As many of you know, Melanie and I have desired to know God’s will for us in the area of children. We thought that children would come quickly after we got married. However, for us and, we’ve learned, many other couples this was not the case.
God has spent the past 4 1/2 years teaching us to trust and lean on Him. We have had to give this area of our lives over to Him, and seek not to take it back. At times this “teaching” has been easier than other times. I have prayed that God would size our family however He can best use us for His glory, whether that means with or without children. And yet, our heart’s desire this entire time was that He would open Melanie’s womb.
We have been blessed by countless numbers of prayer warriors. Our families have faithfully prayed, our friends have commited themselves to prayer, even acquaintances and those we haven’t met have lifted up our desire for children. For example, multiple of my younger brothers and sisters have prayed nightly for “Nathan and Melanie to have a baby.”
And now, in direct answer to these prayers, our hearts are over-joyed as we announce that God has gifted us with a pregnancy. Melanie is now carrying our first child. We anticipate Baby Maxwell’s arrival mid-May of ’07. Truly God is gracious. We continue to covet your prayers for this child’s protection and sustaining these next months.
Today was a catch up day for the Maxwells. Many things needed to be done after being away for a month! The big job on the agenda was cleaning out the shed that was built last year. We needed to completely re-organize it so we could optimize our space for all the books and other items that need to be stored out there. Team work is an amazing thing.
Our garden produced bountifully while we were away. Here’s our crop of jalapenos! We do enjoy spicy food :-). Mom said there are more flowers on the plants, although with the cooler weather coming, I don’t know how much longer they’ll produce.
BTW – we have just a few more openings for the marriage retreat, November 10-11th. If you’re interested, please see this link.
I believe one reason children lose interest in their parent’s faith is that they see a life that is simply religious. There is no deep love and excitement for Jesus, but simply going through the outward motions and with the flow of those around them. Difficulties, persecutions and trials of life that come into our lives provide excellent opportunities for our children to see Who Jesus is in our life.
Certainly, they are not what we prefer, but they bring with them the blessed grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our children have had those blessings and the most recent was this weekend. As we were packing up after our Charleston conference, Sarah was sitting on the floor amidst some boxes. She said she was feeling terrible and really didn’t know if she could do much more. With others pitching in to finish what Sarah normally does, we were soon packed up and heading for the hotel.
Such was the beginning of some of our family’s most memorable days because by Sunday morning six of us were terribly ill and since then only one has "escaped". Still very sick, that afternoon the Lord enabled us to begin the 900 mile drive to Shreveport, LA for a conference on Monday and Tuesday. Then on Wednesday with some better and some worse we drove 600 miles home.
It is easy to praise the Lord Jesus when all is well, but the real growth opportunity is to rely on Jesus and be at peace when things are terribly bad. The children saw that if Jesus doesn’t remove the problem, then He will enable us to go through it.
It made no sense for us to begin homeschooling when Teri was in the midst of depression. She shares that she was hopeful that if she was obedient in homeschooling God would remove the depression. However, we found that God is faithful and He gives grace to do what He calls us to do. We want the difficulties removed, but most often, His way is to enable us through them.
After thirty days on the road and thirteen cities, we are home in our own beds again. We met many special and courageous brothers and sisters in Christ and were shown much love and kindness. I think we would all agree it was our most memorable trip, in more ways than one, and we praise our Lord Jesus Christ for His love, mercy, and sustaining grace.
We love to hike! We had some time Monday morning in the Asheville area for a family walk.
When we headed to Franklin from Asheville Wednesday, we saw a little music shop and stopped there. We enjoyed our visit!
Dad and Mom
My mom’s sister came from Alabama to visit us in Franklin. She came to the Tuesday evening conference. Wednesday we had a “free” day, so we decided to hike. One of my mom’s favorite things to do is hike in the woods, which doesn’t happen very often! Of course, our whole family enjoys hiking.
The sunset was gorgeous last night over the mountains!
Dusk is falling, and we are settled in at a hotel in the mountains of Asheville! It’s hard to believe we only have a week and a half left on the road. We have a one-evening conference in the Asheville area tomorrow evening.
Our weekend in Winston-Salem was wonderful. We started out Friday evening with our music session. I’m very grateful that Jesus has given us opportunities to play together. As Dad shares, only a few have natural musical talents (meaning they could literally pick up an instrument and play it with hardly any practice!), the rest of us have to work hard to learn. On our FamiliesforJesus site, we list some resources we’ve used to self-teach ourselves without instructors, http://www.familiesforjesus.com/music/ When the session was over, we had a little "Visit with other Moody readers&qout; time. A mom had requested this, so it was a delight to be able to talk to children who have enjoyed the Moodys. They motivate me to continue working on Spring!
Saturday, I briefly chatted with a couple who had come from the Kingsport, Tennessee area, several hours away! A number of other families had driven two or more hours as well. We are blessed beyond measure to have these dear families come. The coordinators for the conference even provided meals for us throughout the weekend. Thank you!
This morning, as we headed to Asheville, we listened to a message by Dr. S. M. Davis, How to Humble Yourself. It was incredibly convicting to me personally. It’s a CD that would be good to listen to several times!
We are deeply grateful to those of you who have been praying for us. May Jesus richly bless you and your family.
Only for my Savior, Sarah
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.