Sunday, January 17, 2010


Sometimes I want to write out my thoughts, but am just too busy with life, and my window of time to sit and type is limited. And so much has gone on in my little brain over the last few months that I'm not sure where to even start.

Sometimes I can't look at Alaina's pictures for very long because it hurts too much. But sometimes I can stare and smile and remember and it makes me say "Come quickly Lord Jesus!"

Sometimes I think her death has made me a better mother and caused me to be more patient and let go of the things that I think are a big deal (like what people think of me or my children) but sometimes I forget so quickly how short this life is and I get caught up in NON eternal things and lose sight of matters of the heart.

Sometimes I'm caught off guard when Elley says "God is mean, I'm kind of mad at God. Why did Alaina have to go to heaven?" And then I wonder why that suprises me since I have the same thoughts, and I can be honest with my children about those feelings and remind them and myself of my need for a Savior.

Sometimes I don't like my story. I don't like what God has written so far. Sometimes I'm really really sad about it and think this is in no way good for my life.

Sometimes when my children get sick I have lots of fear. I realize I've been shaking my fist at God and in my heart saying "Don't you dare! Don't take another one because I don't want you to have to be that big in my life." I see that there is so much freedom that comes from being honest with Him and knowing that he can handle my unbelief and love me anyway and work in my heart to cause me to trust him. I know it is not about just "trying harder" not to feel that way. He will supply the grace and do the work in my heart. And oh yeah, then I remember that I'm not God, I don't get to plan my life.

Sometimes I sit and daydream about what he is calling our family to be/do. I just want to be obedient to what he has for us and I remember that this suffering is part of the calling, but I wonder what he has for us beyond the suffering. I don't want to just live in my christian bubble and be comfortable. I don't want my children to either.

Sometimes I cry when I see little Kindergarten girls with their backpacks and I picture Alaina walking and laughing, and the void in my life is so huge, and then I am reminded of just how much I take for granted.

Sometimes I can be so self focused and forget there is a world that so desperately needs the gospel of GRACE.

Sometimes I forget how much I need the gospel of grace. Sometimes I don't love unconditionaly, I love based on how well my children "behaved" that day. And I realize I am not loving them the same way God loves me.

Sometimes I start living like this world is all there is.

But sometimes, when I step back and really think about all God has done and I look at pictures like these, I am truly thankful. Loving, servant hearted parents, friends who love us no matter what and who have walked this road with us so faithfully, three special children still to parent and love here, and one deeply loved daughter who is waiting on us in heaven.


Here's a recap of the last few months in pictures

View from my back door



DISNEY 2009 with McLendons and Werneths




Elley at the princess lunch






Holden at Hoopty Do Review








Thanksgiving in North Carolina with Billy's grandmother



Holden's 8th birthday




Mary Helen's 2nd birthday and Christmas in Butler












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BKicklighter said...

Hope - I love anything you write. It encourages me so much. Our pains are different but equally real and I am thankful for your Godly perspective and willingness to share when you fall short. I seem to fall short SO MUCH. Just know, whenever you find a pocket of time, I would LOVE to hear your heart. It's an encouraging heart.

Aimee said...


Its so good to hear you speak your heart! I love to hear what God is doing in your life.

I read these verses yesterday and I just love them. Its from Lamentations, Chapter 3.

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

I enjoyed our time together a couple weeks ago. Let's plan on doing that once a month??

Love you,

Jenny said...

So good to hear from you again and see your beautiful family. I am always encouraged by your honesty and transparency. Looks like you guys have had some fun times over the past few months. Hope God continues to bless your home with laughter and daily renewing of your strength.

April Brown said...

I'm always encouraged by your honesty.

Amy said...

loved to "hear" your heart again. I love the picture of the kids dancing. Too sweet. Still think of you guys and pray for you.

Matt, Carrie, Lucy and Molly Allen said...

thinking of you, encouraged by you, praying for you!

Pastor Ted said...

Ted and I just saw your blog for the first time today. Our heart is truly broken. Just reading all your posts have testified to your faith and trust in our Lord. Your honesty has encourage us. And please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Now that Ted and Billy are friends on Facebook, I hope we can stay in touch. You have a beautiful family.
Love, Erin Owens

JJMERKEL said...

Hope, thank you for sharing your life with us. We really miss seeing you and talking with you all. How are your parents doing? The kids are growing up so quickly.

Jennifer Werneth said...

i, too, love to hear you speak from your heart. you constantly encourage me to be real and to trust in Him. i continue to pray the verse from lamentations for you, too. of course, i loved all of the pictures and died when i saw that the teacup made the cut. too funny! good times, sweet memories. the pic of all the boys at your house for holden's party - so awesome; you're the best mom ever! and mary helen's chubby self with the bandana around her neck - i just want to steal her for myself! love you!

Jessie said...

Thanks for sharing Hope. It is a blessing to see you continue your journey faithfully in Him, though you may not always like the journey or feel faithful. A good friend I have who recently lost a very close family member shared this quote with me recently about how she is feeling. I thought I'd pass it along, too, for what its worth:

"i remember delighting in them -- trees, art, house, music, pink morning sky, work well done, flowers, books. i still delight in them. i'm still grateful. but the zest is gone. the passion is cooled, the striving quieted, the longing stilled. my attachment loosened. no longer do i set my heart on them. they don't matter. instead of rowing, i float. the joy that comes my way i savor. but the seeking, the clutching, the aiming, is gone. i don't suppose anyone on the outside notices. i go through all my paces. what the world gives, i still accept. but what it promised, i no longer reach for.

i've become an alien in the world, shyling toucing it as if it's not mine. i don't belong anymore. when someone loved leaves home, home become mere house." (wolterstorff)

Jackie said...

I don't comment much, but know that I read here and pray often. Your honesty is refreshing, encouraging, humbling. Thank you for sharing your heart so courageously.

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

SO good to hear your "voice"and thoughts, Hope. We love you, Katie and Dick

Shea said...

Always so good to hear from you. Not a day goes by that I don't still think of you and lift you all in prayers. I am so grateful to your for your honesty and open heart. It reminds me of what matters most and grounds me in a way; and it's always a lesson of the strength of Christ because I know He is alive in your heart! Thank you, Hope. Always praying and thinking of you all. The pictures are beautiful; Disney looks like so much fun! Hope to see you sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dear Friend,
Thanks for sharing with depth and authenticity. - as always! I miss you and love you. And lift you to our Abba Father.

Shane, LaJuan, Jocelyn and Gabrielle said...

thanks for sharing, Hope...for "really" sharing your heart. I'm always so encouraged, so challenged, so moved...we love you guys and think about you guys and continue to pray for ya'll.

Anonymous said...

THinking of and praying for you today dear friends,


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