Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hello again

If you haven't looked at the times that most of my posts have been - er, well - posted - then there's no need for you to look back because I'll tell you that I am a night writer. Not to be confused with an 80's tv show with a certain Mr. Hasselhoff as the "star" and a car named KIT, but one that actually writes at night.

Anyway - I don't know what that has to do with the point of this post except as an exercise to get my brain writing. So, on to the news. We are planning a memorial service for Anna Joy for Saturday, December 31st. It will be at Mt. View Church of the Nazarene in Tumwater, WA. Time will be 11:00 am. If you are local, come join us. If you are not local, find friends or relatives to stay with and come join us. If you are REALY not local, get a ticket and a hotel room and come join us.

As for Alissa and I, we are getting through each moment as it comes. With Christmas a couple of days away, the plans for the holiday are coming together. We are spending the holiday with Alissa's family. Over dinner tonight, we all agreed that we are going to try and relax a little bit, and not be rushed around this weekend (by the way, when I say "we" I mean the Randy Freeby's, the Matthew Freeby's, the Jason Gross's, and the Alissa & I's). Hopefully that agreement will stand and God's peace will settle over us in a way that we won't expect.

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. As for Alissa and I, we agreed to cherish this Christmas and the rest that follow, knowing that Anna Joy came and went during the best season of the year. She touched so many lives, it is only fitting that we celebrate what she accomplished in her short time here on earth.

May God bless you and keep you. And may you live in the hope of His Son's coming to earth. Merry Christmas.

34 comments:

  1. God Bless you and your family this weekend!!! Hugs.

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  2. Celebrating her life... "She came and went during the best season of the year" - you two are an incredible testament to the peace that passes all understanding.

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  3. During advent, our pastor's been preaching about Christmas "finding us". When he started just a few short weeks ago, I had no idea how real his words would be for me these last few days before Christmas. I'm glad you and the rest of the family have a plan to relax and pursue peace. Love you all. See you soon.

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  4. Matt and Alissa, your poise, grace and generosity have been inspiring and comforting. We're supposed to be comforting the two of you, and your writings are comforting to those of us feeling an anxiety because we feel quite helpless and don't know exactly what we can be doing to help you.
    I know from personal experience how faith in God strengthens and empowers you to find peace and understanding. Anna Joy's presence in our lives has served God's purpose and I will never forget how beautifully she touched so many people's hearts.
    God bless.

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  5. I hope that you guys do get to have a relaxing and good time with your family. With those amazing people (the Freebs & Gross), I can't imagine that you will not! From the outside looking in, I'd say Matt that you married into such a great family! I'm praying for peace and daily strength for you all. Love you guys.

    -Carrie Hays

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  6. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Anna Joy has left an indelible mark in this world and she will be celebrating in heaven with my baby girl this Christmas. Doesn't it bring peace to know that we'll see our babies again?! God continues to bring you to mind often throughout each day.

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  7. I will be praying that you are drawn close to the Lord this Holiest of weeks when Jesus came into the world and taught us how to love. Have a blessed time with your family, and thank you again for sharing your trials with us. I have been both inspired and humbled by what I have read about what God has been doing through Anna's life and this blog. Kathy K

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  8. I really, truly wish there were a way I could come join you. Sorry I haven't been by in a few days. Things are busy as we get ready for my favorite day of the year. I think of you often, though, and will still pop in to say hi.

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  9. Alissa you make it very hard for anyone in the South Sound/Western WA or even the world for that matter to say we can't make it to celebrate Anna's life here on Earth. We will try our best to attend the gathering.
    We think of you all daily. Although you may not have brought Anna home physically, she will always be there in your heart and mind. Even though we never met Anna, she will always remain in ours. Your story has touched our hearts deeply. We are amazed by your faith and strength!
    We hope when life settles for all of us that we will have the opportunity to get to know each more than our few short interaction allowed. If there is anything we can do or help with, or even if you want to chit chat about our South Sound weather or traffic please do not hesitate to email us.
    May God Bless you and grant you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Andy & Katy Rondeau
    andrewrondeau@hotmail.com
    krondeau88@hotmail.com

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  10. ....May God bless you and your family this Christmas. Joy will always fill your Christmas's now because of your Anna Joy! She will be your little Christmas Angel! And ours too! I hope each day becomes easier and Anna Joy reminds you of the lesson she taught us all.....FAITH!

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  11. I echo what Debbie says - we are to be comforting you and you both are the ones bringing comfort to those around you. I pray that you will have a peaceful Christmas with Isaac and Alissa's family and that you will feel the love of Jesus, knowing that Anna is in His arms. Thank you for sharing your story with us. We hope to hear from you more - this blog, and Anna Joy's life, have done so much for so many. Blessings to your family - Love, Jill

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  12. God absolutely chose the best parents to love kittle Anna and to share her story. What an honor to be a part of His plan. Praying for you.

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  13. Your grace, poise, & strength amazes me. We would be honored to attend Annas memorial. If you need anything, & I mean anything please do not hesitate to ask. Praying for you all!

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  14. I was told about your story through Jenny Meredith who is in my MOPS group. I have been thinking and praying of you guys and beautiful Anna Joy everyday since. So the reason for my post today besides just checking to see how your family is doing, was an article I was reading. I receive daily articles from The Institute For Creation Research. Today's was on "The Peace of Christ". I read it and felt led to send it to you.

    The Peace of Christ
    by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

    "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

    The peace of Christ is not the peace of the world. If history is any criterion, the search for world peace always will be futile, for there have been wars going on somewhere in the world practically every day throughout history.

    But even if the world’s leaders could bring peace to the world, it would not be true peace. "My peace," said Jesus, "is not as the world giveth." Peace is internal, not external. "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1).

    The true Christian will never be left at peace in the world, even when there are brief respites of peace between the nations of the world. Only in Christ is there real peace. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

    The Lord Jesus Christ alone can give true peace, for only "he is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). He is the true peacemaker, for He "made peace through the blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:20). Before there can ever be genuine peace between man and man on earth, there must be peace between man on earth and God in heaven.

    Once a person has been "justified by faith," however, he has eternal "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Then, for daily peace, he can simply appropriate this truth in his life. "In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). HMM

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  15. Praying for God's peace that passes understanding. For you to truely feel His loving arms enfold you. I am in awe of how you two have handled all of this. I Know that God is with you....It shows in every word you write. May His blessings of Peace and Joy continue to be with you this Christmas and the days to come. Sincerely wish we could be there for the memorial service...however, since you just Had to move to the other end of the country and all..(actually I am Thrilled that you have your family's so close especially during this time) But I do miss you. Know that we will be there in spirit! Love you all so much.

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  16. Keeping you in prayer in the days to come. Blessed to witness your walk through this very difficult time.

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  17. Praying for you, Matt and Alissa - for more "sweet" than "bitter" this weekend as you quietly reflect on Love's pure light, the light that your sweet girl is experiencing now. Blessings to you as you walk down this road of remembering and grieving.

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  18. For those of us that are geographically separated at the moment, I thought it would be amazing if someone with some computer/internet know-how could set up an online video stream or live podcast of the memorial service...NOT to put that burden on you, Matt & Alissa, as you're already overwhelmed with so much with all the recent events- but rather aimed at someone in the Mountain View family who might be reading this post who could set that up, for those of us that would like to be there in person, but can't... just a thought. I may even ask my wife to set up a Skype video call using the church's Wi-fi & her laptop with a webcam, if it wouldn't be intrusive or invasive. Just wanted to "be" there for you, even if I wasn't able to show a physical presence.

    Matt & Alissa- you both are in my constant thoughts & prayers, along with Isaac, as you move forward and carry on in this overwhelmingly difficult and dark time. But I am blessed & privileged to be your brother in Christ, and a member of your MVCN family. And a Merry CHRISTmas to the entire family as they surround you with love, prayers, and support now and always.

    Love & blessings, -Dean Hoopes

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  19. Debbie G I agree. Praying for rest and peace this weekend.

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  20. Thank you Matt! Enjoy Christmas with Isaac, blessings to you all Merry Christmas
    Love, hugs& Prayers

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  21. We're not local... not even "not local". Here in Indiana we're far removed from you physically, but will be there with you in thoughts and prayers! Thank you for sharing Anna Joy's life with us and reminding us what is so much more important than life! God be with you tomorrow!

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  22. To be honest, I just stumbled upon this blog today from a facebook link. As I read all the entries and looked over all the pictures, my heart went out to you and your family. I can relate in ways because my middle child, Heather, was born 8 weeks premature and spent time in NICU at Tacoma General Hospital. Her father and I had our good days with her and our bad days with her, and it was always touch and go to a certain degree. Heather is now 7 years old and a wonderful little girl. I know how touching those little moments of finger grips, open eyes, and head movements can be, and they are always cherished even now that my little one is grown! I am so sorry for your loss, and I will light a candle for you and your family this holiday and probably every Christmas here after! My fiance and I are trying to get pregnant now, but I have only miscarried. In some strange way, your story is very inspiring to me and gives me a hope that I have never felt before! Thank you for that and I wish I could join you and your family on the 31st for Anna Joy's memorial, but I am not local anymore. I now live in Colorado. However, I will be with you all in spirit and will keep a little candle going for you, Matt, Alissa, Isaac, Anna Joy and the rest of your family!

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  23. I hope to make it down to the service with my family next weekend. (btw, I'm a friend of Matty McCaslin--I grew up with him in Olympia).

    Merry Christmas to you, Peppley Family! You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Molly Woodruff xoxo

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  24. Thinking of you, praying for you.... You and your beautiful baby Anna Joy have touched so many hearts ~ thank you. May God hold you close and wipe away your tears. My heart breaks with you - your sweet precious Anna is in heaven with our baby Gabriel, safe in the arms of Jesus.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd0Ru0GXCos

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  25. Your grace is miraculous!!!! What an absolute testament to faith. You are both truly, truly inspiring. Everytime I read your blog my eyes well up with tears and I am so moved by the love you are still showing to the world. What a blessing you have been to my life even as we are total strangers. Your precious Anna Joy must be so proud of her mommy and daddy. Thank you for sharing her with us. I pray for you a very Merry Christmas full of peace and love.

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  26. God Bless you! We are wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with peace and joy. ~Sara and Shawn

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  27. We never know the how's or why's or even the ways He may choose to use us.....but that night, when He sent HIS Son, He gave the world the gift of US......US who will believe HIM, no matter what the cost...US, who will love Him, no matter what we 'feel', US, who will follow, who will Trust (Totally Rely Upon (the) Savior's Timing, will get our grimey hands off a situation and truly REST (Relinquish Everything, Submit Totally) and Obey (Openly Believe (the) Eternal Yawheh......

    You were given a glimpse into a chunk of life that many of us have been asked to travel - and you 'got' it.....you understand when people can't be around others due to immune system/compromised immune systems....you understand what it means to be called at times to a 'Season of Silence'.....and you know how to minister to those who have been called and asked to walk that road.

    I truly believe, and pray we have a chance to chat of the incredible gift you have been given because of Anna Joy.....and God KNEW it......and He KNEW that it needed to come around the holiday season for us peon brained humans to be open to the message.

    You three are amazing. You are loved. Your family - extended and all are amazing. And Loved....around the world.....forever and ever.
    Emmanuel......God IS with us.....

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  28. Merry Christmas to you all. God's peace is already shinning through and His comfort is evident. Anna Joy touched all of us and will forever remain a tender remembrance in my heart. Love to all.
    Patti Becker

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  29. We love you and cherish you and your continued willingness to allow Anna's life to touch so many! She did! Know that in the deepest part of your heart. In your grieving, may you know that she influenced many to turn to face the Creator and recognize Him as holy. In your tears, may you recognize she was made beautifully and wonderfully, and that those that prayed for her were inspired to sit in the Throne Room, influenced by the Holy One, and that they are forever changed because of her. And in your celebration of her life on Saturday (of which I so desire to be there in person but won't be able to), know that Anna quite possibly could have changed the world in the few days she survived. We KNOW she changed a lot of lives for the better! I LOVE that! We love you. Merry Christmas friends

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  30. You are an amazing inspiration! Merry Christmas, God bless your precious family!!

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  31. Matt & Alissa, Just as the Star of Bethlehem shone so brightly 2000 years ago, and led those seeking Him directly to the Christ child, Anna Joy's life story has caused many, many people to turn and seek Him this holiday season. Thank you again for allowing us to be a part of this journey. Merry Christmas to you & your family. God bless and keep you.

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  32. Will be with you through thoughts and prayers! I will light a candle for precious Anna Joy on the 31st!

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  33. Dear Matt and Alissa,
    Thank you for your transparency in your blog posts, and for including us along the way with pictures and all the personal thoughts and special moments you have shared with us. I have been encouraged to watch as the Holy Spirit continues to bring comfort in the darkest times. You and Anna Joy are inspirational because of what God has done in you and through you. Please continue sharing your story with us.

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