Laura Boggess’s writing and spirituality is as outrageously beautiful as she is. I’ve loved reading about her magical playdates with God on her blog –with some envy, both for the joy and freshness of her spirituality, and for the loveliness of the idea.
I am so excited that Laura is on my blog today, telling us more about how she began and continues with her spiritual practice of playdates with God. Welcome Laura!
Last night after dinner the electricity went off. A white sky illuminated the night outside, silhouetting our usual, and I stared at my laptop in the dark…no internet connection… the screen an island of light in the room. Our two boys clamored—wound up by darkness, and excitement pulsed as their daddy lit candles and checked the weather on his iPhone.
We sat in the hush and listened to the wind blow the deck furniture around. It was late—after ten—so I tucked protesting boys in with a candle gently flickering—thinking of Little House on the Prairie and savoring the play of the warm glow on their still young faces.
I returned to the couch in the dark.
We sat in silence, my man and I; listened to driving rain turn to gentle patter, watched the play of lightning on hills in the distance. For once, no hum of air conditioner, no mindless buzz of refrigerator, dishwasher still in silence. All of our daily companions closed their eyes in this gauzy darkness.
There was only the soft ticking of the mantle clock keeping time with the faint strumming of droplets colliding with window glass, only to slide down and lose form in a streaky stream.
We giggled a little at our loss, wondered how did they do it? with no electricity…only talk to spend. We marveled at work-filled days and talk-filled evenings and fell in to silence.
I closed my eyes in the dark and felt God sitting beside me.
Silence feels good to me. I find it by sitting still. By looking deeper into what is already here.
Always a solitary child, that’s me. I can fall into His arms in the quiet and never desire to leave. All my life this is where I have rested. Safe from jabbing words of others; hidden from the wounding talk.
I know it’s not that way for everyone. And lately, besieged by life and fraught with hope, I’ve been wondering, Is there another way? Because sometimes life doesn’t bend for this slowing down. Sometimes it takes a power outage for me to be still and listen.
God is always the same, yes, this I know. But I have also come to learn that He loves to mix things up. He understands the human tendency to grow stale when patterns are established. He loves surprises. He likes to keep our love fresh and new. This year has been a crazy mixed up year for finding God for me. My years of early morning quiet time suddenly ceased to feel intimate. For the first time in years I found myself falling asleep with my cheek pressed to the dining room floor at 5 a.m. Saturated.
It was time for something new.
I began to step out of my comfort zone. To explore new ways of praying. Once a week I try to do something new with God. I call these my Playdates with God. Funny how, trying this once a week has opened my eyes to finding the new in the old. Like my daily runs. I’ve been running since I was thirteen, but lately…I find God when I run. I feel Him in my legs, in my breath, in the acceleration of my beating heart. He meets me in the sky and the trees and the way the light changes colors on the horizon.
This morning when I ran, the storm was still fresh on the sidewalk. Fallen branches and stray leaves littered the street. The creek was rushing its banks and the smell of muddy water rose dense into the air around me. A handful of black crows perched on the utility wires above me, caw, caw, caw…
As my feet pounded the pavement, I remembered a poem a dear friend sent me. In it, she tells me that I am birdsong, and those words have lifted me on the darkest of days. My heart soars as I imagine music in my stride. And as I go on, I am lifted into its melody, and a new poem takes wing:
I fly away
in the sky;
in morning dew-
and offer this
sweet frieze to
me in the golden
dawn. I am
free. I am…
I grow when I look for the Holy in the not usual way. God loves for me to seek after Him in wild and beautiful ways. Writing poetry doesn’t seem so crazy a way to pray. Nor does running.
He’s there. He’s in it all.
Where do you find God in your day-to-day life?
Laura Boggess is crazy in love with Jesus. And after many years of the try-hard life she is finally learning to accept that He loves her too. A recovering list-maker worn out from trying to earn grace, Laura is now stepping into Christ’s invitation to come to Him like a little child—with open hands, surrendered to grace.
Laura Boggess has an M.A. in clinical psychology and works in a medical rehabilitation hospital—helping patients and their families cope with traumatic diagnoses such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, and stroke. She believes in the healing power of story and often uses storytelling in therapy. She is the author of two books in the Wings of Klaio series, a Christian fiction series for teens. Watch for her new book Playdates with God: Because All the World is a Wonderland, to be released in the spring of 2014.
Laura is active in the women’s ministries at her church and is a regular speaker at churches throughout her region. She is a contributing editor at The High Calling (thehighcalling.org) and blogs at The Wellspring (http://lauraboggess.com). Laura lives in a little valley in West Virginia with her husband, Jeff, and their two sons. She is passionate about sharing Jesus and stories and loves a happy ending.