Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Last night a security guard escorted me out of the hospital.

All day yesterday, I couldn't get the hospital in Franklin out of my head. I didn't have any plans and my husband told me to take the night off and do whatever I wanted to do.
All I want to do right now is practice loving people with no agenda. I just prayed that my motives would be pure and that God would lead me to someone who really needed a visit from Him.
I went to the first floor first. I figured I'd start there and work my way up to the sixth floor.
I wanted to be respectful of the nurses and their stations so I asked them at the desk if there was anyone who might be in need of a visit. May be someone who doesn't have family around. The first nurse, I'll call her "Nurse First Floor" teared up immediately. Then she got really close to the glass and spoke softly to me, "I can't tell you who this is, or her room number, but there is a girl on this floor that really needs prayer. She is in isolation." I said ok, and went to the waiting room across from that station to pray for her. How did that lady know I loved Jesus? Does nobody come there to visit? I was confused. I was in the waiting room for about ten minutes. I was getting ready to go to the second floor when Nurse First Floor came in to the waiting room.
"I just want to encourage you to continue on, listening to that still small voice." she said to me.
Then she hugged me really tight and thanked me like I had given her flowers or something.

Second Floor.
The nurses were busy so I decided to just walk down a hall. On my left, in a hospital bed lay a woman watching "The price is Right." I walked in, introduced myself and told her I was driving by and wanted to come visit her. Her name is Faye. She told me she is so anemic she fell out in Wal-Mart and they took her there. We talked for some time and I asked her if she wanted me to pray for her anemia. She said, "I don't ever refuse prayer." I smiled and said, "I don't either."
I love Faye.

Third Floor.
Stopped at the nurses station. They seemed a little concerned what I was there for. They told me that everyone on their floor had family visiting them. I thanked them and left.

Fourth Floor.
Stopped at the nurses station. Nurse Fourth Floor started tearing up. "Really? You came here to visit someone? That is amazing, I have to find someone for you. Surely there is someone, come with me. That is so sweet..." she went on.
We couldn't find anyone. One lady was getting an enema and another had family. We went back to the nurses station and she said, "I can't believe someone finally came and we have no one." I gave her my name and phone number and told her if anyone came that needed a visit, I would come back. She hugged me, said a few more nice things and I left.

Fifth Floor
Riding up to the fifth floor, I began to ponder on those two nurses. They were so touched and nothing had been done. How compassionate they were. That is amazing to me.
I had the same experience with a nurse on the fifth floor. She pointed me to the room of this 87 year old woman. She looked really sick to me. She was all shriveled up, so small in that bed that nearly swallowed her small frame. She was confused when she saw me. I told her I wanted to hear her story and asked if I could sit down. She motioned to a chair and we sat for probably 15 minutes and talked. I could hardly understand her, she didn't speak clearly at all and she was hard of hearing, so it took that long for me to hear the outline of her story. This is what I understood. Her name was Margaret, she had four children, her husband was still alive, they lived in Franklin and she was at the hospital because she almost had a heart attack. I told her about my girls. Right before I left, I brushed her silver hair back off her face with my hands and told her she had the most beautiful face. She did. I looked into her eyes and all her wrinkles and saw her beauty. It caught me so off guard I started to cry. Gosh, she is sparkly.

I left, just one floor to go. I hadn't seen any miracles, but I wasn't there for miracles, I was there to visit and to practice giving freely what God so generously gives me daily...I was there for love.

Sixth Floor.

I got off the elevator and immediately noticed this big security officer looking at me. He stopped me, "Why are you here Miss?"
"I'm visiting people."
"Who are you visiting?" he asked.
"I'm just visiting anyone the nurses tell me doesn't get too many visits." I answered him honestly

Before I knew it, another officer was there. This guy was shorter and started asking me the exact same questions. He asked me for my ID and went to the phone. I was left with the first security officer who was writing notes down in this little pad. I looked up. The nurses were looking at me like I was a criminal. To break this tortorous silence, I asked the big security guard, "How are you tonight?" He didn't respond, he just kept writing. Um....awkward silence followed, and more mean looks.

The second security officer finally came back, handed me my ID and began to inform me the the nurses on the third floor had told them that I was wandering the hospital and it was strange. I was thinking in my head that they must have been looking for me while I was in with Margaret. We were all just standing there and I was starting to feel emotional. I just wanted to leave. They said I had to wait. Apparently this was such a huge deal that I had to meet with the chairman of the hospital. He finally came, white coat and all. He was a tad rude. He actually was so rude, I felt more humiliation as tears sprang into my eyes. It was completely out of my control. The last thing I wanted to do was cry in that moment....ahhhhhhhH!
"We have people for that miss." he was referring to visiting.
He scolded me a little more and then left. I heard the security guard tell him that he would escort me out of the building.

Walking to the elevator like a little girl being accompanied by her teacher to see the principle...made me feel so sad. "I don't need to be escorted." I said. "I'll go."
"It's just policy ma'am." he said kindly.
Once the elevator doors closed, he touched my arm. He said,
"Hold your head up! You heard that still small voice and you obeyed. That is more than most people are willing to do. You hold your head up! Don't let this discourage you."
Well his kindness had completely undone me. I was blubbering at this point. I had went there to love and here he was loving me. Isn't that the very nature of the work of Jesus.
"What church do you go to?" I asked him, trying to get past the "ORDEAL".
He told me he was a deacon in this Baptist church downtown and then he said,
"Aimee, you are welcome anytime."
That made me smile and then cry some more. We stopped at the front door and he said again,
"Hold your head up. Don't be discouraged, you have no idea the impact your obedience had on this hospital."
I thanked him ever so quickly as his kindness had just hit a peak that would cause me to be crying hysterically. I held it together until I reached my truck. When I was pulling out, I noticed I was being followed by another security officer in his truck. That is when I started laughing so hard and crying so hard. What a combination. It was hysterical. I was embarrassed. I have never been that thoroughly escorted out of anywhere.

We live in times where visiting strangers in hospital beds is a potential threat. I understand, but it is so sad. I learned two things, probably much more, but it is only the next day. The first thing is that if I ever go again, I won't stop at the nurses station (just kidding...kinda) and the second is that we may never know or understand the impact we have, but when we obey, we can be sure it was great.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jill Locke

I just made a very special block for an amazing woman. Her name is Jill Locke. Here is her story!

Diagnosed with Colon Cancer in 1996, 40 year old Jill Hamilton-Locke has been battling this harsh disease for years. After 7 years in remission, she was told she was cured and could start her family.

When her only son was 18 months old, the cancer returned and has spread to her liver and pancreatic area. Since December 2006, Jill has undergone more the 5 operations and over 30 treatments of chemotherapy. Unfortunately the chemotherapy has stopped working, and the doctors are running out of options as the cancer spreads further.

Jill’s family, husband Brian and six year old son Nolan, have been standing by her side throughout the courageous battle. Life has not been easy for them. Two years ago the company that Brian had been employed with for over a decade, closed there doors with short notice due to bankruptcy. Now the family is left without any health insurance, and is struggling to meet there monthly expenses and insurmountable medical bills…

Jill is considered terminally ill. However everyone continues to pray for another miracle. As an ongoing sign of love and respect for Jill: Mom, Sis, Cuz, Jill beans, Jilliebean, Chillie Hamilton-Locke. :-) We have set up this website for online donations. 100% of all contributions will go directly to: The Locke Family Trust, designed for the care and protection of Jill and her family during these trying times as well as the future. Donations are non tax deductible.

I think this tells her story so much better than I could. I was asked to make her a block for her little boy. The top of the block is a book she reads to him every night. The bottom of the block is personalized with a note to him. It also has the things that he loves and that are special to their relationship. It was an emotional experience to make this block, as I am a mother myself. I am praying for her, for a miracle. I am believing for one. If you would like to give to a family that is in need of support right now, here is the website to do that through.
Jill, thank you for letting me make this block for you. I am believing for your healing! So much love to you and your family! May His great love, simply put....conquer all!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

As of my many "Most Embarassing Moments."

It was a beautiful morning, the kind that calls to you from inside. Eric and I decided to eat breakfast on our apartment balcony. We had a great apartment in that it backed up to a wooded area and it was angled just so, no one could see us. I decided to go eat my oatmeal in my cropped hot pink t-shirt. (important detail for later) Eric came out in his boxers.
There we sat, drinking in the sunshine, chatting, eating breakfast....spending our time the way we should have every day! I had to leave for work in an hour but that was still far enough away to relax.
I noticed the sliding door was open and I didn't want to let the air conditioning out. I opened the sliding door a little more to get the momentum to close it. When I closed it, that safety bar came un-attached and fell down......locking the door.
Panic flashed across both our eyes. There was no way in. We contemplated shattering the glass and then I came up with a plan. I gave Eric my cropped t-shirt to put on while I hid in the storage off the balcony laughing hysterically. He stood in front of my with a shirt that was about three inches above his naval and plaid green boxers. I watched him shimmy down to the neighbors ground floor padio and go knock on our 80 year old neighbors house to use her phone. She answered her door and let Eric come in to call my dad. She said nothing!
Then we waited........
we waited.......
My dad showed up with a ladder and laughed so hard he cried. "Where's Aimee?" he said.
"I'm in here" I shouted. Well, he laughed some more.
Up Eric went, in through our bedroom window which we had fortunately left-unlocked. I think I failed to mention that our door was locked and all the keys were inside.
My dad left the premises and I streaked across the balcony to the safety of the indoors.

I made it to work on time! Did I say this was embarrassing for me??? I'm sorry, this is probably more embarrassing for my husband. LOL

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tennessee,,,, and more snow!

If there is any more snow, I'll feel completely jipped. There is a reason I moved from the north, to live in the south you know. This is craziness! Another day off of school too.

I got the call from the school saying school would be canceled tomorrow and within seconds of hanging up, my phone rang again. It was my friend who has children the same age as mine. A play date has never in history been scheduled so swiftly. It was as if, we were putting out a fire that was scheduled to be set. lol. I think I answered the phone with a "YES!" before saying hello.

Sage, my oldest who is five, told me today that she just can't believe snow has any good purpose. I tried to come up with some reasons for her, but finally agreed. She was right. My "good mom" moment passed me by and I succumbed to her skillful reasoning. Basically, in the south everything shuts down and fear drapes over the roadways with as little as a dusting. Snow is fun for two days and after that it has greatly overstayed it's welcome.
At least tomorrow, if the roads are clear....we will have entertainment in the form of a sweet little five year old coming to play!
Here is a picture of Sage and her friend Julia, on a previous snow day having a tea party! Sweet!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Haiti Trip

I love Haiti. My husband went a few years ago when I was pregnant with our second daughter. We didn't have a middle name picked out until he came home from Haiti and started telling me about the city of Soleil. I fell in love with the country through his stories and as a result, we named our daughter Aliyah SOLEIL, after the city of Soleil in Haiti.

My brother and his wife do a lot of work over there as well and so I have felt connected to that country for quite some time. I am setting aside 15%profit from all my blocks for the country of Haiti. I will funnel it through World Hope International, the organization my brother and sister in law work for.

It looks like I will be able to go to Haiti in May. I would like to bring all the money I have collected from blocks with me then. I'm pretty excited about going! I'm sure what little help I could bring to a team would seemingly make no difference in the mess that is Haiti presently. I have to believe otherwise though, for if we all did a little something, it would make a significant difference for sure.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Birth Announcement Blocks

I've taken a quick break from all those Birth Announcement blocks. I've lined them all up on the desk so all the babies are staring at me saying, "you best be finishin up there on the computer and get me out to my mama".
They are right, so I will make this short. Little Grey over there has a really unique touch to his block. I thought I'd include a photo of it. His little footprints are on his block. I think that is such a spectacular idea and so unique. I have never done that before.
If you wanted to add footprints to your future block, you could scan in a photo to me or take a photo. Scanning may work a little better, but if it was a clear photo, you'd be amazed at how I can make things work. :)

I also added a picture of another one of my favorite BA blocks from this week. I love the flower on the top, it looks so dainty. This is an example of a "modern" block because it is so bold in color and print. Savannah's block also has a scripture added to the back of it. I think her picture is soooo sweet!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


My brother and his wife are there and have been sending reports back. The reports are desperate, haunting and so near hopeless. He said there are bodies in the street and when you see them that's when it really hits you; the devastation and what it means.

I've decided that for the next several months, I'd like to support them in their work in Haiti. My sister in law works for World Hope International. They actually have a base in Port Au Prince.
We will be supporting them in their endeavors there with our prayers, but I will also be using the proceeds from the blocks to support them as well.

I will be posting the info. on here in the next couple days if you would like to send money to them directly. If you give money, it will go towards the needs in Haiti. You just can't meet another human being who has a bigger heart for Haiti than they do.

Here are some photos my brother has taken while in Haiti.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I invented a new salad recipe to go along with our dinner tonight (pork chops wrapped in bacon and steamed cauliflower.) It was so delicious, I thought I'd share it!

1. Slice up avacados and place them on a plate. Add a little salt to them.
(1 avocado is enough for two people)

2. squeeze juice from a lime on top, enough to lightly coat the avacados. (If you don't have a lime, you can just use lime juice)

3. Add grated mozzarella cheese (light cheese would make this even healthier)
4. Add green onions
5. Top with Rotel Tomatoes. (This gave it a bit of a kick because of the jalapenos in the rotel) If you don't want it to be spicy you could substitute regular tomatoes.


Monday, February 1, 2010

As I promised!

I thought before I post "after photos" there should be a "before photo". I thought it also fitting to include photos of my girls coloring on the walls. Pardon the miscellaneous clothes and unruly hair. This was day three of being snowed in.
This was a mistake for sure. I knew it when I handed that grinnin girl a big blue crayon. I especially knew it, when I found blue crayon scribbled all over my entrance way wall. Hmm...., it's hard to call this but I'm thinking it was still worth it.

Watching them defy all the rules of my youth and color for an hour on those walls...was AWESOME! That, along with so many other things does make me crazy. (If you were just thinking that, you were right!! ding ding ding)

I couldn't resist though. I've always wanted to color on the walls. I grew up in a house where creativity was encouraged for sure, but not like that!!! If I did that, I may not be here today. My 5 foot mother would have hung me.

I'm not through with the play room yet, but here it is after a day's work! Just in case you hate it, just know you would definitely prefer it to the mess of toys all strung through the house like Christmas lights. Well, lights are pretty, it would be more like colorful and noisy debris. :)