Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wow! Can you believe I’m here and it’s only been two weeks! I must be doing good! I knew if I didn’t update today that it would be another couple of weeks since we are going camping again next weekend. There is not a whole lot that has been happening except that we are living our lives and loving where God has us right now. We continue to see God’s hand of faithfulness in our lives each and every day. We are truly an incredibly blessed family. We are seeing some significant improvements in Jonathan’s life so far this school year. So let me share them with you so you can see how God is continuing to work in his life.
So far, school is going well. The first school year after Jonathan’s illness, things progressed so slowly. I was less than encouraged at the end of that year that we might ever be able to make it through high school. But at the end of last year, I saw so much improvement in Jonathan’s school work. I ended the year with hope that as he progresses through each school year, things will get better and better and we just might make it through high school. This year has begun with some great changes in Jonathan that are very encouraging. As you know, Jonathan is a very dependent person. It’s not that he has to be and can’t do things on his own, but he seems to choose that option more often than not. He relies on me heavily for most everything. I think that is a result of our relationship throughout his illness and hospital stay, and the months following that. Typically, we are together most of the time and it is just a natural thing for me to handle or help him with much of his life. I am aware of that and have been praying and working on helping him become more independent in his every day life. This year in our school schedule, we have worked in a 30 minute time period at the beginning where everyone has a quiet time. Jonathan is currently listening to the Psalms on CD. He will turn on his CD and listen to his Psalm every morning on his own. As you also know, Awana has begun and Jonathan is in a new Sunday School class. Both of those classes come with lots of Scripture memory work. He is very motivated to learn the memory work in both of those classes which is in itself a huge improvement. Right now, he is learning 3-4 verses a week in Awana and 5 verses a week in Sunday School. And he is doing it, for the most part, on his own. I type up the verses he is learning for the week and enlarge them so that they are easy for him to read, and during his quiet time, he spends some of that time reading and memorizing those Scriptures on his own. This has been a wonderful change that has brought me so much encouragement. I know it may seem like a little thing, but it is a huge thing in Jonathan’s life and something for which we praise God for. Jonathan also sits down each day and begins his schoolwork on his own. He is able to practice his spelling words, do his handwriting, read his grammar sentences and do the work on his own. He is doing pretty well in math as well. He is struggling a little with his 3 digit multiplication, but we continue to work on it each day, and I know that he will soon master that as well. God has been good to show us improvement in Jonathan’s life through his schooling. Jonathan has also begun taking drum lessons from Uncle Timmy. So far he has had two lessons with him, and I think they have stayed in there and worked for about 1 ½ hours each time. He is doing very well with it and I can already hear a change in his playing. This is such a blessing for Jonathan as he loves his Uncle Timmy greatly. I know that God is going to use this in a great way in Jonathan’s life, and I hope in Uncle Timmy’s life as well. Jonathan is also doing very well in horse therapy. He and Ella make such a great team. I can see so much added strength in his legs. It is exciting to see how much he has improved and how far he has come with this. We continue to work with him to help him become independent in his riding. As I have said before, he has a tendency to rely on Mrs. Julie to make the horse do what he is asking her to do, instead of working to get her to do it because he has asked. Horses are a lot like children. Sometimes they have a mind of their own and decide not to do what you have just commanded them to do. It is much easier for Jonathan to just do what he can do and wait for Mrs. Julie to step in a make it happen for him. This is the next big hurdle for Jonathan to tackle, but when he does succeed, it will be a huge turning point for him. I am praying and believing God for this in Jonathan’s life. We continue to remain faithful to our diet and exercise program. It is sometimes discouraging when you stay at the same spot for a period of time, but we try not to lose heart. The good thing is that we are not going up! We are maintaining. Jonathan is still at 113 pounds right now. However, even though his weight may not be changing much, his blood sugars have been great. When we first began this program at the beginning of the year, it seemed like when he was losing weight, his insulin levels would remain the same. But when we were not losing weight, we would be dropping his insulin. We got down to 25 units of lantis and kind of stopped for several months. Honestly, I guess I thought that was so good that I quit praying for God to continue to work there. I just realized that recently and have begun praying about that again. After spending the last week and a half checking his blood sugars at 3 am, we have dropped his lantus again by 3 points. He is now taking only 22 units of lantus each night! What a praise! He is growing so much in caring for his diabetes on his own. He knows when he is low and he knows how to check his blood sugar on his own. The only thing he still does not do on his own is draw up his insulin. We still continue to pray and believe God for healing of his diabetes. It will be awesome when it happens! While we are seeing more strength in Jonathan’s legs because of his faithful exercising this year, there is still a great deal of weakness in his right leg. It is amazing to watch him walk so well when he really thinks about keeping his foot straight. We encourage him to make a conscious effort to keep his foot straight, knowing that one day it will be a natural thing instead of something he has to concentrate on doing. We continue to pray for strength and healing for his right leg. The Scripture I claim for Jonathan regarding this is Hebrews 12:11-13. I will share it with you at the end. Elizabeth and Sarah are both doing great as well. They are such tremendous blessings to me that I can’t even describe how incredibly thankful I am that God has given them to our family. They love and care for Jonathan in such a beautiful way. One night while I was taking a shower, Jonathan slipped and fell in the bathroom. He did not significantly hurt himself, but it did hurt and upset him. Lamar helped him up and got him to sit on his bed. By the time I got there, Elizabeth and Sarah had surrounded him and were talking to him and making his laugh so that he had already forgotten all about the fall. The unconditional love and constant care they both give to Jonathan truly blesses my heart each time I see it. They are such precious treasures.
I want to share one last thing with you that has been on my heart lately that I have been praying about for Jonathan and would like to ask you to join me in praying for him. One of the things that I have always been amazed at and so grateful for is the kindness of the children that we encounter towards Jonathan. I know that children can be unkind and make fun of other kids who are different or kids who have obvious issues. I can only think of one incident in these past almost 3 years where a child has been less than kind to Jonathan. They are all very kind and caring toward Jonathan and that has truly been a gift from God. It has come to my attention in recent weeks that while the children he is around are always kind and considerate of him, Jonathan really does not have a close friend that hangs out with him like the other kids do. Jonathan has never been an extremely social child. He would always ask to have someone over to play, but then half way through the visit, we would find him playing on his own while his friend was playing with the girls or doing something else. Those social skills are even less now. We always encourage him to go hang out with the other kids, talk with them and see what they are doing. While he may go and do that, it usually doesn’t last long, because he doesn’t interact much and he is easily overlooked. It breaks my heart. He doesn’t seem to notice or be bothered by it because he is just content with our presence in his life. But we watch it happen and it bothers us. It makes me cry. While we continue to work toward helping Jonathan become less dependent of us as his parents, to branch out on his own in some things, and develop his social skills, I have begun to pray that God would bring a “David” friend into Jonathan’s life. I am praying that God will bring someone special into Jonathan’s life to be his special, close, kindred spirit friend. I’m not sure what God has in store for Jonathan in this area, but I know that it will be for his good. I hope you will join me in praying for Jonathan about this specific thing in his life. God has begun an incredibly good work in Jonathan’s life and I know that He will be faithful to bring it to completion and the results will be amazing.
Thank you so much for your incredible love and care and your constant prayers for Jonathan and our family. I can’t imagine what this journey would have been like if we had had to walk it without you. Knowing that you are praying encourages us more than we could ever express. We hope you will join us in thanking God for His work in Jonathan’s life and pray with us for His continued work and blessing in these areas. May God richly bless each of you this week. We love you all.

Hebrews 12:11-13 - 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. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 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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