"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finally.....a Family Update

Wow. It's been over 9 weeks since I have written, and for that, I apologize. I've definitely had some major laptop issues, but Bethany is gone this evening, and I have confiscated hers.  Thank God! It feels great to type letters and have them actually print onto the screen in the order that I type them.  Who knew?  I feel I owe everyone who has been praying for our famly an update, so here goes.

Well, 2012 has been a plethora of miracles, contradictions, surprises and growth for me and my family. As most of you know, we began the year in the hospital, with Bethany in critical care. Throughout the month of January, she shifted from bad to worse, and then back to bad again. Praise God, after a surgery, a LOT of pain, intubation and extubation, a short discharge, a re-admittance, a few pic lines and a lof of heavy duty medications, Bethany was discharged in mid-late January.  The prayers of the Saints on her behalf were not only answered, but shouted, "MIRACLE."  Since her discharge, Bethany has struggled with an insurmountable amount of constant pain, however, through it all, she maintains a cheerful attitude and continues to 'work through it.'  In mid-March, she returned to working part time at Haas Bakery; she can only work 2--4 hour shifts because her pain is too intense, thus she only works a minimal amount. sigh.

Bethany has been on numerous medications since her discharge, however, none seem to be working. She is currently on Neurontin, a nerve suppressant, however, that doesn't really seem to be working much either. We are hoping that when she visits her surgeon this Friday, he will write her a script for a Pain Management Clinic.  Other than a Divine work from our Creator, Bethany's options are slim. Please continue to pray for her pain relief. 

Bethany hit the ground running and hasn't stopped since. Immediately after having her pic line removed, she and Joy drove to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. Even though the weather did not cooperate, and she was in a lot of pain, she and Joy managed to have a lot of fun.Immediately following, she began coaching not one, but two, girls soccer teams. I definitely think she has found her calling.  Because she is currently on Medical leave from her classes at the University of Toledo, she is taking full advantage of her time off. She misses her classes tremendously but knows that, come fall, she will be so busy with academics that she won't even have time to breathe. Thus, Bethany is also playing on the UT Intramural Co-ed Soccer team.  Her position?  Goalie, of course. She just returned from Soccer tournaments in Hudson, Ohio, last night, where her U12 Girls team took 2nd place in the finals. Her U11 Girls team did very well, however, they did not place.  Thank God, the Spring soccer season is ending, because between coaching soccer, working and dating Nate, Jonathan, Joy and I rarely see her.

Oh yeah, my girl has had her taste of college life and has loved it. She is planning on moving into an apartment with a girlfriend before classes begin next Fall.  I am slightly apprehensive about it, considering Bethany will still be working at the Bakery, taking at least 18 credit hours, will need to get a 3.5 Fall G.P.A., and will have to adjust to her new, grueliing, Engineering and Business class schedule.  I am tired just thinking about it.
Joy moved in with her dad last January, and the arrangement seems to be working out. Although Jonathan, Bethany and I miss her daily companionship terribly, we see and hang out with her a lot.  I am thrilled that the last day of classes at UT is this Friday because that means we will actually see more of Joy. That kid is B-U-S-Y. She is taking 18 credit hours, maintaining all A's, still working as a Campus Tour Guide, still working at Haas Bakery, still walking that doggie in West Toledo, studying and writing papers like there's no tomorrow, AND helping Jonathan with a U6 Boys soccer team that he coaches and helps me by attending dog training classes with me and Koda.  Whew! Did I mention that she is taking 18 credit hours, studing like crazy AND putting in a lot of hours as a tour guide? Well, she is.

A week or so ago, Joy called me to say that she was running in the Glass City Marathon the following morning. News to me. She wanted me to know but would have preferred either we didn't come watch at all or just show up at the end. Again, humble Joy, never tooting her own horn, just wanted to run.  Well, she did, without walking even once, and had the huge blisters to prove it. Great job, Joy Marie.

Below is a cute video of Joy that was posted on the UT website last week.

Joy is still dating, Rob--who now has an apartment by campus (Praise God!) and spending time with Carl.  Just last Saturday, Joy gave her two precious rats, Mr. Incredible and Picasso, to a fellow student at UT. They will be missed, but we know that Joy can visit them any time she wants, and I won't have to clean their cage weekly, for a kid that doesn't even live here. ha.  I have to admit it, though, those  two little guys kinda grew on us.  When it came to being sweet and sociable, Mr. Incredible and Picasso were both.

Ah.....Jonathan.  God ole Jonathan. Whatever would I do without him?  Upon returning from his mission trip to Jamaica, in January, he, too, hit the ground running. He loves, loves, loves working out, especially with Rob. He works out daily in the Stritch gym--well, if you can even call it a gym anymore, given the fact they keep removing the workout equipment. This infuriates Jonathan, because he is only 1 of less than a handful that work out. Ahh....the life of a high school Sophomore. He still  occasionally works out at UT, with Rob, on weekends and really enjoys that.  Given his major protein diet and work out schedule, Jonathan is barely recognizable (in a good way)!  He's definitely muscled up. 

Jonathan applied to coach a soccer team, with the Oregon Rec, and he is now the youngest coach on record. At 16 years old, he is the Head Coach of the U6 Boys soccer team. He really enjoys it, especially considering there are actually some seasoned soccer players on that kindergarten team. Yaay! Joy is his main Assistant Coach, and Bethany fills in when she's not coaching her two teams.  He just volunteered last weekend for "Serving Saturday" at MSC, and he said, quote, "I would rather work outside than work with little kids. I kind of get my fill of little kids with soccer."  ha ha.  Mind you, it was snowing last Saturday. He ended up painting indoors.

Between school, coaching and playing soccer, and working out, Jonathan is busy. He did, however, find the time to volunteer for the Cardinal Strich Spring Play, "The Wizard of Oz."  That kept him extremely busy. He is also driving. I won't even comment on that one, other than to say that I am happy for him.

And as for me, life goes on. There have been some major hurdles of late, some grieving and healing of wounds, but God has been faithful and very good to me. I loved, loved, loved, getting our lives back to normalcy once Bethany had been discharged.  Christmas had been wonderful, however, we left for the hospital the next day, and then life sort of stopped. The end of January was tumultous, at best, and we have settled back into our lives quite comfortably. Koda, miracle upon miracles, is practically a new dog; Joy and I have been taking him to dog training classes (6 in all), and he actually passed his 'Canine Good Citizenship' test last week, and I am planning on him passing his 'Certified Therapy Dog International' test tomorrow night.  I know that seeing Koda today, vs 6 weeks ago, would convert even the most staunch atheist to Christ. Miracles really never do cease.

Been praying of late for some miracles, and some are happening and some are delayed. I learned a lot about the power of delayed prayers through Bob Sorge. He spoke at my old church in 2006/2007, and gave his testimony on the power of delayed prayers. Powerful stuff. Still frustrating and sad, but powerful. God's answers are sometimes, 'no,' and thus, no means no, and that's all no means. sigh.  I've become much stronger as an individual these past few months, out of necessity.

Going to court for property tax re-assessment - check
Rotator cuff fixed - check
Working out - check
Golf lessons - check
Koda trained - check
New LifeGroup - check
Begin mentoring someone - check
Begin the yearlong study of, "The Story" - check

It's all good, just not necessarily how I would have planned it.  But then again, God is shaping me and molding me for the "Upper Story" in the story of my life. All of these "little/minor stories" in my life, have a purpose--to fulfill his "Upper Story" for me. Sometimes, I wish I knew the completed 'Upper Story' of my life, because I think I would be able to handle the 'lower stories' a little better. I guess the Lord feels that the less I know, the better. Uggh. When they say, "Curiousity killed the cat," I so know what 'they' are referring to. Just when I think, after years and years of struggle, things are finally going well, then Bam, and not so much. The song below has been a great comfort, and I hope you enjoy it.

I've been watching the world events lately and researching their Biblical implications. Wow! The Bible, written thousands of years ago, by various writers, is still as relevant today as it ever was. Virtually everything that is currently happening in the U.S., and in the entire world, has been prophesied.  Good, bad or indifferent, things are changing, and it's interesting to see it all play out.

Well, I hope this has caught everyone up on my family's lives. Many, many people have contacted me over the past couple months, asking when I was going to write updates on my family, and again, please accept my apologies for the delay.  I noticed that almost 11,000 people have read this blog in the past 3 months, and over 6,000 in April alone. Yikes! I need to get writing and posting some pictures.

Again, thank you so very much for all of your past and current prayers for Bethany's health.  Her body has suffered much and has some major long-term ramifications from all of the surgeries. Please continue to pray for her, Joy, Jonathan, and me. Your prayers are always appreciate and coveted.

Blessings and peace to all.  Shari


  1. I have been following your blog since my husband's cousin Tara Hahn posted on her fb page about your daughter and asking for prayer. Somehow I came across your blog and prayed for her daily. When my son's soccer season came along I was thrilled to see that your son was going to be our coach. Without seeing any updates I assumed that Bethany was doing well and then to see her helping I was thrilled. Your son was the best coach that we could have asked for, he taught the boys a tremendous amount and they learned and excelled continuously throughout the season. We can only hope that he continues to coach, he has a lot give and he is a wonderful young man.

    1. Heidi, Thank you so very much for your sweet comments, and more importantly, for praying for Bethany. Jonathan, Joy and Bethany all thoroughly enjoyed coaching this year, so much, in fact, Jonathan has requested to be allowed to coach the same group of boys next year. He'll be playing Varsity Soccer with Cardinal Stritch in the fall. It would be great if you and your son came out for a game. It's always nice to watch the 'big boys' play.

      Yes, Bethany is doing better, however, she is still in a LOT of pain. She is working with a pain management clinic to help alleviate some of it, and along with taking a LOT of medications, she is managing. She, too, coached two girls travel soccer teams this year.

      Thanks again, Heidi. Be blessed!