Margaret Agard In His Footsteps

Margaret Agard In His Footsteps

Audio Episode


Margaret Agard, an award-winning author and Christian Mystic, shares her journey of writing books about her experiences with God. She emphasizes the importance of educating oneself, challenging existing beliefs, and letting go and letting God. The speaker also discusses finding peace and purpose by surrendering their life to God, aligning with His will, and serving others. They highlight the transformative power of living a service-based life and finding inspiration in God's love. The speaker also talks about their personal journey of self-discovery and acceptance, emphasizing the power of contemplative prayer and forgiveness. They share a personal story about their son's transformation and discuss their series of books titled "In His Footsteps." The meeting also touches on household tasks, love in relationships, effective communication, and the significance of the website name. Jesus expresses gratitude and looks forward to future sessions on the Dead American Podcast.

I’m an award winning author, christian mystic and reiki level II healer and former executive in the high tech industy. I've written two memoirs on how my life changed when I turned my daily to-do list over to my higher power ( God/Spirit/Source.)
When I was in my 40’s, I was a single mother of eight children, their sole financial support, working as an executive in the high tech industry, and also had returned to university to finish my last year of work on a bachelor’s degree. I was a compulsive list maker who never came close to accomplishing all I needed to accomplish, often waking in a panic about all that needed to be done that I wasn’t doing. My life completely changed when I began taking my to-do list to God /Spirit/Inner voice each day and asking what I should be doing. I stopped waking in a panic, got more done, more sleep and less stress. And found my true purpose.
I was just trying to get through each day but instead I got the most unexpected, wonderful life of purpose and meaning that I never even knew was possible.
I approach this from a Christian viewpoint in a spiritual rather than religious way. I’m a Christian mystic, Reiki Level II healer, and have a daily practice of contemplative prayer, an ancient Christian meditative practice having a revival today.
I wrote the books in hopes that others would be inspired to take the same path. Many do, which brings great satisfaction.

Margaret Agard

[00:00:00] Margaret Agard: Uh, you know, like the newer story, I tell the story about just things that happen where we could see God happening in our lives and not in a preachy way. It's like, okay, like the story about my son, it's just like,

[00:00:13] Ed Watters: Right.

[00:00:14] Margaret Agard: He told me to pray and here's what happened. And after I've been doing that for about 3 years, the thought came, Now, I want you to make a book of this. And I thought, Well, okay. I don't know how to do that either. And then it was, I want you to go through and, and make more than one book. And the first book was simply all of these experiences similar to the one I just had with my son and others that I had. And pull them together into a book.

[00:00:39] It's almost, I would call it my personal Chicken Soup For The Soul type of book where here's a story, here's a story, here's a story. And it ends with a sense of, of love that all these things that I was doing at the end of the day helped me to truly understand how much God loves me. Now, if I said to you, Ed, does God love you? And, and to a lot of people it's like, Sure, because that's the answer, right? We know that's the answer. Yeah, He loves me. But we know that in our brain, not our heart.

[00:01:14] Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand. The way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.

[00:02:05] Today, we're speaking with Margaret Agard. She is an award winning author of a series of memoirs. Also, she's a former executive in the high tech business industry, she's a Christian mystic, and a Reiki Healer. Margaret, could you introduce yourself to our audience? Let people know just a little more about you, please.

[00:02:32] Margaret Agard: Okay. Well, I, um, my gosh, that pretty much covers it, except that I think I have a close relationship with God that I have, um, worked on to make sure I could learn to hear His voice and act on it. And that has really been the life changing parts of my life. Also, I have eight children and seven stepchildren. That it was, we were older when we married, my second husband and I, so the children were never all in the house at the same time. But there were two teenagers still in the home when we remarried. So, we've been through the whole thing of divorce and blended families and raising children together.

[00:03:18] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:03:18] Margaret Agard: Yeah.

[00:03:19] Ed Watters: That's a major chore in itself. That's a whole story in itself, Margaret. So, you know, I love this tagline, As I let go and let God, He gave me the most beautiful unexpected life I didn't know I wanted until I had it. That is so true in many ways. Tell us about how you developed that.

[00:03:50] Margaret Agard: Yeah, so what happened is, you know, people say all the time, I'm just going to let go and let God. But I don't know, how do you do that? That was kind of my thought. And, and as a big list maker, a big to do list maker, I was one of those people who like to make to do lists and check things off. And if I did something that wasn't on the list, I would write it on the list so I could check it off. Yay!

[00:04:15] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:04:16] Margaret Agard: Yes. And there was a point in my life, in my mid forties, when I was a single mom and all eight of my children were still at home when this first began. And I was their sole financial support. So I'm trying to support a family of nine and I was in the high tech industry. I was working the executive level, although eventually I stepped back because it just required too much travel. And as I was in that industry, they were all starting to go public. And executives, you know, they need to be able to show you have some bona fides that, uh,

[00:04:53] Ed Watters: Yep.

[00:04:53] Margaret Agard: the right people in the right place. And so I hadn't yet finished my college degree, I had about a year left. So I went back to school full time, too. Like, I wasn't doing enough. So, um, sole financial support, I'm going to school full time, just want to pound out that degree, and, and I have eight children at home. So it turns out, Ed, that I was overwhelmed, that I was lucky to get four hours sleep a night during that time. And that often, what happened is, I would work on something only to find out that didn't need to be done. I knew how to set priorities, you don't get up to the executive level without knowing how to set priorities.

[00:05:37] I knew all the systems, you know, quadrant 1 and 2, or A, B, and C, or however you do it, right? And I was doing that and it wasn't working. Sort of comes down to, this was far enough back in time that if you had to hand in a paper or do a test, it wasn't online, you showed up in class. And once I showed up with a paper done and there was no professor, he was sick.

[00:06:00] It said, Well, just, it won't be due now for another three or four days. Or I go to a client, only to have them say, You know, we're, we've been thinking about it, we want to do it completely differently. So, we want you to do a different proposal. And I would have spent some hours on those proposals or on the paper and I think, I'm doing things

[00:06:21] that I could have been doing something else that was just as important if I had known it wasn't due now. If only I could see the future, that's what I was thinking, if only I could see the future. And then I thought, Well, I know who can see the future, that would be God. And I knew how to hear His voice at this point in my life.

[00:06:40] And so what I started doing was taking my to do list and just sitting down. First, I did it in the morning, although I later changed to doing it at night. And I'd say, Okay, here's my list, what I need to do or not do. Or maybe there's something I should be doing that isn't on the list. And I could, I would get those thoughts.

[00:06:59] I'd be like, Okay, I don't need this, I don't need this, uh, I should do this. And as I started doing only what was on the list, not adding things, thinking, Wow, I've got an extra hour, I think I'll do this instead. You know, it would, I would just do what was on His, the list and I was finished every night by eight and relaxed.

[00:07:24] I felt so much peace. I felt all the stress was gone because I knew I had done what needed to be done based on what God, who knew the future, had told me needed to be done. And He would often give me, in addition to these important things, He would give me a little bit of service to do for someone else. Like make a phone call or drop by and visit someone on my way home. Just something that He had me, bringing help to people who needed it. You know, when I did it,

[00:08:02] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:08:03] Margaret Agard: You know, I needed it right now. And what happened at that point is, but He got my life under control. It was amazing. So then I thought, Okay, I'm going to stop because now it's under control. I don't want to bother God with this, right? I was thinking I hated having to be always so needy. And I, and of course it got right back, in a few years it was worse than ever. So I started again and this time there were three things going on. One, is I realized from listening, you know, reading the Lord's prayer and stuff, that God does want us. That, that is how we turn our life over to Him because our to do list is our day and our day is our life.

[00:08:51] So, if your intention is to turn your life over to God and let Him use it for His purpose, well, your to do list is a good way to start. That's what I realized. And I, in the Lord's prayer, and whether or not you're a Christian, there's still this sense of the divine and having a true purpose, right? So, in the Lord's prayer it says, um, May His will be done on earth,

[00:09:16] the way it is in heaven. So try to imagine the angels in heaven running around with their little to do list, all caught up in their own things. And occasionally running over to God and saying, Can you help me with this? Can you help me with that? You know, I'm kind of stuck, right? Or were they going to Him and saying, You know, I'm really committed to accomplishing what you want accomplished, how do I fit into your plan? What do you want me to do today, God? So instead of praying, What do I have to do today, God? It became what do you want me to do today, God? And that's a little scary because you think, um, and you know, the dishes have to get done, right?

[00:09:57] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's right.

[00:09:57] Margaret Agard: I'm gonna have to pay the electric bill.

[00:09:58] Ed Watters: That's the extra.

[00:09:58] Margaret Agard: Yeah, right. If I could know all this, [00:10:00] right? But, but He does, actually does. There was time for that. And, uh, He didn't like, um, you know, I didn't end up in prison in Rome like Paul. Basically, I, I'm okay, we did okay. He didn't call me to go off and be Mother Teresa in India. Often, it's simply my next door neighbor who needs me to be there.

[00:10:19] But that's how God works. So when I say, Yeah, so, so a number of things happen. One is I just stopped being afraid all the time that somehow I was leaving something undone, because I wasn't. And the other thing that happened is I did find the life that fits my true purpose. He had me write a book,

[00:10:44] I hadn't intended to write a book. It wasn't on my 20 year plan, Ed, you know, how you make a plan and break it down into five years and then this year and this month, right? Yeah, I had one of those and, um, turns out God's is much better. Not doing His at all, mine at all. Mine was out the window.

[00:11:06] Ed Watters: I understand, you know, uh, turning it all around from a chaotic life and really finding no meaning in your mind of what is happening. Letting go and letting God kind of was the point for me too. And finding that inspiration, hope, just by Listening and understanding. Well, for instance, with me, I found that if I do something outside of God's will, I get punished for it. And I recognize that now. And what these punishments are is, well, you never know. You might have a flat tire when you're trying to go against something that God wants you to do. But you're hardheaded, stubborn, and I know what's best for me goes ahead and does it anyway. Well, you find yourself in not always harmful situations, but scary situations

[00:12:19] and memorable situations. And if you listen to these things and you stay on the right track and you try to do God's will instead of your own will, it really does change how you live your life. A service based life instead of a life expecting, that's a big thing with eight children and being single. Having the inspiration and the drive to make it anyway. Because back in those days, Margaret, you know, women had a hard time anyway, they still struggle today. But because of the pioneer type, like you, that went against that grain and said, No, I'm going to do this for me and my family, my children. I don't care what you say and dictate for me, I'm going to make this happen for me. And knowing God has the love and meaning for you, that is inspiration in itself. Talk to us a little bit about that, if you could.

[00:13:40] Margaret Agard: It is true that, um, I tended to be in situations where it was mostly men. And I at one, I'm smart in math. And I just thought girls in high school were pretending not to be smart in math because they didn't want to appear not feminine enough or something. And I wasn't smart enough to figure out maybe I should do that, I just liked math. And then eventually it did sink in. Like even now, probably 10% of your listeners brains have just turned off because I actually used the word math.

[00:14:15] But, um, yeah, so at one point, I was even saying to God, kind of not in a prayer, but just one of those thoughts that you kind of like, oh, did you put me in the wrong body? Because I keep hearing about women and mother's hearts and how kind and, you know, naturally, generally I'm none of those things. You know, I'm Jersey girl who's smart in math.

[00:14:37] And so I had seven brothers and five sons. They were younger brothers, I just was not cowed by them, I guess. And, and I like to say, Women generally are getting paid less than men because they take the first offer. Men don't take the first offer, women shouldn't either. You're supposed to not take the first offer, right?

[00:14:59] Ed Watters: I like that.

[00:15:00] Margaret Agard: Okay, so I got paid, okay, let's just say I got paid. And because I was looking to protect my family, I would often have things written into my contract that they had to give me at least six months notice. Because at the level I was earning, it would take that long for me to find a new job. I can remember once they had, they let a man go before me because they knew my contract said I had to be given at least six months notice or six months pay and his did not.

[00:15:29] So, uh, it worked for me. Now, I was going to go somewhere with that. One thing I do is I do read the scriptures and I can remember having had that thought about, was I in the wrong body? I mean, maybe I'm not supposed to be a woman. I mean, I was happy being a woman. I didn't, you know, I wasn't concerned like some transgender people are.

[00:15:50] I just wondered. And I was reading a list of the gift of the spirits, of the spirit, excuse me. You know, it's like, some have faith, and some have faith, and others faith, and like, things like that, right? And I had that thought that I know is God who said to me, I was, I was reading that, Do you notice anything about this list?

[00:16:11] I was like, uh, Yes, it's a list of the gift of the spirit, okay. And then the thought came, Have you noticed it isn't broken out by gender? And that was really all I needed to hear. Like, I am who I am and that's fine. My gifts are different than the gifts that a lot of other women have, and I don't have those gifts.

[00:16:39] I didn't have a natural mother in heart. I had to, I loved my children, but I didn't have a natural mother in heart. I really had to learn that. I spent a lot of time in prayer saying, Uhh. I hear women say that they, they didn't get anything done because they spent all day just holding their infant and looking at them. And I was like bored to death with an infant.

[00:17:05] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:17:06] Margaret Agard: I don't know, it took me a while to get it. Yeah, but I did take care of them. I mean, I nursed them and I was there. But yeah, it took me a while to really connect to their, I don't want to say humanity, but the necessity of recognizing their differences and, and really how to focus on connecting with their essential selves and giving them what they needed, yeah.

[00:17:34] Ed Watters: Yeah. Well, sometimes that space allows identity to form and, and that is sometimes a good way to form a strong opinion based on realism. So being truthful about how we feel about things really help people contemplate how they're feeling. And you know, as long as you're caring for your children and they do have what they need in their lives,

[00:18:09] you know, the Lord does provide. And I, I really think it's all preordained in a way anyway, where our lives are directed. So it, it takes some time to figure that out. One of the big things that I liked about this and it hit my curiosity a little bit, uh, contemplative prayer, could you explain that to me and what, what makes that important?

[00:18:46] Margaret Agard: There's a book by Father Keating out and there's another book by Rich Lewis, who, that would be a good guest for you, um, called, you know, What He Learned In The Silence. And I had actually gone on a silent retreat. And the question I had was, how do I always have God's spirit to be with me? How do I always feel it?

[00:19:07] And finally, the, um, I guess she was a nun who was leading the silent retreat for me, instead, read this book and it was father's Keating's book on Contemplative Prayer and, or Centering Prayer. And it basically is you literally sit in silence and connect as best you know how to the spirit, the spirit that sent us peace.

[00:19:36] And then basically, you're saying, I, whatever you want to send me. So, you're not bringing questions to Him. In the morning during my morning prayer time I'm reading scriptures, and writing in my journal, I'm bringing questions to Him. In the evening, I'm just saying, Here I am. Like, whatever you want to give me, whatever [00:20:00] insight.

[00:20:00] Sometimes we just sit in love, sometimes He shows me things about myself. Sometimes, I had an interesting experience the other day, He started putting images in my mind, I'll say that. I wont call them visions because they're not 3D, it's just an image. And in this image, He, I had the thought, I'm going to show you something beautiful.

[00:20:21] And I thought, Oh, I wonder if I'm going to see like a mountain scene and with streams or maybe, oh no, cause He's God, right? Maybe swirling galaxies, universes, that's what I'm thinking, right? Like, oh, like a NASA photo. And so that's all that gets to my mind before He, I felt like He, He shows me like this dark area and I'm looking off

[00:20:43] and I just see a bunch of people. I can see their faces for all genders, for all nationalities and they're, they're very absorbed. Like, if you're walking down the city street and you watch people, they're not looking at you. They're kind of in their heads and, and most of them, they're not smiling. This is how they look, like that,

[00:21:01] right? Just people, busy, going about their day. All caught up, not, not smiling or anything. And then He said, The beauty is the people. And, and I connected to that, to that love that He has for us. Like, here we are all down here busy and that's beautiful to Him. We're beautiful to Him.

[00:21:23] Ed Watters: Yeah. Yeah, I can resonate with that well. You know, just, just understanding every time I get a problem in my head now and it's with another person and they're doing something that I don't agree with and I feel like I want to, you know, lash out at that individual,

[00:21:52] Margaret Agard: Fix them.

[00:21:53] Ed Watters: I always take it to the cross at that time. And I, I always remember some of the last words were, Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do. And this changed how I think, how I changed what I feel. And I understand now, people may be doing things out of necessity, uh, there's so many different reasons and they don't realize why they're doing it. And that basic simplicity of just stripping it all away and understanding, we're busy, we're dead in America. And finding that love, that hope, that inspiration, it takes all of us. Because we're needy, we're like a community and we need each other. So it's really odd that you have a set period of time just to contemplate what He wants instead of your needs.

[00:23:15] Margaret Agard: I would call that Christian meditation. So people meditate, and to me, this is Christian meditation. I meditate with the Holy Spirit, leaving myself open to God.

[00:23:26] Ed Watters: Awesome.

[00:23:26] Margaret Agard: Yes. It's interesting. One of the men who runs the contemplative prayer center in, um, Colorado is, is a Catholic priest. And he grew up in a, in a non religious home in California. But they did teach him to meditate. And he said in one of his days of deepest meditation, he met God. And then he became a Catholic priest, which is like, okay, not would have been my choice, but there you go. And then, but yes. And so God will find us where we are and so I try to leave myself open to Him. Now I want to tell you about this prayer

[00:24:01] I pray that completely changed my relationship with my 15 year old son. And I still pray it. It's similar to what you do, taking it to the cross, except this is what I pray. Help me to see this person as you do, God, and help me to love this person as you do. So I'm going to tell you the story about my 15 year old.

[00:24:20] That's also, that's in my first book, by the way, a couple of them are. But he was the most arrogant, demanding, critical child ever and kind of full of himself. You know, he was 6'4 and he had been starting on varsity team since he was a freshman, good athlete and good looking. And, you know, I, I made a good income, but there were nine of us living off of that good income in an area where there were often two parents making the same income who had maybe two kids. So I was like struggling a little bit financially. One day I went to God and I said, You know, I love this kid because he's my son, but I don't like him much. And He said,

[00:25:10] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:25:11] Margaret Agard: here's the prayer, here's the prayer I want you to pray. Help me to see him as you do. And, uh, you know, a few days later, I was over at my mom's house. She lived nearby and this is when people get magazine subscriptions. She had some women's magazines kind of sitting on her, um, table next to her couch. And I'm flipping through one and I see this story about a boy who had accused a favorite coach in school of, of inappropriate sexual actions with him. And as I read it, I thought, Well, I'll read that because something like that just happened in our school.

[00:25:46] And then I realized it was about our school and that incident. And as I read it, he was talking about how he basically been pilloried because he was a favorite coach. And a lot of the kids in school were mean to him thought, he was lying. But he, at one point, he had become so depressed, he was, he was suicidal. But he had next to him on his bedside stand a framed petition

[00:26:14] that said, we're here for you, basically. But there are only a few names on it. And as soon as I read that, I thought, I know whose name was top on that list. Because I remember the day I had taken my 15 year old son to school, as he was getting out of the car, he said, I don't like what's happening to that boy.

[00:26:37] Remember my son's popular, big athlete. And he said, I'm going to pass a list around school. I have people who believe in him, sign it. Now, when I picked him up in the afternoon, he was, he was angry. I said, Well, how'd it go? And he said, The principal said, We're not talking about this in school anymore.

[00:26:56] It's a criminal case, it's a lawsuit and we're not talking about it. So he couldn't pass the list around. So he signed it and had three or four of his friends sign it and they gave it to the boy. Now, that's who God saw and all the rest of it acted like a 15 year old. That wasn't, that wasn't there. And it changed how I saw my son more and more.

[00:27:19] I saw he did do things like that. You know, they had, uh, he and his friends had, like, a, a, a young boy who was, um, had down syndrome who just really looked up to them and followed them. And they wanted to get him some, you know, high end sneakers like they wore for playing basketball, right? And give him a t shirt and all this stuff.

[00:27:41] So he wanted me to donate to that. That's, those are the kinds of things he came to me for. And here's the thing, Ed, and this is years ago that this happened, I continue to use that prayer. We use that prayer in our marriage, help us to see each other as you do. Because you can get irritated with your spouse after a while and you kind of lose the big picture of who they really are.

[00:28:01] And we pray that a lot. And when the pandemic started, this same boy, who's now a man, was concerned about what the homeless people were doing when they were cutting, shutting everything. They were shutting the libraries, they were shutting public restrooms. What were these people supposed to do? If, where were they supposed to use the bathroom?

[00:28:27] You know, where could they go sit and be comfortable instead of freezing or in the rain. And so he went to the city council and said, You know, you need to leave some bathrooms open for these people. He always, is still doing that. He's still just

[00:28:43] Ed Watters: Awesome.

[00:28:44] Margaret Agard: beyond himself. People who need that.

[00:28:47] Ed Watters: That's power. That is what we need right there in our world today, more inspiration like that and hope, meaning. You know, and bringing the, uh, bringing that inspiration to the masses is sometimes very hard to do because we look at what people are doing instead of the situation that we're all in. And we really, we really need to develop ways to communicate and once we develop ways to communicate our world gets better. So what we're doing today, Margaret, by having a simple conversation is we're changing the world and that is what we're here to do. You wrote the series of books. I want to cover that a little bit before we go because I find it interesting that the title of your book on, on, the main title is In His [00:30:00] Footsteps. And then you have subtitles outlining the subject matter of the books.

[00:30:07] What, what was the inspiration behind that to write more than one book? And was it, was it, uh, something you've, you put off instead of attending to it? Because I noticed you stated that you didn't plan to be a writer, it just happened. So was it something you put off?

[00:30:36] Margaret Agard: No, it came from God, it was back in 2000. There was a day that He said, I want you to write your life on the Internet. And this is before WordPress, WordPress didn't even exist, blogs didn't either. But I did have a website and I knew how to put up web pages. And so first I was trying to do that, it didn't really make sense. And then I said, I just don't know what to do.

[00:30:59] And I found a site called, Open Diary, still exists, and you go in and write kind of, you can either keep it private or public and people who are on Open Diary can find it and decide to follow you or not. And I was writing what I do with God. I was writing, Hey, I prayed about this today and He told me to do this and here's what happened. And, uh, you know, like the newer story, I tell the story about just things that happen where we could see God happening in our lives and not in a preachy way. It's like, okay, like the story about my son, it's just like, He told me to pray and here's what happened. And after I've been doing that for about 3 years, the thought came,

[00:31:40] Now, I want you to make a book of this. And I thought, Well, okay, I don't know how to do that either. And then it was, I want you to go through and, and make more than one book. And the first book was simply all of these experiences similar to the one I just had with my son and others that I had. And pull them together into a book.

[00:31:59] It's almost, I would call it my personal Chicken Soup For The Soul type of book where here's a story, here's a story, here's a story. And it ends with a sense of, of love that all these things that I was doing at the end of the day helped me to truly understand how much God loves me. Now, if I said to you, Ed, does God love you? And, and to a lot of people it's like, Sure, 'cause that's the answer, right? We know that's the answer. Yeah, He loves me. But we know that in our brain, not our heart. Like for a lot of us,

[00:32:29] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:32:30] Margaret Agard: in our heart, the answer is, but I'm not really good enough yet. So,

[00:32:36] Ed Watters: Right.

[00:32:37] Margaret Agard: right. And so that's what I say at the end of the book, this is what came out of all those experiences was, I used to do good so God would love me. But now I know how much He loves me. I want to do good for other people so they also feel that same love from God. Because that's often what happens when we show up and, and, you know, God sent us, I needed someone and here you are.

[00:33:04] Um, so that's the first book. The second book is about missions. So my husband and I decided that we would get rid of everything, sell our house, and just go out and work as missionaries. And we were in the inner city in Albuquerque and we were visiting the prisons and things like that. And then we're up in Alaska living north of the Arctic circle in a native village

[00:33:31] and we were helping them with their records and things. And so, I thought of that book as, this is our opportunity to give our lives 24/ 7 to God. Not just can I fit you in along with everything else I have to do, you know, running a business, and whatever we were doing, and raising children. They were raised,

[00:33:51] we set the business aside, didn't have to keep a house up because we didn't have one. And so that to me is hope. So I think the first book is about faith. I had faith that if I listened and followed that good things would happen. And hope, we were trying to bring hope to the world that, you would call that. I think that, Ed, we're going out and trying to change the sense of, here

[00:34:13] we are for you. Now, the third book, the one that's been harder for me to work on, that is finally done, done and I'm doing final edits on it. It's about my relationship with my husband and what happened there. It's, here I am a single mom in my forties with two teenage boys still at home. Some of the kids were at home, but they were going to college and God said to me one day, you're going to meet the man you're going to marry next fall. And I said, No, thank you. Why would I want that, you know? Like, I didn't know any marriages where the same sex parent got along with teenage kids, you know what I mean? I don't care if it was a stepmom and a couple of teenage daughters or stepdad with a couple of teenage sons, I had no examples of how that could work out without upsetting people. And we had just gone through this divorce and my husband announced he was gay and we're all kind of

[00:35:11] reeling from that, why would I even think about throwing a stepdad into that mix? But, you know, He, He gave me that information in February and so I had like seven months to get used to the idea. And, and then I did meet and eventually marry Parker, my husband. And so you would think, Well, there's a match made in heaven, right?

[00:35:35] Because God said you're going to meet this person and I did. And we did get married and it was hard because he came from, he had an abusive alcoholic father and I came from a home where I would say anger was the language of love in our home. That if you wanted someone's attention, you poked them in a sore spot and they paid attention to you.

[00:35:56] And so we had a lot to learn about how to create a good marriage. And at one point I was saying to God, I know this is of you, but it does not make sense to me. It looks like things are worse rather than better. And I do know that happens often when we're following the path. But I said, I just need something to hang on to, some verse. And I assume you do that,

[00:36:23] a lot of people do that. They find a verse that gets them through a hard time to just say it to themselves when they're struggling. And, but he didn't give me a verse. He said this, All will be made whole as a result of this marriage. And I knew we were struggling, you know, sons with panic attacks and a daughter who married a person who is, put her in the same abusive situation

[00:36:47] I came out of, that kind of thing. And so this promise that all would be made whole as a result of this marriage, really made me commit to figuring out how to make it work and to work with God to do it. So that's what that book is about. And, you know, Parker's a great guy, I have to tell you, he's a great guy. He's the sort of person who would give you the shirt off his back. But he's Scottish

[00:37:13] so he wouldn't give you the money to buy it with, but he would give you the shirt. And if someone needs help he just will stop what he's doing and go do it. Where I'm thinking, Okay. Now, if I go help you now, I was going to go food shopping when am I going to go? That's how I think, right? Like,

[00:37:29] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:37:29] Margaret Agard: but he's more like, Oh, you need it, fine. Whatever I'm doing, I'm dropping it, I'll come help you. I once had this thing where I was saying to God, You know, we're older, we're both retired now how come I'm fixing all the meals? And I hate to cook. And I will talk to him all the time about that. Like, Parker, I think you should be doing more and you should do some of the meals like that, right?

[00:37:56] Which he'll do, but I have to tell you, Ed, I'm not real fond of eating raw hot dogs at nine o'clock at night. So I am one of those guys who think, I really don't like how you're doing it, okay, do it my way. And so I was saying to God, like, I was, I was telling Him, I'm upset about this. And He said, Well, first of all, Margaret, you know, that if you ask him to do some specific thing for the meal, he will do it.

[00:38:20] He'll make a salad or cook a soup. He'll do whatever I ask, right? And so if you planned a little better, he does a big part of the meals. Also, he grows a big garden and then cans things. He cans them because I'm not doing that anymore. Cause when I was a stay at home mom, I was canning a thousand quarts of fruits and vegetables in the summer.

[00:38:38] And I'm not doing it anymore. I don't like it, I don't have to. I'll go buy it at the store. But he does all that. And then, then He said, Here's the real problem, Margaret, you're asking the wrong question. And I thought, I am? He said, Yeah, you're asking how much does it put you out? And I thought, Well, fair, I'll give you that. I do ask that. Like, okay, this is going to put me out. How am I going to make up for it? What am I going to do? Like that, right? And so I thought, Well, all right, what is the right question? And He said, Will doing this make another person feel love? So it did change how I went through life.

[00:39:28] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:39:29] Margaret Agard: What I say is, My husband Parker lives his life from that. I'm gonna do this 'cause it'll make that person feel loved.

[00:39:40] Ed Watters: That's right. I love that, that's, that's powerful. And, uh, I try to do the same type of life there. You know, I lived so many years, I thought of nothing but myself and going for me. [00:40:00] And when that transition happened, it's just life changing. My wife and I, we've been married since September of 1985. We've been together since 1983 so almost forty years together. And the hardships that we had to endure because we did not know how to truthfully communicate with each other and

[00:40:38] Margaret Agard: Listen.

[00:40:39] Ed Watters: be able to ask the question properly.

[00:40:44] Margaret Agard: Yes.

[00:40:45] Ed Watters: Because we assume so much and, and we want to assume we know the individual that we're married to. But when we just take the role of assumption and we don't give them the identity that is needed in the relationship,

[00:41:07] Margaret Agard: Right.

[00:41:08] Ed Watters: it can be very difficult. So marriage, it's a very touchy subject for a lot of people. A lot of people file for divorce very quickly instead of going over the boulders and the rocks and tumbling through the waters to get smoothed out and looking very polished. And, and once you find that connection, it doesn't matter. You know, a lot of people go through three, four, sometimes before they find a connection, it doesn't matter. Once you find the connection that works for you, that's going to change your life. And it's amazing how it does.

[00:41:56] Margaret Agard: Yeah.

[00:41:57] Ed Watters: So, you're, you're a very inspirational woman. Uh, before I ask about where to find your books and all, do you have a call to action for our listeners?

[00:42:11] Margaret Agard: Yes. Ed, um, I just started these, so on my website, um, if you put, then there will be a place where you can sign up for a drawing to get one of my books for free. And so

[00:42:29] Ed Watters: Awesome. Thank you.

[00:42:29] Margaret Agard: I'll make sure that's there. So I want to put, um, and now, sometimes people will be listening to this after the fact, right? Like they might listen to it two years from now because they think they're evergreen. So what my plan is, I can set it up so I know where it comes from. And if I ever, ever see like there's at least ten names on there, I'll do another drawing. So even if you're listening to it, you know, two years from when it went live, I'll make sure that keeps happening. That's my plan now.

[00:43:00] Ed Watters: Awesome.

[00:43:01] Margaret Agard: If I'm dead, it's not going to happen, okay? But my plan is for that.

[00:43:11] Ed Watters: Let's keep going, Margaret.

[00:43:12] Margaret Agard: That's right. That's my call to action. Well, and the books are good. I, I have some, lots of good reviews and people say they're spiritual, not religious, which is good. I'm not preaching in the books. I really am sharing stories like this and I hope people feel the Spirit when they read them. Feel that spirit of peace and love.

[00:43:30] Ed Watters: Yeah. We have to learn to teach, not preach.

[00:43:34] Margaret Agard: Right.

[00:43:34] Ed Watters: And how we teach best is living by example. And, and people look on to that and see it and it hits home. You don't have to say a word just act like you want others to act in all situations. So how can people get your books? And if they want you for engagement, how can they hook up with you?

[00:44:04] Margaret Agard: Okay, so, does have a link to, all three of the books are up there. The third one is just getting on the mailing list and I'll let you know when it's ready. And there's, the first two books are available in print, and eBooks, and audio books. And then I also have, um, you know, my blogs and then I have my social media links on that page and a little pop up. It doesn't cover the whole screen, but it will come up and you could sign up for the newsletter. I send it out once a month. It usually has one inspirational story and some information about what's going on with us and sometimes a cat picture, but we don't have cats, but I have a daughter who does. And then let's see,

[00:44:49] oh, what I'd like to say about that is I won't spam because I'm old, and I'm tired, and lazy. You will be lucky to get one newsletter a month and that's it, okay? I'm not sure, it's just enough. You're like, Oh, that made me feel better for today. That's, um, so that's what's happening on the website. It's interesting how

[00:45:07] I got the website. It was the same way. I was going to call it apprentice to the master thinking about, you know, I'm apprenticing in Jesus's footsteps kind of thing. And He said, No, I want you to call it in His footsteps. And then He said, Now, I want you get the website in His footsteps. Well, I don't know if you've ever tried to buy a website,

[00:45:25] but a name like, guaranteed somebody owns it. And if they want to sell it, they're going to ask a pretty penny for it. So I said, I looked and sure enough, that's exactly what was happening. Somebody owned it, they were willing to sell it. And I said, we had another business at the time, I said, I can afford X dollars.

[00:45:44] So if they will accept X dollars, I will buy it. And so I sent the offer and they accepted it. And so I, um,,

[00:45:53] Ed Watters: That was meant to be.

[00:45:56] Margaret Agard: it was meant to be. I was in charge.

[00:45:57] Ed Watters: And I'm glad you covered that because I actually had that wrote down as a question about why the name in His footsteps? Because a lot of people, they don't really get in step with Jesus. So interesting. I, I've had a fascinating time with you. Our time has come to an end here and I would love to pick this up and do it again sometime, Margaret. So, thank you for being part of Dead America Podcast.

[00:46:30] Margaret Agard: Okay, thanks.

[00:46:35] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.