Steve’s Health Update

Steve and Teri Maxwell

Thank you so much for your prayers and kind cards. We thought this would be a good time for an update. I’m feeling totally back to normal.

In general, there isn’t much of a recovery from an angiogram and stent. I wasn’t to lift more than ten pounds for four days, and that was it except for no dental procedures or MRIs for three months.

However, following the angiogram, two stents, and eight hours in bed, when I got up, I had an unexplained but very significant weakness in my legs. I felt as if my legs had aged 20 years. The doctor said the procedure could not have caused it. Gratefully, within a week, that was totally resolved on its own.

Stents do not fix heart disease, they are only stop-gap solutions and do not extend life expectancy. If lifestyle changes aren’t made, you become a “stent frequent flyer” or crash. Even though the American Heart Association would have approved of my previous diet, clearly it needs improvement. (I can’t even remember the last time I had a Big Mac or similar.)

We have been praying and doing research, and we have a diet plan. We have begun making radical changes and will refine it over time. (We will share what we settled on later.)

Also, my weight had crept up over the winter to 188, currently 184, and with God’s grace, I’m targeting less than 165.

Since I originally mentioned this, it has been amazing how many stories I have heard/read of heart attacks and strokes about people who were much younger than I am and had no clue they were at risk. One thing I have heard several times is that the first symptom for 50% of those with coronary artery disease is a heart attack, and 50% of those don’t make it to the hospital alive, although better sources say Angina is usually the first symptom. (That is what I had.) We have also read that the United States has 50% of the world’s heart disease (courtesy of the Standard American Diet (SAD)) and only 5% of the population.

Finally, Teri and I are delighted to have fully resumed our daily exercise. 

In Christ Jesus,

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and
that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

The Missouri River Floods

Our town is nestled right on the bank of the Missouri River. Nebraska is one state north of us, and they’ve had devastating flooding, which translates to our area experiencing some.

After we moved to Leavenworth, there was the Flood of ’93. Since that, we had major flooding only one other time (in 2011). But, here we are again, and the waters have risen to flood stage. Thankfully, it hasn’t seriously impacted things except for flooding some roads, and impacting a business or two, some city areas, and the park. We joined others from the area Saturday who also looked at the flood.

Watching the river swiftly fly by at a speed many times its normal flow felt sobering. One would not want to be caught in the middle of a flood.

Are any of our readers affected by flooding?


Saturday morning, we girls ran down to the park. Normally, we can walk all the way out past the railroad tracks into the park, but that is completely covered with water.

“Save me, O God; for the waters are come
in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where
there is no standing: I am come into deep waters,
where the floods overflow me.”
Psalm 69:1-2

The Empty Spot Left by Susannah, We Care

Today would be Susannah’s 12th birthday. She was Nathan and Melanie’s firstborn daughter who only lived three days. Yet during her life of growing inside her mommy, we all came to love her so much. Little Thumper. The first child, the first grandchild, the first niece, and the first one to leave this earth. Saying good-bye was heart-breaking. Oh how the sobs came, as we let go. Yet, she’s in the most beautiful place ever. Heaven.

Still, there’s an empty spot. One that we will always remember. A daughter/niece/granddaughter who is missing from our physical presence. A gravestone that marks her little life. Pictures and memories. With that loss comes an empathy we’d never had before. One that comes through experiencing that heartache—that deep loss.

So today, while we remember Susannah, we want to tell those of you who are struggling with loss concerning children—we care. Whether it’s infertility, miscarriage, SIDS, or anything else—it hurts—a deep-down, raw hurt.

For those longing for a child, it may seem like everyone else can get pregnant but you. Consider Elisabeth and Zecharias. They were righteous before God. Yet, Elizabeth was barren (Luke 1:7). God used her mightly through the miracle of giving her John.

The “whys” want to spill over, but we can rest in God’s promises. They are sure and true. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

We care about the loss you’re experiencing. Happy birthday, Susannah. It must be a beautiful day in Heaven! “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb … And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:1 and 5).

If you want to see a slideshow of Susannah’s short life, you can find it below (music was written by Joseph, along with the other siblings accompanying).


Random Life from Snow Piles to Hello Spring!

Another month has passed, filled with many joys and challenges. We’re grateful for abundant life that we have in Jesus. It means praising Him in the joys and in the trials!

We put the finishing touches on Mom’s book and sent it to the printer, had a plethora of work, enjoyed family times, walked with Dad through his heart procedure, and welcomed spring (okay, so it’s not official yet but close enough)!

Enjoy a peek into Random Life.


Here aunties’ playtime consisted of making Valentine cards. Jesse, on a break from work, stopped in to see the progress.
Deep work going on
Lots of good times in the snow!
Special ladies’ Bible study where the girls do Bible club — they planned a Valentine’s Day time for the ladies.
Speaking of Valentine’s, this is the day after sale. The girls stocked up on stuffed animals for Operation Christmas Child. Most holidays, they go to Wal-Mart and purchase items on sale for the shoeboxes. It makes it much more cost effective than buying full price!
Ellie is very popular with the kids, and the babies especially adore her.
I mentioned we got lots of snow?
Our side drive makes a pretty grand sledding hill.
Calia helping Anna make dinner
Bethany is now the proud owner of glasses!
Driveway chalk love during aunties’ playtime
Axton’s first Sunday at church. Everyone loved him!
Uncle Jesse reading to Calia (Calia fixed her own hair)
Speaking of Axton, he makes a perfect snuggle baby. Here he is with Mom.
February and March bring quite a few birthdays. One Sunday, we celebrate Ruthie and Elizabeth’s.
Looks like a tug of war — girls against dog. Ellie (usually) wins.
Proofing Mom’s book in final form–in a quiet room and with a mocha–a perfect combination.
Gathering the children for aunties’ playtime (thanks, Anna Marie for this capture)!
Y’all, this looks a little precarious. I guess he wanted a better view of a bird or squirrel.
Mary taking Christmas pictures we received and redoing the spread on our refrigerator.
Enjoying time with Chelsy and Axton (and sad to miss Anna who had work)
Anna and Mary enjoyed an energizing run in Kansas City one day.
These two. They love the sunshine, but Ellie has a hard time sharing the spot.
It feels amazing to enjoy warmer temperatures. Yesterday, the kids played out back after lunch with some of the aunts and Uncle Jesse.

“Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:19

Unexpected Changes

Speaking of challenges and unexpected delays, Dad shared with his Seriously Dad email list yesterday something we thought our male readers might want to get checked out for themselves. See the article. The response to that e-mail was pretty amazing. If you guys aren’t on the Seriously list (e-mails sent weekly), you can sign up on the sidebar of the blog–the little black button that says Receive Seriously.

“So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalms 90:12

Delay for Teri’s Book Announcement

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the
Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Life. You know how it goes. Challenges—victories—mountain tops—valleys.

We are temporarily delaying my mom’s book announcement, originally scheduled for Monday, the 18th. Our printer is backlogged. We’re so grateful for our printer and their company, and we want to give them the time needed to process the projects (we’re also reprinting two other titles). We’re sorry for the delay, but we don’t want to accept pre-orders until we have the confidence of a date. Thank you for your understanding!

Instead of the announcement Monday, I’ll post Random Life!