Wednesday, June 28, 2006

This has been a very good week for us. God has been gracious and allowed us to see some significant improvements in Jonathan over this last week that I am anxious to share with you. First of all, Jonathan was able to go every afternoon for 3 hours to participate in Upward Basketball camp. There was never any hesitation from him at all; he just went in, gave me a hug and kiss, and went to get a basketball and get started. This was the first time I have had this much time to myself since Jonathan got sick. It is a good thing I had projects planned to complete or I would have wasted the entire week not knowing what to do with myself! I went early on Friday to see Jonathan and Sarah play the last game. There were no “J Plays” and Jonathan had to get in there and play with everyone else. Sarah was on his team and gave him the ball to shoot a basket a couple of times. Neither ball went in, but he played really well and held his own place in the game. I was very, very proud of him. He is well on his way to preparing for the next Upward season. This was the first significant improvement we got to see in Jonathan this week. I was able to get Jonathan’s room cleaned out while he was at camp. He was so excited at how nice everything looked that he wanted to start sleeping in his room again. So almost every night this past week, Jonathan started out the night sleeping in his own bed. He usually made it an hour or hour and a half before he would start crying. He would then spend part of the night sleeping in our room. Somewhere between 4-6 am, he would wake up and ask me to go back to his bed and he would sleep there until it was time to get up. Although he hasn’t slept through the night yet, this has been a significant improvement for Jonathan nonetheless. Another major improvement is that he has kept his room clean all week long! He has been very good to put his clothes away and make his bed every day. This is the first time this has happened in Jonathan’s entire life! On Saturday, we picked Elizabeth up from her trip to AR with World Changers. After getting her home and listening to her talk for a couple of hours, Lamar and I had to go run some errands. Elizabeth and Sarah were going to stay home and rest since neither one got much sleep Friday night (Sarah was at a camp out). Jonathan usually goes with us wherever we go, but this time, he wanted to stay home with the girls and hang out with them – another new thing. On Sunday after church, we went to lunch with Grandma Cooper and one of Sarah’s friends also came with us. Jonathan usually wants to sit by me, even if all the other kids are sitting at a different table. This time, he wanted to sit with the girls instead of by me. We watched him visit with the girls while he ate and it took him a lot longer to eat his meal than usual. While we were at lunch, we met another home school family who we haven’t seen in a while. Last year, during the summer, the father spent three and a half months in the hospital recovering from a virus that attacked his nervous system. They had not seen Jonathan and we had not seen them since all this had happened to our families. We got to share miracle stories from our families over lunch, and we went away praising God for the miracle work he had done in this man’s life. They have a son who is Jonathan’s age. At some point during lunch, Jonathan came over and asked him to sit with them. They talked and visited for a while and Jonathan started making plans for him to come over sometime. It was neat to see him interact with this boy. I was able to watch him talk and interact with other kids during basketball camp as well. Jonathan has been pretty quiet around kids since his illness. He will talk with them if someone else starts the conversation and carries it, but he has been very slow in initiating conversation and interacting with other kids. Over the last week, we have seen that change and we have watched Jonathan walk up to kids, initiate a conversation with them and then talk for a while with them. It has been such a blessing to watch that change in him. Another awesome thing we have to share is that when Jonathan weighed in Sunday morning, he had lost 2 pounds! We were so excited! This is the first time his weight has gone down instead of up. He has been so excited about it that we have heard him thank God for it every time he has prayed since then. It has been such a blessing to hear him share his grateful heart to the Lord. Monday night when he prayed before bed, we heard such a spirit led prayer from him as he prayed and thanked God for many things in his life and asked God to help him with the things he is still struggling with. We are watching Jonathan grow through this process in his relationship with the Lord and his understanding of God’s will and purpose in his life. I believe that God may have waited to answer some of these requests that we have been asking of Him so that we could experience this closer, deeper relationship with Him that we might have missed if He had answered them immediately. Jonathan is doing very well with his drumming. He is practicing well, learning new things and trying to create his own rhythms with the ones he has been learning. He sounds awesome! On Tuesday evening, we took a walk over to see Grandma Cooper (she lives two blocks away from us). On our walk over there, Jonathan ran a couple of times for us. He told me he could run as fast as his dad! When we got to her street, Jonathan ran all the way from the top of the street to her house which is four or five houses down. He definitely got his exercise on that trip! Grandma Cooper is on her way to join Grandpa Cooper and Uncle Chris in Israel for a couple of weeks. We spent the day yesterday visiting with Grandpa and Grandma Smith. We are so blessed to have our grandparents close by. They are such an incredible help and encouragement to us and we thank God for them.
God has been so good to allow us to see these small changes in Jonathan’s life. Sometimes it seems like things stay the same for so long and nothing seems to change. Then He reminds us that He is still in control and allows us to see progress and improvement to encourage us to continue to walk in faith, believing that He who began this good work will be faithful to complete it. We know that it is not only our own faith and trust in God, but the faith and prayers that you lift up on our behalf. You all are such a significant part of this miracle in Jonathan’s life and we are so grateful for your faithfulness to pray for him and for our family. Please continue to pray for Jonathan’s continued healing. Pray that these good changes that we have seen over this last week will continue to grow. Continue to pray for his interaction with others and that he will continue to grow stronger in his social skills. Please continue to pray for improvement in his walking and balance, for good tone in his ankles and flexibility in his hips. Pray that his brain would comprehend the correct way to walk. Continue to pray for our spiritual growth as we continue to seek God first. Pray for our wisdom and understanding as we continue to learn about healthy eating, exercise and weight management. Pray that God will continue to bless us by allowing us to lose the weight we desire. And please continue to pray for his sleeping. We are still having some rough nights (last night to be exact) and good nights as well. You can also continue to pray for our family as we seek God’s will in several important things we are praying about at this particular time. I want to leave you with the Scripture that we are memorizing this week. Thank you again for all of your prayers. We love you all.

Romans 12:1-2 - I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

We hope you all have had a good week. We have been busy as usual, but things are going very well. Last week we were blessed to have one of Elizabeth’s friends who recently moved out of town come back to stay with us for a couple of days. We had a great time having her as part of our family for a little while. We went swimming a couple of times and all the kids hung out, played games and watched movies. On Thursday, we were invited to attend the open house of the OCH in Grapevine where Jonathan did out patient therapy for 8 months last year. They have moved down the hall into a much larger facility that will allow them to more effectively treat their patients. It was so good to see Mrs. Dana and all the other therapists and staff. We are grateful for her work with Jonathan and we were blessed to get to know the girls at that office. They helped to make that difficult part of Jonathan’s recovery a very pleasant experience for him and for our whole family. We are thankful, though, that we don’t have to see them every week, but we do miss them and hope to be able to stay in touch with them in the future. We spent most of the day on Friday getting Elizabeth ready to go on a World Changers mission trip to Little Rock, AR with some other middle schoolers from our church. She left on Saturday morning and whether or not they will admit it, I’m sure Sarah and Jonathan miss her. But we are staying pretty busy here at home, so the time will pass quickly and it will be time to have her home again before we know it. We spent some time Saturday evening with Grandpa and Grandma Smith and my brother, sisters and their families celebrating Father’s Day with my Dad. On Sunday, we took our Daddy out to lunch along with Grandma Cooper. Grandpa Cooper is in Israel right now, but we celebrated with him last weekend before he left. Sarah and Jonathan are spending each afternoon this week at Upward Basketball Camp. Last year at camp, Jonathan had only been out of the hospital for about 2 ½ months and I had to stay up there with him every afternoon. This year, Jonathan is going to camp for 3 hours every day without me. Sarah is there to help him if he needs anything, but I am dropping him off and he is handling this on his own. This is a huge accomplishment for Jonathan. We are seeing more and more improvement in this area and this is such a huge praise and answer to prayer. We continue to ask God to help Jonathan gain more confidence in his ability to do things on his own and we know that God will be faithful to do that. Today, Mrs. Lori worked on Jonathan’s pelvis, trying to help with the flexibility. She also worked on his walking for a little bit. She has recommended we see her chiropractor. She thinks that Jonathan could benefit from his work and it would help to improve his balance and walking. So we will pursue this avenue and see if this is what God wants to use in Jonathan’s recovery process.
We are continuing to work on our weight loss goal. Jonathan is doing great and continues to have a great attitude about it. He lost the half a pound that he had gained last week! Yippee!!! It may only be a half a pound, but it is a loss nonetheless. We are still maintaining some good blood sugars as well. The only thing we are having a little bit of trouble with is the exercise. I know it is hard for him, but we managed to get out and take a walk around the block almost every morning last week. Most of our walks were done in silence because the bad attitude took over and made it a most unpleasant experience. So I am really praying that God will give him a good attitude about exercise like He has done with his diet. Jonathan is doing a great job of not eating things that he knows he doesn’t really need to eat and he is drinking his water without complaint each time I give it to him. I am very proud of him. I know that God is pleased with him as well. We were also able to memorize Matt. 6:33, read our Bible and pray for all of the things that Jonathan is asking God for last week. This week we are working on memorizing Rom. 12:1. Jonathan just completed his first chapter in math for the summer. He learned how to multiply 2 and 3 digit numbers and he did very well. Tomorrow we start a new division chapter. He is also doing well in his grammar and he is almost finished learning how to write all of his letters in cursive. So overall, Jonathan is doing very well.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Jonathan and our family. Please continue to pray for him. Pray for his complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray that he will continue to improve in his independence and confidence in doing things on his own. Continue to pray for his sleeping. We have had some very good nights recently (one night he only got up one time during the night) and then we have had some really bad nights (like last night where he was up and down all night long). This week my project is cleaning out his room. Today I got his bed and the area around it cleaned up and he was so thrilled, he has decided to try sleeping in there tonight. Please pray that this will be something he can accomplish soon. I don’t think he has ever slept an entire night in his room in his whole life, so this would be another huge accomplishment and answer to prayer. Pray that he will continue to grow spiritually as we seek God first and that he will also grow healthier and lose weight as we continue to work toward that goal. Pray for a good attitude about exercise too. Pray that his balance, walking, tone and pelvic flexibility will continue to improve. We are grateful to see that his feet are much straighter than they have been, but there is still room for improvement.
I want to leave you with a passage of Scripture that the Lord gave to me last weekend. These Scriptures begin to talk about our goal to seek God first - fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. The next part talks about discipline. Most of the time, we think of discipline as the result of doing something bad or wrong. In these verses, in our situation, I believe it means training. It is what God has been doing in our lives, in Jonathan’s life, throughout this journey. God disciplines those whom He loves – His children. His discipline is for our good. And those who have been trained by it share His holiness and yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness. The last two verses encourage us to continue to persevere – another word from God for our sweet Jonathan. I praise God for His faithfulness to show Himself to us when we seek Him. I know the passage is long, but I hope these verses encourage you as well. God bless you dear friends.

Hebrews 12:1-13- Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives." 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I have been working on this update for 3 days now and I seem to be having a hard time finding enough time to sit down and get it finished. We are staying pretty busy this summer trying to get all the things done we can’t do during the school year and yet save some time to play and enjoy our summer. We have had a good week this week and hope you have as well. Our week began by sending Sarah off to church camp last Monday morning. During the afternoon, we took a couple of Jonathan’s friends with us to go swimming. We swam for almost 2 hours and they all had a great time. They played and swam really hard. Jonathan had cranial therapy on Tuesday. Mrs. Lori continues to work with Jonathan on his walking and flexibility in his legs and hips. We started working on our schoolwork on Tuesday afternoon and we continue to work on cleaning and reorganizing the rooms in our house. Jonathan and I went swimming together on Wednesday and we played games, exercised and swam around for almost 2 hours again, just the two of us. We got Sarah back on Thursday afternoon and spent the rest of the day listening to her talk nonstop about her week at camp. On Friday, we all spent the afternoon swimming together before we went to dinner and then to see the Chapel Choir of First Baptist Dallas present Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The choir did an awesome job and we thoroughly enjoyed the performance. There were many people there who have prayed for Jonathan, and it is always such a blessing for me to watch people talk to him and shake his hand. After the performance, Uncle Timmy took Jonathan to the orchestra pit so he could play on the drums for a few minutes. Jonathan is doing very well in his drum lessons. He is learning several different rhythms and it’s always fun to hear him play. Mr. Brian has done such a great job of teaching Jonathan and we are blessed to have him as Jonathan’s teacher. Anyway, Jonathan sounded really good playing the drums there and I always appreciate Uncle Timmy’s attention to Jonathan and his willingness to let him play when he is with him. It makes Jonathan feel so special. We had a busy but uneventful weekend. Yesterday we went swimming and had one of Sarah’s friends with us that time. After drum lessons last night we went with Grandpa and Grandma Cooper and Uncle Chris to see the movie Cars. During the movie I noticed Jonathan beginning to get uncomfortable and asked him what was wrong. He said he had a pain in his stomach and it seemed to be mainly on the right side toward the bottom of his stomach. He seemed to be pretty uncomfortable but was able to make it through the rest of the movie. We prayed about it before we went to bed. He was able to sleep most of the night, but it took him a couple of hours of struggling with the pain before he was able to really settle down and sleep. He has complained of some pain still today but it does not seem to be as sever as it was last night. I’m not sure what it was but we are praying that it is nothing serious. We will continue to watch him regarding it and we would appreciate your prayers for him in regards to it.
The biggest thing we did last week was begin our focus on eating healthier and our goal to lose some weight. As I have said many times before, this is one of the most overwhelming things I have begun to undertake. There are many aspects to what I am trying to do and during the first week, we managed to get only one of those parts completed. But hey, one is better than nothing! The one thing I was able to do was to write down everything we ate. I have no idea whether we stayed in our calorie range or not, but I did get everything written down. So we are taking very small steps in this process. Jonathan continues to bless me by his attitude and cooperation with this. We went out to eat twice this week. Both times there was a bowl of chips and hot sauce on our table. While almost everyone else ate those chips, Jonathan sat quietly, waited for his meal, and never touched one chip. He did comment to me each time how difficult it is, when you are hungry, not to eat what is sitting right in front of you. And yet he never ate one thing except his meal, which was grilled chicken and a vegetable. I can’t tell you how proud of him I was! And he was proud of himself. That was truly a God thing. I wish I could tell you that the scales went down for both of us, but that was not the case this week. We either stayed the same or gained a half a pound. But that’s okay. The ultimate goal here is to grow in our relationship with the Lord through this and to gain the knowledge and understanding of how to live a healthier lifestyle. I know that God is more interested in our seeking Him first than in our seeking the results we are asking of Him. Jonathan and I started having a short little Bible study in the morning. We are memorizing Matt. 6:33 this week. We have a Bible story book that we have started reading in each day. We are reading in the New Testament and both of the stories we have read this week have been great examples of this specific verse. We read about how Zacharias and Elizabeth prayed for a child their entire married life, and even though they were childless, they continued to faithfully serve the Lord. We were able to see how in seeking God first and His righteousness, the desire of their heart was given to them. We read about Mary today and how she was just a young girl with a heart and love for the Lord. And because of that, she found favor in God’s eyes and He blessed her with the most incredible gift of being the mother of Jesus. So we made a list of the specific things that Jonathan desires for God to heal in his life. We wrote down 7 things and we are taking one each day to pray about. Here they are: 1) Help him lose weight and eat healthier; 2) Make his walking perfect; 3) Learn and understand his schoolwork; 4) Heal his sleeping and allow him to restfully sleep all night; 5) Heal his diabetes completely; 6) Heal his brain completely; and 7) Heal his vision completely. If you would like to join us in praying each day for one of these specific things, we would be very grateful. On Sunday during the sermon at church, Jonathan took his bulletin and a pen and began writing down his thoughts. You could see the concentration on his face as he thought and then wrote his thoughts. This is what he wrote: Love God with your hart. Lisin to the Lord. Pray to God. Lisin to what God mean. Pray to God. Thnk you for Hely me. (That would be healing!) When I talked to Jonathan about that yesterday, I asked him to tell me the things that God had healed in him that he was thankful for. He was thankful for walking, using his hands and arms, coming out of the coma, breathing on his own and eating and talking on his own. It is wonderful to watch God working in Jonathan’s life and to see Jonathan’s growth and sensitivity to his relationship with the Lord growing each day.
God is not only doing a work in Jonathan’s life, but in my life and in our family’s life as well. I was able to stand strong all week last week in the word that the Lord spoke to me through Donny Forson on Sunday evening. He spoke on having a faith that survives a shipwreck, based on the story in Acts 27. He talked about how confident and unwavering Paul was with the word that God had given him, even though the exact opposite was all he could see. As we have walked through this journey with Jonathan, we have received a word from God about Jonathan’s healing and we have watched God do many miracles in his life. And yet we have prayed for 8 months for God to answer a specific need for him and it has not come. There are many parts to our word from God that have not come to pass yet, but after studying Paul’s faith in this story, my own faith was renewed. But it doesn’t take long for something to challenge that renewed faith. Yesterday we learned that our little friend, Jacob Duckworth, whom we have been praying about for a year now, went to be with the Lord after a difficult battle with cancer. As I read this mother’s journal over the last week as she prepared herself to let go of her precious little boy, I was taken back to those first few days when Jonathan was in the hospital. Standing at the altar offering your child to the Lord is not an easy place to be, but sometimes that is what God asks of us. Although I could relate to her struggle last week, I cannot comprehend her grief today. But God understands completely. As I watched Jonathan struggle last night with his stomach pain and not knowing what it was or what to do, I struggled to keep the anxious thoughts and fears from crowding in. Even though Paul was unwavering in his faith in God’s word to him, I wondered last night if he ever got scared by all that was happening around him. I don’t know the answer to that, but I pray that God will increase my faith and trust in Him - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful – Heb. 10:23.

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you. Those of you who check on us and faithfully read this journal are such an encouragement to us. Please continue to pray for Jonathan and for our family. I shared earlier the things we are asking God for, so please join us in seeking God for those things. We pray God’s most wonderful blessings on each of you.

Acts 27:23-25 For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24 saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.' 25 "Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God, that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Well, we have had a busy week here since I last wrote and there is so much to share with you. On Thursday last week, the day after Jonathan’s birthday, we spent a few hours at Hawaiian Falls in The Colony with some of our family. It was our first time to go there, it was opening day, and most of the schools were getting out at noon. So we took advantage of the opportunity and went before the crowds got there. It is not a big water park, but there was certainly enough to do to keep us busy for a couple of hours. Aunt Keby was there as well as Uncle Lonnie and Cousin Emily. We had a great time. Jonathan amazed us yet again by going on almost all of the big rides, more than once, and enjoying every minute. I can’t tell you what an amazing change that is for all of us to see in him. We only got to stay for a couple of hours because we had to get home and get the camper loaded for our much anticipated camping trip over the weekend. It had been so long since we had camped that we were very anxious to go. We had a great weekend! We rested, had time to relax, read, played games, visited with friends, swam in the lake, took walks, and even ended a couple of days watching a movie together. (It may not be traditional camping, but it’s our kind of camping!) Jonathan took his scooter and rode it a couple of times on some trails we found. He did very well on it and balanced very nicely. One of the trails was very long and ended at a place where we didn’t know where to go from there, so we ended up walking the entire way back, which was an extremely long walk for Jonathan. But he was a trooper and made it the whole way. We went swimming in the lake every day and had a great time. One evening, Jonathan got to play bocce with all of the men. It was fun to watch him play and he did pretty well keeping up with all the old guys. Amazing as this is, Jonathan actually slept very well the entire trip. We slept a little differently this time. He slept in between his Daddy and I on one of the beds and the girls slept on the other bed. It was actually very comfortable and Jonathan slept better than he had in a while. Needless to say, we were not ready for the weekend to be over, but we had to pack up and come home on Monday. After unpacking on Monday afternoon, we went and had dinner with Grandpa and Grandma Cooper. On Tuesday, Jonathan went to cranial therapy. Mrs. Lori continues to work with Jonathan each week and we are so thankful for all that she is doing with him. She worked some more on his walking. She said he has a lot more tone in his right foot, and he has very little pelvic movement. She had him sit up straight and then slouch. Each time he would do it with his upper body instead of his hips/pelvis. Not having that fluid pelvic movement inhibits his walking. She gave us an exercise that we can work on with him to try to work on that specifically. Tuesday brought with it a little sadness for us. When we returned home from camping, we had an email telling us that the decision had been made, because of the high temperatures, to end the spring session of horse therapy that weekend. We were all ready to go, and take some more family with us to watch. Jonathan was very disappointed. He told me that even though he had only ridden Daisy a couple of week, he already missed her. I talked to Mrs. Tammy and she said we could visit any time we wanted and bring carrots for the horses. I also asked her if it was possible to have her again in the fall because we wanted to stay with her as our therapist. She said the schedule would probably stay the same in the fall, so we will hopefully get to have her again. We love Mrs. Tammy. She was such a joy to have as a therapist. She was always happy to see us, she let the girls help in any way they wanted, and she always sent us away with more knowledge and information about horses than we came with. We are sad not to be going to ride horses each week, but we will go visit as much as we can during the summer so that Daisy and Skip don’t forget us. We had a nice little treat on Tuesday evening. Grandma Cooper, Elizabeth, Sarah and I got to go see Little Women at the Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park. The Hollingsworth’s were gracious to give us the tickets that they couldn’t use and we were excited to go as this was one of the musicals we really wanted to see. So while the Cooper girls were at the musical, the Cooper boys were visiting Cabellas for the evening. We all enjoyed our evening. On Wednesday, we tried to start working on our summer schedule of cleaning and organizing the rooms in our house. We really have to take advantage of the summer months to get things done around the house because there is literally no extra time for that during the school year. The kids worked with me on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to help get started with that. We didn’t spend all our time working, though. Lamar got to work from home all week long, so it was nice to have him around. On Thursday, he had to go to a client site that was 5 minutes away from Grandpa and Grandma Smith. So we went with him and spent the rest of the day with them at their house. Going to their house is our time to just hang out and do nothing, so we spent the afternoon watching a couple of old movies before going to dinner with Uncle Timmy and watching the Mavericks win their playoff game that evening. On Friday we went swimming in the afternoon, shopping in the evening and then watched a movie before going to bed. After sleeping so well on the camping trip Jonathan slept horrible Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Thursday night he slept really well and last night he slept okay. Last night was the first night that he actually stayed awake during the entire movie that we watched. He always falls asleep sometime during the movie, but not last night. It’s always exciting for him to do something different and it makes us give thanks for even the smallest of changes.
Jonathan is doing so well. We are so thankful that God has given him back to us. This is our second week to be working on our new healthy eating plan. We are trying to stick with it as much as possible. This takes so much preparation and organization on my part. I am trying not to freak out about it and if we get off, we just pick it back up at the next meal and keep going. This has been difficult for me to just get started, but I know that the Lord is helping me because I haven’t given up yet. Please pray that I will take the time to be prepared and organized as much as I can to make this successful. I know that it will get easier the longer we go, but that seems a long way off to me. Pray for me as I try to lead Jonathan each day in this process. He looks to me for direction about what to do next. Pray that I will keep my focus on seeking the Lord and help Jonathan to do that as well because He has promised to add all these things to us if we will do that. I want to tell you what a blessing Jonathan has been to me throughout this process. He has the most wonderful attitude of any 10 year old child that I know. He never complains about what he is eating. Everyone else around him might be eating things that he would otherwise normally eat and yet he patiently waits for me to give him his food, he eats it and is perfectly content with it. He has truly blessed me. I am trying to increase his water intake each day. Jonathan really doesn’t like water and it has been a little difficult to get him to drink much water. I have been praying that God would give him a desire for water and do you know that he never says a thing now when I give him his 8 ounce bottle of water to drink. He just drinks it and gives it back to me empty. We have so much to praise the Lord about! I am asking some people to be specific accountability/prayer partners in this endeavor, but in reality, all of you are our partners in this. I will continue to share Jonathan’s progress with you and I know that you will be faithful to pray for us as you have through this entire journey.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for his complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Overall, Jonathan’s blood sugars have been very good and we are very thankful for that. Pray that we will remain disciplined and diligent in this challenge to eat healthy. Pray that God will bless us by allowing us to lose the weight we desire and that He will do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can even imagine, not just for Jonathan, but for our entire family. Pray that we will be able to get on a good exercise schedule as well. Pray that Jonathan will gain better movement in his pelvis and decreased tone in his right leg to help his walking improve. Also pray for his stomach muscles to grow stronger. Pray that his brain will remember the correct way to walk as we work on these areas. We love each one of you and we are so thankful for your love, care and prayers for us. You encourage us so much and we praise God for you. May the Lord bless you and keep you this week.

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Him who strengthens me .