rebelling against low expectations

The Oldest Rebelutionary

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Maxine Callie Terhune is proof that you don’t have to be a teenager to “do hard things.” She has read Do Hard Things three times β€” at 97 years old!

Ann Olsen, Mrs. Terhune’s daughter, had this to say about her mom: “Mom, I know that you knew how to do hard things from your earliest years; growing up on a self-sustaining farm with three sisters, marriage and surviving the Great Depression, losing a baby, later giving me life.

Then living through WWII. Teaching music in schools and sharing your love of music with hundreds of young, noisy but aspiring musicians. Working full time, plus giving private piano lessons in our home and still making time to teach Sunday School and entertain guests. You were always a very busy woman helping make the world a better place for others.

You still know how to do hard things–being a happy person even though your body is not supporting you as well as before. Waking up each morning with a smile on your face β€” just happy to be alive with the gift of another day . . . a day filled with family and friends who love you.”

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

76 comments

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  • That is really encouraging! My mom and I were talking about the message of Do Hard Things today. She’s been reading through it, and feels that it is beneficial for Christians at any age. There are always hard things to be done, although they vary as the stages of our lives do: ). This picture reminded me of that.

  • Yeah! You go!
    I will echo everyone else most sincerely and ask how you crossed paths with her.
    Solo de gloria!

  • She has got is right!! I think anyone could use the message of Do Hard Things, although it has significant meaning to our generation. (I have to say it, how did you meet her?)

  • This is exactly what I’ve been saying since reading it the first time this past August… that DO HARD THINGS is a book that should be read by everyone! Since reading it initially, I’ve personally handed out nearly 50 copies to friends, family, the youth group at our small church, and total strangers! I am a 55-yr-young grandmother of 5+ (another due in June 09)…

    I am at the point in my life where I’m thinking about (1) what I want to do the rest of my life (there is no “retirement” for my baby-boomer generation); (2) how can I make a difference in my community, nation, world; and (3) what kind of legacy do I want to leave my children and grandchildren…

    DO HARD THINGS was exactly what I needed… when I needed it… isn’t it cool how God does that?

    I gave a copy to a perfect stranger on a plane in September and emailed him in October to see if he had read it… he is the executive director of Teen Challenge in Kansas City… here’s a portion of his email response to me…

    “Thanks so much for the book. You are right that it is hard to put down. I have used it to do a chapel and will be using it as the basis for a sermon in December. This book is being added to our [Teen Challenge] program. You don’t know how much I appreciate the gift. I would have read it eventually, but it had not risen to the top of my list yet. I love to read, so the list is long. I think God wanted me to read it sooner. I want all of our students to realize that they must never settle for just being a β€œteen” or even a β€œgood teen.” ”

    Share DO HARD THINGS with others and watch God work!
    Blessings to you all,
    Kathy

  • WOW, Mom, what a beautiful picture of you between such handsome young men!
    I know that you knew how to do hard things from your earliest years; growing up on a self-sustaining farm with three sisters, marriage and surviving the Great Depression, losing a baby, later giving me life. Then living through WWII. Teaching music in schools and sharing your love of music with hundreds of young, noisy but aspiring musicians. Working full time, plus giving private piano lessons in our home and still making time to teach Sunday School and entertain guests. You were always a very busy woman helping make the world a better place for others.
    You still know how to do hard things–being a happy person even though your body is not supporting you as well as before. Waking up each morning with a smile on your face–just happy to be alive with the gift of another day…a day filled with family and friends who love you.

  • Wow!!! This woman IS really a woman of God…if you havn’t already, read what her daughter Ann Olsen says about her….inspiring… πŸ™‚ Go Ms. Terhune!! πŸ™‚

  • WoW! Bless her heart, may God continue to move in her life and many blessings. May he give her health and life in abundance! This is a great inspiration to me!

  • Hallelujah! How encouraging to see an elderly lady like Ms. Maxine walkiing with the Lord.

    That picture of you two and her shows the world that the gospel message and the message of DHT is for everyone, not just the young, and not just the old.

    Praise God!

    Strengthened in Him,

    Noella

  • Wow! That’s incredible! 3 times! Wow! I can’t believe that she read it that many times! More than me and my friends for sure! πŸ™‚
    God Bless!

  • Oh yeah, one more thing… πŸ™‚
    I also think that Mrs. Maxine’s story just shows us how much *AGE doesn’t matter*. Age is soooo pressed on EVERYONE SOOO much. I think that it’s weird. So, I hang out with people who are older (81) and younger (2+) than me! We are the body of Christ, and I think that is EXACTLY what Mrs. Maxine just made clear to us rebelutionaries!!!!! πŸ™‚

  • Miss Maxine, thank you for being a great example to us. I pray that God will bless you immensly. You’re an inspiration!

  • Wow! How Cute!

    I think I have met the youngest Rebelutionary yet. My 3 year old brother Nathan. He was helping me do laundry and asked to push down the button that dispensed the soap. I told him that it was hard and that his older brother couldn’t do it. Guess what he said! “I can do hard things.” And he did! He did it. Now that is his favorite saying when told he can’t do something.:)

    Good Job, Miss Maxine!

    In Christ,
    Kyrstin

  • Doing hard things doesn’t stop when you get older. As one becomes an adult, he/she is to take on the responsibilities and expectations as an adult. The “Do Hard Things” message is just as important to the older generation as it is to our generation.

  • WOW!!!!!!!! she is amazing and thats a proof that we can continue doing hard things through our lives…. wow!!!
    way to go Miss Maxine!!!!
    In Christ,
    Anabel Cuevas

  • I’m really bad at piano, but Maxine still enjoys it! or at least i hope haha she is truely one of the most inspirational people i know

  • Wow! how very encouraging and inspiring! Mrs Maxine demonstrates that IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO DO HARD THINGS!! How did you meet her guys?

    P.S. The picture is soo nice πŸ™‚ It really shows that the old and young alike can have the same aspiration: do hard things!

  • I know this is off topic, but does any one know if Joshua Guthrie made his $8000 goal by Christmas?

    Great picture and an encouraging story. Beautiful post by her daughter.

  • Haha oh my wordness that is SOO awesome!! this just goes to show you that older people can Do Hard Things just as well as us young’uns! πŸ˜›

  • How sweet! I love the picture!

    How very true it is though, older people as well as young people can do hard things. I was at a TV show class last month and for an assignment they made us shoot an interview. I was the one being interviewed. I wanted to say something important, so I got them to ask me about the rebelution. When we were done, the man who was working the camera came up to me and said “That sounds like a great book! But unfortunatly, I’m far past my teen years.” I told him it didn’t matter! I said that no matter how old you are, you will never be too old to do hard things. I am glad that here is proof of it!

    God bless!

    Sarah. πŸ™‚

    P.S. I guess I’m just some type of freak, but I have read “Do hard things” eight times! Can anyone beat that? πŸ˜‰

  • As a non-teenager, it’s great to see Mrs. Terhune being recognized for her perseverance and dedication to doing the every-day hard things.

    God bless you, Mrs. Terhune, and thanks, Guys, for highlighting her life.

    David Paul

  • How sweet! It truly is never too late to do hard things. I love old people–to sit and listen to them talk is, I think, better than going to the movies. They have so many stories to share! My great-grandmother who is 89 going on 90 lives in Portland, OR about 10 minutes away from your (Alex and Brett) father’s church!

  • If there was a Do Hard Things “hall of inspiration”, this picture should be in it. Because Mrs. Terhune is definitely an inspiration!! That’s amazing. To hear about someone who is at a time in their life where honestly, you wouldn’t expect them to keep pushing to do hard things – but there she is! What a beautiful photo and testimony – thank you guys for sharing this.

  • Awesome picture! Awesome story! Awesome God! I enjoy watching how God uses people of all ages. Even 97-year-olds. YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD OR TOO YOUNG TO BE USED BY GOD! Remember, God uses those who least expect it, when they least expect it!!
    I love how diverse our God is!!
    Keep it up, everyone!!

  • Thats such a sweet picture. My family gave your book to my cousin for christmas, and he was really exited because he at first thought it was by chuck norris, When his mom told him that only the forward was by chuck norris, he was a little disapionted. But he read the forward right away!

  • Wow! That is very encouraging to see older people such as her go and read books from people so much younger then them! I received your book from my parents for Christmas and I’m almost through with it! It’s very inspiring and I’m glad you can tell things from older brothers perspective because I am the oldest of eight children including a pair of two-year-old boy ttwwiinnss (with alot of energy) and sometimes it feels that with everything you do-your not getting anywhere! I read in your book that you’re half Japanese, so am I (my mom is from Japan)! I’m looking forward to going to your conference in Chicago with my cousins (my dad really wants to go too!)! Thanks for being an encouragement and reminding me to “do small hard things” as well!;)

    Happy New Year!!!

  • Sara, it’s really cool that you got them to interveiw you about the Rebelution.
    I’ve read DHT so many times that I don’t even remember how many! My mom actually bought the book to inspire herself, and I read it over and over again while we were on our road trip during the summer. I want all my friends to read it, but they aren’t Christians and they are totally into the ” We’re young, let’s just have fun and take the easy way”attitude. Right now I’m lending my copy to my Science teacher. Please, pray that God will use me and this book to Rebelutionize the way people around me think.

  • Rachel M.,

    Of course I’ll pray for you! Will you do the same for me? I gave a copy of the book to the youth leader of our church and he is reading it, but I don’t know if he will share it with the youth or not.

    God bless!

    Sarah. πŸ™‚

  • That’s awesome! It’s really inspiring hearing about a woman who at 97 years old is still driven to make her life better and to live it to the fullest. I’m only on my first time reading it, but I could definitely see myself reading it many more times and spreading the word to everyone around me.

  • WOW. What a witness. That is so great. I like what you had to say Elisabeth. Proof that we can β€œDo Hard Things” when we’re young, and young-at-heart.

  • Wow, this was very encouraging, Mrs. Terhune is living proof that no matter how old or young you are you can most definitely do hard things. Thank you Alex and Brett for sharing this story.

  • wow! that is great! like i commented earlier, i also am a HUGE fan of your book. I have read it about 3 times too! πŸ˜€ i like your website! don’t stop! i am probably gonna still be reading your books when i’m past my teens!

  • wow! that is great! like i commented earlier, i also am a HUGE fan of your book. I have read it about 3 times too! πŸ˜€ i like your website! don’t stop! i am probably gonna still be reading your book(s) when i’m past my teens! Are you writing any other ones?

  • I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome web site!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsβ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More β†’