Friday, August 14, 2009

Hello out there. We made it through the first week of school and managed to get everybody where they needed to be so now I can give you a little update.


We had a great end to our summer with a visit from cousins. I had fun loving on the girls while Karen and Jeff (sister-in-law, brother-in-law) took Holden home with them.. As with most situations there is some sadness that goes with it. You know what I'm going to say...see Lew in the picture below....I miss her even more when we're with people she loved so much. My flesh screams that she should be here enjoying her cousins with the rest of us. It is a continuous struggle. By the way, my pastor's wife, Karen, from Chicago sent me an incredible CD called "Disappointment, Now what?" Paul Tripp is the speaker and Karen was right when she said it was the best she ever heard on the topic of disappointment and suffering. I can't even begin to do it justice to tell you what all he said, but as I listened I was incredibly challenged, encouraged, and once again given hope. I'll try to download it on here if you'd like to listen. Correction, I'll get Billy to download it...I would have no clue how to do it. I'll get back you on that.

Anyway, one of the biggest things the teaching from this CD made me realize is that my suffering is a CALLING. It's not an exciting or easy calling but is still part of the story God has written for me. I long to walk worthy of this calling and continue to accept it even though I would have never chosen it for my life. Another thing Paul Tripp addressed was that we're in a battle everyday. With our sufferings and disappointments we battle bitterness vs. acceptance....and our sufferings reveal the idols of our hearts. God alone should hold our hearts, not the things of this world. God has used the truths on this CD to continue to change my heart and the way I think about my walk with Him.

All in all we really had a good summer. Moving and unpacking took several weeks but we were still able to enjoy the pool and friends and grandparents and the beach. July 2 was hard. I felt very heavy all day as I replayed the day a year ago in my head. I remembered how horribly low I felt that afternoon in 2008. I struggled with fear this summer. Fear that something might happen to my other children when they were away from me and unbelief that God would be big enough if that happened. That could potentially be a life long struggle/battle.

So often I get so focused on my own grief that I forget my children struggle too, and they handle it so differently. When I drove to Indiana to get Holden and take the twins home, he had a hard time going to bed the first night. I layed down with him and he started crying, saying he missed Alaina. I said, "What made you think of her?" He shared a sweet memory and then said "I guess just being away from ya'll and when you come to get me you could get in a crash and die." Then he asked me on the way home if Billy was still alive. I hate that a seven year old boy has to deal with these issues. But it's a great opportunity to remind him of how much we both need Jesus. And I am able to share with him how I struggle with the exact same things. Pray for his heart if you think about it. (and Elley's)

Alaina with Caroline and Rachel in 2006......


August 2009....

They loved the Aquatic Center


Billy took lots of little ladies out on the town for a date....


We spent one day at Smith Lake



ok, next post maybe I can show you some pictures of our fine lookin doublewide...on the inside and not in two pieces. And, I'll try to download the Paul Tripp CD for those who are interested. Better yet, if it's too complicated (time consuming) to download, I would love to mail you a copy of the CD. If you're interested you can email me or leave a comment. Trust me, it's a CD to listen to over and is THAT good!

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Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

i'm crying again...the picture of alaina with her cousins is so sweet. i love seeing her with her hair down and natural - such a beauty! i know i've said it before, but i will always hate that i didn't get to know her more. it's now another reason i look forward to heaven. i would like a copy of the sermon you had us listen to. snippets come to my mind often, but i need to listen to it again and let it soak in. i don't know if i've ever told you, but i feel like this whole year you have grieved in a way that so honors our Lord. you have impacted my life in a way that you may never know fully and have truly walked worthy of this calling, this path of suffering. on a lighter note, i'm happy to see that the couch is still floating! props to billy for leaving it there even though he thought it made the room look smaller! i'll be praying for elley-bell and holden and the fears they struggle with too. love ya.

Jawan said...

Here's the link to order the talk b Dr. Tripp. I was able to hear this very talk LIVE at this past summer's PCA General Assembly. I think every lady in the room was crying. Mitch and I love you all.

Danny and Jennifer White said...

Good to hear from you Hope.Love you guys!

Aimee said...

I am ordering the CD! Thank you for continuing to share. The pictures are precious.

Love you.

JJMERKEL said...

I'm ordering the cd too. Sounds like it would be very good. We have been dealing with lots of death here this summer. Jason's grandpa died a couple weeks ago and just this past Saturday our Chloe dog died (she was only 4). The girls are heartbroken on this one. We took them to the Dells this weekend to cheer them up a bit, but as soon as we got home, it was back to the questions from Megan and Sarah is just plain mad at the world.

I keep on thinking about your family and how hard it must be on Holden and Elley as well as you and Billy. I could definitely understand Holden thinking those things. Megan was 5 when Katie died and she still thinks about that kind of stuff. Every time a new death occurs she is reminded of Katies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. love the pics of all the girls outfits. Thanks for touching my life every time I read your blog

Mrs. C said...

where on earth did you find all the matching outfits??? they are precious. i love the new pics and i am so encouraged by this new post. you sound so uplifted. i will continue to turn you and your sweet family over to the Lord. I know that He will hold you in the palm of His hand, and there is nowhere better to be.
Remember, I love you and jesus does too.
Take care.

BKicklighter said...

Heading over to order the talk using Jawan's link. Thanks for sharing something that offers promise of encouragement and hope.

Connie said...

Hope, You encourage me every time I read your blog. I'm so glad that Elley and Caroline are in the same class this year.
Once I saw you last week, I thought back to last June when I ran across your blog. It caught my attention because, finally, I had found someone else in Cullman who blogged. I am so blessed to actually have met you and Elley. I feel God has something good in store for us this year.
And yes, we will be at the party this weekend. Thanks so much for the invite.

Kristin said...

Still loving you. Still praying... I'll pray for Holden and Elley.

LOVE all the pictures! So good to see those faces!

Sarah said...

i love you, hope! as a read jen's comment i, too am touched by your walk with Him everyday. i will continue to pray for you and your precious family. i think of your parents often. i love seeing Elley with the twins...they look so much ya!

Mrs. C said...

hope, i am praying for you to have a beautiful, fun-filled week enjoying your family, your husband and your double-wide. life is good, and God is awesome. remember, i love you and jesus does too. have a great week.
mrs. c

Becky said...

Billy & Hope,
Y'all have been on my mind alot lately. I hope things are going OK. I cried when I read about Holden's pain. I will be praying for all of you.
With much love,

Shea said...

My heart is heavy for sweet Holden. I can't imagine how he must feel but am praying for him and the girls. As always, I pray for you and Billy. Never a day goes by when I am not reminded of you. You have no idea what an impact your strength and faith have had on all of us.

Am glad that you were able to enjoy your summer for the most part. And now I anxiously await to see pictures of your double wide! :) Much love and prayers, Shea