Saturday, December 31, 2005

What an incredible week, an incredible Christmas, and an incredible anniversary weekend this has been for our family. Our hearts are overflowing with such joy and thankfulness for all God has done for us this year. This has no doubt been the most difficult year our family has ever faced, and yet it is without a doubt the most incredible year we have ever experienced. Only God could cause that to happen. We had the most wonderful Christmas yet that I can remember. There was such a peace and joy in our home that we missed last year. We got up and opened gifts together and had a precious time watching the excitement on the faces of our kids at seeing all that they got. Jonathan got his desired drum set (yes, a real, big, loud, blue drum set!), Elizabeth got the guitar she wanted and Sarah got an electric drum pad that she is thrilled about. It was such a great time. After that, we read the Christmas story, sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, and then had birthday cake with Him for breakfast, a tradition that we enjoy in our family. We went to Jesus’ house to spend time with Him before spending the rest of the day with our families. We gave a special gift to our families this year. We gave scrapbooks to each of them of the journey that they so faithfully walked with us through this year. The books were based on the song, “Somebody’s Praying Me Through.” They turned out wonderful, thanks to my wonderful friend Brenda who gave up so much of her time to help me create this precious memory. Our Christmas was God’s gracious gift to our family and we thank Him for it. Monday, we cleaned up from Christmas and Tuesday we went to therapy. This was our last weekly therapy. We ended 8 months of weekly therapy which was an incredible gift to Jonathan. He has done so well and accomplished so much in these last 8 months. We are grateful for all the therapists who have played such a significant role in his recovery. Our plan is to stay in touch with them once a month to make sure he is still progressing and see new areas that we can work on until we achieve a complete recovery. Our work at home, however, does not stop. We will continue to work and exercise each day, Monday through Friday, to help him continue to improve. At therapy, he did some of the exercises on the exercise ball that he hadn’t done in a while with Mrs. Dana. She also had him sit on a stool with wheels, and pull himself down the hall using his heels, pick up some different colored clothes pins, pull himself back down the hall and clip them on the board that they belong on. Most of the time was spent doing this, but he did an awesome job using his legs to get himself up and down the hall. After that he finished with the balance board and we talked about how far he had come on this exercise. Before we left, Mrs. Dana gave me some information about hip therapy using horses. This is something she wants to look into for him, so we will try to gather more information about that in the coming days to see if that will be a possibility or not. On Wednesday and Thursday, we spent some of our time getting ready for our anniversary celebration and the rest of the time we spent visiting with Uncle Steve, Aunt Cheryl and Cousin Rachelle who came to visit from Kansas.
Yesterday, December 30, was the 1 year anniversary of the day Jonathan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and taken to the hospital. Dad took a half day off of work and we met him for lunch. At lunch we gave the kids necklaces with a pendant with something specific to symbolize their experience this year. Elizabeth and Sarah received a pendant with a little girl holding hands with a little boy. This is an exact picture of them. They have given their life this year to love, encourage and help care for Jonathan in the most beautiful way. Jonathan’s pendant states his personal testimony – “Through His grace I shall be healed.” Each of these will be engraved with 2005 on them. It was a small gift for the gift of their lives that they have given this year. They are our heros. After lunch, we made a trip to Children’s Medical Center. Although we have not been there since April when we last visited, that familiar, uneasy feeling quickly returned as we drove to the hospital and parked in those familiar garages. The one distinct difference, however, was that Jonathan was not missing this time; he was with us. Praise the Lord! We walked through the hospital showing Jonathan the chair in the emergency room where we laid him when we first got there, showing him the trains downstairs where we would bring him while he was still in the coma and try to get him to communicate with us. We went to the 6 th floor, which is where he was when we left in February. We only saw one nurse who we remembered. Everyone else was either off or does not work there any more. That was a little disappointing, but it was good for us to show him everything about his stay there, since he remembers nothing about that part of his journey. We were not even able to get into the ICU because everything was securely closed. That didn’t keep the memories from flooding our minds as we walked the halls of that hospital. Hearing the alarms going off on the heart monitors on the 6 th floor, seeing the exact place in the cafeteria where we sat that very first night trying to force ourselves to eat, the little room where we sat and found out just how much that hospital stay cost, and the radiology area where we spent an entire day praying and anguishing over the feeding tube that was never put in. And yet, God was there in each of those places, in each of those moments and in control of every detail of our experience at Children’s Medical Center. Before we left, we had the chance to visit with our sweet friend, Mary that we met while we were in the ICU. Her little son, Elisha, has spent his entire life in and out of the hospital with a rare disease. We noticed Mary a year ago while she was praying in the waiting room when Elisha was in the ICU at the same time as Jonathan. It was not long before we talked and got to know each other. She is such a wonderful, strong, Christian young lady, even in the midst of incredibly difficult circumstances. She has been such a testimony and encouragement to our family. We had a chance to see Elisha right before we left. He has been in the hospital this time for almost 2 months and he is battling 3 very serious viruses that could keep him there another 2 months. Please remember to pray for Mary and Elisha when you pray for Jonathan.
We were humbled, overwhelmed, and moved to tears yet again by the presence of so many of you at our home as we celebrated this year anniversary last night. All of you have been there for us from the very beginning of this journey and you have stayed with us, even to this day. You have been the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus that have carried us through this incredible journey. There is no way we could have made it without you. We had a precious time of prayer, thanking God for His mighty power and grace in our lives, and a recommitment to the Lord for whatever He has planned for us to do for Him. We continue to live expectantly, day by day, waiting for God’s perfect healing in His perfect timing. There is much healing yet to be realized, many miracles yet to witness, and much work left to be done. But God who has promised is faithful, and He will bring it all to pass. It will not be late one single day. We continue to covet your prayers for Jonathan and for our family. We will continue to update regularly and let you know how God is working and what He is doing in our lives. As always, we so appreciate your faithfulness to pray for us.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my heart with you each time I update. It has been a good thing for me to journal this experience each week, and it causes me to specifically remember and acknowledge each thing that God has done for us. Each time I ask for prayer for something specific, I know that it will be prayed for and we wait to see God’s answered revealed. We pray that God will abundantly bless you in 2006. Always Believe and Expect a Miracle! We love you all. Happy New Year! Love the Cooper Family

Numbers 6:24-27 24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.' 27 "So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

You are invited to join
The Cooper Family
as we celebrate God's faithfulness
to our family and His healing power in Jonathan's life through this year.

December 30, 2005
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

The Cooper House
1665 Niagara Blvd.Lewisville, TX 75077

Join us for a time of fellowship on this special anniversary evening.

There will be a time of praiseand thanksgiving about 8:00 pm.

Hope to see you all there.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I know that I am long overdue for an update. I have thought about it every evening since Tuesday, but we have been so busy getting ready for Christmas, that I thought I would just wait and send you a Christmas Eve update. I remember Christmas Eve last year. Lamar and I talked about it just last night as we were wrapping presents for the kids. Last Christmas was probably the worst Christmas we have ever had. We were so busy and everything got left until the last minute. We were miserable until Christmas finally got here and then we could relax and enjoy the day. That is not what I wanted our family to be like at Christmas. Christmas is such a special time of year – a time of giving, sharing, loving, remembering, enjoying family and celebrating the most incredible gift ever given to mankind. But it is so easy to let things get out of order, and the things that really matter are overshadowed by the things that will be gone as soon as the day is over. Last year, we missed what really mattered most. Little did we know that just 5 days later, we would be brought to the point of realizing how precious life really is, and how incredible precious our loved ones truly are.
This year, we have been busy preparing for Christmas, but there is so much joy and peace in our Christmas this year. I am constantly aware of my kids being close by. We have spent as much time together as possible as a family and I feel so incredibly blessed. I hate the fact that we let so many “good” things get in the way of what was “best”, but I’m so thankful that God got our attention and changed our perspective on life.
Let me see if I can share with you all that has gone on since I last wrote. We finished up all our activities at church a week or so ago, and we also finished school, accomplishing everything we set out to accomplish to finish the first half of the year very strong. We have been able to find a pretty good routine to settle into again, and look forward to making a few changes after the beginning of the year to keep things going well. Last Sunday, our family was over to celebrate Grandma Smith’s birthday. We all enjoyed the Christmas musical at church in the morning then we had a great time visiting at lunch and through the afternoon with each other. We moved therapy to Monday this week, and Jonathan did a great job again, as usual. He went downstairs and rode the bike again for 15 minutes. Then he went back up to the office to work on balance and flexibility in his ankles. You will have to forgive me this time for not being specific; so much has been going on this week that I just can’t remember exactly what he worked on. But make no mistake he did as good a job as he always does. Jonathan also had basketball practice again that evening. Each time he goes to practice, he gets better with his endurance. He only sat down two times, which is another improvement over the last practice. His coaches are working with him, pushing him to do better, and helping him feel like an important part of the team. They are learning some of their plays, and the guys are all very patient when it’s Jonathan’s turn. His response/reaction times are pretty slow, so we are going to try to work on some of that at home. He will have a couple of weeks off before we start again in January. We also had a chance to do a little baby sitting and play with our sweet little friends, Koby and Juliana. Jonathan loves Juliana, and he even got to hold her a few times after practice. It was fun to have them around again. On Tuesday, we went to meet some new homeschool families that are about to begin a Moms in Touch prayer group in January. The girls made some new friends and Jonathan hung out with me while the Moms visited. On Wednesday, we spent most of our day finishing up our Christmas shopping. Even though it was a busy day, we sure enjoyed our time together. On Thursday, some of the homeschool families from our church got together and caroled for a nursing home in Lewisville. We do that every year, and we always love singing and visiting with the residents. After caroling, we went to visit Dad at his new job. The kids have been wanting to see his new office, so we went to visit and then took Dad to lunch at McDonalds. Later on that evening, we had some friends over for dinner and enjoyed visiting with them. Jonathan got to hold and play with their new little baby boy who is also named Jonathan. We have so many wonderful friends who are such blessings to our family. Dad was off on Friday, so we got out and did some last minute shopping during the afternoon. After dinner, the kids went upstairs to watch a movie while we wrapped presents for them. And today is Christmas Eve. This day was busier than all the others put together! We spent the afternoon, making Christmas cookies for Santa (and a few for us too!), baking Jesus’ birthday cake, wrapping presents, making sandwiches for our get together with our family, and finally stopping at the end of the day to open a couple of presents before going to bed. I have to share with you just how precious my sweet children really are. This year, while we were out shopping, they bought presents for each other and for Dad and Mom with their own money. Elizabeth spent her own money and Sarah used a gift card that she got for her birthday to buy gifts for each of us. They helped Jonathan get stuff as well, or let him be part of their gifts. While we were out shopping on Wednesday, I stopped by the bank to cash the check that Koby and Juliana’s mom gave us for keeping the kids on Monday. I gave each of the kids $10, which they had no idea they were getting, because they were the ones who did most of the work. When we got home from shopping, they went upstairs together to do something, then they went and got the mail for the day. When I finally got around to looking at the mail, I saw an envelope addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Cooper” (but without a stamp!). When I opened it, there was a note from the kids including the $30 I had given them. The note said they wanted us to have the money in case we needed it for Christmas. They told us to please not give it back to them, even if we didn’t need it. Now, I know how much my kids like to have money of their own. But I was moved to tears to think that they so willingly, with no thought for themselves, gave up their own money for us to use. We have been struggling some financially as the end of the approaches, but we have been faithfully asking God to provide for our every need and thanking Him for doing just that. God is faithfully providing for our needs little by little, and He blessed us by allowing us to see our children demonstrate what Christmas is all about.
Thank you so much for continuing to pray for Jonathan and for our family. God has blessed us so much this year that our hearts are overflowing with thanksgiving and gratitude for all that He has done. I hope you will continue to pray for us in the days ahead. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for the continued complete healing of his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Pray for increased strength and mobility in his legs, especially his right leg, his ankles and his hips. Pray for increased flexibility in his ankles. Please continue to pray for his weight gain and his eating. Also continue to pray for his sleeping. Some nights are good, some are not too bad, and then some are very bad. Please pray that his brain will heal in these critical areas, and that we can be patient until the process is complete. So many of you have written to share with us that you are praying for Jonathan, about his sleeping, at many different times of the day and night. I always share your letters with Jonathan, and he is always so encouraged to know that people are praying for him. You are such a blessing to us and we thank God for your faithfulness to pray. Please pray for us as we continue to trust God to provide for the needs that we have coming up. God has been faithful; He will be again. Pray that we will trust and obey. Also pray for us as we approach the year anniversary of this incredible journey. We are looking forward to celebrating the miracle of life on Friday, December 30 and remembering God’s incredible work in Jonathan’s life and in the life of our family. The next time I write will probably be around that time. I hope you will join us in celebrating Jesus and praising our Heavenly Father on that day. We will be celebrating with our families that evening at our home and would love for any of you to stop by and celebrate with us if you would like.
It is now Christmas Day. I pray that this Christmas day will be the most wonderful day ever for each of you, our wonderful friends. As you celebrate the most wonderful gift of life ever given, our Saviour Jesus Christ, don’t forget to celebrate the precious gift of your family – your children, you husband, your wife, you Mom, your Dad, your brothers and sisters, your friends. Don’t let this special day go by without thanking God for His incredible blessings in your life. We pray that God will surround you will His love, His joy and His peace this Christmas day. We love each and every one of you.

Merry Christmas and God Bless Us, Everyone!

With love, Lamar, Kristi, Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

God continues to bless our family as we near the end of this incredible year. Jonathan is doing incredibly well in many ways. All the kids are doing very well in school and we should finish our first half of the year on Friday. We are looking forward to a couple of weeks off from school. Overall, I have been very pleased with our progress in school thus far. Jonathan is reading very well, writing better each day, and doing very well in math, language and spelling. Last Wednesday and Thursday, we got to stay home and enjoy some sleet and ice at our house. There was not too much, but it was nice to have it around. Unfortunately for these kids, there was no “snow day” at our school! On Friday, Elizabeth and Sarah went to spend the night with a friend, so Jonathan, Dad and Mom went to see a Singing Christmas Tree at another church in the area. Dad and Mom have been part of a Singing Christmas Tree in the past, but this was the first time that Jonathan had ever seen it. We had a great time and enjoyed the program very much. On Saturday, we hung out together until the girls got home, and then enjoyed a Christmas party with all of the wonderful people who so faithfully helped Lamar in the Tech ministry at Lakeland this past year. Sunday was filled with church and a Christmas party or two, but otherwise was a pretty low key day. Jonathan had basketball practice again on Monday evening. He did even better this week than he did last week. There was no crying at all, and he only sat down to rest 3 times during the whole hour practice. That was about half the rests from the first week. He stayed up and practiced everything that everyone else did, even working on the first couple of plays that the team learned. His coaches are very attentive to him, but they push him to do more than he thinks he can do. They always encourage him to shoot until he makes a basket, and then when he does, there are always some of his teammates that clap and cheer him on. After basketball practice, we went to the mall to visit Santa. We always love to visit Santa, and even after an hour of basketball practice, Jonathan was able to walk around the mall and stand in line for almost an hour without needing to sit down. We have noticed over the last couple of weeks that Jonathan has not complained about his ankles hurting like he usually does. He is still being active, even more so now than last month, but there is no complaining of hurting ankles. I’m hoping that means that they are getting stronger and that he is tolerating activity on his feet better. Jonathan went to therapy again yesterday and did a great job. He got to do a whole set of new things instead of the same old stuff he usually does. He spent the entire time in the gym downstairs. Instead of running on the treadmill, he rode the stationary bike for 15 minutes. He started out with his braces on, but was able to do it much better without them. After that, he did the squat machine a few times. Mrs. Dana would try to hold his right foot straight, but it seems to always turn out. She also said that his ankles are very stiff and don’t have much flexibility to them. They don’t bend like they should. So she used the squat machine to have him push up with his toes, to exercise his ankles. After that, we used some different pads inside the parallel bars to give him a different twist on walking the balance line. Then we did some balancing on one foot while pushing up and down with the other foot. She showed me some exercises we can do at home to help gain more flexibility in his ankles. This is partly a result of wearing the braces. While the braces help stabilize the leg and knee, they don’t do a whole lot for the ankles, so we need to work that separately. She also suggested that some hip therapy might help smooth out his walking. She told me about some children who do therapy with horses that seems to help. She is going to try to give me some information about it so that we can see what the possibilities are for that. Later in the evening, some of our family came over to watch a special show that the girls have been watching. The rule is that everyone has to have their bath before the show comes on. So after telling Jonathan that he also had to have his bath, he asked if I was coming to help him. I told him I would come in a few minutes, but that Dad was upstairs and could help him get started. Before I had a chance to get upstairs, Jonathan called me and told me that he had gotten his bath all by himself! He has done parts of his bath by himself before, but never the entire process. It is so encouraging to see him do things that he normally thinks he has to have help with, but finds out that he can do them on his own again. There are many of those blessing every day.
Jonathan still continues to struggle with his sleeping issues. Some nights are better than others, and we are trying some different things to see what might help. We have been letting him sleep in our room on a mattress beside my bed. It’s a little better for me because I don’t have to get up as much to help him when he is right beside me. However, I don’t want him to get in the habit of having to sleep in our room again. Our dear sweet friends, Mr. Ken and Mrs. Anita, told us on Sunday that they have committed to pray for Jonathan 3 times a day, specifically about his sleeping, until God brings healing. It is such an encouragement to know that people are praying so specifically for Jonathan and the needs he is facing. That night, Jonathan slept better than he had in weeks. He only woke up crying 3 times, and none of them were very bad. Monday night, he cried a little more, but still nothing major. So we decided to try him in his room on Tuesday night. We even turned on a rest and relaxation CD to see if that would help. He wasn’t asleep 30 minutes before he began to wake up crying about every 15-20 minutes. So after a couple of hours, I just put him back in our room for the rest of the night. He continued to cry, but not as frequently. We are still trying to gather information and suggestions about what to do, so please continue to pray for us about this. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that it has only been a year and that the brain is still healing. I know that God will heal this part, even as He has healed the other parts of Jonathan’s body.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers. I just know that many times when we see positive things happen with Jonathan, it is because you all are faithfully praying for us. You continue to carry us through the struggles and the blessings of this journey we are on. Please continue to pray specifically for Jonathan, that his brain will heal completely and that we will see complete healing in his vision and his diabetes. Pray that his sleep will continue to improve and that his mind will be at rest as he sleeps each night. Pray that we will have wisdom and know how to help him through this difficult issue. Continue to pray for his weight and his eating, and that we will be able to bring those under control so that he will be healthy. Pray for continued strength in his ankles, legs and hips. Pray that his endurance will continue to increase as well as his activity level. Pray that we will have wisdom to know how to proceed with his therapy in the new year. Please pray for our family as we face some needs as we near the end of the year. Pray that we will have wisdom and that we will wait on the Lord and trust Him to provide for those needs that He already knows we have. God is so good and so faithful and we give Him praise for the incredible things He has done in our lives this year. I leave you with this thought from my journal, Streams in the Desert that I read today. May God bless each of you.
"Trust also in him" (Ps. 37:3).
The word trust is the heart word of faith. It is the Old Testament word, the word given to the early and infant stage of faith. The word faith expresses more the act of the will, the word belief the act of the mind or intellect, but trust is the language of the heart. The other has reference more to a truth believed or a thing expected. Trust implies more than this, it sees and feels, and leans upon a person, a great, true, living heart of love. So let us "trust also in him," through all the delays, in spite of all the difficulties, in the face of all the denials, notwithstanding all the seemings, even when we cannot understand the way, and know not the issue; still "trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass." The way will open, the right issue will come, the end will be peace, the cloud will be lifted, and the light of an eternal noonday shall shine at last.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

We have been blessed with another good week this week. Last Wednesday was Jonathan’s first night without Mr. Terry in Awana. Jonathan, of course, did just fine, and Mrs. Lori, Mr. Terry’s wife, stepped in and helped Jonathan through the evening. She even helped him with his basketball skills during game time, and after devotion, when it was time to go home, Jonathan told her she didn’t need to walk him downstairs; he could do it himself. And he did! She did come by to make sure he made it okay, but that was a great accomplishment for him. After Awana, Jonathan spent time hanging out in the lobby with other people, visiting and socializing with everyone while Dad and Mom were busy. It’s so nice to see him be independent from time to time. We are praying that that will continue to increase as time goes on. One of our very special friends gave our family tickets to Six Flags for Saturday, so we spent our afternoon and evening at Holiday in the Park at Six Flags on Saturday. During the day, the weather was quite warm, but when the sun went away, it got very cold. We got to ride a few rides, but there were so many people there, we didn’t ride much. At 7 pm, we were also able to go to a free concert with Point of Grace and Jeff Johnson. We almost froze to death, but we stayed for over an hour and thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Unfortunately, Jonathan got up Saturday morning with the second half of the cold he had the first few days of Thanksgiving week. So by the time we left Six Flags that evening, he could hardly talk and was feeling pretty crummy. Other than that, we had a great time at Six Flags, and we are so thankful for these precious friends who gave us the opportunity to create another treasured memory together as a family. On Sunday, the Sarah and Jonathan’s choir sang their special Christmas songs and played handbells during church. Jonathan was able to play handbells, but he was unable to sing with the choir because of his cold. He was feeling a little better, and was also able to go to his Sunday School class party in the afternoon, which was pizza and going to see Chicken Little. I’m glad he felt good enough to go because he had a wonderful time. The kids in his Sunday School class are the absolute best group of kids that Jonathan could be around. They are so kind and caring towards him, they always help him and always encourage him, and it blesses my heart to be around them. On Monday, Jonathan went to his very first Upward Basketball practice for this season. He has a wonderful coach who is very attentive to Jonathan, but is also going to challenge him as much as possible. Jonathan started off well by getting in there and working with the rest of the guys. But the first time he needed to sit down and rest, he started to cry. Jonathan needs to realize that there are other people in his life who are in charge of him at particular times that he needs to go to, instead of always coming to Mom. We talked about it several times during the hour that he practiced, and by the end of the practice, he was telling his coach each time he needed to sit down for a rest. He also did very well at getting back up and going back to practice without sitting out too long or being told to go back in. The other guys on his team were very accommodating and patient with him. He dribbled, passed and shot a number of times and made a good number of baskets. We even saw a few steps of running at one point, which made us all cheer! We watched him bend his knees and push himself up to make baskets, which is a huge improvement from camp during the summer. When he was making baskets at camp, we would have to hold him under his arms and help push him up to make the baskets, and yesterday, he was doing it all by himself. What a miracle! He came over and hugged us several times and was just so excited and proud at what he was doing. One time he was so excited, he almost squealed and said, “I just love this!” We are so very proud of Jonathan and so very grateful for the miracle of life that God has given to him. Many of these coaches, players and parents prayed us through this year, just as you all have. Jonathan only made it to a couple of practices last year before he got sick. As a matter of fact, he was worried about missing his first game when he got sick. Little did we know that he would miss the entire season. But God is so good, and we look forward with great anticipation to what Jonathan will accomplish and to see how God will use this basketball season in his life at this particular time. Jonathan did great today in therapy. He ran, again, three times for 1 minute each time at 4.0 mph. He appeared a little more worried about being able to do it, but he persevered and made it through all three times. Back up in the office, Jonathan worked on balancing on one foot while doing things with the other foot, and pushing up on a step with one foot at a time. Mrs. Dana always wears him out, but Jonathan always does such a good job. I think that Jonathan is finally over this cold again. Hopefully we will all stay well through the holidays.
God continues to bless us each and every day. We still have struggles that we deal with day to day that sometimes cloud our vision. Then we have a moment, like basketball practice, where we realize just how much God has blessed up and how much progress we have made in a few month’s time. Thank you so much for your faithfulness to pray for us. God hears each and every one and faithfully answers them. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for patience as we wait for God’s complete healing to be manifested in his life. Pray for continued healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Please pray that his balance will improve and that he will be able to accomplish those balance challenges in his therapy. Please continue to pray for his eating and weight gain. He is still hovering around the 110-113 range, but we are slowing making changes in his diet to hopefully help lose some weight. Many of us know just how difficult this is, so please pray that God will honor our diligence and efforts, and allow Jonathan to lose the weight he needs to be healthy and control his diabetes. Pray that Jonathan will gain confidence in his abilities, gain more independence, and not be afraid to be away from Mom. Pray that he will relearn how to initiate activity on his own and begin to do more and more things for himself. Although we are progressing slowly, Jonathan is doing very well in school on every skill that we are studying, and we praise God for that.
Probably the biggest prayer request I have to ask for Jonathan is his sleeping at night. This remains our biggest challenge right now. Jonathan is barely able to sleep for 2 hours at a time without waking up crying, just like he is having an awful nightmare. I have no idea what he is dreaming about and he usually can’t tell me either. Most of the time, he never even fully wakes up, but lays back down once I get him calmed down, goes right back to sleep, and wakes up again, minutes later, crying just as bad as before. This cycle goes on hour, after hour, all night long. And every morning, he is completely unaware that he ever cried once during the night. Needless to say, it is wearing me out. If I wasn’t so tired, I might try to count just how many times he wakes up, but I would guess it is usually about 10-15 times a night. I’m not sure what to do about this, but I’m asking you to pray specifically for this issue with Jonathan. Pray that whatever is causing this will be healed. Pray that he will know peace and rest in his mind and thoughts. Pray that we will both get rest and that I will be patient with him even though I am weary of dealing with this.
One last thing; God has blessed our family by providing Lamar with a new job. He resigned his position at the church and began a new job on Monday. We are confident that this is where God is leading us, and we are anxious to see how God is going to use this new situation in our lives, as we seek to serve Him and follow His will for our family. Our only concern at this point is a delay in getting insurance with the new job. It could be as late as March before we can get insurance there. I know that God has already made provision for all our needs, and we are trusting Him to provide for this need as well. Please pray with us regarding this, and that throughout all these changes in our family, we will continue to trust in the One who always does exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think. Thank you for your prayers.

Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.