Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God, Can't I Just Stay Inside With My Brownies Forever?

I feel the need to share with you that almost every time I go to type "blogger" in my address bar, I type "blooger" instead.

What does that say about me?

Anyway, that has nothing to do with what I wanted to post about.

I don't actually know what I want to write. I was going to finally put up the pictures of Josh with a camera strapped to his head I had promised (I didn't forget, ya'll) and maybe some of an Oh-So-Fabulous-Pie I made, but my computer is acting funky and won't give me access to the pictures.

I will deal with Mr. Computer privately. I'll jerk a knot in his little cord, that's what I'll do. Oh yes, I will.

Instead, I think I'll just put something out there and see if any of you have thoughts on the matter.

I don't really know how to word it other than tell you that this all started with me feeling convicted over my discontentment with where I'm at right now. I just haven't felt very....purposeful (there is much, much more I could write about this alone, but will save it for another time). I want to do something "big" for the Lord, like adopt or take in foster kids or move to Siberia.

I have no idea why Siberia was the country that popped into my head. Just go with it.

Enter discouragement.

Despite all my pleading and crying to the Lord, none of those things seem to be what He's doing with us right now. In fact, the overwhelming sense I have is that He's simply calling us to be faithful right where we are.

(I know! Isn't that just absurd?!)

I don't know about you, but I almost NEVER want to hear that answer. Why is it that bringing more children into our family or packing up my whole life and heading for the hills seems easier to me?

But, as it turns out, He's God and I'm not. And He's actually very, very good at being God.

So, here I am. I'm looking around at where we are and there are TONS of ways I can be faithful and missional. There's the obvious calling to be a wife and a mom in a way that honors the Lord, but one that's been on my heart lately is being a light in my neighborhood.

Now, our neighborhood is a challenge for me. Mainly, because I like being inside. I don't want to go across the street and talk to anyone....especially in the dead of winter.

See how spiritual I am? Aren't you proud of me?

We've lived here for 6 1/2 years. We've seen neighbors come and go. We know most of the people on our street, but, with a few exceptions, have not really invested in anyone significantly.

Get out your kleenex because that, friends, is a crying shame.

We've had a few ugly interactions too. I'm not sure ugly is even the best word. It was bad. It wasn't really our fault, but it was bad. Maybe one day I'll tell you the story. It involved my 8 months pregnant self, our dog, a dead 13 yr old cat and a prying neighbor who went a little crazy on me and cussed me up and down...if that gives you any idea. Yep. Bad.

Two years ago, we tried to sell the house....just in time for the market to crash. So it feels very clear that God has us here on this street for a little while longer.

In an effort to reach out and connect with them in some way, I made little heart-shaped brownies for Valentine's day. I stacked them up, put little pieces of heart-shaped wax paper in between each one, stuck them in cute bags and attached notes saying they were from us.

On Valentine's day we went around and put them in all the mailboxes. I realize this is a tad illegal, but we were in a hurry and needed to drop them off quickly. Ideally, we would have gone door to door handing them out personally.

Then today, I go to our mailbox and found one of the bags crammed in there...unopened.

Enter discouragement.

(Oh wait. Weren't you already here? I'm sorry, did I tell you to invite more of your friends??? Please get out.)

I know it's not the end of the world. I will keep trying. (And it will be much easier in the spring when folks are out in their yards more). But yeah, it does kinda suck.

Why couldn't they have just thrown them away? Were they offended I put them in the mailbox? I'm tempted to read too far into makes me wonder all kinds of things about why someone would do that. We're not one of those neighborhoods where there's a monthly dinner at someone's house or block parties, if you can't tell. So, I feel hesitant to do this again.

(And I'm not saying brownies in a mailbox is the greatest way to build relationships in hopes of it leading to the gospel. I was more trying to break the ice.)

So here's my question for you: How do you reach out to your neighbors?

What has or hasn't worked?

If you haven't reached out to them, what holds you back?

I need some help here, guys.


The Girl With Extra Brownies Who Never Wants To Leave Her House Again.


Sushi Girl said...

honestly I find it easiest to do something like a drop in. Make little invites and have a coffee and dessert/game a kind of getting to know your neighbors. Also, in the summer time, I love to have pot lucks and cook outs:) But the dessert and coffee works out well...even if you only have a few, and "drop in" so you can get to know people and not feel like you have a ton of space..

Crystal Humphrey Alexander said...

Oh Dana! My heart broke a little when you said they put them back in your mailbox...that is so hard. I don't know the answer; I am always content to just wave or nod. I need to be better at this too! I will be waiting to hear any more advice as well...