Monday, June 30, 2014

Loving on Neighbors

Image: Chris Dlugosz, Nextdoor
Moving to a new neighborhood? Jordan and I have done quite a bit of moving in the 2 years we've been married (that's a story for another time). One thing I was so excited about once we moved to a real neighborhood and out of our apartment was getting to know our neighbors. We did some of the following things with our apartment neighbors too, and in some ways, got to know them better because we all lived in the same tiny space. But, there is just something about a street, ya know? It's where I take Reaghan on a walk almost every day, so I see people from time to time and it just feels unusual to me to not reach out. 

I love to get to know the people living next to me. I have yet to experience someone reaching out to us, and I honestly don't expect it. We even had a newborn for the first month of living in our house, and no one even came by! I think that's normal, but I also think deep down everyone is hoping that someone will welcome them to the neighborhood. I thought it was just me, but recently we had a couple over for dinner who expressed they were shocked we were the only ones to really welcome them when they first moved in. This confirmed to me the need for a welcoming face in a new place. This seems so obvious! But it can be very intimidating in a culture where we are used to pulling into our garage and never saying "hi" across the street.

Here are ten ideas to get you started loving on your neighbors: 

1. Bake cookies and attach a handwritten note
2. Offer to pick up their mail while they're out of town
3. Bring them a meal the first week they move in
4. Prayer walk.... even if you don't know the people, prayer is one of the best ways to care for another person
5. Pray over "for rent/sale" signs and those who might be moving in
6. Have kids? Offer to host a play date or take a walk to the park!
7. Have them over for dinner or games
8. Ask questions!
9. Keep your lawn mowed and your garbage can off the street. Don't block their driveway and let them know when you'll have more than a few guests over! (Also known as being polite) 
10. Ask for their phone number 

What about you? Do you know your neighbors? Many of my friends want to get to know those living around them but struggle to think of ways to do it. I hope this simple list is helpful and would love to hear ways you reach out to those who you share a fence with!

Loving on Neighbors is part of a blog relaunch series entitled "31 Days of Responding to Him" 
Follow along here


  1. Ooh, I just LOVE this! We are moving into a new place this fall and I plan on being very proactive in getting to know people. When we moved into our current home no one ever came to introduce themselves, a year after living here I finally walked over to my next door neighbors house and gave her some chocolate sauce I made and now she recently moved out and we had a couple move in, I made sure to bring them some strawberry jam a few days after they were moved in. I am looking forward to being in a new neighborhood and making a point to get to know everyone.

  2. I'm glad you liked it! It's just a few things I've done and constantly fail at, haha! But I think it really does speak volumes to people when you care to bring them something small, like jam! That's a great idea! :)

  3. Good thoughts on neighboring! We've tried in the last few years to have dinners on the front lawn around special holidays--last year we had a chili dinner right before the neighborhood sent our kids out trick-or-treating, and it was a wonderful way to enjoy the neighbors, since everyone was going to be out and about anyway. I love your idea of prayer walks and praying over the for rent/for sale signs, Thanks!

  4. Ohhh that's such a good idea! How did you invite for that? We don't know a ton of our neighbors personally or have many phone #s...did you just leave a little invite on their doors? Would love to do the same this year since there are tons of kids on our street :)

  5. We have lived here a while so we do have a few emails and phone numbers, but I also make flyers and the kids and I will walk up and down the street and knock and invite face to face (a great way to meet people), and then if they aren't home we just leave the flyer. We did that at Easter too for an Easter egg hunt and BBQ. Tons of fun!

  6. That sounds great, thanks for the awesome ideas!