Morning Will Come, And I Will Stand On A Hill….

My world has revolved around these two faces for the past week.  Check out this view of my bedroom…image

Grace had her wisdom teeth and 2 molars removed. When the Orthodontist told me we would need to remove them, the first thought was to wait until we are done with treatment, but we couldn’t because of school. So, they got to be sick together. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect this to be difficult, but by Saturday, I was exhausted. Thankfully, the hard part is past us and she is much better now. She got treated like a queen for several days. I think Clay got jealous. Ha!

Our church family, and other friends, have continued to provide meals for us. I was trying to explain to a friend just how much that has helped me, and I ended up in tears. I drove past our local grocery store the other day and I saw a lady putting groceries in her trunk, and I realized that I haven’t done that since before May 2. I love to cook, but I HATE to grocery shop. I had trained Clay and Grace to do it for me and we had a pretty good system going. Anyway, it amazes me when I think of how long our dear friends have been taking care of us and how much of a burden it has removed from my life. Of course, it has saved us thousands of dollars, but more importantly, it has relieved me from worry and effort that I don’t have room for right now. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to us in this way. I love you for it. I do.

Meet Clay’s Middle School Math Teacher, who he has not seen in 30 years – Ms. Loudon. She is the sister of one of our friend’s mom and when Clay got diagnosed and she heard them talking about him, she remembered that she taught him when he was a little bitty sixth grader! She called me and told me how she doesn’t remember every student, but there are a few who really stand out in her memory from 34 years of teaching. Clay was one of those few. She remembered his “cute little” face and his sweet personality. Of course, he remembered her, and he told her how nice she was to him as a little, scared, intimidated Middle Schooler. God has allowed Clay many precious moments over the past few months. It is a gift.


If Clay ever tells you a sob story about how I never let him have sugar, please show him this picture. This is Ben and Clay after they’ve both eaten 2 pudding cups. Clay wanted something sweet and we had pudding for Grace because she can’t eat, yet. When Ben said, “Hey, Dad! You want some pudding?” Clay said, “YEAH! Bring me 2!” 10 minutes later, Clay said, “Next time I say I want 2 puddings, tell me no….” I don’t think there’s anything else to say about that.


These three girls have been my friends since I was Ben’s age. That’s a long time to be friends with someone. And, although we don’t spend a great amount of time together, I know they love me and it is obvious that they are burdened for my family right now. They have been praying and interceding for us since Clay was diagnosed. And, I know how hard they’ve prayed because they prayed over us while they were here and the prayers were beautiful.

I have learned the power of the body of Christ. We are all vessels that represent Jesus to each other and to the world. When one of our members is hurting, we are a visible, tangible representative of Jesus to that person. I can promise you that without the love of the body of Christ around me, I would be in devastation right now. I had been having a really difficult few days before this visit, and I needed to be encouraged. When they left the house that night, I realized that my cheeks hurt from laughing and I was smiling just thinking about some of the things we talked about. My spirit was lifted and it felt so good.


The night turned into an impromptu reunion when one of our Middle School teachers and, more importantly, Volleyball Coach, Jane Smith, came to bring me dinner. Everyone stayed and we all ate together. My parents were here, and they were very close to all my friends when I was younger, so everyone enjoyed seeing them, too. It was great! We laughed so hard about old memories and fun times we had when we were younger. They told a few stories about me that I absolutely don’t think are true! But, they were funny.  This was a night that I will remember. I love you, all, very much!

Yesterday was Clay’s 24th treatment, and he has 30 planned. So, our last day will be next Thursday, August 4th. You probably assume that this is something to celebrate, but for me, it will be a very difficult day. I am trusting in the Lord, and if you could really get inside my head and my heart right now, you would see that my hope is very sure. Neither of us are afraid or scared. We are confident in God’s plan and His ability.

But, as the end of treatment approaches, I’m beginning to realize that I’ve been comforted by the treatment. There is a feeling of safety in knowing that the tumor is being radiated, which must mean that it is not growing, right? When the treatment stops, I can already see that it will be harder to fight fear because everyone has told us that it will start to grow again. When? No one knows.

Yesterday the team at Dr. Russell’s office told me that there was a change in treatment for the last 7 doses. This was the first time I had heard this, so I asked a few questions. When I went back to the waiting room to wait for Clay, I felt this really  lonely feeling. The room was empty, when it is normally filled with our friends who have been with us the entire time. I was by myself with a bunch of questions going through my mind.

I sat down and just started to pray. I took some deep breaths to stop the tears and just closed my eyes to pray. Just then, one of the Technicians came to get me. She said, “Chris wants to show you the changes in the treatment plan so you understand.”

God has become so sweet to me. That’s the best word I can use right now to describe Him. He constantly shows me that He hears every single thought – even the thoughts that don’t really turn into prayers. I’ve always had a need to understand things and God knows this about me. So, He put it on Chris’ heart to explain it to me.

He told me that the first 23 treatments are treating a larger area where the tumor was before surgery and where they assume the tumor left the little “seeds” that I’ve told you about before. The last 7 treatments are sending a stronger dose of radiation to the smaller area where they know tumor remained after surgery. So, the next 7 days are really hitting the remaining cancer hard.

The entire team of people in that office are completely wonderful. So, when I cried while Chris was explaining something very simple to me, they just handed me Kleenex and stood beside me in the most compassionate and supportive way. He pulled up the scan of Clay’s treatment plan, and all I could think was,

“That is my husband’s head. That is my husband’s head. He has a brain tumor. MY husband’s head is on the screen…..”

Sometimes, it just hits me. Hard. It’s still hard to fathom.

Our situation makes me think of the Red Sea crossing. I imagine that as the Israelites were walking across the Red Sea and those towering walls of water rose up on both sides of them, they were probably filled with amazement and wonder. They were probably filled with joy and excitement at what God was doing.

But, every now and then, they must have glanced over at the millions of pounds of water, shooting up into the air, and the reality of the situation must have hit them hard. “We are walking on dry land, across the Red Sea, and at any minute this water could fall and crush us.” But they didn’t have a choice, did they? An army was chasing them, so they couldn’t turn around. They had to just believe God. They had to trust Him and walk on.

I’ve always imagined the walk across the Red Sea to be a joyful celebration, filled with singing and dancing and laughing.

But, now, my perspective is changed and I imagine that moment  differently.

I think it is more likely that they were rushing across as fast as they could possible go. They were probably filled with hope and excitement, but don’t you think they were scared, too? It was night and they were in a very dangerous situation. While God was showing them just how powerful He is, I bet they were really ready to get on dry land that was not surrounded by walls of water.

I imagine that they wanted that miracle experience to end as soon as possible.

And, it did.

It ended.

They made it to the other side.

Morning came. And, as they stood on that dry ground, they turned to watch as God completely destroyed their enemy.

Their enemy pursued them….all they way to his death.

I’m sure Pharaoh was laughing to himself and beating his chest in pride at the strength of his chariots and horses. He was probably telling himself that the people were wasting time running from him because he would surely catch them and kill them. Even as he charged ahead into THEIR miracle, he was filled with pride.

I wonder when it hit him that he was trapped in the power of God?

I wonder when he realized that his pride had led him right into the hand of God?

As the water crashed down on him and all his glory, the Israelites stood in a safe place and watched God utterly destroy their enemy.

If you’ve ever wondered why the Old Testament is important, I hope you can see the answer in this story. These stories in the Old Testament give us hope and they show us the character of God. They prove the power of God and the desires of God for us, His people. He loves us and He will stop at nothing to prove His greatness. He wins every time. Why can’t the enemy see this? I don’t know. Maybe he just doesn’t want to accept his defeat, but he is defeated.

Do you hear me, Satan??? You are defeated.

Do you hear me, Cancer????? You are defeated.

As Clay and I walk across our Red Sea, there are times when I notice the walls of water. There are times when the roar of the water is so loud in my ears. There are times when I want to panic at the thought that those walls could crush us at any moment.

But, then, I turn and see my arrogant, stupid enemy. I see him rushing into the middle of OUR miracle and I am filled with excitement to finish this crossing.

Because I know that morning will come!

And I will stand on a hill…just in time to watch the waves crash down on my enemy. God will utterly destroy him and he will be washed away in the current of God’s power.

We win.

God wins.

And, we get to stand with Him and watch as His power is displayed and His glory is revealed. Amen.




#18 on July 18

Yesterday was Clay’s 18th treatment, and the date was July 18. That means that all week, the number of his treatment will correspond to the date. I thought that was kind of cool. Friday will be #22, and we only have 30. As of now, his last day should be August 4. Praise God it has really gone by fast, and without many complications. He is tired, a little nauseated and his head is getting sunburned. His vision is still not good, but it is not worse. We spend a lot of time thanking God for letting Clay remain seemingly healthy during this time. His side effects are so mild that he functions pretty normally and we still have a lot of good times with friends and family.

We have had several good visits over the past week and a half. Our friend, Charlie Hubert, visited from Nashville. We haven’t seen Charlie in years, so it was great to catch up. Charlie is the one who sent us all the great music that we listened to on our drive to Houston. Thanks, Charlie!

Just days later, we had another visitor from Nashville…Clay’s cousin, Joanna, and his aunt, Sue Janet. The whole family came. Donnie drove from Hammond and Jessica and Jennifer came from Shreveport. It was such a sweet time. As I’ve mentioned before, we always say that we are going to visit each other and most of the time we don’t…until something like this happens. We have been so touched by all the visits and by people stopping to take time to come see us. It has meant more than we will ever be able to express.

Clay has two brothers, so he never had a real sister. But, he always told me that Joanna was his little sister. Jo, he loves you so much. He has always told me how special your relationship is.


In between the visits, we have had a lot of good family time lately. The kids have been home and our life is slowing down because Clay doesn’t feel good. So, we spend a lot of time here at the house and that’s a good thing. I love this picture of Ben and Clay. Ben needed to tell Clay about something that happened, and Clay was laying down on the couch, so he just climbed in between Clay and the sofa so he could tell him his story. Clay just smiled and talked to him. It was precious.


We’ve had a few good family game nights filled with laughter. Clay’s mind doesn’t work as fast as it used to, and, if you know him at all, you know that he is one of the single most competitive people that has ever lived. So, we’ve laughed a lot because he hasn’t been winning the family games quite as much. Now, please understand, Clay is the one who starts the jokes. He has a really great sense of humor right now, which is one of the things I love about him the most. He wants to win so bad, but when he realizes it is not going to happen, he starts making fun of himself. I thought he was getting frustrated at one point because he looked down, but then he busted out laughing, and said, “I hope y’all are taking full advantage of this opportunity to finally beat me fair and square!” And, he absolutely refused the pity I was trying to give him by changing the rules for his sake. So, we just played and laughed. And, he provided a really great example to our kids of how to handle difficult moments. Thank you, Jesus, for the strength you have given him.

My favorite thing that has happened since I last wrote was this past Friday night when about 40 young people from our church came to our house for a special night of worship and teaching. We have a group of young adults from our church that started a group called “Anthem” and they host worship services at our church about once a month. The services have been so anointed. Well, they came to our house and led our youth in worship. It was another opportunity for God’s praises to be sung in our home. It reminded me of the day that our church gathered in our home to pray for our family. There is nothing more peaceful and wonderful than listening to many voices singing to Jesus in your home. The presence of God was so strong.

Now, push play on this song while you read the rest of this blog.

The theme song for the night was “Jesus We Love You.” As we were preparing and asking the Lord what He would say to the youth of our church that night, we felt in our hearts that He is asking each of us, “Do you love me? Really love me?” Clay spoke from his heart about things the Lord has shown him as he looks death in the face.  The fact that God has given him a steady peace is no accident. It is supernatural. But, the peace is there because Clay knows the Lord and he loves Him. He loves Him. And, yes, God has worked in his life since the diagnosis and God has shown him things that weren’t right and things that could change, but he started this test with the most important thing….love for Jesus and faith in Him.

He talked about how his house was built on the rock. He didn’t go find the rock after he got diagnosed. He was already on the rock when the storm came. And hell really concocted a good one for us….it is a big storm! It is beating against this house with 100 mile an hour winds. But, this house is not moved. And it won’t be moved. Because it is built on the firm foundation of faith in Jesus and a deep, life long love for Him.

If you’ve tried to imagine finding yourself in Clay’s shoes, or in my shoes, or in our kids’ shoes….and you’ve asked yourself how you would respond….I encourage you to ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal the truth to you.

What or who is on the throne of your heart?

Do you love God more than yourself?

Do you love God more than this world?

Is your life built on a firm foundation? Or is it built on sand?

Romans 5:5 says, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

If you find that you are not sure if you love God the way you should, ask Him to shed abroad the love of God in your heart. Tell Him the truth. Just tell Him what He already knows. Ask Him to renew your love for Him, or place inside of you that deep love that you may not have known before. The Bible says that He gives it to us. So, ask Him.

In 2 Thessalonians 3, Paul is telling the church that God can direct their hearts into the love of God.

“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”

He is telling them that it is all up to God. Not us. If the plan of salvation depended on us to do something right, it would surely fail. But, it doesn’t. It all depends on God, so it can not fail. He does the work. He sheds abroad His love in our hearts and He directs our hearts to love Him. All we have to do is surrender. Just tell Him that’s what you want. And He does it.


This morning, when I woke up, I decided to use one of the bath bombs my mom gave me. I brewed my coffee and laid in my tub for a while. As I was looking up and out of the window above my tub, the Lord spoke to me. The picture above was my view. Because of the angle I was at, and the curtain that keeps my neighbors from seeing me, I could only see this little bit of the tree in my front yard, and the beautiful sky above it. I was thinking about how beautiful it was, but I could only see a small portion of it.

This is how we see Heaven and the Spiritual world. We have the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and our experiences with the Lord that reveal small glimpses of all that awaits us, but our eyes are veiled and we can not see it all. The Bible only gives us enough information about Heaven to make us desire it more than this life, but there is still so much we don’t know, or we can not see.

But, soon, we will see it. The veil will be removed and we will see it all. Everything will be clear and it will all make sense.


We will see the full view of what God has prepared for us. The full view of His plans and purposes. It will all be so clear. And we will wonder why we ever loved anything in this world. We will realize how silly we were to hold on to this life. Our faith will end in sight when we see Him. And the love that we know will be so much stronger and so much deeper when everything else fades away and there is nothing but Jesus.

This hope is what is sustaining us during this storm of life. We believe and we continue in our faith because we know what is waiting for us when this life ends. We have no other choice than to trust God fully and believe that His plan is better than our plan. He is good. No matter what we think or feel or see today, He is good.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I vent, or if I take time for myself, or if I have a place that I can go and just explode. It is a sweet thought and I appreciate it so much. But, I’m being honest when I tell you that I am ok. Of course, there are times when we cry. There are moments of sadness. But, there are many more moments when we are overwhelmed by the goodness of God. I am constantly amazed at how “light” the yoke is and how “easy” the burden is. The Word promises that and it is true. God has filled us with the peace that surpasses understanding. He is good.

Thank you for your love and your continued prayers and support. Your prayers are what is enabling us to stand. Paul always asks the church to pray for him as he does the Lord’s work, so I believe in the power of your prayers for us and I thank you for them. My prayers often start with, “Thank you, God, for all the people you’ve added to our lives and the way you’ve burdened their hearts to pray for us.” So, thank you. We love you and pray that God will continue to bless you for your faithfulness. We pray, often, that our lives will continue to bring glory to God and that many will be impacted by the work He is doing.

Where Do You Dwell?

This morning, I am sitting in my office, drinking my coffee and trying to read a little news. I click on these articles about racial tension, the race for the presidency, sex trafficking, religious freedoms, and more. I see comments and conversations that display such hate and division…even among friends and family.

Then, I sit back and think about our situation. I look at my husband and wonder how much longer he will be on this earth with us. I look at my kids and I think about what is ahead of them over the coming months.

And, all I can think is that we don’t have time for all this division. Because of our situation, my perspective is so different. And, I wonder if it is possible to have this same perspective without the heartache.

I have prayed for years for God’s will to be done in our lives and in our family. I have begged Him to draw me closer and give me a heavenly perspective as I live this life. And, as I studied the Word, it seemed that most great men and women of God walked through terrible heartache before they really achieved that closeness with God. Jesus endured the most suffering, as our example.

So, I would pray, “God, bring me close. I’m willing to walk through anything you decide is necessary in order to achieve that closeness. But, I am asking you to spare me heartache and pain, if possible. If I don’t have to walk through Gethsemane in order to really know You, then I don’t want to. Teach me to know You without the trials. But, I’ll walk through the trials if that is required.”

I’m beginning to think that it is required. The trials are a necessary process for God to strip away the sin and filth in us. We are wretched people. We are fickle. We are selfish. We are lazy. We are ignorant. We are ungrateful.

So, tragedy strikes (in so many different ways) and we suddenly come to a place where God is literally our only hope, and everything changes. It really changes. It’s not just a simple prayer on a Sunday morning that says, “God, make me love you more.” It suddenly becomes a desperate plea for God to change you and save you and cleanse you and fill you. And, He does. Because He loves us. He does it.

Even though we are wretched and we don’t deserve anything He gives, He does it. And, when He does, our view of life and this world is completely changed.

Now, when I turn on the news, my heart is filled with compassion and sadness. The answer to every problem we see in our world right now is Jesus. He is the answer.

He is the answer to terrorism.

He is the answer to pornography that leads to sex trafficking.

He is the answer to racism that leads to violence and hate.

He is the answer to governments trying to take away religious freedoms.

He is the answer to our political crisis and the lack of leadership in our country and world.

Jesus is the answer. And, Jesus is LOVE. He is love. Not hate. If Jesus was here in Baton Rouge right now, I can assure you, he would not be spewing words of hate and disgust. He would be loving people. And that love would change the situation.

I was watching a live news feed of the cops trying to control a protest on a major highway in Baton Rouge last night. The cops were standing in a line, faces very solemn, only about a foot away from the protesters. The protesters were yelling in their faces. They were slandering them. They were screaming at them when they were just inches away from them. The cops were in full uniform and it was probably 97 degrees. The cops never said a word. They just stood there to keep peace and order.

Forget about which side you are on. And just think about how Jesus did the same thing for us. When He was hanging on that cross, or being tried by Pilot, people were right there screaming slander at Him. Yelling His name and calling for His death. People who saw the miracles He performed and the merciful things He did on the earth. Now, I am not in any way comparing those policemen to Jesus. I’m just telling you that when I was watching that unfold last night, it made me think of how the mob treated Jesus. And how He just stood there quietly. Never defending Himself. Never making excuses. Never yelling back when He had every right to do it.

Jesus came from Heaven to earth to solve all these problems for us. He came to put an end to these divisions. And He lives in His church today. If we know Him and surrender our lives to Him, He can use us to perform even greater miracles than He performed.

These problems that are filling our minds and our conversation, are a distraction. Satan wants nothing more than to see all of us completely distracted and consumed by this world.

Luke 21:34-36,

“Heaven and earth shall pass away:but my words shall not pass away.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Read that twice. The cares of this life can distract us from watching for the end of this earth to come. They distract us from Jesus. They distract us from preparing ourselves to see Jesus. They distract us from the things that really matter.

That day shall come as a snare to those who DWELL on the face of the earth. This word really jumps out at me. DWELL.

Where do you dwell?

Do you dwell here on earth or does your heart dwell in heaven?

If we allow these circumstances in our world to overtake our thoughts, we will find ourselves wrapped up in the cares of this life and our hearts will begin to dwell here on the earth. We must focus on Jesus. We must keep our eyes on Heaven. We must live with a heavenly perspective so that our hearts long to be in Heaven with Jesus and our motivation here on earth is centered around our love for Him.

If we really live with one foot in Heaven and one foot on earth, how would our thoughts, words and actions change? How would we feel toward people who are hurting and protesting and protecting? How would we change?

Clay did not feel good yesterday. It was really the worst he has felt so far. I encouraged him to lay down for a nap while I was trying to do some things around the house. When I walked him upstairs, he just held my hand and asked me to stay with him. There were 1,000 things I needed to do in that moment, and, at first, I was hesitant. But, then I realized how ridiculous it would have been to do laundry rather than stay with him and provide a comfort he needed. So, I stayed. We laid there together for a while and I thought a lot about what it would be like if he wasn’t there. But, then the Holy Spirit comforted me by bringing my thoughts to Jesus.

The way Clay desired to be with me and be close to me, is an example of how Jesus longs to be with me. When the cares of this life are distracting me and calling me, Jesus is there just asking me to stop what I’m doing and stay with Him for a while. And, so many times, I choose to do laundry, rather than stay with Him. Imagine how much that hurts Him. When we choose the things we can see, rather than the things we can not see. Well, one day, soon, we will see. It will all make sense, and we will see how many times we allowed the distractions of this life to keep us from Him.

I pray today that we will all stay with Jesus. As He calls to us to stay and be close to Him, I pray we will choose Him over the cares of this life. I pray that we will not allow the issues of our world to distract us from Him. I pray that our hearts will dwell in Heaven with Jesus, and not here on this earth.


Desiring a “Better Country”

Yesterday was Clay’s 10th radiation treatment and his 14th day of chemo. Everyone who sees him talks about how good he looks, and he does. His scar is healing very nicely, he hasn’t lost any hair, yet, and he looks strong. He doesn’t look sick at all. He has been getting increasingly tired and the doctors told us from the beginning that the side effects would be more prevalent starting in week 3.We are praying that they won’t increase any more. He has not had any nausea, which is such a blessing. His vision continues to be a challenge. He can function normally, but his eyes are blurry and his peripheral vision is gone, so he still can’t drive. But, we give thanks everyday. He is with us, and he is able to participate in everything we do, so we thank God for that.

A lot has happened since my last post, so I’ll catch you up real quick.IMG_3399

Last Sunday, after church, we had a visit from Clay’s Aunt Jean and Uncle Clemon and their family. It has been so nice that so many people have taken time out of their days to make a point to visit Clay. He is very touched by it, I promise.


Sam and Grace went to youth camp. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days, don’t you? Young and carefree and living it up at Summer camp. They had a great time. Our guest speaker, Steven McKay, really ministered to them. They needed this time with friends and Jesus, but we were really glad to see them come home.


My nephew (well, really my 2nd cousin that I treat like a nephew) came to visit Clay as the kids were leaving for camp. Todd has been here a lot and it has been a blessing to see his concern for Clay. He got Clay to sign his football cleats and I’ll never forget that. Clay looked at me and said, “Uh….what do I write? I’ve never signed a shoe before!”

Robin and Caleb got to come to Clay’s treatment session with us. The staff at Doctor Russell’s office were wonderful and very hospitable….until they found out they were Alabama fans. Ha! They had some fun with it! When the nurse walked us back to the treatment area, he said, “We have some guests with Clay today who would like to see the equipment and how it works. But, you’ll need to dumb it down a few notches because they are from Alabama.” Hahahaha. We laughed a lot. It helped because I think Caleb might have hyperventilated if we hadn’t been distracted by all the joking around. When we first walked in the room and Clay got on the table, I noticed that Caleb stayed back by the door. He didn’t say much and I pretty much had to push him to go closer so he could see better. When we walked out, he said, “I don’t want to tell Clay this, but I couldn’t believe the mask!” Caleb is claustrophobic and so he’s been really praying for Clay to have the strength to endure the treatment mask. He and Robin were both a little surprised by seeing it in person. The mask is a very hard plastic, so there is no wiggle room. That’s the point. It holds Clay’s head in the perfect position, so he can not move, so the radiation is delivered to the precise location it was planned to treat. When he is finished, he has red marks on his forehead where the holes in the mask left indentions. That’s how tight it is! I love these pics:

Look at Robin’s face in the first one. She was saying, “Whoa, dude! I have major respect. You are awesome to be able to do that!” Robin and Clay are like brother and sister. It is so funny how much they are alike. We laugh about it all the time. Look at Caleb in the background ministering to the other patient. They are great friends to us and they have been a major blessing in our lives.

The Brewer’s brought us dinner and stayed to visit a while. Amy and Chris are friends from Victory. The boys go to school together. God has brought us closer during this time and it was a blessing to listen to them talk about how God is using our situation in their lives. We prayed together and had a wonderful time talking about the Lord. Thanks, guys. Lebanese always hits the spot for Clay!


Clay missed out on the BBQ road trip with our church guys. They literally ate BBQ for like 4 days, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh my. Caleb tried really hard to get Clay to go. He even asked the nurse if “copious amounts of BBQ” would help Clay feel better. Uh, that answer was a big no! Anyway, the guys were thinking of him and they called from the road to say hi. Clay was sound asleep so they had to talk to me. Bummer. I just thought it was so cool that they were thinking of him while driving down the road. He is surrounded by good friends who really love him.

These girls are some of my very best friends in life. We went to high school together and we’ve stayed friends all these years. Now our husbands and kids are friends. It’s so neat to see how God brings people in and out of your life in seasons and how He preserves friendships. They mean a lot to me and we had a great time visiting.


Thursday evening, our sweet friends, the Lloyd’s, called and offered us their Lake House for the long weekend. We jumped at the chance! We literally threw some clothes in bags and left at 10:00 am Friday morning. Clay’s treatment was at 11, and then we left town. All three kids were with us and we got to visit with Dr. Russell for a while. He removed a stitch from Clay’s incision and visited with the kids for a few minutes. He has 6 kids, so he takes a real interest in how the kids are doing right now. You can see true concern in his face and it is very comforting to know that he cares about our lives.

They are adding a brand new machine in the room next to Clay’s treatment, so Dr. Russell took the kids in there and showed them all the equipment and how it works. They were a little blown away by some of the explanation, but it was interesting. They got to watch Clay on the monitors and the technicians explained everything that was happening. They showed them exactly how it all works when we went back in the room to get Clay. It has been a real blessing to see these people everyday. We already feel like they are friends and they make us feel loved. When we got ready to leave, Dr. Russell had the entire staff come in the back and we stood in a circle, holding hands, so they could pray for us. Dr. Russell prayed for our safety on our trip and for Clay’s healing. I wanted to take a picture sooooooo bad, but I was in the circle praying. It was a moment I will never forget. Most of the people in the office have read the blog, and most of them are Christians. They treat this job like a ministry and we are definitely being ministered to! I don’t ever want any one else to walk through this, but if you do, pray that you can have Dr. Russell and his staff take care of you.

Then, we were off! It’s the first time we’ve left town since we went to MD Anderson, and it is the last time we will be able to leave town this summer. Clay doesn’t finish treatment until August 5, and the kids go back to school the next week. So, this was our summer vacation. And it was wonderful! Look at this place!

The house was so beautiful! The lake was gorgeous. The sunrise was perfect. The sunset was like a paining. The company was superb. It was the perfect weekend getaway. Thank you, Jim and Gail Lloyd, for thinking of us and allowing us this chance to be with our family. Look how happy we are:


My parents, Clay’s parents, and my sister’s family came with us. There was plenty of room for everyone and we all needed the relaxing time away. We laughed, played games, took naps, fished, paddle boarded, kayaked, canoed, fished, crabbed, ate, laughed, talked, and prayed. It was wonderful. I am so thankful for the faces in this picture. We have lived an incredibly blessed life, and, although we are in a valley, God continues to show His great love. We continue to recognize His blessings and His love.


This was our favorite spot. The porch swing was almost a twin size bed. Clay and I sat on it a lot. This is a memory I will have forever. The last night, we were there by ourselves, and we sat on the swing just talking. We rarely talk without crying, so there were some tears, but there is also a joy that I can not explain. Clay has a great anticipation of what is ahead for him. We laid there and talked about what Heaven must be like and what it will be like to actually see Jesus. There are so many different emotions that I’m feeling right now, and strangely, one of them is a bit of jealousy. If God doesn’t heal Clay, he will be with Jesus. What an amazing thought. I know that, if God takes him, my  heart will long for Heaven all the more. And, that’s what God wants of us, isn’t it? He wants us to live in this world as if it is not our home. As if we are just passing through. Our home is Heaven. We should have a deep longing to get there. For Jesus to come take us home. But, we get so attached to this world. We think of things like high school graduation, wedding days, grand babies being born, etc. But, if we truly live with a heavenly perspective, these things are not as important as being with Jesus.

Hebrews 11:13-16

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

I’ve always loved this scripture, but now it has new meaning. I see, now, that my eyes have been on this ‘country from whence I came out’ and not always on the ‘better country’ that is ahead. Reflect on this today and ask yourself, do you love this world more than you love Jesus? Would you stay here rather than go and be with Him? Is your heart set and your eyes fixed on what is ahead, rather than what is behind? Do you live like a stranger here? Or are you settled here on this earth? God, help us to keep our eyes fixed on you and Heaven. Keep our hearts from loving this world and the things of it. Help us to be persuaded, to embrace you and to live as strangers on this earth. Help us as we seek Heaven. Open our eyes to see You and our ears to hear You and shed abroad Your love in our hearts so that we will be drawn to You above everything else. Show us a glimpse of Heaven so that our hearts will desire that better country and so you will not be ashamed to be called our God. Amen.