Next to the Sound of Music, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood is one of my favorite movies. It has the ability to take me through a wide range of emotions and somehow, by the end of the movie I’m in a great mood. While it may not be the most wholesome movie for a believer to watch, there are so many great lessons to be learned. The ladies are real and raw.
I LOVE being from the south. There is no other place I would rather call home than the south. I’m originally from south Alabama and currently reside in middle Tennessee. We do life a little different than those north of the Mason Dixon. Our pace of life is slower. Relationships also seem to be a little different. We interact with each other on a different level than in other areas I have lived and visited. This movie takes place down in Louisiana and the ladies in the movie are the epitome of what a southern relationships looks like. While their friendships aren’t perfect, they love each other in a way only close girlfriends can.
My favorite thing about the movie is the relationships of the four main characters. They have pretty much known each other from birth. Many of the flashbacks to their childhood make me smile, even though not all of the flashbacks are something to smile about. These ladies have stuck by each other through thick and thin. There is zero pretense where they are concerned. They have walked with each other through family issues, deaths, marriages, births of children and everything in between. I often imagine them spending hours sitting on their front porch swings and talking about anything and everything. I can also imagine the number of life issues resolved on these porch swings over the years. They are so close, they are almost like sisters.
Why do I share this? Glad you asked. There has been a push at my church to get into a group where you are comfortable enough to share your stuff, ALL of your stuff. Yes, ALL of your stuff. I am also a huge fan of Women of Faith and one of the things they frequently ask is “Who is on your porch?” Several times over the past year I have heard “Build your porch.” Our porch is the group of people we trust the most in life. These are the people who see the good, the bad and the ugly and still love us anyway and we see their stuff and love them just the same.
I love the ladies on my porch! There are four who sit directly on my porch and then there are three who sit on the side porch. Two of the ladies I have known the better part of fifteen years. The other two I have known a little over three years. The three who sit on my side porch are friends from college and seminary. There isn’t much of my life this group doesn’t know about. They have walked through ups and downs of life with me. These are ladies who have prayed with me and for me. They have been the ones to tell me when they don’t think I’m headed in the right direction. We have laughed together, cried together and eaten a great deal of chocolate together.
Too many times in our Christian lives we attempt to walk the journey alone and we were never meant to walk it alone. We are called to live in fellowship with others. We are called to walk along side each other through all the craziness of life.
“And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
“Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Take a minute and think about the people in your life. Do you have at least 2 ladies you would feel safe sitting with on your porch? These ladies should be mature, praying Christians. They should be ladies you know you could trust to pour your heart out to and know they will keep all things said in confidence. These ladies should have healthy boundaries as well as be ladies who will call you on your stuff when needed. There is a reason I keep stating “ladies.” Your deepest confidants should be female, especially if you are married. Allowing guys on your porch could set you up for trouble in the long run.
Picking ladies to sit on your porch swing is hard. Chances are these ladies will come out of your close group of friends. I have a decent size group of friends, but I wouldn’t say that I would feel safe going to all of them with some of the deeper stuff in life. You need to know that you can trust those ladies 100%. These are ladies you are counting on to hold you accountable. These are the ladies who know what you look like without make-up, without the cute clothes and may know the skeletons in your closet. Pray long and hard before inviting ladies to sit on your porch, but do seek out that group of 2-5. Once you choose your ladies, it’s time for a long heart to heart on the front porch swing.
I’m Heather. I’m a tomboy in tennis shoes who adores my ballet shoes. I’m the type A, obedient one who wishes I was more of a free spirit. I desire for others to see the real me, but have perfected wearing my mask. I crave transparency and vulnerability, but love the safety of my walls. I’m the one who loves a porch full of friends, but tend to keep them at arm’s length. I love the Lord, but struggle with grace and acceptance. I’m learning to see myself through the eyes of Christ. I’m working on allowing the Lord to tear down my walls and enjoy my freedom in Him. I am thankful to know that in spite of all of my contradictions that I am a daughter of the One True King.
My passion in life is to encourage ladies to take a holistic approach to health based on Luke 2:52. This means encouraging ladies to grow in their walk with the Lord and maintain healthy relationships with those around them. This means taking care of our physical bodies through exercise and a healthy lifestyle. This also means keeping healthy boundaries and addressing any mental/ emotional health issues.