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.

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