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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Encouragement for Mothers

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
May 2018 copyright
Mother’s Day Encouragement


My mom-Mary Belle Jones
My mother was a 5’2, blue-eyed lady that taught me many things. She taught me everything from “say please and thank you” and “don’t forget to wear your lipstick” to “ you better shape up or ship out”  and there was always, “get happy just like you got sad.” 

She loved to dress up and was frequently seen wearing high heels even though she was a stay at home mom. 

 Mary Belle loved people and would talk to anyone that would listen.  She was a genuine lady and tried her best to teach me how to be a lady…I’m still learning.

The best things my mom taught me were about walking with God. She loved the Lord and it was evident by the many times I would see her studying her Bible, listening to worship music and by the life she led. 

She was a woman that loved God with all her heart and she was a praying woman. I am forever grateful for all the prayers she prayed for me and all the wise counsel she gave me.

Austin - my oldest son and me Mother's Day
My mom had a passion to tell people about Jesus and was a children’s church leader at Grace Bible Chapel for years. She led countless kids to the Lord throughout her years of ministry. She taught me how to share the gospel and to reach out to share the love of Jesus with other. 

She left his earth five years ago but not before she was able to leave me a great legacy. 

Mary Belle was not a perfect mom and I did not always agree with her but she was a good mother.  

Perhaps you are reflecting on your own mother this weekend. Good memories, bad memories, funny ones - God word is very specific on how to treat our parents. 

Ephesians 6:2 says, “ Honor your father and mother - which is the first commandment with a promise - that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy a long life on the earth.” (NIV). 

I found eight times in scripture where God tells us to honor our father and mother, which indicates that it is pretty important to the heart of God. 

Deuteronomy 27:16 tells us, “Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother.” (NIV) We can actually bring difficulty upon ourselves when we dishonor our parents. 

So what does that mean to us today? You do not have to like everything your mom did or did not do, but you do have to honor the God given position she has in your life. If nothing else, you can be grateful your mom carried you in her womb and gave birth to you.

Price and Halie's wedding-my youngest son
 Ask God to show you things you can be thankful for concerning your mom, the things she did do right. Otherwise, as the scripture says, it will not go well with you in your life. Honoring our mother is not just a suggestion but a commandment with a promise. When we honor our mom, we receive a blessing!

My late husband did a great job of training our kids to honor me as their mother. Each Mother’s Day, he would take them shopping to buy something for me, had them make me a card - because cards mean a lot to me - and would get them up early to make me breakfast in bed. 

Fathers, I challenge you to teach your children to honor their mom. It is your responsibility.

Maybe your mom had some problems and hurt you in some ways emotionally or physically- or both.

  I have counseled many people that have bitterness and resentment towards their mother. Unfortunately, those thoughts and feelings hold the person, not the mother, in bondage. 

My three kids
If your mom has hurt you, let you down, not been there for you, made wrong choices, do yourself a favor and forgive her this Mother’s Day. Forgiveness truly is a gift you give to yourself as much as to her. You do not have to tell her you forgive her, rather, it can just be a conversation between you and God.

Perhaps your biological mom is not around any longer and there is another woman in your life that is like a mom. When my mom got Parkinson's Disease and dementia, there was another woman that became my “other mother” as I call her.  I am forever grateful for her guidance, love and presence in my life. 

Some of the girls I've been a spiritual mom to
There are many women that have never given birth that have found ways in which to serve as mothers to others.  Never underestimate the value of being a presence in someones life and do not forget to thank those that have been like a mom to you. They are God’s gift to you. 

I have many people that call me “Mom” that I did not give birth to,  but for whom I’ve tried to be there for them in their lives. I know God has put me in their lives to invest in them.

If you are a young mom, I want to encourage you to enjoy - find the joy - in every stage of mothering. I raised three children and sometimes the days seemed like they would never end. Someone always needed something from me and often times I struggled to balance work, each child’s needs, discipline, training and teaching them about how to walk with God. 

There were times I would  laugh and say to my friends, “where do I turn in my mother button?” My children are now 37, 33, and 28 and those long mothering days are over and it is such a joy to see the fruit of my labor in their lives today. 

Training your children to walk with God is  one of the most important things you can do for your child because you will not always be with them but God will.

 I challenge you to make teaching them scripture, teaching them to pray, and teaching them how to walk with God a priority. There is no grater joy than to see your grown kids walk with God and teach their own children - your grandchildren about Jesus.

Motherhood is not easy but it is worth it. One of the scriptures that kept me going and that I would pray over myself during the long days of mothering was Proverbs 31:25  It says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity and she can laugh at the days to come.”

 I pray this for each mother this Mother’s Day and pray this Mother’s Day will be a healing time for all. 
All my kids!





Happy Mother’s Day Month!


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native of the Hill Country. She is passionate about helping others to discover their value and worth. You can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 19, 2018

You are special, important and loved!

You are special, important and loved
April 2018 newspaper article
copyright 2018
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie


My big sons! Love them so.
Working from my computer trying to finish a grant, Becca, a three year old, came and stood right beside me. I was working from home, due to the weather, and the bright eyed little girl came with her mom, who was working on a project at my house. 

As she stood there watching me, I stopped and hugged her and said, “Always remember Becca, you are special, you are important and you are loved. Can you say that?” I asked. 

She repeated with me as best she could but some of those words were hard to get out, “I am special, I am important and I am loved.” She beamed as she finished. 

I wanted to seize the moment with her and plant some seeds of truth in her life about how God feels about her. Actually, that is how he feels about each one of us.

 Deuteronomy 7:6 states, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (NIV) You are special, do not ever forget it! Each of us can choose to believe this but we need to take the next step and act like we are special to the Lord.

 Our belief system shapes our actions. Believing comes first, and then our actions will follow. When I began understanding this concept, I had to actually say to myself and God, “I choose as an act of my will to believe I am special and chosen by God.”

When we begin to act like we are special to the Lord, understand we are chosen and valuable, it shows that we really understand God’s love for us. Do you see yourself as special to the Lord?

Your life matters to others and the kingdom of God. Each of us has a responsibility to keep growing in our character and understanding of the important role God has called us to. Everyone matters and no one is discounted.

 I Corinthians 12: 18 tells us, “ But God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He has desired.” (NIV) 

Each of us has important talents. Do not try to be like someone else; be who God made you to be. You are shaped and designed by Him for important purposes. Do you see yourself as important and live your life like you are important? If not, ask God to open your eyes to how valuable you are.

When Becca began to say, “I am loved,” she stumbled over the words. They were hard to get out of her mouth. Becca is not alone. I struggled with feeling loved by God because I looked at my inadequacies and life circumstances instead of the truth of God’s word. 

 Believing God loves us is an act of faith. Galatians 5: 6 says, “The only thing that counts, is faith expressing itself through love.” (NIV). 

God has demonstrated His love for us in so many different ways. By faith, each of us must receive that love from Him. Once we choose to believe we are loved by Him, just the way we are, regardless of our faults, then we need to take the step of  truly living our lives as His much loved children.

Jeremiah 31:3 states, “I have loved you with an everlasting love and with loving kindness I have drawn you.” (NIV)  God’s love is built to last, will not give up on you and will continue to draw you. Ask Him to show you that love.

In John 15:9  Jesus shows us His love and challenges us. “ As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”  We are commanded to remain  or sit and stay in His love. That means to me we are to constantly move throughout our day in an awareness of His love for us. Remaining in His love keeps us safe in the storms of life.

I challenge you to repeat these words to yourself this week. I am special, I am  important and I am loved. Ask God to open your eyes to your value and worth. And ask him to give you a greater understanding of His great love for 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. You can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Overcoming-A fabulous Easter gift

Overcoming-A fabulous Easter gift
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
March 2018
copyright




Have you ever thought of how people in heaven see you and how God sees you in situations?  About eight years ago, I felt God challenging me with this question as I found myself in the middle of great loss and feeling weaker than I had ever felt in my life.  

My view of the situation and being a relatively young widow was not positive, to say the least.  It seemed to me all my dreams of what I thought life would be in this season were washed away.  I realized if I continued seeing my life in a negative light, it would lead me down a path I really did not want to go down.  So I began to ask God how He, and the rest of heaven saw me and my life. 

 He took me to I John 5:4 which states, “whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  Who is he who overcomes the world but he who believes Jesus is the son of God.” (NIV) That scripture states that as children of God, overcoming power resides in us to overcome any situation we face. 

Jesus overcame the grave and conquered death. He rose above his circumstances. The definition of overcoming is: to get the better of, to get the victory over.  I felt God say, “Kathleen, I see you as an overcomer.  You have my power within you to overcome the heartache you feel.  You have a God given right to get the better of this situation and make a profit from it.”  

That was not exactly how I saw my situation and ask God to change my thinking to see myself as an overcomer.  I knew that only God can heal my heart, and I also knew I had choices.

Eight pound bass I caught in El Salto Mexico
Fishing-Part of my new life
John 16:32 says, “In the world you will have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.”(NIV)  The word for tribulation here is translated as pressure.  Yes, this world brings plenty of pressure!

 Jesus says we will have trouble in this world but not to stress about it because His power in us will help us to make a profit from any trouble. God is too good to let us encounter problems without providing the provision for us.  I have discovered that life is more about finding the provision in tribulation instead of fixing the problem.  

I John 4:4 says, “You dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”(NIV) 

 Nothing is greater than the power of God in us to overcome in any situation.  You and I never have to settle for defeat.  The power to overcome is more powerful than any force that comes against us!  Now that is good news!

Jesus gave his all to his disciples and those around him. He loved when I’m sure he did not want to but did out of obedience to God. Then some of them turned against him, complained, betrayed and help crucify him. He overcame the grave, he is an overcomer, and we are made in His image; therefore, overcoming power resides in us. Overcoming is God’s Easter gift to us and part of the new life he gives to us.

Sometimes our overcoming looks different  and takes longer than we might think. Making a profit from a difficult situation is often seen in growth in our character. Who are we and how do we show up when the cards are stacked against us? 

My dear friends
Other times, overcoming  and healing can take a long while. A number of years ago, there was a rift in a relationship with a dear friend. I kept trusting God to heal the relationship and prayed that truth would come to heal the friendship. A few years ago, my friend came to me and began to share a personal experience they had encountered that opened their eyes. They now saw things differently from how they saw it years ago and stated they admired my character and how I walked through the situation. The words were healing to my soul and my heart smiled at God’s goodness, healing and overcoming power. Overcoming took much longer than I liked, but it finally came.

This  Easter season is your new beginning to begin to enjoy and walk in the overcoming power Jesus provides. Begin today by asking Jesus to come into your heart and ask Him to open your eyes to the overcoming power that is in you. If you know Christ, I challenge you to daily ask God to show you situations through his eyes and wear your overcoming clothes. You are not a victim, you are an overcomer. We have an awesome opportunity to grow in our walk with him and our character. He overcame his adversity so you and I can overcome things that come against us. Overcoming is God’s Easter gift to each of us-so let’s receive it and enjoy it!


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, a native of the Hill Country, is passionate about helping others discover their value and worth. She can be contacted at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or on her blog, www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot. com

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wearing the right thing makes you look good


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
March 2018
copyright 2018


My youngest son-Price
     A good friend and I were talking the other day and she asked,  “Kathleen, what are you going to wear? “  We were talking about a function we planned to attend together soon, and were working out the major details when that seemingly common question popped up.
      “I don’t know,” I replied, “I haven’t planned that far ahead.”  
      Women always ask other women that question  and I feel it is because we don’t want to wear something that is inappropriate.
      Personally, I am not someone that plans what to wear too far ahead. I might think about what I am going to wear for the day as I am fixing my hair and walking to my closet. 
      The day after I was asked the question, I came across a scripture that made me think about that question again. The scripture was, Colossians 3:12, which states, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.” (NIV) 
      I love the fact that God thinks of everything. In his wisdom, he even instructs us about what to wear! Scripture shows us that these virtues will always make us look good. 
Kiss before he gets married!
     Compassion, which is concern for the suffering or misfortune of others, is vital for each of us. How good are you at showing compassion to others? I recently had someone contact me that had lost someone they loved. There were choices in this person’s life I couldn’t agree with, but my heart went out to this individual because his heart was broken. I had a perfect opportunity to take time and show him the love of God and express concern for his suffering. I wanted to be a safe place for this young adult to express his grief. I know my own personal suffering has developed a greater compassion within me and I am much quicker to wear compassion these days.
     Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous or considerate. Did you realize when you smile, you are being kind to others? Be sure and wear your smile today and watch how it affects those around you. Smiling can actually make you look younger, so if you are middle aged, it is a must wear garment. Being kind and considerate is being careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to another.
     Being generous is giving more of something than is expected or necessary.. I am personally going to make sure I wear this more often as I realize I sometimes forget.
My beautiful new daughter-Halie
     Humility is a modest view of ones own importance. Everyone looks good when they wear this character trait. Pride is a common thief that works hard to steal our humility. There is nothing wrong with a feeling of satisfaction with an accomplishment. That is not pride. It is an accomplishment to earn a degree, win a race, or get a promotion. Wearing humility, enables us to honor others making them feel just as valued and important even above our own accomplishment. All that we have and all that we are is because of God’s grace in our lives. Yes, our choices make a difference but for those that call on God, we must remember that it is Him that enables us. Remembering that fact helps keep me in my place. Sometimes I forget that fact and self righteousness or  pride can strip me of the garment of humility. Scripture says to humble ourselves and God will lift us up. It is up to us to put on the garment of humility.

This week, I challenge you to examine your wardrobe. God gives us the most important things to wear and when we choose from God’s  wardrobe, we will always look like a million dollars. 


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



Monday, February 26, 2018

Mercy trumps judgement

Mercy trumps over judgement or Have you been judged by others?
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
February 2018
copyright


“I want to go to church but I don’t anymore because I always felt judged by people there” was a comment I recently heard from someone. It made me sad and disappointed in Christians because judgement is not our job. The statement caused  me to explore scripture and see what the Bible had to say on the topic.

Adoration and love-my grands-Ellis and Grant
Judgement was poured out on Jesus when he hung on the cross and the day of judgement will come after Christ returns,  but right now, we live in a season of grace,  where believers should be extending love and mercy. 

Hebrews 4:16 states, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 When people are struggling, mess up or are caught in sin, they do not need us pointing fingers or shaming them. What they need is us loving them right where they are and pointing them to God and his love and forgiveness.

James 2:12 gives us a strong admission and direction and says, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be shown to  anyone who has not been merciful. mercy triumphs over judgement.” (NIV)

Love never fails and kindness and mercy will always win over judgement. 

I remember when I was the director of the Christian Women’s Job Corp of Kerr County, a little old lady, a volunteer,  came into my office to complain about one of my clients. She was upset because she heard this woman and her three children were living with a man that was not her husband. She wanted me to tell my client she could not do that and be in our program.

I had to take a deep breath before I addressed the older lady, I’ll call Mrs. Smith.  You see, I had been sharing with my client about the goodness of God and how he loves us right where we are and is full of forgiveness.

“Mrs. Smith, I am trying to lead this woman to Christ, not address all the things she might be doing incorrectly, “ I said. 
shower for my future daughter-in-law

“It is my job to lead her to Jesus and his job to convict her of anything she is doing wrong,” I stated.  

“Or another way to put it is,  it is my job to be a fisher of men and Jesus’ job to clean the fish,” I continued.

What Mrs. Smith did not know was that my client had confided in me that she did not really care for this man, however, he provided a home for her kids and she would be homeless if he was not in the picture. 

No one likes to be misunderstood or judged and the irony is, if we were really in their shoes, would we do any better? It is easy to say, “I would never do that, or my kids would never do that” but I have to wonder how many times people eat those words. I know I sure have.

Romans 14:10-13 instructs us saying, “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat…So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God, Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brothers way. (NIV)

Judgment is not part of our job description as Christians. Love and mercy are our assignment, especially when people have done wrong. Otherwise, we are actually hurting ourselves.

My big boys-Price and Austin
Romans 2:1 tells us, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgement, against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgement on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgement? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience not realizing  God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?” (NIV)

God is kind and when we walk in mercy and kindness, we earn the right to be heard and then can speak into their life. Far too many times, people are quick to judge and misrepresent the heart of God and can drive people away from the very one that can help them.

I remember a time I felt judged and there was not much I could say in order to protect a couple that had confided in me and my husband. Years ago, my late husband and I had counseled a couple in regards to their marriage. We knew their struggles. About five years after that, I was put in a position at work and had to make a tough call because of my previous knowledge. It made a coworker very angry and  she told other people and they judged me and my decision. To protect the confidentiality of the couple and their struggles, I would not defend myself or address the issue further. I will admit, the judgement really hurt and I had to simply commit it to God. 

If you are someone that has been judged by a Christian, I am so sorry and as a Christian, ask your forgiveness. I pray God heal your heart from judgement and show you His great love and kindness.

Reading all these scriptures caused me to quickly ask God to forgive me for anytime I have judged others as I want no part of it. I hope you will examine your heart to see if you have judged others and ask forgiveness and begin to walk in mercy and love.

We have a big world around us that needs Christ, his love and forgiveness. Let’s be a people that display mercy, kindness and love.


Baby Grant and Mimi Max
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. She welcomes your  contacting her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

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