In the previous post, I encouraged you to take a stroll through your neighborhood and consider if you really know your neighbors. If so, great! If not, I pray you were challenged, like me, to be more intentional to not only know who your neighbors are, but to know them.
If you have a spouse and/or kids… plan a time to gather together to use this post to begin brainstorming your own neighborhood, needs, and creative ways to bless your neighbors…with no desire to be noticed or validated.
Here are some ideas for blessing your neighbors. Of course, I fully expect you to have ideas noton this list. So share them with all of us in the comment section.
- Take cookies or treats from time to time- have your kids do it with you, then without you. Make a card. Include a verse and a kind word.
- Regularly share a plate of food with any elderly or double your recipe and just be a blessing to a neighborhood family
- Have your neighbors over for barbeque or for pizza and a game
- If welcoming a new neighbor or just getting to know neighbors of ten plus years (cough cough), take over a family picture in a card with each family member’s name on it -with an arrow, if you have a large family…with a note that says, “We are the Ellis family…We just wanted to say we’re praying for you.”
- Ask for their prayer requests…and really pray for these. Check up on them and mention these by name
- Find out their favorite candy/treat/snack/fast food/restaurant and just show up with it from time to time. My neighbor loved Krystal hamburgers, so whenever we’d go there, we’d pick up some for him and drop them off.
- Invite the ladies over for brunch or Bunco.
- See a neighbor working to fix his car or his the sprinkler system in his yard? Go and help…and take those boys with you.
- Notice an older person with a ladder leading against his roof? Send those boys over. (girls too). Teach them how to address the man politely, “Mr. Jones. I saw your ladder leaning against the roof. We came to assist you. What can we do to help?” Your elementary kids can be taught this..don’t just think it’s only for high schoolers to help. Train.
- A neighbor going through chemo? Take her family a meal. Find out how you can be there for her. Listen for the concerns on her heart. It might be that taking her kids to do something fun may be the thing that is of greatest concern.
- Neighbor love older cars? Do a little research on them. Next time you see him out. Ask him about his car(s)? Maybe your research will enable you to be able to call his car by the right name. LOL. (speaking to myself, here)
- Be free with your compliments and kind words. If you think something nice, say it. “Mabel, your flowers are absolutely spectacular.”
- Ask them to show you how to do things they’re good at that you’re not. cleaning, organizing, cooking, baking, bush trimming, car repair, flower planting, gardening. Learn from others! It’s a great way to build friendships, too.
- Include your neighbors in your Christmas card mailing.
- A mom with young kids? Offer to babysit for a day or a night out for the parents… and maybe include a gift card to their favorite restaurant
- Does your family have skills/interests that you could include the neighbors in? hunting, fishing, sewing, reading club, women’s Bible study?
- What are you doing in life that you could just begin to think “who can we bring along?”
- does your family have possessions that could be shared with your neighbors? A pool? boat? trampoline? volleyball net? a van that they could borrow for an upcoming camping trip?
- Is your neighbor crazy about golfing? What about playing a round of golf with him? (uh..this is for the men reading)
- Are they involved in soccer or ballet or ping pong tournaments? Are they in an upcoming school musical or beauty pageant? Go. Support them in their family’s activities.
- Is someone returning from an extended trip? Or just get his Doctorate? or receive Teacher of the Year? Have your kids/you make a card or a banner to celebrate with them.
- Are they from a different culture or country? Take delight in knowing their traditions. Learn more. Ask them to teach you how to make a dish from country.
- Do they speak a different language? They may very well long for you to spend time talking with them in English. Offer to take them to do errands and help them with every day language situations. Enjoy learning words in their language.
- Does your neighbor have a motor home or RV? Take an interest in their love of traveling. Find out their favorite vacation spots.
- Include the widow/widower in on family mealtime.
- Do you have a pool? Ever thought about neighbors who don’t and might just love an invite to go swimming?
- Do they care for aging parents? What would lighten their load? Find out.
- When a neighbor shares a concern, offer to pray right there for them and the concerns.
- Leave a note in your mailbox for the postal carrier, asking for their Top Three soda choices and favorite snacks. Periodically leave something for them in the mailbox…and maybe include a note of thanks. (My parents and my brother, separately, leave a cooler by the garbage cans on their weekly garbage pick up day, filled with the workers’ favorite drink.)
- See a yard in the neighborhood that’s overgrown and making people upset? Why not just go mow it. Or, if someone resides there, knock on the door and find out what’s going on in their world…and, if appropriate, say, “I was just wondering if it might be a help to you if I mowed it. I’ve got an extra hour today and would love to…”
- Take a vase with one flower or a small bouquet. “Just thinking of you today.”
- Sing Christmas carols to your neighbors annually, taking a plate of cookies or desserts.
- Your neighbor having a baby? Hold a “welcome home, X” poster and wait in their driveway. (You might want to have her text you when they leave the hospital or are entering the neighborhood. haha)
- Do you have a vacation home? How often is it used? Can you bless others by offering them a free weekend or week’s stay? Or, at a greatly discounted price?
Share your ideas of reaching out to your neighbors.
To God be the Glory if these blog posts have played any part of a new way of seeing how you are responsible and influential in the spiritual training for your family. To God be the Glory for any change in your heart, in seeing how God can use YOU and your family to encourage, bless, and influence others for Him as you come alongside people right where they are.
If you’ve missed any of my posts in the series on being intentional with the spiritual training for your family, here they are:
- Part 1 – Getting Your Priorities for the School Year… From God?
- Part 2 – Whose Job is it to be the Spiritual Trainer of Your Kids?
- Part 3 – Making a Plan for Your Fam’s Spiritual Training
- Part 4 – Spiritual Training in Your Home
- Part 5 – Intentionally Living It Out…As You Go
- Part 6 – Family Check Point…Just One Verse
- Part 7 – Brainstorming. Ministry Ops that are Uniquely Yours
- Part 8 – We Cry, Heartbroken, They Cry, Crushed
- Part 9 – Take A Stroll…Slowly
Rhonda goingwithmyneighborsTODAYtohelpmoveourpreciousfriendintocollege ellis