Sunday, February 27, 2011

And Then There Were Nine

A few blog post ago I wrote about getting new neighbors. Well, one of the houses that was for rent is now occupied. We have 9 new neighbors. One mom and eight children. They are refugees from Cameroon. We are still getting to know them and learn their names. Their ages range from 16 to 2. We have already had some great conversations with our kids about being intentional with them. And the fact that our kids are seeing 9 people live in a 2 bedroom 1 bath home is a great lesson in itself on being grateful, selfless, humble, etc...Starting tomorrow morning Braxton will be driving the two oldest to the bus stop at 6am to catch the MATA (Memphis public transportation system) to ride to school. I am praying for some great conversation time and for God to use that ride each morning to show those kids His love.

One of the ladies from our church who helped this family move in and get situated was telling me how thankful she was for this family to have great neighbors and thanking us for our time. She said she hoped we didn't get overwhelmed. I told her it is a large part of why we live here and that we were glad we could help. We were excited for the opportunity to love, teach and neighbor.

I hope to get the opportunity soon to photograph them. Maybe blow some of them up for them to have in frames. They are beautiful children on the outside and I can't wait to share with them about how they can become beautiful on the inside as well. A beauty that never fades.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Name Dropper

So I just watched this music video and have to share it. Never was a huge MTV fan back in the day but I love me a good YouTube video at least once every other week. Ahem..especially when it is someone I know. Or maybe don't know directly but know their mom or dad. Or at least see their mom and dad in church every Sunday.

Anyway, just watch and listen. Great song. Great Video. Worth your time. Then you can say, I read a blog of a girl, who goes to church with the mom and dad of Drew Holcomb from Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. Go ahead drop that name, drop it like it's hot.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We're Getting New Neighbors!

One of my struggles I constantly battle living in this neighborhood is pessimism. You hear gun shots and you assume someone is dealing drugs, you hear a police car and you assume domestic violence, you see an ambulance and you assume the worst. It is a battle to keep your attitude in check and remember that there are rainbows and that our creator has put them there as a promise.

Over the weekend two "For Rent" signs went up on our street. One right across the street and one next door. The minute I saw them my mind went to pessimism. In general rental properties are not a positive in our neighborhood. Transient people who have just enough cash to get them through a month or two. People who are usually earning their money in not so positive ways. It is discouraging and frustrating.

As I was looking at the two signs and pondering who our next neighbors would be Bennett, our middle child, came into the room. Bennett is a rainbow in our life. A reminder of promises and hope. He is a positive child always seeing the silver lining. He can miss a wide open lay up in a basketball game and still be just grinning. He can miss the bonus on the spelling test and laugh at they way he thought it was spelled. So as I am drifting towards the negative about the future of the rental property Bennett lights up and says with all the excitement of winning the lottery, "We're getting new neighbors!"

Like the Lord himself was taking my shoulders and shaking them saying "Don't you get it?" "New neighbors, new opportunities to share the gospel, new people that I have created for you to be my hands and feet to." The very reason we moved here in the first place.

In Proverbs 4:23 it says "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." This is our family scripture this month and as I reflect on it I am reminded to guard my heart from pessimism. To look for the rainbows and the promises of God. And to have the pure joy that my 7 year old has even when negative assumptions rule our thoughts.