Playdates with God: The Slow Goodbye

Lucy Mae is unhurried when we walk now, like the way we are saying goodbye to her—in the slow passing of each moment.  And there are things you don’t want to forget, like the smooth silk of her fur and the way she puts her ears down when she is happy to see you. We count ourselves blessed for the years she has made our lives richer. The ways she has taught us about love are endless, and we will be reaping them for years to come. And it’s been hard—this slow dying; the not knowing and the waiting and standing by helplessly.

“It’s part of life,” one of the band dads told me yesterday, as I stood before him with my eyes welling. And we talked about beauty from ashes and the risks of falling in love.

My friend Shelly said it best. When we were at Allume, the women there prayed with me as I trembled with a broken heart and Shelly said, “It seems like the perfect picture of what sin has done to this world. That this innocent creature who loves so unconditionally has to pay the price.” Or something like that.

So I’ve been thinking of that; I’ve been thinking about the way things are broken and how God touches our hearts as we wrestle them through. The other day, we ambled slow down the street—she with her shuffling gait and me thinking of all I need to do. A neighbor stopped her car in the street to ask how our girl was doing and I just shook my head. As I stood by her car, I noticed the cherry tree in the yard beside us—the leaves turning color and the branches heavy with round, plump fruit. And darting in out, feasting on those berries was a flock of Cedar Waxwings, and their beauty spoke life into that moment.  Lucy Mae and I stood under that tree in joy and wonder for the longest time.

I let the to-do list in my head go away. And I let that moment burn in my memory like a slow-kindled fire.


Over at The High Calling today, we’re starting a new book club discussion on Todd Henry’s Die Empty.  It’s a book about pouring ourselves out every day and it’s speaking some good things into my life right now. Will you join us? If you leave a comment over there, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of the book.

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:




  1. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    As I was looking at this beautiful photo, I was struck by the shape of the leaves; beautiful hearts! Yes, my friend, the whole world is groaning and suffering because of sin, but we know it will not be forever. Jesus is making everything new and has already defeated the foe. I know it is so hard to loose a beloved pet. Yes, they are always happy so long they receive love and being able to give it in return!
    Blessings XX

  2. Nancy Sturm says

    What a great example of living for the moment and capturing the joy in each moment, even in the midst of grief. Thanks, and God comfort you on this journey with your beloved Lucy Mae.

  3. JosephPote says

    I am so sorry, my friend!
    Yes, in this life, sorrow comes unbidden and seems to compound with each new sorrow…not adding to the burden, but multiplying it.
    Then God’s amazing grace shines through…and while the sorrow is no less…it somehow becomes fused with pure joy!
    The very sorrow under which creation groans is, itself, evidence of the sure hope of that which is yet to come.
    Blessings to you, Laura!

  4. says

    Oh my, I have tears and I just put on makeup dang it. I know this grief like it was yesterday when my sweet Winston breathed his last. They teach us so much about life and the way God loves us and how much we need Him. Thinking of you and praying Laura, know I love you and I get this. God redeems and its always beautiful when we look back. Hugs.

  5. says

    Oh, to let that to-do list go away and to live in the moment… why can’t we do that in the times when it’s not critical, just healthy? My heart aches for you, Laura. I’m thinking of my own family pup years ago…

  6. bluecottonmemory says

    Those moments that we let slow burn into our spirit – years later, I pull them out and they are just as fresh and beauty as the moment walked out! Beautiful post – and so sorry for your loss!

  7. Diane | says

    Thank you for this Laura….
    My heart hurts with yours as you walk this sorrowful path. May the comfort of the Father sustain you as you say good-bye.
    [hugs] Diane

  8. Sharon O says

    I so relate to your words, having just lost our old cat Smudge at age 16. I cried and still miss her sweet ways. I will be praying for you.

  9. DeanneMoore says

    Love the way you are loving Lucy Mae so sweetly on this journey of sorrow. And it’s true what Shelly said…that thought/truth should give us pause…. ( Also,wanted to tell you I ordered the book ‘Land without Sin’ and my hubby got to it first. He is trying not to talk about it with me. I warned him…don’t!! I am about to start a chemo journey with my Dad and I need a good novel to escape to in waiting rooms.

  10. Kim Adams Morgan says

    My heart breaks for you as I remember my own journey not so long ago. C.S Lewis’ words, especially on pets and animal we love gave me great comfort.

  11. says

    I think of you when I see the Waxwings, did you know that? But I don’t see them often. I told Jeff we need to plant a cherry tree so they will visit us this way. I watch them endlessly.

  12. says

    Thank you, Deanne.

    I hope you and your hubby enjoy the book! I thought it was a good read. Praying for your dad as you journey into that difficult place. Love takes us into hard places sometimes, doesn’t it? But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  13. Megan Willome says

    When Darlin’ couldn’t walk anymore, that’s when I knew. It was time. She’d be so excited to get laced up to go, and then she’d make it about one block before her legs simply locked up. So, I’d take her in my arms and carry her home.

  14. Cheri says

    So beautiful, Laura. I love Lucy Mae and I have never seen her in person. Praying for you, my friend. Love and hugs!

  15. JViola79 says

    Laura – This touched me so as I remember our journey less than a year ago. It is amazing how much we come to love them & them us. God truly created so much to bring us delight. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  16. lindalouise says

    Oh Laura, my heart hurts with yours. They do wrap themselves right around your heart. Praying for peaceful days.
    Sorry to be so “absent” dear one. Those 31 days did me in!

  17. soulstops says

    Oh, Laura, I hurt with you and I’m misty as i remember our Jubi…just saw your post on FB…so sorry…praying for God’s comfort for you and yours

  18. says

    So hard, Laura. And yet it’s part of loving…and as painful as it is, our lives would not be as rich and full without them. It truly is a consequence of sin in this world. I choose to believe our beloved pets will be in Heaven where the lion will lay with the lamb.

  19. says

    So sorry, friend. You’ve been in my heart today. Creation groans, waiting for our redemption. Isn’t that what Romans 8 says? Shelly is right. It’s because of sin they suffer. Praise God, redemption is coming, nearer than yesterday.

    I AM is with you and for you. He knows your sorrow and wipes your tears. He can handle every bit of your sorrow and anger and whatever else is mixed in. Lean hard, sister.

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