When It Rains, It Pours: Priorities

I woke up this morning to a downpour.

That’s not unusual for this time of year where I live.  I had even anticipated it by (unusual for me!) checking weather last night and securing all needful items under cover.

But as I was sitting in the dark, working on blog posts, I heard my beagles begin barking.

beagle face

Again, not unusual-sometimes they smell or see something hidden from my senses in the dark cloak of early morning.

But then I began to hear random clinking and bumping and finally, scratching on the front door.

So I got up to investigate.

Two of the beagles had escaped their pen and were having a blast in the rain and mud.  They ran to greet me, making sure their wet, nasty tails and bodies hit every part of my lower leg so I could carry the aroma of wet dog back inside with me.

Years ago I would have fussed and fumed, gotten dressed and waded through the wet to put them back in their pen-staying outside (even with thunder and lightning!) until I had patched whatever breach they had managed to create in order to escape.

But this morning I just turned on the porch light (to let them know I was here and aware) and went back inside to my coffee and computer. *  I’ll venture out when the sun’s up and I can see what I’m doing.  It’s just not worth getting worked up over.

I have changed since sending a child ahead to heaven.

Things that used to make me apoplectic don’t even raise my eyebrows anymore.

I’ve developed a whole new set of priorities. They serve as filters and make it easy to decide in an instant if something’s worth my emotional, physical or mental energy.

It’s actually a really short list.


  • People I love and care about.
  • People I can possibly help in some way.
  • People who don’t yet follow Jesus.

always leave people better than you found them

Do I love and care for my many critters?  Absolutely! 

I am a shepherd by heart and by trade.


But things?  Nope.

They are meant to be used-meant to be an aid to living not a master of my life.

I made a lovely (insert sarcastic tone here) “pinstripe” down my nearly new truck last September while at my parents’ home.  After a brief moment of disbelief and a few expletives, I moved on.  It absolutely does not bother me.

Panties in a wad over inconvenient circumstances? Not so much.

Maybe I have to rearrange my plans but that’s so much easier than never being able to make plans with that person again.

I’m finding this new way liberating.




* Full disclosure:  After I wrote this, just as the sun was rising I HAD to go out and get those mischievous little buggers.  Tail-wagging but carnivorous, they were chasing my poor rooster.  So I spent almost an hour trying to wrangle their wet, muddy, stinky fannies back into their pen, block the escape route and pray that they didn’t repeat the maneuver.

BUT I was still smiling.

Laughing, actually.

On a scale of 1-10 it didn’t even register.  🙂

And a fellow farmer friend sent me THIS, which made it even funnier:

goat i must go my people need me


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

8 thoughts on “When It Rains, It Pours: Priorities”

  1. Excellent article Melanie. But in your earlier stages of grief did you find that everything stressed you out? Unrealistically so? That’s where we are at much of the time, at 19 months out. Tho we have also experienced what you are talking about, I like being there!


    1. Yes!!! And not only THEN but even sometimes NOW. When I am physically, emotionally and/or mentally drained then every little thing seems like a giant piling on that might crush me. But my underlying attitude HAS been altered and when I can climb back out from under, my perspective is renewed. Anxiety is still my close companion some days. I’m not sure that will ever disappear. Sudden death does that to you. Praying that the Father floods your heart with His love, grace and mercy and gives you strength for this journey. ❤️


      1. Thank you Melanie. And thank you for living your grief before us, letting God use it, allowing your son’s death to have ‘purpose’, letting God be glorified.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So true! I used to spend so much energy trying to keep the circumstances in my day contained to a fairly small window of what I considered good. Now I don’t have that energy to expend, so I let it all go. But I’m fierce for what is truly important. Thank you for this story. I like everything about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I Love You and the way that you express what is on your heart. I am so thankful for what has taken place in my heart as a result of my connection with you – on this journey of souls – in ‘the life we didn’t choose’… please continue in your courageous outpouring of our Father’s Love and compassion to all of us who are waiting for our eternal reunion in joy❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Joan said it PERFECTLY!!! You are helping me in so many ways that you will never know, Melanie. You are a true blessing, a reminder that God has not abandoned me in this valley. THANK YOU so much. ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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