Playdates with God: Small Group





Yesterday morning, before church, I almost caught the house on fire. It involved a candle, some blue tissue paper, and a box of jewelry; but mostly it was about being distracted, not paying attention to what I was doing. Before I knew it, an entire swaft of blue was flaming yellow and orange. I threw it in the floor and poured a cup of water over it. Crisis averted. Thank goodness for sturdy tile that can be sponged clean of the burn. Jeff and Jeffrey were still sleeping upstairs, none the wiser to my careless accident when they came down for breakfast a little later. Nothing left but a faint hint of smoke in the air, tiny floating ashes settling into hard to reach places.

I carried the box of jewelry to church, where I tried to sell it to raise money for a charity our church supports. Vibella Jewelry gives 30% of all sales back to a charity of your choice if you host a party as a charity function. Plus, by supporting Vibella, you support a company that provides jobs where they are sorely needed. My Bible study class voted to try to raise money to buy a CerviScope for Family Health Ministries, a medical ministry that serves the Haitian people. Did you know that women in Haiti die of cervical cancer twice as often as their American sisters? The doctors over there need better tools to serve the people. We didn’t quite meet the goal we set but orders are still trickling in and I am hopeful we will be able to send Family Health Ministries a nice check to put toward purchasing a CerviScope. And a lot of the members of my church family got some early Christmas shopping out of the way. It was a win-win.

Anyway, this morning as I was sweeping a few remnants of ash from the corners of my kitchen, it occurred to me that most of our crises happen when no one is looking. Whether it’s some secret pain in our marriage, an illness doing its dark work on our body, or those longings for something we know is not in our best interest … secrets can destroy—send all the light of the blue up in flames so fast all we’re left with is smoke and ash.

Most often, the flame gains strength slow and steady when I am distracted, when I’m not paying attention to what I’m doing. I know the impact of living deliberately—I’ve felt how it changes a life, a marriage, a faith. But it takes work. And strength. Sometimes, I’m just too tired.

Last night we had our small group. We had a lesson, shared bread around the table, and later in the evening our conversation turned to some hard things we are all trying to process through together. Paying attention felt easier with all those extra eyes in the room. Making good choices felt right among those beautiful hearts.

Do you have a group of people like that in your life? Meeting with God alone has changed me. It’s created a space for deeper intimacy and a love I never could have imagined with an unseen God. But meeting with God amongst others? Living life together, being real, sharing our deepest thoughts and sorrows? Having this small, intimate circle of friends who love Jesus and one another helps me pay attention better. And even when I slip up and accidentally set the blue afire, their tender love extinguishes that flame before it all turns to ash.

I have to ship back the Vibella items we didn’t sell at our charity function, so I thought I’d give one item away to one of my dear community members here. You all help me pay attention to my life too! I’m dying to see the Salvation Bracelet (below) on a good friend’s wrist. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. If you visit Vibella’s or Family Health Ministry’s pages, let me know and you’ll get an extra entry. Also, if you subscribe to my blog I’ll enter you two more times! I’ll announce the winner on 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.

The winner of the signed copies of S.D. Smith’s books is … Constance Ann Morrison! Congratulations! I’ll be in touch. 

Laura Boggess


  1. says

    Oh, how this hits home:
    “but mostly it was about being distracted, not paying attention to what I was doing.”
    That’s one of my greatest fears–that something bad will happen when I’m not paying attention. So I’m having to learn to live intentionally but without the fear of the times I’ll mess up. Because we all will. But yes, having community in our lives is so essential to helping us see things that we overlook ourselves. A beautiful post, Laura. And a beautiful bracelet! The cause makes me cry. Lord, have mercy.

  2. says

    Oh I love ViBella… and I am so glad that you did not, in fact, burn your house down! We went years outside of having a home church –but we were blessed to always have our people. A handful of friends to fellowship with and to keep company… put fires out – and stoke the other kind!

  3. says

    I love Vibella! and that bracelet is darling! I’ve looked into being a rep for them, but it’s just not the right fit in my life just now… maybe someday. In the meantime, I promote them and support them in other ways. If you have any earrings left and want to send me a personal email before you make your return, if they’re what I’m looking for I’ll buy them from you. If emailing me just complicates things, no worries, just wanted to make the offer 🙂

    Fire is scary! So glad you were able to put it out quickly.Living intentionally definitely takes energy, and I can relate to just being too tired sometimes. I’m glad you have that intimate circle of friends, Laura. Draw strength from them. The Dreamer and I are in an in between time right now. Honestly though, with what we are dealing with, I don’t think I would have the energy that additional relationships would require. God is giving us the strength we need each day. And we know that this too shall pass and a new season will emerge. Have a blessed week.

  4. says

    Oh, my! Thank the dear Lord for protecting you and your family and home. I have done such things way too often, and it is only the sheer mercies of God that has prevented disaster time after time. So thankful His faithfulness is forever and His mercies are new every morning! I just recently found your wonderful link-up, and today I am linking up with you. What a lovely blog you have! I have enjoyed reading here and learning more about you. May the dear Lord bless you abundantly! 🙂

  5. says

    Lovely as always. Made me think of this:

    The lyrics of the chorus: “Well, it finally happened, the fire caught up with us, and it burned so hot, promptly made nothing out of what was. It’s so hard to make out what’s gone and what’s still here. I’m waiting for the smoke to clear.”

  6. says

    I have missed the Mondays spent here resting in the calm embrace your words create. Life’s been busy and I have neglected my blog and the gems,like you, that I have enjoyed reading each week. As always I feel like you open up the door and invite us in to partake of grace and link hands together. I love that you are raising money for the hearts that are needing a huge hug.
    Bless you friend!


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