Playdates with God: Budgeting Relationships, a Photoplay

She said that too often, we are tempted to go it alone. Those words named a part of me—sometimes it’s just easier to do it myself. Who has time to manage the schedule of others, to wait for just the right time…deal with anybody’s stuff but my own?
But then she said that working with others makes us better. It builds trust and authenticity. We can learn from and inspire one another.
I felt my heart open up to these possibilities. And I decided to accept the challenge.
The Photoplay prompt this month is about more than taking pictures…It is about relationships. So we met at a place in our little town that is famous for just that—a place to be together; to sip a warm mug, peruse a book, and look at art. That’s what Taylor’s Books does—gives a space for folks in our community to connect. On many levels.
As soon as my friend Betsy and I walked in the door, we ran into a friend and mentor in the ministry. He was meeting with a friend for coffee, and the familiar way they were with each other told us this wasn’t the first time.
He has known me for years,” our friend said. Then he whispered, “And he still talks to me.”
We took a picture of them. 
Then someone came up behind me and gave me a big hug—a friend I hadn’t seen for months. She had her laptop and was working on a project, meeting some fellow creatives to brainstorm. The chairman for the Arts Council was getting a cupa joe to go. She introduced herself and gave us some photography tips. It was pretty cool.
We looked at the art in the gallery, smelled a book or two, and talked. We talked a lot. 

This installation is called Precision Pixilation by WV artist Tiera Floyd.

It’s hard to imagine how being with a friend can open eyes to wonder. It’s hard to imagine how I could forget how good that feels.
A cord of three strands, you know?
In 2012, I’m thinking about budgeting relationships better. It’s a good investment.
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: 

On In Around button


  1. says

    LOVE this, Laura. Everything. The photos, the words, you…and the photoplay challenge. I’m still tossing around ideas for how to make it work for me. Taylor’s Books looks perfectly delightful…I would have loved to be there with you.

    I’m a bit shy when it comes to taking photos in small public places like the bookstore. {Maybe because a Starbucks once told me that photography in their stores was forbidden.} Your photos here are fabulous. Great perspective. Just curious – if you don’t mind telling me, what camera do you use in places like Taylor’s, and do you ask for permission first?

  2. says

    I would love to sit down for a cupa joe with you in that place! I got your message about Jubilee but haven’t been online to respond yet. Going there now. Hope you can make it, and we can work more on that relationship thing!

  3. says

    What a beautiful investment–budgeting relationships better. I absolutely love this, Laura. It reaches into the center of Jesus’ 2nd greatest command that we are to love others as otherselves.

    Your photos are wonderful too. An inspiring post all the way around.

  4. says

    I think I don’t take joy in things like I used to and like I need to. Your posts remind me of this. I tend to let myself get swallowed up by life as I take on time consuming commitments and have a house full of people (living here). thank you for the reminder that I need more ‘playdates’.

  5. says

    I love this post, Laura!

    You have so beautifully captured the cozy feeling of an intimate cafe with friends and acquaintances.

    I need to find a place in my little town, with a similar atmosphere…

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    I want to go there! Looks like a wonderful place for a playdate, especially with the people you encountered. My friendships take a large part of my time budget, which can be a challenge for a tightrope introvert/extrovert walker like me, but I never regret the investment.
    Your photos capture the time well. ~Joy to you~

  7. says

    I love relationships, but potential new ones always start as a ball of anxiety in my stomach. Just on Saturday, I went to a party where I didn’t know anyone except the hostess. I looked at all the open chairs and literally felt like I wanted to run back out the door. But I prayed, sat down, smiled, and started introducing myself. I’m thankful I didn’t run away…

  8. says

    Your photos are amazing — one day, I WILL learn how to use my awesome camera.

    I am so blessed to have a circle of friends who GET me, encourage me, and challenge me. But — you’re right — you have to open up, which can be so very difficult.

  9. says

    Your photos are awesome!

    I came to your blog from the church relevant site top 200 list. They have created a tremendous forum for finding new blogs that impact people.

    I hope my blog can be an encouragement to you also.

    I write it for encouragement and motivation daily.

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching the connections grow!

  10. says

    Laura, I have been trying to do the same thing, be more intentional in the investment of relationships this year. Like you, I am always inspired when I do. I like the photo of the chair . . and that artwork is cool.

  11. says

    Friendship is a balm and a blessing from God. We definitely have to “budget” more time for this.
    The time spent with my friend these past four days has given me such peace and joy.
    Love your photos, Laura, and the thoughts.

  12. says

    Laura – this is such a great story-telling tour. I am with you there, and enjoyed the bookstore, the artwork, meeting the friends. Looks like a wonderful place!

    I am like you – tending towards introversion, doing it myself, no need to bring others in if not necessary. But I like the idea of “budgeting” friendships better. I will head over and read the THC post also.

  13. says

    Laura – I love this post. I wasn’t sure exactly how the PhotoPlay prompt was going to work out, but you’ve given me a vision for the beauty of collaboration and community in our creative lives.

  14. says

    I have been thinking of inviting families to our home for what we call Lord’s day celebration (adapted from the Jewish celebration for Sabbath) but our Saturdays are always so full! But it is good to keep this in mind. Your post is warm and inviting. Lovely! Patsy from


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *