Prayers For Kayleigh

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June 7, 2016

Stepping out in faith… it’s never easy. The unknown is a scary thing, especially when God asks you to leave something safe. I found that trusting God with Kayleigh was an absolute no-brainer. Not because I have some special, super faith, but because I had no other option. There was no hope on this earth, our only hope was in God’s healing.

I prayed for Kayleigh to be healed and to have a long life. God did not answer my prayers quite as I wanted, but He rarely does. During our journey Kayleigh asked Jesus into her heart which gave her eternal life – I’m pretty sure that counts as a long life. And I prayed for healing, and I know now she is whole and healthy in heaven. No, that wasn’t what I wanted, but for Kayleigh – she is enjoying perfection. As a mom I want the absolute best for my children. I find that I can be thankful that her life is now perfect but at the same time be sad for myself. I miss her, but her memory helps move me forward each day. She changed me – and I am thankful.

Before she died, I promised her I would write. I promised that no one would forget her, that I would continue to share her story, and our story of how God has carried us through. Returning to work and starting the foundation has left no time to write. The blog updates were really the extent of my writing and even those came to a stop on Mother’s Day. It’s been weighing on my heart that a change was coming. I’ve been feeling the Lord’s call on my life to write, speak, and share encouragement – but in order to follow that call, something else has to give.

Remember how I started this post? Stepping out in faith is never easy. It would have been awesome if God had asked me to let go of something I didn’t like to make room for this new opportunity, but that isn’t His way. He asked me to give up something I love dearly, something safe, something known, for the complete unknown. He asked me to have faith that this is His plan – even though I have no idea what the plan is. I don’t even really know what the next step is – I just know that He has called me to be obedient. I keep hearing this small voice in my head – “if you can trust Him with Kayleigh, why can’t you trust Him with this?”

So, I’m taking that step, letting go of what I know and love and praying for wisdom and direction for the next step. I have resigned my position at the company I have been with for nearly 11 years in order to make time to write. God has already been faithful to bring people into my life to help guide and direct my steps. I would certainly like a bit more of a plan to follow but as my friend reminded my today, my job is to just do the next thing – not to worry about what comes after that.

So stay tuned for new updates and new changes. One thing I think the Lord is leading me to is an occasional “Dear ‘Carrow” blog post. A place where you can send me questions and help guide the devotions or posts. I’m not sure exactly what it is going to look like, but I’m definitely going to need your help. Would you start sending your questions in? Send them to dearcarrow@gmail.com you can sign them with your name or something cute like you see on Dear Abby.

One thing I do know, stepping out in faith is scary, but stepping out with people that are already on our team makes it a little better. Knowing we have prayer warriors and friends like you makes a big difference. As we start this new phase of the journey this is my prayer…

John 3:30
30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

And even though I cannot see where God is leading me, I have faith that He has it completely under control…

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

Yes indeed, he is a Good God – worth trusting in big things and small.

Until later,
‘Carrow💜

All of my children grew up at my office. I will miss Superior Steel so very much.

Why yes, I think I will work at your desk Granddady…

Serious steel calculations!

Hello…

June 5, 2017 – I’m back…

Hello Friends,

Thank you for allowing me to take a much needed break. I have missed writing, but I needed a little time to rest and regroup. I am still in the process of regrouping, but I’m feeling the desire to write again. I’m not sure what this new journey is going to look like or how often I will post, I’m praying over that and I’m counting on God to work out the details – but I think it is safe to say, I’m back.

We lost another precious fighter that was close to our hearts. Sweet Aiden went home to be with Jesus last night at 11:00 pm. Her mom was one of the first people I reached out to when we found out about Kayleigh’s diagnosis. Aiden’s family has walked this long, difficult road with beautiful faith and trust. The days ahead will be hard as they settle in to a new normal. One where they will forever be missing a piece of their heart. But I have discovered, any time you find a hole in your heart – God is the perfect size and shape to fill it. Sometimes that hole is so large and the pain is so deep, all I can say to the Lord is, “Please draw me close Jesus.” It has become my mantra when the hurt jumps out and surprises me. I repeat those words over and over in my heart until I can reach my Bible and read the words that soothe my soul.

If you find yourself looking for hope, there is much to be had in God’s word. The Psalms are where I run when I need to be held…

Psalm 16:8
I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.

Psalm 18:30
God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for his protection.

See? So much hope. Words of love, faith and protection. Words I have had the joy of seeing God prove true over and over in my own life. I am so thankful for a God that loves me – and the ability to have a relationship with Him through Christ’s sacrifice for me. Isn’t God good?

Until tomorrow,
‘Carrow💜

May 23, 2017 – Say Yes!

I’m sure many of you are like me – your life is filled well past capacity. Work, children, spouse, all vying for your time and attention. Most days I wake up with a “to do” list, work diligently all day, and by bed time the list is longer than it was when I started. It is so easy to allow repetitive days of busyness to overwhelm us. We find ourselves caught on a hamster wheel – running as hard as we can, but gaining no ground.

Our family has been living in that state of overwhelming busyness for months now. I wish I could say I always handle it with poise, grace, and dignity – but that would be a big, fat, Pinocchio nose growing lie. There are days when the pressure makes my temper short, my responses clipped, and my attitude poor. I allow myself to get drawn into the busy and fail to draw my strength from the Lord. What a rookie mistake! You’d think after 34 years walking with Him I’d know better by now.

Thankfully, I am learning. I’m learning to allow the Lord to guide my steps in all things – big and small. While I am surrounded by many good options to fill my time, I am learning to let God help me choose what is best. I’m working to be a better partner to Tim and a more patient mother to my children. Of course, I’m quite certain my children would test the patience of Job himself. I have a 12 year old daughter that acts just like me (heaven help us all), and a nine year old son that could talk the hind legs of an entire pack of mules.

I loves these precious children more than my own life, but as God is my witness, they know exactly how to push everyone of my buttons. And not just a little annoying tap or two, but full blown, lean in, bear down, and MASH the hound out of my buttons! There is some old, scary movie where the characters head starts spinning around while spewing icky stuff… yeah, that’s the vision in my head at the end of some days. My kids usually know it too, because my eyes get really big and quite scary, and by that point they are ready to head for the hills.

Those days – those “I’m a gnats eyelash away from a category 5 meltdown,” days – are the days I’m beginning to see the Lord make a difference. I love these verses

James 1:2-4
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

So often we apply those verses to the big things in our lives that go wrong. An illness, death, losing a job – and those verses certainly apply beautifully. But guess what? They apply to the everyday trials we face every day as well. I am learning there is always something to be thankful for. There is always joy of you are willing to look for it, and accept that God’s plan is very often not the path you would have chosen for yourself.

Tonight, my sweet Grace came to me with her 800 miles of soaking wet hair, asking for help drying it. I had a million and one things that needed to be done – but the Holy Spirit gave me that “say yes” nudge. All those things I need to do – they can wait. We never know how much time we have with the ones we love, so I’m learning to listen to the nudge, and say yes. Sometimes the nudge tells me to send a card, write a text, or make a phone call – and do you know, I have never been sorry for saying yes to the nudge.

Tonight I also had the nudge to write, so… until the next nudge,
‘Carrow 💜

My girls have never favored one another in any way. And then tonight, as I was drying Grace’s hair, I saw Kayleigh’s hair. I could remember the feel, how it smelled and just how tender headed she was. A special little reminder, crafted specifically for my heart.

May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017
Thank you from all of us for helping our first PFK Foundation fundraiser be successful.  We are thankful for each and everyone of you that came our to run, volunteer, or just hang out.  We had 691 combined  runners that participated in the 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run.  Somewhere around 70 volunteers showed to help with registration, setup, food , music and mc, and merchandise.  If you did not get your race shirt before or after the race and you registered to receive one please let us know by email or Facebook messenger.  If you were not able to make it out to the race this year please come out next year and make this event even bigger.  Thank you for supporting The PFK Foundation and our fight against DIPG.
Link to PFK 5K Photo Album
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Prayers-for-Kayleigh-187306011663522/photos/?tab=album&album_id=387241235003331
Thank you to our volunteers from:
MOJO from WZYP
Crestline Elementary School, Barkley Bridge Elementary, Burleson Elementary, Hartselle Intermediate , Hartselle Junior High, Hartselle High School, PFK Foundation Board Members, PFK Planning Committee.  Thank you to Hartselle PD for keeping the streets clear and our runners safe during the race.  Thank you to LifeSouth for bringing the Blood Mobile.
Thank you to our Sponsors and Donors:
(not all donors are listed due to privacy)
NAFCO, O’Neal Steel, Nucor Steel, FedEx, Pepsi, Wolff Printing, Dixie Signs and Decals, XMC, Alabama Mail, Solid Rock Race Timing, Emanuel Christian School, Crestline Elementary School.
Thank you our friends helping with ,PR,media and advertising:
WZYP 104.3 (MOJO), WHNT 19, The Big D Radio Show, “Talk of Alabama” at ABC 33/40, “Cooper & Company”, DK Harris, North Alabama Storm 12U Softball.

May 14, 2017

May 14, 2017

It’s Mother’s Day. Usually I enjoy this holiday, but this year it is incredibly difficult. I am so thankful for the many friends that have messaged me kind words today. But I’d be lying if I said it was an easy day. Celebrating Kayleigh’s birthday Friday and Saturday, and Mother’s Day today without her, has left my heart broken and battered.

Today, I just felt the need to be with Kayleigh. So when Tim packed the kids up to go see his mom for Mother’s Day I stayed behind and went to the cemetary. I took new flowers for her grave and a beach towel so I could stay a while. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Once the flowers were done I spread my towel out right on top of Kayleigh’s plot and just laid with her.

I know she isn’t there because I know right where she is. She’s whole and healthy, running, dancing and twirling in heaven. But it is still her spot. I laid on the grass talking to her, telling her how proud I am of her and the life she led. Thanking her for making be a better mom. It also gave me wonderful quiet time with the Lord. Time to cry and grieve, but time to thank Him for allowing me the gift of Kayleigh.

While I was there my mom came by. She brought me something she found under her bed. She doesn’t know how it got there or when, but it was a priceless gift. A hand made Mother’s Day card from Kayleigh. Based on the signature, I think it was probably last year. Thank you Jesus for precious treasures, even if those treasures bring me to my knees.

As I feel my self feeling particularly weak today, I am thankful for this verse

2 Corinthians 12:9
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

I certainly have nothing in me worth offering, but Christ in me allows me to continue on each day.

If you have followed us for a while, you know I usually sign off “until tomorrow” but tonight I’m going to change that. I am going to say “until later” – because I’m not sure if I’m going to continue every day, or exactly what the Lord’s plan is for me. Don’t worry, I won’t be going far, I just want to take a little time and make sure I’m walking down the path God has for me.

Until later,
‘Carrow💜