Laying Our Crowns At His Feet

I Corinthians 3:10-16

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

Every single thing we do on this earth comes down to THIS moment. And God is so good that He gives us this little glimpse so we will know what to expect and so we can be encouraged in how to live. It all comes down to this question….Are your works gold, silver and precious stones? Or are they wood, hay and stubble? When I was studying for the Ladies’ Retreat, back in April, the Lord brought me to this scripture and He burned a vision of it in my mind. I could see myself, standing beside Jesus. Pause. Just breathe in that thought for a second. That’s really the best part of the entire story. I was standing beside Jesus. Think for a minute about how that will feel. Of course, in our feeble little human minds, we can not even begin to understand it, but we can try. So, close your eyes and imagine how you will feel when you see Him. Imagine yourself standing beside Him.

Now, as you stand there with him, His angels come behind you and pick up your bag of works. Yes, you actually get to bring something with you to heaven. Not your car, your money, your kids, your jewelry, your trophies or your house. You get to bring your works. All the things you did while you were here on the earth. As Paul says above, if you have done anything to build upon the foundation he laid, which was Jesus, you will get to bring that work with you. So, now imagine standing there with Jesus, and the angels take your bag of works and they pour them out onto something that looks like a pizza oven. The conveyer belt starts up and your works are moving closer and closer to the fire. Your heart is pounding a little because you are standing with Jesus and He is watching intently to see what happens. They inch closer and closer to the fire, and you know what is about to happen. You know that the works you did through the flesh are going to burn up and only the works you did in the Spirit are going to come out of that fire. You remember that I Corinthians 1: 27-31 says,

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

You knew as soon as you laid eyes on Jesus that there was no place for pride here in heaven. All you could do was bow before Him and say, “Jesus, it’s all because of You that I am here. I did nothing and you did everything.” So, there in no pride. You know that you did nothing to deserve any praise. But, you are standing there with great anticipation, praying and hoping that something you did while you were here on this earth was truly of God so that something is going to come out on the other side of that fire. Why do you care? Because if your works survive, you will receive a reward – a crown. So, why do you care about having a crown? I’ll tell you in a minute. But, for now, let’s get back to the conveyer belt.

You are standing there with Jesus. Your works have just gone into the fire and you are waiting for them to come out so you can see if you had any gold, silver or precious stones. Now, you have to finish your own story. I can’t write it for you. What does it look like? Ask the Lord to help you see. Be careful with this, though. The Bible says that your heart can deceive you. That means that you can be doing works in the flesh, but you think they are in the Spirit. Be very careful with this. This is why we need to constantly be reading the Word and be in prayer, which is conversation with the Holy Spirit. This is why we have to live an open, honest life with the Lord. Don’t try to hide anything. He sees it all, anyway. Ask Him to show you the truth. God, are my works in the Spirit, or are they in the flesh? Tell Him from an honest heart how much you want to please Him and, I promise, He will show you and He will help you.

One of the most famous passages of scripture, I Corinthians 13, proves that it is completely possible for us to do great things on this earth, but not receive rewards for them. Read it. I know you’ve heard it many times before, but read it again and let the Lord speak to you. People actually laid down their lives, but didn’t have LOVE. What? How do you lay down your life for someone without love? I think this is possible because of self righteousness and pride. Man’s pride is so big that I believe a person could lay down their life so that others would think they are great. Isn’t that gross? Doesn’t that just give you a glimpse into our hearts. We all deal with it. Pride is at the root of almost every sin. Pride can fool us into thinking we are right with God, when we are not. Pray against pride in  your life. When the Lord really spoke to me through I Corinthians 1: 29, I saw how much pride I had and I saw, through His Word, that my flesh can NOT glory in His presence. So, my pride has to die. I have to understand that I can not make it to heaven on my own. I can’t work my way there. I can’t do enough to get there. And, it does not matter what you think about me, or what I think about you. It does not matter how much you are impressed with me, or I with you. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is Jesus. He gets all the glory.

Let’s just say that your works made it through the fire and you have a crown for your reward. Are you excited about your beautiful crown because now you get to wear it around heaven for eternity and let everyone see what a spiritual giant you were on earth? Is it so you can parade around showing people how great your works on earth were? NO! Of course not. Look at Revelation 4:10-11,

“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty- four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.'”

The elders throw their crowns at Jesus’ feet. Of course, that is what we are going to want to do. When that moment of huge anticipation comes to an end and we see that we actually have a crown because some of our works made it out of the fire as gold, silver and precious jewels, we are going to know with every fiber of our glorified body, that it is only because of Jesus that they made it. So, of course, we are going to want to throw that crown at His feet. It is His crown. He earned it. All we did was come to Him as a wretched sinner and a lost person who had nothing to give Him, and He did everything else. And, just imagine how much you are going to want to worship Him when you see Him and the veil is lifted off your eyes so you can fully understand all that He is and all that He has done. You are just going to want to explode with excitement and worship. You are going to want to have a Mac truck filled with crowns that you can lay at Jesus’ feet. That’s all you are going to want to do is worship Him. But, what if you don’t have a crown to lay at His feet? What if you have nothing to give Him. It would be like showing up to a birthday party when you were 7, and being the only kid that didn’t bring a gift. Ugh. It makes me hurt inside to imagine this.

Back in I Corinthians, the scripture mentions the man whose works all burn up and he suffers loss. Go read it again, real quick. It says he suffers loss. So many times we tell ourselves that there are no tears in heaven. Well, there are going to be tears for a time because this says he suffers loss. Wow. Let those words hit you. He is standing in front of Jesus and he feels great loss. It says that he makes it to heaven, but as if he had been rescued out of a flame. I imagine that like a person being rescued from a burning building and Jesus pulls him out of the building just as it is falling to the ground. He is singed a little from it. He makes it, but barely. I don’t want to be that guy. Do you? Don’t you want to be the one who is worshiping Jesus with crowns to lay at His feet? Don’t be the guy that barely makes it there. Praise God that He lets people in that way and after they suffer loss they will be with Jesus for eternity. Praise God. But, now that you know what can happen, let the Word deal with you and don’t be that guy.

You might be wondering why my blogs are not more about healing, or spiritual gifts, or how to find healing, or more about how I believe God is going to heal Clay. I can tell you, that is not really what is in my heart. And, if you could kneel beside me in my prayer time,  you would see that those things are not what I spend the most time praying for. I do pray for Clay’s healing. I do ask God to heal him of this disease. And, I do tell God that it seems to me that a miraculous healing would be the best way for His Name to be made great. But, I spend more time praying for God to keep us from pride and sin. I pray for God to guard our testimony so that He can receive glory through this situation. I pray for Him to keep us from spiritual pride, or any sense that we have arrived because God chose us and trusted us with this task. I pray for my children that pride will not fool them into thinking they know the Lord, when they don’t. I’m praying that we will not put God in a box and require something of Him. I’m agreeing with God and telling Him that I accept His will for my life….no matter what that means. Why? Because He gave me this vision of that moment when I’m standing beside Him watching my works go into that fire. And, He placed inside of me an unquenched desire to see crowns come out on the other side.

My desire for Him to be glorified and to work through me to build on the foundation that Paul laid, is stronger than my desire for comfort. That is completely supernatural. So, please don’t read that and think that I have attained something great spiritually. I promise you and I beg you to understand. That is not me. It is not natural. It is the Holy Spirit in me that is alive and causing me to live with a spiritual perspective of my life. He is allowing me to really understand that God has a greater plan. That my life is not about what I see, it is about what I can not see. But, soon, very soon, I will see. You will see. We will all see it very soon. And, we won’t have any more time to earn rewards. It will all be over and the Day will come. We will be standing there. And, I wonder if we will wish we had more time to earn more rewards. When we see how indescribable He really is, I wonder if I will think, “Oh, God, let me go back to earth for just a little while so I can do more for You. So I can accomplish more for Your Kingdom.”

One last thought today.

I’ve had a front row seat to watch Clay as he has dealt with the expectation of death. Although we have had moments filled with tears, I have never heard Clay say that he doesn’t want to die. He tells me that he doesn’t want to leave me and the kids. But, he has not one time said he doesn’t want to die. He hasn’t asked God why. He hasn’t blamed God. He hasn’t wished for a different circumstance. Really, it’s been the opposite. When he talks about death, he gets a sweet look in his eyes. He knows that He’s going to be with Jesus. His love for this world immediately fell away and all he could say was, “I’m ready.” Jesus is not going to pull Clay out of a fire and bring him into heaven smelling like smoke. He has given him a great opportunity to fully prepare and to show the people in our life what it means to be ready.

Live today as an opportunity to let God work through you. Pray against your pride and self righteousness and ask God to reveal it to you so your heart doesn’t deceive you. Pray that your works will not be done in the flesh, but done in the Spirit. Let this image of standing with Jesus and watching your works go through the fire be burned into your spirit. Ask God to keep it before you so you will constantly be reminded of the importance of the work you do while you are here. Let’s do everything to earn those rewards so we can worship Him the way He deserves to be worshipped.

Oh, The Blood

Yesterday was Clay’s second treatment. But, before I can tell you about how it went, I have to tell you about what happened Wednesday just after I posted my blog……

We got home from the treatment and Shannon came to bring us dinner. We visited with her for a few minutes, and when she left, Clay asked me if he could lay down for a while. I know that sounds funny that he asked me, but we are on a schedule with his medication, so he really did ask permission! Ha. Anyway, he laid down, but I needed to wake him within an hour to eat so he could take his meds on time. Well, an hour and a half later, I was still trying to wake him up. When I finally got him to sit up, he asked me what was going on in our life right now. What??!! I got him to the kitchen and he was just not himself. Finally after talking for about 30 minutes, he woke up a little, but he couldn’t remember anything that happened all afternoon. He couldn’t even remember being at the doctor or anything about the treatment. I was sure that this was a side effect of the Xanex he had taken to relax himself.

I hated this feeling. It brought back lots of difficult memories from our time at MD Anderson while he was recovering from the surgery. Every time he would forget the entire story and I would have to remind him what had happened, it would scare me that he wasn’t ever going to be the same. So, I was immediately adamant that we needed to throw the Xanex in the trash! Clay was not so sure. He kept saying, “It’s great that I don’t remember it.” I just knew that he could make it through the treatment without the help. So, we “discussed” it for a while. Now, there is a fine line between encouraging someone in the Lord, and fussing at them. Well, I crossed that line a little. My encouragement quickly moved to more of a pointed finger preaching. So, I said it wrong, but here was my point….

How can God be glorified through Clay’s testimony if we don’t look to Him at every turn? My prayer all along has been for God to guard our testimony. To keep us from sin. To keep our hearts pure and steadfast in trusting Him for everything we need. Clay couldn’t even remember the people he interacted with all day, and those people could be the very reason God is bringing us through this. I believe that God loves every employee at Dr. Russell’s office enough to send us through this trial just so they can experience the power of God at work. I believe that Clay needs to be present and in his right mind for those moments. And, Jesus is our strength. He can bring Clay through the treatment. As difficult as it may be to have your head bolted to a table, the Holy Spirit is stronger than that fear. He can help Clay overcome.

Wives, learn from my mistake. Don’t get mad. Don’t get aggravated. Don’t preach at your husband. Love him. Be patient with him. And, encourage him in the Lord. Then, let the Holy Spirit deal with his heart. Because I didn’t do it right, the Lord used Clay’s parents to help him see that trying the treatment without the medication was a good idea. They stopped by yesterday while Clay and I were having breakfast on our patio. They encouraged him and told him they knew the Lord could help him through it. He agreed in a very pleasant way and I thanked them for helping us. (I am blessed with wonderful in-laws who love the Lord.) And, that was the last time we talked about it. The rest of our day was very pleasant. In fact, he just laid down beside me when his parent left, and took a long nap.


(Shout out to Amber for the amazing book and Jeff Lee for the Coke shirt that you bought for Clay. And, don’t laugh at my PJ pants. This is true….I bought them for Clay while we were shopping on our honeymoon! I stole them shortly after because they are so soft and I still wear them all these years later.)

Clay did not get anxious all day. He was not worried, at all. We arrived for the treatment and he remained calm. He got his playlist ready to play his favorite Selah album.

Ben and I walked in the room with him and he was able to see exactly what would happen. “Oh The Blood” was playing through the speakers and he was completely calm. The technicians are so wonderful. We love them already. They even smiled for my camera!

We had to leave the room during the treatment, so we just sat in the waiting area and read. The whole time we waited, I just prayed that God would please come through for Clay. I knew He would, so my prayer was very calm. But, I really reflected on how I was praying. The Lord was speaking to me about the reason for my prayer and He reminded me of this scripture:

Psalm 67,

“May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him.

Why are we asking God for healing, or help, or salvation, or blessings, or hope, or grace? Insert whatever it is that you are currently praying for God to do. Then, ask yourself this question, “Why do I want God to do this?” Is it for you? Is it so you can be more comfortable? Is it so you can be more blessed? Is it so you can be well? Or is the reason behind your request for God? Look at the prayer in Psalm 67. The Psalmist is asking God for blessings SO THAT His way may be known on earth. SO THAT His saving power can be known among the nations. SO THAT all the ends of the earth can fear God. The cry of this heart is for God’s face to shine on him, not for him, but for God.

What is the cry of your heart today? My prayer for Clay yesterday was that God would help him through the treatment without medication for the sake of God’s name and for the sake of our testimony. So that Clay could come out of that room and give glory to God for helping him through a difficult task. So that Jesus could be lifted up. And, guess what? Jesus was lifted up. This beautiful song that reminds us that the blood of Jesus sets us free was playing over those speakers and Clay was perfectly calm. When he came out, the first thing he said to me was this, “I am SO glad I didn’t take that medicine.” Then, he praised the Lord for helping him. Amen.

This is what God wants from us, y’all. He wants His power to be displayed through our lives. I know that God does not make us suffer for suffering’s sake, so we are trusting Him that He is bringing us through this trial so His name can be made great. Of course, that can happen through a divine and perfect healing, that only He can provide. But, it can also happen through little moments like yesterday when He proved that His presence is real and His peace passes all understanding. And, while it goes against human understanding, God’s face IS shining on us right now. He IS being gracious to us and blessing us, as the Psalmist prayed. In our most difficult moment, He is doing what we’ve prayed for….blessing us. And, His name is being lifted up for the world to see. Praise God!

And, just a side note. In our imperfections, He is gracious. Although my intentions were good, my method yesterday was not right. But, God was speaking that Word, and so He fulfilled it. He just used Clay’s parents to get Clay where he needed to be. And, although Clay needed some persuading, once he submitted to God’s plan, he was able to see how the Lord was right all along, and he gave Him glory for it. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself. No matter how strong we are spiritually, we are still human and need our Savior. So, let God work out your imperfections. Repent and let Him live through you.

This will continue to be our prayer. We are praying for God’s divine healing, and we believe with all our hearts that He can do it, but we are praying that His name will be glorified through our lives and our testimony. That is the most important thing.

I pray that you are blessed by this message today. Be encouraged, no matter your situation, that God is working. He is able. He is speaking. Read Psalm 67 again, and let the Lord search your heart. Be open and honest with Him. He sees it all anyway. So, just lay it out and ask Him to show you the truth. What are the motives in your prayers? If you discover that they are not right, then just tell the Lord and ask Him to change your heart. Ask Him to show you what He desires for your life. Let your prayer be for His name to be glorified through you….no matter what that means. Amen.


One down…29 to go

Today was Clay’s first radiation treatment. So many of you were praying for him as he had to stay in the mask for a while. He had to re-do the simulation and have a treatment today, so we assumed it would be twice as long (about 40 minutes) but we were wrong. It only took about 25 minutes.

We got to Pennington at 3 and waited a few minutes. The technicians were all wonderful and they took us back to show us everything at this location. We feel like experts already, so we were like, “Yeah, we know.” Ha! I’m saying that with tremendous sarcasm. This is one thing you don’t really want to know much about, but here we are.

My sweet friend, Kacie Causey, brought me this necklace this morning. It says “k (heart) c.” I know it’s kind of hard to see because my pic is not good. Isn’t that so thoughtful?? K does heart C, so it’s perfect. I felt like Kacie was there with us, like so many of you were.


Everyone together, now, say “Hallelujah!!!” Do you know what this picture is? That is Clay’s iPhone plugged into the sound system in the room! Thank you, Jesus! He got to listen to his own music. There is not much that can’t be solved by listening to Clay’s worship playlist. I’m telling you. I almost didn’t even ask, because we knew they had XM radio available, but he wanted HIS music. When the technician told me she thought we could do it, his eyes lit up. I told her to back up because he just might kiss her! It worked! So everyone got to listen to some church while he was getting his treatment.


Can you hear the song? Living He loved me, dying He saved me….what powerful words to listen to when you are in a tough situation. Well, those words, and Jesus, got him through. He did great. Now, I’m gonna tell you the truth. He took a Xanex before we got there. When they told him that he would have to do a simulation and a treatment, he got pretty concerned, so the doc wrote us a prescription for Xanex. We felt like it would be better to take it, rather than regret not taking it. But, he did so well, that I think we’ll try tomorrow without the medicine. With all the medication going in his body over the next few weeks, we want to limit the number of meds as much as possible.

Oh, yeah! Did you notice his cute shaved face?? Doesn’t he look younger? On Monday, his face started itching when they put the mask on, so he decided it would be better to shave his face so he could avoid that miserable itchy feeling. He looks clean and handsome. Now, if his hair would just fall out. He likes his head shaved smooth, but we haven’t been able to shave it because of his scar. We have been told that the radiation can make hair fall out, but it might be splotchy, because it may only fall out where the radiation beams are being directed. So, his head make look a little funny for a while, but he can just live in a sock hat if he needs to.

I know you’ve all been praying for his vision to normalize. He told me today that he thinks it was better today than it has been in a long time. I was glad to hear him excited about improvement, even if it is small.

We drove through Smoothie King on the way home to get some calories and nutrition. It made him feel better, for sure. Then, as soon as we got home, our dear friend, Shannon, brought us dinner. My flag covered up her face in the pic, but it’s the only one I took! Sorry, Shannon! We love you and the food is so delicious. Thank you.


When I got home, there was a really nice plant on my kitchen counter. When I pulled the card, it was addressed to someone I’ve never met, and it said “Happy Birthday!” I called Sam and asked if he was here when it got delivered. He said, “Mom, the guy clearly said it was for Clay Furlow.” But the card was for someone else. So, when I called the florist, the other person had already called to say they got my plant. I felt so sorry for the delivery guy that I wanted to say, just keep them switched and just read me the card so I know who sent it. Well, am I ever glad that didn’t happen. Look at this beautiful plant!!!! My precious Lisa McCollister and her husband, David, sent this with a lovely card. I got the better plant, believe me! It is gorgeous. Thank you, Lisa and David. You are very special to us. And, you know from experience that God is a God of miracles. He can do it for us, too! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

We start the chemo tonight. Look at this packaging…


It just doesn’t give you a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling. Honestly, I feel a great deal of pressure to do all of this right. I have it all written on a calendar and I check off each pill he takes each day. God has given me the ability to manage it all, and I think often of all the times in my life I have had to manage a lot of information. God prepared me for this task. So, I know He will get me through it. And I trust that He won’t let me make a mistake, as long as my heart stays focused on Him and I take every precaution to do the best job that I can. Thank you, Jesus, for constantly reassuring me.

Press play on this song before you read the rest of this blog.

We sang this song in church Sunday morning. I couldn’t do anything but just thank the Lord when I heard the words, “Forgetting all our sins, You remember all your promises.”

Psalm 119:49-50,

“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.”

I’ve seen how God has remembered every promise in His Word to me and my family. Even though David prays for God to remember, he really didn’t have to do that. God remembers. He loves me so much that He desires to fulfill the promises in His Word to me. He desires to be my comfort, my provision, my help, my strength, my strong tower. He wants to heal our infirmities and help us in our time of need. I could write a book just on the little things that have happened in our story that have proven God’s existence and His control. His timing continues to be perfect and He continues to fulfill promises that I haven’t even asked Him to fulfill.

When we were singing this Sunday, I just kept saying, “Thank you, God, that none of this depends on me. Thank you that I don’t have to remember, or remind you. I don’t have to do anything. You do it all. None of it depends on me.” Isn’t that such a relief?? That, in our imperfection, we can just rest and trust God that He is going to do it. He is going to remember His promises. All we have to do it turn to Him. Pastor Lee preached out of Psalm 107. It was such a powerful message. You can go to and listen to all his messages. You will be blessed, if you do. I promise.

Psalm 107: 19-21,

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy.”

All we have to do is cry out to the Lord. Then He does the rest. He delivers us, heals us, He sends His Word. He does it all. If you are struggling right now, all you have to do is cry out to the Lord with an honest heart. And, He will come. And, when He does, be sure to thank Him and praise Him and tell of His deeds. Everything that happens to us is so the watching world can see that God is good and turn to Him. Let’s all be strong testimonies for the Lord and tell of His goodness. Amen.

Slight delay

First, I want to say thank you to so many of you who are faithfully reading this blog and following our story. This morning, Clay and I had multiple text messages just letting us know that you are praying for us as we went for his first radiation visit today. It is just so wonderful to know that so many people are lifting us up before the throne of God.

We had to be at Pennington at 12:30 today for his final simulation before treatment begins. At 11:00 am, the pharmacy called me and told me that the insurance company would not let them fill the prescription for the chemo drug, Temodar, locally. So, they faxed the prescription to an online pharmacy who would have to mail it to us. I was really tempted to get mad. I could feel some emotion starting to build up. But, I could also hear the Holy Spirit reminding me that He is in control. We are supposed to take the first dose of chemo tomorrow night, just after the first round of radiation. Ugh. I made a few phone calls and then we left for Dr. Russell’s office.

The technicians, and everyone we’ve encountered with his group, have been completely wonderful. Our youngest son, Ben, was with us and they made every accommodation to make him feel comfortable. We got to go in the treatment room while they situated Clay on the table and Ben got to see how the machine will work. When we did have to leave the room, they let us stand with them at the computer desk and we watched everything they did. They were playing Christian music for him in the room, but they left it on the speaker so we could all hear it out there by the computers. So many of the workers we’ve encountered have been believers and they really treat their job as a ministry.

When I asked permission to put pictures on my blog, they told me they’ve already read the blog! How cool is that? They were familiar with our MD Anderson story, and everything that’s been happening. God is so good.

By the time we left Dr. Russell’s, he and his staff had figured out the delay with our prescription and it had all been ordered. We needed to change the location of our treatments from Zachary to Bluebonnet, due to a little snag with insurance, but it is no big deal. And, really, the Lord just worked it all out because we can’t start at Bluebonnet until Wednesday and that’s when the drugs will arrive. So, Wednesday it is. Dr. Russell seemed completely fine with that. He was not concerned about the added day. Dr. Russell was so good to us today. It is in Clay’s nature to accommodate everyone else but himself. He kept trying to tell Dr. Russell to do whatever is easier for him. But, Dr. Russell kept telling us that it is their job to make our life easier right now. He told us to stop being accommodating and let them do things in the easiest way for us. I thought that was so sweet, and that can only be expressed by someone who has walked down a similar path before. You can’t really understand how draining all of this can be until you’ve lived it. I find myself so tired at times when I don’t feel like I’ve really done that much. But, I know how much stress my body is feeling. Even when we are very strong spiritually, and even at total peace, our bodies are experiencing stress like never before. So, we let them accommodate us. Ha!

Clay handled the time in the mask pretty well. The music helped and he just prayed for God’s peace. He did not have to make them stop at all. He made it through without any breaks. He did give me a pretty big hug when we walked outside, so I know there was some relief that it was over, but he handled it incredibly well.

There are several things the Lord has been teaching me over the past few days that I want to share with you. He has been so faithful to speak and we are doing our best to soak it up. It is life. But, for now, I’ll just give you this scripture that I love,

Psalm 57:7-11
“My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth.”

Our hearts are certainly steadfast (another translation says confident.) God has done so many miracles already. He has directed every step we’ve taken. So, we refuse to let a little bump in the road distract us from Him. Obviously, He wanted us to start treatment on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. That’s just how I feel about it. Now, I’m not going to lie….I was pretty aggravated at first. But, the Lord worked in me and helped me remember Him. I love Him for being gracious like that.

We’ve had more great moments since I last wrote.

Chris and Maria brought us dinner Friday night. Their adorable kids remembered that we have a popcorn machine in our gameroom. Well they were so excited to get popcorn again! It was really cute. Ben actually made it for them while the adults talked. We’ve always loved Chris and Maria and their family. Now, we also love their dog. She really liked Clay, as you’ll see in the pics. Hahaha. Then Scott and Lisa visited for a late night coffee chat. The Lord brought them into our lives through our kids and we are so thankful for them.


My sweet Kayla knocked on my door Saturday a.m. with breakfast for our family. We got to sit and visit for a few hours. The Lord has used her to encourage me so much. I tell her all the time that I wish I could adopt her as my oldest daughter, but she already has a good family. She doesn’t need a second mom. But, I volunteer, anyway!

Saturday night, we had dinner with the Gummadi family and the Miller’s joined us! The Miller’s knew me when I was probably 8 years old. Our families go back a long way. We enjoyed delicious Indian food, homemade by Surya. It was completely wonderful. The boys fished in the pond and we had a sweet time of music and prayer together. The passionate prayers that are being prayed over our family are so touching. It has been such an honor to see God work in the lives of people around us as they’ve been burdened with our situation. It is so evident that God is moving and we are thankful to be part of His work.

Thank you, all, for prayers and love. We have enjoyed our time with you so much. I told Kayla Saturday morning that people should do this more often. We all get so busy that we don’t think to just visit each other until something like this happens. So, I encourage you today, go visit someone that you love. Don’t wait for tragedy. Just go. Have coffee at 9:00 pm (maybe decaf) or 10:00 am on a Saturday. Take time to love on people whenever you can. We have been abundantly blessed by the love we’ve been shown. Thank you, Jesus.


Come Let Us Adore Him

Press play on this song while you read this blog post today:

You might think of this song as a Christmas carol, but it is so much more than that. It is a worship song that speaks to my heart right now. Imagine the expectation of those 3 wise men as they trekked through difficult terrain, following a star that they had studied their entire lives. They were traveling with expensive gifts to see a King. A new born King. A King that had been prophesied for thousands of years. A King that they knew would change the course of history. They left everything they knew and set out on a journey to find Him and lay gifts at His feet. Their hope was set. They must have been so excited to think that He has finally come and they would be the ones to worship Him first. They would be able to see Him and touch Him. I wonder if they thought about what His palace would look like. They probably wondered how many servants He would have and what His treasury of gold would look like. If God wrote to them in the heavens about this King, then surely He will be something magnificent, right?

What in the world were they thinking when they arrived at a humble place and found a lowly peasant girl and her carpenter husband with a little boy? I wonder if they questioned themselves. Did we follow the right star? Did we really understand the signs in the heavens? Did we totally miss God? I wonder if they questioned God. Did you really lead us here? Is this really what You had planned? The scripture doesn’t tell us very much about these men, but it does tell us this….they were filled with joy and they fell on their faces to worship and bestow their gifts. So, regardless of their perception or their idea of what it should be like, they worshipped. Even though they were not bowing on a beautiful palace floor, they bowed. Even though they weren’t laying their gifts at the foot of a beautiful throne, they laid them anyway. What an example to us today.

When life doesn’t happen the way we expected it to happen, we must adore Him anyway. We are here on this earth for one reason – to bring glory to Jesus. So, if you have spent years serving Him and following His star in your life, but it has led you to an unexpected place, fall on your face with joy and worship Him anyway. I know. It’s not easy. But, you can do it. Worship Him. Love Him. Rejoice in Him. Focus on the things you know are true. His Word. His love for you. His majesty. His presence. His peace. His salvation. His purpose for your life. His grace. Thank Him for who He is. I’m glad I serve a King who decided to come as a lowly peasant boy, rather than a highly exalted and unreachable noble. I’m glad that my Savior lived on this earth as a poor man who faced many hardships because as I walk through my Gethsemene, I know that He has already been here. He’s already done what I am doing now. He can comfort me because He understands. He is acquainted with my suffering. That is an amazing thought. The creator of this universe, the God of all things, is acquainted with me. And, He is not asking anything of me that He didn’t require of Himself. He loves me. He loves you.

Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I imagined my life to look like. I’ve known since I was a little girl that God had a call on my life for ministry. When Clay and I first met, I was teaching a Bible study to our College and Career girls group. I remember telling him one night that God had called me to ministry and I needed to make sure he was ok with that before we got more serious with our relationship. He kind of laughed and said, “I really like to be in the background, so you go girl and I’ll be right behind you to support you.” So, I’ve spent 17 years asking God what that ministry looks like. I had a full time career in which God used me in many ways.  I’ve spent 17 years raising 3 incredible young people who call me mom. (That is, by far, my greatest ministry.) But, I always knew there was more.

You could have told me to dream up 1,000 ways God would use me, and I don’t think I ever would have come up with this plan. I was expecting my star to lead me to a palace, in which I would find a beautiful King on His throne, but instead it led me to a dirt floor cottage with a peasant girl and her poor little boy. Wow. Was I ever surprised??!! Shocked, really. But, what else am I going to do? I know His star led me here. I know it…more than I know that I’m sitting here right now typing these words. God’s hand has been so evident in our path. So, I know He brought me here. And, when I walked through the door, I was holding Frankincense and Myhr that I had carried for a long time, so I just poured it out to Him. I just laid my gifts at His feet. Nothing was as I thought it would be, but I just gave my gifts. That’s why He brought me here….to adore Him. So, I’m adoring Him today. He is worthy.


This board is in my office. It is from the Ladies’ Retreat the Lord used me to teach, just days before we got Clay’s diagnosis. The theme of the entire retreat was about numbering our days and growing in wisdom. I drew this timeline of my life as an illustration for the first teaching. You can see that I expect to live at least 80 years. (Insert ironic smile.) The Lord really used this exercise to help me search my heart and think about what I’ve allowed Him to accomplish through the first (almost) 40 years of my life. I spent time planning and thinking about what He might accomplish through the next 40. The things I imagined when I was preparing for that teaching are completely different from what I imagine today as I look at this board. God has totally shaken my world and reminded me to trust Him for every day. It is not about my plan, or my expectations. It is about what He sees and wants to accomplish. I must be careful not to seek a palace and a throne, but to be  prepared to worship Him, even if he leads me to a cottage and a poor little boy. Amen.

Just to catch you up on our week, we have spent a lot of time resting over the past few days. We felt ourselves getting tired, and I was starting to have stress headaches. So, my mom and sister gave me a gift card for a massage! It was just what the doctor ordered for me.

I was really able to unwind and relax a little. When I went in the room, the therapist asked me where my trouble areas were. I just started crying. I asked her if anyone had ever cried on her massage table before. When she said, “No,” I warned her that today might be a first. I could literally feel the stress leaving my body and it was wonderful. Thank you, Mom and Summer. I love you.

We’ve had lots of good visits over the past week.

To all my Hosanna friends, look who came to see me!! My precious friend, Stacey Neely, was in my wedding and was my friend from middle school and all through high school. She let me drive my first manual transmission car when I was probably 12 years old! Oh my goodness. The sweet face on the right is Rhonda Anzivino, who is married to my high school Bible teacher. I learned so much in that high school Bible class. I can still remember specific things “Mr. A” taught us. I am thankful for the solid foundation on which my faith is built. It was so sweet to have visits that were meant to refresh me. I have been so blessed with great people in my life.

Clay’s Aunt Jean and Uncle Clem came to visit and brought us a delicious home cooked meal. Clay always loved Aunt Jean’s cooking, so he was very excited. His college buddy, Michael Mullins, came to visit at the perfect time….just as Jean was dropping off food! So, he got to enjoy the goodness with us. Michael has been a lifelong friend to Clay and he blessed us so much with his visit.

The Arnold’s and the Merchant’s visited together one afternoon. Bobby Arnold was a work friend of Clay’s and they’ve remained close friends for many years. Bobby loves the Lord and has been encouraging Clay every day through text messages and emails that are so uplifting. He and his wife, Sherry, have been praying diligently and we loved the visit. Angie and Paul Merchant are dear friends from church. We’ve helped them carry a burden for a few years, through prayer and intercession, and now they are right by our side helping us. The Body of Christ is so amazing. We love you guys.

The Lord brought our friends, the Scherer’s, into our lives a few years ago. He instantly knitted our hearts together and we have shared a special bond with them ever since. Clay and Caleb are great friends. They are nothing alike, but close nonetheless. Robin and I were made to be friends. Those of you who saw Anne of Green Gables will know what I mean when I say that we are “kindred spirits.” God has really used them in our lives and we cherish the friendship. Their girls are like our own kids. How do you like the face swap between Clay and Hanna?? Or how about the face swap between Hanna and our dog, Ellie! Ha.


We gave Clay this weight bench for Christmas! It’s been in the box for 6 months. So, the other night, while we had dinner with Bill and Marcelle Nipper, Sam put the bench together for Clay. He said it was his Father’s Day gift to him! It was great. Thank you, Sam.

We had some quiet family time last night. Sam had to work, but the rest of us swam together and sat on the swing while we listened to worship music. Even Ellie got in the pool! It was fun. It’s been good to do some normal things and to just have fun together. If you are wondering if Clay’s competitive nature is still in tact, let me be the first to tell you that it is. Now, Grace started this, but I think Clay finished it….


God added Jean Raggio to my life recently. She is my neighbor and one of my newest friends. We both love Jesus, and that makes us great friends. She brought us a delicious dinner last night and she rubbed my neck for me! And she did it like a trained massage therapist. It really helped me relax. How sweet. She is my second friend to do that. Robin was pretty good at it, too. Who knew I had such talented friends??

The Browning family has been precious to us, too. They’ve been helping us so much. Then today, Mark took Ben fishing. He had a great time catching his first few fish.

Today, we celebrated Grace. She is having a birthday and Clay needed any excuse to get a cookie cake into this house. He succeeded. I thank God, all the time, for giving me this girl.  We had some alone time the other day, and the whole time we were talking, I was amazed at how mature she is. She is handling this situation with such grace and poise. God is really growing her.


Last pic….this is me and Clay sitting in the waiting room of our Oncologist yesterday. That TV behind us is playing very loudly and it is The Price is Right. Who in the world thinks that a bunch of sick people in an Oncology waiting room want to listen to the foolishness on The Price is Right??? We just laughed and tried our best to ignore it. And, we didn’t have to wait long. We met with the Nurse Practitioner and she explained the chemotherapy. As I’ve said before, Temodar is a pill. We will administer it at home, along with a few other meds. We are praying that Clay can sleep through the side effects most of the time. He will stay on the Temodar daily during the 6 weeks of radiation therapy. Then, he’ll take it for 6 more months, but only 5 days out of each month. There is a lot of information to manage, but thankfully, I’m on top of it right now.

Clay’s spirits are really good. We laugh a lot. I’m so thankful he can laugh about the side effects he’s having now. They are extremely mild for what he has been through, but I think some people would let it get them down. He has not. We laugh and joke all the time. He continues to praise the Lord at every opportunity. The peace of God is with us, for sure.

We love you and thank you for your continued prayers and support. You are showering us with love, gifts, food, help, and prayer. Thank you. Thank you so much. We will go to our first radiation appointment on Monday at 12:30. It will be a test run, and Tuesday will be the first actual treatment. Thank you for praying for wisdom for our doctors, and low side effects for Clay. We love you!

Battle Strategy

A few posts ago, I told you that the Lord had brought me back to I and II Samuel to read about David’s life and his battles. God has been using the book of Psalms to encourage me so much, and it made me want to re-read David’s life story.

In summary, the people of Israel asked God to give them a king. God appointed Saul and anointed him with the power of the Holy Spirit, but Saul was disobedient.  God then removed His Spirit from Saul and chose David to become king. Saul could clearly see the power of God on David’s life and, although David was fighting Saul’s battles, Saul hated him. He was jealous of the anointing. So, he decided to kill David. Because God had chosen David, there was really nothing Saul could do to win, but he sure tried. Isn’t that just like the devil? I mean, doesn’t he know what Revelation tells us? Doesn’t he realize that he loses in the end? But, he just keeps trying to win. Dumb.

Even though God had chosen David and anointed him to be the king, God allowed him to go through a long wilderness experience. David was literally running for his life for years while Saul chased him. Why would God do this? Why would’t he just kill Saul and put David on the throne? Because David wasn’t ready. God needed to teach him the lessons that would make him a great king. There are so many lessons in this story that God is using in my life right now, but the one I want to focus on today is God’s battle strategy.

Lesson #1 – Don’t make any decision, no matter how small, without asking God what He wants you to do. If you read the story, you will see many times David goes to God for directions. He rarely makes a move without prayer. And, God always answers. The few times that David does make his move without prayer, disaster follows. We can learn this lesson from David, rather than having to learn it the hard way, through our own mistakes. Don’t make a move without consulting God first.

Lesson #2 – God will give you specific instructions. Let’s look at 2 Samuel 6: 22-25,

“And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, ‘You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.’ And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines.”

God didn’t just say, “Go fight them.” He told David exactly how to do it. He laid out a specific battle strategy that was successful. As we know, God sees the future. He knows exactly what will happen and He knows exactly what we need to do in order to be successful. If we will ask Him and allow Him to answer us, He will tell us what to do.

Lesson #3 – God understands that we are human and He is patient if we need to ask, again. Look at 1 Samuel 23:1-4,

“Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.”

God knows that we are human. He loves us. He created us. He is patient and loving toward us. Sometimes the decision to go into battle is overwhelmingly scary for us and, even when the Lord says to go, we can be impacted by the voices around us. But, if we go back to Him and ask again, He will lovingly answer us, again. He is such a good Father. If God has already told you, but you are afraid, go back to Him and he will assure you. Then go. Do. Obey. Don’t be afraid. He is with you.

If you are living for the Lord, you serve the same God that David served. God is no respecter of persons, so you have access to the same Holy Spirit that David had. He didn’t love David more than He loves you or me. The stories in the Old Testament display God’s character to us and they are there to show us how God desires to lead us and guide us. So, I encourage you today to take advantage of God’s willingness to provide you with battle strategy. If you are in a difficult time, ask the Lord to speak to you. Go to Him before you make any decisions. Seek Him with all your heart. This can’t just be a casual relationship in which you pray on Sundays. If you are in a battle for your life, you need the Lord every second. Tell Him you need Him. Tell Him you desire to walk closely with Him, like a friend or a companion. Ask Him to make you a man after His own heart. Ask Him to give you ears to hear Him. Then, when He does….do what He says. Like, David, be obedient. Don’t be afraid. Walk in confidence.

Since the beginning of our diagnosis, I have been asking the Lord to give me a clear battle strategy. Our dear friend, Dr. Gummadi, spoke something over us several weeks ago that has stayed with me everyday. He said that God is taking us across our Red Sea, but rather than parting the waters all the way across, so we can see where we are going, He is parting the waters as we walk. He parts it a little, then we take a step, then He parts it a little more. What a cool way to think about our situation. Although I desire, and have been asking God to part the water so I can see the destination, He isn’t choosing to do that right now. He is only showing us the strategy for today. But, praise God he is showing us and speaking clearly.

But, I am asking Him to show me the end of the story. I ask Him often to please speak to me and tell me what is going to happen. I want to prepare my heart and I want to know how to pray. I want to have the strength to accept whatever He has ordained for our lives. If He plans to take Clay home, I want to know so I can allow Him to prepare my heart for what that will mean. If He plans to heal him, I want to know, so I can pray and believe. So I can stand on that promise from Him when I pray. And, in His love for me, I know that He is hearing those prayers and He reminds me everyday that He is listening. He may not be answering that prayer like I want Him to answer, but He is with me. Pastor Lee told us many years ago that when we pray for God to reveal His promises and His plans for our life, He will do it in His perfect timing. Because, as soon as He tells us, the devil is going to find out. There are things that God keeps hidden from Satan because as soon as Satan finds out, he will begin preparing his battle strategy to attack us. So, apparently, God is not ready for anyone, including me and the devil, to know what He has planned for the end of our story. But, that’s ok. I’ll keep asking Him, but I’ll also keep trusting Him. And, as He reveals His plan for today, we are praying for continued strength to do exactly what He says.

My prayer for you today is that you will seek God’s battle strategy for your life. That you will listen to Him and you will obey what He tells you to do….no matter how difficult. I pray that if you are walking across your own Red Sea, that God will reveal to you that He is the one parting your waters. If you are in your wilderness, running for your life, I pray that He will give you clear battle strategy. He is in control. Trust Him. Seek Him. Obey Him. He loves you. He knows your future. Follow His leading.



Praise The Lord

Yesterday was Clay’s simulation at the Pennington Cancer Center. It was all very interesting to see. The Technician called me on Tuesday to tell me that I could bring whoever wanted to see the process. So, Sam and Grace decided to come along and watch. The process starts with getting Clay comfortable on the table. They make a mask out of a plastic sheet. They heat the plastic for several minutes before applying it to Clay’s face. The plastic becomes pliable and it stretches over his head so they can mold it. Then it cools down quickly and becomes hard again. The purpose of the mask it to hold him still for the radiation treatments. If you are claustrophobic, go ahead and start freaking out about now. Watch this video:

I’m not sure why the sound is so bad. Anyway, that’s how the mask gets made. Well, Clay got hot. They had covered him with a warm sheet, then the mask was hot, then they stretched it across his face for several minutes until it cooled down, then….we ALL left the room. That was enough to push him over the edge and he had a mild panic moment. We had walked out into the waiting area just while they scanned him and I saw the technicians running back in the room. I knew something had gone wrong. Within just a minute, they called for me to come back in there. He had panicked and they had to take the mask off. He just looked at me and the kids like he was very glad to see us. Press play on this song so you can listen to it while you read the rest of the blog.

Of course I got emotional when I saw him on the table. There has not been anything we’ve dealt with that has been easy, but when Clay is strong and in good spirits, things are so much easier. The hardest moments for me have been the times when he has been sick, in pain, or in fear. This was one of those moments. So, it caused a bit of a scene. There were 2 Technicians, 1 Nurse and 1 Doctor, plus the 3 of us. He was calming down and I knew they needed to put the mask back on to do the scan. So, I asked them if they minded if we prayed. They politely agreed. I just leaned down, kissed him on his cheek and prayed over him. Grace was on my left, holding my hand, and Sam was on my right with his head on my shoulder. We prayed together and asked the Lord to comfort him and give him the peace he needed in order to finish the task. We said “Amen,” they snapped the mask back in place and he went back into the machine. He did great. We were back in the room with him in less than 6 minutes.

And, here is the finished product:


His eyes look a bit droopy, but it’s just a bad pic. He was actually smiling very big and rejoicing that this step was over. The entire staff was so nice to us and I am praying that the Lord blessed them today while they got to see his reaction to a difficult moment. I believe with all my heart that God is in every moment of this time with us. He has never left us and never forsaken us. When bad things happen, I always try to figure out how He used us in the moment. He always does.

Dr. Russell let us know that we won’t start treatment until June 20. He is going to create the treatment plan, and then he wants the doctor at Duke University to review it before we start. This is amazing to me. God is so faithful in the little things. But, I was still a little bothered by the wait. You know, we were supposed to start treatment at MDA this past Monday. So, today would have already been his 4th treatment. God knew that my heart was worried a little about the delay. So, later in the day, my cell phone rang. Guess who it was? Dr. Cataldo. If you don’t remember, he is the Oncologist that referred us to MDA in the first place. I honestly don’t know if we would have gotten there if he had not referred us. And, a dear friend of ours, Jeff Morris, was specifically praying that Dr. Cataldo would come see us at exactly the time when he walked in our hospital room. So, we know for sure that God sent him to us. Well, God used him again today. I needed to be comforted, so he called me. He told me that he prefers to wait at least 5 weeks from surgery before starting any treatment. The 20th will be almost exactly 5 weeks. Thank you, Jesus. He just calmed my  heart and I let go of any worry in that very moment.

When we left Pennington, we went to Sam’s Club. Funny little side bar. I had to add the word “Club” so you would not think I was talking about my Sam. When he was little, he thought he owned Sam’s Club. We would say, “Let’s go to Sam’s!” and he just thought that meant it was his store! Man, I wish. Ok, back to our day. We had ordered some things from Sam’s, so we went to pick them up and got some fresh veggies for our juicer. When we got home with our supplies, my sweet friend, Janelle, was cleaning my house. Now, she really doesn’t want me to do this, but I love her too much not to tell you how much she has blessed my life.


Janelle cleaned my house for at least 5 years while I worked full time. When the Lord told me that I was going to leave my career, Janelle was one of the first 2 people I thought of. (Callie was the other!) I just couldn’t imagine telling Janelle that I couldn’t pay her to clean my house any longer. Maybe the anxiety was more about the fact that I would have to start cleaning my house all by myself, but either way, I was so sad that she would not be a regular part of my life anymore. Well, as soon as she heard about Clay’s diagnosis, she was right back at my front door. She’s been helping me keep this crazy house up, ever since. I was overcome with emotion when she told me she was planning to do this for me. I felt so silly to be crying over house keeping, but this is what I told her, “Janelle, I feel like I have limited time and the last thing I want to spend my time doing right now is cleaning a stupid bath tub!” She totally anticipated that and understood and she has been an angel to me. She is part of our family, really. We’ve had so many sweet talks about the Lord over the years and yesterday we talked for over an hour about what He’s been doing in our lives lately. I love you, Janelle. You are a dear friend and the love you are demonstrating to me right now is something I will NEVER forget.

Hit play on this next song while you finish reading. I’ll tell you why later…

After we rested a while, we were able to go enjoy Grace’s first Summer league volleyball game. I could write an entire blog post about Grace’s volleyball coaches and her team. They’ve been so wonderful to Grace while we’ve walked through this time. And, returning to practice was such a great thing for Grace. The feeling of something normal has done a lot for her. We got to watch two games and it was so awesome to see her back on the court. Clay’s vision is still not great, so I had to update him on the score and a few other things throughout the night, but he really enjoyed watching the team.

We were sitting in the stands, watching the game, and I saw this girl walking through the gym with a “Pray for Clay” shirt on. I just saw her from behind, so I wasn’t sure who it was. The first thought I had was, “Aw! Look. Someone is wearing a Pray for Clay shirt.” And, then I suddenly felt this overwhelming emotion and I wanted to bust out into tears right there. Sometimes I just can’t believe that my husband’s name is on a shirt, or a bracelet, or a blog. This just can’t be real. So many times in my past, I have seen shirts like that, or bracelets that remind people to pray, and I’ve felt so sorry for people walking through a difficult situation. But, now it’s me. Huh? Sometimes it is just weird, y’all. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real. Then, the reality suddenly slaps me in the face. The good news is that someone is wearing our shirt. So many people are wearing the bracelet. And, that reminds me that so many people are praying for us. We truly need a miracle. And, people are constantly asking God to perform one on our behalf. Thank you. Thank you for the support. We were surrounded by friends and love last night while we watched our girl.


We came home from the ballgame and had the most delicious dinner waiting on us. Our church family has been feeding us for a while. I can’t tell you the load it has taken off of me. I don’t have to think about food, or grocery shopping, or cleaning my kitchen. And, the best part is the visits that happen when the food gets delivered. We love you, church family and friends, for doing this for us!

Today, we met the Oncologist, Dr. McCanless. We had to schedule a training visit for the chemotherapy. The chemo drug is called Temodar and it is a very standard drug for Clay’s condition. It is a pill and we will administer it at home. The doctor has to order it for us, then we will meet with a Nurse Practitioner to learn how to take it properly. We are told that the side effects are generally mild. Some nausea and fatigue are the most likely effects.

When we left the Oncologist’s office, we did something REALLY normal. We had a meeting with one of Clay’s clients! He was back in the office and we were working as a team. It’s a good thing we like each other. Ha! He still can’t drive and his vision challenges make it hard for him to read a lot. But, his long term memory is perfect and he is still able to talk about mutual funds and financial planning! So, we met with a long time client and worked together to meet her needs. It was good to see Clay doing what he is so good at. And, he actually liked having my help, so it looks like we’ll make a good team. He may not like me anymore when I put on my “Sales Manager hat” and start critiquing him, but we’ll save that for a later post. (I’m kidding, of course. And, for those who don’t know, I was a Sales Manager for many years and just retired one year ago.)

He’s pretty cute, isn’t he??? The Oncologist just kept saying, “Wow. You look really good for a guy who just had brain surgery!” He said it several times.

We also got to go watch our youngest son play basketball tonight. Clay helped coach their team during the school year, so all the boys really love him. Every time they huddle, instead of saying “Win” or “Go Warriors” they say “Play for Clay!” When Clay heard that tonight, he had to fight back some tears. It is so sweet. I could tell by the way a few of the boys looked at him, that they are really concerned and they really love him. It is very touching. They didn’t win for Clay, but they sure did play for Clay. They played hard. Clay really enjoyed being there and getting to watch them.

Their coach, and our friend, Josh Harrouch, is even growing a beard in honor of Clay’s hairy face. Either that, or he’s just lazy. I’m not sure which one! We love you, Josh.

So, why did I ask you to play the songs “Praise the Lord” and “Through It All” while you read this post? On the way home from our volleyball game last night, Clay was telling my parents about his panic moment (he won’t let me refer to it as a panic attack) and he was talking about how he calms himself down. He has 3 “go to” songs that he sings when he needs to encourage himself in the Lord and calm down. Praise the Lord, Victory In Jesus, and Through It All. He has been listening to old hymns and some classic Christian songs lately. We’ve had several little church services in our kitchen or in our bedroom as he blares the gospel music. I’ll come in the room and find him sitting in his chair with his eyes closed and tears just streaming down his face as he listens. When I listen to the lyrics of many of those old songs, I know that those writers walked through a difficulty similar to ours. Otherwise, you can’t write those words. It is similar to how I feel about David’s Psalms. They are heart felt and written from a place of experience. If you are walking in a difficult time, right now, listen to Christian music. Good Christian music. Let the lyrics minister to you and let it help you focus your thoughts on the goodness of God. It is just amazing to see how real God’s presence is when you truly need Him. We definitely need Him and we are Praising Him and thanking Him tonight for all the things He is doing in and through us. He is such a good God. Praise the Lord tonight. We love you!




Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Someone asked me this question just the other day. I had to take a breath and think for a minute. I’ve heard this question all my life, but I have a new found perspective on how to answer it.

First of all, there is no such thing as a “good” person. The Bible says we are all sinners and we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God. There is nothing good in us. Isn’t that so obvious when you really think about it? When we are left to ourselves, nothing good happens. We are sinful people with selfish, prideful natures. Paul wrote about the struggle of our flesh so often, and he had to be the greatest Christian that ever lived. God even gave him a physical weakness to keep his pride at bay, so that tells us how strong his flesh was. Yet, he overcame by the power of the Spirit and did mighty things for God. But, we have to first realize that we are not good. Without Jesus, we are incapable of good. So, we come to him, repent, and let Him clothe us in His righteousness. Then, we can do good things because He is living in us.

In light of this, I’m going to change the question a little. Let’s say it like this….”Why do bad things happen to people who are living for God?” Let’s look to David to help us answer this question.

Psalm 31: 19-24

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind! (another version says “before the watching world”)
In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men;
you store them in your shelter
from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!”

I love verse 19 and the thought of God blessing us before a watching world. The entire reason God leaves us here on this earth, after we are saved, is so the rest of the world can be saved. God desires that none should perish. He wants everyone to come to Him, because He is a God of love. He sent Jesus to live as our example, and to die for our sins. Then, He created the church as a living example of Jesus on earth. How could lost people ever be saved and come to the knowledge of Christ, if we, the church, are not living as an example in front of them. God uses our lives to demonstrate His nature. Sometimes that comes through blessings – and the world can see that He is a God who loves to bless His people. And, sometimes it comes through difficulty – and the watching world can see that He is a loving God who never leaves or forsakes.

There is a song lyric that goes something like this, “If I never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that God could solve them.” The lesson I have learned in the past month is that God truly does walk with us in the valley of the shadow of death. He truly is near to the broken hearted. The Holy Spirit truly IS wisdom. God is using our situation to prove His Word to me and Clay and our family. I believed all of it before, but now, He has proved it. And, for some reason, He chose my family to demonstrate to the watching world that He never leaves us. No matter how dark the valley is, He is with us. He is holding us. He is giving us strength to walk through it.

We were talking to a dear friend, Jeff Lee, the other night and he was sharing some things that God has been showing him while he’s watched our situation. They were all things that are in my heart, too, but it was a blessing to hear them come from someone else’s mouth. We know that God can heal Clay. He could just speak the word and in an instant, his body could be perfect. We believe it with all of our hearts. But, what He is demonstrating to the watching world, by not healing Clay, is just as powerful of a testimony. Mockers would look at us and say, “Where is your God now?? Huh? Why won’t your God save you and heal you?” But then they would just have to look back at our smiling faces as we tell them that we trust God, no matter what. Our faces are not filled with fear and anxiety. They are filled with joy and anticipation. That is not because we are anything special. It is because the Holy Spirit has given us a strong resolve and a very strong faith that is trusting in Jesus. We have surrendered our lives to Him, so we just have to trust that He is working. And He is. He is receiving glory.

The next reason I believe God allows difficulty in our lives is so that He can make us great kings. Look at David’s life. David didn’t instantly become a great king when God plopped him down on a big beautiful throne. God developed the heart of a great king while David was out in that wilderness, running for his life, and fighting his greatest battles. He taught him how to depend on God, how to love God, how to encourage himself in the Lord, how to seek the wisdom of God, how to wait on God, and how to follow God. If David had not gone through the wilderness, He would not have been a great king. If we can focus on what God is trying to accomplish through our lives, rather than focusing on our pain, we can do so much more for the Lord with our lives. Ask God to show you what He is doing. And ask Him to make you willing to face your wilderness, so that He can make you a great king.

II Corinthians 1: 3-5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

God allows our struggles so that we can relate to one another and comfort one another. We are to love each other, as God has loved us. When we have walked through difficulty, we are better equipped to comfort others who are struggling. I am seeing this to be so true right now. I can always tell when I’m talking to someone who truly understands how I’m feeling. I met a sweet lady in Izzo’s yesterday. She came up to me because she recognized me from the blog. We’ve never met, so she introduced herself and then she gave me this really tight, emotional hug. When I looked back in her face, I could just tell that she has walked through a difficulty similar to mine. She then told me a little bit about her own story and how the blog has been ministering to her. I thanked her so much for introducing herself and for the encouragement it brought to me to know that our story is affecting people we don’t even know. Her words were so sweet and the look in her eyes was filled with compassion that could only be felt by someone who truly understands where I am. Thank you, Suzie. You comforted me with a comfort with which you were comforted. That is living out 2 Corinthians.

The last reason I’ll mention today is found in James 5:13-16,

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

God desires that there be a cleansing in our lives. A sort of stripping away of the world. When our lives are filled with blessings, we so easily allow the world to creep in. We find ourselves spending hours watching Netflix and baseball games. We veg in front of the TV for days. Or, we fill our minds with music that is not encouraging us to know the Lord. Maybe we indulge ourselves in selfish things that are not good for us. I’m not saying that these things are necessarily sin, but they can lead to sin and they can certainly distract us from the Lord. When God puts us in a place of desperation, suddenly Netflix just isn’t important. Baseball doesn’t matter. The TV becomes an annoyance, rather than entertainment.

My pastor spoke out of 1 Corinthians yesterday. Chapter 10, verse 23 says, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” Think about this. Because Jesus came, we are not under the law, we are under grace. Paul says that all things are lawful. BUT….all things are not expedient. All things are not best. All things don’t edify us. When we are truly seeking the Lord, we will have a desire to spend our time doing things that are expedient, rather than things that are not. When you find yourself in a place where only Jesus can save you, you change. Your heart begins to push away anything that is not expedient and you only want things that will bring you closer to Him. Of course, we don’t usually live in this state our entire lives, but sometimes God just needs to pull us close, so He allows difficulty to bring us close to Him.

My prayer for you today is that you will allow the Lord to bring you close. That you will desire to be made into a great king. That you will let God strip away your love for the world. That you will comfort others with the comfort He has given you. And, above all, that you will live your live for the glory of God before the “watching world,” so that others will see Jesus through you today.

Thank you for your continued prayers and love. Here are some pics from the past few days. We’ve had lots of visits, delicious meals, and sweet gifts. We love the time we’ve been able to spend with so many of you and we are so encouraged to know that God is using our lives to minister to you right now. Please continue to share your stories with us. It gives us purpose in our trial.

On Saturday, our friends Shawntel and Andy, visited us in the morning. We rested and then one of Clay’s friends from Middle School brought us dinner. Oh my gosh. He hasn’t seen her in years, but she’s been showering us with love and good food. Thank you, Tina. We went to a sweet engagement party for a precious couple in our church. Congrats, Hannah and Sam!!!! Then we came home to the funniest gift I’ve ever seen. $100 gift card to Dairy Queen so Clay can get his M&M Blizzard fix whenever he wants it. Burke Patterson and his family dropped it off while we were gone. So funny! He even used scripture that encouraged Clay to enjoy the sweet things in life. Ha!!

Yesterday, we had an amazing church service. Then we had lunch at Izzo’s with our family and our friend, Jill Wyble. I met Suzie, who I mentioned earlier. We jammed to some oldies, Bebe & CeCe Winans on the way home. Had a visit and a coffee delivery from Kim Barnett and her family. Thank you, Kim! My coffee was soooo good this morning because of you. John Green and Johnny came to visit. Clay and John have been best friends since they were 8 years old! Jason and Chenelle Doise brought us dinner and stayed to visit. We had such a good time with them. We love you guys! (Ben took the pic, which is why the angle is terrible!)


This morning, I’ve been having my coffee and typing this blog. Thank y’all for reading it. I just called Dr. Russell’s office and they are going to call me back with our scheduled time for Clay’s simulation (which is where they make the mask for his treatment.) Once the mask  is made, the doctor needs 5 – 7 business days to prepare for treatment. So, we might try to go to the beach or get away for a few days before  we start. We’ll be tied to BR for the remainder of the Summer time, so we may try to sneak in a little trip. The best part of my morning was when Grace came home from Volleyball. She had a great time this morning at practice and her coaches have been so great to us. Summer league starts Wednesday, and it will feel so normal to see her playing again!


We love you and appreciate your prayers. Pray for Dr. Russell to have wisdom as he plans Clay’s treatment. Pray for Clay to be well and have strength during the treatments. Thank you!

Right after I posted this, I got a call from both doctors. We are scheduled for the simulation with Dr. Russell on Wednesday and our first Oncology appointment with Dr. McCanless on Thursday. I’ll update you after those appointments. Thank you!

Treatment in Baton Rouge

My day started at the hair salon. As I mentioned on my Facebook post, I really don’t care what I look like right now, but my sweet hair dresser friend, Jodi Tullier, was keeping me blonde. So, I went in. I laughed while I was driving to the salon as I was thinking of all the times I’ve sat in Jodi’s chair and cried. I knew today would be another one of those days. Jodi’s dad died of brain cancer just a few years ago and she has been burdened with our situation since finding out. Well, all the girls in the salon have been reading our blog, so we had a great time talking about the Lord today. I brought them all up to speed on the latest news and we laughed about a few stories they’ve heard that are not true. If you heard that Clay’s secretary called me to tell me he wasn’t feeling well…..let me be the first to tell you that Clay doesn’t have a secretary! Ha! Part of the reason I started this blog is so that you can get the story straight from us. But, I just chuckle when I hear of the crazy stories. And, really, I just love y’all for loving us enough to be talking about our situation and wondering what is going on.

When Jodi finished my hair, the girls all got around me and prayed for me. It was awesome. Of course, I left there so encouraged. Thank you, girls. I love y’all!

Our Pastor and his wife visited with Clay while I was gone. I got to see them for just a second on their way out of the neighborhood. They are so special to us. The Lord has used them in our lives for 15 years and we would not be where we are without them.

I made Clay a big breakfast and our sweet neighbor visited while we ate. Then we got ready to leave for our appointment with Dr. Russell. Several of you have told me that you know him and that he is a Christian. So, we were excited about our visit. We got to the Pennington Cancer Center and it felt like we were the only people there. We were not, but they just treated us like royalty. They were so attentive to us and so helpful. We saw the Social Worker first and she showed us a video of how the treatment will work. Then, the nurse greeted us and got vitals, etc.

Then, Dr. Russell came in. Clay started by telling him about our common friend, Randy Sumrall. That question lead us to talking about the Lord. When I said, “Are you a believer?” He said, “Absolutely!”

So, as much as we might have liked Dr. Russell, the conversation that followed is never easy. No matter how many times we’ve had this talk with a doctor, it never gets easier. He reviewed our case and told us his thoughts on our situation. It remains pretty grim. He told us that 20 years ago, no one lived more than 9 months when diagnosed with Glioblastoma. Now, people are living longer, but not long enough. It still feels very surreal when we have these talks. Clay usually looks at me the whole time and we just hold hands and trust God to help us in the moment. But, this conversation ended better than any other. Dr. Russell leaned in, held both of our hands and prayed for us. He prayed for us! While he prayed for us, I prayed for him. Please help me pray for him as he works to determine Clay’s exact treatment. He has a lot of hard work to do over the next week.

We started talking about alternative treatments and clinical trials and Dr. Russell mentioned that he studied at Duke. We started talking about the Polio Vaccine work they are doing. He said that he was aware and he knows the head of the program. I told him that we were told that we would only qualify for that program if we have a recurrence of tumor, post surgery and post treatment. He agreed, but in the middle of a sentence, he said, “Hold on.” And, he left the room. I looked at the Med Student in the room and said, “Is he going to just get him on the phone?” He just smiled and said, “Probably.” Well, he was! He came back into the room on his cell phone and he was talking to Dr. Henry Friedman. He is the head of the Neuro dept at Duke University! He agreed to review our case and Dr. Russell is sending him the MRI. We will be in an established relationship with Duke, so that if we are a candidate for their treatment, at any point, we’ll be able to get in quickly. This is Dr. Russell talking to Dr. Freidman. And, the pic on the right is Dr. Russell’s office wall. Um, I think he might know what he’s doing!!


Ok, so the first step is to get an MRI done. Our appointment started at 1:30, so by now it’s like 3:00 pm on a Friday afternoon. The doctor requested that the MRI be done as soon as possible. I said, “Any chance we could just do it today while we’re here?” He kind of laughed and said, “We’ll see what we can do.” 20 minutes later, our insurance had already approved it and the people were waiting for us to walk over. The doctor and his nurse were kind of laughing in surprise. When they came back in the room, I said, “I’m not at all surprised. This is exactly how God has been doing everything in our situation.” They smiled. The second step is to get the simulation done. This is where they make the mask. Because MDA already did this, our insurance company couldn’t approve for BR General to do it until MDA releases us. The financial lady was telling me to call MDA and ask them. Well, it has been taking them 24 hours to return my calls. Dr. Russell said that I should just call BCBS. So, while we walked to the MRI, I called my Case Manager at BCBS. By the time we came out of the MRI, she had already left me a voice mail saying it was released!!! So, God just did everything. Everything. It is so amazing to watch Him work. We should be completing the simulation by early next week and treatment will start about a week after that.

When we arrived to do the MRI, it was the same two technicians that did our very first MRI while we were staying at the hospital in the first week of May. They remembered us really well. We felt like we were surrounded by friends. As they were taking us into the MRI room, they told us that one of the ladies at the hospital is reading our blog and came to tell them about it. So, they knew about our surgery and most of our story! It was so cool. Clay made it through another MRI just fine. I got to sit with him, again. They were so sweet to us.

The best part of the entire day for Clay was when I asked Dr. Russell about Clay’s diet. I asked him if he would recommend that we make any changes. He said, “Give him whatever he wants.” Clay just about did a back flip right there. He got so excited that my attempt to fill him up with carrot juice and prevent him from ever eating sugar again, may be futile. Now, let me just say this. We’ve received a lot of advice regarding the importance of Clay’s overall health right now. So, we are going to keep juicing and eating healthy, but Clay is going to get his occasional M&M Blizzard from Dairy Queen. And, he was very happy on the way home.


We left in the pouring down rain at 5:00 pm and drove home. Our lifelong friend, Jane Smith, had already delivered our dinner. We’ve had a quiet night at home with the kids. We love you all and thank you so much for praying today. We felt it. Believe me. Your prayers are holding us up. I hope you are blessed by seeing how much God is moving on our behalf. He is a faithful God. Amen. Goodnight.




God Delivered Him Not Into His Hand

In I Samuel 23, David is being pursued by Saul. He is literally running for his life from a mad man who wants to kill him. This feels a little familiar to me right now as Clay and I are being pursued by cancer. A friend of my pastor shared this verse with us on Sunday and it resinated so strongly with me…

I Samuel 23:14, “And Saul sought him everyday, but God delivered him not into his hand.”

There is so much meaning in this. First of all, the wording signifies that God is in full control. It reminds me that, if I am a David (a man after God’s own heart) then God is in control. If I’m going to be delivered into the hand of the devil at this point, God would have to do it. Even though my enemy seeks me everyday (and he does) he can not overtake me. God is hiding me in this wilderness. I sort of wish He was hiding me on the mountaintop in a gorgeous cabin with a beautiful view, but He is not. He is hiding me here…in this wilderness in the side of a mountain. But, He knows what He is doing. So, we just stay here and trust Him. We are doing everything in our power to only follow Him. To hear his voice and to do only what He says to do.

When I came home and read this verse again, the thought came to me, “I wonder if David could have just turned against God and walked out of the cave on his own for Saul to find him?” That sounds kind of dumb, doesn’t it? Why would a person turn from God and do what they think is best. Why would David just walk out of the cave and allow Saul to kill him when he could wait on God and later become a great king? Well, we only think that because we can see the end of the story. We already know what happens. But, we take matters into our own hands all the time. Rather than wait and trust God, we engineer our situations to work out like we think they should.

Yesterday afternoon, Clay and I got home from an eye doctor appointment and a trip to Whole Foods (I’ll tell you about that later) and we were pretty tired. I expected to hear from the insurance company that morning, so before I laid down for a minute, I called and left a message for our case worker. I dozed off for about an hour when my phone rang. It was Marie from Blue Cross. I rubbed my eyes and walked into the closet so I wouldn’t disturb Clay. Now, before I tell you this, remember what I wrote earlier about how we went to Houston praying we could come back home for treatment, but then we accepted that we probably needed to be in Houston, God provided housing and we actually started getting excited about Houston. So, I’m thinking this call is to confirm another miracle that God has done and Marie is about to tell me it’s all approved. Here’s what she says,

“Mrs. Furlow, I didn’t want to call you until I had all this information. I’m calling now to tell you that your request for treatment at MD Anderson was approved….(PAUSE)

My heart just kind of sighed, as if to say, “Oh, I knew that’s what you were going to say because God is so amazing.” Let’s get back to Marie….

(UNPAUSE)…as an Out of Network benefit, which means your coverage would be 60/40.”

What? Wait, I can’t breath. Hold on just a minute. My brain isn’t working. Huh? We waited a whole week to basically hear you say that we are declined? Huh? My mind wanted to just completely freak out. What do I do? Who do I call? We are supposed to start treatment Monday!! We’ll never find a doctor in Baton Rouge who can see us soon enough to start treatment Monday! The devil took the lowest road possible and said very loud right in my ear, “CLAY IS GOING TO DIE!!” As soon as I heard those words, I got so mad at him. I stopped for a minute and asked the Lord to help me get my thoughts under control. To take them captive. And, He did. I still couldn’t really breath, but I just had to determine in my heart not to lose it.

Marie advised that I call the Oncologist in BR who helped us get to MDA. His office told me that they can’t see us for a month, so that was another dead end. So, I called our precious friend Dr. Gummadi. I’ll probably right an entire blog on how the Lord has used him and his wife in our situation. It is such a miracle. So, in his very calm voice and with such a Godly spirit, he calmed me down even more and told me exactly what to do. He called the Oncologist he would like us to see and spoke directly to him about our situation. Then he told me which Radiology Oncologist to call. I just called the office directly and when the nurse answered the phone, I told her 3 sentences about our situation. She said, “Hang on just a minute, ma’am. I’m going to see if I can just get Dr. Russell on the phone.” I held for a minute and when she came back she said, “Can you be here tomorrow at 1:30?” Are you kidding me? You just happen to have an open appointment at 1:30 tomorrow? Um….yes! We can be there!

God is so sweet, isn’t He? When my world felt like it wanted to crash down on me and my hope felt lost, the devil was in that closet with me just waiting to press me down onto the floor into a puddle of tears and hopelessness. Can’t you just see him standing over me laughing and rubbing his fingers together in excitement that he is about to finally get a little victory in my situation? He was whispering in my ear. Actually, he was talking loudly in my ear. And, all he got was a deep breath, a few tears and a punch in the face. Maybe he’ll stop coming so close from now on. He should probably at least stay an arms length away from me. Hahaha! Thank you, Jesus!

So, everything is moving forward. We are back to the place we wanted to be in the beginning and our hearts are at peace. I know I keep saying this, but the very first thing the Lord showed me when we were waiting for our diagnosis on that Tuesday morning in the Baton Rouge General, was Psalm 33. It is not the horse we ride into battle that will save us. So, the doctor doesn’t really matter. But, the cool news is that several people have told me that Dr. Russell is a Christian. Amen! It will be so great to work with a believer right now. I am asking you to please pray for him. Clay’s tumor is unique in the way it spreads. It almost sounds demonic, but a glioblastoma tumor grows as a mass that is visible, but while it is growing, it places little seeds of cancer out in the brain matter around it. The seeds are not connected to the tumor and they are undetectable on an MRI. So, the Radiology Oncologist has a big job to do. He has to estimate where those little seeds are located and radiate those areas, too, without causing too much collateral damage to the brain. He has a huge task ahead of him. Please be in prayer for him that God will guide his thoughts and decisions. Pray that Clay will not have any side effects of damage to his abilities during treatment.

One last thing I want to tell you. Are you wondering why God let all the stuff happen with MDA? Why would He bring us there to meet the Radiologist and give us a peace about going there and then bring us back here. Well, let me assure you…He is NOT confused and He did not change His mind. He’s known all along exactly what He’s doing. There are two reasons, that I know of, that the Lord led us down the path the way He did:

  1. To teach me, again, not to take matters into my own hands. I had several people ask me if I could appeal the decision from BCBS and even people offering to help with the appeal prior to our response from them. I had already determined in my heart that God would give us the correct answer the first time and I would have to accept it. I knew we wouldn’t appeal because we had prayed for His leading. But, when she told me 60/40, the first thing I asked was, “Can we appeal?” Ha! I hate myself sometimes. Anyway, that feeling passed as soon as I punched the devil in the face and remembered that God is control. So, He taught me, again, to trust Him.
  2. For a friend of mine named Anne. I haven’t asked her permission to write about her on the blog, so all I can say is that her name is Anne, for now. Last week, when I posted that we were probably going to MDA, this precious lady called me. She said, “You don’t even know me, but….” She and her husband live just minutes from MDA and they are leaving their beautiful home for the Summer. She offered it to me and Clay to stay there for free. The conversation quickly turned to the Lord. We talked about the Lord for 45 minutes. I explained how He has walked with us and talked to us and helped us so much during this time. I believe the Lord really ministered to Anne in that moment. Just think, I never would have had that opportunity to talk to her if this had not happened. I believe that God loves Anne enough to take me down this little detour in order to reach her. Isn’t that just cool to think about. I now have a forever friend and Anne knows a little more about her Savior.

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Thank you for sending me stories of how our lives are touching yours. Thank you for praying continually and texting me to make sure I know it. Thank you for ministering to our needs. Thank you for visiting. Thank you for just being you. Here are a few pics from the past few days.

The eye doctor appointment was not very helpful. Clay is having trouble with blurriness and the doc said we’ll have to wait about 6 months to know if it is permanent or not. So, we’re trying readers for now, but they are not helping. Pray for clarity of vision. Thanks, everyone, for all the food. It is such a help to me right now. We love the visits from precious friends. Oh, and check out my bracelets above! Amanda Grosze made those for me. I love them. They are a constant reminder on my arm of all that God is doing through our testimony. We love y’all. Be blessed today! Stay in your wilderness where God has placed you and He will not deliver you into the hand of your enemy.

P.S. If you find errors in this blog today, please forgive me. I’m in a hurry to leave and I didn’t proof the whole thing!