Playdates with God: Sharing the Story

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In the past couple weeks I’ve been grateful to participate in two book signings. I learned something new from each one of them—about myself, about God. I don’t know quite how to articulate those lessons, except to say how humbling it’s been to lift my art before these people. I told one friend that I feel like a beggar, holding out my bowl for a few lifegiving coins.

I’ve discovered that the local Christian Book Stores are carrying Playdates with God, but mostly I’ve had to call around to ask other stores to stock it. Some of the local shops agree to carry it on consignment, but the larger stores, like Books-a-Million will order it from the publisher.

It’s been surprising to see which stores share in my excitement and offer help generously. Some have never returned my phone calls, though I have followed up repeatedly. I think it has something more to do with the quality of the staff more than any company policy. I’ve found that in those places where books are dearly treasured and the staff themselves dip into writing, I am made to feel more welcome. One young clerk at the BAM in the Barboursville Mall said to me, “We love writers!” Her eagerness to help after many telephone calls that yielded cold rejection made me want to weep in gratitude. It’s hard not to take these things personally and let discouragement crowd out joy. The experience has made me resolve to help others as much as I am able. How tenderly we hold the works of our hands and hearts.

Last weekend, I was at Empire Books in Huntington and I was grateful for something that happened while there. My husband had set me up with one of his smaller amps and a microphone so that I could read excerpts from Playdates with God.

For the most part, everyone continued shopping and milling about the store as I read. A few people came by and sat down to listen, some stood nearby and I could tell they were paying attention by the way hands would still over the stacks. One young man approached me after I read the trampoline story and introduced himself. He shook my hand and told me he loved jumping on trampolines—naked. I assured him that I was fully clothed when I had my adventure.

But my favorite? Two little children who were shopping with their mother. This little boy and girl were standing in the checkout line behind mom when I began reading. It was almost like a magnet drew them over to my little table. They both left their mother’s side and floated to me, stood right in front of me, keeping their eyes fixed intently on my face as I read. They were my best listeners all afternoon. I’ve never seen such concentration. I was reading from the chapter on Sabbath and the little girl was especially enthralled. Their mother finished making her purchases and stood by the door watching her children watch me. When the children realized it was time to go, the little boy nudged his sister and ran off to mother’s side. But the little girl? She lingered. Finally, she backed away from me, toward her mom, never taking her eyes off of my face until she reached the door and left.

I saw so much of myself in that sweet child’s face. Her presence was a gift. God used her to remind me the beauty he has entrusted me with—the loveliness of sharing a story.

I’ll not forget that any time soon. But if I do, I know I can trust God to send a sweet reminder once again.

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

    I didn’t know that book signings could be so daunting for a new author, Laura. Thanks for letting us into the not-so-flattering side of promoting our craft. I’m so glad you had those who encouraged you in this big and monumental task. I can truly imagine those kids in rapt attention. Not only are your words like smooth silk, but I bet your voice is soothing too–and of course, the message is sweet to the ears as well! May God bless you and help you as you persevere in this important calling and task!

  2. Antoinette says

    I stumbled upon your book on Amazon and the title made my heart leap with joy (God and I also play) I immediately ordered it. This comment it just to let you know that a copy of your book found it’s way to Cape Town, South Africa and that I’m loving it

  3. says

    “God used her to remind me the beauty he has entrusted me with—the loveliness of sharing a story.”
    So sweet. To be able to share the stories He blesses us with is a beautiful thing. Thank you for letting us get a glimpse into this day!

  4. says

    Love that your reading was a magnet. Thanks for showing us the gift you received in that child’s presence.

    And! I love this: “We love writers!”
    Now if only toy store owners would say a similar thing about toymakers . . . :-}

  5. says

    I can’t imagine how terrified I would be to do a book signing. I admire your courage, Laura! How precious to have God show up through the attention of the young girl (among other ways, I’m sure).

    I was actually at a book signing yesterday at my local public library for Hester Bass’s book “The Seeds of Freedom.” It was so lovely hearing her read her story (a children’s picture book) about integration during the 1960s in my town. Three young girls sat in front of me, each with their own copy of the book, and followed along in their copies as the author read aloud. It made me want to cry to see how much they must love reading too, just like me. Thanks for sharing this personal snippet with us. Definitely a playdate with God!

  6. says

    You look so confident! I literally laughed out loud when I read about the man who likes to jump on the trampoline naked. Maybe it was from the visual that gave me…ew…

    And I love how the little children were drawn in!

    Great stuff! I’m so happy for you! It truly is a great book. I have plans to give a lot of these away…in God’s timing.

  7. says

    Laura, I’m guessing that little girl sensed the presence of God in your words and your voice….I’ve seen that before with small children. They just sense the light and joy and are drawn to it.
    What a lovely story.

  8. says

    What a sweet memory to tuck into the recess of your heart. As I started reading your post, you gave such a vivid glimpse of how you felt, how you took in the days you were walking… it made me want to sit and listen more. I think i may have been just like that little girl, listening intently to your stories waiting with you for a little more time with God as you shared. Lovely. Praying you have more and more of His peace in the journey of sharing your book, your story.

    Blessings!
    Dawn

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