Friday, August 19, 2011

Porch Sitting

One of the blessings Joel and I have experienced while living with illness is the gift of porch sitting. We love to have our morning devotions and breakfast on our covered porch, and sometimes we take our mandatory naps there too.  We live in a quiet neighborhood and sitting on our porch in the silence brings us in touch with nature ~ with what we see, smell, and hear.  It is so relaxing and peaceful!

In our world of over planning, rushing, and doing more and more, people often do not take time to be still.  At one time Joel and I were a part of that, while Joel served as a pastor, I often worked outside the home or as a volunteer, and we raised 7 children. I am not sure we took much time to rest and enjoy our surroundings.  Then illness came calling.  God's command to "Be still and know that I am God" has taken on special meaning for us now, as we rest in the hope of restoring our bodies.  The time of resting has also renewed our spirits.  Porch sitting has become our favorite thing to do!

So, just why does a person wait for illness before taking God's advice?   Dont' you wonder? Throughout scriptures God speaks of how important it is to take time to renew our bodies, minds and spirits.  Maybe we are afraid of what we will find when we are still with our own thoughts...or maybe we live so unconsciously on the treadmill called life that we are not even aware of time passing.  Possibly we have the false believe that things just won't get done if we don't keep going.  We think about taking the time....but it "just gets away from us."  We are constantly busy and it seems always connected to some form of technology.

 I wonder if God would hear from us more often if we were able to reach Him by email or a text!  Oh dear!  Oh, how God longs to hear from us.  How he longs for us to take the time to be still before Him.  He desires us to rest and restore our bodies and minds.   Psalm 23 says:

"He makes me lie down in green meadows
He leads me beside still waters
He restores mys soul"

Taking time to rest, renew, and restore ourselves is a good thing. May each of you find your own time for porch sitting!!!  I think God says it best!
"Come unto me ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Stop over and visit Ginger and Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays and read more posts or link up your own.


Jan Lyn said...

Just wonderful. You couldn't have said it better and so glad to also read that your energy has returned a bit.
At times while I know God *can* cure, I often look for the little healings he does each day, like your porch time, the smell of gentle rain and the smile in a visitor's face. I like to repeat that God restores my soul and that he is healing us emotionally and spiritually to wholeness so that we might cope with the physical better. God is good-thank you for always reminding me that and we will pray for further physical healing also. :)
Lots of Love,
Jan Lyn

Dianne said...

I went through a time of debilitating illness many years ago--and looking back I am so thankful for that "porch sitting" time--we were raising three little boys and even though it was super hard on my husband holding down a job and doing most of the housework, laundry, cooking and grocery shopping in the evenings and on Saturday, I grew in way I might never have, had I not had all of that "free time." God is so good to redeem what seems to be a loss. Thanks Renee for a beautiful tapesty today.

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

I think that my husband and I sit outside on our patio more than we sit inside. I love being with all of the outside beauty and little feathered creatures that the Lord has given us to enjoy.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Renee, What wise words these are. Sometimes it takes those dark times of trial-be it illness or something else to really see the hand of the Lord in our lives. If we could just settle down and be still we might hear more of Him. Thank you for this post-it is something we all need.
Hugs, Noreen

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Renee this is such a good post for me b/c I have such a hard time staying still....and I'm glad you guys are porch sounds so incredibly peaceful

Elaine said...

So glad you have that porch to sit on and so glad you can do that!

I so agree, if perhaps we had been still before God BEFORE our illness or tragedy, then would life have been different for us? I am not sure. But I know that I am stronger in Him because of this. And a friend told me once that God gave this to only the ones that were strong enough to carry it. Makes me think....

Blessings and thanks to you,

Pamela said...

Thankful for your porch swing where you are growing wise in your devotional time -- because I have learned and grown from you.

Praying for your health,

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Sarah, It takes me think of that verse."When I am weak, he is strong." Illness does that to us, it brings us to where we are suppose to be, resting in Him. Yet it is difficult. Praise God you have each other and your porch. xxx

Pain to Purpose said...

I am learning this too, fortunately at 33. I have a young daughter and I have to make time each morning to be still and be with the Lord before she wakes up. It's a necessity. I hope that I have a covered porch like you in my autumn years! That sounds wonderful.

Vilisi said...

Hello Renee. I'm so very glad I came and read your encouraging post. I agree that 'Taking time to rest, renew, and restore ourselves is a good thing.' I had a bout of hyperthyroid years ago that sure slowed me down, right down to quitting work and studies.And what a wonderful time of stillness it was! Thank you for writing this. I am inspired to take time this week to rest - deliberately! :)
God bless!

Joan said...

Well I absolutely love porch sitting. Great thoughts about slowing down and listening. I often think that the more technology, we have the less time we spend with God.


Anita Johnson said...

I loved this post. Growing up in Chicago, I used to sit on our porch and count cars that went by with my grandmother. It was the conversations, not the cars that were important. Now my husband sit on our deck and we love it. Someone once told me I had too much time on my hands bacause i took the time to sit in or photograph nature. I think she was the one who was missing out. God speaks to me everywhere.

Karen said...

Renee, This was a beautiful post. I especially remember the time spent rocking my sick child, and how God's presence would comfort and encourage me.

Charlotte said...

Porch sitting recalls for me the days of my youth. I remember family members in Oklahoma with porch swings and chairs on their from porches. People used to sit on their porches a lot. Porch sitting would not work too well this time of the year in Arizona. RIght now it's 106˚outside.
Blessings for a relaxing week.

Susan said...

I pray that God touches and heals you.

Rina Peru said...

Hi Renee. It's my first time on your blog. I, too, was stilled by illness. I have been writing ALL ABOUT IT in my blog. With the illness came stillness, and the nearness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Have a blessed week ahead!

Cathy said...

It is great you are enjoying your porch, Dear. Thanks for that post. Blessings ~

Deb said...

What a precious reminder to be still and know that HE truly is God...and not wait until we are forced to be still. Praying for you and your hubby that you will continue to enjoy each other's company on your porch. I look forward to the day Pappy can retire and we can do the same. Thanks so much for visiting me so often at Jeremiah 29:11 and leaving such precious comments!