Playdates with God: Quiet Season

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The first Sunday of Lent was Valentine’s Day, and Scout Sunday, and also a day we recognized the many years of service to our church of one of God’s everyday saints. There was a reception following worship and then Jeff and I went grocery shopping amidst all the other church people. At home, we opened cards and candy, exercised, took the dog for a walk, and then made ready for a concert we had tickets to celebrate this day of lovers. We were invited to a friend’s house for dinner before hand. We dined and laughed and touched each other’s hands under the table. Then, the music, oh sweet music, and in my heart I felt the beauty of being in love. When the show was over, the snow had started. We drove home through a blinding white, no snow plows in sight, creeping at 30 miles per hour until arriving safe at our destiny. I fell into bed, bone-tired but happy and this morning our little valley feels like a snowglobe, entombed in white.

As I sit here in the wee hours of dawn, I realize this is how most of the days go by lately—a blur of so many good things. I have been feeling God calling me to a quieter place for some time now. You may have noticed I haven’t been writing much here in this space. There are days when, in angst, I fear I’m losing my voice. I pray for words and eyes to see the bigger story, but the moments go by unrecorded. As most in-between places, this has not been a comfortable place. But it has been a place of growth.

I tell you these things, dear ones, by way of explaining that I will be letting this Monday morning practice of sharing a playdate go for a season. This community of seers has given me eyes for the holy for many years now, and it is a bit frightening to say “the end.” But I know we will always be connected and this is not an end to our friendships. I will still be chasing the blue flower, just in a lower profile. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I am trusting it will be lovely.

I want to share with you some other linkups that you may like to participate in during this quiet season here.

My friend Kelly Chripzuck has a sweet community called Small Wonders. She says, “That’s my proposal – that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.”

Lisha Epperson has a Sunday Community of sharers she calls Give Me Grace. She says, “Link up like you always have with images, scripture, art, a video, a song, one word or many. We’ll wrap it in grace and present it as an offering each Sunday.”

Lyli Dunbar’s Thought-Provoking Thursdays is one of my favorites. She writes, “Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here!”

Sweet Jennifer Lee is Telling His Story.

There are always Five Minute Fridays.

And every month, Emily Freeman asks her readers to share what they’ve learned that month.

gift of friendshipThese are some of my faves, but would you share of any places you love to link up to in the comments? Also, I must announce the winner of Kristen Welch’s book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. The winner is … Marci! Congratulations, my friend. I’ll get the book to you ASAP. Also, I have another book to give away this week. This one is by my beautiful friend Dawn Camp. It’s a collection of essays by various writers called The Gift of Friendship. The stories are accompanied by Dawn’s gorgeous photography. Leave a comment here for a chance to win. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, 2/19.

I’ll still be writing in this space, just less often. In the mean time, I’m praying this Lenten season brings some quiet blessings your way too, friends.

Comments

  1. says

    Laura, thank you for the many weeks i have enjoyed this quiet place of meeting.
    Another favorite gathering for me is Crystal Storm’s Intentionally Pursuing. She has created a sense of community among bloggers in her space which is quite unique.
    Blessings to you in whatever the next season holds!

  2. says

    What a beautiful grace you’ve given us for so long, allowing us a place to visit. Take care in this quieter season, Laura. If one thing is certain, it’s that change is inevitable, and I pray you’ll be blessed by the freedom with this change. Thank you for your friendship! Let’s stay in touch.

    • says

      Thank you, Lisa. I have been blessed by the many stories from your life you have shared. We will definitely stay in touch! I’m hoping this small obedience will lead to another own door. Much love to you as you journey in faithfulness.

  3. says

    Laura, Thank you so much for sharing this space with so many of us. It has been wonderful to come here each Monday & know I would find a friend here. May this change bless you as you continue to follow Him in the days ahead. Many Blessings!

    • says

      Joanne, your presence here has been a blessing. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years that I’ve been meeting folks here on Monday mornings. My time with God has become less of a “date” and more of an abiding these days, as I mention in the last pages of my book. It feels like the right time to close this door, bittersweet as it is. But I’ll still be around, so this is not goodbye :). Thank you for the gift of your words and your friendship.

  4. says

    Playdates has always been the “deep breath” I needed to begin my week. I’m so thankful to have met you, Laura, and have been blessed so many times by your words. Thank you for opening your heart in this space. May you grow ever richer in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    • says

      Ah, June, “meeting” you through the his space has been a special gift. I’ve enjoyed the glimpses of your beautiful heart shared here. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. XO

  5. says

    Thank you, Laura, for holding this space for so many – yours was probably one of the first link-ups I found 🙂 I look forward to seeing what new things God is doing in and through you and, yes, in-between places are not comfortable – I find myself in one right now as well, though between what and what I couldn’t even begin to say! Thanks for mentioning #SmallWonder 🙂

    • says

      Oh, friend, I well remember those first days and I’m so grateful God saw to it to bring us together this way. What a gift your words are, Kelly. So much love to you in your in-between!

  6. says

    {HUGS} as you embark on a different path. Though God is always the same, we are forever changing into his image- and that requires change in us – to emerge more and more. I understand where you are – this, too, has been a year of change and quietness and learning how to live differently. Thank you for encouraging us to make playdates with God – and to see that he meets us anytime, anywhere. You have been a grace-filled seed-planter and water – and, I know, that in a new different way, you will still be. Shalom in this new emergence, Laura!
    ~Maryleigh

    • says

      Maryleigh, these words mean so much to me: “… to see that he meets us anytime, anywhere.” I have been blessed by the many lessons my play dates have wrought–one being that even in what feels like his absence, I feel his presence now. I pray it is always so. But seasons are meant to change, no? I know you understand this as good as anyone. (((Hugs))) back to you, sweet friend. Grateful for you.

  7. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Laura,
    I must tell you that I read this entry with real bittersweetness. I have been so blessed to have found your exquisite writing….honestly I have read some of the very best offerings on the entire blogosphere right here in this quiet, sacred space. I have come to expect such depth, beauty, and lyricism here. This is sanctuary writing, Laura. Admittedly, your leaving this place will be leave a tremendous void in my heart. I also understand the need to heed God’s call to the wilderness. I understand the need for pruning and also tuning into His presence in a deeper way. The way of silence and solitude is the way of the Cross (which no true Christian can avoid), and it is also the way of communion, of deepening. But please know that it is also the way of fruitfulness–lavish, overflowing fruitfulness. I can’t wait to see how He meets you….because I sense you will be writing to tell about it. I hope we may stay in touch. I have come to admire and appreciate you so much personally.
    Sending you so much love, and I will be praying for your journey. (Also, I may be really dense here, but could you clarify….will you not be writing at all, or just the Monday playdates?)
    xxoo,
    Lynn
    (PS Don’t put me in the drawing; I’ve a story in the book and have so loved reading Dawn’s offerings. Some lucky person will appreciate your generosity).

    • says

      Lynn, you are the kindest of friends. I’m so grateful to you for your continued encouragement. What a gift you are to me and so many. I am still planning on writing in this space but will no longer be hosting the Monday morning linkup. Our Sunday’s are so busy and since I’ve been working at the hospital every day since the start of the new year, I’ve found myself having to get up at 5am on many mornings to write my Monday post. In truth, I have felt God tugging at my heart to change things up a bit around here for quite some time. But change, well,change is scary 🙂. I don’t have much of a plan, but I’m glad for the Lenten season, that it encourages me to listen deeper. I will still be around, though! And maybe more so in some new ways. We shall see :). Love you.

      • Lynn D. Morrissey says

        Oh Laura!!! I’m doing a happy dance over here!!! Yay! I was just telling Michael (on our walk) how very gifted you are and that I was hoping this just meant Mondays….though obviously I love to start my week w/ you. But I was so sad to think I would not be able to read your work for awhile. I know your writing holds a bright and happy future. Pls. keep me on your lit, and thank you for your very generous words!
        Love
        Lynn

  8. says

    Oh, dear friend. Again we seem to be traveling on the same path. Dear Lisha has gathered in the Still Saturday community as I released it last week. Such bittersweetness. Thanks for sharing these other beautiful places as well.

    I need to see you again. miss you. xo

    • says

      I knew you would understand, Sandy. It’s a little scary, isn’t it? Letting go? But trusting for new things to grow in this absence, this is a good exercise for my faith muscle. I miss you. It seems my life is taking a turn away from so many things that have brought joy in the past. But I don’t want to lose relationships with friends like you. Keep me posted when you travel for writerly things. I would love to see you again.

  9. says

    Blessings to you during this Lenten season, Laura. My “one word” for this year is FOCUS and I’ve discovered I really do have to slow down occasionally and sift out the many distractions that keep me from focusing on the priorities God sends my way. One site I like to visit regularly is Diana Trautwein’s “Just Wondering” — http://dianatrautwein.com — she understands the need to prioritize, too.

    • says

      Oh, I LOVE Diane, Carol. She is a kindred. And I think “focus” is a good description of what I’m trying to do during this season. Thank you for stopping by and for your sweet prayers.

  10. says

    Laura, Blessings to you as you traverse a new path. I have no doubt you will apply the same beauty and grace as you have here in this space, a haven I discovered just over a year ago. I’ve loved lingering within the tranquility of your words, in this little slice of heaven. Thank you for the gifts.

    • says

      Thank you for these kind words, Sharon. I hope to still share in this space from time to time; just listening more for the Spirits leading right now. Your words truly bless me. Thank you.

  11. says

    I love you so! You will be missed… but we will stay in touch, I am sure! I laid down something on my blog recently too – and I miss it, but it was time – if only for a season of rest! Blessings, my friend! You are a treasure!

  12. says

    Dear Laura,

    Thank you for your friendship and for sharing your way of seeing beauty. I pray God continues to be with you and reveal more of His love for you and your family during this quiet season. Whenever I think of you, it is with fondness and gratitude.

    Hugs,
    Dolly

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