Last night we had all of our neighbors over for pizza and beer and it was such a sweet time of community and building of friendships.
Nate and I have been planning to do that for a while and just finally got around to it. I honestly would never have made the move to walk over and invite all of them over but Nate and the girls made invitations and I walked with the girls over to each house and we put them in the mailboxes. The girls were really excited about it.
So, last night as I was driving home, I started to get nervous that it was going to be an awkward time of people getting to know each other and not having much in common and leaving, not having had a good time. Quite the opposite happened, actually.
We had the neighbors on either side of us and the two houses across the street. There were not two people in the house who were similar in looks or interests and it was the coolest thing to see these people getting to know each other and become friends. They actually all really got along and left saying..."let's do this at our house in 2 weeks. Same people, same time. We'd love to grill for all of you." What a sweet moment for me. I loved that there were people sitting in my living room who have lived two houses from each other for over five years and were just learning each other's names. One of the girls across the street plays the guitar and writes songs and sang for us a bit (she and Nate took turns) on the front porch. (So, I guess there were two people who had something in common...Nate and the neighbor, Shelly, who are both musicians.) She helped Ava write and sing a song about our dog, Jenna.
I am thankful for my husband who pushes me to step out of my comfort zone to do things like this. Everyone who came last night thanked us over and over for putting that together and everyone left with 10 more friends than they came with. I could tell how much it meant to them that we would take the time to do it.
It encourages me to see how living missionally, in even just my own neighborhood, affects people.