Playdates with God: Breathe

Yesterday was my Jeffrey’s fifteenth birthday. He had friends over all day on Saturday and yesterday some more friends. His grandparents came with cards and his great aunt sent one in the mail. I made a cheesecake and we picked out a new paint color to paint his bedroom walls. We watched his baby movies and we read the story of the night he was born in his baby book. Every year we do the same things and I never grow tired of it. Every year I cry and tell him what a beautiful baby he was. Every year I look long and deep into his blue eyes and try to see how the man he is growing into still carries that soft-skinned baby inside of him. It usually isn’t very hard. Because he’ll always be my baby. 

So I was reading through some of my Jeffrey stories that I’ve shared here and I found this one from a few years ago. Hope you don’t mind if I share it again. Come sit on my couch with me and we’ll look through the memory together.


It was a terribly awful Sunday and I cried on and off all afternoon and into the evening when Jeffrey asked me if I would come up early to tuck him in so we could snuggle for a while. 

“You never snuggle with me anymore.”

So I put aside the hurt I felt and climbed the stairs to enter into soft boy-skin and a tangle of legs and arms. We snuggled. 

“Do you want to say the prayer tonight?”

I asked it because I hoped he did, because thinking about God made me cry again, and my heart felt tender still from the fresh wounding.

“Okay,” he said. And he did. And this is how he started:

“Dear God, he said. Thank you for all the blessings and even for the bad things because we know they’re here for a reason. Thank you for today…umm…we all had a pretty good day of it. (Really?) Yeah, pretty good.”

And he went on, asking for blessings, giving thanks, praying from his heart. I was silenced by his beginning, but it gave me hope so I asked,

What do you want more than anything in the world?

He didn’t even hesitate.


I looked at his white face shine in the dark.

“Are you just saying that because you know I want you to?”

He giggled.

“No.” Then he reached both his hands to the ceiling as if he could reach heaven. “Because, without God, what are we?”

He silences me again with his words, but I’m still skeptical. 

“Okay then, what would be second?”

No hesitation, “God.”


He giggles again.


Then he stops and see the wheels turning. 

“Well,” he says. “After God there is something else.”

“What is it?”


So I gulp it in big mouthfuls and discover that I am still breathing and I look at this wonder-boy and kiss him goodnight and when I go to bed I say a prayer of my own.

Dear God, Thank you for all the bad stuff. I want you—I need you like air. Amen.

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. SimplyDarlene says

    God must have given us kiddos to save us from our own selves, aye?

    Also, happy (belated) birthday to your boy.


  2. says

    Oh, wow! First, I’m amazed that your 15-year-old wants to snuggle. My boy never even wanted to be rocked as a baby–though he did jump into my arms when a garter snake wriggled past the door on his way out of the house.

    Second, that your boy would move from God to air… and isn’t He the breath of life. I’m just sitting here in awe. Not to mention how beautifully you wrote this.

  3. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    Oh, you must share more of these stories of your children. This is so precious. My oldest son finished last year with his studies and got engaged on Christmas Day and I cannot believe that my baby has grown-up to be such a special man. You are so right when you say that they will always be our babies and I cannot wait to have a daughter and I already love her so much.
    Blessings XX

  4. says

    To need God like air–it’s our reality, but not always our consciousness. It’s a cliche, but out of the mouth of babes…. So glad you shared reposted this. We never tire of these truths. Happy birthday to your sweet Jeffrey.

  5. Sharita Knobloch says

    Beautiful story, Laura– made me tear up a bit!! What a sweet moment and memory… And profound wisdom from one so young. Good job, Mama– you (and Jesus!) are sure doing something great!

  6. says

    What a beautiful gift this is for your keeping and reminiscing, Laura, as he grows into adulthood. And what a beautiful gift it is for your son, who will never forget that cuddly moment with his mom and how she inspired him to reach for God every day!

  7. says

    Happy Birthday to your man-boy, Laura. As soon as I saw the photo I was instantly transported back to the days {not too long ago} when a bunch of big boy sneakers sat inside my door. What a tender and special memory you shared. I was blessed by your words.

  8. JViola79 says

    Laura, I loved this post. It reminded me of the worship song, Desperate For You….”This is the air I breathe, This is the air I breathe. Your very Word, spoken to me.” Oh that I would be as desperate for His Word as the very air I breathe.

  9. Angie Ryg says

    What do you want more than anything in the world?

    He didn’t even hesitate.


    I looked at his white face shine in the dark.

    “Are you just saying that because you know I want you to?”

    He giggled.

    Okay, nothing could be cuter for sure and such wisdom…Whether he knew you wanted it or not, just the fact that this is in his heart and head is a beautiful thing.

    You are such a good mama!

  10. bluecottonmemory says

    Some stories need to be retold – and we need to tell them – to spill them out of our hearts or maybe our hearts will burst. I am so glad you re-told it – it refreshed my heart, too! Happy Birthday to your son!!!

  11. Elizabeth Hernandez says

    I forgot how much I missed your playdates with God! I have been gone from blogging for a while and just re started up recently and have been searching out my favorite blogs. Oh how blessed I am to find you again. And just like your son and you “thank you God for all the bad stuff I want you- I need you like air.” Beautiful what a huge blessings to have that precious memory and to know He loves the Lord that much.a true gift. Just like you and this blog. I will have to get my playdate with God post going again as I always had so much fun doing this linky. Blessings and I am so happy to find you again.

  12. says

    Happy Birthday, Jeffrey.

    I need Him like air, too. Thanks for this sweet reminder.

    (and I love it that you have sweet birthday rituals with your son. I am taking notes….) 🙂


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