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Maxwell 51: Empty Nesters, Empty Vesters? End of an Era


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Despite her saying she loves to write, writing those books was a dreadful chore to her and she's glad to be done with them.

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When Sarah stepped back from the blog, I said good for her. Because it’s a lot of work and if you don’t want to do it anymore, then don’t do it! I say the same thing for her books. If she doesn’t want to do it anymore, then don’t! Now that she lives outside of Maxhell, I hope she feels less pressure to keep doing things she doesn’t want to do. 

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10 hours ago, Black Aliss said:

I always wondered how the daughters-in-love felt about Teri and the girls swooping into their homes and cleaning everything to their own standards. Maybe they were thrilled to bits but if I were in their shoes I would have found it hard to be gracious.

 

When we were much younger, my sister decided to reorganize our spice cabinet. She organized by manufacturer, so it looked great: much more uniform. However, she looked a little sheepish when I told her it had been organized before that: alphabetically by spice name. 

I remember one time when a "helpful" guest washed her guest towels, after I told her I would take care of it. I don't remember what she washed the load with, but those dark towels had white lint on them that I could not remove. I think they got retired to the rag bin long before they would have otherwise. I was pretty pissed. It would not have bothered me so much if I hadn't specifically said "I'll take care of the laundry." 

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18 hours ago, ElizaB said:

I believe Sarah does book keeping for her brother's companies. I remember her talking about using quickbooks. Also, I think we under estimate how much money she made from the Moodys. 

I don't think that money came from the books.  It was probably from the same way that the sons were able to buy houses in cash.  The kids probably got paid for doing conferences.  All those years of traveling all over the country-give the kids some pocket money and put the rest away for them.  The Maxwell children were always involved in the family business whether it was helping with shipping books or speaking at conferences.  This went on for years.  That money adds up.  

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Good news in the comments regarding my two favorite Maxwells:

Quote

 

Commenter: Oh my, what will Arnold do without Ellie?

Teri: He’s doing fine, and when Sarah and Ellie have been back over here, Arnold greets them and goes about his cat life.

 

I think, those changes are actually good for Teri as well. I imagine she would be happy listing to her audio books and snuggling Arnold in a quite house.

 

After consulting my pillow I am starting to think that the original roots of those changes are the younger brothers' jobs. Joseph and Jesse are quite active on social media. They probably have contacts to other people in their field who aren't fundis. They seem to accept "normal" customers (at least they don't have a list with exclusion criteria on their web page - not like Christopher's wedding photography business with his list of strict rules...). They were at a conference in Vegas. They likely have contacts to female peers and clients without a chaperone present. Maybe the same things apply to John's irrigation company (not sure if he still works as a realtor as well). My point is that they have seen a much more "secular" world and less sheltered and isolated environment then when they grew up in Steve's house. Maybe they realized at some point you can be a good person even though you play in a sports team or wear contrasting buttons or eat burritos with other fillings than the Steve approved ones. Maybe that started a chain reaction... 

Edited by Austrian Atheist
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9 hours ago, Melissa1977 said:

Actualy I see John and Chelsy very fundie and Maxwellian (the way they schedule and train their children). It is Joseph who did the big changes IMO: travelling to ungodly business congresses, putting boundaries to make his family private, joining a different church, leaving the compound and taking Jesse to the wild side haha.

I think you're probably right. Joseph must have been crushed and humiliated when Elizabeth Munck called off the wedding.  Steve and family pray, and God tells them the marriage is right, only for it to turn out wrong.  Makes you rethink what is coming from what you want to be true and what is divine intervention.  

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2 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

When Sarah stepped back from the blog, I said good for her. Because it’s a lot of work and if you don’t want to do it anymore, then don’t do it! I say the same thing for her books. If she doesn’t want to do it anymore, then don’t! Now that she lives outside of Maxhell, I hope she feels less pressure to keep doing things she doesn’t want to do. 

I hope she does at least take some photos and do a random life post or baby photos every so often though. Firstly for our benefit - but also because it wouldn't be much effort to write, and she's actually a pretty good photographer - better than Christopher anyway. 

I wonder if she's involved with this at her church: https://thecrimsoncord.com/#newest-issue

While she probably doesn't want to write for it, she'd have some other skills that would be useful. 

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It is hard to keep your hair on fire if all you see day in and day out is ordinary people doing ordinary things. I think that might explain at least some of what has happened to the Maxwell sons. They married women who wore pants and buttons and the sky did not fall. They worked with or met clients who were women and they did not immediately rip off all their clothes and start an orgy. The rented  in a new city and the apocalypse did not begin. After a while I think they realized that Steve's fear of the world was just that: his fear and not their's. 

Anna,Mary and Sarah must have watched their brothers make changes and nothing terrible happened and wondered about their own lives. However inertia is hard to break. Sometimes it takes a series of small things  and sometimes it takes one big shock and sometimes it is both. I think that for Anna and Mary seeing Anna (who is like them in terms of age/lifestyle) face her own mortality was the single big shock but the brothers and SILs  changes  or the lives of other church friends were the smaller events.  Maybe they also took some inspiration from Sarah. For Sarah I  think that when Ellie got sick and had a hysterectomy it was in some ways like the end of a dream for Sarah. Then Anna got sick and Sarah realized time was running out and then she got a concussion which may have quite literally hammered the need for change into Sarah's head.

I guess I've been thinking about this way too much. I know you should never keep a "pet"fundie but in many ways - Sarah was mine. I felt an empathy and bond and that is why all this change with no explanations leaves me with the need to fill in the back story on my own. 

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1 hour ago, theologygeek said:

I think you're probably right. Joseph must have been crushed and humiliated when Elizabeth Munck called off the wedding.  Steve and family pray, and God tells them the marriage is right, only for it to turn out wrong.  Makes you rethink what is coming from what you want to be true and what is divine intervention.  

I’ve always wondered if one reason Joseph has held to such tight privacy boundaries is the whole called off wedding.   It had to be doubly humiliating and I wonder if after that he wanted his privacy and to protect his own children. Total speculation, but I think Elizabeth was one of the beginning cracks in Maxhell.

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Realistically the Maxwell offspring will still have a lot of affection for their parents and it's people like us that they will want privacy from. I don't think there will be any more photo drops from Sarah. She is done.

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This latest news bomb from Maxhell reminds me of the time Erika Shupe went into radio silence after it became obvious she was out of her depth homeschooling and put her kids into public school—with the obvious difference that Stevehovah and Terified actually admitted what happened (at least to a minimal degree).

It makes me wonder how they feel to have it become obvious that their Godly master plan didn’t work. I wonder whether their new minister took them aside and gave them a come-to-Jesus talk about how unhealthy this life was for their daughters. Of course, Stevehovah had to couch Sarah’s part of the story in some “ministry” shizz. (On the ISB, I wonder whether Sarah is experiencing spiritual doubts.)

Edited by Hane
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26 minutes ago, ClareDeLune said:

Realistically the Maxwell offspring will still have a lot of affection for their parents and it's people like us that they will want privacy from. I don't think there will be any more photo drops from Sarah. She is done.

Yeah, this. 

The facts are Steve is not the first and won't be the last man to have control issues that he lords over his family. But, the family is just that, a family, and there is no indication anyone has decided they are unhappy with anything. We see a lot of change, but we are on the outside looking in. They've been living their lives and no doubt all these recent changes have been a long time in the making and took place one step at a time - just like with every other family on the planet. 

I don't think for a second that there are any issues between any of them. Change is inevitable and Steve & Teri have said their adult children are in charge of their own lives. The girls still being in the house muddied those waters because of the whole headship thing and daddy controlling courting prospects and all - but they have said countless times that all the kids had the choice to leave when turning 18. 

Just because at 18 it's unlikely any of the girls could safely & successfully leave the fold, with no skills, job or money, all three have worked & saved money and Sarah has many years of doing so. Leaving now is a shock to us on the outside, but it's not like they were chained and just now allowed out. They were chained in the sense that staying wasn't so much a choice as it was the only option given they had zero ability to function outside their father's home. But that has also changed with many passing years. And even their limited experiences are experiences. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Austrian Atheist said:

Joseph and Jesse are quite active on social media

They're active on social media? Where? Facebook or Instagram? I didn't think any of the Maxwells had social media with the exception of the blog.

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1 hour ago, Hane said:

This latest news bomb from Maxhell reminds me of the time Erika Shupe went into radio silence after it became obvious she was out of her depth homeschooling and put her kids into public school

Yes, and then BOOM! a photo of Erika wearing shorts. 

I just checked her facebook. There have been no more kids and she looks happy and relaxed. 

She is, however,  busy posting vaccine disinfo: "Wow, again QUICK While you can, scary information about the vaccines, about how they actually contain aluminum and the effects on the brain…" as an intro to a video quickly shut down by facebook with a false information label. 

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34 minutes ago, Howl said:

Yes, and then BOOM! a photo of Erika wearing shorts. 

I just checked her facebook. There have been no more kids and she looks happy and relaxed. 

She is, however,  busy posting vaccine disinfo: "Wow, again QUICK While you can, scary information about the vaccines, about how they actually contain aluminum and the effects on the brain…" as an intro to a video quickly shut down by facebook with a false information label. 

And now I can't stop humming that old Bruce Hornsby and the Range song: "Some things'll never change. That's just the way it is...." 😏

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9 hours ago, FiveAcres said:

When we were much younger, my sister decided to reorganize our spice cabinet. She organized by manufacturer, so it looked great: much more uniform. However, she looked a little sheepish when I told her it had been organized before that: alphabetically by spice name. 

I just might kill someone who messed with my alphabetically ordered spices. I spent a bundle on a custom built rack with 10 shelves that would allow me to organize everything my way.

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On 9/14/2021 at 6:01 PM, Can'tBelieveMyEyes said:

Melanie was the one who really messed up the system.  She's the one who ruined family pictures after Abigail was born by refusing to wear matching frumpers.   

Melanie - IIRC, and I'm pretty sure I do - is part of the Maher family whose patriarch (maybe, I’m not at all sure he’s Steve-level) practices in Mission Kansas.  Mission is about  50 minutes from L-worth.  
 

AND - fun fact - it is about 5 minutes from Olathe. 
 

But that’s not my whole point. My whole point is that - again, IIRC - the Maher family had many children, and one of them is an up & coming Nashville singer.  She bears a strong resemblance to Mel and Abby.

And I’m guessing she’s proud of her trim midriff, pretty chestal region, and long, shapely kegs because she does not mind wearing tasteful (IMO) but peekaboo outfits.

So. (A), Mel doing her own modest, coordinated, but her own thing in dressing herself & girls for family photos seems to be in her DNA.

And (B), while her family’s practice is in Mission, IIRC she met Nate at real church before The Angel Moroni - er, I mean, Steve decided all churches were an abomination to him and tacked homechurching onto homeschooling and home-everything-ing. 

Also (C), All these years we only heard about Max daughters helping out Melanie in her problematic pregnancies because we only heard from the Maxwell blog. There’s absolutely perfect reason to assume that members of the Maher family were also attending Melanie and her children during her times of incapacitation.

TLDR: Yeah, in-laws! Mess up that finely crafted plan of Familial Domination!  Thanks, @Can’tBelieveMyEyes !!!

Edited by MamaJunebug
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20 hours ago, Maggie Mae said:

How does that contradict what I said? I also used public records. 

It doesn’t contradict what you said.

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9 hours ago, becky_m2001 said:

They're active on social media? Where? Facebook or Instagram? I didn't think any of the Maxwells had social media with the exception of the blog.

Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. They post no private things - only their Magento stuff. But they certainly communicate with peers in their field over those channels. Actually Nathan is on same social medias as well -  but I think he only posts under his company's name. Joseph and Jesse have Twitter accounts with their own names. I don't link them here. a) it's not hard to find and b) it's their business stuff - nothing snark worthy (or maybe Magento experts can snark on it but I don't even fully understand what Magento actually is other than an e-commerce software?).

 

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Most of their readers are taking this in good stride. Of course the negative comments aren't being posted, but most people are happy for them. It's hard to say. Many are saying they will miss the blog and Sarah's books. I notice quite a few readers mention their kids are grown and leaving home both boys and girls. 

I liked this comment a lot from one of their readers:

Quote

 I am really so happy to read this post because our family has been blessed with daughters (no sons) and I have been so interested to find out what sort of things the Lord would bring to your daughters. Inspired by your sons, we have been in the process to help equip our daughters buy homes for themselves one day. Our oldest is still only 16, so no home buying yet, but one day! 

The next comment is from Rebecca K.

Quote

I DID notice, the lack of posts. So I figured you were all going through some sort of changes. Wow. I will definitely miss the blog if it comes to an end, but will still continue to pray for you guys.

May the Lord mightily bless and direct Sarah, Anna, and Mary as they embark into these new chapters.

Love, Rebecca

This one is the only one that shows any real disappointment about what the Maxwell girls are doing.

Quote

Thank you for all the hours you poured into this blog to encourage like-minded Christians! I started reading as a new mom in 2011, exactly 10 years ago! Our family still holds a vision for our daughters that doesn’t involve moving away to college or living on one’s own, which makes this announcement a little hard to read. But I understand that this vision could change as our children grow up and walk their own path with the Lord. I hope the girls are happy and safe in their new environments. Blessings on your family!

I hope for these daughters get freedom, and by freedom I mean more just a chance to get married.

Edited by Bluebirdbluebell
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6 hours ago, Black Aliss said:

I just might kill someone who messed with my alphabetically ordered spices. I spent a bundle on a custom built rack with 10 shelves that would allow me to organize everything my way.

I sort my spices by category. Indian spices go next to each other, Italian ones are grouped together, and all the ones I used for baking are together too. But then again, I have two of these things (I bought empty ones off of eBay and got jars from Bed Bath and Beyond and filled/labeled them all myself.) If I had them laid out in a drawer or a shelf I'd probably organize alphabetically.

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20 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

 

I wonder if she's involved with this at her church: https://thecrimsoncord.com/#newest-issue

While she probably doesn't want to write for it, she'd have some other skills that would be useful. 

I could definitely see her being involved with this.  The Maxwells have a background in self-publishing.

I looked at the sample of the magazine on Amazon and it's actually very well done.  Sarah's name isn't on the masthead, but I could see her getting on the committee that puts it out, if she isn't already.

I really think it was by attending a "real" church that so many of these changes in Maxwell land have occurred.

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Thank Zeus my mother did not have a "vision" form me and I was not only allowed but encouraged (forced) to find my own damn path in life. 

I put my spices in alphabetical order about 5 times a year. The problem is, they are not uniform in size or shape because I don't get them all from the same place, so everything gets messed up quickly. Those I use most always end up in front. I have a narrow cabinet next to my stove and it's not really wide enough to have them all visible; I do have one of those step shelves, but because of the size differences, a giant Cilantro can be in front hiding the smaller Oregano or something. And that's just not helpful. 

I keep trying and continue to put them back alphabetically, but I think that's because i can't think of any other way. But there's got to be something better. 

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21 hours ago, browngrl said:

Anna,Mary and Sarah must have watched their brothers make changes and nothing terrible happened and wondered about their own lives. However inertia is hard to break. Sometimes it takes a series of small things  and sometimes it takes one big shock and sometimes it is both.

This! I closely followed the 7 Sisters in the years preceding their big changes, culminating in Jessica becoming a pilot. It didn't happen overnight - they sat around and wondered about their futures for many years. Lots of anguished posts containing verses like "Be still and know that I am God". Then very small, incremental changes snowballed into huge, amazing life changes for the sisters, including skilled careers, travel and meeting significant others. For Anna and Mary, moving to WV was the hardest part but hopefully just the beginning of many new experiences that will change their lives.  

Quote

Thank you for all the hours you poured into this blog to encourage like-minded Christians! I started reading as a new mom in 2011, exactly 10 years ago! Our family still holds a vision for our daughters that doesn’t involve moving away to college or living on one’s own, which makes this announcement a little hard to read. But I understand that this vision could change as our children grow up and walk their own path with the Lord. I hope the girls are happy and safe in their new environments. Blessings on your family!

That's quite a salty comment from a Christian!

 

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