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Grace and Mercy

The Lord not only provided for us financially (and there’s more to come), but He also provided for us in intangible ways.  

As soon as my dad was diagnosed, we started praying for a miracle.  We prayed and prayed and prayed.  We wanted so badly for him to be with us for a long time–the way WE had planned him to be.  We wanted him to see our kids grow up.  We wanted them to know their Kumba.

Shortly after we arrived in Lafayette, however, we realized that OUR plans were not THE LORD’s plans.  A couple of days after Christmas, we went to MD Anderson for another round of treatment and my dad was admitted for a week.  His liver was having trouble filtering and draining so they had to put in an external drain.  He never quite recovered from that trip and he continued to decline over the next month.

After that trip, the Lord made it very clear to me that I needed to stop praying for a miracle.  Not that He couldn’t still perform a miracle, but that I–Claire Walker–needed to stop praying for one.  Instead, I needed to ask those around me to pray for a miracle and I needed to start praying for GRACE and MERCY.

GRACE and MERCY.  Those two words took on a whole new meaning for me during my dad’s illness and death.  

In the end, the Lord answered my prayers and granted us grace and mercy.  

Grace was bestowed upon us in that in the days before his death we still had our crazy, funny dad.  Although he was starting to lose it, he was hilarious and I know that he would have just wanted us to laugh along with him, and so we did.  He entertained us with antics that made no sense, but that came from the man who loved to entertain.  More importantly, we were able to stand with him and hold his hand as he went to meet Jesus.  It was the best and worst thing I have ever experienced, but it was graceful.  It was beautiful.  It was peaceful.  And it erased any fear of death I had ever experienced.

Mercy was bestowed upon my dad in that his favorite people were around him when he was entertainment mode and when he went to meet Jesus.  I think that for him, he was at his happiest moment–He had his people and his Jesus all at the same time.  He knew where he was going and he wasn’t scared.  He was at peace.

About a year after my dad’s death, the Lord showed me how he also bestowed his grace and mercy upon me by making me change my prayer.  It’s almost like He knew I would be worse off if I had prayed for a miracle and then didn’t get one.  (Well, I guess He DID know!)  And I think that I did get my miracle–I got the Lord’s grace and mercy and I had the distinct blessing of experiencing my dad meet his Maker.  It is a gift that I will never forget.

So that was the second installment.  There’s still more to come…

And of course…a little chicklet action at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Metairie last weekend!



Much Love, CW

Resurrecting this old thing…

I know it has been ages since I posted, and for those of you who actually care, I am sorry.  Since I started working again, life has been insane.  With two kids in daycare, two full-time jobs, and two different Young Life clubs, we have been crazy busy.  

Tonight, however, I find myself alone with two sleeping babies, so I decided to resurrect the blog.  As I have reflected on the past year, I have been encouraged by the Lord’s hand in our journey.  This journey that we have been on since we found out that my dad was sick has been exhausting, to say the least, but it has stretched us and grown us into stronger followers of Christ.  I have been so encouraged, in fact, that I decided to write it all down so that I can be reminded of His hand in the future.

This may take a few posts…so bear with me.

It all started when we found out that my dad had cancer.  The dreaded C word.  We were crushed, saddened beyond belief, but we were hopeful.  We immediately decided that we needed to be in Lafayette with my family.  (Mind you, I was 15 weeks pregnant with Lucy when we decided to do this.)  My dad was hesitant, but supportive.  (Of course he had to joke about the whole thing by telling his friends, “All I had to do was get cancer, and Claire, Joey and Elise finally move to Lafayette!”  He thought he was so funny.)  All of us were mostly concerned with my health insurance for Elise and for Lucy’s birth.  I returned to Colusa and started talking to my school district about my options.  My union representative immediately sent out e-mails to my coworkers about donating days to me so that I could spend time with my family.  

The response was overwhelming…in the end 57 days were donated to me!

These 57 days took me through March, then the Family Medical Act took over for the remaining 12 weeks of the school year, and then my contract took me through the end of July.  This meant that I got FULL PAY for 57 days of NOT WORKING and then was able to keep my benefits through the end of July.  My district even took those 57 days and spread them out over the remainder of my contract and I got a paycheck (small, but a paycheck nonetheless) through July.  These benefits took care of Lucy’s birth, among other things.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6)

We found out about this last December, so it’s just the beginning.  Stay tuned…

Much love, 

Oh, and for those of you who need some pictures of our little ladies…ENJOY!


A 29th to Celebrate

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This past Friday marked 5 months since we lost my Dad.  Every 29th since he died has been sad, so very sad.  Each 29th gets a little bit easier, but still marks the worst day of my life.  Each 29th reminds me of the day that I lost one of the most amazing men to walk this planet.

However, this past 29th was a 29th to celebrate–and I know that my Dad sure was celebrating with us!  This past 29th, we gained a member of the Borneo clan.  My baby brother married his best friend and I gained a sister.

Their wedding week started off with an amazing rehearsal dinner where we toasted to their happiness.  My dad was there in every sense of the word.  We were able to celebrate Kevin and Charmaine without being sad that my dad wasn’t there.  He was missed, but I know that he would have wanted us to eat, drink, and eat and drink some more–it’s what he would have done.  My mom did a fabulous job of hosting the evening and, per the Bride’s request, I made cupcakes for dessert.


The wedding day came and Kevin and Patrick (his best man) hung out with my Mom and I and the girls in our hotel room.  I love how much he loves my girls–it makes me so very happy!  Here’s Kevin and Patrick throwing Elise across the room–once again, something my Dad would have been doing!  


Lucy just took it all in!


The ceremony was beautiful–or so I heard.  I was in the back of the church the entire time with a tired, fussy toddler and a gassy newborn.  But I was able to read scripture before all hell broke loose!  Charmaine was radiant walking down the aisle and moved most of us to tears–also something my dad would have done (anyone remember his tears at my wedding?!?).


And then there was the reception…oh boy do those Burgs know how to throw a party.  We had so much fun!  We ate, drank, danced and then did it all over again at the after-party–once again, Keith would have been rocking the dance floor with his finger-pointing one-leg-up twist dance thing he always did! 





The 29th of this month was not a 29th of mourning.  It was a 29th to celebrate.  My dad was there, I just know that he was.  He was eating, drinking, and dancing with us and I know that he loved every second of the day.  

Happy wedding day to my baby brother and my new sister!  I love you both more than words could say!

Dance Recitals, Gymnastics Meets, and Boyfriends

Dance Recitals, Gymnastics Meets, and Boyfriends.

That’s what went through my head at 11:29am on April 18th as our new baby girl entered the world.

The next 18 years of my life.

It was kind of overwhelming in the last minutes before she was born. I changed my mind about 1,000 times…boy, girl, boy, no it’s got to be a…

I asked every nurse that came in our room what she thought it was going to be. They were no help, they all said something different. And then came the moment that would decide the fate of the next 18-forever years of my life. In my head I pictured the birthing process – the head would come out giving me the first chance to decide if the baby looked like a boy or a girl, then the shoulders, then the stomach, and then the moment of truth.

But that’s not how it happened at all.

It was pretty clear that our doctor must have been a punter in her last life because Claire long snapped that baby right out of her in one shot. No time to anticipate or guess, just a big slippery, black haired, beautiful little…girl.

So hear it goes. My life, or my adventure I should say, with my 3 girls has officially begun. I am out numbered 3 to 1. There is so much pink in my life I feel like I am in a constant shroom trip (not that I have ever been on one). The thought of boys wanting date my baby girls one day makes my head hot. And worst of all, no matter what room I’m in, I have to wear pants!

And I wouldn’t change it for the world!

I am so incredibly proud, not proud, in love with my 3 girls that the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. They are the 3 most beautiful girls in the world and I constantly thank God for making me the most blessed man in the world.

The next adventure…

Filming dance recitals, buying leotards for gymnastics meets, and punching boyfriends in the face when they drive up to the curb and honk.

The biggest adventure of them all.

So enough about me, time to meet the newest addition to the 3 most beautiful girls that have ever lived.

Lucy Love Walker

Almost too much for one man to handle.
Praise God for my perfect (for lack of a better word) family.
Adventure is all around.

About to Pop!

Since I could have baby #2 any minute now, I thought it would be a great time to post pictures of our baby #1 in her last few months of being an only child.  I am not even going to try to one-up Joey’s post from a few weeks ago as I know my attempt will be in vain.  So, I figured posting pictures of Elise would suffice.

So here’s what we’ve been up to the last couple of months awaiting the new baby…

My hair got long enough for pig tails

Auntie Thriller came to visit me

I began to share Mommy’s love for Chick-fil-a

We went on a couple of trips to Dallas to celebrate Aunt Hayley’s wedding and festivities

I celebrated my first Mardi Gras

I climbed up and down and up and down and up and down the hill at the park

And I climbed the stool at MaMa’s house

I watched a lot of Ellen

I went on walks with Mommy and Ginger in my new double BOB jogger

I got green skinny jeans

I enjoyed the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Metairie with Auntie Moo’s family

I learned how to blow kisses

I learned of my love of spaghetti

And of my love for sunglasses

We moved into a new house with cats all around and I learned of Aussie’s hatred for cats

And I tried to sweep the leaves in my new driveway

I waited for Daddy to come home everyday

I learned to ham it up when Mommy pulled out her iPhone to take pictures of me

I started training for my football career

And discovered crawfish…or they discovered me

I enjoyed my first Easter egg hunt

And learned how much fun a lawn mower could be

I played on my new play set that my friends Noah and Joel let me borrow

I also learned that there is music in my blood…

Much love, CW

Where The Hell Am I?

It is a rare occasion that Joe Walker takes the time to sit down and share his life on the internet. I usually think the whole social networking thing that is happening is silly. No offense to those of you who are into it, but it seems like spending a lot of time writing about your life on the internet means you have less time to actually live life. But sometimes what’s happening in your life is just too good not to share. So here it goes, Joe Walker officially social networking, take it while you can…

Over the past 2 1/2 months since we moved to Louisiana there have been many occasions where I have had to stop and say, “Where the Hell am I?” I have been all over this country and have come to realize that there is no place on earth quite like Louisiana.

Those of you who know me well know that I love adventure and seek it wherever I go. My true love is in the mountains, climbing peaks, biking up for miles and bombing down the other side, spending the night under the stars above the world, drenching my head in a cold fresh stream… And the list goes on. Unfortunately, Louisiana has no mountains. In fact, the state’s highest peak stands at a whopping 500 feet. Mt. Everest is 29000 feet.

My first reaction to a state like this is…sounds lame and unadventerous. But, “ye who seeks adventure shall find it, for the earth is wild and active” (quote Joe walker, 2012).

Let me share with you my adventurous moments from the weekend that made me stop and say, “Where the Hell am I?”

Thursday after work I followed my usual routine of taking my baby girl outside (her favorite place to be) and chasing her around. After about 10 minutes of this I let her run off on her own to see what she would do. Naturally, as any baby would, she ate about a pound of dirt, skinned her knees, and climbed everything she could.

During her valiant attempt to try and climb the fence, I noticed a brown slithering figure moving about 1 foot from where she was. I went to examine the figure. It was a brown snake about 2 1/2 feet in length with spots all over it. It looked mean. It looked angry. It looked ready to bite something.

I slowly picked up Elise, trying to not aggravate the snake. I then called by Bro-in-law Kevin who is much more familiar with Louisiana Wildlife than I am. I told him I was worried that it may be a poisonous snake so I was hoping he could identify it for me. He then proceeded spit out a long list of possible species that it could be. How many of these freakin’ deadly snake are there around here?

After speaking with Kevin I decided it was best to kill the snake just to be safe. So grabbed the spade shovel and chopped its freakin’ head off.

I sent Kevin the picture and he agreed that it was most definitely a Copperhead…poisonous and aggressive.

In my neck of the woods there is one kind of poisonous snake, a rattle snake. And there is no mistaking one. The best way to spot a rattle snake, look for a rattle! That’s it. You see one, you cut its head off. Any other snake is good to go. In Louisiana, the all carry venom!

Where the Hell am I?, I ask myself

Moving on to Saturday…

In search for some adventure, I loaded up my mountain bike and headed up north to some trails that I had heard about. They are in what is know as the “hill country” of Louisiana.

I arrived at the trails early in the morning and hopped on my bike. It is very different wilderness here. The trees are different, the terrain is different, the smells are different, the atmosphere is different, the sounds are different… It is unfamiliar to say the least. But I hit it hard none the less. As I was pumping my bike through cypress and wild azalea forests, I felt something odd overcome me and couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Then it hit me…

There is a whole new set of dangers in these woods that I know nothing about.

Where I’m from, the dangers don’t seem so dangerous because they are a part of life. Bears, Rattle Snakes, Coyotes, Mtn. Lions… I never worry about these dangers. I know what they are, I know how that act and react, I know how to deal with them.

Where I am now, the dangerous freak the Sh** out of me. Alligators, Copperheads, Moccasins, Snapping Turtles… What are these things? What do I do with them? They are so… unfamiliar.

Suddenly going on a lone ranger bike ride through the swampy hill country of Louisiana seemed like a bad idea.

But I rode on anyway.

The further I got into the woods, the more this lingering thought wouldn’t escape me.

Pretty soon I realized that I was no longer mountain biking, I was swamp biking…

What lives in swamps? ALLIGATORS!!!

I just knew that I was bound to run into an alligator in the middle of a trail. Then what?

Then, the unexpected…

Not 200 ft. after I took this picture the dangers became reality…

There they were, a family of wild boar. 4 adults and 3 babies to be exact.

As I came flying around the corner they let off a loud, ear piercing screech all at the same time. A screech that sent chills down my spine. A screech that made my body freeze up.

I flew off my bike and stood in a panic. They went running past me screeching that terrible screech.

Big bodies, fast, HUGE TUSKS!!! In case you’ve never seen one, google it.

They all fled… except for one.

It stood 5 ft. off the trail staring at me. The only thing between me and it was my bike that was gripped tightly in my sweaty hands.

We stared at each other for what seemed like 5 hours, but was probably only 45 seconds. I had to get my battle plan together. If this thing attacks, my only chance is to use my bike as a weapon. But how? Where is the soft spot on it? I have heard stories of these things being shot with a rifle and charging their shooter to impale them with their tusks.

It would surely be a fight to the death.

After an eternity, the hog and I looked at each other as if to come to a mutual agreement. We both slowly turned and created distance between each other. I then calmly hopped back on my bike and rode away, trying to not to cause too much of a ruckus.

Needless to say, that was the end of my mtn. biking for the day since the trail was already claimed.

I got back to the car, sat down on the bumper, and asked myself…

Where the Hell am I?

So although Louisiana does not have the adventurous landscape that I have sought after for so long, that does not mean it is not adventerous. It presents it own dangers and challenges that are enough to test the most rugged of adventourists.

From wild boars, copperhead snakes, and alligators, to crazy coon-asses and delicious heart stopping food!

And while it is not my ideal platform for adventure, it will certainly do for now.

Adventure is all around.

Guest Post…Legacy

The same day that I wrote my last post, one of my best friends wrote a post about my dad that is so true and so dear.  She was one of my dad’s biggest fans and even sang at his funeral.  I just had to share it.  Thank you, Jess, for being the most amazing friend and sister over the last (almost) 10 years.  I will forever be grateful for your love and friendship.
Two and a half weeks ago one of the neatest men I’ve ever known went to be with Jesus. After a grueling four month battle with cancer, his life was cut way too short and his time on this planet with his precious family came to an end.
Keith Borne is my best friends daddy. When anyone mentions someone being Larger Than Life I picture Mr. Keith. Cajun to the core, sweet Mr. Keith’s laughter alone lights up a room. When that man talks, folks listen…and not just because he’s hilarious. A powerful attorney, Mr. Keith’s greatest accomplishments were not in the office. Though many in Lafayette, LA knew him for his successful career…I didn’t.
I knew Mr. Keith because of the way he loved his little girl. When I met Claire in college, one of the first things she told me was about her Cajun family. Every other story I heard contained a hilarious antidote her dad had used to soften life’s circumstances. When we talked about her ambition to do well in school it was attributed to her incredible father’s encouragement. Every time a crass joke came out of Claire’s mouth we remembered what Mr. Keith ALWAYS SAID…”the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” His baby girl is so much like him in so many ways!
A few days before he passed away I wrote a letter to Claire and Mr. Keith. I shared with them how much their relationship affected people…namely me. Watching the way one father loved his little girl showed me Jesus. No matter how large/loud/hilarious/successful/hardworking Mr. Keith is…what’s spoken louder than anything else about him to me is the way the he has abundantly/gently/sacrificially loved his daughter.
It was epic. The kind of relationship people write stories about. I dream of marrying a man one day who loves my girls the way this one loved his. I’m convinced that much of the reason my best friend trusts and obeys Jesus is because of the provision, support and love her daddy displayed to her every day of their lives together.
A week before his death, God gave Claire the sweet opportunity to talk to her daddy about forever. They wept over the song below. Mr. Keith knew that it was Christ’s blood that covered him and gave him heaven. I’ll never forget how graciously he went to be with our savior.
Because the sinless savior died, my sinful soul is counted free. That God the just is satisfied to look on him and pardon me.
Thanks for showing me that kind of love, Mr. Keith. Thanks for teaching me about Jesus. I tell you what, I will thank God always that I was so blessed to know you, FRIEND!!!
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me
Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I am
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God!
With Christ my Savior and my God!


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