Routine is desirable unless it turns stodgy and stagnant.
During the week, I awake to simulated waves purring from my cell phone on the nightstand, leave my warm spot in bed, and sleepily walk across the house to stir my son from slumbering through two alarm clocks. Arc back to the kitchen and fill the electric tea kettle, warm a slice of bread in the toaster and begin the process of assembling lunches.
After my kids back out of the driveway, I return to my writing desk and read scriptures, close my eyes, pray and listen, while sipping a second (or third) cup of tea.
On this particular morning when I closed my eyes, He transported me back fourteen years prior, to a memory of a different quiet spot I frequented. And tears immediately streamed down my face.
In the early morning hours past midnight, quiet hovered over our three bedroom brick house on a dead end street in Central Phoenix. I was lingering in the uncomfortable juxtaposition of eerie stillness after an evening of boisterous chatter. Kitchen counters crowd with upside down stemmed glasses drying on towels that were swirling crimson hours before. The shallow breaths of my small children resting in their bedrooms were anchors for the depth of my sudden sadness.
We didn’t notice our dog was laboring for breath until after we waved goodbye to our last party guest. H quickly loaded our beloved Springer Spaniel named Bentley in the back of our used Volvo, transporting him to an emergency clinic. Less than two hours later, H pulled back into the carport with our first “child” lying in a box on the backseat.
Illegal to bury a pet in Phoenix, arrangements were made by phone for picking up the cardboard coffin H placed at the end of our driveway. I couldn’t sleep until I knew our dog was safely removed.
That frozen moment is where the memory emerged to the surface when I closed my eyes on that particular morning.
Resting my arms on the back of our overstuffed newlywed couch, I was looking through the slats of the shutters, a watchman to a simple box holding valuable content illuminated by a puddle of light from a street lamp. Hot tears soaking my pajamas as my chest heaved silently.
Eight years of joyful memories were going to be discarded by a stranger at daylight.
I was compelled to be loyal to the process of grieving to the very last second, in order to crawl into bed with the future.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Verse 6 from Psalm 130 haunts me for years now. It’s one of my favorites but honestly, my mind didn’t fully comprehend why my spirit was saying yes each time I read it . . . until that moment he took me back fourteen years ago and I understood it more clearly.
Transition is the sacred place of a watchman waiting. It’s the place of dying to self, to the past, and what is taken for granted, in preparation for a new awakening on the horizon. It’s a co-mingling of grief and hope with the tattered edge of purpose sewn into the spine of the story He’s writing with your name on it.
It’s in the process of dying to life as we know it that we find our true voice. And His grace and tokens of favor become more precious than daylight.
Sometimes you have to be willing to break from routine in order to bury the past and allow the Light of dawn to deliver you.
Linking with Emily and Jennifer
This. This is holy, my friend. I feel the need to just lean in.
I felt that way as I pondered it for days and then was compelled to write it. There was so much God was saying Karrilee, it felt fragile and holy.
Oh Shelly. I needed this. I NEED this. What a breathtaking write. Wow.
I’m so glad Kris, that it was what you needed in this moment. Thanking God with you. (And thanks for sharing, I appreciate you so much.)
This is gorgeous writing, friend. Thank you for sharing what God revealed to you.
That means a lot coming from the prolific author you are Dena, thank you.
And a wait…and the grief and the hope mingle, the spine of the story sometimes holds on by a string…but a string is enough. Thank you beautiful friend for watching and listening… the mourning will be turning to dancing…I believe it.
Yes, a string is enough. I’m finding that to be true, but then again, you know that. Thanks for instilling hope, always.
This is off topic, but I realized today that I’m going to miss seeing your face and encouragements in the (in)ked group 🙂
Oh Amy, this touches me. How can I encourage you on a regular basis? I love your heart and want to do that for you. It doesn’t have to be limited to our (in)ked group. We’re Facebook friends aren’t we?
Very poignant and beautifully told, Shelly.We’ve laid two dogs to rest and I understand that pain…..and the pain of parting with loved ones is sometimes unimaginable. And there are other deaths, as you suggest, deaths to self. They are necessary, and almost always at the end of mourning comes the morning. It seems that one is a requisite for the other, but oh the joy to watch the daylight come.
The death of the dog was really the catalyst for a deeper truth God was revealing. It’s redemption at its finest, the way he turns everything, even the pain into meaning for us.
such gorgeous writing and too, blessed remembrance.
Thanks so much for visiting Lisha, love seeing you in my comment section. You are a wise woman.
Shelly, I’ve just been pushed into a transition period not of my own choosing by the loss of a job I thought I was sure of. The grief is close to having heart surgery without the anesthetic. And there are lessons to be learned–I felt today as I drove away from the place that God was saying, ‘take time to grieve and listen to what I tell you–there is something to learn in this. I have the future in hand, but don’t rush into it.’
Then I read this and your lines confirmed it, “I was compelled to be loyal to the process of grieving to the very last second, in order to crawl into bed with the future.”
The grieving of the loss is a necessary part of the process–I don’t want to rush it. Thank you friend for sharing your God moments with us.
Oh Jody, my heart breaks for you. I am stunned by this news about your job. I’m praying for you today, that God will show you purpose in it and put your questions to rest.
This is devotional, tutorial, worshipful and poetic. I am going back to read it again. You are a blessing.
You are too kind Elizabeth, thanks for being my friend.
Just lovely and so raw and true. Food to the soul today…thank you.
Thanks for taking the time to visit Ashlie. Glad reading here was part of satiating your palette today.
“Years of joyful memories”…..”the death of a routine”….”the process of dying to life as we know it”……….your depth of thought amazes me. I sit with tears this morning with my cup of tea, as I was drawn to the computer to read your words this morning, As always, your words are reflective of thoughts so much deeper than the breaking my routine of dressing first to leave the house to exercise. There are truths to be spoken in order to bury the past and allow the Light of dawn to deliver you. I think you have spoken the truth.
I woke up thinking about you this morning Paula, and then I saw you here in my inbox. God is good.
this is beautiful and raw, so wonderful.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights. Transitions are possibly the hardest things to go through. And, you are so right: “His grace and tokens of favor become more precious than daylight.” Love that!
Yes, transitions are so uncomfortable aren’t they? Not my favorite season of life but I learn so much.
Oh, my, Shelly, this is gorgeous in its truth …I have experienced that “dying to life” as I know it so I can find my true voice, the one God gave me…Thank you 🙂
Such a poignant story Shelly, and beautifully written.
It’s in the process of dying to life as we know it that we find our true voice. YES. love, love, love Shelly. (and I ache for that loss of your first child…)
It seems I’m dying daily but then again, that’s how it’s supposed to be isn’t it?
“Transition is the sacred place of a watchman waiting. It’s the place of dying to self . . . in preparation for a new awakening on the horizon. It’s a co-mingling of grief and hope with the tattered edge of purpose sewn into the spine of the story He’s writing with your name on it.”
Shelly, I read this three times this morning and each time your words are like manna to me. Yes, this. Yes, this. Yes, THIS! I am here and it’s been hard because I’ve expected myself (should’ed on myself) to just surrender and just be there (even in a place of waiting) . . . as He tells me to *pursue Hope* . . . but there’s grief involved in the process and I hadn’t seen it before — the “co-mingling” of them both, “grief and hope”. Thank you. I am so grateful to see this now. So grateful.
My heart is rejoicing in your comment here Amy, what a gift your words are to me, thank you.
Shelly, your words so often speak to my soul. This week I feel like I am in transition with one of my daughters. She’s growing up, pulling away, wanting to fly free, and I don’t like it. It’s hard to not feel the connection with her that I feel with my others, and yet, I have to die to myself and let her be, let her find her way. Trusting in the Lord that our relationship will be better on the other end of this transition.
Yes, I understand this place Shelly, I do. It’s hard but needful. I’m there too.
“His grace and tokens of favor become more precious than daylight” you say. Those words carry me back to a dark period when God’s grace and tokens of favor glimmered brightly in contrast to my circumstances, like diamonds on black velvet. And those joyful moments and encouraging words and serendipity blessings along the way are what kept me going until God stepped in to deliver me. Thank you for these words today, Shelley!
Yes, I think I’ve been in similar situation with different circumstances Nancy. God is faithful isn’t he?
Hi Shelly, I’m swamped with life but wanted you know know how the Lord blessed me with your words. These especially: “It’s a co-mingling of grief and hope with the tattered edge of purpose sewn into the spine of the story He’s writing with your name on it.”
The death of one thing is always necessary for the life of the next.