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Thoughts on Pain, Porch Projects, and Patience

| June 4, 2014 | Reply

Everything in its time will come. God keeps his promises to those who stay in faith.

On Saturday morning I had a sciatica flair up. It’s been years since I experienced pain like this from my back all the way down my leg. We were taking hubby to work, and I had a full day planned with the kiddos and Nonni and my niecy, which required driving in the car – the flair up was so darn bad, I had to cancel plans because I just could not bear sitting in the car in the position that triggered the pain.

Thank God for flexible family, my sister-in-law totally understood, and Nonni came to us, the kids played all day as I stretched my back and creatively found comfortable ways to sit that wouldn’t cause complete spasm again. I tried deep breathing, yoga poses, walking around the block a few times, and ultimately ended up on my knees asking, no begging the Lord to release the tense nerve in my back. Some relief came, but I knew the flair up had a few days left in its system.

So on Sunday, I just could not bear lamenting my back for one. more. second. I needed a project. The kiddos love projects and always pitch in so off to Home Depot we went to grab some plants for our vegetable garden and possibly a bucket of paint to stain our porch.

We’ve lived in our home for almost 4 years – I adore our front porch – it’s where we sit and drink morning coffee and gives us a place to relax in early evening, so when we first moved in, we bought each of us a chair. Nothing fancy – a pair of rockers {1 for me and 1 for my hubby} and 2 small adirondacks for lulu and the little man.

I always envisioned staining the porch {it was never stained}, filling the porch with gathering spaces and paper lanterns and flowers, lots of flowers because I just love them, and changing the red door {we live by the beach and red just feels too heavy – my aesthetic goes to light and airy, yet still imperfect and weathered which is a whole other post}. But, everything in its time will come, and rather than rushing to get it all, we purchased the 4 chairs and thoroughly enjoy the porch nonetheless.

Now, there was a time in my life where this philosophy just would not have flown. Wait? Why wait? I would move into a new place and immediately have to buy the perfect furniture to fit the feel, set up closet organizers, paint all the rooms the exact color I had in mind, even buy plates to match the color scheme – oh yes, I did. This feels like a lifetime ago, this other person that was me, but I could not wait a moment or live in a space that did not reflect exactly what I wanted it to. And since I was “busy” and it needed to get done yesterday , I would hire a painter, a furniture mover, an organizer, a house cleaner, or whoever I needed to help me create the space pronto fast.

And the space would be perfect…for a minute. But I would get bored, and didn’t feel the pain of the labor others went through, so I would either change the space or move entirely ~ and that’s just what it was. I didn’t even know I was doing it. I lacked gratitude for all the good Lord blessed me with – of course, I didn’t see that part of it. I did not KNOW I lacked gratitude. I said thank you often, I prayed every night, went to church on Sundays, donated lots of my stuff, tithed my 10%+, and truly believed I was grateful.

But, looking back, was I really? How could I be grateful if everything was so disposable, replaceable, and I couldn’t just sit with something as it was and appreciate it for what it was, having to make it better or change it in some way right away.

As the years went by and lessons were learned and we gained and lost and gained and lost again, it all became dust in my heart. None of it matters and 2 rockers & 2 tiny adirondack chairs where we could sit and sip coffee or cocoa and converse about whatever were just plenty. I do enjoy the vision of flowers and paper lanterns and changing the door, but it’s not needed to appreciate the beauty of having a roof over our head and a porch to rock on.

And over time, I have discovered much joy in using my own hands to create stuff. I mean, I’m no Martha Stewart, just a tad crafty really, but healing happens when hands touch earth or paint or flour and that healing can’t be bought or hired to do. So this tad crafty girl chose to let go of the need for a perfect space {or cake or wardrobe or whatever}, and embrace the beauty created by my own hands of an imperfect anything.

Back to my point ~ I was just rambling…so we went to Home Depot, and although staining the porch seemed fun, while I looked at all the paints, a blue color called my name and whispered “front door” into my ear. And this small can of paint breathed life into a new project for our porch, plus something to steer me away from thinking about my sciatica.

I remembered I had a 50% off coupon for A.C Moore {side note: I had been eyeing the 3 pack of David Tutera lace-like paper lanterns} with the coupon I purchased them on the way back for just $5. Grabbed a dollar store paint brush, returned home, taped off the windows on the door , and the painting party began with me and Lu. Hubby decided to plant the vegetables with little man then sprayed our rockers black ~ oh how they needed a new paint job and cushions!

One peach wreath and some burlap later, the sciatica pain subsided a bit, the door was complete, paper lanterns hung with twine, porch transformed some, and I literally cried happy tears when I saw it coming together. Yes, there is paint on some of the door glass. No, it is not perfect. But it is lovely and I love it, and my heart swelled with gratitude for hands that could create and a family to create with and a place to rest that gives us just enough room and many more projects over as many more years we are blessed to call this space home.


Category: BELLA Blog, Home

About the Author ()

Jennifer Tuma-Young is a writer, speaker, dreamer, foodie, believer, wife, mother, and inspired girl. She is also the Founder & CEO of INSPIRISTA life design company* and author of the 288 Page Balance Book, “Balance Your Life, Balance the Scale”… Check out her personal blog at

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