The Power of the Porch

Eighteen years ago, we bought a house that needed significant remodeling. One of the last areas of improvement was the porch. It was, formerly, a screened-in, pollen-catching mess which became an open, covered, re-calibrating oasis for me – my happy place.

The porch has heard many conversations, much laughter, and an abundance of tears. It has heard prayers beseeched, music uplifted, baby birds’ hatching, and corks popping. Naturally, barbecues, birthday, girls’ nights, and much friend therapy happens on the porch.

It’s not really the porch, though. It’s who is on the porch. To quote part of a devotion a good friend gave me, “….And now I’m a fervent believer in the healing effects of a barbecue, because that one brought me back to life a little bit. In the moments that I thought would be the loneliest, I had brothers and sisters sitting on the porch with me, telling me the truth as they saw it, which was a lot more beautiful than the truth as I saw it then.” The friends who grace the porch and me with their very presence make the porch a powerful place.

But even when I’m out there alone, the porch has power. Because I’m never alone. As John Ortberg says, “It’s not what is on the other side of the door that gives me confidence to go through; it’s the One who goes with me.” The One who is always with me in my happy place, my healing place, is always present when the porch is full as well.

Find your nearby happy place. Your escape and healing place without having to travel.

The porch is a place of healing.

It is a place of renewal.

Never underestimate the power of the porch.

Caroline Arey

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