Answers to Questions

The question has been posed to me after Jesse’s house purchase: “Sarah, may I ask why you don’t own your own home? What if the Lord has a life plan for you that doesn’t include a husband, why can’t you live on your own and still serve our Lord? I truly am interested in your reasons.”

Plain and simple: the Lord has not led me to, and I don’t desire to own a house. Why would I want to take on the expenses of a home, and live by myself (hey! I honestly love being around my family!)–for what purpose?

It’s also been suggested that I should buy a house and rent it out. That holds no appeal to me. Remodeling projects are not my favorite (I’d rather write!).

Of course, I’m very capable of living on my own. The very word “can’t” implies something stronger. I can, but I choose not to.

Those are my simple answers. I love my life, and I’m so grateful to the Lord Jesus for what He’s given me to do. At the moment, my time is jam-packed between working on my newest book (just finished the first draft last week!), my normal Titus2 work plus part-time bookkeeping for three companies, and preparing talks to go on a ministry trip myself in less than two weeks.

Please note: this is only meant to respond to the questions, and I won’t approve comments that are negative or debating why I’ve made this choice! 🙂 

Love,
Sarah

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto
men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the
inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Colossians 3:23-24

Part 2: The Book Writing Process

“I think it would be very educational (not to mention fascinating) for you to guide us blog readers through the process of writing a book. From the initial idea to the finished product, step-by-step.” A blog reader

To recap, I shared in Part 1 the beginning of the writing process:

  1. Ideas
  2. Outline
  3. Character Profiles
  4. Pre-Book Trial Run

 

The fifth and next step is very important.

First Draft! It’s with great excitement mixed with trepidation that I begin writing. WILL this story actually form? My heart fills with gratitude as the words come, and I quickly become engaged in the story. How can I ever doubt?

I use Pages for writing. I have a document with my complete outline (which I’ve saved multiple revisions of as I created it), and I begin a new document for my book. I copy a portion of the outline INTO my book document, so I don’t have to switch back and forth as I write. I can refer to it and then delete the outline portions as I write them. I love having a whole section done so I can copy in the next part! I save my work to iCloud, and I also save revisions by duplicating the document and changing the number.

The goal of the first draft is to get the story written. Period. The fine-tuning doesn’t happen right now! I become attached to my characters. I picture my scenes as if I was right there in them. I love seeing the story take shape, and I praise the Lord for His overwhelming grace!

Writing!

I find a quiet environment to write in, preferably away from my normal desk. With Sunflower’s Christmas Miracle, I wrote a lot of it at Joseph’s house, when he was away on a trip. I’ve written Moody books on the bus (when it was stationary!), at Joseph’s house before he got married, etc. For my current book, I wrote most of it in our spare room, with a few days at my grandma’s house when we had roofers here.

I turn my phone on airplane mode and turn off WiFi. I can’t stress how important this is! My phone can be such a distraction. Going for several hours at a time without checking e-mail or texts gives undivided attention to writing. Even when I take a break, it’s better to chat with a family member then turn on my phone. If there’s something to research, I generally mark it in my document, because I KNOW if I turn my phone on, I’ll be distracted. I’m not perfect keeping it on airplane mode, but I am very happy when I do!

Ellie is an awesome buddy and enjoys napping while I write, but sometimes she wants to play!

I make writing a huge priority. When God gives me a project and a vision, I work my hardest to get it done. This sometimes means turning down invitations to do something I enjoy. Also, I find if I go out in the morning, it’s much harder to concentrate the rest of the day. (Mom has encouraged moms for years on thisthe encouragement to stay home! If you go out in the morning, you’ll find it’s hard to stay on track for the afternoon!)

If I hit a writer’s block or just a difficult section, it’s okay. Some writing days are slower, but my page count still increases. The goal is to keep writing, even when it’s hard.

Finishing the first draft is an exciting moment! I praise the Lord for His grace and mercy!

Love,
Sarah

Writing on the 4th of July!

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…
But my God shall supply all your need according
to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:13&19).

A Bit Out Numbered

Over the past few days, we had the opportunity to watch Nathan and Melanie’s children so they could have a dinner out and then Christopher and Anna Marie’s. Without Anna and Mary, we are outnumbered, but we still have a blast and manage to get them all fed, cleaned up, play with them, and have Bible time! 🙂

I look at these kiddos and feel so very blessed to have them in our lives. They dearly love their aunts + uncles + Grandpa + Grandma, and it’s a delight to have them around!

Reading books

Dinner time

Tina does so well reading the Bible!

This Benji is such a cuddly “teddy bear”!  

A selfie


Now, onto our evening with Christopher and Anna Marie’s kiddos.

I got a kick out of where Ellie is. She’s very smart and knows where to be for the best positioning of crumbs.

Jesse really had quite a car race going with the girls, who loved it. They can really sail on the basement floor.

Joshua and Grandpa did their own thing.

Christopher and Anna Marie celebrated their 8-year engagement anniversary. What a cute family they have! Do you notice a lot of the kids looking down?

It’s because Arnold was there.

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me:
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 19:14

Jesse’s House Progress

I thought y’all might enjoy seeing progress on Jesse’s house. In between renters, he’s renovating the main bath and master bath!

Talking through things.

 

Some brotherly advice going on here.

I do not have a wide angle, and this is a small space, so it’s hard to show it all! This is the main bath above.

Nathan is there in the master bath.

I love this picture. Drew stopped in with his mommy and was looking around at things.

Abby did a great clean up job!

“I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”
Psalm 77:12

Cherry Stoning

One day early in June, we received a surprise package from Austria. Inside was a letter, a family photo, and a cherry stoner.

The letter was from a long-time blog reader. She shared how she found Titus2.com years ago, how our families differed and how they were the same, and how as a family practice physician she now passes on practical information to her patients that she learned from Titus2.

She said when she read our blog post last year about our cherry pitting, she wanted to get us a cherry stoner from Europe, and that’s exactly what she did! She also shared a family favorite cherry recipe that we want to try.

We weren’t given any cherries this year but we bought some from the store to try out our cherry stoner. Wow! What a great, easy way to pit cherries. Thank you, my friend, for your encouragement and for our cherry stoner!

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground,
and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.”
(Deuteronomy 28:4)

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.