Content in Christ: Debt Free – Time

God created time. Time used wisely coupled with God’s gracious provision, enables our children to be content in Christ. It is the universal bank account that puts everyone on the same level. We each have twenty-four hours a day to draw from and invest. At the end of the day, week, month, year, lifetime: what will we have to show for it?

It’s a trade, the most basic of all transactions. Read about successful people and men devoted to the Lord. I dare you to find one that squandered his time. When I was young, I traded my go-cart for a ball glove to a teenage neighbor. I mistakenly thought, “The go cart won’t run, so what good is it?” I didn’t value my go-cart as I should have, and I made a bad trade. Today, it seems, so many squander their time away on poor trades.

Some say that self-discipline/will power is the greatest predictor of individual success, even beyond intelligence. I certainly agree. However, in addition, I have to wonder if the driving force behind self-discipline might be how much a person values his time on earth. Possibly for Christians, the next step up is our level of desire to please our Lord in all things. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Will we teach our children to value their time? Productively using one’s time is vitally important in having the funds needed for life. That is foundational in being content in Christ and that is a powerful motivator for self-discipline. Learning to spend their time productively will provide dividends that those who spend their time on entertainment will not receive.

Follow-on thought for Dads.
We often receive e-mails from frustrated, struggling moms who are drowning in desperation. They know that their children are suffering from lack of a productive home and will have lifelong consequences as a result. They want to believe managing their lives is possible. Of those who purchase Managers of Their Homes, we know that some number will still needlessly struggle to be successful. The book is capable of helping them as it has tens of thousands of moms, but what is missing is their husband’s support. Many husbands don’t value time, a peaceful, productive home, and their family pays the price.

An example is bedtime/wakeup time (BTWT). We often hear how a husband likes to stay up watching the news or movies and won’t go to sleep nor get up at a consistent time. We have found over the years that BTWT is the single, biggest predictor of a mom’s success in managing her day. Yet, Dad won’t inconvenience himself to have the discipline to go to bed and get up when he should in order to be an example, leader, and help to his family.

Valuing time is critical to your children’s success. If you aren’t consistent with BTWT, I would encourage you that it is time to begin. Support your wife by being consistent. Your children’s futures are worth it. Don’t you agree?


“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 5:16

Stainless Steel Versus Black – Eight Years Later

Eight years and nine grandchildren later, we are very pleased with our choice of using stainless steel appliances. On the blog, we asked readers before we purchased our new appliances to give us input on black versus stainless steel for appliances. What were the advantages and disadvantages of each. We were told that the main negative for stainless steel was how it smudged and showed fingerprints. (If you would like, read the first post and the comments, and then read the follow up post.)

We decided to go with the stainless steel, and I have been delighted with the way my kitchen looks. I love the crisp, modern look of the stainless steel while fitting in with our light oak cabinetry.

We haven’t found the stainless steel to be any more difficult to keep clean than our other colored appliances were. We give them a weekly cleaning using Better Life Stainless Steel Cleaner from iherb (that’s our reward link which will bless our family with 10% rewards when you purchase). Then we will do touch ups with a damp dish rag if needed, but that really isn’t very often.

I am glad that we decided to get stainless steel appliances.

Side note: The negative side might be the Make. We have had to keep a maintenance policy on the refrigerator due to its “reliability,” and the microwave has died.

Trusting in Jesus,


“That our sons may be as plants grown up in
their youth; that our daughters may be as
corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.”
(Psalm 144:12)

Couples’ Date Night

Last year, Anna and Mary initiated a Maxwell married couples’ date night. They wanted to see all the married couples go out to eat while they babysat the children. It was a resounding success.

They wanted to see it happen again this year so with a new baby due in March, they decided to try to get it scheduled right away, which isn’t always easy with four families involved. The group is now 9 strong (well, that’s 9 nieces and nephews!), full of life, and the aunts and uncles have a blast with them.

Coloring time!

The nieces and nephews out number their sitters.
Bible time–3 to 1!

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing,
and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22 

Christmas + Family

Hello to January! It’s amazing to think the new year has begun. 2017: I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store.

But first, I want to catch you up on our Christmas celebrations. I seriously took hundreds of pictures, and narrowing them down was next to impossible, so I asked Mary to help me.

We’re very blessed to be able to spend time together celebrating Christ’s birth. What a wonder!


::: Christmas Eve Day :::

A delicious buffet breakfast, including cinnamon rolls Mary made.
Ellie was very pleased about her gift from Abby and promptly took it back to her crate to protect it.

It was darling to see the little girls’ enthusiasm and love of gifting!
Drew wanted to see Calia’s gift.
Nathan + Melanie + Baby
Gotta love Drew’s hat!
A selfie in action!
John + Betsy

Buddy + Jesse
The train set was a huge hit!
Tina with new puzzles.
Tina + Elissa
Mom and GiGi
I loved seeing Dad (Grandpa) playing with Bethany.
Mary’s chalk work!
John did a great job with our Christmas ham.

Calia and me
Jesse and Joseph accompanying our little Christmas program
Anna Marie + Danny
Now how much cuter can you get than this? Calia wanted to help Uncle Jesse play the piano!

::: Christmas Day :::

The guys traditionally make breakfast: sausage gravy over biscuits. Delicious!

Not much guessing here.
I discovered recently I don’t have any good, small bags for short trips, so now I’m all set!

Some of us like this game 🙂
John joins the Apple Watch club.

The espresso machine was definitely needed. See below photo.
The old one was literally falling apart.
I enjoy using photos as my to/from tag. The short version of how I make them: I pick out pictures (key is good ones!) of people, and then go to Photoshop, resize my picture to be small, and drop it on theirs.
Some of us went together and bought Mom a desk.

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”
Matthew 2:10