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

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pulling Grace to Your Heart

Mama Max with grand daughter Collins

Playing with Mama Max

Working diligently in my office, I began to sing the Christmas carol that played on the radio. “

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

As I sang the words, to the last verse, “He rules the world with truth and grace,” I suddenly stopped, as the phrase came to life. I pondered the words, and began to think that if Jesus rules the world with truth and grace, what would it be like if all of us ruled our lives with truth and grace.? I knew God was speaking something to me that wanted me to discover what was in His heart. It was the beginning of a Holy Spirit adventure. God loves us so much and wants us to seek Him. This was my invitation to an adventure with Him and I knew it.

I have sung and thought often of the words to that song and asked the Lord to show me what he wanted me to discover about the gift of His grace.   John 1:17 says “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The provision for me has been made because of Jesus. His grace and truth will make a way for me in every situation. John 1: 14 states, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

Collins Maxwell
One definition of grace is the divine influence on our heart and the reflection in our lives, liberty, highly favored, and joy. Jesus was full of grace and truth, and since we are made in His image, we can be full of grace and truth too. But how does that happen in our everyday lives? For me, it began by realizing this was His desire for me and asking God to fill me each day full of His truth and grace and access this wonderful gift, especially when I needed an extra dose.

Then the test came...something that hurt me some time ago, resurfaced. As the tears rolled down my cheeks from the residual pain and grief, I saw a picture of me holding grace in my hands and God saying, “pull grace to your heart to cover the the pain.  I felt the Lord say, “each time something hurts, pull my grace to your heart to heal it.” Such a hope and freedom came to me, and the hurt dissipated. His grace engulfed me and I felt love for the those that caused much pain.

 My nephews and two grand babies
Sometimes we need His grace to help us embrace a truth because sometimes the truth hurts. When we pull grace to the pain, we can then see God’s truth about the situation.  To illustrate this, let me tell of you of a recent event. A woman came to me asking for prayer because she had discovered that her husband was having an affair. She was feeling lonely, rejected, abandoned and unloved. Embracing the truth of her husbands actions and her feelings was hard. As I prayed for her, I asked God to reveal His truth to her. She was loved by God, she was accepted  and precious to Him, God would never leave her and abandon her and He would give her grace and wisdom to know what to do in the situation. 

Perhaps this holiday season, you have to be around that relative that has been unkind to you and rejected you and caused you pain. I challenge you to pick up the grace Jesus has give each of us and pull it to your heart.  I ask Him to fill you full of His grace and His truth about the situation and pour His love into your heart. How exciting to discover that we can be full of His grace and truth. May it be your best Christmas ever as you discover Jesus- full of grace and truth.

Last Christmas...missing my parents this Christmas

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Find the Adventure and Look for Someone to Hug

Collins, my granddaughter, that I get to see in a week!

Kerrville Daily Times
Community Journal
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
December 2013

Most of us think of the holidays as a time of celebration, gatherings with friends and family, and pretty lights. For others, the holidays only remind them of what is NOT in their lives anymore. Grief often shows up unexpected during this season triggering the pain that might have remained hidden the rest of the year. 

my grandson 
The good news is God is with us in our pain. I speak from experience.... The things I have learned from walking through grief have been some of the best teachers in my life.  Learning that no matter what I face, God holds my hand and is full of compassion has given me great confidence and expanded my compassion for other people, which is priceless.

 God cares when our hearts hurt and wants to heal us. Psalms 34:17 states “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  It may not feel like God is close in our pain but the truth is, He has never been closer. As I have experienced Him guiding me, encouraging me, and His kindness, it has made the above scripture very real. God relentlessly kept showing me He was right beside me. Too many times our feelings lie to us and in tough times, we feel like life is over and God has forsaken us, but we must believe the truth of God’s word and press through the feelings.

If you are brokenhearted over losing a loved one, recently divorced, or another loss, let me encourage you to ask God to open your eyes to see his nearness and to encourage your heart. I have done that and it works! You are precious to Him and He cares that your heart hurts.

hunting in Alpine
Sunset at Thanksgiving
With the loss of both of my parents this past year, this Thanksgiving was the first holiday I faced without either one of my parents or my children. As I approached the holiday, instead of focusing on missing them, I began to wonder what adventure would God had ahead for me. God is always good and I’ve learned from losing my late husband, that when facing something new and different without a loved one, I find comfort and joy looking for the adventure and God’s goodness. Needless to say, it was different this year as I spent the holiday in Alpine Texas with my new husband on a 40,000 acre ranch mule deer hunting and helping him with his hunting business, a side business he has done for years. The beauty and majesty of the area was breath taking and I missed a 10 point buck...I’ll get him though! My dad loved west Texas and it will always remind me of him. Enjoying something he loved so much brought me a smile. I’ve found joy in the differentness and enjoyed the challenge.

How to make use of a trophy mule deer
 You may not be grieving this Christmas season, but God may want to use you to be His arms of compassion and love. Often people that are grieving just need people  to affirm their pain and loss and encourage them. Life isn’t the same without those that have been a huge part of our lives. It is challenging to go on without them. Love and compassion will always win and bring healing. Love never fails. Sometimes someone else's  arms  and kind words mean the world to a grieving person. 

The Holy Spirit is the best comforter and is what Jesus sent to us, but let me encourage you to ask God how he might want to use you to be a gift to someone hurting this season.  Being sensitive to others helps us be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and vice versa. Jesus said he would send the comforter. That is a promise so look for the great comforter. Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Hang on to the promises and enjoy the new adventures that await you. And don’t forget to look for people to bless with a hug.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Home on the Range at Thanksgiving

Home-home on the range!

Thanksgiving 2013 in Alpine

Thanksgiving on the ranch