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.