Finally! Three years ago our neighbors who we share a driveway with moved in to their house with their 3 daughters. We should have gotten together with them to hash out expectations, desires, and general thoughts on what life with a shared driveway should be like... but we didn't. We've had so many differences over the last 3 years leading to a lot of frustration on my part. Though they are Christians, they are very young- both in age and Christian maturity-and with that there is a large chasm in how we view family and life in general. Our frustrations have come from 3 years of inconsiderate friends blocking the driveway for extended periods of time, parental differences i.e. sending their 5, 3 1/2, and 2 year olds outside to play without any parental guidance and expecting the 5 year old to babysit the not-so-obedient 2 year old (who happens to like riding her little bike in the road). So, we've suffered through the frustrations of 3 years of babysitting their children while they're out, dealing with the inconsiderate friend, etc.
So, a few months ago, the Lord put on my heart that I really needed to work to build the bridge between our families... to actually 'love my neighbor like I love myself'- as much as I didn't want to. Quite honestly I wanted to just be mad at them for being negligent parents, and 'stand my ground' against the inconsiderate friend. But, of course, that's not God's way... and when He convicts a person to do something, He doesn't just let it go and forget about it. He'll make sure you feel the 'Pressure' until you do it! Last week Thursday I pulled into the driveway to find the inconsiderate friend parked in the driveway and Brianna getting the girls buckled in her car. So, I waited patiently to pull in, naively thinking the friend would back her car up 5 feet so I could finish pulling in and then they would be on their merry way. Oh, but not so. She pulled forward and tried to force me to back out- which I did not- and actually I thought she just might hit my van (she was very close). I 'stood my ground' and waited until she backed up to let me in- all the while I could see she was in quite a rage (not the first time I've seen her cursing me).
I was feeling very badly about that incident and decided I needed to really 'wo-man up' and go talk to Brianna. I took her flowers on Sunday - after much prayer of course- and apologized for not having a very humble heart on Thursday, and asked if she would be willing to come over Friday afternoon and 'hash it out.' A big step for me, as I've never really 'hashed it out' with anyone. So she came over this afternoon and we talked for a long time about life in the bubble, our expectations, hopes, desires, and frustrations. It was really good. The Lord blessed us through this time and we both are looking forward to a much better- more PEACEFUL - summer this year! Thank You Jesus!!