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

Monday, January 7, 2013

Polar Bear Challenge and Attitude Adjustment

Polar Bear Challenge on New Years Day was a big success. Over  250 spectators watched as 93 sliders plunged into the Guadalupe River to raise funds for the BCFS Kerrville Transition Center. Over $19,000 was raised! Yes...I was crazy enough to slide again.

Need An Attitude Adjustment?
January Article
Kerrville Daily Times
Community Journal

     Attitude is of upmost importance in any situation. We have all heard that from various sources, but how many of us really take a good look at our attitude and give it a check-up? With 2013 beginning, I think it is a good time for us all to give ourselves a attitude checkup.
     I visited with a woman this past week that told me she did not like being around a certain relative because after she would leave, she noticed her own attitude about life was negative. I encouraged her to set healthy boundaries and limit time with the person, as this woman was struggling to live a healthy lifestyle. Boundaries are the best when someone is struggling to develop a positive lifestyle, because a negative attitude can be contagious.
     We must be on guard with our attitude when bad or challenging things happen. God will always work things for our good when we seek Him and look to Him. That is just the way He operates, but I find in life, we must really believe that in order to have the confidence we need to get through difficult situations. Too many times, people waller in the negative things that have happened in life instead of trusting God’s ability to help us overcome. It is in our DNA to overcome because we are made in His image.
     There is a big difference in embracing our challenging circumstance, getting stuck in them and denying them. Denial will only hinder the truth and our progress to get through difficulty. Self-pity and a victim mentality will most definitely keep you walking in a way that makes you feel you are pulling a ton of bricks. Healthy people embrace the truth. As awful as it may be, embracing the truth and looking for God in the midst of it is the best. Bad things do happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Actually, anything good in our lives is simply because of God’s grace to us. Scripture tells us, “Every good and perfect things comes from the father of lights.” Think of something good in your life. It is because of God’s goodness and kindness in your life. Perhaps you should thank Him.
     Life on this earth is hard. There are constant things to overcome and deal with and as difficult as they are, there is a confidence and blessing that comes when you hang on to God and continually seek Him to help you overcome the situation. Overcome means to get the better of the situation. Did you know that in every difficulty, there are blessings? Sometimes the blessings come in the form of our own personal growth, and sometime we simply do not see the blessings for a while. The key is keeping our attitude right and to keep looking for, and trusting, God. 
     I have personally had a challenging few months but there have been many blessings. Actually, I said to my sister the other day, “ I think I will rewind December and start it over again and try for a better month.” I knew months ago that December would be hectic with the holidays and with my work. I knew the month would be like April is for a certified public accountant. As prepared as I was for the month, there was the unexpected. The unexpected always comes knocking on the door of life. 
      For me, it came in the form of my mom going to the hospital and then putting her on Hospice. The next week, my dad ended up in the hospital and while he was there, we were told he had Multiple Myeloma, a form of cancer. As shocking as the news was, there was a peace and confidence in God that came over me. Even though I lost my husband of 30 years to cancer, I saw God’s faithfulness to me and had total confidence in His ability to hold my heart, although it seemed as if there was an earthquake in my life. Having loved ones in the hospital is not only challenging for the patient but also the caregiver and those responsible for helping their loved ones through a difficulty. Balancing work, having a new marriage and caring for aging parents is not a task for the faint hearted.
      Fifteen hours, after we got the news about dad, I was at my parent’s home as mom had taken her last breath on earth and her first breath in heaven.
      That night as I sat in my home and tried to process all that had happened, I came across a scripture that held me tight. Isaiah 12:2 says, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” 
      This was the very same scripture God took me to the day we discovered my late husband had cancer. Scripture is given to enable us to overcome in situations. When we feel like all our strength is gone and we cannot go on, we grab God’s strength and a song. Often, though, we have to go to the deep places in life to find the well of salvation. I am not talking about getting saved — although people do turn to God in hard times and come to know him — I am talking about salvation in the sense that God is how we get through the situation. That is what I discovered when my late husband got cancer and died.     
     Although the earth seemed to shake with dad’s diagnoses and mother’s death, peace ruled my heart and I knew somehow, someway, God’s strength was right there and my job was to keep my focus on Him and a song in my heart. What attitude was I going to have in all this? Be overwhelmed, anxious,full of self pity or rely on God? The choice was mine and mine alone.
    Just when I was catching my breath from the situations with my parents, less than two weeks after we buried mother, there was another unexpected event. It was late one evening, about 11:20 p.m., and I was determined to finish my Christmas wrapping before going to bed. Suddenly I smelled smoke. It was discovered that there was a fire in our attic and between the wall and the fireplace. An hour and half later, four fire trucks left our home. Only one wall burned, and there was water damage in the garage. The fire could have been so much worse. Had we gone to bed earlier, our entire home could have burned and we could have lost our lives as our smoke alarms did not go off. Although it was Christmas and life seemed crazy with cleaning crews working to remove the smoke damage, I had a choice as to what my attitude would be in another unexpected situation. That is a lot to deal with in two and half weeks and I was looking for the rewind button to begin December again.
     I have discovered anxiety and whining are not options for me. I have learned it is a total waste of energy and is contrary to what is in God’s heart for us. His heart is for His kids to walk in full faith and confidence in Him. How we live our lives shows. People are reading us. 2 Corinthians 3:2-5 says, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. ... Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”
      How is your attitude? Do you need an attitude adjustment? How do you handle adversity or the unexpected? Do you deny what is happening, have a victim mentality or embrace the reality and find the blessings? Kerrville will be a better place if we all adjust our attitudes. The choice is yours and yours alone.

written by Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie


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