Monday, September 27, 2010

Another Miracle Story

I want to thank you guys for coming to Kylee's surgery, it really meant a lot. I'm sure it wasn't easy for either of you but just know that you brought a calm over both of us. I know that there is nothing that I can say that will make anything easier for you but know that I think of all of you every day. I have no great words of wisdom and I'm not going to act like I can make the pain go away but I do want you to know that I will be here for you if you need me.

Know that your little angel has changed the lives of so many. People that don't know you or your family. People that now go to church every Sunday (us) that never went before, people that hold their children a little tighter and tell them they love them more often than before, people that help others now that never would have before. Ive seen all of this and its all because of Leighytn. She is truly a miracle in so many ways and just know that she lives on in so many more people than you can imagine. You are a great Mom to two beautiful blond girls that have so many more peoples lives to touch.

Love you guys!

Out Of These Ashes ......

I am sure that some of you have heard about the tragic accident on May 21, 2008. Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman's five year old little girl went to be with Jesus. One of the many things that came from their tragedy was an inspirational, heart warming, tearful, and an (another) awesome album "Beauty Will Rise". What an awesome testiomony that has spoke to both Missy and I. As much as I hate for anyone else to have experienced what we have, I am glad others have chosen to use it for good. Here are a couple of the songs on his album. I would encourage everyone to check it out. Thanks you Chapman's and to whoever got us their album. These words are so exactly how we feel.

"Just have to wait"

Well I can't wait to see your smile again
The one where your eyes disappear
Along with all my troubles
And I can’t wait to hear you sing a song
Mainly Jesus loves me or a song you learned up there
But I, oh I, just have to wait
Cuz I know that day is coming
So I, oh I, just have to wait
I can’t wait to hear your mother laugh
The way that only you can make her laugh
When you get silly
And I can’t wait to see you in her arms
And know the wounds so deep inside her heart
Are sealed for good
But I, oh I, just have to wait
Cuz I know that day is coming
So I, oh I, just have to wait
Ohhh I can’t wait to dance with you again
Knowing that this time we dance
Will never have to end
But I, oh I, just have to wait
Cuz I know that day is coming
So I, oh I, just have to wait
I can’t wait to see your sisters play
The way they do when all of you
Are playing altogether


Right now all I can taste are bitter tears
Right now all I can see are clouds of sorrow
From the other side of all this grief
Is that you I hear, laughing loud
Calling out to me
See, its everything you said that it would be

And even better than you would believe
And I’m counting down the days
Until you’re hear with me
And finally you’ll see
But right now all I can say is Lord, how long

Before you come and take away this aching
This night of weeping seems to have no end
But when the morning light breaks through
We’ll open up our eyes
And see, its everything He said that it would be

And even better than we would believe
And He’s counting down the days
Until He says come with meAnd finally
He’ll wipe every tear from our eyes

And make everything new just like
He promisedWait and seeJust wait and see
Wait and see
And I’m counting down the days

Until I see, Its everything He said that it would be
And even better than we would believe
And I’m counting down the days
Til He says come with me
And finally we’ll seeWe will see
We'll taste and see that the Lord is good

The Lord is good
The Lord is good
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good
The Lord is good

Wow, Simply amazing the talent that some people are blessed with, and how Romans 8:28 rings so true. Thank you all for your continued prayers, support, encouragement, cards, and love.

Love You , Miss You Lei

Leightyn's Daddy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lei's Legacy

I know that Leightyn's Lifesong Sings and that God has used her life and our Storm to reach others. It's still tough, and I wish everyday that there could have been another way. However, it is when I actually get to hear the stories and read it in an email, that it helps me to understand a little more why us, why Leightyn. It's through these stories that God shows us some of the why, and how through it all He has been and will continued to be glorified. With that being said here is and email that I recieved:

"Hey man, I haven't talked to you in a bit. ..... ...... Buddy, I only met Leightyn once but God
has used her and your family in such a huge way in my life. God has opened my eyes to LIFE.
I was just 'getting by'. He was working in me before, but Leightyn was the catalyst for change.
Now He is transforming me. No doubt I still take things for granted, but I'm conscious of it
now. He speaks to me because I spend time with him. I see things in a different light. I'm
TRULY in love with my savior! I'm still praying for y'all and thanking God for you all. The
blog is a blessing. I say all of that to say that I love you and your family is constantly on my

"Wow, all I can say after reading that is THANKS. It is stories like yours that helps me to see
why God chose our little Leightyn. It still hurts, but at the same times makes it a little more
justifiable (if that makes sense). We are truly honored that God has used Lei and our family
for His glory and to bring true change to people's lives. I dont pretend to be as close to God as
I should, or would like to be, but I know that God is working in us and through us. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing how God has changed you. ..... ......Thank you for allowing God to
transform you and use you. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you for the thoughts. Thank
you for your love. Know that we love you to. Hug your wife and kids for me. Pray that God
will continue to use Leightyn's Lifesong and our story to reach others, and most fo all for His
glory. God Bless you my friend. Love You."

We love hearing these stories. Of how people have been genuinely changed. Of how our mighty God has used our precious angel's homegoing for His good. It just goes to show that through the pain, tears, and grief that God is still moving. Keep the stories comming! Keep the prayers comming! Thank you all.

Leightyn's Daddy


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Email From "Ms Kelly"

Hey Missy. Just checking on you. I pray every morning that you'll have a time during the day when your mind and heart are at peace. I can't imagine how you get up and go every day......but you are and that is awesome. I think about Leightyn and you and Landen and Mylea so often. I can't even process how much you and Landen think about Leightyn and how much you miss her. Love you guys and am always lifting you up.

Hey girl! We have adjusted to our new normal. We have our moments and our days, but things are better than I would have thought. Mylea is what gets me through the day. We have kept our normal schedule (library, parks, playgroup, and "school" work). If I didn't have Mylea, I don't think I could get through the day. In the last 3 weeks, she has become Leightyn. Her expressions, attitude, words are Leightyn made over. When I look at her, I see leightyn at that age. I feel guilty that I don't think about leightyn a lot. But when I do, the tears and emotions come. The pictures, videos, kids at church....everything is a constant reminder of what we have missing in our lives. I love to think about her (when I am alone and the emotions can come) but I feel like I have to stay strong for Mylea. I like to sit and look at pictures when Mylea is asleep or at my parents house. I really want to watch some home videos but just haven't done it yet. Mylea talks about her sissy all the time. She likes to tell me stories of the things they did together. She likes to ask questions about leightyn. We bought Mylea a powerwheels tractor for her birthday. She went straight to the passenger side and asked who was going to drive her. Lei always drove her around. She told me the other day that she couldn't drive it because it was sissy's job to drive. This past weekend, I went down to the commentary. It was a better experience than I thought it would be. The dirt pile was the size of her small casket. I told Landen that I really wanted to start digging just so that I could see her again. I know she isn't there but I knew her little body was there. What I wouldn't give to see her again, to hold her, and to hear her sweet little voice. We requested Leightyn's records be sent from both hospitals. We want to know what all she had and what all happened in the short 24 hours that weekend. The nurse had already received a short summary about leightyn. She told Landen that her nephew has the same thing that Leightyn had. The Dr discovered it but there is nothing they can do . They have a Dr coming from England to help them. The little boy (he's 3) doesn't remember his mom and dad, doesn't talk, does nothing. I am so thankful that we had leightyn up until that morning when she didn't wake up. I thank God that we have good memories and no memories of treatments and surgeries. I honestly believe that when I found her and while we were in the driveway waiting on help, she was still with us. She was still breathing and her heart was barely beating. I got to tell her that I wanted her to wake up and that I loved her. I honestly believe that she heard me. When we would talk to her, her tongue would move like she was trying to say something. But I believe that she went to see Jesus sometime between the ambulance ride and St Edwards. I think she was already gone by the time she was in the hospital bed. Wow...I just wrote a really long response!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

10 Weeks

Meeting Baby Bryson
Singing in Church
Putt Putt
Riding the Creekmore train (over and over and over)
Deer Acre's with the youth group
Children's Camp
NWA Botanical Gardens and Rick's Bakery fun day
Landen's Birthday
Leightyn's 5th Birthday (water slide party and Chuck E Cheese party)
Ava Grace's Birthday Party
Church functions
Snow Cones and Taco Bell every Wednesday with Grandad and Jo
Week in Tulsa
8 MOPS playdates
3 different Vacation Bible Schools
Beauty and the Beast Broadway Musical

This is how Leightyn spent the last 10 weeks of her life.

The following story is from a blog I have been following the last 3 or 4 months. I have always quickly read the posts and never thought much about them. Two weeks after Leightyn's death, the dad (who write this blog) posted "Our New Normal". This got my attention and I began to back track and see what all I missed the past few weeks.

His daughter is about 5 or 6. She started having headaches and their journey began....

"Well, Ava had started feeling bad a few days ago as you know. This morning she began acting really abnormal and having (what we found out later was) small seizures. We brought her into the ER and she was immediately raced to MRI where they discovered that her ICP (intra-cranial pressure) was dangerously high. She was operated on within 20 minutes of hitting the front door. They put in a shunt to relieve the pressure."

After doing several test, the doctors discovered a tumor on the brain stem. Sounds familiar...
This next post was written a few days later.

"The not good news was this... her tumor has grown and was blocking the flow of brain fluid which was the reason for the increased pressure. The docs are not hopeful at this point and have pledged their cooperation for anything we need from here forward. They do not expect Ava to make it 3 more months. While that news is terrible, we are still praying for a miracle. God is as capable now as he was when the tumor was smaller.

We are taking the next steps. Lisa and a friend will be taking Ava to a doctor this week (up north) who has had good success in treating GBM in kids. We just have to get her well enough to get there. The docs here expect that she will feel really great in the next few days because the pressure that has been building has been relieved. If she feels great, it will be a great trip."

His daughter then underwent 3 different brain surgeries to get rid of the tumor.

"It's so good to be home, but weird too. This is the first time they have sent us home and said, "medically there is nothing else we can do." So, we are home with Ava. She is not feeling bad. Just sleepy on and off. She nods a lot and gives thumbs up for approval. She is not concerned right now as far as I can tell.

It's nuts. 10 weeks ago Ava was running around playing with her cousins. Right now, she is 3 brain surgeries in and has been given very little time left by the medical professionals. It's very clear to us that we need miraculous healing. We've needed it all along. The biggest difference is I thought this part would come in 18 months, not 2. We are wrestling through it as any parent would. We wonder what in the world God is doing. We wonder what in the world we could have done different. We wonder what in the world. All we know is that God is big and mighty. There is nothing He cannot do. The tough part of that is there are some things He won't do this side of heaven. We just keep praying that healing Ava is not one of them."

When sent home, the Doctors said that there was nothing else to be done and that they would give her 18 months to live. The following blog was written 2 weeks later.

"The last 48 hours are a blur. We're home now, but without a piece of our family and a big piece of our heart. Our Ava went to be with Jesus. 10 weeks to the day of her diagnosis of GBM she was taken from here to heaven."

After I read this post, I couldn't help but feel better (in a bad kind of way). This little girl fought hard for 10 weeks. Every medical possibility was done and it didn't save her. She spent the last 10 weeks of her life fighting. My heart breaks for her family and for what all they went through. God knew that they could handle the treatments.....I don't know if we could have handled it.

Leightyn got to live life till her last breath. We made so many memories that last 10 weeks of her life. I praise God that He allow us to have Leightyn as we knew her....loving life and living it to the fullest. God knew that we probably couldn't handle fighting this horrible tumor and He didn't put us through that.

Time to Clarify

My "Ramblings" post was written during a time where I felt my world was coming crashing down. Satan was having a field day in my life and in my extended families life. I want to clarify some comments that I said. I have debated all week if I should even worry about clearing the air, but God got a hold of me yesterday at church and told me that I had to clear the air. This blog was intended to tell Leightyn's story and as a way to heal. It was never intended to be used for a pity party or to cause hurt in other people's life. Please accept my apology if your feelings were hurt in the previous post.

"How Are You Doing"

Yesterday at church, my Momma Sharon, made a great point about this question. "How are you doing" is a basic question for humans. As you approach someone, you ask "how are you doing" and then that person ask you the same question back. This question is never meant to cause me an emotional's just a common question. am I doing? It depends on the day. There are days that life goes on with our "new" normal. There are days that I just want to cry and throw myself a pity party. We have good days and we have bad days. We have days where it seems unreal and unfair. We have days that we think about all God has done through Leightyn's little life and death...and we are amazed.

So....when you ask me, "How Am I Doing" (and it is ok to ask), my answer will depend on the day. You might be bombarded with emotions and you might get a "minute by minute, moment by moment" response.

There are moments when I see other moms yelling at their kids or making sarcastic remarks about how bratty their kids are...and I want to get in their face and say "wake thankful that you have a child who can be a brat".

I am just as guilty on this one. I can think back (and even now with Mylea) to the many times that I was at my wits end with the girls. That's how it is with little kids. They like to test their parents and see where the boundaries are. My comment was made about no one. I was not pointing fingers at anyone. The last 6 weeks have showed how short life can be and how quickly it can be taken away.

My new motto is "Live With No Regrets". As a Child of God, mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister....I do not want to have regrets for my actions, words, attitudes, and for my life. I want parents to know that your kiddos are a precious gift from God. A gift that He can chose to take back at any moment. Our kiddos belong to God....He just loans them to us. Spend time with your kids. Love them. Praise them. Teach them about Jesus.

Last week when I shared Leightyn's Lifesong with my MOPS Mommas (and I still love those gals....nothing can change how I feel about my mommas!), I ended the talk with two questions. Think about what your answer would be....(1) If your child, friend, family member were to die today, would you have any regrets about the time that you did (or did not) spend with them? and (2) What can you do today to change your regrets towards this person?

It's really hard to understand how we have lost friends through this experience.

Once again, this was just a statement...not intended towards any one in particular. We somtimes feel like that it is easier for people to avoid us than to worry about upsetting us. It's easier to not talk to us than to worry about what to talk about. It's easier to let us work through our problems than to get involved in our healing process.

It stinks that people think they have to be careful with their words and how they act around us.
I realize that yall don't know what to say or do around us. Unless you have been down this road before, you don't know what to do. We just want people to be themselves with us. Like it has always been. Don't be afraid to talk about Leightyn, to ask questions about what happened, to share memories with us. Don't feel like you have to walk on tippy toes around us so that you do not upset us. It's not what people do and say that upsets us. We never know what is going to trigger an emotional breakdown. Yesterday, I went down to the cemetery. I thought that being there would bring on a breakdown, but it didn't. My breakdown came when I heard a song on the radio. Be the friends that you have always been to us. Keep on loving us like you always have.

That's one thing that I love about my MOPS Mommas and my church family. You can feel the love and support as soon as you get around these people. My Mommas have not changed. They are still real with me. We can cry together, vent about our kiddos together, and share each other's experiences. My mommas have been there for me through this entire process. Our church family is absolutely amazing. The cards we have received, the words spoken, and the hugs given at just the right time have gotten us through this time. I thank God that He has surrounded us with a great support group.

I hope this clears the air with some of the confusion I caused. If you still have concerns, please call me or email me!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


As I reread my last post, I realized that it was harsh.....almost mean. I didn't mean to offend anyone and I was not "picking" on certain people. As I wrote the post, I was having an emotional breakdown. Please accept my apology. It was never my intention to hurt feelings or to sound like I was going off on the deep end.

I love my friends that are there to support me and I love having people read Leightyn's Lifesong.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


6 weeks
41 days
984 hours
59,040 minutes

since our lives changed forever...

That's 12 trip to the library for storytime
6 trips to McDonalds for our weekly lunch date
18 church services that Leightyn has not hugged every person in sight
20 days of Kindergarten that she would have loved

and yet.....

life must go on.

"How do you go on with your life?"

That's a question that I get several times a week.

My answer is "I don't know but I have to keep living". How do you bury your baby and continue to live? There is no common answer for this question. To a daily decision I have to make every morning. I have to choose to get out of bed. I have to choose to get ready and get Mylea ready. I have to choose to continue to do the routine we did before our lives changed.

Psalm 34:17-20 -The righteous cry and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken

Daily, I choose to trust God. To trust that He will get me through the day. To trust that He will not put me through more than I can handle at the moment. To choose to glorify Him even though my heart aches.

Psalm 50:15-And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."

I have to continue to live. Mylea deserves the same great childhood that Leightyn had. Mylea deserves the memories and I need the memories. I'm not going to sugar coat my feelings. It sucks! (I don't like that word but it really describes the feeling). It's hard to watch Mylea doing things that Leightyn loved to do. It's hard to see that Mylea has a hard time playing because she's not use to being alone. It's hard to get Mylea to behave with so many people letting her do whatever whenever she wants. It breaks my heart when my once independent child cries gut wrenching tears and pleads with me not to leave her at different activities.

I would give anything to go back to when Leightyn and Mylea were best friends. But I can't. Not here. I have to wait until I get to meet my baby at Heaven's gates. I can't wait for the day when Leightyn gives me tour of Heaven. To see her friends. To hear her stories.

" I am dying from grief; My years shortened by sadness. Misery has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within. But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, "You are my God!" My future is in your hands". Psalm 31:10,14-15

"How Do You Do It"

My answer is "manna". Manna?!?!? Yes, Manna. When the children of Israel were walking around in the wilderness, God told them that He would provide enough manna to sustain them. Every day, I have to remind myself that God will provide the manna that I need to get through the day (really to get through each minute). I have to remember that God will not put me through more than I can handle. Even on the days, when I have reached my limits, I have to remember that if God takes you to it, He will bring you out of it.

Philippians 4:6-7 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

"How Are You Honestly Doing"

I always have to pause when I get this question. Sometimes, I want to reply....well, how do you think I'm doing. I just buried my baby. Mylea is lost. I feel like my world is going to fall into a million pieces at any get the point. Those are the moments when I feel an emotional break down coming on. And if you happen to be the person who is there for the breakdown...well, please accept my apology right now.

Honestly....I have my moments. It's hard to describe how the happiest things in life now bring you sadness. There are times that I have guilt. There are days that I want to scream at every person I see. There are moments when I see other moms yelling at their kids or making sarcastic remarks about how bratty their kids are...and I want to get in their face and say "wake thankful that you have a child who can be a brat". It breaks my heart (actually makes me mad) when I hear and see people taking advantage of Leightyn's death. It's really hard to understand how we have lost friends through this experience. It stinks that people think they have to be careful with their words and how they act around us.

WOW!!! Guess I was needing to do some venting tonight!!!

So....back to the question.
There are many days that I have to stay busy.
Busy to get through the day.
Busy to keep from going insane.
Busy to keep the reality of what has happened off my mind.
And, to be honest, busy to keep from facing reality.

I got to share (or more like ramble on and on and on) Leightyn's Lifesong with my MOPS Mommas this week. I just have to say that I love those gals. I honestly do not know what I would do without them. (If you want info on our group....let me know. There's my advertisement for the week). When I got home, I was on cloud nine the rest of the afternoon. I just LOVE getting to talk about Leightyn. It's like she is still with us when we get to share her story.

And as type mind is blank. I am speechless (for once). I can't even think of a way to end this post or a way to bring it all together so that it makes, I guess you can take it like it is. Maybe the next post will be less ramblings........who knows!?!?!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You Following???

"Oh, I follow your blog"

"My friend in (enter state name) is reading your blog"

"How do I follow your blog?"

"How can I leave a comment about some thing you have wrote?"

These are comments and questions I hear a lot. Please "follow" my blog. I would love to know where Leightyn's story has gone and where it is headed.

It you click "follow", on the right side of the screen, you will receive emails letting you know that I have updated. You will have to create a profile, but, you can choose not to have a picture.

If you have a comment, you can click comment after the article, and leave me a comment.

I hope this helps the ones that have had questions.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week of Milestones

Dear Leightyn,

I survived a week of "firsts" without you here. Somehow, all week, I was able to put a smile on my face and act like everything was ok. Even though I had a smile on my face, deep inside I was ready to scream and throw a fit.

Last Sunday was Mylea's 3rd birthday. You know how I love decorating for birthdays. I debated all week if I should decorate or not. People told me "she won't know", "she won't care about the decorations", and "maybe you should wait till next year". But I couldn't wait, I had to decorate. In my heart I knew that Mylea deserved the same birthday memories that you had. So, daddy and I decorated the house at 11 pm. I used the same decorations that were used to celebrate you turning 5 just two months ago. I will never forget your 5th birthday. You stayed at Grandad and Jo's the night before. Jo brought you home and as soon as your walked in, I started singing to you. I remember you looking around at the balloons, streamers, and banners. With bright shining eyes, you looked up at me and said "Thanks you, Thank you Momma". It melted my heart to see you so excited over my Dollar Tree decorations.

Mylea opened her presents when we got home from church. I finally broke down and decided it was time to get her the power wheels John Deer tractor. You both loved to play on it at Toys R Us and you both begged for it as a present. As soon as Mylea unwrapped it, she hopped in and was ready to go. Only, instead of sitting on the drivers side, Mylea sat in the passenger seat and wanted to know who was going to drive her around. She didn't know what to do. Mylea was so use to you driving her at Grandad and Jo's. She was confused how it was going to work. She said (and I will never forget this), "I can't drive, my sissy drives".

On Tuesday night we had a small family dinner and party at Chuck E Cheese. We went to the new La Huerta (next to ToysRUs). It was tough walking in there. I kept thinking about all the Thursday lunches we had at "the peanut place" (as you called it). You loved to go eat peanuts and steak for lunch. The party at Chuck E Cheese was different. This was my first time to go with out you. There were so many new games that you would have loved. I kept catching my self calling out your name and looking for your smiling face.

Wednesday was the first day of MOPS. We sure do love our playgroup. It was weird walking in with just Mylea. Last year I always had you, Mylea, and Macy tagging along behind me. It was hard on Mylea. She moved to Ms Denises' room. She knew all about Ms Denise. You told her so many stories about what to expect in this room. Every momma writes the names of their children on their nametags. As I held my nametag, the tears began to fall. I know you are my child and in my heart you always will be. But as I stood with Ms Kim and Ms Natalie, I didn't know what to write. I just looked up at the other mommas with tears and said "I don't know what names to write". I wanted to write your name, I just didn't know it I was suppose to. The mommas looked at me with tears and said "write Leightyn, she is and always will be your child".

Wednesday night was the kick off party for Awanas. Man, you loved Awanas. You couldn't wait to move up to the Sparkie class. You had already taught Mylea the motto and key verse for Cubbies. Mylea was so excited to finally be a Cubbie. For the kick off party, we had an inflatable obstacle course in the gym. I kept thinking to myself, "Leightyn would have loved this". As I watched the kids play and have fun, I kept thinking to myself "Leightyn should be here". When Bro Dale blew his whistle and every one lined up for pledges, I cried my eyes out. Lei Baby, I could see you standing on the lines proud to be a Cubbie. So happy to be at church.

Thursday afternoon, Daddy and I made a quick trip to St Louis. Travis' little girl was having her second open heart surgery early Friday morning. After surgery, Daddy and I went back to see Kylie. As soon as I saw Kylie, in her bed with tubes, a flood of emotions came rushing back. I held them in as best as I could until I got back to the waiting room. It brought back so many emotions. I was so happy that they had a success story, but in my heart I wondered why our success story was on a different scale.

While we were in St Louis, Grandad took Mylea to the coffee shop. I know it was hard for him, but Mylea loved it. I think that Grandad is trying to teach her how to make the best coffee. You may need to remind Mylea how many times you have to stir the coffee.

Today (Saturday) was Mylea's birthday party. She couldn't wait for her big big slide. We had the same water slide that we had at your party...just two months ago. While helping me decorate with balloons, Mylea said that she wanted to send all her balloons to sissy. She let 5 or so balloons go before the party. We stood and watched them make their way to Heaven. It was a bittersweet moment. At the end of your party, you and Mylea sent all the balloons to Grandma Nancy in Heaven. When Mylea's party was over, she sent the rest of her balloons to you.

Daddy said he saw you in a dream. You told him that "you are having so much fun" in Heaven. I know you are! I bet you finally got to climb Zaccheus' tree (you were always so interested in that tree).

I have so many more stories that I can't wait to share with you. But right now, I am drained...emotionally and physically. I need some sleep (for once) so that I can try to function another day.

I love you Lei Babe. I miss you so much. My heart aches for you.

But I know that I will see you again !


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To Whom It May Concern....

Thank you for the beautiful flowers! I was so surprised when I pulled in the drive-way and saw this on my front patio. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You have no idea how rough and tough my day had been. You have no idea how the flowers made me feel. Thank you for thinking of me on the one month anniversary of losing Leightyn. Thank you for being a rainbow on my gloomy day.

Mylea says thanks for sending some lemons. She wants to know if she can drink the lemon water in the vase :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Overwhelmed....In A "God-Thing" Way

August 11, 2010

Today was the day....the day we would lay our baby to rest. What just happened the last few days? How were we going to make it through the service?

Leightyn's service was at 10:00 at Rye Hill Baptist Church. Of course, I arrived at 9:00 in full panic mode. Did the power point work? Were the pictures going to look right on the screen? Did the praise music make it back from the funeral home? Were the pictures set up for people to look at? Did all the guys get a hair bow to wear on the shirts? Did more pages get added to the books? And so one.....

At 9:00, there were already people sitting in the sanctuary. Who comes to a funeral an hour early? At 9:30, the sanctuary was filling up. At 10:00 it was standing room only. Different people have estimated that over 550 people attended the funeral. WHAT?!?!?! 550 people came to same good-bye to my girl! I was overwhelmed when I walked in. Not necessary with emotions of dread but with emotions of "oh my! look at how many people came out to support us"!

The service began with the song "I Still Believe". As the song played, Landen and I sang out as a prayer to God. "

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I don't know where to start
But its now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It's my heart I see you prepare
But its now, that I feel, your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Well the only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers well in brokenness
I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know that you are near

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe

Bro Dale (our children's minister) stood and read Leightyn's obituary. He shared his last moments with Leightyn. It was the Sunday night (just a week and a half earlier). The kiddos had gone to get their snack. Leightyn stayed back to play with a Mr. Potato Head. Bro. Dale sat in the floor and made silly potatoes with Lei Lei. I'm thankful that he got a few minutes alone with her.

"Tuncle" Lloyd stood up to share how Lei changed his life. I will never forget how he said "this little five year old had more faith in God than I do". Lloyd shared how Leightyn was excited to start school. She told Lloyd that daddy told her to pray every day before she ate her food. Leightyn told us that she was going to pray and she didn't care if people made fun of her.

We showed a 20 minute slide show of Leightyn through the years. As I watched each picture flash across the screen, I was instantly taken back to that exact moment. She was so happy. Leightyn was so healthy. She loved life and lived it to the fullest. How did we go from all the happy moments in life to such a drastic life change in a matter of hours????

Our next song choice was "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns. I love this song. This song described exactly how Landen and I felt all weekend, at that very moment, and still to this day.

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 You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
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
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

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

Bro. Mike stood and talked about Leightyn. He talked about how we chose to glorify God through this situation. Bro Mike also gave advice (from a Biblical perspective) of where to go from here. He went through the plan of salvation and then asked everyone to close their eyes. Bro. Mike went through the sinners prayer. After the prayer, he asked people to raise their if they had prayed the prayer with him. Bro. Mike asked that people keep their hands up so that he could get a count.

1 hand

2 3 hands

4 hands (I was so happy!)

5 6 7 8 9 10 hands (what?!?!?!)

11 12 13 14 15 hands (I was in tears, Landen was in tears, Bro. Mike was in tears)

16 17 18 19 20 hands (I'm feeling very overwhelmed at this point)

21 hands (Bro Mike is crying so hard that he can't continue to count)

21 people! What! 21 people came to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior at Leightyn's funeral. Praise God! As my dad said, "who comes to a funeral to get saved....let alone 21".

Bro. Mike ended his part with one of Leightyn's prayers. She had the sweetest prayers. It is something that I miss hearing daily.

"Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for mommy, and daddy, and Mylea. I love them beary much. Thank you for dying on the cross. In Jesus' Name, Amen!"

What a God-Thing we just experienced!