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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My dad, me and his grandkids
Thirty minutes after my last post a fire broke out in our house. Stephen and I were wrapping Christmas presents and when I stood up to get ready for bed, I noticed the house was full of smoke. Stephen noticed that smoke was coming out of the vents outside of the house and that the attic was full of smoke. We called 911 and they worked for 1 1/2 hours. Thankfully only a wall between the garage and living room burned. There was smoke damage and it has been a wild holiday with people cleaning the air ways in the house, wiping down each item in the house to get the smoke debris  and clean the carpets. We are so fortunate that we were awake as our smoke alarms did not go off. We will have the construction crew here to repair the damage next week.
      I have decided to rewind December. With taking mom to the hospital, putting her on Hospice, dad hospitalized 5 days, finding out he has Multiple Myeloma (cancer in the blood and bone), mom passing away and then the fire and holidays...whew! I'm tired just typing. Not to mention that in my work, December is the busiest month.  It is times like these that I experience God carrying me and although physically being tired, there has been an incredible peace and rest in my heart.I can see the fruit of the past four years of suffering in my life and that is the good news.

Austin and Laura
Me and my little sister

Stephen's favorite picture

Our first Christmas
  

My sister and her family

     Our holidays began with  celebrating with the Maxwell kids and my dad on Dec. 22nd as Price couldn't be home for Christmas. It was fun having everyone home. We had our traditional Christmas Eve Mexican Food feast, communion and the Christmas story. 15 family and friends were a part of this and Christmas Day we had a fish fry with Stephen's son and my sister, brother, and their families. It was a lot of fun although we all missed mom. Stephen and I had a great time cooking together and it was as if we had been together for a long time. I have loved having someone to share the holidays with.
2012 has been a good year in that I have discovered love again and a new life. I look forward to discovering more of God's plan for my life and what is in His heart for me and Stephen and our family. I love a quote by Graham Cooke that describes this year in many ways..."there are no more good days or bad days- just days of grace. Some days you draw on the grace of God to get by and others you simply enjoy it." 46,981


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Walking a New Life and Holding on to the Last Little Bit of Normal

This holiday season, we are walking into a new life to discover all God has for us. I celebrated my 53rd birthday Monday and Stephen surprised me with a small party and dancing at Sam's in San  Antonio. I am loving married life and our lives together.


 I look forward to celebrating Christmas with my kids this Saturday. It is important to find the good things in life as life as I have known it  continues to change. I found out today that my dad has multiple myeloma, cancer in the bone marrow. We had been told he had bone cancer but were not sure where it had begun. For me, finding out two weeks ago was difficult and then losing mom 15 hours later. A lot to handle in a short amount of time. After our doctor's appointment, we went and had lunch together. These times are precious and I know it. My sweet daddy wanted to walk me down the isle but I had the boys do it and then he gave me away.
 I am determined to dance thru life. Life on this earth is difficult. It won't be great until we are with Jesus but each of us gets to choose how we will live it. There are many blessings in life here on earth and we must look for them and focus on them. 

Yes I am a little crazy but I am sliding down a 115 foot slide into the Guadalupe River on New Year's Day to benefit at risk youth in our area. I will once again slide in the 
20th Annual Mo-Ranch Polar Bear Challenge. Who wants to sponsor me? Donate any amount to BCFS Health and Human Services and mail it to me at
 550 Earl Garrett suite 114 in Kerrville, Tx78028


Love these handsome boys!
My wish for you is that you enjoy this holiday season and enjoy the peace and love that walking with God provides. He is faithful, He is good and best of all...He loves us.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


God Is With You I Your Pain
Kerrville Daily Times and Community Journal

December 2012

 The holidays can often times be painful for those of us that have lost loved ones. Holidays can remind people of joyful times spent with those that are not with us anymore. Many can struggle with grief during the Christmas season that may have been swept under the carpet the rest of the year. 
     Grief  seems to barge in at the most unexpected times, I guess all the lights we have up in this season make grief think it too is invited to the celebration of the season. For example, last year I was planning a holiday party and  talking to a woman in a local restaurant. The conversation began to change after we finished preparations and she asked me a question about marriage. I answered with, “Early on in our relationship...but right before our relationship ended...” All of a sudden the words I spoke brought tears to my eyes. I looked at her with tears beginning to spill from my eyes and said, “ Give me a minute,I have never used the words “our relationship ended.”  “It really ended.” I said again.
      I had said numerous times, “ My husband died”, ”Joe is gone”, “I am a widow.” but never “our relationship ended.” The words I used hit me like a ton of bricks.The relationship we shared had ended. My friend did nothing wrong in asking a question but my response triggered the pain that still lingers and the reminder that he would not be my escort to the event I was planning.
     I have learned to just let the tears roll and I don’t mind crying in public although it is not my favorite thing to do. Grief is a personal process and not a one time event. It takes time and it is best to just keep walking through it and let the tears roll. 
      The best thing you can do as a friend to someone grieving is share their pain. Hold their hand until it passes. Let them talk. I sat next to a woman older than my mother  at a luncheon that lost her husband of 50 years. She just needed someone to understand her pain and the challenges she faced. She needed someones love to just help her thru the luncheon that was overwhelming.
     Often times grieving people can feel like God doesn’t care about their pain. This is not true. Numerous times in scripture God says He is near to the brokenhearted. Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” This life is full of pain and suffering but God did not leave us alone and knows exactly what we feel.
      Last holiday season, God allowed me to experience the truth of Psalms 34. I was shopping at Costco in San Antonio and was missing Joe that day as we frequently shopped together for the holidays. A wave of grief had come and and I was just trying to catch my breath again. I get tired of the waves...  Suddenly a woman walked up to me and said, “I think you are the prettiest woman in this store.” 
     Perhaps she had forgotten her glasses in the car but I smiled gratefully, thanked her and walked on. I had never had anyone say something  like that. 
    All of a sudden I realized that was God speaking to me. I love to encourage others to know God or see him in everyday life. I quickly turned around to find her down the next row of groceries and said, “I just want you to know God used you to bless me. I am a recent widow after 30 years of marriage and my husband frequently told me he thought I was pretty. I miss those words.” 
     She replied, “I am so sorry you lost him. You are so young.” “I lost my son years ago but that is not like loosing a spouse.” “I at least had my husband to share the pain.” she said.
      I can only imagine her the pain of loosing a child and would not want that experience. Then words came out of her mouth that again touched my heart. “The worst part is  most people don’t understand your pain because they can’t.”  “They haven’t been there.” 
     “Never let anyone minimize your pain either.” she said with a voice of authority. 
      “And you miss those hugs from your husband too don’t you?” she asked.
     Here I was just trying to shop and a total stranger read my mail! She reached out to hug me and I welcomed her arms. I knew God sent this woman to be His arms and voice of love to my weary soul. 
     We didn’t even exchange names. We didn’t need to. The most important thing was we shared the pain of not having someone with us to celebrate.
     I walked away from this precious lady knowing God knew where my heart was and that He would see me through this valley. Whatever the problem, God always has a provision for us.
     God sent Jesus to bind up the brokenhearted as he proclaims about Jesus coming in in Isaiah 61:1. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives...” Binding up our broken hearts is part of Jesus job description. God has the power to heal in an instant but I find he often wants us to trust Him in our pain. Jesus suffered and in his suffering he learned obedience. He also learned how to walk with his father and trusting in God in his pain.

     There are many in our retirement community that are widowed. There are also parents that have lost children.  Men and women that have lost brothers, sisters, and friends. There are children that don’t have mommies or daddies around this holiday season. Maybe God wants to use you to be a gift to someone this Christmas. You never know how your kindness can be healing or encouraging to someone else just like the divine appointment I encountered.
      Personally, I am experiencing God holding my own broken heart as my mother passed away this morning and my father is hospitalized with a serious illness.
      I pray God would show you that He knows where your heart is this holiday season and reveal to you He is Emmanuel- God with us. Let’s be a community that seeks God and allows him to use us to bless others. Will you look for your divine appointment this Christmas season?
    

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie 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. She can be heard on Sunday morning on the REV.FM 94.3 from 8-9 am.You can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com
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Friday, December 7, 2012

Memorial Service for Mary Belle Jones Saturday at 3:00 pm Impact Christian Fellowship

We will honor my mom's life tomorrow at 3:00 pm at Impact Christian Fellowship. Memorials can be made to BCFS, 550 Earl Garrett Suite 114, Kerrville for their new building that will serve area youth. Mom loved kids.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Heaven Gained a Wonderful Lady Today- My Mom

     I cannot begin to describe the last few days. It has been challenging making sure Mom was taken care of and overseeing Dad's care too. Dad has been in the hospital since Sunday evening and yesterday we were told he has bone cancer.We were stunned as we went to the emergency room thinking it was his heart or a compression fracture in his back.

     On my way home from the hospital last night, I decided that I wouldn't stop by my Mom's because I was too tired. But somehow my car turned on to Manor Dr. and I decided to quickly stop and check on her. She was alert, talking to me and Austin called and he got a chance to visit with her.Being the first grandchild, he had a special place in her heart. According to her, he never did anything wrong.

     This morning I was awakened by a call from her sweet caregiver asking me to come over quickly. Somehow I knew she was gone. When I arrived, Mom was already with Jesus. There was a sweet presence of God in her room and I will have to say, I was thankful she was no longer suffering. Her disease had altered her physical body and I was thankful she could now dance and do all the things she loved. She was a classy lady and yes a little bit sassy. Always had her lipstick on and of course her hair done! She has taught me much about the Word of God, life, and has taught many kids gymnastics as well as about taught hundreds of kids in children's church. What a lady!

     My husband has been out of town for business but is on his way home now. I need him but God has once again shown me His faithfulness and how He cradles my heart and loves me dearly. My kids have had a jolt hearing the news about their grandfather yesterday and now their grandmother. Mallory and Price have already arrived and Austin will be in tomorrow
Mother's Day 2012


     Plans are still being made but Grimes Funeral Chapel is handling things and I believe the service will be at Impact Christian Fellowship Saturday at either 2pm or 3pm.

     Held by Grace,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hospital Visit #15, West Texas Weekend and Hanging On to God


Had a great hike with Barrett- Stephen's son in Alpine.
The past week has been an adventure. I honestly do not know how people live life without the Lord. I am thankful for the help of Hospice  but it has been a lot of work to get things all worked out. 
Beauty in the desert of life
This past weekend, I joined Stephen in Alpine Texas as he has a hunting business in the area. I loved riding around with him and enjoying the scenery.  I couldn't help reflect on how great God's love is for us.

Beauty in thrones

Me and my cowboy- fun West Texas Weekend

 As I returned to Kerrville Sunday, I received a call from my father. He said he was not feeling well and needed to go to the emergency room. Once again, I headed for Peterson Regional Medical Center. This is visit #15 since Joe has been gone.  I remind myself that this is a season. It is a long one, like a marathon...It may not seem like much to you, but each time it is a withdrawal from my bank. The hours are long and I feel like I have two handicapped children. It is a juggling act with mom being on Hospice. She is struggling. And then you take dad out of the mix and needing care and you have a whole new set of problems. I don't now how people live without God. I couldn't do it. I need Him more each day. I know this is only a season and I am determined to finish it strong. I depend on God to help me more each day. When I am weak, He is strong. Yea God!
i am sliding on New Years Day for charity! Who wants to sponsor me? All proceeds will go to BCFS Kerrville Transition Center! All gifts are tax deductible and are for at risk youth! Want to sponsor me?