An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Monday, November 23, 2015

Overcoming Any Problem Begins with a Grateful Heart

Overcoming Any Problem Begins With A Grateful Heart
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2015

     Overcoming any problem begins with a grateful heart. Those are words to a song I heard 20 years ago. When I first heard them, I thought, “how could that be true?” I wasn’t convinced that the writer of the song knew what she was talking about so I began to check the words out against my problems. Sure enough, no matter what it was I was challenged with, I really did not begin overcoming the situation until I began to look at what I had to be thankful for in it. Now, thanksgiving is my “go to” starting place when challenged because I know it works.
      Thankfulness adjusts our attitude. Does anyone out there need an attitude adjustment?  I remember my mother telling me at times to adjust my attitude. She would do so with her hands on her hips which meant I better adjust it quickly. She would say, “Kathleen, get happy just like you got sad,” and it was said in a tone of voice that indicated she meant business.
      I Thessalonians 5:15 is our prescription for an attitude adjustment and just what Dr. God orders for His kids. It says, “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) God is too good to tell us to do something and not provide what we need to do it. Our job is to obey and He will supply. Our job is also to ask Him for what we need and admit we cannot do it without Him.
     Sometimes overcoming begins with simply thanking God because He is good.            Psalms 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and  his love endures forever.” When we can not think of anything to be thankful for, we can always start with thanking God for his love. No matter what we are going through, we can rest in the fact that we are loved by the creator of the universe. We may not always feel loved and actually be rejected by people, but nothing can separate us from God’s love for us. His love has comforted med on many a difficult day as I simply made the statement, “God I thank you that you are good and you love me.” Those words help me adjust my attitude and remind me of the truth. No matter what my circumstances, He is good and He loves me.
     Gratefulness is my quick access to the presence of God, especially on the difficult days. His presence is what comforts me, gives me hope, helps me and is my anchor. Some days I do better than others, but scripture says in Psalms 95:2 , “Come into his presence with thanksgiving...” (KJV) If you need more of His presence, try thanksgiving. It works for me.
       At times, my prayer will be like this; “God, I need your help. Your word says to give thanks in all things so I thank you for what I will learn in this situation. Thank you for the experience I will gain. Thank you for helping me through this.” God is faithful but often times we must wait on Him and trust Him.
    For example,  I do not believe God just gives us patience but He will help us to be patient and grow in this character trait.  As we grow in that character, we learn the benefit of trusting His timing. God does not just  give us long suffering, but He will help us endure difficult things if we look to him. I know this from personal experience as I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Anyone can quote a scripture or pass a written test, but character is developed in the soil of difficulties.
      Colossians 3:17 states how we are to conduct our lives. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Thanks is an expression of gratitude and gratefulness. Thankful is an adjective that means pleased or relieved. How thankful are you? Do you have an overall feeling of being pleased and relieved? I personally could do better at being thankful.
      I know sometimes I have to simply pray, “God change my heart.” to develop an attitude of gratitude. According to this scripture, all our words,our job and actions should be done like we were doing it just for Jesus and with a beautiful attitude of thankfulness. 
           At the end of the day, all of us have plenty to be thankful for. James 1:17 says, 
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  All that we have that is good, is a gift from God. That is plenty to be thankful for.
     Thanksgiving is not just a season in November. God intends for it to be a lifestyle. He loves for His kids to be in His presence. Let’s start today. Will you join me in thanking Him more?

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native to the Texas Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and God’s love, You can reach her at or visit her blog at

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Need An Attitude Adjustment? Try Thankfulness

Need an attitude adjustment? Try thankfulness 
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2015

With Thanksgiving approaching, November is a month when many focus on giving thanks. Why should we take time to be thankful? I believe there are several reasons. The Bible tells us to be thankful. The number one reason because God said so. That alone is reason to be thankful all the time, however, there is another reason. Thankfulness is good for us and good for those around us! There is power that comes into our lives when we are thankful. Power to adjust our attitude, power to focus on the good and the goodness of God and power to overcome difficult circumstances. 

As a little girl it would really make me mad when I would ask my dad why I needed to do something and his reply was, “because I said so.” Really what he meant to say was, “ because it is good for you.” I was one of those kids that wanted to understand things and I’m sure I annoyed my parents by asking why. I’m sure God sometimes wants to tell me, “because I said so or because it is good for you Kathleen.” After all, He is all knowing and our job is to trust him.
Psalm 100:4 encourages us to be thankful as it states, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (NIV) Thankfulness opens our heart and gets brings our emotions and thinking into alignment. Think about it. How many people do you know that have said thank you with their arms folded? Not many...When we come to God with a thankful heart it opens us up to see all He has done for us that we might have missed. Thanksgiving makes God bigger than our problems or the things we face. It magnifies Him and His goodness.
Colossians 3:15 and 4:2 respectively state,“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (NIV)
I’ve seen the power of a thankful heart to change me personally. In my dark days of digging through grief, learning to live as a widow and caregiving for my ill, elderly parents, knowing their life span was short, it was easy to become weary and feel like life would always be painful. It was a difficult time, but God was also blessing me in some incredible ways. Realizing I needed to focus on the good in my life, I began to write down each evening something I was thankful for that day or had seen God do for me. In the beginning, I had to think about what to write but the more I looked for God’s goodness to me, the more I discovered. An attitude of gratitude began to change my heart and open my eyes. 
No, I did not thank God that I was living alone, was lonely and had a lot of responsibility, but I could thank him for holding my hand, leading me and comforting me as I cried. I could thank him that I still had my parents in my life and they called me each day. As my list of things that blessed my life each day grew, I began to see my heart change. Even though my circumstances did not change, life seemed easier.
Below is a psalm of thanksgiving I recently wrote:
Thank you Father for holding my right hand through the mountains and valleys of my life
Thank you God for being my constant friend and being with me all the time
Thank you for never leaving my side and comforting my heart
Thank you for helping me to see things from your perspective and the adventures we’ve shared
Thank you for your constant amazing love that provides such security
Thank you for the confidence that I have developed from this journey
Thank you that confidence and peace are established in my life and I now give those to others

I challenge you to develop a heart of thankfulness by either writing what you appreciate each day, verbally thanking God throughout the day and writing your own psalm of thanksgiving. Do it because He said so and you will empower yourself. I would love to see the hills alive with a community with a thankful heart!

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native to the Texas Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and God’s love, You can reach her at or visit her blog at

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fear or Confidence-Which Will You Choose?

Fear of Confidence-Which Will You Choose?
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2015

Walking through my neighborhood this week, I noticed decorations for Halloween at various home. At one home, there were all these scary looking creatures. I began to think of how God wants us to be filled with faith and confidence, not fear as we walk through this world. 
     Fear is defined as: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat. The feeling of anxiety about the outcome of something or the safety and well being of someone.  
     One thing is for sure, fear is tormenting. Fear is a thief and a robber of peace, joy and tranquility. I speak from experience and am thankful God has set me free from various fears and the bondage fear brings.
       There are many different kinds of fear. A few that I have struggled with in the past were a fear of death, fear of germs, fear of failure, and fear of the dark. I have found that many people struggle with the same fears that held me captive for years. I was good at justifying my fear, telling my self that one could never be too cautious. 
     One day I heard the words, “Fear is doubt  and unbelief and doubt and unbelief is not trusting God - that is sin.” At that moment, I knew I could no longer justify my fears. Whenever I was afraid, I began to acknowledge them as sin. God graciously began to set me free as I was faithful to repent and resist the temptation to walk in fear. Repentance is always our friend and is found on the path to freedom. 
     II Timothy 1:7 states, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” We can conclude from this passage that fear is a spirit and it is not from God; therefore, it is not our friend. There are times when I have simply said the words, “Fear go, you are not my friend.” As long as we coddle our fears, they will hang around. We must deal ruthlessly with them if we want to  get free. 
     I love Isaiah 41:10 which says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Many times I have pictured myself holding God’s hand and that gives me great courage. Dismayed means feelings of anxiety and consternation, usually by something unexpected. Have you ever had something unexpected happen? I have. 
     Proverbs 3:25 tells us, “Be not afraid of sudden fear....” Satan loves to make us feel scared because then we are intimidated. Intimidation has one goal; to scare us from even engaging in the battle. Goliath used intimidation on David but David did not bow to fear. He quickly strengthened himself by remembering how God helped him slay a bear and a lion. I love David’s faith in response to intimidation. He told the bellowing giant he would strike him down, cut off his head and give his carcasses to the birds! 
Now those are some faith filled words!
     Prior to a personal relationship with God I was terrified of dying. I had trouble sleeping at night for fear I might die. Once I accepted Jesus into my heart and repented of the fear, I was no longer afraid of dying. Knowing God personally, is the beginning of overcoming fear. Tell God you want a personal relationship with him. He will be delighted!

     The US Navy has a slogan that I think is a motto against any fears. “Life liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it.” God wants us to enjoy life, our freedom and get rid of any fear that would threaten us. Fear is an enemy, not our friend. Do not let fear rob you anymore. There is power in your words, so tell fear to go.
     Freedom is waiting...what are you afraid of?

Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. You can contact her at and on her blog

Monday, October 19, 2015

Finding Security Living in Uncertainty

Finding Security Living in Uncertainty 
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
October 2015

Have you ever found yourself in a situation and simply did not know what to do?  Have you ever felt like the odds are against you?  Are you in a place where you just do not have the answer?  Maybe you planned something and then it does not happen or you are in a place in your life where you cannot plan too far ahead because things are uncertain.  How do we walk in this place?  I have found myself in all of the above situation in my life. 

Soon after Joe was diagnosed-He died 6 years ago Oct.8th.
When my late husband was diagnosed with a life threatening illness, suddenly our plans for our lives changed in a day. I quickly realized there were many unknowns in the world of cancer and I had no guarantees about the future. We had raised our three kids and started our second honeymoon. The words “Joe, you have a very rare cancer” not only changed his healthy world but also my plans for the two of us.  Life was suddenly uncertain and I wasn’t a fan of the unpredictable. If I made a plan, it was changed because of chemo, a doctor’s decision, test results, etc.

In reality, all of us live in uncertainty, but most of us just don’t realize it. None of us have  any guarantees in life. The company you work for goes under and you are out of a job, your child is in a wreck, your teenager tells you she is expecting, your mate suddenly has a heart attack and is gone and the list goes on. Our certainty or security must be rooted in the nature of who God is. He is faithful when life is uncertain. I never know what is around the corner, but for me, loving God and walking with Him through life gives me power and peace.  Although I do not know what my future holds, I do know who holds my hand if I let Him as I walk in life’s uncertainties.

The Bible has an answer of how we are to navigate through such a season.  I found it in II Chronicles 20 in a story about King Jehoshaphat.  Several vast armies were coming against his kingdom and he did not know how to handle it. What I love about this great leader is how he handled his questions and problems.  He modeled for his people seeking and magnifying God, not his situation.  Jehoshaphat declares in verse 12, “…for we have no power against this vast army that has come against us, we know not what to do but our eyes are on you.”  He does not deny his problem but humbly admits he does not know what to do and then declares that he will keep his focus on God.

  God responds to Jehoshaphat’s problem by saying the battle is not Jehoshaphat’s battle but God’s.  God tells him to not be discouraged or afraid and to “set himself, stand firm and see the salvation of his God.”  Wow!  All of a sudden Jehoshaphat is in a pretty secure place!  All the king of Israel has to do is focus, stand and worship God.  We could all take a lesson from this king.  Worshipping God is a powerful weapon because it aligns our focus with the one certain thing in life- God loves us and is for us. Giving thanks to God (because all blessings come from God), reminding ourselves that His mercy trumps any sin we have committed, is an amazing way to do battle against what comes against us.  The end of the story says that after Jehoshaphat defeated his enemies it took his people three days to collect all the blessings. Rest and peace came to his nation.

I daily face situations and questions that I have to answer, “I do not know” but I am beginning to say “I do not know yet.”  Keeping my focus on God, His faithfulness and love and constantly having a song in my heart helps me find the answer I need. It also helps calm my soul while I live in the YET. 

I have adopted the mindset that trials or crisis are adventures. It is not a good adventure story unless something goes wrong and character overcomes the challenge. I believe we have a God given right to overcome in any situation we face when our heart is right and we focus on Him. 

 I have decided to follow Jehoshaphat’s example to keep my eyes on God, seek Him for what I can learn in the adventures of life and have fun. A good song keeps a spring in my step as I take His hand and round the corner of uncertainty. 

Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Contact her at or visit her blog on


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weary and Burdened? You Do Not Have to Be

Weary and Burdened? You Don't Have to Be
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
September 30th, 2015 copyright

Talking to several friends and those in need recently, I have noticed a common denominator-weariness and burdens. The business and trials of this life often make one weary and/or burdened, however, the antidote is found in the Bible. Matthew 11:28-30 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV) 

As I read this passage, I discovered several key words: come, learn, give, yoke, gentle, humble and rest. 

The first thing we must do when weary and burdened is come or run to the one that can really help-Jesus. The good news is he is the expert in fixing problems, always has time and never gets tired of us bringing our troubles to him. Do you run to God when you are tired and burdened? 

The second thing that is important is that Jesus loves to give  rest in times of need and promises to give it to us when we come to him and do things his way. Rest is a gift our heart can experience if we choose to trust him and give our anxieties to him. Rest makes us fresh and able to handle things better. It is a weapon we can use.

God’s  way of getting rid of weariness and burdens is to partner with him. He says to “take his yoke and learn of him.” A yoke is a wooden beam, something strong and enables us to pull a heavy load. We live on earth but God offers partnership and heavenly help. Learning his ways means not insisting on doing things our way or by ourselves. When I was raising my three children, it was always so much easier on everyone when my children were eager to learn and teachable. When they insisted they knew everything, did not listen to our council, consequences often followed.   

God’s council for us is to be gentle and humble in times of testing, trials, weariness, conflict and anxiety. I was in a tough situation one time and felt God say, “be gentle and humble.” Handling things delicately diffuses heated situations. I have also learned that laying down my right to be right helps me win in situations. 

Years ago, I was frustrated with my late husband about something. As I prayed about it, I felt like God said, “Kathleen, you are right in this situation, but can you lay down your right to be right for the sake of the relationship?” I had to choose in that moment and the moments that followed, if I wanted to do things my way or God’s way. Choosing humility over pride always wins and gentleness and humility brings rest and peace into situations.

I am convinced from personal experience that Matthew 11:28-30 helps in times of fatigue and pressure. I challenge you to practice this passage by pushing weariness and the cares of this world away from you by running to Jesus. Partner with him to carry the load by giving the situation to him, doing things his way  and resting/trusting in him by choosing gentleness and humility. 

Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Contact her at or visit her blog on