Back Porch Lessons

“Only the Essentials”
June 22, 2018
R, W, and R
July 19, 2018
“Only the Essentials”
June 22, 2018
R, W, and R
July 19, 2018

by Sr Julie Myers, OSF

I live in a house located at the back of our Motherhouse campus and it’s probably the most ideal space of our 89 acre home.  As I sit here on our back porch, I realize what an awesome time of year this is—the surrounding lush greens of plants and trees, the harmonic song of the birds, the playfulness of the squirrels, the silent approach of deer that come to feed on our plants, flowers and bushes; the gentle rise of brother sun in the morning and his descent into the evening horizon as he explodes with breath-taking colors as if to say goodnight and God bless.

This sacred space is filled with wonder and awe, but how easily it can be taken for granted and the bounty of creation….missed!! Life can and does pull on me from so many different directions. As I think about it, I have responsibility to commitments I’ve made, projects I’ve taken on, people I’ve made promises to, and a ministry that reflects my calling, not to mention to my vowed life as a Sister of St. Francis.  It can be dizzying!

What keeps me from just spinning my wheels in the busyness of life?  How do I stay focused on tasks at hand and my commitment to the vows I’ve professed?  I make time for the back porch! I breathe in the goodness of creation and ponder all created things that come to make their presence known. Life is a great teacher and has taught me many things—most importantly the value of daily prayer and holding fast to the commitment made to my God. Before my feet touch the floor in the morning, I’m called to renew my “YES” to the day ahead and to use my gifts and talents for the good of others.

Understanding the priceless gift of time on the porch started when I was a child. I spent evening after evening with my grandma sitting on her front porch and watching the cars go by as we chatted about the events of the day and life in the country. It was there that I learned the value of life and creation, family and conversation.

We are all called to love what we live and live what we love—and from that we are able to value the little things in life. So I encourage you to make time this summer to just sit on your porch; be open to the surprises of God and the goodness of life that comes to bless you.

Nature nurtures! Prayer deepens! And God blesses abundantly!



Sister Julie Myers

Religious Life Reaching the Online Community

Sister Julie MyersWe are all called by God to be our best selves and, if opened to the grace, to serve in ways far beyond our imagining. Sr Julie’s vocational journey reflects this statement as she has utilized her gifts and talents as a physical therapist assistant, sacristan, vocation minister and now as Program Director for A Nun’s Life Ministry.

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Shannon Schrein
5 years ago

This is a lovely reflection, Julie. Thanks for sharing your insights and love of life.

Sister Irenaeus
5 years ago

Thank you, Julie, for this beautiful meditation on the beauty of God all around us. You do have a front row seat to all of creation! Wow! You are right, we take this all for granted. We need to stop, look and listen for God! He is ever present to us. We need to sweep away as it were, all the baggage we carry, all the distractions that cause us to loose direction and center ourselves in a quiet spot and let God “BE” for us. Our gazebo in our back yard is such a place for just that. Our… Read more »

Sharon Havelak
5 years ago

Thanks, Julie, for a very reflective blog. Brought to mind my time on the back porch as a child, reading in the rain. Those were special moments!

5 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Havelak

Porches are certainly sacred spots!!

Sister Mary Thill
5 years ago

Aren’t our porches just wonderful? My friend, Sister Marcia Wiley, tells me we live in paradise with all the animals and plants and trees and flowers in such abundance seen right from the porch! Is that our frequent visitor deer in the photo you took?

5 years ago

I’ve not met a “porch” yet that isn’t wonderful and eye opening.

Sister Maria Pacelli
5 years ago

Thank you, Julie for this beautiful reflection. We are truly blessed with a campus filled with the beauty and the abundance of God’s creation.
I enjoy it on my daily walks.

5 years ago

Thank you, Maria, for your comment and for your deep appreciation of our home!!

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