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Front Porch, Coffee, and Rain...

  I have always loved rainy days, as a kid I would sit with my grandparents on their front porch and listen as the rain would ping of the tin roof. To this day it is one of my favorite sounds, the "ting" of the rain drop hitting the tin as it bounces off. It is funny actually cause when I think of some of my favorite childhood memories, they center around three things: rain, coffee, and a front porch.


Growing up we would go visit family as often as we could, usually once or twice a year, I lived for those visits. Now I know most of you are thinking "I bet she was excited to play with cousins", and while you would be somewhat right that's not the whole story. I wanted nothing more than to set with my grandparents on their front porch with a cup of coffee and listen to them tell story after story of what it was like for them growing up. 



   I can remember countless days that I spent simply listening as they described the sights and sounds of their childhoods. The day they met, when they became parents, what it was like raising my own parents. However, even though those are special memories to me now it was the stories they told of their grandparents and the lives they lived.


Hearing about the struggles they faced and the mountain top moments. I remember sitting in a rocking chair as my grandpa described what it was like to work in a coal mine, the darkness, scrubbing, and scrubbing trying to get clean after a long day’s work. The stress of trying to care for a family with limited income.



    All of these stories add up to simply chapters in the big book we call life. Each chapter has a name, maybe it is struggle or pain, but the book doesn't stop there turn the page and a new chapter begins and now you’re in victory and joy. We all have numerous chapters that make up our story, it is a book that will only be finished when we are gone. So, I ask, 'What story are you writing?'


I mentioned earlier that I love nothing more than the sound of rain and it is true there is something almost freeing about the sound. Leviticus 26:4 -"I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit." I love this verse; it reminds me that we need rain to make things grow. The rain helps the crops to grow and then the crops feed the people. Likewise, we need the rainy seasons of our lives to help us to grow.


  We all go through seasons where it seems like nothing is going right and our world is crashing down on us, but let me encourage you, change is coming soon you'll turn the page and a new chapter will begin. Each season we walk through adds both character and a new perspective to our lives.


Ecclesiastes 3:1 says,


"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven."

I love the promise within this verse. There is a season for everything that happens in our lives. I know from experience that it is because of the rainy seasons I have walked through that I am the person I am today.


  We all have our rainy seasons and our mountain top seasons; in the end they are all part of our story and they help to tell others who we are and whose we are. It is so important that during these seasons we cling to the Lord. It is only when we remember whose we are that we can truly live out the calling he has placed on all of our lives.


Earlier I mentioned walking through rainy seasons, I just want to remind you that it is in those seasons that we often grow the most. I have walked through my fair share of rainy seasons and if there was one thing that they have taught me is a new dependence upon my Savior. Without Christ I would not be sitting here talking with you today. he has protected and guided me for as long as I can remember.


 It has been almost six years ago now that I found out that I had cancer and needed surgery. I remember being so devastated on the inside, however, if you would have talked to me then I seemed so confident that God had everything in control, and it would work out fine. What no one realized was that on the inside I was a complete mess, I remember waiting until no one was around and sobbing as I thought about all the what if's.


Then when I was around others, I was nothing but confident. I remember the day before I had surgery reading my Bible and praying for peace when I remembered sitting on my Grandparents front porch with my grandma and listening to her stories the peace I felt as we listened to it rain and the sense of security I always found within the loving embrace of my father. In that moment I found myself drenched in peace. I don't say this to draw attention, I simply want to remind you that even in your rainy seasons God is right there and he knows just what you need.


 To this day when I need a reminder of how good my God is, I think back to those precious memories I have with my grandparent drinking coffee and listening to the rain and I remember how good he has been to me. I want to encourage you to find that thing in your own life that reminds you of how good He has been to you and hold on to it.


Again, I ask you what kind of story are you writing? For me this is a big question with a long answer, but I will sum it up to this... life is full of ups and downs, but one thing is certain God's grace is always sufficient no matter the season.



Much Love friends,

Alianna

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