Welcome! Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa ...Our house is your house

A glimpse into the life of Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood and their 12 precious blessings. Thank you for visiting; we pray that what we share here may always bring glory to our wonderful God and Saviour. May you praise the Lord with us for the great things He has done and continues to do as we serve Him sharing the gospel here in the little town of Cuidad Insurgentes, BCS Mexico. He alone is good and faithful!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bad News

UPDATE: Not much new to report from the doctor's appt. this morning. Dr. Van Kirk (my doctor here in Redding) will be calling down to UC Davis as I may need to be down there for the delivery. He just again went over the seriousness of the situation and that his goal is to get baby here safely and mommy taken care of.
Daniel leaves Friday morning to head back home to Mexico to check on/take care of things there and see/visit with our dear church. This will most likely be his last trip back there until we all 14 of us go back home together. :) Daniel and I read each of your comments together and it brings tears to our eyes knowing our brothers and sisters in Christ are bringing us before His throne. Psalms 55:22 "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he shall sustain you: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."



I only have a minute before I need to get ready to see the doctor here, but I just wanted to give a quick update on our u/s appt. yesterday. Thank you first of all for praying for us. Though the news was surprisingly worse than we'd hoped for, the Lord truly calmed our hearts, the doctor/staff at UC Davis was wonderful, Daniel was able to be with me the entire time (even though he had our 2 youngest with him...they allowed them all to come back for the scan as long as the little ones were quiet), and the other children back at home had a simply great time at the homes of their family /friends. And, our little baby boy is still inside me and growing just perfectly! So much for which to thank the Lord.
The reason I had this u/s was primarily due to the concern that the placenta, being as it is previa and lying over my previous c-section scars, is at risk for growing too deeply into the uterus which can be very dangerous and cause a lot of problems, especially at the delivery of the baby. If the placenta has attatched itself too firmly, it often will be difficult to impossible to remove after the birth resulting in severe hemmoraging for the mother and often the need for an emergency hysterectomy to save her life.
If the placenta is attatched too deeply, there are 3 levels in which they call this condition based on how deeply the placenta has grown into the uterus. The first is placenta accreta, meaning it has grown too deeply into the uterine wall. The second is called placenta increta, meaning it has grown more deeply into the muscle of the uterus. And then third is called placenta percreta, meaning that the placenta has grown completely through the uterus and often attaches itself to other organs outside the uterus such as the bladder or bowel. This third level is the most complicated/risky as it involves other organs as well as the uterus.
While I came to the scan knowing that I was a high rist for an accreta, we were very hopeful that all would be normal. After the lady took all the pictures and called the doctor to review them, the doctor came in to rescan me and talk about what they had found.
Diagnosis: definate placenta accreta, very probable placenta increta, and possible placenta percreta as he saw some of the placenta blood vessels already on/near my bladder.
The doctor was very serious, but very caring as well. He told me that they don't see this very often and this is what often still takes the life of ladies in childbirth. But he also right away told me that as bad as this news is to hear, that it is actually very good news. Good in the sense that we know and because we know, we can be prepared at the delivery for what possibly lies ahead and being prepared, he feels that while it may be rough, baby and I will be fine. Most of the sad outcomes, he said, are when they go into a delivery unaware of the problems.
I see my doctor here in town this morning to talk with him about the diagnosis, see if he and the hospital here are still able to handle the situation and to again let him know how many people have been praying for him as well as baby and I. Pray the Lord gives Dr. Van Kirk wisdom this morning as we talk about the different options/things that need to be discussed.
I need to get ready to go, but I will update later today, Lord willing, about my appointment and share some other thoughts :).
Thank you for praying. The Lord is so very faithful, good, and loves us so much!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Update and answering questions about c-sec/medical insurance :)

The past couple of days, I hadn't been feeling very well and so Daniel encouraged me to just rest as much as possible. We were wondering if another bleed was coming or if it was just normal pregnancy aches and pains. I think I'm overly sensitive this pregnancy to every little feeling in my tummy. :) I went to be early last night, and since it was Saturday, I slept in this morning (well, I tried to...the children did great getting up, dressed, doing chores, and even getting out cereal for breakfast...they just had a question for me every 10 minutes...it was cute because they didn't want to "bother mommy" so they would come in and whisper their questions in my ear :) ).
When I finally got up, I felt much better and this is the first day in about 9 weeks that I haven't been bleeding! Timothy, Elijah and Daniel went soul winning this morning while the girls, Benjamin and I got the house cleaned, laundry/sheets washed, and even got some chicken cooking in the oven. It's another cool, drizzly day, so the girls took the little ones out to the garage to play playdough and teach them "the plan of salvation". :)
The past couple of days, in our evening devotions, Daniel has been teaching the children how to lead someone to Jesus. They have been very excited and this morning, the older ones were writing down all the verses we've been going over in the back of their Bibles. The older boys have loved going soul winning in English with Daddy while we've been here.
This upcoming week will be a busy one and we appreciate your prayers in the days ahead. Monday night, we will be dropping off the oldest 9 children with 3 different families (the girls will be with some dear friends from church who have 5 sweet daughters of their own...they can't wait; 3 of the boys will be at Grandma's house and the other 3 at an Aunt/Uncle/Cousin's house...I'm sending them with their school work and they all want to make sure we don't get back too soon so that when they are done with school, they will have plenty of time to play :) ). Daniel and I and the our 2 little guys (Nehemiah and Eliseo) will head down to Sacramento as I have an early morning appointment at UC Davis for a level 2 u/s. Lord willing, we will be back home here early Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday morning I go back to my doctor here and see what he says. I'm hoping for "It's a miracle...nothing is wrong anymore!" :) I'm homesick for Mexico; Daniel says I'm definately a woman because when I'm in Mexico I'm homesick for the states. :)
Early Friday morning, Daniel heads back down to Mexico again. He covets your prayers as he travels and works down there for a few days. He will fly back home the following Tuesday night.

I try to answer a couple of your questions with each post, so:

"Do you always have to have a c-section from now on?"

With this pregnancy, as I have complete placenta previa meaning the placenta is completely covering the normal exit for the baby, there is no option other than a c-section.
My first c-section was with Susannah (our 9th). I had placenta abruptio during labor with her (placenta tore away from the uterine wall) and had to have an emergency c-sec to save baby and I.
Our next two little ones were also delivered by c-section as there was no other option for me down in Mexico.
So as seeing as this will be my 4th c-section, if the Lord does bless us with another baby in the future, most likely, he/she will be delivered by c-sec. as well.

"How do we afford health care in the USA? Do we have health insurance?"

Before the Lord led us to Mexico, Daniel had excellent health insurance for the family through his job. When he left that job to serve the Lord full time in Mexico, one of the questions we asked ourselves was, "What will we do for health insurance?"
Through some dear friends, we were introduced to Samaritans Ministries International (www.samaritanministries.org). Samaritans Ministries is not medical insurance, but rather is a group of Christian believers who participate together in praying for and providing for each other's medical needs.
Each month, we are given the name of another brother or sister in Christ along with a brief explanation of their medical need. We send our share of money to this individual and then comes the most wonderful part...we sit down together as a family, pray for this person, and then we all write get well cards/letters to them as well and send them to them.
Because this program is limited to Christians who sign a paper saying that they do not participate in many things that are harmful to one's body (illegal drugs, immorality, ect...), the medical expenses/needs are kept in check and our share we give each month is very reasonable.
We sure enjoy knowing that we are able to help another in their time of need, and like I said, the best part is having a name of that individual to pray for/write to.
When I have had my babies and when Daniel had his surgery this year, we simply told the doctors/hospitals that we did not have insurance, but are part of a group of Christians helping Christians. Being "self-pay" we ask for any discounts available (as insurance companies only pay a percentage of the total bill themselves) and then we submitted our medical bills to Samaritans Ministries.
Within a couple of months, we not only recieved the funds to pay for our bills, we were blessed by many cards/letters from those Christians who had helped us letting us know that they were praying for us too.
We have been very blessed/pleased with the program and encourage anyone who may not have medical coverage or is looking for an alternative to go to Samaritan's website for more information.

May the Lord bless you all with a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Simple Obedience

"Obedience brings blessing; disobedience brings discipline."
A dear friend of ours gave us a framed picture with these words on it. I put it in the main room of the house where we spend most of our time so we can see it often. How many times I have known what the Lord wants of me yet have chosen to follow my own way. How much happiness, joy and peace He gives me when, no matter how hard it may be, I simply choose to surrender my will to His. As undeserving as I am, He just pours out His blessings upon me. I am so amazed at how much He loves me! I am beginning to see more and more how very precious a pure, humble, yielded, repentant heart is to God. All my labors, giving, and prayers are not worth anything if my heart is not sweetly yielded to my Lord. Obedience is better than sacrifice (I Sam. 15:22).
I have seen many times the loving discipline of the Lord when I am not obedient. When we were little, my Daddee would always say to us, "Obedience is doing what you are told to do, when you are told to do it with a happy spirit." It is often those last two parts that I fight...doing it WHEN I am told or the Lord first brings it to my mind; and doing it with the right spirit. How Satan deceives us into thinking how very terrible it is to have to obey. Here God is just waiting and wanting to pour out His blessings upon us and we so often run, rebel, and turn from the very God who gives us breath and loves us so. Yet the undescribable joy He gives when we turn to Him and simply and humbly obey. He is so good!
My older two boys are with Daniel at the home of a very wise and godly man. They have gone there simply to listen and be taught at this man's feet. Our little ones are sitting around me playing "choo-choo train" and the middle ones are doing their school work. After about 2 weeks of beautiful spring like weather, it is a cool, rainy morning and since it's so quiet right now, I thought I'd take a few minutes to answer a couple more of your questions.

What do you do for morning Bible time?
I know that we as moms want to do what is best for our children. Often times, I would find myself wanting to find "the perfect" system or curriculum or book to use for a particular subject. I think that many ladies have the tendency to fret that they are not doing something right or there just may be a better way to do something that they are missing.
I am happy to share what we do for our family devotions, our school time, or any other area of our daily lives. I have learned so much from others through what I have observed or they have shared from their lives. But what the Lord really impresssed upon my heart a couple years ago was "faithfulness"....using what God has given me and what I know to do, and then just being faithful. I had spent so much time putting things off or only doing them half heartedly because I just wasn't sure if I had the best method, when all along, if I had just started or given my best with what I had, we would have been much closer to our goals than we were now.
In the area of family Bible time/devotions, I encourage you all to just start and be faithful no matter how simple it may be. Reading a verse, talking about it, singing a song to the Lord, ect... And most importantly, ask the Lord to use that precious time to work in you heart and that of your children.
Our morning Bible time is done around the breakfast table. Daniel prays and then while he and the children are eating, I read aloud a chapter from a book. We have read a variety of books choosing ones which encourage us in the Lord and our walk with Him. Currently, we are reading "Wisdom with the Millers". It is the fourth of the "Miller" books we have read and they are excellent. We have read a wide variety of Christian biographies and many missionary stories. We have read all four of the "Moody Family" books by Sarah Maxwell as well.
After I finish reading, Daniel opens the Bible and reads a chapter from God's Word. We are currently reading through the Psalms. Then Daniel will choose a verse or two which he will talk about and encourage us all to meditate on throughout the day. We end in prayer and then do our breakfast clean up chores and begin school for the day.
In the evenings, we also meet together as a family for time around God's Word before bed. In Mexico, Daniel often has to work late into the night, so if he is unable to be home, I have that time with the children. Since we have been here in the USA, it has been wonderful having Daniel often home in the evenings and then of course, he will lead. Our evening Bible time always begins with prayer and a time of singing. Daniel pulls out his guitar and we will sing anywhere from two to ten songs. Then we use that time to talk about whatever the Lord has on our heart, often things we have noticed in our lives or the lives of the children in which we need to work (i.e. bickering, laziness, contentment ect...). We also use the time to praise the children for applying God's Word and what they have learned as we notice that as well. We use Scripture verses and examples found therein for teaching, correcting, and encouraging. Sometimes, the children will also recite for the family the Bible passages that they have been working on during their Bible memory time each day in school.
We end with two things...first, we ask if anyone has anything that they want to confess...if they have done anything wrong or wronged anyone during the day and haven't made it right. It is a sweet time of confession, repentence, and forgiveness. And finally, we take prayer requests and go around the room giving each a turn to pray.
Then it is "hugs, kisses, and to bed" :).
Well, I need to begin teaching again as I hear them wrapping up their given assignements. Thank you so much for praying for us! Have a wonderful day as you joyfully obey! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good questions!! :)

Wow! You all gave me quite a variety of questions! That's great as while I'm so thankful for the Lord giving me so many normal days (i.e. being wife/mommy, homeschooling, training/playing/loving on children, housework ect...) and not having to be in the hospital, it gives me lots of things to post! :)
I'm over 25 weeks along now! My level 2 U/S has been scheduled for next Tuesday morning (Jan. 27). The main reason for this u/s is to check to see if the placenta has grown deeper into the uterine wall than it should which would further complicate things...especially the delivery of our little man. So we are praying for a good report Tuesday yet knowing that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God and are called according to His purpose. The Lord has given so much peace to me through this entire pregnancy and I can't even begin to describe how much I love this little baby who is kicking mommy as I type...a wonderful reminder of the Lord's great love and care for me.

As for answering your questions, I'll start with the one asked the most...not just here on our blog, but we've been asked this question quite often, especially this pregnancy.
"Will you have more babies after this?" "Do the doctors advise you against having another baby as you are high risk?"
The doctors have considered me "high risk" for about the last 5 pregnancies. :) Will we have more? I'll be perfectly honest...we would LOVE to have more if the Lord chooses to give us another. When I was younger and just beginning to have our babies, and they came so close together, I remember thinking "Oh, I hope I don't get pregnant again so soon! This is sooo tiring!" But the last couple of years, my thoughts have been, "Oh, this may be the very last time I get to carry a little one inside me!" And a twinge of sadness always follows. Oh, I know someday I will no longer bear another child, but I'll just wait on the Lord to choose that day for me. One of the risks with the delivery of this baby for which the doctor is very fearful is significant hemmoraging in which they would have to possibly remove my uterus to stop it. If that were the case, then I can safely say that I won't have any more babies :)

Another question that goes along the line of this pregnancy is my bedrest status. During this pregnancy I have had to be on various levels of bedrest mainly depending on my bleeding. The most "in bed" I have had to be is to be confined to my bed (with sitting up privileges) and allowed to make trips to the bathroom as needed. Currently, I am on limited activity. I do not have to be in bed all the time right now. I can sit at the table or at the couch and homeschool, walk around the house, do light housework (fold clothes, stir the oatmeal ect...), and even take trips away from home provided we are close to the hospital at all times (to church, visit a friend/family, on a date with my handsome man).
As the pregnancy progresses or if I have more significant bleeding (which is anticipated), I will most likely be back in bed at best or possibly in the hospital.
I am very blessed with first, a wonderful hubby and 11 sweet children who do everything from cooking, cleaning, helping with homeschooling, to changing diapers, playing with little ones and keeping mommy company. I also have so many loving family and friends who have brought us home cooked meals, groceries, offered and provided child care, and so much more. And I have so many brothers and sisters in Christ (many whom I've never even met) who bring us before the Lord in prayer each day. I feel so loved and cared for and are just so very thankful!
Well, it is getting late; I will answer more of your questions soon. We still don't have our laptop back, but I was able to upload a few recent pictures from our camera to post here :)

Last week, our girls went to a "tea party" in celebration of their cousins birthdays. They had so much fun dressing up in Aunt Deborah's trunk of dress up clothes and we enjoyed a sweet time of tea, treats, fun, and fellowship.

While she would love to be at a tea party every day, Abigail and the other children keep busy each morning and early afternoon with their studies. We are so thankful to have a place here to call home where we can work, school, play, and relax each day.

Each day the children enjoy writing a letter to somebody. The oldest 6 (ages 6-12) can write their very own. Josiah (age 5) tells me what he wants to say, I write it down, and then he copies it onto another paper. Noah (age 4) tells me what he wants to say, I write it in pencil, and then he traces over my writing with a crayon. And Susannah and Nehemiah (ages 2 and 3) join in by coloring a special picture. When they finish their letters, the older ones enjoy drawing a picture on the back too. We always begin our letter writing by talking about the person whom we've chosen to write that day, why we are writing to them, and then we take turns going around the table praying for them. It is so precious to hear the children continue to remember that special one throughout the day in their mealtime or bed time prayers.


While down in Mexico this month, Daniel was able to hand out the remainder of the shoe boxes! Here we was able to go to an area he had never visited before. The little town school was in session, so we went to the director there and asked if he could give each of the children a Christmas gift. The director called the children out to the yard and Daniel was able to give each child a box and visit with the children and teachers for a bit.

Loading up the truck to pass out the final boxes!!

These were the children of some imigrant laborers that live in small houses near the fields in which they work.

Oh, I can't wait until we are all back "home" and can visit these children, their parents, and the countless more who each day are waiting to hear the gospel.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ask Away

We have internet here at our home! And now that we FINALLY have it, our laptop is in the computer shop...I think the Mexican dust is a bit hard on it...and the primary operator of it (me :) ), messes it up too sometimes. Lord willing we will have it back soon as I miss posting pictures.
I cannot write a post without thinking of you all who continue to pray for our family. I am so thankful to still be here at home and not spending time in the hospital; I'm so thankful for another week gone by without any major problems (25 weeks now almost!); I'm so thankful to feel those little kicks get stronger and stronger all the time; and I'm so thankful how the Lord has taken care of us all.
At our family Bible time each morning, we read a chapter from God's Word. We are currently in the book of Psalms and how precious those Words are in times of trial. Each day, we are comforted and convicted as we seek to know God's Truth.
I wanted to ask for your help. Since we were without internet for so long and since I don't have our regular computer, I know there may be some of you still waiting a response from a question you've asked in a previous post. I can remember a handful of them, but if you have asked something that we haven't answered, would you mind asking it again by commenting under this post? Or if you have something you've been wanting to ask (about family, baby, ministry, home school, the children, ect...), this would be a good post to ask it. That way, I can have the questions all in one place rather than going back through previous posts to find them all.
I sure appreciate it.
Have a wonderful weekend in the Lord. He is so good!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update...at last!!! :)

Finally another opportunity to update here :) I do wish I was able to keep everyone better updated, and Lord willing, we will be getting internet access at our home here next week. But in the mean time, Daniel, the children, and I thank each and everyone of you who keep "checking in on us", encourage us through your sweet comments/emails, through sharing verses from God's Word, and most importantly, through your prayers. We hope that while you've patiently awaited an update, that you haven't worried, but just brought us before our loving Heavenly Father who cares for us so much.
While I cannot say I haven't had times of doubt, discouragement, or worry myself, I can say that without fail, the Lord has encouraged and strengthened my heart over and over again as I read His Word. At times, I truly feel just as Psalmist said in chapter 42...as a deer panting for water, I long after the Lord...to just rest in Him and trust in His love and care.

I'm so thankful to report that our little baby has made it another week hitting what the doctors here tell us is a very important week...24 weeks!! And we continue to pray for many more days and weeks that he will be able to stay safe inside mommy. I'm continuing to bleed, but again, no "major" bleeding this week, and we just thank the Lord as we know He is answering our prayers and the prayers of so many.

Another wonderful answer to prayer...we have found a place to call home while we await this little guys arrival. A couple in our home church offered us a home amazingly affordable. It is close to town/the hospital, is partially furnished (just perfect for our temporary situation...it has a couch, love seat, chairs, table, 2 beds, a dresser, washer/dryer, fridge, and TONS of closet/cupboard space), and we just are so thankful for a place to settle in here. It's so comfortable and we thank the Lord each day for providing this need for us through the kindness of this couple.

We moved and got settled in on Monday (January 5th) and it's been so good to write up and post a chore chart, basic daily schedule, and once again spend our mornings/early afternoons homeschooling. Not only do I feel so much better and accomplish so much more each day when we are organized, but the children are truly happier (and better behaved :) ) too. They enjoy working on their school work and helping around the home and then have so much fun during their free time each day. The weather has been so beautiful this week, and there is a little park 1 block from our home which has been so much fun for everyone. We have visited there most every afternoon and while I sit on the bench holding Eliseo, the children can play on the playground equipment, shoot baskets, dig in the sand, or (their favorite) explore the little creek that runs there.

Thursday (the 8th) morning, at 5 am we said goodbye to Daddy as he got on an airplane to head back home to Mexico for a few days. He's there to spend time with all the people in our church, encourage Brother Macario who has been holding services in Daniel's absence, pay our bills, preach in the village of Jesus Maria, hold services Sunday, and pass out the remaining shoeboxes. He'll fly back Tuesday night (the 13th) and then Lord willing, return again the beginning of February. We appreciate your prayers for him as he travels, that the Lord will keep him safe and bless his time/work there, and protect the children, new little one, and I in Daddy's absence.
When I called to talk with Daniel today, he was out visiting some of the ladies from our church and he passed them his phone so they could talk with me too. Oh how I miss them! Pray that the Lord will especially encourage them in their Christian walk while we are not there ourselves.

I have some pictures I can't wait to share, and some of your questions I look forward to answering once we get a connection at home here (hopefully by Wednesday). I'll answer emails then too (if you are already waiting for a reply, thank you for your patience!) :). Many have asked us for an address where we can receive mail here in the state. I will post one on the top righthand side bar.

Oh....and we are narrowing down a name for this precious little baby boy....we'll let you know soon so you can pray for him by a name other than "Justin Other" :) Because this little guy is certainly not just another baby...He's already been prayed for so much, loved by so many, and the Lord has used him to again bring us closer to Him. Oh, I can't wait to meet him and for you all to "meet" him too!