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

Monday, February 1, 2016

Resting in God's love and on His shoulders

Resting in God's love and on His shoulders
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright 2016

You are never a failure unless you fail to see God’s love for you.   Living in the Bible Belt, we frequently hear “God loves you.”  I encounter many people, that don’t  live like they believe it. I must confess I’ve lived most of my life as a Christian and did not really believe in my heart the fact that God really loved me dearly.

 I will never forget the evening about twenty years ago, my late husband and I finished leading a bible study on trusting God. In our study that statement was made that a person could not really trust God fully if they did not really believe He loved them.  I broke down and confessed to my husband and another couple, that I struggled with trusting God and really believing He loved me. I had plenty of head knowledge but needed that moved to my heart.  It was a humbling moment for me as a Bible study teacher to confess that but it was true. My problem was that I looked at my circumstances and things I had been through and had doubted God’s love. My confession and honesty opened the door for God to erase those doubts forever.

I asked God for a revelation of His love.  In His kindness, God began to open my eyes to His love for me step by step. I know He loved the day I offered up that prayer and my journey began in experiencing God’s love.

 In February of that year, I was coaching gymnastics and one of my students brought me a valentine that had a scripture on it.  I knew God was speaking through that little girl’s gift.  The scripture was  Jeremiah 31:3 which says, “I have love you with an everlasting love.  I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”   It quickly became a treasured scripture because it  is a constant reminder that God’s love is unending for me.  His love will never cease. Everlasting means now and always.  I also love it because it also shows me that God tenderly is drawing me to himself.  His kindness is birthed out of a heart of love for me.

Not long after, God took me to a scripture found in Deuteronomy 33:12.  It says, “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” I remember when I was little and sat on my dad’s shoulders. I felt on top of the world because I was suddenly bigger than everything. I felt special. Things that once looked big to me suddenly were not that big. When we have an understanding that God really loves us and is for us, we can rest in the middle of any storm in life. It is easy to focus on the storm or the problem but when I focus on the fact that I am dearly loved, His beloved, His love acts as my life jacket. It helps me ride the waves.  God’s heart is for His kids to rest and know they are loved.  When we climb up on His shoulders, resting in His love, then we can see our lives from His perspective.  God’s viewpoint is always better than mine.  He issues us an invitation to rest and come up higher.  
Taylor and his brother
About 10 years ago, I was taking my nephew, Taylor, out for a special fun day. My sister and her husband waited a long time for Taylor and he was not only very special to them but to me. He is a child that wakes up each day full of energy and excitement. Each day he is ready to enjoy and conquer life. 
Taylor was in the back seat of the jeep and was singing and enjoying his day with Aunt Kathleen. As we drove, I felt the Holy Spirit invade the jeep and I began to weep. I felt God speak that Taylor was free to enjoy each day because he knew he was dearly loved by his parents as well as me. Taylor knows we will take care of everything that concerns him, protect him and he knows that we enjoy him as a person. Then I felt God say, “Kathleen, I want you to live as My much loved child.” I have felt so much more freedom from stress and anxiety as I have been learning to live as a much loved child. When we really believe God is a loving father and will take care of everything that concerns us, we are free to enjoy every situation we encounter. I am learning that when I am stressed or anxious, I just need a greater revelation of His love for me.

 I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Who am I? I am a much loved child of God. Who are you? YOU ARE A MUCH LOVED AND WANTED CHILD of God and you are never a failure unless you fail to see God’s love for you.



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 kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Choosing God's Ways Takes Practice

Choosing God's Way Takes Practice
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright January 2016





God has provided everything we need for each day we face. The problem we all wrestle with is not walking in the new life Christ has provided for us and defaulting to our old ways of handling situations. 

Galatians 5:22-25 talks about our new life in Christ  of love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, kindness and self control. Each day, in each situation, we  can choose to keep in step with God or do things our way- the old self centered way.

It is like God has given us a brand new car, representing our new life in him, and he tells us to take it out for a spin. Our old life, represented by an old beat up dilapidated junk yard car, is right there, comfortable for us to continue to use or we can simply get in the new vehicle God has given us, learn about it and  practice driving it. Romans 6:4 says, “...just as Christ was raise from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (NIV) Which will we choose?
The new car, is nice, pretty, and has all the bells and whistles, safety features but we just are not comfortable driving it so we go back to what we are comfortable with. Each day, in every situation, everyone of us has the opportunity to practice walking in newness of life, practicing driving our new gift,  or default to immature and out of date ways of handling situations we face. We get to choose what we will drive.

I had a  convertible car I had driven for years. Although it was 9 years old, it was comfortable. My husband recently bought me as SUV, as I am on the road a great deal and he wanted me in something safer and bigger. I have had to learn a lot about driving my new vehicle and I am still practicing and learning about this vehicle.

With our new life in Christ, there is much to learn and practice. The other day, I had an opportunity to choose and practice. I was traveling on business and I ordered a cup of coffee and sat down to wait for my eggs and ham. As the young girl placed my breakfast in front of me, I felt the Lord say, “She needs to know how much I love her and how special she is to me.” I knew it was the Lord but in my mind, I began to think that I did not have much time and needed to hurry to my next appointment. I then sipped may coffee, only to discover that it was not hot, but actually cool in temperature. I had just paid good money for a hot cup of coffee, About that time, the waitress came back and asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”  “Yes, if you could get me another cup of coffee, I would really appreciate it.” I said kindly.  “This one is not very hot,” I stated. When she returned, she apologized and thanked me for not getting upset about cold coffee and said she deals with many customers that get mad and upset. I realized at that moment, it was much more important to God that I was kind to this young girl than it was that I had a hot cup of coffee.

Seizing the moment, I stepped out in faith, hoping she did not think I was crazy, and told her how special she was to God and how much he loved her. Much to my surprise, she sat down at my table and began to weep. Those words were life to her soul. They were exactly what she needed. We visited a few minutes and then I asked her if I could pray for her. She readily agreed and we prayed.  Her entire countenance began to change and I saw a new sparkle in her eye. I was so glad I chose to practice kindness instead of my right to a hot cup of coffee. 
Each day, in each situation, we  can choose to keep in step with our new life in Christ and practice driving our new vehicle or  revert to old self centered ways, our old vehicle.  If you find yourself in your junk yard car, put it in park and get out. Enjoy God’s provision of newness of life, remember, practice makes perfect. None of us are too old to learn anything and all of us need more practice in walking in love, joy, peace, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness and self control. Join me in choosing God’s new provision for us, new life in him, learning about it and practice, practice, practice.


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a writer and speaker. She passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and is a native of the Hill Country. You can reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog for other writings at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Friday, January 1, 2016

Need instruction or counsel for 2016? Seek God!

Need instruction or counsel for 2016? Seek God!
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright

In fall of 2008, I was given a framed scripture that has impacted my life and has been a constant source of stability since that time. It was given to me just a few weeks before my late husband was diagnosed with a rare disease and reminded me in the uncertain days I faced, that God would direct me step-by-step. Recently, I encountered a few challenging weeks and, once again, this scripture was my anchor.“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalms 32:8 (NIV) 

As we enter a new year, it is comforting to know that God will instruct us, teach us, counsel and watch over us, as we seek Him. I have my plans, goals and dreams for 2016 and, yet, I have lived long enough to know that things do not always turn out the way I want them to. Nevertheless, I have a security and someone I can depend on and his name is Jesus. My job is to look to him, seek him, listen and trust.


A few weeks ago, I had just finished a big fundraising event for work and was dealing with all the paper work when my youngest son called to visit before he boarded a plane to Paris, France for work. Even if he is 6-feet, 4-inches, he is still my baby. I told him I loved him and would be praying for him, only to find out later that evening about the terrorist attacks in the city he was flying into. Needless to say, I prayed a little more intensely upon hearing that news.
Five days later, my daughter called from the emergency room and her two-year-old had broken his arm playing on the playground. Days before, she had been in the same emergency room with her two-month-old that had a high fever. Once again, I prayed and committed my kids and grandkids to the Lord.
 At this same time, I was also preparing for a grand opening of a building project I had been working on for the past four years and was in the middle of moving to the new BCFS Hill Country Resource Center. This was also a busy time for me at work, as I was overseeing 10 Christmas appeals for the different cities I work with so things were quite hectic. As I was unpacking boxes, I received another call from my daughter, “Mom, I need you to pray, we are in the ER again with Truett and a team of 15 just surrounded him. His blood sugar is sky high, and they are moving him to ICU,” she said. We were unaware, at the time, that this little boy was a Type 1 Diabetic.
As I pondered the words I heard and tried to think of what to do next, I remembered Jesus came to this earth as the prince of peace, and I had a God-given right to walk in peace in any situation. I knew I needed to go to Houston and help my daughter and son-in-law in this crisis as they had a two-year-old in ICU and a new baby that could not be in the hospital room with them.
“Lord, how am I going to meet my deadlines, prepare for the grand opening in three days, unpack my office and take care of those I love?” I prayed as I packed my suitcase. And there it was, sitting on my dresser: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Peace flooded my heart and I knew I could not figure it all out, but that God would show me step-by-step. Once again, this scripture anchored my soul in a trying time and my job was to seek, listen, trust and walk in the peace God provides in times of crisis.
The rest of the story is, a few days later, the boxes were unpacked, the grand opening went well, my grandson was released from the hospital, my son was safe, but still in France and God was once again faithful to instruct, teach, counsel and watch over me.
I challenge you as you enter 2016 to write out Psalm 32:8, put it where you can see it, and let it be your guide into the new year. Whatever you face, I have no doubt that God will instruct you as you walk with him, teach and counsel you as you look to him, and watch over you.

76,585

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Navigating Change at Christmas

Navigating Change at Christmas, trusting God’s plan 
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
December 2015
copyright
  
Last week marked the third anniversary of the death of my mom, and I began to ponder all the things that had changed in my life in the last few holiday seasons. Things look very different than they did a few years ago and with change, there always comes the period of transition, the in-between time, the time of letting go of the past and embracing the new. Change is often times a good thing, although it can also challenge us and, if we look at history, change has been around a long time.
I have encountered several recent changes in my life, family and work. The addition of my new husband, step children and grand babies was a wonderful change in our family. Although wonderful, it has been a time of adjustment and transition; we are all learning our new life together. Other changes I have experienced, or those I know have encountered, can also be challenging, such as changing or losing a job, a family member encounters a life-changing illness or gets cancer, losing a spouse, child or parent. Sometimes, we think we know the road map for our life, and God suddenly reveals that he has a different plan.
Think about Mary and Joseph. Those two young people had a huge shift in their plans and lives when God began to reveal to them they were chosen for a very special task in the world, to birth and raise Jesus. Here was a young couple, engaged to be married with dreams for their lives together, and suddenly they were told a very special baby was on its way, the son of God.
Luke 1 tells us that, at first, Mary is greatly troubled by the news and had questions. She did not have a grid or any understanding of the news she received, as no one else had been chosen to carry the Son of God. We can all learn from her ultimate response. Luke 1:38 recounts her response to the news with, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:46 states Mary’s response, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (NIV) When the unexpected came, Mary humbled herself, agreed with God’s plan even though she did not understand and worshiped God in her transition. I love that about her! She lived Proverbs 3:5 which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” (NIV) She simply trusted God and his goodness.
Matthew 1 tells us Joseph first thought of ending the relationship with Mary, but after an angel appeared to him in a dream, and explained God’s plan, he changed his mind. Matthew 1:24 says, “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (NIV)
Transition is defined as the process of changing from one state or condition to another. I have often felt like my own transitions make me feel upside down. God’s purpose in our lives is to conform us to his image. In our day-to-day walk, he wants us to be his representatives here on earth of his kindness, love, goodness, faithfulness and peace. He is all about changing us to be more like him and, often times, uses change or transition as a tool to shape us.We can tell from the Christmas story, that change might not seem like a good thing at first, but, ultimately, it can be our friend and birth something new in us, a better version of who we are, will affect the world around us. Mary and Joseph were chosen for special purposes. They embraced the plan and change, and simply trusted God.
Change has been around for more than 2,000 years and is here to stay. God is looking for people that will say “yes” to Him and make a difference in the world. What change has happened in your life since the last few holiday seasons? What change do you need to wrap your arms around? I wonder what special task God has chosen you for?
 I challenge you to have the same attitude as Mary and Joseph. Simply say “yes” to God’s plan, trust Him and grow from your changes. In that journey, our faith is upgraded, we can be conformed to God’s image, and we discover it’s a wonderful life.


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 kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com.

Monday, December 7, 2015

BCFS Hill Country Resource Center Grand Opening


On December 4th was a great day! After working 4 long years on this project, the day finally arrived! It has been a 4 year pregnancy and the grand opening was all I had hoped it would be. I was hired by BCFS for this project in February 2012. Having a center in Kerrville that houses multiple nonprofits  that will share training rooms, computer lab, conference room and other common areas will be a great asset to a community I love. Currently, Art 2 Heart, Families & Literacy, New Hope Counseling, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hill Country Ministries, Goodwill and BCFS all are located in this 20,000 square foot building.
400 community members attended the event and the Tivy Band created a celebration atmosphere. For me, this has been a journey of walking with God to do something that was beyond my own ability and a journey of preserving. God is faithful and I'm thankful for His guidance to finish the project.
Grand Opening of BCFS Center- 
Board room
wonderful food!
Kathleen and Krista
computer lab utilized by all
ribbon cutting by major donors
CEO Kevin Dinnin
My sweet mother-in-law and step-daughter came to celebrate with me!
Getting ready for the big event!
Major donors

sharing the joy of the day with BCFS friends
Sue Tiemann and Kathleen