All posts by Teri Maxwell

What’s on the Outside?

Fresh cherries at our house meant homemade cherry pie. Homemade cherry pie meant rolling the extra pie crust dough into cinnamon and sugar slices to be baked for eating. On this occasion, though, after one pie-crust bite, John said, “Mom, I wonder if you put something other than cinnamon on the pie crust.” Sure enough, cayenne pepper sits in the spice cupboard right next to cinnamon, and that’s what was liberally sprinkled on the pie crust. Looking at the pie crust, we couldn’t tell the difference, but the taste shouted it!

Before I was saved, that was true of me. I thought I looked good on the outside but inside was different. I remember the day I was saved, the pastor had just said, “You can fool everyone around you, but the Lord knows your heart. If you haven’t repented of your sin and placed your faith in Christ, you are not saved.” Those words burned through my facade.

There have been times since then when my outside was put together, but the inside was not. Once I confessed my struggles with depression to my church family, I began to heal. They hadn’t known what I was dealing with inside.

What about you? Is the outside one way, but the inside another? Does the Lord want you to do something about thatdiscuss it with your husband, share it with a friend, ask for prayer at church?

Trusting in Jesus,

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on
the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD
seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Eat to Live :: A Great Way to Lose Weight

Our family loves Colorado vacations and hiking. A trip to Colorado provides excellent incentive to get in better shape. Last year Steve wasn’t able to climb a 14er because of some issues with his feet and legs. He really wants to be able to make that hike this August. There are many factors that have to be dealt with, and extra weight is one of them.

Through the years we have tried diets, but only one has been successful for Steve and me. We discovered this diet 15 years ago, when Steve had cholesterol issues.

In Eat to Live, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, encouraged us to try his diet for 6 weeks and then evaluate the results in several areas of health including cholesterol and weight (the link above was our Amazon Affiliate link, see our privacy policy here). Sure enough. Steve’s cholesterol plummeted, and we both lost weight. We stayed on the diet from January to July that year, and Steve lost 50 pounds.

While Dr. Fuhrman suggests making his diet a life-long way of eating, it wasn’t palatable enough for us to do thatat least not yet. We use it as our way of eating when we are serious about weight loss.

We refer to Eat to Live as our healthy greens and stomach-filling beans diet. Most vegetables are allowed in unlimited quantities, and we are to eat large portions of them. One whole grain, 1 cup of beans, four fruits, and 1 ounce of nuts or seeds are allowed each day. We choose to keep using salt to make our food taste better, and we weren’t as strict with the types of salad dressing as Dr. Fuhrman recommends.

With plans set for Colorado again this year, we are in the midst of a month of healthy greens and stomach-filling beans. If you are looking for a healthy way to lose weight, consider Eat to Live.

What about you? What diets are successful for you?

Trusting in Jesus,

“And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy
the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:13).

Menu Planning Alleviates “What’s for Dinner, Mommy?”

Perhaps worse than not knowing what to make for dinner are the sweet little voices asking continually, “What’s for dinner, Mommy?” when you have no answer for them. I discovered a simple solution – weekly meal planning.

Before grocery shopping each week, I wrote out our dinner meals for the following week. Then I printed it and posted it on the refrigerator. I could check with a glance if I needed to defrost meat for the next day’s meal or prep veggies in the morning. Best of all, those children who could read knew where to look for the meal plan. When the pre-readers asked what was for dinner, I usually had already checked and was ready with the answer, but if not, I had it at my fingertips.

With all adults living in our home, we still do weekly meal planning (see the screenshot of my Google Doc spreadsheet below with my meal plans for the last three weeks). I no longer post it on the refrigerator, though. The adults are content to discover the dinner meal when they sit down to eat.

Trusting in Jesus,

Menu Planning with Google Docs

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That
man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
Luke 4:4

God Is More Than Enough

Last summer when I talked to a friend, we discussed books that had impacted our lives. The book she mentioned was God Is More Than Enough by Jim Berg (that’s our Amazon affiliate link; see our privacy policy). I had never heard of the book or the author, but I respected my friend enough to want to read it too.

Think about the phrase “God is more than enough.” Do you believe that? If so, do you live that way? In this book, Jim Berg brings us face to face with those questions and the reality of our answers.

Do you ever struggle with “What ifs” or “If onlys” or “I don’t like” thoughts? Dr. Berg shows that the basis for discontent is unbelief, and gives five compelling biblical statements to combat that unbelief.

What about worry? That is something with which I can struggle. Jim Berg uses the phrase “noisy soul” and “quiet soul.” When I worry, my soul is not quiet. At the root of that worry, is something I don’t believe God for. For example, recently John and Jesse went on a backpacking trip in Colorado for a long weekend. They didn’t have cell signal to communicate with us through most of their backpacking time, and I began to worry about thema noisy soul. I was reminded once again that God is more than enough. With my trust rooted in Him, I didn’t need to worry. Worry doesn’t solve anything, while faith quiets my heart. Prayer, which I can do, cements that trust.

I love having a quiet soul and dislike it if my soul is noisy. If you ever have noise in your soul, I highly recommend God Is More Than Enough as a great book to read this summer.

Trusting in Jesus,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye
shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and
my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

One Bite at a Time

When the children were little, we had no trouble getting them to eat any leftover sweets we had. Now as adults, who practice more moderation, that can be a problem. A half dozen left-over cookies might sit in the Tupperware on the counter for a week.

Then Anna discovered the solutionbreak them into bite sized pieces. Before long, the left-over goodies disappear.

I wonder if that isn’t what we need to do for projects we are avoiding.  If it is a visible project, it almost seems to look back at us, but we don’t want to tackle it. It is too much, too big, too hard, or too inconvenient.

What if we did what Anna does with left-over cookies or brownies? What if we cut that project into small, bite-sized pieces? Rather than spending 4 hours on it, what if we spent 15 minutes and then put it away until the next 15 minutes became available? Of course some projects don’t work that way, but many might.

For example, to thoroughly clean our refrigerator, it takes about 3 hours. My life and schedule is full enough that coming up with a 3 hour block of time is difficult, but I can usually produce 30 or even just 15 minutes. If I take 30 minutes a day and put it toward refrigerator cleaning, it will be done in 6 days, and if I give it 15 minutes a day, it is 12 days. That is a minimal investment any particular day with a satisfying cumulative result.

What might it be for you? Correspondence, study, meal planning, organizing, dejunking, ironing, cleaning, reading? What do you think? Any big project you could tackle one bite at a time?

Trusting in Jesus,

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6).

June at the Farm

When I woke up the other morning, I read a special e-mail from my son, Christopher. He said they were going to the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead that day, and they had a seat available in their van if I wanted to go along.

I love those outings with my grandchildren so I immediately thought through how I could rearrange what I had planned that morning to join the party and said yes!

Melanie and her children decided to go as well, and they had room in their van for my mom, Gigi.

Five-year-old, Joshua, was delighted with the possibility of arriving at the farmstead in time for the 9:30 milking, which we managed. At the farm, the children fed baby goats from bottles in addition to petting them. They rode on the John Deere look alike tractor trikes around the little track and played hard on the playground.

The weather was delightful for June, and the adults loved watching the children. We ate a picnic lunch at the end of the morning so we could be back home for the children’s naps.

Trusting in Jesus,

I stayed out of the goat area with Danny so Anna Marie could be with her other kiddos.

“I delight to do thy will, O my God:
yea, thy law is within my heart.”
Psalm 40:8