Back porch, praises and thanks

It’s been awhile since anyone has been sitting on my back porch.

I am sitting there right now being circled by mosquitoes. There are lizards slithering from chair to chair. Yikes, stripes. Oh my, the birds have forgotten that people are the homeowners.

Jumping spiders are taking leaps from my Bible to my papers. You’d think I’d have sense to get out of this rain of insects and birds. It’s OK. I am sprayed down with bug spray. I’ve cleared out my out my space. They’re happy to leave me alone. We will deal with who’s boss later.

So, I am sitting here thinking. Some would call it reflecting, others daydreaming. My thinking almost always turns to a prayer. Today it’s a prayer of thanksgiving.

The background music to this prayer are birds chirping, band saws roaring as they cut, cars whizzing by in the distance, crickets in concert and dogs adding their two cents worth.

I am thanking God for our home and our neighborhood. Gosh, y’all that I can sit on a back porch and drink coffee and read my bible and breath in and out. That’s enough to fill pages of grateful praise. Recently I was a test crash dummy in a wreck, and it makes you think and thank.

Another thing that I’m thinking and praying about today is the fact that God assembles families. Families come in all shapes and sizes and the definition in the dictionary isn’t always the picture of reality.

Birth and bloodlines do not always precede the kinship of friends and those who are bound together in the love of “family.” God’s word says that, “He sets the lonely in families.” He creates the family of God. Family looks like His handiwork. He is the definer and the refiner.

He has formed such a community of faith in which we are compelled by His love to take care of the lonely, the hurting and the needy.

He knows that in the doing we suddenly find ourselves the ones who are overwhelmingly blessed with new friends. The course of sharing and serving brings joy.

Through the good and the tough times, I’ve been on both sides of the giving thing. I am blessed with “family” members all over. They are God’s gift to me.

I am also thanking him for the family we work with, side by side. In the trenches of the mission field called today. Gosh, what family friendships have been forged when you sweat, pray and eat with those who are those that scripture names our “co-laborers.”

Enter pain and suffering and the doors open to the depths of what “the family of God” truly can be in a life. Hurricanes and tornadoes and personal grief can devastate the landscape of living, but family can be seen rushing in to hold the broken, mend the walls and clean up the mess. Thank you God for the family called “the repairers of the broken wall.”

Man, I was just going to sit out here among all my “friends” and write about a funny “family” story when I got all waxy and poetic. God has created a fully flowing fountain of “that’ll preach” moments through family. Today, for me, that’s been a moment that has preached “thanks.” Thank You, Lord, for family. Back porch, praises and thanks to God for all of y’all.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.