Friday, December 7

Lesson learned in hindsight

I recently received a precious Christmas card, poem, and letter from a woman named Becky. For nine years, I have admired her. She embodies the "Titus 2 woman":

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5)
I watched her nine children grow up, and the oldest get married. I remember when she became a grandmother. I received many gifts from her over the years -- plates of Christmas goodies, a cookbook, Above Rubies magazines (back issues I didn't already have), a catalog I'd never heard of full of great homeschooling tools, grapes, cherries, and green beans.

Becky was my neighbor. We had a bond going on through the little patch of woods between our homes, lots of prayers and thoughts and bits of news passed between the children at the fence. And yet, in the weeks before I moved from Kentucky, Becky and I realized how much we were losing. We wished we had taken more time to get to know each other over the years. We were respectful of each other's time and privacy, but at a cost. There was a great friendship potential there, and we'd barely scratched the surface. In fact, we'd only visited with each other a handful of times, and those were brief. We spoke on the phone sometimes, but neither of us had the time or inclination to be chatty. And now that season of our lives has passed.

Lynae and Regina had a similar experience, but did spend those last weeks visiting and leaving notes and gifts for each other at a special spot in the woods. And they still write to each other.

When we arrived in Bruno, then, Lynae and I were keenly aware of the importance of getting to know our neighbors. Unfortunately, I'm as socially awkward as I ever was, and it takes a lot of effort for me to talk to people I will be likely to know for a while. (One-time interactions with strangers, however, are not a problem. I'm just that weird.) Fortunately, Lynae takes after her father. She loves making friends, and is very good at it! I will admit, Toby and Lynae met most of our current acquaintances in town before I did. I'll also admit I'm ok with being in the shadow of their great reputation. But I don't want to repeat the mistake I made in Kentucky. That would be too much to lose.


  1. Well said, Heidi. That's just the kick in the pants I've been asking for.

  2. a lesson I'm still in the process of learning. You'd think after all these moves I'd have it down. I think part of the reason I don't is that my acquaintances and colleagues at work make an acceptable superficial substitute for the real thing so I have less motivation to get outside myself and seek true friendship and community.

  3. I just love reading your blog. You always have great insights. Tony and I were just commenting the other day at how many people God has brought into our lives that are more "reserved" than we are.

    I figure that there's something we're supposed to learn from all of this. Maybe we'll be more contemplative so we don't scare people off as much!