Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Really Matters

Ponder that phrase for a moment..."What Really Matters". When you think about your life...your everyday do you answer that question? I am not really looking for a spiritual, philosophical answer. I want you to look at your heart and ask yourself...What Really Matters? Is it your job, your house, your computer (ie Internet), your wife, your kids, your family, your friends....what is it?

I will tell you what really matters to 2 precious boys. I have discovered that in my life I have taken for granted the children that God gave me. I'm talking about the little things...they are healthy, they are walking, they are talking (well, Timmy is...Silas still grunts), they have the ability to play, they have the ability to show emotion, they don't fully understand the BIG picture of the state of our world...they are innocent in that realm. They rely on me and Ed for absolutely EVERYTHING in their life. Without us to care for them...where would they be. Just like Christ sustains us...PARENTS SUSTAIN CHILDREN. And how many times do we really stop and appreciate our children. Not just writing it on a blog or facebook note, but getting down to their level, looking them in the eye and expressing to them our love for them or how proud we are of them. How about getting on the floor and playing games with them...spending QUALITY time with them. (And I want to insert here that "Quality Time" is NOT being in the same room with them while you watch a TV show or surf the net) I'm talking about spending time with them that will make an investment in their life. I am on this soapbox because God has REALLY been working on my heart in this area. I have been SO guilty of all of the things I just listed...I have asked God to nudge me when I place a TV show in front of my boys. And believe me...when you ask God for a nudge...HE sometimes gives you a push! I notice that when I pay more attention to my boys, and when I speak to them in love and not in anger...there attitude changes, their behavior changes. It's been amazing to watch.

There is a 2nd reason why I bring up this topic and that is because there are several, maybe even thousands of families that are RIGHT now sitting in NICUs or PICUs or hospitals and even at some homes waiting, longing, yearning for their children to be healthy, to walk, to talk, to show emotion, all those things I listed previously. These parents are wearing WAY different shoes than I am...and I am SO guilty of complaining about the whining or the impatience of my children or the behaviors they are exhibiting...but you know what...if our children are healthy...there shouldn't be a DAY that goes by that you are not loving on your kids every moment you get. I have been praying for several of these families lately, and I want to take the time to share with you my blogging friends about these families that have impacted my walk with Christ in a way they don't even know.

Angie Smith found out at her 20 week ultrasound in January of 2008 that her baby girl had several health issues that were lethal. The doctors told her because of her conditions, she probably wouldn't live outside the womb. She ended up giving birth to Audrey Caroline Smith on April 7, 2008. She only lived for 2 hours and 15 minutes outside of her womb. She is now in Heaven with Jesus. I challenge you to read Audrey's story from the beginning. (There is a button on the right hand side that says, "Welcome") I will forewarn will cry, sob and sob some more. But Audrey's Story will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. And when it does, start covering this family in prayer.

Kayleigh Anne Freeman is a beautiful baby girl who was born weighing at 1 pound. She has went through operations where she broke the record for being the tiniest baby to live through it...she has almost died 2 or 3 times, but God is doing MIRACULOUS things in this baby's life. Please start from the beginning and fall in love with Kayleigh like I have, and start praying for her and her family everyday.

Through Angie Smith's blog, I came upon MckMama's blog when she was pregnant with Baby Stellan. Baby Stellan had heart issues in the womb and the doctors told MckMama and Prince Charming that there baby would not live outside the womb. Well, when Baby Stellan was born FULL TERM, the doctors could find NOTHING wrong with his heart. God had HEALED this baby boy's heart defect. Through this family, my faith in God was strengthened to be able to truly believe that prayer is a powerful instrument that we as believers have. MckMama has MSC (many small children) and she is an absolute BLAST to read about. Check out this will amaze you.

There are a couple of more families that I follow on a daily basis that God has done AMAZING things in their life, but this blog would be 3 times as long, so I will leave you with one blog that has made me HUG and LOVE and KISS my boys EVERYDAY. And partly the reason I wrote this blog to begin with...

Meet Cora Paige.

Cora Paige McClenehan was 10 months old when her parents took her in for a doctor visit because she was suffering from her 3rd ear infection. The doctor wanted to do some tests because her stomach seemed tight. When the doctor returned to the room, he had tears in his eyes...based on the test results, it looked like Cora had cancer.
Cancer...can you imagine what they went through as they allowed these words to soak in...their 10mth old baby girl had CANCER. That was on January 22, 2009...she did have cancer and immediately had surgery to remove the tumor near her kidneys. However, on Sunday, February 8, 2009, Cora Paige was healed of her cancer when she went to be with the Lord.

I found out about Cora through another blogger friend about the same time I was going through my miscarriage. I was mourning the loss of my baby that I had never held in my arms, yet my arms felt so empty. Yet, these parents held their baby for 10 months in their arms, and now there arms were empty. It helped me accept my miscarriage as a part of God's plan for my life. HE could have easily chosen ME to carry the grief that the Macs are carrying, but HE chose for me to not hold my baby. I have felt more carried by Jesus these past 4 weeks than I have in a long time. And you know what...HE still hasn't put me down. I am still in HIS arms.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

8 Years With My Prince

Today is my 8th Wedding Anniversary, and in HONOR of my Prince, I decided to dedicate this blog to HIM... I love you Edward Jeremiah Lockwood, Jr.

Dearest Ed,

Words can not adequately describe the love I have for you today. When I look back on the last 8 years that God has given us, I am amazed at everything that we have went through, where we are today, and what we HAVE today.

I will always remember April 27, 2000 when our emails crossed in cyberspace, and I opened up and read your email and said these words, "I am going to marry this man!" The peace that was IMMEDIATE from the Lord was amazing. I'm from a country town, and not many people understood how I could "trust" that you were who you said you were, but when we started talking on the phone for hours and hours at a time, I fell madly in love with your heart. See, our relationship was different in that there wasn't ANY physical connection between us. You were in Texas and I was in North Carolina...the long distance kept us from that...but through our conversations, I came to know the man God had made for ME! All growing up I had prayed and prayed for "THE ONE" that God made for me....and to think after all these years, GOD saved the BEST for last! My precious High School cheerleading coach, Rose, engrained a phrase in our minds always..."God gives the BEST, to those who leave the CHOICE with Him" And are the best! When I met you, I couldn't believe that you were MINE!

Did God really know that much about me to make a perfect man for ME! A man who loves me unconditionally no matter how much I don't love myself. A man who cries with me when we lose our 2nd baby by miscarriage. A man who holds me and gives me strength that I am sure HE didn't even know he had. A man who understands when I need to grieve on my own and when I need to be held. A man who loves God with all his heart, all his soul, and all his mind. A man who moved his family to a new state to pursue a passion that God placed in his heart. A man who listens when God says, "Go Now!" A man who has such FAITH that God is going to provide our EVERY need and carries his family to the cross. A man who is my protector and defender. I am NEVER afraid when I am with you...cause NO-ONE is gonnna mess with you :) A man who is an amazing father to our boys. A man who has a passion for the lost and for missions. A man who understands EVERY quirk I have. A man who thinks I am God's most BEAUTIFUL creation, even when I can't stand to look at a mirror. A man who cares more about me and my needs more than he cares about himself. A man who is my very best friend!

I could go on and on and on, but I will close with this...Ed, I can NOT wait to see what God has in store for us this year! We have had a long, hard road these past 5 months, but GOD has made us stronger because of it. Keep purusing that passion in your heart for HIM! I love you baby!

Always and Forever,

Your Wife

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"D" - The Letter Game

One of my Head RAs from UMHB, BD, was tagged by one of her friends with the Letter Game. I have been looking for things to brighten up my blog, so I told her I would love to play. She gave me the letter, "D".

If you want to play, leave a comment on this post letting me know, and I'll assign you a letter. You post 10 things you love that begin with your assigned letter. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on.

1. Daddy (My daddy is my HERO! He and my mom have done more for me since I moved to GA than any other time in my life. I pray blessings on their life for how they have blessed me)

2. Dark Chocolate (I am now addicted to this lovely chocolate bar)

Courtesy of Hersheys
3. Donna Plank (She is my FAVORITE boss that I have EVER had! I will NEVER forget her! My journey at UMHB would have never been the same without her.)

Courtesy of Facebook
4. Dunkin Donuts (Enough said)

Courtesy of Dunkin Donuts
5. Dr. Pepper (My favorite drink ever)

Courtesy of Dr. Pepper
6. Diamonds are a girls best friend!

Courtesy of Yahoo
7. Drills (Fire - I thought I was finished with Fire Drills once I left UMHB...but this morning at Life entire office building had to evacuate this morning in the 30 degree weather for a fire drill. Oh, memories of UMHB)

Courtesy of Yahoo
8. Dishes (I love my dishes. These were the dishes we got when we were married almost 8 years ago. It's so easy to match the colors with any kitchen)

Courtesy of Pflatzgraff
9. Dinner (My DH cooks me dinner almost EVERY night! I absolutely LOVE being pampered this way!)

Courtesy of Yahoo
10. Dirty Knees (This represents a precious baby I have been praying for)

So...who's next...just let me know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

In a rush to get the house cleaned before company came over, I did NOT feed my 1 year old cheetos cheese balls and pudding for supper. I always feed him a balanced meal for supper.

When shopping in Target with my little ones, I did NOT spill a large cup of popcorn on the floor and walk away. I always tell the lovely Target employees about messes my LO make. I then felt guilty, so when my 1 yr old spilled his chocolate milk on the floor in Target, I DID inform a Target employee to clean up spill on aisle 4.

I have NOT had a lot going in my life this past week, and I did NOT forget to give my 2 boys a bath. I always remember the last time they had baths.

My husband and I are NOT having the most amazing time without our LO. They are most certainly NOT spending a week with Nana and Papa in NC. We are most certainly NOT having the time of our lives feeling like Newlyweds again. (Note: WE absolutely LOVE and ADORE our children, but after our m/c, we needed this time as a couple to reconnect. Thanks Mom and Dad!)

After leaving the Mall of Georgia on Saturday night, I most certainly did NOT pull over in a Rest Area and ask DH who was following behind me if I was going the right direction on Interstate 85. I always know the direction of my home.

This was my FIRST Not Me Monday was a lot of fun....I hope to continue to do this every Monday. It's very therapeutic.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Emptiness Inside

Thursday was a hard day for me. It's hard to explain, but I am going to try. Since the miscarriage, I have really felt God in a mighty way in my life. I have felt HIS presence. I have felt HIS strength. I have been amazed at how GOOD GOD is in my life. But yesterday...I felt empty inside. Not an empty like somehow I needed to be "filled up", but an emptiness inside of longing to hold my baby. My arms felt empty. Even though I was only 8 weeks pregnant, I was never able to hold my baby, there was still an emptiness that I felt. At one point, I texted Ed and asked him to give Silas a hug and kiss from his Mommy and to tell Silas that I loved him very much. Silas and Timmy have been so good for me during this time. I love that God has already given me two babies to hold here on Earth. They are truly GIFTS from God that HE blessed me with.

As Thursday progressed, I felt myself feeling more and more sad about the m/c. I haven't shared with my co-workers at my office about the m/c, so I have to try extra hard to be strong at work. So, I internalize things really well. But then, I have to get it out. So, last night when I was going to bed, I just started talking to God and asking him to remove the emptiness I feel inside and replace it with a feeling of being held by Him. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW HE has been holding me...actually carrying me through this, but I needed HIM to take away the emptiness so that my arms would not feel empty. I woke up this morning with a cute little 5 year old staring me in the face wanting to decorate the cupcakes we baked last night. It was 5:45am, and he was bright eyed and bushy tailed. So, I got up, and got the icing and the red sprinkles set up for us to decorate. It was EXACTLY what I needed...even though I wasn't sitting there holding Timmy in my arms, I could feel the emptiness in my heart fill up to overflowing...just by being with Timmy and sharing in this special time with him.

Saturday, the boys are going to go to Nana and Papa's house for a week visit. This will be the 1st time that we have been able to do this EVER. Now that we are only 5 1/2 hours away from my parents, we can actually meet halfway and make this happen. Timmy is REALLY excited about it, and Silas has no clue. I am looking foward to this time because Ed and I really need to this time as a couple to reconnect. If you have never gone through a m/c, then you won't know how important it is for you and your husband to remain strong TOGETHER through this trial. Ed and I haven't been childless for more than a weekend since before Timmy was born. We are DEFINITELY looking forward to this time together.

In closing, I want to say THANK YOU to EVERYONE who has prayed for me, Ed and the boys during this season in our life. The move to Atlanta, Ed's job situation, our finance situation, and now the miscarriage. WE know that without God we would not be where we are right now. God has shown HIMSELF to us in ways we can't even describe sometimes. Sometimes we just look at each other and all we can say is Wow...that was a God moment! We pray blessings upon blessings on each and EVERY ONE of you who have uttered a prayer for us. May God RICHLY blessing you beyond all you can imagine for the way YOU have blessed us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

To My Angel Baby

It's February 5th, and you're in Heaven now. I will never forget January 21, 2009 when I got to see your tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound. You were SO tiny- almost too tiny for 7 weeks. You only measured 5 weeks, but your heart was beating strong at 112 BPM. The U/S tech said that was good for being so small. She printed a picture of you and sent me on my way with words of assurance that my cycle must be off. Your due date was changed from 9/7/09 to 9/17/09 - 10 days later, but that was ok, because that's your cousin Emily's birthday.

I came home and showed Daddy your picture. He couldn't believe how tiny you were either. But I told him I saw your tiny little heart beating so I felt re-assured. I had all the normal pregnancy symptons, but the morning sickness was the worse. A couple of days later, I started spotting. I immediately pulled out the pregnancy books, and got on the baby forums to see if this was normal. Everywhere I looked, said that spotting in the first trimester was normal as long as it wasn't accompanied by cramping. I wasn't cramping so I assured myself I was ok. I didn't share this info with anyone. It was if I didn't speak it, then it would go away.

One night I sat on Daddy's lap in tears because I felt like something could be wrong with you since you were so maybe my 1st due date was correct and you just weren't growing. But then we talked some more and we held on to the fact that I saw your tiny little heartbeat.

A couple of days later (Thursday), I came home from work and noticed that my spotting had been increasing. It had been about a week since I started spotting and I thought it would just go away. I decided to tell Daddy, because it seemed time to fill him in on what was going on. He got a little concerned, but I told him that I had read that spotting is normal during the first trimester and I wasn't cramping. So, we both went out to different events for the night. After I got your big brothers into bed, I started getting nervous about the increase. In my gut, I felt like something was wrong. I called the midwife on call, and she said if I wanted reassurance that everything was ok, I could go into the ER that night and they would do an u/s to check on you or just wait until Friday and come into the office. I called your daddy and told him I felt we needed to go to the ER.

The whole way to the hospital, I kept telling myself, "This is normal. I'm not even cramping." I was not expecting to hear the words the ER doc told us several hours later.

We had an u/s to check on you, but the policy at the ER was that me and Daddy couldn't watch. They only want the Dr to inform us of the results. I can't tell you how bad it killed me that I couldn't see you. The u/s tech said nothing...I kept watching her face for a smile, a pleasant reaction, but there was none...just a stonecold face that looked grim. We went back to our ER bed area and waited, and waited and waited for the Dr to give us the results. The waiting was the worse part of the whole experience. Your daddy looked at me with such love on his face and said, "Whatever the outcome, we will praise God." I agreed, but still secretly expected to hear good news.

After what seemed like 2 hours, the Dr finally approached us and said these words, "I'm so sorry, but we couldn't find a heartbeat." I was in denial. I didn't want to believe him...I wanted to see for myself...I wanted to see if that tiny heart that I saw beating just 1 week earlier wasn't beating anymore. As your daddy and I left the hospital, we were devastated. We had to go back to my OB dr on Friday to confirm the results of the ER u/s. And inside, until I saw for myself, I kept holding on to the fact that they were were ok. We cried and prayed all the way home that you would be ok.

On Friday, we had an appointment at 12:45 to have an u/s. Up until I laid down on that table for the u/s, a part of me still believed you would be ok. But when the tech started the u/s, I looked over and I saw you. You were bigger than you were a week ago, but you were not moving. Your little heart was still. She had me hold my breath to make sure it wasn't your heart that she heard, but I knew as soon as I saw were gone.....

Oh, little one...I so wanted to bring you into this world. Even as small as you were, as unexpected as you were SO loved by your mommy and daddy. Your big brother Timmy prayed for you every night that God would grow you big and strong. But God had other plans for you angel baby. We don't understand why God chose to take you from this world...and baby, the emptiness I feel for you is still so real and it hurts so much. But as you already know...our God is our Strength. He is carrying us through this heartache. I love the footprints poem because that is what God is doing for us. There aren't 2 sets of footprints in the sand, there is only one now because God is carrying us.

I love you angel baby. You will never be forgotten! I long for the day when I get to see your sweet face in Heaven.

Your Mommy