunions and church functions. Penciled around the few precious hours that are free each week, it doesn't leave room for much else. Sigh...

For this momma hen who likes her chicks in the barn, this is a struggle for me.  I'm selfish with my family time and don't like to share.  But it's only because I know how special and fleeting this time is, as I watch the kids grow and stretch and mark another year off the calendar so quickly.

We've had something every night the past few evenings and our weekends are just as busy.  It doesn't give one a chance to catch their breath and take life in.  Can we just pause - and be - for a minute?

Last night was a rare free evening and I took advantage of it by preparing a Sunday supper for a weeknight meal.  Sneaking home at lunch, I chopped and sprinkled, tossing goodies into the crockpot.  They greeted me upon arrival, as Noah and I entered, having just picked him up from basketball conditioning.

There's just something special about the aroma of a pot roast simmering away.....

As Noah crashed onto his bed, I busied myself with wrapping it up, doing my best to time it perfectly for Tim and Tina to walk through the door.  She is normally starving after 2 1/2 hours of dance practice and I knew she'd smile when the scent greeted her, once home.

All was working wonderfully, plates and forks stacked in our spot ready for filling.  Our favorite show queued for enjoyment before homework and chores pulled us away again.  Two doors shut, signaling their arrival, but only Tina walked in.

Tim often lingers, checks mail, tinkers with the boat, or completes paperwork, so I thought not much of it, until at the sink I noticed an unknown vehicle in the drive.  A neighbor, one we rarely talk to, was outside and talking to my hubby.

And dinner was waiting....

I'd like to say that I gave lots of grace and patience but I did not.  With two starving teens and a mom whose love language is quality time, this didn't settle well.

What on earth was taking him so long?
This neighbor never stops by, what could he want?
Why is Tim not telling him we have dinner plans?

A few glances out the door and unresponded texts later, we opt to go ahead and eat the once steaming, now cooling meal.  I should've enjoyed the one on one time with the kids.  It would've given us an opportunity to share about each other's day.  But I didn't.  Instead I ate and stewed and sighed.

Lord, Help me.

An hour later my tired hubby entered the door and I let him heat his own plate in the microwave.  Of course, the first thing I wanted to know was why he stayed outside so long.  His answer didn't help my attitude.

The neighbor wanted - nothing.  Just to talk.  About anything and everything and nothing in particular.  Well, that was just silly, I thought.  But my husband, in all his gentle wisdom stated the obvious.  Maybe he just needed company.  Just someone to talk to.  And Tim arrived home at just the right moment.

Humble pie for dessert?... 

And then this morning, as He so often does, God nudged me about the neighbor.  Perhaps instead of fretting that dinner was delayed, I should be thankful there was a meal to be had.  Maybe I could have invited the man inside to join us (so could my husband I grumbled back).  Who else have I been too busy for or selfish with my time against this week?

Yes, Lord, the giver of my time, I hear you.

It's only the second greatest commandment in your Book, after all.
I read it, I know it, but I don't always live it.

Help me to see those neighbors in need.  
Whether it be across the street, in the aisle, along the roadway, or near me in a pew.  Help me to see them with your eyes and not put up fences with my time.


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