36 Hours and Counting Down…

Life continues in a busy swirl as we prepare to leave: thank you for your prayers! We are so blessed by them! Here’s today in pictures.

The boys built shelves to go right next to the refrigerator. The shelves look wonderful, and they'll be a neat, orderly storage area!
The boys built shelves to go right next to the refrigerator. The shelves look wonderful, and they will be so nice to keep things organized.
Mom worked in the bus for awhile today. I love you, Mom! :-)
Mom worked in the bus for awhile today. I love you, Mom!
Anna took this photo while we were in the bus today.
Anna took this photo while we were in the bus today.
Jesse with the new shelves.
Jesse with the new shelves.
Joseph was working on the headlights.
Joseph was working on the headlights.
When I came over to take pictures, there was John--on the bus roof! He was obviously working on something.
When I came over to take pictures, there was John--on the bus roof! He was doing some caulking.
There were yards to be mowed. . .
There were yards to be mowed. . .
And there was weedeating (or, if you prefer, weedwacking) to do. . .
And there was weedeating (or, if you prefer, weedwacking) to do. . .
Mom and Mary did our WalMart shopping this evening!
Mom and Mary did our WalMart shopping this evening!
I think we're set now!
I think we're set now!

Another busy day ahead of us tomorrow 🙂 .

Sarah for all the rest

Trip Preparations (In Pictures)

The dog needed a bath, so Mary gave her one outside.
Honey needed a bath, so Mary gave her one outside.
When you consider 5 weeks on the road, that's a lot of vitamins to bring!
When you consider 5 weeks on the road, that's a lot of vitamins!
Last minute sewing to be finished--we are finishing the hems for some matching jumpers.
Last minute sewing to be finished--we are finishing the hems for some matching jumpers.
It was a beautiful day today, and Joseph was working on shelves for the bus.
It was a beautiful day today, and Joseph was working on shelves for the bus.
Mom and Anna went SAMS shopping today.
Mom and Anna went SAMS shopping.

Please be in prayer as we continue to get ready for this trip. Two days left!

“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalms 37:5).

Sarah for all the rest

Abigail Hope 1.11 Update

I think I need to begin this with an apology for my lack of communication. Days have slipped into weeks and weeks into months.

Abigail is three and a half months old!

Melanie and Abigail
Melanie and Abigail

Short story is that Melanie and I love being parents. We thought this was something that God was giving us with Susannah, but that wasn’t the case. Then, as Abigail struggled so much with reflux and colic for the first few months, we felt challenged, stretched, and discouraged. Recently, I heard a phrase in Pilgrim’s Progress (audio book), something like, “Before the sweet, the bitter, For to make the sweet, sweeter.” (Not a perfect quote. I’m going from memory.)  This is what we are now experiencing, the sweet joys of parenthood.

Abigail
Abigail

Abigail has become quite vocal. She’s also more alert and frequently smiles easily. She’s just beginning to be able to tell the difference between her mom/dad and others. So far, she’s frequently content with either Mom or Dad, but I know that might change. Her reflux is much better, she’s not colicky anymore, and she sleeps through the night! Wow, what changes!

Melanie and I are enjoying this new phase in life and see it as a gift from God. I’m sitting downstairs typing this as I hear Melanie visiting with a friend upstairs, recounting our hospital story. It almost seems like two different lives, and yet God so faithfully led through the previous eighteen months. We rejoice in His goodness, a goodness that is just as true now as it was a year ago.

Nathan

Uncle Joseph and Abigail
Uncle Joseph and Abigail
Uncle Christopher and Abigail
Uncle Christopher and Abigail
Uncle John and Abigail
Uncle John and Abigail

Safely Home — Conference Report

We are home safely after our quick weekend trip to Jefferson City, Missouri. The drive went smoothly, and before going to the church, we dropped off our bags at a cabin someone graciously let us stay in. After getting to the driveway for the cabin, it was determined that Uriah wouldn’t make it over the cattle guards, and since the family had offered to “ferry” (aka – drive their vehicles down to the cabin) us and our luggage down to the cabin, we went for that option.

Set up went quite smoothly, especially since it’s been several months since our last conference. It dawned on me Friday night that we have 7 weekend conferences right in a row—I knew our trip was 5 weeks and 16 stops (including Jefferson City), but I didn’t realize that translated into 7 weekends 🙂 .

We had a delicious Mexican dinner provided for us before we started the conference Friday evening. Our music time went well—and we enjoyed sharing with those attending. Saturday went by quickly, and in between the sessions, we were each blessed by our conversations with other families. We found out that one family came all the way from Nebraska for the conference—they drove farther than we did!

Dad and Mom
Dad and Mom

Little ones always brighten the day. One young boy asked me how many miles we were going on this next trip, and I told him that it would be eight thousand (!!). A few minutes later, he was talking to John, and this four-year-old informed him that we would be going a quarter of the way across the world 🙂 .

The little girl had showed Dad some pictures she had drawn. Dad was encouraging her to keep practicing, and he showed her the drawings from the Schools book.
The little girl had showed Dad some pictures she had drawn. Dad was encouraging her to keep practicing, and he showed her the drawings from the Schools book.

Mom talking with a lady after a session.
Mom talking with a lady after a session.

We were grateful for the “loading out” help two families gave us, and we were on the road around 5 p.m., with a break outside of Columbia for dinner. It’s hard to believe Friday starts the beginning of the five week trip—we’re all excited and looking forward to what the Lord will do in these next weeks.

This is the newly added text on the back of Uriah!
This is the newly added text on the back of Uriah!

We would appreciate prayer as we prepare for the big trip! More pictures coming on that this week!

The instruments were carried in Saturday evening, and here is a portion of them!
The instruments were carried in Saturday evening, and here is a portion of them!

Only for Jesus,
Sarah for the rest

Ambassadors: Willing to Take a Stand for Right

(This is the fourth in a series of entries drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ.)

Ambassador Grew writes about an incident he had with the German Ambassador. Apparently there was some type of a diplomatic league that the various Ambassadors were all generally a part of. Different members of the League would make speeches at their gatherings. Before making a speech, it was the custom to send their speech around to the other Ambassadors for them to review and approve

When the German Ambassador sent his speech around, Ambassador Grew was faced with a dilemma. If he were to approve of the speech, he felt it would also be approving of the German country – something that he couldn’t do (the United States did not have diplomatic relations with Germany at that time). But he also knew that refusing to sign the speech would cause a “situation.”

Ambassador Grew was willing to take a stand for what was right and decided to graciously refuse to sign the speech. He included a note to the German Ambassador explaining that, due to the relations between their countries, he was not able to sign the speech, but that he hoped the German Ambassador would not take the refusal personally.

This, of course, caused a reaction of sorts from the German Ambassador, who was well aware of the situation between their countries but didn’t feel signing the League’s speech would be an approval of the German nation. He requested a meeting with Ambassador Grew… (to be continued)

What good is an Ambassador who is simply looking to be popular? What good is an Ambassador who is not willing to represent his country by standing for what is right?

Are we, as Ambassadors for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, willing to take a stand — even when it will be an unpopular one? And, are we willing to take that stand even when we know it will cause a “situation”?

Jesus warned us as His disciples that following Him would be unpopular:
John 15:18-19. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

The unpopular stands (for right) that Jesus calls us to may even involve our family or extended family. Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), shared in Matthew 10:35-37: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Are we willing to graciously and with love stand for right, or do we cave in to pressure? Because an Ambassador is expected to represent his nation even when doing so results in animosity from those he is living nearby.

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.