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

Monday, October 8, 2018

Overcoming through life's transitions

A dear friend  of that was widowed 
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 12:00 am

Learning from life’s transitions

I recently had a lady come up and introduce herself to me. She stated that she read my articles and sent them to her sister in Oklahoma. 
She told me how her sister had lost her husband a few years ago, and was still adjusting to being a widow. As I talked to her, I began to explain to her, that her sister was still in a huge transition and transition takes a lot of work. When you lose a spouse, you are never the same. You basically have to reinvent yourself, which takes a lot of energy.
It is a transition from being one with someone to being an individual. Instantly, you are legally considered single, but the heart of anyone that has lost a mate is in a huge transition. The transition from being in a partnership to being a sole proprietor of your life is an adjustment and major change. I speak from experience.
What is transition? What does the word mean? Who likes transition? How do you navigate through seasons of transition?
Transition is defined as movement or passage from one state or stage to another; the process or a period of changing. The Latin root of trans means across, beyond, on the other side.
Actually, there is a lot the Bible has to say about transition. I have come to discover that God is a real fan of transition. Maybe one day I will share His viewpoint, but I have to confess, I am not there yet. Even the thought of transition makes me tired.  I still remember giving birth to three children naturally, and the transition stage of childbirth was hard.
My father-in-law
I have encountered a lot of transition in my life. Maybe you might identify with some of them. When my last child left the nest and went to college, a change from children at home for 26 years to an empty nest; a healthy husband who was living a full life to a husband with cancer; having a spouse for 30 years to loosing a mate; caregiving for my elderly parents and the transition of them becoming the child, and me becoming the parent. Other transitions have been beginning a new job, remarrying and learning a new man and his community, losing both of my parents in two months, retirement, starting something new that you’ve never done before, etc.
Transition is the process of exchanging our past for our future. We must look for the good in the uncertainty transition brings. Transition can make you feel upside down, unsettled and disoriented. Transition is letting go of the past, honoring what has been, and living in the “now” and the “not yet.” I have often used the phrase, “I don’t know yet” because I have been in so much transition and that is the best answer I can sometimes give. People with a healthy outlook on transition look at the possibilities ahead versus always looking at what was or could have been.
Philippians 3:12-15 says, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet. One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward  to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude …” (NIV)
Perfect in this passage means mature. Paul shows us how to go through transition. We must keep our eyes on what is ahead instead of what is behind. If our mind is only dwelling on what could have been or the past, there can be no momentum to move ahead.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder the things of the past. Behold I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?” (NIV)
Transitions open new doors
Transition is not a place of comfort. It is a place of uncomfortableness, just ask any woman who has been through childbirth. Transition in childbirth is the last stage before the birth process. It was painful for me, and I am glad those days are over. 
Think about the transition a caterpillar goes through before it becomes a butterfly. The cocoon stage isn’t that pretty and doesn’t even look hopeful, but the process produces something beautiful — a new life of freedom. 
The promise we have for those of us that trust in God is that God will help us and goes ahead of us in our transition. 
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (NIV)
As we reach for what is ahead, we must trust in God. That is where the rubber meets the road and our faith is exercised. Do you need to exercise your faith? Is there risk in transition? Absolutely.
The good news is God is with us to catch us and help us. I recently did a ropes course and was challenged to do something I had never done before. Did I catch the bar? No, but I reached for something beyond what I could do myself and had the experience of trusting. I am still alive, and I actually had fun!
Although God is all about us changing, He never changes. He is constant in His love for us and in His nature. We can rest in His love when we are in times of transition. His love is our security blanket. We must connect ourselves to God’s heart for our future and our destiny. That gives me hope.
Are you going through one of life’s transitions? How does it make you feel vulnerable? You are not alone. I challenge you to embrace the transition you are in, learn from it and let the change make you into something beautiful. As you change, you will grow and become the man or woman God intended. Rock and roll with transition!

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. She speaks Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. at The Kroc Center in Kerrville, leading a study called, The Gathering- Bringing God into everyday life. For more information or to register, you can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com, 377-8061 or on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Are you tired of waiting? God is in the waiting

God is in the waiting
September 2018
copyright
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie


Miss Anna



“My life has not turned out like I thought it would and I’m tired of waiting,” said the young woman sitting across the table from me at a local coffee shop. 

This beautiful woman was was very talented, smart and ambitious and I loved listening to her. She shared her marriage troubles, her hopes and dreams and was she was perplexed with what to do next in her life. She had prayed and was tired of waiting. 

I smiled as I listened and could relate to her. I could see that God had her in a waiting period of her life. There were things He wanted to work in her and things He wanted her to let go of.  I knew that was probably not what she wanted to hear, but I began to share how I have discovered the importance of trusting in God’s timing, instead of trying to make things happen on my  own time table. I began to share with the woman, one of my own personal stories of waiting on God’s timing and His season.

Back in February 2015, I wrote down some things in my journal that I felt God was speaking to me. 

Some of the words I wrote were: “Step into your calling, step into it and begin to take steps. I am calling you to wake up people of all ages, restoring dignity and bringing then into alignment with my plans and purposes for their lives, and to give hope.  I will help you.” 

Next I wrote, “God, how do you want me to do that and what does this look like? It sounds like a community Bible study. Is that what you want me to do?”

“Show me when and show me how you want me to do it,” I wrote.

The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life
For months I kept praying, knowing that it was much better to wait on God’s timing than try to make something happen in my own ability and on my time table and I knew it was going to look different than traditional Bible studies.

2016 came and I still had the passion to do what I felt was in my heart, however, I knew the timing was not right. I kept praying and waiting. 

I have found that God is in the waiting. In the seasons of waiting, God is  often developing things in us  and working things out of us that are necessary for where He is taking us. 

Psalms 27:14, says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord.” (NIV)

When we partner with God, waiting is not wasted time and does not mean God is saying “no,” it means He is saying “not yet.”

2017 came and went  and I kept waiting. Often times, God shows us something to give us vision and hope and then begins preparing us for what is ahead. I kept praying.

My grands-waiting for the parade
One day I was at The Kroc Center, a local fitness gym and meeting place in our community. A woman stopped me and began to talk about a recent article I had written and how it had helped her. 

As we wrapped up the conversation, she said, “Kathleen, if you ever do a community Bible study, please let me know because I would love to attend.” 

My eyes got big and I could feel my heart begin to race. She was confirming the very things I had written in my journal! I smiled and replied, “I will call you.”

I felt God was encouraging me that He had not forgotten me and was confirming what was already in my heart and written down in my journal.

Psalms 33:20 states, “we wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and shield.”

When we wait in hope, we partner with God. Our hope is in Him, not our ability or ourselves.

In January of 2018, I met a woman visiting our church from Abilene, Texas. I welcomed her to Kerrville and our church and then she asked if she could pray for me. She was a stranger, however, I said yes.

As she prayed, she said, “You have been waiting and waiting and wondering if God is going to answer your prayers and I feel God wants you to know, now is the time, now is the time. You have things in your heart to do and written in your journal and you are going to start checking them off.”

I stood there in disbelief. This total stranger said things that only God knew were in my journal and my conversations with Him.

A series of wonderful and confirming events followed that are too detailed to write, and the pieces began to fall into place. I continued to wait and pray.

Beginning  Tuesday, September 18th, 2018,  from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at The Kroc Center, I will begin leading a study each Tuesday for six weeks from some of the articles I have written. The study is called: The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life

Several of my goals are to provide practical application of walking with God and equipping people with tools to handle life’s challenges. I will speak just like I write, down to earth and transparently from the adversity I’ve walked through. 

Anna Joseph Maxwell-our newest addition
I want to provide an atmosphere where people feel comfortable, can learn their value, hearts can be restored, and a study centered around God’s goodness, faithfulness and love. The group is open to men and women, life application questions will be provided and  each person will determine their own level of involvement. The study will be centered around practicing God’s word instead of  answering a bunch of questions. Each topic will stand alone, so if someone misses a lessons, they are not behind in the study, they just miss.

As I look back in the past three and a half years, God has taught me many things in my time of waiting with hope, and on His timing. I have a team of leaders that have been praying and meeting with me for months and we hope you will join us for this adventure with God.

I prayed with the young woman I met at the coffee shop, and she took a deep breath and said, “I tend to get in a hurry but I’m going to step back and wait on God.” 





I smiled and gave her a hug and was glad my testimony had helped her see another viewpoint. I look forward to what God is going to do in her life.

Are you waiting on God to answer your prayers? Have you partnered with Him to learn what you might need for the next season of your life or asked Him to help prepare you? Do you even know God? I challenge you to look for Him in the waiting and I hope you will join me at The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life.




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. She speaks Tuesday evenings at 6:30 at The Kroc Center in Kerrville,  leading a study called, The Gathering- Bringing God into everyday life. For more information or to register, you can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com, 830-377-8061 or on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

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Monday, September 17, 2018

The Gathering begins September 18th at 6:30


Are you looking for a non-traditional Bible study? Focus is  on practical application.  Each lesson stands alone and each participant determines their own level of involvement. Sign up today for 
The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life!
 Begins September 18th-email to register. 





Saturday, September 8, 2018

Fully known, chosen and loved

Known, chosen and loved
My step daughter, Mrs. Whitney Sanchez 
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright 2018

It was recess time and I could hardly wait to go outside and play. I was a new 5th grader at Starkey Elementary School and was anxious to make some new friends. 
Someone quickly organized a kickball game and I loved to play kickball. Two people were designated as captains of the teams and began choosing who they wanted on their team from the rest of us that wanted to play.

I had to wear brown corrective shoes instead of cute tennis shoes like the rest of the girls, so I did not look real athletic and no one knew me. I really could kick the ball a long way, however, no one knew that. Perhaps someone would just take a chance and pick me, I thought. 

Then my worst fear happened. I was the last one chosen for my team. I felt like a loser but was hopeful I could kick the ball far and make it around the bases fast enough to score. Perhaps you were not chosen for something or  have been in a similar situation in your life and wished people really knew you and your talents you possessed. 

I recently read a scripture that made me smile when I read it, as it shows God’s heart for Jesus and for us, and how he has chosen us. It also tells us he knows us and takes great joy in who we are.

Isaiah 42:1 says, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight.” (NIV)
wedding celebrations with Whitney and Margaret
This scripture shows us that we are chosen and hand picked by God and he is actually takes delight in us. To think that the creator of the universe has chosen you and me and is delighted to be with us in everyday life, is almost unbelievable! But it is true.



Mr. and Mrs Sanchez
I have also loved the part of the verse that says he upholds us. Three of our five children have gotten married in the last eight months so I have leaned on this verse and depended on God to uphold me! It has felt like I’ve been on a wedding marathon!

Matthew 12:18 also tells us we are chosen by God. It states, “ Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight.” (NIV) 

Life circumstances can often leave us feeling less than, unloved and not very special; however, those are the days when we have to remember what God says about us instead of our circumstances. We have a choice to believe our circumstances or what God says. 

I was visiting with a widow recently and she shared her struggle with loneliness after losing her husband of 55 years and how she did not feel loved anymore. The one that had loved her dearly for so many years was gone. I remember struggling with those feelings too after losing my husband. I shared this scripture with her and she later commented that it was exactly what she needed and was healing to her heart. She shared how on the nights she felt lonely, she would read the scripture over and over and it settled her heart, reminding her she was loved and not alone.

Zephaniah 3:17 states, “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quite you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

The word delight means to please someone greatly or to take pleasure in. Have you ever thought about God taking pleasure in you? You make him smile!

our latest addition-Anna Joseph Maxwell
God not only knows you personally; he actually takes great joy in you and your life. You are fully known by a mighty God and fully loved by him. He gave you and me, special gifts and talents, sees our potential, sees our flaws, and yet still loves us.

I was not the top draft choice in the kickball game that day in 5th grade, however, when my turn came to kick, the ball sailed through the air and I kicked a home run. I had talents that people could not see at first glance. I began to make friends, and am still are close with some of my classmates I made in 5th grade. 

As you walk through this week, I challenge you to write one of the above scriptures on a sticky note or index card, and put it in place where you will see it often. I pray that you will constantly be reminded that you too are chosen, loved, and God takes great pleasure in you.


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. Fall of 2018, she will lead a study called, The Gathering- Bringing God into everyday life. For more information, you can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Coming this fall!

I am so excited about this opportunity to speak to the Kerrville community! I will speak on many of the things I have written about. Hope you will come!