Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wow! What an awesome day! We absolutely loved the snow and ice! We love it because we hardly ever get any so it’s always exciting when it comes. I love it because it forces us to stay in and we get to spend the whole day together as a family just hanging out and enjoying each other. This morning the kids and I actually got out and ran to the grocery store to get some stuff to make chicken gumbo for dinner. It was snowing when we went into the store and sleeting when we came out. It was kind of fun being out in it since the roads were not frozen, but we quickly made our way home to stay for the rest of the day. Lamar had to go into work for the morning but was able to come home for the rest of the day. The kids played outside for a while this afternoon until they were frozen. Then after dinner we all watched a movie together. It was a perfect day. When my heart is content like this, I can’t tell you how many times I send up a thank you to my Heavenly Father for the fact that my family is all together and we are home and not in the hospital. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feelings of those 3 ½ months that our family was apart and away from home while Jonathan was in the hospital. The first month that Jonathan was in the hospital we had a friend who stayed at our house while we were staying near the hospital in a hotel. She told me how much she loved staying at our house because it was so peaceful. I will say that I had never thought of my house as peaceful before but it caused me to stop and think. We may be in the midst of chaos and stress and trials and even sadness and discouragement, but there is peace and contentment in my home, especially when we are there together. How much I have to be thankful for! Well, we have had a great week this week. Let me back up to Thanksgiving. We had a good day overall on Thanksgiving. We had lunch and spent some time with my side of the family at my cousin David and Allison’s house in Ft. Worth. It was kind of nice for me not to have to have my house all clean for everyone although I always enjoy having everyone over. Lamar actually had our Christmas tree put together on Wednesday and it was waiting to be decorated. After visiting with my family, we left and went to Grandpa Cooper’s house for dinner. We got there late in the afternoon and stayed for a little while. We enjoyed our dinner with him but it was definitely not the same holiday it would have been with Mom there. Unfortunately, Aunt Ruth got sick and could not come, so the family was not complete. Dad did a wonderful job of making Mom’s dressing and having a meal like we would always have. It made me cry to hear him pray and thank God for His blessings and to tell Mom that we loved her and we were missing her. I can’t think of any other way to say it than there was an air of sadness that filled the place. We didn’t dwell on that sadness or wallow in it, but you could sense its presence there. But God was also there and He faithfully carried us through another “first” in this process. As it has been the custom for us these past few years, the girls end up spending the night with my cousin’s kids on Thanksgiving night. We don’t get to see them often, so this has become a special thing for them. This year was no different, so after leaving Grandpa Cooper’s house, we took them to spend the night at their house. Lamar, Jonathan and I spent the rest of the evening together and spent our Friday morning decorating the house for Christmas. After picking the girls up at lunch, we decorated our Christmas tree (which looks absolutely beautiful!) and finished most of the decorating before one of Sarah’s friends came to spend the night Friday night. After she arrived we went back to Grandpa Cooper’s house for Thanksgiving leftovers. Aunt Ruth was feeling much been and was able to be there, so we were all there together on Friday evening. The sadness was gone and we all enjoyed our time together there. The kids, both young and old, spent most of the evening playing the new Nintendo Wii game that Uncle Christ just got. They had a blast and I enjoyed sitting there watching them. We spent Saturday doing random things and Sunday was a typical, busy Sunday for us. We ended the weekend watching our favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas. We were able to take a break from school Wednesday through Sunday, so that gave me a little time to regroup and make plans for the next 3 weeks of school before we break for Christmas. This has been the first “good” week of school we have had so far this year! Not everything has gone as planned, but I feel good about this week of school. I have not had many of those feelings so far this year so I have been thanking God for being able to handle my life fairly adequately this week. It has been a busy week. On Monday we had dentist appointments in the morning and a drum lesson in the evening. Jonathan continues to progress well in his drumming and he absolutely loves it. On Tuesday evening, while I was in choir rehearsal, the kids were with Uncle Timmy watching a rehearsal of the Gift of the Magi that a group from our church is doing. Uncle Timmy is playing percussion and Jonathan’s choir teacher is one of the characters in the play. While the girls were completely engrossed in the play, Jonathan was helping Uncle Timmy play his instruments. Tim let Jonathan help him play the tympani drums. Jonathan was so proud he could hardly stand it. On Wednesday night after Awana, the kids went to watch the rehearsal again, and of course, Jonathan was right in Uncle Timmy’s shadow eager to help play some more. My brother is just wonderful with Jonathan and he very calmly and coolly lets Jonathan step in and play, never worried about what it will sound like. Jonathan is pretty good and picks things up fairly easily, so he usually doesn’t sound too bad. The best thing is that Jonathan learns so much about drumming when Tim lets him play and his admiration for his special uncle grows with each experience. I got to stand back and watch Jonathan play for a few minutes before we left. He did so well and I’m as proud of him as he is to get to play. Before we left Jonathan told Tim several times that if he ever needed any help to just call him and he would be happy to assist him. He made me laugh. What a special child this little boy of mine is! We are still working on our diet and exercise. Jonathan and I have walked every day this week, except today. You should go on a walk with us sometime. Jonathan talks to me the whole time about whatever happens to be on his mind at the time. I usually just walk and listen. One day he told me about all his favorite parts of his favorite TV shows and movies. But my favorite was listening to him share with me his thoughts about God healing him. He fully believes with his whole heart that God is going to heal him. He is willing to keep working on things and keep waiting on God, but he is sure that God will heal him one day. He told me that every night when he prays he asks God for healing for me and his Daddy as well. I know he is thinking about our weight loss since we are all working on this together, but his words had a deeper meaning for me than he realizes. This journey has been very difficult for us as well as Jonathan. There are many struggles and difficulties that we still to face, there are many things we are still learning and many changes and miracles that we are still experiencing in our own lives almost two years later. We need God’s healing as well and God has prompted Jonathan to pray for us just as we pray for him. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord!
Thank you for checking on us. You are such a precious blessing to us. We hope you will continue to pray for Jonathan and our family. Pray for his continued healing of his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Pray for understanding in his schooling. Pray for his continued diligence in our diet and exercise. Pray that God will grant us the weight loss that we desire for all of us. Please pray for Jonathan’s endocrine appointment on Tuesday morning. I hate going to these appointments as I feel we really don’t get the kind of individualized help I think we need. Pray that God will make it clear to me whether or not to remain with these doctors or to seek another. Pray that we will be faithful to wait on God for Jonathan’s healing and fully trust Him and Believe God for the miracles we are asking for. Thank you all for your faithful prayers. You are wonderful!

Jeremiah 29:11-14a - For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 'And I will be found by you,' declares the LORD.

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