Reflections on Round Two

At the beginning…

every journey begins with first stepThat’s where I am… at the beginning of Round 2.  Looking at the big picture, some might say I’m in the middle.  Surgery was Round 1.  Radiation is Round 2.  Round 3 will be a medication taken for 5 years plus periodic scans.  However, I’m taking this day by day.  It’s a new challenge, and it’s just beginning.

I’m not sure why beginning 5 weeks of radiation treatments has been more difficult for me emotionally that going into surgery.  I’m trying to remember the positives (and there are quite a few!).
a.  The duration of treatment is only 5 weeks.
b.  No chemo was necessary.
c.  Surgery  is already over.  Round 1… check!
d.  No surprises were found during surgery (other than the fact that there was a greater area of pre-cancerous cells than expected).
e.  My family and I have had lots of support from our family, friends, and church family in the form of prayers, encouragement, cards and notes, meals, gifts, and offers of help.
f.  My husband and children have been a wonderful help and encouragement in so many ways.
g.  And, most importantly, I have had a lot of spiritual comfort and peace, knowing the Lord and enjoying His presence in my life and in every joy as well as in every difficulty, and knowing that I can trust in Him.

So, why am I struggling more emotionally with Round 2 than I did with Round 1?

That’s a good question.  I’m trying to figure out what is going on inside my head and my heart.  One of the best ways for me to sort things out is to write, so here I am.  As I’ve been considering everything, here are some of the possibilities of thoughts that are running through my unconscious mind, sometimes bubbling up into a greater level of awareness and nibbling away at my peace of mind.

  • I have found it impossible to dismiss my Dad and his almost 5 year cancer battle from my mind.  I know how badly he was burned during his radiation treatments and the internal damage that was done, resulting in a major surgery involving two surgeons and representing two areas of specialty.  Believe me, you don’t want to know any more than that.  To say that the side effects of radiation for him were awful would be a gross understatement.  Horrific would be more descriptive.  Poor Dad.
  • I am very fair skinned, like my Dad.  I also have very sensitive skin.  Plus, everyone I know who has had radiation and has actually shared any of the details about their experience was also quite burned.
  • Since the recovery from my surgery lasted longer and was more difficult that I’d thought it would be, the thought of another period of not being at my best physically and another period of recovery is not exactly attractive.
  • My family needs me to be healthy and functioning well, and I have just seen what results from several weeks of not being at my best.  (I’m still trying to catch up, too!)
  • I’d thought that taking a little break between surgery and radiation (because I’d be going into a new deductible year anyway and also wanted to continue to recover and to enjoy Christmas) was a good thing.  And, it was a nice break.  Now, however, it seems as though it’s given me more time to build up a mountain of dread.  Reading the radiology release form (that lists all of the potential side effects of my treatments) before I signed it didn’t help.  I knew about the common side effects like the burning and fatigue, but reading that rare side effects like heart damage are possible just increases the concern.
  • Finally, one of the most difficult things about my recovery from surgery was not being able to tolerate wearing normal items of clothing, making it difficult to go anywhere and to cover up (as the only female in a house with 7 guys) without being uncomfortable or causing damage to areas that were healing.  I am not looking forward to another experience like that.

In addition to the above concerns, today has been a disconcerting day.  When I woke this morning, my right eyelid was very swollen and tender, although there are no signs of infection, no crustiness, or anything like a sty.  It is still swollen and tender, and I am concerned because my vision in that eye is slightly affected and I have a genetic eye disease called Fuch’s Dystrophy that will likely require corneal transplants at some point in the future.  However,  I knew that my eye could not be the priority today.  I had an appointment to get my tattoo dots that guide placement of the radiation so that I can begin treatments tomorrow.

For this pre-treatment scanning procedure, I had to lie on a table in a large room while the techs monitored from outside and a large machine plotted my radiation plan.  I was told that parts of the machine would descend and come close to me but would not actually touch me.  One large robotic type arm held a pizza shaped techie flying saucer, and another held an oversized cookie sheet object that looked like an x-ray screen.  There was another arm with some other type of apparatus, but I didn’t get a good look at that one.  I was supposed to keep my head turned to the right and not to move any part of my body at all.  These machines and arms rotated around the table, clicking and whirring for quite some time.  The table itself also moved, sometimes jerking to the side or sliding forward or back.  I’m not sure how long I was on the table for this procedure, but I know that my appointment was at 1 p.m., and I didn’t leave the building until 2:30.  It was a feeling of total surrender to lie with my neck and shoulders immobilized on the table by a built in form (I would definitely not call it a cushion).  With my arms over my head, hands grasping two large pegs, legs supported by a “block” to help me keep them still, and head turned to the right, I was certainly not in control of the technology, the time, or the position.  I’m also not in control of the results.

Later, at home, I looked at the irregular line and dotted lines drawn by the technicians to mark placement of the tattoo dots and I’m not sure what else.  I have questions about these marks that I will ask tomorrow, just before my first treatment.  I don’t know these people (radiation techs) at all, although I am sure that will change.  And yet, I must trust them to know what they are doing.  It truly is a helpless feeling, although I know that I am never alone.   There is Someone who knows me well, and He will be with me through it all.

I am aware that sometimes I think about things too much, but that has not been the case this time.  I’ve kept squashing down my concerns over the holidays, trying to convince myself that the optimism and faith which marked Round 1 would return when needed.  However, deep inside, my overwhelming thought about radiation is, “I don’t want to do this!”  (as though anyone would!).   Failing to deal with my concerns has not made them disappear.  They were put away for a time but still very much alive.   However, now that all of my worries are not under the surface any more, I have recognized them.  I have acknowledged their destructiveness (nibbling away at my peace).  Most importantly, I have been honest with myself and with my God about how hard this is.

At the same time, I am constantly making perspective adjustments, remembering all of the positives that have already been mentioned concerning this situation.  I am also quite aware that many many people in this world have pressing difficulties that are far more grave.  I see my blessings in every area of life… spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally… and in terms of relationships and of needs met and the provision of abundance far surpassing the basics.  I am very blessed!

So, if I continue to live in awareness of great blessing and in acknowledgement of God’s great faithfulness, why am I still struggling?

Simple.  I can’t do this on my own.  I’m human.  I can’t turn off my brain.  I’ve let those thoughts of all of the things that I cannot control build up over a period of time without dealing with them.  Today, I acknowledged them.  Now, it’s time to give them away.  It’s time to do what Jesus said.

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.…

~  Matthew 11:28 – 29

Honestly, I didn’t realize until today that I’d been trying to carry these burdens and worries by myself.  I just knew that I was having difficulty entering into Round 2 with the kind of positive, fighting spirit that I had in Round 1 and that I need for every day of my life. Acknowledgement of God’s faithfulness and quoting scripture promises to myself are both good things… but that’s not what I needed the most.  I needed to see what I am fearful of and get honest about it.  Next, I needed to tell it to my Heavenly Father and to give all of those things to the Lord.  Then, I need to keep on giving them to Him anytime they bubble up in  my mind.  I don’t just need reminders of who He is and the truth of His word (although both are important).  My greatest spiritual need is that I also need to spend more time in His presence, confronted with my own weakness and confessing my need for His strength.   And here’s a beautiful promise for anyone who embraces thankfulness and lets go of fears (in His strength, made perfect in our weakness), giving both the blessings and the trials of our lives back to the Lord…

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

~ Phillippians 4:6 – 7

The truth is that facing any major difficulty just feels like destruction and chaos.  It brings us face to face with the fact that control over life’s circumstances is an illusion.  However, in this circumstance and in everything that today brings and that the future holds, I am so thankful that I know the One whose power is greater that any destructive force.  He has promised to bring order out of the chaos of this world and to work everything together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  There is purpose and there is an order to all of life that goes beyond what we can see right now.

In the story of the death of Lazarus and the miracle of the power of resurrection through Jesus Christ, Jesus said something very important.  Just before He raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus responded to Mary’s concerns (found in the 11th chapter of John) with this statement,
“Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

The glory of God in death?  In cancer, or surgery, or radiation?  In loss, in illness, or in extreme difficulty?


Yes to all of the above… and yes to every possible circumstance.

That doesn’t always mean that we will see the resolution of any problem in exactly the way we would desire.  It may be that I am indeed facing some physical difficulties that will be most unpleasant and be a challenging time for me and for my family.  However, if I knew, for example, that this time period would produce in our six sons a new appreciation for the fragility of life, a greater depth of compassion and reliance upon the Lord, and stepping up to a new level of maturity, would I think differently about this temporary trial?  Again… YES.

Right now, I don’t know what kind of fruit this journey will produce in my life or in anyone else’s life.  But, I do know that there is purpose and there are spiritual lessons and stepping stones that will have an impact far beyond anything that I could ever dream.  Because God is with me, He will cause this to work together for good… not just my good or my family’s good, but beyond… in ways that I can’t even imagine.  All this has nothing to do with me but rather is all about God’s continual work in this world and His great love for mankind.  And yet, again, there is a promise for those who endure trials (even though we are not doing so in our own strength).

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  ~  2nd Corinthians 4:17

Eternal glory.  Wow!  That’s amazing!  That’s the work of God.

Knowing these truths and knowing Him, being reminded that there is much more to everything in life than just our individual perspective or concerns, I feel so much better.  One step at a time, God has walked me through my valley of worry to the place of His peace.  The journey looked something like this:

The honest expression of internal turmoil
+ blessings appreciated
+ thankfulness expressed
+ truth applied
+ burdens shifted to the One who can really carry them
(and turn them into something beautiful… in His time)
= peace that surpasses understanding and goes beyond circumstances. *

* NOTE:  This precious peace is renewable daily (moment by moment) through repeating the journey of recognizing God’s sovereignty and turning it all over to Him.
(The author’s recent practice of trying to push down worries with human knowledge of divine truth does not transfer the burden of worry to the appropriate and supreme Lifter of Burdens and is not recommended.)



30 Thankful Verses

Thankful hearts, rejoice! Here are thirty verses about giving thanks to God. There is one verse for each day of the month, with some brief devotional thoughts to inspire you.  (Topic for teaching:  thankfulness)


“The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; His love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud.” II Chronicles 5:13

Jesus prayed that we (God’s people) would be one. When we come together as one to praise and thank Him, God’s presence is made known to us. Today, let us thank God, as the trumpeters and singers did, for His great love that endures forever.


“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

He is holy and righteous. Thank God today for His righteousness.


“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1 & 2

How are we supposed to give thanks to the Lord? This verse tells us that we should give thanks to God with our whole heart. A half-hearted thankfulness results from giving thanks out of a sense of duty, just because we know we should. However, when we spend some time thinking and meditating on all that God has done (His wonderful deeds), thankfulness is the natural overflow of our hearts in response to our great God. Spend some time thinking of His wonderful deeds, and thank Him with your whole heart!


“Blessed be the Lord! for He has heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” Psalm 28:6 & 7

Thank the Lord today for being a God that we can trust. He has our best interests at heart. He gives His strength, protects us, and helps us.


“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.” Psalm 30:4

His saints… He has accepted us as we are, saved us, and is at work in our hearts to make us like Jesus. Thank God for His mercy in all of these things!


“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.” Psalm 50:14

He has given sacrificially to us in every way, and He always keeps His promises. Thank God today for accepting your thankfulness as a sacrifice to Him, for the sacrifices He has made to you, and for His unchanging character as a keeper of promises.


“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

Thank God for the songs that allow you to praise His name and bring glory to Him through thanksgiving. Sing one of these songs to the Lord today.


“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High; To show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.” Psalm 92:1 & 2

Thankfulness is a good thing! From morning until night, give thanks for God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness today.


“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1 – 7a

He is a great God! Our God is the sovereign ruler and creator of all things! And yet, he regards us with tenderness, as the sheep of His hand. Thank God for His might and for His tenderness today.


“Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.” Psalm 97:12

We can be called righteous only to the extent that His righteousness indwells our hearts. Thank God today for living within you.


“Make a joyful moise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come fefore His presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

The Lord is good! His mercy lasts forever! (He never tires of showing mercy!) His truth will prevail, even when it seems that the world is full of lies. Thank God today for these great truths about who He is.


“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” Psalm 105:1 – 3

We can rejoice and give thanks because when we call upon the Lord, He hears us. When we seek Him, He responds. Before we knew we needed Him, He met our need. These are among the wondrous works of the Lord. Thank Him today for being a God who knows us and who wants to be known by us.


“Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all His praise?” Psalm 106:1 & 2

Thank the Lord that His mighty acts are so numerous that no one can name them all. Thank Him for the ways that He is at work that we cannot see. The Lord is good! Show forth His praise today.


“Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!” Psalm 107:21 & 22

No matter who we are, where we’ve been, or what we’ve done, God’s love for us is steadfast. Thank God today for His wonderful, everlasting love.


“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awaken 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 above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 108:1 – 5

God’s faithfulness reaches to the clouds. It is beyond any faithfulness that we have ever known. God’s faithfulness is not dependant on perfection from us. He is faithful is spite of our sinfulness. Thank God for His faithfulness today and every day.


“With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise Him in the midst of the throng.” Psalm 109:30

Where did the Psalmist give thanks and praise to God? ….in the midst of the throng. And how? …with his mouth. Thank God today, no matter where you are and who is there with you. Thank Him out loud!


“Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.” Psalm 111:1

Where else did the Psalmist give praise and thanks to the Lord? …in the company of the upright, in the congregation. You will never know how much your presence and the testimony of your praise may mean to the heart of another believer. Do not forsake the worship of God with your congregation. As iron sharpens iron, the faith of others increases our own faith, and your faith increases the faith of others. Thank God today for those who have been a spiritual influence in your life. Give Him praise with your whole heart, and remember to assemble with the saints in your congregation every time that you can be there.


“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God upon the lyre.” Psalm 147:7

Why are we told in scriptures so many times to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving? It’s because we matter to Him, and our praise matters to Him as well. We were created to bring Him glory. Thank God that you matter to Him, and that He considers you to be of such infinite value that your praise brings Him glory. Glorify Him with your praise and thanksgiving today.


“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.” Isaiah 12:4-5

To whom are we to make God’s name and His deeds known? …to the nations, and to all the world. Our God wants everyone to know Him. He values all people. He loves all people. Today, thank God for the fact that He has allowed you to be part of His great mission to make Himself known and to reach the hearts of people around the world.


“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” II Corinthian 4:15

Thank God for His wonderful, incredible grace, reaching out to us in spite of our sinfulness and covering our sin because of His great love.


“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:20

For what should we be thankful? …everything. This is the most difficult thing for us to do, but He is with us and is working all things together for our good. Give thanks for the hard places in your journey.


“Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God.” Phil. 4:6

Thank God today for the fact that we have the ability to talk to Him in prayer about anything. We are to come to Him without reservation. We do not need to worry. He hears our prayers and answers them in His wisdom.


We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power, so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light. Col 1:11 – 12

God continues to give! He gives strength through His glorious power, along with endurance and patience. He gives us an inheritance as His people. He allows us to live in the light of His glory and grace. Thank Him today, with joy!


“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

We don’t have to stay where we are in our walk with the Lord. He accepts us and loves us as we are, but He also continues His work in our hearts as we build our lives on Him. Thank God for His work in your heart and life. He will be faithful to complete it!


“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Thank God for His peace, and ask Him to help you allow His peace to rule in your heart no matter what circumstances surround you.


“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:16 & 17

Thank the Lord for Christ our Savior! He has given His all for us, so may we live to bring Him glory!


“Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God–which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. I Thessalonians 2:13

Thank God for the power of his Word, which continues to work in us, and for Jesus the living Word, who has been the physical incarnation and demonstration of the Word


“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18

We belong to Christ Jesus! He has saved us, and God holds us in the hollow of His hand. How can we fail to be thankful?


“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” I Timothy 2:1

Thank God for the people in your life…all of the people! And, when God brings a name or face across your path, thank Him for this person and ask God to help them.


“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28

Thank God for His eternal Kingdom and His ultimate victory. With our thankfulness, we offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence for Him and awe because of who He is and what He has done. Thank Him for being who He is.


For all of time, God has been the same. He has always been worthy of praise and thanksgiving, and He always will be. Our grateful hearts on earth foreshadow the thankfulness of the great multitude in Heaven. Give thanks to Him every day! Amen.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multititude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying, ” Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.”
Revelation 7:9 – 12


This thankfulness guide could certainly be used in the month of November as many people focus on thanksgiving to God. However, it can be used at any time! Everyday, we have 10,000 reasons to thank God and give Him praise!

Note: The verses used in this post were copied from BibleCC, the Online Parallel Bible at
The verses were found using the following search terms: ‘thank’, ‘thanks’, ‘thankful’, ‘thankfulness’, ‘thanksgiving’, ‘give thanks’, and ‘giving thanks’. In each case, the Bible translation which seems to convey the meaning of the verse most clearly was used, so the verses represent various Bible translations. There were other verses in which the thankful terms also appeared. However, many of the verses in Psalms were very similar to verses already chosen. Other verses were part of a narrative and would have sounded incomplete when used out of context. The 30 verses chosen were just the best representation of verses about the subject of being thankful or giving thanks.


These scriptures were compiled and the devotional thoughts were added by C. A. Boyd


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A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys



I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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Giving a Song to say “Thank You”

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

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