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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Welcome to the Neighborhood


The house across the street has been for sale for a few months. Before that it was rented by a sweet pair of newlyweds I met exactly one time. Before that a beautiful family lived there with their precious son who was Elijah's age and his younger brother who learned to laugh and walk there. Before that it was home to one of my very first grown-up friends Caroline.

We've lived here for quite a while now. 11 years ago we moved in wide-eyed and newly married and almost entirely without friends. That's one thing we learned in premarital counseling, we didn't have any mutual friends and it was something we needed. So we prayed for friends. We prayed for friends at the same season of life who would walk with us and laugh with us and encourage us.

Within months Caroline & Kyle moved in across the street. I decided I loved them instantly and we invited them into our small group and our lives with joy. Then Jack & Amy moved in around the corner and then Robyn & David. Then we became friends with Tara & Doug and Perri & Michael moved in and finally Annie & Justin. It's almost embarrassing to type out all of those names. God has answered our prayer for friendship ten times over in this tiny circle of a neighborhood.

So when the house across the street went up for sale I started praying again. But instead of praying for a friend to replace Caroline and Annie and Perri who have all moved away, I prayed for an opportunity. An opportunity to love whoever moved in and the courage to do so even if it was outside of my comfort zone.  Praying for the opportunity to be more than just the neighbor across the street whose dog occasionally (often) wanders through their yard to relieve herself. Praying because when you have four small children and you homeschool all day long you don't see many people who live farther away than across the street.

Yesterday it looked like the moving trucks were finally gone for good. So I baked a plate of my favorite cookies and walked them across the street. Cutting through the grass I thought of all the times I had walked up that porch for coffee with Caroline, the times my kids had run through that yard chasing their friends. I knocked on the door and when a tiny old woman pushed it open I reached in to hand her the cookies and timidly offered up in my best Spanish accent, "Bienvenido al barrio."



Welcome to the Neighborhood Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 dozen good sized cookies

1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs 
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until creamy. Add eggs & vanilla, beat well. 
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt together in a small bowl and then add to wet ingredients. 
Add oats and chocolate chips, stirring in by hand. 

Drop by rounded spoonful onto a Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges have just begun to brown. 

Enjoy! 






 
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