All posts by Sarah Maxwell

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.

Love,
Sarah

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!

Love,
Sarah

Teri’s New Book Announcement Coming Monday, March 18th!

Ladies, we have some very exciting news. My mom, Teri, has been working on a book since last summer, which is currently at the printer! She poured her heart into this project, which comes from many years’ experience along with being a Titus2 mentor to countless.

We’re so grateful to the Lord for His enabling grace to help this project come to completion. We’ll be announcing the title, sharing many details, and launching pre-orders next Monday, the 18th. So watch the blog or the main page of Titus2 the 18th.

Read these thoughts from test readers:

Yet another thought-provoking, practical book by Teri Maxwell.
She once again delivers biblical insight and Scripture to offer help. Nancy

Teri lays out key ingredients that are vital to help us
personally grow in our relationship with God. Michelle Duggar

Mrs. Maxwell writes from personal experience as well as from
a Titus2 woman’s point of view. Everything that is written
can be backed up by Scripture. Johnna

Steve and Teri Maxwell
Steve and Teri Maxwell

“She looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
Proverbs 31:27

Overcoming Procrastination

Just do it. The simple cure for overcoming procrastination is just to do it. Recently, there was something I had put off for a few months. That something was giving a gift to a neighbor who had helped me. It occasionally came to mind, which made me feel guilty but just as promptly, with an excuse, I’d push it out of my thoughts. I’d get to it sometime. Last week, as I again had the thought, I realized, This is ridiculous. I can deal with this right now. No more putting it off.

I got the gift ready, put it in a bag, and walked over to their house. It took me all of 15 minutes to get the project done. You know how nice it felt to have that behind me? Really awesome.

Now, granted, not all things one procrastinates on are as simple as a 15-minute project. But with time set aside and on your schedule, it can be whittled down bit by bit. For example, maybe it’s personal correspondence you’re behind on (weak area for me). I’ll write on my schedule to answer one or two, and then it feels great to make progress.

So, there you have it. Some mid-week ponderings on overcoming procrastination! Just do it.

Love,
Sarah

Smiles for you from cousins Lydia and Bethany

Boast not thyself of to morrow;
for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
Proverbs 27:1

Part 5: 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 first four parts, see these links: Part 1Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. To recap, we’ve looked at steps 1-8 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

Step number nine is copyediting. We’re so grateful for the copyeditor! When I’m writing first draft or beginning to edit, I check with the copyeditor and see if the date I’m thinking of to send the book to him will fit into his schedule. The copyeditor works through grammatical issues, edits parts that may need clarification, and gives the book a thorough scrub, looking at all the details carefully. He tracks the changes in Word.

Blog reader question: What/who sets the deadlines and what is the reason a writer can’t just finish a book on their own timeline?

A personal preference for me is to set a deadline because that makes me push hard and stay focused.

To set the timetable, I consult the calendar to determine the ideal ship date for the book and then backtrack. The printer generally needs about 3 weeks, but if there is any hitch along the way, there might be another few days or even a week. We need time to lay out the book in the final format before it goes to the printer. The copyeditor usually needs 2 weeks, etc. For Finding Change, my copyeditor date was October 1st and the press date was the 31st.

Mary working on the cover

Step number ten is the cover. With Finding Change, we originally wanted a photo of my main character to be on the cover but the potential options pursued didn’t work. As I researched what other kids’ book covers looked like, I discovered most of them had illustrated covers. Mary worked diligently sketching concepts to first see if we could get that idea to work, and then she jumped into the real thing. It took her about a week from sketching concepts to finishing the final illustration. There was no room for messing up because she used colored pencils. After the illustration was completed, we scanned it in and did the final layout, which included using a combination of Photoshop and Indesign.

Love,
Sarah

“Prepare thy work without,
and make it fit for thyself in the field;
and afterwards build thine house.”
Proverbs 24:27