Playdates with God: When Your Heart is Full…

 “It feels weird after being gone for a while to step back into the same old, same old,” I tell the boys this morning as they eat their breakfast.

I’ve packed the lunches, unloaded the dishwasher, taken the dog out.

“Welcome to the real world,” says my little one—who seems to have grown a couple inches since I left him five days ago.

And I smile as I wipe toast crumbs from the counter. Because I know that he’s partly right. But this—the “real world”—I often miss so much of it. It’s the going away and coming back home that opens my eyes to the beauty. I don’t know why it is in the stepping away that the everyday ordinary becomes the everyday extraordinary.

“I missed you,” I say, planting a kiss on the top of his head and breathing in the smell of cinnamon boy-skin.

I want to hold on to this, savor the sweetness of the happy that I feel when I look at the mess of this life that is my “real world”. And later, when they are off to school, I load the washer, unpack my suitcase, and wonder why it slips away so easily.  I sigh as I pour another cup of coffee into the mug that Marcus gave me and stick my nose down to smell the hint of spice.  I brought some of Tim’s coffee home with me—that blend they call Taste of San Antonio—and it takes me back to the canyon.  I slow, let myself walk through all that joy in my mind.

God used water hands to carve stone into one of theloveliest places on earth; but these past few days, it wasn’t so much about location as it was about people. What a gift to wrap arms around ones whose hearts I came to know before their faces. I read recently that the Greek verb splangchnizomai is the word the Bible uses to describe Jesus’ compassion for his people. It refers to the splanchna—the entrails of the body…or the guts—the place our deepest emotions are felt.

I wonder if there is a word for love that deep. That’s the love I’ve felt these past few days—deep in the inward parts of me. That’s the kind of love I find when I return home. In the going away, there’s always the returning.

Welcome to the real world.

My friend Jennifer Lee getting goofy with me as we drive through the Frio River on our way to Laity Lodge.
Dan King, aka Bibledude; aka The Unlikely Missionary and Jennifer Lee, caught in a fistbump moment.
Our hiking group
At Blue Hole
The Monarchs were migrating and graced us everywhere.
My workshop group

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

    Thank you so much for sharing your pictures of your week Laura-looks like you had a blast!! And having just returned from a time away myself, I could relate to everything you said about your “real world” and how thankful you were to return to it. Sometimes the “same old, same old” is pretty fabulous!

  2. says

    The pic of Jennifer is A.dor.a.ble!! How blessed I am to be able to say “Amen!” Beautiful pics from a beautiful woman. Blessings from my real world to yours.
    (I am so late for work… could you write me a note?)

  3. says

    There’s something sacred in the returning to home, isn’t there?

    I am so grateful for this post, Laura. I so wanted to be with you all.

    My heart was, you know.

  4. says

    Looks like you had a wonderful time! Isn’t crazy that those things that seemingly “drive you crazy” in the everyday is what you miss most when you’ve out of “your normal” for awhile?

  5. says

    That first pic of Jennifer (with her head hanging out the window) is the best I’ve ever seen.

    And I know just how you feel. I texted my husband this morning, “I love my life.” I would not have said that on Tuesday.

  6. says

    I love this. It looks awesome. I love thinking about how returning to the “real world” can be eye opening when we have “left it” thanks for a beautiful post!

  7. says

    This is beautiful — amazing how we can come home with so much and then soak up all the much more when we arrive home, seeing things in new light.

  8. says

    This sentence has a beautiful stretch: “I don’t know why it is in the stepping away that the everyday ordinary becomes the everyday extraordinary.”

    In our shifting perspectives, God has a way of fitting us into a larger revelation. Thanks for capturing some of how the change can happen in an ordinary moment. Thanks for sharing!

  9. says

    Wow. Sounds like you had a great experience, something you can keep with you for a long time.

    I love this:
    “I don’t know why it is in the stepping away that the everyday ordinary becomes the everyday extraordinary.”

    I don’t know either, but I know you’re right!

  10. says

    I’m not quite back home yet, walking the golf course for a couple of days with the guys. But I hear this. There and bome each make the other just a little sweeter.

    What delight for me to meet you, my friend. Truly.

  11. says

    May you be blessed with the presence of God at home, as well as when you’ve gone away to a retreat. The Lord loves you muchly, richly, abundantly, wonderfully. And I love you with the love of the Lord.

    Blessings, lovely Laura!

  12. says

    Oh my, YES, Laura. I posted about how hard it was for me to walk onto the grounds that first time, how nervous I was inside. And then…there you were, smiling your amazing smile and welcoming us so sweetly. Thank you for that and for so much more. I truly missed not getting to say good-bye to you – don’t even know how that happened. But I will say it here – Good-bye for now, Laura. Until next time.

    Love, LOVE these photos – especially Sandy standing taller than all in the hiking group and beautiful Jennifer peeking out of the car on the ‘river road.’

  13. says

    Oh I love that ‘splangchnizomai’…I might just use that later in 31 days to His heart when I talk about Jesus revealing the Father’s heart:} Tim Keller referenced in a sermon a study someone else did on the emotions Jesus expressed and compassion was the most frequent…that is some Savior.

    And yes, why must the leaving need to happen before we embrace anew what we have? certainly is a beautiful mystery and the dance I’m coming to embrace:)

  14. says

    i realized that i submitted the wrong link this week, so forgive the double posting.

    this post really blessed me. it really is okay to return to the same, again and again. it’s beautiful when we can return. <3

  15. says

    Looks like a wonderful time, Laura. Glad to see pictures!
    Love your last paragraph… the real world, the love here, and there. “It’s the going away and coming back home that opens my eyes to the beauty…In the going away, there’s always the returning.” Lovely, and true.
    (ps- my blog link title was too long– over 100 characters, so I couldn’t post the exact link to ti. Here is the link to the post (and next time I’ll make sure my title is much shorter!) 🙂

  16. says

    Maybe we can have a cup of San Antonio coffee together, and chat by phone or skype.

    Please, tell me who jumped into the Frio from the cliff? Takes my breath away just to see the photo.

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