Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Week 22 - Christmas Eve

Kaeleigh and I went to Target today to grab some last minute items. I was looking through the racks of clearance and came across a maternity shirt. I looked at Kaeleigh and told her that I should be wearing those clothes right now, and she just hugged me and told me it was ok. The pain in my heart is still deep. Last night, Avery was sitting next to me at my desk and I was listening to the song in the link below and crying. He said "Why are you sad Mama?" I explained to him as best I could that I was just having a sad minute. He looked up at me and said, "Are you sad about the baby, 'cause sometimes I get sad about it too." Yes, it is sad today, but God continues to heal my broken heart and has given me such wonderful children to ease the pain. Their laughter is a blessed distraction from the cold world. I have already been given Christmas gifts, Tim, Kaeleigh, Avery, and Kaden, and the babies I can't hold now, I will hold them! God's promise!

Take a moment to listen to the song below (take from my friend Rebecca's blog) and allow it to speak to you and help you remember those that are celebrating in Heaven with our Savior....

Christmas in Heaven

“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”- Luke 2:16-20

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Week 21

I know, I know, I'm a day late! Truth is, I spent quite a few hours yesterday talking with a young mom who's unborn baby will be coming into the world and need heart surgery in just a few days. As I talked with her, I relived all I had been through with Kaden. I had the opportunity to talk with her about God, and how no matter what our circumstance, His plan is divine and He is in control. God has given me such an avenue to witness to families at such a vulnerable time in their lives. A chance to talk about His love for them, and that He cares, not only for their child's physical heart, but spiritual one as well. The look on the mother's face when I told her, "I wouldn't change that Kaden had heart surgery" said more than any words could. She was appalled that I would even suggest I was ok with it. But as I continued, I watched her face change and saw she understood, if it weren't for Kaden's surgery, SHE would be alone. God brought me to her nearly two years to the day after we found out about Kaden's heart. She understood, praise God. She could see how something so terrible could be made into something so amazing!

Our words aren't adequate enough to describe our loving, faithful, enduring Father. I cannot fathom a word great enough to encompass all He is to us, to me!! Praise you Father God, with uplifed hands and a renewed heart for the work you have given me!!! Thank you Father for allowing me to have Kaden, and showing me, beyond any doubt, You control the universe, and hold all things in Your hands! Glory, praise, and honor are Yours!

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago) Luke 1:69

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Twenty Weeks

This morning marks a date that should have been big for us. Today would have been the half-way mark of our pregnancy. We would have been having our ultrasound and her echo soon.

Yesterday I got to hold my friend's new baby. It was bitter sweet. I'm so excited for her, but my heart ached that I would never hold my precious little girl this side of heaven. I held back my tears as I looked at his face, touched his cheeks, held his hand, and did all the things I wanted for myself. As I handed him back to his mommy, my heart longed to be her, having the joy of that first bath, diaper, snuggle. All the things I won't have with Leilani.

For the last twenty weeks, I have longed for things that I cannot have. I have cried, yelled, been angry, and I have tried to give my aching to my Father. In my humanity, I am unable to bear this loss. I want the next twenty weeks to be different. So each week on Wednesday, as I remember my daughter and where I would be in my pregnancy with her, I want to post something positive about motherhood. Pray with me that God will allow me to use this blog to glorify Him, even in the pain.

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. Deuteronomy 18:15

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fun Times

This is just a small sample of the daily fun we have with Kaden. I was actually posting last night's blog when Tim calls from the bathroom. Here's what I see:

That's my sweet baby, with the ONLY bottle of conditioner in the house. He has squirted it all over the bathroom floor. Not just that, but notice my makeup brushes at the bottom of the photo. He has used them as paint brushes. I thought no big deal, we'll clean it up and the floor smells nice now, then I look over at the toilet....

Excellent, now the toilet smells good too.

Thank you Lord, for our Kaden and his ever growing curiosity!

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." Psalms 126:2

Friday, November 28, 2008


I ventured out today, not to shop but for a little "mommy time." I got a lovely manicure and much needed brain rest! I noticed the parking lot at Target was overflowing with shoppers; getting this and that for Christmas, or maybe just some savings for themselves. I thought today about the families struggling to get their children medical care, those nervous about time off work and lost pay, the families torn apart while one parent takes a child to the hospital and the other has to stay home....

Take time this season to remember the families with loved ones in the hospital and those unable to be home for the holiday, and always remember what you have been blessed with.

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. I Chronicles 16:8-11

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another day

This past Saturday, we said goodnight to another precious family member. Tim's grandfather "Opa" went home to Jesus Saturday evening. It seems that we were starting to move past one loss, and now are facing yet another. However sad our earthly losses are, when we know our loved one is with the Father, you can't help but rejoice! Knowing they are no longer facing the strain of this world, how can you not lift your hands and give Him the glory! In my life, true sadness is losing a family member you'll never see again, one that doesn't know God's gift of salvation. It is "goodbye" when they don't know Christ, but only a "goodnight" when we know we'll see them just beyond the gates of heaven.

Father God, help us to remember to share your love and precious gift to each person we meet. Allow them to see You through our actions and know Your love and compassion through us. Help us to be pleasing in Your sight so that all will come to know You. Amen.

Goodnight sweet Opa, kiss the baby for us, and know we'll see you again.

Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight. Psalm 119:73-77

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Days of Praise

Check out the party girls!

We had a slumber party for Kaeleigh's 10th birthday! Oh my little girl has reached the double digits!! We started off the evening with pizza and a cupcake cake. Then we all made foam crafts; that was a joy to clean up. We divided the girls into two teams and went on a scavenger hunt through the neighborhood. We played some games, told some ghost stories, and attempted to go to bed... After several trips to the living room to calm the girls, we finally left them alone and closed our bedroom door! I don't think much sleep was going on, but we all had a great time!
I praise God for another year of growing for Kaeleigh.


Kaeleigh also had her first Honors Chorus concert this past week. She looked just wonderful up in front of everyone with her outfit on! I tried to film it, but the camera was shaking so badly from my crying. I'm so overwhelmed with this child God has given me. She is just amazing. There's really not much more I can say about that.
I praise God for allowing me to be her mama.


We've had some very emotional situations going on the last couple of weeks. On top of the miscarriage, we found out on our anniversary that Tim's grandfather "Opa" is nearing his final days on this earth. We went to say our goodbyes with the family this weekend. We all cried and are sad, but we take joy in knowing death isn't the end. We'll see you again sweet Opa, in a better place with our Father!
I praise God for knowing there is comfort in the pain and sadness of death.


Speaking of anniversary, Tim and I celebrated our second one on November 4th. So many things have happened over the last two years of our marriage. We started off with a beautiful wedding and finding out about Kaden coming. Then within a month of the wedding, we found out that Kaden would need open heart surgery to survive. Kaden was born the following April, had his surgery in May and praise God, he is alive and doing better than anyone expected! We decided in late 2007 to file for Tim to officially adopt Kaeleigh and Avery. In January 2008 the paperwork began and we spent the next nine months waiting for a court date. In September, it was official, Kaeleigh and Avery are Tim's children!! We found out about the baby in September as well, and by October, we'd lost her. So many things we've been through in such a short time together. I can't begin to tell the rock Tim has been for me. A father to our children, a provider of our home, and my best friend. Knowing that I get to wake up to him every morning for the rest of my life is enough for me. He is mine and I am his.
I praise God for the blessing He has given me through Tim.


Thank you Father for your greatest gift, your Son Jesus. Thank you for continuing to work in my life and my family's lives. I praise you God for you give and take away and remain stedfast and faithful to us through it all.

Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalms 34:3

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dreams... yes, Dreams again


Last night I dreamed again of a little boy named David. It was such a wonderful dream. I wanted to believe my dream of twins the other night was for the future, but after last nights, I remembered.

I prayed that God would allow me to see my children. That He would show them to me in my dreams and let me meet them. He is doing that. The realization of what has begun in my life is nearly overwhelming.

The night I dreamed of Leilani and Justin, I saw their faces and I knew they were mine. I held her, but not him. It makes sense now. I believed I was carrying twins but never saw a second child. When my labs came back after losing Leilani, they were too high for a single pregnancy. God told me I had two before the doctors did. I didn't hold Justin because I didn't know. I pray that God will give me a second chance and allow me to hold him. Last night's dream of David was the confirmation that these were the children I have lost.

The experience of childbirth has to be the single most defining experience of a woman's life, besides accepting Christ of course. I gave birth to David in my dream. A perfect little guy with dark hair. I know he is my child. I had just found out I was expecting when I lost him. At time I was pregnant with him, it would have led me to name him David.

I have two other children to meet... Gracie and an another. I hope to see Gracie tonight, but I would still like to relish in the dreams of David, Leilani, and Justin. How do you choose which one to see? I know God will show them to me as He see fit. I praise Him because even though I have been unlovable, He has continued to love me. Unconditionally.

Thank you Father for these children who are safe in your arms. Kiss them for me tonight and hug them close.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Look

I couldn't help but post this photo of Kaden. His "so what, I'm Kaden" attitude just shines through and we have tried furiously to capture this look on camera. So here he is, in all his white haired glory, giving "the look." I hope you enjoy it as much as we do...

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I had a dream last night, one I hope is a glimpse of the future. There were two new babies in my home. A boy named Justin all dressed in a blue sleeper and playing in a swing, and a smaller baby, a girl, with a chest scar, dressed in a white sleeper, her name was Leilani Faith. I don't begin to know what dreams mean. Sometimes I think it's a glimpse of our future or maybe just the longing of our hearts. The deep desperation of a mother who lost her child and wanting to hold her baby close, kiss her tiny face, and give her the love she deserves. I don't know what my dream means, but it brought me comfort to believe there may be another little one (or two) in our future.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Dealing with emotional trauma just wasn't enough for me. Wednesday night, I actually miscarried and ended up in the ER with uncontrollable bleeding. I'm blessed to be alive today. God spared me from surgery and chose to give me more time here with my family. There's nothing like laying helpless in the ER, praying for you very life. Today I'm grateful for just being able to get out of bed and being able to hug and kiss my children and husband. I'm still recouping from the sheer amount of blood loss, but God is in control still and has His hand on my life.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Praising Him

Throughout our time with Kaden, this song brought me back to the place where I remembered God was in control of our lives and that no matter what, He cared about us and was there to hold us. This week this song has again touched my heart, I've cried many tears and each one is held in His hand and cherished. Thank you my Father for the time of joy and sorrow, for without sorrow, joy means nothing.
"Praise You In This Storm"
Casting Crowns
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Friday, October 17, 2008


Thoughts jumbled up, trying to spill out, but only tears come,
Running down my face, wetting my pillow, dropping silently in the night
Feeling of despair in the whole of my heart
Will it end?
I turn my face to Him, crying out for my desire
I hear His voice, saying, "Wait my child"
He comforts me with hugs from my children
And kisses from my husband
With friends and family
Who speak words only God could have given them.

*Thank you to each of you who have touched my life, not only during this time, but always.
I love you.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


We found out about a month ago that we were expecting again. Unfortunately, yesterday, during my OB visit, they were unable to find our baby's heartbeat. This is the letter I wrote to our baby who we believed would have been a girl.....

Why my little angel did He choose to take you? Why will I never hold you in my arms or sing you to sleep? I don't understand, I can't fathom how this is for the best, or how a merciful, loving Father would take the most precious thing and keep it for Himself. We chose your name the other night, Leilani Faith. It means heavenly flower, and you are just that, a beautiful flower in His garden. Have you met your sister, Gracie, yet? Did you know it was her? Are you playing together on the streets of gold? What wonderful things you must see with your eyes. Things mommy can only imagine. Do you know your big sister and big brothers love you? Do you know how excited mommy was to give you your first kiss and to see what you look like? Heaven seems so far away, an eternity until we meet. Mommy's tears will last a lifetime. I'll think of you in August when you were conceived, and in September when we learned about you, and in October when we said goodnight. And again in November when we celebrate Kaeleigh's life, and in December when we would have learned you were a girl, and January when my belly would be alive with kicks and squirms, and February when the third trimester would have begun and I would be swelling and anticipating. In March when I wouldn't be able to breathe because you were taking up all my space. And in April when we would welcome your arrival and take pictures, and call friends and family and tell them, "She's here!" And in May when the flowers are all blooming and the world is full of new life and color, my sky will be gray. In June when we would all be together when school gets out, and the thought of taking you to the pool for the first time and seeing if you were like Daddy and love the water. And in July when we go downtown for our annual picture on the 4th, there will be a little face missing and it will be especially hard because that's the day Gracie went to be with Jesus. Not a day will pass that I won't think of you and what our lives would be like with another princess. I love you my little girl. Ask Jesus to tell you about us.... Until I see you again, I love you. Love, Mommy

Monday, September 8, 2008

In Other News...

We are expecting again! A definite but welcomed surprise! As with all of God's plans for us, they sometimes don't make sense, but it's our path He's chosen and we'll walk it!

New baby smells, smiles with no teeth, bald heads, tiny feet..... I can't wait. What a blessing to be chosen to be a mother yet again.

We do realize the risk of having another heart baby is increased, but as I talk to a friend the other day, she reminded me again of the power of prayer. We'll trust that our Father knows best and that He'll have His will in our lives.

Come what may, we'll put our faith in Him.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It’s these days that I wonder why God called me to work with CHD families. I want to help so desperately, but at the same time, kicking myself for wanting to. Tim has said to me before that God will give me the strength for what He’s called me for. It's His strength I must draw from today as I face another family with a loss.

What a horrible monster, this CHD world. One that shares in just as many tragedies as triumphs. One that keeps you from ever feeling a sense of calm... Always lurking in your mind, "what if." God be with each family facing this giant and who becomes a part of our world.

Goodnight sweet Tommy, save a hug in heaven for me......

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In Love

Yes, "In Love." I'm in love with my life. This morning, I've enjoyed a kiss from my husband, hugs from my children, and the sounds of them playing together. Of course, the getting along was short lived, as usual. But even in the middle of the kids arguing over toys or what channel to watch, I'm in love.

I woke up next to my wonderful husband, Tim. God sent him to me during a dark time in my life. Through Tim's love, I've rediscovered the love God has for me. Tim is my best friend. He is the home I've always wanted and the love I've always needed. He's the father of my children and our earthly provider. He works hard to make a life where I can stay home and raise our children.

My beautiful daughter, KK, is becoming a "tween" and coming into her own way of doing things. Her independence is amazing. She is brave, strong, and confident. All the things I wanted to be in my own childhood, I see in her.

My handsome son, Ave, will be 7 in a couple of weeks. He is loving and strong. His ability to see beautiful things in everyday happenings is beyond my understanding. Just yesterday, he looked at me and said, "Mommy your glasses look like butterflies on your face. It's really pretty." Who would have thought glasses could look like butterflies?

My precious son, Kaden. The child God gave me twice. Once in birth and again when his heart was healed. I see God's many promises fulfilled in his life. Kaden is bold, daring, and a fighter. His strength goes beyond his years and his laughter is one of the highlights of my day.

In my family and home, I find God's abundant love. I'm in love with my family and the ebb and flow of daily life being a wife and mother.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Keeping Kaden

I'm sitting here yet again, thinking of how many days have passed since I wrote. Oh well, busy life, getting ready for back to school, daily tasks of being mommy to three, so many more important things.

I was laying with Kaden last night, yes, he still sleeps in our bed, when I woke up with the overwhelming need to touch his "heart scar." As I was running my finger across his scarred chest, I was reminded of all my little boy has been through. I remember him laying in PCICU wrapped in his blue blanket, his face puffy and red from swelling. I remember gently unwrapping the blanket for the first time, because I had to look, I had to see what they had done to my precious baby. The flood of emotion seeing him like that. What was once a perfect little body was now covered in tubes, wires, IVs, tape, gauze, and a row of tiny strips of paper holding his little chest together. He lay there, limp as I picked up his little hand, and realized they had his arms restrained to keep him from pulling at his lines. In that moment, I cried out to God, "WHY have you done this to him! Why did you choose Kaden, and our family for this." And in the next moment realized the worst of the battle was over. Kaden was healed and being mad wasn't going to change the course of our lives. God revealed His love and mercy for our family during Kaden's storm. He showed us that with Him, we can overcome even the worst of circumstances and that ultimately His plan would be accomplished. As I continued to touch his chest and feel the different scars from surgery, each one became a blessing. I kissed each of his little marks and thanked God for the healing of Kaden's heart. I pulled his sweet little face close to mine and smelled his warm breath and praised my Father for allowing me to keep Kaden here with us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So much to do

So today I realized that my "heart baby" is no longer a baby. He's a toddling 14 month old! Kaden is into everything imaginable, including the toilet and trash can. His new nickname is "Dumpster Monkey" because he climbs like a monkey to get in the trash! What a hoot. Avery is becoming quite the little man. He has continued to bless my life with his precious smile and ever mischevious ways. He and Kaden wrestle around with Daddy on the floor being boys. Kaeleigh is slowing becoming more of a "tween" and less of a little girl. Seeing her grow up reminds me of being her age and wondering about things like make-up and matching jewelry. I often find her dressing up, trying to match shoes with outfits and making sure her hair is "just so." I think the full scope of being the mother of a teenager is beginning to present itself. I think the pace of my prayer life is beginning to pick up with it!

I met with Rebecca, Angel Annabelle's mom, today to give her a quilt made in Annabelle's memory and some things for the baskets she puts together to remember Annabelle by. I held back tears the entire time. Just seeing her smile brought so many emotions to the front of my heart, I almost couldn't contain it. It's amazing to see my Father continue to work in others lives and allow me to be a part of it. I pray that He continues to bless and hold each of the families Palmetto Hearts touches and that in some way, they will see Christ's love through me.

Palmetto Hearts continues to flourish with new families weekly. We have our own website now, thanks to the Marsh family! I pray that in some way these heart children touch your lives and give you a bit of peace about yours.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Today I sit in amazement at what the past year has brought my family. A year ago today, we were preparing for Kaden's arrival. Scared and unsure of what his future held. We knew his battle would be hard and there was nothing we could do but pray and allow him to fight it. And he fought so well, he's a strong boy! God's grace and mercy were bountiful for us during that time. God allowed Kaden to be healed through the hands of a surgeon. Here we are a year later and I wouldn't change what we've all been through. Kaden's birth, surgery, and recovery were nothing short of a miracle. God has blessed so many people with our son. We have been able to reach out to other families to help them on their journey through diagnosis, surgery, recovery, and beyond. I can't begin to put into words how blessed we are to have been given such a special little boy. Our family is closer than it has even been before. I appreciate how blessed I am to have two heathy children. I took them for granted for such a long time, and now I try to cherish every moment I have with them. Even when driving to the soccer field seems like such a chore, I remember that Avery could have been born and never been able to play soccer, or that Kaeleigh may have never cheered. God chose a different path for Kaeleigh and Avery's lives and I'm so thankful that they don't have to face the battles Kaden has. Kaeleigh is growing into such a beautiful young lady. This past year brought many tears for her as she fully understood what was happening with her little brother and what he was facing. I remember her begging to hold him in the NICU and the nurses telling her no, that she might pull a line loose. We shut the curtain and allowed her to hold him anyway, knowing that could have been her only chance to hold her baby brother. We had to let Avery hold him too. I couldn't bear to think he could leave this earth and not have been held by them. The bond that the three of them formed during those first few weeks was incredible. It didn't matter to Kaeleigh and Avery that he was in NICU, he was THEIR baby brother and the love they had for him was overwhelming. Avery cried when we left the hospital. He wanted to bring Kaden home to snuggle in the bed like we had done during my pregnancy.

The morning of his surgery, Tim, KK, and Ave met me at the hospital to pray and wait. We all carried him down to the pre-op check in and waited for them to come and get him. I can't describe how difficult it was for all of us to hand over our tiny baby to people we had never met and trust them to care for him. Those feelings had to be pushed back because without the surgery, he wouldn't have made it to see his first birthday.

Over the course of this past year, God has brought so many families and stories into our lives. Each family and child has touched the deepest parts of my heart. It's my prayer that God allows me to continue in His ministry to these families. I pray that each child's story touches me and helps me remember what we have been through and that no matter what God has NEVER failed us. He held Kaden in His hands and allowed Kaden to be healed. He held us during a terrible time when nothing on this earth could, and He never let go.

Happy Birthday April 27 to our miracle of life, Kaden John. May God bless your life my precious baby. May you always walk in His path, with His light guiding you. I pray for your protection and for your future. May God always hold all the days of your life and may they be long and fruitful for Him. Always remember where you have been and how blessed you are. Mommy loves you for always my little heart boy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Opening doors

It's been on my heart a long time to be able to stay at home with my children. Today, God answered my prayers. I have been able to resign to be a SAHM!!! God closes and opens doors for us in His good timing, and His timing is perfect. When Kaden was in the midst of hospitilization and surgery, I felt God calling me to start Saving Little Hearts of SC. I wanted to reach out to other families to help them through their CHD journey. I'm in tears thinking of all that my Father has blessed me with. I have the help of Kaden's pediatric cardiologist, and three wonderful women who have had their own CHD journeys. I have friends who pray for and support me. Most of all I have a husband who is my best friend, he is my soul mate, the one I cherish and honor. I love him and our beautiful children more than words can say. I can't begin to name the families and children that He has put in my path and I've had the honor of ministering to. Ministry.... It's a funny word, that bring up thoughts of a large man up at the pulpit, sweating, and yelling. But I now understand ministry is our everyday task as Christians. Ministering to others by praying for them, supporting them, listening to them. So now my ministry consists of two major components, my family & friends, and my heart family. I hold each heart family as close as my own, I weep with them, and rejoice with them. I pray that God continues to bless each person in my life. I will thank Him continually for the opportunities I have had and the ones He continues to bring to me. Thank you Lord for opening these doors!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Today my heart is heavy. A precious little girl went home to be with Jesus yesterday. My heart aches for the family. I can't imagine the loss of a child. Sweet Annabelle Butcher was not even two months old. A CHD (congenital heart defect) baby born with HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). She had been home just a few weeks when our Father called her back into His arms. I can't begin to understand why God would take a child, but it's not for me to understand. Only for me to pray about and to pray for the family. I keep coming back to a Casting Crowns song "Praise You in the Storm." It's a song that helped verbalize the feelings I had when Kaden was going through his surgery and hospital stay. Such a dark time in my life. But out of that darkness came a light. A blaring, blinding light, guiding me to fulfill a calling. God called me to start Saving Little Hearts of SC and help families like Annabelle's. I prayed for my emotions to be kept real and alive in me so that I would remember the pain. That I would never hear a child's story and not be touched to the core of my being. The tears I've shed for Annabelle are pain filled. I hurt so deeply for her precious mother Rebecca and her father Scott, and for her big brother Wyatt. Still a baby himself at 3. I pray that God comforts them and holds them so close they can feel His breath when He speaks. I know that out of this darkness in their life, they will find the lighted path He has laid for them and He has told me He will raise in them a new song to sing. "You are who you are no matter where I am....."

I encourage everyone to hold their children just a moment longer today and remember a precious family in your prayers.