Merry Christmas from the Lambdin family!
Dan and I are currently enjoying the gift of a weekend away to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary…
Yes….it is a gift of a weekend together to celebrate our life, our love and our Lord during this beautiful, magical and festive time of year! When we were asked during our pre-marital counseling what gift we wanted Jesus to bring to our wedding to celebrate our marriage (what a great question right?), after much thought, we agreed we wanted to ask him for the gift of a double portion of His anointing so that together we could accomplish greater things for Him than we could ever do on our own!
We learn in grade school that if 5×20=100 then 500×20=10,000. But God says “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand…” (Leviticus 26:7) What? That math does not make sense! But God….
The Lord has indeed not simply doubled our effectiveness in ministry by bringing us together in marriage but he has multiplied it beyond what we could ever have imagined those 28 years ago on December 20, 1986 through the gift of children and the gift of ministry!
The gift of children
We never planned (as so many do) how many children to have and when we should have them…we left that in the much wiser and capable hands of God….who choose to give us the gift of eight children who have the name Lambdin and in addition many more who we claim as Lambdins! Each of these children have greatly multiplied our effectiveness in God’s kingdom through their unique giftings, personalities, passions & callings. Here is a snapshot of each of their lives this past year.
Christiana is five years old already (how did that happen?) and began kindergarten this year at the Lambdin “life is school” Academy which is unbelievably in it’s 18th year of existence! (who would have ever thought what started out as a temporary homeschool year would still be going strong 18 years later?!) She just last week celebrated her first born again birthday, marking the day she first put her trust in Jesus! She certainly has a life FULL of celebrations – her birthday, “gotcha day”, adoption day & now a born again birthday. We know that the Lord has BIG things planned for her and that she is gonna do great things for Jesus….and we tell her that everyday! We thank the Lord daily for the precious gift of “baby girl” in all of our lives!
Daniel, our boy who is growing and learning everyday to become a man of God and a gentleman is seven years old and in the 2nd grade. He is constantly amazing us all with his love and knowledge of the Lord. He currently wants to be a policeman, join the military and be a worship leader when he gets older…but also wouldn’t mind being in a couple Broadway shows! What a combination of passions…sure to be used by God. The gift of Daniel… a son and a brother…has been beyond all we could ever have wanted.
Joy….our playful, happy, spontaneous, enthusiastic, talented gift from God! At eleven years old and in the 6th grade we are in the beginnings of those adolescent years that can be challenging. And Joy, as the “lone” Otter in the Lambdin home, helps to remind us all to “lighten up” and enjoy life! She continues to hone her God given talent in singing through participation in the Stockton Youth Chorale and sang the National Anthem this past year at swim meets and at her sisters collegiate soccer game. We know that with her joyous personality, loving heart and talent that the Lord will use her greatly in this life! (hard to believe in just a short six more years she will be ready to launch from our home)
Grace…just celebrated her 16th birthday this month in New York City! (a Lambdin mother/daughter tradition) Life does not exactly look like what she had thought her high school years would be…and yet we know that the Lord is molding, shaping and preparing her for the future. We are taking her high school education one year at a time. After finishing up her freshman year at Capital Christian (which was amazing but with a 104 mile round trip commute and no driver along with the tuition obstacle we knew it was not an option) …she decided to homeschool this year. It is a new and challenging experience that we are still navigating. Our homeschool co-op has added a high school division which has allowed her to have a couple more traditional classes including yearbook, leadership, Bible and History through Film…although they are taught by her Mom & Dad…she would probably like some variety. Grace began her year long Rite of Passage tradition in September and is excited to be mentored by many awesome women! She also has her drivers permit and will soon be Moms chauffeur for her brother & sisters! Grace is a lovely young woman who worships the Lord with all of her heart and serves her family and others with humility and love. She has always been a gift to us…a daily reminder of the undeserved grace of God towards our family. As we enjoy these last few and precious years with her in our home we are excited to see all that God has for us!
As you can see from the photo….Rebekah is traveling this year and for the first time ever all of our children will not be home to celebrate the Christmas season with us. It is really hard to write, in one short paragraph, what 2014 looked like for our 19 year old daughter Rebekah. Many of you have stayed on top of her journey…supporting her, loving her, praying for her and cheering her on through both the hardest and the best year of her life! We can’t thank you enough for being a significant part of her life. Bek graduated with honors as a Capital Christian Cougar after being embraced with love & enthusiasm from the staff, students and administration. Her soccer team captured the section championship and she hopes to play again when she heads back to college in the fall.
She chose to spend this year traveling and ministering throughout Europe before going to college. Her home base is in Germany where she and her friend Nettie live with a dear life long family friend (Carrie Bracken Elliot BCHS ’91) and help her as she lives the “single mom life” while her husband is deployed for 9 months. She has learned so much about the sacrifices our military and their families make for all of us living free in the USA. She has also been ministering and serving the Lord in various places this past fall and will be in both Romania and Amsterdam after the holidays working with orphans, single moms and helping stop human trafficking. She is also is getting to travel and see new parts of the world. An amazing life changing experience to say the least! (If you want to read more about her experience or contribute towards her work you can do so here – http://towanderandtowonder.wordpress.com/)
She will be returning home in May and hopes to attend The King’s College in New York City next fall where she will prepare to hopefully accomplish her life goal of changing the foster care system in our country! What an incredible dream….truly Rebekah is a gift not only to our family and the body of Christ but also to the world!
Kristen is 20 years old and well into her second year at SAGU in Waxahachie, Texas and is looking to possibly finishing in the Spring of 2016 (Mom is voting for this and a double college graduation with Amy….wouldn’t the photos be great?) She competed as a Lady Lion on the soccer team for her second year, is making strong friendships and is enjoying her classes. We could not be happier with her college experience. Many of you have heard us comment over the years about our “perfect child”, our number three, our sweet Kristen! God has certainly blessed us with the gift of Kristen….she has faithfully served our Lord, worked hard, loved others and given of her time, talent and treasure to bless others. I am continually amazed at her culinary abilities and the way she can make things happen in our home with precision, excellence and expertise. (one example…after six hours of traveling and jet lag she made and baked over 200 mouth watering delicious scones for our annual Holiday Tea in just several hours!) Anyone interested in investing in a Ministry Tea House with not only delicious savories and sweets where you can enjoy lunch with friends or special celebrations but rooms for ministry (Inspire!) and a library where you can come read in a cozy intimate atmosphere….I am sure that it would be a great investment into the dream of this beautiful young lady! I think there is already a name in the works – Kristen’s Korner. Dreamin’ big dreams for God’s glory! Yes, Kristen is a gift.
Our Amy girl just celebrated her 22 birthday the same week she played in her last ever collegiate soccer game and she received a most memorable gift! Her daddy surprised her by flying out to Texas to escort her on the field as they honored the seniors and watch her final game. Tears of joy streamed down her face as she saw her dad walk into the team room that beautiful day! (It was a special birthday gift for Dan too as he was surprised the day prior to find out he was getting to go to this event that he so wanted to be a part of) Amy had a stellar four years as a SAGU Lady Lion soccer player. She played both offense and defense with intensity, determination and skill, was passionate about her sport and was an influential leader both on and off the field. Her dad and I couldn’t be any more proud of this godly young lady! She has overcome so much and is within a year of graduating from college with a degree in communications which will be well used as she lives a life that is both inspirational and influential. Her God given gifts of leadership and influence have been greatly enhanced during these college years and we know that she will use these gifts throughout her life to impact others for Christ!
And you can’t capture the gift of Amy in just one photo!
Michelle is 25 years already (could it be so?) and is truly “living the good life” in New York City! She is still working for her alma mater…The King’s College…as the Housing Director. She is greatly using her amazing gifts of leadership, organization, communication, problem solving and influence as she faithfully serves the students at King’s. We recently saw a comment about Michelle from another staff member in a correspondence to a prospective student – “Michelle is exceptional at her job. We’re lucky to have her!” It is such a joy to watch her be used so greatly and love her job.
Her “second job” seems to be a hostess par excellance and premier travel guide for the revolving door of friends and family who are visiting New York. She not only provides them with a place to stay (for free!) but helps them win Broadway show lottery tickets, tells them how to navigate the subway, the best places to eat in town and anything else they need to enjoy their trip. And she does it flawlessly in the midst of working her full time job. She is…and always has been…impressive! She chose to spend her holiday vacation with her sister Rebekah in Germany and we will miss them both greatly but are thrilled they can celebrate together! Michelle just began the first leg of her trip in London for a weekend sightseeing trip with Carrie. What a gift to Rebekah and the Elliott family.
Michelle is a beautiful and accomplished young woman with exceptional gifts and talents and the heart of a servant who is greatly making an impact in the world….such an amazing gift!
Most of you know Tiffana…an honorary Lambdin now for a dozen years since she came into our lives as a transplant from Chico via Radical Reality Summer Camp to JECHS. We love her as our very own child and she has been grafted into our family. Tiffana moved back to Stockton this year which has allowed us to see her more often….a GREAT blessing to our family. She is currently working at Grand Canyon University recruiting and enrolling students. She is such a hard worker and is diligently chipping away at her student loans and medical debt. She also became a CASA volunteer this year and is influencing and advocating for a young lady who will be soon aging out of the foster system. We are so proud of all she has accomplished and we are super excited with her future plans of going to South Africa as a full time missionary. She asked for and received approval from our board at Inspire Ministries to be under their covering and sent out to inspire the people of South Africa to live a life of passion, purpose & praise! Our first missionary! We know her impact will be felt far and wide as she loves people and shares with them our precious Jesus. She brings great joy to our entire life…such a gift to our family! We love you Tiffana!
And now we have 21 year old Megan and her sweet 2 year old daughter Rosie as a part of our family. (I guess that makes us grandparents! Whoooo hooo!) To make a long story short Megan came into our lives in August through the Safe Families program (http://www.safe-families.org/default.aspx) where we are signed up to be a host family. She, a former foster child, was homeless, hungry and hurting. We were asked to take care of Rosie while her mom Megan began to look to rebuild her life. We of course said “yes!” and Rosie began to live with us on August 28th. We also decided to do our very best to involve Megan in our lives and to help her in any way we could. One day after her visit I walked her to the door and she said to me: “you know that day we first met and you said that now we would be family?” I nodded and adamantly assured her that was true. With tears in her eyes she asked: “Can I call you Mom?” I embraced her and said “of course you can!” She then proceeded to say “It’s been so long since I have called anyone Mom”. My heart was broken for her and yet filled with joy to have the privilege of being considered “mom” to another young woman!
We love Megan and Rosie as if they were our very own and it has been a fulfilling almost four months of getting to know them and embracing them into life at the Lambdins. Megan has recommitted her life to the Lord and to our great joy was baptized in October. She is attending school and will graduate with her high school diploma in May…what a celebration that will be! She just landed a job at Squeeze Burger and will begin work as a server at the first of the year with hopes of being able to make enough money to be able to rent out a room for her and Rosie or share an apartment by mid 2015. Just this past week she passed her written drivers test and we will begin to teach her to drive! So many exciting things happening for Megan right now….the greatest gift of 2014 for us! You just never know how the Lord will grow your family, increase your influence and allow you to impact a life! Keep your eyes open and your heart willing.
The gift of ministry
The Lord has truly given us the gift of ministry our entire 28 years of marriage and we believe that our newest adventure, Inspire Ministries, is the culmination and pinnacle of all the ministry that came before this. Our time in both youth ministry and Christian education for 27 years as well as the season of ministry and speaking with Creative Memories all prepared us to be able to have the in depth comprehensive ministry we have today. Without this preparation, along with raising children of our own in three different decades of life who currently range in age from 5 to 25, we would not have the wisdom, knowledge and experience that we needed to touch the lives of the multitudes of people God is sending our way. It is breathtaking to us to see how intricately He prepared us for “such a time as this”.
In 2014 Inspire Ministries officially kicked off the year as our official full time ministry. We stepped out in faith and the Lord has done amazing things through this ministry. We have ministered to many:
- families of all shapes and sizes who need inspiration, motivation & encouragement to be intentional about family life
- moms in need of mentoring and refreshment as they navigate the often rough road of motherhood
- couples in both healthy & growing marriages as well as those in crisis and need of reconstruction
- couples looking to get married and desiring to build a firm foundation
- men who want to be strong in their faith
- foster children and other children in crisis who need love from a caring adult and role model
- single moms who need emotional, spiritual & physical support
- youth who want to know and live for the Lord as well as young people who need to know the love of God
- leaders who desire to be more impactful and influential
- home educators in search of support and information on educating their children at home
- adults and couples looking for information on helping foster children through the avenues of CASA, Safe Families, Foster Parenting and Adoption
- those looking to add meaningful faith traditions to their lives
- people wanting life coaching as they move forward towards college, career, ministry or a life change
- believers needing to know who they are in Christ and are ready to break free of bondage that is holding them back
It has been exciting, rewarding and at times exhausting. We look forward to seeing where the Lord will take Inspire Ministries in 2015. Thank you for all of you who have encouraged us, cheered for us, supported us and given of your time, talent and treasure to the ministry. You, our dear friends & family, are the reason we can keep pressing forward to help others. As we end 2014 if you are looking for a place to invest some of your financial blessing, Inspire Ministries can really use some vital resources going into 2015. You can mail a check made out to Inspire Ministries at 313 West Robinhood Dr Stockton, CA 95207 or you can donate online here – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=U5QWNRGJ5D3P8 We promise to use your donation to continue to minister to people in need!
Also if you want to get our monthly updates via email….send us your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our list.
Merry Christmas from all the Lambdin family! We love you and pray that you are blessed with the greatest gifts this year as you celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ who was born in a stable those thousands of years ago and hopefully has been born again in your life.
For those of you local….join us for our annual Christmas Open House. We always love to see you and give you a heartfelt holiday hug.
As we close this annual Christmas greeting we want to remember three of our dear friends who are celebrating Christmas this year at home with the Lord. We are still grieving over the loss of three important people in our life who we loved so very much and miss greatly. Please join us in praying for each of their families as this Christmas season is sure to be hard for them all.