July 15, 2017 – God and Counter Tops

Did you know God can talk to you through your counter tops? Ok yeah, that sounds a little crazy, but let me explain…

While Kayleigh was sick we had a little incident with our double oven. As in, I did something, messed up some wires, and proceeded to attempt to catch the house on fire – oops! Needless to say, we were without an oven for a while. However, at the place we were in, it didn’t really matter. Kayleigh was home and very sick, and we had wonderful people caring for us and bringing food. Move forward to January (about 5 months without an oven) and we go shopping.

Holy cow – double ovens are ridiculously expensive! And considering the fact that I had not really missed my oven for 6 months it was hard to justify spending that amount of money, so we decided to buy a single oven/range combo and my incredibly talented husband was going to modify the cabinets. Good plan! We bought the new oven and had it delivered – to our garage – where it lived until mid June when Tim finally had time to get it installed (yes, that is about 6 more months). So, for the last month we have had a lovely new working oven, as well as the double oven, hanging out in our itty bitty 1970’s ranch kitchen.

Now that Softball is over for Grace and Volleyball tournaments don’t get going until September, we have a little time on our hands for improvements. As Tim and I sat discussing our plans for these upcoming weekends he decides it’s time to go ahead and get the old oven out – as in, right now. So, he removes the old oven, tears out the old cabinet, and visits Lowe’s for new cabinets which he has set by Saturday night. I told you he was incredibly gifted! Only one small problem… countertops. Yeah, I’d kind of like to have counter tops in my kitchen. – preferably counter tops that all match. Once he had everything set and was cleaning up I looked at him and said, “you do realize that I now get to go pick out my new countertops and back splash, right?” The look on his face was perfect. I could tell he knew that was necessary, but maybe he hadn’t quite thought through exactly what that was going to mean to his wallet. A replacement double oven might have been a better idea but too late now – ha!

So Monday, I began the search for counter tops. On a side note here, I thought this was going to be an easy process, I knew what I wanted – um no. I visited multiple vendors, went through the warehouse looking at slabs, got quotes from three different places, and finally decided to go back and look at the slabs against the cabinet colors to make my decision. And that my friends, is when God showed up in my counter tops.

As I was driving to Madison yesterday with my little cabinet door, I was having some quiet conversation with the Lord. I was missing my baby. Sometimes the heartache just slips in. It’s hard to believe that just a year ago she was my imperfectly perfect, bright, spunky Baby Duck – and today she has been gone 8 months. I know she has made an incredible impact on the world, but oh what a high price it was to pay for that impact.

Once I arrive at the place to look at slabs, the sweet sales girl that is walking me around in the blistering heat says, “I couldn’t help but notice the bottom of your email said Prayers for Kayleigh…” all I could feel in that moment was – be still my battered heart. God knew I needed a reminder that Kayleigh had reached far and wide. But as so often God does, the story gets better. This sweet gal has a cancer survivor or her own. A little boy the age of my Cole. Doctors gave him 2 weeks to live when he was diagnosed, and that was over 4 years ago. And when I asked where her boy received treatment, she said, “St. Jude.” Wow. I just stopped where I was and wrapped her up in a big hug, chill bumps on my arms, and tears in my eyes.

She had no idea that she was ministering to my heart. But God knew I was hurting and found a way to reach me through the most mundane thing – counter tops. The next little while I spent with her was healing to my heart. There is comfort just being with someone that understands so completely. This Cancer Mom club is not one that any of us would choose to join. It’s hard, filed with constant fear that we will lose our most precious treasure, our child. Yet, we know we must remain strong for our little fighters because they depend on us to take care of them and fight for them. So we push our fears to the back of our minds, put on our big girl panties, and go to war for our children. No one can understand what this feels like, no one but another cancer mom. Which is why the minute you meet another cancer mom your hearts just click. No matter how different you are on the outside, there is an unspoken camaraderie, a heart connection.

How thankful I am for a God that cares about every detail of our lives. He sees our hurts and meets our needs – sometimes in the smallest things. And then the small things become big things, moments to treasure.

Matthew 6:31-33

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.

I love those verses, Jesus reminds us not to worry – God’s got this. Our job is to just seek after Him.

Until later,

These pictures are from this time last year and a couple of Tim’s handiwork.

Now it’s time for paint, new cabinet fronts, and counter tops!

July 6, 2017 – Changes

Hello friends!

As many of you know, I resigned from my job mid-June in order to run the foundation, spend more time writing, and taking time to build this new ministry. Through our journey with Kayleigh, God has allowed us to experience His amazing goodness first-hand. By the world’s standards, our story should be one of grief, defeat and despair – but because of our great God, this story is one of faith, hope, peace, and joy. Joy that needs to be shared. So many people around us are struggling each day, we want to be a light of encouragement and hope.

But we are still going to need your support and prayers on this new journey! Especially since we are learning and growing as we go along. My first question for you all today is about the frequency of posting. I think every day may be too much, is once a week better, or twice a week? Would you please share your thoughts with me? You can email your thoughts to dearcarrow@gmail.com .

Thank you for continuing to stand with us. This is Kayleigh’s legacy, one of hope.



July 4, 2017 – Happy 4th!

Memories can be such a bittersweet thing. I am so thankful for the precious reminders, but they twist my heart a little at the same time. Of course, how could they not? As we celebrate the 4th, I remember so many fun holidays. We always shoot big fireworks and enjoy ice cream, and today was no different on that front – but we were missing our spunky little girl.

The most beautiful gift the Lord gives us each day, is that the sweet continues to outweigh the bitter. Whenever I feel myself teetering on the edge of despair, I am reminded of our perfect 7.5 year with Kayleigh, of the amazing children I still have the joy to parent, of our close knit family, and friends that – well my friend Taylor said it best, we’re “fram-ily.”

Yes, my heart twinges tonight as I remember what is no longer with me, but our separation is but a blink in the eye of eternity. So tonight as you tuck your babies in, give them one more kiss, one more hug, one more minute before bed, and eat the ice cream first. Take lots of pictures and treasure every moment.

Psalm 90:12 – NIV
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Until later,


June 27, 2017 – Be Positive!

Hello Friends,

I’ve spent the past few days writing about hope and choosing joy. As always, one of the main themes that keeps coming back to me is choices. While we cannot control the things that happen to us, we do get to decide how we are going to respond to each circumstance. We get to chose our attitude.

One of the best pieces of advice I received on this journey came from my grandfather. It was the day of Kayleigh’s diagnosis, we had just returned home and were having a huge birthday party for her at our house. Papa pulled me to the side, and in his gruff, matter-of-fact voice said, “‘Carrow, I know this is hard, but you HAVE to stay positive!” I know he didn’t hand those words out lightly. He knows the grief of losing a child, how it never goes away. But he also knows how to survive it.

I don’t think he realizes just what an impact those words have had on my life and the lives of so many more. You see, he is the reason my posts look for the positive in every day. He is the reason I began looking for the good and sharing hope. Because of his guidance, and looking for the positive, I found the best. I found the peace, hope, and joy that can only come from Jesus. My faith grew from Bible truths I had read about, to truths I experienced first hand.

Maybe you are in a spot where you need some encouragement. Well friend, let me tell you, you’ve GOT to stay positive!

2 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I leave you tonight with this Chuck Swindoll quote…

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”
– Charles Swindoll

Until later,

One year ago today. Another memory to be thankful for

George Nancarrow, my Papa , with 5 of his 9 great-grandchildren

June 13, 2017 – God never wastes a hurt

Hello Friends,

You know, sometimes I sit down to write and words pour out of me like Niagara Falls after a good rain, other times I’m more like the Mojave desert. During Kayleigh’s journey it was easy, I would fill you in on how she was doing, and let you know how God was helping us through. But now as we get a little further out, I find that I want the focus to be less on our family and more on this amazing God we serve.

Tonight was one of those nights where I was struggling. I had many ideas but none seems like just the “right” one. So I opened my Bible and just started reading. I have discovered no matter the upheaval going on around me, if I will sit down with the Lord’s word, and open my heart to what He has to say, He will speak to me through the scriptures. I don’t always find the answers I am looking for right away, but I do find His incredible peace.

After reading a while I had an abundance of peace in my heart but still no words. I was about to lay my face down on the opening page of Ephesians when a quote jumped out at me, right there on the page. It isn’t part of scripture but a modern day authors introduction to the book of Ephesians.

“God does not waste our suffering. Life in a fallen world entails human suffering, but never without a divine purpose.”

Wow, talk about a perspective change. Suffering certainly isn’t something anyone aspires to, but it is a part of everyone’s life. Sometimes our suffering is huge and immediately life altering, other times it is a daily burden that becomes increasingly heavy. Sometimes you can see a persons suffering and other times it is well disguised. It comes in all shapes and sizes and affects every age, gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic group. It also is not a very welcome topic of conversation, it’s just too sad for many people to deal with.

But… if you can change your view of suffering, and start looking for God’s divine purpose in the hurts, it begins to change your heart. I am living proof that is true. It doesn’t take the hurt away, but it does change my perspective. It is no longer about what is happening to me, rather it becomes more about what God can accomplish through me. He becomes my focus, not the storm, and that is where I find peace.

I am echoing Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians for each of you reading this…

Ephesians 1:18
18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

God loves you, so. And He has called you to a specific purpose, one that is perfectly tailored, only to you. I pray you will choose to follow Him and be faithful.

Until tomorrow,

I love this picture of my silly monkey. It was taken a year ago today. So much has changed but my love for her remains.