Monthly Archive: November 2016

November 29, 2016

Today was a good day but a hard day. As our lives begin to settle into our new normal it’s impossible not to feel the hole left by Kayleigh’s absence. The sadness creeps in at different moments for each of us. It’s the unexpected things that hit the hardest. All I can do is hold tight to my faith in God. Trust that He is perfect and so is His plan.

Making the choice to trust is hard. Choosing to praise the Lord even when I am sad is sometimes a struggle. But I am learning – when I make that choice to praise him, my burden of grief lessens. I am able to find peace, joy and clarity. It doesn’t mean that I am not sad, because I am. Oh how I miss my precious girl. I miss holding her, kissing her, smelling her hair, hearing her laugh. I will always miss her. But the Lord continues to help me find hope in Him. Hope for eternity where I will see her again. Hope for each day as I wake and still have two precious children to love, teach, guide and protect. Hope. There is simply nothing more powerful than the hope of salvation through Christ.

Psalm 31:7-8
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. 8 You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place.

Psalm 30:10-12
10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord.” 11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Psalm 31:24
24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!

Until tomorrow,

This is Kayleigh’s purple fountain the night of her visitation. Oh how she would have loved that purple water!


November 28, 2016

Prayer Request!

Hello friends, this is an urgent prayer request for Gatlinburg. As many of you know we just got home from there. Our children loved every minute. We also made new friends that live there and took such good care of us when we were sick.

Wild fires are burning. They are currently on both sides of the main strip. Rain is in the forecast and they need it quickly. Please pray for plenty of rain to come. Pray for the people, this is already such a poor part of the state.

Also, please pray for our friend that evacuated his wife but then went back to help others get out.

Praying for protection

Psalm 91:2-4
2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Until tomorrow,




November 27, 2016

What a beautiful Sunday it has been. It was so nice to be back in God’s house, worshiping with our church family today. Caring for Kayleigh, as well as Grace and Cole, has been such a joy these past few months – but I have very much missed the simple joy of being in God’s house. Yes, I can still study and worship from home, but worshiping with other believers always refills my soul with just a little more pep.

Today, our pastor spoke from Romans 5:1-5. Verses that I have held onto since Kayleigh became sick. They remind me that God has a plan. And even though I don’t know what it is, His plan is testing, breaking, changing me. It certainly isn’t always a pleasant or easy experience but there is always a purpose.

I don’t pretend to know what God’s plan is for us. He tells me that His ways are higher than my ways – and I’m ok with that. Because I trust Him. But I do know that the changes He is making in me were needed. Being broken is hard, but by allowing Christ to put the pieces back together He’s making me better. He is sifting through the pieces, throwing away the junk, and only using the best. He’s making changes that only He can. Strengthening my character. Which in turn strengthens my hope in Christ.

Hope. What a beautiful word. I pray the Lord will strengthen each of you. That as you face your personal storms that you will stand firmly rooted in the word of the Lord. That you will increase in endurance, grow stronger in character, and find confident hope in our Lord and Savior. Knowing that He is our salvation.

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Until tomorrow,

This is the beautiful cross in front of our church. We love you Kayleigh Blair, now and always.


November 26, 2016

It’s been a good day around the McClendon house. Tim surprised me with tickets to the Iron Bowl, which if you aren’t from around here – that’s kind of a big deal. He even had plans for the kids to stay with his parents for the day which made everyone so very happy.

The Iron Bowl is always fun for us. It was actually our first date way back in 1996. We cheer for opposite sides so that makes life interesting at times. As we made our way to Tuscaloosa today, and I had a little time to reflect on these past 20 years, I am amazed by how God has blessed us. It certainly hasn’t always been easy. I have a nasty temper, and a tendency to say whatever comes into my head. The madder he gets the less he speaks. I remember the early years of our marriage when communication was a disaster half the time and miscommunication was the culprit of many arguments. And yet here we are, 20 years later, and I simply could not imagine my life without him. We are complete opposites yet perfectly complimentary.

Prior to Kayleigh’s diagnosis we were good. We had found a groove, we still argued on occasion – got frustrated with each other – but overall, we were good. And then we find out our baby is sick. I remember that night after her first MRI so well. We knew something was wrong but we didn’t know what. That night, as Kayleigh slept between us, we made a promise to each other that no matter what they told us, it would not break us. That no matter what, Tim and I were a team and we would stand together. And from that night on we moved from good to great.

It was Kayleigh’s illness that drove us to our knees. Yet being on our knees is what made all the difference. As Tim and I spent more time with the Lord, He began making changes in each of us. Changes that replaced human nature with Christ’s grace and mercy. That doesn’t mean life is always easy. These past 6.5 months have been anything but easy. We still get frustrated sometimes, we are just so much faster to extend grace to the other person now. It’s amazing. It also directly corresponds to our spiritual walks. The more time we spend with God, the more He is able to shape us to respond like Him. And the more we function as a team, just as God intended.

So tonight I say, “Thank you, Lord.” Thank you for strengthening our marriage and bringing more beauty out of tragedy. Thank you for loving us unconditionally, and teaching us to love others.

Ephesians 4:2-3
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

Eccleasties 4:12
12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

1 Peter 4:8
8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.




November 25, 2016

Hello Friends,

Tonight’s update is about Anna. Jodi posted how she is doing and I decided sharing her post might be the best!

Anna was released from the ICU around 1pm yesterday. The nurses on the ICU floor all brought in food for all of the patients for Thanksgiving. The Target House did the same so we were able to do take out and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal for a late lunch. We took over the 5th floor Family Lounge to get together. We would take out food from the cafeteria for dinner. The old adage was proven correct again that FAMILY is indeed the best medicine. While we were all together Anna’s vitals all stayed in the normal range. It was a very nice day for Anna and everyone else too. Whenever Anna had to go back to her room for vitals she always made sure we knew that she wanted to go back to the Family Lounge. She was very upset when everybody had to leave and she said she didn’t want everyone to leave her. So we asked Mikey if he wanted to stay in her hospital room with mom and dad and Mikey being a sweet understanding big brother was more than happy to oblige. That made Anna very happy! They had some conversation with each other while watching tv but it wasn’t long before Anna became very tired and fell fast asleep. Anna would end up running a 101 degree temperature overnight so unfortunately she is still battling some aggressive bugs that just don’t want to leave her alone… she hasn’t spiked a fever yet today but now has diarrhea, which is either because of the bacteria or the multitude of antibiotics she is on. Her blood pressure is normal and her heart rate goes up and down with her fever. We were hoping and praying that she could kick her fever so they would kick us out of the hospital but,unfortunately, that doesn’t look to be happening today. It was nice that Anna and Mikey could wake up and immediately start playing this morning and with it looking like she will be staying another night Olivia is more than happy to spend the night for Anna. Anna is so blessed to have such a great bunch of unselfish, caring, and loving siblings who always display their huge hearts and have the magic to make Anna forget where she is and why she is here.

We are so THANKFUL !!!!!!

God Bless everyone very much, Anna, Jodi and Mike

As you can see, God is at work! We all continue to be thankful for each small miracle as we keep praying for God to mend Anna’s body. Tonight seems like the perfect night to praise the Lord for what He has already done and for the blessings He has in store for the future.

Psalm 103:1-4
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 2 Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Until tomorrow,