Thursday, December 30, 2010

Midweek Meditation - Fountain View Revisited

In honor of the Fountain View students we have staying with us during Winter Break, I have posted a clip of their music again. They gave us this DVD as a gift. It truly is beautiful! The work they are doing at Fountain View is life changing.

Dear AT&T!

Dear AT&T,

I'd just like to thank you for your service this last week. Your promise to upgrade our DSL service in a day's time filled us with joy. When that time lapsed into two days, we understood the holiday rush and took it all in stride. When we still had no internet after three days, my husband called you. You very kindly informed him that you had just about completed connecting our dial-up service and wished him happy holidays. When he insisted that dial-up was NOT what we had ordered, you promised you would fix the problem and make everything right ... in just a few more days. We smiled and went back to waiting. True to your word, we received an automated phone call the day before Christmas informing us that we could check our internet status by visiting your website at www...

But, the problem was, we still had NO internet service and we could NOT check your website. However, we could still make phone calls and call you we did. No problem, you assured us. We would have our internet, our beautiful, shiny new, upgraded DSL, before the day was through. We smiled! We cheered! We rejoiced over our good fortune that at last our five days in solitary were coming to an end. But, alas, our cheer was short lived.

As the hours ticked away, your workers slipped out the door smiling holiday wishes to each other and shoving gingerbread cookies in their pockets, while our DSL order served as a coaster to a forgotten plastic cup of leftover holiday punch. Christmas arrived right on schedule, but our internet connection was nowhere to be found. Then ...

Sunday morning dawned brightly. My husband, filled with righteous indignation, called your office one. more. time. You sounded surprised! No problem, you assured us. And within a few miraculous minutes, we had internet!

And now, dear AT&T, I have a week's worth of my friend's blog entries to catch up on. Thank you again for your service. It has been memorable!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Anniversary of My Second Chance at Life

Speeding along some back country roads, my mind replayed the events of that morning. The previous day I had been given a proposal. Confused about what I should do, I sought advice from the Lord during my morning Bible reading and prayer time. As my devotions progressed I felt a pressing need to get as close to the Lord as possible. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I desperately wanted to walk through those pearly gates, run down those streets of gold described in Revelation 21, and see Jesus face to face. I didn’t want to be on the outside looking in! I knew I had unconfessed sin in my life and a real struggle ensued. I felt as though there were a deep, black chasm separating me from my Lord and it frightened me. Finally, I prayed, “Lord, whatever it takes to get me into your kingdom, let it be done. To be with You is the only thing I really want.” After several hours the struggle was over and I had peace.

My mind changed gears a little as I thought of all the work I needed to do at the school where I was employed. It was Winter Break. The kids were on vacation and I needed to go prepare for their return.


The road gently wove its way between pastures of grazing cows as I sped towards the school. I loved driving this road. The scenery always had a calming effect on me. Today it seemed especially beautiful as the afternoon sunlight spilled across the rain-drenched fields. With peace in my heart, I happily hummed a little tune as I slowed to cross the railroad tracks. I reached down to adjust the temperature, glancing up just in time to see my car heading towards the edge of the road. Panicked, I yanked the steering wheel in the opposite direction. My car careened towards the other side of the road as I slammed on the brakes and made a desperate, but futile, attempt to gain control of my car.

Helplessly, my car skidded along the muddy shoulder until it crashed broadside into an embankment. The sudden impact catapulted my car into a roll and, since my car was equipped with only a shoulder harness, I was tossed about inside like a rag doll on a roller-coaster. Sounds of screaming metal and breaking glass filled my ears as I was flung repeatedly between steering wheel and roof, door and seat. The shoulder harness, designed to be my protection, now became a noose--hanging me and snapping my neck.

Icy fear flooded through me as I twisted and tumbled out of control. The peace I had experienced only moments before vanished with my screams. I was going to die and all the demons of hell seemed to be mocking my fate. “Oh, God!” I cried, “Help me!”

Through the chaos came peace and the reassurance of my Heavenly Father’s care. I heard no audible sound, no rolling thunder in the skies, just that still, small voice, I had learned to recognize, delivering assurance to His battered child. "I will take care of you! In just a moment, you are going to come out of this car. The car will roll away without you. Be still. Everything is going to be okay."

I relaxed and in a few moments a mouthful of dirt and rock confirmed the silent message. Somehow, while my car somersaulted across the gravel, I was neatly deposited onto the ground. I can only imagine how the angels must have orchestrated such a tidy departure from such an erratic vehicle without loss of life or limb on my part.

Free from the car, I continued to roll along the gravel, finally coming to a stop on my left side. Suddenly, everything was completely still. The cacophony of the crash was replaced by the chirruping of birds and the gentle sighing of the wind. I slowly opened my eyes and gazed at the battered automobile, now motionless, just a few yards away. On its wheels again, it had a shattered windshield and dented roof. From my position on the ground, I could see nothing else.

Lying on the cold ground, my body trembled slightly and it seemed I could not move. For a split second, I felt trapped inside myself. “But, Lord,” I prayed, “I don’t think paralysis is in your plan for me.” I had always felt called to work with children. I couldn’t understand how paralysis would fit in. Then I remembered my prayer from that morning. Lord, whatever it takes to get me into your kingdom, let it be done. To be with You is the only thing I really want.“ Alright, Lord, if this is Your will for me…”

I wanted to get up off the cold, damp gravel! It was December and I was not wearing a jacket! But I could not move.

I decided to check what parts of me I could. I moved both eyes, wiggled my nose, ran my tongue over my teeth to see if they were all there, and continued to spit out gravel. I tried to move my fingers. First one finger and then another. Finally, all ten fingers were waving in the air. Everything seemed fine, but what about the lower parts of me? Was I bleeding anywhere? Did I have any broken bones? Why did my left hip hurt so badly? I just had to look. “On the count of three,” I thought, “I’ll survey the damage.” Using every ounce of strength I could muster, I lifted my head and shoulders and glanced downward towards where the rest of my body lay. Did that tangle of legs and torn clothing really belong to me? The sharp pain in my neck quickly forced me back to the prone position.

I tried to move my toes. Although a little numb, they did move. I breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn’t God’s plan for me to be paralyzed after all. But why couldn’t I get up? I needed to get up!! I was cold and I was hurting and I needed help. The lonely road held no promise of any passing cars in the near-distant future nor did I know if anyone passing would even see me and stop. “Lord?” I prayed, “You’re going to have to help me now, because I can’t help myself!”

Minutes ticked silently by. Above me, grey clouds gathered. Below me, the ground gave off a steady chill. I shivered and strained my ears for sounds of anything other than bird songs. I waited and I prayed, comforted by the knowledge that my God was only a whisper away.

Then I heard it! The distant, blessed roar of a car engine! I held my breath as the rumble drew closer. Oh, joy! Someone was coming to help me! Through the corner of my eye, I watched the road in anticipation. A burgundy SUV whizzed into view and passed without slowing. My heart just sank. “God?!” I cried. “They didn’t see me!” But my prayer was interrupted by the sounds of squealing brakes, slamming doors, and footsteps running towards me.


“She’s alive!” a lady knelt beside me and breathlessly asked if there was anything she could do to help while a man dialed 9-1-1 on his cell phone. By now, the burning in my hip was unbearable and I asked that she roll me over onto my back to help ease the pain. “Honey,” she responded sweetly, “I know you hurt, but I’m not going to touch you right now.” She retrieved a blanket from the car and tenderly covered me with it. A second car pulled over and a volunteer fire-fighter bent over me. Soon, sirens were blaring, lights were flashing and I was surrounded by first-aid personnel.


At the hospital, x-rays revealed a broken odontoid process (second vertebra) in my neck and a dislocated left hip. It was too much for the little, country hospital to handle. I would be sent to a trauma center an hour-and-a-half’s drive away. A helicopter was called while they secured my head to the backboard I was lying on. As I was being wheeled out to the helipad a nurse began dialing my parents’ number. “Please, God, be with Mom and Dad. Let them know I’m going to be alright. Don’t let them worry.”

We rose gently into the night sky. The rocking of the chopper made me feel as though I were being rocked in the arms of my Heavenly Father Himself. I was at peace. Looking out into the starry splendor I identified a few familiar constellations. Then I closed my eyes as Bible verses flooded my mind. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me…” (Psalm 23:4). “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thought of peace, and not of evil…” (Jeremiah 29:11). “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28). "I know, Lord," I prayed, "and I trust You."

Bright lights glared down at me in the trauma center’s emergency room. A nurse took a blood sample. Someone else began taking my blood pressure. My eyes darted back and forth trying to follow all the activity.
“Hello, I’m your neurosurgeon and what we have here is…”
“Hi! I’m your orthopedic surgeon and I’m going to be…”
“Margaret, are you allergic to…”
“Hi there, my name is Doctor…”
“You’ll only feel a slight prick and…”


Through all the commotion I noticed a clock on the wall across the room. It was 7:45 pm. Prayer Meeting had just started at my church back home. I knew that at that very moment people were praying for me. I was going to be just fine! A smile stretched across my face from ear to ear. “Hey,” one of the doctors looked at me, “what are you so happy about?” I laughed. “I’m just thankful!”

The next few hours are a blur in my memory bank, thanks to the drugs I was given. Two or three people held my upper body as still as possible while the orthopedic surgeon yanked, pulled, and finally popped my dislocated hip back into place – without further damaging my cervical fracture. Not an easy task. During the process, some pieces of my pelvic bone broke off and lodged in my hip joint requiring surgical removal.

At last the drama was over, and I was wheeled into the recovery room. I knew I was not alone. God was there. He had held my hand throughout the ordeal, constantly reassuring me of His presence. The angels had worked silently, behind the scenes, making sure everything went as it was supposed to. I was surrounded by unseen beings and I was at peace. Quietly, though, I began to realize that I was becoming surrounded by very visible beings as well.


“Margie?” Mom and Dad reached out to me. Friends and family slowly filled the room, coming to my bedside to tell me they loved me and squeeze my shoulder or pat my head. They had driven long distances to be there for me when I needed them most. God had carried me through and now He gave me the icing on the cake – the human touch! At last, I wept. What an awesome Heavenly Father I have!

Today is my sixteenth anniversary of my second chance at LIFE! Thank You, Father, for this amazing gift.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Belle of the Ball

Christmas cheer hung heavy in the air. Like snowflakes frozen in flight, tiny white lights outlined rooftops and fence lines while festive wreaths decorated many a front door. A heavy fog blanketed the dark air giving the night a magical glow. I turned my car into the parking lot of a small church, conscious that my date was awaiting me. A quick check in the mirror and I was out the door, heading towards the strains of Christmas music coming from within.

The bedlam inside was a sharp contrast to the peaceful scenes I had just witnessed. “Ho! Ho! Ho!” a jolly Santa chuckled as several small boys clambered onto his lap at once. My eyes scanned the bustling room. Where was he? Suddenly, blue eyes met mine as a shy smile brightened his face. In a flash he was at my side, nervously leading me to a table decorated in red. “Do you want something to drink?” he asked. At my nod, he dashed off to the punch bowl. My gaze followed, but my thoughts were quickly interrupted.

“Do you want some cookies?” a stranger’s voice asked quietly. Again I nodded and another suitor dashed off to the dessert table. “Can I show you the decorations?” asked another. “You’re pretty,” a fourth voice piped up. By the time my punch and cookies had arrived, I was holding court with at least half-a-dozen delightful and handsome, albeit awkward, young men. Very quickly, and somewhat unexpectedly, I had become the belle of the ball.

My words held their rapt attention. My every wish was granted. The young men doted on me. They pampered me. They wooed me with their sweet smiles and infectious laughter. They broke my heart.

For this was no ordinary ball I was attending and these were no ordinary suitors. I had been invited to the Christmas party for a boys’ group home. My soon-to-be son was living there with several other hard-to-place foster children. I was a potential adoptive mother in a room full of broken boys with no family to call their own. Maybe, if they were sweet enough… Maybe, if they were solicitous enough… Maybe, if they were kind enough… Maybe, just maybe, I would take them home too? Their eyes held my gaze with a quiet, unspoken desperation. Maybe? They outdid themselves vying for my smiles of approval.

There was a time in my life where I would have loved to have been the center of attention. But on this night, the underlying pain that permeated the room squashed any residue of self I still had. “Lord,” I cried, “How do I help them? Their needs are so huge! I can’t touch them all. I’m overwhelmed!” Sweetly and simply the answer came, “Touch them for Me … just for tonight.” I had been crushed by the enormity of ALL their needs, but God hadn’t asked me to shoulder that burden. He asked only that I show His love to them for one short evening. That I could do.

I poured love on those boys all that night. We laughed at silly knock-knock jokes, ran circles around old Santa, shared stories, and reveled in the joy of being a part of God’s extended family. For one glorious moment in time, God allowed me to be His arms, His voice, and His smile to a roomful of love-starved boys. It was a privilege I will never forget—especially since that blue-eyed boy I went to visit is now my 22-year-old son.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Midweek Meditation - Absolutely Must See This!!!

Please, please, please watch this!!! It will change the way you look at life forever!