The morning of 9/1/87, I was standing outside a convenience store with the clothes on my back and not much more. I had a hangover, the sun was too bright, and as of the night before, I was homeless.

Already skilled at making brilliant decisions (ahem) I was desperately trying to figure out my next move. And through the monkey mind chatter, I heard a small voice say “this isn’t my plan for you.”

What’s so amazing (besides hearing voices) is that I was not a believer. I didn’t know God, and I certainly was not a churchgoer. But I KNEW it WAS God, and this peace, I cannot put into words, came over me… all I needed to do was call back the facility that I’d escaped from the night before, and the rest would work itself out.

And the rest did work out.

But not because I’m some amazing person that suddenly went from active addict to productive member of society. It worked out because of the people in my life. My exasperated parents, the tireless counselors, the others trying to turn their lives around. And then later it was the mentors that poured their lives into me on both the career and spiritual front. It was people who saw something in me and invested their lives in mine.

Neighbor (noun): one’s fellow human being

Neighbors aren’t just those that live next to you – it’s those that journey along with us – neighbors are our people.  Reflecting back this morning, on my own anniversary, I would have never made it without the PEOPLE.  And reflecting on the last couple of days of Hurricane Harvey, it’s the PEOPLE, serving our neighbors, investing my life in theirs, that have been the ultimate privilege of my redeemed life.

Feeling super grateful this morning…on so many fronts,

It’s Five Minute Friday… five minutes of uninterrupted writing…no editing. No overthinking. Just write! The exercise of writing for just five minutes is to help build a writing discipline and I thank you for tagging along as I work on my writing craft! You can learn more about and join the FMF writing challenge at

Today’s word: NEIGHBOR – link up here.

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Donna Matthews is a blog writer at the DJRanch where she strives to remain authentic while not taking herself too seriously. She is also the creator of Slay The Chaos (, where she writes about productivity and organization. She is a member of The Writers Guild and Write Space in Houston and is currently writing her first book.

4 thoughts on “Neighbors

  1. Joy Chiasson

    Donna, your story of your caring for other and other caring for you. Is exactly what is in my thoughts this morning. We are to help anyone if God has it in His plans no matter what the situation is. My prayers go to you and your family as you are the neighbor that God has placed there to be the rock for other in your life in this terrible event in Texas. God bless…and HuggieZ!


  2. Lesley

    I love your story of how God spoke to you, and I agree, we need good neighbours to help us. None of us can manage by ourselves. Visiting from FMF #13.
    Lesley recently posted…Neighbor With A UMy Profile

  3. Aimee

    I love you lady!!
    Once again you put what’s rolling around in my heart out in an explicitly stated paragraph.
    You are such a gift!
    Truly and sincerely, I thank God for you, Donn.

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