Playdates with God: Anniversary Giveaway!


This post is part of my 31 Days of the Almost Empty Nest series. I’m writing in community with the thirty-one dayers. Women all over the world are joining together in the month of October to write every day about something they’re passionate about. Check out some of the other writers here. So much good stuff. To read my first post, with links to all the days, go here. 


When the idea for Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World was conceived, I was a busy mom, working three part-time jobs, trying to figure out how to honor God best with my time. I wanted more of God, but also to be a better mother, wife, worker-person … I was looking for a way to bring my spiritual life alive again, but also to find the road where my faith and my ordinary could meet.

Over the years, I’ve discovered the more I give myself to God, the more he meets me where I am. By setting aside time each week to have a “play date” with God, I’ve opened the door of my life and welcomed him into every moment, every ordinary nook and cranny.

Yesterday, Jeff and I dropped our boy off at his dorm to resume the school year. Our long weekend together was rife with sickness—a yucky virus for him and a terrible cold for me. On the bright side, cleaning up vomit is a little easier when all the senses are deadened by congestion. It was hard to drive away from his pale face, a fresh supply of immodium and pepto tucked into his hands.

Parenting in the almost-empty nest is a tricky business—knowing when to step in and when to step away, always being available but giving space to grow, advising these boys in the ways of the grown-up world. I was commiserating with one of my mentors about this last week. She has two boys who are similar in age to mine. “I find I’m parenting in deeper ways,” she said. And I liked this way of framing it.

I think this is a good descriptor of how God parents those of us who continue to walk with him over the long journey. He takes us deeper if we are willing. He never takes his hand off our lives but trusts us to keep moving closer to him.

This weekend, I couldn’t help noticing all the ways my son has grown in maturity in these short months that he has stepped into owning his life. I can’t help thinking this is God’s design for us—to keep growing, keep learning, never stop exploring this beautiful world he created for us. This is what Playdates with God is about: growing, always, always moving closer to God, never settling in one place in my spiritual life.

Today, I am celebrating the one year anniversary of the release of Playdates with God with a little giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment for a chance to win. If you share about the giveaway on social media, let me know in the comments and I’ll give you and extra chance for each share. The giveaway package includes:

1 copy of each:

Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World by Laura Boggess (of course)
Derek’s Story by Laura Boggess (one of my novella’s for tweens)
Every Little Thing by Deidra Riggs
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (book 1) by Ransom Riggs (Who is a Kenyon alum)
When Godly People Do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore

2 copies of:

Thirty Days of Bible Study for Busy Mama’s: Colossians 3 by Pam Forster (one for you and one for your girlfriend!)

1 pair of snowflake earrings from Nature’s Precious Gems that I bought at the Kenyon College bookstore yesterday. (in honor of the snowy trampoline play that inspired my promise to play with God), AND

a couple other little trinkets/goodies for fluff.

Thank you for one year of Playdates with God! This community inspires me to keep my promise to God through all the love and support you leave in this space. You all are a joy and a gift. I’ll announce the winner in next Monday’s Playdates post.

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.

Almost Empty


  1. says

    As you know, Laura, I completely get the whole “empty-nester” experience. I’m enjoying it but it also has many moments when I feel guilty for not doing more for my boy turned man! But you are right, we must let them have room to mature. It’s a tough balancing act as a parent. Thanks for the linkup, my friend!

    • says

      It’s a tricky balance, isn’t it, Beth? Jeff and I are enjoying the freedom, but we still have that one little chick at home. So it often feels like we’re on a short leash :). Empty nesters in training.

  2. says

    Parenting in deeper ways – I like that too. I hope that’s what I’m doing. 🙂 We spent the weekend with my oldest daughter and her husband per her invitation. I admit it still feels weird to go to “her” home and have her cook for us. But it’s good and right and normal, so I’m doing my best to embrace it.

    Praying that everyone recovers quickly from the virus. I never know if things like that are bad timing or good—we never want our kids sick but if they’re going to be sick, it feels better when we can at least care for them through the toughest parts.

    • says

      It sounds like you are doing a good job at the parenting deeper thing, Lisa. After returning Ted to school on Sunday, this place feels all the more lonely. I guess that’s another thing to get used to, the back and forth between empty and full. God is teaching me so much through this preparation. I’m glad he is so gracious, because I’m always a slow learner!

  3. says

    Congratulations on surviving the first year post-book launch! What an accomplishment! I’m sure you have countless stories of the Lord’s provision in the past twelve months. Thank you for being faithful to write. Also, loved your words above — so sorry you were both sick, though! May the Lord continue to sustain you in this season, and in the second year of Playdates with God! 🙂

  4. Teresa Neal says

    We are heading into the empty nest time. My daughter is s senior in high school. It is daunting.

    Also, shared to Facebook and Twitter

    • says

      It has been a bigger adjustment than I thought it would be, Teresa. Our youngest is a Junior, so he’s still here, but the marching band keeps him so busy (as well as his social calendar), that he’s often gone in the evenings. Thus the “almost” empty. It’s been good to be in this in-between place to give us a chance to ease into it. God is good.

  5. says

    Oh sweet friend… praying for you and your boy! What a hard way to spend a long weekend together! <– But it's those last four words there that matter most in this stage, yes? Parenting deeper… I will hold on to that one! (It sounds so much better, and more productive, than parenting from afar!)

    Sharing this Giveaway on Twitter and facebook too… what a lovely package to giveaway, and so just like you – with gifts to enjoy and many to share!

    Praying for rest and healing for you today!

    • says

      Thank you for your prayers, Karrilee! We are already doing some better. It was hard driving away from a sick boy, but he texted yesterday that he’s better. (((sigh))). Baby steps.

  6. says

    Laura, I’ve told you before, but it bears repeating…”Play dates with God” breathed life into a serious and sad time in my life. It’s become a handbook of sorts I will return to again and again. I love you. Monica

  7. says

    First, happy book-o-versary! So exciting– and that book is one of my recommendations for compadres who struggle with finding rest/fun/play/Jesus in their everyday.

    Secondly, I shared on Facebook and Twitter.

    Thirdly, I hope you and your son feel better ASAP.

    Blessings to you, Laura! Thanks for doing what you do– I appreciate your ministry!

  8. says

    Congrats on the one-year anniversary of your book! Already? It’s such an awesome book. Here’s one of my favorite (among many) underlined quotes on a d dog-eared page:

    “Sometimes it’s the journey that matters most. But, we grown-ups get all caught up in the end goal–that next promotion, the kids’ college funds, building the nest egg–and we lose sight of the beauty in the adventures along the way”

    … we can forget the deep-soul joy of going on a quest.” (p.120)

    [please don’t put my name in the draw – i already own most of those books! 😉 ]

  9. says

    Laura, I have only been a part of your community for a few months now, but have enjoyed everything about it.There is such peace and warmth here. Congratulations on the one-year anniversary! Prayers for both you and your son to get well!
    Blessings and smiles,

  10. elaina says

    Wow! 1 Year?! Time is flying…and I never got my copy autographed! Pray all is well…and know that countless women’s hearts and souls are bolstered by your work. thanks for all you do…Enjoy!!

  11. says

    Thank you for hosting Playdates with God. Love the opportunity to be part of other people’s communities. Thank you for the opportunity to win a book pack. I have shared on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. I hope this encourages others to visit your page.

  12. says

    Dear Laura, This empty nest business is one of the most difficult times of parenting. It’s like walking on eggshells, trying to figure out what we can say and what we can’t say to these adult children of ours. Still treading water as I figure out how to “parent deeper.” I like that term because it gives significance to our ongoing relationship with these adult sons but acknowledges that our parenting is reserved for the deeper matters of life~and unfortunately, only when they are open. It requires a lot of prayer and wise counsellors to navigate this time in our lives. I keep asking myself, “Is this really the way God planned it?” I’ll let you know if I get an answer, or you let me know.
    I’m so happy you are celebrating the One Year Anniversary of the launch of your book. Thank you for all the goodies you are offering! I will tweet this and post on Facebook.
    So good to be back here again.
    Blessings, Janis

  13. says

    Laura, I don’t know if we ever find the empty nest easy. But I think we are most blessed when we can miss them so much as it means the years have been so enjoyed. I cannot believe it has been a year since Playdates was released. I so enjoyed not only reading the book but getting to “meet” you as well. I will surely tweet about the giveaway as there are so many wonderful things which truly should be shared 🙂 Congratulations & Blessings!

  14. Paula I. says

    I have sought interesting blogs to help me grow in the Lord. This past year I found yours, and it is one of my favorites. I like the idea of play dates with God but need to work at incorporating that into my routine. Thank you for your faithfulness in blogging. Several b logs I started reading have faded out. It isn’t easy to keep blogging over time when you are busy with other aspects of life. God bless you, Laura, in this time of the empty nest and changes in your life.

  15. says

    Wow one year. Congratulations. We’ve been empty nesters for awhile and wow it’s like we are newly married. Love it, but now both the kids are married and we have the grandsons a lot. It’s wonderful and fun. And I’ll be sharing on my Facebook page and twitter.

  16. Sheri says

    We have been in the “empty nest” stage for the last few years and it is like we are dating all over again…it is definitely a big change!!

  17. RJ says

    I love how your friend put it. I’m a ways from empty nest, but I hope that phrase comes back to me when I’m amidst it.

  18. says

    The empty nest seems so far away for my husband and I but I know it will sneak up on us way faster than I want it to! Thanks for hosting the link up every week!

  19. Dawn says

    I’m getting very close to the empty nest and trying to find the best ways to be there for my growing kids without being “too there.” I think this would help.

  20. Christine Morelli says

    I have never heard of Playdates with God until tonight – fascinated and in love with any way to pursue Jesus. Thank you!

  21. says

    My only living child is now 27…there are still ways that parenting baffles me, but parenting in a deeper way…that is both profound (for me) and accurate. What a lovely post, Laura. You inspire me with your words. Thank you.

  22. says

    Oh, Laura,
    I’ve thought of you and your transition lately and I pray God continues to draw you closer to His heart…I imagine it must have been hard to say good-bye to your son…((hugs))
    .I was just rereading a section of your book this past weekend..This: “He takes us deeper if we are willing. He never takes his hand off our lives but trusts us to keep moving closer to him.” Congrats on your book’s anniversary. I shared on my blog’s FB page and Twitter 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway and whether I win or not, I wish you the best, my friend 🙂

    Your words give me a little foretaste of what we will be experiencing in several years…

  23. says

    I can’t believe it’s been a year already – good for you! The nature of our relationship with God does change and grow, as we change and grow in Him. He gives us so many beautiful “shadows” of His ways in our earthly relationships. Not having children of my own, it has still been interesting, and beneficial to read about your experiences, Laura. Thank you for sharing with an open heart. Blessings.


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