Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Thank you SO much to all of you who have contacted me about sending cards to the Rose Family. I am putting together a master spread sheet today, and hope to have everyone's dates emailed this week.

Thank you to all of you who want to be a blessing. To reach out and do for others. I have heard from people all over the globe. Your sweet emails of encouragement and love have blessed me. What a beautiful image of how much our God cares for us. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank-You!

Please know, that this song is my prayer. Not for my glory, but to Glorify our God. To seek to serve Christ.

May you be Blessed Richly by our Lord for seeking to serve His Body.

For those of you who have been praying for our Elliott. We went to Emory University Children's Hospital in Atlanta yesterday. Elliott has been officially diagnosed with Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. We are thankful we have finally put a diagnoses on all of his symptoms. To have answers, is a huge blessing, though no parent ever wants their child to be diagnosed with a life long illness. Systemic JIA is the most rare form of JIA. For anyone who wants to read more about it, here are a few links I found that seem to describe it best.



The realities of this diagnoses are grim. And we covet your prayers right now. Elliott's current scripts are not effectively keeping inflammation at bay. His Doctor has increased his dose, in hopes that works. If not, Elliott could have to go on a steroid medication, given either by shots or IV weekly. Not something we want to put him through at all. Also, his vision is being affected. We will be seeing an eye specialist soon. We are praying his prescription that he was just given in June is still good. But, because the inflammation in his body, it is very likely that his eyes are getting worse too.

Though I had done my research and reading, seeing other children sitting in the waiting room at the doctors office with very real, visible disabilities from the same disease my son has been diagnosed with, shook me
up. That is our reality now. And it can be very scary. I am so thankful that our Hope is in Christ. He has given me so much peace.

Elliott turned six years old last week. He has been through SO much for being just six. After our doctors appointment, I decided we needed to have fun. So we spent the day hanging out in Atlanta. It was the first time I've driven there by myself with all four of my children.

I didn't get lost, we made it on time, and I didn't loose any of my children!

Miracles DO happen!

At the end of the day, as the sun was setting and the sky was bright orange,we piled in the van to head home. I was talking to the children about how much fun I had with them. I hear Clara say from the back seat, "You know what was the most fun for us today Mom?", I looked in the rear view mirror, and see her holding Elliott's hand. I smile and say "What?". Her and Elliott say together "Being with YOU!".

I don't deserve them.With a very real diagnoses. With the reality of what we could be facing in the days and years to come. All of it faded with the sun. And my heart warmed up with the reality of how blessed I am to just be with them.

I am so humbled today. Thankful for the opportunities to serve others and serve our Lord.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


First let me just say a huge Thank-You to Kelly Stamps from Kelly's Korner Blog.
I contacted her, and she so sweetly (and quickly) posted a link to my blog about the card drive
for the Rose Family. Kelly, you are so sweet, and such a blessing to SO many.
Thank you for using your blog to minister to others and not just for personal gain or fame!
I truly appreciate you being so genuine and transparent. That is why your blog means so much
to so many. Because you give, and help, and share.

And a HUGE Thank you to all of you who have contacted me about participating in the Card Drive.
We are on our way to having enough people to send them a card a day for the next year. We still
have plenty of room, so by all means, if you want to join in just send me an email!


Onsby and his boys Thank-You. He has been so encouraged and overwhelmed knowing so many people are praying for his family. He asks you continue to pray about his job situation. His current employment is not conducive to being a single parent. He needs to be able to be a Father to his boys. He has a possible job opportunity  and it is his dream job, and would afford him time to be with his boys. Would you pray God would move in that situation, and that he would be offered the job? Thank you so much.

Julie's Memorial Services are coming up at the end of this week. Pray for strength for her husband and boys as they mourn their loss. Pray God's Peace and Presence would be felt for all who attend.
Thank-you dear ones!

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 
Romans 8:28

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Card a Day

I shared about a dear family The Rose Family here. Julie passed away unexpectedly last week. She always made time for others, when our son was in the hospital she made a beautiful card for him, and a note for me. It meant so much to me. In an effort to encourage her boys and share stories of their mom,
 I decided to do what she did best. Encourage through a written card or note.

I am organizing a card a day for the Rose Family. I hope to get enough people to send them a card a day for the next year. If you knew Julie you could share a story, perhaps send a picture. Everyday I would like her boys and husband to receive a special card/letter about Julie. If you did not know Julie personally, just sending a card to let them know you are praying for them, and how much they are loved, would mean ever so much. Let's shower this family with special cards and notes for the next year.

Also would you commit to pray for the Rose Family on your assigned "Card Day?". I want Onsby
(her husband) to know that everyday for the next year, they are being prayed for.

I am putting together a master list, all you have to do is email me that you would like be a part of this at:

bethanyhartman31 at gmail.com

In the Subject line simply put "A Card a Day".

I will send you an email back as soon as I compile everyone's requests.

Please share this with your friends, this blogging community has been such a blessing to our family.
I hope to be able to bless the Rose Family through it.

*Edited to Add:
 A Trust Fund has been set up for her boys.
It is through Bank of America. You can go into any Bank of America, and simply state you want to make a deposit to Onsby C.Rose

Or you can make a donation via Paypal. All you need is his email address, posted below.

Here is a link to Julie's obituary.

Thank you friends!

Friday, October 19, 2012

"I am your comfort"

Do you ever look ahead in your daily devotions? I remember doing so last week. I saw the Title's of  the coming week's devotions:

"I am your Comfort", "You are valuable", "The Good Shepherd", "Be real", "Tell it to me",
and "Joy in your Hardest Day".

The thought washed over me. "Whoa, Lord, prepare me for what I'm going to face next week, because these devotions always end up speaking directly to me, and next week looks like it could be rough."

Maybe that seems a little extreme  But, the in the past, every time we open our devotions book that I read with the Children, I am always amazed at how it's like God is speaking right to me.

In the matter of a minute, a very dear families life changed yesterday. I was sitting in the hospital with Ry, frustrated that we had been waiting for three hours, and had yet to see a doctor. My Dad called me, and I hit ignore, there was a huge sign that said "No cell phones!".

But, when he called right back, I knew something was up. Considering I'd been waiting forever, I decided to act like I didn't see the bright orange bold print sign, and answered the phone.

I could not believe what he was telling me.Our sweet friends, with four darling boys, close in age to our four children. Who we spent days playing together in the back yard, had them over for bonfires, sat together at concerts, toted each others kids to church. Never knowing that in just a few months, life for them would change forever.

 I could not catch my breath as my Dad informed me that, "Julie (their Mamma)  passed away". I hung up the phone, fighting tears, my heart breaking for those precious boys, and their Dad, Julie's husband.

 Please be praying for Julie's husband Onsby, and her four boys, Aidan (9) Timothy (7), Elijah (3) and Collin (14 months). This blogging community has been such a blessing to us, lifting us up in prayer. May I ask you to do the same for our friends.

"I am Your Comfort"

"The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with other in trouble"-2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"This world is tough. Some days your spirit can really take a beating. Some days you just need to be comforted.

Because I am always with you, it takes only the slightest glance in My direction-the softest whisper-to connect you with Me and My comfort. I wrap you up in My arms so that you are protected from the kicks and punches of this world.

I comfort you, and then I bless you with the ability to comfort others. You see, I am the God who can bring good  out of all things. Out of your hurts, I give you understanding-an understanding of how others are hurting-and an ability to comfort them."

~Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles. Psalm 34:4-6

Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always. Psalm 105:4

 If I get any more details on tangible ways to help them I will pass it along. 
Thank you dear blogging friends.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Running thoughts...

I really enjoy running. It's one thing that I can do by myself, I can think, pray, and enjoy nature around me. (A practically impossible task if you have four little's around you all day long.)

I don't run everyday, and I don't obsess over it. When I get the chance, I run. I've had many thoughts lately while running. Sometimes just pouring out to God my heart ache. I think about how I can share that with others. There is such a fine line between sharing openly and honestly about what God is doing in your life, and not distracting from just that. 

 A dear friend shared with me how she would like to be honest about her past experiences on her blog, and I could so relate. It's hard to share honestly, and openly. Without upsetting those close to you, because, lets face it. Not all things "Honest" are pretty. But, God can and does make them beautiful in time. And it's when you have that perspective that you really want to share it with others, to give them hope. I have seen God take ugly situations, down right evil things, and use them for His Glory. I believe that is what can give others hope. It gives me hope! 

The past few years have been So.Hard. Just the other day, I broke down. Again. Tears would not stop.

I literally walked outside to take the trash out,turned around and ran. I ran hard, and long.(Don't worry, Daddy was home with the children)

I had thoughts running through my mind. And the one lie that Satan often likes to feed me is:

"Why does EVERYTHING have to be SO HARD!". 

It's easy to compare your life to others, and think about how it seems like other people just have life so easy. Or so it appears. But, the more I ran through that thought (no pun intended), I realized what a huge lie from Satan that really is.

Why should it not be hard? I mean, the good things in life, are worth fighting for. And these trials, just give me a small glimpse of the suffering Christ went through on the cross, for me. It also makes me more aware of other people's suffering. Makes me love others, and have more compassion.

I won't lie and say that everything after that run was rainbows and unicorns, or I'd found the pot'o'gold and life was magical. 

It's still hard.

It's daily, hourly, minute by minute renewing my mind. Putting off the bad thoughts, and renewing my thoughts.

With these Truth's:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 

Abide: To wait for
To endure without yielding
To bear patiently
To accept without objection
To remain stable or fixed in a state
To continue in a place
Synonyms: Stay, continue, bear

Why should we abide? What is God's promise?

11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

He will bring joy. Out of our suffering. Joy will come. And not just a little, but FULL! 

Later in the verse he talks about loving others. Interesting that producing fruit, bearing and abiding, goes hand in hand with loving others. It's when we focus on others, that our needs and problems don't seem so big. 

While in the PICU with our son I was made very aware of how our community is suffering. No one wants their child to be in the PICU. No one is prepared for their child to be there. I saw pain and suffering, in third world countries, and had no idea that it could exist in the same way in my own local Children's Hospital PICU. My heart aches, and broke for so many other Mamma's who are waiting by their babies bed sides. Wearing the same clothes for days,one mother had her child's vomit all over her shirt, for three days I saw this woman. No clothes to change into, no family close by, no car as they had traveled hours via ambulance. No phone charger, and no way to make a long distance call. No money for food,who thinks to grab your wallet in an emergency? As I talked to nurses, this is not an uncommon occurrence. Actually, it happens every day. I am working now to make changes. I'd appreciate your prayers as I work to raise awareness, and rally the community to make a difference for others, in their time of need. I would so appreciate your prayers as I take on this project.

And there is a few of my Running Thoughts lately.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." 
John 15:12

Monday, October 8, 2012


Note: I wrote this before Riley's accident. I had planned to publish it Friday night. So here, finally, is a post about our memorable vacation. ;)

So. We have recovered from our "Vacation".

 I've debated, "Do I share the nitty gritty details of our trip?"
(no pun intended, but holy batman, we had sand in our teeth on the drive home...very nitty gritty.)

Or "Should I leave out the bad parts?"(Ever seen a four year old have a panic attack? NOT pretty!)

Or "should I just pretend like everything was rainbows and unicorns and post a slideshow of pictures?"


I suppose in life we could focus on the crappy stuff. But everyone has to deal with that. I've learned through these struggles we've been through, that everyone is dealing with something.

 I can focus on the hard stuff.

Or I can say, forget it. And treasure the good moments.

We did have good moments of our vacation.

We might of fled to the pristine beaches with full abandon.

 Because the campsite only made it seem like a hellish experience.

And like only those beautiful beaches can do, they washed away all the ugly.

The waves brought peace. And in those moments life was magical.

At one point I said. "Who needs a campsite, lets just sleep out here!?". I realize I was only saying that because I knew as soon as we returned to the campsite, mosquitoes, tears, arguing, dogs barking, and raccoon's (oh,the raccoon's!)  would reign down their terror and I'd be begging to hang a white flag and say
 "We give up!", pack our van and get the heck out of dodge.

But, we stuck it out. Sand storm, raccoon's, billions of mosquitoes, sunburns and swollen eyes, panic attacks and all.

 And the only way we were able to is because of this:

Yes. It was this glorious. It looked as though the ocean was fed right from the heavens. 

A few of my favorite memories of our trip were watching our children play sweetly together. Riley always wanting to hold my hand as we walked out onto the beach. Hearing their delight as yet another big wave came that they could ride to the shore. Elliott seeing his name written in the sand (by Clara) He looked at me and said: "Who wrote this?"...I said very seriously: "Oh, I don't know, it was here when we got here, I think someone is in love with you Elliott". He looked at me in shock, completely believed me, and ran to everyone to tell them "GUYS! You won't believe it! Someone is in LOVE with ME!". We laughed so hard. Watching Jackson body surf for the first time, and catching on like a pro. Me almost stepping on a pretty good size sand crab. Reading bible stories by flashlight. Hearing the waves hit the shore, and my four little's snoring, was music to my ears. A branch fell out of a tree (like 60 feet up) and landed RIGHT on Brandon's foot. Elliott was inches away. If it had hit him in the head, surely we would have ended up in the ER. We were SO thankful...and had a good laugh after the fact. Only on our camping trip.I told you the campsite was evil. Thankfully his foot was fine. And we fled to the beach asap before another branch fell and impaled someone.

So here you go, a slideshow of pictures! Yes, I am choosing to forget the not so lovely parts of our vacation and highlight the beautifully magical times. 

Thank you for your prayers for our Riley. He is still on pain medication, and has labs tomorrow 
(Tuesday at 10am to be exact). Keep praying his hemoglobin numbers are up! Baby boy lost quite a bit of his own blood, and it's taking longer than expected for his numbers to come up. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


We are home now from the hospital. Thank you for the prayers!

I've had people ask what happened so I thought I would post the entire story here.

On Friday night, I put the boys to bed, and headed to bed myself. At 10:15 pm, I heard a "thud" followed by a scream. I met Riley in the hallway, he had fallen from the top bunk. (no, he is not supposed to be up there, but he crawled up to sleep with Jackson.) He was screaming, and holding is stomach. I picked him up, and headed to our bedroom, laid him on our bed, and got his inhaler (he was wheezing from crying/screaming) and the motrin. Gave him both, and looked over him well. He had no bruising, but we could not get him to settle down. He kept saying his tummy hurt. I called the pediatrician, they told me a list of symptoms to look for, and he had none of them. They suggested to just bring him into the office in the morning (they are open on Saturday mornings). But, if I felt like he needed to be seen asap, to take him to the ER. I hung up the phone, he had drifted off to sleep, but was whimpering in his sleep. His color was strange, a white/grey/green. I decided to take him to the ER. I just did not have a good feeling.

When we arrived at the ER, there were five police cars in the parking lot, and a man on the ground in handcuffs. It was about 10:45pm. I didn't want to get out of the van, for fear that a crazy person could be loose in the parking lot! There was a nurse outside on the sidewalk watching it all go down, and he came out to the van and helped us inside. I got to the front desk and told them "My son is having difficulty breathing,he has asthma, and fell out of his bed, he says his tummy hurts too." I know that was God that had me say it exactly like that. Because, if I had just said "He fell out of his bed, his tummy hurts". We would of been told to take a seat,would have waited hours to be seen, and the outcome could have been horrific.

The same nurse who walked us in, took his vitals.

His blood pressure was high, but everything else was fine. The nurse said it's not uncommon when you are in pain to have high blood pressure. Typically at this point they send you back to the waiting room to wait for a triage space to open. This nurse looked at me, looked him over and said "His color is off. I'm taking you right back."

We got back to a room, and Riley was dozing in and out of sleep, his vitals were okay, blood pressure was still high. He kept complaining he was hurting, then he started to cry again. I went and found his nurse (His name was Brandon, God knew I'd need to remember his name.) he came in, and literally ran for the doctor.

The doctor came right in, she looked him over, felt his tummy, and said he needed a lab draw. From that she said she would know if he would need a CT scan. I honestly thought the lab draw would come back fine. And we would head home with a "He fell, and has a bad bruised rib" diagnoses.

His labs came back, his liver enzymes were high. They quickly took him back for a CT scan. What I thought was strange was that Riley slept through it ALL. He was totally lifeless. And so pale. Hindsight, I should have asked them to take his blood pressure. They finished his CT scan, he stayed asleep through it, we went back to his room. The doctor came in not five minutes later and said "Mom, I need to talk to you in the hall." At the same time about eight nurses came into the room, carrying all kinds of things. They took his blood pressure, and I heard someone yell "Unstable!". I stood in the hall while the doctor told me he had a category 4 lacerated liver, he was bleeding internally, and would be transported via ambulance (lights and sirens) to the Children's Hospital in Macon (45 mins away). That he would likely need surgery upon arrival.

I walked back into his room, he was still so peacefull and sleeping. I called Brandon, in shock. Attempted to tell him what was going on. Unlike so many other times, I had not called/texted any family members. I mean, I really thought he would be just fine. And did not want to worry them if it was just a bump/bruise. Brandon contacted family, and I watched a crew of nurses/EMT's prepare to transfer my "Unstable" baby.

By that point his blood pressure and heart rate were all over the place. They decided that Brandon the nurse, would go with us in the ambulance. They had two IV's in him. Why? Because, Brandon actually worked at the children's hospital on the trauma team. He just "happened" to be in Warner Robins Friday night to pick up some extra hours. He knew they would need to put two iv's and pump him with fluids to keep him stable, and prepared for surgery.

Upon arriving at Children's we were met by a team of 9 surgeons. They were waiting for us. Riley was dozing in and out of sleep. The doctors were all on their computers/phones consulting with other doctors and looking at the CT scan over and over. Trying to decide what to do. He was stable after getting so many fluids. They told me the many risks of doing surgery, and the chance that he might stop bleeding and not require surgery at all. We decided it best to wait 24 hours. In the meantime, they put him in intensive care. Did labs every two hours, and checked his blood pressure regularly. He was on blood pressure medications, Morphine for pain, and vitamin K. Oh, and he could eat and drink nothing for at least 48 hours.

By the time we got to Intensive Care it was about 5am. We were both exhausted. He slept most of the day Saturday. Giving us more than a few scares with his blood pressure/heart rate. I could not sleep a wink. Every time the monitor went off, my heart sunk. By Sunday he seemed to be rounding a corner. Though labs were not better, they weren't worse. He was still very tired, and dozing in and out of sleep all day.On Sunday night we were moved to progressive ICU. They put us in the biggest room on the floor because the charge nurse really thought we'd only be there one night. Riley's labs showed his hemoglobin was still very low, and taking a while to come up. So they kept him till Tuesday afternoon.

We are SO thankful to be home. He is on strict activity for 8 weeks (Ie: can't do ANY physical activities) We go to the doctor tomorrow morning, for more labs to make sure he is getting better. And we follow up at Children's Hospital in two weeks for another CT scan to make sure it's healing properly. Pray he does not do anything to rupture it again.  Life is so fragile and a gift, and though I've always known that, this past weekend I learned it first hand.

When the doctors came to discharge us, the doctor looked at me and said "Mrs. Hartman, you are a very lucky Mom. Had you made the choice to just let him go back to sleep, you would of had a very different week."  I then listened as he and the students talked about the "What if's".

The doctor said lets play devils advocate for a moment: "What if she had just had a glass of wine, she had friends over, she heard her son goofing off and fell out of the bed, she called the pediatrician, he was ticked she woke him up at 11pm, he told her to bring him into the office in the morning. She put him back to bed, went on with her party of friends."

 A student piped up. "His blood pressure would of continued to drop."

 Another student "He would of kept bleeding internally,while his organs shut down"

Another "He would not have woken up, and been in septic shock."

Another "By the time the mother woke up, her son could of been gone for hours."

At that moment the pediatrician looked at me and said:

"Mrs. Hartman, we are glad you are taking your son home today. You were right, remember this :"The pediatrician did not give birth to your son, you did. Always follow your intuition.".He shook my hand, patted my shoulder, and left the room.

That my friends will make any mother weep. I had not let myself think of the "What if's".

I know that none of the "happened to be's" were accidents. God had his hand on our boy.
 And we are just so thankful he is home, on the road to being healthy again.

Edited to add:
If your a mom, reading this, please, always go with your gut (no pun intended.). Ask God for wisdom and discernment, and then do whatever you have to do. I had a doctor tell me, "If you take your child to the ER, and they dismiss you, go to another ER!". I honestly don't think I would have ever thought of that. But, now, I know. If you think the ER you are at does not know how to handle a pediatric emergency  request a transfer to a children's hospital. If you live close to a children's hospital, don't waste your time with a local ER, drive to the children's hospital and go through their ER! Riley let the doctors push all over his little tummy, and told them it didn't hurt. But I could see him holding back tears. He just didn't want them to poke him more, and was scared, and is SO SHY! As soon as they left the room, he burst into tears saying how bad they hurt him. That is when I walked out of his room and found his nurse, and told him how much pain Riley was in, and in a sudden moment everything changed.
You know your child, you know when they are hurting, don't let anyone that does not know your child tell you differently. You are their advocate and voice when they can't speak up for themselves.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


For those of you who follow this blog. Our youngest son had anaccident Friday night. Hefellout of thetop bunk bed.He lacerated his liver and has been in the hospital, initially in critical care. We have been moved to progressive care.He is on the mend but still has a few hurdles. Prayers are coveted. Thankyou!