Thursday, June 12, 2008

LMwL - RAL - Nurture People


This is the post I put up on Ravelry a few weeks ago when we covered this topic. It is similar subject matter to the post I just did this past weekend on "Contentment at Home." Seeing that it is a subject near and dear to my heart, though, I will post my earlier thoughts on it anyway.

Again, I invite anyone not reading the book to still comment if something moves you to do so. There is much here, I think, that you can gather from the posts and plenty of fodder for conversation.

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Wow. There is just so much here. I wish we were all in the same room and able to discuss this…

Staying at home and frantic living are interesting topics to me. Longacre says, “It sounds too simple, even for a book on simple living. But when we are more content to stay at home, to think and to pray, we are better able to nurture each other.”

And I love this quote, “When does time spent nurturing children to be strong and responsible become the better part - better than even an assured higher education.”

Have you heard the sayings, “If I am a housewife/homemaker/homeschooler, why am I always in the car?”

This is one of these topics I like to bring up with my friends from time to time. Even if you are not a homemaker or SAHM, how often are you “running?” Do you stay home most evenings during the week or do you stay home on the weekends? I have seriously thought of challenging myself to see if I could not go anywhere for a few days. A week would probably be huge. I feel like I’d have to plan ahead for that!

But then I think of our pioneering ancestors and am amazed at how they lived. When I read the “Little House” series to my girls, I think about how they only went “to town” in the early years of their homesteading, about twice a year.

Now, I am a social personality and really like to visit with others and enjoy community around me, so I don’t see that I would do well out on the prairie on my own even with my family, but I wonder if I could just be home here with my neighbors around me.

I love our immediate next-door neighbors: we do church together (house church at their house), we’ve co-hosted a block party, and we have dinner together every now and then. But what I really love is playing cards or just chatting in the evenings over a glass of iced tea… and I don’t really have that. We don’t have folks that just “drop by” for a short visit (though I know some people that would hate that idea!). I don’t think a lot of us do, because people aren’t home on a regular basis. They and their kids are just go, go, going. Everything is scheduled and sometimes even the kids’ playing (“play-dates,” you know) is scheduled too. I am VERY thankful that my girls do have neighbor kids to play with on a regular basis… And though I’m not so thankful that there are no real “community” programs here for kids (instead, there are high-priced camps and clubs, etc.) which we cannot afford, it is one of those things that has placed forced parameters on the amount of things we are involved in. We are, thankfully, not always running.

Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone just took a year off of their extracurricular activities? Everyone would have to do it so no one would feel left out. But, I just imagine that the neighborhoods would be filled with kids… just like they used to be. And maybe the kids could pick up their own game of baseball or freeze tag or whatever in the cul de sac instead of having it arranged by the “professionals.” Maybe we’d get to know each other again. Maybe we’d get to sit around a card table and play Spades or Euchre or Hearts or Bridge or board games and chat with our neighbors every once in a while. Maybe we should practice staying home a bit. Maybe with the gas prices rising like they are, some of us will do that. Maybe we should just do it anyway.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a motivating post for me. I love being at home, and frankly, I'm too cheap to pay good money for organized music classes for my toddler (like Kindermusik) when I can just teach him about music on my own for free.

But in spite of enjoying my home life, I desperately wish I were more closely connected to my neighbors. I would love to have my neighbors as my primary group of friends -- truly the type of relationship in which I could go ask them for a cup of sugar when I need it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and a follow-up question for you: Do you have any creative ideas for connecting with your neighbors?

Mrs. Pivec said...

clbeyer,

Hi, and thanks for stopping by! :)

In regard to your question, I mostly would just say to take the first step and then practice persistence!

I'll admit that I have found the practice of hospitality to be discouraging sometime, but little by little, people begin to respond.

I make it a regular practice to bake and take either bread or cookies to new neighbors along with a card to welcome them and give our phone number in case they need any assistance in the new area. People are always thankful and touched by this gesture, but, I'll admit that sometimes that is the last I see or hear of them sometimes for a long time.

But, stay somewhere long enough and keep at it and people really do start to come around.

Taking a walk every night with our dog is one way we get out and mingle with the neighbors. You begin to see the regular walkers and those who are outside pretty regularly. Folks will make comments to or about your dog usually and it is a good opening for conversation.

Also, if you need sugar from someone, just go ahead and ask. I have one neighbor that I do this with regularly and I'm going to start with another. It's easy and be sure to let them know you're up for sharing any time too. Also, if you are on your way out to the market and you see your neighbor, you can always offer to grab something for them while you are there. They may not take you up on it, but that is hardly the goal, right?

After you make small steps like this, you have to just be brave and go for the bigger ones: having someone over for tea or dinner and a game or maybe start a book or crafting club once-a-month. Try not to get too disappointed with low turnouts if they occur. Just be persistent and believe that God has brought whomever responds into your life at that time for a reason.

HTH! :) Blessings and good luck!

Catherine said...

Hi!

I reached your blog through a series of links; I wonder if you can give me some information about the local homechurch community in Sarasota? Forgive me if I'm way off-base here. We are new to the area and looking.

Thanks!
Cathy

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