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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Neighbors & kindness

We have such great neighbors....some are just acquaintances, but many of them we would consider our good friends, and some are even relatives, (pictured below: Paisley and my brother Tom enjoying an evening on the front porch). We are blessed to live in such a lovely community and I look forward to teaching the boys....(I guess I can't say that anymore)......rephrase: I look forward to teaching my children the importance of valuing our neighbors. I think we as a society have lost the art of community over the years and that's so sad to me. We are safe to live and dwell within our four walls, forgetting that there are people all around us, just waiting to be discovered! When we first moved here I met our dear neighbors Irvin and Ruth, and have since enjoyed getting to know them over time. A few weeks ago, just shortly after Paisley was born I went to get the mail. It was a sunny afternoon, the boys were napping and Paisley was resting on my shoulder. I decided to sit in the sun on the front porch and open the darling cards that people sent our way, congratulating us on Paisley's arrival. One card in particular caught my attention and while reading, brought me to tears. Our dear neighbor Ruth, age 80, had taken the time to write us a card and send it! As I read it I kept looking across the street at their home, almost giggling to think about the journey that card had made, just to get post marked and arrive in our mailbox.

"Dear neighbors, God is so good, wait until you hear this: Irvin and I went to an antique shop to buy some plates when we saw this adorable dress. I told Irvin that Janelle is going to have a little girl this weekend and I should buy it for her. Thursday night, (April 30th) I went to bed early and about 10:30-11:00 p.m. I got up, just couldn't sleep. I went into the living room and sat on my comfortable chair and looked down at your beautiful home all lit up. It reminded me of you so I started praying for you. Just like that, this car quickly drove in and a lady got out and carried a large suitcase or whatever is was. I said, "God you are so good, this is why I couldn't sleep so I could really pray for Janelle. I sat there about an hour praying for you. I fell asleep and peaceably went to bed and slept.
Now I see pink balloons.
Congratulations on your darling little girl."
We love you,
Irvin and Ruth

(Paisley was born at 11:37 p.m., over the exact time she was praying!!)

Here is Ruth presenting Paisley with her adorable vintage dress!
I just LOVE it! How precious this relationship is to us all!
Here is some of our life in pictures from the last week:

Here's to cultivating the flowers in your life,
be it family, friends or neighbors!
While the spirit of neighborliness
was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many.

~Lady Bird Johnson~


Anonymous said...

your post is so touching. how precious. paisley and the entire stoltzfus gang are so loved, by many. good neighbors are a tremendous blessing. i agree, we have lost the sense of true community and it is important.

Adrienne said...

Wow, I got chills as I read the story about your neighbor! God is awesome! See you soon!

Sharon said...

Janelle, this is really precious. Keep that neighbor! She's definitely a "servant" of the Most High God! Thanks for sharing and making my day.

Lulu and Tutz said...

What a sweet reminder that God is watching over us and calling others to cover us in our time of need...THANK YOU for letting me soak in that precious little girl the other day....made my day!!! I thought, Emma was beside herself that I didn't come pick her up from school so she could hold her too!!! Spoken as only a 12 yr old girl could!

The Mayos said...

What an amazing story from your dear neighbor Ruth! I appreciate your insight about our relationships with neighbors. And I laughed out loud when I got to the picture of Paisley in that tiny crib.

CountryMidwife said...

That was me! The lady with the large suitcase :)

LOVE the pic of Lukey pushing Paisley, so adorable!