Playdates: Share the Couch (and A Visit with Marilyn)

I sit on this couch and try on words. I tug and pull, suck in tight, breathe out deep, turn around and look behind…My living room becomes the changeling stall in which I am forever changed—forever changing. Any given day might produce a new ensemble, there are endless choices: encourager, mourner, dreamer, lover, poet. I don these words and I am transformed from one who sits to one who soars.

But even soaring—even transformation and all that–gets lonely here on the couch.

When I joined the High Calling community those solitary times on the couch ended. Time to take the transformation out for a walk. So I do. I hang my ramshackle ensembles out on the line—let them flap in the breeze. And I am taken by surprise at the joy of it. . Now, my words are joined by other voices—friends.

This past week, I drove  a bit to meet up with one of those voices. Fellow High Calling blogger Marilyn Yocum and I recently discovered we don’t live too far away from one another. So we made a date to get together and chat. It was one of the nicest visits—filled with easy conversation and a sense of belonging.
Isn’t she beautiful? I brought her some of my irises.
She even made me lunch! 
Tomato soup and taquitos with a little melon on the side. Yum, yum!
After lunch, Marilyn took me down by the Muskingum River to see the old lock keeper’s house. She had introduced me to the place on herblog, and I fell in love with it. When we were planning our visit I asked, will we go to the old house and visit with the ghosts from the past?
Of course we will go see the lock keeper’s house, she said.
So we did.
Over at her place, Marilyn says, There is nothing for a writer that is quite like a visit from another writer. 
I have to agree.

When I entered the High Calling community, I had no idea what online community meant. I was just a blogger looking to learn from other bloggers. Sometimes, still, I look around and wonder: what’s a little blogger like me doing in a place like this?

After spending time with Marilyn, emptying out my heart and sharing in the ways we did…I am so grateful for the meeting place.

I once heard Dan Roloff explain Mr. Butt’s philosophy—the philosophy we try to extend to The High Calling. It’s not a five-step program. It’s not a sermon. It’s not a lot of in-your-face God talk, he said.

All of our programs are about encountering God and providing a place for transformation to occur…You come here and Boom! God is here.

He sure did get that right.

And isn’t that what we all want? To be transformed? To feel it in our bones and our hearts and be set on fire by that encounter? Sometimes the preacher in us just needs to get out of the way.

That’s what we’re trying to do at TheHighCalling, friends. Provide a place where transformation might occur. Provide a God-encounter.

If you feel the way I do and your life has been enriched by the High Calling community, won’t you consider giving a small donation to support our ministry? If you pledge before May 31, your gift will be matched by an anonymous donor. Read all the details here.

Won’t you scoot over on the couch and invite us in? You are not just a little blogger in this big, big world. Every detail of your life matters. You are part of something so much bigger.
Speaking of community, if you go visit Bibledude today and leave a comment on my guest post, you’ll earn a chance to win a copy of L.L. Barkat’s God in the Yard–one of my favorite books ever. Head on over here and leave a comment by noon on Friday 5/20 for a chance to win! I’ll announce the winner here at The Wellspring.
How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.
Grab my new button at the bottom of the page and join us!


Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also:

On In Around button


  1. says

    Aw, I had seen your new button. Tired and didn’t get to it. 🙂


    I love these pictures, and I want some of that tomato soup (and one of those hugs too 🙂

  2. says


    I really like your new look for your blog. I recently met a high calling member that lives near me. It was great. Thanks for encouraging us to extend our community offline, too.

  3. says

    What a warm-n-wonderful piece you have shared today, miss Laura!

    And you ain’t foolin’ about The High Calling. I appreciate and love you guys lots and lots. (I hope you already knew that though.)


  4. says

    Oh my the work Kelly has done for you. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

    It is just so you in every way…

    Please will you add the wooden house pictures to the group? They are very good.

    Also, I want to have lunch with you too?

    I am making mushroom soup, falafels with mint yoghurt and fresh bread for dinner tonight. You are welcome to join us.


  5. says

    You got some wonderful, clear photos. It seems so strange to seem photos of that old place on someone else’s blog. At the same time, I love it. What a delight to me your visit was!

  6. says

    I’m so glad you were able to meet up with a blog friend and inspiration. Good for you. The photos are awesome, and you’re right… she’s beautiful. 🙂
    Blessings, Laura.

  7. says

    I don’t have anything fresh to say (except maybe your irises are magnificent–I don’t think anyone mentioned them yet), but I wanted to add my voice:

    Your new blog design is beautiful.
    Marilyn is beautiful.
    The lock keeper’s house photos are beautiful.
    You are beautiful.

  8. says

    Love your new look! Always love your words. And those pictures are wonderful, especially the one with smiling faces:)
    Finally linking up. I’ve wanted to link, but kept over thinking what my playdates are. As I read today’s I realized walking is a big one for me, even though I’d like to run like you! So I linked a post I wrote at the end of last week. Thanks.

  9. says

    How delightful for you and Marilyn! I would love a chance to photograph that house, and I would also very much love a chance to eat that lunch. And while I’m making myself at home, I might as well crash your dinner with Claire, too, because she’s awesome and you’re awesome, and who makes food like that? (Hint: Not me.)

    Beautiful new site design, too. So many lovely things for lovely you. 🙂

  10. says

    I know it’s an odd place to start – but that soup looks sooo good. You can tell it’s made with love.

    Also love your new look for the Blog Laura. Fresh for spring!

    Your writing always builds, always points towards transformation. Sometimes that starts by visiting a place in our lives that is like the Lock Keepers house. To make peace with those ghosts before we move towards the light.

    Thank you, always.


  11. says

    What a great story! I recognize so much of my own experience in this post. The writing, leading to blogging, leading to High Calling, leading to making online friends, and then questioning whether it is “real”, then meeting up with those friends and finding a true connection. And you are one of those friends!

    What a joy this has been.

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