When It’s Proper to Nap on a Date

by Cathy Baker

How do you spend Sunday afternoons? 

Some of my favorite childhood memories are grounded in those mid-day hours. My step-mom and I made lemon blueberry muffins (with tart icing always dyed blue!) We’d gather around the TV to watch the Cowboys (Roger Staubach days) and during half-time we’d walk through nearby woods in search of kindling for our wood stove. 

In the chapter, hammock: why you’re never too old for naptime, Laura J. Boggess has this to add about those days:

“I remember long afternoons under the shade of the apple tree—cooling our tongues with the juice of green apples, drifting in and out as the sun played chiaroscuro over our eyelids. And I remember the scent of summer rain through open windows as my little brother and I lay whispering on my bed—waiting for our bodies and minds to drift into an afternoon nap. Rest. As I gently touch these memories with the finger of my heart, a gale of longing wells up inside of me, and I wonder. When did I forget the way slowing down leads me into the arms of the Father? 

My Jewish friends would not be surprised at this tender ache that pulses inside of me. “You are missing keeping the Sabbath,” one tells me. “Your life is too busy. How can you hear the voice of God amidst all that noise?” He believes this longing for rest is built up into my spirit; he believes God put it there.

http://redemptionsbeauty.com/sabbath-society/Might practicing Sabbath be a way to meet that hunger and set a table to feed it? And so I began to sit with the longing. I start small—Sabbath moments. With each setting sun, I gather a bit of the day together at its edges and be still. These moments take me back under the apple tree—looking up through the branches at the clouds moving slowly across the sky. And I feel the promise of new life; the hunger is sated for just those short moments.” -Laura J. Boggess, Playdates with God, Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-Up World

Our Turn…where was (or is) your “under the apple tree” kind of place where you gather the bits of your day and be still?

Coming up in June…
Kick off those sandals! Posts from our NEW series begin Monday, June 1st.

A Pete Townshend Fave and May Giveaway!

by Cathy Baker

Today’s Artist Date may seem a bit odd for some but let’s encourage one another to skirt about our sense of ease and dare to explore what lies just beyond the next corner.

Save the Date(s):
It’s your choice! Choose one or both dates. Who knows? You may find yourself giggling like a nine-year old or being as contemplative as an eighty-year-old. These age-defined insights are eager to emerge so grab your purse/wallet and let’s head to the nearest cafe or coffee shop.

Pete Townshend

You’re Invited:
“Write a letter from your nine-year-old self to you. Expect resistance to this date. Overcome your resistance by bribing yourself. Take yourself out to a fancy cafe. Order the most decadent dessert on the menu. Take one scrumptious bite, and then take out your notebook and start writing. Tell yourself you can finish your treat when you have finished writing your letter. Pete Townshend of The Who named this date among his favorite Artist’s Way tools. You might find that, too.” -Julia Cameron, “The Miracle of the Artist’s Date.” 



“Write a letter from you at eighty. Take yourself to your favorite coffee shop. Order a chocolate shake. Take pen to page and write yourself a loving letter full of praise and encouragement. Tell yourself you’re doing well. Applaud your accomplishments. Your eighty-year-old self is proud of you. Drink up your shake.” -Julia Cameron, “The Miracle of the Artist’s Date.”

Which did you choose? I’d love to know! I plan to do both exercises but will begin with the latter exercise as I believe our older selves have much wisdom to share.

This month’s drawing goes hand-in-hand with our Save the Date theme. Simply leave a comment sharing which date resonated most with you and your name will be included in a random drawing on Monday, June 1st, for your favorite cup o’ brew from Starbucks.

Thanks for stopping by today! 


This Date is Only a Prayer Away

by Cathy Baker

I’ve been a proponent of morning quiet times since becoming a Christ-follower years ago. Here’s why:

  • Jesus prayed in the morning (Mark 1:35)
  • Morning prayer is recorded in the Word (Psalm 5:3, Psalm 90:14, etc.)
  • It sets the tone for the day. 
  • I’m a morning person.

But what happens when we heap guilt emphasize the time of the day we meet with God more than the “date” itself?

Laura J. Boggess touches on this in the sixth chapter of Playdates with God…Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World, entitled Super Soaker: When Life Feels Dry:

“When did we decide that the morning quiet time was the gold standard? Yes, Jesus rose early in the morning to meet with God, but he prayed at night, too (Luke 6:12). And Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. Do we get so hung up on the way our quiet time should look that we don’t meet with God at all? I wonder what would happen if we stopped trying to look like everyone else—if we embraced our own unique personalities in our spiritual lives.

Some people love to pray as they walk their neighborhood, some as they climb mountains, some as they create paintings. Some might quilt—every stitch a prayer. 

Invite him in. He wants to be with you. Yes, you. You with the freckles and the spare tire. You with a quick temper who loves to sleep in. You, the one who learns in pictures and struggles to sit down and read. He wants to be with you. He knows the number of hairs on your head. (No matter what color they are.) And he probably counts the freckles for fun.” – Laura J. Boggess

Save the Date:
Morning, noon, or night…it matters not. What matters, as you know, is making the time to meet with the living God who loves us with such an extravagant kind of love.

You’re Invited:
Whether you’re stitching your prayers away, or walking them off, what’s one new way you might try spending time with God this week? No other date will rival this one. 

So, are you an early riser/pray-er or do you prefer another time of day? 

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11

Save the Date: Bring Your Own Candle

by Cathy Baker

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a recent favorite read, “Playdates with God…Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-Up World,” by Laura J. Boggess. 

In this book she shares how she was once a rule-follower. She went from one extreme to another, as legalists often do. Tangled up in the to-do’s, her soul found no rest.

Holley Gerth’s endorsement rings true: “Laura Boggess invites us into intimacy  with God in the everyday moments of life. This intimacy is not about striving but rather enjoying, not about laboring but instead, being loved, not about losing ourselves but about finally being found in the ways we’ve longed for all our lives.”

In Chapter 4, titled Bird Watching, the joy of new beginnings, Laura reminds us of what it felt like in the early stages of romantic love. Remember that feeling? We thought of him/her throughout the day, we couldn’t spend enough time with our new-found love, and sometimes we couldn’t eat because of the excitement (this one has always eluded me). 

Think back to the time you first fell in love with Jesus. I know for me I couldn’t get enough of His Word, being around His people, or jotting down notes. Although my love for His Word has not wavered over the years, I admit some of the fervor has at times.  

James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Sometimes it’s as simple as recognizing His ever-so-close presence in our daily lives. 

Save the Date: 
Laura shares how each time she approaches God in her home, she lights a candle. “God doesn’t need that candle to meet with me. But I do. Every time my mind gets distracted, all I need to do is glance at that flickering flame, and I am reminded that I am not alone. It is because of my own weakness that I seek out ways to bring my mind and heart into awareness that there is more to this world than what my eyes can see. God is so much much more than I can understand.” 

Similarly, I’ve added a chair nearby to remind me of His presence during my quiet time with Him.

You’re Invited:
How about you? Is there something you do, or have done in the past, to remind you of your First Love’s ever abiding presence? 

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:4, 5a

And the winner of last week’s drawing for the Soy Lavender Field candle is…Mary Beth Dahl! Congratulations, Mary Beth, and thanks to all those who participated. Stay tuned for this month’s drawing later in May!

Coming Up in May: Engaging God and Your Creative Senses

by Cathy Baker

May is “National Date Your Mate Month” but we’re going to add our own creative spin (pun intended) to the mix. 

This month, I’ll be sharing a variety of ways to date—but not just our mate. I’ll be using these two main resources, along with anything else the Lord lays on my heart to share:

  • Playdates with God, by Laura J. Boggess
  • Artist Dates, by Julia Cameron

We’ll explore what it means to spend time with God in fresh and unique ways through Laura’s book and through Julia’s, we’ll learn how to nurture our God-given creative selves through one-in-one dates.

I’m excited about our May dates. How about you? 

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 
Romans 12:9-10

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