We found out before closing that the one neighbor we have is a family who has four boys (ages 4-16). The youngest son asked if Bundle Boy could come over and play when My Love introduced himself one day while the house was still being built. We were so thankful that God had put a boy our son's age literally right next door.
We have been praying for a couple months now for the people God would have live in our community and on our street. I can't tell you how blessed I was to know that God was so thoughtful as to tell me before we moved in that my Bundle Boy would be okay. I was worried the transition would be rough on him. God knew I needed a little promise to remind me that he was in control.
After we emerged from behind a wall of empty towering boxes on our front porch a couple days after we moved in, the neighbor came over and asked if Bundle Brother could play. That is all it took. They became best friends instantly. I have never seen Brother connect like that with any other boy. He usually plays well with girls because they like to talk as much as he does. In no time they were playing in the back yard, wrestling on the ground, throwing balls, riding bikes in front of our houses (L can ride with no training wheels and suddenly someone wants to put some miles on his trike without help ;)).
I was so blessed with how quickly Brother bonded with our next door neighbor. And then it turned into this bizarre fear unlike I have ever had. Brother started bounding toward the neighbor's house ready to go inside and hang out with his new surrogate family without even a glance in my direction before I stopped him. Um. Suddenly we need to have a talk about boundaries. We instantly got launched into this social arena with people I hardly know and I got scared that I wasn't prepared yet. We started praying for all the kids in the neighborhood that I knew our children would be exposed too. I mean, before now our kids only played with our friends' kids who we happen to like and know well. Now there are neighborhood kids (LOTS of them) and I have no idea what my impressionable, trusting 3 1/2 year old will do with all this new exposure.
We prayed. Each day our neighbor would come over after preschool and ask us if Bundle Boy was up from his nap yet so they could play. Our families were out in the open (unfenced) back yards playing and talking together most afternoons. My Love and I hit it off really well with the parents (I have already been invited to a Tastefully Simple party at her place on Thursday. God is wasting no time getting me planted in this neighborhood.) and of the two boys I have met, they seem very sweet and polite.
Every time I saw My Love out in the yard talking to the neighbor Dad, I would ask him if he got a vibe from them about their faith. Clue #1: Lutheran Preschool t-shirt on their youngest. Clue #2: All the boys have biblical names. Both could mean anything but they sparked some hope. If Brother was going to be spending a lot of time with this family, we wanted to at least know they had some similar values to us.
We prayed. Oh Lord please let Brother's closest friend who you placed right next door in your perfect plan be from a Christian family.
There were more front yard conversations with the new neighbors. With four boys at home, Babydoll caught the eyes of the Mom rather quickly.
Then My Love came in tonight while I was making dinner and God put my heart at ease.
"So I was talking to J...I asked him if they had found a church since moving here and I told him we were going to be visiting a new one tomorrow..."
My Love BOLDLY opened the door assuming they were believers. We have a Baptist in the building, people.
Praise God. Praise God!
Suddenly I could breathe a little easier during dinner. Brother is SO trusting. So so so trusting. We are having to teach him to remember our boundaries and instructions when out in the world and to not just do what others say is okay or whatever self tells him is fun. Somehow I thought we were years away from worrying about this conversation.
So there you have it. Bundle Brother's best friend lives next door. The other day they were running toward one another from opposite corners with open arms yelling, "I'm coming Buddy!" and met each other with a big hug. That is some God-ordained kind of friendship right there.
Once we get settled, we are excited to have them over for dinner so we can get to know them all better. We have met a few other people on our street too. God is working and we are eager to see what he has in store for us next.
I see a possible close friendship with the girl next door for myself too.
God is so good.