Death at My Door (Part 2)

Somehow we arrived at the hospital within minutes, even though it was 12 miles away from our house. We ran through the hospital doors to the emergency room and found the doctor waiting for us. Immediately, he began force feeding our daughter a charcoal mixture to neutralize the strychnine's effects. Since strychnine is normally fast acting, the next half hour was agonizing as my daughter suffered through gulping more of this mixture in between terrified sobs. Expecting the worse, we all watched and waited. After two more hours of this treatment, the doctor believed our daughter was out of danger. No visible effect of the poison was apparent in my daughter's body, and we became hopeful she was going to be all right. Miraculously, her condition seemed to indicate she hadn't swallowed any of the poison. However, the doctor gave strict instructions to monitor her through the night.

A sleepless night followed after returning home from the hospital as I observed my daughter for any effects of the poison. With the morning light, I was deeply thankful to God that my daughter was still alive. As I stepped outside for some fresh air, I saw the answer to what saved our baby girl from a sure death. Lying dead near the back door of our house was my young daughter's favorite kitten. Apparently, after opening the bottle of poison, my young daughter's fingers had been wiped clean from petting the kitten's fur. The kitten then licked itself and died from ingesting the poison left on its fur.

My daughter's near death experience changed the way I viewed life forever. I saw the demands of homeschooling in a new light, and I realized that academics were really of low importance in comparison to the hearts and souls of my children. My children's lives were precious to God, and He was giving me the privilege of teaching them about Him. Every moment we shared together was His gift, and I had no right to assume or expect that tomorrows would be guaranteed. God's Word tells us our lives are but a vapor (James 4:14) and, at best, a mere breath (Psalm 39:5). Are you living and homeschooling with the passion that today might be your last day to tell those you love about Christ? "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).

Lord, we are so frail and our very breath is held in Your hands. Teach me to number my days and use every moment to guide my children to You. In the name of Your dear Son, Jesus, Amen.

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Comments(35 comments)

LYNDA B 01/20/2009 05:35:27

Wow, what a devotional, I couldn't wait for part two ! Thank God everything turned out alright. This devotional is also very true about us knowing that our lives are in the hands of God at all times. In Jesus name.

SHIERON P 01/20/2009 06:49:36

Thank you for sharing, your devotionals have been a blessing to me over the past few months, and have helped to encourage me while I home school my two girls. I am especially thankful because it is wonderful to share what I believe is the heart of home schooling our children, teaching them about God. Though I understand the near miss in your daughters life, I give God thanks that he spared her, I see how his AMAZING hand brought you to a place where you could make the main focus of your teaching about him. That is what he has done for me too, though sometimes I feel that I must get those academic lessons completed, I believe that the truth of His word is that I am to teach them, train them.

Once again thank you for sharing. God Bless you in Jesus name.

ROBBIN M 01/20/2010 10:32:43

I have really enjoyed your devotionals. What a blessing they have been to me. I relate to the story. Our son died from Cystic Fibrosis when he was 2 1/2 we have 4 other children. My youngest two girls have CF as well. It has been 4 years since our son died, and it has made me realize that we are never promised another moment with our children and to treasure everyone of them.

Keep sharing!

PATRICIA O 01/20/2011 01:15:51

very effective devotional. Thank you for reminding me that I need to slow down before my day becomes my yesterday..just like the song by Revive says. It all is just a flash and then it is gone. I am going to laugh more with my kids and enjoy them and use every chance I get to let them know how wonderful our Lord Jesus is.

brenda s 01/20/2011 02:52:45

Brenda S

We need to stop and smell the roses and thank GOD for every moment of the day.

SUSAN H 01/20/2011 04:31:25

Patricia O., This devotional reminded me of the song "Blink" by Revive too. Also "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real. This was my first devotional - just signed up 2 days ago - what a blessing. God bless you all.

LORRIE C 01/20/2011 06:18:55

This devotion is near and dear to my heart for many, many personal reasons!! THANK YOU!!

SANDRA G 01/20/2011 06:54:37

What an awesome God we have, to give us this message, just when we need it the most. I thank you for sharing your story and Praise God all turned out well.

DOROTHEA M 01/20/2011 07:06:14

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease, for a period of time I was lost and fell into a dark place, but today I am standing on God's promises, believing in His plans for my life are full of hope. I decided to home school my 8 year old because I wanted more time to tell her about God and make time count. Every breath is a gift and I am thankful for this opportunity. It is not always easy, and I don't do everything right, but she is blossoming and growing and I wouldn't have taken this step perhaps if I was healthier...with the economy the way it is....but God will provide for all my needs. Being thankful for every breath. Inquire of the Lord in every choice we make, nothing is too small for Him to care about. God Bless you!

BRENNA H 01/20/2011 07:37:04

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt emotions. We also had a scare when my daughter was 3. She touch some meds at her Aunts house that could have stopped her heart if ingested. Since we did not know Auntie had to take her to the ER since I was 2 hours away. It was a long, tearfilled, prayer filled drive but God was there and she was fine. It makes you realize that your children are a gift from God and only on loan. They belong to God and even though I want to hold them so tightly, I know they belong to a parent far greater than I. It humbles me to think he has entrusted me with such riches. Then He gave His only Son when I was yet a sinner. We serve an Almighty King. Praise God!

CARLA B 01/20/2011 07:42:45

I am very encouraged by this devotional every day. This one struck me especially because I just got word that I am remission from cancer & have been given more time with my precious children. I KNOW that He is not interested in us mainly focusing on academics to the point of "Harvardism". He wants me to teach them to KNOW HIM and He will supply whatever learning opportunities they need for their lives. We are here for just a breath of time to Glorify Him & Praise Him!

ROBYNE H 01/20/2011 07:46:27

there have been many times when just your prayer at the end of your devotional was convicting. thank you for listening to the Lord and writing what He says to you. today's really struck home. thank you and God bless you.

AMANDA E 01/20/2011 08:42:00

I want to say I have only been reading this devotional for about 4 days now, and everyday it has spoke to my heart. Thank you so much for doing this!

brenda c 01/20/2011 08:59:41

wow- thanks for this devotional- time is valuable with our children, I have two adult children that are both in Army and live far away. Our youngest is in last year of homeschooling and as I am completing 18 years of homeschooling- I have worked myself out of a job! I can say I never regret stoping to talk to my sons or taking time to go outside and enjoy time with them- I do wish I had made more time to matter what I was doing !

DAWN W 01/20/2011 09:20:14

So many WOW's and I must ditto that. I'm thankful for the moments like this where we are able to reflect on the great things God gives us. We are fortunate and blessed.

Jody F 01/20/2011 09:32:51

I tell my children every day what a blessing it is to be homeschooled and to homeschool them, but they've never known anything else so I often wonder if this rings on deaf ears? I also wonder, after reading this devotion, how much my own reactions to things throughout the day mirror my own thankfulness? Thank you for this reminder of how precious this life is and how quickly it can be gone. What will my children remember about me?

JEANETTE A 01/20/2011 11:36:03

Jeanette A

I enjoy your devotionals each day. This one was especially touching and inspirational. We all can use reminders of how short and precious life is and that our lives are truly in God's hands.

KIM D 01/21/2011 09:22:39

This devotional is sooo true! Thank you for sharing this. We lost our 17 month old son 3 years ago to a freak accident at home. We are only a breath away from heaven and sometimes we seem to forget this. Cherish the time that you have with your children. I had no regrets when Lathan went to be with Jesus because I had shown him love each & every day!! One day we will be reunited to live together forever!! Praise God!

Tara H 01/23/2011 11:55:07

Thank you for sharing this devotional. I love seeing how even when things get out of control God is always in control.

SARA N 01/20/2012 05:48:18

Thank you so much for sharing! As a mom homeschooling a 4, 5 and 6 yr old I have been pretty stressed and hard on my self to not mess up or mess them up. This helps me focus instead on the blessing I have to be able to share this with my kids. Thank you.

PAMELA A 01/20/2012 06:12:46

Thank-you! God is always in control. Cherish each moment with your children and family; they are all a gift from God. Things always happen for a reason.

SHERRI A 01/20/2012 08:30:35

Oh, these lives we hold are so dear and precious. Thank you for the reminder to make the most of this opportunity god has given me. How I love Him, How I love them, how I want them to know it!!! As I type the Matthew West song is playing...."I dont wanna go through the motions or spend my life asking What if I had given everything". Lord, help me to give, to love, to teach beyond my limits by relying on YOURS!

SHONDA H 01/20/2012 10:59:26

My heart fell when I read part one, then rejoiced in the miracles and blessings of God when I read part two. I try everyday to say God I know that others may judge my family on what I teach my children. But Lord, I homeschool because of a personal conviction from you, not because of opinions of others. Thank you Lord for all that you do, all that you've done for me and my family....

Those reading this...we need to pray for God's anointing be on us all as we teach our children how to be Godly men and women of Christ. We need to uplift and pray for one another in the hard times that we all are going through. Satan has been attacking my family so much lately. Please say a prayer for my family when you pray.

Thank you & God Bless each of you!!!

JANICE B 01/20/2012 15:29:10

Thank you for such a timely devotion. We are new to home schooling. (like a week and a half). I too lost a beautiful little girl who was a very special needs child that we raised since she was three months old. I too can rejoice that she is with the Lord and I know tha I will be with her again but I still miss her terribley every day. The Lord has since blesed us with two more beautiful daughters that we have raised since they were 5 months and 2 years old. They are now 10 & 12 and we were able to adopt them in 2007. Our 12 year old has wanted to be homeschooled for several years but I have resisted until now. 6th grade and middle school became so stressful for her that I agreed to try home schooling. She recently got a kitten which has been a source of much love and comfort to her. Last week on her last day of public school a man came up to my door and told me that an orange cat had run out in front of him and he knew he bumped him but that it had taken off running and he wanted to make sure if it was okay or needed to go to the vet. My heart of course sunk. Praise God he was hiding in the bush by the living room window. We examined him and could find nothing wrong with him but you could see the tire marks on his stomach where the car obviously had hit him. God knew how much my daughter needed her kitten and we have used it as a teaching tool about God's grace and mercy and how we need to be thankful to God for all he does for us. When our 10 year old got home from school (she is still in public school) Linda made sure I read the devotion to her as well. Thank you and I am also grateful that he spared your daughter.

DEBRA E 01/21/2012 06:03:57

I look forward to reading your devotionals each morning. While I understand the point and meaning of this devotional I think you have trivialized the death of your daughter's "favorite kitten" . No mention was made to how you explained this to her or in what way you respected the life of this beautiful kitten who gave his or her life because of this "accident".

Good St. Francis, you loved all of God's creatures.

To you they were your brothers and sisters.

Help us to follow your example

of treating every living thing with kindness.

St. Francis, Patron Saint of animals,

watch over my pet

and keep my companion safe and healthy.


LORI E 01/21/2012 07:26:12

I appreciate the message of this devotional. Unfortunately it usually takes.these scares to convince us of the brevity of life. My 4th child died last year, she was 15 days old. I wish I could say I'm living my life just appreciating the other children and focusing on their hearts but I'm not. I get caught up in the things that don't really matter in the long run and stressing about assignments not completed. I have become someone that i don't want to be, not focusing on their spiritual growh like I should be. Thank you for this reminder! I also know the fear of the author well since my first daughter at age 2 ingested pills that had fallen on the floor from my grandmother staying with us and rushing her to the hospital not knowing what would happen. She was fine after the charcoal and a night of monitoring in hospital. Life is short. Don't waste your time.

Donna K 01/21/2012 11:33:50

The kitten was of no consequence compared to the life of this little girl. And I used to be Roman Catholic but the truth is we shouldn't be praying to St. Francis even if he did like animals.

DEBRA E 01/22/2012 03:48:56

I am not Roman Catholic.

The life of the kitten was of great importance.

As this story states this kitten saved this child's life.

No mention to the sacrifice that this kitten made.

We each pray in our own way.

Shame on you to imply otherwise.

Donna K 01/22/2012 13:12:10

We do all pray in our own way but nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to pray to dead people. The life of the kitten was absolutely important here and it was a wonderful thing that the girl's petting of the kitten was what saved her life. It was very clear that this was a beloved pet. St. Francis has never protected a single animal since his death.

01/20/2013 04:42:05

I normally look forward to these devotional blogs especially right now as our family is going through quite a bit. However, my heart broke today. Normally I avoid reading the comments but, today I was drawn to see if others were as heartbroken at the pain and suffering this poor kitten endured, this animal created by the same God that created the little girl. She was of great value to her family but, the kitten was of great value to her mother as well and BOTH were valuable to God or He wouldn\'t have created either. To think that the only value the kitten possessed was in dying for the sake of human life is to hold our lives in higher esteem than another creature created by God and is arrogant on our part. This is the very thing that makes many young people leave the faith. I\'m thankful that her child was spared but, the thought that barely anyone acknowledged the pain & suffering of the kitten and only acknowledged the kittens value in relation to what it could do for us rather than having value as an individual life created by God is unconscionable and selfish.

APRIL B 01/20/2013 05:45:24

These devotions are wonderful and they are meant to draw us into a closer walk with the Savior. I have never responded to these comments until today. Its so sad to see how we can so easily get side tracked and even offended over such little things. God created the animals and each one is significant and unique in its design but God told the first man to have dominion over all creation and to be the caretaker of the earth. To place man in the same category as animals is not Biblical. We are to care for them but they are not our equals and Jesus didnt die to save the animals just us. We are created in His image and are the only living things with a soul. The fact is this kitten was used to save the life of a human being with the very breath of God inside her.. Read Genesis. Its a shame that we dont get as worked up over bigger things such as the the murder of innocent little children because of fear & selfish reasons. By the way< in case you think Im being heartless, We operate an animal rescue ministry and have saved horses, farm animals and pets and at the age of 17 had an unplanned pregnancy, My son was adopted by a wonderful Christian family and we now have a special relationship. The author of this devotional is giving God the praise that only He deserves for saving this child\'s life. in sincere love, April

ROBIN G 01/20/2013 05:51:14

Why did you have this poison anyway? God is the only One to pray to. There are no saints of anything. Praise God that He is sovereign over all. Praise Him that He protected your daughter. Praise Him that He gave the doctors wisdom.

KATHY S 01/20/2013 09:35:39

Robin G.

Yesterday the Author said that the poison had been left there from the grandfather who used it to kill rats on the farm. Thought I\'d try to clarify :)

Ladies, there is always an argument in here about one thing or another. The cat died, it\'s sad, the cat saved the little girls life. God I\'m sure had control in that, and thank him that he did.

Our little bird died a few years back, I know the sorrow of the loss of a pet. But I think that the little girls life was more of the issue here. Maybe the Author is limited on how many words she can use on these devotionals, perhaps that\'s why she couldn\'t elavborate on how important their cat was to them. I don\'t know.

But let\'s not argue. Life is too short and too precious, I believe that is what this devotional was truly about. Apprceiate and Love eachother now, while we are here.

God\'s Blessings to al of you today and always.

Sue Krippel 01/20/2014 14:20:48

Oh, Lord help me to have your priorities not my own or the world's. Please help me to love my children as you have loved me and give them the grace you have given me so that they would repent and believe. Thank you for this essential reminder!

Misti Witt 01/20/2014 20:35:21

This made me cry so hard. I am homeschooling my kids & running a business for my husband. Sometimes it feels very overwhelming, but recently I decided that the homeschooling took 1st seat to everything else. Especially teaching them about Christ. Thanks so much for sharing this. God Bless

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