Summer Porch Reality

It’s such an inviting porch, one that seems to be waiting for guest to come and sit while enjoying the lush hanging ferns and pink flowers. I’d love to sit on this porch, but there’s one problem—it’s not my porch. It’s my neighbor’s porch.

All year I can see this porch through my side window and have watched it go from a barren shell with only two white chairs and a table in the middle of winter to an inviting room complete with an outdoor rug and an assortment of plants and flowers.

I’ve dreamed of having such a porch and if it was mine, I’d use it all the time. I’d have friends over. We’d sit around the table enjoying fresh squeezed lemonade and an assortment of summer sandwiches. I’d even serve the cute little sandwiches on pretty plates that match the pink flowers. And, I’d make sure there was a fan overhead to create a gentle breeze.

Yes, if that porch was . . .


Reality check.

If that porch was mine, the plants wouldn’t look as fresh and healthy because I wouldn’t have the time to feed and water them. And the fresh squeezed lemonade and assortment of summer sandwiches—I don’t have time to cook for my family very often, much less entertain on a summer day.

So many times we look at what others have and our innocent looks turn to coveting, when in actuality, even if we had what the others had, we wouldn’t be able to use them.

It’s the same with spiritual gifts. When we see someone with a gift that we desire, in all actuality, if we had the gift, we either wouldn’t know how to use it or have the time and opportunity to use it.

But thank goodness the Giver of gifts knows each one of us

and He gives the gifts as He sees fit.

So as I wind down from the long summer and get ready for fall and the holidays, I’ll take note of this reality check and try to use the gifts the Lord gives me instead of wishing for someone else’s gifts.

Now when I porch 2look at the porch, I smile and thank God for the beautiful view that I have through my side window. No the porch isn’t mine, but that’s okay, God has filled my days with the things He would have me to do and accomplish.

And besides . . .

I don’t have any pretty plates to match the pink flowers.


Beth Fortune

Beth has a passion for God's Word. Through her writing and speaking she allows the heartbeat of the Father to flow through her words. As an award-winning writer she’s a contributing writer with Christian Devotions and has had stories published in two "Chicken Soup For the Soul Book" Series in addition to other anthologies. Some of her articles have been published in Focus on Family’s "Thriving Family" magazine and Dr. Charles Stanley’s "In Touch" magazine. With a degree in Ornamental Horticulture she loves gardening and enjoys giving gardening talks to churches, schools, and community groups but her real enjoyment comes from sharing God's truths and encouraging others. She and her husband live in Mauldin, SC where they are in a season of caregiving for her father-in-law in the home. A diffiult season, but one in which God continues to show His grace. You can visit her at

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