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

Monday, May 28, 2012



Enjoying Memorial Day at the Frio

The Lost Art of Honor
Kerrville Daily Times Article
May 25, 2012

I recently helped host an art reception with several other ladies to honor a local artist. This artist had graciously donated some of her work to my place of business. We decided to honor her contribution to our nonprofit and to our community for her artistic talent. After the reception, I was visiting with the other two hostesses and made the comment that honor is a lost art in our society and culture. Somehow, our society has slowly drifted away from this character trait.
Honor is defined as giving high respect or esteem to someone or something; a person or thing that brings credit to something. 
Romans 12:10 instructs us by saying, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (NIV) 
The word honor in this passage actually means “precious.” Do you look at those around you as something precious?
So how can we honor those around us? First off, by speaking to them. I witnessed something the other day that was dishonoring. Two people were talking in a business conversation and a third person walked in and interrupted the conversation. He spoke to one lady and gave her a directive but totally ignored the other woman. One of the most disrespectful things you can do to someone is to ignore them or give them the silent treatment. People who do this only show their own insecurity and their own immaturity. 
Another way to honor others is by how we speak to them. I have recently been dealing with a dryer that has been broken for six weeks. The wrong parts were ordered twice, the company had to cancel the appointment several times for internal issues, and recently, the service man forgot to order the part he needed. Needless to say, I have been a bit frustrated, but as I talked to Customer Solutions the other day, I was challenged to speak kindly to the woman on the phone as I pleaded my case. I can’t say it was easy, as I really wanted to give her a piece of my mind. Honoring her as a person who is trying to do a good job got me further than 
giving her a piece of my mind. 
Showing honor to others raises their value. It picks them up and elevates them. It is a deposit in their bank instead of a withdrawal. Honoring blesses others. 
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (NIV) 
Imagine if we were constantly affirming one another for their contribution to our families, churches, organizations, etc. Honoring others above ourselves is a directive from scripture. The Bible is so good at showing us how to live well
One of my all time favorite scriptures is Psalms 8:4 and 5. It reads, “What is man that your are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” God in his scripture esteems you and me. He honors us for simply being who we are. His honor is bestowed upon us. God almighty honors you! He has given you a crown of glory and validates you as being important. 
He even gives you and me a crown. It is his way of saying, “ Hey world — this is someone of value!” 
This passage transformed how I personally thought about myself years ago. My personal self esteem was pretty low at the time, and one morning in my quite time I read Psalms 8. I suddenly saw that God Almighty saw me as a woman of value. I had the choice to throw away the way I felt about myself and trade my thoughts for God’s. What about you? Do you need to toss some of your thoughts about yourself and see yourself as a person of value.
To take that passage to another level, if God honors the person next to us, shouldn’t we honor them too? How do you treat those in your home? Now let me challenge your thinking. How can you give something to someone if you don’t have it yourself? If you have trouble honoring others, perhaps it is because you don’t have a high regard for yourself. To lift them up, would only make you feel worse about yourself. Perhaps that is why some people struggle with honoring others.
Honor is a character trait that people in royalty practice. I have no doubt that honor is everywhere in Heaven. Why? In scripture, God honored Jesus. Jesus honored his Father God and Jesus and God highly honored the work of the Holy Spirit. Each one valued the others function higher than their own. Do you honor others in your church, in your work place for the work they do? Do you tell them how much you appreciate them?
Honor looks for what a person does right, not wrong. I think often times Christians are too judgmental of others. The truth is, if we were walking in their shoes, we might do the very same thing.  In my years as Director of the Christian Women’s Job Corps, I constantly instructed the volunteers to affirm what our clients were doing right. Many of the women we served were learning many new life skills, new ways and were new Christians. It was important to me that we honored what they did right instead of constantly trying to show them things that needed to change. Our job was to introduce them to new life skills, and the unconditional love of the Savior and it was God’s job to clean them up. Honor affirms the good. I discovered as I honored them as women of value, it raised their self esteem and raised them up. Honor acknowledges the effort and doesn’t punish failure. Otherwise, there is no freedom to step out and learn. You might consider applying this to your parenting if you are raising kids.
Honoring my Sons- Price and Austin
Price's Graduation from University of Texas
Scripture is clear on honoring our father and mother. It is a commandment with a promise. The promise is if we honor our parents, it may go well with us. How do you honor your father and mother? It is important that we honor the fact that they gave us life. We honor their position. We don’t have to agree with them on everything or let them control our lives. We can agree to disagree, but the bottom line is that we honor their position. We honor who they are and we find what is good about them. Not all parents are good parents. That is why we have Child Protective Services, and yet we must not become bitter or dishonor our parents. (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16 Matthew 15:4, Matthew 19:19, Ephesians 6:2.) Yes, sometimes it is good to set boundaries, but in all we must honor them. Do you honor your parents?
With this being Memorial Day Weekend, I would like to honor not only those that have given their lives for our country, but also those they left behind. Those that were left behind as their spouses, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers went to war gave to us something precious. They sacrificed for us, too, and I want to say thank you to them and honor them. To all those that were left with their lives in pieces from the loss, I ask God to bless you in ways that will touch your hearts. 
I have discovered that I need to do better at honoring those around me. Honor might be a lost art, but you and I can begin to change our society and community by honoring those around us. If we begin to honor one another in our homes, churches, places of business it will make a big difference.
It has to start somewhere, why not with you?

I'd love to hear from you!
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. Contact her at kathleen

PLEASE VOTE FOR
BRAD MCCULLOUGH
MAY 29th- Tuesday

May 29th is Voting Day!
Brad and MaryBeth with Kathleen


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Price graduates 2012
Days of Our Lives

     Wow! I am amazed at God and his ability to hold us tight in everything. It is by Him that we live and move and have our being. I love that scripture. The recent months have been filled with many things for me. I look forward to each day and the adventure it brings. My lifetime saying is "To show up and hang on." That seems to be what I do best.
Mothers Day 2012
      I celebrated Mother's Day with my parents this past month. My children didn't get to come in to Kerrville but it was nice to honor my parents for their contribution in my life. Although my mom continues to suffer from dementia, I enjoy the  good days she has and Mother's Day was a good one. Dad is fighting hard to keep moving even though his heart is challenging him. He is such a fighter.
     The big news I have is Price graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. I want to honor him because he has finished in 4 years and done real well. His college career could have gone either way with loosing his dad as a college freshman but he chose to press in and study hard. I know his dad would have been so proud of him at graduation. He will be home for a little while before moving to Houston. I am very proud of this boy. We had a great weekend and it was good to see all my kids and play with them.

     Work has kept me busy and learning many new things. I love my job and the people I get to meet. I have no doubt God has me here learning many things and I really believe in the mission I am involved with. We recently had 25 of our YouthBuild young adults graduate and 15 of them got their GED. The others got a portion of their GED. What an accomplishment for them and I love seeing them working around town and doing well.





     I am at a different place in my life now. The grief seems to have subsided and is a rare occasion now. Yes, at times it still appears but it is the exception instead of the rule in my life now. God brings other widows across my path and I love sharing with them and simply being with them in their pain.
My date is a cowboy!
     On a personal note, I have been dating a guy for the past four months and I  have laughed more in that time than I have laughed in the past four years of my life. He is very kind, so funny and a lot of fun. My friends have enjoyed getting to know him. His name is Stephen and he is from out of town but somehow makes it to Kerrville several times a week. :)
Charity Ball in April
Don't Forget to Vote For Brad for District 198 DA. Vote today!
 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012




 The Power and Hope of Transition
Kerrville Daily Time Article- May 11, 2012
Kathleen Maxwell (c)


Often times, the mention of the word transition is anything but settling. Times of transition are “in between” times. 
In transition you just have to hang on....
Transition is defined as the process of changing from one state or place to another. It requires leaving the place that is familiar in order to move into our future. The good news about transition is that it is evidence that something is happening. Transition is evidence that there is life and it is changing. This can be encouraging, especially when things are difficult. Who wants to stay in a hard place?
During times of difficulty, we can take comfort in transition. We have the hope that things will get better. Transition means progress is happening. 
There are several people I thought of in the Bible that encountered transition in their lives. David was one of them. Scripture tells us that he was a young boy and was tending sheep. In those days, that might look to the natural eye like wasted time. David was simply being faithful to what he was asked to do, and loving God in the process. Those days were anything but wasted as it was there that he learned about himself, his own heart, who he was and who he was called to be. I hardly call that wasted time. I love David’s honesty and transparency. He wasn’t afraid to share his heart and the struggles that were really going on. As the story of his life goes, it was those days in the field where he learned to kill a bear and lion that threatened the flock. These battles prepared him and developed his character and equipped him for his destiny. 
Between tending sheep and becoming king, there was the transition time. I think this was the time when David was chosen to be king, but others didn’t see his destiny and only saw him with natural eyes instead of how God saw him. Saul was threatened by the call on David’s life, and jealous, too. In David’s time of transition, he hid in caves and hung around a group of guys, that, let’s just say, were not palace people.
I Samuel 22: 2 describes these guys and says, “And every one who was in distress, and every one who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered themselves unto him;” (KJV)
How would you like that group to be the ones that were on your side? David saw these men as God did and saw their potential. He believed in them and saw their value. He helped them become mighty men. God often takes ordinary people, like you and me, who will walk with him and does what seems impossible. Sometimes He allows us to rub shoulders with people like David’s men to develop our character. This transition from leading a simple life of tending sheep to having your life threatened, living in a cave and hanging out with these guys couldn’t have been comfortable. The good news is David lived through the transition and became king.
David did something we should all do, especially in times of transition. In I Samuel 23:2 and 4 it says, “And David inquired of the Lord.” David talked to God about how to manage his transition. He looked to God to give him strategy to get through and to give him hope.
Transition- the in between time
My times of transition have been tough, but I haven’t had to live in a cave. I’ve encountered some dark days that I wondered if I would live through and, at times, have felt surrounded by people like David’s men. Times of transition can make you feel inadequate because you aren’t comfortable with in between time. Things are different and challenging. Times of transition can make you feel vulnerable, too. However, times of transition are transforming us and that is where our hearts need to rest.
Indonesia with a different people group
Esther is another example of someone in the Bible who went through a transition in her life. She was  an orphan and a common girl. One day, she was taken from her people, her foster father and put into a different culture. Things were uncertain for this young girl  as she was taken from life as she knew it. In her time of transition, she did something very smart. She rested. I have found I, too, need more rest in times of transition. I have learned that I need extra rest during these times as well as things that are deposits in my personal, emotional and spiritual bank account. I need extra time with the Lord just to be with him, and open my heart to him. What I mean by that is time to sit and just tell God that I love him and simply say, “I open my heart to you, Lord, and come fill me with your love.” I think too many times we miss the simplicity of just being with God in his presence. The more of his love I receive, the more secure it makes me feel. It is the best thing I have found to combat the fear of the uncertainty in transition. We can rest in his presence. God always wants to be with you and me, He loves us. I have encountered many people who think God wouldn’t want to be with them or speak to them because of their sin but this is not true. Romans 8:39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. What a powerful scripture. When we truly believe in God’s love for us, we can trust and rest.
Transition can make you feel like you are in a foreign land...
Times of transition can be times of growth. These times can  be painful. I guess that is why they call them growing pains. Don’t resist the pain. Step into it and embrace it. If you see someone you know and love going through a time of transition, step into their pain with them. That is what true compassion is. It is OK to miss the old when you are going through transition, but we must keep looking ahead for all the possibilities. God is too good to waste your pain. Romans 8:28 promises that he will work everything together for our good when we love him. We just have to hang on as we transverse in the waves of transition.
What kind of transition are you going through? Maybe you have recently been divorced, or your child is graduating and leaving the nest. Perhaps you have just gotten married are adjusting to married life. New jobs put us in times of transitions too, as well as losing someone we love. It could be that a long-time relationship has ended, or you have moved to a new city. These are all times of transition. Anytime there is a big change in our lives we go through transition, however, we must never miss the possibilities that are ahead and keep our eyes looking in faith.
I have certainly been asking God to change my view on transition since I have encountered many in recent years, and I believe he is doing that. In his goodness, I feel he is allowing me to see things from his perspective. There is power and hope in transition. Psalms 118:1-4 tells us that God’s love endures for us forever. Verse five says,”I called upon the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side. I will not fear.” That is a powerful promise that I have hung on to and it is for you too. Will you join me in finding the hope and possibilities in your transition? Let’s make the most of our transitions in life.
-Let me hear from you!
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.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012




 Kerrville Daily Times Article
April 27th,2012
by Kathleen Maxwell

                                                     Transition

I had a lady come up and introduce herself to me this past week and 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 encouraged her that the process of transition  her sister is going through takes a lot of work. When you loose 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 a huge change. I speak from experience.
What is transition? What does the word mean? Who likes transition? How do you navigate through seasons of transition? These are questions that I pondered this past week. 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 have encountered a lot of transition the last few years of my life. Maybe you might identify with some of them. 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; resigning from a ministry and job that was dear to my heart to rest and care for elderly parents; beginning a new job, adjusting to a new organization and then a few months later taking a new position within the organization. It is interesting that I work for nonprofit, BCFS HHS Kerrville Transition Center. We help at-risk young adults transition from being teenagers to productive adults in society. Of course, I would work for a transition center, I feel like the queen of transition. 
Transition is the process of exchanging our past for our future. I’ve only recently come to this conclusion as I have tried to look for the good in the uncertainty transition brings. 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 could have been.
Philippians 3:12-15 addresses this better than I can. It 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)
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. 
Think about adolescents. They are young people that are moving from childhood into being adults. It is a difficult time and yet an exciting one.
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.” 
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.

Please contact me!

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.