There is a series of hiking trails not too far behind our house … on Monday afternoon, the girls and I set out to explore them.
Things start out harmless enough with a paved walking path for just a short stretch that leads to a pavilion with a huge picnic table.
But then the real hiking begins. We didn’t get too far as both girls had on flip-flops … however, we’ll definitely be back! With better shoes on.
While we’ve seen various “wild life” in our subdivision – to include lots and lots of bunnies, a fox, and deer – we didn’t glimpse anything on our “hike” …
but MiMi did bring back a lovely bouquet of wild flowers.
And just for the curious, this is a glimpse of our new house … Sadly, the whole house doesn’t belong to us … that would be about the right size to comfortably accommodate all that we own!!
We live on the east side of the duplex, which is nice for morning sun that shines into our windows each day to wake us up.
And let me tell you a little about our neighbors. When we first moved in, I was a little leery when I met our neighbors. Let’s just say I judged them based on appearances and preconceived notions. That is actually something I really didn’t want to do ever again in my life based on some lessons I had learned in the last few years. Knowing this, I was determined that because GOD had moved us into this house with these folks, that GOD had a mission for me, a ministry to my neighbors. Turns out, I was (once again) completely wrong. My neighbors are the nicest people … coming up from some very hard times and yet determined to do their best to live right.
One day, while I was sorting through our garage, with the door open to let in just a hope of some air flow while I worked, I started chatting with the man next door. He immediately began sharing his testimony with me! It isn’t my story to tell on the internet … however, it can be summed up by saying he found and accepted the Lord at a very low time in his life about 17 years ago. At this point, he married his wife, and together they determined to make the best of it together, even though they had both been through some difficulties. Before they had children, they served at a Christian school/troubled teen home here in NW Arkansas, and even got some textbooks from the school that my children will be going to! They know the church we visit and a few of the people who are still there.
Now they have 2 children and have survived some tough things such as infertility and his wife’s cancer. They are both somewhat disabled, and the wife is actually a disabled veteran, which I haven’t heard all of her story yet. We talked a long time though about raising children, finding strength in Christ, and how we all struggle and sin – we just all struggle and sin in different ways … and we talked a lot about God’s goodness and grace. He is really very knowledgeable in many things as he was a teacher in a Christian school and is adamant about America’s Christian heritage and the Constitution. I actually enjoyed talking to him … and here is the kicker:
There folks have ministered and reached out to ME! The wife has given me some of her very nice home-made soap in a pretty dish for a house-warming gift, and their son mowed our grass as our lawnmower is still in Missouri. They have helped me with information about the area and recommending things like a mechanic and where to get the cheapest gas. And what have I done for them … well, I can’t say too much at all yet in the way of my great ambition to be a ministry to them. Perhaps that will come … and even if it doesn’t, I do believe we will be good housemates after all.