The porch

I love the image of the good ole southern porch.  My Nanny happened to be the owner and resident of one such porch.  I have millions of memories from my trillions and trillions of miles swinging back and forth on her black porch swing in Mississippi.  Nanny’s porch was never extravagant for she was the very opposite of the word.  But her porch was always neatly kept and freshly swept, ready for all to see as they drove down the “main” street in that small southern town.  Something about people waving as they drove by and honking their horns made me somewhat giddy.  I was especially overjoyed when folks drove by and then turned around in the church parking lot (two houses down) and came back to say hello when they saw us gracing the steps of the porch.  I played with cousins on that porch, made a mess with watermelon slices, and chatted with my daddy’s childhood friends. Oh the porch was so comfortable and never boring.  I think I really liked not having to be productive or do much of anything.  It was a nice place to just be.

I had the privilege of joining my dear friend, Tiff,  at her church’s ladies’ event last night.  She was the speaker and I loved listening to her eloquent words.  Her topic?  Friendship!  She made many great points but I walked away with the porch thought.  I love porches and have coveted many porches in my time.  I want a porch full of flower pots, rocking chairs, and a swing.  I want a lovely wreath on the door and an attractive door mat to greet my guests.  I want it to look good!  

Isn’t that like our relationships?  We want to look so nice and all together on the outside, enjoying entertaining passers-by (aka acquaintances).  We want our relationships to be like a comfortable oasis where we are secure yet cautious. But do we really want our guests to come in for a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea?  To sit on our sofa and discuss the photos in our photo frames?  Maybe that is not too uncomfortable for some.  But what about allowing them to enter our closets – the deep, ugly, unorganized compartments of our lives that we are not always so proud of.  

Do you have closet friends or just the many folks who you wave to from your porch?  Do you ever open your heart and share some things you rather just keep behind closed doors?  

I have learned about friendships the past 2 years as I have been blessed to walk through this journey of friendship with Tiff.  I have discovered that there are many things in my life that have been absent but that I have really needed.  I have learned that having fun and taking care of myself is necessary to being a happy and effective mom.  I have learned that my life is so much more beautiful when you allow the Word of God to dwell in your heart – to truly hide God’s Word in your heart – and to apply it in EVERYDAY situations.  I love that I have a friend who prays scripture over me and encourages me to welcome God into my closets too.

I am thankful that I have broken away from my porch habits and opened up my closets and permitted a dear friend to enter in and see my mess.  A friend who still loves, accepts, and encourages me.  There have been some lovely porch times, sipping iced tea and just chit chatting about nothings.  How grateful I am that I have opened up my door, let her come in and sit on my stained sofas, eat my cranberry bread, and then dig into my closets.

And for some reason the piles of junk in my closets seem easier to manage when I share them with a dear friend.

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