Having the true riches of life does not mean that you have the best of
possessions or the biggest of bank accounts. Being truly rich can be
defined by simply knowing what is most important in life. By realizing
that we are blessed with our health, our family and our friends, we can
begin to appreciate that we possess the truest of riches. Never allow
someone else to make you question your societal status. We don't have to
measure up to people standards, but rather we must conform to God's
standards and the Bible says by having food and clothing, we should be
content. Be encouraged to think on the many blessings that are in your
life. Show your appreciation for your blessings and never take them for
granted. By focusing on the good, you will see how favored you truly are.
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to enjoy the simple
things in life because those are the memories that will last us a lifetime.
“What are you doing?” I asked Willie as I passed by his house on my way home.
“Awwww I’m just doin’ some porch sittin” he replied as he swung back and
forth ever so slightly on his porch swing.
As a child, I would often see Willie out on his porch. He was an older man
who still worked hard around his place but he often took time off for some
“I got the radio on and the Cardinals will be playing ball here in a minute
if you want to sit a spell,” Willie said as he scooted over on the swing
and patted the seat next to him as he adjusted the volume on the radio.
It was summertime and many other scenes such as the one I mention above
took place everyday where I grew up. “Porch sittin” was a common activity.
Nearly everyone had a porch with a wooden swing that hung down from chains
that were held by hooks on the porch ceiling. Most swings held two or three
people and if neighbors showed up to sit a spell then more chairs would be
brought out from inside the house. The younger folks might sit on the porch
steps while children played in the yard or found a tree to climb.
The porch was like an extension of the living room because it was cooler
out on the porch when the summer’s heat became uncomfortable. There wasn’t
air conditioning so houses were often built so that they were situated
where the breeze would waft across the porch and there was a roof that
protected porch sitters from the sun and rain. Essentially, all the work
that could possibly be done outdoors was transported to the porch where it
was cooler and it seemed to make the job more enjoyable just by being
outside in nature’s living room.
It seems like a lot of living took place on porches in times past. At least
it was that way where I grew up. Seeing a person sitting on their front
porch was pretty much the same as an invitation for neighbors to stop by
and pass the time of day.
Many people did part of their garden work on their porches. It didn’t
matter if it was snapping beans, hulling peas, or peeling apples someone
was apt to sit down beside you and give you a hand with the chore.
I remember a lot of visiting, discussions, and even problems solved while
snapping green beans. Women learned from one another and often offered help
for whatever need that was mentioned. “Try using a little corn starch on
that baby’s diaper rash,” a young mother might learn from an older neighbor
lady, “And next time you need to work out in the garden, just bring that
little one over here and I’ll watch him, I kind of miss having a baby
around,” the neighbor might say.
Those were good times when porches were used for many things. Women did
needle work or rocked babies, men whittled or fixed things, and children
Sometimes the porch was used to just get off alone for a time and read,
meditate, or just do some thinking…“woolgathering” Momma used to call it.
Even if the sun wasn’t shining, there was nothing quite like the sound of
rain on the porch roof. It was such a secure feeling and a perfect time to
curl up on the porch swing with a quilt and a good book and listen to the
soft pattering of the raindrops.
The summer nights were also very good for “porch sittin”. We made friends
with the night sky as we enjoyed God’s creation. As a child I learned
about stars and constellations from my parents. I learned how to identify
the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and then identify the North Star and
the Milky Way.
There were all the different night sounds that were a little frightening
at first until Momma explained the howling of the coyotes, the loud noise
of the bullfrog, and the calls of hoot owls and whippoorwills. We also
watched the mysterious twinkling lightning bugs flit around in the dark. A
permanent picture is engraved in my mind of my mother standing in a long
white nightgown, arms outstretched above her, as she caught lightning bugs
in a jar for me one hot summer’s night.
Occasionally, when summer nights didn’t cool off enough to be comfortable
for sleeping, some folks would sleep outside on their porches. My
girlfriends and I thought that sleeping on the porch was a great
adventure, except for that one time when the cat decided to bring us a
gift and we woke up to find half of a mouse upon our quilt!
In later years, my parents enclosed our front porch for an extra room. I
hated to see the porch closed in but I was glad when my parents simply
moved the old porch swing and hung it from the huge old maple tree where
the family still gathered. Daddy and my brother would often sit out there
under that tree and play their guitars, usually with a dog or two stretched
out beneath their feet as they played one more chorus of “Just A Closer
Walk With Thee.”
I have always loved porch swings. After I was grown and married, the one
thing that sold me on the house that we bought was the swing on the back
porch that overlooked a pond.
I’m glad to see that some houses being built today are going back to adding
porches. Yet, it isn’t the porches, it’s the people that make the
difference. As I drive through neighborhoods these days I sometimes
wonder, “Where are all the people? Are they all at Wal-Mart or inside
watching television?” If so, they are missing out on a lot.
Why not shoo the kids outside and take a little time out for some “porch
sittin”? Take something along to read or work on if you like but there’s
nothing wrong with just sitting and doing nothing because it really isn’t
doing nothing, it’s “porch sittin”. If practiced enough, you can become an
expert at it.
It seems like “porch sittin” is nearly a lost art. Perhaps we can still
revive it. If you don’t have a porch, don’t worry, a chair out under a
shade tree will do. I don’t have a porch like I once had either but I have
a great imagination and all of God’s creation is still right there to enjoy.
Well, it’s been a long day so I think I’ll go outside for a spell because
it’s just about “porch sittin” time.
By Pamela Perry Blaine
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Romans 12:15-18 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that
weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but
condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of
all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with
James 4:13-14 “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into
such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It
is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
1 John 4:7-11 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not
knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God
toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that
we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that
He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved,
if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever
things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if
there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem67.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: STEPHANIE'S TESTIMONY
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony188.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry