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.

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