A Love Like No Other

I’ve lost many loves in my life, but none like this one. This pain is pure pain, with no anger or regret. Just overwhelming sadness. 

My Danny Boy passed from this life Tuesday, December 27, 2022. He was 12-years old, and the best boy a dog-mom could ask for. I’m devastated. 

Danny is my Best Friend, comfort, and constant companion. I’ve almost lost him three other times, but God spared his life for my sake. Why he didn’t spare him this time, I don’t know. 

I was holding him for a good 30 minutes before his breathing changed and we were putting him into the oxygen tank. I was petting him and talking to him gently, and he passed. I called the doctor. She was surprised. She checked him and confirmed my greatest fear. 

I started wailing. She asked me if she should bring him back. I said yes. So she did. She told me he was having agonal breaths, that he wasn’t really back. But then she checked again and said, no he’s here. He’s breathing. She took the tube out of his nose that she was going to use to feed him. 

I held him again for 20 minutes or more, sitting with my parents, singing, holding him. We started to cry out, and so did Danny. He was trying to bark, but it seemed he may have had a stroke, or was struggling to breathe. 

I was concerned and wanted him to have space. I took him back out to the doctor and we were taking him back to the oxygen tank, rerouted to an oxygen mask, he started to calm down again breathing.

I talked to him again. I was calm. He relaxed as I told him he was a good boy, and that I loved him. I kept talking to him, and he passed again. 

I could tell he was gone, and my heart was broken. The doctor confirmed. I picked him up and held him, my baby. I held him right there in the office, and then I took him back to the room where my parents were. 

I sat there holding him, rocking him. My mom held him some. I held him for hours. Crying. Praying. Grieving. He was laying on me just as he was when I was holding him before he passed the first time. Like a sweet baby resting on his mommy. 

I didn’t want to let him go. I couldn’t. My parents left. I was there alone. I bathed him. I held him as I lay on the floor. I rocked him. I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t think about leaving him in the room alone. I couldn’t walk out with him in my arms to my car. I couldn’t do anything but hold him and cry. 

I called my sister. She came about an hour later. She held him. I went to the bathroom. I prayed about what to do. I came back and held him again. 

My sister was the only one I could hand him off to. She held him and I kissed him. Then I called for the tech. She came. It was a sweet girl who had shared with me earlier. I said, “I’m glad it’s you.” I hugged her. Then I kissed my baby again, leaving him in my sister’s arms as I walked into the hallway closing the door behind me. 

She joined me and we walked out. I stood at the edge of a dark field, looking up at the night sky and the stars that were just beyond the trees. I prayed for peace. I felt connected to Creator as the tears fell. 

I climbed into the car and we went to a nearby hotel. I climbed in bed fully dressed and cried throughout the night.

Nothing has felt right since. There’s a huge hole in my life. I feel sick all of the time. I wake up with night terrors. I wake up crying. I take medication and I sleep. I become angry and quickly go back to sadness. 

I don’t want to turn off any lights. I don’t want the sun to set. I don’t want to close my eyes. 

But I did, and last night I dreamt of a little boy. A human boy who was about 5 or 6 years old. He was looking up at me. I was his mommy. He had brown hair and brown eyes. He looked at me and started telling me memories of times we had together. But these were memories that he shouldn’t have known. Only Danny would know those things. The child in my dream was my Danny, reincarnated as my human child. 

Though God answered my prayer to be with Danny when he passed, and though Danny came back for 20 minutes or so, and though I had this dream… None of it has calmed my heart. Maybe these things will continue and one day I will find peace. But for now, I look at my pictures with a broken heart and long for the day when I will be in Heaven with my little love. 


It’s good to know when to stop.

We have zero power over how others view themselves or us. We have zero power over how others handle their inner traumas. We can strive to make amends or to clarify, but we have zero power over if the other person will listen or respond.

But we do have the power to stop. We can stop trying when someone actively resists everything we are. We can stop commenting when everything we say is misconstrued. We can stop attending when we are disregarded or pushed away. We can stop opening ourselves to behavior that makes us uncomfortable.

It’s vital to know when to stop.

If you keep going and don’t heed the warning signs, you will get run over. You will hurt yourself and or others. You will damage relationships to the point of no return. You will regret not stopping if you don’t stop.

You have to stop trying. Stop fixing. Stop caring. You have to focus on you and what God has put in your hands. That is all you have to do.

But one thing to never do, is never stop loving you. Never stop believing in you. Never stop trusting your gut. Never stop standing up for yourself. Never stop fighting the lies. Never stop caring for you. Because you are the only one who will be there until the end of every day, every moment, and every breath you take.


I will not pay your way

I will not make it easy for you

I will not go to you

I will not send a gift

I will not trust you

I will not love you

I will not feel sorry for you

I will not make excuses for you

I will not let you off the hook 

I will not pretend all is well 

I will not be lost in a wish

I will not fight a battle that isn’t mine

I will not look for you

I will not expect you

I will not allow your way

I will not speak to you

I will hold my head up high 

I will remain distant

I will sit on my throne

I will rest alone in my chamber

I will battle for truth

I will win my wars

I will rule my land 

I will care for what is mine

I will protect my rights

I will stand my ground

I will put me first

I will reign in power

I will surround myself with guards

I will leave a legacy 

I will fortify

I will be fierce 

A Queen or a Slave

Am I a Queen or a Slave?
I have the power to choose
From this point forward

I can be bound to the words spoken over me,
Or I can break the chains and set my self free

Am I a Queen or a Slave?
My circumstances do not choose
From this point forward

Will I look around me and believe what I see,
Or will I look within me and find greater strength?

Am I a Queen or a Slave?
I choose not to fall into default
From this point forward

I will speak my identity into existence
The power to raise my head is mine

An Ocean

You came in like an ocean full of words
Beautiful words that swept me away
I drowned in the warmth of the waves of your love

You cradled me, lovingly holding my head above the water
You cared for me like I was yours
You loved me

And I loved you
Love never dies
But oceans quiet for a time before the seas start to roll again

You came in like an ocean full of words
Then you left without a single one
And I drowned in the silence as waves of grief rushed over me

When the storm calms, may we find each other alive and well
And may the ocean of love wash over our hearts again
My drifting, lost Love

The Battle

November 5, 2019
by Rachael Kathleen Hartman

The Battle

prayerwarrior7.jpgFear of forgottenness
Fear of the future
Regret of the past

Where you gonna run and hide
When you locked up on in the inside
How you gonna get outside

Feelings of unworthiness,
Feelings of unwantedness,
Raging of the mind?

Look around, but see nothing
A seastorm, but no lighthouse
God is there, but you in the dark

Stuck in prison hell
Reaching, fighting, trying
To find an answer

Is it mental? Meditate
Is it spiritual? Pray in tongues
Is it biological? Take the oil or pill

Then sleep and dream
Dreams to interpret
For a clue to the waking world

The mind a battlefield
And you the Wounded Warrior
Prayer Warrior

Drowning it all in the Blood of the Lamb
Fighting the bloody battle of the soul
A battle only He can win

Suggested reading: Don’t Call Me a Prayer Warrior


Please God, Love People

But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV

I’ve had three particular situations over the past few days that I have stressed out over.  Today, I stopped and asked myself if I had made the right choice in those situations. Yes, I do believe I did. Then what’s the problem? Why was I stressing?

I’m empathetic by nature, so if I know another person is upset or stressed or mad about something I’ve done, I stress. I want other people to be happy with me. And that is my problem.

Several years ago, I heard a great quote that stuck with me. “I used to love God and please people, but now I please God and love people.” I needed reminding of that today.

As soon as my brain logically admitted the following truths, I felt a weight lift off of me.

  1. Did my choice please God? Yes.
  2. Did I do my best and admit my faults? Yes.
  3. Did I act out of a pure and honest heart? Yes.

That’s when I saw this post by Rachel Miranda Kerry as I scrolled Facebook. I shared it, of course. “Don’t let anyone try to convince you that there is something wrong with you when you are pursuing the heart of God. You are doing right.”

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Perfect timing. It’s honestly not even that other people are trying to convince me that something is wrong with me. It’s my own natural tendencies that I am fighting against. It’s the natural path of guilt and shame that I find myself on that I have to repent from.

Other people may not like our choices, decisions, responses, or boundaries, but it really isn’t about pleasing them. It’s our job to please the Lord, pursue His heart, and to take care of ourselves so that we have the capacity to love others.

I hope this thought helps you as it helped me. I am not perfect, but I am on the right path. I can let go of my stress and rest in the Prince of Peace, His grace, and His love. He loves me as I am, which makes me want to worship Him even more.

Jesus is good, kind, merciful, and full of everlasting love that endures forever.


A few days ago in a post, I wrote about my desire to buy a fish. Well, I did, and I named him Obadiah. Here he is, a little blue betta.


You may be wondering why such a small fish has such a large name. As I previously shared, while in Bible College I had a fish named Jonah. I love the name Jonah for a fish, but I think it’s pretty awkward to name every fish I own the same name, so I figured I would make my rounds through the Old Testament prophet names. If you want to learn about the book of Obadiah, watch this short video.

In the meantime, I discovered that the name Obadiah means “servant of God” or “worshiper of Yahweh.” The form of Obadiah’s name used in the Septuagint is Obdios; in Latin it is Abdias; in Arabic, it is عبداللّٰه ʿAbdullah.

Every time I see my little fish, I think about what it means to be a servant of God. Sometimes, it does feel like I’m trapped a bit in a little glass bowl with not much going on. But the cool thing is that I don’t have to have a lot going on to worship God. I don’t have to be something super special or extra. I don’t have to have everything in my life the way I ideally want it to be. I just have to be what God created me to be – myself.

A short post, but I have some other fun pictures of my dogs’ reactions to Obadiah that I’d like to share as well. Have a great day!







2461889-Jeremiah-Burroughs-Quote-Contentment-is-not-by-addition-but-by.jpgIn my last post, I wrote about hope for the future and looking forward to new seasons. Though that is still the case, I had a huge reminder over the past few weeks about why it is important to be content.

I had two different situations occur that gave me quite a bit of “hope” for what I thought would be a change of season and would breathe fresh air into my life. One of those situations was a potential job and an interview at a very well respected company. The other was a possible new friendship.

I had an interview at the company that went very well. I also had a phone call with the potential new friend that I also thought went very well. Both “potentials” ended up as closed doors that left me wondering why the opportunities even showed themselves to me.

When we are in the midst of times of need and have spent so much time and life waiting and praying for breakthroughs that we just feel like we can’t go forward another step, these kinds of opportunities can feel like the weight of the world is about to be lifted. They give me a bit of wind in my sails and feels like the first day of fall after a scorching hot summer.

Until it doesn’t.

When those opportunities slam shut, the heaviness returns with a vengeance and the emotional rollercoaster jolts back down. It takes a few days before my emotions settle into a steady, even pace again.

These are very small bumps in the road of life, but they can feel so intense after such a long time of waiting and praying. These ups and downs give me an opportunity to demonstrate my trust in God again. I find myself back on my knees surrendering the burdens and trusting that God will make a way when He decides to.

These times of disappointment can propel me down for a few days, but after that, I find myself in a place of contentment. I find myself in the exact same place I was at before those opportunities came my way, yet I am more thankful to be there than I was before. I am more grateful for where I am and the peace I have. I am more at ease walking forward carrying the same weight I was carrying before, yet knowing that at least I know what I have and how to deal with it.

Lord, Jesus,

Help me to stop seeking my own help and trust in You to meet my needs. Though I did not seek out either of those opportunities when they came my way I gave them a chance. It didn’t work out, but it gave me hope that You can change my life for the better anytime You want to. My life is at times unmanageable and confusing, but I am so grateful that I can hand it all over to You. You can choose to open doors and close doors as You see fit. I trust You with where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going. One day at a time. Thank You for contentment.


Quiet Independence


To be independent is a gift. There’s a peace that comes in knowing you can take care of yourself and even help other people at the same time.

Independence can be quiet. I like quiet. I am quiet. I’m sitting in a beautiful apartment with my two dogs sleeping quietly at my feet.

My to-do list is fairly completed. My laundry is put away (except for one load in the dryer) and I even vacuumed this morning. My bed is made and my place is presentable enough to have a guest stop by. I’m even days ahead in my quest to read the Bible this year.

Sure, I have some dishes to do, I need to grocery shop and meal prep, and I could deep clean. There’s a pile of books I’m reading on the cute new mirrored coffee table I recently bought.

But right now I’m just sitting enjoying the quiet. The dogs sat out on the porch for a while, so I turned off the AC and turned on the fan. We sat and listened to the birds chirp. They are still going at it.

My life is peaceful. I go to the gym five times a week. I listen to podcasts. I work 40+ hours at a job I love. I have a business that is slow right now, but I still have it. I’m about to spend the next couple of hours working on that business. I get to shape it into what it needs to be for the next season.

Independence is quiet and beautiful. My mind is at peace today. There’s plenty enough that I find to worry about, but not today. I like my life. I like the quiet.

But sometimes it gets too quiet.

I’m starting to surround myself with life. I bought a new plant and spent some time nurturing the plants I have. Of course, my little dogs always have my attention. We’ve found a good routine. I volunteer once a week teaching English to international people. I just signed up to be a “Big Sister” and was assigned to a sweet six-year-old. We are going swimming tomorrow.

I have a desire to get a fish. When I was in Bible College, I had a fish named Jonah. I will name my next fish Obadiah. I’ve been thinking about him for the past few weeks. I can tell he’s out there and ready for me to go get him.

There’s another someone out there too. I can sense it. He’s out there, but we haven’t found each other. I’ve looked, for sure, but he hasn’t materialized yet.

Quiet independence. I will enjoy it at the moment, but I’m looking forward to new life.

“We need to help people discover the true meaning of love. Love is generally confused with dependence. those of us who have grown in true love know that we can love only in proportion to our capacit for independence.” -Fred Rogers