Monday, August 26, 2013

He's Waited His Whole Life....

When I met Joel, I didn't know much about baseball.  In fact, I knew so little that I was a Cubs fan just because my dad was and my nickname growing up was Bear. 

The first summer Joel and I dated, he played Black Hills Amateur Baseball (this was the summer before his college baseball program was cut from the University he attended). I fell in love with the game that summer. But mostly, I fell in love with him. (I mean, I seriously wish he would wear his uniform every day ;)

Some of our favorite activities as a family have included the ball with stitches. 

We love going to any major league games preferably the Braves. We try to go to as many Osprey games as possible and if we can, we'll even catch a Mustang game or two each season. 

I played in a recreation league when we lived in Pierre. (Until the time they told me to unhitch the plow!)We played on co-ed teams together too. (Joel always on first, I was always in the outfield)

We have had many memories on the field. Alyn choked on her first peanut in Denver at the Braves vs Rockies game. She even puked all over the couple sitting in front of us... They were NOT happy. Mortifying for young parents but happy she lived. 
We learned how to cheer for the home team (PEA-PEA-PEA.... NUTS-NUTS-NUTS!) and go crazy for the between inning entertainment. 

Little did I know at the time, just loving the game, how much more we would be LIVING the game. 

Last year at this time, we were just finishing up our week at the Western Montana Fair and our Scentsy booth, when Joel got to talking with the 'guy from Dish Network booth.' We knew his wife through church (we co-taught the older kids together). He told us they were having ASA fast pitch try outs the following week and if we were interested, he thought Arly should try out. 

Long story short, I ended up taking Arly to try outs because Joel was out of town. 

The next day we found out she made the team (that took 2nd in State this year!)

We were in this for the long haul. We started bleeding black and blue... 'ahhh Avalanche, you know!'

We knew if we were going to be committed and consumed by softball our family focus had to be on God and our church first. 

That's when we started praying. A lot. Joel has always wanted to be a coach. His passion is ball. His desires to help young kids be better people through this game. Often he would sit down at dinner and say 'hey babe, the so and so coaching position is open. Think I should apply?' Timing was never right. 

But toward the end of the season this summer, The Lord seemed to be pointing Joel in the direction of coaching. Other coaches and parents just started asking him if he was going to be coaching. Before we had ever discussed him coaching the 10u team, I knew in my heart that he would make a great coach. 

He asked me one night if I thought he would be a good coach for these young girls. I told him I couldn't think of anyone better. His heart is full of Jesus and love of the game. 

Tonight was his first day as Head Coach for the Montana Avalanche 10U fast pitch team. It was try-outs. There are 13 players on his team... And 21 girls showed up tonight. I heard many parents on the sidelines say 'man it sucks to be the person who has to tell the girls who didn't make it'. 

For about 2 seconds I thought the same thing. But right after that gut wrench, I thought to myself, Joel is the best person for that job. He is so positive, encouraging and honest. I know that there will not be a girl that doesn't receive a compliment from him. I know that if he has to tell someone that the team doesn't have room for them this year, he will tell them what to be working on specifically for next year. I know that this is not an easy task for him to do (build his team) but I do know he has been and will be spending lots of time in prayer. 

I'm asking you to please say a prayer for him too-- for wisdom and peace. 
He told me two nights ago, with tears in his eyes--- "I have waited my whole life for this!" To be his kids' head coach. 

I melt. 



  1. Congrats Joel!! You will be an awesome coach - you've done a great job with us silly adults - Steve and I have learned a lot from you and Jari and we are blessed to be on your team!! Go get'em and I can't wait to hear about all the fun on Jari's blog!!

  2. OMgosh you have me crying. I am so happy and very proud of Joel. The whole time I was reading this I was shaking my head in agreement with you. He IS the perfect person to be coaching, always SO positive and encouraging, and full of excitement for his passions- jesus being the first of those. I am so proud and happy for all of your family. Mucho love to you!-- Kelly( for some reason this signs in under Bry's name)

  3. Well Congratulations to your family and to your husband! Go Avalanche!!

  4. Oh I love it. What an incredible job for him to do. I love the Lord's perfect timing.