Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Remembering with some favorites














I wish all I could remember was the joy of her life. But the painful reality is that I remember almost every single detail of that awful. horrible, heartbreaking, confusing day of July 2 . So yes, the next few days will be hard, but we'll put one foot in front of the other and ask the Lord for continued GRACE and STRENGTH to get through it even when we don't "feel" like it. I'm just ready for the day to pass. I'm remembering my theme verse today....Could you remember it with me and claim it today and the days to come for our family....

Lamentations 3:21-25 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness...The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him.


I'm so grateful that you've chosen to "walk" this road with me....even you stalkers out there :)

This will probably be my last post for the next few weeks. We're painting, cleaning, moving -so there's just too much going on to blog, but I'll be back.

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Katie said...

Regular blog stalker here. I do know lots of folks that you know however. Maybe that makes me less stalker and more "follower.":) I'm a Troy grad from back in the day. I've "followed" your story the entire way and will continue to pray for you all as you go through this difficult week and the days ahead. My oldest turns five on the 2nd and YOU make me hold her so dear and close. I will remember your little one as I look back on my Molly's birth and reflect on the blessing that is her life. Your story has the power to make us all better parents. Thank you for sharing, for being so transparent, and for knowing your hope is in our Lord.

Katie Snow
Millbrook, AL

The McNeill Family said...

Praying for you this week, Hope. Beautiful pictures. I can see Alaina's sweetness in those and look forward to meeting her one day.

April Brown said...

Hope, She was a precious girl. Those are great pictures you shared! I love the one with her and Merri Broxton...such a mess :)

I'm definitely praying that the Lord's great love would consume you and Billy and your family over the next few days. I've thought about you often this week and will continue to pray.

Can't wait to see pictures of the pimp out trailer!! What a fun "adventure" :)

love you!

Jessie said...

Praying for the peace of Christ to guard your hearts and minds as He promises. Beautiful pictures. Remembering her life is good!

Nate said...

This was wonderful to look through all those pictures again, so many I was thumbing through last year. Each reminds me of what a precious gift she is to your family.

Thank you for your willingness to continue to write and to share and to allow us to read into your world. We are thinking of you and praying for you often, Billy and Hope.

We are looking forward to seeing pics of the new home and lot (as you are moving in and getting settled). It seems like quite a place from what you have posted so far!

Amy said...

Praying, Praying, praying!!!! You have been on my mind all week. God is good like that Hope - He will get you through this week and I pray that sweet sweet memories fill your head and overtake all the bad of that day.
I love seeing the pictures and that sweet face. (on a sidenote I had to do a double take to figure out that there was a skinned deer hanging behind Billy and the kids. It made me laugh)

nan said...

Hope we love you guys and am along with you praying and trusting God's word will consume your thoughts and mind during this hard season. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases his mercies are new every morning great is His faithfulness.

Anonymous said...

Tears are flowing....What else can I say?
I am lifting you all up in prayer. I'll be claiming his promises for you!
I love you guys!
grace c.

Anonymous said...

Many thoughts and prayers will be with you, Billy, and the kids tomorrow just as they have been this whole year. I wish you peace and understanding during this difficult time.

krik said...

May God redeem those awful memories as only He can. I'm enjoying remembering the pink goggles and the cherry bathing suits. We're all holding you up right now before the King. May you have renewed hope and peace each day. Praying that you and Billy will have time/ability to communicate and listen to each other right now.

Shea said...

Remember the joy!! Such joy I see in her sweet face looking through those pictures of her, Hope. She lived a JOYFUL life. It wasn't long enough but I can see the love and happiness in her face and in her steps every picture I see of her. What a beautiful child she was and still is; just now in heaven with Jesus. I'm praying hard!

Lindsey said...

just wanted you to know i am thinking and praying for you guys tonight and tomorrow. she is beautiful.

Debra Carl said...

Billy and Hope,

You guys are not forgotten. I will be praying for you tonight and in the days to come.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all today. Peace be with you...

Vicki Berg

The Harper Family said...

Saying a special prayer for you tonight and tomorrow. May God give you extra comfort. Much love!

Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

the pictures are beautiful, she is beautiful. i am praying that verse for you and wrote it down this time so that i could pray it over and over again tomorrow. only the God who willingly gave up His Son can give you hope right now and every day, so i will keep asking Him to do just that! i'm heartbroken again for you. leah looked at the pictures with me earlier and said "oh my! i love be-laina's shoes" (she says almost everything with a b sound). my heart caught in my throat again and i wished we could've known her more. one day...it can't come soon enough! i know that billy doesn't blog, but tell him we pray for him, too. and your parents. love you guys.

Nick, Annie, Aiden, Sophie and Clip said...

I've now been a regular blog reader of yours for a year -- since I got the email to start praying for you all. Having lost my brother somewhat recently (2005) causes me to be walking a similar road of grief to yours and therefore your words and outpourings of your heart have really ministered to me.

I really enjoyed seeing those pictures of Alaina. Even though I never knew her, I feel such joy learning about her through her pictures and thinking about her life -- and then simultaneously I am so sad - for you - that you no longer have her here on earth with you.
Some of those pictures I had seen before (in the past year of your posts) and some were new to me. But they are all beautiful and we love to see them and remember her with you!

I will be praying for you and claiming that verse for you today and in the weeks to come.
I was missing my brother today and I will pray that verse for myself and my family too! Thanks for sharing that perfect verse! Scripture is so comforting!
You are walking a very hard road, Hope, and I wish I could do more for you - but since I don't know you and we live probably a thousand miles away from you, I will pray!

Anonymous said...

We love you all--and pray for you right now. Such beautiful pictures of Alaina with her brother and sisters and whole family. We pray that these images will be strong in your minds this night.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Peace and rest in His shelter this night.

Dick and Katie

Anonymous said...

It was so nice to be able to spend time with you and Billy and the kids this past weekend. We are lifting you all up in prayer and keeping you close to our hearts as we remember....
Kari V.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you today and often! I pray those horrible memories fade and the wonderful, sweet ones shine more brightly!
May He bless and keep you!

Ashley said...

Praying for you all today that the Lord will be your hope. May you rest in His unfailing love.

Ashley Hood Gunn

Becky said...

Thinking of you all.

Ed Orem said...

My prayers are with you and your family today, I am overwhelmed by the "Agape", deep, deep love that your friends and family have for you and your family.

and Yes, GREAT is His faithfulness


Kim said...

Oh dear friends,
What do I say on the anniversary of Alaina's death? It is through tears that I write how thankful I am for you and Billy and your friendship. We love you guys so very much! And how I grieve with you today. I am so thankful that you posted your struggle as well as the promises that you were standing on so that we could pray specifically for you. I prayed for you and your family as I went to bed last night and I prayed for you when I woke this morning. I am asking God to allow you to remember the delightful spunky little girl that Lou was and that those momories crowd out the horrible ones. I am praying for you and Billy, and also for your folks.

I love you!

JJMERKEL said...

Dear Hope, Billy, Holden, Elley and Mary H,
I just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you today and praying for your whole family. We will never forget what a beautiful, happy little girl Alaina was. We have so many memories of her. We love you all.

Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

thinking of you and praying for you, especially today.
lots of love,

The Hannahs said...

Praying for you, old friend, as always. Continue to hold you and your family close at heart.

Molly Grace said...

Hope and Billy:
How can it be that just a year ago the Lord called your beautiful girl to his kingdom? Hard to believe of all the things and the journey's you and your family have walked the past year. I think of you guys often, and I pray that today was , yes a sad day for you all, but also a day of celebration for Alaina's life.
In just reading your blog over the past year, I have cryed countless times, and I myself have turned to the Lord more often in times of need.
Thank you for sharing your story with all to read and in the hardest and deepest darkest place in your life, you showed light to so many around you.

~Molly Vosicky~

Ryan and Denise Shoemaker said...

She will never be forgotten. Thank you for sharing those sweet pictures - snapshots of her loving innocence. We will continue to pray for His strong arms to carry you when you need it. Love to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Wow once again God has brought your family to my mind today, I just can't imagine what you are walking through. You have never laid eyes on me but yet your family has touched my life so much this past year. Hope you have chose to let us in ALONG THE ROAD and yes I guess Im a stalker haha! I just wanted to say thanks what a beautiful littile girl she is, your blog always keeps me grounded you are truely a woman of faith. May God continue to hold you close as only he can do, like I have said I have never meet you but sure do love you. Thanks again.

Deidre said...

Thinking of you all today, sweet Hope. Loved looking at the pictures. I'm always struck by how much Alaina looks like your Mother. Praying for you all.


Shane, LaJuan, Jocelyn and Gabrielle said...

We have been and will continue to pray for you guys this week....we love you guys are so thankful that you have chosen to share your journey with us all. The Lord has used it my heart and in so many others in such enormous ways. The pictures are precious...

Anonymous said...

Hope, the day you dreaded for so long has passed and the God of miracles and wonders has carried you through that painful anniversary. I know you feel such a sense of relief that the year of firsts is over. And with God's grace, you made it. Hope, you made it through the first year. You are such a strong woman Hope. Remember that. You may never get over this loss, but you can get passed it. His mercies are new EVERY MORNING. We start new every morning. What an incredible gift.
Remember Hope, Jesus loves you and I do too.
Mrs. Cowan

Anonymous said...

by the way, it's not stalking if i sign my name

melynda cowan

Lori Ellen said...

Love you. Praying for you. Been thinking about you all week.


Becky said...

"When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne, let us think of the great family of the heavy-hearted into which our grief has given us entrance, and inevitably, we will feel about us their arms, their sympathy, their understanding."

~ Helen Keller

Dear Billy & Hope,
I know that the days before and the days after are often worse than the actual day. I think we spend so much of our energy just trying to get through the "day" that after it is over, we break. I am praying for you both.
With much love,

Anonymous said...

Hope, I am so encouraged by your blog and reminded of His faithfulness in the darkest of times. Please know that your family is being prayed for and lifted up to the Father.


Anonymous said...

Hope, I saw your mom today at church and got to spend time with your sweet Mary Helen in the nursery. She is a fireball. I spend so much time on here focusing on the child you lost, I forget to mention how beautiful your other children are. And how they are growing. Each one is so different--with such a unique personality. You are blessed Hope. Remember that. You are blessed. Remember that Jesus loves you and I do too.

Anonymous said...

once again God brought you to my mind. i guess in His infinite wisdom, he has decided that when I sit down to my computer I automatically think of you and that is my cue to pray for you. So just know that I pray for you daily. and I love you and Jesus does too.
Mrs. Cowan

Mark and Sherri Davis said...

Hope and Billy,
We continue to pray for you and your family, especially this month. Thank you for your honesty and your love for God. We love ya'll!
Mark and Sherri Davis

Anonymous said...

i am up late tonight looking up recipes to cook for the VBS workers and you came to mind. I just want you to know that I am continuing to lift your sweet family up in prayer. i hope you can feel the power of our prayers.
i love you and jesus does too.
mrs. cowan

Jackie said...

You guys are on my mind today. Continuing to pray...

Mrs. C said...

hope, just wanted you to know how much we are enjoying the kids at VBS. it's been a wonderful week. (but i am whooped each night). thanks for sharing them with us this week.
mrs. cowan

Mrs. C said...

hey hope, did you notice it didn't take me but a year to finally sign up for an account. i am no longer anonymous.

Kelly said...

Hope, I don't "comment" often, but check on you via your blog frequently. Know that you and your family are loved and being prayed for by the Brechman's. God Bless you, friend. Kelly.

Kristin said...

Thinking of you. Love you so much.

Patric, Jennifer and Parker said...

been praying for you...just thought i'd tell ya.

JJMERKEL said...

Just wanted to know that I have been thinking of you guys. Hope that your move is going well.

Anonymous said...

When I get down, and I do all too often, I just go to your blog and you bless me so and lift me up so much. This has been a difficult year for our family. We didn't lose someone so young as Alaina, but I lost my mother in law, my mother, my very special cousin, my only living aunt, two very dear friends and my father. I know where they all are and it just makes me want to go there too! I know my mother is enjoying your beautiful little girl. She did so love children! Thinking of these things makes the days more bearable. Just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. When I go to my computer every morning I look at your site for inspiration to make it through another day.
God Bless you and your family!

Katie said...

Definitely a stalker here! Although, I have known Billy most of my life. I still pray regularly for you guys. The gorgeous, precious pictures freeze your happy daughter's face in time yet I know the ache you feel every moment of every day must be more than you think you can bear. This family (the Bealls and the Jack Hawkins family from Troy University) are walking this journey behind you and covering your steps in our prayer.

Katie Hawkins Beall