Front Porch Prayers (for a Slow Summer Afternoon)

It’s mid-week, late afternoon, sitting-in-the-porch-rocker time and I’m watching birds dive-bomb for treasures in the yard. My mason jar of iced coffee went down too fast and I want another one, mostly because it was delicious, but also because it is a humid 87 degrees out (and the coffee brings sweet relief).

I’ve spent the morning doing chores, brokering peace between siblings, and snatching brief moments to chip away at bigger projects, but now I find myself melting into a slow summer haze, where time means nothing and the rhythm of the rocking matches my thoughts. Why the hurry? What hard deadline am I trying to meet? What am I trying to prove to myself…or someone else?

Summer afternoons are the hardest for this doer here, especially during a time where all of our lives are shrinking to home. Work happens at home, the family is always at home, creative time is at home, rest is at home, limited social time is usually at home. I love our home, but during the long, hot hours of late July, the smallness is stifling. I want nothing more than to bust out of these walls and property lines and take to the road somewhere far away and waiting.

I tell God all of this, as the slightest breeze moves the wild arms of my porch ferns back and forth. I share my boredom and my restlessness in gut-honest prayer because, at this age, I know it is a fool’s errand to try and hide how I’m really doing from Him.

A book I am reading is reminding me that God is a Father, is my Heavenly Father, and He is one that hears the longings of His child with compassion. I trust that He will not reject my limited way of being in the world, slow to learn but learning nonetheless. I know that He will guide my path toward His glory and my good (Lord, help me to follow!)

But this afternoon is nothing special and I am not changing the world. I’m just sitting and rocking while the birds dive for worms and the sun glides slowly through the sky. The hands on the clock move a bit slower and my heart turns another care over to the One who keeps it all in perfect motion.

Published by Sara Beth Longenecker

Sara Beth Longenecker is a writer and blogger based in Nashville, TN. She helps women sort through the noise of our culture by bringing them truth, beauty, and everyday theology.

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