I’m so glad that this is what I saw when I woke up this morning. We are here, as a family, doing this together. We found the perfect hotel that was a very reasonable rate and is only 10 miles from the hospital. We slept in a bit and just took our time getting ready. Clay and I had a sweet time with the Lord this morning. We read several things that some of you specifically gave us to read. We prayed for continued strength to do what we have to do.
We needed breakfast so, I googled “breakfast places near me” and the first thing that came up looked delicious. We agreed on it, armed ourselves with Clay’s support bracelets and headed out the door. His head was hurting a little and I thought he needed to eat.
The google instructions told us the restaurant was at the Galleria, so I intended to turn right out of our driveway and head toward the Galleria. But, something (the Holy Spirit) told me to turn left. I was thinking that it might take too long to go through the Galleria to get to a restaurant so I decided to turn left and just see what we found. As soon as I turned, Grace said, “Mom. There is it right there. The restaurant we wanted!” As I was pulling the car into the parking lot, I said to the kids, “Guys, do you see? Do you really see all the miracles God is doing. Even just the smallest things. He is answering prayers we are not even praying. He is parting waters in front of us. He has kept us from difficulty, frustration, and anger.” As those words were coming out of my mouth, there was only one parking spot in the entire lot and it was right at the front door. I just pulled into it and said, “See.”
We sat down to eat and Clay’s headache got worse and worse. Eventually he realized that he couldn’t stay. Right when we decided to leave, they were preparing our food. They packed it in to-go boxes for us and we brought it back to the hotel. As we were walking to the car, I was thinking, I’m going to need a bag in case he can’t make it to the hotel. (He was sick at his stomach.) I opened the car door and there was a bag laying in his seat. As soon as we arrived back at the hotel, we had to stop by the pool so he could sit and he got sick. Several people rushed to our aid. The hotel staff brought us everything we needed and were so kind to us.
The kids were able to sit down and eat a delicious breakfast. When we first stepped onto the patio of the pool area, it was hot and there was no breeze. I wanted to move Clay back inside because I could feel him sweating. Just as I was thinking he was going to get overheated, the patio became shaded and the wind started blowing. That was just what he needed. The wind. We sat down in some comfy chairs, in the shade, with the breeze blowing in our faces while the kids ate and he got his strength back. I don’t know if you saw my Facebook post earlier, but Clay is a big baseball fan. The kids enjoy going to the games and he really wanted to do that together while we are here. The Astros are playing the Indians at home today. Guess what time the game started? 1:10. Most of you already know why that is special. Clay’s birthday is 1/10 and many of our friends have set reminders in their phones to pray from him at 1:10 everyday. It’s just the little things that God keeps doing. I assure you, Clay couldn’t care less about a silly ballgame, but it was like the Lord was saying to us that He wanted us to have that time. Just a little reminder that He loves us.
He got his strength back and he wanted to go. Sam brought the car around (thank God he can drive and help me) and we left. We are close to Minute Maid and there was no traffic so it didn’t take long. I pulled up at the front and dropped him off with Grace and Ben. Sam came with me to park the truck. We drove about two blocks and pulled into a parking lot that was completely packed. I prayed out loud, “God, please help us find a parking spot. I’m worried about Clay and I want to get back to him as fast as possible.” Sam is my witness. As soon as I said those words, a parking lot attendant drove past me on a golf cart. He waived me down. I rolled my window down and he said, “You can just park right here. We’ll just make a spot for you.” Y’all, I’m not kidding. He let me park in the aisle!
The game wasn’t crowded at all, so we walked in and just sat in the first seats we saw because Clay was tired. We rested a bit, but then he wanted to go walk to our seats. As we started walking, his headache got worse and worse and he just sat down on the ground. Within one minute, the EMS team was there to help. I looked up and we were 10 steps from the First Aid office. They gave him a wheelchair and a plastic bag (which comes in really handy later!) and just checked him out. They wheeled us just outside their door and let us sit in a restricted area for wheelchairs. We got to watch several innings from those seats. But, he couldn’t make it very long. He was hurting worse. I could see that he was about to get frustrated. I knelt down beside him and just reminded him to encourage himself in the Lord. He’s told the kids for years that the way he dealt with fear when he was a child was to sing hymns to himself. Whenever he would say the name of Jesus and sing to Him, the fear would go away. I just reminded him of that. That’s exactly what he did and he remained very calm. We decided to go. The EMS team wheeled him all the way to the car for us. Amazing.
I hope this isn’t TMI, but I want you to see how amazing God is. He got sick on the way home. This is where the plastic bag comes in! Anyway, we’re all in the car. I’m driving. Clay is throwing up in the bag and he starts saying, “You sucker! You are not going to get the best of me. You can try as hard as you want, but you are not going to win.” Just imagine what God is showing my kids through this. Amazing. The sickness passes and he says, “I’m riding down the road holding a bag of puke!” The kids bust out laughing and we all just laugh together.
We turned up the worship music and Chris Tomlin’s song “Jesus, He loves me” comes on. We were all just singing it together. He loves us. We can be sure of that. He sees us. He is with us. He is near to the broken. We are broken and He is near. We are back at the hotel and he has been sleeping for a few hours. The kids have been completely silent so he can rest. They want to be near him, no matter what that means.
I hope you see that God is present, even in the smallest things. He hears our prayers and it is His desire to help us. Look for the little things in your life today. As you read this, reflect on your day and ask the Lord to remind you of all the things He did for you. Look for Him in your day. He is with you. His Word will sustain you, but it has to be in you. I hope tonight that you will choose to spend time in His Word. Prioritize that over anything else in your life. In order for His Word to come out of you when you are pressed, it has to be in there. I pray you will allow the Lord to deposit His Word into your life. Love Him. Seek Him. Read His Word. Let Him be near to you today.