Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well, I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying your new year. I also hope you are enjoying our new website. Dad did a wonderful job of updating it and we love it. You can get to the website both from and Thank you for continuing to check on us and for praying for us so faithfully. I hope that when we reach eternity, the Lord will allow me to throw a big thank you party for all of you so that I can personally hug each of you and tell you how much your prayers have meant to me and my family. Your prayers of faith and Believing God on our behalf have been counted to you as righteousness (Rom 4:20-22) and your reward will be great in heaven.
Our month of January has been a wonderful start to this new year. We have struggled with passing around a cold, but it has not been too severe. We have a pretty steady schedule that keeps us busy 2-3 nights a week, but allows us to spend the other nights at home together as a family. Thanks to the weather, we have had the chance to spend a number of days together as well. I know that I have shared this before, but when I think back to Jonathan’s illness and those months that he was in the hospital, the greatest sadness that I struggled with was having my family torn apart. We are a close knit family and have spent most of our lives together at home. If you give me the option of going out and doing something or staying at home with my family, don’t take it personally, but I will usually opt for home with my family. My girls, on the other hand, are always looking for someone to do something with! But home is where I love to be, surrounded by those precious people that God has graciously given me to share it with. Right now I am keeping up with and praying for a family who has a little daughter going through some significant medical issues. Not only is this mother away from her husband and other children, but she is in a completely different state, alone, handling days in the hospital with this sick baby by herself. Each time I read her posts I hear the struggle and ache in her heart about this very same thing. I understand to a certain extent just how she feels but she is enduring this to a much greater extent than I had to. I have witnessed God’s faithfulness to us over this last year in that He has repaid our family a hundred fold for those almost 100 days we spent away from each other during those difficult months. (Joel 2:25a) I am so much more aware of this blessing now that I ever was before. There are times when I will stop and think of what I would be doing right then if we had not gone through this experience. We would still be a family but we would all be doing our own thing, going in all different directions. Life is precious and each day is a gift from God. Don’t waste it on things that are fleeting and will quickly pass away. The Lord continues to teach me so much that it is easy to find myself preaching! I thank you for your graciousness in letting me share this with you. But I will stop preaching now and share with you how Jonathan is doing.
We are so very pleased with the diet and exercise plan that we are currently on. The weight is very slow in coming off, but that’s okay. Lamar has lost about 15 pounds and Jonathan and I have lost 3 pounds so far. I’m not sure how it all works, but even though he has only lost 3 pounds, he definitely looks thinner in the midsection. It has been so wonderful to hear people encourage him and share with him how good he is looking. We are still drinking our shakes at breakfast and lunch and we have a low carb, low calorie snack late in the afternoon if we get really hungry. Then we have a healthy, low carb, low calorie meal for dinner. We are still eating around 20-30 carbs and 1000 calories or less a day. We try to do some kind of exercise each day. The biggest blessing is that Jonathan’s blood sugar levels have been better since we started this program than they have ever been. He continues to wake up with a low blood sugar (50-80), which means that we have been able to steadily go down on his lantus several times. We are now down to 32 units which is 10 units less than we started the year at. Praise the Lord! I have looked and looked for ways to go down on his insulin for over a year now and the Lord has blessed our efforts and we are seeing that very thing happen right now. His new trend right now is that he is low at breakfast and bedtime, but high (over 200) at lunch and dinner. Not sure what that means, but I keep praying that the Lord will give me insight regarding it and what to do about it. Minus the colds we have had, we all seem to feel better and we are getting around much better. Jonathan especially seems to be moving much better. I hope the exercise is increasing the strength in his legs and allowing him more flexibility. He is doing great in basketball! He has improved so much since last year. His stamina is greatly improved and he is able to practice an entire hour without extra rest. His biggest challenge right now is being able to hear plays called out, process them and act accordingly in order to help his team and participate in the game. Sarah and I worked with him on the specific plays that their team does to help him remember what he is supposed to do. Today is his second game and will be played at an athletic center in Flower Mound. The difference between playing at Lakeland and this athletic center is that at the athletic center they will be playing full court instead of half court. So we worked on running this week with Jonathan. Running is very difficult for him and he tires very, very quickly. His coaches are so good and are working to determine the best way to allow Jonathan to play without wearing him out. So we will be praying about this game today. Jonathan is doing very well with his drumming and Awana. He is also doing well in school. He struggles with remembering things and understanding some concepts, especially division. But he is a very diligent worker and tries very hard. This past week in Awana, since we were unable to go the week before because of the weather, Jonathan said 8 verses and finished up his 4th chapter. Daddy came to church with him and got to help him make his wooden car for the Grand Prix race that they will have in a couple of weeks. His car is red, white and blue and he is pretty excited about it. We had the opportunity to go back to Lakeland last Sunday to celebrate Bro. Ben’s retirement. It was great to be back at Lakeland and see so many of you whom we love and miss seeing each week. We are thankful for the privilege of knowing Bro. Ben and for the way God used him in our lives during our years at Lakeland. We went through several journeys of faith during our years there and Bro. Ben was there to pray us through, support and encourage us along the way. We are praying that God will bless him, lead him and use him in a special way in this new phase of his life and ministry. We love you Bro. Ben! We also got to come back on Wednesday night and share in the 19th anniversary party for Thom Wilder. Thom and the worship ministry at Lakeland have a very special place in our family’s heart as we all love music and have been blessed to serve the Lord in that capacity. While we were there, visiting with our friends, we were blessed once again to hear of God’s work in the lives of our special friends Ken and Anita Hale. A little over a year before Jonathan had his stroke, our sweet friend Ken had a stroke of his own. We watched and prayed and encouraged Ken throughout his recovery. Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan are 3 of his biggest fans! As we look back now, it is amazing to see God’s hand and work preparing all of us for what lie ahead for Jonathan. Ken and Anita have been Jonathan’s biggest fans throughout his journey as well. On Wednesday night, Anita shared how the Lord has provided a device that will allow Ken to walk again which is a desire of his heart that we have prayed for since the beginning of 2006. As we listened to Anita share the details of this story, we had goose bumps all over us and we were laughing, crying and praising God all at the same time. There is some significant faith that will be required of them to see the fulfillment of this prayer, but I know that God will show Himself strong on their behalf and will restore this to them a hundred fold, just as we have seen Him do in Jonathan’s life. And it will be because of the prayers of many and to bring honor and glory to the Father. (2 Cor. 1:11).
Well, I’ve got to go get ready for our day. We love each of you more than we can ever tell you. Please continue to pray for Jonathan and our family. God is at work in our lives! Please pray that we will continue to see success on our diet and exercise program. Pray that Jonathan will continue to lose weight and that he will continue to have good blood sugars. Pray that we will be able to continue to go down on his insulin until he no longer needs it! Also, pray for him over the next couple of weeks. Tonight is the last night that Jonathan will get his sleeping medicine. He has done very well on half a pill for the last two weeks and tomorrow we will try sleeping without any medication. He has been on it for 5 months and it will take a couple of weeks to get out of his system. Pray that the Lord will give us success and that this issue will be far behind us. We are Believing God for this miracle in Jonathan’s life. Please pray for Jonathan’s ability to grasp the concepts in school. Pray that his memory will be sharp and that he will understand what he is learning. Thank you for your prayers for our family. God has been faithful to provide for our financial needs and we continue to trust Him daily for His provision. There is always something to pray for in our families, as you all know very well, so we covet your continued prayers for our family as well. God is at work all around us. Look for Him, watch diligently for Him at work in people’s lives around you – in your own life. God has called us to be His witnesses. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to know God in a deeper, more incredible way. You will not be disappointed! Have a wonderful week!

Isaiah 43:10-11 - 10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from Me there is no Savior.

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