Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

When You Get a Wake-Up Call from God



When a simple headache suddenly became life-threatening, God gave me a wake-up call. Here are four ways to make the most of each day.When a simple headache suddenly became life-threatening, God gave me a wake-up call.

I was in the kitchen making lunch, when I realized I’d had the same nagging headache all morning. Absent mindedly I reached into the cabinet for some pain reliever and poured a glass of water. For some reason, the pill didn’t go down. When I coughed, it came back up and lodged in my windpipe. I couldn’t breathe. I tried coughing it out, but that pill didn’t budge.

Panicked, I ran into my husband’s home office. He began to slap me on the back, but I still could not breathe.

“Oh, no! He doesn’t know the Heimlich maneuver,” I thought. “I could die here.”

I tried to croak, “Heimlich,” but no sound came out. Using sign language, I hit myself on the stomach. Suddenly my husband thrust his fist deep into my abdomen, and the pill shot out across the room.

I felt the sweet relief of oxygen flooding my lungs. My knees wobbled, and I sat down. When I saw my sweet children’s faces peering anxiously over me, the wakeup call came: I’d never been this close to death before. Like the oxygen that flooded my lungs, gratitude flooded my heart. I was still alive!

Life is a gift from God, but we never know when ours will end.

If today were your last day on earth, how would you live it? Ephesians 5:15,16 encourages us to make the most of every opportunity.

When You Get a Wake Up Call Scripture


Here’s what my wake-up call reminded me about making the most of each day:

Grow More Gratitude in our Hearts

Since reading her post, “Greeting the Morning with Gladness,” I’ve remembered Tarissa Helm’s words: Each day is a gift from our Father, wrapped beautifully in the colors of the sunrise. I wonder if He looks down in anticipation to see how we’ll receive it.” I want to receive God’s gift of 24 hours with gratitude. Every day brings blessings: the oatmeal with walnuts that my husband makes for me in the morning, or our guinea pig Robin chirping for more eats when he hears us open the fridge.

Love on Our People

What if we made today fantastic by giving our kids extra hugs and smiles, inviting a co-worker to lunch, or telephoning someone who might need encouragement? If today were your last day on earth, would you lean in closer to listen to your husband over dinner, or would you hurry past him to get those dishes done?

Let Go of Irritations

Every day comes with its own headaches: spilt coffee and harsh words. I confess that all too often, I let those irritations ruin my day. What I really want is to get past them and leave off complaining. I want to let go and forgive. Life is too short to let minor distresses drag us down.

Look for God in our Day

God is present around us in a million little ways. We just have to look for Him. What if we turned the next 24 hours into a treasure hunt to look for demonstrations of God’s love and care? We’d see abundant evidence of His work in our lives. Let’s be on the lookout for His love today.

When a simple headache suddenly became life-threatening, God gave me a wake-up call. Here are 4 ways to make the most of each day.

Let’s thank God for the gift of life and ask Him to help us make the most of today.

Now it’s your turn: If today were your last day on earth, would you do anything differently?

I link up with these communities: Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth’s CoffeeFor your Heart, and Meredith Bernard’s #Woman2Woman.

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Sunrise photo credit: Melika


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

48 thoughts on “When You Get a Wake-Up Call from God

  1. wow – what a frightening experience and reminder how precious life is. Thank you for this reminder to live each day with as much love and purpose as if it’s our last.

  2. Betsy, I am so grateful the pill came dislodged. This is a powerful lesson learned from such a frightening experience. This here is what spoke to me >> “Let go of irritations.” Every day will contain some. May I not let it keep me from seeing all which God is doing around me. The irritations are not worth missing His blessings. Grateful to have stopped here this morning!

    • Oh, yes, Joanne. Your words are encouraging me now! We’ve been without electricity or water for 12 hours now, so I’m reminded not to let this irritation keep me from seeing God’s hand on my day! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Thank God that your story today was able to be told! I am loving your idea of letting go of irritations each day. That seems to be a difficult one for me. I would add besides looking for God in our day being intentional and spend time with Him each day. Thank you for this reminder. Blessings!

  4. That’s such a powerful question, Betsy. It’s experiences like the ones you had that make us stop and question what is really important. You’re so right — the little irritations (and there are so many!) pale in comparison to loving and enjoying God and the people He’s put in our lives.

    • Yes, Jeannie. I’d never had an experience quite like that before. Really shook me and my family up. I’m still grateful to be alive when I think about it. There’s no quick acting 911 here… But God had His hand on me.

  5. The eternal perspective is what we all need!

  6. Betsy, I am so glad you are okay! I couldn’t help but laugh at your thoughts when your husband tried to get the pill out by beating your back. Praise the Lord that you were able to communicate with him. I think moments like that really do cause us to focus in on what’s truly important and this is a great list. I want to live life to the fullest and for his glory, not sweat the small, petty stuff. Thank you, friend. Sending extra hugs your way today!

    • Amen, Abby! I’m choosing not to sweat 11 hours of no electricity or water! God is good. Let’s live life to the fullest, friend. Thanks for the hugs. I’m feeling them!

  7. Oh Betsy, I’m so thankful that you’re okay. Choking is a scary thing. Cheese did it to me once, and yowza!
    I see why you remembered Tarissa’s words. How beautiful! It was a good way to start off your list, and your list was practical and quite useful. I’m going to go back to it yet today. Wonderful reminder to “live” in the “now”. xo

    • Yes, Kristi! Let’s live today and enjoy it as much as we can. Interesting that you had a choking experience too. Cheese. Go figure! Gosh we need to be careful. I’m extra careful with pills now. 🙂

  8. So glad you are ok and that your husband was home to help you. I recently had a family member suddenly pass away and have been thinking about this too. Thank you for sharing b

  9. Wow! So glad your husband was home! I’ve had some close calls in driving situations. I pulled over and couldn’t quite catch my breath. Scary stuff. But yes, a wake-up call. Our loved ones (and those we don’t love so much 😱) are SO worth whatever we have to do to live in love toward them. Beautiful reminder, Betsy.

    • Thanks for your comment, Dianne. Yes, close calls driving are scary too. I’d never had something like this. I kept thinking, “How long before I faint?” But God is good and had his hand on me.

  10. Wow…thank you for sharing this story. What an important truth for us all to consider, that “Life is a gift from God, but we never know when ours will end.” Mostly we would rather ignore that, don’t you think? But I love how you laid out the reasons we need to consider it and how we should live in light of that fact. Great post, Betsy…praying for you today!

    • I think you’re right, Angela. We’d definitely rather ignore that. But it’s a reality. I’ve had quite a few people die on me the last 4 months, so that’s also got me thinking. Life is beautiful! Let’s enjoy it!

  11. As someone they brought back to life on the operating table when I was eighteen, there is nothing more life-changing than knowing you almost met up with Glory… and yet in the bustle of routines, it’s so easy to forget not to take it all for granted, even now. Your reminder is much needed, and am certainly thankful that you’re okay! Thanks for pouring out your heart on this, praying wonderful things for your Easter, Betsy!!!

  12. Yes I would! This week, we’ve been busy with ‘state assessments’ at school. If today were my last day, I wouldn’t be so stressed about it, and I would definitely appreciate my sweet students more! Thanks, Betsy:)

    • Oh, that sounds good, then Kristine. I hope you can live ever day this week as if it were your last. I can only imagine what a week you’re having. Grace to you, sister.

  13. Yikes!! How scary! So glad you are okay. Thankful for the reminder today about what is truly important. ♥

  14. This is a great summary of what God seems to be teaching me this year. Today I really need to love on my teens. Thanks for the reminder and that you are alive and well. I have really enjoyed using ideas for praying for your teens everyday that you posted awhle ago.

    • I’m so glad to see you here today, TJ! Yes, I need to love on my teens today too. I’m glad you’re using the prayer ideas. They’re jotted down in my personal prayer booklet too! I take it with my on my daily prayer walk.

  15. If today was my last day, i would definitely spend it with my loved ones. And I’d give more instead of trying to get!
    Great post!

  16. Wow Betsy, what a powerful experience to show us to make the most of every opportunity. So enjoying your words here! Have a great day, Kim

  17. How scary that had to be. I guess you can say your husband punched you in the stomach…but he saved your life! This is a powerful message for everyone. Let the little things go.

  18. Betsy,

    Beautiful wisdom. I loved hearing you describe, “God is present around us in a million little ways. We just have to look for Him. ” Yes. He is always here. Sometimes, I am simply not looking. #RaRaLinkup

    Lisa Murray

  19. Betsy,
    Yes, I think I would do things differently. Too easily I am caught up in the grumbling instead of the gratitude. I am getting better at living each day more intentionally, but there is definitely more room for improvement. Thanks for urging me on!!

  20. Oh Betsy, what a scary experience!! I’m so thankful you’re okay. Your reflection on those frightening moments brought me to tears. I loved the challenge to turn the next 24 hours into a treasure hunt of ways God is present around us. I’m going to share your story tonight at dinner and see if we can make this treasure hunt a family event! And thank you for mentioning my post. It means a lot to know it resonated so deeply with you. ♥ Big, big hugs all around!

    • I really have remembered your words in that post. I try to greet my mornings with gladness (and the last week they’ve been sleepy after spring time change here last weekend. 🙂 ) Have fun on your treasure hunt!

  21. So glad you are still with us, Betsy! Obviously, God isn’t finished with you yet. Thank you for the reminder to number our days and use the time we are given on this earth intentionally!

  22. Betsy,
    So full of grace here. The reminder to love like it was our last day is powerful. Thank you.

  23. Betsy,

    Praise the Lord! So glad you are okay. So unnerving. Bless you, bless you.

    Love, Cathy

    P.S. Kudos to José for gut punching his wife 🙂 not normally a good thing. We’ll show your video on April 26th and we’ll have even more reason to rejoice then!


  24. I would appreciate every moment and tell my people how much I love them, which I can do today. Thanks for the reminder!

  25. I just love this post, Betsy, although I’m sure it was a scary moment for you! I appreciate the reminder to make the most of things, to love more, give more, live more! Thanks for sharing this with us at Grace and Truth last week!
    Jen @ Being Confident of This 🙂

  26. Yesterday morning I woke to the most intense spiritual battle I remember. I was literally paralyzed with the sense of failure. I can’t even really point to something that triggered this attack. I managed to get my husband some breakfast and as I joined him for a coffee he looked at me and questioned what was wrong. I am certain my whole being showed the attack. By the Lord’s grace we knew it was a spiritual attack…not the looming list of things that I needed to do or the need for a “break”. It wasn’t a time out or a day to get my ducks in a row that was needed….it was a spiritual attack.

    My sweet husband told me to let everything go and get in the Word and prayer…to fight in my knees and he’d do the same. He will never know how wonderful it was to have “permission” to let it all go and deal with the attack! So I got in the Word and in prayer, I prayed through the Scripture, I rebuked the devil, I clung to Word like a life raft until the clouds of darkness began to part and I could then pray, using the Word as a weapon against the enemy!! I prayed and stayed in the Word for hours until the victory came and the attack ended.

    Spiritual attacks are real and getting your ducks in a row, cleaning the house, taking a hot bath, etc. won’t fix anything when the devil is on you! ONLY the Word of God and prayers to the Father!!!! I was physically exhausted after the battle but I was full of the joy of Christ!!! The afternoon brought praise for the Savior and we rejoiced and rested!

    I still don’t know if something specific brought on this attack. I have my suspicions that a few ministry projects are making the devil nervous. I have felt the stirrings of the Lord in our lives and have been anticipating some things on the horizon for our ministry and family. Perhaps the devil has gotten wind of it and wants this to stop before it gets started. I know attacks like that don’t happen to folks who have gone astray. The devil isn’t worried about them.

    What I do know is the enemy does not want my relationship with Christ to be intimate and he doesn’t want us working for the Lord and stepping out in faith. And yesterday was a reminder that my Lord will fight for me! He will never leave me nor forsake me! And even though the devil prowls around like a lion wanting to destroy the things of Christ, we have what we need to claim victory over the attacks!!

    Today, I spend the day in praise of my Lord and today I will serve him with joy because he rescued me this week! He strengthened my faith once again! I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me….even win over Satan’s attacks! Christ fought through and for me! Oh glorious day!

    • Praying for you now, Kathryn, that God will continue to strengthen you. It’s true, we’re in a battle, but He is our stronghold, our shield, and our defender! May He continue to bless and protect you and your family, use you for His glory.

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