Lambdin Family 2013 Christmas Card

Greetings to our dear friends & family,

Family 2012 - Page 001

2013 has been quite a year for the Lambdin family.

We, as well as many of our dearest family and friends, have experienced much hardship, heartache, pain, sorrow and suffering. It began right at the beginning of the year when our dear friend who we affectionately refer to as “Granny Ann” tragically lost her 49 year old son on January 2nd. It was devastating and we helped her navigate through all the things that need to happen in the midst of her great grief. The month continued with one heavy heartache after another with friends whose spouses walked out of their lives, children being diagnosed with terminal diseases, mental health breakdowns, job losses and more.  We grieved with them, supported them and prayed with them. And that was just the beginning of our year! (Most of you should have received our email this summer sharing the hardships & heartache we experienced as well as our major life changes.  If not you can read about it here – https://bethlambdin.net/2013/07/27/lambdin-life-a-season-of-change/ and here – https://bethlambdin.net/2013/09/24/life-at-the-lambdins-the-latest-in-their-god-inspired-new-adventure/)

well with my soulWhen I ordered this necklace a year ago I had no idea how much I would need to be reminded throughout the year….”It is well with my soul”.  As the song says (written by a man who in just several years lost everything he owned in a fire, lost his four daughters when the ship they were on went down, lost his business and life fortune and then lost his only son to a disease)….”Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say…It is well, it is well with my soul”  We are so thankful that the Lord gives us peace in the midst of the storm!

And here we are at the years end…and we are still surrounded by those hurting….and we are still supporting, grieving and praying with them. And personally we are still without a regular income. (although the Lord provides on time everytime thanks to the love & generosity of many of you!)

One of our favorite songs of the season is My Grown Up Christmas List. It is a more contemporary Christmas song that everyone may not be familiar with. You can listen to it at the link above but here is the second verse and chorus…

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree
Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And  right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up  Christmas list

As I listen to this song, with tears streaming down my face, I think of all the hurting people in our lives.

  • So many broken marriages and families
  • Diseases ravaging peoples bodies and lives
  • Grieving hearts that cannot be comforted over the death of loved ones
  • Those struggling with addictions and life controlling problems that are destroying their lives
  • Believers in bondage to the lies of the enemy
  • People in physical pain or disabilities
  • Our sweet CASA kids (foster children we mentor) who are in desperate need of a forever family
  • Our own daughters Rebekah & Grace who are still navigating through the pain and stress of their lives and friendships being “torn apart” with the termination of their fathers employment that resulted in major changes in their lives that can be a daily struggle

Add to that our heart beats with compassion for the widows, single moms, orphans, foster kids, hungry, homeless and hurting…even though we may not know them personally.

But there is an answer to all the pain, suffering, grief,  brokenness and sorrow!

And the answer is in that baby that was born on that first Christmas morning….Jesus!  Yes, Jesus came into the world to comfort, heal and give us love like we have never known, peace that passes all understanding, joy unspeakable and a blessed hope for the future. He has done that for us this year in amazing ways and He can do it for each and everyone of you!

The other answer is in us, the followers of Jesus, to be His hands & feet…to help those in need, to comfort those who grieve, to walk through life with the hurting, helpless, homeless and hungry.

As we enjoy these last weeks of the Christmas season, know that we are praying for you all and asking for a blessing of love, peace, joy and hope to overwhelm your life and that you in turn would bring that shining light of love, peace, joy and hope to those in need!

We love you and pray for a warm and wonderful Christmas celebration and a meaningful New Year in 2014. If you are local we would love to give you some Christmas cheer and a holiday hug at our annual Christmas Open House!

open house

Always,

Dan, Beth, Michelle, Amy, Kristen, Rebekah, Grace, Joy, Daniel & Baby Girl (aka: Christiana)

inspireP.S. After much prayer and waiting on the Lord…Dan has decided to pursue full time ministry with our non profit, Inspire Ministries in 2014.  We will be looking for 225 supporters either monthly ($25, $35 or $50 a month) or yearly ($300, $500 or $600 annually) who believe in our ministry of helping those in need and inspiring all to live a life of passion, purpose and praise.  You will all hear more about our plans in the upcoming weeks but if you would like to jump start Dan’s new adventure with a year end gift, you can either send a check to Inspire Ministries at 313 West Robinhood Dr Stockton, CA 95207 or donate online through our secure paypal account here – Inspire Ministries Year End Donation

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Life at the Lambdins: the latest in our God inspired new adventure!

We are….

…eleven weeks out from the fateful day that dramatically changed our lives with the receipt of a single letter

…blessed to have an abundant amount of people who are interested in our lives and who love, care and are concerned about us!

…overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness of so many who have poured into our lives financially, emotionally and spiritually

…daily receiving input, encouragement and inquiries into how life at the Lambdins is going

I decided that I should write out a post giving answers to the most often asked questions and for those who don’t follow our daily happenings on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, a little update as well.  But before I answer those questions….let me assure you that much in “Life at the Lambdins” is the same as it has always been:

946376_10152527147387662_2006469747_nWe are still enjoying the seasons of life, carrying on with family traditions that give us stability, security and joy in times of transition and change, and celebrating life in its fullness.  After all Jesus came that we might have life…and have it abundantly!  We are living an abundant life!

We love the fall…with all the wonderful warm colors, cooler weather (sometimes!) and yummy delights…and of course pumpkin spice latte’s! It is almost Apple Hill time.

1238875_10152489607817662_1557378914_nWe are still homeschooling our pre-high school children and loving every minute of it! (as we have since the fall of 1997…16 years of homeschooling completed and beginning our 17th year!)  Our Cornerstone Co-op is in full swing for our 9th year and we have 22 wonderful families participating.

We have our first field trip today…to where else but the beach! (of course…because some things will never change)

1267175_10152515948722662_1527163070_o

We are still celebrating birthdays with three of them falling in September – I turned 51 on the 1st, Michelle turned 24 on the 7th and Rebekah had her big 18th birthday on the 18th. Michelle surprised us with a visit to California over the weekend of my birthday, which was the best gift I could have received!  We are thankful for another year of life and look forward to the God inspired adventure, in store for each of us, this coming year.

560537_10152522553167662_518737412_nWe are still doting over this “baby girl” the Lord blessed us with four years ago.  She is truly the center of much of our lives and garners a lions share of attention in our household. I tell her everyday the BIG things that God has in store for her life.  And yes, as always, Dan is still the primary hair stylist! (which I might add is no small thing for this beautiful child)

1239866_10152502874297662_126184572_n

We are still worshipping the Lord every Sunday at Lakeview Assembly.  In fact this month I celebrated my 30th anniversary as a member of this church. (formerly known as Lincoln Neighborhood Church before re-locating to its current property in 1985) Three decades in the same church…now there is something that remains the same.

And as always….we are loving life, loving one another and loving the Lord!  That will never change.

And now on to answering some of the questions many are asking or wondering about what is happening with  life at the Lambdins:

How is the job/ministry position search going for Dan?

The simple answer is:

Dan does not currently have a new career, job, or paid ministry position nor does anything any thing appear on the horizon at this moment. (we do know that can change in a blink of an eye)

The more complex answer is:

Dan has not found a job or ministry position to apply for that is within his experience, gifting, strengths and skill set. At this point he has not pursued any non ministry positions but is open to that option should the Lord lead him in that direction.

Dan is praying, trusting and waiting on the Lord for a clear direction. For type A, driven, “gotta have a plan” or “let’s make it happen” people (hmmm…like me), this sounds good in theory but in reality we think it is a bit crazy. Shouldn’t he be “doing” something? Come on…”God helps those who help themselves, right? (by the way that oft quoted thought is from Ben Franklin not the Bible) or “How long can he wait before his family is destitute?”  The world….and sadly many believers rely on this type of logic and wisdom.  But God has lots to say about not following our own ways or the wisdom of this world.  I won’t share all the verses on seeking God’s wisdom or not relying on our own or the worlds ….I’ll just give you one: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” 1 Corinthians 3:19

Family Album 2013 - Page 014Most likely Dan is doing exactly what God wants us all to do before hurling head long into something that may or may not be His plan – pray, trust and wait for the Lord to show you His ways.  Sounds like godly wisdom to me…albeit hard to do at times…although Dan is doing just that with grace, faith, hope and peace in abundance. Once again I am blessed to observe first hand and be impressed by his faithfulness and attitude. (yes mam…. I did get a “sweet deal” in this godly man as my husband, almost 27 years ago!)

And you may be wondering… just exactly what is he doing with all his “free time” this job loss has given him…besides praying and reading the Word? Let me tell you!  He is getting a bit of extra daddy time with his precious children including assisting in home schooling (they may actually learn math this year!) as well as completing some long overdue “G” jobs (guy stuff) in and around the house. He also has an abundance of non paid ministry opportunities including:

  • counseling and coffee appointments several times a week
  • mentoring our CASA kids
  • helping friends and family with car repairs, moving, yard sales, lawn care, loading & unloading objects & whatever else he is asked to do
  • pre-marital counseling & performing the subsequent wedding
  • motivating SAGU soccer players on game days through a text group he created
  • taking in seven year old twins for 10 days while their mama secures a job and housing
  • brainstorming ministry plans with a local pastor
  • and even continuing to minister to students who call, text and email wanting help, encouragement, wisdom and advice!

Yes…the ministry opportunities are still there in abundance and are a “full time job”!

How are the girls adjusting to their new school?

1239846_10152524903997662_834079844_nRebekah and Grace have been attending Capital Christian High School in Sacramento for about six weeks now and they are slowly adjusting and adapting to the many changes, unique culture and new faces.  Rebekah with her vivacious personality has jumped in and has a growing number of friends. She recently attended the homecoming formal and had a nice evening. She also has been taking advantage of some new opportunities that she didn’t have at her previous school by taking choir and weight training.  Of course she is missing her dear friends from JECHS, several of them went out of their way to help celebrate her 18th birthday, even showing up at CCHS to bring her lunch on her special day.  It was such a blessing to us all. While she has her melancholy moments thinking about what her senior year “might have been”, overall she is doing well. I anticipate by the years end she will have had the most amazing year and have memories that will last a lifetime!

Grace is doing well in her classes and likes her teachers.  As an introvert she is not making friends as easily as Rebekah. She is being a trooper and maintaining a good attitude in the midst of it all although the pain is apparent. We remind her often that perhaps her being at CCHS and not JECHS may have nothing at all to do with her happiness or experience but that perhaps God has someone there that she is to impact or influence this year. God has many ways that He works in and through us and we need to embrace His plan.

1235915_10152474952942662_750263207_nThe commute is likely going to be the greatest challenge for both the girls but God has miraculously blessed them even in that.  During the first week of school, we received a call that an anonymous donor had purchased us a 2007 Honda Hybrid for the girls to use in their daily 104 mile round trip drive to Sacramento! Not only is it the nicest car the Lambdins have ever owned…it gets great gas mileage and hybrids do not have to get a smog check! We are still blown away by this gift every time we get in the car. Rebekah is becoming a confident freeway and commuter driver and Mom & Dad are becoming prayer warriors for the girls safety! The other miraculous blessing is our sister-in-love, who lives just minutes from the school, graciously opened up her home to the girls to spend the night or come over in the afternoon before evening activities.  It has already been a “life saver” on several occasions.  God is truly in all the details…both big and small.

Of course we can’t talk about the girls school experience without telling you about the tuition provision! The Lord has been doing amazing things for these girls all along the away. After providing the money to get them enrolled, on the very day that they needed to pay for their textbooks to the tune of almost $1,000, a check arrived in the mail to cover their books as they were sitting and looking at the computer with their order in the shopping cart.  Rebekah’s Bible teacher, whom she had not even met, called to say he had heard a little about her situation and that he wanted to pay for her senior class retreat! Wow!  The girls have both been working hard – house cleaning, babysitting, serving at weddings and picking up any job they can to help contribute towards their school expenses.  One weekend Rebekah literally worked almost every waking hour. It has been refreshing to watch the tenacity and effort put towards working and fund raising.  When they began this endeavor just eight weeks ago they knew they needed to raise $16,000+ ….a daunting amount to most of us.  Yet Rebekah plunged forward with faith, hope and a commitment to hard work and just put one foot in front of the other. She even made the sacrificial decision to take responsibility for her younger sisters tuition as well…something that warmed our hearts and surely must have pleased the Lord.  As of today they are almost 75% funded…only needing $4,500 more to pay off the entire year! Almost unbelievable….but God!

Family Album 2013 - Page 013This weekend these girls are holding a two day “Will Work for Tuition” Yard Sale hoping to perhaps to make a serious dent in that remaining balance. If you are local and want to contribute things to sell or come over and purchase something, that would be great.  If you would like to make a donation towards their tuition goal….we have dear friends & former JECHS students who have set up an online site where people can donate. You can click here to contribute: http://www.youcaring.com/tuition-fundraiser/love-on-the-lambdins-/76233

We continue to stand in humble awe watching the Lord and His people work on our behalf. We are so often at a loss for words….

Is Beth looking for a job? (or that all new fabulous network marketing opportunity?)

It appears that many think that I am, or perhaps should be, looking for a job or income opportunity. While, we are very open to whatever God has for us…we decided over 18 years ago after the birth of our fourth child that our priority would be for me to be primarily in the home both raising and schooling our children. (although all of you who are my former Brookside students…you know first hand I always had my kids “in tow” even during my work outside of the home season of life) While I have brought in additional income to supplement Dan’s ministry salary over the years through various opportunities and a home based business…I felt in recent years that my “free time” (ha!) needed to be invested in ministry opportunities with or without producing income. I began a non profit – Inspire Ministries – and have been slowly developing this concept.

Since Creative Memories declared bankruptcy this summer …I have had no less than two dozen people approach me with wonderful ways to make money through network marketing. I am honored and humbled by everyone’s belief in my abilities, strength and success in network marketing!  And while I believe wholeheartedly in this industry and the financial freedom, independence and fulfillment it can provide (not too mention great travel opportunities, gifts, recognition & rewards…I love it!), I also believe that personally I am not suppose to be using my specific gifts and talents for anything other than ministry at this time in my life. 1275457_10152482746582662_29011719_oSeveral months prior to Dan’s termination, I was seriously considering joining a new upstart network marketing company but after much prayer and consideration I truly felt like the Lord was telling me He was closing that door of any network marketing opportunity for me, regardless of how fabulous it might be.  I do not believe that just because my husbands circumstances have changed…that God has changed his mind on this since we “need” money now.

So I will continue to be a stay at home mommy to my children (that “job” won’t end until 2027), homeschooling them as well as using my gifts and talents to minister to others and inspire us all to live a life of passion, purpose & praise!

Are you making it financially?

God is faithful and He is taking care of all of our needs according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus.  We are not worrying about tomorrow or how we will eat or what we will wear or where we will live. We are in perfect peace living one day at a time.  I can’t explain it…but it is definitely a “God thing”.

How are you doing?

We are doing well…..really well.  We have peace in our hearts, praise on our lips and are resting very comfortably in the shelter of the Almighty.

By saying that however…we are not inferring that there is not pain or sadness in our hearts at times…only that the Lord is bigger and stronger and He enables us to able to both feel deeply the pain that comes with a loss and yet still walk in His peace, joy and love each day. (another “God thing” I am sure)

1150528_10152484074507662_717799002_oYes, our human hearts do still ache for JECHS.  How could they not?  In a sense you could liken it to a human relationship. You do not end a 16 year long commitment without some angst, pain and regret.  Or perhaps better yet it parallels the hardship on a parent who still loves their child even though he or she rejects that love and turns away from the family relationship. Life goes on…but one never stops loving or praying.  We do pray for the school, staff, students & families often and we have a prayer of blessing posted in our home to remind us to continue to pray.

We are also still basking in the afterglow of the amazing evening  held on September 2nd to honor Dan for his 25 years of service in Christian education. We were truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kindness, compassion and generosity we were shown. Over three hundred people were in attendance that night and we continue to get cards, letters and messages of appreciation from others who were unable to be there to celebrate.  It was a wonderful reunion and coming together of multiple generations and friends from every era and part of our lives, to glorify God for what he has done in and through Dan Lambdin. My favorite remark after the evening was: “This just inspired me to be a better person and serve the Lord and others even more!”

We will never forget it!  If you want to see the photos you can view them on my facebook page by clicking here.  The evening was also video taped if you would like to watch any or all of the happenings (except the amazing worship led by Jason McEachron which was majestic!) –

Truly a beautiful display of the extravagant love of God towards His people.  We all experienced a taste of heaven that night!

1175635_10152484898767662_1389291714_nWell, if you made it this far…not only do you have tenacity and perseverance…you are now caught up with Life at the Lambdins! Please continue to pray for us and our future.

We love you all!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God is in control!

I have a dear friend who’s sweet daughter has been diagnosed with possible MRSA…so incredibly hard to watch the child, you love more than life itself, be in pain, suffer or face a potentially life threatening disease. And yet…it seems to be a part of every Mom’s “parenting gig” at one point or the other.  And if you are blessed with more than one child, you will likely walk down this path multiple times.  And as we are currently experiencing watching our two high school daughters emotionally suffer at the hands of others, it is not any better, and perhaps at times worse, than watching them physically suffer.  I decided it was time to post something I wrote years ago in my “faithbook” when I was faced head on with the possibility of losing my child. It was a “faith” defining moment n my life.

In the fall of 2005, our precious two and a half year old, Joy Danielle contracted a serious life threatening staph infection.

IMG_2372Joy went from a carefree, energetic, happy toddler one morning to a tired, lethargic, very sick baby with a high fever that evening. We noticed a large, extremely tender abscess on her lower back and took her to the doctor who lanced and cultured it immediately, as well as putting her on a strong antibiotic. The diagnosis was MRSA. She began to show improvement but then a few days later suddenly took a turn for the worse. IMG_2374The doctor declared her a “treatment failure” and made the decision to admit her to the hospital for surgery and a dose of intense antibiotics through an IV drip.  She informed us that if that did not work there was nothing more they could do. It was an emotional evening for the entire family, filled with tears and anxiety as the sisters kissed  Joy good-bye and prayed for her healing.

I however, was in Oklahoma City on a speaking engagement with only my daughter Kristen when I received the devastating call from Dan relaying the news about Joy. I was gripped with fear! After calling my Mom and sister and then cancelling the next leg of my trip to New York with Michelle for her 16th birthday…I lay in bed desperate to do “something” as the next flight I could get home was early the next morning. I did pray feverently and yet still felt anxious and restless that I could not do “more”. I was able to speak words of faith from scripture that helped calm my fears but it did not stop me from wanting to do something…anything to make everything ok.  It was a long sleepless night of tossing and turning and coming face to face with the reality of my “control issues”…once again! You see, my wanting to do something more than pray and trust in the Lord was a clear sign that I was wanting to be in control.  I realized in that moment that in my “mommy heart” I actually believed that I somehow had the power, or the love, or the sheer will to make things better.  I thought “if only I was there…I cold make it all better”. (ha!) As I lay in bed staring at the ceiling with tears pouring down my cheeks, the Lord oh so gently pointed out to me that I actually had no control at all…ZERO! IMG_2373The power to heal and restore lives is His and His alone. Yes, I repented and once again gave Him control and why may I ask is this my lifelong battle…when God has always proven Himself faithful to me?) I am simply called to live this life trusting Him, believing His word and praying (and yes prayer is doing enough!)

After 16 years of parenting at that point (and 24 now), I had never experienced having a child so ill that the outcome could result in losing my baby. I had to settle in my heart and mind that my children were the Lords. God had blessed us with them and we in turn had dedicated to them and placed them back in his everlasting arms. But did I really believe that?  What if the Lord chose not to heal Joy? Would I still love and serve Him? Would I be able to say… “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away…blessed be the name of the Lord!”…like I sang in church many a Sunday morning?  I had to answer the question yet again…Will I trust the IMG_2375Lord to be in complete control of every area of my life?  As I flew home that next morning I said …”Yes Lord….I give you complete control”  The next four days were filled with doctors, nurses, medication, monitors, IV’s, blood draws, hospital gowns, masks and gloves….but most importantly the were filled with faith, trust, prayer and peace because I relinquished control to my Lord! Praise the Lord in His mercy He chose to completely heal Joy and we rejoiced in His loving-kindness.  The Lord used this time in my life to bring me to a new level of faith and trust in God.  He is in control of everything and I can rest in that.

Since this season eight years ago I have been given multiple opportunities to test my faith and trust in God. (We went through this same scenario three years later with Daniel but that time I “passed” the trusting God to be in control test – you can read it here)  Each time it gets easier and I respond more quickly in letting Him be in control.  In fact during this recent upheaval of our life and ministry and finances that we are still going through…we have been able to completely trust in the Lord with all of our hearts from day one….with only one minor glitch, which once again had to do with the “parenting gig”.  As we watch our girls suffer emotional pain of rejection and navigating through adult hypocrisy we once again have to give it over to God to heal them, restore them and now allowing them to come to a place of trusting God to be in complete control of their lives themselves…something we hope they grasp ahold of early in life!

God is in control of our lives!  He is not caught be surprise in any of our trials, tribulation or suffering.  He has a plan…and it is for our good! He will be faithful to keep us in His safe & everlasting arms until that day where we see Him face to face.  You can count on it!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

An Evening of Honor for Dan Lambdin!

DSC_0023As promised in my “Seasons of Change” post….here are the details that I have been asked to send out by the event chairpersons for this special evening to honor Dan for 25 years in Christian Education.  I am so filled with gratitude to this group of people who desire to honor my wonderful husband in this way.  He truly is a man of character, integrity, faithfulness, commitment, humility and service to others and our Lord….not too mention an amazing husband and father. He is the same man in public that he is behind closed doors and besides adoring him as my beloved, best friend and partner in ministry,  I have deep respect for him as a man of stellar character and tremendous genuine faith! If you can be there to honor him on September 2, I know he will be blessed beyond measure and if you can’t make it there are ways mentioned in the letter below that you can be “virtually” involved in the celebration. Everyone is invited!

Dear friends and family of Dan Lambdin,

We are excited to send you an invitation to a special event to honor someone you know and love…Mr. Dan Lambdin.  Some of you are family who have known him his whole life, others are lifelong friends from his youth, college or church family and many of you are former youth, students, athletes, parents and co-workers who he has faithfully loved, discipled and ministered to for decades. All of you have one thing in common: you know that this special man of God has committed his life to serving and loving others!

Dan has recently been released of his Bible Teacher/Chaplain position at Jim Elliot Christian High School, the school he & Beth founded and that he worked at for the past 16 years. If you had not yet heard this life changing news, you can read about it on Beth’s blog at this link.

A group of us who know first-hand the character, integrity, faithfulness and commitment of Dan Lambdin, have decided to come together and honor him for 25 years of serving the Lord and others in Christian Education. We hope that many of you can join us for this evening of praise & worship, thanksgiving, appreciation, testimonies, special music, photo presentation and a corporate prayer of blessing over the Lambdin family. A time of fellowship & refreshments will follow the service where you can personally greet and show love to the Lambdins. We will also be taking a love offering to bless them and help provide for their needs during this big transition as they seek God’s future direction for their lives.

We know some of you live out of the area or will be unable to make it that evening for various reasons.  We plan to video tape the event for those who would like to watch. We also would invite those of you who can’t be there but would like to participate through sending your own words of appreciation in a card, note or email to do so at the addresses posted below.  Also, if you feel led to contribute financially to the love offering for the Lambdins, you can send a check (made payable to Dan Lambdin) or you can donate through paypal online here. Thank you for being a part of this very special evening for a very special man!

Sincerely, Kelly Hale and Monica Martinez

“An Evening of Honor” Chairpersons

Mailing address for cards, notes and donations:         

  • Kelly Hale
  • 10762 Pleasant Valley Circle                                                              
  • Stockton, CA 95209
  • ATTN: Dan Lambdin

Email Address for messages to Dan or questions about event:

invitation

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First Day of High School: Grace & Great Expectations

My dearest “sweet baby” Grace,

Today was your first day of high school!

….and simply nothing about today happened according to our long held expectations.

The year you were born was an amazing time in our lives.  It was filled with both struggles and challenges as well as great joy and miracles. One of the reasons that we named you Grace was because that particular year – 1998 – we had experienced an abundant outpouring of God’s amazing grace in our lives.  Of course, as you know the most significant event of that year was the miraculous beginning of Jim Elliot Christian High School.  A Christian high school we had dreamed about for years, had worked tirelessly to get started and rejoiced greatly when they opened their doors.  You were there that first day of school – September 2, 1998 – safely hidden in my womb as the board president handed us the Founders Plaque at the opening day chapel. Our dream had become a reality! baby grace

Several months later during the Founders Banquet you joined in the celebration proudly wearing a button I made you proclaiming – “Future Elliot Eagle Class of 2017”.  It brought smiles to everyone who saw you as well as a few raised eyebrows from some who thought perhaps the school would never make it past its first year.  And yet….it did!

Over the following years you watched as each of your big sisters began their season at Jim Elliot.  You got up and had the traditional back to school breakfast with them on the first day of school and DSC_0991drove with them to take the traditional “first day of school” photos in front of the Jim Elliot sign . You laughed and listened to them groan with protest, yet knowing that mom would get that photo taken reminding them…”someday you’ll thank me for this”.  You watched as they played sports as a Lady Eagle…being drug all over Northern California to cheer them on with gusto. You saw the excitement of spirit weeks, dress up days, homecoming, school camp and a host of other student activities that you looked forward to participating in when it was finally your turn to start high school.  You admired their beauty as they dressed up for Winter Formals and Proms. DSC_0133 You listened to the stories they would share about life at school, Dad being “dad” and both the blessings and challenges of being a “Lambdin” at the school your parents founded.  You stayed up with them as they studied late into the night for exams and you cheered them on as they donned their hunter green cap & gown and walked across stage to receive their diploma’s and become JECHS alumni.

DSC_0079

And yes, you expected that you would one day do exactly the same thing.

But those expectations did not come to pass.

Today…..

DSC_0958

…..there was no traditional back to school breakfast

40930015

…..there was no photo in front of the JECHS sign

DSC_0927

….there was no Dad (aka: Mr. Lambdin) starting the school year  with prayer at chapel

DSC_0898

….there was no familiar faces or places

DSC_0987

All that you had hoped for, dreamed of and expected to happen for years did not happen. Your expectations were crushed and shattered and you were forced to give up your hopes and dreams of attending JECHS.

We all have expectations in life from our very earliest memories.  We universally expect to be nurtured, taken care of and loved by our parents. As children we expect to fed, clothed and have a roof over our head. (and in some families the children expect to receive an allowance, a car when they turn 16 and a fully funded college account…but alas you were not born into one of those families!) We all expect to be treated fairly. (or why else would every child I know at some point exclaim – “that’s not fair!”) As parents we expect that our children will behave a certain way, in our marriages we ex[pect that our spouses will treat and love us like we want to be treated & loved and we all  expect friends, family members, leaders, teachers and pastors to be, do and act according to the way we believe is right.  And of course we all have a different definition of what that “right” might be.

I have known many people who have let both unrealistic expectations as well has unfulfilled and unmet expectations destroy their lives and their relationships.  I have seen them get deeply depressed, bitterly angry, allow important relationships to deteriorate and even turn their back on God all as a result of expectations not being met.

You have an opportunity in this moment to learn a great lesson in life…one that many believers have still not grabbed hold of after two, three or even four decades of life. The lesson is…while having expectations of life, people and even yourself is perfectly normal…at some point you will be faced with the potential reality of the depression, anger, bitterness, chaos, and damaged relationships due to unmet expectations.  So what is the answer to this Grace?

Have expectations in your Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone!

He alone is faithful and true! He alone can meet your every need! He alone can give you perfect peace in the midst of the storm! He alone loves you with a perfect unfailing love!

What does the Word of God say that you can expect?

  • You can expect trials and tribulations in this life! (John 16:33 1 Peter 5:12)
  • You can expect God to give you the power and strength to overcome everything you face (Philippians 4:13 Psalm 68:35 Isaiah 40:29)
  • You can expect to be loved completely and fully by the Lord (Jeremiah 31:3 Romans 8:37-389 John 3:16)
  • You can expect the Lord to do abundantly above and beyond all you can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
  • You can expect to receive eternal life through your trust and faith in Jesus Christ who shed his blood for your sins (1 John 5:13-14 Romans 6:23   1 John 5:13)

So as you start your first year of high school in a new school with new people and new events…remember to put your expectations only in the Lord.  He will always come through every time and fulfill your greatest expectations.

And today give thanks for what you did have but perhaps did not expect…

DSC_0549

….Daddy at home (instead of at school) this morning to pray for you personally and bless you as you left for your first day of school
DSC_0553

…a big sister to be be your side as you together navigate this new experience at Capital Christian

photo grace

….a lunch at Chick-fil-a to celebrate the first day

capital

….and a Christian school where the administration all knew you by name this morning and are so excited to have the Lambdins as a part of the CCHS family. A school whose state of the art facilities, amazing fully developed programs, athletics and events; and  whose solid academics are enhanced by staff who love the Lord as well as a school whose desire is to glorify God in everything….this is exactly what your Mom & Dad dreamed of all those years ago when we were blessed with you…our sweet baby Grace!

Have a year filled with great expectations in what the Lord is going to do in and through you!

I love you!

Mommy

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Lambdin Life: A Season of Change

Dearest  friends & family,

 season

This sudden announcement may come as a bit of a shock to you…as it certainly did to us!

We have loved ministering at Jim Elliot Christian High School.  From its exciting beginnings back in 1997 (which many of you were a part of and for that we will always be grateful), through all the challenges and bumps over the years, to watching it grow and prosper to what it is today,  we have seen God move mightily in and through the school. Some of the best and most memorable years of our lives have been spent at JECHS and the blessings of deep friendships in students, staff and families have been abundant!

It is with both joy and sorrow that we announce that our season at Jim Elliot has come to an end. Sorrow as we will greatly miss ministering to students and their families who we love so dearly; but great joy as we watch God open up the door to new opportunities to use our gifts and talents to pursue our next dream. We know God is up to something really big and it is exciting to be part of His plan!

As we depart from our beloved school we are striving to walk in love, integrity and glory to God! We do earnestly pray that the Lord will continue to prosper and grow the school and bless the wonderful staff (whom we love dearly) as they touch and impact students for Christ!

Always in Jesus,

Dan & Beth Lambdin

faqFrequently Asked Questions

As word has leaked out, we have found that we are being inundated with questions. Thank you to all of you who have been so loving, supportive and concerned. We thought it best to answer the most common ones with this announcement.

1.       Was it your choice to leave Jim Elliot Christian High School at this time?

No. We had always thought that we would minister at Jim Elliot for life. Dan received notification on July 9, via certified letter, that his contract to teach for the 2013-14 school year was being rescinded.  There was no reason given.   

Despite Dan’s desire to stay and teach, disciple and mentor students, we believe that the Lord uses leadership to move us in the direction He wants us to go and we trust that the Lord has used the board and administration to accomplish His ultimate purpose in our lives. For that we are sincerely grateful to our Lord, as we know this will prove to be one of the greatest blessings of our lives!

2.       What about Rebekah and Grace who are enrolled as students at JECHS?

Of course as parents, of utmost concern are our precious children, every one of them gifts from God.

Rebekah and some of her classmates at a Senior Class Retreat this summer.

Rebekah and some of her classmates at a Senior Class Retreat this summer.

Rebekah was to be a senior at JECHS this coming year and was very excited about her position as student chaplain, continuing to lead “The Movement Club” (a student advocate group for orphans); and of course her passion – playing soccer for her final year at Elliot. She has also developed strong friendships over the past three years and was looking forward to graduating with the JECHS class of 2014.

This is Grace at the JECHS Founders Banquet in 1999.  She is wearing a button that says "Future Elliot Eagle  Class of 2017"

This is Grace at the JECHS Founders Banquet in 1999. She is wearing a button that says “Future Elliot Eagle Class of 2017”

Grace was to enter Jim Elliot as a freshman this year and after nine years of homeschooling was so very excited to enter the world of JECHS: to take new and exciting classes, playing sports, making friends (in addition some of her closest friends who would also be starting as a freshman there) and just being immersed in the Christian high school experience. Of course getting to hang out with her Dad every day was going to be a bonus too!

The board and administration at JECHS recently decided that our children were welcome to attend Jim Elliot providing they met the qualifications and that we paid all the tuition and fees. (One of the benefits of staff members at Jim Elliot is free tuition so this would be a new expense in our lives)

While we would love to have our children sit under the godly mentorship of the teachers and staff at JECHS, be with their friends, as well as have the opportunity to attend a local Christian high school whose goal is to glorify God.  First, let’s state the obvious…with Dan already sacrificing financially to work at a private Christian school where the teachers generally make 30-40% less than public school teachers, there was never any extra money to pay tuition, which is one of the reasons Christian schools often offer a tuition benefit to their staff.   Now with no income at this time…it’s pretty easy to do the math…even if you aren’t great with numbers.  (0 income minus $14,000 in tuition equals negative $14,000)  That said, we know God’s math is very different than ours, and if the girls wanted to be there, we know the Lord would provide the finances to make that happen.  Sadly, both girls already feel that “all eyes are upon them” and there is underlying awkwardness between them and the school.   They have decided that at this time they do not want to be “under a microscope” at JECHS as well as deal with questions about their Dad.  They have both grieved greatly over this ordeal and we are trying to help them walk through this major life change with the proper godly perspective and without allowing bitterness to get a hold of their hearts, as we know that could damage them for years if allowed to grow. It is a daily decision for them to walk in grace and forgiveness and yet we know that the Lord was not caught off guard by this and He will use it greatly in their lives!

Whew!  That was a lot of background information to answer the question so many are asking about Rebekah & Grace: “Where will they be going to school?” There is no easy answer.  As Grace said recently: “None of the options are good, Mom.”  We have made a spread sheet, written out all the pros and cons, sought counsel and of course, prayed.  At this point they are leaning towards attending Capital Christian High School in Sacramento (and yes, that is 52 miles from our doorstep…oh my!)  There are so many details that would have to be worked out: tuition (again that would take a God kind of math!) , transportation, athletic eligibility and jumping through all the admissions hoops in record time, not to mention a huge challenging life change for us as a family, having kids creating a life in an entirely different city.  We are confident that if it is the Lord’s will, He will work out all those details, even if it is hard, because God often calls us to do hard things!
Image
Please pray for our girls as they navigate through all this in the upcoming weeks and throughout the year. They are pretty amazing young ladies but we know Satan would like nothing better than to use this to destroy their lives and have them question God.

3.       What will Dan do now?  Does he have a new job?

No, Dan does not have a job or any potential jobs at this point.  This question is perhaps the hardest to answer because of the differences between a “job”, “career” or “profession” and a “ministry”, “calling” or “vocation”.  But we will try.

First …our commitment to Christian education goes far beyond simply a job or profession. We realize perhaps for many Christian school teachers it is more of a career choice or job that pays the bills; which is perfectly acceptable, but for us that has never been the case. Christian school ministry and the discipleship of students is our passion and something the Lord called us to over 26 years ago.  We believe it is a high ministry calling and our vocation.

Secondly…Dan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies, an ACSI teaching credential and is a licensed minister. He has been a Bible teacher for 25 years.  Prior to completing his degree he was a youth minister for two years.  This is all that he has ever done.

With that said…it is obvious that his options within his calling, his training and experience are limited. He teaches Bible – not history or English or math.  He has no public school options as many assume he might. (Unless we are unaware that our public schools are now offering Bible…would love to hear about that!)  He also has no options in San Joaquin County to teach Bible at a Christian school.  That leaves outside the area.  But let’s be real here – it is July – there are literally no job openings for Bible teachers this close to the start of a new school year.  Best case scenario IF he is to continue teaching (and that IF is there) is that he finds a Bible teaching position out of the area next (2014-15) school year.

Image

Now all that could sound pretty depressing or discouraging right?  Well sure maybe….if you don’t know that our God is bigger than any obstacle, that He has orchestrated all of this to complete His ultimate plan for our lives personally; that He is in complete control,  has a wonderful plan for our future and that He is our provider as always!  But we do know all of this about our awesome God and we put our full faith and confidence in Him. There is complete peace and freedom in knowing God!

Please pray for us as we seek Him for the answers to these questions:

  • Lord, are you calling us out of Christian education at this time and leading us to a new ministry calling, or do we seek to find a new school to continue to minister to and disciple young people?
  • If we are to stay in Christian education, Lord how do you want to provide our basic needs for the upcoming year until we can secure a Christian school job for the 2014-15 school year?
  • If we are being called to a new ministry, what is it Lord?  Pastoring?  Missions? Christian Youth Camps? Some type of Chaplaincy? Going full time speaking and counseling with Inspire Ministries and raising monthly support?  We want to use our unique gifts and talents for His glory!
  • Lord, are you calling us out of full time paid ministry and into secular employment?

We know that the Lord promises generous wisdom to all who ask him and we certainly need wisdom!  (“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5) We also know that the Lord will provide for all of our needs – financial, emotional and spiritual – according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19) We hope to be able to communicate with you all very soon what exactly the Lord has for us to do next.

4.       Will there be any type of recognition or acknowledgement  from the school for Dan’s part in founding the school and his subsequent 16 years of ministry there?

We have been told that the school officially has no plans at this time.  We have no expectations or disappointment.  In fact, we have always been so blessed to be showered with love and appreciation by those that we have ministered to over the years that our hearts are filled to overflowing!  We could ask for no more than the amazing love and support we have had from all of you over the course of our ministry. We should be thanking you as it has strengthened, encouraged and kept us going for decades!

The plaque we were presented on September 2, 1998, the first day of classes at JECHS

The plaque we were presented on September 2, 1998, the first day of classes at JECHS

However, a group of friends have recently asked if they could do something special to give recognition and honor  to Dan for his 25 years in Christian Education.  That event will be held on Monday, September 2, 2013  which is exactly 15 years to the day that Jim Elliot Christian High School began their first day of school with a beautiful chapel service. What a perfect day to honor Dan.  Everyone is invited! More details to come out soon. We hope that many of you will be able to join us in this special time together to thank the Lord for what He has done in and through Dan Lambdin, and to celebrate the great things he has in store for the future!

To God be the glory!

43 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Miracle in a Christmas Card List!

DSC_0782I am writing this letter as I sit in front of a crackling fire in my dimly lit living room with the glow of our Christmas tree lights sparkling as if they are singing along with the peaceful Christmas carols playing in the background….ahhhh yes the magic of the season that transforms a normal routine weeknight into a special evening.

And as I enjoy my coffee and Christmas cookies I am thinking of each of you…the beautiful dear people who receive our Christmas letter every year. Some we have known since our childhood (which at times seems so very long ago in this latter half of life), others who we have shared precious moments of living together for years as well as those who have just recently become a part of our life story and yes you whom we have blessed and become a part of our lives through the amazing technology of the Internet.  As I ponder these relationships…and yes there are many…I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the warm and wonderful friendships and family members that we have been given in this short season of life here on this earth.  We touch each others lives in special ways whether it is through daily, weekly or monthly interactions, planned or spontaneous visits, text, email or voice mail messages, facebook encounters, randomly running into each other, annual events, special occasions, milestone moments like graduations, weddings, babies, baptisms, anniversaries and funerals as well as this — > the awesome annual Christmas greetings through cards, pictures and letters that fill both my mailbox and inbox.

We love these Christmas greetings! As we sit around the dinner table and pass around the cards we receive each day…we are filled with joy and sometimes sorrow as we read your recent life stories, see pictures of your beautiful families and marvel at the changes from year to year (or for some of you who never age…the lack of any change!) and we smile as we reminisce about times we have shared together over the years.  We have not missed sending out a Christmas greeting for 30 years. What started as a young college girl sending out a couple dozen cards, grew to a young couple who were youth pastors sending out a couple hundred letters and photos of our ever changing family. And with each passing year our Christmas card list multiplied as the Lord blessed us with a larger circle of loved ones through the ministry of Christian education and a growing home business where our clients and consultants became our dear friends. Yes, Christmas cards keep us all connected in a special way.

And this year is no exception….as we once again send you each a heartfelt Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year from the entire Lambdin clan!

Beach Album - Page 049

With eight children it is always a challenge to give a brief update on each of them as their lives are very full of so many things but let me try to give you a glimpse of what 2012 brought to each of their lives:

Michelle is a recent graduate from The King’s College with a degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics.  She landed a job shortly after graduation as a Resident Director at TKC living in the heart of New York City and is loving it!

Amy is a sophomore at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas where she is studying Physical Education and tearing it up on the soccer field.

Kristen graduated from JECHS in May and is attending Cabrillo College in Capitola while she interns at Bloomsbury’s Tea House using  her gifts and talents in the areas of baking, hospitality and serving.

Rebekah is a junior in high school where she plays soccer, is on yearbook staff and is the founder of The Movement Club to help orphans, which is one of her passions in life.  She completed her Rite of Passage this fall and had a beautiful celebration ceremony.

Grace is a homeschooled 8th grader enjoying the “good life” of doing school in her jammies, going on lots of field trips, playing soccer and helping with her younger siblings. She got tall this year and now is competing for the second tallest sister!

Joy is also homeschooled and besides enthusiastically embracing everything and everyone in life she loves to sing and perform. She joined the Stockton Youth Chorale this year and is the star of the show!

Daniel is….the boy! (complete with a recent broken arm) He is in kindergarten but after a few short lessons he is ready to play “super heroes” or anything that includes a ball.  He is being actively trained by his six older sisters to be the ultimate gentleman and man of God.

Christiana is truly the greatest blessing of our lives.  She is now the cutest little three year old girl in the world and is adored by us all. She is sweet, sassy & spicy all rolled into one!

And then there is us – Dan and Beth

us

….before we tell you about what 2012 looked like for us we want to take you back to 15 years ago when this same Christmas Card mailing list was used by the Lord to bring about what many saw as a miracle…something that couldn’t happen without divine intervention.  Many of you were on the receiving end of a letter we sent out to our Christmas Card mailing list in the summer of 1997 sharing our dream of starting a unique Christian High School in our community. We had no funding, no grants, no large donors and yet we were passionate about going forward with our vision of founding this school. And the miracle began with you! Well over half of our friends and family responded to our appeal and offered their prayers and financial support to build the foundation of what would become Jim Elliot Christian High School. A year later the school opened their doors to 42 students and today fifteen years later the school is a thriving Christian High School with over 200 students, dozens of staff members and over 500 alumni who are out making a difference in the world. And it all began with our Christmas Card list…yes that list of our dear friends and family had the power to start something really big.  If you were a part of that miracle those many years ago, we want you to know that we are still in awe of your love, generosity and faith in us and we hope that every time you think of JECHS or hear of one of its many accomplishments that you will feel blessed by the part you played in prayer and support. We thank you once again!

The Lord has been stirring in our hearts a new dream and vision over the past couple of years and in 2012 He nudged us to pull together the official beginnings of a ministry that we hope will be a blessing and a life changing resource for countless people during our remaining years in service and ministry! This year we officially incorporated our non profit organization called Inspire Ministries and once again we are in need of the foundation of prayer and financial support from our friends and family to see this new ministry prosper.  We have big plans and even bigger dreams for this ministry that will start primarily with Beth at the helm but that we hope to see grow to a full fledged staff and ministry team who are inspiring, motivating and equipping people of all ages, cultures, walks of life, economic status and situations to live a life of passion, purpose and praise!

The Lord has already brought us people to minister to in abundance and we have faithfully walked along side them ministering in multiple ways – everything from counseling young people who are looking for direction for their future, couples in marriage crisis, impoverished families with basic needs to survive, pregnant women under stress as well as teaching life skills to young men who were raised in the foster system to encouraging and providing resources and inspiration to young families who need parenting advice or are looking for effective ways to raise their kids in the faith and implement meaningful family traditions.  There have also been several speaking opportunities throughout the year. It has been exciting and exhausting, fulfilling and at times frustrating but the results have been amazing!  We truly believe that this ministry will be life changing to many.

We need three things from those who love and believe in us and in our ministry and we are starting once again with you…our Christmas Card List:

1. We need your faithful prayers! Truly without the Lord on our side building this ministry it will come to nothing. Please lift us up in prayers asking the Lord to use us and provide for us in His amazing ways.  We need the favor and blessing of our God.

2. We need monthly financial partners who will commit to supporting this non profit ministry faithfully. We know finances can be tight and that many are struggling with the economy (we are right there with you)…so we are not asking for a huge commitment. We are looking for families that can commit to $25 a month beginning in January 2013. (If you have the means to make a larger monthly donation, of course you can and it will be appreciated and used to fulfill our mission) We believe your investment in Inspire Ministries will have a huge return for you as you help us to make a profound difference in peoples lives.

3. We need some immediate one time donations.  There are  some larger start up expenses – website launching, our first quarterly publication, donor data base software, legal and accounting expertise – and we could use a few one time donations to get things rolling. We also have this compelling vision to purchase the house next door, that is currently up for a short sale, as a ministry house to those who need someone to literally walk beside them as they make changes in their lives. (and yes we realize that is a crazy God sized dream…the type we love just like starting a Christian High School from scratch!) Perhaps you are looking for a place to make a year end contribution…we would love for that to be us!  You can make a secure online donation through our paypal account and we will send you a tax deductible receipt. Click here if you’d like to donate.

If you could fill out this response form it would be such an encouragement to us as we step out in faith with this new adventure. Even if you can not contribute financially at this time…we would love to know we have your prayer covering or if you would like to receive our quarterly magazine. Every response and comment is like someone cheering us on as we run the race…it motivates and inspires us to continue to carry on with our dream!

We are expectantly hopeful that the Lord will once again do a miraculous thing for us in starting something big like Inspire Ministries through the prayers and support of our friends and family…those that make up our Christmas card list!  We look forward to sharing the miracles that you will have helped to make happen in our 2013 Christmas letter.  Below is a more extensive explanation of Inspire Ministries and our mission and vision for those who are interested in the details.

Friends - Page 002

Friends - Page 003

We pray that you all experience blessings in abundance this Christmas season and a Christmas miracle as well! We hold you dear to our hearts and hope that our paths cross in the upcoming new year.

Always,

Dan, Beth, Michelle, Amy, Kristen, Rebekah, Grace, Joy, Daniel and baby girl (aka Christiana)

PS – If you are local and have the time don’t forget to stop by our annual Christmas Open House on Saturday December 22

christmas - Page 001

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas Season, Life at the Lambdins

Inspire Ministries

We called her our “Christmas baby” as she was born in December of the year 1998, the first of our children to arrive during “this most wonderful time of the year”….the magical, bright, joyful, holy and divine Christmas season! 

We called her our “sweet baby” because of her gentle disposition and the heavenly scent that emanated from her tiny little body.  You could hold this precious bundle for hours watching her lips curl up in an uncontrollable smile, be enveloped by the sweet aroma and lulled to sleep by her deep rhythmic breathing. It brought us such perfect peace in our hearts despite the difficult outward circumstances surrounding our family at the time.

….And we called her Grace. 

Yes, we purposely named this child Grace because that particular year we had experienced an abundant outpouring of God’s grace in our lives.  Grace is often defined as….

  • God’s unmerited favor
  •  Loving…

View original post 900 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Advent Devotionals

I finally did it!

After years of promising to recreate, edit and post the two Advent devotionals I wrote back in 1997…today I got it done! (well ok it took almost two full days)  Someday perhaps I will officially publish these books so they will be easy to use and have copies on hand for the entire family but for now at least you have access to these devotionals that can be used during your weekly Advent devotional service with your friends or family.

The first one is for any age and includes prayers, scripture readings, the candlelighting, great discussion questions, Christmas worship and an Advent blessing.  We have primarily used this one in our family for years and it never gets “old”.  Make sure you involve the whole family in the readings and participating in the service You can click on the title below which will take you to a PDF of the devotional along with the Advent Primer information I posted in the previous blog.

Jesus Came – An Advent Devotional

When I was first inspired to write an Advent devotional it was because I couldn’t find a “child friendly” one to use with my girls who at the time were 7, 4, 2 and 1 years old.  I needed something simple with some good “hands on” activities or “visual aids” to keep them focused.  So I decided to write my own advent devotional for families with small children.  It is written for children seven and under but all ages can benefit from the devotions. Again be sure to let the children be involved in lighting the candles, praying and reading. You can click on the link below to get a PDF version of “The Gift of Jesus”

The Gift of Jesus – An Advent Adventure for Families with Small Children

I am not charging for these resources….they are my gift to you.  However if you would like to give a donation to my new non profit organization – Inspire Ministries – that would be a huge blessing as we are launching our website and first magazine in the next month and are in much need of funding for these projects as well as other start up expenses.  We currently have a facebook page that you can check out and see what our  plans are for this ministry.  You can click on this link to be taken to that page and if you hit the “Like” button you will become one of our fans!

If  you would like to make a donation for these Advent Devotionals – you can do so on our secure paypal site here.

If you would consider becoming a monthly partner with Inspire Ministries to help us encourage and inspire people to live a life of passion, purpose and praise please email us at inspire@bethlambdin.net and we will give you information on supporting us.  We are looking for 100 partners at $25 a month during this start up year. Thank you for your consideration of these needs!

I hope that you all enjoy a meaningful and joyful Advent season.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas Season, Church Calendar Traditions, Family Traditions, Inspire Ministries

An Advent Primer

 

For many of us this time from November to the beginning of January is considered the “holiday season” and it truly can be the “most wonderful time of the year”.  And yet today with so many competing & conflicting messages surrounding these holidays – we often let the TRUE meaning slip away from us and we miss this wonderful opportunity to build up our faith and teach our children.

It is sad to think that the day set aside to celebrate the birth of our Lord & Savior has become vastly commercialized – fully exploited for profit.  The sales seem to start earlier and earlier each year enticing us to buy, buy, buy!  The pressure to give gifts is relentless and fills many with a dreaded sense of obligation or “guilt gifting”.  How many of us have lamented this commercialization & yet we let year after year go by without being purposeful about making sure Jesus is at the very heart & center of our celebrations.

In today’s culture there is also a full on assault on the Christian faith that is being being attacked relentlessly from many avenues – everywhere from court decisions, to politics, to the marketplace, to education as well as atheists who take offense at the fact that Christmas truly is about Jesus (whether they like that or not). Billboards like this are popping up everywhere during the holiday season.

When children were recently asked at a shopping mall what the true meaning of Christmas was….they responded with —

• Santa Claus
• Presents! Presents! Presents!
• Christmas Trees & Lights
• and even one said…something to do with the Discovery of America

Children learn about Christmas like they learn about most things in life – from their families. Even in our own very purpose driven family when I ask my five year old, at the beginning of the Christmas season, what it is all about  he responds with….“Presents!”  I then explain to him that it is not really about getting  presents at all but rather a celebration of the birth of Jesus. It takes him several weeks to instantly answer…“Jesus!” …after being quizzed as to the true meaning of Christmas. (Yes, repetition IS the key to learning!)

I don’t know about you but I want my children to grow up and reject the commercialization of Christmas, to not “cave in” to the pressure to spend and make the season all about gifts and to stand strong against the anti Christian culture that is gaining strength and momentum.

I believe that as purposeful Christians we should have three main goals during the Christmas season –

  1. To teach the true meaning of “Christmas” to our children – (after all the word “Christ – mas” – means Christ worship)
  2. To emphasize the spiritual & NOT the secular – let’s have everything point to Jesus!
  3. To use the holiday season to share the love of Jesus Christ with others!

One of the best ways that our family has been able to keep the Christmas season focused on the gift of the Savior (rather than the gifts under the tree!) is by celebrating Advent.  This is one of those rare years that Thanksgiving fell so early in November that Advent did not begin the Sunday after Thanksgiving…but rather has its start next Sunday December 2nd. This morning as I contemplated the calendar…it struck me how many of my blog readers would actually have a chance to implement the observance of Advent this year as they would have the entire week to prepare if I could quickly get a blog post out to inspire them to begin this awesome family tradition!  So my dear friends…lets begin an Advent “primer” to get you all fully up to speed and ready to begin this coming Sunday!

What is Advent?

The word Advent means “coming” – celebrating Advent means celebrating the coming of Jesus. This is three fold for our family:

  1. His historical coming – as in His physical birth over 2000 years ago.
  2. His coming into our hearts – the moment in time that we commit our hearts and lives to Jesus (as the Christmas hymn O Little Town of Bethlehem so eloquently describes: “O holy child of Bethlehem! Descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin, and enter in; Be born in us today”)
  3. His prophetic final coming in the last days – the ultimate return of Jesus Christ for which we wait expectantly!

 When is Advent?

The season of Advent begins four weeks before Christmas. This year it is Sunday December 2, 2012

  • Advent 2013 begins on the First Sunday in Advent, December 1, 2013
  • Advent 2014 begins on the First Sunday in Advent, November 30, 2014
  • Advent 2015 begins on the First Sunday in Advent, November 29, 2015
  • Advent 2016 begins on the First Sunday in Advent, November 27, 2016

 Celebrating Advent

Celebrating Advent helps you to set aside time every day or at least once a week to concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas. We have celebrated advent in our family several ways over the years but our main annual tradition that we have always done is having an advent wreath and weekly family devotional service.

The Wreath

The Advent wreath is in a circle which represents eternity and is  surrounded by evergreens which represent life….eternal life. The wreath is decorated with five candles….one for each of the four Sundays before Christmas and one for Christmas Eve.

The first candle (purple) symbolizes hope – the hope that the Messiah would come

The second candle (purple) symbolizes love – Gods love towards us for sending His Son Jesus to save us from our sins

The third candle (pink) symbolizes joy – the joy we find in Christ and His coming

The fourth candle (purple) symbolizes peace – the peace that comes in knowing Christ as Lord and Savior

The fifth candle is the Christ candle (white in center) which symbolizes purity

The wreath is always in the center of our table so everyday we are reminded of the Advent season.

The Family Advent Service or Devotional

We have our weekly advent service every Sunday evening during dessert. We always dim the lights and set the table with some festive china….we want to make it a special time that the kids look forward to! We use a simple advent devotional book that is not too cumbersome so we don’t lose the attention of the younger children. Our service includes – scripture reading, lighting of the advent candle, a short story, singing some Christmas hymns & prayer. Different family members take part in each aspect of the service so everyone is involved. (they love that!)

After our service we enjoy yummy desserts & egg nog, hot apple cider or cocoa while we savor family time together.  Having a weekly Advent family service I believe has been one of the key components of keeping Jesus the focus of our Christmas season.

There are multiple resources out there for good devotional books or head on over to the Christian bookstore and pick one up.  I have two that I have written which I hope to have up for you before Sunday!  (UPDATE: got’er done!  You can access the devotionals here)

Other Advent Adventures

There are many other things that you can do daily for Advent and if you search the Internet I am sure there are a plethora of great ideas.  Don’t get overwhelmed just pick one or several and just do it!

We have had an Advent Prayer banner in our home where we list people who are lost, hurting, in need of a healing or a Christmas miracle. Everyday we pray for these people and add new names to the list. It helps us keep our focus on others and not ourselves.

This year we will be adding a new Advent activity to our family traditions.  We have heard of these wonderful Advent storybooks – Jothams Journey, Bartholomews Passage and Tabitha’s Travels – from our friends for years and I finally purchased them.  They are fifteen minute readings that are simple, short and spiritual.  A wonderful way to keep shopping, traffic, rehearsals, concerts, parties and all the other preparations of Christmas in balance with the reality of God in our lives. We will begin the first book this Advent season…reading a selection everyday. I can’t wait!

I pray that today you will be inspired to begin your own celebration of Advent this year…setting aside time to really focus on the true meaning of this wonderful time of the year.  Whether you are a college student in the dorm with your fellow co-eds, a single young adult, a newly married or childless couple, a young family, small family, big family, crazy family, empty nesters or elderly grandparents….I encourage you to do prepare your heart for Christmas by observing Advent this year in a very special way!

I would love to hear what you plan to do this year for Advent! Leave a comment below so that we may all enjoy.

7 Comments

Filed under Christmas Season, Church Calendar Traditions, Faith, Family Traditions, Inspiration

Call me Crazy or a Fool….

There is a song by the Christian group Avalon that is one of several “theme” songs for my life.  It is called “I Don’t Want to Go” . Here are the lyrics (or you can listen to it here):

You changed my world
When You came to me.
You drove a passion,
In my soul down deep,
Lord, to follow You in everything.

I don’t want to go somewhere
If I know that You’re not there,
‘Cause I know that me without You is a lie.
And I don’t want to walk that road,
Be a million miles from home,
Cause my heart needs to be where You are.
So I don’t want to go.

So come whatever, (whatever may come)
I’ll stick with You (right by your side)
I’ll walk You’ll lead me,
Call me crazy or a fool,
For forever I promise You…

That I don’t want to go somewhere
If I know that You’re not there,
‘Cause I know that me without You is a lie.
And I don’t want to walk that road,
Be a million miles from home,
Cause my heart needs to be where You are.
So I don’t want to go…

I can’t even listen to this song without tears streaming down my face.  You see when the Lord reached down and touched my heart so deeply in the summer of 1979 as a 16 year old girl I was never the same.  He did exactly what this song says…He drove a passion deep down in my soul to follow Him in everything!

And yes that has led to many many times being called…

Crazy or a Fool 

I have a feeling that this blog is going to be another one of those times.  And that is really ok by me…I am simply trying to follow the Lord’s lead.. where ever that is and whatever may come.

You may or may not know that ever since we adopted baby girl in 2009….we have hoped to be able to officially adopt at least two more children. Most doors for that are closed to us for various reasons:

  • Foster adopt in California has strict unbendable rules as to the the number of children per bedroom and with our home we won’t qualify for that until 2021 (didn’t they ever read or watch Little House on the Prairie or The Walton’s who all raised fabulous families with limited bedrooms?)
  • Private Agency Adoption has roadblocks with our ages….hmmmph! 😉
  • International Adoption is not an option because our annual income does not meet the immigration guidelines of $75,000 a year for a family our size (somehow I think orphans living in poverty around the world just hoping for one meal a day and clean drinking water might not mind living at the Lambdin “poverty level”…yes it is true that with our income and family size we are considered poverty level..sheesh…talk about crazy!)

So we have just smiled, told the Lord our desires & prayed knowing that a private independent (not agency) adoption  was really our only option & the likelihood of having a pregnant mom just come to us “out of the blue” and ask us to adopt her baby was very slim.

But God……

Six weeks ago we became aware of a woman who was pregnant with twins at the age of 51 and was going to terminate her pregnancy.  It was one of those facebook posts friend of a friend of a friend type things.  I called her on the phone   We spoke on several occasions but she was hesitant to get together and a bit “cold”.  I just continued to call and text offering any support I could. Then three weeks after our initial contact she called and asked me to come to her house.  She shared with me that it seemed every time she thought about going to get that abortion, she would get a text from me and it would stop her.  She said that my persistence made an impact on her life and that she would like to consider placing her babies with our family.

She has a long complicated life story….with some real sadness, horror and tragedy….that has led her to consider this alternative.  A story that has in its chapters – abuse, abandonment, molestation, rape, murder, prison, drugs, alcohol, rehabilitation, marriages, divorces, many children, a few miscarriages, domestic violence, poverty, restraining orders, government assistance, church attendance, friends, family, mental illness and a measure of faith.  To be candid, the more I learn, the more my mind is overwhelmed by one person having lived and endured such a life.

We have spent the past several weeks getting to know her, assisting her, supporting her and loving on her.  It has been fulfilling, exhausting, energizing, frustrating, exciting, good and crazy!  We have all come to love and care for one another.

And that brings you to today.  The question asked me daily by friends and family:  “How’s the adoption plan coming?” or “What’s the latest on your adoption?” or “Is everything settled with the adoption?”

To which I answer with a combination look of confusion, happiness, sadness and questioning….silence.  I do not know how to answer those questions.  I am dealing with a pretty unstable situation in many ways.  I am walking a road with someone, who in my heart of hearts, I believe simply does not have what it will take to raise those children as their primary caretaker.  It’s not just the lack of resources, reasonable shelter or stable family support relationships that are almost non existent…it goes so much deeper.  There are many complications and there is no clear path to a simple adoption. Perhaps an open adoption will be the answer. Perhaps we will end up somehow with legal guardianship instead. Or perhaps we will be a second family — Auntie Beth and Uncle Dan to these precious twins that are due to be born in just eleven weeks.  I simply do not know how it will all play out….and yes for a recovering control freak….this is bringing me to an even great level of giving over my control and letting God be in complete control of every part of our lives.  I am reminded once again of this scripture in James:

” Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to do this or that  or we have great plans to have this happen”  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.”

Yes…my friends (especially those with the same control issues as I) that is what it the Bible says!

So I will say Lord willing….we will be adopting twins into our family.

Or Lord willing….we will be taking them and their Mom into our extended family.

Or how about this Lord willing…we will purchase the house next door that is currently going up on a short sale for a “steal of a deal”.

Wait! What did she just say?!

Yup…I said Lord willing, we could somehow, someway own the house next door.

And what does that have to do with anything? Why do you want to own the house next door?

Oh I am glad you asked!  Call me crazy or a fool…but just in the past few days I had this thought about the house for sale next door. I thought how perfect it would be if we could move our new friend into that house. We could then look after her and help meet her needs from right next door.  And whether we end up adopting, having legal custody or just being an ever present family providing stability and helping to train up those babies with the life skills that are missing from previous generations, taking then to church and teaching them the ways of the Lord…we would be able to do that and be a life giving blessing to the mamma as well.

Yes…that is just how my big vision, big dreaming mind and heart works.  And Lord willing….it could happen!  All we need is $130,000 cash and we could do it. Someone out there may just need a big year end tax deduction, right?!  By the way, have I told you that Inspire Ministries…is now officially incorporated as a non profit with the State of California, IRS paperwork filed to be a 501(c)3, bank account opened and ready for donations, website in process and facebook site posting! Wouldn’t this be an exciting first BIG project…a ministry home to be used to help those in need with the ministers right “on site” to train and support?

Wouldn’t that be amazing?  It could happen…Lord willing!

You drove a passion,
In my soul down deep,
Lord, to follow You in everything.

11 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Attitude, Callings, Faith, Goals & Dreams, Inspire Ministries, Life at the Lambdins, Lifes Challenges

Inspire Ministries

UPDATE:  Today is Amy’s 20th birthday! I wrote this blog post four years ago when she turned 16. As I awoke early this morning just as I did 20 years ago I thought, as I always do on this day, of all the amazing details of her birth and decided to repost this article. Enjoy!

My second daughter – Amy Girl – is turning sweet sixteen today.  I remember the day of her birth vividly.  In fact, of all my seven deliveries (2 c-sections & 5 vbacs)….Amy’s was one of the easiest.

But as I remember the events surrounding her birth I have to laugh at myself. I have certainly mellowed out a bit in my “old age” because when I look back to my decisions as a 30 year old “driven”, type A , intense young woman, I often find myself saying….What was I thinking?

After a 24+ hour pitocin induced, mind numbing, horrific labor…

View original post 744 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fabulous 50: Let the Celebrations Begin!

cel·e·brate

verb \ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt\

transitive verb
: to perform (a sacrament or solemn ceremony) publicly and with appropriate rites
: to honor (as a holiday) especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business
: to mark (as an anniversary) by festivities or other deviation from routine
4: to hold up or play up for public notice <her poetry celebrates the glory of nature>
I love to celebrate! In this family we have been known to celebrate almost everything – New Years Eve, New Years Day, Epiphany, MLK Day (Dream Day!), Valentines Day, Ash Wednesday, Lent, St Patrick’s Day, Holy Week, Passover, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Resurrection Sunday, Cinco Day Mayo (an excuse to have Mexican food), National Day of Prayer,  National Scrapbook Day, Mother’s Day, School’s Out for the Summer, Graduations, Rites of Passage,  Back to School, Anniversaries of all types (engagement, first date, wedding), Family Communion, Baby Dedications, Baptisms, Fall arrival, Reformation Day, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas (like for 6 weeks!) and of course Birthdays – including born again birthdays, half birthdays, decade days,  adoption days & “Gotcha” days!
For the last month leading up to my milestone birthday of 50 years, my sweet daughters were trying to pull together a party for me to celebrate this event! (not a surprise mind you….I love surprise visits, surprise gifts, surprise good news & surprise trips…but I am not a fan of surprise parties) They were talking to my friends, researching venues and trying to get me to pick a date…but it just wasn’t coming together. One by one the big girls were heading out to new jobs, back to college and new adventures out of town and the plans began to crumble.   Knowing how very much they wanted to celebrate my big day on top of many friends asking when I was having a party combined with my desire to commemorate this milestone… (I generallywant to celebrate my birthdays without much fanfare just an annual lunch with a few friends and a family birthday dinner. There have been two  exceptions  – my 17th and my 40th birthdays where I had grand celebrations!)…I began to really contemplate what, when and how I should honor my 50th birthday which led to a deeper introspection about why I wanted to celebrate in a bigger way this year.  Here is the answer:
First let me say…that while it is my particular day birth on September 1, 1962...it IS NOT about me! (as strange as that sounds)  I do not want to celebrate this day to honor me, to receive cards, gifts or accolades or to be the center of attention.   My true desire in reaching this milestone is to –>

Celebrate Life!

Life is a priceless and precious gift.  We were created by the God of the universe…we are His masterpiece!

” You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!” Psalm 139:13-18

We all have this same creator and creation story! We should celebrate every moment of life that we have been blessed to live!

As a believer in Jesus Christ my life is also no longer my own to live.  When I committed my life to Him…I choose to die to my self and let Him live through me!

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the lifewhich I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  Galations 2:20

I truly want to celebrate and thank the Lord for my 50 years of life that He has blessed me with! I also want to stop and make a new commitment of the remainder of my days to live for Him!

Let’s celebrate life together!

Celebrate Love!

The single greatest gift I have been given beside life and Jesus is the gift of love from family and friends in the hundreds of people that I have been blessed to be in relationship with over the past half a century.
 ♥ From my childhood friends who I played with, laughed with and sat beside in school to my dynamic full of life high school classmates who I served as president and who in turn enriched my life with love and memorable moments that I have treasured in my heart for decades.
♥ From my college friend who challenged, inspired and touched my life in remarkable ways and caused me to grow leaps and bounds in my relationship with the Lord to my precious youth group members and students who hold the most special place in my life, who I love as my very own children and who have supported and encouraged me throughout my life.
♥ From my co-workers at Lakeview, BCHS, and JECHS who we shared success & fulfillment as well as failures & frustrations that have bound us together for life to some of the most amazing, impressive, quality, inspiring women (and a few men too) that I was privileged to share over a decade of my life with in Creative Memories!
♥ From my church family at Lakeview, the ones who still share the pew with me as well as those who have ventured out to other congregations, cities, states and througout the world to my homeschooling community who I share common core values with and who fill my life with warmth and love.
♥ From my extended family who are my rock and shelter to the many amazing people who have come into my life in a variety of ways from scrapbooking, to watching our kids play sports together, carpooling and even those who I have come to know through correspondence on my blog… that have all made my life richer and more complete.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ And it goes without saying that the love I have with my godly husband, love of my  life and best friend along with our precious children is divine!
Yes…I want to celebrate love with you all on this 50th birthday!

Celebrate the Lord!

Giving glory to God is the goal of my life!  In everything I say, in everything I do I want my Lord to be honored and glorified! (and yes I fall woefully short of this goal on a daily basis…thanks be to God for His amazing grace!)
I want to celebrate all that the Lord has done in and through me these past 50 years!  Any accomplishment, success or achievement is only because of the Lord. He has blessed me to be born into the country I live in with all its amazing opportunities and freedoms. He has blessed me to be born into a family with a mother and father that taught me that both live and the Lord are good! A family that while not rich in material wealth was rich in love and faith. He has blessed me with strengths, gifts and talents to follow my passions! He has blessed me with family and friends who encourage, support and love me unconditionally. He has blessed me with drive, ambition and compassion to do great things for Him.  Truly all that I am, all that I have and all that I ever hope to be is because of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
I want to celebrate the Lord and glorify His name in honor of my 50th birthday!
_____________________________________________________
In order to properly celebrate life, celebrate love and celebrate the Lord…I decided that it would have to be more than a day or a single event but rather more fittingly several experiences throughout the entire month! 🙂
Yes…we will have a specific “party” — come one come all more than likely towards the end of the month long celebration — where you can stop by a local park and let me share in celebrating our lives, our love for one another and the Lord!  But I will be celebrating all along with special breakfast, lunch and coffee dates along the way, a trip or two to my most favorite place in the world…the beach and a night out with my love! The celebration is sure to include some of my favorite things as well – tea party, dark chocolate, blogging, sleeping in, a few foot massages, a hair appointment, worship, reading, ministry  and scrapbooking to mention a few! If you want to jump into any of my celebrating…just come on by!
And the celebration already began yesterday with a traditional birthday lunch that has its origins years ago with my dear friends Kelly & Nina!  A beautiful time together celebrating our life long friendship.
Yesterday I also received an early gift from the Lord …an invitation to speak at a Women’s Brunch in October!
_______________________
Join me this month in celebrating life, love and the Lord!

3 Comments

Filed under Blessings, Life at the Lambdins

Fabulous 50: My List for Loving & Living Life

I am one of “those” people.

Those odd people who love their lists

…who live by lists

…who make lists for everything (and even keep files on the computer of “to do lists” for recurring events in my life)

…who start many conversations by saying “Let’s make a list

…who torture their family with their never ending “to do” lists, chore lists, packing lists and “honey do” lists

…who have been known to add things to their list that they have already done just to have the satisfaction of crossing it off the list <it is a sickness, isn’t it?>

So it shouldn’t shock or surprise you that in honor of my 50th birthday I created a list. It began a week or so ago as I was pondering having lived 50 years of my life and what I would like to share with others who are still in the first half of life! (although they are great reminders for whatever season of life you may be in!)

So….here is my 5oth birthday list (complete with many “Bethisms”) for loving and living life…and of course there are 50 points!

1. Life is short and quickly passing by (was I not just 30 and in a twinkling of an eye be 70?)
2. Life is even shorter when compared to eternity (wisdom & logic would say to invest your self in eternity)
3. Life is an amazing gift – enjoy it!
4. Life is a precious gift – celebrate it!

5. Life is a
beautiful gift – love it!

6. Life is a priceless gift – don’t abuse it
7. Life is a unique gift – don’t waste it
8. Life is a glorious giftSTOP worrying and stressing about it
9. Life is NOT a dress rehearsal! (this is the real performance people!)
10. Life is to be lived on purpose (and the occasional accidents are an exciting and sometimes course changing part of the ride)
11. Life – it’s not what happens to you in life that matters, it’s how you respond!
12. Life is not fair – “you get what you get & you don’t throw a fit!”
13. Life is not fair – if it were fair we would all be headed to hell (for all have sinned and fallen short and the price for sin is eternal death…but thanks be to God for sending us Jesus to pay that price for us! It was not “fair” that he had to pay the price…but I’ll take it!)
14. Life is not fair – it is not a matter of holding good cards in life…but of playing a poor hand well!
15. Life is hard…at times really hard. 
16. Life is not a respector of persons – the sun shines and the rain falls on the good and bad alike (Yes, bad things happen to good people. If you still can’t accept that refer to “Life is not fair”)
17. Life ends in death for everyone: statistics say 10 out of 10 people die  Live like you believe this fact!
18. Life’s ultimate goal and chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!
19. Life without love is nothing
20. Love is the answer ♥
21. Love covers a multitude of sins 
22. Love is not a feeling but an act of our will (we can always act lovingly without feeling the love)
23. Love is patient…enduring long 
24. Love is kind  (so simple yet so very difficult…)
25. Love is unselfish and self sacrificing 
26. Love is life giving 
27. Love bears & endures all things, hopes & believes all things 
28. Love NEVER fails…it never gives up 
29. Love the Lord with ALL your heart, soul, mind & strength 
30. Love your parents and honor them 
31. Love your husband or wife (if you are single love your future bride or groom by waiting just for them and keeping yourself pure and unstained by this world) 
32. Love your children…hug and kiss them often, speak powerful words of life to them & discipline them (yes that is a part of love) 
33. Love your friends through the good, the bad & the ugly 
34Love your neighbors (who is your neighbor? The one in need) 
35. Love your fellow believers – brothers and sisters is what they are called in the Word (even those from different denominations or those who have hurt you or that you vehemently disagree with) 
36. Love your enemies & pray for those who persecute you (this goes against our very nature and yet….)
37. Love and do good to those who hate you  (yes that is oh so very hard)
38. Love your self for you are skillfully & wonderfully made by the Creator 
39. Give generously…even to a fault!
40. Be faithful to your commitments…don’t quit!
41. Discover your passions in life and pursue them whether or not they are practical, financially profitable or held in high esteem by society
42 Build on your strengths…don’t pay too much attention to your weaknesses (not as in weaknesses of sin…but in gifts, talents & abilities)…you can’t put in what God left out!
43. Think outside the box…you don’t have to do it the way it has always been done or the way everyone else does it 
44. Decide how many children you want or that you can handle…and then have one more! (even better yet ask God to give you what He wants)
45. Take full responsibility for your life…don’t blame God, the government or others for your lack of opportunities or failures
46. Regular consistent personal disciplines – prayer, bible reading, exercise, weekly church attendance will pay off in the long run…both in this life and the one to come!
47. “Adoption” (of any type – a baby, foster child, an international orphan, a family in need, a floundering young person, senior citizen, single mom, widow, fatherless/motherless child, foreign exchange student…for any amount of time – short term, long term, permanent or for life) is something everyone should experience!
48. Make memories and take lots of photos (if you are blessed to live to a ripe old age…they will be such a treasure)
49. Done is better than perfect!
50. Give up your control issues as young as possible and let God be in control of everything… (so says this wise recovered control freak)

4 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Blessings, Faith, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges, Marriage, My "take"

Fabulous 50: A New Decade is Dawning

This week…Saturday September 1st to be exact…I am turning 50. <deep breath> Yes, one of those milestone birthdays.

I clearly remember my first “decade day”…my 1oth birthday… as we had just recently moved from San Pedro, California to Springfield, Virginia and I had zero friends. After spending the weeks prior to my big day living in a hotel while my parents searched for a house to buy, I only had my family to celebrate with. It was fairly uneventful but I had an awesome sense of hope and excitement for the future as just a few days later I would begin my life in Virginia with a new school, new friends and a fresh new start.  One of the greatest things, as a kid from a military family moving every few years,  is that you could “re-make” yourself with every move. Literally the slate was wiped clean and you could start all over and be whomever you wanted to be!  My childhood and youth were spent in that decade and life was good.  It was during that season that I met Jesus, at almost 17, in a very real and personal way and I have never been the same!

I turned 20 at the start of my junior year at UOP…such an awesome time of my life as we were seeing God move mightily across our campus and the Lord was using me, despite my youth, my many flaws and personal struggles to reach others for Christ! It was an amazing season of  life….and when I think back on it I am still in awe at the powerful happenings all around me.  I loved being in my 20’s…I felt youthful, confident, independent and strong…in fact in my heart and mind I still often feel like I am in my mid 20’s.  I graduated from college in my 20’s, started in ministry in my 20’s, got married in my 20’s, had my first baby in my 20’s but more than anything else during that era I learned that Jesus is all I need, my everything…truly a life changing decade!

One of my favorite photos from my 20’s (and it’s not because I am a cat lover) but because at this point I was in full time youth ministry…passionately following the Lord and wanting to please Him and do His will. In that way I am still the same!


Turning 30 was not something I looked forward to….30…it sounded so “old” and  besides I wanted to be in my 20’s forever!  I was seven months pregnant with my second child and I was sick, tired and blah. I remember being so ambivalent about turning 30 that I told Dan that I did NOT want a birthday party of any kind and yet he put together a small shindig anyway at Mallards Restaurant with a few friends…I was not very happy about it at all (that poor guy!) If the Lord had opened up a window to let me peek at the simply miraculous things that were to take place in that new decade, I would have been thrilled to watch it arrive.  In my 30’s I had four of my children. I was a teacher,activity adviser and guidance counselor to students who would become life long friends. I helped found a Christian High School that many said could never happen. I started my Creative Memories career that to this day continues to bless my life in spectacular ways. I also began homeschooling, something I never considered attempting and yet I truly believe it is one of the biggest factors in my children becoming who they are today. My 30’s also included some life changing, course altering tragedies as I lost my dear father (much too young) and I was betrayed and fired from a ministry that I poured my heart and soul into for over a decade. It was definitely a decade of great growth, faith building and new beginnings!

Then 40 came along and I was “loud and proud” about reaching this milestone! I threw myself a big fancy birthday party, despite being three months pregnant with my sixth sweet baby and as always sicker than ever , I was thrilled to get together with my friends and family to celebrate! I felt in some way that I had “arrived” in life…that I had finally made it! This past decade since turning 40 has been filled with both the very good and the very bad:

  • I was blessed with three more precious babies…one through adoption, the most miraculous thing I have ever experienced in life!
  • I began to have health problems that sent me to the hospital on several occasions
  • I had the unfortunate gut wrenching experience of a couple of my children in serious life and death situations  where I was forced to deal squarely in the face with my control issues and truly give God complete control of my life.
  • I experienced both the best of financial times in our married life and the worst  of times(and not because of the economy’s ups & downs)
  • I started writing and speaking…two things that I have become passionate about and are sure to shape my future.
  • I experienced stellar personal achievements, awards and accolades running my own business, to then be led to scale way back on my efforts there and use those same God given gifts & talents at the high school we had started years earlier, to then be cut loose after three years of great success and momentum because of pride and power struggles in leadership (pride & power…a double edged sword with the ability to do so much good or so much harm depending on whose hands it is in).
  • I have had the thrill of launching my first three daughters out into the world and watching them soar!
  • I had learned in the previous decade, in my 30’s, to put all my trust in the Lord  and had seen the Lord take the worst thing I thought could ever happen and turn it into the greatest thing in my life! This decade I was able to sail much easier through the “bad” knowing that in the end it would be for my greatest good. I enjoyed the peace that comes in knowing that the Lord uses authority, even unwise or misguided authority to lead me in the direction He wants me to go….it felt like I had passed the “Truly Trusting God Test”.

Now here I am turning 50 this week…and ready to celebrate the amazing life I have been blessed with and the great things that God has allowed me to experience and be a part of these past 50 years ( a half a century…doesn’t that sound impressive?!) I am at the beginning of a another new decade of life…a decade that is sure to include many life changing and monumental events (the launching of three more children, college graduations and major life choices for those children in the areas of careers, ministry, marriages and children,  helping my mother and inlaws walk through health and other challenges that come with aging while rejoicing in their milestones of 80th birthdays and Lord willing a 60th wedding anniversary as well as celebrating our own 30th & 35th wedding anniversaries, to name a few of the very real possibilities this decade). And yes this decade is sure to have it’s share of hardships, pain and sorrows  that I pray I can walk through with grace, peace and strength in my Lord….a living testimony to the greatness of God and an encouragement to others!

As I stand at the edge of this new beginning, the dawn of a new decade of life…I am also filled with excitement, anticipation and hope:

  • Hope for even greater things to be done in and through my life than ever before!
  • Hope that my dreams of speaking and writing to inspire others to live a life of passion, purpose and praise would come to fruition through Inspire Ministries and perhaps even by joining hands with others to run a Camp and Retreat Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains or wherever the Lord opens doors (I have so many retreats I want to host – Engaged Retreats, Marriage Weekends, Family Camps, Mentoring Moms, Treasured Traditions, Purposeful Parenting, Passionate Living…and more!)
  • Hope for a season of provision & prosperity…to not always be the one in need but to generously meet the needs of others!
  • Hope for the Lord to use our children to do abundantly above and beyond all that we could ever imagine!
  • Hope for the Lord’s return in all His glory! To see Him and to be like Him!

8 Comments

Filed under Blessings, Goals & Dreams, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges