WCW: Meet Elizabeth Maxon


WCW is series of posts where I sit down with a woman doing something amazing on the web. Today I am thrilled to have you meet Elizabeth Maxon. We shared a table at a conference last fall and her easy smile and beautiful spirit was evident from the first words we spoke. She is just lovely. Here’s my interview with my friend Elizabeth. Make sure you read all the way to the end because we’re giving away some good things and you don’t want to miss it.
Tell us a little about yourself? 
Hey y’all!  I’m Elizabeth and I desperately wish I could teleport you to my couch right now for this conversation.  My friends know that I’m the world’s worst at returning phone calls and texts.  Although I love to write, sharing words face to face is my favorite thing to do.  I would love nothing more than to sit with you for hours and dig deep into our stories.
My husband, Joey, and I recently started our ‘small town, slow down’ by moving our family back to the college town of Clemson, South Carolina, where I grew up and where we both went to school.  Go Tigers!  I home school our two kids, Lucy and Oliver, and pursue my calling as a writer and speaker in every little empty space I can find.
I’m not the perfect homemaker.  I prioritize people and playing over cleaning every. single. time.  If you stop by my house for a visit there will likely be dirty dishes in the sink but flowers on the windowsill.  We busy mamas have to prioritize!  Amen?!
 2015 headshot
How do you feel God has challenged you over the past few years?
Oh goodness.  Where do I begin?!  God has grown us through so many challenges the past few years but one of the most difficult and refining has been our daughter’s diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes.
Lucy was diagnosed 2 years ago when she was 5 years old.  It’s one thing to grieve the loss of something in your own life, but it’s a whole other thing to grieve it for your kids.  To know that Lucy would have to deal with this for the rest of her life was crushing for me and my husband.  We have cried so many rivers over it.
Beyond the grief and having our daily lives changed so dramatically, Joey and I have also had personal struggles.  We have had to face many of our own fears and inadequacies and watch as God overcame those.  My husband has always been incredibly afraid of needles and hospitals and there we were spending days in the hospital and learning to give Lucy multiple injections every day.  God worked in him to overcome his fear and now he is a pro when it comes to shots.
My struggle was different.  I have never been the most consistent and organized person.  No two days are ever the same in our house.  With T1D you have to be very consistent and organized.  Lucy’s life literally depends upon that.  It scared me at first because I felt so inadequate.  Again, God reminded me that when he gives us something that seems so beyond our own capacity it is the perfect opportunity for him to work in and through us.  He has absolutely done that.
And probably the biggest struggle has been dealing with the ways Lucy’s diagnosis of T1D {and Graves Disease} has affected her mood and behaviors.  She and I are both emotionally reactive people anyway and adding a whole other layer to that has been so hard.  I go into a lot more detail about that in my book.  God has given us so much victory in a place where I originally felt so defeated as a mother.
How do you feel God has held you during those times?
I have reluctantly learned to embrace a life of challenge because I have seen God do unbelievable things through our struggles and suffering.  Instead of running away or rolling up in a ball in the corner when challenges come I have learned to say – Let’s see what you’re gonna do now God.  Our children are learning that firsthand too and for that I am incredibly grateful!  We have seen his track record at being faithful in our life and the lives of others so that is what we expect of Him.
Really it’s his promises and his people that have held me.  On the days when I have felt inadequate and tired and full of grief I crawl back into his Word and he always restores my strength and fills up the empty places.  He has also provided the people that we need just when we need them.  So often this life with T1D has felt like a foreign land and we don’t even know what we need to get through it.  We have learned to pray this simple prayer when it comes to T1D and anything else – God, please give us what we need.  So often I don’t even know what we need and so I hold my life with an open hand and let him do what he knows is best.
And perhaps most significantly of all, God has given me the gift to be able to hold other people up in their own grief and struggles because of the work that has been done in me through my grief and struggles.  The ability to hold others has actually held me together too.
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For those of us who are unaware, tell us a bit about Type 1 diabetes?
T1D is an autoimmune disease that causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin.  Unlike Type 2 Diabetes which can, in some cases, be reversed with diet and other lifestyle changes, T1D is not reversible and there is no cure.  Because Lucy’s pancreas is no longer functioning properly we have to do the work that it would have done.  She checks her blood sugar 6-10 times per day by pricking her finger and taking a blood sample.  We take into consideration her blood sugar and the amount of carbs she is eating in order to estimate how much insulin she will need at any given time.  We program her insulin pump to give her how much she needs throughout the day.  Every three days we change out the port site on her little bottom.  Managing Type 1 is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job for the rest of your life.  Lucy is incredibly brave and responsible about the whole thing!
You’ve recently written a book about your daughter’s diagnosis, how has that process affected your family’s walk through this challenge?
The book is really evidence of that.  I am a writer.  I have a child with Type 1 Diabetes.  God has called me to take those two things and use them.  We call our journey with T1D our journey in Type ONEderland because, as I say in the book, when the worst thing happens, it’s never all bad.  That is true for everyone, not just those who have a child with a chronic illness diagnosis.  We all know what it feels like to get bad news or be faced with a bad situation.  Type ONEderland is the story of how we found hope in the hard places and it is meant to give hope to others in their hard places.  The book has given meaning to our suffering.  Somehow God has used my simple, honest words to bring comfort and hope not just to families suffering with T1D but to others who have different struggles.  For me, that is evidence of God ‘working all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to HIS purpose.’  We’ve also been able to donate money from the book proceeds back to JDRF to help find a cure for T1D which is awesome!
What is one verse or saying or uplifting thought you breath over yourself? 
Ever since Lucy was a little girl I have sung to her at night or when she was upset.  One of the things I have always sung is the simple chorus to the song ‘Glorious’ by Chris Tomlin.  It just says
Glorious, over us
You shall reign, glorious
When we were in the hospital she asked for it and I can remember singing it over and over through tears as I clung onto the truth that God would not just be with us in our suffering but that he would be glorious over it, over us, over whatever we would face. Still, almost every night she says – Sing Glorious, Mama – and together we claim the glorious victory of Christ over our lives, no matter how hard they may be.
What did no one tell you about being a woman that you wish they would? 
Just because you feel capable to do many things doesn’t mean you should do many things.  As a woman I feel the pull towards many responsibilities and opportunities.  For so long I thought I needed to fulfill all of them, especially the ones that seemed ‘easy’ for me.  God is teaching me to only step into places where He is calling me.  He is teaching me to say ‘no’ to things that I think I could easily add onto my plate in order to protect room for the things that he has prepared for me to do – some of which I feel very incapable of.  Not all good things are God things.  I’m learning to not rush into obligations and wait on his leading.  I am seeing my life bear tremendously more fruit as a result of that!
Elizabeth blogs at http://www.mywordsandwonder.com and can be found on Instagram and Twitter @elizabethmaxon or on FB at https://www.facebook.com/lizwrites/
You can purchase Elizabeth’s e-book Type ONEderland: Finding Hope in the Hard Places here – http://amzn.com/B018RIWIBK
 
Up for grabs today is a free copy of the e-book Type ONEderland and a Starbucks gift card!  If you want to win sign up for my newsletter on the right side of this page and Elizabeth’s newsletter HERE.  Comment below to let us know you’ve signed up in both places and want to be entered.  We will pick a winner next week! Good luck!
Lindsey Andrews
About me

Attorney & Author. Always in search for daily joy.

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