Category Archives: Family News

A Grateful Heart

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalms 100:4).

Am I grateful for each precious minute the Lord gives me to be with my family member? I don’t know how long the Lord will give me with my family. Our little Susannah Joy was only with us for three short days in March. I think back to Melanie’s pregnancy, and how if we had known what was going to happen, it would have been very difficult to bear. Yet, we didn’t know ahead of time, and the Lord’s grace was sufficient and was given when we needed it. Our hearts are overflowing over the Lord’s gift of baby #2. We all have been extremely touched to read the many comments after Nathan’s blog post. We are ecstatic over the incredible blessing of this new little one.

We’re thankful for the nursing home church we have. Those precious people love us (not to mention how much we love them!) and pray for us when we’re gone on the road. Their delight when we arrive safely back is very evident. Sunday morning church is the highlight of some of the residents’ week. What a joy it is to be able to fellowship with these dear saints.

Part of Thanksgiving Day we spent joyfully working on the house together. The guys were finishing up some of the final small areas to sheetrock, while Dad and Jesse working on mudding, and Mom and I worked on clean up. We are thankful the Lord provided for the house and the ability for the Titus2 ministry to have more room.

As we enter into this Christmas season, my desire is that my focus would be on my Savior, the Redeemer of the World.

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

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Mary, a wonderful helper :-)!

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Mom has diligently helped carry sheetrock scraps out from the different rooms to the garage. We’ll be taking the scraps to the dump!

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Sheetrocking!

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The great mudding pair!

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I’ve helped also with cleanup and carrying sheetrock scraps.

Update from Nathan and Melanie

I think it’s time for another Nathan and Melanie update. We are wanting everyone to know that we are doing well and continuing to heal – it’s been just over 7 months since we lost Susannah. I’m amazed at how God has restored our hearts. Yes, there is still pain. Both of us have had times over the past month where we’ve been around babies and experience an intense heart-ache as we are reminded that Susannah is not with us. But, healing is happening and for that we are grateful – God is at work!

I wanted to start with that paragraph because many readers may equate the above “healing process” with what I have to share next. It was important to me to communicate God’s faithfulness in the healing process first in this post; it is a work He has done day by day over the past 7 months and which continues. Having explained that, I’m very excited to announce that Melanie is pregnant!!!! For a couple that waited five years for the Lord to bless with our first child, it is almost unbelievable that His second gift would come only seven months after Susannah’s birth. Yes, Melanie is pregnant and looking at an end of June due-date! God is good!

It is a little unconventional to announce pregnancies so early, but it is important to us that we do so. So many of you have walked with us during our time with Susannah, both during a challenging pregnancy and then the few short days we had with her. You’ve wept with us and upheld us in prayer – and now God has answered so many of your prayers with this new little life Melanie is carrying. For those that have children praying for us, this is such a tangible evidence of God’s working, blessing, and answering – He answered your/their prayers. Isn’t that wonderful?

The road before us might not be easy. Lots of people have told us it will be, but we’re not so sure. We wonder what this pregnancy will be like, how things will progress, what will June of next year be like. . . we don’t know. God showed both Melanie and I yesterday that we were going to need to trust Him during this pregnancy. Without directly thinking it, in many ways we had been hoping we wouldn’t have to this time – that things would go so smoothly and without challenges. And yet, we are called to trust in all areas at all times, this pregnancy is no exception. I guess that’s what abiding is, resting and trusting. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and sharing with us in this joyful news.

Nathan and Melanie

Nathan and Melanie

Partial Driveway Pour

The guys have been working to prepare the driveway for the cement pours. Autumn is quickly falling upon our town, and it’s important the concrete is done before it gets too cold. Plus, we can’t move into the house unless we have a driveway!

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Anna captured this one: we’re not sure exactly what the boys were doing, except Anna saw Joseph hand John first a tape measure, and then a pencil.

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Washin’ off those cement boots!

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Hmmm. What are they doing in the picture above? Here’s the dilemma – a screeding rebar “pin” was sticking up, and it needed to be pounded down. The first idea for getting it pounded in: stretch a ladder across the entire driveway and send Jesse out with a hammer. Alas, the ladder wasn’t long enough to stretch all the way across.

The next idea was to use the same ladder and have it free-hanging over the middle, anchored and heavily weighted on one side. Unfortunately, it was 14 feet out to the middle. It took quite a bit of work to get the ladder in position and weighted down. Pulling off his boots, Jesse made ready for the job. He carefully crept out toward the end of the ladder. Dad told him to first touch the area where the pin was (to feel exactly where it was), and then he could pound it down with a hammer.

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Congratulations, Jesse! You did it!

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Two of the guys that were sitting on the end of the ladder.

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Joseph and John made a great “finishing” cement team. They worked on grooving the cement, and even did a “broom” finish.

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Jesse had all the come alongs lined up so that he could clean them off.

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John, yesterday afternoon, as he took a small break from moving gravel.

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Joyfully His,
Sarah

A Day Workin’ with Cement

It was a perfect fall day. Today we were able to pour a cantilevered retaining wall that Joseph and John formed out and then the sidewalk to the house. Hopefully, on Thursday, we will begin pouring the driveway.

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“Hit the ground, boys!” 🙂 We thought of that caption after seeing this photo. In reality, the boys were working, and Dad had been directing the cement truck driver.

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After the cement truck driver arrived, he asked John if he was the boss. John smiled, and said he was, and pointed over at Joseph saying, “And he’s the foreman,” and then over at Dad, “And he’s the owner.” Clever, John.

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Will Your Anchor Hold?

On Saturday we went to the homeless shelter in Kansas City. It is always good, but a sobering time. Nathan led the singing, the Maxwell men brought instruments and sang “At the Cross” and Christopher preached about Jonah and heeding spiritual warnings.

The chapel was packed with 129 men as it was raining hard and men wanted to get out of the rain. If most people who thought they had problems were to visit to mission or a nursing home, they should be cured. Many men were soaking wet from being out in the rain and came to the mission so they would have something to eat.

After chapel we speak to the men and share Jesus with them one-on-one. It is a tough time but a good time. One of the men’s stories I heard was similar to a few I have heard prior. He was happily married, attending church, successful in business, life was going well, and then his wife died of cancer. He like three others I’ve talked too, when tragedy happened, they turned to alcohol and drugs instead of the Lord Jesus. Their lives then went from the deep, dark waters of a tragedy, to the depth of despair and loss of everything as Satan became their “master.” The lives of those men reflect how cruel of a master he is.

What is our relationship with the Savior like? Do we delight to spend time every morning with Him first in reading the Bible and then in blessed fellowship as we pray? Is He the One Who holds all of our expectations? Is Jesus the One Who directs our lives? Is He our everything?

If He is, then when tragedy strikes, it is just that, a tragedy, but not the end of our “life”, so to speak. Life can have some terribly dark moments, but all of them compared to the preciousness of Jesus, become fully bearable in Him. Does our anchor go very, very, deep down to the Rock which can hold us safe when the violent storms of life strike?

In Christ Jesus,

Steve