Strawberries!

I love to see the Lord provide. It’s easy to praise Him for the big things, but what about the little ones? Recently, neighbors offered us strawberry plants which they needed to be taken away from their fruit trees. Fresh strawberries are amazing, and Anna especially loves them! I remember traveling through California and stopping at a roadside stand to buy strawberries–talk about an easy way to bring an extra sparkle to Anna’s eyes.

Last week, the girls built a raised bed with scrap lumber. Since our dirt isn’t very good, we also needed quality dirt. Our city gives away compost dirt, which one guy told Dad was the best ever on his garden. Dad and the girls loaded up dirt in trash cans (hey, we need a pickup!) and put it into the van and transported it back to the garden.

The end result? Lots of strawberries plants which will produce this year since they’re not new, and it didn’t cost us anything except some work!

Love,
Sarah

The humble beginning!

Friends helping.

Digging up the plants.

A once-ugly-area is now a beautiful sight to look out to from our dining room window.

“He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed;
for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”
Proverbs 22:9

When Tragedy Hits, Will You Be Prepared?

Today I want to share a guest post from a faithful reader. She sent me an e-mail, and I asked permission to use it here. I’m very encouraged to hear testimonies of how the Lord continues to use Titus2 to inspire believers all over! — Sarah


Just heard my alarm go off here in what they call a “respite room” off the Neuro ICU. I thanked God for another day He’s given me and quickly checked my phone.

I found your Susannah birthday blog post. As I read through it, my mind went back to just 6-7 short days ago, before we landed ourselves here, how that 5:15am alarm would signify that it was time to get up and dress for my 6am 5k jog on the treadmill. Before heading to sweat and pant for 30 minutes, 🙂 my first stop was always the quiet, peaceful family room, where I spend my quiet time with the Lord. During those 30-40 minutes, which ALWAYS pass by all too fast, I get to draw closer to the One Who’s saved me, transformed me from the inside out, loves me, and is still renewing me day by day. He always has something to share with me through His Word and His Spirit, and I quickly jot down all I learn, knowing that when the hustle and bustle of the day begins, writing it down will help what I learned to “lock in” so I can remember it to guide me through the day, or use it help another along their way.

When that pre-alarm goes off on my phone saying “almost treadmill time!”, I feel like I’ve been interrupted and haven’t really finished, although I know He’s called me get up, take care of my body, and be the best wife/mother I can be for these gifts He’s placed in my life.

And so goes pretty much every weekday around here. Just a normal, ordinary routine.

That’s also how last Thursday began, same as usual. When my husband kissed me goodbye that morning to go to 3 pretty basic appointments, little did I know we’d be spending the following night together in the ER, in an ambulance with lights and sirens on, and pondering the words of the doctors’ initial report: “bleeding in the brain.”

Your blog post made me really ponder how important it is to spend time with the Lord every day because His Word indeed is bread to the eater. It feeds us and nourishes us and sustains us, and will be the only thing that carries us through when calamity hits.

But beyond that, it’s also seed to the sower. Our private times with Him will also give us something that we can give to someone else, whether it’s our children that we’ll be around most of the day, an ICU nurse that doesn’t know Him, or whoever God places across our path.

What came out of Nathan and Melanie (and the rest of you) as you walked through those days is STILL giving seed to the sower today! Encouraging others, fueling their faith, proclaiming his power, and spreading the truths of the peace only He can give. 11 years later! Wow.

If I had the platform of readers that y’all had, I’d encourage them to make daily Bible and prayer time with the Lord their #1 priority in life TODAY—during the routine, repetitive day to day lifestyle. NOT when tragedy comes. Time spent in His Word is time that you’ll never regret.

Marina

Marina and family

PS – the happy ending to this story is Marina’s husband is home and doing very well.

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Psalm 119:103

Random Life: Spring and Sunshine!

We’re very blessed here in Kansas! I’m thankful for the Lord’s abundant mercies and His provision.

I’m going to let the pictures mostly tell the story with a little explanation below each.

Happy Monday!

Love,
Sarah

Our Resurrection Sunday group!

Benji loves Ellie, and Ellie loves the children too. She likes to keep tabs on leftover food raining down from the highchairs! Here she’s enjoying some scraps.

Anna and Mary were blessed with an opportunity to do face painting and balloons for a church event. Here Mary did a volunteer’s face before everything began!


Yes, we had temperatures in the teens! Dad and Mom love working together on projects, so on free dump day, they took scrap wood to the dump.

Shopping the after Easter sales for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

Sorry I forgot to put an Arnold + Ellie picture in last random post.

This cat seriously gets himself into the most unique places. Don’t worry. I made sure he could climb out, and he did.

Beautiful sunny, cool days!

And of course, the little nieces adore Ellie.

Yep! I mentioned we had snow three Sundays in a row, and this is proof.

Nathan and Melanie took a weekend away to go to our local homeschool conference. My sisters delight in watching the kiddos, so it was a perfect combo.

Daddy time so Mommy could concentrate on the conference.

Guess who they saw?!!! Christopher and Anna Marie (who went for a morning) and Melanie’s sister.

Back at home, the aunts’ creativity reigns here. Flashlight find n’ seek for the kids’ snack.

Some Ellie training.

A marching band through our basement. Yep! Ear protection was almost needed. Quite the enthusiastic bunch!

Enjoying baby goats!

Fellowship with an out-of-state friend.

Special aunt + niece time at my fave coffee shop.

Christopher’s family celebrating Anna Marie’s birthday.

Nathan and his kiddos out for a treat.

Jesse doing yard work.

Dinner at Joseph and Elissa’s.

Jesse and Kyle

This cute dog of mine! 🙂

A kids’ song about the walls of Jericho going on right here.

Tina is a little pro at dog training. She even has Arnold watching!

Nathan’s awesome to include his kids on work projects.

Sewing project with some company!

One of my top favorite snacks at the moment: vanilla yogurt topped with granola and fun chocolate pieces.

Nathan and Anna took a run the other day (Mary and I were unfortunately busy), and look what greeted them at the end. So perfect.

 

You can tell how our temperatures really jumped from cool to warm (notice Ellie’s tongue). We’re soaking in the amazing sunshine!

And now, these delightful evenings to enjoy family parties outside.

Calia showing Anna her plants which she helped Mommy (Elissa) to start.

Benji is like a cuddly teddy bear. Very, very cute.

Sooooooo, I’d love to hear what your favorite thing about spring is?!

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith
virtue; and to virtue knowledge”
(2 Peter 1:5)

 

Dangerous or Useful, You Choose

My dad sends out a weekly (short) e-mail to an awesome group of guys. Because we just shared about the Accountable2You app, we felt this Seriously was really important to re-share here. Maybe it will save heartache for your family. By the way, if you want to sign up for the Seriously e-mail, just click on the little blue button on the right sidebar that says Receive Seriously. After you input your e-mail address, you’ll need to double-opt-in through an e-mail arriving in your inbox shortly.

Watch for an awesome Random Life post Monday morning. So many pictures to share! — Sarah


Last week when you read my Seriously article about TV and movies, you might have thought, “Why didn’t he say something about the computer?” I must limit my word count, hence a follow-on article.

A chainsaw is a powerful tool, but it can also be very dangerous to an unskilled and unprotected user. A computer is also a powerful tool, but there is great danger to the soul if it is used carelessly. It seems like many (most?) use the computer similarly to the TV – as an entertainment device. When viewed as such, the serious danger it poses seems minimized. No one considers an entertainment toy as dangerous. Right? No, wrong. It is terribly dangerous.

Therefore, safeguards are required not just a good idea, but required. No one is above temptation. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Many dads haven’t realized the danger of the computer for himself or his children and discovered too late the damage done whether in addiction to empty games or to serious immorality.

Our family’s computers are not used for play or entertainment. They are tools for work and efficiency. We also use Google Safe Search and Accountable2You and encourage anyone we can to do the same. Better to be safe than sorry! (The Accountable2You is an affiliate link and blesses the Titus2 ministry.)

Steve

Mother’s Day Special

Mother’s Day is coming up quickly, in only 11 days. I know, as I need to get my shopping done! 🙂

Yesterday, we released a Mother’s Day Special.

Order $15 worth of shippable product (meaning downloads are excluded and the s/h), and we’ll include the CD Loving Your Husband free. You don’t need to add the CD to your shopping cart; we’ll include it with your shipment if it qualifies.

Practical gift ideas:

 

My mom is a go-getter! How many 60 something-year-olds climb 14ers?!

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love
their husbands, to love their children.”
Titus 2:4

Spring is Here

Spring is here. I believe I can say that with confidence now. Yes, the calendar showed the first day being back in March, but wow, we had three Sundays in a row this month with SNOW! I’m all the more grateful for this amazing season after winter hung around longer than normal.

Saturday was a picture-perfect day. That vivid blue sky, sunshine which felt warm but not hot, trees bursting out with green, and the redbuds with their lush purple flowers made a beautiful spring package! We took advantage of the nice weather to enjoy some outside activities. Besides a run for some and a walk for others, we washed and vacuumed cars, and Mary and Dad tackled carpeting our entryway. Oh, and yard work too.

To end the day, what could be better than homemade pizza? We missed Anna, but she was traveling for the weekend.

Love,
Sarah

The beginning out of the project.

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business,
and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.