My family recently moved into a new neighborhood, one with a lot of history. Many of the neighbors have lived on the block for over fifteen years so we were intimidated by the friendships that were already established before our time.
We had big plans to introduce ourselves to each neighbor and maybe exchange numbers, but with the hustle and bustle of moving that was on the bottom of the to-do list. Yet, within days of moving, our neighbors had brought over wine, phone numbers and a warm welcome.
My family was BLOWN AWAY by the sincere reception from our neighbors.
They really gave us the gift of going first in our new neighbor relationships and I hope to be that type of neighbor for the next “new kid on the block.”
What made a difference?
1. They Wasted No Time
Our neighbors saw the moving truck and immediately came over. They didn’t peek through their closed blinds and make judgments about the new neighbors. They stepped outside the comfort of their homes and introduced themselves. I was nervous to be in a new neighborhood but the immediate welcome made us feel right at home—like these folks could become a part of our family.
2. They Exchanged Contact Info
Not only did our neighbors give us their phone numbers but they also wrote down their names and emails. It’s hard to remember everyone’s name so, I breathed a sigh of relief when they provided the entire families’ names (including the dog). Also, we put those phone numbers to use right away. I even got a call that our dog was running wild about the neighborhood (because I had forgotten her outside) and they wanted to make sure she made it home safely. Typically, getting to know your neighbors may take months but when we exchanged numbers it just took days to start doing life together.
3. They Offered Help
Our neighbors might not have known what they were getting into when they met us. The sweet lady next door walked over when she saw me struggling to get the dog, the stroller and the diaper bag into the car. I didn’t hesitate. I handed her our baby and asked if she would just watch everything while I ran back into the house for forgotten items. She loved holding our sweet baby boy and a connection point was created. Since then we’ve borrowed items, shared trash bins and exchanged treats.
The actions of our neighbors had me praising God for His goodness and faithfulness. We left our old community, one we had invested in for two years, and we were wary about creating friendships like that again. Yet, God didn’t leave any room for doubt.
Those neighbors reached out and made us feel like we could join the legacy of families on the block.
Maybe next time, we can be a part of the welcoming committee.
Waste no time in getting to know your new neighbors (or even the neighbors you have been “meaning” to meet). God can use your actions to express His warm reception of us al.
If you are needing more ideas on how to welcome new neighbors or what to do if you are the new neighbor, check out Amy’s post: How to Love Your New Neighbor.