Playdates with God: Equinox

It’s a harvest moon on my dad’s birthday, but I forget to call. I wake up with a cold and trudge on in to work, dragging slow through the hospital halls. The sky drips rain on-and-off all day and when the evening comes, I’m looking out the window for that full round face. She hides from me and the next day, when I remember what I forgot, I don’t blame her one bit. I make the call a day late, which, for my family, isn’t too bad; but I think this ruefully—wondering why old habits are so hard to let go of. 
Later, when I take the boys to their evening lessons, I fill little Jeffrey in on how his Pap is doing. 
“When we were saying goodbye,” I tell him. “I wanted to tell Pap so bad that I love him. I wanted to. But I…just didn’t.”
“Well, why didn’t you?” He wants to know. To him, love is an everyday word. It’s a word we say when we get up in the morning, a word we say when we leave each other; it’s a word we say spontaneously when the feeling flutters in our chest. 
I think for a minute. How to say?
“That’s just not something we do,” I say. 
“Well,” he says, with all the wisdom of a 14-year old. “Why don’t you make it something you do?”
Yesterday was the first day of autumn and I can feel the way the earth is moving. Earth’s two hemispheres receive the sun’s rays equally for a spell—night and day stand side-by-side, neither one outreaching the other. We call it the equinox—from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). Only it doesn’t feel equal to me. The morning is slow in coming and evening slips down over the horizon too quickly. The sun is stingy with her light and the days bleed moments before we can wrap them up.
The birds and butterflies shed a new season as they flock southerly. But I am earthbound—no winging out of this for me. 
Why don’t I make it something we do? Why don’t I make this season something new?
I’m thinking about all the ways to say “I love you” today. I’m thinking of sprouting wings. How about you? What does this new season bring for you? How would you like to make it different?
And just what is keeping you from doing it?  
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. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

The Playdates button:


  1. says

    So you have me thinking now: what new ways can I say “I love you” to those I love today? Praying for your courage and commitment to finding new ways too. Much love to you, Laura!

  2. bluecottonmemory says

    14-year-olds – sometimes they crack open truth so directly it stuns, doesn’t it!!!! We’re doing a Sticky Faith small group at our house – learning how to communicate our love and interest more effectively – our questions about school have changed, questions to our older sons are changing, too – lots of differences and adjustments going on:) it’s a good thing! Thanks for your sweet Monday Morning message – wondering if you’ve said “I love you” to your Dad yet. I remember the first time I talked to my mom about trusting God – and I felt so graceless because it was not something “we did” – today, it amazes me the faith words that she speaks to me:)

  3. SimplyDarlene says

    What is that picture? I could barely get beyond it to read your as-always, wonderful words. Did you paint the ballerina? I’m not a dancer like that, more cowboy boots and western swing, but that image (alongside His Word) has stuck me good today.


  4. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    My sister-in-law wanted to help me remember birthdays and bought me a birthday calendar as a Christmas gift once with all the family’s birthdays. I was very careful then to check and phone them when it was a birthday day. The only problem was that I was so eager that I mistakenly phoned her a month before her birthday in my zeal to remember.
    Blessings XX

  5. says

    Just a little distraction I was working on last week, D. I’m not a dancer either, but this one is for a friend of mine–a mother of girls who always makes me think pink :). I’m glad it’s sticking with you. That’s Psalms 145 and 146 tacked under her dance 🙂

  6. Nancy Sturm says

    Oh, how I can relate to, “that’s just not something we do.” I grew up without those words–I love you–but fortunately, I was well aware I was loved. Thank God those words can be expressed without being verbalized!

  7. says

    I’m admiring the picture too and also have a friend it would suit. Wonder if we’re thinking of the same beautiful lady? My lips are sealed, just in case. 😉

  8. says

    Ah, “the wisdom of a 14-year old.” In this case, it actually was wisdom! Good for Jeffrey! And good for you for opening yourself to new patterns. My memory work is in the put off/put on part of Ephesians right now, which is challenging me to look at where God wants to work transformation. Thanks for the encouragement to view the seasonal transition with fresh eyes.

  9. Dawn Paoletta says

    Ok, your words always are like balm…I wonder what it would be like to talk with you! BUT , friend- that journal page creation there…it makes my heart smile! And his words…make me a little teary…hope through change – it is possible, perspective right there!

  10. says

    Hi Laura, Autumn has always been a favorite season of mine, especially since we moved to the desert. Just last night, I noticed there was a chill in the air and I felt that the hot wicked spell of summer had been broken.

    Early evenings can mean the slower pace sets in earlier, which I desire. There’s a coziness that the longer evening brings–at least for awhile. The warmth of hearth and home~I want to infuse our home with that. For too long, the weariness of working stole that warmth from our home. And I want to make sure I tell my family that I love them every night–even more often~just like your wise 14-year-old said.

  11. JViola79 says

    Thank you so much for this post. It has been a few weeks that I have been tossing something around in my head that I need to do. You just gave me the push that I needed. Much appreciated!

  12. says

    Oh, that’s one wise boy you’ve got! And your question is a wise one, too… I could use some new ways to say I love you! As for new things, right now our whole life is teetering on the edge of a new adventure as we prepare to move out of our sweet little hometown, so it won’t be hard to make this season something new. Maybe the harder part will be learning to embrace all the new!

  13. says

    I want to change my thinking on…living busy.
    To truly believe that God gives me the hours and minutes needed for each day, each task.
    To remember the seasons when I’ve remembered to– pause. When I’ve made sure the kiddos know I love them. When I’ve made sure my husband feels loved.
    And to go back to that kind of living.
    We’ve had a summer of transitions and moving (literally) and changes…and I’m with you…I love fresh starts and new seasons.
    Fell asleep last night listening to the raindrops, which is something I anticipate each year.

  14. Amy Jung says

    The “It’s just not what we do” answer resonates with me. I have seen it so often in my family and in others. I try to push past it but often don’t. I let it be the excuse. But your post really inspires me. It’s beautiful like this beautiful autumn day and the butterflies my kids and I set free today. Be free…

  15. Megan Willome says

    For different reasons, the “I love you”s are not acceptable to a certain person right now. It causes a screaming fight. I am trying to let go of my need to say it, to simply show it in my actions. But I do confess to signing, “Love,” when I need to leave a note.

  16. says

    This season brings with it awakening a bit more each day, to my identity in Christ and living it out, in my work, in my family, in how I love. Thank you for the hope offered here, Laura.

  17. Pamela says

    The “I love yous” fall easy in my family but you’ve made me wonder…how many other ways could I show it? Maybe in the oft-telling we don’t feel the intensity. You have me thinking…

  18. says

    Sometimes, it’s best to find a new way to say it in my family, Pamela. Not all of my loved ones feel the need to express themselves as I do :). Let me know if you think of a fun way to share your love. I’m still thinking.

  19. says

    That sounds so wonderful, Jennifer. New awakenings…lovely. I’m trying to think this way in this particular area–discovery, adventure. Forging the new can be an exciting thing, can it not? Prayers for you as you forge ahead, friend!

  20. says

    We do what we can, don’t we? Who knew loving could be so tricky? I think, when I was young, if the words had been said more–given all that we went through–maybe they would have lost their meaning. So…maybe it’s good to wait. And leave more notes.

  21. says

    Oh, and just imagining you and your kiddos freeing butterflies gives me such a light feeling, Amy! Thank you for that. I’ve learned to push past the discomfort and say the hard things with my boys, but doing that with a parent is proving more difficult. So now we look for the alternate love language. And who knows where that might lead?

  22. says

    A raindrop lullaby…now that speaks love to me. The Biggest Love. Your life has been busy! I know this about you, Kara–you love well. It’s pretty easy to see. And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head–pausing always helps me keep the perspective.

  23. says

    That sounds lovely, Janis. You make me want to move to the desert! Autumn is my favorite season too. It’s such a wonderful time of awakening for me-the cooler temperatures seem to stir deep places inside. Enjoy the season!

  24. says

    Yes, thankful that there are other ways to say love too, Nancy. It’s funny, I have two children and one constantly tells me he loves me. The other, not so verbally expressive, but he shows me in so many ways. I’m trying to see the beauty in both. My roots for each run deep 🙂

  25. says

    Sticky Faith? Is that a curriculum? It sounds very interesting. I’m always looking for help with expressing thoughts and feelings. Do your boys hold back the way mine do? I’ll have to check into that…

  26. says

    Thank you, Lisa. I’m kind of a chicken about these things, so I appreciate prayer :). But thinking of it in this way has helped: How would it best be received? Yes–so many ways to say “I love you”.

  27. Elizabeth Stewart says

    I’m so glad Mama learned the importance of verbalizing those words…when I was a teen she made it something she did.

  28. kendalprivette says

    “The sun is stingy with her light and the days bleed moments before we can wrap them up.” and this is fall for me too. and no winging it out. and what’s stopping me from writing those letters? to the ones i can’t call. and saying i’m proud of you? and i love you? what’s stopping me?

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