Playdates with God: Christmastide

beach-2012-day-1-060As we traveled to the manger, the days were numbered, counted diligently and weighed as they passed. But since the arrival it has been as always when new life enters into a place, all soft-skinned and needy—time has been slipping through our fingers. This being together has entered into our hearts and I feel the way things are supposed to be. The slow pace of the days, the quiet conversations, the long walks in the afternoon.

This little season of Christmastide brings Jesus into our everyday in tangible ways. It seems the perfect phrase. Beauty sweeps over us like a wave, following the ebb and flow of something bigger. Carrying away the harsh edges of life, leaving behind round-edged gems. It gives the space to breathe. Peace on earth. This is how it should be when the calendar commitments are in their proper place, when the work we do is done for the right reasons, when Love is at the center of it all.

I don’t want to take down the Christmas tree. Every year I struggle with the same. How do I hold on to the season of Light all year long? It’s a heart state, this Christmas. I can carry it with me. But there is something about a house frocked in red and green, something about the twinkling lights. Everywhere one looks the worlds sings Christmas.

I set out one of my nativity sets year round. It makes me happy when I see it. I trim the house with reminders of new life for every season. This helps my heart stay focused, but these weak eyes will sometimes look straight through these things as if they are only scenery.

It has to start on the inside.

This little practice I started those years ago of having playdates with God keeps my heart as soft as clay. Spending time, intimate time, with the Lover of my soul has saved me. It is still changing me. This is what it takes: time alone with God. How else can a person fall in love?

As the year winds down and I look back in faith at all the days we’ve traveled through, I see that this is what has carried me: the One True Love that never fails.

Tell me, what practices are taking you to new places in your spiritual life?

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:

Laura Boggess

Comments

  1. says

    “This is what it takes: time alone with God. How else can a person fall in love?”

    Yes! Time alone with God.

    From early morning prayer and Bible reading…to writing and blogging…to riding a horse around the farm…going for a walk…or just the drive to work each morning.

    Time alone with Him is treasured time.

    Blessings to you, my friend, today and throughout the new year!

    • says

      Thank you, Joe, and the same to you. What a blessing it has been to “meet” you in this space and explore how to live out our Christian lives together. May the new year hold many sweet playdates with God for you, my friend.

  2. says

    “I don’t want to take down the Christmas tree. Every year I struggle with the same. How do I hold on to the season of Light all year long? It’s a heart state, this Christmas. I can carry it with me.”

    Thoughts like these are why I continue to read you, Laura. You’re so insightful. It does start on the inside. So grateful you let your insides spill out for us on the outside to see and learn from. May God bless you with a fruitful and peaceful 2015!

    I want to cultivate more silence and meditation in my spiritual life next year.

  3. says

    Laura, this photo is stunning — it reminds me of our favorite beach, and I feel like I’m there! His promise of new life is all around us — God bless you for seeing it so clearly. Thanks for hosting and Happy New Year!

  4. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Christmastide! How I love that word, Laura, and how often I have used it–probably because I love all things British, but I never really understood just what it mean, until now. Your poetic post was my impetus to look it up! I hadn’t realized it’s a real time, designated from Christmas to Epiphany. And I LOVE your oceanic take on it–so geautiful. And what are my spiritual practices. After I read your wonderful book, I realized I’d been having playdates for a very long time, without actually calling them that. I had used the lover words–dates, trysts, and rendezvous–with God. My favorite spots were often a tea room, outdoor cafe, art museum, hotel lobby, or our botannical garden. I would take a pen, journal, perhaps a book, and extra tip money, because I intended to camp out and spend time (there’s that phrase!) with God. It’s the only way to have intimacy with the Lover of your soul. Just yesterday I ventured to our cabin. It’s only an hour’s drive from home, but provides all the silence and solitude I need for real intimacy with the Lord. Sadly, I had to come home soon, because the furnace was not working properly. But I’d been away just long enough to know how much I need this–real solitude. Yes, I can be with God in a crowd (when my journal focuses me), or here at home. But there will always be distractions. So I want intentionally to spend more time “away” in solitude. Also very nearby is a retreat center, where I may take a private retreat, and hope to. But it all takes plnaning and intentionality. All dates do, including playdates. Laura, I hope you have a joyful, playful New Year in the Lord.
    Much Love,
    Lynn

  5. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Ha, Laura. The typeface on your blog and comments is tiny and difficult for me to read, so I just decided I would hit send earlier, and let come what may. Oh……tons of typos! Oh well….and now the perfectionist in me can’t live without telling you about it! Ha!

  6. says

    That’s the key, Laura, carrying Christmas with us, all year long. But I like the visual, too! And I also like keeping some of it special. While Christ can be born anew in our hearts each day, I think, for me, having the trappings of Christmas (the lights, etc) around all the time would soon make them mundane. I never want to lose the magic of Christmas! Blessings.

  7. says

    Beautiful post, as always, Laura. It truly is as we reflect back over & remember that we are able to look forward & anticipate. So grateful for the faithfulness of our God. May you & yours have a blessed 2015!!!

  8. says

    My heart can resonate with yours in this reflecting, Laura. I am often sad to see the rushing of the holidays fly by, it seems we prepare and prepare and then we deflate. But that is truly only when we have our focus on the material and the temporal, because if we prepare for the journey to the stable and we aren’t going to experience that let down, are we? I have been reflecting a lot this season, preparing for the arrival of the Holy One and then waiting a while in the stable… resting in the presence of the One who fills, waiting and soaking.

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder to be awed by the promise of hope the light of heaven brought with it.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  9. says

    I so appreciate this, Laura – although Christmas Tide with older children must be a good bit different than with younger ones! Christmas is so messy now, less beautiful, but for me it’s learning to let the mess linger that helps me see past the work (always work) that demands to be done and find the joy that comes in the midst of all life. That, and the precious time to play.

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