As a little child I was known as an old soul, due to the fact that much of my time was spent sitting and listening to the older women chatting together on our front porch. We lived out in the country and porches would be the gathering places for the ladies in our neighborhood, and the women in our families. While the rest of the children played, I would sit and listen to their stories and shared memories. I would see tears of joy, as well as pain, something in my spirit seemed to draw me to their side.
I think what fascinated me the most was the laughter that would fill the air each time they would gather. Their laughter was truly infectious, their times together a joy to be around. To be in the company of women who could still fill their lives with laughter despite times of hardship, struggles, and pain, was a testament of Proverbs 31:25.
I remember thinking how beautiful they looked as they laughed, their eyes seemed to shine in a special way, I would admire the facial expressions of each woman, and looked forward to belonging to a group of women just like them one day. I think that is why I love the movie Steel Magnolias so much, they remind me so much of the ladies that would gather at our home, each with their own delightful, and funny personalities.
There were also those moments of serious conversations, and what words of wisdom I beheld and would grasped on to. This is when I started to realize how much women needed each other, yes even as a young child. How we can come to one another with a heavy heart, and walk away with a lighter heart filled with comfort, joy, and a true sense of sisterness. My young soul was being tended, shaped, and molded, by the wisdom and joy of these older souls.
Of course there were times when I heard the words, “go play” and that was my cue that it was time for older women only conversation. Proverbs 31:25 says, “She can laugh at days to come,” I also love the version from the message bible… “She always faces tomorrow with a smile.” I just started reading a wonderful book titled; “She Can Laugh at Days to come,” strengthening the soul for the journey ahead, by Valerie Bell.
She goes on to say, how no one ages successfully while ignoring the soul. She also states that in life, we must become aware of how we are forming spiritually, and it is never too early to begin to invest in the process of caring for our souls. I know my soul was being prepared, even as a young child for the calling the Lord placed upon my life, helping women of all ages, from all walks of life. It is a ministry I truly love, and enjoy with all my heart and soul.
Laughter is a gracious gift from God, it’s good medicine, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, elevates mood, boosts the immune system, improves brain functioning, protects the heart, and connects you to others. A study reported that women laugh 126 percent more than men.
I now have the wonderful oppurtunity, as an older woman, to go back home and sit in the presence of women once again on a country porch, where we have tea, laugh, share stories, and encourage each other. As I look around, I see a couple of teens in our circle of women listening, and partaking in the laughter as well.
Here are some photos that I took with a group of precious women while having tea on a beautiful country porch, where I was asked to share a devotional I wrote and my testimony. Some of these women I knew as a child, and I was blessed to be in their presence once more. I know I can face each tomorrow with a smile, knowing my sistah's will be there, and we can laugh together at the days to come.
Each table looked so beautiful on this country porch.
This is an old plantation home with a wrap around porch, it belongs to one of the ladies who bought and restored it. I used to walk past this home as a little child, little did I know that oneday I would be having a tea there with new friends as well as those from my past.
Here we are just enjoying our fellowship with laughter.
Encouragement From My Heart Devotions 2009