Category Archives: Family News

Content in Christ: A Married Couple Works to Pay Off Their Debt

Dad began this Debt Free: Content in Christ series last September. Our desire is not only to encourage families raising sons but also to spur couples to get rid of debt. It all begins with a vision and then that follows with implementing it.

Becoming debt-free does take work, hard work at times. It means cutting back, spending less, and yes, even doing without. But living debt-free is incredible.

I recently e-mailed with a customer, and she shared something we feel would encourage those who are working to pay off debt. This lady had just purchased the Buying a House Debt-Free book and is so excited for the vision it gave her and her husband.

Houses in our city average $1.5 million, so we won’t be buying a single-family home here any time soon (although I do believe that God could chose to do a miracle, if He wanted). We feel God led us to our condo where we put 50% down, and with rapid market appreciation and paying down extra, we’re now up to 75% paid off in 3 years. We didn’t want to get into debt but the property was about 50% of what other, comparable places were selling for and our monthly expenses worked out to be only $70 more than renting. It has enabled us to continue to be generous givers (if you want to give like a rich person, you’ve got to develop the heart to give when you’re not rich) and for me to stay home with the kids. We are keen to owe no one anything except love so that we can truly be obedient to every one of God’s commandments. Pray for us to obey his EVERY word! 

Let’s build each other up in faith! 

My husband and I started on the book during the kids’ nap time, and we are ALREADY filled with fresh vision. Without vision, we’ve been feeling like we’re perishing (Proverbs 29:18).

“Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).

A Saturday Project

We’ve had this green “stuff” growing on our white siding for a little while. Actually, I’ve noticed it on multiple houses in our area (hint: a perfect entrepreneur side business!), and it greatly detracts from the house. Dad figured it would take bleach and using our old bus brush to get it off. Jesse and the girls offered to tackle the project Saturday. I loved watching the transformation! The dirty, green grime left with each brush stroke. Anna spent a lot of time cleaning our deck furniture too.

This reminds me of how diligent we must be to keep our hearts pure and unspotted from the world. Sin easily creeps in, and it grows and corrupts our heart and makes it dirty. When we repent, and ask the Lord’s forgiveness, our hearts are washed whiter than snow. What a beautiful picture!

Happy Monday! Please keep us in your prayers as the fair starts tomorrow. I’ll be sure to share pictures and reports with you.

Love,
Sarah

Jesse and Mary
Cleaning grime off our deck furniture!

I couldn’t resist adding this picture. Mary painted Drew’s face Saturday evening, so she could add this sample to her face painting notebook for the children to choose from. She has an awesome variety!

“Wash me throughly from mine iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.”
Psalm 51:2

Annual Children’s Photos

This is a guest post by Anna Marie.

Eight years ago, as a first birthday gift, Christopher did a photo session with Abigail.

Abigail, 2009

As the years have gone by and the number of young Maxwells has increased, this has become an annual children’s photo event including all the Maxwell cousins. Christopher takes individual photos of each child.

Andrew, 2015
Lydia, 2016
Calia, 2017

Christopher also takes sibling groupings and “bonus” fun shots.

Abigail and Bethany, 2012
Abigail, Bethany, Christina, and Andrew, 2015

It’s sweet to see these two oldest cousins’ love for and capability with the younger ones.

Benjamin, Bethany, Abigail, and Daniel, 2017

We started doing a group shot in 2014, and it’s fun to see the yearly changes.

2014
2015
2016
2017

Finally, inspiration for our wrap-up photo this year comes from some news we wanted to share. Can you guess?!

We are looking forward to meeting our newest addition in February 2018, Lord willing! It’s fun to have the children increasing so much in understanding and enthusiasm. Ruthanne runs over to me and says “Good morning, New Baby!” to my tummy every morning. I’m feeling quite well (a little extra tiredness and nauseanothing like a lot of you moms go through), and we appreciate your prayers for a safe, healthy pregnancy.

Rejoicing,
Anna Marie

“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

Anna and Mary Are Home

My sisters are home! It was a joy to pick them up yesterday at the airport (John will be back later this week). There were happy tears as we welcomed them.

I especially delighted in seeing the nieces and nephews pure delight to have their aunts back.

Wow, it’s been a long time, but we’re thrilled Anna and Mary had opportunities to minister! Thank you for your prayers. We’re looking forward to ministering at the local county fair next week!

Love,
Sarah

The signs Nathan and Melanie’s crew made were adorable!

We watched Nathan and Melanie’s children last night, and they had such sweet times with their aunts.

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work
and labour of love, which ye have
shewed toward his name…”

(Hebrews 6:10)

Free Educational Resources from Microsoft

We wanted to let our blog readers know about an incredible eBook giveaway from Microsoft.

Over the years, Dad has encouraged people to be learners, to continue building your skill set. Dad himself is a great example of always learning.

This eBook giveaway is a superb educational opportunity. Check out the resources, and pass the link along to others. We’re not sure how long this offer lasts (we only found out yesterday), so don’t procrastinate.

Enjoy,
Sarah

“So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom,
and apply thine heart to understanding.”
(Proverbs 2:2)

Safety Tips for Single Women Flying Alone

I love to fly, and I’ve flown quite a few times without family. I thought of some safety items I’d like to share to help other single ladies. They aren’t earth-shattering, but these are things that have helped me.

  1. Act confident and walk with purpose (even if you don’t feel confident). If you walk as if you don’t know where you’re going or have a helpless-sort-of-attitude, that’s just an invitation for someone to approach you. So I look confident, even if I’m trying to find my way around.
  2. Stay alert. Do not zone out. Always be aware of your surroundings. Always.
  3. If you do happen to need help finding your gate, ask someone who works for the airline.
  4. Do not trust strangers. Honestly, evil people do not always look “bad,” and you must always be on guard.
  5. Very nice, friendly people can also be very convincing liars. Having grown up in a Christian home, we’re used to people telling the truth and trusting them! Well, liars can be extremely conniving and their ploy very believable. Be careful!
  6. When waiting for a flight, choose a public location and select carefully who you sit near. If you want to be by yourself in a secluded area (such as an area at the end of the terminal where no one is waiting), that’s inviting trouble. Even then, if a man approaches you and is being too friendly, just stand up and go somewhere else. This happened to me in a busy airport. So I went over to a group of business travelers (including ladies) and sat with them. I had no more issues.
  7. If you fly Southwest, that’s perfect, because you get to select your seat when you get on the plane. For me, I love window seats, but as I’m boarding, I will look to see who my seat mate will be if I choose a window seat. I may sit further back than I’d like to get a preferential seat mate.
  8. If you do sit next to a man who becomes too friendly (there’s a difference between a person being nice and someone being flirtatious), there’s nothing wrong with politely finding ways to dampen the conversation (talking to the person on your other side who isn’t an issue, reading your book, and only answering questions with as few words as possible, etc).
  9. This may seem obvious, but make sure your cell phone is fully charged and also carry a portable battery. I love the one I have from Amazon (Titus2’s affiliate link to Amazon: see our Privacy Policy if you want). It’s my favorite, and, of course, I have the pink one (the black one is $5 less).

 

Enjoy yourself! 🙂

Love,
Sarah

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
(1 Peter 5:8)