Surgery Recovery Update from Anna Marie

Dear Friends,

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments, prayers, and encouragement!

Surgery went very well, though due to the continued growth and location of the tumor, the surgeon recommended a more extensive surgery than we were originally hoping for. Christopher and I understood the necessity and agreed that it was best the approach at this point. While the tumor was very close to the chest wall, following surgery the surgeon said it appears that it had not yet penetrated. The surgeon removed some lymph nodes for testing, so once pathology comes back in about a week, we will know the full nature of the tumor and whether it has spread into the lymph system.

I am feeling great other than some muscle-type soreness (feels like I just did a left-armed pushup workout yesterday after not doing them for a few months), but I’m not in pain. That’s what we had heard about the laser surgery from other ladies who had come here, and it seems to be holding true for me as well. We came back to our hotel shortly after surgery, and I’ve been getting good rest, eating well, and have been walking frequently at the recommendation of the surgeon.

We have loved seeing photos and updates of our children’s activities sent to us from Grandma and the aunties. It’s hard to believe Ruthanne turned six years old yesterday! I remember her birth like it was yesterday … only it seems like it was forever ago in many ways. She was thrilled to help decorate cupcakes for her birthday celebration last night (her second celebration since we did our own family party on Saturday)!

Again, thank you all for your support. As I was preparing for surgery and then on the operating table before the anesthesia kicked in, it was overwhelming to think of a world-wide prayer team lifting us up. The Scriptures and encouragement you all shared really encouraged me, along with verses from Psalm 18 which carried me through another day of unknowns exactly one month prior, when Simon Peter entered the world!

Anna Marie

Special birthday lunch with Aunt Anna and Aunt Mary (and Joshua blessing the food)

“For who is God save the LORD? Or who is a rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my
way perfect. He maketh my feet like hind’s feet, and
setteth me upon my high places.” Psalm 18:31-33

Anna Marie is Out of Surgery

Thank you for your prayers! We truly have felt them along with your overwhelming support and encouragement.

Anna Marie is through surgery and working to wake up. The surgery went well. We’ll share more later.


“He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
Psalm 91:4

Please Pray for Anna Marie’s Surgery, Tuesday Morning

10am Central Time update: They’ve just taken her back for surgery, and it’ll be likely 1.5 to 2 hours.

Thank you for your prayers for Anna Marie. Her surgery is scheduled for about 10 am, Eastern time, Tuesday, the 18th.

Anna Marie has a beautiful spirit throughout this whole situation and truly is leaning on the Lord Jesus as her strength.

Thank you for covering Anna Marie, the surgeon, the medical staff, and Christopher in prayer.


“My soul, wait thou only upon God;
for my expectation is from him”
(Psalm 62:5).

Part 6: 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 read the previous five parts, see these links: Part 1Part 2Part 3,  Part 4, and Part 5. To recap, we’ve looked at steps 1-10 of my book writing process.

  1. Ideas
  2. Outline
  3. Character Profiles
  4. Pre-Book Trial Run
  5. First Draft
  6. Editing
  7. Illustrations
  8. Test Families
  9. Copyediting
  10. Cover

Today, I want to bring this series to a close with the last step, what we can call Prepress.

After the manuscript is back from the copyeditor and the changes are gone through, we do more proofing on paper before the final layout in InDesign. Anna often does the layout if she’s available. We also scan in the illustrations and make any adjustments needed in Photoshop.

During this time, I’m working on chapter titles, which do not come easily for me. Often test families will give their ideas, and family members will pitch in too. There is more proofreading in the final layout, checking to see what could have been missed, and making sure the format is how it should be. These times provide amazing opportunities to rest in the Lord, because it’s intense with deadlines.

Once the book goes to press, we will receive two proofs. I get to take a deep breath when I upload the book and enjoy catching up on things I let go. During the press stage, one proof is usually a PDF to make sure the fonts and all the formatting went through properly to the printer’s setup. After the books are printed, we’ll receive another proof. It’s a book that is almost finished just not bound. We make sure everything looks right, because once this proof is approved, well, it’s final. I’ll check to make sure every page is in order, no text is missing, the illustrations and cover look good, etc.

Now, we’re onto the finish line, preparing the book description for the website, getting the product image set, and lining up all the details for the release. Once the book is announced and we have them in hand, life gets busy again as we ship books.

I’m so grateful for my loyal readers, and it’s often I’ll receive a letter, telling their favorite part of one of my books. The sequel to Finding Change is in final outline form, and I really hope to be writing the first draft soon. Due to some work responsibilities and family things, I had to take a mini-break but will be back to it shortly.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and feel free to leave a question in the comment section if there’s something more you’d like to hear about. I also hope this inspires you younger writers! There’s a need for godly reading material that is edifying.


“Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2).

Simon Peter’s Newborn Photos

When Simon Peter was 8 days old, we took newborn photos. Christopher set up studio lighting in his living room, and we went to work. I’d recently purchased some new props and was excited to try them out. We started with a quiet environment as the other five children were at Grandpa and Grandma’s.

We did our standard pose first, wrapping him, and then instead of a basket, we used the new crate. I loved how it turned out.

Simon Peter was such an easy baby to work with, sleeping most of the time. When we added the dynamics of an all-children photo, wow, that was a fun one to do. Then, capturing an entire family photo with some energetic (and tired!) littles–it was such a blast. Thankful for this amazing, happy family!


Simon Peter Maxwell
Mama and her baby
Anna Marie, Simon Peter, and Christopher
Pure, simple miracle
Christopher Maxwell children
Soooo sleepy!
A growing family who loves the Lord Jesus!
Christopher and Simon
To end with, a behind the scenes peek.

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ,
to them that have obtained like precious faith with us
through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”
(2 Peter 1:1)

Surgery Scheduled for Anna Marie Maxwell

You’ll hear from Anna Marie in this post with the latest update. –Sarah

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in Thee.” Psalm 39:7

This journey has so often been one of waiting. And waiting. And more waiting. But as I read the above verse recently, I was reminded that our hope is not in tests, treatments, medical staff, surgeons, pathology reports, etc. Our hope is in the Lord!

That said, we know that God often uses medical teams and are thankful to now have a surgery date set to remove my tumor on February 18th. We are going out of state to a surgeon who specializes in laser surgery. The children will all stay here in the care of Grandpa, Grandma, and the aunties to whom we are very thankful; handing over the care of six children ages seven and under is no small request, but I know it will be a special time for them!

About a week or so after surgery we should have a complete pathology report.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, encouragement, blog comments, etc. I wish I could respond to each of you individually but since time is limited—please know we have read and been encouraged by each one! I know you’ve been praying for us to have peaceful hearts and I can honestly say I have felt the Lord’s peace through this season of change and uncertainty. I still have some times of feeling emotional, yes, but they’re not times of despair or hopelessness. God is faithful; He has shown Himself faithful and He will not change

Looking unto Jesus,
Anna Marie

“As for God, His way is perfect: the Word of the Lord is tried:
He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30

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