A Cheery Greeting

A cheery “great to see you girls out today” ended a brief two or three sentence interaction with a lady jogger as Mom and I walked this morning. Her spark of joy and comment brightened my morning. Later at home, it was announced that Yellow Freight had arrived. Ah—the sticky tac for the Scheduling Kits was here. I went to the door and exchanged a few words with the driver as I signed the paper. He pleasantly asked me how my morning had gone, which surprised me as most of us are used to the simple, “Hello.”

As I thought about these two situations, I was struck by the impact of something more than a simple “hello.” May each of us reflect Christ’s love to those we see daily.

Joyfully His,
Sarah

An Interesting “Event”

What would you think if you saw a “rope” going across the sidewalk? Well, at first glance it looks like an odd sort of “rope”, but upon closer inspection, you see thousands of little “insects” sliding across the cement.

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Christopher was finishing out his exercise with some stretches, when he discovered these terrible looking insects. He came home, called the widow who lived at that house, and then came to her rescue with insect “killer” spray. From what I heard described, I thought this could possibly be a Moody adventure, so I hurried out with my camera. The lady contacted our local extension office, and they assured her that she didn’t need to be concerned. Farmers will even use these little guys for something beneficial. So although they were pretty disgusting (just be glad you weren’t the cat that stepped in them!), it was nice to know we don’t have neighborhood invaders!

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John helped get this “close up” photo.

Joyfully His,
Sarah

And the Tiling Goes On and On and On

We are still working on the tiling. The family has discovered that tiling is tiresome, uncomfortable, and difficult work that seems to never end, especially when the whole main floor is tile. We are almost finished laying tile, and it looks great, but it still has to be grouted and sealed. Everyone will be glad when this step of the house is completed.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

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Countless buckets of “mud” have been mixed up.

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Extra “mud” has to be cleaned off the tiles and in between each tile. Anna, Jesse, and Mary have done a wonderful job!

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A Note From Melanie

Dear Friends,
I know I don’t often post, but I want to let you know that I do so appreciate all of you who have supported us with prayers and encouraging blog comments over the past many months. We are so very blessed to have you all as friends – even though many of you we have never met face to face.

It seems so amazing to look back at the past year. Just a little over nine months ago we learned that God had answered our prayers for a second child. Little did we know what a journey lay ahead. Now I am writing  with Abigail beside me. What a joy it is that God has given us 7 weeks with her!

I never could have guessed what an adjustment there is to being a mother. The first few weeks were so very hard; exhaustion, physical pain, and then the added challenge of postpartum depression. I’ve never felt so low in my life.

One of the verses I had memorized while on bed rest was: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). It was hard for me to accept that this was the path God had allowed. All the heartache, trials, and pain of the last 2 years seemed rolled into one big package weighing on my heart.

• “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God” – accept what He had allowed in my life.

• “…Casting all your care upon him …” – I sure had plenty of that, for there were moments when I found myself nearly paralyzed with fears and anxiety; from concern for Abigail to worrying about the economic stability of  nation (and everything in between).

• “…for he careth for you.” – Here was the truth I needed to cling to: God cares for me. He would see me through and give me strength and hope for each new day.

It was so weird to feel so low, when I was experiencing a dream come true…
Thankfully, by God’s grace, I am feeling so much better. Now I can look down at our baby girl and with a peaceful heart, rejoice in the gift from God that she is!

I am so grateful for the faithful, loving support that Nathan is for me. He has been so patient, and so faithful to speak truth to me. So many times while I was on bed rest I would tell him, “I think the baby will come soon.” He would simply remind me that the baby needed more time, and, “No, the baby is not coming for a while yet.”  That is the kind of support I need – he is so good to keep me on track.

We are so grateful to the Lord for His mercy to us. What a blessing it is that Abigail made it to 34 weeks gestation. She had such a smoother road than if she had been born at 26 weeks (when I first was diagnosed with pre-term labor). He has sustained us and provided for us through all the bumps and turns. Now He has given us a little girl to raise and love. Praise the Lord!

I love being a mommy! What a joy it is to get to walk into the nursery in the morning and greet Abigail…to sit feeding her and get to gaze at her little face and hold her hand…to watch Nathan holding her and talking to her…to watch her Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousin, hold her…and yes, even to be up in the middle of the night pacing the floor singing to her. What a joy it is to have a daughter!

I know that there are many people with challenges of their own right now. Some may be experiencing what we have gone through – infertility, the loss of a child, complicated pregnancy, hospital time…or many other challenges that are part of life on this earth. I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will be your comfort and your strength, and that you will be able to humble yourself under His hand, throwing down your fears and worries at His feet, gaining a peaceful heart, knowing that God cares for you and lead see you safely through!
Resting in Christ,
Melanie
 

4th of July

For our 4th of July barbecue, we had the joy of having our family together after what seemed to me to be a very long time of not being able to all get together. Our last family gathering with Nathan and Melanie and Grandad and Grandma had been our Resurrection Sunday meal. That may not seem like very long ago for those who don’t live near family, but for us living on the same block, it is a terribly long time.

Just after that last extended-family meal, we headed out for a speaking trip, and Melanie was put on bedrest. Since Abigail has been born, Nathan and Melanie have kept her at home for six weeks. Those circumstances kept us from all being together at one time and place although we have seen each other and been together in various groups during that time.

We rejoiced yesterday to have a new addition to our family at her first Maxwell-family gathering, plus a recovering Grandad who could be there too. I was so excited that I asked someone to take a picture of Nathan and Melanie as they came in the door, and Sarah wanted a whole family photo after we ate.

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Nathan, Melanie, and Abigail arriving
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The whole family
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Anna with Abigail

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4). That is the joy I feel when our family is together.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

The Widow’s Mite

“And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:43-44).

One could hardly imagine walking into a place where the residents are mostly eighty years of age or older, in very poor health, without a home or finances to see this awaiting you.

Abigail's Table

The beloved members of our nursing-home church wanted to have a baby shower for our new, little granddaughter Abigail. This picture is what greeted us, along with the residents and many of the staff, of the nursing home when we walked in Sunday morning. We were overwhelmed with emotion. After church, everyone gathered around the table as Melanie opened gifts, and Nathan held Abigail. Melanie walked around among the residents showing Abigail to them and, of course, they all thought she was so precious. The members of our church have loved and prayed with Nathan and Melanie through Susannah’s death and now Abigail’s birth. Nathan and Melanie take over church the weeks we are traveling.

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The Shower Committee

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With joy, Nathan and Melanie showed everyone their new little girl.

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Abigail was very alert and content.

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Joy lit up their faces as Melanie went around to each one to show them Abigail.

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Pure joy!

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Mary and I with a sweet couple that comes to our service.

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The shower in progress!

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Nathan showing Abigail to another sweet lady, with Anna looking on.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri