Mark 6:31- But so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go to a place where we can be alone and get some rest.”
Gratitude Day 848
There are some things that are difficult to leave behind. Things that have a special place in your heart that you want to hold onto forever.
Until it is time to let them go.
For several years, Hubby Rick and I lived in this big old Victorian farmhouse. Built in 1906, it was my dream home. Hard wood floors. Character in every room. Tall ceilings.
The most enduring feature of this house?
The wrap-around porch. It was TO. DIE. FOR.
The porch across the entire front of the house was enduring. With columns and a wide berth, there was plenty of room for furniture, decorations and flowers in the summer. For years, I kept my mother-in-law’s wash tubs on the front porch. They looked the part and fit in. We had wicker furniture given to us because the former owners were convinced the furniture would fit right on your porch. They were correct. A coat of paint and some new cushions, they looked the part.
On the south side of the house, the porch continued. This area was screened which meant no bugs! Hubby Rick and I ate so many meals in this area. I hosted showers and entertained guests and used this porch like there was no tomorrow.
The porch was also the place where I often began my days. When the weather was agreeable, I took my cup of morning coffee, journal, bible and whatever book I was reading at the time and spent the early minutes of my day on that front porch. It was a wonderful way to begin the day with a bit slower pace before rushing off to whatever needed to happen next.
Every day, people walked by our house. One particular morning while enjoying coffee and some quiet time, a woman walked by our house. A minute or two later, she turned around and came back. She just wanted me to know that we had “the best” porch in town. Internally, I agreed with her as I thanked her for her kind comments.
When Hubby Rick and I decided to move last winter, I knew the era of a beautiful porch in my life would come to an end. The front of our current house is … flat. Seriously. Very flat. It lacks character, charm, and the wrap-around porch. No one is going to stop and tell me that the front of this house is cute as a button. Because it isn’t.
It was a January day when we moved. Amazingly, it was a seasonably warm day which made moving a breeze. The two guys from the moving company assured me they would take care of things. Basically, I was cleaning behind them, trying to stay out of the way.
There was one last thing that I knew I wanted to do: sit on my porch. I convinced Rick to join me for a few seconds and one of the moving guys snapped a picture. Minutes later, the moving truck pulled away with Rick right behind them. I took one last look at my porch and wished it well for the next owners. The minutes and hours we spent on the porch would be filed away as one of the fond memories from this house.
We moved in the winter, so sitting outside in the morning at our new-to-us house was not super practical. As the spring weather arrived and the morning temps increased, I missed my porch. The comfy chair inside the house was nice and appropriate but inside. I wanted to hear the birds chirp, watch the squirrels run through the yard and anticipate bunnies hopping through the woods right behind our place.
Yes, there is a deck right off the dining room. We have a table on it, along with the grill. But it isn’t the same. I decorated the space with flowers and it brightened it up a bit. But I longed for the chair that I would sink in when I sat in it.
Next to the deck is a concrete pad. A place for a patio. Rick and I talked about a variety of things to do with this patio. I made the decision for us when I ordered some patio furniture. I wanted a place where I could sit, drink coffee, reflect and journal in the morning. I needed a new porch space.
No, it is not the wrap-around porch we had at our last house. But is working. It is a place where I can begin my day quietly. Slowly, sometimes. A little place where I can spend time with God and myself and my thoughts.
This space is growing on me. We have had company over and it is a lovely place for backyard entertainment. We see deer and squirrels and bunnies. We hear the birds and the rustling of grass. The flowers have grown and bring some color to the space. My heart is finally beginning to enjoy this little place and the quiet mornings.
It has taken a few months for this to come together. But my soul needed a place like this. A spot where I can just “be.” Where I can rest. Restore my heart and soul. Capture my thoughts and hear from God.
I am discovering a little space to find “rest” is less about how beautiful it looks and more important about having a place where I can just “be.” A specific place where I know I can be present with myself with few distractions. Where my heart and soul can simply be and get filled with the things that will sustain me for the day, week and month.
We. Need. Rest. All of us. Even Jesus told his friends, “I’ve had enough. Let’s go be by ourselves. Let’s get some rest.” He was correct. We all need spots where we can slow down, relax and rediscover who and whose we are.”
It’s not the beautiful porch we used to have. But the patio is going to work. I moved my quiet time from the beautiful porch to an acceptable patio. I just need a comfy chair and place to put my coffee. The rest is not near as important because when I show up, so does God. And this, my friends, is THE MOST important part of slowing down and being.
When we do this, the opportunity to hear from God certainly increases. No, it doesn’t have to be quiet to hear from God. Yes, it can happen anywhere. No, we will not necessarily hear every time. When we do not provide moments where we are ready to hear God speak into our hearts and lives, it becomes more difficult to hear God over all the busyness and noise of the world around us. Jesus practiced quiet time with God. If he felt it was important, maybe it’s necessary for us as well.
Do you have a place where you can hang out and be with God? A little spot where you purposely and intentionally want to be with God? It can be a place that is used for other purposes as well. But I honestly believe we all need a little spot where we come before God and God is very aware of this.
No, I do not make it out to the patio every day of the week. But I certainly make sure I get there several days a week. My heart needs this time. Our brains yearn for less noise and busyness. Creating a rhythm of time and space like this might be just what your heart and soul need.
If you are missing a little space in your life, create one. Find one. Determine this is your space for God. And then, show up. Plop yourself down and anticipate that God has been waiting for you to show up. God is there. Now, it’s your responsibility to show up. Whether it’s a beautiful porch or a small patio area or something that fits you, create it. Live it. Love it. Meet God there. And take a bit of rest.
For a patio area that has replaced the porch, I am very grateful.
Loving God – Be patience with me as I put together a place just for You and me. A place where I can remind myself that I am in yours. Thanks for being patient with me when I am not. Together, let’s create a space where I can simply be with you. Amen.
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