Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What a busy, but great week we have had here! There is much to share. On Wednesday, during exercise time, Jonathan tried many more things on his own without holding on to my hands. He was able to do the balance board, walking on the tape line on floor, balancing on both feet and one foot at a time, all without holding on. He was so determined to try to do some of these things on his own, and I was so encouraged. We went swimming for an hour after that and had a wonderful time playing in the pool. We got a lot of exercise in that day. But then, he spent the evening worrying and crying about having to stand up with the children’s choir and sing one song during the mission service we had at church. He had zero confidence and zero motivation to participate in any form or fashion. The whole evening was like this, even until he went to bed. It’s amazing how encouraged I can be about his progress one minute, and how quickly his mood can change and I can become completely discouraged. We seem to be flip-flopping quite frequently like this. On Thursday we were able to get our schoolwork done and spend the rest of the day at Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s house in Ft. Worth. It was very good to just hang out with some of our family for the day. On Friday evening, we went to a dinner at our church which included hearing from the missionaries that had come for the mission conference. While we were there, we visited with one missionary couple who told us that they had prayed for Jonathan in South Asia when they heard about his illness. All of us, including Jonathan, think that is the coolest part of this experience that people all over the world have prayed for us. It is a humbling thought. Saturday was Dad’s birthday, so we spent the day hanging out with him and taking him out to dinner that evening. On Sunday, Sarah and Jonathan’s choir sang in the service and we finished out the mission conference at our church that day. Jonathan is still doing well in Sunday school, handbells and choir. Sunday marked a very great achievement for Jonathan – he successfully made it for 3 weeks without setting off the bed wetting alarm! He is now officially finished using it and he is very proud of this accomplishment. As of today, we have made it two extra nights doing just fine without it. We are so thankful for this answer to prayer that God has given us. This week has been extremely busy for us so far. On Monday, we spent the afternoon preparing to give our Dad a surprise 40th birthday party. Jonathan did a great job keeping it a secret too. His idea for his gift to his Dad was to take his walker, decorate it and give it to him to use since he no longer needs it. I thought that was a wonderful idea! So we put a big 40 on the front with some streamers and balloons and he gave it to him at his party. We had lots of friends and family there to celebrate with us and we had a great time. On Tuesday, our family had the opportunity to sing and tell our miracle story in the chapel service at The Criswell College where Grandpa Cooper is a VP. Many of those people there have also spent the year praying for us, and it was a neat opportunity for us to share with them the answer to their prayers. We sang several songs, and each one of us had the opportunity to share about our part in this experience. I asked Jonathan some questions and he shared his answers with everyone. The girls both shared about how they felt and handled the situation. They were such a blessing to listen to. Lamar and I both shared from our hearts, we showed a powerpoint of pictures from the journey, and we ended our time by singing a song called, “How Great is Our God.” Many of our family were present and we all briefly relived this very moving experience that we have shared together. We had a chance to visit with many of the students and faculty and heard words of encouragement and many miracles that have happened in others lives. It is amazing how many miracles happen all around us that we don’t even realize. God is alive and working in our world today – there is no doubt about it. So needless to say, Tuesday was a very emotionally charged day for our family. Because of chapel yesterday, we moved therapy to this afternoon. Jonathan got to swing on another new swing and he seemed to enjoy it a lot. It is a platform swing, just a flat board that he got on and swung several different ways. First, he got on his hands and knees, then he stood up on his knees, then placed each leg up, one at a time, and balanced while he was swinging. Not only did he really enjoy it, but he balanced very well while swinging. He walked across the mats again and practiced getting up off the ground while on the mats. Doing anything on those exercise mats makes everything quite a bit harder. He balanced on the balance line, on both feet and on one foot at a time, he did lots of jumping on both feet as well as one foot at a time, and he walked with the moon shoes on again. The therapy office is really not very big, so the therapists all share the space with each other. There always seems to be a little child who is in the same space as Jonathan, and most of them are usually learning how to eat. They all seem to enjoy having him there and he loves being able to help keep them from getting upset with what they are doing. He is a great distraction! His therapist did comment today that Jonathan seemed a little more unstable than he has been. She seemed to attribute it to being busy over the last couple of days. His Sunday School teacher also made the same comment about him being unsteady on Sunday as well. I’m not sure what all that means, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it. Jonathan is doing great in so many ways, but we are now dealing with many emotional issues with him. He cries very easily about almost anything these days. It is hard to know just how to handle this with him positively. We talk about it a lot with him and are working on dealing with issues instead of crying about them. He is very sensitive to sad things as well. After listening to me talk in chapel, and listening to me cry as I told parts of the story, he lost it when I started to sing, and cried for a while. I know this is a delicate part of his healing process, and one that is going to need a lot of prayer. So with that said, I would ask you to specifically pray for Jonathan’s emotional healing. Pray that he will learn to work through things that he can handle on his own without crying. Pray that he will gain confidence in his ability to do things on his own and that his desire to handle these things on his own will increase. Pray that we will be patient, sensitive, and loving with him as he journeys through this part of the healing process. Pray for increased strength in his ankles, his legs and his hips. Pray for his balance, that it would increase, as well as his stability and stamina. Continue to pray for his weight gain and his eating. Pray that we will be able to help him eat healthy and that we will know how to help him maintain a good weight. Pray that he will continue to have success with his bladder control at night. Continue to pray believing for healing of his vision, his diabetes, and his brain. Pray that God will continue to give us opportunities to share with others what He has done in our lives. Thank you for continuing to pray us through each step of this journey. We are so grateful for your constant support in keeping up with Jonathan’s progress and faithfully praying for each of the needs we have. May God abundantly bless each of you, our faithful friends.

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