Blessed: The Southern Porch

As long as I can remember I have always loved a porch. As a child both sets of grandparents had porches. The porch was where the family gathered for the shelling of peas, shucking of corn, snapping of green beans, and drinking a cold glass of tea on hot summer days. Sometimes it would host the scene of long goodbyes or quick visits. The grandparent with the screened-in porch was where I would take refuge from the many dogs who liked to play a little too rough. The other grandparent’s porch was not screened in but had a wooden enclosure to keep someone from unintentionally falling off of it. I would spend long amounts of time sitting on the porch staring at her Mimosa trees with Toledo Bend serenely flowing in the background.

Both Southern porches held many wonderful childhood memories. A porch has simply always been a happy place for me.

When we moved to Natchitoches sixteen years ago, a porch was the only requirement I had while shopping for a home. We were blessed to find a house with a really deep front porch and a comfy smaller back porch. Both porches gave us plenty enough room to enjoy a sitting area during rainstorms or grilling on the back porch.

My sweet southern porch soon became the spot where we took family photos, (still do to this day). It became the sitting area while I waited with the girls to catch the school bus. It became a hideaway when I needed a quiet place with a cup of coffee. Sometimes I would sit out there just to read a book and mentally regroup from the many pressures of parenting, working and life in general.

My porches have held many family meetings and meetings with friends who just needed to stop by and vent for a moment. Numerous coffee clubs have been celebrated in my second-hand patio furniture that adorns every nook and cranny of the porches. My front porch is also occasionally hailed as a commerce sight. If I am selling something it can normally be retrieved from my porch or if I have made a purchase it may be delivered there.

My front porch also plays host to the world’s cutest “ding dong ditchers” and their precious dog, Addie. Lucky for me I get to see this cuteness on my doorbell cameras. While the front porch seems to be a busy place for activity, the back porch views are even better. I have the perfect view of a swing set tower where the “ding dong ditchers” play

Either one of my humble porches is the perfect place to get lost in reading my Bible and talking to the Lord. During some of my tougher times, I found so much peace just sitting outside and being alone. Those tough times soon morphed into pure gratefulness and contentment.

Mark 1:35 tells us, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Even Jesus needed time to recuperate after ministering and being with people for long periods of time. Everyone needs a place they can go and feel close to God and meditate on his goodness and mercy. A porch is the perfect, reflective place to sit and realize how grateful you are to even have shelter and a place to call home. So many people take for granted the simple blessing of being content in your own home, on your own porch and your very own relationship with a God who saves.

Reba Phelps

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