A Day in the Life of Anna Maxwell

It’s time to share a day in the life of Anna.

This amazing young woman keeps a full schedule, between work and serving.

After Bible time, the girls take a run (side note: between the toe injury and a bad cough, I’ve had to take exercise easy for awhile, so sadly I didn’t join them).

Still smiling after a time-record for the year

Then, they move to the basement for a short workout. This includes box jumps and Russian twists.

After getting ready for the day, Anna settles at her computer and begins work. She works part-time for two companies, and her work load varies based on what the companies have going. At this particular point, she has a pretty full plate. For one of the companies she does help-desk IT support. You may or may not remember, but she became A+ certified a few years ago and has continued to use her skills.

This morning she has a call to make right away, and she spends the next hour and a half working on tickets.

Before she heads to Melanie’s, she prepares leftovers for lunch. Since our microwave died a few years ago (much to Mom and Anna’s gratefulness), we often use the oven to warm lunch.

Both of my sisters have amazing hearts for little kids, and Anna has helped at Melanie’s since January, when Benjamin’s arrival neared. After is birth and early weeks, Anna offered to continue helping, so she generally goes over twice a week for an hour.

Today Anna and Abby are organizing clothes in the basement.Then they take this bike’s kickstand off and put it on another.

After lunch, and between other projects, Anna bakes cookies for a Dad to take to a meeting. Cookie tip for fresh cookies in short order. When you have spare time, make cookie dough, and then take a cookie sheet with a liner (they are a must-have for any kitchen in my opinion: I have the Exopat Matfer, but the price is high now, so maybe they aren’t making that kind: check out the comparable AmazonBasics one: that’s our Amazon affiliate link, see our disclosure), and using an ice cream scoop, drop cookies onto the sheet. Freeze until they’re solid, and then put in a Ziploc bag. Whenever you need fresh cookies, pop them onto the cookie sheet and bake like normal. Do not defrost before baking. You’ll have fresh cookies in less than 10 minutes!

Anna’s back at her desk working. Who wouldn’t like to talk to such a cheerful person?

Since I took pictures on a Monday, you know what Monday means. Aunties’ Playtime at 4. The day is hot, so the girls decide to do water fights.

Click into this picture to see the amazing arc of water going for Joshua’s back. The water time is a soaking success. After dinner and Bible time, Anna finishes her day with balloon practice. She’s extremely talented in this area, and we’re looking forward to the county fair the end of next month.

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time. 
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may
know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Colossians 4:5-6

Three Maxwells Go on a Ministry Trip

Thursday, we said good-bye to Anna, Mary, and John as they left for a several week ministry trip to a location we choose to leave undisclosed for the privacy of the ministry they are serving with. Please lift them up in prayer, for many opportunities to share Christ and for health and protection.

Home is definitely quieter with some gone, but we still have some interesting blog posts coming up!


Frozen custard on the way to the airport :: My sisters are such a joy!
Ellie preferred having her own seat.
Anna and Mary Maxwell
John Maxwell

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Romans 10:15

Menu Planning Alleviates “What’s for Dinner, Mommy?”

Perhaps worse than not knowing what to make for dinner are the sweet little voices asking continually, “What’s for dinner, Mommy?” when you have no answer for them. I discovered a simple solution – weekly meal planning.

Before grocery shopping each week, I wrote out our dinner meals for the following week. Then I printed it and posted it on the refrigerator. I could check with a glance if I needed to defrost meat for the next day’s meal or prep veggies in the morning. Best of all, those children who could read knew where to look for the meal plan. When the pre-readers asked what was for dinner, I usually had already checked and was ready with the answer, but if not, I had it at my fingertips.

With all adults living in our home, we still do weekly meal planning (see the screenshot of my Google Doc spreadsheet below with my meal plans for the last three weeks). I no longer post it on the refrigerator, though. The adults are content to discover the dinner meal when they sit down to eat.

Trusting in Jesus,

Menu Planning with Google Docs

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That
man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
Luke 4:4

God Is More Than Enough

Last summer when I talked to a friend, we discussed books that had impacted our lives. The book she mentioned was God Is More Than Enough by Jim Berg (that’s our Amazon affiliate link; see our privacy policy). I had never heard of the book or the author, but I respected my friend enough to want to read it too.

Think about the phrase “God is more than enough.” Do you believe that? If so, do you live that way? In this book, Jim Berg brings us face to face with those questions and the reality of our answers.

Do you ever struggle with “What ifs” or “If onlys” or “I don’t like” thoughts? Dr. Berg shows that the basis for discontent is unbelief, and gives five compelling biblical statements to combat that unbelief.

What about worry? That is something with which I can struggle. Jim Berg uses the phrase “noisy soul” and “quiet soul.” When I worry, my soul is not quiet. At the root of that worry, is something I don’t believe God for. For example, recently John and Jesse went on a backpacking trip in Colorado for a long weekend. They didn’t have cell signal to communicate with us through most of their backpacking time, and I began to worry about thema noisy soul. I was reminded once again that God is more than enough. With my trust rooted in Him, I didn’t need to worry. Worry doesn’t solve anything, while faith quiets my heart. Prayer, which I can do, cements that trust.

I love having a quiet soul and dislike it if my soul is noisy. If you ever have noise in your soul, I highly recommend God Is More Than Enough as a great book to read this summer.

Trusting in Jesus,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye
shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and
my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

For those of you who have either met my dad or read his books or Seriously e-mails, you know that he’s a man who fears the Lord and loves his family.

My dad has been an awesome role model of what a dad should be. When we were growing up, he always had time for us. He had gentle, kind words to encourage us in the endeavors we pursued. He spent quality time with Mom, taking walks with her, and going on weekly dates during our growing up years. He shouldered the grocery shopping so Mom could have a quiet evening at home (brave guy to take all of us!). He ran errands during his lunch break in Kansas City to help Mom out.

Now, with five adult young people at home, he still has time. His affirmation of our lives is so encouraging, and he provides counsel when we ask for it. He loves his grandchildren, and truly, he has no greater joy than to hear his children walk in truth.

I’ve seen in real life that Dad will do anything for his family. He is an incredible example of a godly man who fears the Lord!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

An extra “Happy Father’s Day” to my brothers, Nathan, Christopher, and Joseph. I delight to see you raising families for Jesus!

Dad and Mom
Dad reading to Tina, Drew, and Betsy
The Maxwell Family

“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man
that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly
in his commandments.”
Psalm 112:1

One Bite at a Time

When the children were little, we had no trouble getting them to eat any leftover sweets we had. Now as adults, who practice more moderation, that can be a problem. A half dozen left-over cookies might sit in the Tupperware on the counter for a week.

Then Anna discovered the solutionbreak them into bite sized pieces. Before long, the left-over goodies disappear.

I wonder if that isn’t what we need to do for projects we are avoiding.  If it is a visible project, it almost seems to look back at us, but we don’t want to tackle it. It is too much, too big, too hard, or too inconvenient.

What if we did what Anna does with left-over cookies or brownies? What if we cut that project into small, bite-sized pieces? Rather than spending 4 hours on it, what if we spent 15 minutes and then put it away until the next 15 minutes became available? Of course some projects don’t work that way, but many might.

For example, to thoroughly clean our refrigerator, it takes about 3 hours. My life and schedule is full enough that coming up with a 3 hour block of time is difficult, but I can usually produce 30 or even just 15 minutes. If I take 30 minutes a day and put it toward refrigerator cleaning, it will be done in 6 days, and if I give it 15 minutes a day, it is 12 days. That is a minimal investment any particular day with a satisfying cumulative result.

What might it be for you? Correspondence, study, meal planning, organizing, dejunking, ironing, cleaning, reading? What do you think? Any big project you could tackle one bite at a time?

Trusting in Jesus,

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6).