Wednesday, November 30, 2005

This past week was probably the most precious Thanksgiving week we have ever share together as a family. There were many times that we were overwhelmed with gratefulness at what the Lord has graciously done in our lives this year. We hope that your Thanksgiving was as precious as ours was. Life itself is incredibly precious, as we have been reminded this year. We spent the day Wednesday getting ready for Thanksgiving Day. There was no church or Awana, so we spent the evening at home together as well. Thursday morning we woke up, started cooking and spent the morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mom’s side of the family came over to our house for lunch. Some of our family has not seen Jonathan since May, so it was nice to be able to share with them how great Jonathan has done these last few months. After having a nice dinner and visit with them, we made our way to Dad’s family for our second Thanksgiving Dinner of the day. Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan’s great-grandma, Mamaw, was here from Mississippi, and this was the first time she had seen Jonathan since Christmas last year, just days before Jonathan became ill. Needless to say, she didn’t even recognize him. Overall, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, we got out our Christmas decorations which is a tradition for our family. We put up our beautiful Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations. It seems like just yesterday that we had our Christmas tree up. It was the only thing from Christmas last year that was still up when Jonathan came home from the hospital in April. But we are glad to have it up again. On Friday evening, Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan got to go with their Aunt Keby to the Texas Tornadoes Hockey game in Frisco. They all had a wonderful time, and they were able to stay for the entire game. Jonathan called us when it was over, very excited because the Texas Tornadoes won 4 to 1! He seemed to do very well away from us that evening. Lamar and I went and did some Christmas shopping. It’s not often that we have time alone, just the two of us, so it was a nice time for us. On Saturday, Jonathan and Dad spent several hours at Grandpa and Grandma Cooper’s house visiting with Mamaw. Later in the afternoon, Aunt Keby took the kids to see a movie, and Lamar and I got to do some more shopping and spend some more time, just the two of us. Wow! Two days in a row! That’s a record this year. We went to church on Sunday, but since it was a holiday weekend, there were no hand bells or choir. Jonathan went with Sarah to their class on Sunday evening, so I was able to go to church and hear about God’s provision in our lives, which we have witnessed in an unusual way this year. On Monday, we started back to school and we are working hard for these three weeks to stay on schedule so we can finish strong before Christmas break. All the kids are doing so well in school. I am so proud of them all. I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to be back to schooling at home, since we missed it earlier this year. I love and treasure the time I get to spend with my kids, even if it is doing school work. As soon as we finished our schoolwork, we got to go shopping with Grandma Cooper and Mamaw for the rest of the afternoon. It is always fun to go shopping with Grandmas! We had a great time spending time with them. To finish off the day, we got to have dinner at their house with them. Today, Jonathan did a great job at therapy. Mamaw was his special guest today. She got to come watch Jonathan work out and see what all he has done and learned to do over these last few months. Instead of going straight down to the gym, Jonathan worked up in the office first. He stood on the balance disc while we played the alphabet game again as he worked on his balance. After that he did several types of jumps on the mini trampoline. Then he got to swing on one of the therapy swings. He laid down on his stomach on the swing and Mrs. Dana threw him a long cloth. He climbed up the cloth with his hands and then she would tell him to let go and he would swing back and forth on the swing. Not only does it work the muscles in the arms, but it works all the muscles in his back and shoulders also. He seemed to enjoy this. He was pretty tired when we headed downstairs to the treadmill at the very end of his therapy, and he was not real sure he wanted to do any running today. But we encouraged him to do some so Mamaw could see how well he was doing. He ran a minute and a half at 4.0 today which was pretty good considering how tired he was by that time. We were proud of him for trying.
I have been reminded daily in my devotions this week of the goodness and faithfulness of God to us as we have walked this difficult road this year. We have so much to be grateful for. Our praise will never be enough for all that God has done for us. We continue to face some challenges and we continue to ask you to pray for Jonathan as you have so faithfully done. Please continue to pray for healing of his diabetes, his vision and his brain. Pray specifically for healing and progress in controlling his eating and his weight. Pray for continued strength and endurance in his legs, feet and ankles. Pray specifically that his balance will improve as he continues to work on it. Pray that his activity level will increase and that he will learn again how to initiate activity on his own. Also, please earnestly pray for healing of his mind and peace and rest in his thoughts and dreams as he sleeps. He continues to wake up crying many times during the night. Pray that he will find deliverance from this soon. Thank you, from our hearts, for always checking in and following Jonathan’s progress and for your constant prayers on our behalf. We will never be able to adequately express how grateful we are for each of you. It is true that your prayers are the wings that have carried us through each phase of this journey. You are an incredible blessing to our family. I want to leave you with some Scriptures from Psalm 66 that I read this week. May God abundantly bless each of you. Come and see the works of God, Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. (v.5) Bless our God, O peoples, And sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life, And does not allow our feet to slip. For Thou hast tried us, O God; Thou hast refined us as silver is refined. Thou didst bring us into the net; Thou didst lay an oppressive burden upon our loins. Thou didst make men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; Yet Thou didst bring us out into a place of abundance. (v.8-12) Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His lovingkindness from me.(v.16-20)

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