Whispering Weariness

by | Dec 7, 2011 | Uncategorized

(Photos of the lovely Christmas windows at Harrod’s in London.)

I just can’t get past the disappointment today.  I just didn’t think things would be this way.  

I sputter these words though the lump in my throat, the tears that soak my pillow while that man I love more than anything offers comfort in the midst of his own stress, rubs my back. So many layers of disappointment I hold in while doing the needful and the dam finally breaks open in my weariness when I fall into bed.

We were supposed to be lying in a hotel bed tonight in Chicago for a business trip with some days at the end for us.  His mom flies from Phoenix to watch over the kids.  But the unexpected happens while we are in London and now those plans shift for what is needful.  Our three days of meandering in the city after those meetings are just a nice thought now.

But the greatest disappointment in the plethora isn’t a missed trip, it is the news I get at the vet early this morning. About how my dog has a tumor the size of a lemon on the back of his tongue and what this news means to each of us. I begin to grieve the imminent loss.

I can hardly pull myself together. Have to stop and wipe off tears before I walk into the grocery store, back into the vets office, the bookstore.  My eyes feel like I have been looking into the sun all day.

While I wait for the lady behind the meat counter to slice my turkey, a slight man holds a box of cake and looks at me confused.  Shakes his head, moves his shoulders up to his ears .When our eyes meet he walks to the end of my cart, says he can’t find the price anywhere. I turn it upside down, point to the price. Smile.

He continues to stand there, looks down at the cake.  Starts talking and I notice his grey blue eyes look tired, wring pink like mine. His hair combs greasy and the navy jacket and khaki pants hang on him like they haven’t been washed in a while.

And he strings sentences together as if this story he tells is just one endless paragraph he has told repeatedly.  I realize he isn’t concerned that I can hear him.  He just needs someone to listen because his countenance shrouds loneliness.

I lean in, try to hear but his mouth moves without sound.

And maybe his mental capacity isn’t what it should be but God created him and I know what it is like to be lonely like this, carry a heavy heart, so I stand there and listen to him whisper out a story and the only word I hear that makes sense is dog.  He is talking about his dogs. How his dogs died.

Sometimes life is like this. We can’t hear with clarity what God is saying in the midst of grief; make sense of circumstances in disappointment, but all we need to know is that He is with us. 

That simple word – dog -in the string of what I couldn’t hear or understand was like God walking up to me in the middle of the grocery store and letting me know he hears the cry of my heart, He is with me, and that’s all I need to know.

He can use anyone, at any time, to speak to us.  Are you listening?

 Linking with Ann @ A Holy Experience and Emily @Imperfect Prose and Tracy at Winsome Wednesdays and Jennifer at God-Bumps and God-Incidences today. If you haven’t visited their blogs, I encourage you to do so and be blessed!

Subscribe for Shelly’s stories and free resources here: https://shellymillerwriter.com/free-resources/


  1. Leslie

    I am so sorry about your dog. I understand your pain. Being a dog person myself, I realize how much members of the family they become. I’ll be praying for you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Leslie. Didn’t realize how attached I am but he is with me all day every day and I don’t look forward to not having him there anymore.

  2. Diane Bailey

    I am so sorry about your Dog. How beautiful that God would speak to you though someone who was needing someone to listen. Beautiful! Merry Christmas, Shelly.

    I would love you to write a piece on my blog if you are interested.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Merry Christmas to you too Diane. I would be honored to write something on your blog. Email me about the details.

  3. Linda Nichols

    So sorry your special time away got cut short. And really, really sorry about your dog. Whenever I think about ours (we have 2) being gone some day, I get a lump in my throat. Love you Shelly.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Linda. Feel a bit like a brat being disappointed about Chicago after four lovely days in London! Love you too.

  4. roseann elliott

    I love the sweetness God gives to counter the bitter times…we just need those listening ears…
    sorry you special time was cut short…those times don’t come by often…
    Blessings as you grieve life’s changes….

  5. janaecharlotte

    Blessings as you walk through this deep mourning.

  6. kelly

    there is just something about that presence with you all day, while everyone else is gone. It is comforting. dogs (pets) fill an important part of god’s purpose, and they are precious. with you in spirit. xx

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thankful I have time to grieve and process Kelly. So dreading what is to come – the loss will feel big to all of us. Amazing how a pet can do this to you!

  7. brian miller

    smiles…it feels good to know you are heard…i am sorry for your dog…it is losing a member of the family, hard….make the most of the time you are given…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Brian. Loved your story today . . it was so moving. And in the same vein with which you wrote today, I am making the most of my time.

  8. Paula

    Shelly, I lay awake last night and shed some more quiet tears thinking of our converstion yesterday and realizing how sad you are and that I too am sad for the whole family. I realized that I won’t get to see Winston again. I know that the burdens of your heart are heavy now and that your expressions to so many are powerful. Remembering when we lost Sammy how quiet the house became and how accustomed I was to seeing to his every need. It was a void for both of us. Love you and am thinking about you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Paula, I was thinking about how you knew something was wrong in my voice within the first few words yesterday on the phone. And how my mother used to know if I hadn’t eaten well that day after a few words on the phone in college. It is good to be known that way by you. I know how much you love Winston, and he loves you too.

  9. LuAnn

    Your words and pictures beautifully capture the human depths of loss and comfort. I am so sorry about Winston. He is such a warm sweet friend.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Lu. How are you? You have been on my mind lots this week.

  10. happygirl

    So sorry about your dog. I love how God reveals himself in our contact with others walking this planet. Or, maybe he was an angel. I just love God. There. I said it.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I thought that too afterward. That maybe that guy was an angel. I just love God too!

  11. Sherri

    I’m so sorry Shelly + your family. Got the news yesterday? You seemed a little off when I saw you at the play. Ug. Nothing more to say.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yep Sherri. And a lot more going on I can’t put in a blog so, yes, I was a bit off last night but I enjoyed the play. Waverly did great.

  12. Dolly

    Oh, Shelly, I am so sorry…our dog is old and has scared us twice, so I have a glimpse into how sad you must be…how like God to speak to you even as you were blessing this man with the gift of your attention…is it okay if I send you a hug? Praying God comforts you and your family…truly sorry.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Dolly, yes it is okay to send a hug. Need lots of those right now and thank you so much for praying.

  13. Jennifer@GDWJ

    And isn’t this the way of God? He reaches down in unexpected ways, through unexpected people, in unexpected places — places like grocery stores … and Bethlehem mangers. That is just … so … God.

    May He continue to reach right into the middle of your grief and your pain and your mourning.

    (Thank you for adding your tender story to the community today …)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Jennifer, it has been so fun linking up with you. So glad you started in December instead of waiting. That Kelly is so wise isn’t she?

  14. Christy

    Hey Shelly, so sorry to hear about “Winstint” as Holly’s kids lovingly call him. =) He was always such a good dog. I can still see him on the paddle boat out in the water. He never liked to be left behind! What a faithful dog. I am so sad about Winston, it was so hard when we lost each one of our sweet dogs, but am I am so thankful it is not one of your kids. May the Lord bless you this day and bring a smile to each one of your faces and hearts. With Love, Christy

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Christy, I didn’t know the kids called him that. Too cute. Thanks for recalling that sweet memory of him on the paddle boat. It’ll feel a bit strange without him at the cottage. But we have lots and lots of pictures to remember him. Great to hear from you here.

  15. Tracy

    Hi Shelly – I felt your emotion as I read through your post. I’m really heart-sore for your dog. I pray for God’s will. Beautiful pictures here! I just wanted to come over and say thank you for linking up. I appreciate and hope you have a better week ahead.
    God bless

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Those windows at Harrod’s are amazing aren’t they? Such talent to display. Loved taking photos around London. Thanks so much for your prayers and well wishes. Blessings!

  16. misha leigh

    This broke my heart. I’m so sorry. And, also, so beautiful about how God saw & told you he did.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Misha. My heart is broken too. All a reminder that we live in a fallen world, that life is short and we can’t assume we will have tomorrow the same way we have today. God is good. Blesses me that you stopped by tonight. Thanks!

      • misha leigh

        I actually stop by a lot – I just haven’t always commented. Love your words. God speaks to me through them so often! I’m grateful for you! I wanted you to know I linked to you today, too.

  17. Deidra

    “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” 2 Corinthians 2:3,4

    (We have been there. The dog thing. I’m praying for you all…)


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