You Should See the Other Guy!

Happy Memorial Day! Today is about celebrating and being thankful for all the men and women who have laid down their lives to preserve our freedom. Where would be without freedom? Watch this amazing video my Pator showed in church yesterday. It will get you “fired up” about our country and the amazing people who have given everything for our right to freedom.

As thankful as I am for my personal freedom and the fact that I live in America, I am abundantly more thankful for my spiritual freedom and the fact that I know Christ. He came here to this earth and died for me so that I could live in freedom from sin and have a hope that, when I die, I can be with Him. What a miracle! What a story! But, that freedom didn’t come free. A heavy price was paid when Jesus laid down his life for us. He suffered. I’ve often thought about how He could have planned the whole thing differently. He could have just arrived on the scene when he was 33, descended from heaven so everyone could see that He was the Son of God, then died an easy death, rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven. Would that have been enough? Did he really have to suffer like He did?

He suffered so He could be acquainted with our suffering. He is more than just our Savior, He is our friend. There is nothing we could ever face in this life that He didn’t face. We could never look up at Heaven and tell God that He doesn’t understand. Jesus walked the earth for 33 years, sacrificed everyday for the people around Him, never sinned, and suffered an unthinkable death as an innocent. None of us can say that our life, or our situation, is harder than that, right? Right. So, we find comfort in knowing that He suffered before us and He is walking with us because He understands. He is acquainted.

He gave everything so we could be free, just like many people have given everything for the freedom of our country. When I watched the video above, I was struck with the quote from Martin A. Treptow. It started with an expression that “America must win this war” and ended with this,

“I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone.”

Wow. Imagine if we all lived with that kind of determination and selflessness. That man would never know the millions of people who would live in freedom after he was gone, and he didn’t care. He loved his country enough to give everything he had, even if he never saw the fruit of his sacrifice. We would not be a free country if it were not for men and women like Martin A. Treptow. The enemy would have prevailed and we would be enslaved.

The Bible reminds us constantly that we are in a spiritual battle. Although Christ won on the cross, we remain here in this sinful earth and, until Jesus comes again, we will fight the fight. We must have this same resolve and this understanding that there is a bigger picture we can not see. This life is not about me and you. It doesn’t revolve around us and what we want to gain from this life. There is a greater war going on and we must be strong, brave and cheerful soldiers. We must fight as if the entire struggle depended just on us. And, we must be determined that our cause will win. It will. I’ve already read the end of the story, so I know that Jesus wins. The question is….will you be on the winning side. Will I be on the winning side? Will we make it to the end? The good news is that God tells us how to prepare ourselves to win. Let’s look at a few scriptures. The most famous scripture regarding our preparation for battle is Ephesians 6:10-18,

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”


He tells us how to arm ourselves for this battle. No soldier would go into battle unprepared. It starts with truth and righteousness. God must reveal the truth to us about who He is and what He has done for us. We have to accept that truth, repent, surrender our lives to Him and allow Him to cover us in His righteousness. There are no works that will save us and there are not enough rules we can follow to save us. We must believe the truth of His Word, repent and allow Him to give us HIS righteousness. We must be prepared to share this gospel. As we are fighting our battles, others will come to know Christ through what they see in our lives, so we must be prepared to share the gospel so they can come to Jesus. Above all, we must have faith. Now, faith is a gift. You can’t conjure it up. You can’t work for it. It is a gift. Read Ephesians 3: 14-21. Paul prayed for God to GRANT the church that gift of faith. He gives it to us. All we have to do is ask with a willing heart. Ask Him right now. If you are not filled with faith for the battle you are fighting today, stop and ask Him. He will give it. Our mind is protected by a helmet of salvation. It says to “take” the helmet. Receive it and allow the salvation from sin to cover your mind and protect your thoughts. Think of things that are good and true and right. Then comes our weapon. This is the most important weapon we will ever need – The Word of God.

Ok. This is a really cool thought. Stay with me. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then in verse 14, it says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” This means that Jesus IS the Word. Right? So if our sword is the Word of God, then Jesus, Himself, is our sword. He is what we fight with. We fight with the Word, which is Jesus. I’ll never forget one Sunday morning, my Pastor was teaching on the power of the Word. He held up His Bible in front of us and said, “This Bible is spiritual. It is Jesus. This book that you hold in your hand is the only spiritual thing that is also tangible. It is here on earth and has a physical presence, but it is completely spiritual. It is alive. It is Jesus!” I put that in quotes because I want you to know that these are not my words, but, of course, I don’t have his words exactly as he said them. But, that’s what I remember. I couldn’t stop thinking about that. I carry this Bible, I leave it in my car sometimes, I’ve read it so much that it’s about to fall apart, but I never really stopped and thought about the fact that it is alive and it is a spiritual thing. Ponder that for a minute and you might never feel the same way about your book.

If you are looking for Jesus….read the Word. It is Him. Like David, ask Him to grant you the wisdom to understand it, then open it and read. He will speak to you if your heart is open. He wants to be found. He came here and suffered so we could find Him. The greatest joy in finding Him, is knowing that we can suffer in this life with strength and help. You may not be suffering at the same level that Clay and I are suffering right now, but please don’t compare yourself to us. This is not about us. It is about Jesus. Whatever battle you are fighting right now is equally as important as our battle. God is trying to accomplish something in your life and He wants to help you.

I Peter 4:13 and 19 says, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing as unto a faithful Creator.”

As we fight and suffer, we can commit ourselves to Him and rejoice. It’s true, y’all. I’m telling you. In your darkest moment, if you allow Him, the Holy Spirit will come and He will fill you up with joy. Ask Him. Let Him. Seek Him.

I’ll leave you with this last thought. Many times over the past month, I’ve had this picture of Satan going before God, like he did in Job, and telling God that Clay and I only loved Him because He blessed us. So, God said, “Ok, do what you want.” So, Satan came for the jugular. He skipped over taking away our material possessions and other people in our lives and he just came in full force and gave Clay a massive brain tumor. I don’t know if you will understand this, and it might be a little much for me to share with you, but I’ll trust God that you will understand. Satan knew that taking Clay from me was the very worst thing he could do. Clay is my soulmate. We are supposed to be together until Jesus comes or until we live out a long life and die together at 85-90. My children will grow up and start their own lives and leave me. As much as I love them with all my heart, they will leave me. Clay was supposed to be by my side for the rest of my life. So, Satan knew. He knew how to get me.

But, God. I’m going to say that again. But, God. Satan gathered his army and he developed a smart battle strategy and he came at us with everything he had. What he didn’t expect was that there was an army of Angels waiting for him. We were already armed and ready. We didn’t know why God had armed us. We didn’t know why He was preparing us. But, we knew we were being prepared. Thank God, we had ears to hear. We listened. We did what God told us to do. We were prayed up and armed with the Word of God. We learned from the examples of others who had gone before us in battle. So, Satan fought hard, but he lost. He is still losing. I have this picture of him just standing there in shock as he watched the Angel Armies defeat his stupid little demons. He came with an anticipation of victory and then he stood there and watched God work….again. You’d think he would learn, but he doesn’t. Praise God for those Angel Armies. Yesterday, we had a guest speaker at our church, David Owens. It was so good. God moved in a great way. He read a story about a man who had been fighting his own battle. When he was in prayer one day, the Lord encouraged him by speaking to him this little phrase, “You should see the other guy!” So, if you feel beaten down or wounded in your battle today. If you feel like you are not winning, or like you are being overcome, stand strong and let the Lord show you what your enemy looks like right now. He is scared, defeated, and scrambling to figure out what to do next.

Don’t focus on your battle. Focus on what God is doing to our opposition through your battle. Satan is being defeated. And, I can promise you that this battle is just a small part of a very big war that is being waged all around us. It is a spiritual war and it is affecting eternity. Although your battle may feel like the most important thing happening right now, it’s not. There are many battles being fought, and all with the purpose of glorifying Jesus in the earth. It won’t be long until we are all coming back on white horses and Jesus is leading us into the final battle.

Be strong. Put on the WHOLE armor. Stand. Do all to stand. Pray always. And, let your Angel Armies defend you. I hope today that you will smile and even laugh a little as you let God remind you of this little phrase…”You should see the other guy!”


He Orders Our Steps

It’s amazing how fast God responds when we ask Him for help. We left the hospital on Thursday with such a heaviness. Remember I told you how sad I thought we looked while we were waiting for our car at the valet? Well, here is what we looked like Friday:


Friday was a much better day. We started the day by listening to a song given to us by our Pastor’s mom, Jeanne Shipp. She saw that Clay’s favorite scripture was Isaiah 53 and she sent us a CD from her daughter, De, that has a song from Isaiah 53. So sweet. Thank you, Mrs. Jeanne, for you love and for your prayers. Many of you have sent us songs to encourage us and that is certainly something the Lord has used to speak to us in this time. So, we had some church on the way to the hospital Friday morning.


When we arrived, there were cars everywhere. If you’ve ever been to MDA, you’ll know what I mean when I say that there are soooo many people here. You can’t help but realize that you are not in this fight alone. There are so many people effected by this stupid disease and they are fighting right along side of you. Look at all the cars! Our first step that day was an EEG. This is a test that is similar to an EKG for your heart, but it is for your brain. I don’t know what the acronym means and I’m too tired to google it right now. So, feel free to google it. Due to a few episodes Clay has had, the doctor was concerned he could possibly have had some minor seizures. So the EEG was to test for that.

He had little sensors all over his head and they were stuck on with lotion. It was very interesting to watch the technician apply them. That took longer than the actual test. Anyway, this took about an hour. I got to sit with him the whole time. He actually fell asleep for a while and I was jealous. The result of the test was basically normal. There was not enough concern for seizures to add medication. I was thankful because I’m hoping to minimize the amount of medication he has to take right now.

The next step was to meet the Oncologist. This is a large group of Oncologists that all work together. So, first one of the fellows came in to see us. She was very nice and she did all the physical testing with Clay.

She tested peripheral vision, physical strength, mental awareness, and some cognitive skills. He did great. Then she talked to us for a while. Dr. Weathers is our assigned Oncologist. She came in and spent about 30 – 40 minutes with us. She reviewed the pathology report and reiterated some things Dr. Sulman had told us on Thursday. She was the first person to tell us that Glioblastoma does not spread. Glioblastoma is a primary tumor that grows in the brain. It does not originate anywhere else and it does not spread. They are so confident that this cancer will not spread to other parts of the body that they don’t even do full body scans on their patients. Now, I trust her, but I was thankful that the doctors in BR had already scanned the other parts of Clay’s body to look for spreading and they did not find any. So, she’s right. But, I was happy to have the scans to prove it.

She explained that they do not have “stages” for Glioblastoma. When you hear people refer to cancer in stages, that is referring to the level at which the cancer has spread. So, because this cancer doesn’t spread, they don’t think of it in stages. They refer to it in “grades,” which imply aggression. Grade 4 is the highest, most aggressive grade. And, that’s what we have. She talked about the location of Clay’s tumor and some of the major functions that are controlled in that area of his brain. She referred to our tumor as “unique.”

One of the most important things she helped us understand is that the treatment at this stage of Clay’s cancer is very much standardized. They have been studying Glioblastoma for years and they have done many clinical trials in the past to determine that the most successful treatment for the first time Glioblastoma discovery is: Surgery with extraction, followed by 6 weeks of radiation, and a specific chemotherapy drug called Temadar. She complimented Dr. Weinberg on the amazing success of Clay’s surgery and told us that it will be the biggest factor in Clay’s survival. He really did a wonderful job and that miracle is positioning us for success. Dr. Sulman explained the radiation to us yesterday. 6 weeks, 5 days a week of targeted radiation. Then, the chemo. Thankfully, the chemo for Glioblastoma is a pill. We will take it at home and she is telling us that it is highly tolerable. The side effects are generally mild. He could be on it for 6 months to 1 year, depending on his response.

There are no clinical trials in the Oncology department for us right now. All the trials, including the polio vaccine treatment, are only being done for patients with recurrence of the tumor. When the speak to us about this process they always say, “When the tumor recurs…..” Their studies show that it will come back. The web site actually says 100% of the time. Wow. I’m so glad I’m listening to the report of my God, and not the report of these doctors. And, it excites me because it will just make it that much more spectacular if God heals Clay. Anyway, the trials and special studies are all for people with recurrence. So, for now, we just have to do the standard treatment. Honestly, y’all, that was a load off my mind. We have had so many decisions and we’ve been processing so much information that it made it very simple for us to be able to just say “ok,” and know that we just have to do what they know works for now. Clinical trials and other treatment options will come later….unless God does a miracle.


We had a little break, which felt really good, before we had to go to the Radiology department for our follow up visit. We sat in “The Park” at the hospital and Clay had a gigantic smoothie. We are trying to help him put on some pounds before we start treatment. And, the steroids are making him hungry, so he’s been eating everything I’ve put in front of him. We got to just sit and read for a while.

When we met with Dr. Sulman on Thursday, we agreed to go ahead and let them do what’s called a simulation. They make a mask for Clay’s face that will be used during his radiation treatment and they take some more scans that will help them plan for the treatment. By agreeing to do this while we are here now, it will prevent us from having to come back prior to starting treatment.

It is amazing to see all this technology. God made man to be so intelligent and we are reaping the benefit of years of study. So, they took this sheet of plastic with holes in it, dipped it in hot water, then laid it on Clay’s face. It molded around his face and got hard. They sent him into the machine and took images. I had to step outside while he was in the machine, but the technician left the door open so I could see what was going on. The pic above of the computer screens is me watching them work. It just all intrigues me. You can see the finished product in the bottom right hand corner. That’s Dr. Sulman at the top left.

While we were in the waiting room at the Radiology department, I reminded Clay of something he said to me yesterday. One of the first things the Lord spoke to me in this ordeal was out of Psalm 33. I encourage you to go read the entire chapter. It will bless you. It starts by talking about how wondrous God is. How he just spoke and created the heavens, etc. Then in verses 17-19 it says,

“Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory – for all it’s strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.”

As we were trying to decide if we should come to MDA or stay in BR for treatment, Clay asked me, “Do you believe that it is not the horse that saves us, or are we just saying that?” He wasn’t being harsh….he was just being honest. And, I had to contemplate the question. I thought about it for an entire day before I brought it up with him again. I asked the Lord to help me understand what He is saying and to give me direction. I asked the Lord if I am putting my faith in MDA or in Him. After some prayer and contemplation, I told Clay while we sat in the waiting room, that God has given me incredible peace about being in Houston. He’s even made me feel like it might be the best option for us. He has ordained every single step we have taken so far and He continues to part the sea as we walk. While I am not putting my faith in this hospital or these doctors, I do feel like this is where He is leading us. And, we have to have a horse to ride into battle on. We can’t put our faith in the horse, but no warrior would go to battle without a horse. And, why wouldn’t we choose the best one in the stable?

We left the hospital at about 4 pm and it was pouring down rain. But, we left with smiles on our faces and peace in our hearts. We went back to Andy and Brooke’s house to order Chinese food. Clay is so relieved that Dr. Sulman told him he can have some splurges. He has not been happy about the changes to his diet, but he’s making it. He had been craving Chinese food, so we ordered it and had it delivered to the house. My Aunt Janet and Uncle Bill came to Houston and brought my Grandmother, Earlene. They were coming just to see Andy and Brooke for the weekend, so we all got to be together last night and this morning. We ate and visited. Of course, we told them all about our day and we talked about what we might do. Brooke is helping us find some housing options.

This morning, we all had our coffee in our PJs and then we went to a local Mexican restaurant for breakfast. As a Louisiana girl, I can say that I have never had breakfast at a Mexican restaurant. But, it was good!


I had scrambles eggs with chorizo. Yum! Bill picked up the tab and treated all of us. Thank you, Uncle Bill! Clay cleaned his plate and ate Sam’s left overs. Then, we hit the road to head back to Baton Rouge.

Andy and Brooke have helped us so much and have been so supportive. It’s so wonderful to have family that loves you! Look at that selfie. Those are some of my favorite people in this world.


This is a special picture for me. My Uncle Bill has been in his own battle with cancer for about 2 years. Like Clay, the BR doctors told him they could not do anything for him and gave him about 6 months to live. But, he got to MDA and was put into a clinical trial and look how healthy he is right now. He just had his check up and they told him that he is still cancer free! Amen! God is awesome. When the world gives us no hope, there is God. Bill and Janet stood firm on the Word of God and they believed God to do a miracle in their lives….and here he is. I’ve been so thankful that God sent him before us and that his story has been such an encouragement to us. Janet, his wife, has been a strong support to me. She called me as we were driving to the hospital Thursday morning. It’s like she knew exactly how I felt in that moment. I couldn’t even really figure out how I was feeling, yet, but she knew. She called me and just talked to me while I drove. It was something I will never forget. You know how the Bible talks about our ability to comfort others because we have been comforted by God in our times of need….well, that’s exactly what happened. I love them and thank God that they are with us in our trial.

It is good to be home. We are looking forward to being back with our church tomorrow. Thank you, all, for continuing to pray and for all the ways you’ve blessed us in this time. We love you and pray that you are encouraged in your walk with the Lord. He orders our steps. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Amen.

Keeping Our Eyes On Jesus

I got mad at Clay. There. I said it out loud. I said it. I got mad. In one of the early days of our diagnosis, I started to write a post about the unity we’ve been experiencing since this happened. I actually said, “I think we’ve had our last fight ever. Why would we ever waste time fighting again?” And I believed it. God immediately gave us incredible unity when the news came. We were saying the same things, thinking the same thoughts and we were in total agreement. “The two shall become one” had a whole new meaning. We were truly operating as one person. And, we still are. But, some of the stress has started to settle in. Clay is on a steroid, and they warned me from the beginning that it would make him irritable. Well, it didn’t……until yesterday! Ha. All of the sudden, he got his panties in a little wad and, guess what happened? I did too.

So, if you’ve been reading this blog and thinking that we are anything but two very wretched people, let me tell you that you have been wrong. Without the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are nothing. We are selfish, impatient, ugly people. God has been so good to completely empower us to walk in His grace. But, this morning, we were a little cold. And, I regret it so much. Today was one of the hardest days we’ve had, and in our selfish nature, we let space come between us over some silly little things. The truth is that the reality is starting to hit us. That’s why today was so hard. It felt so real. So final. So true. We are really here at MD Anderson and we are actually discussing Clay’s health. It’s hard to believe sometimes.

The morning started with Houston traffic. Oh my. It took us an hour to get there. We got Clay a huge, calorie loaded smoothie and went to see the Neurosurgeon. Dr. Weinberg has been so wonderful. He showed us the MRI’s again and we marveled at how successful the surgery was. He remembered how miserable Clay was and he was very pleased with how well he is doing now. The nurse came in and removed Clay’s staples. I was laughing at first and joking around about him “manning up,” but I stopped laughing pretty quickly when I saw how uncomfortable he was. Yikes. No pain meds. They just pulled them out. I never counted the staples, but there were a bunch. We made it through.

Then we met with the Neuro Psychologist to complete cognitive testing. The doctor interviewed us together but he wouldn’t let me say anything. He asked Clay a series of questions regarding how he is recovering. It was interesting to hear what he thinks. There were a few very difficult moments as he struggled to make sense of some things. They are telling us that most of the symptoms he has now are from the steroids and are normal for recovery from this type of surgery. They should pass and he should get back to his normal self soon, but it is difficult to experience. You just constantly find yourself wondering if this is permanent or if it will really pass.


The Neuro Psychologist took me in another room to talk about the questions he asked Clay and to get the real story. When he started asking me questions, I just couldn’t hold back my emotion. My mind went foggy and I felt like I was having an out of body experience. “Am I really sitting across the table from a Neuro Psychologist right now?” In that moment, I felt like Peter when he was walking on the water. I was looking at this doctor, just two feet across from me, but in my peripheral vision, there were these huge waves rising all around me. It was as if I was surrounded by darkness and waves that were ready to crash on top of me. I could hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Just look at me. Just keep your eyes on me.” So, I just did that. I reminded myself that He is working and He is here.

After we discussed Clay for a while, he asked me how I am doing. Wow. How do you answer that? This is what I said, “Yes. God made me to be strong and independent. My 17 year, high pressure career prepared me for the responsibility I am carrying right now. I am very accustomed to being in charge and being responsible for a lot of people. So, I can handle it. God has been our strength. Our faith is strong and we believe with all of our hearts that He is doing something great. He is clearly working on our behalf, so we are not afraid. But, it hurts. It’s hard. It feels very hard to believe at times.” Then I told him about my blog and he was so astounded. He said something like, “Your story is helping other people.” Amen. That’s what we pray.

When they finished the test, Clay swallowed down a quick lunch and we headed to the Radiology department. They were waiting on us because we were running late and we were also running low on energy. The Radiologist was great. We liked him immediately. A few doctors, now, have explained that Radiology is not just a science…it is an art. So, the doctor you choose has impact on the success of your treatment. The group here at MDA is 10 Radiology Oncologists who solely radiate brain tumors. They don’t do anything else. Our Radiologist is a professor and is personally involved in 3 clinical trials right now. These people are experts. We are in the best hands possible. I’ve prayed so hard that we would be able to do treatment at home, but right now, it seems like coming to MDA is going to be our best decision. We haven’t made up our minds, but we are leaning in that direction.

God is teaching me not to box Him in. I am specific in the way that I pray, but I always tell the Lord that I want His will. I lay out my desires (i.e. to be at home for treatment) but I follow it by telling him I want to be in His will. When the Radiologist walked in the room, I felt like we were going to decide to come here, but it took me a while to accept it. In fact, it took all evening. I just cried while we talked the Radiologist. He was kind with us. He did tell us some important things:

  1. There is nothing you did to cause this tumor. These tumors are completely random and we have no idea what causes them. We do know that there are certain factors like environment, diet, exercise, etc, that have absolutely no impact on them and are not believed to cause them, but we don’t know what does. So, release yourself from any responsibility. You did not do this to yourself or cause this in anyway.
  2. This cancer does not act like other cancers so there are a lot of differences in how this will be treated and how it behaves from normal cancers.
  3. It is for certain (based on pathology) a Glioblastoma Stage 4. Of course, I asked for the scale and 4 is the worst. We joked about Clay always trying to be the best. He is so competitive. Although we basically already knew this, it was like we were hearing it for the first time, all over again. This is a rare condition and the location of Clay’s tumor is even more rare. The treatment plan will be very specific and will require a great deal of expertise.
  4. Clay’s overall health is very important right now. While he does not believe that there are specific dietary factors that will have an impact, he did stress that Clay needs to be very healthy in order to survive and to respond well to the treatment. I told him that we’ve started juicing and eliminated sugar and he agreed that those are good decisions. He wants Clay to put on as much weight as possible. He has gained some weight since we came home from surgery. Yay!

Dr. Sulman did a wonderful job of explaining the process and helping us understand the truth of our situation. He told us that he would completely understand if we decide to have treatment at home, but he can’t recommend a doctor there. We have a big decision to make, and although it seems pretty obvious, I’m just not ready to commit. But, I do know that God is at work and I trust His plan. If we end up in Houston for 6 weeks, then I believe it is because He has something to accomplish in us or through us that can only be accomplished here in Houston. Treatment is Mon-Fri for 6 weeks in a row. We could come home on weekends, but we’ll be here 5 days a week.

By the time we left the hospital at 4 pm, my head hurt so bad that I could hardly keep my eyes open. We walked down to the valet and sat in two chairs to wait. After a few minutes, I realized that we were both laying back in the chairs, staring into space, totally unaware of our surroundings. I was thinking, “We probably look like a sad couple who just found out they have cancer.” I don’t want to look like that. I want to demonstrate the power of God in every single moment. We’ve had so many opportunities to share our faith, already. All of these doctors and nurses have heard us talk about the Lord and how He is sustaining us. I’m so thankful that God is able to speak through us right now. One of the research doctors  came back to our room after she had left just to tell us that we blessed her in her time with us this morning. She said the nurses were out there talking about us and they were blessed by our story. Now, y’all, that’s just cool. It’s cool to think that in our weakness, He is strong. God is demonstrating His power so clearly.

The car came and when we first got in it, I wasn’t sure how I would drive all the way home. But, then Clay started helping me. He did the GPS, he called the kids, he googled the restaurant we wanted, he set up a conference call with our parents so we could tell them about the day. I was energized just watching him do these simple little things because he did them effortlessly. It was so encouraging to see him doing so well, even after such a long day. It was the first time in a while that I think he felt better than I did. We told our parents about the day, and before I knew it, we were at Pappasito’s. I love their fajitas! So, we picked up dinner and brought it back to my cousin’s. They have a beautiful home we’ve been staying in. We had dinner at their table with the kids and we just talked about the day. As I started telling them the situation, the peace came. I felt a total peace. Maybe it was the flour tortillas, but anyway, I felt peace. Clay is very calm and peaceful about the decision, too. Thank you, Jesus.

We go back early in the morning for more tests and to meet with the Oncologist. We’ll let you know if there is any new information. She will be discussing clinical trials with us, so it should be another interesting day. Thank you, Jesus, for walking with us. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for being our wisdom. Thank you, friends and family, for praying continually. God is hearing Clay’s name so much right now. He loves us and He is answering. Thank you!

P.S. We made up!


The Name Above Every Name

My dad found this picture this week and texted it to me. Wow. We look young, don’t we? Well, Clay looks young, for sure. I look about the same, right?? Ha! When he saw it, he said, “Oh my gosh! Babe, you look sooooooo young.” I forgave him because, after all, he does have a brain tumor. (In case you just gasped, we have done our best to keep laughing right now. Laughter can be good medicine. Clay has the biggest sense of humor of all of us. Praise God.)

No matter where you are in your life tonight….young or old….love on the people you love. You never know when your entire world will be changed. Enjoy every moment. Laugh. Kiss. Love. Hug. Be sweet. Be mushy. Make everyone around you gross out, if you have to! Make sure the people in your life know that you love them. This picture makes me cry, but it also makes me smile. We’ve been so blessed and we’ve had so many good moments like this one. I love this man. I am believing for God’s will and my hope is that His will is life.

We see the Neurosurgeon and Radiologist tomorrow. Our first appointment is at 9:30 CT. I expect to be at the hospital most of the day. I’ll let you all know what happens as soon as I can.

We were trying to leave the house today by 2:00 pm. But, a few things happened that made us late. Well, it’s a good thing. Just as we were walking out the door, the McLin family drove up with goodies and games for the road and they blessed us with gas money. Then, we were pulling out and the UPS guy pulls in. I stopped to see what he had. Oh my gosh. It was a huge box of Christian CD’s that an old friend of ours, Charlie Hubert, sent us. We were set. Food, music, gas. Then, when we arrived in Houston, we had dinner at Pappadeaux seafood. A dear sweet lady, who does not know our family, has been reading our blog and she sent me an electronic gift card. Are you kidding? I couldn’t believe it. We had a delicious, and healthy, dinner. My dear cousin is sharing his house with us so we can stay for free this time.

We are so blessed by all of you. We feel your prayers. The trip over here today was different from the first trip, but equally as emotional. I’m actually not sure what I’m feeling tonight. It’s strange how sometimes you can just feel blank. That’s how I feel right now. So, I choose to meditate on this scripture as I close my eyes tonight….

Philippians 2:9-18

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

All we need is the name of Jesus. Amen. Goodnight.

Reaping and Sowing

We received the news of Clay’s diagnosis on a Tuesday afternoon around 3 pm. Right away, we told our family they all needed to come as soon as possible so we could tell them the news. Almost immediately, there were about 20 people in that little hospital room with us. We were surrounded by love and strength and support. It felt so good to know that we had so many people ready to hold us up and walk with us through what was sure to be the most difficult time in our lives. It felt so surreal. So untrue. So impossible to believe. But, the love we felt within minutes was amazing.

But, soon enough, everyone left, and Clay and I were alone in the room, laying in that little twin size bed in silence. I was holding him in my arms and crying out to the Lord in the dark. One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was Philippians 4: 10-20. Now, before I tell you the entire passage, let me tell you why this was in my thoughts. I was laying in that bed thinking about how much we were going to need. My thoughts started spinning as I imagined having to manage all of our affairs on my own. We have a big house that always needs work, I didn’t know what would happen with Clay’s business, I thought of my kids and how many things they are involved in, I thought of medical bills piling up, and many more necessities that would need to be met right now.

We often cling to verse 19 of this passage, which says, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I have a wise pastor who once taught on this scripture and he showed us how, often times, we take this passage out of context. When you read the entire passage, you will see that Paul is specifically talking to the Philippian church who supported him financially when he was in need. He even says that they were the only church who gave him financial support for a while. He tells them that he is not bringing up this subject because he needs anything from them at the time, but because he wanted them to know that God would bless them for their faithfulness in giving. He states this promise (that God will supply all their needs) to the people who supplied his needs. Not just to every Christian. It is a specific promise to people who gave when they had excess and when he had need.

Now, don’t get me wrong. God is good and He is sovereign and He can do whatever He wills to do. So, for people who have never given a dime in their lives to someone in need…God can still supply their needs. Never allow yourself to limit God. But, if you want to pray this scripture and claim it as a promise, you must be a giver. You must be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and do what He puts on your heart to do. He may tell you to supply a need for someone that no one else is going to be willing to supply…just like the Philippians did for Paul.

So, back to the dark hospital room. The thought that was going through my mind as I was laying there was…..God, did I give enough? Was I faithful when I had much? Did I listen to your voice when I had plenty? Was I a giver?

Because I knew that I would have great need right now, I was asking the Lord to show me if I was a Philippian (in this case) and if I could actually claim that promise. (Keep in mind that none of this is about works. It is about obedience to God and a willing heart that desires to do His will. I think that may be an entire blog topic soon, but we’ll say on point for now.) God is so sweet to us. In my moment of panic and self doubt, it was literally like the Holy Spirit came and just hugged me. You know how, when you are really upset and crying and you have that friend that just hugs you in silence and it comforts you? How they don’t say anything and they just hug you??? Well, that’s what the Holy Spirit did to me. He just hugged me and it hushed me, so that my thoughts settled down. He didn’t really answer me. He just calmed me.

Well, the answer came the next morning and it is still coming. You all have showered us with gifts, thoughtful gestures, prayers, your time, financial gifts, and much more. The Holy Spirit has answered every single prayer that I have prayed regarding a need that I had. Sometimes He answers me before I even pray it. It can just be a thought and within minutes, I have a text or an email saying that someone is doing it for me. I’m not kidding, y’all, there have been at least 30 different stories I could tell you where God has met my need before I even spoke it. He just keeps using so many of you to provide the things we need right now. I would never be able to thank you enough or list everyone on this blog. But, I wanted to share a few pictures with you that will represent how blessed we have been over the past few weeks.

Like Paul, in Philippians, I don’t tell you this because of a need we have right now. I tell you this to say that as you are allowing God to use you and as you are being a faithful giver, you can now claim this promise in Philippians 4:19. You are being blessed because of your faithfulness to God. The Lord showed me, on that same night in that hospital room, that I should allow people to bless us right now. It was like He said, “Don’t argue. Just accept what I tell them to do.” Like the Philippian church, you are being used by God right now and it is so that you can be blessed. When you find yourself in a place of need, God will supply it because you have been a giver.

So, I went from wondering if I had done enough, to feeling so completely humbled by all that you have done for us. I was expressing this to the crowd of people at our house on the Saturday after we heard the news. There were over 100 people crammed in our living room, just to pray over us and cry out to God on our behalf. The only words I could form into a complete sentence, were to say how humbled I felt by the love. I felt like God was giving me so much more than I’ve ever given….just in a few days. After people started leaving, our dear friend, Barry Ivey, pulled me to the side and responded to my comments. He said, “Kristy, all these years that you have been giving to others….you’ve been planting seeds. But, when the seeds get returned to you, they don’t come back as seeds. They come back as plants. As trees. You don’t reap seeds. You reap plants.” How true! How profound. Thank you, Barry. It gave me words to describe what I was feeling. It gave me a way to express what I’m experiencing. God is returning to me, 100 fold, everything I’ve ever sown. Isn’t He so good. Isn’t that the kind of God you want to serve?

So, I’ll say this one more time. This blog is not about me. It is not us. It is not about a need that Clay and I have right now. It is about you. It is about celebrating what God is doing through you as you are being faithful to give. God will bless you in return. He will. I promise. My life is living proof of this right now. I encourage you to ask the Lord to give you ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying. Ask Him to speak so that you never miss an opportunity to serve Him or be used by Him. Sow your seeds. There are people all around you in need right now. Let God show you which lives He wants you to touch. Bless them. Then, when you find yourself in need, He will provide for you in abundance.

We are preparing to leave for Houston tomorrow. Thank you for the visits today. We have been so blessed by your love.

We will keep you updated as we meet with the doctors. Thank you for your prayers for wisdom and discernment. We believe God will continue to part our waters and lead us where He wants us to go. Amen.

One last thing. Here is the entire passage from Philippians, if you want to read it. I hope you do.

Philippians 4:10-20

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Living in the Moment

We left the house for the first time tonight, since we’ve been home from MD Anderson. We have been staying home so Clay can recover and many of you have been to visit over the past few days. Thank you.

But, tonight The Rangers had a ballgame. Our son Ben, who is 10 years old, plays on the team, but more importantly, Clay has been the coach for the past two years. When we got his diagnosis, one of the first things we had to determine was what to do with the team. Our good friend, Doug Bush, stepped up and took over for Clay and the team hasn’t missed a beat. Tonight was our first opportunity to go see them play since Clay has been sick. The doctors told us to try to get back to our normal routine as soon as possible and that exercise is good for Clay, so it was time for us to get out a little.


I expected Clay to experience some emotions when we arrived at the park. He has always LOVED baseball. He played all his life growing up, including high school ball for Central High School. He has been involved in coaching his sons since Sam starting playing 10 years ago and for the past two years he has been the head coach of Ben’s team. Clay knows what he is doing and he is a very good technical coach. At the beginning of this season, he would come home from practice and say, “Babe. I love these kids, but I’m just telling you….be prepared to not win a game.” Well, by the time we made it the opening season tournament, they were a different team. They made it to the championship game and then started their season 9-1. It has been so much fun to watch them excel.

More importantly, though, Clay has loved the boys like his own since the minute they joined the team. He cares much more about mentorship and teaching them character than he ever did about winning. I’ve watched him encourage them, help them, teach them, correct them, push them, and lead them. He leads by example. He would be the first to admit when he made a mistake and he always considered that the boys were watching him on the field if there was an error or a bad call. I was always so proud to say he is mine! Clay prayed with the boys before every game and after every game. We always started by asking the Lord to help us and keep us safe. And we always ended by giving thanks for what God did. It’s really wonderful to think of what this taught those boys.

He has missed ball…not for the sport…but for the boys. He’s missed being with Ben as he finishes his season. So, we went tonight. Surrounded by the world’s greatest friends and family, we went. We brought his portable rocking chair that our brother-in-law, Jimmy, bought for Clay to have at the hospital. Karen and Doug Bush had a tent set up for us when we got there, so Clay wouldn’t get overheated. Everyone greeted us with hugs and love. It was so good to be back. Clay went in the dug out to see the boys before the game and they all seemed really glad to see him there. The Rangers dominated! They played so good. They all hit good and our pitchers did a great job. Clay loved every minute of it. They came and gave him the game ball after it was over. So sweet.

We have two other parents on our team who are also fighting cancer right now. It was encouraging to see them and check on their progress. It reminds us that there are so many others who are battling major illness or major life issues. The devil is at work all around us. We have to be armed and ready to fight him. About halfway through the game, a wave of emotion hit me. I really had to choke back some tears as I sat there thinking of how he has loved his time out here with these young men. He always saw it as a ministry to the boys. I know he was sitting there wondering if he’ll ever be able to do it again. I was wondering that. If I let my mind wander too much, I start thinking about all kinds of possible outcomes from our situation. That doesn’t do me any good.

II Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

So, I have to take my thoughts captive and remember to just enjoy the moment. To stay right here in this moment where we are. We have to live to the fullest right now and enjoy every minute. Thinking about what could come, only brings fear and worry. So, we just watched the game and enjoyed the win. Near the end, Clay really started getting tired. I got a little concerned that he wouldn’t even make it back to the car. Our family packed up our stuff and our friend, Jake, walked on one side of Clay while I held his hand all the way to the car. We made it. He went straight to bed when we got home.  Help me pray that God will increase his strength and help him recover completely. He is weak.

My prayer for you tonight is that you will allow God to show you how He wants to use you in your present circumstance. Look for opportunities to be a vessel and to be used by God. It may be something really simple, like being an example to 12 little boys on a baseball field, but whatever it is, do it with all your heart. Don’t miss an opportunity to show the love of God to those around you and to be an example to others. And, take every thought captive. Use your time to glorify God and to do His work. Don’t waste your thoughts on vain imaginations or worry. Take them captive and obey Christ.

As you know, this week has been about recovery and waiting. Waiting to go back to MDA and find out what our next steps will be. You have helped us pass the time by sending us sweet cards, encouraging posts on Facebook, bringing us delicious meals and through your visits.

Our entire family came for lunch Sunday and Steve cooked a huge pot of Spaghetti for everyone. We’ve had visits from a few dear friends that are walking through their own struggles right now and we were able to pray with them for God to move their mountains. He is working in so many ways.

Thank you for continuing to pray. These few days have been hard and I feel in my spirit that there are many more hard days ahead. We need a complete miracle and we want God to be glorified in it. We leave on Wednesday and our appointments are Thursday and Friday at MDA. We will meet with the Neurosurgeon for a check up and, hopefully, staple removal. Then we can go get Clay’s head shaved! He’s so ready for that. All the boys were asking him tonight why he has hair. Ha. Then we’ll meet the Radiologist and Oncologist who will tell us about our treatment options. Pray that God’s will is done and we have perfect wisdom. We need ears to hear exactly what the Holy Spirit is telling us. Our desire is to have treatments conducted here at home, but we are going there with open minds and open hearts.

We love you and we continue to pray for all of you that are reading our story. God is moving and doing many miracles. Let Him move in your life.

Psalm 119

David is our best example of how to walk through difficulty. I have always loved the book of Psalms and I have read it more than any other book of the Bible, but I never fully related to David, until now. I have so many scriptures marked in my Bible that have brought me strength and encouragement over these past few weeks.  A few times I’ve thought to myself, “I wonder why I even underlined that. I had no idea what that meant until now.” But, I know that God was showing me those verses to prepare me for this time. All I have to do is open my Bible to Psalms and look for the highlighted verses and I get fed immediately. I get encouraged immediately.

The last few days have been Clay’s most difficult days. A little frustration is trying to creep in because he is not able to do some things that he could normally do. They are simple things, believe me. The steroids are keeping his mind a little fuzzy and he is still recovering from all the drugs that were in his system during surgery. His friend, Caleb, brought him some shrimp yesterday and he got aggravated because he had trouble peeling them. I just keep encouraging him that if that is the worst of our problems, we are in great shape! And we are. We are so much further along than we expected to be at this point. Praise God.

This morning, we were reading and praying together and the first words out of my mouth were, “God, thank you for another day.” At 38 years old, I really never thought I would pray that. But, right now, that is the first thing I’m thankful for each morning….another day. As we’ve been trying to keep ourselves encouraged in the Lord, I was drawn to read Psalm 119. When I was a teenager, my youth pastor, ET Tapper, taught me a Bible reading plan in which I would read through Psalms and Proverbs once a month. On the 1st of the month, I would read Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, etc, until the end of the book. Then I would read the corresponding Proverb to the day of the month. I did that for years and I’ll always remember ET for teaching me that. Anyway, when it would be time to read Psalm 119, I would dread that I had to read that entire chapter. I found lots of excuses to just skim through it. Well, this morning, I read every word and soaked it in. Clay and I soaked it in together.

Psalm 119 is all about the Word of God. David refers to it as the law, because that’s all he had available to him at the time. We are so blessed because we have the entire Bible. We have Jesus. But, the message in this passage is the same. David knew that the Word of God would sustain him through anything he faced. When he was being pursued by an enemy that was trying to kill him, he turned to the Word for strength and encouragement. Clay and I don’t have a literal army of men pursuing us, but we are being pursued by a disease, and it is trying to take his life. We are clinging to the Word to sustain us. Here are a few passages from the chapter that really helped us this morning:

5-6, “Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles! Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands.”

If we walk in His ways, we can’t be disgraced….no matter what happens. No matter the outcome of our situation, God will receive glory and we will NOT be disgraced.

9-11, “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your Word and following its rules. I have tried my best to find you-don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

If you are currently searching for God or if you are not sure how to surrender your life to know Him – read His Word. Read His Word. It is how He speaks to us and reveals Himself to us. Pray this prayer that David prays in verses 17-18.

“Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your law.”

David prayed for God to help him understand and to help him SEE God. We can do the same thing. If you need Him right now, if you are searching for Him, open the Word and pray this simple prayer. He will answer you. He will show you.

Verses 25-32 sum up our prayer life right now…

“My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!”

If your soul is melting from sorrow, or if it is clinging to dust. If you are discouraged and desperate. If you are lost and can’t find your way. No matter your exact situation, cling to His Word. Meditate on His Word. As Clay and I read these words this morning, we prayed for LIFE. David prayed for life, so I know it’s ok. It is our desire that God would grant life so that Clay has more time to serve Him. So we have more time to minister. Not so we have time for the foolish things of this life. We have not turned our TV on since we got this diagnosis. Not once. Not in the hospital room or in our house. Now, I’m not saying TV is sin, but when death is knocking on your door, you are not thinking about your favorite TV show. We are desperate for God’s Word. It is life to us. David understood this. As he was pursued and scared, he meditated on God’s Word.

Verses 49-50

“Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life

Verses 67-68, 71-71

“Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes

It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”

If there is anything that can bring us to repentance and to a close walk with the Lord, it is our affliction. I know that now more than ever before. This affliction has thrust us close to the Lord. He is our only hope. Without Him we have nothing. I was telling a friend last night that Clay and I have decided that if God came to us right now and said that we could go back in time one month and He could make it all go away, we wouldn’t do it. Because if He takes away the affliction, He would also be taking away the lessons we’ve learned and the closeness we’ve felt. We have learned more about God and the power of the Holy Spirit in 3 weeks than we ever knew in our entire lives. God has proven our faith. He has proven His Word. He has proven to be true. I wouldn’t give that back, even if it meant I could go back to my normal life. Honestly, I don’t ever want to go back to my normal life again. I’m praying that we can somehow continue to walk this closely with Him. I want His Word to be life to me always. Not just now. I don’t want this feeling to end. I want my husband to live and be well, but I also want to always know Jesus like I know Him now. I can say, like David, it is good that we have been afflicted. That’s a miracle.

Verses 87-88,

“They have almost made an end of me on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your steadfast love give me life,
that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.”

This cancer is trying to make an end of Clay on earth, but we have not forsaken God’s Word. We are praying that, in His steadfast love, He will give us life. But, no matter what, we will keep his testimonies. We will praise Him. We will serve Him. We will love Him.


Verses 107-112,

“I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end.”

The note in my Bible says, “We must determine to follow God. It doesn’t happen by accident. But David also knew that he needed God’s help. As noted so many times in these verses as he asks God to help him understand the Word and to teach him to follow God. We must not make promises to God we can’t keep. He must help us obey.” I wonder how long ago I wrote that note?? I wonder if I had any idea what these words would mean to me one day?? Thank you, God, for giving me a love for your Word when I was young. Your Word is carrying me right now.

The past few days have been filled with visits from so many of you. We love you and have been encouraged by your prayers. Man! You people can pray! I’ve been so touched listening to your hearts as you’ve prayed over us. It is so awesome to see how God is drawing us all closer to Him. Every time we receive a testimony from one of you, we both say to ourselves…”It is worth it.” It is all worth it, if you are being touched. Praise God. Here are a few pics so you can see what we’ve been up to. 

Now, before you close this, I encourage you to go read Psalm 119. Ask the Lord to give you an understanding and read the whole thing. It will bless you. I promise. Think of David and all he went through and ask God to make you “a man after His own heart” so that you can face your enemies the way that David did.



It’s Not My Plan

Today, at around 1:30, the house got pretty quiet. We had visitors most of the morning and we love visitors. Clay got sleepy and he laid on the bed. I sat beside him and opened my laptop to write a blog post. I thought I knew exactly what God wanted to say and I spent an hour and a half writing to you. Suddenly, when I was almost finished, my laptop froze. Froze. I could not get it to to do anything. I literally prayed over it. I said, “God, you are the one writing this blog. You gave me those words. Please make my computer restart so I don’t have to do all that over.” Some friends from church came to visit and they even prayed about it with me. Well, it didn’t come back up. I restarted the computer and it was gone.

I have told the Lord from the beginning of this process that I don’t want to do or say anything He doesn’t want me to do or say. I want Him to be in control. He is ministering through our situation and we want Him to receive all the glory. There are over 22,000 visitors to our blog and you all have viewed the blog over 160,000 times. It is hard for me to imagine that there are that many of you who are interested in our story. But, I know, because of your testimonies, that God is using it. So, today, when the blog was lost, I just sat here on my bed and told the Lord that I surrender to His will. This is not about me. It’s not about my plans. It’s not about what I think is best. It is about what God wants. It is about what He sees. It’s about what He needs.

He used this to remind me of this truth in my current situation. Clay has said to me several times over the past two weeks, “This isn’t what we had planned is it?” And, the truth is, it’s not. We had planned to retire at 55 and travel. We planned to grow old together in peace and quiet. We planned to watch our kids grow up and live productive lives. Those things may still happen, but one thing is for sure, we never planned for THIS. But, God is not controlled by what I planned. He sees a timeline that is so much bigger than my little life. He sees eternity and everything that is leading up to eternity. I have to submit to His will. So, I just didn’t worry about the fact that I lost my blog post. I just enjoyed the reminder from my Father that He is in control. It’s kind of nice, actually, to just rest and trust Him and not feel like I have to make all this happen.

Clay and I were talking this morning about the trip to Houston next week. We have appointments set for Thursday and Friday. We will have a follow up with the Neurosurgeon, meet the Oncologist and meet the Radiologist. We have agreed to meet with the doctors at MD Anderson to learn about clinical trials or treatment options that would only be available there. Our hearts desire is to have treatment here at home so we can be with our family and friends. The radiology will be at least 6 weeks, everyday. We are going to have decisions to make next week and we need wisdom. We were talking about all the information we’ve received from all of you who are so concerned about us. It has been helpful and we love you for caring about us so much. I got pretty emotional telling Clay that I would go anywhere and do anything for him to live. If there is a cure, I want to find it. I would do anything to keep him here with me. He looked at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Baby, that is not your responsibility. Don’t carry that weight on your shoulders.” He’s so sweet. Some men would be ordering their wives to figure it out. Do research. Run all over and find me an answer! Clay is just resting in Jesus. He is trusting that God is in control and that He has our answer. I just keep hearing the Lord remind me of Psalm 33…it is not the horse that you ride into battle that saves you.

I believe it. God is in control and He has already ordered every footstep. One of our dearest friends came over last night and was sharing some things the Lord has shown him about our situation. He said, “It’s like y’all are walking across the Red Sea and God is parting the water for you. But, He’s only parting the sea just in front of you. Each time you take a step, He parts it a little more. But it’s not parted all the way across for you to see what is ahead. You can be assured that you are walking in the perfect will of God.” It’s so true. I have never been so positive in all my life that I am exactly where God wants me to be. Clay and I are in the perfect will of God right now. We know because He is ordaining every single step. The miracles that have gotten us to this point are so incredible, that there is no doubt we are in His will. There is so much peace in that. It is a peace that sustains us, even though we don’t know what we will see when He finishes parting our Red Sea. We don’t know what awaits us on the other shore. But, we know that He is there.

We’ve had some really good days since we’ve been home. Being home is making a big difference in Clay’s recovery. He’s sleeping perfectly and the visits from family and friends are encouraging him so much. We continue to pray as we prepare our hearts for next week. We are asking God to do what He has already done….to make our path straight. He will.

Here are a few pics from the past few days:

The baseball team visited us last night after their game. Clay was so worried about the boys seeing his head, but they all think it is cool that their baseball coach now has a baseball seam on his head. That’s pretty die hard, right?! Grace had some friends spend the night, which felt really normal and good. We love the kid’s friends so much. Clay’s uncle, Chuck, came and took him for a walk around the block. It was a beautiful morning for it and it helped him to get out. Caleb came for a visit and we got a pic of him trying to do “The Clay” point. He’s terrible at it, but we still love him. Church friends came to visit and brought us some healthy snacks – Angel, Jamie and Stacey. They encouraged us by telling us all that God is doing in our church right now. Angela and Promise brought us dinner and shared some awesome things from the Word that really encouraged us. And, Clay’s cousin Amy, and her husband, Scooter, came to visit for a while. It was a sweet time of celebration with Amy because we believe God just healed her of her own scare with cancer.

We are begin showered with love and provisions. Thank you to each of you who have helped us so much. The blog post I wrote today, that got deleted, was about some of the things you all have done for us. So, I hope to rewrite it and thank you. Clay’s memory is getting much better and his pain has essentially stopped. He is not taking any more pain medicine, but he is still on steroids for swelling. He is strong and is able to get around without much help. I haven’t let him out of my sight very much, yet, but he’s recovering very well.

We love you and pray you are blessed tonight. Thank you for the continued prayers.

And With His Stripes…

This morning, a friend texted me and asked me for Clay’s favorite scripture. He had just gotten out of the shower and was sitting on a stool in the bathroom and he replied without thinking.

Isaiah 53:3-6

“Who hath believed our report?
and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

He practically quoted the whole thing and then he remembered the scene in the Jesus of Nazareth mini series in which Nicodemus quoted this scripture as he saw Jesus hanging on the cross. He had studied the law all his life and he had heard that scripture since he was a child, but he didn’t really know what it meant until he SAW. He saw Jesus being crucified before his eyes and it became a reality. It was like a light went off in his head and he suddenly understood. It all made sense. Clay had tears in his eyes when he was saying this to me with great emotion. This story parallels what has been happening to him during this time.

Since his diagnosis, he keeps saying, “It all makes sense. I get it now. I see.” He has known the Lord all his life. But, now he SEES. It has moved from his head to his heart. He often tells a story of when he was about 8 years old,  he was walking to a friend’s house to go play, and he spoke to the Lord directly and said, “God, I give you my life. I want you to live inside of me and be my Lord. Forgive me of my sin.” He says that he felt a tangible change. Like the Holy Spirit just settled down on him as he prayed those simple words. He went on to his friends house and played, but it was a moment he has never forgotten. Praise God that is all it takes. All we have to do is pray a simple prayer of surrender and ask the Lord to be our Savior and HE DOES. He just does. There’s no magic. We don’t have to do something hard or great. We don’t have to go through a person. We just have to pray to Him, with an honest heart, with faith like a child, and He does all the work. He covers our sins and He comes to live inside of us.

Clay and I have both spent our lives in church. We’ve heard countless sermons, we’ve read the Bible many times through, we’ve studied the Word for years. The Word is in us and now that we are being pressed, the Word is coming out. God is bringing back all the things He’s told us through the years. It is really cool to see how the Word sustains us. But, it has to be there. If we hadn’t known the Lord, and we hadn’t been full of the Word, who knows what would be coming out of us right now? I can tell you for sure that we would be terrified, depressed, angry, frustrated and miserable. But, we’re not. We are joyful, peaceful, thankful, blessed, and humbled. Only God can do that.

If you don’t know Jesus, please take time to find Him. Don’t wait until you are standing at the base of your mountain. It might be too late. You won’t have time to soak up enough of His Word. You may not look to Him because your anger may set in first. Turn to Him now…before you find yourself in a place where you literally can’t make it without Him. Let Him show you that you can’t make it without Him, even if you are not in a situation like ours. There is nothing good in us and we all desperately need a Savior. All you have to do is pray that simple little prayer that Clay prayed when he was 8 years old. And He will come.

And with His stripes we are healed. Those words are life to us right now. Of course, we want the word healed to mean that Clay’s life will be saved. But, that word could also mean that Clay will be with Jesus and truly be alive. We don’t know, yet. We are asking the Lord to show us His plans. What we do know is that the miracle he did last week, has given us much more time to seek the Lord and His purpose for us.

Many of you have sent us information regarding the Duke University study being done with the polio vaccine. The timing of that information being in the news was interesting, wasn’t it? I didn’t even know what Glioblastoma was until 2 weeks ago! Clay and I have seen the information and we have discussed it with our doctor at MD Anderson. He told us that MD Anderson has been doing a similar study for over 2 years and it just happened that the media caught on to what is happening at Duke. He warned us to be careful about reading the Internet and listening to the media. MD Anderson is the best cancer hospital in the world. Every drug that is working is available through that hospital. Praise God, Clay’s case was accepted by the top Neurosurgeon at the hospital who has now referred us to a specialized Oncologist and Radiologist. We are going to trust these experts. We know that God laid down the path for us to be there and we are going to rest in knowing that is exactly where He wants us to be.

We are filled with hope. It is a complete miracle that the surgery was such a success and we know that treatment options will prolong his life. I’ll be honest with you….I really was praying that God would heal him miraculously. That suddenly the tumor would just be gone. So many people prayed and believed that we would get to MDA and they would do a test that showed nothing. Wouldn’t that be so amazing?! I knew it wasn’t gone because he was getting so much worse when we were there. And I know it was God’s will for him to have the surgery because the circumstances were miraculous. But, I don’t want anyone to be able to see our story and say that medicine healed Clay. I know God can use medicine, but we want God to receive all the glory for our testimony. So, I just continue to pray for divine intervention, which is still needed. No matter how successful the treatments, they continue to tell us that it is not a cure and the cancer will continue to grow. So, God still has a chance to do a miracle! That’s what we desire.

Did you see the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray? Well, that’s basically been our life since Saturday morning. Clay’s short term memory is still not back to normal. This is not because of the tumor, it is because of the anesthesia and the drugs. And it will go away….soon. But, for now, he keeps asking me the same questions over and over again. He constantly asks me where his phone, laptop and wallet are. He is always wondering about the kids and our parents. At times, he couldn’t even remember that he had surgery. But, through all of that, he has not forgotten one person that has come to see him during this time. He would wake up from a nap and I would have to remind him that he had surgery and then he would say, “Is that why _____ came to see me?” He could name every person that has come to our house, the hospital in BR and the people who visited us at MD Anderson. He even remembered that our friends Ken and Karen Smiley were there although he never saw them. Every time he thinks about it, he tears up and says, “That was so nice that they came. Really. It was so nice. They didn’t have to do that.” He keeps telling people that he would have expected himself not to want company, but he has loved every visit and it has encouraged him so much.

Speaking of visits, we have a room full of people loving on us right now. I’ll write more later. There is so much more I want to tell you. We love you!



We Are Home!!!

We are home!! And it was an incredible homecoming to say the least. Our neighborhood streets were lined with signs and every mailbox on our street had balloons. Our family was waiting for us in the driveway cheering. There is a big sign in our front yard from our church. There was food in the refrigerator, presents on the counter and my house is spotless! I’ll write again later to recognize everyone who contributed and to tell you more about what God has done through so many dear people. I will never be able to thank everyone or come close to expressing, with mere words, how thankful we are. Our hearts are so full. And our bodies are so tired. Thank you so much for the support and encouragement. We love y’all!!! I’ll say more later.

Clay told me this morning that he is ready to co-author his blog post! I can’t wait.