Cookies for my Neighbor

The last couple of weeks have been SO BUSY that I haven’t had the time to post some of the things that are close to my heart, especially this time of year.

As I ponder the birth of the Savior and what his life and atoning sacrifice mean to us, it makes me want to redouble my efforts to “do good to all men.”  I’m great about taking care of my husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, in-laws, and friends, but what about “those other people?” You know who I’m talking about, don’t you? The people who might not have quite as much $$ as you do. Those who are lonely or old or sick or all three. Those who are away from family and friends. Children without parents. Aren’t all of  these people God’s children too?

This morning I can’t stop thinking about a lady in our neighborhood who’s always walking her dog and “accidently” letting go of the leash, thereby causing the pooch to scamper around in our yard, making it impossible to ignore either of them. She and I have had several conversations because of her little dog, and I can’t remember even one in which I wasn’t rushed or annoyed (at the intrusion on my time). I feel like a selfish creep just saying that. Hmmm. For me, it looks like some “soul work” is in order. It doesn’t matter whether a person is deserving or not. What matters is that we better try to emulate the Savior and His love for others, now and always.

Yesterday I read this quote from Bonnie Parkin on LDS Gems, and it seems perfect for this post. “We must make every effort to follow His supreme example–to demonstrate such love through our thoughts, our speech, our actions–in all the things we do and are. We must not allow pride or vanity, selfishness or personal agendas to displace our reaching out to others in love. Quite simply and profoundly, we must first allow ourselves to be encircled by God’s love. We do this best by embracing the Savior’s eternal Atonement. Then we can expand that circle to include our family and all others. Such a circle is indeed heaven.”  (Bonnie D. Parkin, “Eternally Encircled in His Love,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 110)

I’m going to bake some cookies for my neighbor. I might even buy one of those cute little sweaters for her dog. What about you? What can you do to better follow Christ’s example?

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

10 thoughts on “Cookies for my Neighbor”

  1. Courtney and I always eat too much during the holidays, and your blog reminded me of an activity we do to at least make us feel better: When we make a pie, cookies, fudge, or any other holiday treat, we try to make enough to give half away.

    We still eat a ton, but at least the people around us are also eating a ton. We figure dieting ain’t workin’, so we might as well make everyone else match our size! 🙂

    p.s. Bonnie Parkin is fast becomming one of my favorite speakers. Her insights into the gospel, particularly the Savior’s love, are unique, well-thought, and driven by pure testimony.

  2. The story of your doggie friend…for lack of a better term got me thinking of my neighbor that has about 6 to many cats. I don’t think I ever talk to her except to complain about her cats…digging in my flowerbeds, napping on my car, in my bird feeders, making all the dogs bark.
    Can you imagine what she thinks of me…I better at least take a card or something over and let her know that I’m not always such a grouch.

  3. That’s so sweet, Jayne, and she must see something in you to make such an effort to get to know you! What’s not to love?!? 😉
    I have somehow become known as the “fudge lady” and there was a remark made at Thanksgiving about me never having store bought cookies in my kitchen (funny b/c I love those chocolate animal crakers rather than the “regular” ones! ). Divinity is an all day effort but it happens that two people whom I love dearly love divinity! Anyway, I have inadvertently become a baker and find that I do a lot of introspection and meditating while I am making packages. Have to be careful getting too deep in thought or I’ll forget how many cups of sugar were added to what!! LOL
    God Bless You for sharing such lovely thoughts, Jayne, and there are always so many things to choose from in doing Christ’s work… and I am learning to prioritize (if that ever becomes ‘perfected’ ;-).
    Hey cowgalutah! Been a while since I’ve been to your blog, will have to get over there and see what smiles you’re cooking up! If you have a dollar store (doesn’t everyone?;-) near you, you could get a bag of cat toys pretty reasonable and maybe that will keep the cats occupied while you spread some neighborly cheer! Last summer, my neighbor had a rooster which I caught pecking my puppy and had to continuously chase that cock-a-doodle rascal out of my yard…he disappeared (I AM INNOCENT!) but I heard some cock-a-doodling yesterday…hope there’s not a new rooster to ‘fight’ with! I truly am blessed with good neighbors, though.
    Oh, btw, Jayne, I finished my son’s Christmas letter! Well, I say finished but I keep adding to the memories and joys! You know how that goes!
    In His Love.

  4. Dave, that’s a great idea. Last night we went to Wal-Mart, and I bought two boxes of truffle mix based on your tradition. Tomorrow is the first day of my Christmas vacation (Yay!), and I’m going to make enough for neighbors.

    CowGal, I’m not a grouch about this lady and her dog…just a little impatient. It seems like she ALWAYS comes up when I’m in an incredible hurry. Tomorrow she’s getting truffles AND a doggie sweater…and maybe some time. That’s what people really want and need sometimes, don’t you think?

    Odale, I can just see you performing those labors of love in your kitchen. My mother used to make divinity, and it was indeed divine. I’m glad you followed through with your son’s letter. I was reading some things that a mother had written about her SIX SONS the other night, and I was thinking of how much that would mean to a child. A mother’s words can make you soar (this is what I posted on her blog) or can “cut you to the quick.” No matter how old a person gets, a mother’s love, acceptance, and support are important.

  5. Miss MJ- time is very important…especially this time of year. I think it will mean the world to her that you give a little now!
    Odale- at least the cats are quiet…I don’t think I would do well at all with a rooster.

  6. Yes, I know it’s very important. It’s also pretty scarce these days. Busy, busy, busy…so much bustling about that I forget to stop and enjoy the season. Still, for these lady, I’m taking the time. I haven’t made the truffles yet, but at least I now have the ingredients.

    I LOVED Santa and the reindeer singing “White Christmas.” Thanks for seding that. We listened to it a couple of times tonight as we were putting the finishing touches on the tree.

  7. Are you going to make truffle “cookies” or roll them into balls (LOL)
    They were very yummy. I often get phone calls from customers that want to tell you about their electrical problems and any other thing that is on their mind…I often just listen and respond accordingly. Their voices also sound a little happier upon hanging up. It is not always convenient but true altruism is not for our convenience! Imagine your friend’s delight when her doggie receives a sweater. That is priceless. You are such a delight!

  8. Great post. I know what you mean about the customers. Sometimes people just want to be heard, and I can just imagine you listening patiently and making the appropriate encouraging sounds. You’re actually performing a type of “service” (as if you didn’t know that.

    I actually took the time to roll them into balls before rolling them in the cocoa and crushed walnuts. It took forever, but they’re so pretty…maybe not Martha Stewart pretty but lovely nonetheless.

  9. I’m going to buy it today although I’m going to try very hard to stay out of Target. I was in Myrtle Beach yesterday and reluctantly went in with my daughter because of some items she needed. I LOVE that store as far as the merchandise is concerned, but their return policy is extremely unfair. Paul and Amanda are registered there, and I’m wondering how many guest receipts they’ll actually get…and how many applicances, etc. they’ll end up with that they can’t return. I’ve actually bought gifts for people at Target that were on the person’s list, but when I got to the register, the cashier was unfamiliar with how to work with the list and so the list wasn’t updated. Therefore, the next person might come along and buy a second or even third crockpot because it wasn’t noted on the list. Is this making sense?

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