Monthly Archive: July 2016

July 31, 2016

We have arrived safely back at St. Jude!

We checked in at 6:00 tonight , just in time for Kayleigh to head to the hospital to have labs done. It still amazes me just how well she does for blood draws, never a tear or a complaint, and never stops smiling and giving the nurses a hard time. She’s a trooper!

We are scheduled for her MRI tomorrow morning at 6:45 am and the follow-up neuro consult at 11:15. As I sit here tonight, I do not have the words to express my desires to the Lord. I have complete peace that God is in control and that His plan is perfect. I know that He is using Kayleigh and her story in ways that I will never know. Every story, message, text, comment that is shared telling me how she is impacting hearts and changing lives encourages me that we are following God’s path for us. And that truly, God is using even this terrible thing for good like only He could. Romans 8:28 in living, breathing, tangible, action.

And yet, even with all this good I see, my hearts deepest desire is that He will grant my precious girl a miracle. That he will grant Kayleigh a clear scan. As my human eyes look at her and see the lingering side effects my brain says a clear scan is not possible. Yet as my heart looks at her it says God is mighty and able to do this and even more than I can possibly ask for. And so I ask. And I ask all of you to petition our Heavenly Father on Kayleigh’s behalf. Petition Jehova Rapha – the God who heals – for complete healing, for clear scans, for a miracle this side of heaven. Petition Him believing that He is able.

And as I go to sleep with this precious treasure God has entrusted to me wrapped tightly in my arms I will continue to fervently pray – because I am her mother and this is how I fight for her. But I know ultimately, this battle has already been won. It was won that day, thousands of years ago, when my savior chose to die in my place. Jesus defeated death, Kayleigh has chosen Jesus, I have chosen Jesus, so in my heart I am able to say – without reservation – Thy will be done.

Hebrews 12:1-2
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Until tomorrow,

Tucked in with her bunnyimage

My beautiful dinner date image

July 30, 2016

Hello Prayer Warriors, happy Saturday night to you all!

We have had a lovely, easy going, Saturday and it has been wonderful! We slept late, had friends over to visit and then swam in the rain, met one of my brothers and his family for dinner & ice cream, and packed for St. Jude. We are very thankful for his past week that has allowed us to rest and recuperate. I don’t think we were really aware how badly we needed some time to just be a family.

Tonight as Kayleigh and I are snuggling in the bed I asked her what I should share. At first she didn’t know, but somehow our conversation made it around to worrying. I can’t imagine being 7 and having all of this going on. Kayleigh has amazed me with her grace, poise and maturity. Even her questions are beyond her years. And often, I do not have the answers to the questions that she asks. So tonight, as her mind was working through her questions, and the unknown was becoming a little heavy, God brought Matthew 6:25-34 to mind.

As Kayleigh and I worked through that scripture, piece by piece, applying it specifically to her, I could physically see her fear and worry being replaced by peace. The tension melted from her little body and she has drifted off to sleep. But before she drifted off to sleep I asked if maybe I should share these verses with all of you. She wanted to know why grown ups would need these verses. I explained to her that grown ups are even worse than kids about worrying. Too often we get caught up in the circumstances that we are in and forget to look to the one that is in control.

So my friends, here are your verses from Kayleigh tonight. I pray if you find yourself worrying about anything that these will help you let go of the worry. God is bigger than any circumstance, even brain cancer.

Matthew 6:25-34
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Until tomorrow,
‘Carrow 💜

Kayleigh’s incision still doesn’t need to be soaking in pool water so we sat up a baby pool so she could feel apart  image

Mans then ALL the girls wound up in the baby pool leaving Cole to enjoy the big pool all by himself!image

July 29, 2016

It was a beautiful Friday.

Kayleigh and I had a lovely afternoon just the two of us. We took a little time to stop by some of our friends to say hello and thank them for their support. Our little town is truly amazing. Local businesses are supporting our sweet girl wearing purple, multiple times anonymous people have kindly paid our check when we are out to eat, the school has her name on the sign out front, our mail lady has a big purple bow on her mail truck, every mailbox in our neighborhood has a purple ribbon. No matter where I go, people stop me to let us know that they are praying for all of us. It is so good to be home!!

As we prepare to return to St. Jude we are slowly but surely knocking items off the to do list. I think by the time we leave on Sunday we will have things under control and manageable. It’s a very strange place we find ourselves in these days. We have no plans past getting scans. We know we need to do something, we just have no idea what that is yet. And trying to plan when you don’t know what your planing for is quite difficult! So rather than focus on the unknown ahead we are just enjoying each day and making the best tentative plans possible.

Please keep on praying for healing and direction. We know God is going to move all the parts to the places they need to be and that includes us!

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Until tomorrow,

This amazing bear is made completely from one of her All Star uniforms!image

Visiting friends at People’s Bank!image

July 28, 2016

Thank you Jesus for a wonderful, ordinary, Thursday!

We don’t have too many ordinary days any more. We have exciting days, emotional days, scary days, crazy days, but not ordinary days – and ordinary is beautiful! It was still quite busy, but it was with normal things. Kayleigh went school supply shopping and played at school with my mom. Cole and I had a lunch date – just because we could. We picked up the house, watch TV, and I had the chance to take Grace to softball practice. Something I’ve missed since May. I really made no headway on my mile long “to do” list but in the long run, that doesn’t really matter. The memories are what matters. You will never have another today, and God has not promised you tomorrow. Do not waste the time you have been gifted by worrying about what might happen in the future – that just ruins today!

I also had some wonderful time alone with both of the older kids. It was great to have a little one-on-one time to love on them and encourage them. Time to remind them and reinforce that God is good and His timing is perfect. To remind them that we are not called to worry. Just because we don’t have the answers doesn’t mean that God doesn’t. He knows exactly what is going on and we just have to trust Him and have faith.

Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Tonight I leave you with this verse about faith. Too often we get moving too fast and get caught up in what we can see and touch. We place limits on what we think God can do, putting him in a box and pushing Him to a corner of our minds because we don’t think we need Him for the every day things. Then, when a crisis comes we try to fix the problem ourselves but when we can’t and we reach the end of our own ability we go scrambling to find that box we’ve tucked away as our last resort.

BUT, if you want to have faith like that which is described above – faith that “gives us assurance about things we cannot see,” then you can’t put God in a box. You’ve got to leave Him out in the open – on the front porch, not the closet. He needs to be entwined in every little detail of your life not so He can tell you what you are doing wrong, but so He can be there to guide you. If you can learn to trust God in the little things, when the big things come your foundation will be solid and you will not be moved.

And if you already find yourself in the middle of the storm and you feel like you can’t get your footing, just keep praying. For starters, make sure You have a relationship with Jesus, that is the most important part. And then start praying and watching. Pray for the big things but pray for the small things as well. And don’t ever think something is too small to bother God with, He wants us to talk to him. I can remember praying one morning for matching socks! And then, just watch as God begins to answer the small things. Each answered prayer strengthens your faith. It’s a process and God can’t be rushed. But if you choose to be faithful I can promise you will see things that you never imagined.

Until tomorrow,

And yes, God gave me matching socks that morning – because He cares about what I care about – and that morning matching socks were a REALLY big deal.

Morning Max snugglesimage

Checkng in on our superintendent, Dr. Wilson.image

The ladies at the central office has on their Kayleigh shirts!image

The support in out town is amazing!image

July 27, 2016

Happy Wednesday friends!

I am thrilled to report another wonderful day here at the McClendon house. Kayleigh has felt good and been busy all day. She’s been to the movies, played with Grace, Cole and our wonderful Natalie, and played with cousins. As I type this post she is valiantly fighting sleep next to me. She says she can help me write tonight’s post – anything to keep from actually going to sleep she’s quite the little con artist!

So, I asked her what I needed to write… She says to tell you all two things:
1.) She had a great time celebrating birthdays with her cousins tonight
2.) Don’t forget God parted the river

And that my friends is all, but it certainly is plenty. At least it’s plenty for me to talk about! You see, our pastor preached about that river not too long ago and Kayleigh’s words brought the lesson back to mind. So often we talk about God parting the Red Sea, we overlook sometimes that he parted the Jordan River for Joshua. If you have a minute go read Joshua chapters 3 & 4, they are not long. Then come back and read my thoughts…

As I reread the story tonight I see a picture of God’s perfect timing for the Israelites and for Joshua. I see God’s might displayed – stopping a river that is rushing at flood stage and sending people across on dry ground. Dry land… Sometimes we miss that detail. Not just the water stopped but the ground wasn’t mushy or hard to cross. It was dry. And then I see God’s wisdom being passed down to us through the remembrance stones. Once across the river God instructed a stone be brought from the river, one for each tribe of Israel, and set as a memorial. So no one would forget what was done at that spot and so future generations would ask what those stones meant and it would be an opportunity for them to be told about God’s miracles and faithfulness.

As I reflect on what that means in my life I just have to stop for a moment. Yes, DIPG is like looking at a river that is rushing at flood stage. If I try to cross that river under my own ability I will surely be swept away and drown. For me alone, it looks hopeless. But for me with God, it looks like another opportunity to set forth stones of remembrance.

Nearly every day I hear “I don’t know how you do it” – but really, the answer is so simple. We aren’t doing it, God is. God doesn’t look at Kayleigh’s diagnosis and wring His hands. He knew this was a part of our story from the foundation of the world. He also knows how the story ends, He’s personally crafted every detail. And this Almighty God sees fit to grant me peace when I pray for Kayleigh’s healing this side of heaven. So yes, you read my posts and yes, I really believe what I am writing. I’m not covering up internal angst, I am at complete peace. I believe the same God that stopped the rushing river is going to stop the DIPG in my baby. I believe He has a path set for us to walk across dry land – I have no idea what that path looks like or how long it is, but I know it is already set and I know as long as I trust Him I will have sure footing. And I believe when we get to the end of this river crossing God is going to help me set up stones of remembrance so that when anyone sees them they will ask and be told of God’s amazing greatness and miracles.

I am looking forward to the miracles God has in store for Kayleigh and the rest of us – both big and small. I know there will still be hurdles and obstacles but I also know God has everything under control. It’s just my job to be faithful.

Joshua 4:21-24
21 Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. 24 He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”

Kayleigh has finally drifted off to sleep but I think she did a vey nice job with tonight’s post. If you see her let her know you liked her message about God parting the river. She thinks she isn’t really doing anything, that she is just a kid, I keep telling her that by just being herself and letting me write about her, she is making a difference.

Until tomorrow,

Hanging out with our awesome Natalie!image


Sweet sistersimage