We love to shower our neighbors with “Just Because” cards, gifts, etc. Sometimes we make a pretty tissue paper flower filled with gourmet tea bags, or a bag of fresh baked goodies, or fresh cut flowers on May Day. For the 26 years that I have lived in my neighborhood, 20 of those May 1st’s were spent by my kids putting flowers from my garden on my neighbor’s porches, ringing the door-bell and running like crazy. We are blessed to live in an area of maturing people, and that generation’s mother’s didn’t work an additional job outside the home. So they were usually always there, when the kids rang the bell. They hid around a corner, or bush, so they could hear or see perplexed looks and sounds coming from those surprised women.
This week, as an encouragement to 10 of our closest neighbors, we made little packets of candy, and attached a handwritten note to each one. See the picture of a mock-up. We gave this out prior to Valentine’s Day, just to be surprising, and different, but this would make a wonderful ring-the-doorbell-and-hide kind of project for February 14th!
- Download Valentines Recipe Card pdf and print on white card stock.
- Cut out card to make recipe-card-sized area.
- Hand-write your sentiments.
- Fold in half.
- Punch hole in upper left corner of folded card.
- Attach card to candy bag through punched hole, and glittery twist-tie, ribbon, or metallic elastic string.
This can be a blessing to anyone that you hold dear to your heart, that helps makes your life better. Friends, family, child’s teacher or therapist, trash man, mailman, policemen, firemen, city councilman, neighbors, etc. Think about the people that make your daily living better, and be sure to include them on your list of recipients. So many people serve, and never get thanked.
We chose our neighbors, because in many cases, they are like family to us. One retired couple has taken us into their fold, and include us in holiday dinners and grand-parenting my still-at-home son. The wife is a wise woman, and has on many occasions counseled and encouraged me like a mother. Another retired couple down the street, have helped us with home repair projects, and have included us in back-stage tours of the zoo, and chat with us when they walk their dog. Several other couples were instrumental in founding the most active neighborhood association in our city. They have spent their retirement years serving the 700 families in our association. Collectively, we combat gangs, drug houses, party houses, graffiti, and blight. They serve sacrificially, and with heart. Miss Vicky, an elderly lady across the way, wobbles with her cane at her side, all the way across a wide busy street, and down our block, to tell us how much she enjoys our flower garden, or watching my son grow up. We realized a few years ago, that we are the only contact she has with the outside world, since her husband died. She sits at her front window, or on her porch, and apparently watches us interact, and plant our garden, etc. Who knew that a garden, or a son, playing basketball with his friends could be such a ministry to a shut-in?
Here is the core principle at the heart of this encouragement project:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Encourage those who help you rejoice in your everyday life!!