Monthly Archive: February 2017

February 26, 2017

I’m so thankful my mom offered to post last night. I didn’t realize just how emotional the Smile-a-mile event would be. Even though we were never able to participate in a Smile-a-Mile event with Kayleigh, our hearts go out to any family battling cancer. SAM is an amazing organization. What they do for the children, parents, siblings during the battle and after is amazing. Of course they have services for the kids that are fighting cancer, but they have support services for the kids that beat it and for the families that lose their babies. It is. It an undertaking for the faint of heart.

Watching that room full of people donate so generously, to bless families, was beyond description. Honestly, Tim and I did well all night. At least until they showed the film of all the cancer patient enjoying camp. For me, that was too much. I couldn’t watch. As the video played, my focus was on the beautiful purple butterflies scattered around our table. They were just little paper cutouts, nothing over the top, but they reminded me of my girl. And while I miss her, I am so thankful for the loves she has changed.

To those of you who stopped us, and let us know you have been following Kayleigh’s story – thank you. Thank you for continuing to let us know that Kayleigh mattered and her story makes a difference. It seems whenever I start to get particularly sad, the Lord sends one of you, out of the blue, to remind me. And those gentle reminders keep me going. I didn’t expect anyone to know us last night, how silly of me to put boundaries in the Lord.

These verses from Hebrews always speak to me. It’s amazing how the same passages read at different times in your life strike you in different ways.

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.

I’ve always read this and thought of the “big” sins, major things that need to be set down and turned away from. But tonight when I read that, all I could think of are the “little” sins that trip me up. I use quotation marks because God doesn’t differentiate between big and little sins. Sin, is sin, is sin in God’s eyes. None are bigger or smaller than the others. All sin causes separation between us and our Father. But… humans are bad to rank sins. Those “big” sins are so easy to see, but man-oh-man… those “little” sins are sneaky. The little thoughts that slip in and go unchecked, the crummy attitude that comes out, wallowing in self pity… there are so many things that snare us and stop us in our tracks. Tonight, God is reminding me to set those down.

Tonight I’m intentionally setting down my sadness at His feet. Jesus knows my heart, He knows my grief, and He cares. He feels my pain… He also replaces that grief with peace and joy. Yes, I still miss Baby Duck deeply. That will never change. I walk through the house, see her pictures, and wonder how could this have happened? But then, I remember all that God has done and is doing, and my spirit is reassured that God’s plan is perfect. I am learning to find much solace in God’s peace through the storm.

Until tomorrow,
‘Carrow 💜

Facebook gave me this memory today. My precious little Cinderella, mopping the living room. I remember that day so clearly, she was so excited and felt so grown up. Thank you Jesus for beautiful memories!

February 25, 2017

I am so thankful for a Godly mother. Tim and I enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Smile-a-mile “Red Nose Ball.” What an amazing group that does such wonderful things for kids with cancer and families that are dealing with it, fighting it. While we were out my mom so kindly sent me a post for tonight. I am blessed.

Wise words from Bess…

Three and a half months with no Kayleigh. I miss her laugh and her sassy little opinionated self. I miss her ponytail swinging side to side. I miss her good hugs and hearing her say, “Truly,” as she walked out the door. I can hear her calling me “Bessy Duck” and I would say, “Don’t call me Bessy Duck!” Who wants to be called Bessy??

Well, how I would love to hear that sweet little voice say “Bessy Duck!” She loved my baked beans. I made them last week and they just did not taste right. Before I fall in the pit of depression, the Holy Spirit nudges me and reminds me of His endless blessings in my life. The problem is how often do I yield to His nudge? What blessings do I miss when I plow forward in life? It just occurred to me that my wild week is a result of plowing forward on my own power. I finally had a quiet minute to regroup, to exhale the sin – the sin of independence and the attitude of I can do it myself, AND inhale His love and forgiveness. You’d think after the last nine months, I would know better. My all-time favorite verse is…

Proverbs 3:5-6.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

So when depression hits and my path gets crooked, I want to acknowledge Him and slow down to feel His nudge, He is always there, waiting and I think He is probably thinking what took you so long? Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me!

How thankful I am for a mom that loves Jesus.

Until tomorrow,

Yoube got to love the red noses

We had a wonderful time!

These precious butterflies were on our table

Snuggles with Bessy Duck

February 23, 2017

It’s been a good day. Yes, hard moments are mixed in with the good but I am learning to work through them. Or really, just be still through them. Be still and pray. It’s amazing what kind of peace comes from those moments of prayer. It’s also amazing just how quickly to Lord settles my unrest.

As our lives return to normal, I am excited to have opportunities arise that I can share Kayleigh’s story with others. I’ve prayed that the Lord will direct me and He has been gracious to do so. While I am excited to share Kayleigh’s story, I can’t tell it without talking about what God has done in my own life. And I think that’s an important piece of what I am supposed to share, but I never want me and my story to become more important than God’s story. I find myself praying often now that God will take me out and all focus can be on Him, what He has done, and His glory. Because, wow… God is amazing.

As I was searching for verses to speak to my heart tonight I found myself in Jeremiah. Of course the verse we chose for Kayleigh is Jeremiah 29:11, but tonight I was in chapter 17.

Jeremiah 17:7-8
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

And there it is. My job is to be planted by the streams of living water. My hope and trust is in the Lord. If I keep my focus on Him and what is important, following Him, then He is going to take care of all the details. And I’ll just keep on giving God the glory for molding, shaping, and changing this sinner.

Until tomorrow,

God’s got this. We just have to hang on!

February 22, 2017

We’ve made it through the middle of the week… Yay! It’s still pretty crazy around here but it’s mostly good crazy. With everything going on I’m trying to learn to prioritize. Reminding myself that while there are many good things going on around me, God has a specific plan for me, and sometimes good things aren’t the best things for me.

So, I find myself praying for God to direct me to exactly where He wants me to be. To the best place for me. You know, if we don’t learn to do what God has called us to do, and choose to follow our own plan, really – we are just getting in the way. Those tasks belong to someone else. Those tasks are someone else’s “best.” What a thought! I get in a hurry doing everything that comes across my plate, when in reality, some of those jobs belong to someone else.

I found myself praying last night that the Lord would guide me. Help me lay down what needs to be released, and focus on His plan for me. I had some very specific prayer requests and He answered them quite clearly. That doesn’t always happen, but when it does it gives me chills. He always grants more than I could ever imagine. And each time He answers my prayers so precisely, He builds my faith. Strengthening my foundation a little more each day – so that when the storms pick up, and the enemy is attacking, I am not rattled.

Sometimes I look at what the Lord has done in me and I say “wow,” God is amazing. But then I look at how far I have to go and I know I will be a work in progress as long as I walk this earth. It seems the more I learn about my Savior the more I realize just how desperately I need Him for each and every breath. How thankful I am that He never leaves me.

Deuteronomy 31:8
8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Psalm 37:5
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.

Until tomorrow,

This is how I feel sometimes when I’m trying to lay down something I want to do because I know isn’t God’s best for me!

February 21, 2017

I sit here tonight looking at a gift from a kind group of local friends. It is a sweet reminder that brings up mixed emotions. Thankfully more good than sad, but the sad is still there.

I have also read tonight about two more DIPG warriors that have been taken from us this week. One of them was a young college student, which is pretty rare but not unheard of for this disease, and the other a 5 year old child. What really pushed me to write tonight was reading about this 5 year old and seeing the words “a bucket list for a 5 year old” in a story written about him. Can you imagine? Friends, Kayleigh was only 7 and she never truly grasped how horrible of a disease she was fighting. That kind of load is more than a 5 or 7 year old can even begin to process, not to mention too much for most of us parents.

All Kayleigh needed to know was that she was loved, protected, and she would never have to fight alone. I can guarantee that we did anything and everything (other than get her a purple taser) that our child wanted to do for her last 6 months on this earth. Now, every time I read an update about one of our brave DIPG fighters whether they are fighting in the U.K., US, or other countries, it reinforces what we are doing with the PFK Foundation.

We want to raise support and awareness for this disease so that we can defeat it. This disease eventually traps the child in a body that is functionally cut off from the brain due to the location of the tumor. Sadly, the child is mentally aware of everything going on until they take their last breath. This is not an easy topic for any of us, but we want everyone to know why DIPG is so terrible. Kayleigh’s mutation of DIPG was extremely aggressive, and even with treatments that normally slow or stabilize the tumor for some period of time; hers took her from us in a mere 6 months.

God has blessed us tremendously since Kayleigh’s diagnosis last May, mostly by hearing how her story has continued to spread and influence people all around us. In the next few days we will be sharing information about our PFK fundraising events. The funds will enable our foundation to donate to DIPG clinical trials at St. Jude Hospital as well as other DIPG research facilities. We will also be able to give back to a community that has graciously and generously taken care of Kayleigh and our family.

The 3 things we have centered the foundation around are Building Faith – Sharing Hope – Defeating DIPG. It is our prayer that this foundation will become another strong force with the rest of the DIPG foundations to end this disease. We invite all of you to participate in the upcoming events if you are local, or consider becoming a sponsor if you are many miles away. Stay tuned for event information coming your way.

As always, we thank you all for the continued love and support. These kids and their families are worth our time and effort and need our help finding a cure.

Luke 20
36 And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection.

38 So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”

Until tomorrow

Front of the gift we received today.

The back of the coin..

Kaykeigh’s name among many of the DIPG Warriors fighting this disease.


In honor of softball season starting up here are a couple of my all time favorite pictures of KB and Grace.

PFK #14

Kayleigh and her buddy/partner in crime at the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.

One of my favorites now.. Originally is was not.  I was not smiling and and we were about to find out for the first time that Kayleigh had a brain tumor.