Redeem Your “Ground” … While You Can!


(NOTE: At first blush you may think that this post has nothing to do with redeeming your ground. But, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it has everything to do with why it’s so important to redeem your ground while you can. Besides, writing this post has helped me process what happened … so indulge me, or just move on.)

Out of Nowhere It Became a Very Long, Difficult Day

Two weeks ago Monday I was somewhere just south of South Dakota driving home in a U-Haul with my nephew after packing up my dad’s ranch in Wyoming … when I got a call. It was my wife, Britt. She was crying and having trouble telling me what was wrong. I was finally able to make out that she had been in a bad accident, but she was okay … she was in an ambulance and headed to the emergency room. That’s all I got … she had to go. Although she was scared and confused as to exactly what happened, I was relieved that she was able to call me … or at least have someone call me for her.

The next 18 hours seemed like an eternity as we drove straight through to Atlanta. When I actually had cell coverage (which was spotty through Tennessee), I had a few brief conversations with my oldest daughter, AK, and my in-laws. But because no one could physically be with Britt in the ER due to COVID-19, they didn’t know much more … beyond the little bit that they learned from a few brief phone calls. That said, even if someone had spoken to her at length, Britt wouldn’t have been much help as she didn’t remember a whole heck of a lot … and what she did remember was spinning around in her jumbled head.

Redeem Your Ground |

Several hours into my drive, after a battery of tests and x-rays Britt was finally discharged from the ER … with a concussion, a big knot on the back of her head, some bruises, and a small burn from the air bags. Britt didn’t know many more details of the accident (nor did she really want to talk about it), so we still weren’t really clear as to exactly what happened, but it was clear that things could have been worse. Much worse.

Once my father-in-law got Britt settled at home with my mother-in-law playing the role of a Southern Florence Nightingale, he went to the salvage yard to get what he could from what was car (a Toyota Highlander, if you can’t tell!*). And it wasn’t until after I received the pictures that he took of the car that it finally was clear just how bad the accident was. And more significantly, just how truly miraculous it was that Britt not only survived the accident, but that she was able to walk out of the car. She was traumatized … but she was alive and able to stand on her own two feet. PTL!

Redeem Your Ground |

Redeem Your Ground |

Redeem Your Ground |

Just before midnight I arrived home to tentative, shaky hugs and a lot of tears – a mix of still-scared-tears and now-happy-tears that we were all back together. It had been a long, difficult day. [Again, I’m not trying to be dramatic. It just was.]

The Crash Report … and Then Some

Just this week we finally received the Crash Report from the Georgia State Patrol. It more than confirmed that what Britt went through was traumatic … a spinning tornado of crashes … and we were reminded that she was a walking miracle.  God clearly protected her.

According to the Crash Report:

  • Britt came to a stop because traffic had piled up entering the off-ramp of I-285 … but the car behind her didn’t stop and plowed directly into her.
  • The impact sent Britt’s car into the next lane where a semi, traveling at normal speed, hit the front quarter panel of her car … which sent her spinning back & under the back axel of the semi’s trailer, essentially crushing the back of Britt’s car like a tin can (the impact actually broke the trailer’s axel). We’re so thankful that neither of our girls were with her … as one of them would have likely been in the back.
  • She was then spit out and back into her original lane where she ran into the back of another car … which was sent spinning.
  • Britt’s car continued to spin into the far lane where she was hit by another car on her driver’s side.
  • Finally … still spinning, but now back into the original lane … Britt’s car once again hit the car that was previously sent spinning.
  • Both cars came to a stop, nose-to-nose in the middle of I-285.
  • A total of 6 impacts to Britt’s car … 2 from a semi!

Redeem Your Ground |

Desperately looking out of her still intact windshield, Britt caught the equally desperate stare of the woman sitting in the car directly in front of her. Britt’s daze was interrupted by the knocks of Good Samaritans rushing to see if she was okay. Incredibly, Britt was able to crawl over to the passenger seat and open the door.

There she sat while others attempted to comfort her until the EMTs and firefighters arrived. After smelling fumes and determining that she was able to be moved, they helped Britt hop to the guard rail … not because she couldn’t walk on her own, but because she only had one sandal on and they didn’t want her to cut her bare foot. The other sandal was in her car … or somewhere on I-285 (we still don’t know), where this crazy nightmare began. [Okay, that’s probably laying it on a little too thick. I’ll give you that.]

The Road to Recovery

Today, two and a half weeks later, although Britt’s still having some headaches & other concussion-related issues … with weird pains & symptoms coming and going daily, physically she’s doing great … well, good’ish. We’re hopeful that the doctors & physical therapists will get her back to normal soon. But we’re told to be patient, as brain injuries, no matter how minor, take a long time to heal.

Emotionally? She ebbs and flows. Sometimes Britt is really strong … but other times, out of nowhere, the tears start a’flowin’. But she’s getting better at giving herself grace. Yes, she’s a walking miracle, but the accident was a big deal … and she needs to give herself time. She’ll get there … err, we’ll get there.

Redeem Your “Ground” … Whatever Your “Ground” Is!

Sooooo …. you may still be asking, why the heck am I writing about this on a website called Redeem Your Ground … what does a car crash have to do with cool things that you can do in your back yard?

Well, Britt’s accident certainly wasn’t cool, nor was it in our back yard. But it did remind us of all we have to be thankful for & challenge us to continue redeeming our ground at home while we can – because we’re not promised tomorrow … or at least, a tomorrow that looks like today. Things can change in an instant. Our September 14th 2020 could have had a very different ending.

That said, if you’ve been talking about adding a veggie garden to your back yard … stop talking about it, do it.

RYG 2016 Year In Review | Family Veggie Garden - Redeem Your Ground |

If you’ve thought about raising chickens, bees, goats, ducks, whatever … it’s time to decide and do it.

Redeem your ground.

If you want to create a cool space in your back yard to hang out in with friends and family, do it. Better yet, just go ahead and get outside with them now. You can improve the space over time … begin the people-connecting now because that’s what’s really important.

If your relationship with your spouse, kids, parents, siblings, friends or neighbors is broken or isn’t all it could be … get over yourself – look across the room or pick up the phone or write an email or pay them a visit and begin the healing process now. Life’s too short.

Redeem your ground.

If you find yourself sitting on the couch medicating yourself with way too much Netflix binge-watching or reality TV (or … pick your guilty pleasure) … turn off the TV, get up, and improve your own reality. Do something. Build something. Create something. Or just breath some fresh air.

Redeem Your Day - Redeem Your Ground |

If you know you should eat healthier and/or exercise more (or at all!), but you seem to too easily find all sorts of reasons to put it off until tomorrow … stop making excuses. Seriously. You deserve more … and if you don’t believe that you deserve more, own the fact that the people in your life do.

Redeem your ground.

You see … yes, you can look at your ground literally, like the dirt or the space outside. Which is great and you should probably redeem it. But your ground is so much more than that. Fill in the blank. What is the ground in your life that needs to be redeemed … that needs to be more than it is … that needs to be brought back to life? Whatever popped into your head as you read these words, that’s your ground. Redeem it.

Redeem your ground.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now, you’ve probably had enough of me. But given what we’ve been dealing with the last couple weeks or so I found it difficult to write about anything other than something that just might help people move their lives forward. A nudge. A push. A challenge. A charge. In a way, this post helps Britt and me redeem this difficult experience. (Sorry, I said I had gotten off my soap box.)

Thanks for indulging me … and sorry if this post came off too heavy-handed. It wasn’t my intent. I promise, I’ll get back to writing about gardening and chickens and outdoor activities soon. I just had to put this out there … oh, and take care of a few things around here.

Thanks for reading.

Take care friends,


* PS: For obvious reasons we HIGHLY recommend the Toyota Highlander if you’re looking for a really safe car!!!


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  1. Amity on October 1, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Sending our love. I am so grateful that she is alive. Tears flowing for all of you. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤️

    • Doug Scott on October 1, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks my dear ole’ friend! Been a crazy few weeks. But we’re resting in how crazy she was protected…and praising God! I hope you and your oh-so-wonderful family are doing well. I still need to get over there to see your yard…I’m embarrassed. Maybe you’ll just get a knock on your door one day soon! Take care, D.

  2. Betsy Knecht. (MA's sister) on October 1, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Doug when MA told me about Brittany’s accident, my heart just dropped to my stomach! We immediately began praying for her safety and recovery, for your long drive home and those precious girls! What a miracle she is after hearing the accident details and now seeing those horrific pictures!! God surely had His angels all around her! Our God is indeed mighty to save in every sense of the word!! We will continue to keep you all close in prayer as MA updates us on her progress. Our love to you all❤

    • Doug Scott on October 1, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Betsy, thanks so much for reaching out my friend … and especially your prayers! We are resting in and thankful God’s protection and provision and healing power. You know just a little bit about that, don’t you. Take care and I hope we get to see you and yours the next time y’all are in town! Take care, D.

  3. Melissa on October 1, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    So thankful she is ok! This was beautifully written Doug! Please let me know if I can bring a meal or anything!

    • Doug Scott on October 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks so much, Melissa! We are good…thanks for the offer. I will pass on your love to Britt. Take care my friend! – D.

  4. Shannon on October 1, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    Love you both. This was a great read-grateful God protected her and will redeem it all!

    • Doug Scott on October 1, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks Shan! Hope you and your crew are well. Hugs, D.

  5. Kim on October 1, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    So thankful to God that your sweet wife is alive and recovering. But, how traumatic. Great reminder you have given us.

    • Doug Scott on October 1, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks so much, Kim … Britt and I appreciate your kind words. Take care, D.

  6. Carey Kuhl on October 1, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Oh no! What a harrowing experience and also a compelling reason to be incredibly grateful. I am so relieved Britt is ok and I thank you for writing this meaningful article about embracing this one life we have. Sending lots of love to you and your family. Carey

  7. Elizabeth on October 1, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    So many hugs and much love to Britt, you and the girls. I can’t even imagine how scary this has been. I’m so grateful God protected her!

    • Doug Scott on October 2, 2020 at 11:25 am

      Thanks, Elizabeth! We completely agree. I hope y’all are well. Take care, D.

  8. Greg on October 2, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Gideon would’ve binged Netflix had he had it.

    Anytime they had a modest harvest, the enemies would come in with overwhelming numbers and consume everything to the point they had to hide what they could just to survive… leaving him to wonder where the God of Israel was… ‘where were are all his miracles…’ So, yeah, you experienced an intervention that, as you said, could’ve ended so, so differently! (My mom passed a few months back due to ovarian cancer… we were lucky to have her at home as, had she be in a care facility we wouldn’t have been able to spend that time with her because of COVID measures)

    But to say I need to get over myself and mend bridges is short sighted and knee-jerk reactionary. For Gideon to move forward, he’d have to piss off a village to the point they’d want to stone him and sacrifice something that would risk doing great damage to the relationship he had with his father. Only after all that, and then some…

    To look at those photos and hear how your wife walked away from that on her own (with a bit of help) is truly miraculous and to be celebrated! But you, more than most, should understand that there is a time and a season for everything. And sometimes that involves facing an overwhelming obstacle before being able to raise those chickens.

    So perhaps, instead of cattle prodding people off the couch into action… wouldn’t it be better to determine what’s driven them there in the first place?

    • Doug Scott on October 2, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      Hey Greg, first of all, thanks so much for your thoughtful message. There’s so much there! I’ll honestly have to take some of it offline and marinate on it a bit. Thanks for the challenge. Second, I’m sincerely sorry about your mom…I couldn’t imagine…but glad that you were able to have her home. My siblings and I have discussed how difficult, almost impossible it would be if our father had been in a care facility the past 6 months vs. living with my sister. As for your cattle-prodding point, I really apologize and stand corrected if that’s how you read it…not my intent…again, I apologize if that’s how it came off. That’s one of the problems communicating electronically in a serial manner … a lot can be lost in translation. You’re right, I do understand that there is a season for everything and it takes time to process things, especially very difficult things. And you’re also right, I have no idea what may have driven people to get to where they are in the first place. I couldn’t. I guess where my mind was while writing this post is where I’ve found myself at times or what I hear my friends or clients saying or see them doing at times … and as is ofthen the case I or they just need a little push or permission to try something they’ve talked about for a long time … to start living more fully again. At least that was my heart. Clearly, that didn’t come out the way wanted it to. Again, I apologize. That said, thank you for challenging me to consider how or what I write here. Take care, Greg…thanks again for your comments and I hope you have a great weekend, D.

      • Greg on October 11, 2020 at 2:58 pm

        Hi Doug, and thank you.

        I’ve sat on your reply for well over a week, thinking about it, turning it over as one would an interesting stone discovered at the river’s edge.

        Over that week, I got in and re-did my back yard, such as it is, not from latent need/desire, but necessity. Still, in the end, it looks worlds better than when I began. In that process, and current pause (a couple more stages to get through before finished) bitter, regretful memories surfaced of how I could’ve done things better; gladly involve my mom when she wanted to help instead of wanting to accomplish the task on my own so I could feel proud of the accomplishment. And thinking of the post, realized that sometimes those we want to correct/reconcile things with the most are no longer there to do so. And can understand the urgency of your encouragement. But then think of those people still here, but unable to be reconciled with because of a toxic nature… hard clay like soil, or persistently infertile/sterile dirt, pests or disease (whatever comparison you want to draw)

        A couple of years ago, I bought my mom a lemon tree because she loved lemons and I wanted her to have an abundance of sweet, fragrant tree ripened lemons to enjoy, not the yellow, flavorless orbs they sell at the store. And because of the location, planter and mix, the tree struggled to grow and produce. Best intentions, poor results.

        Came back to the blog page from your main site. And looking for this post, saw another from 2016 ‘Slow Down’ and reading through it, thought it fit well with this. Sure, there’s an urgency not to waste away time, but redeem it as much as the ground that surrounds us. But, by slowing down we can then take the proper steps to ensure the efforts aren’t futile, wasted and cause more harm than the good we essentially want. Why? because it’s not forced! It’s genuine, it’s sincere. (A banner ad appeared on the home page of the grocery delivery app I’ve been using ‘Yes on…” a state proposition they phrased as being in the best interest of the shopper… suggesting they’re only looking out for us! Well, BS, and the insincerity… and politicization of the home page has me looking for other options)

        Doug, I’ll close with this, my mom’s decline had her in a hospital bed in her room getting water by those lollipop sponges or straws dipped in a glass of water, finger covering the end to give her water a straw at a time. On good days she could sip on her own, but those… hard to tell. One day, she asked for a glass of ice water, which I quickly got for her. Though I started to try using the straw, she insisted on sitting up in the bed swinging her legs over the side, unable to straighten fully she put a hand on the side of the glass as I held it (my sister supporting her from the side) and grabbing the straw, drank the whole glass down. I asked her how it was? ‘It’s wonderful‘! she said and asked for another.

        I can hardly drink a glass of ice water anymore without thinking about that… how much she enjoyed something so simple, so basic, yet so essential, restorative.

        Doug, you’ve encouraged so many, inspired so many, I among them, and have with this post as well. Just saying, ‘slow down’ as there are those who are binging for one reason or another and may need a bit more work getting the ground they’ve given up on to yield positive lasting results.

        • Doug Scott on October 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm

          Greg…THANKS so much for this follow-up. Sincerely. I was hoping to hear from you again…but (ironically) I didn’t want to push.

          I didn’t want to wait to “approve” and “reply” to this email (although I will allow it to sink in further!). Not so much because I thought people needed to hear from me again, but because I felt that others needed to hear what you had to share.

          Your words of encouragement and challenge (of me and other readers) are true and right. So thank you. I sincerely appreciate your honest, heart-felt expressions of encouragement … and your sharing very personally. I for one needed them … like in the exact moment that I got the notification that you had replied I was prayerfully grappling with a different challenge in my life. I needed to hear just what you had to say. Again, thank you.

          Your words about your mom are both painful to read and life-giving to consider … although difficult to apply. So as you said, my/our needing to “slow down” to consider whatever challenges us is critical. I couldn’t agree with you more. I hope that people read through to the end of this post, but also through to the comments and our exchange so that they can consider your words of encouragement … which are also at the core of my heart for them (despite how imperfectly I expressed myself). Depending on who you are and what you’re dealing with I think we’re both saying (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that you should to do something … either “slow down” or “get on with it” … but move forward as best you can to redeem what’s going on in your life. Kinda to sides of the same coin.

          Thanks again, Greg…and take care,

          PS: I”m so glad you were able to get out in your yard this past week to redeem it a bit. So cool. And love the metaphors found in gardening that you can apply to the difficulties (and blessings) of life. That’s probably one of the reasons I love to get my hands dirty outside so much!

  9. Kathryn McGraw on October 2, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Oh my heart. These pictures😭😭 A true miracle. I cant wait to see her tomorrow and give her the biggest hug EVER!!! I might not let go💛 Thank you for the positive encouraging reminder that life is short and everyday is a gift. Many things& experiences mold and shape our daily routines but with prayer and the blessing of reading glimpses of hope in articles like this… we can rise up! We can be encouraged! We can tackle things we have always wanted to do!! We need that boost of goodness!! We need that push to move forward! Thank you… Love you and my sweet sister so very much.💛 See you tomorrow!! YAY!!!!!!

    • Doug Scott on October 3, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Thanks so much, Kafry-Dafry! We are so thankful we are where we are today. We are also thankful for you and your crew too! Hugs, D.

  10. Misti on October 18, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Wow, so glad she is safe and ok. What a very traumatic experience.

    • Doug Scott on October 18, 2020 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks, Misti! So thankful it wasn’t worse than it was…and it certainly could have been. I hope you’re weather is as wonderful today as ours is here in Atlanta and you’re able to get outside and enjoy it. Thanks again for reaching out and take care! – D.

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