, Manda

I have started and stopped this post too many times to count.  I’ve thought about what I’d write for months now…but today, I just can’t seem to put it into words.  My heart is broken because one of my very best friends has left us here on Earth to be with Jesus.  Sweet Manda Maxwell met her Savior face to face last night.

Manda was the very first friend I made when we moved to McKinney eleven years ago.  I was instantly attracted to her because of her sweet, sweet spirit.  She will always go down as the nicest person I’ve ever known.

Manda bravely fought cancer three times.  First, as a child, she battled it when she was only five years old.  Twenty three years later, it reared its ugly head and less than a week after giving birth to her firstborn, she began fighting it once more.  Then in September 2014, it came back for a third time.

I started thinking about what Manda would want me to say today and I laughed to myself because she would tell me not to waste my time blogging about it and instead blog about something happy.  I can hear her now…she would be all “Oh, I’m so sorry you have to blog about this today, please don’t worry about it.”.  Ha!  Only Manda would say something like that…but if you knew Manda, then you know I’m right.  After I convinced her that I should indeed blog about her today, I really know in my heart she would say this: She is happy now.  She is made whole, she is healthy, she is with Jesus.  And she would want you to have that kind of peace, joy, hope and happiness that only comes from having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I know Manda…and even though she did not want this to happen and she wanted to live for her babies here on Earth…she wanted more than anything for her death to be a testimony to the Lord.  She did not want cancer to be wasted on her…but instead a testimony to God’s faithfulness.  Because even though she is gone, He has been so faithful to her and her family.  She would tell us that over and over and over again.

Please be praying for Manda’s husband Aaron and their two precious kids, Aiden (8) and Miley (3) along with her parents Ed and Cindy and the rest of their family.  Even though we were not surprised by her passing, we are all so sad.  I personally am grieving in a big way.  I went to the hospital on Friday night and said goodbye and it was hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.  I miss her so much.

After this post, I’m going to take a blogging break for a bit and focus on my family and friends.  After that, Andrew and I are going to take our kids on a little trip and then when we return, I’ll be back.  The Workin’ It link up has been moved to March 20.

Manda Maxwell was there for me on some of the hardest and some of the best days of my life.  She was someone I could always confide in, trust, share with, celebrate with, cry with and call day or night.  She fought this fight like I’ve never seen…and I know she did it for her babies.  Moving forward, we are going to love on Aiden and Miley and tell them all about her and how much she loved them.  This is not goodbye forever…we’ll see her in Heaven some day.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have remained faithful.  2 Timothy 4:6-7

, Manda

, Manda

, Manda

, Manda

, Manda

, Manda

, Manda

, Manda

, Manda

Manda Nicole Maxwell
May 28, 1981 to February 26, 2017


, Manda
  • Leslie Z. February 27, 2017 at 4:44 am

    I’m so sorry for everyone’s loss, Shay. You can tell that her sweet and loving spirit will live on in her babies as well as all of her friends. I’m keeping you, her family and friends in my prayers.

  • Ruth February 27, 2017 at 4:52 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss dear Shay. Sending much love and prayers from Australia xxx

  • kanah February 27, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Ugh…so sorry, Shay. I’ll be praying for both her family and her friends.

  • Bailey Bryant February 27, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Many prayers for all of you and Manda’s family.

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog February 27, 2017 at 5:01 am

    This post makes me so sad; sometimes life is unfair, but she is in a better place and free from suffering now. Enjoy your break, you deserve it. I look forward to your posts when you come back with stories of new adventures.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • ELizabeth February 27, 2017 at 5:02 am

    So sorry for your loss. Praying for her two babies, her family, and her friends.
    May God give the peace that only He can give to her friends, family, and you.

  • Susan Jeffries February 27, 2017 at 5:08 am

    I am so sorry for your entire community of friends and family. But what a gift this amazing woman was to all of you. I will be praying for peace for all of you, especially her parents, husband, and babies.

  • Lauren February 27, 2017 at 5:11 am

    A beautiful post celebrating a beautiful life. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your friend, this must be a truly devastating time. Take good care of yourself xo

  • Kathy February 27, 2017 at 5:21 am

    I am so sad to read this; you have portrayed her life and witness so well, that you grieve, but not as those who have no hope. Praying for her family and those of you who are her friends. How wise and thoughtful to take a break and focus on her loves and yours.

  • Elspeth Mizner February 27, 2017 at 5:25 am

    I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss Shay! My thoughts and prayers will not only go out to her family but you and her friends as well. Trust in the Lord with all your heart!! Continued thoughts and prayers!!

  • Erika Slaughter February 27, 2017 at 5:28 am

    You’re so right! That’s exactly what Manda would have said. She was always thinking about others before herself and it showed in everything she did. A beautiful post for our Manda. Love you, friend. XO

  • Stacee Adams February 27, 2017 at 5:29 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. She was way too young. Prayers for her family and friend.

  • Eileen February 27, 2017 at 5:31 am

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend. I have been following her story since you first posted it and have been praying for her family every since. I will continue to do so. God bless you all.

  • Sarah February 27, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Tears 🙁 🙁 🙁 I am so sorry. I will be praying hard for her family and friends. May she rest in peace with Him.

  • Gentry February 27, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Shay I am so incredibly sprry for you, your family, Mandas family & all your friends. Her life certainly was a testimony but I certainly doesn’t make the loss any easier. You all will be in my prayers. Enjoy your break and hug those babies tight. Sending lots of love!

  • Sheaffer Sims February 27, 2017 at 5:40 am

    YES! That is EXACTLY what Manda would have said! She was the best of all of us. What a heartfelt tribute. Love you, friend!

  • Narci February 27, 2017 at 5:40 am

    What a beautiful post, friend! And ao tru about Manda! Love you! Xo

  • Amy February 27, 2017 at 5:40 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My heart just aches for you, her precious children & the rest of Manda’s friends & family. I will be praying for peace during this time for all of you.

  • Narci February 27, 2017 at 5:41 am

    What a beautiful post, friend. And, so true about our Manda! Love you, friend!!

  • Emma @ from my little pink couch February 27, 2017 at 5:42 am

    I am so sorry … love, prayers, & hugs ❤

  • Lane February 27, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Shay, I’m so so sorry for your loss and am praying for you and Manda’s friend and family.

    You might already have this link but my friend Jennifer Clouse passed away from cancer in August and she gave a little class on heaven in February at Watermark Community Church in Dallas. I think it might really encourage you during this time. She was an amazing Bible teacher. Here is the link to her class if you’re interested in listening to it. Watermark also has an app so you can easily listen to her on your phone too.

    • Tara February 27, 2017 at 6:14 am

      Thanks for sharing this link!! I need it 🙂

  • Kacy Watts February 27, 2017 at 5:46 am

    I read your blog everyday and I am heartbroken for that family and for you. Prayers for Aaron, Aiden and Miley and all of Manda’s family and friends. So sorry, Shay.

  • Carly February 27, 2017 at 5:46 am

    May God guide her safely Home

  • Kaleigh February 27, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Praying for each and everyone one of you. It sounds like Manda was such a kind hearted person and I can imagine how lucky you feel to have known her. Thoughts are with you and her family ❤

  • Laura Dille February 27, 2017 at 5:50 am

    I have never lost a friend before. I am so sorry, Shay, and don’t have the words to say. I remember praying for Manda when you posted about her before. Shay, I will sincerely miss seeing you daily online but I think this is a great decision for you and your family during this time. Hug those babies of yours. Hope to see you back SOON <3.

  • Maya February 27, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Praying for you, your family and friends, and of course Manda’s family. Beautiful post.

  • Bre February 27, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Shay, I’m so sorry for your loss. Manda sounds like a very very special & sweet person. Thinking of all of you during this difficult time.

  • donelladulwort February 27, 2017 at 6:09 am

    So thankful for redemption and resurrection, praying for all of Manda’s family and friends. Donna

  • Connie February 27, 2017 at 6:11 am

    I am so sorry to hear this. Breaks my heart. Very sad. Many prayers for her family and friends. May she rest in piece. Love to all!

    • Connie February 27, 2017 at 6:12 am


  • Carly M February 27, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Also enjoy your break with your sweet family and friends. I’ve experienced a number of losses in the last year. It’s so interesting that God makes this terrible season of grief also a special time to be together with the people He’s put in our lives. It sounds like your beautiful friend would also want that.

  • Tara February 27, 2017 at 6:12 am

    My heart goes out to you and all that have loved her and especially to her kiddos. Thank you for building messages of faith around this loss. Thank you for helping her kids to continue to know and feel her love. I lost my mom in Sept and I desperately want someone to be doing this for me but since I’m grown, people don’t think I need that I’m guessing because they aren’t giving that to me. And I want to tell you that you are amazing for recognizing how you can help. Glad you are taking this time away for healing and love with your family. Peace and prayers to y’all. And please Lord continue to let the scientists find a cure and very fast I pray!

    • Sanna February 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Tara, after reading your comment, I just wanted to reach out. I am so sorry for your immense loss. I know I am just one little person, and a stranger to you, but I just wanted you to know that I know what you mean, when you say that it seems like people don’t think you need as much when you are an adult. Pain and sadness can be so very lonely, even if you are surrounded by other people, especially when you are an adult. Just wanted to tell you that your comment didn’t get lost in a sea of comments today…..

  • Jenny February 27, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Tears……My heart aches for you all. What a wonderful testament to your dear friend. Sending prayer and hugs to you all.

  • Lauren Austin February 27, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Shay I’m really sorry for your loss. I never met Manda but through your blog I feel like I knew her. She was blessed to have such sweet friends through you all. She is in the arms of Jesus with a new, cancer -free body and that is something to celebrate. I’m praying for Aaron and her kids, I just can’t imagine how sad they are and how hard adjusting to their new normal will be.

  • Lori Reggio February 27, 2017 at 6:17 am

    So sorry for the loss of this sweet soul. May she rest in the arms of Jesus. My prayers are with her family.

  • Dustie February 27, 2017 at 6:19 am

    So sorry for your loss, Shay. Everyone she has touched will be in my prayers. Such a beautiful tribute.

  • Cindi Palma February 27, 2017 at 6:25 am

    The Lord brought Manda to my mind two weeks ago and I prayed for her and her family. The Holy Spirit, no doubt, prompted me, as I only “know” her through your and Schaeffers’s blogs. But her faith in the fight and heart for Jesus was and is inspiring! Praying her legacy of love and faith will impact all those who hear it, for their salvation and sanctification, and mostly for God’s Glory!

  • Lisa N February 27, 2017 at 6:34 am

    May God bless and comfort Manda’s family, friends and loved ones as you go through the days, weeks and months ahead. There are just no words adequate, but just know that our prayers are with you all.

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life February 27, 2017 at 6:36 am

    My heart breaks reading this Shay. I am so sorry for your loss. Manda was an amazing person, that’s for sure.

  • Krystal February 27, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Dear Shay,
    It’s really hard to find the right words to say during times like this, but you did so beautifully. What a lovely tribute to your friend, and what an incredible testimony her life was for the Lord. I never personally knew Manda, but have followed her journey and have been inspired by her love for Jesus and her faithfulness even during the most difficult of circumstances. My friend Alyssa passed away from cancer in 2014. She too had a husband and two sweet babies and loved the Lord. Manda’s story has reminded me so much of Alyssa’s, and my heart is breaking for you and for all who loved her. I will continue to be praying for y’all. ❤️

  • Suzanne February 27, 2017 at 6:52 am

    What a beautiful post in her memory! I lost my brother when he was just 34 years old and he left behind a 6 year old daughter and a 6 month old baby. It’s an extremely difficult thing to grasp but knowing we will all reunite in Heaven made it a bit easier to get through the truly terrible days. Grieve, cry, laugh and love her memories! Praying for all of those who loved her.

  • Whitney Pegram February 27, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Beautifully said. Praying for her family & her girlfriends! Enjoy your family time ❤.

  • Christine February 27, 2017 at 6:54 am

    So so sorry… I didn’t know her, but you can clearly see the light and joy in her smile. What a special person. I will be praying for her family and friends. Hugs to you all!

  • Annette February 27, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort… (2 Corinthians). As a fellow believer in Christ, I pray for compassion and comfort for all of your hearts. Beautiful post for your friend. Jesus be near…

  • Diana February 27, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Losing a best friend at an early age is hard, so very hard. Many prayers.

  • Becky Carl February 27, 2017 at 7:03 am

    This is a beautiful tribute to your sweet friend Manda. Another sweet angel for Jesus. My prayers are for comfort of God’s arms wrapped around her family and all of you, her friends, and the peace and strength that comes only from our Saviour, Jesus. Take your time and love on your family.

  • Kara February 27, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Thinking about you all today. I know how hard this is for you. I love you so very much.

  • Nicole February 27, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I know the pain that comes with losing a friend to cancer and I’m so, so sorry. What peace that comes with knowing her life is a testimony that points to Christ! Praying that her legacy would live on as a constant reminder of what strength and perseverance, of a reminder of Jesus. Also fighting for all of you who will miss her so very much, praying for peace and comfort in the midst of so much pain and loss. ?

  • Julie C. February 27, 2017 at 7:07 am

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. I lost a friend a year & a half ago to cancer as well. She reminds me of Manda…she fought an amazing fight & left behind 2 precious babies. This was a great tribute to your wonderful friend.

  • Kimberly Penson February 27, 2017 at 7:12 am

    What a beautiful post. Come back soon. You have a gift to share. You are a great friend.

  • Lindsay D February 27, 2017 at 7:13 am

    I’m so heart broken for all of you, but especially for her babies. I can’t even begin to imagine. The only comfort in a time like this is that she did have a relationship with Jesus! She touched my life through reading her story. I will be praying. We love you!

  • Erin Port February 27, 2017 at 7:14 am

    What a sweet beautiful tribute. My Aunt died at the same age leaving behind her 2 and 4 year old chikdren. It was not what she wanted, it’s not what we wanted but 16 years later I can attest that her legacy and memory lives on. Her youngest is headed off to her mom’s alma mater next year, we tell stories all the time, we see their momma in them. It still stings, we still miss her but she will never be forgotten. Praying for you all as you move forward. You will rally for her family now as you did before because you all are amazing friends! Xoxo Erin

  • Jennifer February 27, 2017 at 7:21 am

    goodness, I am so so sorry! I have been following on the Manda Strong FB page and saw them announce this weekend that she was in her final moments. I wanted to offer some resources for her kiddos- when they are ready, I have some great grief camps that I can recommend if you want to pass them on. My husband died very unexpectedly in 2011 so I’ve been down this road and my heart breaks so much for her husband. Its a long/hard/painful journey. 🙁 This family is blessed to have such a loving support system…..its what got me through those dark first few months. I’m praying for you and all of her friends that love and miss her. Its really hard to be on that side of it. You want to make it better and take the pain away for him…..but really, he just needs her back. Proud of you for taking time off to be with your family. Much needed at a time like this.

  • Laci February 27, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss! Manda was a brave warrior for Jesus and I am sure her life has touched many people. Prayers and Thoughts are with the family and friends.

  • Carley February 27, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I was very sad to see on your IG that Manda had passed away. Praying for you, your friends and all Manda’s family. I was just hoping this day wouldn’t come for years and years.

  • Amanda February 27, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Beautiful post, Shay. ❤❤

  • Nicole F February 27, 2017 at 7:25 am

    God Bless. It’s a comfort to know she is in Heaven. Thank God for that opportunity we all have.

  • Paula February 27, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I am so very sorry! I have prayed for months for a miracle & although it isn’t exactly the miracle we’d pick here on earth, praise God Mandarin is whole. It sounds her cancer did in fact have purpose, to make Jesus shine & give glory!

    Praying for the extended family as they pick up the pieces & try to find their new normal.
    So sorry.

  • Natalie Hoover February 27, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I’m so sorry Shay for your loss…My thoughts and prayers for all of her support team (friends) and her family…My heart is so sad….Such a beautiful tribute… enjoy your time off…

  • heidi February 27, 2017 at 7:39 am

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I’m so sorry for your loss, and we will continue to pray for her sweet family. Xx

  • Sam February 27, 2017 at 7:40 am

    What a moving post, Shay. Though I do not know you or your friend personally, I am touched and brought to tears. My thoughts and prayers are with Manda’s loved ones.

  • Valerie February 27, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I lost my brother to cancer just over 13 years ago and it is still so hard to know he is no longer with us, but he is with Jesus, just like Manda is now, and they both are made whole. I will pray for her family and for you and the rest of her friends (Sheaffer) for comfort.

  • Sarah Mcclanahan February 27, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Oh Shay, I am so very sorry for your loss!! Please know I am praying for her family and friends!!

  • Laura February 27, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Shay, I’m so, so sorry for your loss and the missing piece in your tribe right now. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and inspiring tribute. I’m praying for God to lift up and comfort Manda’s family and friends. ❤

  • Angela Ellingson February 27, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I wish I could give you a big hug! I’m so sorry for your immense loss. I will continue to pray Manda’s sweet family. Enjoy your time with family and friends!

  • Lori Ann February 27, 2017 at 7:55 am

    what a beautiful woman! And how lucky to have had such a dear friend – her positive and joyful spirit will always bless you. Enjoy your family right now – hunker down with loads of hugs. See you in a bit!

  • Meghann February 27, 2017 at 8:03 am

    So sorry for your loss…I can’t begin to imagine losing a close friend at such a young age. Prayers to you and all around your friends and family.

  • Sarah Lewis February 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about Manda. I am sorry for all the heart ache and emptiness that everyone who knew her is feeling. Saying prayers this morning for comfort and peace in a time of pure sadness.

  • Tracy February 27, 2017 at 8:05 am

    So very sorry, Shay. Praying for her family and also your friend group. I can’t imagine the loss.

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams February 27, 2017 at 8:06 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss Shay. I will keep you and Manda’s loved ones in my prayers. What sweet words you have for her, she seemed like a beautiful person.

  • Becky February 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I’m devastated for all of you. Enjoy your time focusing on what really matters. We will miss you. Thanks for sharing Manda’s story with us. Even though I didn’t know her, I am so saddened because I feel like I do know her because of all of you McKinney blogging girls sharing her with us. xoxo.

  • Rebecca Brittain February 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I’m very sorry to read this news and know there are no words to help heal the pain, but I trust the Lord is smiling to have received another angel in Heaven and I pray everyone who knew Manda finds His peace and comfort in your hearts during this time. XO

  • Keisha M Dawson February 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Prayers for her sweet family and friends! The way you have all shared her story has been such a sweet blessing. I have no doubt God has used her to be a testimony in many lives.

  • Natalie Clark February 27, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I prayed for everyone in Manda’s life on Thursday night when I saw your post on Instagram, and I will continue to pray today. I just can’t imagine the sadness everyone surrounding her is feeling. As a believer, I know that I am ready to meet Jesus and be reunited with those with him, but I just can’t imagine leaving my husband and kids. My heart breaks for them. Enjoy your family, give them lots of hugs and kisses, and remember Manda. You were so blessed to have her in your life and she was so blessed to have you.

  • Jennifer February 27, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your friend. I had a friend to pass away in late 2015. She left a husband and three kids, and a host of friends and family who loved her so. While the circumstances were different (hers was a very sudden passing, I had just seen her 48 hours before, and then she fell ill and was gone), the loss of my friend has changed me in many ways. As a pastor’s wife, I felt like I was supposed to have the answers, like I was supposed to understand it. I still don’t. While I know she’s healed and whole in heaven, part of me selfishly wants her here to be able to watch her babies grow up. You and your friends will all grieve this loss at different paces and in different ways. Be there for each other and love each other well. There’s no better way to honor your friend than to love Jesus and love people like she would have done.

  • Karah Stracener February 27, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I am so so sorry!! I pray for Gods peace and comfort as you and her friends and family continue to grieve her. Enjoy your break and your time with your family! Xoxo

  • Suzy February 27, 2017 at 8:19 am

    What a beautiful post….and what a special person she seemed to be – I am so sorry for your loss Shay, I will continue to pray for her sweet family and her lovely friends.

  • Kelly February 27, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Shay, so sorry to hear about Manda. We will continue to lift her family up in our prayers. We will be praying for you and her other friends as you strive to minister to her husband and kiddos in this most difficult time.

  • Megan Butler February 27, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Such a perfect and beautiful tribute. She was so kind and had the most calming spirit. I know she is dancing with Jesus. Prayers.

  • Katie S. February 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Through your blog, I’ve come to know a little of Manda’s story. What a testimony and a reminder to us all that we are not promised time here on Earth. Manda’s faith and trust in Christ through all of her adversity is such an inspiration to me as a Christian. I pray that no matter what I might face in this life, I can find comfort in knowing that God has masterfully mapped out every detail of life. And that He will not leave or forsake me. Enjoy your much deserved time away, Shay! I’ll continue to pray for Manda’s family. ?

  • Jan Fisher February 27, 2017 at 8:25 am

    So very sorry to read this news. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. Thinking of her family and all her friends during this difficult time. Prayers….

  • Chantelle February 27, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I am so sorry! She looks like such a pure beauty. What a devastating loss. I am so glad there is hope after death even though the sadness is sometimes overwhelming.

  • Jill February 27, 2017 at 8:25 am

    So sorry for you loss, you and your friends will celebrate the loss and life of your dear friend. Those children and her husband are lucky to have all of you there for them. She will not be forgotten but celebrated often. Enjoy your loved ones and sending my prayers to all of you.

  • Ronda February 27, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Prayers for you and for Manda and her family. From your posts of her she comes across as such a sweet and giving soul!

  • Crystal McDonald February 27, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Oh Shay! I’m so heartbroken for all of you! I’ve been praying for you guys all weekend. What a testament, her life. I pray that her testimony brings many to Jesus and that He is glorified in this heartbreaking loss. Jesus is still good and so thankful for the promise you get to see her again one day.

    Precious Lord, cover these friends and family. May your peace and comfort fill McKinney, TX this morning. May Aidan and Miley remember their mama as a Jesus lover forever. Be with Aaron and may your peace that surpasses all understanding fill the grief-stricken hearts of those who miss Manda. Praising you in this storm, Lord. You are so good and so faithful.

  • Nilda MacLean February 27, 2017 at 8:35 am

    I’m truly sorry for your lost! We will keep praying for her family and friends. Hugs and stay strong!
    Have a good time with your amazing family during Spring Break 🙂 xoxo

  • Kimm February 27, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Praying for her children, her husband , her family and all of her friends during this very difficult and sad time.

  • Lindsey February 27, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Shay, I never comment, but I love reading your blog in car line everyday. I posted the same thing on Erika’s blog but wanted you to know I am so sorry for your loss. Last May, one of our “girls” lost her husband to cancer and it shook us all to the core. I’ve experienced death with family and other friends, but seeing one of your own , that is so young is so hard. It radically changed my faith and has made me truly understand the scripture “but if not, he is still good!” I have seen God’s goodness even in the dark times. The past year, my husband and I have really changed our priorities. So many things in life do not matter! Love your husband more, love your kids more, and share Jesus! Time is so precious. Praying for all of your hearts during this time!

  • Tricia February 27, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I am so thankful for the hope of heaven for those who know Jesus. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and for Manda’s family–especially her husband and two precious babies. She sounded like an amazing woman.

  • Raeanne February 27, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Shay I am so sorry! Take a much needed break and love on those who need you.. Everyone is behind you 100%

  • Jaren February 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I am so so sorry Shay. I will be praying for her family and for you all who loved her so much.

  • Hayli February 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I am so sorry for your loss! Praying for Manda’s family and friends!

  • Lana February 27, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Songs speak to me, and the one that keeps coming to mind is Ryan Stevenson’s “Eye of the Storm”. If you haven’t heard it and songs help you, too, it might be worth a listen during such a time.

    I didn’t know Manda, but her story has impacted me and so many others, and I hope you can all take comfort in knowing that she had a fight well fought, a life well lived, and a testimony turned legacy that will bring God glory far beyond her years on earth. May all of our lives point to God so strongly, no matter what the circumstance! I praise God today for a sister in Christ who I didn’t know on earth, but who, one day in Heaven, I will get to tell that she made a difference. My prayers are with all of you hurting so acutely this morning as you move into a new chapter in life. Though the years were short, may her life always continue to bless yours.

  • Anna S February 27, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Manda seemed like such an incredible and beautiful person. Thank you for sharing a little bit her story with us. Enjoy the time away with your sweet family and friends. In the meantime, we will all be praying for you and Manda.

  • Caroline Burke February 27, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. We will pray for your community. We said goodbye yesterday to an amazing man who left behind his wife and 4 children. It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Just a year ago we were celebrating his remission and that he’d won his fight. It’s in these dark moments that we must lean into God even when we are unable to understand how this happened. The faith that you and your friends have will be such a light to the family and to each other during this time. Sending hugs to each of you.

  • Allison February 27, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for her kids, her family, and all of you ❤❤

  • Andrea February 27, 2017 at 8:58 am

    What an amazing woman she seemed to be and what an amazing group of friends she was surrounded by. I am so sorry for your loss. I have been praying for Manda and her family for several years and will continue to pray for her family.

  • Carla February 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Shay I’m at the dentist reading your blog today and in tears. I’m so sorry for your lost. Reading this makes me feel like I knew Manda. I’m praying for her sweet babies, husband, family and friends. Relax and enjoy your time off with your sweet family. You’re a beautiful friend I would love to have a friend like you.

  • Michelle February 27, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I am so sorry. We have also lost a close friend. Today is actually the 4 year anniversary of that loss and on days like this you just want to yell at God that it wasn’t supposed to be this way! He didn’t plan this- but He will walk with you through it. The grief comes in waves and He will meet you there. Praying for you and your sweet friends as you grieve while also trying to walk with your children through something so hard. I am so thankful for Manda’s strength and her faith.

  • Jean Kronzer February 27, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Considering this whole story……why don’t you take all of Lent off? Take that season to do family and friends and that time alotted by God to really renew. Then start up again after the joy of Easter. The timing seems almost serendipitious to your personal journey. We wont go anywhere and we’ll welcome you back anew after this season of grieving and reflection. Think about it.

    One of your faithful readers.

  • Alexis deZayas February 27, 2017 at 9:11 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your sweet friend. Know that you all have so many prayers for peace and comfort coming your way!

  • Caroline February 27, 2017 at 9:12 am

    So so heartbreaking. I am so so sorry for your loss. It truly is the worst thing ever having to say goodbye to someone you love. She sounds like such an amazing person

  • Abby February 27, 2017 at 9:17 am

    I am so so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend. My heart breaks along with yours. The photos of her radiate love. All my thoughts are with you during this time.

  • Kayla B February 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

    So very sorry for your loss. Praying for you all.

  • Kristin February 27, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Oh Shay. I’m reading this with tears in my eyes. I’m so so so sorry. I can’t even imagine how difficult this is. This was a beautiful tribute to your friend. I will be praying for Manda’s family and all of her girlfriends this week. Xoxo.

  • Lori February 27, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Her life was a beautiful testament of great faith, love and hope. May anyone who knew her and hears her story be turned closer to Jesus in their faith. She will smile from heaven.

  • Melody Byrd February 27, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Shay, my heart aches for you and all of Manda’s sweet friends and family. I lost a friend last year who was a mom of 2 precious young girls, wife to an amazingly strong man, a daughter and sister. She battled cancer with a positive attitude much like what you described Manda as having. Also wanting to use her journey to bring others to Christ and give him the glory. And she did just that! I pray that I would be strong like these women to face a trial like that with the strength they did. It is not goodbye but see you again for sure. Still doesn’t take away the grief and us missing them here on earth. Prayers for peace and comfort for you as you learn to live without her physically in your life. Enjoy the time with you family & loved ones! God Bless!!

  • Grace R February 27, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Shay, please know that you, your friends and your family and especially Manda’s friends and family are all in my prayers. Manda seemed like an amazing and incredibly strong person and I thank you for sharing a little bit of her story and her testimony with us. The bible verse from Timothy got me through the passing of a close friend and mentor a last year, and I pray that it brings you comfort in this difficult time.

  • Corbie February 27, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Hugs Shay. I have been and will continue to pray for that sweet family. Mandy’s sweet smile made my heart sing on every picture. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Brandye February 27, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Shay, I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost a most precious friend, Stacy, in 2012 to cancer. I’m in tears writing this as I know your pain. I wish I could tell you something to ease it, but that is only found in our Lord. Even now, I still want to call Stacy. Sometimes, I still turn up her street. Manda and Stacy, though, are no longer in pain. Like you wrote, their bodies are whole. They can laugh and sing and dance with Jesus. Take your break. Pull those close to you even closer. You, and all of Manda’s family and friends, will be in my prayers. We, your readers, will be here when you’re ready to come back. “See” you on the 20th. Blessings, Brandye

  • Julie February 27, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Keep your head up and try to keep on keeping on. Its hard but your friend would want you to do it. Love on your family just a bit more tonight and enjoy the time with them you are going to spend.

  • Frederika S February 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Shay I am so sorry for your loss of your best friend. Praying for her and your family during this tough time. Stay strong and Hoping to hear from you in two months on your blog.

  • Lori Savage February 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I am praying for you, her family, and her friends. I am so sorry for this incredible loss.

  • Erin McGuire February 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful friend. Sending my love, prayers, hugs and sympathy to you, her friends, her family and her sweet little babies. God Bless Manda.

  • Diana February 27, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Manda seemed like a very special person and I am so sorry for your loss. I will be keeping you and all of her family and friends in my prayers. Please keep us posted on ways we can donate to help her family. I was not able to get a shirt the last time you all did the t-shirt campaign but would love to get one now if you all decide to do it again.

  • janet February 27, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Beautiful words for your friend. Continuing to pray for all. Enjoy your time with family and friends. Mine mean the world to me.

  • Shana Christensen February 27, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I’m so sorry the world lost this beautiful lady. You can tell she radiates goodness and touched the lives of those around her. I will pray for you, as her friend as well as her family. I just had the one year anniversary of one of my best friends death due to this ugly disease. It’s such an unfair battle, and while I’m a year into grieving, I can tell you the sadness will stay with you. Maybe not all the time but when you think of her, or a song comes on that reminds you of her, or you have a memomey pop into your head of good times you shared together you’ll be thankful you have these memories. Death is such a hard thing, but we all know they are in a better place. They are happy they are healed from this ugly disease and will continue to be our angels watching is from the other side. Prayers for you as you endure this week, even though it was expected when it happens it still hurts more than you expect it to.

  • Sarah February 27, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I will continue to pray for Manda’s family and you also Shay as you deal with the loss of your sweet friend.

  • Erin February 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Shay, I am just heartbroken to hear this news. I have been praying for her since you first blogged about her fight with cancer a few years ago. I know you all miss her dearly. She had such a wonderful support system in you and her friends. I know God will use you all to continue to be there for a be a blessing to her family, her husband and especially her children. Praying today for a peace that passes all understanding.

  • Molly February 27, 2017 at 10:33 am

    My heart is breaking reading this. I’m praying hard for your sweet friend, her husband, and her precious children. What an amazing story of strength that only comes through Jesus Christ. God bless her family and friends.

  • Barbara Parnell February 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I am glad that you will take some time to grieve. Loss is a very difficult thing, and we need to grieve in whatever way works best for is. There is no right or wrong way. Grief comes in waves, with a memory, a song, a smell. Embrace what you are feeling. It is normal and healthy. We seem to have an innate ability to cope with loss, even though we never truly get over it. From all that I’ve read, Manda was very fortunate to be surrounded by so many loving, caring friends. You have all helped her more than you will ever know. God bless. Enjoy your time with your family.

  • Kristin February 27, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss. I actually found your blog because of Manda, I think Sean had shared a post about her when your friends all did the photo shoot, and I’ve been following along ever since. From what you have said she sounded like such a wonderful person. Keeping you and her family in my prayers!

  • Desiree | Beautifully Seaside February 27, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss Shay. Thank you for sharing her story, because I have been praying for her and her family. Jesus never fails and I pray the peace that surpasses all understanding fills everyone who loved her. With Love, Desiree

  • Jenny February 27, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Praying for all! I’m so very sorry! 🙁

  • Amy Calvo February 27, 2017 at 11:14 am

    I am so sorry for your loss, I am praying for you all. I know what it is like to lose a best friend to cancer, my best friend died in July. 32 years old, wife and mother. The way you describe Manda is exactly the way Shannon was. The kindest, sweetest, most understanding person. She fought the fight. She was never angry at cancer. She never let it win. My hope is that they will meet in heaven and become good friends. We need to have faith and the pray that we will all be alright. I know Shannon is healed and no longer in pain. That is the only thing that keeps me going. There will be sadness, there will be anger, shock and tears. Believe me the past 7 months have been an roller coaster of emotions. But speaking with someone and keeping God in your life will help. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Liz Thorson February 27, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Shay, I send you the gift of peace and comfort in your heart during this tremendously sad time of mourning the loss of your dear friend, Manda. You have been such a sweet and loving supportive friend of Manda’s and my heart breaks after reading your tribute to her, today. I’ve discovered just how precious she was to you, Shay, and I am even more heartbroken for you for the loss of such a dear friend. I am quite certain you both always knew how very lucky you were to have such a cherished friendship. No one can ever take the memories of the joy and love you shared with Manda. I am so glad you are taking some time away from blogging to spend more time loving your family and Manda’s. Please take time for yourself, Shay. You need and deserve much TLC. ??

  • Kathi M. February 27, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I have prayed for Manda many times and my daughter and I often wear our #mandastrong t-shirts. I am so thankful you and her family have the peace of knowing Manda is with Jesus. I also lost a friend this week, and I am hopeful she is with Jesus, but I’m not sure, and it adds to my sorrow more that I can say. I will continue to pray for Manda’s sweet little family and for all of you who loved her so.

  • Kara February 27, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute of your friend. What a beautiful soul, and the tribe you do life with is so inspiring! You girls show what the purpose of this life is: love and community. We cannot take anything with us to Heaven other than relationships and you all are showing this in action. Praying for peace and love to penetrate your hearts in this sad season of life. Praise God that Manda gets to be with Jesus! I can’t wait to meet her one day!

  • Dawn February 27, 2017 at 11:44 am

    So sorry for your loss. Praying for her family as well as you and yours.

  • Nancy February 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I’m so incredibly sorry for you, your friends, and Manda’s sweet husband and kids. I don’t even know you or them, but I have no doubt she is happy and healthy in Heaven with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She will be watching over you all, especially her babies and husband. It’s such a blessing to know that families can be forever and that we will see our loved ones again. Prayers to you. Thank you for sharing such a sweet testimony and love for you friend. You and your group are the best examples of what friends/family should be. “God be with you till we meet again.”

  • Marta February 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    No words, just a hug…I’m so deeply sorry for everyone that loved her. May she rest in peace.

  • Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! February 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I’m so so sorry for your loss 🙁 She was lucky to have spent her life with a friend like you.

  • Pat F. February 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Shay, I am so very sorry to hear about your sweet friend, Manda. You wrote a lovely tribute to her. I will keep her family and friends in my thoughts and prayers. May God cradle Manda in his loving arms, surrounded by all of Heaven’s Angels. May Manda rest in eternal glory!

  • Elise Welch February 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Praying for all of her friends and family!

  • Kylie February 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Thank you Shay for sharing about your beautiful friend–you can tell that her life shined for Jesus (as does yours). Praying God’s comfort for her sweet family, for you, and her friends at this time. xo

  • Jan February 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Hugs and Prayers to you Shay, your family, her friends, and most of all her husband, children, and her family. My heart goes out to all of you!

  • Maria D. February 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss and for Manda’s family and their loss. She is in a better place and in the arms of her Savior and that is something to be joyful for. Have a good rest and a good family vacation. We will be here when you come back.

  • Heather February 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    So very sorry for Manda’s family and you her friends loss. I pray she is in the loving arms of our Savior no longer in pain. Hugs and Love to you all.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World February 27, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Oh Shay, I know there is nothing I can say to make things any easier for you, but I am so very sorry for your loss. This was such a beautiful testament to a beautiful girl and you are all so lucky to have known her. I will be praying for you and for her sweet family whom she had to leave behind. I hope that you are able to find peace soon and I hope that you enjoy your getaway with your family. Love them hard.

  • Debra February 27, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Shay – I just happened on your blog and am heart filled with your telling of Manda’s story. Thank you for sharing and best of luck!

  • kristin watts February 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, and for her family and loved ones. As everything else you write, this is beautifully said and such a wonderful tribute to her. Rest in peace manda

  • Erica @ Whimsical September February 27, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    My heart just dropped when I saw this. I am so sorry. I was in tears by the end and just grabbed my three year old and held her. I can’t even imagine. So glad you two had each other and your friendship. Thank you for sharing her journey throughout the last year or so. It’s mind-blowing to think about what she’s experiencing today. <3

  • Angie February 27, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I’m so very sorry. I remember when you first posted about Manda. My sister in law was in her 3rd fight with cancer as well. We lost Jennifer 2 years ago in January I hope they can find each other in heaven. Much love

  • Marion Orgaer February 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I’m so sorry, I pray for everyone around her and who love her.

  • catherine growe February 27, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Shevonne February 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm


    So beautifully written, what a wonderful thing you both shared – a true friendship – and you an ongoing gift to her as you most certainly will do as you say and be there for her sweet sweet babies.
    As a Mama you just can’t fathom this – but lufe is so fragile & imperfect Manda had it right the whole way through – live for the Lord as ultimately it is All our destiny, what a brave and courageous women she will forever be remembered as!
    Praying for All who have lost a little piece with her homecoming ????
    Enjoy your break & time with your sweet family – each day Is A Blessing xxxxx

  • Jenna February 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Thinking and praying for her family and friends, but especially for her two sweet babies.?

  • Jackie February 27, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Shay – I have been praying for Manda since the day you asked us to, I was asking for a miracle to save her so she could be here with her family. She is now looking down on them and all of you and based on the pictures you posted, I’m sure she’s smiling down now that she’s at peace. I’ll be thinking of you, Manda’s family, and all of her loved ones. Sending lots of hugs! xo

  • Sara February 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    I am crying for you and your friends and Manda’s family, especially those babies. I will be praying for you and for them. Manda was just a few months older than me. It really puts life, and what really matters, into perspective,

  • Kristin February 27, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    So very sorry for the loss of your sweet friend, Manda. May she rest in peace and may all of you find comfort in Jesus and in one another.

  • Debbie Dunbar February 27, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him.” Nahum 1:7 I lost my best friend almost sixteen years ago. I still miss her every day but also continue to look forward to our wonderful reunion! I’m praying for you all!

  • Nadine February 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Shay, I am so sorry that you have had to experience this loss. How blessed you both were by each other’s friendship and love! Knowing that you will see her again is a wonderful thing though I know you will miss her greatly until you’re reunited. May God give you and your family and Manda’s family and friends strength and encouragement during this difficult time.

  • Rachel Zimm February 27, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    I am so sad to hear about your beautiful friend Manda. I will be praying for you, your circle of friends, and especially Aaron, Aiden, and Miley. How reassuring to know that Manda is with Jesus now, and she is whole. XO.

  • bethany February 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    This brings me to tears and gives me chills! I will being praying for all her family and friends! Also, that her testimony makes an impact in greater ways than ever thought possible! XOXO

  • Jen February 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    So so sorry for your loss!!!

  • Jeanie February 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I am so sorry you lost your beautiful friend. As you know, she is now whole and at peace. Sincere condolences to you and her family and friends.

  • Shannon February 27, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    What joy to have had such an amazing friend like Manda. So sorry for your pain and loss. I will be praying for you and her sweet family. ❤

  • Michelle February 27, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I was so sorry to read this today. How wonderful she was to have you as her friends and for all of you to have her as your friend. May God Bless her family and her friends who were with her to the end.

  • Meg February 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Hugs and prayers. Her story, although heartbreaking, is so inspiring. Her faith is an amazing example that has/will touch so many people. Saying many prayers for all you who loved her here and wait to see her again!

  • Jenn February 27, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    What a beautiful post Shay. I’ve of course never met your friend but I felt like I did through your post and shed many tears. I too am glad you’ll be taking some time for your loved ones and yourself. The loss of anyone especially a close friend makes us all remember to celebrate the happy memories and fun you shared. Those moments will stay with you forever. I’ll miss reading your daily posts for a little as I drink my cup of coffee in the morning, but I’ll be thinking and praying about you. Xo

  • Anne February 27, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss and her precious family. So very sad…peace and blessings.

  • Sally February 27, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss! When I saw the title…I knew & didn’t really want to read any further. So glad I did…your tribute was just beautiful! Reading all your previous blog posts, her story had really touched my heart. What a strong, faithful woman. ??

  • Shelly February 27, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I’ll always remember the first time you guys shared about Manda and then shared the photo shoot. She was a lucky girl to be loved so much but I’m sure you guys really are the lucky ones to have known someone like her. I lost an aunt to cancer when she was just 34 and she was so amazing and inspiring and full of life even when death was knocking at her door. She taught me I didn’t need to be afraid if I knew Jesus and I still miss her so. Prayers as you guys celebrate Manda’s life and support her family.

  • Angela Banae February 27, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for all of you. I’m praying you all will feel our Heavenly Father’s love, comfort, and healing. Hugs to you all.

  • Libby February 27, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Prayers for peace and beautiful memories.

  • Christina D. February 27, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend-I never met Manda in person but words can express so much. Your words about Manda told a story of a Great Mama, Wife and Friend. I somehow came across your blog, and then Sheaffer’s, Erica’s, and Andrea’s and your stories about Manda and friendship were inspiring. Love is what I heard in your stories of friendship, and love is what remains now. God Bless Manda, her family, and friends.

  • Kirsten Juenke February 27, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I’m so sorry for everyone’s loss. My heart aches for you. Please take care of you and yours….and I’ll hug my own a little more tightly today.

  • Denise February 28, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, Shay. Much love and prayers for you, your beautiful group of Manda’s friends and her husband, children and parents. Cancer is just plain horrible. My mother died from cancer, my cousin died from cancer. I know the heartbreak of losing someone so dear to you. I also know the deep hope of having Christ in our lives that helps so very much during these very difficult days. From what I’ve read over the years with what you and Andrea have shared, she was an incredible woman, and you girls were true sisters to her. Enjoy your time with your family. Look forward to reading again here when you are ready. Big hugs from Australia xo

  • Gwen H. February 28, 2017 at 4:14 am

    My heart breaks for all of Manda’s family & friends. Even though I never met her, I know that she was beautiful inside and out. To remain faithful throughout her many battles with cancer is such a testament to her love for God.
    Your post about her is so thoughtful and is beautifully written, Shay. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the pictures. (I especially love the picture with the two of you together. )
    I will miss your posts during the break, but know this time with your family is one of the best things you can do for yourself during this time of immense grief. Take care of yourself. Love, hugs, grace and peace to you and your family, as well as all of Manda’s family and friends.

  • Holly Hopkins February 28, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Praying for you your friend’s family. I can’t imagine how hard this would be. Have a good break and we will look forward to seeing you back here soon!

  • Lauren February 28, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Such a beautiful post. So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you all!

  • Amy February 28, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I know you and your friends are taking a blogging break to grieve for your dear friend. However, I will be stopping by daily, and will take this time to pray for you, your friends, and Manda’s family. God is with you.

  • MelanieL February 28, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I cried and cried as I read everyone’s touching posts about Manda yesterday. I wish I could give you all a huge hug. Praying for peace and comfort for you all.

  • Bethany - Our 4 Sons Plus 1...Super Cute Girly Girl February 28, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful picture of friendship. Sending many prayers and hugs to you all. xx

  • Christina February 28, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Shay, I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Manda’s family.

  • Melanie February 28, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I am so sorry for your loss Shay. Losing a friend as an adult is such a hard hit to take even if you know its coming. I will be praying for Aaron and the kids.

  • Kendra February 28, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Oh Shay if I lived closer I would come hug you! I’m so sorry its no fun to loose a good friend. We all know she is in a better place and now you have a friend in Heaven to look down and take care of you. You are the sweetest friend, all of y’all are! Lots of prayers being sent your way for you, your family, all her great friends, her family and sweet kids. Big hugs and may time heal y’all. xoxo

  • Megan February 28, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Shay… I’m so truly sorry for this loss. Incredible friends are such a blessing, and now you have a guardian angel looking down upon her people.. Dig deep. Find strength. In yourself and in the Lord. Be brave. Cry when you need to. Take risks. Love hard. Keep laughing. Never forget. Keep your memories of Manda close, and I hope you stay close with Aaron and his family, forever.

  • CMB February 28, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    So sorry for your loss. 🙁

  • Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side February 28, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    This breaks my heart. Virtual hugs from across the miles. I know that her kids will never forget and will always have all of you to help them through life, you are a strong community that will lean on each other to help each other get through this time. Many prayers and thoughts go with you and everyone who loved Manda.

  • Becca March 1, 2017 at 7:20 am

    What a beautiful post. I am so sorry for your loss. I will continue to pray for Manda’s family and friends. Only knowing her through blogs, she has made an impact on my life. Hugs!!!

  • Kasey March 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounded like a wonderful mother and friend. I love that you plan to talk about her with her kids. I lost my dad 2.5 years ago, and I love when his friends tell me stories about him. Prayers for you and her loved ones.

  • Paula March 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Assuming the time frame, receiving friends is probably today with funeral services tomorrow. Lots of prayers for comfort & a life of celebration!

  • Kelsie March 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Manda’s family has been weighing in my heart and mind so heavily after hearing this news. I just keep praying for the Lord’s peace to cover her family and friends in ways they could never imagine. My Mama passed away from a rare form of cancer when I was 17, and while it was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, my Mama was a lot like Manda, and just wanted her story to bring glory to the Lord. And that is the BEST thing that could happen out of a terrible situation like this. Prayers and big hugs for you and for Manda’s family.

  • jamie March 1, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    oh gosh. my heart is overwhelmed that manda’s celebration is going to be shared with the world. she would laugh, wouldn’t she?!?! based on what you shared in this beautiful tribute, she would be thinking people were silly. perhaps she underestimated what a tremendous impact she had {and will continue to have} on hearts and souls near and far. very few moments have passed where i have not been thinking about this deep loss for community that surrounded manda.

  • Joann March 1, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    This was a beautiful tribute, I am so sorry for your loss. I have family members who have battled cancer, and it is such a difficult and heart wrenching thing to go through. I have found resources online such as the website If you have reached a point where doctors give no hope, or you are looking for cancer prevention strategies, I have found this site to give back some of that hope. God Bless.

  • Shannon March 1, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    This is so heartbreaking…I am sorry…There is nothing to take away your sadness, but I know that she had to be comforted knowing that you and your other sweet friends will be there to love on her children. What a blessing you were to each other…Sitting here in tears…We will be here when you get back…take care of yourself and your family.

  • Debbie K. March 2, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Your picture of the girlfriends at Manda’s viewing was breath taking and tear inducing. Your group is such an inspiration to other women. I’m sorry you all are hurting from the loss of your dear friend. How wonderful that you all can comfort each other during these difficult days and have the shared memories to reflect on for years to come. Prayers are being said for all of you as well as Manda’s family.

  • Kelly Davis March 2, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I just wanted to let you know, even though I don’t know you or your friends personally, I awoke this morning with you all and Manda’s husband and children so heavy on my mind. Before I was even fully awake, I just prayed for supernatural peace and comfort for you all, and I know it was the Holy Spirit Who led me to pray. He is the Comforter, and He will sustain each of you. He delights in making a way where there is none, and I pray you will sense His sweet Presence in today’s service and after. He loves each of you and carries your pain.

  • Elaine March 2, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Losing someone so close is so hard. Even when we know she’s happy, whole, and celebrating with Jesus. Praying for you, her family and friends. Enjoy your blogging break. Refresh, regroup and have a wonderful vacation. I’ll be looking forward to your return.

  • Nancy March 2, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Her smile, beauty and grace shine so brightly. You can just see how kind her heart is! Her strength and joy are both so inspiring! Praying for you all!

  • Samantha March 5, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    I feel really sad to see people who are suffering from the traitor disease which is Cancer. I can really feel their struggle as they try to look like they are perfectly fine in the outside, but behind those smiles and laughs, their body is fighting to survive.
    I am really sorry to hear this news, but in the lighter note, her fight for cancer touched lives – not only yours but thousands of people who witnessed her courage as she braved her way to make it one day at a time.
    She maybe another warrior whose body grew tired of fighting, but she never lost the fight since she left a legacy of inspiration to other people who are until now still fighting to survive cancer. #RIPMandy

  • Jill March 13, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Nominating Shelly Rogstad for a blardigan.