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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Five Years Later

Maxwell Family Update Five Years Later
2009 - 20014
Last family picture
Five years ago today, a great man took his last breath on earth and his first breath in heaven. It is hard to believe that Joe Maxwell has been gone that long. In some ways it seems like yesterday and in other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago.

Our family has changed dramatically since October 8, 2009. Yes, we lost a member of our family we all loved dearly, but we've grown in number and in who we are. 

Price graduating from UT
I am proud of my children and how they have navigated the waters of grief, change, making a new life without dad and embracing their mom remarrying. I'm proud of Price, who made a 4.0 at UT the semester his dad died, graduated in 4 years and has an amazing job as a petroleum engineer. It is not easy to watch your dad slip away as a freshman in college and die the beginning of his sophomore year.
I'm proud of Mallory for going on with her life, marrying a few months after her dad left, for God's provision in Rob, and the wonderful mom she is to Truett. I'm proud of Austin and Laura, in how they have both navigated losing both of their dads in a short time. Not many people in their late 20's and early 30's lose their dad. God will use them to help others. I'm thankful all my kids still love and serve God.

New parents and new grandbabies
Learning to be a hunter's wife
God's grace has carried us the past five years. His love has comforted us. His kindness has met us at every corner we needed to turn. His faithfulness has helped us go on. Our family has grown from 5, five years ago to 9 now! Added were Rob Williams, my son-in-law, Stephen Rambie, my new husband, and Collins Maxwell and Truett Williams, our little bundles of life and grandbabies. All have brought much joy and life into our family and made us laugh again. I am thankful.
Family vacation 2014

I'm thankful for the new life we all now lead. I'm thankful to God who continually brings new healing to our hearts. I'm thankful that He has helped us overcome a great loss and go on and enjoy life. I'm thankful for how we have all grown in adversity.

I am also thankful for all of you that stood with us, cried with us, cheered us on and prayed for us. Many blessings to you all.







Saturday, October 4, 2014

Waiting On God is the Best Choice


Kathleen Mazwell-Rambie
Copyright 2014

     Where are you right now in your life? Are you in a difficult situation or a low spot? Are you trying to just keep your head above the water as the storm rages? Do you feel all alone and caught in the waves? You are not alone, trust me. I am 53 and don’t know much, but know there are seasons in all our lives that challenge us. It is just part of life here on earth.
     I recently came across a passage I memorized years ago when I was waiting for God to bring sunshine into my life again. The clouds seemed dark at the time and the storm seemed to rage for a while. Psalms 130 was chapter I hung on to  while I waited for the waves to subside. The good news is that  the sun did shine again in my life but it took a while for the clouds to break and dawn to come. In the time in between  was waiting...
     Psalms 130 begins with, “Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord; O Lord hear my voice. Let your ear be attentive to my cry for mercy.” (NIV) The Psalmist was in a dark place and I believe was verbally processing where he was, reminding God of his plight; like Almighty God didn’t know.  I am a verbal processor so I understand the conversation. He was reminding God that he was in a dark place and was waiting to see the kindness of God. I have had some of those same conversations with God myself; I just said it a little differently. My version went something like, “Seriously God, I don’t think I can make it much longer. I know you love me and are kind but I am tired.” I believe God loves it when we are honest with our feelings and tell him. He loves relationship with us just like I do with my three adult children. I love it when they share their hearts on a matter and tell me how they see things.
     Often times in adversity, people blame God or feel he is punishing them. Psalms130:3 is a reminder that God doesn’t hold our sins against us  when we confess them. I love The Message interruption of Psalms 130:3-4, “If you God kept records of wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshipped.” (The Message Bible) When I read this passage, I had to ask myself if I had a good habit of forgiving people. It was a good reminder to make it a habit, not an occasional event. Right there is the reason we all need to worship God more; simply because he does not hold our past against us. Whooo whoo! Do you daily thank God that He doesn’t hold your past against you? How do you treat those that have wronged you? Do you treat them with kindness or contempt? Do you hold the past against them?
     Psalms 130: 6 states, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”  I feel the Psalmist is preaching to himself here. I do that a lot. In the stormy times we have the word to hang on to and we need to remind ourselves of the truth.  Wait in this passage is translated “to bind, to twist, to expect, to collect.”  In the waiting time we have the opportunity to bind ourselves to God, to develop faith as we we put our expectation in Him and collect things necessary for the next part of the journey. Waiting is a gathering time.
     Then the writer of Psalms reminds us to put our hope in the Lord for with Him is unfailing love and FULL redemption. What a promise to hang on to! Redemption means recovery, saving, or honoring. Sometimes the salvation in the storm comes as God guides us through the rain. Other times He rescues us. One thing is for sure, He is always loving us and right there. 
     The longer I walk with God, the more I am aware of His presence with me. His presence has become my security blanket and gives me confidence to step out and walk on the water. An awareness of God’s presence didn’t just come from reading the scripture. I had done that for years. It didn’t come from listening to a good sermon. I knew the verses and had them memorized. An awareness of His presence came as I waited on God, looked to Him to guide me through the storms of heartache, betrayal, disappointments. It came as I faced life altering illnesses with loved ones and as I put my hope in Him. An awareness of His unfailing love came as I poured out my heart in anguish in the depths of despair and wondering if I could survive. Sermons, memorizing, reading often don’t change us. It is as we take the word and apply it and develop an experience with God that the word becomes life and truth to us. Experience makes us rich when we learn from it. Our experience is invaluable. It makes us who we are and gives us authority.
     Isaiah 30:18 sums things up and declares that we are blessed when we wait on God. It says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion, For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” ( NIV)
     Crying out to God, hanging on when we want to give up, reminding ourselves of truth , waiting on God’s redemption and putting our hope in Him is good for us. It strengthens us and enlarges us; therefore, our challenges become our opportunities to grow. The growth is often not easy but one day we will experience His full redemption of the situation. What do you need to do? Cry out, wait, make forgiveness a habit, preach to yourself or hope? Pick one and get started! Just do it... He is waiting on you. Are you just waiting or are you waiting on Him?
     

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 kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hope Only in the Lord-Anything Else Will Let You Down


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright 2014

Not only is hope vital in times of crisis but in our everyday life. It is necessary to keep us moving forward in any situation. Some of the challenges we often face in life that need the anchor of hope are in business, relationships, health or finances. The Bible has much to say about the subject of hope and even secular society understands the importance of hope. What is hope? How do you get hope? What do you do when hope is gone or what you hoped for does not happen?

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for something to happen. To not have hope is to have a negative mindset and can be detrimental nor only for the person with a negative mindset but also those around a person that has lost hope.

Where do you go when you need hope? I have found God’s Word to be my “go to” spot for hope. Romans 15:4 tells us, “ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (NIV) There are many negative circumstances and negative people in life so it is important that we look to God’s promises for our lives. He is the one person we can always count on.

 Romans 15:13  which says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.”(NIV) From this scripture we find that hope is part of the character of God. It is part of who He is and who we are as we are made in His image, therefore, we always have access to hope. We also find in this passage that trust in God links us to not only hope but joy and peace. That right there is reason enough to keep trusting God. Who doesn’t need more joy and peace? 

The benefits of hope are amazing. Isaiah 40:31 states, “ But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strengthen, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (NIV) In this scripture, the meaning of the word hope is to bind, to strengthen and to wait. Hope in God, not our circumstances, gives us strength and ability to weather extreme circumstances, and keeps us going. Please note that we are instructed to not hope in anything but God.

David commanded his soul to hope in God. Psalms 43:5 says, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”  (NIV) This is a good reminder for all of us to command our inner man to not  rely on our negative feelings, but to put our hope in the one who has the power to change things.

Maxwell,Williams and Rambie Vacation 2014
One of the things I noticed at MD Anderson when my late husband was battling a rare cancer, was how all the staff encouraged and spoke of hope and being optimistic during his battle. Medicine is about science and facts and yet all the doctors and nurses we dealt with always spoke of the importance of hope in his battle. That was not really a problem for us because we had a deep faith in God. Although we sought some of the best medical treatment, our hope was in God and our trust was in Him. Even when we came home for him to die, we still had hope in God’s ability to intervene in our circumstances. 

Nine months after his diagnosis, he passed away. Did I get what I hoped for? No, but to me, God never failed me, He was faithful and was with me in the most challenging time of my life. My hope remained in God that dearly loves me,  in God to heal my broken heart and to help me keep moving forward in my life and purpose. 

God is looking for a people that are optimistic, see all the possibilities in life  and hope in Him. Jeremiah 31:17 promises us hope stating, “So there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord.” (NIV) I challenge you to grab that promise and trust in God.And once we are anchored in hope ourselves, then we can offer hope to those around us. 


Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. You can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wanted Campference OCT 9-12, 2014 H.E.Butt Foundation Camp

Come and join the fun and fellowship! For any member of Christian Women's Job Corps, you will receive a scholarship to come free of charge in exchange for helping with the event.



For all other women, September special is $100 for Thursday-Sunday. We had a great time last year and look forward to another wonderful time.

Come and be refreshed, have lots of fun and enjoy the wonderful Hill Country.



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Wanted Campference women's retreat wants to pray with and for you. Let us know what we can pray for.
It is always a treat when this lady, Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, prays for me. Come hear her share God's Word at camp OCTOBER 9-12 H.E. Butt Foundation Camp We were giggling and tears were rolling last year as the Holy Spirit prayer brought us an overflowing joy. Have you signed up for camp yet? 


Go to WantedCampference dot com


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

His Amazing Love Enables Us to Love Others


One of the outstanding characteristics of God is his constant, everlasting love for us. When someone says the word God to me, two words frequently pop into my mind: His faithfulness and love. No matter what is going on in my life, His faithfulness and love are my anchor and security. How about you? What pops into your head when you hear the word God? Opening our hearts and our minds to God’s love will bring many benefits into our lives and those we are around. February, a month we focus on love, I think it would be good for us to spend some extra time loving God and practicing loving others.
I have seen in my own life that the more I open my heart to God’s love and spend time loving Him, the better I am at loving others. We are all born with a need to be loved, and we are born selfish and self-centered. Love thinks of others first. I’ve been asking God to reveal to me when I am self-centered or selfish, as I want to love others better.
Love is a connection of hearts. Real love is based on relationship.When we love God with our hearts, instead of our mind, we are able to love others with God’s love. Actually, when we love those we are around well, it shows our love for God. 1 John 4:7 state,”Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
All of us can improve in loving God and loving others. When I think of those in my life that have loved me well, they are people that love God, are sensitive, compassionate and are not self-centered. They are the people that believe the best in me and stand by me no matter what. They are people that demonstrate their love for God by how they love me and others in their lives. Humble people and those not afraid to admit when they are wrong, are usually good at loving others — people that love in their actions, not just in words. Think of the people in your life that you feel love you. What are their characteristics? Do they say they love God or demonstrate that they love God by loving others. Loving others is proof of our love for God.
Believing God loves us takes faith. Faith and love are linked together. More than 55 times in the Bible, the words faith and love are mentioned in the same Scripture. We cannot really believe in God’s faithfulness until we really believe God loves us. I can trust in God’s faithfulness to me, because I’ve learned of His love for me. I will never forget the day I admitted to some friends and my late husband, that I believed God loved other people, but wasn’t convinced that He loved me. Let me confess, I had been a believer for 20 years. That confession was the beginning of a great journey of discovering God’s incredible love for me. That love has become the bedrock of security and trust in God. It took courage to admit what I felt, as my late husband and I were leading a Bible study, but it was a gut level confession, and God heard it and honored it. Do you need to get gut level honest with God? I had been taught since I was a child that God loved me and believed it in my head, but not my heart. It wasn’t until I was honest with others and God as a 30-year-old woman, that I really began to understand God’s love for me. Let me encourage you to be honest with God. He already knows your heart anyway.
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (NIV). We see in this Scripture that our faith in God is directly linked to knowing His love for us. Let me encourage you, if you lack faith in God, you need to discover His love for you. Personally, I want to be known as a woman that loved God with all her heart and loves others.

I challenge you to ask God to reveal more of his love to you, then, look for it!