Three Secrets to Finding the Gift of Peace

If you’re a long-time blog reader, you know that my husband and I sit on our front porch together every morning. We read  Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and a few verses of Scripture. We talk little bit, and then we pray.

Nothing complicated, but oh, so powerful.

One Saturday in February, he had an early meeting, so I porch partied alone. Normally, being on the porch is such a peaceful experience.

But in less than 60 seconds, I broke one of our porch party rules. We aren’t supposed to say anything negative.

I didn’t actually SPEAK any negative words, but I let a few negative thoughts creep in.

A pale gray sky.

No sun this morning. 

Probably going to rain.

Can’t stay out here long.

Better hurry.

I have a ton of work to do. 

I wasn’t dwelling on problems, but I wasn’t porch partying. I wasn’t worshiping. I had a busy day ahead and zipped right past God.

Then Thelma and Ellie joined me.

Thelma hopped up on the banister and twirled a few Easter eggs. She pawed the bird’s nest and chewed on a twig. She knocked out a plastic egg and watched it spin.

Ellie couldn’t wait for her to jump down so they could play.

Then it hit me.

Thelma and Ellie weren’t hurrying to do to the next important thing. 

This was the important thing.

Celebrating the morning together.

Just like when we spend time with God. 

Right then, I started my porch party all over again. 

1. I remembered God’s faithfulness. 

2. I remembered how much He loves me.

3. I thanked Him, and then I thanked Him some more. 

Before I went inside, the most glorious thing happened. The sun came out. 

When I praised God, the Son broke through and peace replaced every speck of gray. (Click to tweet.)

If you have a minute, porch party with me. If you can’t see the video below click here.

Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, Isaiah 26:3. 

Have you discovered that praise brings peace? 

What are you praising Him for today? 

Love,

Julie

What our Front Porch Really Looks Like

Lately, if I’m not careful, I can lose my porch party peace in a hurry. Every morning, my husband and I start the day by having a porch party. We sit in rocking chairs, drink coffee, light a candle, talk a little bit, read Jesus Calling, and pray.

If you were to come over, at first, this is what you’d see.

Then you’d walk up our front porch steps and discover a huge mess. Everywhere you looked, things would be out of place.

The trouble started this spring when squirrels chewed holes in our porch ceiling.

Which meant plywood had to be replaced all the way around the house.

Which meant my husband had plenty of measuring and figuring to do.

Which means ceiling fans are now resting in our hammock.

Hoping to deter the squirrels, he used corrugated metal instead of wood.

The corners are the toughest, he says.

Even with our son helping, it’s a slow process.

After they get the new ceiling up, they have to stain a bunch of boards for molding.

You have to watch your step, or you could trip and fall.

Sometimes I get impatient.

The other day Mother and I were talking about struggles. Difficulties. Mess.

“For as long as I can remember,” she said, “we’ve had problems. Sometimes I think, as soon as this gets worked out, everything will finally be okay.”

“But that’s not how life goes, is it?”

Later, on the porch, I sensed God nudging my heart.

Somewhere, there’s truth buried in this chaos.

I spotted Kitty Thelma. Napping. Smack dab in the middle of the disarray.

And Jesus Calling.

 

Maybe that’s it.

Maybe there’s always a place of Peace and Rest in His Presence.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. John 16:13 NLT

I know some of you are in a season of chaos. I’m praying.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porch Party in New York — a Preview and a Promise

This past Friday, 5 a.m., I felt a twinge of I’m gonna miss this as my husband and I ended our PORCH PARTY.

“You’ll only be gone a couple of days. I think you’ll be okay,” he said.

“I know.”

But still.

I was flying to Rye, NY for a GUIDEPOSTS writers refresher workshop.

At the last minute, I put JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young in my suitcase. The little jewel of a book has become part of our routine every morning.

Maybe I’ll have a few minutes to porch party alone.

Here’s the gang of workshoppers…

Early Saturday morning at the WAINWRIGHT HOUSE, I poured a cup of coffee and felt the familiar tug to sit on the porch.

The weather was glorious.

Everything appeared to be scrubbed clean from the Friday night storms. I took Jesus Calling and headed for the door.

Would God show up so far from home?

On a different porch.

In a different state.

“You gonna have a porch party this morning?” PEGGY FREZON asked.

“I sure am. Wanna join me?”

“I’d love to.”

It was early.

And unscripted.

A few more of us gathered together.

Our view…

JANET SMITH on the left, Peggy on the right…

Sheryl Smith-Rogers

Marilyn Turk on the left.

Lisa Bogart

Sharon Mangus

Stu Reinenger joined us toward the end of our porch party.

I read from JESUS CALLING,  May 17th.

“These glimpses are tiny foretastes of what you will experience eternally in heaven.”

Tiny foretastes of Heaven–whew!

Sunset that night.

Beauty that exceeds our imagination …

Heaven.

We can’t even imagine, Lord.

A Preview.

 A Promise.

You’re with us.

Always.

P.S. If you’re interested in entering the GUIDEPOSTS‘ Writers’ Contest, the deadline is June, 12, 2014.

Here’s the scoop: Tell Us Your Story.

Love,

Julie