Teaching your Children to Love Thy Neighbor

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If you are a close friend or family member, a friend on Facebook, or you follow me on Instagram, then it’s no secret to you that I don’t plan to move away from Cindy Lane anytime soon. We moved out to the country onto 2.5 acres three years ago, and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for our family.

We’ve always known we had great, trustworthy neighbors, but the uncertain times we are living in right now have really shed a light on just how great they are. 

First of all, one of them is a phenomenal baker. She will randomly text me and ask me if I’m home so she can give me a fresh batch of cupcakes she’s testing out. She does this so often, my husband built us a little gate between our houses so now she just has to text me and say “meet me at the gate.” Seriously – what says #countrylife more than that?!  Since she’s an amazing baker, and I’m a decent cook at best, she’s also super handy to have next door because I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve assumed I had everything I needed for a recipe in the middle of cooking and had to meet her at the gate to borrow a random ingredient. 

Her husband is the protector. We hadn’t lived here but probably a week, and he stopped a friend of ours as he was leaving our driveway after borrowing a tool from our garage while we weren’t home, just to make sure he was supposed to be on our property. He’s the one we call when there’s a snake in our yard, and he’s the first to offer to come over and make sure my house is safe if I ever come home alone after dark with the boys. If I EVER feel unsafe at home while my husband isn’t here, I know he will be here in a second.

Then there’s the photographer. She has taken our maternity, newborn, family & milestone photos as well as all of my professional headshots. She has been the one to capture so many of my favorite photos and memories, and I’ll never be able to thank her enough for that. She keeps my kids for me if I’m ever in a bind, and I trust her with their lives. Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends?! Oh yeah…she’s also always down for an OnCue and/or Target run after the kids go to bed.

The photographer is married to a pastor/graphic designer/handyman. Not only is he just one of the kindest people on Earth, but he’s helped us with too many home projects to count. We don’t even have to ask. He just sees us through his window working on something and shows up asking how he can help us! He also designed my business logo in his “spare” time and didn’t hesitate for a second when I asked him to do it.

The newest member of our neighborhood crew is one of the most giving people you’ll ever meet. We barely knew him, and he organized for a Santa to come to our house and surprise our kids, complete with personalized gifts! He’s also a firework extraordinaire, so we get fantastic firework shows randomly throughout the year, and his property is home to the best bonfire location.

Now I know this post just sounds like I’m bragging on my amazing neighbors, but that’s not what I’m getting at. Our Country was recently faced with a nationwide pandemic in which we were forced to stay home for weeks at a time. Having the camaraderie we do with our neighbors made that time so much more bearable. We were able to help one another on outdoor projects, we socially distanced around campfires, and we grabbed things for one another at the store if needed. It is so important to me that my boys understand the importance of having good people in their life and an understanding that taking care of one another is just part of being a good person.

We live in a challenging time right now, and it can be tiresome wondering if you’re teaching your kids all of the “right” things. I’m thankful for a neighborhood full of friends that are more like family, who take care of one another and show my boys what it means to be a good neighbor/friend.

It’s important to me that they hear me asking our neighbors if they need anything while I’m out, that they see my husband offering his hand to help them cut down trees or mow their yard after he’s been at work all day, and it’s important to me that they see that we are constantly spending time with our neighbors building intentional friendships. Kids learn by what is modeled to them, and I can only hope that in a time where so much seems uncertain, my husband and I are modeling to our kids one of the most fundamental pieces of life: what it truly means to love thy neighbor. 

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shelbywilliams
Shelby is a wife and mom of 2 boys, Foster (2016) & Fowler (2018). She recently opened a real estate brokerage and is a work from home Broker who loves documenting her real life Real Estate adventures with babies in tow. She has a love of helping people and putting a smile on their face whenever she can. She never takes life too seriously, and can find humor in just about anything (even if that's cleaning up baby blowouts on her lap in the backseat in between home showings). Formerly a Heritage Hall preschool teacher, she enjoys spending her free time at home doing learning activities with her kids that fill the teacher part of her heart. If she's not playing with her boys or selling homes, you can find her doing home projects with her husband Jacob at their farmhouse in Guthrie!

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