Playdates with God: Unpacking

Texas whispered, come early, so I flew to San Antonio a day ahead of the retreat to spend some time with a friend. She’s known me since junior high, we ran track together in high school, we partied together in college. I knew her family and she knew mine and we knew the dirt roads we grew up with like we knew each other’s hearts. So we sit across the table over white chocolate tamales and God parts the curtains of heaven, shines down kairosright there in that tex-mex restaurant and I catch my breath as holy sifts through the cracks of time.
How good to sit with someone who has known you over the years.
And my heart is full with this knowledge when I enter the canyon—I am known. I am seen. So imagine how the wind is knocked out of me when strangers name me Beloved with their eyes. Right there, in the Great Hall, beside the Frio, all weekend long I am wrecked at the ways God connects our beating hearts.
I found new music and new friends and insomnia and a hearth I carry with me. It frightened me, this feeling—so visceral—so exhausting—this need to be together. When my roommate left a day early, I lay on the bed in our room, aching physically from being alone.  I felt that big Texas sky stretch out above me and when the raindrops fell it was God strumming his fingers over the strings of the canyon.
That last morning I walked through the rain in the dark—down to the boat dock. This, where I would have my morning prayer in retreats past when the canyon weather was more hospitable. I stood on the deck and let the rain kiss my face, let the wind cut through the layers of me. When the cold became too unbearable I found shelter in the library. I pulled an old Bible off the shelf and read my favorite scripture, reminding me of the sovereignty of God, that He is first. I questioned and he spoke from the storm inside of me.
We were made to love each other. This frail flesh on me cannot handle this sometimes. But it is a glimpse of the Kingdom when the moments collide this way, when souls connect in an instant. And I ask God to wash these feelings, to release all impurities—the ways we compare, and the insecurities, and how we strive and twist each moment. I ask Him to let only love remain.
And God parts the curtains of heaven, shines down kairos right there in that library and I catch my breath as holy sifts through the cracks of time.
This is community. This is love. This is the Kingdom come down.
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. Diane | AnExtraordinaryDay says

    Thank you for these words, Laura. So beautifully arranged, so full of grace, and love. Your retreat was more than a retreat…it was His life breathed into you. I am in awe of that holy time.

    My link seems so unworthy of this holy moment.

  2. Rina says

    I love reading good essays and yours — it’s just simply beautiful. I thought of asking if you might have written a book (because I think you should), then I saw a little ad at the bottom. I’ll be checking it out :).

  3. smoothstones says

    So genuinely happy for you all. I always feel a little left out, reading the words and looking at the pictures, but I know it’s just not my season, and that’s ok. It’s so comforting to know that when strangers (but for words and photos) come together, they feel Him in the midst.

  4. bluecottonmemory says

    Yes – we are designed to love each other -which explains why it hurts so badly when those who should don’t! What a fulfilling opportunity – to gather with these other women like you do – to be in that season – and to have that courage!

  5. says

    What a small world. We spent the 15-18 just north of San Antonio, and A’s family even discussed Laity Lodge, which I’m guessing was your destination. I loved this clause: “how the wind is knocked out of me when strangers name me Beloved with their eyes.” Wind knocked out, indeed. So glad God loved on you through His people and His word. May He hold you close in the storms.

  6. says

    Your words touch me this morning, Laura. I sense the beauty of those moments, the scenery, the fellowship. Knowing where your were cradled in these past days (I live in TX and have recently been to the Texas Hill Country on two camping trips over the past year, seeing Laity Lodge on both trips) so can see the Frio and the hills surrounding and holding the lodge. But more than that, you felt something that I did not and I find it drawing me in. Thank you, ~ linda

  7. says

    It took me a moment to read past white chocolate tamales. What in the world are those? 🙂

    How beautiful your words always are. It has been a while since I’ve experienced this type of community kiss from heaven. God knows that my idols are these moments and so they are rare. How treasured this experienced was. Thank you for gracing us by sharing.

  8. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    That insecurities and all its evil bedfellows, dear friend, are such mighty weapons of the evil one! When they try to suffocate me, it helps me to remind myself that I have the mind of Jesus. I submit to Him in a deep way and resist these monsters and they really flee like the cowards they truly are. They cannot face of the Victorious One who is in us!!
    Blessings XX

  9. Sharon says

    One of God’s greatest gifts is the blessing of other people – people who see us, who stand beside us, who love us.

    We love, because He first loved us!


  10. soulstops says

    “as holy sifts through the cracks of time” yes….in that naming of our beloved-ness to each other…so grateful I was able to talk to you and hug you in person, dear one 🙂


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