Playdates with God: Forest Canopy

There are places where time drips slower, drenched in the kairos moments. The woods have always been such a place for me. Give me a plush carpet of shed pine needles, the rich scent of decaying leaves, swath of blue sky broken up by reaching branches … even as a little girl this is how I felt God closest.

The forest was our back yard. My brothers and sister would enter in with raucity—crashing through brush and ravines with their dangerous walking sticks, eyes constantly roaming the distant landscape for the next adventure.  I could get caught in their wake, but mostly I would go alone, lost in quiet and wonder.

The year my parents divorced, I went often. That was the year Jesus came to me, a girl of thirteen, and made my heart his. I remember that lonely time whenever I am covered by a forest canopy. The slope of the hills cradle me, birdsong my lullaby. The heart slows and the spirit breathes deep and eternity is strong beneath my feet. Here, beside whispering leaves and trickling water, I find it easier to come to God like a little child and let my grown-up cares slip away. My eye settles on the smallest fascinations, and all the world is a wonderland.

Where do you feel closest to God? Has it always been that way?

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

    My eye settles on the smallest fascinations, and all the world is a wonderland. wow this line for me too… I am finding this more in my life…and I am starting to feel His nearness in more places…outside…in my quiet chair…in the loud grocery store…I love the hymn…”This is my Father’s world….He speaks to me everywhere”….the small fascinations…great thoughts to start my day…thanks~

  2. bluecottonmemory says

    beneath the trees, near the forsythia – in the backyard of my growing – He met me there, too! Wishing you refreshing this week, Laura!

  3. Jody Ohlsen Collins says

    Laura, I can relate to the need for running away to the quiet. I am the oldest of 5 and when things were tense in our house before my parents’ divorce, I needed an escape, too. I usually went for a walk, but it was down the tracks in the middle of a sunny Southern California day. No forests around me–I did have the beach, tho’, where I was baptized when I met Jesus.
    Now I’m in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and find God near when I’m outside in the yard or under the covering on the deck, with my eyes on the sky. What Ro said, “This is my Father’s world, He speaks to me everywhere.”

  4. Kim Adams Morgan says

    Laura, I always feel closest to God in nature or with animals. His perfect creation of the trees, the water, a breeze, I feel Him everywhere there. I also love the innocence and beauty of animals He created. I can get lost for hours in both.

  5. Sharita Knobloch says

    Love your pics and thanks for sharing your sweet memories! I feel closest to God in nature… And sometimes when I am sitting in the quiet at my kitchen table reading His word with a hot cup of White Chocolate tea 🙂 Thanks for hosting this link-up, Laura!

  6. says

    I feel closest to God when I am close to a large body of water. The house we bought has a lake behind it, and I love to sit out there and watch the water ripple. When I can, I go to the beach and watch the waves roll in. There is something about the dark water that reminds me of Him — I will never come to the end of Him. His depth is a mystery.

  7. Kelly Greer says

    I too love the woods Laura – especially in winter…on a blue sky day just like you captured in your photo. It is so quiet there, the still small voice speaks and I hear. Your trips to the woods speak to my heart.

  8. says

    I love to be out in God’s creation too, Laura. My favorite places are the forest and the oceanside. I love the lullaby-like pounding of the waves. I love the quiet hush that the forest brings to my soul. I just don’t live where I can step out my door to those deep wonders, so I imagine them as I pray and meet with Jesus. Thanks for hosting and for sharing your sacred moments with us.

  9. lindalouise says

    Your words make things come to life for me Laura. This is lovely.
    How are you? Yes – I am definitely one of your peeps. One who is so delighted over the book and so proud of you for writing it.

  10. says

    Yes! The sea too. These thin places–I wonder if we hear him better there because we are usually stepping away from all that distracts when we go. I like that thought of imagining being there during prayer time.

  11. says

    Why am I not surprised that a playful friend like you would love the woods, Kelly? A walk through the trees cures so many ills for me. Yes, I can hear better. On Saturday, when I took these photos, a little White-breasted Nuthatch kept following me around, jabbering at me. He was good company.

  12. JViola79 says

    I find it amazing how we have a place where we feel closer to God. For me, it is in my car. Over the years of driving my children around, I often sat parked & reading my Bible, a book or preparing for Bible Study. And God was always there. Driving alone, my worship music is blasting & I can sing as loudly and on repeat as needed. My family laughs as I always refer to my car as “my sanctuary”. And when we sold our car a few years back, I feared losing my sanctuary. The tears flowed as God taught me that I was His temple, the place where He lives. I so enjoyed this post. Blessings!

  13. Nancy Sturm says

    Like you, I feel closest to God outdoors. Fortunately for me, beautiful nature trails wind through the woods, beside a stream, and through the meadows just a quarter of a mile from my home. I love going out there to walk and commune with God. Thank you for the lovely post.

  14. says

    Beautiful. So thankful your sanctuary is accessible to you. For me, I suppose it’s at my desk with an open Bible or at my piano playing praise. Down at the pond at sunrise is wonderful, but not really accessible to me at present. (Sunrises are though!) May the Lord continue to heal that wounded spirit with the ministry of His Spirit. I’m sorry for the brokenness in the home where you grew up. He is able to comfort, friend. Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus!

  15. soulstops says

    “where time drips slower”…luscious image….one of those places for me would be the beach…or by a lake…a forest is also great.. thanks, Laura 🙂

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