Playdates with God: White Elephant

white elephant mural and patrons at Pies and Pints in Charleston, WV.

There was more than one white elephant in the room and we rubbed shoulders and laughed and held eyes like there was nothing wrong.We don’t do this very often–head out at as family to sit down at a different table. It was his idea, just to shake off the ordinary. Just to shake off this black cloud of worry.

We have this boy who doesn’t smile much these days, see. And we speak in whispers about it and furrow brows, and try to pull out that little one who used to smile so easily and could light up our world. And it cloaks a mamma’s heart in fear and I start to think about teen suicide and senseless violence and all the many narrow alleyways and paths that  a boy’s heart can take.

I worry.

“I would do anything to make him happy,” Jeff says to me one night when the boys are tucked in bed.  And I feel the emptiness of those words and struggle to open my hands.

We know there is only One who can wrap tender fingers around a heart and open eyes to the beauty of life. We cling and we pray and we read the Word out loud.

But tonight, we eat.

It feels so good to step out of the ordinary, to taste something new together. It’s the just being together that makes it so and we know we need to do more of this–not the eating, but making the effort to listen, to see each other.

And he smiles. And it lights up the room.

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.

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Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also:

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  1. says

    Parenting is hard, yet it brings us our greatest joy. How can that be? I can’t imagine parenting without God. We are blessed to partner with Him.

  2. says

    And reading it lit up my heart while also making me cry. The white elephant, yes. Sounds like you all wisely took a bite out of it. I feel this one as a momma.

  3. says

    I know this worry, and my mind thinks of all things and possible outcomes.
    And sometimes, we just have to do something different. Thank you for sharing this moment with us.

  4. says

    We lived through this very thing with one of our kids. Teen years are painful. One thing that helped us when we had trouble like this was having a period of one on one parent and child time. My husband took our son out to dinner every Tuesday night for a couple of months to be together and talk things over. I did the same with our oldest daughter when she was going through a rough patch. It really helped, along with prayer. And please know I’ll be praying for you.

  5. says

    Oh … Laura.

    I am still parenting through the easy-smile years. I don’t have to work it out of them. It’s just there.

    But I know what could be ahead.

    I hope and pray that I handle it with the grace that you do — with prayer and the Word and leaning hard into Jesus.

    Thank you for sharing so tenderly.

  6. says

    That must be so hard for your whole family. I’m sorry you have this burden, but I’m so thankful God gave a good night out together. May He protect the boys He’s given you and give you all the trust you need.

  7. says

    Oh Laura, I so feel for you. I have prayed so many times for my boys to be happy. It is hard. Mine are 20 and still not very happy. Of course, they don’t know the Lord either and that is the real source of Joy. All we can do is keep loving them and praying for them. May God bless your heart and give you peace inside over your son.

  8. says

    I have a boy. A juionr in college. Crying in his bed right now. His girlfriend broke up with him. I didn’t witness to her yet. Last time I was with her, I wanted to, but it was very late and she needed to drive home.
    Meanwhile, a broken heart sobs. A broken heart who declared just recently that we didn’t love him as much as his friends do. A broken heart who has been so far away from his Savior.
    Mama’s heart weeps with her boy, but rejoices in what the Father has in store…

  9. says

    I’m assuming that is your photograph… and it may or may not be you and your husband… but I love how that photo represents the woman/you enveloped by/into the man’s heart. We walked this path too and I know these feelings. The best thing going for your son right now… is having you two for parents… and God as Father… enveloping all of you in His heart. I will pray for you and against worry/fear. Hug.

  10. says

    These boys, Laura. Would you believe one of mine turns 17 tomorrow? Both in high school in two days. Your story rings true with me and mine. So much I’d give some days to know what’s bouncing around in their hearts.

    Those smiles mean the world.

    Praying with you.

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