on the front porch

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2009 at 7:13 am

Life has been a funny thing for me this week. I feel it carrying me all over the place. It has felt pretty magical to me this afternoon. I would have been at my internship today but my coworkers took one look at me and told me to go home. They then stepped back a few steps. I harbor no ill feelings. I do the same thing. So I found myself back home again around 9am. I got on the internet for awhile, thought better of my life and turned off my computer. I did some Bible reading and then settled into a two hour nap. I woke up around lunch time and dragged myself up. I felt pretty rough. I got on my bike and braved the ride to Kroger…which is across the street but still terrifying  to a new rode bike rider like me. By the time I bought the groceries, looked at the Red Box selections twice only to conclude there were no good options, and rode home I was exhausted. Fixing my lunch was the last thing I wanted to do. This sickness has taken away my appetite to some degree. I made lunch anyways. 1 tomato+ 1 avocado+ red onion+ jalapenos+ re fried beans+ a little bit of vegan sour cream all mixed together in a bowl and eaten with corn chips. Upon finishing its preparation I decided to eat lunch on the front porch. This decision made all the difference.

Reading is such a pleasure for me. When reading books I escape. I found myself. I feel safe. Alive. Aware of things I was aware of before. Reading has been a huge part of me since my childhood. Books protected me when things were not so good. They allowed me to live beyond myself. They have always been true friends to me, always willing to share a long conversation. This afternoon was no different. I sat down on my front porch steps with my bowl of dip in my lap and my book in hand. Beside me were the box of tissues that have become my spring break bff, my nalgene, and the bag of chips. I ate and read. Read and ate. It was delightful. The warm sun beamed down on me and every once and awhile I would look up with my eyes closed in hopes of allowing the vitamin D greater access to my innermost being. I love relaxing in the sun when I am sick because I always feel that I am doing what is best for my body, besides sleep, and enjoying every minute of it.

The book I am reading, “all over but the shoutin” has continued to enthrall me. It is so honest about everything. The hard parts are handled with careful dignity and even beauty. There are some moments when he writes about his mother that I practically cried over the beautiful sacrifice, truthfulness, and hardship of it all. The way the author explores his life has made me think so much about life over the past few days. My mind dances through some thoughts and ideas, races through and around others, and sometimes suffers and quakes under the burden of things I cannot make sense of or make right.

After awhile of sitting on the brick steps my butt told me it needed a break. I took my lunch inside and sliced up an orange I had bought at the store. As I walked around the fruit section earlier the words of one my coworkers had come back to me. As I was walking out the door she yelled after me to drink lots of orange juice and I assured her I would. I am not sure why I did that. I do not even care for orange juice that much. I suppose I said yes out of habit. Either way as I placed some grapes into my bag I felt the need to go in search of an orange to at least make good on my word in some regard. I took my orange back out onto the porch and arranged the chairs so that I could sit on own and have my feet propped up with the other.

From my chair I continued to bathe in the sun and let the breeze blow my hair every which way. The orange was messy. Really messy, and I did not care the slightest bit. It got all over me. My shirt bore the brunt and I am sure there are a couple of chapters in my book that will have sticky pages but it is all just fine. I sat there on the front porch until the clouds finally captured the afternoon sunlight and then I simply went inside opened the windows and continued to read.

I live a good, if not great life by all accounts. I know that I am loved. I know that I have been redeemed. I have been given an incredible partner to walk through life with. I have been given family and friends to pursue and create life with. I am surrounded by people on this pilgrimage with whom I can bear my struggles, doubts, and passions. No matter how poor Phil and I are we can usually scrounge up some money for a cheap but good bottle of red wine and then sit drinking it together on our couch or bed where I will lay my head on his shoulder. I am blessed with the opportunity to go to school and study something I am passionate about. I have  been given the luxury to travel all over the world. To see God in many shapes and forms. Sometimes I am given the privilege to spend an afternoon on my front porch with a good book and a juicy orange. When I meditate on these things they begin to outweigh how Phil and I’s struggle to pay our bills. The fact that we have no idea how we are going to pay for our Cambodia trip does not worry me as much. Neither does having no idea how I am going to pay to study in the Dominican Republic this summer. The fact that Phil and I have overall ideas of what our calling is but no real specifics about what next year looks like is okay. God is watching over us. He has not let us go hungry yet. He has given me great sunshine in the midst of my sickness. He has given me rest. Actually,  I think I shall stop here in favor of taking a nap.


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