Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Jonathan is just doing awesome! God has been so good to let us see some new things over this past week that have really encouraged us. Last Wednesday was the first day back at Awanas. Jonathan was able to finish his book over the summer so he could start the new one for this year. He was really pumped and ready to go back to Awanas. We talked quite a bit about him going by himself. This means he would have to go upstairs, downstairs, back upstairs and back downstairs for an hour and a half without me or one of his sisters. He really seemed ready to tackle the challenge – until we got there and he actually got ready to do it. Then he started to cry. There are two very sweet Moms who work in his class that were there and ready to help him with whatever he needed, but it’s that separation anxiety that I haven’t had to deal with since he was 2-3 that seems to have crept back into his life. I was able to walk upstairs with him and get him settled in his class and get him to stop crying, and he seemed fine when I left him. That’s when I left and went to my car and cried for a while. For some reason, that just broke my heart. It was always very hard for me to leave him crying when he was a toddler, and that feeling came back all over again when it happened last week. But I knew that the Lord would give him the strength to make it through the evening, and I know this is good therapy for him as well. Sometimes those things are easier for me to handle than others, and last week must have been one of those “other” times for me. I checked on him about a half hour later and he was doing fine. He made it until the end and met us downstairs in the lobby, just like he was supposed to. He got his new book and has been working on 4 Scriptures and the books of the Bible to say at class tomorrow. We finally ran into our first road block with school on Friday. We started a new chapter in math on place values, and everything I said just seemed to bounce off his forehead. So I am having to back track on our skills and work up to where he needs to be at this grade level, which is okay. It just may take us a little longer to get through things, and we may not get through as much as we normally would. We are trying to use a little magnifying glass with his reading, and it seems to help him some. But overall, he is doing pretty well. We had a wonderful opportunity on Sunday morning to go to Mrs. Criswell’s Sunday School class at First Baptist Dallas. Both of Jonathan’s grandparents belong to her class, so it was really a family ordeal. Both the services at First Baptist, as well as Mrs. Criswell’s class, are aired on KCBI radio. There were many, many times when we would hear Jonathan’s name mentioned in prayer by this class, and this church, over the radio. We had many people share with us that they heard about Jonathan over the radio, and that they were praying for him. I can’t begin to tell you how much hope and encouragement that brought to us. So Sunday, we had the opportunity to visit the class, to share with them and sing for them, and to thank them personally for their faithful prayers for Jonathan. It was a great blessing for our entire family. Later on that evening, Jonathan went to handbells, choir and CIA again, all by himself with Sarah. He continues to do such a great job with these challenges and we are so very proud of him. One of the most encouraging things that happened over the weekend was while we were eating out at lunch on Saturday. We were eating Chinese food and for the very first time since Jonathan has been out of the hospital, he looked at me, with food still on his plate and said, “Mom, I’m full.” I have been waiting to hear him say that for such a long time! Up to this point, he seemed to just eat non-stop, if we would let him. He always seemed to be hungry and never seemed to know when to stop. On Sunday at lunch, we were out again with our family, and I thought how great that would be if he continued to respond that way. But I actually thought it was probably just a random thing that happened. No sooner did I have that thought, when Jonathan looked at me, with half a plate of French fries (his favorite thing in the whole wide world) and said, “Mom, I’m full again.” Praise the Lord! It happened again – this time with French fries still left! Even this evening, he was able to stop eating at dinner when he was full, without finishing all his food. I am so encouraged. I have prayed with much concern about his weight gain and that God would touch that part of his brain that would help him control his eating. We are all just thrilled to see God working in this part of his life. We are trying to work on his activity level between meals because it seems to help keep his sugar within normal range when he is more active. We are consistently doing therapy at home every day except his regular therapy day, which was today. Ms. Heather worked him hard again. She even made his right leg shake again today. She had him walk up and down a couple flight of stairs, putting one foot on each step, both up and down. He did great. He also did his exercises on the ball, some balancing on the balance beam and balance board, and he is doing incredibly well balancing standing with his feet in front of each other. She had him try pushing himself with his feet on a wide skateboard, going forward and backward. That was much harder than it looked, he found out. She also had him try to do the crab walk, which was pretty tough for him also. Overall, he did a great job, as usual. Another very encouraging thing is that we are seeing him initiate some activity on his own. Most of it has been getting up and going to play video games either on his own or with his sisters. There have actually been periods of about an hour and a half where he has been busy with them and not hanging out with Mom. Tonight, he went upstairs, on his own, by himself and played the game alone. We had to send one of the girls up to check on him and he was fine. One more thing to share is that Jonathan is now on his second week of using the night time monitor without setting off the alarm. He seems to wake up and tell me when he needs to go, which is usually once during the night, then he wakes up dry in the morning. So we are definitely making progress in this area as well. What an encouragement this week has been for us!
Thank you so much for your continued prayers for Jonathan. God reminds us daily of His faithfulness to hear and answer those prayers. Continue to pray for his legs. Pray for strength, specifically in his hips, knees, ankles and feet. Pray for stronger, more defined balance. Continue to pray for his eating, his weight and his diabetes. Please continue to pray for his mental and emotional healing. Pray that he will continue to initiate activity on his own, as well as be able to handle more things on his own – especially being away from Mom. Pray for continued success with his bladder control. Pray that his mind will be able to comprehend his school work. Pray for healing of his vision and that we would be able to find just the right tools that will help him to see better and help him in school. Also, pray that the Lord will continue to provide Jonathan and our family opportunities to sing and be a witness to others of God’s amazing grace, healing and work in our family. We love to be able to share with others what God has done for us. Psalm 98:1 - O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. How great is our God!

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