Playdates with God: God’s Surprises

We are sitting on the patio in a circle, sharing introductions and our writing, scribbling down crumbs of wisdom dropped into this space by our workshop leader. We are here to learn about writing creative nonfiction…but her shoes keep distracting me. She has parked her walker beside her chair and propped her feet up on the stool in front of her. Bright red toenails peek out of little pink glittered open-toed slippers with satiny bows on top.
Her name is Helen and she beams at us when it is her turn to speak.
“It’s kind of hard at age ninety,” she begins. “It’s kind of hard at ninety to ask God which way to go after losing your mate of sixty-five years.”
She shuffles the papers she is holding and begins to read the essay she has prepared for us.
“I could easily entitle these words ‘God’s Surprises’…”
Her story is about family, about the home she and her husband made together, about meals prepared and served in her kitchen. It’s from a book she wrote for her family and she shows us the bound version—a collection of family stories and photographs: bits of love gathered and pressed between pages.
We are surrounded by trees and stone and the wind blows a leaf skitting across the hard surface of the patio. And all I can think is how I hope I’m still letting God surprise me when I am ninety years old.
Helen is writing a new book. She calls it The Feast. And I am considering starting a collection of sparkly shoes.
Over at The High Calling this week, we are talking about mindfulness and aging. Helen has inspired me to keep growing until I die. I think she makes God smile. 

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 button at the bottom of the page and join us: 

Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also:

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  1. says

    Ahhhh!!! Helen’s shoes! I was completely distracted from worship by those shoes! Thanks so much for telling her story here, Laura. Just being in her presence felt like a playdate, don’t you think?

  2. says

    Good morning Laura and Nancy! Isn’t she beautiful?! I hope I’m that brave at 90… to not “shrink back” as Charity mentioned. To keep moving forward and ‘show up’ so that we CAN be surprised by God along the way! Love to both of you.

  3. says

    what an inspiring lady…how hard it would be to lose a companion and love after so long…to still be writing lifes stories is quite an inspiration…and what fun to be able to learn in the writing process as well

  4. says

    Those shoes were enchanting, weren’t they? I didn’t get to know Helen that weekend, but her story has inspired me. I have a friend who is 87, and her drive to keep going, to keep following after God, makes me want to wear pink shoes and write til I’m 90, too. Love this tribute.

  5. says

    I am glad Helen has collected her stories for her family. That is what I do each time I post. I print on 3 hole paper and it goes into a binder. AGE does not matter we must always be ready for God’s next surprize.

  6. says

    I hope you do get some sparkly shoes:) I remember checking out a book from the library one summer in high school called Extraordinary Blessings. Don’t know why I grabbed it off the shelf, or why they had the book even. But I’m so glad. It was a woman of years and wisdom’s account of all she’d experienced in simple ways. I loved it. I imagine the same would be true if I read the writing of Mrs. Sparkly Shoes.

  7. says

    What a special playdate. Thinking about being that age frightens me. I hope I have a soul like hers. It reminds me of Mary sitting at Jesus feet. Me…sitting at Helen’s feet through your eyes.

  8. says

    Letting God surprise us at every age stirs joy deep in our soul. I hope I never take His joy and His surprises for granted.

    Love pink sparkly shoes. I think I’ll wear them if I live to be 90 or 80 or 70.


  9. says

    LOVE this post, LOVE this lady. Enjoyed dinner with her on night two – so lively, interested and interesting. And kind beyond words. Sigh. I want to be her when I grow up. Thanks for this sweet portrait.

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