love your neighbor

how do you love your neighbor? 

luke & i ask ourselves that question a lot. you see, farming isn't the most lucrative career choice. surprise! we live simply, relatively speaking. i am thankful each day for a husband who manages our finances so well. we stick to a budget & find so much freedom in living within our means.

yet discontentment often creeps into my heart, especially when it comes to giving. i am a gifter. gifts are how i like to be loved & i long to love others in that way, too. this may look like purchasing an item from an instagram adoption auction, donating money to those in need, or purchasing the perfect gift for a friend's birthday. it isn't selfish, consumer-driven, lavish gifting; it's the kind that comes from the heart. in this season, we simply don't have the funds to love in that way.

so yet again we ask ourselves, "how do we love our neighbors?"

simply put, we love our neighbors with what we do have. 

this concept took me a long time to grasp. i mean really, who wants what we have? surprisingly, many. we have fresh eggs, baskets full of greens, bouquets of wildflowers & bundles of kale. we have a lot to give. so i began filling baskets, creating bouquets, gifting eggs & loving our neighbors. it's quite simple yet it allows us to support our community.

so how do you love your neighbor? begin looking around. it might just be right in front of you... or outside growing in your garden. 

how do you share what you have with others? little gifts or your time? i'd love to hear how you love your neighbors.


rebecca said...

this is great. The first day that we harvested our rhubarb this year, my hubby made a pie and we drove around town giving slices to friends.

Tresta @ Sharp Paynes said...

Lovely, Natalie! This is what the early church was all about - sharing what they had and loving in tangible ways. I'm sure your neighbors are blessed.
I'm waiting for harvest time in my garden, and it looks like there will be abundance (sugar peas for days!) so I'll be sharing. My husband is amazingly handy so his gift is often fixing or building something.

Catherine Daly said...

Humbling thoughts. Thank you for sharing. Our little family try our best to love those around us. Sharing or providing meals, or even sharing my baking with neighbours - 'breaking bread' together certainly helps build relationships.

I'm Sara. said...

I loved everything about this post.

sk said...

This is such a great reminder, thank you. I, too, am a giver by nature and I have struggled with "over giving" (i.e. giving outside of my means) because I have a hard time not clicking "donate" when I come across a worthy cause-- which is ALL THE TIME of course. But you're right, there are so many ways to connect and support each other outside of giving expensive gifts and donations.

Jessica said...

We are also on a budget and saving for a house. Rather than buy things, I always like to give people coupons. I got some blank notecards in pretty colors and I'll give someone a few: "This coupon good for 1 hour of help around the house", "Exchange for 1 night of babysitting", and so on.

Jen said...

Years ago when we were heavily involved with a church, we faithfully tithed our 10% - write out the check Fri. and it went in the offering box on Sun. morning. There was never anything else left to give. We no longer are part of a church building, and just finished up going through Financial Peace University. Now our 10% goes into our 'Give' envelope each week and it is *amazing* how much we have been able to bless our Compassion girls and others in need for God's glory.

Jenn/PaperPinwheel said...

so sweet

Elise said...

I love this post and I love the sentiment behind it! I would love any of what you gave to your neighbors. I love to give handmade gifts, preferably what I make. I had a post just yesterday about teacher's gifts. I'm sure gift cards are the most popular to receive for the teachers, but I cannot afford that many. My kids have about 6 teachers total! This year I spray painted recycled Classico Atlas jars gold and glittered the bottoms, then filled with flowers. I tied a little vintage lace and twine around it and attached a sweet tag. I would love to receive that! I also love baked goodies! All that to say, I think you are loving your neighbors well!

Happy Friday!

Anonymous said...

I bake them bread or scones. My neighbors is an elderly couple and it gives me great joy to bake for them. Also, keeping my little plot of land clean and tidy. This way, they have something nice to look at from their side of the fence :~)

Natalie, your words and posts have brought me so much joy...thank you so much for sharing. mari

Caitlin | The Siren's Tale said...

Great example of how to speak a language of love where you are, with what you have :) Sounds like you give the best kind of neighbor gifts... nutrition and a smile for the soul!

CaSandra said...

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this post and how your words have lingered with me.

Today, we took just a few minutes out of our busy day to pick our neighbor some wild daisies!

Thanks for always being such an encourager through this journey called life.

{Liked your original post in this article)

sara f said...

such a beautiful post. thank you for this. in my context i always feel frustrated that i'm not showing love to my neighbours the way i want to. when i was a child i had such a great experience with our neighbours that growing up and moving to a cold environment seems a bit of a dissapointement.
i live in a tall building. one of the things i've done in the past is leave little notes of encouragment in the elevator.

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