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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Transition

Hill Country Community Journal
Copyright
December 2014

The other day as I remembered the second anniversary of the death of my mom, I began to ponder all the things that had changed in my life in the last few holiday seasons. Things look very different than they did a few years ago and with change, there always comes the period of transition, the in between time, the time of letting go of the past and embracing the new. Change is often times a good thing, although it can also challenge things within us and if we look at history, it has been around a long time..

I have encountered several recent changes in my life in my family and work.  The addition of my new husband, step children and grand babies was a wonderful change in our family. Although wonderful, it has been a time of adjust, transition and we are all learning our new life together.  Other changes are a little more challenging, such as changing or losing a job, a family member encounters a life changing illness or gets cancer, losing a spouse, child, or parent. And then there are those changes, like when we think we know the road map for our life and God suddenly reveals that he has a different plan.

Christmas 2009 in Cabo
Think about Mary and Joseph. Those two young people had a huge shift in their plans and lives when God began to reveal to them they were chosen for a very special task in the world, to birth and raise Jesus. Here was a young couple, engaged to be married with dreams for their lives together, and suddenly they were told a very special baby was on its way, the son of God.

Luke 1 tells us at first Mary is greatly troubled by the news and has questions. She did not have a grid or any understanding of the news she received as no one else had been chosen to carry the son of God. We can all learn from her ultimate response. Luke 1:38 recounts her response to the news with, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.” (NIV) Luke 1: 46 also states she says, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” When the unexpected came, Mary humbled herself , agreed with God’s plan, even though she did not understand,  and worshiped God in her transition. I love that about her!  She lived Proverbs 3:5 which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” (NIV) She simply trusted God and his goodness.

Matthew 1 tells us Joseph first thought of ending the relationship with Mary but after an angel appeared to him in a dream and explained God’s plan, he changed his mind. Matthew 1:24 says, “When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (NIV)

Transition is defined as the process of changing from one state or condition to another. I have often felt like my own transitions make me feel upside down. God’s purpose in our lives is to conform us to his image. In our day to day walk, he wants us to be his representatives here on earth of his kindness, love, goodness, faithfulness and peace. He is all about changing us  to be more like him and often times uses change or transition as a tool to shape us.

 Recently pondering changes at work, as my division is undergoing a new restructure, I suddenly had a burst of energy!  I thought, “what is one more change and it will be good for me”? What  resinated in me was change has helped me grow in my walk with God and become who I am today. Change can shape us and is a catalyst to helping us become who God wants us to be, if we embrace it, accept it, rest in God’s love and plan for our lives.

We can tell from the Christmas story, that change might no seem good to us at first, but ultimately it can be our friend and birth something new in us, a better version of who we are,  as well as affect the world around us. Mary and Joseph were chosen for special purposes. They embraced the plan and change and simply trusted God.
  
Change has been around for over 2000 years and is here to stay. God is looking for people that will say “yes” to him and make a difference in the world. What change has happened in your life since the last few holiday seasons? What change do you need to wrap your arms around? I wonder what special task God has chosen you for? 

I challenge you to have the same attitude as Mary and Joseph. Simply say “yes” to God’s plan, trust him and grow from your changes. In that journey, our faith is upgraded,we can be conformed to God’s image and we discover, it’s a wonderful life.

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native to the Texas Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and God’s love, You can reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com





Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Power of Thanksgiving Year Round




Thanksgiving in Alpine...true west Texas event!

The Power of Thankfulness
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2014


Thanksgiving is not just for November but is a powerful resource for us throughout the year. The Bible tells us to be thankful. The number one reason to be thankful is because God said so. That alone is reason to be thankful all the time, however, there are other reasons. Thankfulness is good for us and good for those around us! There is power that comes into our lives when we are thankful. Power to adjust our attitude, power to focus on the good and the goodness of God and power to overcome difficult circumstances. 

As a little girl it would really maked me mad when I would ask my dad why I needed to do something and his reply was, “because I said so.” Really what he meant to say was, “ because it is good for you.” I was one of those kids that wanted to understand things and I’m sure I annoyed my parents by asking why. I’m sure God sometimes wants to tell me, “because I said so or because it is good for you Kathleen.” After all, He is all knowing and our job is to trust him.
Psalm 100:4 encourages us to be thankful as it states, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (NIV) Thankfulness opens our heart and brings our emotions and thinking into alignment. Think about it. How many people do you know that have said thank you with their arms folded? Not many...When we come to God with a thankful heart it opens us up to see all He has done for us that we might have missed. Thanksgiving makes God bigger than our problems or the things we face. It magnifies Him and His goodness.
Colossians 3:15 and 4:2 respectively state,“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (NIV)
I’ve seen the power of a thankful heart to change me personally. In my dark days of digging through grief, learning to live as a widow and caregiving for my ill, elderly parents, knowing their life span was short, it was easy to become weary and feel like life would always be painful. It was a difficult time, but God was also blessing me in some incredible ways. Realizing I needed to focus on the good in my life, I began to write down each evening something I was thankful for that day or had seen God do for me. In the beginning, I had to think about what to write but the more I looked for God’s goodness to me, the more I discovered. An attitude of gratitude began to change my heart and open my eyes. 
No, I did not thank God that I was living alone, was lonely and had a lot of responsibility, but I could thank him for holding my hand, leading me and comforting me as I cried. I could thank him that I still had my parents in my life and they called me each day. As my list of things that blessed my life each day grew, I began to see my heart change. Even though my circumstances did not change, life seemed easier.
I challenge you to develop a heart of thankfulness by either writing what you appreciate each day or verbally thanking God throughout the day. Do it because He said so and you will empower yourself. I would love to see the hills alive in Kerrville with a thankful heart!

Uncle Price and Truett