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.

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