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  • Writer's pictureShannon Van Roekel

Bio/March 2018

Welcome! Thanks for stopping in. The account below (apologies!-fairly lengthy) is a roughish description of my life as it sits today and will give you a hint of the type of things you might find more of here.

And THANK YOU to God for His faithfulness for a 32 year old, nicely aged marriage!

We’ve been busy travelling!

Oaxaca was in January for a visit with the Qs with Mosi and Aamina. Fun times at the beach (Puerto Escondido rocks!) and then at Aunty Lila’s house!

Then I (Shannie) spent a long weekend in California at the end of March to (unfortunately) attend the memorial of my friend’s husband. A sad time, but lots of opportunities to pray and fellowship with Janet and her three grown kids.

Finally, Brian and I took off by ourselves the first weekend of April to blast to Kentucky and visit Zach and Meg! Gotta check in on those kids, too, from time to time! It is lovely to observe these two in their patient interaction with each other, navigating the still new and yet-to-be discovered great adventure of marriage. It did our hearts good to behold them and we went home encouraged in their main focus, Jesus Christ and Him glorified--the sure foundation of all successful marriages.

With five kids married and #11 grandbaby making her (or his) debut in the winter, God willing, life is very sweet and full. Somehow my husband and I have arrived at the month of May in the year 2018, and are celebrating 32 years of our own wedded adventure. And what an adventure it has been!

Our resume includes great undertakings and oddities like raising ostriches, homeschooling seven kids, having two books and several articles published (me), hosting copious amounts of people short and longer term in our home, running two businesses simultaneously (him), leading Bible studies, living in Africa for three months with our five biological kids, travelling to Thailand to visit our friends, the Free Burma Rangers, and getting to hike with them in intense heat to a little town on the Thai/Burma border to witness and share as they bring help, hope, and love to oppressed refugees and forever changing how we think when we say the words, “pure religion and undefiled”-(James 1:27).

But to live is to suffer. And we have known our share.

We have been visited by the long shadow of divorce, first my parents, then later a brother, and more recently a sister, suffering the same. We faced a major life crisis when my husband fell 30 feet out of a tree in 2011, now living with, miraculously,nothing more serious than severe headaches from time to time. Then, since we weren’t already busy enough, we decided to adopt our two baby girls on the heels of that incident, at the almost old, but not quite yet, age of 47!

The last seven years have been a roller-coaster ride of parenting we could never have even imagined at.

Only God can paint all that in one marriage and make it come out OK but, miraculously, He did!

It has become evident that God does not lessen the load of life we bear as we age, but rather allows our cup to overflow, sometimes in a ridiculous manner. Sometimes in great weakness and pain, even despair. But He never apologizes. Why would He, when He does all things well. One could say--should say--He does everything perfectly in pure love, the true parent with ultimate power and wisdom! He never makes a mistake. Yes, cancer hits. Car accidents happen. Children are still-born. But God is big enough for it. He isn’t a small God. He isn’t trying to make your life happy (obviously). But He will make it joyful. If you let Him.

He will be worshipped. It is what we were created to do, and so often do wrongly.

He will be glorified. By all. He is Marvelous. He is Holy. He is so merciful, that He provided us Jesus as the sacrificial lamb for all time--in the place on that cross that should have been mine. My sins pinned Christ there; He paid for them, took my judgment, and I was placed in the family of God (aka: Body of Christ/Fellowship of the Saints/Church) when I trusted in that sacrifice’s finished work. Nothing more for me to do. Except bow.

One day I will literally bow with the ALL. Be made like Him when I see His face--glorious hope, giving wings to my oft’ dragging feet.

My heart is full. Thank You, Father, but most of all, thank You for YOU!

In your mercies, use my words to turn people to Your Word.

-Phil 2:1-11, Eph.1:1-23, Rev.21:1-7

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