how sarah got her bath


I can’t sleep now.  Sarah’s taking a bath.

The weekend was full of ups and one very downish down.

First was the prom for Jacob and Ethan.

Then was a rare and lovely overnight visit from Rich’s Dad and step mom.  We went for walks, we had a campfire with hotdogs and marshmallows, we planted a family tree together, we went to the diner for breakfast.  We skipped church so we could soak up every minute and then waved goodbye as they drove slowly away on Sunday afternoon.

Monday morning I found out that the night before our dear Billy-Cat had been hit and killed in the road.  I went outside to where Jacob had lovingly put him and stroked his beautiful fur.  When I saw the ants I stumbled into the house.  Rich gathered me into his lap and held me as I sobbed.

We buried him where he lay and put a nice rock at the top for Jacob to paint Billy’s name on.  The children all grieved in their own way and losing our cat cast a melancholy mood on the whole day.

Later that morning we took them downtown for the Memorial Day parade.  Grace marched as a music student, David and Caleb, who looked like typical American Little League boys….fresh and energetic, marched with their baseball teams.

Sarah and Seth were so surprised when the candy started being thrown right at them by the parade marchers.

I wore sunglasses to hide the tears…tears for my cat, tears for loss, tears for all the nice people of our town who marched by us, throwing candy, the ones who serve us, the ones representing the sacrifices of the past.

Yesterday Rich left for work and I am home alone carrying the load of the family, not in my own strength, but by the grace of God.  Ethan had a game last night, Jacob threw a PR in Javelin during a big meet and won forth place despite an empty stomach, Seth had his very first concert performance, we were home and in bed later than usual.

This morning I got the kids to school, carried water to my plants, loaded the dishwasher.

There is a homemade card on the counter that Seth brought home, which is propped up against a vase of flowers.  In Kindergarten handwriting are the words, “I’m sorry Billy Cat died.”  It’s bothering all of us that it is there.

I’m tired.  Deep, deep tired.  I made a list of things that must be done today.  David has an orthodontist appointment at 1:30.  Ethan has a home game at 3:30 and it’s a big one so I need to be there.  David and Caleb need to be at their field by 5:30 and Jacob has to be at driving school at 6:15.  Grace is being inducted into the Thespian Society at 6.  I will do the best I can for my children….in the meantime….it’s only 9:30 in the morning……and I’m sleepy and don’t want to move.

Sarah took a break from playing and came to stand by me half an hour ago.  I was half asleep, arms and legs limp as I cuddled into the couch cushions.  She was trying to get me to turn on a movie.  When that didn’t work, she leaned in close and said, “Mom.  God said something to me last night.”

I perked up slightly.  These were the words of God.  I opened my eyes, ready to receive them.

“He told me that in the morning I needed to take a bath.”

I roused myself.

“Well, you had better obey.”

This is how Sarah got her bath this morning and how I have come to sit crossed legged on the floor of the bathroom to write this little story of living….


Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!  Psalm 113:2


O how He loves you and me, O how he loves you and me,
He gave His life, what more could He give?
O how He loves you, O how He loves me,
O how he loves you and me.


“We planted a tree and it grew up,

While it reached for the sky and the sun. . . .”  Diane Muldrow







“I used to take every new day for granted. Now I realize that each new day is a gift of God’s grace; and it is this day I need to focus on. It is full of possibilities – not just responsibilities – for relationships and for surprises.”

– R. Jack Hansen and Jerry P. Haas

19 thoughts on “how sarah got her bath

  1. How refreshing to read about your last few days. I am tired too. We don’t have any cats – so none died. But there were 75 people here for lunch on Sunday (my siblings and families) and on Monday we had our family pavilion cleanup. It feels like I have been weed eating for days. But the yard and pavilion area looks great.

    Blessings to your family.

  2. Oh, no! 😦 😦 😦 I’m so, so sorry, Shanda. I take the death of my pets very hard, too…even my chickens. I’m praying the Lord will soften the pain. I always loved to hear of Billy Cat’s antics. He will be missed.

    As always, your pics are beautiful. They are so artful and moving. I love looking at them.

    LOL at Sarah. 🙂

  3. It’s a heartbreaking, mad rush, uncertain time in a LOT of our lives right now, isn’t it, Shanda? I’m reminded this morning that God loves YOU — this Mother of seven that does the very best she can, day in and day out, takes time to nourish relationships, encourage her children, but most of all, Shanda, you listen to the words of God — not only from the mouth of your youngest daughter, (thought that was rather impressive!) but the words He speaks within his Word and those around you that you trust. I will confess to shedding a few tears while I read this morning, and I know that this is such a fragmented time for you. But “Sumer Is Icumen In” and (hopefully) the away from home busy-ness will settle down. Love you, Friend. Thanks for your prayers for me and my Sweet Mama.

  4. So sorry to hear that Billy Cat died.Pets bring so much pleasure into our lives.May God bless you with strength,energy and courage for this season in your life.(your agenda for the day makes me tired just reading about it!)

  5. So sorry to hear about Billy Cat. They become part of the family, don’t they? Sending you hugs. It was lovely to read about the other events of the weekend that were happy. Beautiful writing and pictures as always, Shanda. x

    • They really do, Jane. For a fleeting moment I never wanted to have pets again, but life with the dear things is worth the sadness of losing them. We miss Billy…he was one of a kind.

  6. I am so sorry about your cat. I love the song and the quote. That was very sweet about God telling sara to take a bath. Priceless! Lifting you up in prayer for strength and comfort and Deep rest.

  7. So very, very sorry about your loss Shanda ..I know the loss of a pet too’s a very hard sad time but you all gave him the very best of times …and I thank you for sharing him with us …
    Yes sometimes we are tired and sometimes we are not ..I suppose they call it life …I too today am tired and am struggling getting through the cleaning for the weekend ..but the minutes still go by the same and what is done by the day is done and what is not is not’s taken me nearly 60 years to learn this ..and I am still not comfortable with it but age makes you have to accept you can’t be superwoman everyday
    I think that you and your family are superfamily and just think of things that make you happy today and with all you have to do today it’s going to go quickly
    Hugs for a good day and special memories of Billy-Cat …my cat Toby is 13 years old and looks just exactly like Billy-Cat …we are lucky to have their love
    Kindest regards Janet XX

    • Hi Janet, yes and thank you. We get through the days somehow, whether tired to the bone or full of energy! I love what you said, “the minutes still go by the same and what is done by the end of the day is done and what is not is not” yes, so true. Every day is getting easier with Billy cat’s absence, it was therapy to write about him here and receive sympathy!! Have a blessed weekend, Janet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s