Monday, January 30, 2006

God has faithfully brought us through another week. We remain thankful for the place that God has brought us to and anxiously await what He is going to do next. After resting a couple of days from basketball practice and exercise, Jonathan’s ankle was fine by Wednesday. I’m glad it was nothing serious. We were able to go for a walk later in the week and he did fine. The biggest event this week was Jonathan’s endocrine appointment on Thursday. We finally were able to meet with a doctor instead of a physician’s assistant. He made some adjustments on his insulin and we talked about a number of health issues. He was very interested in every detail of Jonathan’s story and seemed pleased at his progress and all that we were doing so far. We talked about the weight issue and he wanted to have him tested for Cushings disease. He said he hoped it was not that, but that could be an indication of why he was gaining weight, although he is growing normally in height. The only reason I agreed to have him tested for this is because he doesn’t have to do anything but pee in a bottle for 24 hours and we take it to the lab for testing. I didn’t say anything to the doctor, but I wanted to tell him that he doesn’t have Cushings disease. You see, the last time we went to this appointment, they had his thyroid and growth hormone tested, thinking they might be the problem. It they were the problem, he would have to take a pill for the rest of his life for thyroid and get another shot every day for the growth hormone. My immediate reaction was to worry about the results until they came back. After a couple of days of thinking about Jonathan’s situation and how it related to those tests, I came to a conclusion. Let me take you back to this day one year ago:


Jonathan had a rough start today. He was crying most of the morning due to some stomach cramps. He did settle down and was fine for the rest of the day. We have started seeing some small arm movement and some movement in his legs. The doctor came in today and told us that we would probably be moving to The Children's House at Baylor sometime this week. We are praying that God would raise him up before that transfer, but if that is where God wants us to go we will follow.
We were watching a video tonight and got 2 scripture passages in particular from the Lord, which we are claiming for Jonathan. The first is John 14:13-14 which says "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." And the verse that we are claiming for Jonathan specifically is
Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you."
We are asking for people to join us in prayer that God has already healed Jonathan and that we will be patient and wait on the Lord to reveal to us the time of his complete healing. Join with us also in praise to the Lord for what He has already done and what He is doing in the future!

My conclusion was: If in fact we still believed in this promise God gave us, there is no way either the thyroid or the growth hormone could be a problem, because he has been completely healed. I stopped worrying and lived in the knowledge of that promise. Needless to say, I was not surprised when they told us that both of those things were fine. So this time I wanted to tell the doctor that Cushings disease is not a problem either. But I’ll let the test results tell him that. We are still waiting for the results of his A1C test, but overall, he had a good visit this time. We had a great week at school and were able to accomplish many things during this last week. Jonathan is still resting during the afternoon, but I can’t tell that it is helping him sleep any better at night. We continue to have pretty rough nights. The endocrinologist really couldn’t tell me anything since they don’t treat that and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with his diabetes. He did tell me it sounds like night terrors, but I didn’t really get any help from him. I still haven’t heard from Dr. McDonald, so I guess I’ll just have to discuss it with him at our visit this week. Although he wakes up many times during the night, he is not affected by it during the day at all. And even though I get very little quality sleep, the Lord seems to sustain me each day, and we are able to accomplish what we need to. On Saturday during four of the afternoon basketball games, we were able to share our testimony with the parents and families at the half time break. Many of those people have prayed for Jonathan since last season, and it was an honor to be able to share what God has done and thank them for their part in Jonathan’s miracle. Jonathan had another good game. It was a tougher game than last week. He had more opposition while trying to shoot this week, which is good. It only took him a couple of tries to get the basket, and he only made one basket for his team. This week he also got to bring the ball down to half court for the first time this year. Everyone cheered him on and he was able to dribble the ball down to the half court line and pass it off to a team mate. It was pretty cool. We had another first – someone bumped into Jonathan and knocked him down. He fell backward and of course, started to cry. His coach was there even before I could get there and had him back on his feet in an instant, trying to calm him down. He coach really took the lead with him and was able to talk him into going for the shot. Through the tears, he tried two times before the other team rebounded and took the ball to the other end of the court. We are glad that finally happened. It is never fun, and I think it scared him more than hurt him, but at least it has happened and we don’t have to fear it anymore. We talked about when that happens again, he won’t have to cry he can just get up and keep going because his team needs him. His team mates and coaches are all so very supportive and encouraging. They amaze me week after week. He did hurt his left wrist a little and complained of pain when he turned it a certain way, but we have been as gentle as possible with it and it seems to be better today. When we weighed on Sunday morning, Jonathan was down a pound! We continue to try to exercise 20-30 minutes at least twice a day and we continue to try to watch what we are eating. God is working on helping me deal with this with Jonathan, so please continue to pray for both of us.
God continues to bless Jonathan and our family. That doesn’t mean that all our struggles and issues are gone, but He continues to bless us in spite of our difficulties. Your prayers are what hold us up when we want to give up, or when discouragement tries to set in. Thank you for so faithfully lifting us up. Please continue to pray for Jonathan’s complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Please continue to pray for his sleeping issues. Pray that we will be able to make it through this healing process and that God will either bring us a solution or sustain us until His complete healing is realized. Pray that we can maintain a consistent exercise routine and healthy eating. Pray that I will let God be in charge of this and not obsess over it and try to make it what I want it to be. Pray for us as we go back for a visit with Dr. McDonald at the OCH on Thursday afternoon. After our visit we are going to go by and visit little Benjamin and his family who are still at the OCH. Pray that we will be able to meet this family and let God use us however He wants to minister to them. Please continue to pray for strength and flexibility for Jonathan’s hips, legs and ankles. Pray that God will continue to keep him safe and allow him to enjoy his basketball games each week. God has blessed us with such good health; please pray that we be able to remain in good health. Pray that Lamar and I will have wisdom to know what direction to proceed in as far as Jonathan’s continued therapy. Pray that God’s will and direction will be abundantly clear to us as we look at available options.
At anytime of the day or night, my mind will go back to “this time last year.” Those memories are never far from my thoughts. This day, one year ago, was the most significant turning point for Lamar and I. When we heard those Scriptures spoken, we knew that God had indeed spoken to us. It changed our lives. Not only did we pray and stand on that promise in faith believing, but you joined us there as well. And God remains faithful to His promise every single day. I want to leave you with some Scriptures we read in church on Sunday which so beautifully describe our sweet Jonathan and the miracle that God has brought about not only in his life, but in all of our lives. It also describes you, our faithful friends and reminds us of the incredible part each of you played in this miracle of God. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! We love you all.

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Psalm 9:1-2 I Will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders. 2 I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.

God continues to do wonderful things for Jonathan and our family. All week long I make a list of the great things that God does for us and I look forward each week to sharing them with you. Jonathan went to basketball practice on Monday night. He is doing very well and seems to enjoy participating each week. His coaches still push him to make baskets and always help him run the plays that they are working on that week. We had to back off some on our walking this past week because of the blisters Jonathan got on his toes. They healed up pretty quickly and were not a big problem. We started doing some stretching exercises and just did our therapy twice during the day instead of just in the afternoon. In the evening, we try to just get up and be active as much as we can, but we don’t do any specific exercises. Sarah got a dance pad for Christmas, so they each take turns doing different songs during the evening. The girls are both very good about helping Jonathan find songs he can do. The more he works on them, the better he gets. Plus it keeps him from sitting around doing nothing. Jonathan is still doing very well in school. He is working on his 2-5 multiplication tables. He is doing really well memorizing them and remembering them. He is also learning how to write in cursive, and that is helping him remember how to write his letters correctly. He also continues to do very well in Awana. He is more than half way finished with his book. He does such a great job memorizing Scripture. Early in the week, I got a phone call from a friend of ours at church who asked if we had ever thought of looking into therapy using horses. One of my goals last week was to make some phone calls to see about proceeding with the horse therapy. My friend has two children who have used this kind of therapy for a couple of years and she had a lot of great things to say about the place that they have gone to. She offered to take us out to visit, and we were able to go out there on Thursday. It is very close to us which is a huge plus. It is a very neat place and a wonderful program. The man who runs it is a 75 year old retired man who has devoted these last 3-4 years providing therapeutic riding for children with disabilities. The most incredible part is that it is all free. All his therapists volunteer their time and you can just hear the compassion for the children he helps in his voice. We got to pet and feed some of his horses. He brought out carrots and helped Jonathan feed some of the big horses. There are 55 people on the waiting list right now, but because we home school, there is a possibility that we could get in easier. We are very excited about this opportunity and Jonathan is very excited about this idea of therapy. Not only will it be good for his hips and help with his balance and walking, but I’m hoping it will help build his confidence and security in being able to accomplish things on his own again, without feeling the need to always have me with him. They are on a winter break right now, so we are getting all the physician and therapist’s forms filled out and sent back in so our application is complete and we will hopefully be on the list to start when they resume March 14. We are thankful for God’s leading in this process and know that He will be faithful to hand pick this therapist for this new phase of Jonathan’s recovery process. On Friday, Jonathan got out and rode his bike in the morning. He is doing very well on it, considering his balance limitations. When he gets the bike going straight, he does a very good job of balancing and he rides very well. If he leans one way or the other, he overcompensates and seems to just go back and forth until he can get a handle on it again and straighten out. We rode around the block and were going back up our street when he started to get worn out. So he got off and was going to walk the 4 houses back to our house while I walked his bike back. He looked at me and said, “I bet you I can beat you to our house!” and then he started running down the street and ran 4 house lengths to our house without stopping. On Saturday, he did the same thing, except he ran about 6 house lengths that time. It’s so good to see him run. Saturday was another incredibly miraculous day for us. Jonathan played his second game of Upward basketball. His coach changed things up a little and put him in about 3 minutes at a time 4 different times during the game. He was in twice in the first half and twice in the second half. The second time he was in, they ran a play that they created just for Jonathan. It’s called the “J play.” When the coach called the “J play” the guy bringing the ball down would get it to Jonathan and the rest of the team would spread out around the basket, blocking the other team so Jonathan could make the basket. It took the guys a couple of tries before they knew what they were doing with it, but when they did it, it was awesome. The first time, they passed him the ball and he made a shot and missed. The guys just kept rebounding the ball and giving it back to him to try again. After about 4 tries, he made his first basket. The entire bleachers full of parents erupted in cheers and Jonathan was the proudest little guy in that gym. It was another emotional moment for many of us, another blessing, another miracle, another wonder of God to share with the world. The second time they ran the “J play” he did the same thing; it took him about 4 shots before he made the basket. The third time, they passed him the ball and he swished it on the first shot. It was perfect! And his team won the game which made it a perfect game for him. All the kids on his team took the chance to tell him how good he did and gave him lots of high fives. Even the kids and the coaches on the other team hugged him and told him he did a great job. I am in awe of all of them. There was not one coach or kid on either of those two teams who hesitated at all to allow Jonathan the opportunity to make this important accomplishment that day. The other team gave up the chance to make 6 points for their team, just so Jonathan could make them for his team. I’m humbled yet again but the kindness and compassion of so many adults and children toward our little boy. It was another very special memory for all of us. God is so very good. Sarah also played again and her team won their game as well. She always plays well and it’s always a joy for us to watch her play. We had just a little bit of a set back on Sunday. During RA class on Sunday night, the kids were play tug of war. It was great that Jonathan got up and played the game, but after the third time, he ended up falling, hitting his head against the wall and twisting his ankle. He was very upset and it scared everyone to death. Everyone was more concerned about his head, but it was his ankle that got hurt the most. It was a little swollen and it hurt him to walk on it for the rest of the evening. We have tried to stay off it and take it easy today, and we stayed home from basketball practice this evening. It seems to be better, and he is able to walk on it without complaining of pain. We are going to take it easy this week so it will be fine for him to play his basketball game on Saturday. Unfortunately, even after spending two weeks trying to keep up our activity level and trying to exercise more, Jonathan did not lose any weight. Nevertheless, we are going to keep it up, do all that we can to help and trust God to take care of the rest. Also, I have tried having him take about an hour nap each day to see if that helped improve his sleeping at night. We had some pretty decent nights last week, but last night was not a good night. So I’m not sure that anything really is having a positive, long term effect on the situation yet. We will continue to try different things and pray that God will heal and deliver Jonathan from this very soon.
Thank you for your ever faithful prayer support for Jonathan and our family. We continue to wait on the Lord for his healing in so many ways and yet we are so thankful for His divine healing that we have already witnessed in Jonathan’s life. Please continue to pray for God’s complete healing of Jonathan’s brain, vision and diabetes. Pray that he will gain more strength and flexibility in his hips, legs and ankles. Pray that we will be able to continue to exercise daily and that God would bless us by allowing us lose weight and become more fit and healthy. Please pray for Jonathan’s ankle this week that it will get strong again so that he will be able to continue to play basketball. Pray for us as we work toward therapeutic riding, that God will orchestrate all the details and that it would be a great benefit for Jonathan. Pray that we will know which direction to go to continue with Jonathan’s recovery and that God will lead us and we will follow. Jonathan has another endocrine appointment this week. Pray that it will go well and that we will get a good report from the doctor. We were able to get his A1C done at a pharmacy this time instead of having to go have blood drawn, and we are thankful that God provided a way for us to do that without it being such a traumatic experience for him. Please continue to pray earnestly about Jonathan’s sleeping. Pray that we will get the help we need to help us get through this phase of healing. Pray that the doctors will be able to shed some light on the situation and help us find a solution to this problem. Pray that Jonathan will be able to sleep peacefully without waking up, and if he does wake up, he will not cry and be so upset. Pray for strength and rest for us as we continue to deal with this and for grace to endure until healing comes. Again, a look back one year ago - 1-21-05 - Jonathan was scheduled to have a feeding tube put in today and it was called off at the last minute for some additional research. Many have been praying for God's leadership in regard to this decision. The Lord promises to guide us as we ask for wisdom and we believe the Lord is doing that through these circumstances. The Lord has extended the time on this decision and given more time for the Coopers to find His confirmation. Please unite with us in praying for discernment concerning God's will. I do not think I will ever forget that day. Although we struggled to know His will and sense His presence throughout this particular event in Jonathan’s journey, God never left us or forsook us. God is not slack concerning His promises. He has been faithful to His promises throughout this entire year. Thank you for trusting and believing God with us. We are rewarded each week with many signs and wonders. Pray believing this week and you will see the glory of God (John 11:40). May God richly bless you all.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I have another week worth of great, miraculous things to share with you. God continues to bless us, show Himself strong on our behalf, and reveal more miracles in Jonathan’s life. Jonathan began basketball practice again last Monday, after the holiday break. He continues to do very well and works hard to participate as much as he can. His coaches continue to involve him, work with him and push him to work hard. Every time he gets to shoot a basket, his coach gives it to him again and again, until he makes a basket. They are very attentive to him, not too hard on him, but not too soft with him. Once again, God hand picked the perfect coach for Jonathan. It’s amazing how God has been faithful to hand picked all those who have been a significant part of Jonathan’s recovery process. How can we not continue to trust Him for every detail of Jonathan’s healing? We started back to school on Monday as well. We had a good week of school and were able to stay on a pretty good schedule all week long. We changed things up a bit and added a 30 minute walk in the morning that we all do together instead of each of the girls taking turns going on walks with Jonathan. He did a good job of keeping up with the walk and we were able to do it every day last week. We also did therapy or practiced basketball every afternoon, and had some activity during the evening. We had some good and not so good results from that. The good results were that we had much lower, much more normal blood sugars for the entire week. The not so good results were that because of the extra walking, Jonathan has two pretty big blisters on his big toes. He still walks on the insides of his feet, and we have walked 10 times more this past week than we have since he has been out of the hospital. So we may have to back off a little and let them heal before we keep going with this. Just pray that we can continue to exercise and that God will reward our diligent efforts by allowing us to get in shape and lose some weight. He is doing such a great job and I am so very proud of him. We are also working on trying to get him to drink more water, so after each exercise time, he drinks about 6-8 oz. of water before he drinks anything else. He has such a good attitude and is willing to do whatever I ask to be cooperative. Jonathan is doing very well in school. We started to tackle multiplication this week, as well as cursive writing. He handled both very well. We were suppose to go back and see Dr. McDonald from Our Children’s House at Baylor on Wednesday, but had to reschedule due to getting our insurance coverage in order. I did ask to have him call me with any thoughts or suggestions about Jonathan’s sleeping issues, but have not received word back from him yet. Jonathan’s sleeping seemed worse this week. A couple of nights I think he woke up 2-3 times an hour, every hour. He has been sleeping on a mat beside my bed for several weeks now, because it’s a little easier for me to deal with him when he is close by. However, this week, I have borrowed a guard rail again for his bed and am going to work on getting him to sleep back in his bed again. Please continue to pray earnestly about this. Jonathan asks me almost every morning how he slept last night. When I tell him whether he cried or not, he will say, “I sure wish I could get over that. Even thought I don’t remember doing it, I just hate it when I cry.” I know healing for this will come. Please pray for us until it does come. Our weekend was full of wonderful miracles and memories. On Friday, instead of taking our walk during the morning, Jonathan rode his bike for the first time in over a year! What a milestone! For his anniversary on December 30, we got him a set of training wheels so that he could ride his bike again. He did very well for the first time. There were times when I could tell that he was balancing on the two wheels instead of leaning on the training wheels. It was a great moment for us and a great accomplishment for Jonathan. That night we left to go camping for the weekend with some other families from our church. Our weekend turned out to be a little too busy to enjoy much camping, but I wouldn’t trade the activity we had for anything. Saturday morning we got up and Jonathan, Dad and I went on a walk to the lake. We had a good time talking with Jonathan and getting our exercise in the process. That afternoon, at 3 pm, Jonathan played his first Upward Basketball game in 2 years. I asked him before we went if he was going to walk or run out when they called his name. He told me he was going to run out. He was very excited, but a little nervous just before the game. I on the other hand, was very nervous. I stayed with him until it was almost time for his team to be announced. He started to cry as I prayed with him before he went in, and then he was fine. I had no idea how emotional this was going to be for me. Not wanting to upset him in any way, I had to swallow the lump in my throat more times than I can tell you. When it came time to announce his name, the announcement was made, “The triumphant return of Jonathan Cooper!” and he ran out to meet his team on the court. My eyes are full of tears, even as I sit here reliving that moment for you. Jonathan got to play one 5-6 minute period in each half, and he also got to go in for a couple of minutes for another boy who got hurt. His place was right beside the basket. Sometimes, it seemed as though he would just get down to one end of the court when he would have to turn around and go to the other end. As we watched the first part of the game, Lamar and I talked about how we had no idea how he was going to be able to play or keep up with such a fast paced game. But he did. We watched him run back and forth across the court several times which made us cry and laugh all at the same time. The other boys made opportunities for him to shoot some baskets. Although he didn’t make any shots in this game, he helped assist in getting a basket for his team. He never lost his balance when he was in the midst of all the kids either. He did an incredible job. I was much more emotional than I expected, although I’m not sure why I didn’t expect to be emotional. It wasn’t that I was worried about him, although I was a little worried about him falling down or losing his balance. But I couldn’t help but shed tears of awe and wonder at the miracles of this precious little boy’s life and what a miracle it was just seeing him run again. I stand in awe of my God who alone receives all the glory for yet another miracle in Jonathan’s life. There were Grandpas, Grandmas, Uncles and Aunts on hand to watch Jonathan and Sarah both play their games. Sarah’s game was after Jonathan’s and she did as great a job as she always does. After the games, we went out to eat with our families before returning to our camper. I was completely wiped out by the end of the day. I went to bed exhausted, but full of joy. Sunday morning, we went to Davis Boulevard Baptist Church in Ft. Worth. Sarah was asked to sing a song for their Sanctity of Life Service. The music minister there, Adron Ming, used to be on staff at Lakeland and was the one who wrote the play, Ebenezer, in which Jonathan played Tiny Tim just two weeks before he got sick. Their church has prayed for Jonathan and many of them came to see him play Tiny Tim. The pastor’s wife who is a nurse at Children’s came by to see us when we were in the ICU during those first 2 weeks in the hospital. She had not seen Jonathan since then, and we had the chance to visit with her while we were there. Sarah did a beautiful job on her song and I am thankful for the opportunity she had to share and minister with her beautiful voice. I know that when we focus on Sanctity of Life each year in our churches, most of the time our focus is on abortion, as it should be. We were blessed, however, to have Jonathan’s story shared in the Texas Baptist Crossroads magazine in January, along with the emphases on Sanctity of Life. I know many of you have seen the article and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our story with as many people as possible. It is our prayer that God will use it to touch lives and bring others to know Him in a deeper way.
God continues to do amazing things in Jonathan’s life and He remains faithful to provide for all of our needs. We are grateful for your continued prayer support. Please continue to pray for Jonathan’s healing. Continue praying specifically for his sleeping. I know many of you are doing this on a regular basis, and I know that God hears all of our prayers. So please continue to faithfully pray about this, believing that God’s healing will be revealed soon. Please continue to pray for his mobility, his balance and his flexibility. Pray that we will be able to continue a good exercise schedule to help him stay healthy and fit and to help strengthen and tone up his muscles. Pray for his hips, his legs, his feet and ankles. Also pray that the blisters will go away and that he will be able to continue to walk regularly without this pain. Pray that his balance will improve and that he will continue to do well riding his bike and playing basketball.
As I sat down to write this update, I looked back at 1-16-05 and this is what it said:

10:00 pm - Praise the Lord for His blessings. Tonight as the Coopers were telling Jonathan goodnight he began smiling. It was a perfect ending to the Lord's day. Thank you for your continued prayers and may the Lord continue to glorify Himself through His awesome work in Jonathan's life. Please remember to praise the Lord for these reminders of His presence.

I remember this moment as if it happened yesterday. God has brought us a very long way in a year. We praise His name for every step. May God be glorified through His awesome work in your life and may you know His presence in a powerful way this week.

Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonde rfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Wow! I can’t believe we have already lived through the first full week of 2006! I have gone back through the journal of this time last year almost every day just to see what we were going through on each particular day, compared to what we are doing a year later. It has been a phenomenal comparison. I hope you don’t mind my sharing some of those comparisons.
On New Year’s Eve, we spent a great day just hanging out together as a family. We got ready for bed early and waited for midnight to arrive. Just before midnight, we went downstairs to watch the countdown on TV. Jonathan was beside himself with excitement as we counted down the last couple of minutes of 2005. When we hit midnight and all said our Happy New Year, I realized at that moment how precious this New Year really was for us. You see, this year our family was all together to celebrate the New Year. But last year, we were scattered all over the area. Lamar and I were exhausted in a hotel room in Dallas, Elizabeth and Sarah were together at Aunt Keby’s house, and Jonathan was deep in a coma being prayed over and cared for by my sweet friend Susan. We started out last New Year with uncertainty about what the future held for our family and our precious little boy. Our only hope was that God was in control of everything, and we believed and prayed for His will to be done. On New Year’s Day this year, we had the blessed opportunity to lead worship for the service at our church. The interesting thing about that is that we were supposed to do the exact same thing last year on the first Sunday in January. Instead, this is where we were:

After additional tests today they have discovered that Jonathan's brain stem has severe damage. It will take a miracle from our Lord for the stem to repair itself and there is no option for any type of surgery at this point. They plan to monitor Jonathan's condition this week before making any decisions regarding life support. Please pray for Jonathan's deliverance during these days. Ask God for wisdom and guidance as the Cooper's seek God's divine plan fulfilled in Jonathan's life. Pray in faith for God's intervention.

On this New Year’s Day, we were blessed to stand together as a family and sing “How Great is Our God” as we remembered God’s faithfulness and healing in our lives throughout 2005. It was another wonderful day of celebration for our family. We were going to start school again this week, but Mom was just too emotionally and physically exhausted to do it, so we put it off another week. It’s one of the wonderful benefits of homeschooling. We spent the week trying to get things back in order after the holidays. We spent part of the day on Wednesday with our Grandpa and Grandma Smith in Ft. Worth, along with a couple of our cousins, Bobby and Marissa. We started back to Awana that evening as well. Jonathan was able to say all the pages he had worked on and prepared to say. After he finished saying his verses, I sat down with him to look at what he had to do next. It was a review page where we had to pick out 8 verses he had already said so far in the book, and he had to say 4 of those verses to his teacher. Jonathan never ceases to amaze me. All I had to do was say the reference and the first 1-2 words of the Scripture and he recited all 8 Scriptures perfectly! He might not ever be able to remember where his glasses are, or where his shoes are, or he may ask me the same questions 25 times, but he can remember the Scriptures. Isn’t that awesome?! Friday was another special day for us. We made a visit to Our Children’s House at Baylor to see our therapist and friends there. When we went in, we were told none of the therapists were there, so we were afraid it was going to be a pointless visit. Instead, all but one of them was there and we got to visit with a lot of special people there. We also got to see both of Jonathan’s doctors. Everyone is always so encouraged to see him and talk with him. I can tell you that visiting Children’s Medical Center really does nothing for me. I still get an uneasy feeling every time I got there. Although I was thrilled to leave the OCH after 2 months of living there, I can say that we enjoy going back to visit there. We saw God do so many miracles there and we watched Jonathan progress so much there. Even though I remember not wanting to go there at all, God’s healing plan was revealed there through the doctors and therapists that He hand picked to carry out His will for us. While we were there, we had the chance to visit with a family who has a 3 year old boy there. We had been contacted about a month or so ago by our friend from Children’s who asked us if we would visit with this family. Unfortunately, we were never able to make contact with them. I knew the little boy was going to rehab and I assumed it was at the OCH. So we decided to try to meet them while we were there. We were able to see and touch this little boy and meet his grandmother. This is a Christian family with an incredible faith in God, even though their prognosis is not positive and the healing seems to be slow in coming. Please remember to pray for the Shannon family, that God would work a miracle in the life of their little Benjamin, and that He would give them grace and faith to accept His will for their lives, whatever that may be. We got to go see the Chronicles of Narnia on Saturday for Grandpa Cooper’s birthday. We also had a great day of worship on Sunday.
This is where we were one year ago today: Please pray fervently for Jonathan over the next 24 hours. They have placed the respirator on auto and Jonathan has been breathing on his own since early afternoon. They plan to take the breathing tube out tomorrow provided things go well tonight. Jonathan has opened his eyes slightly but not completely. Thank you for your faithful intercession as God reminds you of Jonathan and the Cooper family. Isn’t God awesome? At the New Year’s Day service, our pastor encouraged us to look at the new year differently this year. Instead of making resolutions of what we were going to do this year, he encouraged us to list two things that we wanted God to do for us this year. I must admit, I never thought of that before, but after what we went through last year and all of the many things we specifically asked God to do – each one He faithfully answered according to His will – I gave that idea a lot of thought. I decided to ask Jonathan that question to see what he would ask God for. He told me he wanted God to heal him of his diabetes and to completely heal his brain. Does he believe that God will do this for him? Absolutely – we all believe. And we will continue to pray, believing that we HAVE received this from God because we stand on the promise of Mark 11:24. Above all that we will pray, ask and believe God for in each of our lives, we desire His will to be done, not ours. God’s will, God’s way and God’s timing are always perfect. They are never late a single day. Therefore we can come boldly before His throne and ask anything of Him knowing that He hears us, loves us and wants to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think. We hope that what you have experienced with our family over this past year has strengthened your faith and belief in our awesome God. His promises are true for everyone.
We continue to ask God for some specific miracles in Jonathan’s life. Please continue to pray for his sleeping issues. They are still present, some nights worse than others. Please pray that his brain will continue to heal and that we will be able to determine what we can do to help him through this issue. Please pray for us as we focus on healthy eating and increased activity and exercise each day to help Jonathan stay healthy, balance out his weight and have more normal blood sugar. Please pray that we will be able to determine which direction we should go as far as his therapy. He has done very well with the outpatient therapy we have done the past 8 months, and we will continue to see them once a month to allow them to evaluate his progress. However, I think it’s time for something new. We are not seeing the significant progress with the current therapy that I think we might see if we tried a new direction. Hippotherapy is what we are considering, so please pray that we will get all the information we need and that God will provide the coverage and means for us to be able to utilize this unique therapy. We have gotten a lot of positive information about it from a number of medical professionals. Also, please pray for Jonathan on Saturday, December 14, at 3 pm. He will play his first Upward Basketball game in 2 years. He was so disappointed last year when he got sick that he was going to miss his first game. Little did he know he would miss the entire season. This will be another opportunity for us to be a witness to many people who have prayed for us and allow them to see a living miracle. Please pray for his safety and ability to participate in the game without anxiety or injury. We continue to look forward to our New Year with great anticipation for what God has in store for our family. We continue to seek His face and ask Him to give us opportunities to share with others about the God we serve. Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. You are a blessing to us and we praise God for each of you. I leave you with a Scripture that the Lord gave to me as I contemplated what I wanted to ask of Him for this New Year. I pray that it will be His word for you this year as well. Our love and blessings to you all.

Psalm 2:7-8 I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'Thou art My Child , Today I have begotten Thee. 8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.