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  1. As always you share some great info. My go to is actually a song, “Oceans” by Hillsong. It is to me a form of meditating on the strength God provides. The comfort in that. The reminder. I have shared it with others as well who have not heard the song. It is a staple for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh I love that…the idea of having a song to go to when you need something. Truly, when I am so upset or stressed sometimes my brain can hardly read (even the Bible at times) or pray, but a song–? that is brilliant. I think I’ll try that next time!! Much love to you-

  2. Frannie Tennant says:

    I too was one of the mum’s who followed Daisy’s journey, wept and laughed and wept some more….God was made larger than life and I think I too thought of course he would heal Daisy, I mean He was God and the Merricks were amazing Christians and Daisy’s journey was a journey of faith, but I too remember so clearly Britt saying that he would Love God and follow God even if Daisy didn’t live…. My husband died the year before in 2012 and I still had two young boys at home and I wasn’t sure if my child died whether I would make it…..I am now older and wiser and with faith even a mustard seed size of faith you just put one foot in front of the other and God is able to perform miracles with us.So many people I think followed Daisy and saw the face of the Merrick family and were touched. When Daisy was first diagnosed my kids and I sent her a fluffy animal and for the next three years we felt we knew them all personally. Kate writes beautifully and of course I will be reading her next book!

  3. I usually come right out & tell new friends too much, too ๐Ÿ˜‰ Glad I’m not alone in that lol!

    I turn to the Bible & Jesus for encouragement (no particular book, just wherever I’m being led) but also my husband. He always says he’s my biggest cheerleader & he always is ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m blessed with a very supportive extended family, too!

  4. Would love to read this! I’ve followed the Merrick’s story since the early days as well! “When Sparrows Fall” will always be a favorite sermon. I like listening to hymns during times of trials. <3

  5. I will read the book whether I win one or not, but thanks for the chance!

  6. Sounds like an tough but important read.

  7. Ann Langford says:

    This book looks like a ‘must read’ book for me. As noted, everyone has a story. Some of those stories include the wrenching loss of a child. Mine does. My child’s disease was addition to drugs. It took him away from us long before God took him home. Grief as a process that started long before he died and will always be a part of my fiber. I am always encouraged when i read how other mothers have handled this ultimate loss. During the journey through grief (someone else wrote a book by that name, which I have shared with many since it was gifted to me), my husband and family were tremendous sources of earthly comfort and understanding. There were a couple of very close women friends who were always ‘there’. But my faith in God sustained me at the lowest points. Look forward to reading the book

    1. Oh Ann…My heart just aches for what you’ve been through. I’m so sorry. I am sure the pain never goes away but so strong of you to even comment and share your story. Thank you. Yes, you will find more encouragement through Kate’s book I am sure. Bless you friend.

  8. Rachel Ducote says:

    I am excited to learn about this book! I lead a grief support group and have a friend in mind that I would love to give this to!

  9. It’s such a small, small world, isn’t it? Funny how that works. I’ve never heard of Kate until I read this, but I’ll be looking more into her story now. I tend to pray when I need help and/or inspiration. I struggle with many things (though reading through these comments, I feel selfish for calling mine ‘problems’), but I have to constantly ask God for more grace. I’m trying, and I fail, and I try again. My husband, family, and friends are always there for me when I need them, as well. And I know every time I click over to this site, I’ll be inspired in some way, usually right when I need it.

  10. I find so much encouragement from my Jesus Calling devotionals. I battle PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, and depression so I’m constantly looking for more sources of encouragement to add to my toolbox. Can’t wait to read this book! Thanks for sharing! โค๏ธ

    1. Oh Shelley–that is a lot to deal with, I’m so sorry. I also love Jesus Calling Devotionals. So good. Yes, this book will touch your heart for sure!! Much love–

  11. Stephanie Henry says:

    I am a grieving daughter who recently lost my Mom. I haven’t followed Kate and her family’s story but I’m looking forward to reading her book soon…tears and all. New blog follower from Kailua MOPS

    1. Oh Stephanie–SO glad you found me…Loved meeting you Kailua girls at MOPS. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I am so very sorry about your mom. That must be so very difficult. Especially at this season of life. I will pray for you. I know you’ll love this book too. XO

  12. Jamie Skelton says:

    Hi Monica ๐Ÿ˜Š The most encouraging book of the Bible for me is the Song of Solomon. The Lord led me there during the darkest time of my life to be renewed by His steadfast love. That will be my favorite “resting place” for the rest of my days.
    I came across a video of Kate speaking some time back and she was soooo good. I imagine her book is quite a blessing. Thank you Kate for allowing us into such a sacred place in your heart & soul.

  13. I turn to the Lord. Whether it’s through prayer, scriptures or music. He is so constant and loving. I also have my older sister who is my best friend and my wonderful husband. They are such a great support system.
    I, like you imagine hard things happening to one of my kids when I read sad stories of other’s difficult situations. It breaks my heart at what others have gone through. Bless Kate and her family. What a hard thing to lose a child. Hugs to them and to you for sharing this wonderful opportunity with all of us.

  14. Love that little bit from here book. ๐Ÿ™‚ I go to the Lord with my hurt and just read my Bible reaaaalllly sllllooowww. I’d Love to read this book but more than that I am so sorry Kate, losing your sweet baby girl.

  15. yes, I remember praying for the Merrick’s, and know many people who know them, since growing up in Ventura! What a fun story of how the Lord brought you two together, love that!
    Fun fun giveaway, thanks!

  16. I’d like to say I look to Jesus first, but I also look to both my husband and best friend. So so excited for this book!

  17. Valerie Rajnic says:

    I have been battling a debilitating neuromuscular autoimmune disease for the past 19 years in May. I can relate to the ups and downs of living with a disease with no medical cure. I’ve come to accept that sometimes there is no earthly cure, so I turn to God’s glory for encouragement. I know that I may not be healed while in this life, but I am already healed in eternity, and if God’s glory and purpose is magnified through this disease in my life here, then I truly feel blessed that I can honor Him in spite of AND because of it!

  18. Berit Kawaguchi says:

    So looking good forward to reading Kate’s book, Monica!

    1. Berit Kawaguchi says:

      Oops, I missed the point… I look to my husband and few besties for encouragement.

      1. Haha–It’s fine whatever you have to say. And you will LOVE the book for sure! XO

  19. Heather B. says:

    For encouragement, I mostly look to my husband and kids(ages 15 and 21). My husband is always here for me and is my biggest source of support and homeschooling has really deepened the relationship between my children and me.

    1. Yay–I love that answer!! Thanks for sharing and much aloha to you!

  20. Would love to read this beautiful Mama’s journey

  21. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  22. Most of the time I turn to my husband and sister, after I have cried and kicked and thrown a big fit to Jesus. (Yes, I’m a little over 30, and still have tantrums). I love reading the Psalms and my heart gets full of joy when I read them. I also like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes when trying to seek wisdom and understanding. Acts of the Apostles and The Epistles help me when I feel sel-pitty.
    I like reading books about practical Life in general. Inspirarional. Informative. I don’t read fiction much, unless it’s a children’s book. I LOVE CHILDREN’s BOOKS: Dr. Seuss! โค๏ธ (But not into the Sci-Fi books either). I find encouragement, joy, happiness, and growth through reading.
    Thank you, Monica for sharing this adventure of how God destined you to meet this unknown friend you met through prayer! He definitely works in mysterious ways! Hopefully one day she moves to HI! ๐Ÿ˜œ ๐ŸŒด ๐ŸŒŠ โ˜€๏ธ

    Kate, I have no words to express how sorry I feel about your loss! I just can’t imagine, but through your words and journey, you will give so much strength and courage to many parents who might be facing something similar! God bless you! ๐Ÿค— ๐Ÿ’•

  23. I would love a copy! What an inspirational story… Monica, do you ever do speaking engagements? Not too far from my home is a “mega-church” called Willow Creek Church. While it isn’t my home church, I am encouraged and uplifted each time I attend a special event here. I was at a women’s event not too long ago and it kept occurring to me that you could really encourage a lot of the women in the audience. Not that a writer who is also a home-schooling mom of 4 has much free time, but I thought I would share my thought.

    1. Shannon–You are the best! Thank you for thinking of me. Yes, I do a bit of speaking but only more recently. I have known that my “calling” is first to my family so for many years I chose to use the home computer for getting any messages out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I am open to more speaking as my family is growing up. Feel free to tell Willow Creek about me, haha. Much love to you–

  24. My mom is who I turn to the most for everything and she’s pretty amazing. And constant prayers ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Linea Marie says:

    Lovely post reflecting how small the world really is and always, God is Love. Linea Marie

  26. Sometimes I call a friend, but most of the time I say a prayer. Or I read inspirational quotes on pinterest or in the Bible.

  27. My friend needs to read this book! I will have to get one for both of us.
    Kate, Thank you for sharing your story!

  28. I’m walking through something similar right now. It’s hard to turn to anyone, because my emotions are so raw. It helps to focus on breathing and take one day at at time, enjoying the moments I have now with family members.
    Thanks for sharing!

  29. Stephanie Stoll says:

    I hadn’t heard Kate’s story before watching the live stream for IF: Gathering this February. When I need encouragement, I usually get it from my husband. I’d love to read this book, and winning a copy would be super-special! Thanks for the chance!

  30. Annette Walters says:

    I love this! Monica, I love how you said you wanted Kate to move to Hawaii so y’all could be friends! That is so something I would have said and then immediately start obsessing about how weird she would think I was!!!

    We’ve been indirectly connected to the Merrick family since we lived in Carpinteria in 2008. We lived next door to Dominic and Emily Balli, and Dom was the worship leader at Reality at that time. I met Kate once or twice and thought she was so kind. I used to hear Daisy and Selah (Dom and Emily’s daughter) playing sweetly together out my window. Anyway, I was one of the millions of people who prayed for Daisy from a far. I was so touched by the Merricks faith and grace and love for each other. I am excited to read her book, that’s for sure! And am hoping I’ll get to see her speak soon!

    I get encouragement from friends, and my husband, of course!

    I have many favorite books! Too many to list. But I think my favorite book in the Bible is Ephesians.

    Thanks for sharing your stories with us! You are a great source!

  31. Heather S. says:

    I loved reading how God plunked you 2 together on the beach! What a precious God timed friendship turned to real face to face friendship! Kindred spirits knit together as sisters in Christ. Beautiful. This book sounds wonderful.
    Aside from the Lord first, I’m so thankful for my husband who is a safe place to lean into amidst the swirling hard. Sometimes though, a fellow woman is such precious gift to go to – I’m so thankful for my best friend who is such a stabilizing force of truth when I’m in the midst of a rough patch. She loves, supports, and points me to the Lord & His truth. It’s a gift I don’t take for granted.

  32. Wow Monica I loved how you kept your “introductory ” real and honest. I would love to win this book and after reading it put it in my church’s library. Kate is a testimony to God’s healing powers. I have seen families fall apart and lose all hope in the face of tragedy such as this. I thank God that Kate wrote this book.

    I turn to Jesus, my husband and friends for encouragement and strength when dealing with pain and suffering and every day life. My prayer closet is my favourite place to go and talk to God. I would really appreciate your prayers right now as I am dealing with a very difficult and dangerous group of people. This is my Bible verse right now.

    Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christโ€™s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. Weโ€™re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. Iโ€™m absolutely convinced that nothingโ€”nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkableโ€”absolutely nothing can get between us and Godโ€™s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
    – Romans 8:37-39 (MSG)

    1. Oh that is so well said in the Message! Thank you for sharing. Praying for you now. Blessings to you–

  33. Joelle Myers says:

    I would absolutely love a copy of this book!
    Not only would I myself love to read it, but I also lead a MOMs group and we are in the process of looking for our book to read together next year!

    The past 3 months have been difficult because of family health and concerns with not only my precious one year old but also my dad, the rock of our family. As I have spent hours hurting and fearing what will come next, I am beyond thankful for an incredible support system of family, amazing friends and the best husband. I am truly blessed.

    I read your blog and love every post, but don’t often comment. Thank you for the wisdom and encouragement you always seem to pour into me!

    1. Oh thank you so much Joelle. I’m sorry for the season you are in…sounds very hard. :/ I am sure the Lord will give you many treasures in the midst of it. Sending aloha your way. XO

  34. Aaaaahhhhhh! Talk about a divine appointment between you and Kate! I’d say “What are the odds?!,” but the odds were pretty good, apparently. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love that y’all have continued your online-beachside friendship and lovelovelove that you’ve joined forces to encourage and influence other women for God! (And holy moly, that challah bread. Unreal!)

    As for encouragement, my dear husband gives it freely. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also been blessed to have not one, not two, but five BFFs (and we’re all tight with each other). We have one of those epic group text threads that’s been going for literal years (if you don’t stay on top of it, you pretty much have the text equivalent of War and Peace to read later :P). We share everything from funny stories to pictures of our day to prayer requests. Things aren’t always perfect, and sometimes tensions arise, but God helps us work it out and helps us all come out stronger in Him and in our friendships.

    My first introduction to Kate Merrick was actually at this year’s IF:Gathering. Somehow I’d never heard of her before (!), but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to listen to her and Brett. Her story about Daisy was so raw. I don’t have children yet, but she cut straight to the quick with how their journey with Daisy transformed them all, transformed their relationship with Christ. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and profound.

    Kate made the most striking statement, and it’s stuck with me since February. To paraphrase (perhaps poorly ๐Ÿ™‚ ), she said that if you’d asked her why she served others and had joy prior to Daisy’s diagnosis and passing, when their church was growing and the blessings were flowing, she would have said that it was because she loves Jesus. But if she were asked that same question after experiencing such fierce loss, she said she’d tell you that it was because Jesus loves her.

    WOW. That’s a perspective change right there, and it was a perspective change for me as well. And it’s Gospel-truth too, found right in 1 John 4:19! “We love because he first loved us” (NLT). Can I get an “amen”?!

    So many thanks to Kate for being brave enough to share her story and share what God taught her, regardless of how painful it can be to recall the dark days. And many thanks to you, Monica, for spreading the love and reminding us all of the importance of fellowship, encouragement, and good ol’-fashioned sisterhood. <3

    1. Oh snap! Double comment! D: Lo siento!

      1. it happens a lot–silly technology. I never mind hearing from you twice. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for being here! aloha

    2. Oh Rennie–yes, “Amen!” I just love you and your heart. That quote is crazy-good. I need to hang it up to see every day. Beautiful. Also–I think your best friend texting circle sounds amazing. That itself is a true gift from God. Good friendships do not come easily. Sending love and always so blessed to hear from you!

  35. Mark Heinze says:

    Growing up in Santa Barbara I recall my first surfboard was from Al’s small shop, nothing more than a hole in the wall. I had to step over Kim’s dog to get in and I got my first board on my birthday and kept it next to my bed. This was in 1974! The boards had the logo of the Channel Islands in those days. This started a long line of surfboards from Al, and it was always fun to see him shape around the back of the shop and save up for the next board.
    I remember when all said Brett was born and now to read about his wonderful family and see him serving the lord in Carp. is a real joy. This is a wonderful family and I am glad that Monica and her wonderful family were able to meet the Merricks.

    1. Mark! What a fun story–so glad you shared that! Love the small worlds moments and when stories circle back around. Thank you for taking the time to share. Big blessings to you-

  36. I just heard Kate at our local If conference. I can’t wait to read her book!

  37. Elizabeth says:

    I had the opportunity to listen to Kate speak at this year’s IF:Gathering and her words gripped my heart. For encouragement, I turn to my husband and a few dear sisters in Christ. Thanks so much for this opportunity! I love your blog!

  38. This is my first introduction to Kate and now I really want to know her and I look forward to reading her book. ๐Ÿ™‚
    For encouragement in hard times, I look to the Bible. (Not necessarily a particular book of the Bible because I’ve experienced the Holy Spirit pulling out truths that speak to the moment from all over the Bible and from accounts in the Bible that I’ve read time and again but didn’t notice a particular detail that He points out to me: such as the storm didn’t stop until Jesus and Peter got back in the boat, which meant that there was a time that Peter was walking on the water, holding Jesus’ hand, and the storm still raged. The presence of a storm doesn’t mean the absence of Jesus but as a follower of Jesus we can hold His hand in the midst of it.)
    I also have been blessed with godly family & friends who offer wonderful encouragement & wisdom in difficult times.
    Thanks again for your blog and this blog post. I’m always encouraged by it and I’m looking forward to looking into Kate’s book. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Tina–thank you so much for that awesome, encouraging comment. So glad you are here and I really appreciate the kind words. You’ll love this book for sure!! Much aloha to you!

  39. Andria Guerrero says:

    Our church family is where I always turn, after God of course! I just attending an IF:Local and heard Kate speak. LOVED listening to her and he husband! I’d love to read her story.

  40. Emily Costantine says:

    My dad just suddenly died. My mom has stage 4 metastatic cancer. I know this is small in comparison to losing a child but it is a wilderness period for me. I have found Priscilla Shrier’s Bible study ‘One in a Million’ to be AMAZING as it teaches that GOD is with us and holding us through each wilderness period. I am so blessed to have a great group of ladies that are going through the study with me.

    1. Emily–Oh I am so sorry to hear about your dad and mom. That is NOT small stuff in any way. It’s heavy and very hard. I am praying for you now. I haven’t done that study but am marking it now. Thank you for sharing. Sending blessings and aloha your way– xo

  41. Carmen Lewis says:

    I cannot wait to read this Book and give to a friend that has just experienced the unthinkable. Her precious baby girl (10 months) did not wake up last Saturday morning. The funeral affected a lot of young mothers and myself in a big way. We all need encouragement right now. Thank you for your blog. I read every one. I have two young boys 7 and 10.

    1. Oh Carmen– thank you so much for sharing. I just stopped and prayed for your friend. I cannot even imagine. I know this book would encourage everyone affected by this loss. I truly appreciate you being a part of my blog community. Blessings to you and your sweet boy-family! XO

  42. I have a group of friends that meets every Wednesday. We walk to a local coffee shop and then walk back. Been doing it since our kids were in 1st grade and now they’re freshmen! We are a great support to each other, don’t know how I’d have survived without them!

  43. How wonderful and brave of her to share her story and inspire others. I look forward to reading it.

    I rely on many sources-books, friends, family, faith. I think the key is being wiling to recognize when you need help and seeking out what you need.

  44. Last week my family had a big scare. My 5 year old daughter’s bloodwork came back showing signs of cancer. We rushed her to a hematologist. They were the scariest hours of my life and truly a test of my faith. Her low blood levels ended up being caused by a virus which the doctor hadn’t seen in her career until this year (most likely due to a strand of the flu). My daughter is now back to normal. (Normal never felt so good!) My husband and I felt like the luckiest people in the world. The experience forever changed us… Being in a cancer hospital – thinking my daughter could be in that bed- and seeing all the poor children who were not as lucky as us. My heart breaks for the Merrick family. I will definitely be reading this book. Life is so precious. “Faith over Fear” God is good and he has good plans for us even if they are not in line with our plans. We need to have faith.

    1. Oh Jamie–What a story. But isn’t it true how good “normal” feels after a scare like that? We should all appreciate “normal” so much more every day. (thank you–I am reminded after reading your comment and it will change my perspective even today!) I know you’ll love this book. God bless you and thank you for taking the time to comment.

  45. Besides praying and reading my bible, I turn to my husband for encouragement. Most of the time I just need an ear to listen and he is great at doing that. I also love how he always brings me back to what scripture says. Another source of encouragement for me is a handful of Christian mom blogs (yours being in that list of course). ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for the Merrick’s, we have been following their story (as well as teachings) for quite a few years! Through the computer we have cried with them and rejoiced with them and I was always so moved and encouraged by Kate’s posts all throughout Daisy’s treatments and her passing.

    “Daisy’s Song”


    1. Kaleena–That is just so beautiful. Love that you have a rock-solid husband like that…it makes such a difference! And happy to hear you have followed the Merricks as well. Thanks for sharing and much love to you!

  46. What a beautiful story of friendship! What a beautiful story of healing! Looking forward to reading…!

  47. Shelly Smith says:

    I have recently found her website to read more about Daisy (my teenage nephew is fighting a battle against Ewings Sarcoma, a cancer that is rare and aggressive!) I have found her blog to be both encouraging and challenging, at the same time!! We are all leaning heavily on the Lord through this battle, and the Bible is my favorite book for comfort. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh I’m so sorry for what your family is going through Shelly. I’m so glad you’ve already found Kate’s site, and I’m sure the book will be super encouraging for all of you. Many blessings!

  48. This book looks amazing! So love the perspective.

  49. I look to my family for encouragement. Being a mommy means I am usually the rock, however, my children and husband keep me anchored when the times get tough. My role model really is my husband (I know corny). He always keeps a level head and helps me see the bigger picture if I ever lose sight of it.
    I am sorry for Kate’s loss. It is generous of her to let us glimpse into a truly heartbreaking situation. It helps us not take any day for granted.

  50. I turn to my husband and few select friends for encouragement (and Jesus!). I love to read and very often draw encouragement from what I am reading … currently loving “present over perfect” and definitely “the broken way”