Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our Lew

Several of you have asked how we got the nickname "Lew." It started as "Laina Lucy" then "Laina Lew" .......then "Lew" :)

These pictures are some of the last ones I took of her....we were in Florida just a few weeks ago.
Thank you for praying friends!!!!!!!!!!!! I need it now more than ever.


Ken and Jenny McNeill said...

What beautiful pictures...I know you'll always treasure these. Thanks for sharing your Lew with all of us. We're still praying for you all!
Ken and Jenny

sagefats said...

Adorable. Ya'll got a great looking crew there, Hope. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us as you go through this. Like Donna Ayers said in an earlier post, you will see your baby again.

Still praying...


Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

hope, even though I never got the chance to meet little lew, I feel like I know her!(yes, like ken and jenny said-thank you for sharing her with us!) The pictures of her by the water are absolutely stunning! She's just beautiful. praying hard for you-

Kristin said...

We're praying, Hope. I didn't sleep very well last night, and every time I woke up, I prayed for you...

Alaina was beautiful. I was so glad you asked your friend from Illinois to share stories about her at the funeral. I told her how much we appreciated getting to hear about Alaina's world...

I can only imagine your pain each day... each second. Know that we are with you, and we will be praying every day. We still think about her all day long, and we love you so, so much.

Kristin said...

P.S. I love that you called her "Lew". She's just precious.

JJMERKEL said...

Those pictures are so pretty. Your little Lew was adorable. Thank you for sharing your pictures. I am also still praying for you.


She beautiful. I don't remember how I found your site...but I am praying for you...Connie in Indiana

Carlton and Aimee Weathers said...

So good to see you "walking" through your grief. What beautiful pictures.

How funny...I call Hannah Grace, "Lucy".

Call me when you get in Cullman, or how bout I just call you! We will be out of town next week, but back on the the 26th.

nick, robyn and taylor said...

What a beauty! Such precious pictures. I prayed hard for you last night and will continue to do so.


The Harper Family said...

The bottom picture just got to me!! I can just picture her walking along the eastern shore with Jesus.
God be with your family.
All our prayers,

Anonymous said...

How we continue to lift you up!
We love you so very much.

Parks Avenue said...

She looks like a little Hope in those pictures! Just beautiful. Still praying for you precious friend. May the Lord grant you much grace as you walk through another day. Love you guys.
-annie parks

Katie said...


My name is Katie and I came upon your blog through a prayer request on Jennisa's blog. I am so sorry for your loss and I have been praying for you every day. Alaina was BEAUTIFUL! I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Katie (From Nebraska)

christine said...

Alaina is so beautiful! You always take such great pics of your children. We are constantly praying for you. Love, Christine and Davis If there is anything else we can do-please let us know. Sarah and John know how to reach us. Love you.

April Brown said...

Hope, I do continue to lift you seems like during the strangest of times the Lord puts you on my heart and I pray! I spoke to Belinda this morning and she said the same!! Lew was beautiful and I'm so thankful you have all those beautiful pictures of her!!!

Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

she's so beautiful! i couldn't sleep last night either and kept getting up . I thought about you and asked God to give you rest each time. by 3:00am i finally just got up and started reading hymns from my computer. sent you one on your last blog. im taking so many more pictures now because i know that they are such a treasure to you. she looks so much like you, hope.
love ya

Joy said...

What absolutely gorgeous pictures. "Lew" is a gorgeous little girl. I can picture her dancing for Jesus in that sweet little dress with the prettiest smile on her face.

You are continually being prayed for. We haven't forgotten your pain!!

Joy Goode Hutzler

Katherinellen said...

Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing about your precious Lew. My prayers are with you and your family. So glad that Holden is doing better. LOves and Prayers

Jaime said...

Hope, These pictures are great. Not a day goes by that I'm not reminded of you guys in some way. Last night at choir, we learned a new song that made me think of you.
When I'm down, darkness all around, and it seems like no help can be found, FEAR wants in, I feel like giving in, Oh, what can I do?
Then I cry, to God Most High, who gives me grace to say, I rest in You, O Lord, I trust in You, O God, I'm not afraid anymore, I'm not afraid anymore.

Jackie said...

How beautiful! I'm still praying you, Billy, the kids, your parents...all of you. Thank you for continuing to share.

Sarah said...

she looks just like you. Especially that picture in the hallway in Butler. Such a genuine "heart" smile
What a blessing. I love the pictures you picked to post. They are perfect. I am and will continue to pray for you, dear friends. Just remember, as Hartsel says, "Mommy, Alaina is dancing right now with Jesus, isn't she...." Yes, she is my sweet, yes she is.


Lori Ellen said...

Hey Hopey,

The pictures are so beautiful. I know your heart probably breaks each time you see them. What I've always said about losing mother, was that it is something you eventually learn to live with, but you never get over. My heart aches for what you and your family are continuing to go through daily. Thank you for sharing so honestly and gracefully. I love you all and pray for you daily.

Love, Lori

It's me, shannon said...

She's breathtaking.
Praying for you.

Kim's Treasures said...

Praying for you in Michigan! Lew was an adorable little girl!

Mary said...

Hope and Family,

I found your blog from Jenissa's blog site....she asked for everyone to pray for you. Please know that people who have never met you are lifting you up to the Throne of Grace. Please know how very sorry I am for your loss.....your princess was absolutely beautiful! You have encouraged me with your strength and Trust in the Lord. I know that He is faithful to carry you.
My heart breaks for you, and my knees are bent for you.

In Christ,
~Mary (Georgia)

Abby said...


I came to know of your story through Kristin Goode.

Lew is beautiful...I notice in most of the pictures she touching or holding on to one of her siblings...she seems like a loving and precious little girl.

Please know that we are praying for you here in Georgia and asking God to smother you in His grace and peace.

Abby Tucker

Anonymous said...

Hope,these pictures are great!! on of my fav,is the one that Holden is holding Lew's hand beside the water!! i love it!!but they are all great!! you all are in my prays.!!

Love ya,
Leigh Ann Glass

Eric and Amanda said...

Came to know your story through Brandi Parten. I have never experience loss like yours, but I do have the same hope in God for tomorrow. God has been bringing you to my mind daily and I have stopped to pray for you each time. You have had an awesome chance to share your testimony with MANY and Alaina has had a large impact for the Kingdom in this time of grief. I am sorry you have to experience such sadness. I am praying daily for you and your husband, as well as your children (especially Holden) and grandparents, too! I wish I could hug you and listen, even though I do not know you. Keep sharing Jesus with many and giving God the glory for Alaina's precious 4 years of life!
Much love,
Amanda in Demopolis, AL

denise shoemaker said...

Those pictures are so beautiful. You really know how to capture the essence of your children. She looks like a little angel as we know she now is. Praying for you every day.

Rita said...


What beautiful pictures! She looks like such an angel. I really do think she looks so much like you. Maybe it's her hair, I don't know...because I can see Billy in her, too. But, I've always thought she looked more like you. Just so precious!

We're at the beach this week with our friends. I'll call you when we get home, and am looking forward to seeing you when you get to Cullman.

I love you, friend, and continue to pray.

Lesnars said...

These pics of Lew you will cherish forever. What a gorgeous angel you have watching over your family.

You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hope,

You are truly an inspiration. I'm so sorry for you loss. You are in my prayers. Your children are beautiful.

Anita Smith Lovelady
(Remember me from good ole Phi Mu Hall!)

lisa richburg said...

I agree with many others...I see so much of you in her. Looking at those pictures helps me visualize her walking hand in hand with Jesus, or maybe skipping along. God is continually putting you guys on my mind and heart, and I am praying.
I prayed some specific verses this morning for you of my favorites is Jeremiah 31:13 > "...I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow." I'm praying God will do exactly that...turn your mourning into gladness and give you comfort and peace and joy instead of sorrow.
love you guys,
Lisa R.

brimom19 said...

Hope, your lttle Lew was beautiful. You and Billy are constantly on my heart, mind, and in my prayers. You are truly a light. Thank you for your honesty and your diligence to always point toward Christ.
Love, Angie

Anonymous said...

Hope -
You and Billy were blessed with a beautiful little girl. She definitely is going to be missed by all. Thanks for sharing the adorable pictures and opening your heart to all of us.
Rob and I think of you and your family often.
We're interested to hear the story of the blind skier - will get the details from the Merkel's. I'm sure it's funny - especially where Billy is involved.

Love you guys and miss you!
Karen and Rob

Allison said...

Billy and Hope
These are the verses the Lord placed on my heart for YOU this morning: Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of His great love, you are not CONSUMED for HIS COMPASSIONS never fail. They are NEW every morning. GREAT is His faithfulness.
As you mourn the loss of your little,precious "lew" - May the daily manna the Lord provides for your family today comfort you, give you peace, and grant you hope.
I continue to pray for you.

In His grace,
Allison (Wells) Draper

Rachel Hannah said...

You and your family are in my constant thoughts and prayers. You are truly amazing - ministering to others through this journal full of honesty and hope. I love you dearly, old friend, and continue to lift you up. I am here for you.

Sommer said...

Your family is beautiful. And Lew looks like an angel. I am so sorry for your loss. Your strength and faith are inspiring. You have been in my thoughts and prayers daily.

Sommer Hoffman Mackin

Coleman Happenings said...

I just wanted you to know that my family and I are continuing to pray for yours. It's amazing to see how God has brought SO many brothers and sisters together in prayer for you and your family. God is totally in control and HE truly knows what He is doing. Thanks for being SO encouraging to SO many of us.

Amy Coleman

Momma, Momma, Momma!!! said...

I came to your blog by way of Jennisa's prayer request. My heart aches for you, but I know Jesus will continue to carry you. I am on my knees for you and will continue to pray for His blessings on you and your family. Your honesty and faith are amazing. It is obvious God is already using you and precious Lew to draw others to Him. The photos are a gift to all that visit your blog!
Thanks for sharing,
Christy - Colorado

katie said...

hope- i have never met you, but have heard your story through our dear friends scott and annie. as the mother of a 18mon little girl, i want you to know i am weeping with you. and begging our God to hold you right now, and i know He is... we'll keep praying.
on our knees,
katie compton

Anonymous said...

I am so wanting to call you today and I don't know where to reach you. I miss you and continue to grieve with you and long to know how you and Billy are doing.

I love the pictures of Lew.

I told you I would call regularly and I haven't. I long to know how to be lifting up your hearts. We have been speding much of our time here walking with our worship director's wife as she was just diagnosed yesterday with stage 4 cancer.

Oh how I grieve the brokenness of this world. The sting of death (I still cry for Lew and for you) and the pain of disease is not how it was supposed to be.

He has overcome this world!Because He lives we can face tomorrow. It doesn't change the depth of our grief though does it? I think we grieve hard and we cling hard simultaneously (or rather He clings hard). They are 2 parallel tracks.

How I love you dear friend. I will do some investigating and try to call soon


Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago and have been checking in daily. I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers constantly. You have such a strong faith and have been such an encouragement to others...much more than you will probably ever know. You have been an inspiration to me through your amazing trust in God, and I am truly thankful for your openness on this blog. I'm probably not the first one to notice this, but when I opened your page and saw the new pictures of your beautiful "Lew", the first thing I noticed was the image of a cross behind her in the first picture. It is so great to know that she is with her Savior!

Lisa West said...

Hope - Alaina is a beautiful angel. What wonderful pictures. Good luck with unpacking and embrace your new friends at church. You have such a big heart and wonderful personality - they will be blessed to know you.

Shane, LaJuan, Jocelyn and Gabrielle said...

We love you guys so much and daily lift you up to the One who can and will hold and sustain you...The pics are absolutely adorable...

Anonymous said...

I love you friends. I am praying today.