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

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Power of Thanksgiving Year Round




Thanksgiving in Alpine...true west Texas event!

The Power of Thankfulness
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2014


Thanksgiving is not just for November but is a powerful resource for us throughout the year. The Bible tells us to be thankful. The number one reason to be thankful is because God said so. That alone is reason to be thankful all the time, however, there are other reasons. 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 maked 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 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.
I challenge you to develop a heart of thankfulness by either writing what you appreciate each day or verbally thanking God throughout the day. Do it because He said so and you will empower yourself. I would love to see the hills alive in Kerrville with a thankful heart!

Uncle Price and Truett

Monday, November 17, 2014

Highlights of the Past Month

Highlights for the past month October to November 2014
Uncle Barrett and Truett resting during dove season









Collins came to see Mama Max and we went to the park with Daddy
Dove Hunting with my good friends!

Celebrating our second anniversary

Fishing at the beach for our anniversary


Capital Campaign Project I've been working on for 2 1/2 years finally broke ground!

Dove Dynasty....

Friday, November 7, 2014

Who Are You Listening to?


Kerrville Daily Times Article 
October 2014
Copyright 2014
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie


     Too many times in life, we listen to other people, popular opinion, the voice of fear, our own insecurities instead of listening to what God says. When we listen to anything but God, we shoot ourselves in the foot. Isaiah 43:1 and 14 tells us of who we are to listen to. “But now, this is what the Lord says...” This is a powerful statement. In any situation or circumstances, we need to stop long enough to hear and investigate what God’s perspective is, what God says about our situation.

Dove Hunting with my sons...don't shoot yourself in the foot!
     “But now, this is what the Lord says, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”(NIV)  God reminds us in this passage that he knows everything about us and He knows our potential. He even knows our capability in our current circumstances. It is his way of saying to not give Him excuses for our fear. Then kindly, he commands us to not fear, reminding us that he has redeemed us.

 Redeem means to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something. I feel the Lord is instructing us to not look at our ability or inability but to look to Him and His greatness. Even in our weaknesses, He has us covered. The Father goes on to say, “I have summoned you and called you by name, you are mine. Often times in life, we can feel insignificant and we must remember God Almighty has hand picked us and chosen us for a particular task and loves us enough to identify with us and call us part of the family. All of us have a need to belong, and He claims us.

Holding my Daddy's hand the last few moments of his life
This passage is rich and verse two of Isaiah 43 is packed with more promises for us from God. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” (NIV) All of us encounter difficult waters in life. Tough situations at work, illnesses, loss of someone we love, financial trouble, marital problems are just a few that come to mind. God is gently telling us difficulty is part of life here on earth and when it happens, He will walk beside us. As I read this passage, I reflected on a time recently I had been wading  through water. As I stepped into the lake, the sediment swirled and I could not see very well. I continued walking in the unknown waters slowly, as we all do in life, and suddenly hit a spot that was slippery. I reached to grab my husband’s are to steady me. Do you reach for God to steady you when you encounter the unknown waters of life? He is always there to hang on to .

There have been times in my life that I have felt like the river of life was rising around me and I might not make it. I thought I might drown.  My mom was an very ill for nine years and I over saw her care. Balancing work, my family, her doctor visits, caregivers,  medication, and the emotional loss was challenging. I became the parent and she became the child. Six years into her illness, my late husband developed cancer and passed away. I was struggling to overcome the heart ache of the loss, when my father became ill. In these days, I was not sure I would make it. Being the only sibling in town, put the major responsibility of both of them on my plate. All I could do was take one step at a time and hang on the fact that I was not alone, God was with me. He was faithful to sustain me, walk with me, help me, give me strength and comfort. It was a long and challenging season.Although it felt like the waters of life would sweep me away, God was greater than all my circumstances and those difficulties shaped me and forever changed me in a positive way. 

He is with us when we pass through the water to give us hope and a future
 When life gives you circumstances you do not want, what you do get is experience. And the experience of walking with God in unknown waters or rushing rivers makes you rich. Will you join me in listening to what God says instead of the negative voices around you? 

October 27th we celebrated our 2nd anniversary!
Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com




69,127


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Open Your Eyes, Let Go and Take Responsibility


Open Your Eyes, Let Go and Take Responsibility
October 2014 
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright

We live in exciting and yet dangerous days. We live in a time that I feel is packed with potential for each of us as well as Ebloa,  airstrikes, and much more to be concerned about.  I firmly believe God is reaching out to all of us to first accept Him as Lord and Savior, see how big He is and that we are made on purpose for His purpose, and take responsibility for our personal development. All these things are necessary to step into our destiny.

The book of Esther in the Bible and her life describe how one orphan girl, a common girl  that most in society would have overlooked. She stepped into becoming queen, risk her life and saved the Jewish people. God saw her potential, prepared her and chose her for an important purpose. 

Speaking at the Wanted Campference on Esther in October
Esther knew God. Her parents died when she was a girl and she was raised by a man named Mordecai. She was Jewish and taught the ways of God and I feel it was in her dark days of loss, she learned through experience to trust God in a great way. Later in her life she demonstrates that trust. When King Xerxes announced he was looking for a wife, Esther was taken from her comfort zone into a whole new world of royalty. During that time, she had a year of preparation. It was during that time she had to see herself as God saw her, a woman made in the image of God, a woman of royalty, and called for a special purpose. She did not whine and make excuses of all that she was not, she took responsibility for her development to step into her destiny. When the king summoned her, she could take anything she wanted with her, but scripture says she took nothing. I have this picture of her taking God’s hand and walking confidently into her destiny.

God is looking today for people just like you and me to be just like Esther. A people that know God, fully trust Him, let go of what is comfortable and take responsibility for our development. He is not calling more pastors, he is calling ordinary people like you and me to go outside the walls of the church and do extraordinary things here on earth.

Isaiah 41:9 sums , “You are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 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.”

God has changed my thinking over the recent years. I previously believed that whenever things went wrong, trouble knocked on the door, trials came satan and the world were against me. There is an element of truth in that statement, however, when we partner with God to discover how we can grow in any situation, we win. I have had to leave what was comfortable for the unknown,life. I have grown in the process and know God in a deeper way. I am learning to partner with God, get His perspective of myself and see the situation just as he does, and take His hand.
Recently, I found myself in a situation where things were going wrong and the odds were against me. I ask God how He saw me and the situation. I felt Him say, “I’m with you and you will do amazing things.” I then found myself in a conversation with someone many were intimidated by. When I was asked a question by this man, my first thought was, “this is my Esther moment.” I could not entertain the fear others had, I just had to walk confidently with a God who loves me. God gave me favor in the situation, the situation turned out better than I imagined and I know He used me in the situation just as He did Esther, “for such a time as this.”


Collins Maxwell and Mama Max
What about you? Do you know God as your Lord and Savior? Do you partner with God in your own personal development when things go wrong or whine? Have you ever asked God to help you see yourself as He sees you? I challenge you to to open your eyes and see with the lens God has, step out of your comfort zone and partner with God to become who He has called you to be. Discover your wonderful life.


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


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.