Sunday, December 10, 2006

This has been a busy week but a good week for us here. There has been something to do every day or night this week, so it’s been “one of those weeks.” This is a busy time of year, and even though it’s busy, there are many times that I find myself reliving the events in my mind of that Christmas two years ago and I can’t help but stop and realize how blessed we are to be here today, enjoying this season, even with all it’s busyness. God has been so good to us. After the wonderful snow and ice we enjoyed last week, Jonathan had his first Sunday School Christmas party to go to. On Friday night we went to the church and had his Christmas party in the skating rink. After eating hot dogs, most of the kids got out there and just had a great time skating or running around and hanging out with each other. Jonathan wanted to try to skate, so we strapped on some skates and gave it a try. It took us forever to get around the rink just one time! But he never gave up. He kept working at it until he made it all the way around. The kids were all very sweet and I can’t even count the number of kids that skated around him and said hi to him and encouraged him in this. It completely wore me out! He held on to the side and I held on to him. But I’m so glad he made it around the rink. That was all we could handle for the evening, so we just hung out on the side for the rest of the evening. It amazes me how many people know who Jonathan is and always speak to him. The usual conversation goes something like this…Someone will walk by and say, “Hey Jonathan,” and I’ll say to him, “Who was that?” And he says, “I don’t know.” When people see him, adults and children alike, they are just drawn to speak to him. It is such an encouragement to him and makes him feel so special. I have always marveled at that, but I feel so blessed that so many people take the time to love him and speak to him. One of the highlights of the evening was when Santa came by to visit and pass out toys to everyone who was there. Jonathan wasted no time in getting close to him to hug him and tell him what he wanted to for Christmas. Santa came by and talked to him several other times before he left and assured him that those high top tennis shoes he is asking for will be under his tree for Christmas! It was a fun night and a special night for him as this was the first time we went to a party for him instead of for one of our social girls. We slept in on Saturday and hung out together for most of the day until we had to take Sarah to her Sunday School Christmas party. After that, we spent the evening at Grandpa Cooper’s house with the rest of the family. We had dinner together and spent a couple of hours going through Grandma’s jewelry and some other things that were divided up among us. While it was something we never wanted to have to do, it was a pleasant evening looking at all her special things and hearing the stories behind each one. On Monday we started another busy week of school and then spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s house celebrating our Cousin Mariah’s 6 th birthday. On Tuesday, we were back in Ft. Worth early in the morning for Jonathan’s regular endocrine appointment. There was some good news and some not so good news. The good news is that his weight gain has slowed significantly compared to the last several visits. Instead of gaining 6-7 pounds each three months, he only gained about 2 this time. So even though it was not a loss, we were still encouraged by that. We saw a new doctor this time. He was very nice but I have decided that we will not return to Cooks again. I left as discouraged and frustrated as I do every time I leave there. We continue to have problems just getting his A1C (average blood sugar) test done and this time we had to go and have blood drawn again. This was to check his thyroid (since he has gained so much weight) and some metabolic profile (I’m not sure what that is). He informed us that we would have to have that checked every three months because he takes glucaphauge which causes liver damage and renal failure. This was the first time I had been informed of that and he has been taking that for almost a year now. That really bothered me. My sweet little boy goes through so much every day that I refuse to put him through any unnecessary stress, and having blood drawn has not been an easy thing for him in the past. We haven’t had it done in a year, but our last experience was not a pleasant one. After we got back to my parent’s house, I sat in my car, fighting back the tears, asking God if we had to do this. I felt like this was something we needed to go ahead and do, so I talked to Jonathan and told him I had prayed about it and felt like God wanted us to go do this. He said okay, although he was very nervous about it. The first time they stuck him, they got nothing. The girl was good enough not to try a second time, but got someone else to try. The second girl worked for quite a while before sticking him and got it on the first try. Jonathan never cried or got upset. He was very calm the whole time. We told both of the girls that since he had such a bad experience the last time, we were praying for them that they would be able to get it quickly. Jonathan’s veins are very hard to find. He told the second girl where his vein was and she agreed with him. But it was very deep and she didn’t want to go that deep so she found another place and did it perfectly. He never even bruised in either place that they stuck him. Tuesday was a difficult day for me. There was a battle between my faith and belief in my God who has done the impossible in Jonathan’s life and the reality that he must struggle with these issues every day of his life. That joy in believing (Rom. 15:13) was overshadowed by the doubt and discouragement of Jonathan’s situation. My eyes of faith were dimmed once again by what my eyes can only see. It is a dangerous place to be. I can’t tell you how many times I turned my face away from Jonathan, swallowed that lump in my throat and blinked back the tears as I asked God, “Why this precious little boy? Why not me?” God was faithful to carry me through that day and to show Himself strong on Jonathan’s behalf as he dealt with all that the day brought, including having his blood taken. Jonathan is such a testimony to me of unwavering faith. Yes, there are time when he comments on how he has prayed for God to heal him but He hasn’t done it yet. Just last night he was talking about believing God for his healing and that he seems to be on a journey to find this moment of healing in his life. When we are in the car sometimes we hear people calling in on KLTY to share the gift they would like to give or receive this Christmas that money cannot buy. Jonathan has commented several times that the gift that he would like to receive that would be the greatest gift ever for him would be his healing. I pray that God will help me Believe Him as much as this 10 year old little boy Believes God. This week Jonathan started Upward basketball practice on Thursday nights. He has been counting down the days for weeks now waiting for this to come. He has the same coaches this year as he did last year and many of the same boys are on his team again this year. He had a great time. His coaches were so encouraging from the very beginning, telling him how much better he was running, how he looked like he had lost some weight, and they got right down to the business of working on their basketball skills. This is such a good thing for Jonathan to be part of. His coaches are very aware of his limitations, and yet they push him to move beyond those limitations and they help him build confidence in himself as he works to be a vital part of their team. We are looking forward to seeing him grow significantly during this basketball season. On Saturday, the kids had rehearsal all morning long for their Christmas program last night. Aunt Keby picked them all up and kept them during the day so that Lamar and I could get some Christmas shopping done. Jonathan did fine and Lamar and I enjoyed some time together. We enjoyed the Sounds of Christmas that all the children’s choirs presented last night at church. It was such a neat thing to watch. All of the choirs from the preschool to the high school filled the stage and the entire choir loft and sang the opening song together. Sarah had a little solo in that song and did a beautiful job. We are so proud of her. Jonathan did a great job of remembering all the words to all his songs. And Elizabeth looked and sounded beautiful with her choir as well. After the music was done, we moved to the plaza and heard the Christmas story read as we watched it unfold in the nativity windows of one of the buildings. Sarah was one of the heavenly hosts of angels in the very top window. It was a beautiful sight and very effective. Afterward, we had some pictures taken in the Sanctuary of our family that hopefully will be on our Christmas card soon and then we had dinner together with our family and some of our friends.
Well, thanks so much for checking on us and for continuing to faithfully pray for our family. There are several things you can pray for Jonathan this week. Pray that we will continue to be diligent on our diet and exercise program. We are thankful for the progress we are seeing, but pray that God will allow us to see some weight loss soon as we continue to work hard toward this goal. Pray for Jonathan’s blood sugars as well. I quit giving him the glucaphauge after learning that it causes liver damage and renal failure. This has caused his blood sugar to run higher than usual. Pray that God will adjust this in his system and that his body will process the insulin effectively as it needs to. Also pray that God will give us wisdom and direction as we seek another doctor for him and that if there is something natural that we can give him that will help his body process the insulin more effectively but will not potentially damage his body, that this information will be made known to us. Pray that we will all continue to walk by faith, believing and trusting God for Jonathan’s life and future instead of focusing on what our eyes can see. Also please pray for our family that we will trust God to provide for the significant needs that we have as we near the end of the year again. God provided so incredibly for us last year and we are looking to Him for His provision again this year. Jonathan also has an eye doctor appointment on Tuesday. Please pray for that as I’m not sure what to expect from this appointment. Thank you for the blessing of your friendship and your prayers throughout this year. You are wonderful and we thank God for each of you.

Hebrews 6:17-20 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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