Friday, May 22, 2015

The Back Porch!

         When I was 14, my parents built our “dream house.”  It certainly doesn’t compare to the “castles” of todays architecture but it was much larger than our previous little home. As the only girl, I was given a large bedroom, walk in closet and a half bath.  I decorated this oasis from three brothers in pale green paint and light yellow carpet.  I wanted the room to look happy. And it was! 
         The house had other wonderful features, it was in an up and coming subdivision with large lots and rolling hills (to be expected, its was in Virginia!)  My parents did an amazing job of keeping it updated over the almost thirty years they lived there.
         Another feature of the house was the back deck.  The house had no back door neighbors because of the slant of the adjoining property.  With almost a full acre of property in the back of the lot only thick trees could be seen.  The back deck watched this little forest throughout the years.  Watching the full throttled green leaves change to a bouquet of red, orange and yellow as Fall met Summer.  The winter would decorate the trees with a depressing gray and occasionally ice would turn the bare branches into a winter fairyland.  Spring always came unexpectedly to the trees because it was usually still chilly and without warning beautiful buds and blossoms dressed them up to say they had survived.
         The back deck brought our family and friends to barbecues and sunbathing.  Late night star gazing and cramming for exams are all memories of the deck.  Years later my parent’s update of the house turned the back porch into an amazing glassed sunroom.
         This sunroom became the hub of our family.  It was large enough to have a table, a complete living room suit and what family could do without the beloved television?  Over the years we’ve had family celebrations and holiday meals there.  We’ve laughed in the sunroom until we cried.  We’ve cried in that room until we didn’t think we could survive. Many memories formed and made in the evolution of this deck turned sunroom.
         My mother for the most part called this space, this deck, this beautiful sunroom, “The back porch!”  The “Back Porch!”  In all due respect to the wonderful memories it has held, how dare she call this space a “back porch.”  “Come on Mom, this room is special, the memories are many, and you call it a back porch?”
         This week as our youngest and I sat, unhurried and enjoying each other in a small covered area of our house, just off the kitchen in the back of our house.  I realized…the Lord had recreated the deck, the sunroom of my formative years.  It is now my “back porch.” 
         After living in this home only a couple of years and tearing it down to the studs, Gods design was to create the space. Our children, Greg and I now have a “space” just outside to have meals, to laugh until we cry, to cry over what breaks our heart and to join our hearts as life happens.
         I’m grateful God has found a haven for our family.  Out of the world’s eye, a special place for our family to process our lives. He has entrusted to us a space to make memories.

         Find that special place for your family.  It can be a room, but it could also be a park bench or a library table or a restaurant play land.  It can be a cozy chair in Starbucks or a get away cabin.  Find your back porch!  Your children will be looking in their adult lives to offer their children (your grandchildren) the same oasis experience!

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