top of page

Beyond The Front Porch


Posted by Kim Stanley, April 24, 2024

I'm looking out my kitchen window to admire our new deck, which has just been built. It's spacious, empty, and begging for an outdoor dining table, but I love looking at the new wood beams and beautiful railing. Our previous deck was over 30 years old, the same age as the rest of our house. Aside from fresh paint and updating things, the house is still structurally sound, unlike our old deck.

My husband called it "vintage" and assured me it was safe. I loved to sit out there and use it as an office, which is possible for many months out of the year here in Georgia. We had a friend in construction come to inspect it & give us an estimate for fixing the old deck. He condemned it. 

No more sitting on the deck to write. And definitely no more morning pancakes with the grandkids.


Now, an outdoor deck is not a necessity in our lives. We have a roof over our heads, heat, air, and running water inside our home. And I'm grateful. But the deck is an extension of our living space.

Like my front porch is. My front porch is the entryway into our home. Old friends like Michele and Kelly come in through the front door after they've walked onto our front porch.


We catch up with each other in our living room, until the kitchen calls us to dinner. Probably chicken enchiladas.

Then, we move to the back deck for dessert and cards. We listen to the owls screech and the coyotes howl (and I live in the city limits.) We turn on the string lights and enjoy a great time with dear friends.


That progression reminds me of my relationship with God.

He invites me over.

I slowly walk up the porch stairs and towards the door.

Jesus is the door. 

"I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture" (John 10:9 ESV).


The door becomes my entryway into Life with God. We fellowship and break bread together. I sit in the chair in the living room every morning in His Presence. He speaks to my heart. I get to know Him better. 

Every need, every tear, every joy, every doubt is welcome in this house.

I am welcome in this house.

I am at home in Him.


And the deck is an extension of my life in Christ.

I breathe in the fresh air of His Presence out there. 

I hear the wind of the Spirit and the trees of the forest clap their hands.

Worship in the open air deepens my intimacy with Him.


From my deck, I see a little piece of the world. Without walls and windows, my vision is unobstructed, and I can see beyond our backyard into the woods and houses hidden behind them.

There are so many people out there. Some, I imagine, hide in their homes; some have no safe place to call home. And some just need a friend.


As God has welcomed me into His home, He asks that I welcome others into mine.

Biblical hospitality has little to do with my home's appearance, how "well-appointed" it is, or even if I have furniture on my deck. It is more about the condition of my heart. Will I make room in my heart and home for new friends?


"I'm so comfortable with my old friends, God. They're easy to talk to, and they know all my faults and love me anyway," I explain to God.


He reminds me that I can start small.

One person.


It can begin with an invitation for coffee on the front porch.

Then, next time, it might be enjoying a meal around the table.

Carry out pizza and paper plates for the win.


Sharing a meal is sharing life.

We sit together, talk, ask questions, laugh, and listen as we get to know each other better.

Before you know it, we'll be on the deck for a cookout, a card game, and chocolate cake.


I'm going to love this deck.

Kim Stanley is a worship leader, speaker, writer, and is the worship leader for Touching Hearts Ministries. She and her husband Joe have been in itinerant worship ministry for over 30 years. She is the founder and director of One Thing Worship, a retreat ministry for women that provides sacred time and space to be still and hear the voice of God. She also co-hosts a podcast called “A Burst Of Hope” with Martha Wilson. She and Joe have been married for 40 years; they have 4 grown children, one in heaven, and 6 grandchildren. They live in the south metro Atlanta area. You can connect with Kim on her website,, and on Facebook and Instagram @onethingworship.


May 03

Kim, beautiful word. I need to open my heart and home more as well. Thanks for that reminder.


Apr 27

Love this blog, Kim, and you. I remember, many years ago, when you shared your dreams, and I celebrate that the Lord has answered your prayers and enlarged your "deck"of influence for His glory. Way to go, God's girl!!! Hallelujah!!! 💞

bottom of page