Sunday, May 29, 2005

I apologize for missing the update last week. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We were pretty busy last week. We spent the day Wednesday, cleaning up from the birthday party and learning how to ride one of Jonathan's favorite toys he got for his birthday. He got a "Scream Machine" which is pretty much a big wheel that has a small motor so you can pedal and use the motor to make it go. This gives him the chance to feel like he is riding both his bike as well as his electric motor scooter that he has not gotten to ride since last year. Another advantage is that it is low to the ground so that helps him feel more secure. He had no trouble figuring out how to ride it and it was great to see him being able to do it on his own. He had a great pool therapy on Thursday, and Daddy got to come see him do that. On Friday, we had an appointment to go back to Our Children's House in Dallas to visit Dr. McDonald. On our way to do that we had to stop by and get his leg braces adjusted because he has grown quite a bit since he first got them. After we did that we went to Our Children's House and got to see all Jonathan's therapist and many of his nurses. We didn't, however, get to see the doctor because someone forgot to put the appointment on his schedule and he was not there. We did get to see the other doctor, Dr. Beard, who fills in when Dr. McDonald is out. Everyone was very pleased with Jonathan's progress. Jonathan continues to do very well. He is walking better every day. He is interacting better with people. He continues to eat well and we are still working on his blood sugars. We had set a personal goal with Jonathan to be able to walk without his walker by his birthday. While he doesn't permanently walk without it, he has reached his goal and he is able to walk without his walker. Each day he does more and more on his own. In our house, you can make a circle around the downstairs through the kitchen, family room, entry way, and dining room. Today he walked the circle several times without his walker. He picks things up, helps me in the kitchen, gets out things for his meals and many other things while balancing very well. Our new personal goal is that he can permanently walk without his walker by July 4. With God, all things are possible!
Continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for continued strength in his legs and stomach muscles. Pray for increased ability to walk backwards and side to side. The therapist says these are the hardest and last muscles to regain, so we are working on that. Continue to pray for his eating, that we will be able to regulate his sugar, his eating and his weight. Pray for his mental healing and that he will continue to progress mentally to his age again. Pray that he will continue to have determination and motivation to work hard and try more things on his own. He is doing awesome and we are so thankful for all he has been able to accomplish through the Lord's strength. Thank you for your continued prayers. We are grateful for them all.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"For this child we prayed, and the Lord has granted us our petition which we asked of Him. Therfore we also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord." I Samuel 1:27-28
This is the Scripture we used on Jonathan's birth announcements 9 years ago. It is just as appropriate a Scripture for him today as it was the day he was born. Today is Jonathan's 9th birthday. What an incredibly special day it was for all of us. When we decided to have a third child, we prayed earnestly that God would give us a boy. We were so blessed and so thankful when God gave us our precious baby boy Jonathan Lamar. Little did we know just how special this little boy would be. We had no idea that we would have to pray earnestly for the life of our precious boy again, but we did just that, along with so many of you. Today we praise God with great joy for hearing our prayers for this boy yet again, and granting the petition we asked of Him. You can read Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 and you can join us as we make this our prayer of thanksgiving for Jonathan and our praise to our great God.
On Monday, Jonathan had his therapy class. His teacher started out with his walking. She put out the colored circles on the floor and she let him do all the walking while she walked closely behind him to ensure that he did not fall. By the time he got to the end of the hall and had made it past every colored circle, by himself with no help from his therapist, the entire office was cheering and completely amazed at how much progress he had made in the few weeks he has been coming there. It was a pretty awesome moment for Jonathan. Today, he did a great job again in his therapy. He beat his record again on the treadmill and is still working on walking backward and side to side on the treadmill, which is still pretty difficult for him. He got a special Sponge Bob birthday card from his therapist and got to go to Chuck E Cheese for lunch where he had a special Happy Birthday sung to him by Chucky and the staff. After using all their tokens and gathering up all their tickets, the girls bought Jonathan a cool motorcycle for his birthday instead of getting stuff for themselves. God has blessed us with two of the most loving, caring daughters that He has ever created. They have been wonderful throughout this whole experience and we know that God is going to use this in a special way in their lives. He also has a huge crown with lots of jewels waiting for them in heaven. We are so thankful for them. We had a house full of friends and relatives to celebrate Jonathan's birthday this evening. Overall, it was a wonderful day.
Thank you so much for praying and uplifting Jonathan. You can continue to pray for strength in his legs, for his balance and increased stability. Continue to pray for his mental healing and progress. He still asks and wonders often if he looks, talks, walks, etc. like he is 9. He doesn't feel like it to himself so he wonders what others think. Continue to pray for his vision and diabetes healing as well. We are so thankful for the progress Jonathan has made and look forward every day to the new things he is able to accomplish. Happy Birthday Jonathan!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Well, we had a kind of up and down weekend. No real major events, we just dealt with some every day life frustrations, but we ended the weekend on a very positive note. When it is going to be "one of those days," it ususally starts the moment Jonathan gets up, and he begins to stress about everything. He is learning again how to deal with life. If things don't happen just the way he has in his mind, he will fight us with all he has to get us to change it. These are the things he doesn't seem to ever forget. He thinks about them constantly and talks about them constantly, hoping to change our minds. We had many of these moments all weekend long, about everything imaginable. We need wisdom to know how to handle him effectively - again. We trained him up once, and now we have to do it again. Pray that we will remain positive and not get discouraged and that we will respond correctly and not just react to his behavior. Sundays seem to be more difficult days for us, maybe because we have a different schedule than our normal schedule. But even through the difficulties we encountered, we were blessed with an awesome time of praise and worship at First Baptist Church Dallas this evening. It was such an honor for us to get to thank the Lord and honor Him again publicly during this time of praise with this church. The church did a beautiful 3 minute documentary about Jonathan and then he was able to walk up on stage and say his own personal thank you to the church for their prayers and give the Lord the praise for the healing He is doing in his life. We got to see and hug many old friends and had the chance to meet many new friends. Most of our family was there again to celebrate this time with us. God is so good and we welcome every opportunity to share the God we serve with a world who needs to know about Him.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan. He has so much to deal with for a young 8 year old boy. Please pray for his mind as it continues to heal and relearn all these things about life again. Pray for us that we will teach him and train him again in the way he should go. Pray that we will remember that this is a gift from God and not just a frustration we have to deal with. Continue to pray for increased strength in his legs, especially his right leg and foot, and his stomach. Continue to pray for his balance and his walking. Pray for his diabetes as we continue to work to get his blood sugars closer to normal. Pray for his weight gain. Now that his body has insulin to process his food, he continues to gain weight. He is already unable to wear the pants we bought him for church when he got out of the hospital. Pray that his level of activity will increase to help offset his weight gain. Also continue to pray for his night time bladder control. He is still sleeping all night in his bed in his room which is great, but it causes him to wake up wet every morning. Thank you so much for continuing to pray for Jonathan and our family. We are humbled that so many of you continue to check his progress and remain faithful to pray for us. May God abundantly bless each of you.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I apologize for missing the update yesterday. Jonathan is doing great. He continues to make progress every day. He is doing awesome on his walking. We continue to work with him to help him relax when he walks so that he can walk steady without losing his balance, without holding on to things. Our Wednesday night activities are finished for the summer, so Jonathan is spending some time with Dad on Wednesday nights while Mom goes to choir. On Thursday, he did a fabulous job at his aquatics therapy. His therapist told me that she was looking back over his original evaluation and that he has really come a long way. His balance is getting so much better. He is able to step up and down on the steps in the pool without holding on and balancing all by himself. His knees are locking less and less and he is able to do the stairs at home with much less help. We are very thankful for his progress and very proud of how well he is handling these challenges.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Continue to pray for increased strength in his right leg and foot, as well as his stomach muscles. Please continue to pray for his attitude and his state of mind. Pray for contentment and peace and that he will be able to handle things when they are different than he wants. Pray for protection for our family. Pray that we will not let Satan distract us or discourage us with things that would turn our attention away from the path which God has called us to journey down.
This Sunday evening, May 22, we have the opportunity to share in a praise service at First Baptist Church Dallas. This is our home church and members of both of our families still attend there. This church has faithfully prayed for us and have been a significant part of Jonathan's miracle healing, as all of you have. We have the chance to once again give honor and glory to the Lord for the great things he has done in our family. Satan is working overtime to hinder this time of praise, so please be in prayer for the service. Pray for Jonathan as he will have the opportunity to say thank you. Pray that God will be glorified through the praises of His people. You are all welcome to come and share in this praise service as well. The service starts at 6 pm. You can get information and directions at their website: Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Thank you for your prayers for Jonathan. These last couple of days have been better with less worry and fretting over everything. Jonathan has done a great job in his therapy classes this week. Monday we were in the gym working on the machines. He worked mostly on the treadmill, walking for 12 minutes forward, and then she had him try walking backward, and side to side on each side. It was pretty tough, especially walking backward, but he was a trooper and did a great job with it. He also played a game while supporting himself on his knees. She continues to work with him on his balance and walking. He played a game while standing and balancing and walked up and down two flights of stairs. She also plays a game with him where she drops round, colorful discs along the floor and has him walk to each one and stop on the disc and get his balance before moving to the next one. When he relaxes his arms, he walks perfectly. If he gets tense and draws up his arms, he pulls the the right side and loses his balance. So we are working to help him relax his arms while walking. I can't tell you how incredibly awesome it is to watch him walk toward you, without his walker, looking like a normal person! It will bring praise to your lips every time. So overall, he is doing very well and making great progress in his physical therapy. I believe we may have found a pediatric opthamologist for Jonathan to see. He is in the same building as the therapy office and we have gotten wonderful recommendations about him. We should be getting an appointment with him in the next week or two, as soon as the referral gets processed. Please begin to pray now for this doctor, Dr. Beauchamp, that he will be exactly the person we need to give Jonathan the help and the tools he needs to improve his vision.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for increased strength in his right leg and foot and also in his stomach muscles. Tightening up the stomach muscles will also help with his balance, and they are pretty weak right now as well. Continue to pray for his attitude and state of mind. Pray that peace and contentment will reign and that fear and worry will flee. Pray that we will have wisdom to help with this and to help him mentally grow with each passing day. Pray for our visit with the opthamologist, that we will be able to get the help and tools we need to assist Jonathan and help him see better. Pray for the complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Thank you for your constant intercession. God continues to hear and answer. Praise His Name!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

We had a pretty good weekend. Jonathan always looks forward to Friday and Saturday because his Daddy is off work and gets to spend the day at home. We enjoyed a couple of victories this weekend. First of all, Jonathan has been able to sleep in his own room, in his own bed for the last two nights. He thinks that Mom sleeps in there all night because she starts out in there with him, but what he doesn't know is that he can do it all by himself with no problem. Mom will share that with him when the time is right. His sleeping through the night is great, however, it causes us to wake up wet every morning. So please continue to pray for his bladder control during the night. Our daytime control is perfect, which we are thankful for. On Sunday, Jonathan, Elizabeth and Sarah all played in the piano recital. We went to visit our piano teacher after Jonathan got out of the hospital. It was two weeks before the end of the year recital. They each decided on a song, and the girls even did a duet with their teacher. They all did an amazing job of learning their music well in such a short period of time. God has blessed us with wonderfully talented children and we were very proud of them. Each of the students played a song from a movie. Jonathan's song was "Hakuna Mata" from The Lion King. If you know the song, the words are, "It means no worries." We have had to be reminded of that an aweful lot lately, especially yesterday. Jonathan had a very worriesome, fretful day yesterday. It seemed like everything he could think of, he would worry and fret and talk about for an excessive amount of time, or until he could come up with something else to dwell on. He still has periods of time when he talks about and tries to understand why he is the way he is and why he has to take shots so many times a day. We spend as much time as we can talking to him about it and trying to explain it where he can understand it. It is hard when he gets like this because it makes him sad and causes him to cry. It is hard enough for an adult to deal with the discouragement that a situation like this would bring, but he is such a little boy, so I know it has to be doubly hard for him to deal with. Please pray that we will have wisdom to help him get through these times when he wants to be worried or discouraged about who he is.
Jonathan is doing incredibly well. Please continue to pray for his strength and mobility. Pray for extra strength in his right leg and foot. As he gains more strength in this leg, it will dramatically help his balance and ability to walk on his own. Please continue to pray for the complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Especially pray for his attitude, for contentment and peace for Jonathan. Pray that his little 8 year old mind will trust God and know the peace that only God can give him about his life. Pray that we will continue to love and encourage him and to help him get through those difficult days. Pray that we will be patient and continue to let God work in Jonathan's life and in our family on His timing. Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers. We continue to need your prayers and appreciate them more than you know. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

We continue to be blessed by little new accomplishments every day. God continues to show Himself strong on Jonathan's behalf. On Wednesday, we had lunch and went swimming again with our friends. The sun was warmer today but the water was still very cold. Jonathan did great again. He swam with the mask and snorkle and even dove down and picked up a toy off the bottom of the pool (without the snorkle in his mouth, of course!). While he wasn't swimming, we walked the length of the pool several times and he was able to do it all without holding on to anything and never losing his balance. That evening, we had the Awana award service. Jonathan has finished over half of his book, but still has three chapters to go before he is completely finished. We are going to work on those this summer to finish the book so we will be ready for the new year in September. Our Commanders have shown such love and care for Jonathan throughout this process, and once again, they blessed us by giving Jonathan his ribbon for finishing his book, even though it is not done yet. Jonathan was able to walk without his walker across the floor to receive his award. It was another tearful but joyful milestone for all of us. On Thursday, Jonathan had a cavity filled and was able to accomplish that with no problems. Some of Jonathan's good friends came over for lunch and to hang out with him for a couple of hours. Before they got here, Jonathan and Elizabeth took a walk up and down the street, watching for the boys to arrive. On their way back to the house, Jonathan stopped at the neighbor's house and showed me how he could run with his walker. He was actually running too! It was so neat to see the proud look on his face when he got to me. Jonathan was able to stand up and walk to his friend without his walker to say hello. While the boys were here, everyone started showing what kind of gymnastics they could do. Elizabeth and Sarah were able to go to gymnastics during Jonathan's hospital stay, and have learned so many new things. Jonathan decided to show us how he could do the splits, do a forward roll and backward roll. That was pretty cool! He had his pool therapy today and did very well, as usual. His balance has greatly improved and his knees are not locking as much as they have been when he walks. On his way upstairs to bed last night, he walked all the way up, by himself, without any help from us except to walk up behind him. Each little accomplishment brings us so much joy and builds upon our faith and trust in our Heavenly Father.
Thank you for your continued prayers for us. Continue to pray for more strength and stability in Jonathan's legs. Pray for extra strength in his right leg and foot. Pray that his muscles will continue to get stronger so that his knees won't lock. Pray that his balance will improve so that he will be able to walk on his own. Continue to pray for complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray that he will have the mind of Christ and that peace, security and contemtment will reign. Thank you again for praying. How Great is our God!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I am excited to share with you the little blessings we have enjoyed already this week. On Monday, we spent the morning at home before we went to therapy in the early afternoon. After having lunch on the back porch, Jonathan asked me if I would help him swing on the tree fort we have in our backyard. So after helping him walk out there, Jonathan spent some time swinging with his sisters on the two different swings we have. He did just fine on both of them and was not bothered at all by the motion. After swinging for a while, he climbed up the few rings that lead to the fort and slid down the slide. This is the first time he has played on these toys in the backyard. It was such a joy to watch him. He did a great job in his therapy class working on the exercise equipment in the gym. After we got home, some of our closest Home School friends called and asked us to come swim in their neighborhood pool. Jonathan was thrilled at that idea and so we quickly made our way to their pool. I think it was the most insane thing we could have done because this was not the hottest day here in Texas and the pool water was ice cold, but there was no way I could tell him no. He walked right into the water and swam for about an hour. This pool is only 3-4 foot deep, so he was able to walk across the pool without holding on to anything and he never lost his balance. He put on a snorkle mask and tube and swam back and forth across the pool several times. This was another first for him and something we plan to do regularly for some great exercise. After dinner, Jonathan was up walking around by himself with his walker. He came into the kitchen to announce to us that he thought he could run with his walker. So we walked along beside him while he attempted to run back and forth through the house with his walker. It was more like a fast walk, but we also tried running in place while holding his walker, which he did very well. This was another "first" thing for Jonathan. What an awesome blessing this day was for us! No major accomplishments, but little precious blessing God has allowed us to see again of this incredible miracle of healing He is doing in Jonathan's life. Jonathan did a great job at therapy on Tuesday and continues to walk holding our hand, balancing better and better every day.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan as he works to strengthen his legs and walk on his own. This is such a slow and tedious process, but we see improvement each day as we watch him live his life. He has not used his wheelchair in the house since last Thursday. He continues to try to do more and more things on his own each day. Pray for his balance. When I ask you to pray specifically for his right leg and foot, it is because it is his weaker side. It is getting stronger each day, but remains pretty weak and difficult to use. Pray that this leg will get stronger and that his muscles with get stronger so that his knees will not lock, so that he can walk on his own, and so that he can get out of his braces soon. Continue to pray for him as he deals with the reality of his diabetes. This is hard for a child to understand, but he is doing well. He continues to ask questions and wants to know why he has to have a shot every time he eats. I don't know that he has comprehended it all yet, so pray for peace of mind, a good attitude about it, and grace to deal with it until the Lord brings healing. Praise God for all these little signs of life! Our God is an awesome God!

Sunday, May 8, 2005

This has been an eventful week for us. First of all, Jonathan and Mom both got over their colds pretty well. Wednesday was kind of a puney day, but other than that, it was not too bad. We canceled Jonathan's aquatic therapy which had been moved to Wed. this week, because of his cold, so he only had two days of therapy this week. On Thursday, we were blessed to be able to spend the day together with some family and friends at Home School Day at Six Flags. This has become a tradition for our family and it is the only day during the year that we go to Six Flags. Dad, Mom and Jonathan didn't do a whole lot, but it was wonderful to be out of the hospital and be able to go together again this year. Jonathan rode some nice, calm simple rides, his favorite being the antique cars that he drove Mom and Dad around in. It was a very nice day for our family. Friday, we celebrated being home 4 entire weeks. God has been so good to us and we have seen significant improvement in Jonathan's miracle healing during these weeks. Saturday, we spent time with family celebrating Mother's Day with one of our Grandmas and we celebrated with the other Grandma today. This Mother's Day is especially meaningful to me. Just 4 months ago, I stood by Jonathan's bedside in the ICU and told the Lord that He could take Jonathan home with Him if that was His will. I cried out to God for Jonathan's life and healing, but I could not bear the thought of him living as I saw him at that time, which was as much hope as the doctors could give us. If that was what he was going to be, I begged God to take him home. Today, I am blessed to celebrate this Mother's Day with all three of my children very much alive, we are out of the hospital, and we continue to witness God's amazing, miraculous, healing power in Jonathan's life. I am, of all Mothers, most blessed.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Continue to pray for strength, stability and balance as he continues to try to walk on his own. Pray specifically for his right leg and foot. Pray that he will continue to try to walk on his own. Every day, he tries to do more walking on his own. Twice now he has gotten out of his bed and walked, holding on to the walls, to come find me in the morning. Continue to pray for his bladder control at night. I thought we had that under control, but apparently we don't, so please continue to pray for this. Please pray for the continued healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray for his peace of mind. Pray for health and strength for all of us. God continues to do a might work in Jonathan's life and in our family. There is much left to do. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We continue to need your faithful intercession. We love you all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

We have had a pretty good week so far this week. Jonathan did great in his therapy both days. On Monday he went and worked out on the machines in the gym. He did better on everything this week than last week. He rode 10 minutes on the stationary bike, and did a number of different exercises on another piece of equipment that included working both his arms and legs. He really did a good job with it. Today he did some different things in the office working his stomach muscles, balancing, and walking without his walker. His therapist seems very pleased with his progress. We continue to work with him at home to do more things on his own, walk more without his walker and use his wheelchair less. I am pleased to say that we have accomplished the potty training issue, day and night. We are very proud of him and very thankful that he has been able to do so well with this, only three weeks after being home. He continues to work on school work and help around the house and is doing it all very well. Our only set back right now is that Jonathan and Mom both came down with a cold today. This is the first time Jonathan has had any kind of sickness since he went to the hospital 4 months ago. That is truly an incredible blessing from God. We are taking every precaution with his diabetes to keep a close eye on him and working to get rid of it as soon as possible. Other than that, we are doing very well.
Please pray for our health, especially Jonathan's. He is doing very well, but you can see it in his eyes that he does not feel well. Pray that his cold will go away soon and he wll be able to remain healthy. Pray for continued strength in his legs, his balancing and walking more on his own without his walker. Pray especially for his right leg and foot. Continue to pray for healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. God is so good to us and we see His continued faithful provision for us every day. Thank you for continuing to pray for us.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

God is so good. He continues to bless us with new progress every day. It's been since Wednesday that I wrote, so let me update you on the rest of our week. Jonathan did great again at his aquatics therapy on Thursday. He continues to have 45 minute classes and handles everything very well. His balance is getting better and better every day. On Friday and Saturday, Jonathan hardly used his walker at all. He is getting up and down and walking while holding on to things to get around on his own. He can get out of the car before I have a chance to turn it off and get around to help him. He seems to do even better walking while holding someone's hand than he does using his walker. On Saturday, we had the privilege of going and sharing Jonathan's story with a group of Christian medical professionals who were meeting for a convention at Criswell College where Lamar's Father serves as a VP. Jonathan had a chance to speak and we had a chance to share our experience and to let them know how important the Christian doctor is not only to the unbeliever, but to the believer as well. It was a very special time for us. But Welcome Home Jonathan Day was the most special time for our family. We have been looking forward to this special day since the beginning of the year. It was such a precious service of praise to the Father for His grace and mercy to us, His unfailing love and His incredible power to answer prayer and to heal. Jonathan, Elizabeth, Sarah and I were able to share of God's faithful goodness that never ceases in the song "For the Lord is Good" that we sang while Lamar played guitar. It is a special gift we have been able to give back to the Lord to share in music together as a family. I was able to share our gratitude to God and to everyone who prayed us through these months through song while we watched the progressive miracle through pictures on a power point presentation. Lamar was able to share some of what God has taught us through this journey of prayer and faith when he brought the message, his first time to preach. It was a moving day for us and our families. We were blessed to have many of you there to celebrate this day and we are grateful for your presence. We were doubly blessed to have our Endocrine doctor, Dr. Adikari, as well as our three faithful therapists from Our Children's House at Baylor, Mrs. Ronnee, Mrs. Stefani and Mrs. Jennifer there to celebrate with us. It is a day we will cherish forever.
Thank you to all of you who have prayed us through these last 4 months. We covet your continued prayers for us as our journey is not yet complete. Pray that Jonathan will continue to gain strength in his legs and balance so that he can walk without his walker. Pray specifically for his right leg and foot. Pray that the desire to do things on his own will continue to increase. Please pray for his eating and his diabetes. While it is wonderful that he has gained weight and is eating so well, pray that all of that will level out to a healthy weight and good eating habits. Pray that his blood sugars will be regulated and that he will have a good attitude about his diabetes care. We continue to pray believing, with Jonathan, that God is going to heal him of his diabetes, but we are faithfully taking proper care and Jonathan remains very brave until God brings that to pass in his life. Continue to pray for his vision and that God will help us find the right doctor to deal with this area of need. Pray for us as the girls try to finish up school for the year and for Jonathan as we try to catch us in his schooling. Also, pray for Jonathan that he will not worry and be fearful of being away from one of us, including his sisters. Pray that he will know God's arms of love and security are always around him, even when one of us must be away from him. We are humbled by your continued prayers for us and by God's faithful answers to all of them. We love you all.