All posts by Teri Maxwell

How Teri Deals with Back Pain

Some asked for a blog post about dealing with the challenges of aging, particularly considering my back pain.

My schedule helped me consistently exercise throughout my adult years, usually walking. I think that allowed me to remain active as I move through my 60’s.

My back pain requires daily management, but I was quite encouraged by the PT I visited this summer who said my back-management routine has kept me from surgery, pain meds, and greater levels of pain.

I do 15 to 30 minutes of back exercises most days. I have tried lots and lots of back exercise routinesthose a PT gave me, some I have found in books, and some from Internet DVD programs. I currently use the exercises I feel are the most beneficial, plus the ones from the most recent PT.

I don’t know for sure, but I am guessing that those back exercises have helped me maintain mobility that allows me to get on the floor and play outside with my grandchildren.

I also use a device called a posture pump (Titus2’s affiliate link to Amazon: see our Privacy Policy if you want). Because poor posture has played a role in my back pain, I am continually working on my posture. A chiropractor recommended this device because I had lost the curve in my neck. According to more recent x-rays, that curve has been nicely restored.

Finally, I have worked to maintain my weight, and I think being a normal weight allows me more stamina, energy, and mobility.

As far as mountain climbing, I simply love to do that so I push my physical limits for those hikes. Actually my back does better up a mountain with a backpack than it does leaned over a sink washing dishes for the same amount of time. Steve and I enjoy our conditioning walks togethertalking and praying and getting in as good shape as possible in flat Kansas to hike Colorado mountains.

Trusting in Jesus,

“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found
in the way of righteousness.”
(Proverbs 16:31)

Growing Up Christian

Regularly people say to Steve or me that they didn’t grow up in a Christian home, therefore they don’t know how to have a Christian home. We like to encourage them with the fact that neither of us grew up in Christian homes either.

After our salvation, though, we began to grow as disciples of Christ, through God’s Word. That impacted our lives, teaching us how to have a Christian home, where Christ is part of every fiber of each day.

Both Steve and I went regularly to liberal churches on Sunday mornings as children, not ones where salvation is preached or taught. Our parents did not have personal relationships with Christ. They weren’t saved (born again, converted) until we were grown and no longer living at home.

What a joy it was for Steve and me to be saved early in our marriage and then to see our dads saved years later. Steve’s dad and mom divorced when he was a teen, and after his dad’s salvation, when Steve was in his 30’s, Steve’s dad wrote and said he was sorry for all that went on. At my dad’s salvation, he changed from his Army career being his life to his Lord Jesus being his life. Our moms were saved after we left home but before we were.

Each time you find yourself thinking or saying, “I didn’t grow up in a Christian home,” use that to be grateful for your salvation, pray for wisdom, and search the Scriptures for daily truth to live by.

Trusting in Jesus,

Steve and Teri Maxwell

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast”
(Ephesians 2:8-9).

How to Plan Your Thanksgiving Meal Efficiently

I like simplifying holiday meal work. Here are a couple of things I do for Thanksgiving. I have a file on my computer simply titled “Thanksgiving” where I list the year, what we had to eat, who was there, what we had too much of, and what I would do differently next year, if anything. I think I won’t forget by the following year, but the reality is that I do.

Baking for Thanksgiving together

On my computer, I also have a master shopping list for our Thanksgiving meal. Earlier in our marriage, I developed a Thanksgiving menu based on family favorites and traditional Thanksgiving foods. By popular demand we continue using that menu except for adding ham as a second meat, which our boys bake at another house because we don’t have room here, and they love the ham. We can’t take turkey out because Thanksgiving dinner with turkey is my mom’s favorite meal of the year. Plus we love our turkey noodle soup the day after Thanksgiving and all the great leftover turkey meals a turkey provides.

We keep our Thanksgiving meal simple with just one salad and one vegetable. We have expanded to two desserts now that there are so many in our family eating the Thanksgiving meal. We use roasting bags for the meat that turn out perfect turkey and ham every year.

On the day before Thanksgiving, we invite my mom over to sit with us while we work in the kitchen. Then we spend several hours prepping as much of the meal as we possibly can. She usually finds jobs she is capable of doing and would like to do with us. It is a sweet time of generational fellowship.

When guests join us for Thanksgiving and want to bring something for the meal, we ask them to bring one of their favorite side dishes. We don’t normally have sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce, but those have been additions brought by guests.

We hope your Thanksgiving is simple, thankful, and full of joy and loving fellowship.

Trusting in Jesus,

PS: Two of our favorite holiday recipes:
Light and Fluffy Rolls
Teri’s Favorite Salad

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks:
for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.”
(Psalm 75:1)

My Cat, Arnold

Arnold and I

One late summer day, an unfamiliar, skinny, affectionate tabby cat showed up at our house. Several of the family sitting outside, began calling to him. When they called, “Arnold,” he came running. Over time, we discovered he liked to be around people and Ellie.

Because he was was hungry and skinny, we began feeding him some of Ellie’s dog food, but he had a hard time chewing it. Before long, I bought a bag of cat food, and I started feeding him on the front porch.

Soon I was quite attached to him, and the family started calling him my cat. We were concerned about his healthfleas, worms, ear mites—and our grandchildren, who liked to pet him. So Steve encouraged me (what a sweet husband since I was concerned about spending money on a stray cat) to take him to the vet for shots and medications.

Now he lives in our garage at night, and comes and goes during the day. I sit with him for a few minutes in the morning while he eats before Steve and I go for our walk. In the evening, when he eats, I will be out there if I can, reading a book. If I stay around, he usually sits on my lap purring for a while.

Many in the family like the little fellow and will go out to the garage to see if he is there. Now that is it getting colder, he spends more time in the garage, making it his domain.

We don’t know where Arnold came from although we asked around the neighborhood. Arnold now has a home, and I have a cat.

Trusting in Jesus,
PS – Ellie and Arnold below!

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast:
but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
(Proverbs 12:10)

The Impact of a Personal Bible Time Habit

As I was doing back exercises early this morning, looking forward to Bible time coming up next, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to my husband. He is the one who encouraged our family years ago to make personal Bible time part of our daily habits and family Bible time as well. I can hardly fathom the impact that has made on my life and the lives of my children.

Steve has been a disciplined man who will choose to go to bed at night so he can get up early enough in the morning to have time in the Word and exercise before starting work. His discipline allowed me to be disciplined with those areas and homeschooling. Helping moms with their scheduling, I have discovered that is not something to take for granted. Many husbands live undisciplined lives, which has negative results in their families.

Dads (and young men), may I encourage you to begin this important habit if you haven’t already. Daily time in God’s Word is critical. Steve didn’t grow up in a Christian home or see this modeled, yet he’s embraced this in our home, and that impact is being seen on the next generation.

Trusting in Jesus,

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way. ”
(Psalm 37:23)

Gather Your Supplies

I like to be productive, but I can also be a procrastinator. For me, in addition to scheduling, there are two keys to avoid procrastination. First is putting the need on a to-do list—and gathering the supplies to complete the task.

Here is a case in point. Several weeks ago, I discovered a button on the floor that had come off my sweater. I put the button on a shelf where it wouldn’t get lost. Four weeks later, I still hadn’t sewed the button on the sweater. Then I wrote “mending sweater” on my to-do list. Still, I didn’t do the project because I didn’t have the necessary supplies gathered—needle, thread, scissors, button, and sweater to make it a quick, simple project.

One day I simply collected the supplies with no plans to actually do it. Within 24 hours, however, because I had everything to sew the button on, I completed my project. I like that level of time management much better than that nagging feeling accompanying procrastination.

Is there anything you are procrastinating concerning? Have you put it on your to-do list? Have you collected the supplies to do it? Do you have a time slot in your schedule to accomplish the things on your to-do list?

Trusting in Jesus,

“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of
the diligent shall be made fat” (Proverbs 13:4).