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.

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