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

Monday, January 14, 2019

Taking flexibility, trust, hope and God's perspective for 2019

Flexibility, trust, hope and God’s perspective for 2019
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright 
January 2019

It is the beginning of 2019 and it is time to take inventory of your life and prepare for the future. I am taking flexibility, trust, and God’s perspective into 2019.

 As I looked at my own life, my walk with God and where I want to go, I noticed something. There are things I want to take into the new year and things I need to leave behind. What about you? What do you want to take into 2019 and what are the things you need to leave in 2018?

I want to continue solidifying the things God has taught me in this past year. Everything in life is about our relationship with God and with others. 

2018 was a year of lots of fun change in our family. The year moved quickly, took lots of adjusting and readjusting of schedules to accommodate three of our five kids getting married, the loss of my husband’s stepfather, the birth of a new grand baby and one due any minute, four of our five kids moving, overseeing care for my father-in-law and my husband’s stepmother, and stepping into something new, leading a community Bible study called,The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life. These are just a few things in our personal life, not to mention, our business.

 In all of this, God was incredibly faithful to provide the strength and peace I needed to navigate this past year. I am much more flexible with changing my plans, and going with the flow of life. My life is not my own, it belongs to God and there is such freedom in  simply following Him, and serving wherever He takes me. Depending on God to supply wisdom, grace and strength to navigate 2018, is something I want to take into 2019.

 God always wants to be with us in every situation in life. He says in Deuteronomy 31: 6-7, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”(NIV) 

He wants to help us, guide us and be what we need. I have seen God help me step out to do things I have never done before, provide the connections I needed, and be my security in the process. He has also been my stability during change and shown me things I have seen as a negative, He sees as a positive, and will work it together for my good. 

I have found, when I continually ask God to show me His perspective a situation, He adjusts my thinking and I can partner with Him. Evicting negative thinking is so important because I cannot partner with a negative. Seeing things from His perspective has deepened my trust in Him.
 He has also helped me love people that have not been kind or easy to love. All of these are things I am taking with me into 2019 and intend to build on them.

Recently, I was going through some cabinets and drawers at home. I realized there were things cluttering my my home and things I needed to simply get throw away. I think it is also important to look at our heart to see what we need to let go of or get rid of. What baggage needs to stay in 2018? 

I am talking about things like failures, disappointments, hurts and unforgiveness. 

Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing.” (NIV) 

If we focus on the negative things and regrets in our lives, it can keep us from fully enjoying the present. Bad things happen to good people, however, each of us has a choice of how we handle them and if we dwell on them. 

I have wasted plenty of time in my life focusing on failures, disappointments, hurts, unforgiveness, and things that just do not benefit me. Life is too short to carry unforgiveness. Practicing quick forgiveness has served me well in 2018. What drawer in your life do you need to clean out so you can make room for the new? Who do you need to forgive?

Isaiah 52:1 also instructs us by saying, “Clothe yourself with strength and splendor, shake off your dust, for this is what the Lord says.” (NIV) 

God tells us that His heart for us is to reach for the strength he provides, shine or be bright to the world around us and get rid of things we do not need. We need to listen to Him and what He says, instead of negative voices. What do you need to shake off? 
Perhaps 2018 was a difficult year for you. Maybe you lost your job, lost a loved one, experienced a tragedy, were diagnosed with cancer or another disease. Sometimes when our past year has been challenging, it can be difficult to have hope for the new year.

Jeremiah 31:17 is a short scripture and is God’s gift to us as  we walk into 2019.  It says, “So there is hope for your future.” (NIV) 

No matter what you faced in 2018, there is fresh hope for us to grab in 2019. When you walk with God, there is always hope, and hope serves as an anchor for our soul.

This year, I challenge you to take a look at your life, shake off and get rid of things you do not need and make room for the new things God has to give you this year. I encourage you to take flexibility, trust, and His perspective on things into 2019. God adores you, so partner with God and remember the best is yet to come!


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. Beginning January 22, 2019, at 6:30, she will be leading a Bible study at The Kroc Center called, The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life. You can register for the event and reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Gathering resumes January 22nd!





The Gathering will resume Tuesday, January 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at The Kroc Chapel. This six week study will provide practical application of walking with God daily and equip you with tools to handle life's challenges. For more information and registration, email kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas, memories, and reaching out to others

God’s healing touch during Christmas
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright
December 2018

Most of us think of the holidays as a time of celebration, gatherings with friends and family, and pretty lights. For others, the holidays only remind them of what is NOT in their lives anymore. Grief often shows up unexpected during this season triggering the pain that might have remained hidden the rest of the year. Christmas is full of memories and those precious memories tend to come to mind during this season.

The good news is,  God is with us in our pain and heals. I speak from experience... 

The things I have learned from walking through grief have been some of the best teachers in my life.  Learning that no matter what I face, God holds my hand and is full of compassion, has given me great confidence and expanded my compassion for other people, which is priceless.

 God cares when our hearts hurt and wants to heal us. Psalms 34:17 states “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (NIV) 

It may not feel like God is close in our pain, but the truth is, He has never been closer. As I have experienced Him guiding me, encouraging me, and His kindness, it has made the above scripture very real. God relentlessly kept showing me He was right beside me. Too many times our feelings lie to us and in tough times, we feel like life is over, God has forsaken us, but we must believe the truth of God’s word and press through the feelings.

If you are brokenhearted over losing a loved one, recently divorced, or have experienced another loss, let me encourage you to ask God to open your eyes to see His nearness and to encourage your heart. I have done that and it works! You are precious to Him and He cares that your heart hurts.

Six years ago, I lost of both of my parents before and right after the holidays. I was not looking forward to the  first holiday without them, as they had been with me for over 50 years. As I approached the holiday, instead of focusing on missing them, I began to wonder, what adventure would God had ahead for me.

 God is always good and I’ve learned from losing my late husband, that when facing something new and different without a loved one, I could  find comfort and joy, looking for the adventure and God’s goodness.

 Needless to say, it was different the first year without them, as I spent the holiday in Alpine Texas with my new husband on a 40,000 acre ranch, mule deer hunting and helping him with his hunting business, a side business he has done for years. The beauty and majesty of the area was breath taking and I missed a 10 point buck...I’ll get him one day! My dad loved west Texas and it will always remind me of him. Enjoying something he loved so much brought me a smile. I’ve found joy in the differentness and enjoyed the challenge.

Christmas can be challenging for those suffering from grief as it brings up so many memories. Often times, these are memories of the good times we have shared with those we love. These memories bring the reality of our loss to the forefront of our minds. 

 You may not be grieving this Christmas season, but God may want to use you to be His arms of compassion and love. Often people that are grieving just need people to affirm their pain and loss and encourage them. Life isn’t the same without those that have been a huge part of our lives. It is challenging to go on without them. They may have lost a mother, father, child, brother etc. Love and compassion will always win and bring healing. Love never fails.

 Sometimes, someone else's  arms  and kind words mean the world to a grieving person. Just to know that someone cares that their heart hurts, means the world to those that have loved and lost. I encourage you to give those who have lost a love one, a hug. 

The Holy Spirit is the best comforter, however, let me encourage you to ask God how He might want to use you to be a gift to someone hurting this season. There are several widows I have called frequently this holiday season. Just to know someone is thinking about them and  cares that their heart is struggling brings comfort. Being sensitive to others helps us be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and vice versa. 

Isaiah 9:6 says, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 

God may want to use you to bring His peace to those who need compassion this holiday season. Let me encourage you to be sensitive to those around you.

Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Hang on to the promises and enjoy the new adventures that await you. And don’t forget to look for people to bless with a hug.


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. Beginning January 22, 2019, at 6:30, she will be leading a Bible study at The Kroc center called, The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life. You can reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Trusting God in the desert

Trusting God in the desert
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2018




Sitting on the front of the suburban in a quail hunting seat, driving through acres of the west Texas desert in Alpine, I had many different  thoughts that ran through my head. I was eager to jump off the seat and run chasing quail. I love the sport of quail hunting and they are great to eat. I was also how thankful I was for the opportunity to hunt with my husband, son, granddaughter, Collins and my step son and his wife.

The sun was shining bright and a cold wind was blowing viscously, leaving  a layer of dust over everything. This desert would not be an easy place to live and I was thankful that I was born in this century,  and not in the pioneer days of riding in a wagon. 

As I road, I began to thank God for blessings I saw in my life and pray about several difficult situations that were on my heart. I also prayed for  people I knew were struggling this holiday season. Giving thanks always puts our heart in a good place and can open our hearts to hear God. 

My oldest son Austin
About that time, a covey of quail ran  to the right of us, and I bolted out of the seat to go after them. Although I went as fast as I could up the rocky hill, and fired several shots, the quail were fast and won that round…

As I walked back to the suburban, I continued talking to God. A strong gust of wind blew and the tall grass around me,  laid down from the force of the gust. I could not see the wind, but I could see evidence of it and feel it. 

I felt God speak to me in that moment, saying, “Kathleen, I am working in ways in your life that you cannot see. Trust me.” 

Thanksgiving Day with Barrett and Aimee Rambie
I stood still, took a deep breathe and let the words sink into my heart. I could feel God’s presence surround me and His peace in the middle of the desert. Although the things I was praying are not what I would consider crisis level, nor do I feel like I’m currently in a desert in my life, it was a precious moment I wanted to savor.

Isaiah 43:18 states, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV) 

I am sure Mary, the mother of Jesus, had to wonder about having a baby in a stable. I am not sure any woman would want to give birth in that atmosphere but Mary trusted God. It was in that tough or desert place, the Savior was born. God was weaving a beautiful story that would forever change the lives of many, as one woman simply trusted God. 

Miss Collins, my oldest grand daughter





Often times we can miss what God is doing and think He does not care or is not with us, when in fact, He is very busy working on our behalf. We must trust God’s great love for us and trust that He is working, even when we cannot see it or feel it.

I frequently ask God to open my eyes to see things from His perspective, and reveal truth to me. All of us need God’s help, perspective, truth and we should always be teachable and seek Him.

Psalms 63:1 says, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.” 

Are you seeking God in your personal wilderness or hard place? Finances, difficulty with a teenager or loved one, conflict at work, tension at home, sickness? Any of these things can make us feel like we are in a dry place. 

Often times, we can miss what God is doing and think He does not care or is not with us, when in fact, He is very busy working on our behalf. We can miss the majesty in our desert and hard times,  if we are not careful. Leaning on God and drawing close to Him changes us and brings out our beauty. I have discovered that some situations are more about changing us, than our difficulty. 

Psalms 107:35 tells us, “He turned a desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs.” That is a powerful promise to hang on to this holiday season.

At the end of my day hunting quail over the rocky and dusty desert, I was tired, covered in dust and yet my heart was full. I enjoyed teaching my five year old grand daughter how to open and close gates on the ranch, showing her javelina and antelope, teaching her the names of the surrounding mountains and how to quail hunt. Even though this was not the best hunt I’ve had, I got a few birds, found adventure in the parched land, enjoyed time with family, my husband and God. 

teaching Collins to open gates
As our time in Alpine continued, I saw evidence that God was working in the areas I had been praying about, just like I saw the evidence of the wind blowing. Walking with Him in the desert is the best way to travel.

What is your desert right now? What area of your life do you need to trust God to make a stream in your desert? I challenge you to pour out your heart to Him, seek Him, and let God lead you through your wilderness. Keep trusting that God loves you dearly and is working in ways you may not be able to see.




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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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The power of giving thanks

There is power in giving thanks
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2018

My oldest son, Austin and Collins

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.
Mimi and Grant
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)
Baby Anna
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.
El Salto anniversary trip - six years
Years have passed since the days I described above, however, thanksgiving continues to be a part of my daily life. It helps keep my heart right, gives me a positive perspective, and turns my heart towards God, who has richly blessed me in so many ways. 

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

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