Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to Anna!!!

We celebrated Anna's 15th birthday yesterday (24th) . She had a Cattle\Ranch Party. Anna really enjoys working with the cows. She is a real farm girl. Anna is a blessing to our family. She is the one that takes all our pictures. I am so thankful for all the pictures she took of Joel and Josiah when he was well and all the ones at the hospital. The Lord provided to get her a really nice camera, a Nikon a few months ago,and for her birthday she got a zoom lens for it. She has captured some wonderful shots... thank you Anna for your gift and love for your family to build treasures of keepsakes for your mom:). Anna has many other ways she is a blessing to her family too. She has been doing laundry since she was 6 years old, now that is diligence!!!!! Her name means" gracious one", she certainly goes about with grace helping and serving her family!!

It has been somewhat difficult to get through all these birthdays, knowing last year Joel was right in the middle of the festivities. He really enjoyed the parties, and helping open the gifts. He had such a jolly spirit about him that could cheer your heart. The family picture above was taken on Anna's birthday last year, and her party last year was out in the pasture. Joel and Josiah thought it was so fun to go out there and have the party. Sometimes I find myself in the land of "wishfulness". It is so trying to my faith with all these "mommy emotions".I still want to be Joel's mommy and take care of him here and now. They just seem to take over so often and my faith is ever so weak. It is like I read in Mark 9:23, "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe." It is not "if" he can help, its "if" I will believe this is working for my good and his glory. Oh to have faith to believe this!!!!! Our school song for this month is "When We See Christ" Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear, We're tempted
to complain to mumur and despair; But Christ will soon appear to catch
His Bride away, All tears forever over in God's eternal day.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life's trials will seem so small
when we see Christ; One glimpse of his dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

May the Lord give all of our hearts grace...

Andrew (11) and Joshua (9) have kept us in some excitement... Calf Riding!!!! Ever since Elijah rode a bull last fall, the pusuit of "rodeo" has been flowing, except on a smaller scale and somewhat safer. Mom and sisters say "Elijah's bull days" are OVER!!! Anyway it has been fun for the little guys. Andrew rode at the Lazy E arena Sat. Joshua decided since a few weeks ago, he got stepped on he would for go this last ride of the season. Andrew gave a good ride, although his ride before was longer.

My situation is still the same... waiting. As long as I do not show any signs of infection, I feel I can wait for my body to try to work naturally. I don't know how to put a time frame on the Lord, but if needed we will see a doctor. Sometimes I just want to get all this over with! I am not very good at waiting, but that could be exactly what the Lord wants me to learn," Be still and know I am God." If you think of it, I am grateful for you prayers to the throne.

Please do not give up on us with the DVD. Now we have had some problems with the color on the cover and the DVD at the duplicator.It is getting worked out and hopefully coming soon. I wonder if Joel's Journey has had all the setbacks because the enemy knows how powerfully the Lord could use it for his glory? If you think about it, pray the Lord would bless it in the film festival. You can look at all the films listed at http://www.independentchristianfilms.com/

Once again, we are grateful for your prayers and all the caring e-mails you send our way!!!!


Saturday, September 15, 2007

More on Joel's DVD!!!!!!!

John-Clay recently entered Joel' Journey into the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival which is with the Vision Forum. Today we found out it was entered in the Documentary Semi-final round of the competation. This is so exciting!!!!!!! Praise the Lord and a job well done to John-Clay. This is the e-mail that was sent to John-Clay!


REELCAST PRODUCTIONS405-343-4180www.reelcastproductions.com

Forwarded MessageFrom: San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2007 18:53:50 -0500To: John-Clay Burnett Subject: 2007 SAICFF - Joel's Journey

Dear John-Clay,
Thank you for your submission of Joel's Journey to the 2007 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. We greatly value your submission and can see the hard work put into your film. Your work was joined by over 120 other films, from which our judges had to narrow the competition down to less than 40 semi-finalists. Congratulations! Your film has been selected for the semi-final round of the competition, and qualifies you to compete for category awards and the grand prize Jubilee Award for Best of Festival. As a semi-finalist, your film will be shown at least once during the Festival, and possibly twice before the viewing audience (though a double showing is not guaranteed). Times have yet to be determined, but will be posted on the San Antonio Independent Christian Films website soon.We are strongly encouraging filmmakers who have been accepted as semi-finalists for the Jubilee Awards to attend the festival. In addition to the $10,000 Jubilee grand prize, more than a half dozen first place awards will be distributed this year, and your film could qualify. We would like to know whether not you will be attending the 2006 SAICFF October 19th-21st. Please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can make plans to welcome you at the sign in table. Some filmmakers may also be given an opportunity to address the audience briefly about their film. I also recommend that you consider attending the 2007 Christian Filmmakers Academy, to be held October 22-24 at the Marriott Riverwalk Hotel in Downtown San Antonio. It will provide a valuable opportunity to learn from a distinctively Christian perspective how to advance in your technical skills as a filmmaker. Be sure to watch the website for updates regarding both the Academy and the Festival. We hope to see you there!

The Vision Forum Staff

Friday, September 14, 2007

Joel's DVD Update!

Guess What? Joel's DVD is at the duplicator!!!!! Lord willing it will not be too long now! John-Clay has done a great job!!!!!!!!!!

(If the dear Lockwood family in Mexico could send a regular e-mail so we can get your address, we would love to send you all a DVD)


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday Josiah!!!!!!!

Joel and Josiah's 3rd Birthday

Josiah has had a very special birthday!! He started the day with John Deere donuts. The donut man decorated them special for Josiah with green and yellow striped icing! He arrived at his party with a John Deere t-shirt on! With big smiles and peering eyes from brothers and sisters, he opened his presents. He got several John Deere replicas and some duplo blocks. The afternoon was quiet as they enjoyed the new gifts.

Josiah made the request of hotdogs, hamburgers, cheetoes and coke for his birthday meal. We enjoyed a picnic outside this evening. His dad read a birthday blessing letter to him. Terry started this special blessing a while back and Lord willing the letters will be very meaningful in years to come. A little later we all gathered outside and sent 4 Helium birthday balloons "up" to Balley. This was quite meaningful to the younger children. Josiah released them with a wonder in his eye.

Josiah talked alot about Balley today. He said if Balley were here he would have got a tractor like mine and a yellow shirt too. I told him I missed Balley and he gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I told him that helped my heart.

There has been grace today... and I know many have prayed for us today. I wonder if there are special things going on in heaven today for Joel? Thank you for holding our arms up today. Our first birthday and God helped us through it!


Four Years Ago

September 13 2003, was a day of great grace, amazing answers to prayers, and wonderful works of the Lord, more in number than I can name.

After nineteen weeks in pregnancy at a regular midwife visit I measured 25 weeks. Our midwife was suspicious and I certainly felt pressure and heaviness already. So an ultrasound was scheduled for May 6th 2003. As soon as the ultrasound technician put the instrument on my belly you could see two little bodies. We were in awe! I had asked the Lord if He was willing to bless us with twins again and he heard my request.. She went on to measure them and we found out it was two boys! I was thrilled too for the experience our children would have in this adventure of twins. Caleb and Daniel were such a joy and a lot of work! I was really looking forward to the help I would receive. As we shared our most wonderful news, we had many responses, most were very happy and excited, a few said “I’m glad it’s you and not me,” and some were not too encouraging. As we shared also our desire when asked where we were going to have them, and we responded that Lord willing we want to have a homebirth, there was sometimes silence, concern and council to pray about that. The enemy was using their concerns and possibly fears to make me become fearful and concerned. I began praying and Terry too, that the Lord would show us His will in this situation. I wanted to go to the hospital if the Lord wanted me to, and if the Lord wanted us to have them at home I wanted to do just that. I remember one night just praying and pleading with the Lord to please show me what he wanted. The next morning I was reading in Isaiah 8:11-22. “For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people saying, say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear nor be afraid.” This was my answer, and how merciful the answer so clear! NEITHER FEAR YE THEIR FEAR NOR BE AFRAID. Verses 17-19, And I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Jacob and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children who the Lord hath given me are for sings and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead?”

Why should I not trust my God! After receiving this scripture I felt like I could conquer Goliath. From that point till the babies arrived there was complete peace of where they were to be born. Along the way the Lord gave such incredible scriptures. I wrote in the margin of my Bible, “twin preg.-03 by so many scriptures.

Ps. 37:5 “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” So many familiar ones but God was speaking so fresh and real to my heart. Ps. 57:7 “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise.” Ps. 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” And then verse 8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” Selah.”

As the eighth month came up, (August) I did have to pretty much stay in the bed, mostly because laying down was the only comfortable position. The Lord continued to pour forth his scriptures like Ps. 27:14 “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strength thine heart: wait I say on the Lord.” Also Ps. 32:10…”But he that trusteth in the Lord mercy shall compass him about.”

Our midwife had expressed that the babies had to stay in til 38 weeks, so this was our main prayer. They were exactly one week early! I will have to say that the nine month season of carrying them was the most enlightening, spiritual, and the closest communion with the Lord that I’ve ever experienced. The Lord gave me great faith that I was able to embrace it by his grace. It’s a season that I often meditate on, not about me, but just the wonder of God and all he did.

The labor time was peaceful yet very tiring. I remember after Joel came out I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep…but I couldn’t. Joel was born at 12:41 p.m. Weighing 6 lbs. 5 oz. and Josiah at 1:09 pm weighing 6 lbs. 6 oz. The Lord blessed us with these two precious gifts…so small, so needy, so perfect, two little babies! My midwife sent a very special letter this past July that is a treasure to my heart and with her permission I want to share some of it with you.

I have been especially reminiscent of Joel and Josiah’s birth and am going to write some thoughts here. The day Joel and Josiah were born, Cindy called at 7:30 am, to let me know she had been having contractions since 3:30 am. After calling the other midwives to come, I hurried and actually fell all the way down my stairs. Sitting there, quieting myself to make sure all was well, I decided what was most important was to quiet myself, I have to admit, that I was excited. During the previous months earlier, when we found that Cindy was going definitely give birth to twins, I asked the Lord for three things and was thrilled to see God answer prayer! Specific and definite. That is something I like about God. He takes care of details and nothing is too small or large to bring to him. And I like that he doesn’t waste anything. He uses what he has taught us in the past, to show of more of himself – for each new day!
Mark and I continued to plead with God to lead, direct, and protect Cindy and the babies.

One, I asked the Lord for both babies to be head down. I know that the second twin does not really have to be, but it was something I asked him for,. I can honestly say, I did not pray out of fear, but believe that awareness of the need, made it okay for me to ask this request of him that both babies be head down.
The second request was that two other midwives would be
willing to assist. Yes, the Lord provided there as well. Two were willing and open to assisting.

The last request, was that Cindy would be able to keep these babies in until 38 weeks.
Cindy was 39 weeks, when she went into labor. The Lord of Glory did it! The scripture he gave me was Jeremiah 32:27.

I arrived at Cindy’s at 9 am. Cindy was sitting in a chair, working well w/ contractions, which were about 6 minutes apart. She was 6-7 cm, 90% effaced and Baby A (Joel) was +1 station. Joel’s little head felt normal. It was normal, strong, normally molded to allow the process of birth to be just right. Of both of the babies, I wondered if he would be the most physically powerful one. Of both babies, I felt a little sorry for him, because he was the one to have had to do the hardest work. To be the first born and be the one to dilate the cervix.

The other midwives arrived. An answer to prayer. Both arrived and were aware of what their roles would be in serving this family. We’d talked about it. I knew the Lord had orchestrated which midwives were to be there and directed which jobs they were to do. They later described the birth as blessed, a special time, unlike any other birth.

Cindy walked, rocked and leaned over her furniture with contractions. Each woman does something different to find a place of surrender in her labor. One thing that Cindy does during her labors that seems to bring comfort to her sweet soul is to hum hymns to herself. It seems to allow her to keep her soul centered on the task at hand. I thought about all the babies she had sang to in the womb. Blessed is the child whose mother knows Jesus and even in the womb, will share the message of salvation.
She lay on her left side for a little while and I thought she had a great sense of peace and tranquility about her. Both babies had great heart tones. Although they were in the womb together, their hearts beat separately, each having its own rhythm and rate. Joel 140-144 beats per minute and Josiah 140-148. At 12:00 pm, Cindy was complete. As so many women today (mostly in other countries), even those in the Bible, she got on the birth stool. She breathed Joel down, without pushing. He came down gently and she was able to get a little break between contractions before active pushing began.

Terry and Cindy seemed to both work so well together to bring both Joel and Josiah. Terry stayed right there next to Cindy, encouraging her, whispering sweet things into her ear. He encouraged her with his love. Many women do not have the privilege of having this encouragement from their husband, or even the body of Christ. Women need encouragement from their husbands and others, in rearing children. Unlike labor of a baby – Which I have determined is usually “a day”. The fruit of a Mother’s labor is long- years – they need encouragement to continue in their work of labor.

I am glad others were able to witness Terry and Cindy working together as well- especially those who were unbelievers. It wasn’t something rehearsed or put on for show. It was right. It was them – Genuine!! The way they work together, yet separately doing what each member is to do. One may encourage, while the other feels the sensations, but both labor, together. With active pushing at 12:31, Joel was born within 10 minutes into my hands and immediately up to his dear Mother’s chest, with a loud lusty cry, which was comforted in the arms of his Mama and Daddy. That scene is often in my mind. Joel being the first one out of Cindy’s body, delivered out of her body into her arms. At his funeral, I just kept thinking he was the first one of the twins into her arms and the first of her children in the arms of Jesus. Something I think all Christian parents desire is that all of their children will receive the reward of their faith – to be in the presence of the Father eternally. It is not that we expect it when they are children – to receive this reward. We expect them to grow old. The Bible However, tells us it is “far better” to be with Christ. This is perplexing to me, but know in my mind it is better, only because “he tells me so”.. I still remember the look in Cindy’s face. She appeared to want to hold Joel longer, but the contractions were coming and she knew her task at hand. To birth Joel’s brother – Josiah. We put a little ribbon on Joel’s ankle. One midwife took him and held him, while Baby Josiah was born VERY quickly at 1:09, just 28 minutes after his brother. I always hope that Josiah, even though he will live a life without Joel’s physical presence, will remember how his older brother, made a way for his birth to be fast, easy, since Joel had already “opened the gate” for him to pass through his mama’s body. I still see Joel as a gentle leader- Leading the Family Upward!!

Baby Josiah, appearing slightly smaller in size went right up to Mama and Daddy’s arms and all were delighted in the Lord’s deliverance. It is a message that I wish all women would take to heart. The Lord is the one who delivers!! And in this birth, it was a beautiful sight to behold. These precious boys, and this precious family, who would never be the same.

I am often asked what my favorite part of midwifery is. Honestly, it has its joys! Great Joys in being a part of a family's most precious memorable time in their lives! But my favorite part is right before the baby comes. Because up to that point, the family is established into one kind of unit, but right when the baby (and especially in this case - the babies) comes -- EVERYTHING changes.

The father, mother, and the entire family grow. Thy will NEVER be the SAME. Each of their lives are changed dramatically-- forever. They do not just multiply in numbers, but the LOVE is richer, enhanced, deeper, and more rooted and grounded in what is most important.
Joel was the first baby (besides those who’d died before breathing the breath of life outside the womb) that I’ve assisted in the delivering. Joel and Josiah’s birth and Joel’s illness and right for respect of life, have changed many families and ministry in midwifery as well. I have learned a great deal from you.
I love you all so much!!!

All my Love in Christ Jesus,

Today is a day of joy and sadness. For 3 birthdays they have always sat side by side at the party, it’s hard to my heart to see Josiah alone. But I’m seeking to fine and see the blessings of today too, the Lord has granted another 4 year old, Josiah to be here on September the 13th, so we are able to celebrate. We have each other, God is faithful, and Joel is safe in the arms of Jesus. God has blessed us with Josiah for 4 years and our lives are blessed by having Joel for 3 years, 4 months, and 10 days. This scripture is so precious to my heart as I think about Josiah and especially Joel. Ps. 139:13-17 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”

Thank you, O Lord for all you have done!
I will post Josiah's 4th Birthday a little later today!!!!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Quick Update!

I had another ultra sound done today. The gestational sack is still there, more mishappened and smaller. The right ovary is enlarged. After talking with the mid wife our prayer is that the Lord would bring my body back in order after a miscarry (as it somtimes takes 6 weeks) and the remains would be expelled at that time. There were some cysts on both ovaries which were not there four weeks ago, so it is likely hormonel. We are hopeful the Lord will hear our prayer and in due time my body will take care of this. I read in Mark 4:35-41 this morning, there was the great storm, Jesus was in the boat with them but asleep, and the disciples had a question, like me, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?", and he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, "peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. I'm trying to meditate on this... Jesus is with me, He is in control, and I need to have peace with faith. Lord willing the storm will subside. I do seem to find myself in the same situation, little faith and I feel like the waves are engulfing me. I must stay upon these words. The disciples made a statement,"what manner of man is this, that even the wind and sea obey him? He is God!!!! He is the Lord of my situation, I have to believe this!!!!!!

Josiah is happily counting the days to his John Deere Birthday Party on Thursday. We were swinging yesterday, I told him that I wish Balley could be here for the birthday. I told him I think he will have a great party too, he said "Balley is going to have a firetruck party", he also said he would open Balley's presents for him.

Your prayers have strengthened my heart, thank you and as you think about it, as Hannah said,"Remember me."


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Our First School Day!!!!!!

Our first school day started out with some rough edges...like Siah very adamantly wanting to be served muffins for breakfast, the guys working, forgot their lunch and had to come home, and then later forgot the laser level and came home again, and then Mercy fell and hit her head getting a knot on her forehead. After a few adjustment were made, Siah cheerfully eating what was served, gathering all the left things, and comforting a hurt, we ended up having a good day! Our school consists of a curriculim we use, the Wisdom Booklets put out by the Advanced Training Institute along with math, some reading materials, and phonics for the younger ones. We are seeking to learn how we are blessed if we are reviled and persecuted for righteousness sake. Our character quality is endurance-inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God's best. I had a good test this morning and I don't think I passed. A definition I told the younger ones was to don't give up till you reach the goal. What a great quality I need so desperately. To endure the trial of being seperated from Joel and allow God to accomplish his best in my life and our family. We started school the same day last year. I remember Joel and Josiah participating in an activity we had outside and they were so excited to receive their "prize." Only one year ago he was so happy and appeared so healthy! I interviewed the children and asked their favorited part of school today. Hosanna said, "she liked the endurance races we had outside and the story of David and Goliath. (I read the story and acted it out with a "Giant" toy figure and a "little fellow" for David. We were listening for the reviling words Goliath said to David. Jeremiah said "he liked the races and the prize he won". Micah said" he liked the endurance races and math was good but not fun". Josiah liked the races as well. Andrew said he liked the "outside stuff." Joshua said he liked what Micah did; (all prearranged, Micah enters the room with his pant leg rolled up with homeade blood running down, he sure got everyones attention! We had just read the treatment for "cutting words." For Micah's cut we had to lay him down, Hosanna put pressure to stop the bleeding, Jeremiah and Hosanna cleaned the wound and we then bandaged it all up. So as cutting words can wound us, we must receive direction and reassurance, we need the cleansing power of God's word to wash our wounded hearts. We must be careful that infection and bitterness do not spring up at the offender. May the Lord help each of us to say words that give life!

As the Lord brings it to your heart, continue to pray for my physical situation. Still waiting. Thats all I can do right now is pray and wait. I feel fine, it's just hard to wait. Like we are trying to learn...Endurance! Joel and Josiah's 4th birthday is next Thursday the 13th. I have a big knot in my stomach. I want to be strong and cheerful for Josiah. I just keep remembering their 3rd birthday last year with never a thought of what a year would bring. It's the mercy of the Lord that we don't know the future. He gives us grace just when we need it. Pray for my heart...it hurts.

You are special!


(the picture at the top is at Micah's 12th birthday last year, August 30 '06. The rest are from today)