Monday, April 22, 2013

Playdates with God: How to Hold the World Together




Love can take everything the world tells me about truth and spin it on its head. And on a day when  the world is still rocking from an act of evil, when the world is reeling from a tragedy that rends—I arrive in the wide open land of the Huskers under the cover of night. I’m late, due to a flight delay and it has me off-kilter…behind again.

But the next morning when the sun comes up I see how love rebuilds this tired world. Over and over and over again. Because when a bunch of women (and a handful of men) dreamers gather under the Nebraska sky and under the umbrella of the greatest Love…I get a glimpse of eternity. 

There is one of our brave men--Marty Duane--squeezed in with Holly and Shelly. Just talking. Lots of sweet moments like these this weekend.
Isn’t this what stitches this world together? When we love as we are loved? So many God-moments wrapped up in the hours spent and together we glimpsed the beauty of how many hearts become one. And what a joy to hug on old friends and make new friends and touch the skin of ones I have loved from far away. Hearing a voice I’ve only heard in my head, looking into eyes I’ve only seen on the screen, welcoming old friends into my arms…this is the love that lifts up a broken world and breathes new hope into it.




I. Love. This. Face. Kasey Bess getting ready to do the zip line. Yes, that 's right. I did it too! More on that later.



Speaking of zipling...that's my roomie. Isn't she beautiful? Girl is brave. Brave, I tell you.
And as each speaker takes the mic, as they spill story and dream-words for all of us to receive—there is Jesus, his arms stretched wide. The way he holds them as they pour out their hearts, his scarlet robe wrapping their words in grace, this…this is gift. 

This wall-hanging was behind the speaker's podium. Beautiful.

Do you see Jesus back there? Holding Lisa Jo as she speaks?

Love this moment between two of my favorite people. Deidra and Dan (the Dude).

It was windy. Is there a more beautiful person than Emily Wierenga? Inside and out.

How the heavens must rejoice when we lift our voices together. How the dark stain of evil stamped on this good earth must fade ever so lightly. This—this is how we survive in a broken world, by lifting each other up—holding hands through the storms of life.

And the Truth that gives freedom shines so bright that shadow cannot overcome.

This is what happens when we dream together. It makes God smile. 

*Over at The High Calling today, we are continuing our book club discussion on Ann Kroeker's Not so Fast. It's the perfect book to read after Easter--a book to help us maintain the slowing down and focus on God. Charity Singleton-Craig writes today. Will you join us?

 How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing 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 Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:




the Playdates button:



35 comments:

Diane | AnExtraordinaryDay said...

You are beautiful too, Laura. Inside and out. ;)
How lovely that you were able to get away for such a special time with your dear friends. Those God moments can sustain us for a long time. Thanks for sharing your time and photos.

Lisa notes... said...

I think we all need to be reminded of this love, to see these pictures, to know that God is still with us, for us. Thank you, Laura, so much for sharing. It helps.

tammy@if meadows speak said...

I loved all the pictures. You remind me how important it is to connect with eachother.

Elizabeth said...

I could read this a million times. This is surely a glimpse of the glory of heaven. Love the love soaked way you tell. Always.

smoothstones said...

I so wanted to be there! I pouted for days and days!

Duane Scott said...

Such an honor, friend, to finally meet you. :)

Laura Boggess said...

I feel the same, MD :). I hope when next we meet we will be able to have a long talk over a cupa. You can tell me about your new career and how that is going. I so wanted to hear your heart on that. But...there will be another time. I'm sure of it. I hope your mother is well.

kelli woodford said...

Laura!! your pictures are exquisite! love this. love you.

Duane Scott said...

Yes, thank you. A cup together would be the sweetest communion. And my mother is coming home today. Thank you for caring!
--
Duane Scott
Sent with Sparrow (http://www.sparrowmailapp.com/?sig)

Laura Boggess said...

No pouting allowed! We will think on all the good things to come--when the time is right for a real-life meet up. I think God must have one planned for you and me one day. Don't you?

Laura Boggess said...

Such a kind word-giver you are, Elizabeth :). You bless.

Laura Boggess said...

Yes, it's easy for me to forget this, Tammy. That's why we need to keep telling it--how we need each other. True community is such a life-giving thing.

Laura Boggess said...

It was such a strange weekend, Lisa. Between flights, I would catch glimpses of Boston on the news. And it was always there--lurking in the back of my mind--how evil can shake us to the core. But what I come home with is a reminder that love is stronger. And somehow, that heartens in the midst of life's hard things.

Laura Boggess said...

Diane, what a pleasure to meet beautiful you this weekend! You are a treasure--sharing your gifts and encouraging words. I feel richer for having hugged your neck!

Patricia W Hunter said...

Such joy and beauty. It was hard to be *here* while so many I love and long to be with were *there*, but your words and pictures are warm and lovely...they make me feel like I was there all along...under the umbrella of sisterhood and those arms of Jesus.

tinuviel said...

So glad you all had that opportunity! May all the good you heard sink its roots deep in your hearts and not be carried off by daily life or choked by cares and worries. May the weekend bear much fruit in you.


Thank you for the glimpse into all the smiles that filled that gathering. Grace and peace to you in Jesus, friend.

Janel Andrews said...

it was such joy to have this weekend. and to meet you and all of these lovely people. The first picture of the chatting going on...while I wasn't present (I was doing my introverted thing in the kitchen) I was thrilled to hear all these hearts coming together, sharing their ups and downs and really urging each one of those present to fly in their dreams! it was my firm belief that if anyone had taped that conversation that all those thoughts are gold that came out of there (although i don't think that taping is necessary, each person involved took such thoughts home to ponder and reflect on) what a blessed time we had.

Nancy Franson said...

Some of us are still pouting.

Nancy Franson said...

This is, indeed, what stitches this world together. How the heavens must rejoice when we lift our voices
together
Yes! I remember standing next to you and singing How Great is Our God? and all I could think was weep and shout Yes! from the depths of my heart. So glad for the time you got together hugging on each other and raising your voices together. I told Sandra Heska King that she was going to have the best roommate in the world. Love you, my friend!

smoothstones said...

hahahaha I love you, Nancy Pants!

Faith Elaine Olsen said...

This is how we heal - reaching out an embracing one another in God's love. It's so much bigger than our wonder!

peace~elaine

Linda Chontos said...

All weekend long my heart was pulled toward all of you. Okay, I suppose I pouted a little too. Your words; your heart Laura. That's why I longed to be there.

Beth Steffaniak said...

I so wished I could've gone, Laura. But my husband and I had a conference to go to this week. But I do know how refreshing it can be to spend time with other believers and likeminded servants of the King. Thanks so much for giving us a peek into the joys you shared. I hope you have many more overflow moments to share in the days to come, my friend.

Janis Cox said...

Oh Can you come to Canada? I would have loved to have been with you. I can feel the hug of Emily. Thanks for the pictures and the inspiration.
Blessings,
Janis

Laurie Collett said...

Love covers a multitude of sins and comforts us in this tragic world. Thanks for sharing the love-filled pictures & post & for hosting & God bless!
Laurie
http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

Alicia Bruxvoort said...

Oh, how I wanted to be there, in the state next door, to dream big with you all. Looks like an amazing weekend. Praising God for the way He invaded Ashland!

Rina R. Peru said...

Lovely photos, Laura, of the beautiful people of God. I enjoyed viewing them. Thank you for sharing your grace-full moments here.

Sandra Heska King said...

And I did!

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh girlfriend. What a gift to share these days with you. And this: "This—this is how we survive in a broken world, by lifting each other up—holding hands through the storms of life." This is YES. Still holding hands and lifting up across the miles--until the next time. Love you!

Kel Rohlf said...

Thanks for the moments to reminisce over such a beautiful weekend...I love the open arms of Jesus...I felt embraced by Him and his beautiful family this weekend!

Lyli Dunbar said...

Beautiful. I prayed for the retreat -- that each of you would be refreshed and encouraged.... Sweet fellowship is so good for the soul. :)

Lynn Morrissey said...

So Sandy is your mother?! Amazing! This is such beautiful piece and such a poignant juxtaposition between good and evil. There is no doubt that love triumphed this past weekend. And it always will. Wish I could have met you and your mom.......but so many new people to meet.
Blessing to you.
Lynn

Jacque Watkins said...

Laura, your pictures are just lovely and my heart was with all of you there, even though I wasn't able to come. I hope some day to get to meet you and hug you tight and thank you for how beautifully you shine Jesus to me. xoxo

laura boggess said...

No, not my mother, Lynn :). Just a good friend. Though someone did tell us we looked alike over the weekend. It was a lovely time, wasn't it? I'm sorry we didn't get to meet also. Time went so quickly and since my flight was delayed I missed the entire first day. I do hope there will be another opportunity!

Michelle Eichner said...

What a wonderful weekend! It's so true that we help each other - just like Aaron & Hur held up Moses' arms when he couldn't anymore so victory could be won. Wish I could have shared the weekend with you in person. Can't wait to hear more. Love, Michelle