A Day To Play

David was dancing before the LORD with all his might…

2 Samuel 6:14

I got up this morning intent to work, to work hard and long in order to make up for whiling away my vacation days, accomplishing nothing.

Nothing at all.

You see, last week our family met in Lake Tahoe at a cabin of a friend— not everyone, but all who could get away for our last minute trip. I went with a list of things I could work on in case I got bored. As if the thought of long, languid days might make my hard-working ancestors turn over in their graves in shame.

I didn’t get bored.

In fact, every single minute seemed filled with something much more important than my list. Every morning I got up early, heaping blankets on the lounge chair facing a pinhole glimpse of the lake, and breathed in the beauty of the high Sierras.

Within moments, no matter how carefully I tip-toed, one or two of my Grands managed to crawl under the mound of furry throws, their wiggly bodies and sharp elbows tucking in tight. I couldn’t hear what they were giggling about but my hand on their chests felt the rumble of words. My resolve to never “plug in” my cochlear until I’m fully caffeinated didn’t last long— my six Grands are entirely unable to comprehend the thought of their Amma not hearing what they have to say.

I’m one of the gang, after all, the designated Chief Story-Teller among a tribe of avid make-believers.

Not one bored moment.

We drove home Sunday, starting in on the mounds of laundry, restocking the fridge, doing what needed doing. This week would be my catch up week. I’d get to every email, wash the windows, get all my prep for a conference done, get ahead in my writing project. I’d be orderly and organized and productive!

Which is why, early this morning, I couldn’t believe my ears. Not my deaf ears, nor my plugged in cochlear ears, but that listening-to-God part of me that senses— at least sometimes— what He is saying.

“Make this a play day!”

 No, no, no! I have work to do, catching up to accomplish. Windows to wash and words to write.

“Come! Come play in my Presence. Let Me— not your chore list— guide this day.”

 Really? Are You sure? Isn’t this just me being lazy? I have too much to do, what if I don’t get it all done?

On and on I argued into the silence. I pattered into the house to make more tea and saw those spider-webbed windows, thought about that conference next week and worried. Berated my mind for playing tricks on me. Surely I’d heard wrong.

On my way down the path to my cabin in the back I heard it again:

Come play!

I’m inviting you to dance and delight in this day. I want you, not the driven-because-you-should-be-responsible you. I want the Real You. The one I made for delight, that girl who marvels at the sight of wild blackberries hanging over the water, who relishes the smell of the lake like treasured perfume.

Come, dear one, come.”

 And so I am. I’m coming.

I’m scrunching my hair into a pony-tail, slathering my skin with suntan lotion, and heading to the lake. I’ll take my kayak out  and pick those wild blackberries that surely must taste uniquely delicious after hanging over the water that smells like moss and forest and fish. I’m going to play.

Because He asked. And I want to. And maybe He’ll send some rain to wash my windows for me and if not, I’ll simply enjoy the sparkle of spider-spun lace on the glass.

And next week I’ll tell the women to listen, to lean in close and hear His beckonings to play, to delight, to leave their lists and relish the One who wishes we’d be just like His children.

I think my Grands may have taught me a thing or two about that last week.

From a heart learning to play and delight the day away,


P.S. And you? When was the last time you let yourself play? Have you taken time to delight in the One who thought up summer? Might you take a moment to tell us how you played or what you wish you’d played?

July 28, 2016
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8 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Karen Farrington


    I read your book recently and was so pleasantly surprised to see how God has spoken to you in so many similar ways to how he has spoken to me! And again, just this last week God called me to take the morning off and just study the Word, which has become play for me! He led me to some amazing insights and l thoroughly enjoyed myself. But He has also told me how much He loves watching me enjoy nature and all of His creations. It has been faith building for me to hear about Him moving in your life in similar ways as He does in mine.

    • diane

      Karen, You know, it is faith building for me too when I hear the ways God speaks to others. I delight in our sameness!

  2. Rachel Cain

    Love it, Diane, and your walk with Jesus…The Great I Am!

    • diane

      Rachel, That He is! Thanks for this reminder… He is everything we need and hope for.

  3. Nancy Kenaston

    I accepted His invitation to play last week. I drove up the Columbia Gorge, to WahClella Falls. Brought lunch, water, my journal, pen & little Bible, and camera. And spent 4 beautiful hours listening to Him. GLORIOUS! Thanks for the reminder to LISTEN TO HIM!

    • diane

      Nancy, This is wonderful! I am inspired to do the same- aren’t those cliffs magnificent?

  4. Caroline

    I find play days so crucial in this season of my life. I’m in a season of unexpected grief, and it’s been all I can do to remember the simple everyday habits. Getting out in nature each day reminds me of His goodness, and simply makes me feel more human. And now I’m adding a kayak to my wish list!

    • diane

      I am so with you in that- being in the created beauty fills our souls with His beauty. I am so sorry for your grief, praying that you will be comforted and then turn around to express the comfort to others.

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