Playdates with God: A Softer Kind of Listening


Two days before we left for our family vacation I twisted my foot into a black and blue throbbing mess. I was walking with Bonnie who, in one of her fits of stubbornness, slipped out of her collar and began to run away from me. In a panic, I moved my foot the wrong way and felt the sickening pull of soft tissue fold over an unyielding scaffold of bone. I spent the afternoon with my foot elevated and iced. The next morning found me in the emergency room waiting for an x-ray.

We were relieved to find it wasn’t broken but when I asked the white coat about activity level (“I’ve always heard it’s good to walk on a sprain, right?”) he said “no.” “You need to stay off of that foot as much as possible. And keep it up when you can.”

This would change my seaside experience considerably. The sea has always been a thin place for me—the place the noise in my head quiets enough to hear the tender endearments God whispers every day, unheard. Each morning we awaken by the ocean, I rise before the others and wait for the sun to rise and then fall into the blue of the sea. I write the names of the people I love in the sand and pray for them as long tidal fingers wash clean my scratchings. Then I comb the beach for shell surprises, walking freely in the soft light of morning, studying all that mother ocean leaves behind as she pulls with the moon.

I began to grieve the loss of this time before we even began our journey south. Sitting on the couch with my foot above my heart, I whined to my boys, “I won’t be able to have my morning beach walks!” They both sat down beside me, wrapped their arms around me and each other and said, “I’m sorry, mom.”

And the mood was set. A different kind of thin place. A slower, softer listening—and finding God in the faces of others. We had so many God-sightings. Amazing how that happens when I slow enough to look. And toward the end of the week I was able to walk some short distances without too much discomfort. Blessings upon blessings. An ocean full of gifts.

It’s a shame it all has to be interrupted by the need for shoes.

Every Monday I share 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 God and know joy. Click on the button below to add your link. I try to visit a few of your stories every week, so if you are a new visitor, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can welcome you. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us.

Laura Boggess


  1. says

    Oh, my, Laura, that must be painful. In many ways. I’m so thankful God sat with you, and revealed Himself in so many other ways, ways you never expected. He is so faithful. Prayers for healing, my friend.

  2. says

    Oh, the pull of the ocean….this is the third post about listening I’ve written 🙂 or read today.
    Your beautiful words are a balm my friend.
    Hope that ankle is healing. ouch.

  3. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    This line pierced me, Laura: “Sitting on the couch with my foot above my heart,” because it reminded me of a time fifteen years ago, when my foot surgery had left me in excruciating pain and when for months I lay prone on the couch, my foot uncomfortably elevated over my heart. I didn’t know if I would ever walk without pain again, according to specialists, and more foot surgery guaranteed more pain and the malformation of my foot (the surgery to that point had actually corrected a problem–except for the pain….far worse than if I had never had the surgery to begin with). Oh, even reading your sentence has set me to whining and fearing again. But in the end, God met me on that couch through the kindness of others, through slowing to a halt, and through contemplation on Christ’s suffering and through prayer. God ended up miraculously healing my foot, butnot before He healed my spirit. I am soooo sorry for your mishap and altered vacation plans . . . but I am already witnessing how God is giving you gifts from the sea . . . likely heretofore unrevealed and which will ultimately be too numerous too count. But please count and record them for us. His gifts to you become His to us, aS well. I love you, sweet Laura. Please, Lord, heal this precious lady.

  4. says

    Despite this small set back, I hope your time at the beach was full of some good God-time! It sounds like it was. 🙂 And as always, thanks for hosting your weekly link-up so that fellow bloggers can be in community with one another.

  5. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your foot…I’m glad your boys were tender and understanding …and you found a new way to experience God…praying God heals your ankle soon…((Hugs))

  6. Sharon says

    Laura, I’m so sorry for this – for the injury, and the pain, and the inconvenience. But I just love what God did through the experience. I love how He led you to a “different kind of thin place.” You know, He truly does meet us *where we’re at* – and it was good to be reminded of this. Thank you for sharing this precious story.


  7. says

    Laura, I’m so sorry for the bum ankle! Definitely not fun for the beach, however I’m so glad God gave you that sweet moment with your boys. My little guys have a way of saying or doing the right thing to get my mind or heart back in the right place, too! God is so good!

    Thank you very much for hosting this link-up!

    Blessings and smiles,

  8. says

    Love your words about listening to the Father’s whispers of love. He is so very fond of His precious children! I hope you feel better soon, and able to resume your time outdoors with Him. I love reading about your adventures together!
    Blessings and hugs,


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