The Woman Next Door {On Building Community}

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Written by contributing writer, Trina Holden.

Do you know the woman next door? Or the one across the street?

Chances are, she’s not much like you. Statistics predict she’s not a stay-at-home mom, and doesn’t have more than 2 children–if she is a mother at all. She may not cook like you, dress like you, or read the same books. And she might not even go to church.

So, why would you want to have anything to do with her?

Because we’re called to love our neighbor and we were created for community.

We as believers all-too-often gravitate towards those who are like us, thinking that the more we have in common, the stronger will be the community we enjoy. While compatibility is a significant factor in relationships, I feel we overlook another key factor:

You live on the same street. And that, sisters, is a connection that is often missed in the face of all that makes us different. Yet that one commonality—physical proximity—is another huge factor in building a relationship, and has been the foundation of many life-long friendships.

It was when we left our first home and the trailer park we’d lived in for 3 years that I became convicted that I had not been a good steward of the relationships that had—literally—been right in my backyard. Part of my delinquency was due to the natural inward focus of that first season of marriage, but I also knew I had let differences in lifestyles keep me from reaching out and building relationship with my neighbors.

At our new home, I resolved to be more faithful to God’s commission by His grace. To step out of my comfort zone, to put forth a little effort, and see what would happen when I chose to love my neighbor. We started by hosting an open house that first fall. I made a huge pot of chili, several trays of cornbread, and we had a bonfire and music and invited everybody we knew—including the family that had just moved in across the street from us. In this group setting we enjoyed our first casual conversations with our new neighbors, and watching them walk back over the street to go home, I thought what fun it could be to have a friend who lived that close.

So, I reached out again. First just a hello across the road when we fetched the mail or were both doing yard work. Then a play date with our kids. Then dessert as families when the strawberries were ripe. For the first time in my life, I was experiencing what it was like to have a neighbor. And I liked it.

There’s something about being able to run down the driveway to borrow an egg, or sympathize over the heat wave or have someone near when the weather’s too bad to go anywhere. Opportunities to fellowship are right out the front door, instead of an hour’s drive.

And while reaching out and being willing to deepen the relationship, I discovered that, though she and I were raised differently and our lifestyles were not exactly the same, we did have other things in common–she was a believer! And we both desired to be a better wife, more loving mom, and to grow in our faith.

So, we started a Bible study together. Three or four times a month, while my kids were sleeping and hers were in school, we opened our Bibles, read a few verses and prayed and asked the Lord to speak to us. Despite our differences, the Lord had brought us together, bonded us, and revealed to me the joy He planned when He told us to ‘love our neighbor’.

Lately I’ve been inspired to explore new levels of community that await at the end of my own driveway, and to encourage you to see what relationships God may have called you to in your own neighborhood. God designed us for community, but it won’t happen unless we invest ourselves.  And perhaps, while celebrating what we do have in common—the same street, weather, and postman—we’ll have opportunity to share our love, our hope, and the God that can change lives.

Little {and Big!} Ideas for Investing in Your Neighborhood Community:

  • Time your afternoon walk for when kids are getting home from school or parents get home from work so you can say hello
  • Share extra produce from your garden with a basket or cooler at the end of the driveway
  • Organize a neighborhood garage sale
  • Initiate a book study
  • Plan a play date in the backyard
  • Invite the locals for a bonfire or seasonal summer dessert
  • Plan a family movie night
  • Find your neighbors on facebook and begin the connection in the non-threatening meeting-place of social media
  • Make friends with the kids first–make your yard the fun, hang-out place
  • Send a personal note on a holiday or just to say hi

How have you been able to reach out to your neighbors? What has worked for you? What challenges or successes have you experienced? How do you foster community in a more rural setting? In the City? I’m still new at this and would love to hear what you’ve done! Please share in the comments!

About Trina Holden

Trina enjoys offering hospitality from their 1800’s farm house in Upstate New York. She loves to encourage women to nourish their families, celebrate the journey, and choose to thrive at

42 Responses to The Woman Next Door {On Building Community}

  1. Jennifer May 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I loved your post. I’ve just moved to a new area and I’ve been reaching out to the neighbors. It’s not always easy, but I do think it’s what God desires. I’ll now be thinking of ways to make my home hospitable!

    For those who have difficult neighbors, I’ve been there! However, you don’t have to be “best friends” with your neighbors to be hospitable and to be a light in the darkness.

    For Britny: I understand difficult neighbors, I’ve had my share. But here’s how prayer worked for me: For 2 years one of my neighbors blocked my driveway with his truck making it extremely difficult for me. After two years, I finally approached him in a kind and gentle way and asked him if he could pull his car up an additional two feet so that I could use my driveway. He yelled and cursed at me and called me very vulgar names. I was shocked! Turns out, he was upset the city allowed me to put in a driveway and he didn’t think I should have one. (he didn’t mention this to me, nor was I aware he was angry with me or that he had a lot of difficult personal issues that he was taking out on me).

    Another year past, and he continued to park in the same spot. Then, one day at church (before communion) the pastor asked if anyone was hanging onto hatred or bitterness. I knew I couldn’t take communion without asking for forgiveness first. I was very angry with my neighbor for cursing at me and I “hated” him for it. So I sincerely asked forgiveness for my sin of hatred.

    A few days later another neighbor asked if he was EVER going to move his truck. Instead of saying anything negative (my natural inclination in a situation like this) I found something nice to say about him and divert the conversation. Within a week, the neighbor moved his truck and did not park there again!

    The power of prayer! If you have difficult neighbors, pray for them (and their children) and pray for yourself! Through prayer, God can mend broken relationships – even with difficult neighbors.

  2. Donna May 30, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Sara, my next door neighbor is an adult woman who lives with her parents. She has been in and out of jail because she has a drug problem. This woman broke into my car more than once in the past. Partly my fault for not putting the car alarm on. I have visited her in jail and she knows that I will always be there for her. When Jesus said to love your neighbors, he didn’t say to only love the ones whose lifestyles you approve of. The people in your neighborhood are human beings created by God. You are not better than they are. You sin in your own ways too. Matt 25 applies to everyone, and not just the people you approve of.

  3. Grace May 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I just wanted to let you know that I got to read this post to my Women’s Large Group this week – great post – thank you for the inspiration to reach those who we are near to!! Am taking this to heart. <3

  4. Julianna May 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    I’ve been burdened for my community lately and, in fact, was just mentioning it to my husband this afternoon. To then stumble across this post leaves me fairly certain that the Lord is speaking to me :) . We’re fairly new to the neighborhood, so I’m eager (well, a little scared, too) to step out and share with others! Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. Ko May 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Ok pray for me…here goes…I’m inspired…I just ‘friended’ a neighbor on Facebook. :D Non threatening….

  6. Suzanne May 24, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Great post! I’ve started a “food swap” with 4 other neighbor ladies and it has been fantastic for getting to know them. We each make a dish, double it and put it in 4 Pyrex containers (we bought them all together, all the same so we don’t worry about who has whose dish) and meet once a month and swap. The food’s been great, but the time chatting in my kitchen when we meet has been the best part. Last time they stayed about 3 hours talking! I never would have gotten to know them on this level without initiating the swap. I felt like I went out on a limb asking them but I’ve found that people are generally just waiting to be invited into your home and your life. People want to feel community and to feel like they belong. I feel blessed to have neighbors close by (we live in the city) who I feel safe with and enjoy being with and I try to let them know how much I appreciate that/them. We haven’t talked about faith issues yet and I’m really careful to not push that, but they see the cross in my kitchen and the Bible verse on my chalkboard and they know I go to church; I’m hoping that by the grace of God my actions will speak louder than words and that at some point if they are open to talking about the gospel, God will give me the right words.

  7. Nicole May 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I guess I’ve been taking my neighbors/neighborhood for granted! I’m surprised how many negative comments about neighbors have been written. Yes, the people next door have a dead lawn and I’m sure the people on the other side have heard ME yell at my kids (more than once), but we all make allowances.

    We have several things that we do as a neighborhood. Each summer a few of us plan a different activity that is free for each week: hiking, parks, museums, etc. We find people on different streets within the neighborhood and have them pass them out to people on their street (so we don’t miss people). I have also done a playgroup for each of my three-year-olds this way. It is tradition (for the past two years) that we have a block party on the first monday after school starts in the fall. We get everyone. It is the one time a year that I get to talk to some of my neighbors (instead of just saying hi).

    • JoDee May 24, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Here is a sight that might be useful for people wanting to get to know their neighbors. I couldn’t figure out how to post a response to the blog, only comment on someones post. This site leads you to print out fun tags to hang on neighbors doors to create community in neighborhoods. The tag invites neighbors to get to know each other by creating events, like playing cards one night, or roasting marsh mellows.

  8. Sara May 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Sadly, I find this idealisic. We live in a small town with an extremely low crime rate. It’s beautiful, classic small town America. Yet… The neighbor to my left is a sweet older woman. She is very busy with community service projects, but she adores my little boy. Next to her lives a man who lost his job as a public servant due to an affair with an underage girl…not really who I want to have hanging out with my kids. The neighbors next door to him have teenage boys who are, shall we say, well known to law enforcement and have stolen my car. On the other side of my house is a middle age gentleman who has many boyfriends in and out of his house. He throws large, loud pool parties every weekend in the summer that involve a lot of drinking and nudity–but he has a privacy fence and it’s his property, so there is nothing we can really do about it. It does bother me that my son’s bedroom overlooks his backyard. This is not even talking about the neighbors across the street.
    This is small town America. We have many neighbors, but we don’t live fifty or seventy years ago when small towns and rural areas were filled with people who shared the same lifestyle and morals. I can be friendly to a point and say hi when I see my neighbors, but they aren’t people I really see myself or my family pursuing even minimal friendships with.

    • TrinaHolden May 24, 2012 at 5:59 am #

      wow, sara – it does sound like you will have to go a little further than your block to find neighbors to build community.LOL But maybe that’s another way to think outside the box here? To be willing to go beyond next door, maybe to the next street until you find women you can share a bit of life with…

    • Anonymous June 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Wow, sounds familiar and similar….

  9. mommy May 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I just love the idea of getting along with everyone and being friendly and have get togethers with neighbors but I think in most situations this is not realistic. Times have changed and as a result people have changed. One hundred years ago, even the non christians had morals and never dreamed of doing things that even todays “christians” do. I really did like this post, and I got something out of it for myself, but lets be realistic as well. As a Christian I know that there is a reason why we have certain neighbors. We need to be the light everywhere and to everyone so I think if some of you have hard neighbors—-be the example. Whether we know it or not, we are all role models to somebody.

    The community that I live in is reared more for the young and older couples (condos). So when I had my third, I had a lady down 1 door ask me if Im done having kids (how rude!). Then she asked me how they all fit into the condo. I would say we are polite with neighbors and have short talks or hellos only when we see them.

    Because we don’t wear shoes in our home, my husband forgot to bring them into the house oneday, the next day one of the shoes was missing. Few months later it happened again with the one shoe. There are no kids in our complex except for mine. I couldn’t suspect anyone but that lady. We always mind our own business, but I just couldn’t suspect anyone else. Of course I could confront her because I didn’t have proof and I still don’t know, but only someone who didn’t want us there would do such a thing. This lady is considered to be one of the newer neighbors, who also joined the HOA. Half a year before this happened a widow with her 5 year old son moved out (husband died in Iraq) because this lady gave her a hard time about the boys bicycle being out in the front and she actually confronted her about it during the meeting in front of the directors. I felt she wanted us out next.

    I learned to be cautious. My job is to protect my family. Be polite. Be friendly (but not too friendly). Be professional. Play it safe. Don’t trust everyone. I’ve heard stories where neighbors sue neighbors because of what their children did to their own children (who knows whether any of it is true), but my point is not all neighbors are good people. Some are evil and if you have great neighbors—take that as a blessing and don’t take it for granted.

  10. Simone May 23, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I struggle with this because I have “annoying” neighbours, I try to be nice and say hello but they just don’t have common courtesy. At times they have had parties that last ALLLLLL night with verryy loud music.
    We tried to reach out in some small ways but I just wish they would show a little more respect in return.
    I do have another idea though that we have done/heard of in the past to perhaps inspire others: if you are looking at renting a lawn aerater and power rake you could offer to split the cost to make it a little easier on both of you. Also, my sister (in a rural area) was once approached by her neighbor to see if she was interested in getting her heating ducts cleaned, that way they could split the mileage charge by the company. Both good ideas to use as an excuse to have a conversation with your neighboor!

    • TrinaHolden May 24, 2012 at 5:24 am #

      Simone, I can relate to the annoying neighbors…the trailer park we lived in had its share of loud parties and law enforcement visits. Not everyone in the park was someone I’d feel comfortable cultivating relationship. But there were a few that I felt I could have reached out to more. I’m delighted to hear you are making an effort even where you’re at.

      I love your ideas of cooping for maintenance stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Tara May 23, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    We were vey purposefull in the fencing that we chose. We didn’t want the privacy fence that was up over our heads shutting us out from the world completely. I think that has made a huge difference to how many people in our neighborhood that we know and how well we know them.

  12. Anne MacDonald May 23, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    I’ve lived in my neighborhood for 18 years and have experienced a few different seasons of life whether it be motherhood,homemaker, wife, neighbor, daughter, etc. By far the most important is child of the most high God. He has called us to be a good neighbor. Many years ago I committed to the ministry of family, more specifically the families on my small dead end street. How have I done in that area? The answer is very poorly. I justified myself by my business and the responsibility of seven children and the 16 years of difference between the oldest and the youngest. Running a household and family of nine as well as homeschooling was all I thought I could reasonably handle. I’m sad to say there were times I found the arrival of neighbors or their children an annoyance, because I had so many important things to attend to. Although this was not always the case, it was a control issue as can be with many homeschool moms. During my seasons of parenting despite my sense of having things under control, the neighborhood children found this to be the place to hang out. When I was younger I had an ability for creative play.It was often different from the normal team sports, role playing and so on. Once while with my own four older children and two day care kids in the doctors office we sat under one of those tall benches and imagined we were in a plane going to Disneyworld.Even though the time was a normal long wait, the doctor arrived much too soon and there just wasn’t enough time to finish our game. Be imaginative about the way you approach neighborhood interaction. Relationship is important to folks so take the time to meet your neighbor where they are at. Find out what’s important to them and show an interest. One reason I feel that children returned to play was they understood I had boundaries and it gave them a sense of being safe. There were the treats and healthy snacks that often brought them back. Occasionally we would bake cookies or make pizza together with the neighbor children.The bottom line is if you show love to the kids the parents see that as well. Listening rather than explaining is another way to be a good neighbor. Once not too long ago one neighbor needed to survey their property. The actual lines for several of my neighbors property was not what they had all thought. It caused much heartache and anger.Needless to say they were all discussing it with each other and the family that had the survey done. There were many petty opinions being shared. I just listened even when one might tell me how another said negative things about my family. I did not take sides but tried to show the humanity of everyone involved. Show love! Show Love! Show LOVE!!!!! You have to step out and be a neighbor to have a community of loving friends. Respect each household as it’s own mini culture that may and will be very different from your own culture. Remember Gods command and Love your neighbor as yourself regardless of what the world around you says. You need to take time to be the women next door in order for the Lords commandment to be fulfilled and for his name to be glorified! Lorrie

  13. Ann Dunagan May 23, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    What a fabulous, encouraging post! This past week we were shocked to hear that our closest neighbor lady died had suddenly (from a rapidly advancing cancer– only a few weeks from her diagnosis to her death, and we had been gone on a mission trip that whole time). Over the years, we had prayed for them and had really made an effort to try to be good neighbors (bringing over cookies or freshly caught salmon).
    It was amazing to have her husband come over for prayer and to ask my husband to do her memorial service.

    • TrinaHolden May 24, 2012 at 5:28 am #

      Oh, Ann – I’m so encouraged and inspired by your testimony of a harvest from the seeds you’ve sown over the years! Thank you!

  14. Ami May 23, 2012 at 5:14 am #

    Real Simplicity is a great book on this topic.

  15. Britny May 23, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    I hate to be the negative nancy of the group, so I’m hoping I can get some positive feedback/ ideas. I live in fourplex. There is a neighbor above us, beside us, and then diagnonal. We have the lower left apartment. We share walls. Honestly, I think it’s MUCH harder to be kind to your neighbors when you hear everything and resent them for it. My upstairs neighbors are incredibly loud, stomp, and often verbally abuse their 6yr old son and scream at eachother. If I had a dollare for everytime I heard the F word, I could move. (not at ALL trying to put myself on some sort of padestal at all! I have my moments that would get a second glance with my kids!) The neighbor beside us is the same way. I hear them yelling at their 3yr old son. They also let him outside and even in my house and they ARE NOT OUTSIDE! He’s been outside alone alot and he just goes in the house with my boys because they are super friendly and invite him in to see their toys. I get annoyed when all the kids are outside and we arent’ but see them getting under our porch or playing with our things. One little neighbor boy dug up my bean plants. Grrr. All three of my neighbors are loud, obnoxious, and verbally abusive to their kids. Even though they play nice nice in front of everyone, they forget I know otherwise, I’m right downstairs. Any advice on how to fellowship with people who, in some respects, scare me with their actions?

    • LP Johnson May 23, 2012 at 5:52 am #

      I feel for ya. I’ve been in similar neighbor situations. I recommend little fellowship with them, especially if you suspect any substance abuse issues. I realize this doesn’t sound like the right thing to do, however, your duty is to your self and family first. You do become like the people you associate with, and what you want is to rub off on your neighbors and them not rub off on you (or your kids) but it doesn’t always work that way. I hold resentment for my mother because when I was a child, she was always trying to “save” people and they “needed” her. But it was at the expense of her children. They did us more harm than we did them good.
      Oh, and I totally hope you can move. soon.

      • TrinaHolden May 24, 2012 at 5:39 am #

        We had neighbors who had a lot of domestic issues in the trailer park. I think it would have been great if we could have just had them over to our yard for a BBQ. Maybe seeing how some healthy family interaction could have inspired them?

        I really feel for you – it’s got to be hard when you have to hear it all every day. I just wonder why God chose to make you all neighbors? Maybe so you could pray for them while you’re in such close proximity?

      • Samantha R May 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

        I couldn’t agree more with you. It’s wonderful to reach out, give a helping hand, extend Christ’s love but we have to be careful that it’s not at the expense of our family.
        Yes, it’s far too easy to become like the people we associate with. And you can somewhat judge a man by the company he keeps.
        We need to be on guard! Prayer and smiles go a long way for those you meet :)

  16. Amy Pearson May 23, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    I totally agree that you may miss out on something good if you only seek out neighbors who seem to be like you. We moved into our current town home community 4 months ago and since we’re outside DC, there are more grandmas that stay at home with the kids than moms. So sure enough, the woman I’ve already enjoyed community with is a 60 year old widowed Colombian grandma who is culturally Catholic. She gets community and loves to spend time together. She is constantly trying to feed me and my son :) she had opened up to me about a lot of things and we’ve had several conversations about Jesus. Sadly, she and her family are moving about 30 minutes away. I’m so sad and will miss my time with her. But I’m so thankful I didn’t write her off because of all our differences (including a 30 year age gap!!). I think it’s so important to just be out in your neighborhood and am totally an advocate of town home living as it provides so many chances to interact with your neighbors (at the shared mailbox, the shared parking, etc.)…the ones who may not even know who Jesus is or what He has done!!

  17. Michelle May 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Isn’t it wonderful to know your neighbors? Thank you for sharing your excitement with us. I love getting to know people on my street. I was probably originally inspired by Mr. Rogers. :) It’s the perfect place to allow others to see that a Christian family isn’t perfect, but still relies on the Lord in all things.

  18. the white wave May 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Perfect timing! I just saw a neighbor I haven’t seen for a while, and she mentioned she may be getting married sometime soon, so I think that will make connecting easier.

  19. Becki May 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I just moved, and I do wish I had a friend in the neighborhood. The woman next door at my old house was simply amazing in every way, and from making us dinner when the baby was born to being a listening ear each summer evening in the yard I miss her so deeply. I pray we make some new connections here soon too. Thanks for the tip. I especially want to try taking my kids for a walk when people are out.

  20. Alyssa Faith May 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    This is so inspiring and encouraging to a new wife.
    Growing up on the mission field in South America, I found it very easy to be involved in our neighbor’s lives. One of my favorite ways to reach out was using my love of gardening (this worked better in the tropics I admit) to get to know other women nearby who had plants in their yard. I would walk over when they were outside, tell them how much I liked their plants and then ask for a cutting or seeds of one, which they were always glad to give me. We often would start talking – sometimes they would ask for a piece of my plants for their garden too. The neighborhood children loved hanging out around our house and I started a weekly Bible club for them. We knew and loved all of our neighbors well.

    I have found it much harder to reach out to neighbors in America. They are so much more private – with air-conditioned homes, cars, schedules and telephones – and nearly every thought of reaching out is countered by a sense that I am intruding, or being nosy or burdensome. I stand in need some Christian *oomph* (love?) to overpower my sense of inferiority. I want to love my neighbors, but how do I know that a particular action communicates love to them and not them thinking I am just an odd person? I guess it starts with humility and willingness to be vulnerable and trust God with the results as we obey Him.

    • Michelle May 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

      Haha, yes we are the odd one when we make the first move. However, I’ve found that most people respond positively and want at least a “Hi” relationship with their neighbors. I hope that God will give you many opportunities to develop friendships on your street.

  21. Amanda Welborn May 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks Trina for your comment! Love the article. SO many great ideas and reminders.

    I just thought of some more ways my friends have reached out to their neighbors. One of my friends brought out her firepit and put it into her front yard (similar to Trina’s bonfire idea:-) and had a little smores party in which she invited her entire neighborhood through invitations she left on their doorsteps. She had a surprisingly large turnout! Met people she was trying to say hello to for a while and built some lasting friendships. I mean come on, who doesn’t love smores!:-)

    Also, Halloween is a wonderful time to meet your neighbors. They come to you (and are in wonderful, social moods….must be all that chocolate)! My friend sets up carnival-like games, such as a bean bag toss, which allows her some time to spark up some good conversation with the parents while their kids are busy playing. Works great!

    • Polly May 23, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      For Halloween last year we had hot cider and cocoa out along with the treats for the neighbors to take.

  22. Sarah M May 22, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    The first thing we do when we move in to a new neighborhood (we’ve moved 4 times in 7 years) is make a small gift of Christmas treats for each neighbor within our block (usually about 5-6) with a note from us on it–with our names, our house number, and a “Christmas” bible verse. I think it appears friendly and somewhat non-threatening, and we’ve become really great friends with our neighbors in each place, and even if we have absolutely nothing in common, we’ve been surprised how people will let us help them in a hard season of life. Nothing says kindness like a warm meal when you’ve had a baby, or have lost your job, or whatever. This is something I’ve felt strongly about since I grew up–our block was chock full of friends (when I was growing up) and everyone looked out for everyone else’s kids, helped shovel snow, and sat around the elderly couple’s table listening to ‘stories way back when’. It was really quite a charmed little block and has had a big impact in how I view neighbors!
    Sarah M

    • Sarah M May 22, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      and I should add, in return, how they have helped us. In our last place, we lived near a very busy intersection, and our dog who had an outside kennel got out once while we were gone. 2 out of our 4 closest (by proximity) neighbors brought him back, cared for him, and came by to let us know that they did that while we were away. Such a kind gesture, and so helpful for us since we weren’t there.

  23. Jess May 22, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    I have a hard time with neighbors or people in general. I don’t want to come across as bothersome or needy, and most of our neighbors are pretty reclusive. We talk on occasion with one of our neighbors (our kids are the same age) and our other neighbors were friends before they moved in. We just try to be open and friendly, saying hello to people.

  24. Christine Roberts May 22, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    thanks for sharing this! when we moved into our new neighborhood, we decided we would be the ones to meet our neighbors first. Within the first week or two that we lived there, we wrapped small gifts and attached our names and contact information, then went door to door to meet all 6-7 of our neighbors. Since then, one neighbor rototilled our garden for us, another removed a giant tree limb from our yard after a big storm, another invited us to two of their bbq’s, 2 others have taken our leaves to the compost pile for us, and another one has shared her garden harvest with us.

  25. Alana @ Domestic Bliss Diaries May 22, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    I just recently met my neighbor across the street and wondered why it took me 2 years just to say hello. We have become walking buddies and get the kids together regularly for play dates. In fact, recently, several women from my neighborhood have organized get-togethers for those who stay home either part-time or full-time. It’s been a wonderful way to build a community!

  26. Polly May 22, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    We have lived in the suburbs for about 4 years at three different locations. It has been difficult being the ones to reach out. Everyone seems to always be running off somewhere.

    We have just recently moved to a new neighborhood and it is so different than anywhere else we have lived. We have already met most of our neighbors around us. There are also a lot of kids our kids age, so I think that helps in getting to know each other.

    Introducing yourself right away is helpful, but if you haven’t now is a good time to start. One thing that I did was bring by some homemade jam. The neighbors seemed grateful and it started a good relationship.

  27. Amanda Welborn May 22, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    What has worked for me (with small children) is visiting my local park at the same time of day, several times a week. I made it a point to talk to the other moms I saw frequently that had children of similar ages as mine. I then suggested a playdate at the park weekly. Our little playdate has grown and grown and includes women of all different backgrounds and faiths! We have really developed strong friendships. Wonderful way to “relationship evangelize”. One women has stated to attend bible study with me and has come back to the Lord! We also make it a point now to invite anyone we meet in our neighborhood with small children to the playdate. The Lord does amazing things if we are willing to follow His lead and be bold for Him:-)

    • TrinaHolden May 22, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      OH, Amanda! I love this idea! Sounds very doable and obviously affective. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anna @ Feminine Adventures May 22, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      What a beautiful idea! I have made a close friendship with someone I met at the local park, but have a harder time really being consistent about getting to know my own neighbors. Most are college students/teachers with busy schedules, but there is a new neighbor with a daughter. Here’s to more intentionality this summer!