Thursday, September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008

Thanks so much to all of you who have checked out the new blog and sent sweet messages to Jonathan and our family. Your faithfulness to check on us and pray for us means more to me than mere words could ever express.

With that said, I wanted to come and ask you to pray for a couple of things for Jonathan. First of all, tomorrow, he and his Dad will be leaving for an overnight retreat with the Junior High at church. It is called Break Away Weekend. They leave on Friday evening and spend the night and most of the day Saturday at a camp studying the Bible and having some fun before returning Saturday evening. This is his first official event with the Junior High and I think he is pretty excited. Please pray that he will have a great time and be comfortable being part of this new part of his life. Pray for Lamar as well. I know he is already tired and not getting a weekend will be tough on him. Pray that God will give him grace and strength to make this event and that he and Jonathan will have a great time together.

I would also like to ask you to pray about something very specific for Jonathan. I would like for you to join me in praying that God will bring a boy or two into Jonathan's life to be his good friends. As I have observed him over the past few weeks, I realize that he has no friends to hang out with. Don't get me wrong, all the guys in his grade are very nice to him. They always speak to him and they are never mean in any way. All of the kids are like that and I have always been so very grateful for the kindness of the kids around him. But that is pretty much as far as it goes. After speaking and saying hello to him, Jonathan either hangs out with us or he hangs out by himself. I don't think he really notices it, at least not as much as I do. Jonathan has never been as social as his sisters, at least not with other kids. He has always played by himself and even when he would have friends over, he would eventually end up on his own. However, since his illness, he is much less social and much more on his own most of the time. He doesn't initiate interaction on his own very well, at least not with other kids. He is great with adults! After talking with the girls about it some, they seem to think the kids think he needs to be taken care of and are afraid that something will happen that they can't handle. I'm not sure what it is, but I have been burndened by it and have commited to pray specifically for God to send someone who can be the "David" to my Jonathan. Pray that we can continue to guide him and help him grow in his social skills and become more independent and less dependent on us as his parents. Pray that I will be willing to give up my expectations and let God do what He desires and what only He can do with this in Jonathan's life. Sometimes I forget that he is still only 12 years old. I probably needs as much prayer in this as I think Jonathan does! Anyway, I hope you will join me in praying about this specific request for him. It strengthens my faith and helps me to trust God knowing that you are praying for my son.

I read through some Scriptures again this morning that I have Jonathan's name written by. I was reminded of my need to follow the example of Abraham, not waver in my faith, and continue to Believe God that He is able to do what He has promised. So I will begin today to Believe God for this and trust His faithfulness in Jonathan's life. Thank you for praying with me.

Romans 4:18-21 - In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.” Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

September 20, 2008

Well, we haven't disappeared off the face of the year, although I'm sure it seems as though we have! I can't believe it has been almost 3 months since I last posted! We were busier this summer than we have been in several years. It could be that I have 2 high schoolers and a junior higher now! We went through 2 camps, 2 choir tours, and a host of other things. Once we stopped, at the beginning of August, we spent one month working like crazy to accomplish some things at home that needed to be done before we started school. I'll share some of the highlights with you and hopefully not make this too long. By the way, I hope you like the new blog. We are trying to get up to date with this and make it easier for me to update and you to get them without having to wait so long in between. Thanks so much for waiting for me.

Well, one of the highlights of our summer was to be able to go on vacation for the first time in 5 years. We get to take long weekend trips when we go camping, but it has been since before Jonathan's illness that we have been able to take a real vacation. So the last week of August, we hooked up our camper and went to Galvaston Island State Park and camped on the beach for about 9 days. We had an awesome time together! We spent time on the beach and in the ocean almost every day, we walked the beach each night and found a bag full of beautiful shells, including 2 whole sand dollars, we spent a day at Moody Gardens and a day at the Johnson Space Center and Kema Boardwalk, we slept late every morning and stayed up late watching movies every night. We had a great time together and we were sad to leave and come home. We are so thankful for God's provision to us and allowing us to be able to share this week together.

Once we got home, there was much to do in getting school started. That always brings with it some challenges that take us about 3 weeks to overcome and get beyond. I think we are there now. I have struggled these past two weeks with the death of a dear friend of mine, waiting to get some test results back and knowing how to deal with them, and trying to keep things going with school. In the midst of all of that, we were working on putting together 3 worship sets of music for the Lakeland Women's Retreat. This was the biggest event that our family has ever done together. Lamar played guitar, Jonathan played drums, and Elizabeth, Sarah and I sang. It was somewhat stressful pulling it all together, getting everything practiced, and feeling prepared, not just musically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually in the midst of all we were dealing with. But God in His faithfulness, used that weekend to bring healing to my hurting heart, renew my strength, and help me find my faith again. Music is awesome. Getting to use this gift of music together as a family is such a precious thing to me. Jonathan did a fabulous job! He and I sat down during the week and just worked on what he wanted to do on each song. I gave him some ideas, but overall, he did it all on his own. I was so proud of him! He had a great time with it as well. This was his biggest "gig" yet. What a testimony to the grace of God, and the amazing power He has to heal and deliver that Jonathan portrays when he plays for the Lord. So many of those ladies at the retreat prayed for Jonathan and we were so honored to worship with them as a testimony of answered prayer.

Jonathan is doing well. We had a year follow up appointment last week at Scottish Rite. If you remember, last year we went about his walking. They told us then he didn't need surgery on his foot and that the reason he was walking the way he was, was because his upper leg strength was weak. We have worked on that a lot this past year, but he is still dealing with the same issue a year later. They took an x-ray of his hips and told me that they looked perfect. They said that he does not need any orthopedic intervention and to keep doing what we were doing. They thought he looked great. That was a praise! We are thankful that no surgery is needed, and we will continue to on strengthening his legs and praying for God to make it right. So far he is doing well in school. He is a diligent worker and I'm proud of him. We are really trying to work on his writing and reading and handling some things that normal junior high kids will need to handle. He has promoted to the Junior High department at church, to Solid Rock on Wednesday nights and to Clarion Choir on Sunday afternoons. He is so proud to be there. Next weekend, he will be attending the junior high retreat at a camp in Waxahachie. These will be more learning years for Jonathan and we are praying that he will excel and that God will bless him in amazing ways.
I hope you haven't given up on my updating. As I have said before, when it takes me a while to post, it is because we are living the blessing of life. In the midst of my sadness and hurt last week, I remember thanking God for all the difficulties I was facing because I was remembering the time when our lives stood still and we spent day after day in the hospital longing for the chance to be home. I try not to ever take life for granted. It can change in a moment and never be the same again. Life is precious and an incredible gift from our Father. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. He is struggling again with his weight and high blood sugars more often than we would like. It is tough to see the discouragement and the tears come when he struggles with his weight or tries to understand why his blood sugar is always high. Pray that we can adjust his food intake, do what we can to lead a healthy lifestyle, and that his body would process his insulin appropriately to keep his blood sugars in normal range and not store any as fat. Pray for him as he transitions into junior high life. Pray that God would bring good friends into his life so that he can enjoy these years and make some great memories with friends. Pray that he will continue to grow more independent and be able to do things without Lamar and I always being with him. We love all of you and are so thankful for the love, care and prayers you give to us. You are a precious blessing to us. We hope you enjoy the new blog and I'll be back soon to update again...I promise! God bless you all!

Isaiah 40:28-31 - Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Jonathan Cooper Blog

We are in the process of creating a new blog for Jonathan's updates. We feel like this will help everyone stay more connected and have better interaction. We will be updating more soon. Let us know what you think.