I have been without a computer the last few days but now I am back in business. I had an amazing week and feel like I took huge steps in the right direction in several areas. Today marks 18 months since Joe left this earth and I am smiling at God’s goodness to me. I am also proud of my children and how they have all handled this challenge.
My parents have needed my help to get some things in order. No one likes to update their wills but it is something that is very necessary...trust me on this one. Fortunately Joe and I got things in order in our lives in the nick of time. Last year I personally got all those things done as I do not want my own children to have anything extra to do if something happened to me. I had been working for weeks to help my father with the process and we finally were able to cross this item off the list! I also helped him with getting some things done with his finances. There is still much to do but the ball is rolling the right direction. The will was a big accomplishment as I have asked my father to get things in order since my mother got sick 7 years ago. I discovered the last time it was updated was 1978 when I was 18 so it was time to make some changes.
I also finally had the time to get all my personal items out of the Christian Women’s Job Corps. I have worked to help the transition go smoothly and just have not had the energy or time to deal with this with travel, parents, taxes, transition, etc. CWJC was a big part of my everyday life. It was not my life or identity although people in my community associate me with the organization. The other evening I got all my items and carried them out to my car. I personally needed to do this as it was a closure for me. When Joe died, I wanted to personally deal with his closet. I needed to do that for me, not have someone do it for me; and with his things, I had to do it a little at a time. Endings are personal and each person needs to deal with it in a way that will enable them to go on. As Bill Blackburn said in our local paper this past week, “you have to grieve to go on.” That is a simple statement that is profound. One cannot really go on in life until they grieve the loss or change. As my friend Nina always said, “ Never let anyone tell you how to grieve”...
The Kerrville Daily Times asked me to write a column for them some months ago and I finally submitted my first article that was published in last Friday’s paper. I am taking little steps to keep moving on in life although I am not sure exactly what this picture will look like. I want to exercise and improve the gifts God has given me. Somehow in Joe’s loss I have discovered another way to communicate but I can’t say I am a huge fan of English.
I have also been asked to speak at a Baptist Church in the Houston area in June am excited about the opportunity to step into something I am passionate about. I love sharing the things God has taught me and is teaching me. At the end of the day, we are all people dealing with life’s struggles. I have been through much pain in my life but being honest about it and sharing with others I think helps them to not feel alone as they seek to know God more in their own ups and downs. I have found that people are hungry for the truth. God is a God of truth and the Bible is full of stories of honest men and women. Truth is like a hammer that shatters lies. Often times the enemy of our soul lies to us and makes us feel that we are the only one that has ever struggled in an area. Praying for God to reveal truth is one of my favorite prayers and it is the one prayer that He always answers. I love it!
Yesterday I attended the Texas Writers Conference at Schreiner University. The workshops challenged me and I even wrote my first poem. I was with a diverse group of people that were from various religions and some New Age. Often times we were asked to read our writings to the group and I loved sharing my faith in a non threatening way and left so thankful that I know a God full of hope and healing. Many there were full of pain and I was moved with compassion for them. We will see what divine appointments develop from these relationships. Below is one of my writings.
What I Don’t Want To Tell You
by Kathleen Maxwell
Life can be so painful at times
Suffering comes like a faithful friend
But what I hate to tell you is that suffering has been my best teacher in life
Through the hardest times I have learned the most as I have been determined not to waste the pain
Walking through the valley of the shadow of death I have discovered gems that have made my life sparkle again
Watching tumors grow on the man I loved for 33 years and letting him go has given me an unshakable confidence to do things I never thought possible
I have discovered things about myself
I have learned how dearly loved I am by God
I have found new friends to share life’s adventure with
I now know to the core of my being- I am never alone and silence is a treasure
Personally God has been teaching me recently about being His beloved. Years ago He taught me about being His much loved child. I feel I am in a season of growing up and into a new place in Him; maturing into His beloved bride that rests in His affection for me. Deuteronomy 33:12 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.” (NIV) I feel His intentions for me at this time is to be captivated by thoughts of Him and resting in the fact that He adores me and only wants what is best for me. Isn’t that how a groom in love is? He only wants the best for the one he loves. Joe was that way with me.
Learning, discovering, and moving on-