Saturday, May 6, 2006

We have had a pretty good week here overall. Life seems busy right now as we are trying to finish up the end of our school year. We are trying hard to stay on schedule so that we can finish school in a couple of weeks, but that is proving to be somewhat difficult because of so many things going on. Last weekend we celebrated Aunt Sherri’s 40 th birthday. We had a picnic birthday party on Saturday evening with our extended family. Jonathan got out and played on the toys and enjoyed swinging on the swings the most. On Sunday night, we got to go to Aunt Sherri’s surprise 40 th birthday party after church. The last surprise birthday we had for Uncle Lonnie (Aunt Sherri’s husband), Jonathan was still in the hospital and we had to send a picture of Jonathan saying “Happy Birthday” instead of actually getting to be there. So we were all thankful to be able to share this surprise birthday in person. Jonathan had a drum lesson on Monday evening and continues to get better and better each week in his drumming. On Tuesday we saw Mrs. Lori. She worked on Jonathan’s neck. It was tighter than usual so she worked on trying to get rid of some of that. We took Grandpa and Grandma Smith with us to horse therapy. The morning classes were canceled because of rain, but we are glad it stopped raining so we could ride Skip. This was the first time Grandpa Smith has gotten to see Jonathan ride. Skip usually gets the royal treatment each week from all the kids. Jonathan gets a brush and brushes him down while Sarah and Elizabeth get other brushes and work on his mane. He is the most groomed horse when he is ready to ride! Jonathan is doing a great job of getting him saddled and ready to ride. This week he decided to try to get on the horse without any help, and that’s exactly what he did. He put his leg all the way over the horse all on his own, without any help from me, for the first time ever. He also got off the horse again on his own. We are thankful for the improvement we see each week in Jonathan. We took everyone around the trail and then we went into the fenced area to work on our exercises. Jonathan is standing up taller in the saddle each week. This week Mrs. Tammy worked on helping Jonathan sit down into the saddle and ride with the horse instead of against the horse. She had him close his eyes and imagine different things that helped him really get into the rhythm of the horse while we walked around the ring. She worked with him on breathing deeply so that he could relax while he rode. I even found what she had to say to be very helpful and I was walking instead of riding. Of course, Jonathan’s number one request was to run Skip, so we had to do that a couple of times around the ring to show off to Grandpa and Grandma. We finished with some reigning and then took Skip to give him his carrots and his good-bye pampering. Horse therapy is such a wonderful event for us each week. We are so thankful for it and look forward to going each week. On Wednesday, Jonathan finished his Awana book by saying 16 verses that he had learned through the year. He did an awesome job! Next Wednesday, he and his sisters, who also finished their books, will receive their awards for completing another year of Awanas. We are proud of all of their kids for their hard work and for hiding God’s Word in their heart. Well, Friday marked another milestone in Jonathan’s life. Aunt Keby came over to take the kids for the rest of the day to do something fun and give me a little time to myself. Lamar and I actually got to go to dinner and spend the evening together for the first time in a long time. The girls are always ready to spend the night with Aunt Keby and this time was no different, except that Jonathan kept saying he wished he could spend the night too. Up to this point, we have always said that when his sleeping got better, he could spend the night. I wasn’t going to let him spend the night because the nights this week have not been very good as far as sleeping goes. And Thursday night was especially bad compared to what we have been experiencing at night over the last few weeks. But Aunt Keby was willing to take on the challenge and Jonathan left with the intention of spending his first night away since his illness. As a matter of fact, the last time he spent the night away from home was a couple of days before he went to the hospital. We didn’t know if he would make it or not and we told him we would come get him if he wanted to come home, but being the trooper that he is, he made it all night long for the first time away from home. This was the first night since he has been home from the hospital that I have gotten to sleep all night long. This was just as much of a milestone for us as it was for Jonathan. Up to this point, we have not felt comfortable allowing anyone to take care of his diabetes, nor have we been ready to let him go away from our care for any length of time, especially overnight. So this was a milestone for all of us. Apparently Jonathan slept pretty well, even though he got up a few times and Aunt Keby handled everything just fine. Jonathan told me this morning that he would consider spending the night away again, so this was a good experience for all of us. The only draw back to them spending the night away this weekend was that we didn’t get to sleep in like we wanted to. But it was for a good reason. We had to pick the kids up early this morning so that we could go celebrate with Grandma Cooper as she graduated from Criswell College with an associates degree. Talk about a milestone! She has been working on this degree a little at a time for about 8 years. So we say “Way To Go Grandma! We are Proud of You!”
Thanks for checking on us again this week. God continues to be with us as we continue through this journey. Yesterday, after the kids left and I had some time to myself, I spent an hour in prayer praying for our sweet little friend, Benjamin Shannon and his family who are still waiting on God for his healing. After praying for Benjamin, I spent some time thinking about Jonathan and specifically what we needed to pray for him. I came up with seven things that I want to share with you that are specific requests that I want to bring to the Father on Jonathan’s behalf.

  • Healing of his sleeping
  • Healing of his walking, balance, muscle tone, and straightened feet
  • Healing of his weight
  • Healing of his activity level, memory, and initiation of activity on his own
  • Healing of his emotions, more independence and feelings of security without us
  • Healing of his vision
  • Healing of his diabetes

I know that none of these things are too difficult for God. I know that God desires us to bring our requests to Him and allow Him do to exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or even think. I also lift these requests up to Him with the first and foremost request that His will be done, not ours. You have been so faithful to pray for us throughout this journey and I hope you will take these specific requests and join us in lifting them up to the Lord, seeking His will and waiting on His answer. We are so grateful for all of you and your faithfulness to pray for us. We are indebted to you for eternity. May God bless you all with His most incredible blessings.

Daniel 9:17-19 So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplications, and for Thy sake, O Lord, let Thy face shine on Thy desolate sanctuary. 18 "O my God, incline Thine ear and hear! Open Thine eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Thy name; for we are not presenting our supplications before Thee on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Thy great compassion. 19 "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name."

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