It would be a good time to remind ourselves that the goal of this series is to encourage those parents who are committed to raising children who will want to live debt-free. As we learned, it is far better to be content in Christ than to just be debt-free. Will your child trust Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, to provide for all his needs. Can you imagine what a blessed start in life that would be? Don’t you wish you had had that?
Let’s get real about something. There is no quick-fix, silver-bullet. First there is the heart-work that must be done in a life, which involves a real relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and experience in trusting in His provision. Then we build on that through teaching moments.
This week Teri and I drove to a meeting 5 hours away. Teri’s mom loaned us her car. As I drove that car, I found myself thinking how nice it would be to have a car like that. It was such a pleasure to drive. Teri and I had to remind ourselves that our 2004 Honda Civic is a very reasonable car that gets us around economically. God has provided for all of our needs. He is faithful. Will I rest in His provision or covet in accordance with my wants?
I’m confident you will have daily opportunities to teach your children what it means to be content in Christ. Teach by example that the Lord provides for our needs, not our wants, but there are times that He even blesses us with our wants. That is even more exciting! Praise Him for all those provisions.
Be faithful to continue your weekly meetings and look for weeds in your children’s lives. What are you seeing and what is your remedial plan?
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:3).
It’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on Ellie. She’s as cute as ever and totally growing up. She’ll be a year soon. I have a hard time believing she’s been mine since the end of January. I’m grateful for such a sweet buddy!
Ellie loves people in general, and she enjoys little kids. Calia toddles around jabbering and patting Ellie, who watches her with interest. They’re really cute together. Abby and Betsy can handle Ellie well and enjoy running with her to get some of her energy expended (she still has a lot!). Ruthie loves to feed Ellie treats.
I am still getting over the dog attack and have to take my thoughts captive because loose dogs invariably cause my heart to quicken. It’s a good challenge as I learn to reject the fears and choose to trust the Lord.
“In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.” Psalm 31:1
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Paul finished an insightful list of things that we as Christians should exemplify in our lives such as showing meekness, longsuffering, and forbearance. After that list is the perfect “andbe ye thankful.”
Ungratefulness is ugly, but thankfulness is beautiful. I wanted to share with you certain things I’m thankful for about my family. It’s hard not to duplicate items, as many of the same qualities can be said about each person, but I’ll try to keep them unique.
What I’m Grateful for about the Maxwell Family
Steve and Teri, known to me as Dad and Mom
Their Godly Wisdom
Their Sacrificial Love
Their Wise Counsel
As an encouragement to all the young parents out there, don’t give up. Keep praying, loving, exhorting, and setting the example for your children. My parents’ investment in our lives can’t be put into monetary value; it’s that precious. When they were in the trenches, it might have seemed like an eternity until we were all adults, but here we are, 20 to almost 40, and serving Jesus faithfully. Don’t give up or let the world tear you down. It’s plain work!
Nathan, my oldest brother, his wife, Melanie, and their children, Abby, Betsy, Tina, Drew, and Baby
Their Giving Hearts
Nathan and Melanie are a strong example of courage and trusting the Lord. They’ve been through hard times: losing their first-born daughter and challenging pregnancies and dramatic births laced with many unknowns. Instead of focusing on loss or fear, they have chosen to trust and rest.
Christopher, my second oldest brother, his wife, Anna Marie, and their children, Joshua, Ruthie, Liddy, and Danny
Their Love of Children
Their Faithfulness in God’s Word
Their Family Projects
It’s no secret that Christopher was a handful of a little guy when he was young, so I love seeing him as a dad raising his children. Christopher is an awesome example of involving his children on Saturday work projects. Anna Marie loves children and babies and doesn’t complain about her varicose veins.
Joseph, my brother in line right under me, his wife Elissa, and Calia
Their Love for Ministry
Their Delight in Blessing Others
Their Joy in Raising Their Daughter
It’s so special to see the great love and enthusiasm Joseph and Elissa have for their little girl. She is clearly the apple of their eye. This dynamic family loves to minister.
His Protection With His Truck Accident
His “We-Can-Get-This-Done” Attitude
His Applying Himself to Hard Projects
John actually topped Christopher as to how challenging of a youngster he was (As a little boy, he really did say that HE was going to let his kids climb the bathroom shelves and eat toothpaste!), so I am thankful for the maturity he has gained with age. Moms, that means there is hope for your mischievous child. John has a tender heart for his nieces and nephews and delights in spending time with them.
Her Servant’s Heart
Her Amazing Cooking
Her Love for God’s Word
Anna is a beautiful Proverbs 31 woman. She honestly jumps on any opportunity to serve her sister-in-laws, regardless of her own priorities. I love to see her faithfully getting up early on Sunday mornings to spend extra time in God’s Word.
His Extraordinary Heart for the Unborn
His Thoughtful Advice
His Work Ethic
Jesse is a powerhouse of godly wisdom. If you ask his opinion, you can expect his answer will be well-thought out and based not on what might tickle your ears but what he believes God’s Word teaches. He’s also extremely hard-working with his job.
Her Tender Heart
Her Out-of-the-Box Creativity
Her Love for Children
Mary is another beautiful Proverbs 31 young lady. Her heart’s cry is to serve the Lord Jesus in whatever ways she can, and she certainly lives it out. I don’t think one can judicially pick which aunt is the most fun: Mary or Anna. They both are such a blast.
Yes, I can’t forget my sweet puppy. She’s brought such fun moments into life and taught me many lessons as well.
Sarah (yep, that’s me!)
I am grateful for our blog readership and a platform to share our joys and sorrows in life as we encourage each other in Jesus. Thank YOU!
Most of all, I’m grateful for Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and the sins of those who will accept His free gift. This life is so temporal, and we don’t know how many years we’ll have.
Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
In closing, I echo what Romans 8:38-39 says with a very grateful heart: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Recently the girls and I were able to give Melanie a day away. That day came with some special perks since we did school with the children, normal chores, meals, clean up, and naps—the usual daily routine so that Mommy didn’t have to come home to a messy house, a day of school to catch up on, and cranky children.
I took the first shift from 9:00 to 11:30 (at 11:30 I have playtime with another set of grandchildren), and Anna came to make lunch and have the afternoon shift. The other time we did this, Mary took over mid-afternoon.
This time Mary was Melanie’s shopping assistant. Melanie wanted to do clothes shopping for the children with her time away, and Mary has a great eye for color and style. Mary and Melanie shopped, ate lunch out, and were back mid-afternoon.
Then Melanie went to my mom’s house for a nap and some “office-type” activities for the rest of her afternoon off.
These mommies with young families work so hard all day, every day. It is a joy to be able to let them have a little break.
Trusting in Jesus,
“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them” (Psalm 103:17-18).
For several years, we’ve enjoyed watching the Bible Bee live. It’s amazing to watch these young people, who have memorized hundreds of verses, recite with the joy of the Lord. We’ve wanted to attend, but it hasn’t worked out until this year! John, Anna, Jesse, and Mary are enjoying it in person. We’re so excited for them!
Here are some pictures, and I’m sure we’ll have more later.
If you want to encourage your children in memorizing God’s Word or you yourself want to be encouraged (I know I am every year!), tune into the Bible Bee live today and tomorrow as they narrow their contestants down. It’s also a joy for us as we know Titus2 ministry followers who participated.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
I just spent a delightful weekend relaxing in the country with a friend and her family. This trip has been planned since August, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I had completed an intense 10 days–filled with wrapping up a major Titus2 project, which we’ll be announcing soon. I’m super excited about it; although it’s not a children’s book. It’s one that my mom has been working on for months.
My time of R&R was amazing as I rested and had awesome fellowship. I felt refreshed and ready to jump back into life again.
“My times are in thy hand …” Psalm 31:15
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.