Category Archives: Consistency

Beth Hasn’t Changed a Bit

Last night I had the joy of meeting with a dozen of my former students from Brookside Christian High School to begin the planning of a grand multi-year reunion of alumni, students and staff who were such an important part of our lives for over a decade.  Some of them I have not seen in almost twenty years, some I am blessed to run into on occasion and others are still a part of my daily life.

Upon ending the meeting a comment was shared with me that one of the team members had exclaimed – “Beth hasn’t changed a bit!”.  With several heads nodding in agreement and an interjection of  “all she needed during that meeting was a baby on her hip!” (which if I had brought Christiana I could have provided that picture for them), I just laughed.  While I would love to think that I look exactly the same as I did in the mid nineties and I am more than willing to pretend that I have not added a few more wrinkles, some gray hair and those extra pounds, I began to contemplate that statement today.

“Beth hasn’t changed a bit”

  • When I started my teaching career in Christian education in 1986, I was a single (engaged to be married) young lady of  just 24 years old.  When I left I was a married 35 year old mother of  four daughters.  
  • During my 11 years of being a part of Brookside Christian I held multiple positions – physical education teacher, volleyball coach, student council advisor, typing instructor (shhhhh…I do not know how to type!),summer receptionist, club advisor, journalism teacher & school newspaper advisor, yearbook advisor, leadership teacher, admissions director, guidance counselor, director of student affairs and director of development.  Yes, I was pretty much involved in every area of students lives in some way. 
  • I was intensely committed to the school and passionate about making an impact on the lives of  students through mentoring, training and discipleship.
  • I loved the Lord and desired to glorify Him in everything.

 In many ways I truly “haven’t changed a bit” –

  • I am still married (and still as committed to and adoring of my love as ever) and still a Mommy of many (although to double the number and it was making many of those reunion team members feel a bit old themselves to hear that Michelle was in college and that Amy, Kristen & Rebekah were teenagers)
  • I still have more “titles” and wear more hats than perhaps a person should – Homeschool Teacher, Co-Op leader, Creative Memories Consultant, Director of Develpment for JECHS, (which of course encompasses about 5 different jobs),  Pre-marital Counselor, Speaker and Blogger (to which I have been very slacking  as of late) with grand intentions of becoming a published writer, life coach and spearheading an adoption ministry at my church.
  • I am still very committed to the ministry of Christian education and still passionate about impacting students lives (even those who are “all grown up” now)
  • And yes, I still love the Lord with all of my heart, still want to glorify my Lord in everything, still believe in absolute truth as found in God’s Inerrant Word. In these things I hope to always be steadfast, unwavering and never change.

However, my dear former students although in many ways you are correct… “Beth hasn’t changed a bit”… there are  some ways that I have changed.

  • I no longer require the standard of perfection that I did back then.  My motto now is “done is better than perfect” and while I always strive to do my best sometimes it is just good enough to get it done.  Ahhhh joy…. a recovered perfectionist!
  • I am much more patient and long suffering towards those who are not choosing to live a life that reflects the truth of what they know of God.
  • I have relinquished personal control of my life (ha! like I was ever really in control anyway). God is in control – He is my provider (not a job or pay check), my strength (I cannot do it on my own power), my counselor (my human mind and wisdom is woefully inadequate), my personal planner who schedules my days and sends many divine appointments my way (which I use to see as disturbances).
  • I have become a bit more like my dear darling Dan (one of  the benefits of being married for 23+ years)…relaxed and easy going…although my intense, driven personality will always remain at the forefront. 

Yes, I have changed as well as remaining the same. I hope that I am a better person today than I was those years ago and I hope that in another decade I will have continued to have become more Christlike in my attitudes and actions.

Reunions are always a good time of reflection on the past – both the good and the bad.  Honestly reflecting on the past often motivates us to make changes in the future. In what ways do I want to remain the same and in what ways do I want to change?

I look forward to a year of remembering and reminiscing as well as restoring and renewing past relationships as I am involved in the planning and carrying out of this reunion (not to mention my own 30 year high school reunion that will take place this year…I wonder if they think I “haven’t changed a bit”?).


Filed under Consistency, Economics, Life Lessons, Making a Difference

Where there is a will…there is a way!

I grew up in a family who ate dinner together….

at the table…

with the TV turned OFF…

every night…

at 6pm. 


My Mom and Dad raised four children who were active, healthy, drug, alcohol & tobacco free, high academic achievers, student leaders with solid moral standards and a strong Christian faith.  Now while I don’t think that eating dinner together regularly guarantees you parenting success, the statistics are pretty convincing that this sacred ritual is something worth making a priority in our homes.

Research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University consistently finds the more often children eat dinner with their families:

  • The less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs  (100 – 191% less likely)
  • The less likely they are to have sex at young ages
  • They are at lower risk for thoughts of suicide and depression
  • They are more emotionally content and have fewer behavior problems
  • They have healthier eating habits
  • They do better in school  (academic performance went up 38%)
  • They are more likely to talk to their parents about a problem (40% more likely)

 And yet even with all these powerfully convincing statistics – I have found that many of my friends simply can’t seem to make it happen for their families.  We do live in a different world than the 60’s & 70’s when my parents were raising their family.  So many things have changed and there are so many challenges as well as activities “eating up” our time.

  • Many families have two working parents and are exhausted at the days end and trying to get a meal on the table and sit down together is overwhelming (I wrote a post last fall that might help this challenge – you can read it here)
  • Many families are split up – putting an amazing amount of pressure on the single parent as well as often times having the children going back & forth between two households
  • Many parents are working “odd” shifts” – swing shift or graveyard making it hard to share a meal together
  • Many children are involved in after school activities, clubs, sports, church youth groups etc… (and parents are transporting them to these activities, coaching or chaperoning) often making it a logistical nightmare trying to get everyone together
  • Even the parents have a long list of volunteer activities, book clubs, ladies & guys nights out, Bible studies and even home based businesses that take up night time hours

And yet…I believe if we really want to make it happen we can and we will!

This fall is especially challenging in the Lambdin household as we have three girls playing on soccer teams with varying practice schedules each weekday in the late afternoon/early evening, the high school girls are on the school volleyball team coached by their Daddy and that carload does not walk through the door before 6pm.  The first time we are actually all in the house consistently each evening is at 8pm.  Now that might work in a family without little ones….but my two year old is simply not going to wait to eat dinner that late (besides my metabolism won’t work as well eating a full meal at 8pm). 

As I began to work on our fall calendar this past weekend and realized our current dilemma I began to feel a bit frustrated that our schedules at this season of life are so complicated (you mommy’s of wee ones – be thankful for the less complicated season – hard, yes – but scheduling logistics, much simpler!).  I immediately began to brainstorm our options that would still give us time to sit down & take in a meal together –

  • 8pm dinners – NO,  for the reasons stated above
  • Give it up and just settle for dinner together on the weekends – NO, I am not the “settling” type of gal
  • Have a family breakfast together instead – NO, this would have to happen at 6:30am which means the high school girls & Dan would have to get up 30 minutes earlier than they already do, I would have to get up really early to prepare and mornings are not my best friend, not too mention dragging the 2 year old & 6 year olds out of bed would be a disaster

That is when I came up with this idea.   I will have dinner ready & out in the kitchen for the family to grab and eat from 4:30pm – 6:30pm.  Crock pot type meals that can stay warm and be ready to eat when needed.  (I welcome crock pot recipees – do share!) Paper plates or bowls for easy self clean up. They can eat at the table, at the desk doing homework, in the kitchen or while watching a DVD. They can eat by themselves or with whomever is around at their personal dinner time.  Then around 8pm every night we will all sit around the set table, candles lit, dinner music playing and have a light snack together with coffee or hot tea.  We will alternate between fruit & nuts, cheese/dips & crackers, light appetizers and desserts.  We will offer our prayers & blessing on the food, share stories of the day and enjoy sweet fellowship with the family.

We began last night as this is our first week of the craziness of our fall schedule and will continue this routine Monday through Thursdays (yay for weekend dinners together at 6pm!) until mid November when soccer and volleyball come to an end.  It was a perfect solution and everyone loved it!

Let me encourage you to make taking in a family meal together a real priority! (at the table, with the TV off  –> nice dishes, candles & music are a bonus!) If it helps even a little to keep your kids healthy, off drugs, not depressed, academic achievers with fewer behavior problems as well as more likely to talk to you – it is worth the effort…don’t you think?  Besides it is so enjoyable to spend time with those you love and the memories are priceless!

  Yes….where there is a will…there is a way!








Filed under Consistency, Family Traditions, Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges, My "take", Parenting

Dedications, Commitments & Forever Church Families

This past Sunday was a very special day.


 We dedicated our dear Christiana to the Lord during the Sunday morning service at our church. As our entire family stood along with our pastor and his wife before our church family and dedicated this newest blessing back to the God who gave her to us I was overcome with emotion on many levels.


 I was filled with joy that God has chosen to bless us with this precious life.








I was filled with love for Christiana, my amazing husband, my beautiful children, my extended family, my pastors and my church family.


 I was filled with peace knowing that this child belongs to the Lord and that He is in control of her life.


 I was filled with hope, awe & wonder at the knowledge that God has a very special and unique plan for her life and that she will certainly be called by God to do great & mighty things for His kingdom.


 As I stood there and looked out on the congregation, it hit me that 20 years ago in 1989 we had brought our first born daughter, Michelle to that very same altar, at that very same church and dedicated her to the Lord. Over the past two decades, everyone of our eight children has been dedicated to the Lord at this same altar.


 It also hit me that this is a rarity in our modern day mobile society where for one reason or another folks seem to switch churches every few years.

 I officially joined this church 26 years ago as a single young college student who after spending the summer as their youth intern decided that I wanted to become a part of this church family. My now husband, Dan became an official member after he decided to commit to being a part of the volunteer youth staff almost 25 years ago.

 One of the benefits of staying put over all these years is that many of our important spiritual milestones have taken place within those church walls and with our church family.

  •  Dan proposed to me at the altar at the conclusion of our youth service on March 18, 1986 (and I said yes!)
  • We were given counseling and married by the staff of this church and held our wedding reception in that very same sanctuary.
  • We served on staff as youth pastors of our church for four years.
  • Besides all of our children being dedicated to the Lord at that altar – one was saved during a children’s puppet crusade there (all the others prayed to receive Christ at home other than one who happened to be at a local gas station), three have been baptized in water at the church, four have been crowned an honor star through the outstanding girls ministry of Missionettes and two have held their Rite of Passage ceremony in the chapel.
  • We have sat in the same section in the front left hand side faithfully every Sunday and worshipped together, prayed together, given offerings together, been convicted, inspired, amused and yes even sometimes put to sleep, by the messages, gone to the altar for prayer and ministered to others all in that sanctuary.
  • We have taught Sunday School, worked in the nursery, volunteered in children’s ministry, attended special events, rejoiced along with dozens of young couples as they were wed, watched multitudes of baby dedications, baptisms and celebrated the lives of precious saints who went home to be with the Lord…all in that very same building.

 Now perhaps you might be thinking, that we found the perfect church since we have stayed and remained faithful all these years.   The messages must always be compelling, funny and interesting. The programs must be comprehensive and state of the art with something for everyone from infants to senior citizens. The music must be perfect and pleasing to everyone. The pastor and staff must be kind, compassionate, forgiving, wise, moral, charismatic, friendly, organized, effective communicators, dynamic leaders, ready to drop everything when you need them and willing to go the extra mile. The people there must be wonderful, supporting, encouraging, loving, serving one another – never gossiping, backbiting, complaining, grumbling  or…..

 …..oh wait – are you laughing yet?

 No, my home church is just like every church I know – full of imperfections, flaws, problems and frustrations.

 We have had some very amazing and awesome times at our church and we have had some very troubling and terrible times as well.  There has even been the “in between” rather dull and boring years with not much happening at all. We have seen hundreds if not thousands of lives dramatically impacted and we have seen people hurt and become bitter and angry.  We have gone through three pastors, five children’s pastors, six worship leaders and seven youth pastors. We have experienced an abundance of resources as well as times where we did not know if we would be able to turn on the lights the next Sunday.  We have had seasons of favor in the community and years marked with scandal.  We have seen people come and people go (and even come back again several times)  We have seen them trickle out because they were unhappy with this or that or because they were searching for better preaching or programs and we have seen them leave in droves because of some controversy, offense, disagreement or because of the latest and greatest new church starting up across town.

 And yet through it all….we have stayed.

 Why??? I am glad you asked.

We have stayed because we see commitment to our local church family the same way we see our commitment to our marriage and family.  We have made the commitment for the “long haul” – in good times and bad, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health and hopefully until death do us part.

Now of course their could be legitimate reasons to leave a church – like moving miles away, being called to minister to another congregation, if the church was to start heretical preaching (I’ll call this church adultery since they are forsaking the true Jesus – I might not leave for this but rather stay and fight but I do understand those that do leave for heresy)  or if their is abuse going on from leadership (one of the reasons I have chosen to stay in a church denomination that has a governing body over the local church that can intervene when leadership goes awry – non denominational churches lack such accountability) – but unfortunately the vast majority of people who leave a church do so, not for the reasons stated above, but because they:

  • are unhappy, frustrated or bored with the services, teaching or music
  • are not “getting fed” (ie – want the preaching to be dynamic, motivating and challenging)
  • want a better nursery, children’s or youth services, Sunday school or other program they deem vital
  • are angry at some church decision, the leadership or policies
  • things are not new & exciting enough
  • someone has ticked them off, offended, hurt or sinned against them

Now, I don’t know about you but I would not leave my marriage or trade in my family for any of those reasons.  Yes, there are times I am unhappy, bored, angry, hurt, frustrated and not very content with both my marriage and my family. Yes, there are times I want change or feel the need to have something new & exciting but that does not cause me to run off with a new guy or leave my children. And of course on occasion I long for a bigger house equipped with the all the” bells & whistles” and yet that is not what makes a house a home it is my family and our years of memories together that are the most important.

Since the Bible compares Christ and His commitment and love for His church to marriage and how it should operate – I think that we should all more seriously consider our commitment to the church as well.

Maybe it is time to stop church hopping. Maybe it’s time to make a commitment to a body of believers and stick with it.  Maybe it’s time to:

  • pray during service if your unhappy or frustrated (or look for someone to minister to)
  • feed yourself! (one of my biggest pet peeves is when adult Christians say “ I am not getting fed”. Really? Grow up & feed yourself)
  • volunteer to make your church programs better or realize that perfect programs are really not that vital compared to what you are teaching your children about commitment & faithfulness by sticking it out through the good, bad & the ugly
  • graciously and humbly communicate with your church leadership when you are concerned or have problems and at the same time let them know that you will not leave if things don’t change or go your way
  • trust God that He is using the leadership of your church in your life for good even if they make wrong decisions or policies
  • forgive those church members who sin against you (definition of forgiveness here – throw it in the sea of forgetfulness and remember it no more – you know – like what Jesus has promised to do for you…whew!)
  • remember that “new & exciting” is fun while it lasts….but it always, always, always ends up being old & routine. (so start seeing that as solid, secure, consistent and faithful)
  • “get over it” and realize that there is no perfect church – expect that you will at times be unhappy, frustrated, hurt and offended and enjoy the other times when you are thrilled, excited, amazed, touched, loved and blessed. Just like it is at home. 🙂

I believe that we have been blessed beyond measure by making such a unshakable commitment to our local church.  I also believe that the Lord is pleased that we have chosen faithfulness, commitment, forgiveness, long suffering and love over taking the easy way and “jumping ship” when we were unhappy, offended or discontent.

My one regret is that there are only a handful of others in our church who also chose to have that same type of commitment.  Oh how I would have loved to look out at that congregation on Sunday and seen the hundreds of church family members who were there when I became a member in September of 1983, who celebrated with us as we were married in 1986, who were there to commit to helping us raise our children up in the Lord as we brought each one of them to the altar and who played with them in the nursery, taught their Sunday School classes and led their Missionette clubs . Instead most of those folks are scattered throughout churches in our county, yes serving the Lord and yes still part of the greater body of Christ and while we have done our best to stay connected it is just not the same. We have all missed out on the joy, love and blessings of being an intimate “forever church family” while here on earth.

I hope and pray that my children as they grow up and settle down wherever the Lord leads them that they will find a church family that they will commit to and that they will be blessed to have members with that same commitment.  Does that exist anymore? I believe it can if we each just start today with our own decision to commit to our church family…..forever.


Filed under Adoption, Attitude, Blessings, Consistency, Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges, My "take"

A Blessed New Year

My prayer for the year 2009 is that we would all be blessed beyond measure!

The dictionary definition of the word blessed: divinely or supremely favored; fortunate; blissfully happy or contented. 

Who wouldn’t want a year full of God’s favor, fortune and to be blissfully happy and vastly contented?  Sounds divine, doesn’t it?

But how do we receive these blessings?  Is there anything we can do to bring about God’s favor and fortune? Is there a way to live each day in blissful happiness and contentment? 

I believe there is and I know where to find the key.  The Bible says in Psalm 1 –

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit  in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

As a believer I spend time in church each week  worshiping and hearing the Word of the Lord. I fellowship regularly with other believers.  I listen to Christian messages on the radio, Internet and on CD’s. I read books and devotionals written by Christian authors.  However….as I evaluate recent years I have failed to daily delight in and meditate on the Word of God.  I have not hungered and thirsted for His Word.  I have not loved and longed for His Word.  I have simply not made time to read, meditate on and memorize the Bible and make it a top priority in my life.

This year I will be doing  just that.  No matter what is happening in my life, I will take the time to read the Bible and meditate on its message.  Today I will begin a daily reading plan that will result in reading through the entire Bible in one year.  (I will be using the daily reading schedule found at Back to the Bible – that gets emailed daily to my in box – but there are lots of great options out there – and Walk thru the Bible  are two more great resources)

Here’s to a blessed 2009!



Filed under Blessings, Consistency, Goals & Dreams, Priorities

Fat Face Update – Back at it!

For those of you who have missed the “Fat Face” updates (although no one has commented – where are my “virtual” accountability partners?) – here we go.

The past two months have been…hmmm…shall we say….pathetic.

Between our summer camping vacation and summer camp, a trip to NYC, my birthday and just plain lack of motivation, I have been “on again, off again” (and unfortunately with “off again” winning) the past couple of months.  My exercise program also bit the dust as I have been battling blisters that kept my walking to a minimum.

The results?

I have gained 10 pounds (ugh!), the “skinny” clothes are getting tight, I feel more tired and sluggish and my blood pressure is creeping upward.  None of this being good (although the BP is the biggest concern), I knew the day of reckoning needed to come soon. Since yesterday was the first day of autumn and because I don’t know anyone who says – “I am going to begin dieting & exercising on the first day of autumn.” (being the non conformist that I am) – I decided that September 22 was the day to get…Back at it!

So here I sit at Starbucks waiting for my daughter to get finished with choral practice and despite the incredible auroma of coffee, the moutwatering pastries staring at me from the counter and that little stinker in my head saying – “ah come on…one ice coffee won’t hurt” – I am resolved to get back to living a healthy lifestyle consistently with just my monthly day off and date nights to splurge.

I know that once Thanksgiving arrives there very well may be another “hiatus” as I enjoy the holiday season.  And since Thanksgiving is just a short eight weeks away (! How does that happen?!) – my goal is to lose 16 pounds, walk 5-6 days a week, do resistant weight training 3 days a week and stay on the Fat Flush diet that entire time (with the exception of our fall family outings to Apple Hill & the Pumpkin Patch, my October & November date night with dear darling Dan and if I can somehow come up with the finances to attend Parents Weekend in October at The Kings College in NYC…I might have to do a modified version that weekend.)

The results of feeling more alert & rested, lowering my blood pressure, fitting comfortably into my clothes (yes, I did ditch most of the “fat clothes”) plus being able to relax and enjoy the holiday season will be well worth the self discipline and sacrifice.

Does anyone else want to join me in my Autumn Resolution?


Filed under Consistency, Determination, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

Facing the Facts (and the Fat)

Ok… it’s time to face the fact – I need to lose the weight I gained during and after baby #7.  Actually, I gained only 15 pounds during the pregnancy, but then added another 15 after I had Daniel.  This is my typical pattern because I am so sick during pregnancy that when I finally feel good, I over indulge. (and enjoy every minute of it!)  My metabolism is always whacked out too after nine months of getting sick and not eating much.

 However, I have many compelling reasons to get this extra weight off:

  1. Since I am not getting any younger (who is!?)and it becomes harder and harder to lose weight as you age – I need to do it now before I round the corner to 50! (eeek! Can that be getting close already?)
  2. My blood pressure is not good when I am overweight – and I need it to be under good control. (and perhaps even off medication…wouldn’t that be great!)
  3. When I am eating healthy,  I feel better, have more energy and I am also more focused on exercising regularly.
  4. The “fat clothes” in the closet are getting tight and I have no business buying any clothes – let alone a size bigger.
  5. And last but NOT least – I have a “fat face” and I can’t stand that.  These pictures are the reality and it’s time to face the facts (and the fat!) 


The photo on the left was taken at a Creative Memories convention the weekend I found out I was pregnant (August 2006) and the photo on the right was taken right after Christmas (December 2007) – 30 pounds heavier.  Yuk!  I just don’t have a good “fat face” and  after seeing this family photo I knew it was past time to do something about it. Daniel is now nine months old and I need to lose that baby fat! 🙂

I actually began a consistent exercise program (walking) and healthy dieting plan (Fat Flush) on January 2nd. I must however say that I have never liked beginning a diet and exercise program…

…in January or on a Monday!

It just all seems too much like the “norm” for me.  After all how many other millions of Americans were starting a diet or joining the gym at the beginning of a new year or a new week? Being part of the “norm” has never appealed to me. I am always telling my kids that I am truly “counter culture” – no I don’t have any tattoo’s or multiple piercings – but I don’t watch TV, don’t eat fast food  and I didn’t date my husband until our engagement or kiss him until the altar, to name a few areas where I am not the “norm”.   I don’t aspire to be “average” either – having the average 2.5 children (although I think it has dropped to 2.09 in America) never entered my realm of thinking. (And with 7 – hopefully soon 8 – children I am quite well above average, thank you!) In school, I never wanted to be an “average” athlete, actress, singer, leader or student either.   I mean after all…who actually aspires to be average?

But I digress….

Yes, I began a diet & exercise program to lose that extra 30 pounds (plus perhaps another 10-15 that I have never lost during my last 17 years of childbearing) along with the rest of the world who decided to “fight the fat” in the New Year.  However, I console myself in the fact that I WILL be different than the norm because the majority of those who start the year implementing a new health plan will fizzle out within a few weeks.  In fact here it is January 22 and most likely many have already quit their well intentioned resolutions.

Why will I be different?

  • I have compelling purpose

See the list above! I keep those things (and the pictures) ever before me so that when I am tempted to eat that peanut butter cookie during Tuesday Tea Time – I can resist and stick with the plan

The same is true with our businesses. We must have a compelling reason to work. For each person this may be different. Some may desperately need the income provided by their career….others are facing very soon a private school tuition payment, needing to purchase a new car, or a child going off to college or getting married. These things certainly should compel us to work.  For others it is the desire to be at home & still make money to add to the budget.  And some may be motivated by the company mission, the friends or the self fulfilment of using their skills & talents.

Find out your compelling purpose for your business and keep it in front of you spurring you on to start up & stick with it!

  • I won’t “give up”

Don’t think for a minute that I will not experience defeat along the way. The excuses will come — not enough time, its too hot, its too cold, its too hard, I’m too tired, just one cookie, this couldn’t hurt… get the idea. I will find myself at the end of a long day…not having done the very thing I committed myself to doing. But instead of quitting…I will start again the next day.  By persevering, not giving up and continuing to diet and exercise despite all my excuses I will achieve my goal. But it won’t happen overnight!

I have found from my years of working with home based business owners that the biggest reason they don’t experience success….is simply giving up. We often start out strong with great resolve to be a success and then when we experience roadblocks or we sabotage our own success with excuses (the same ones….too busy, too tired, to hard) we simply STOP “exercising” our business muscles. We wait for the next motivational spurt at convention, or a meeting, and then we start the cycle over again. We simply must get into a daily habit or routine of exercising our business muscles everyday if we are going to develop a lifestyle of a successful career.

  • I have support and accountabilty

 My family is such a great suport group – the two eldest girls at home, Kristen & Rebekah are helping to cook for me and make my salads.  My dear darling Dan is always supportive and encouraging to me and I have a good friend, Nina who holds me accountable. (and visa versa) And I have just told thousands of people who read this blog that I am going to lose 30 pounds – that is sure to hold my feet to the fire!

 There is an abundance of opportunities to partner up with someone who will encourage you, motivate you & even (gulp!) hold you accountable to your business. Perhaps it will be your sponsor, good friend, spouse or a business coach. Be sure to give them permission to “hold you” to your goals & plans with your business. Accountability here is the key!

  • I found a program that works for me

Its so important to have a plan that will fit your lifestyle. Finances prohibit me from having my Curves membership reactivated at this point but I CAN walk! And I am blessed to live right across the street from a mall so if the weather is bad, I can walk through the mall at a quick pace for 30 minutes. Now, I still don’t jump out of bed in the morning ready to go sweat & strain for 30 minutes. In fact more often than not I’m groaning & complaining in my head about how much I don’t like to exercise. But I quickly remember my compelling reasons and I head out the door…..because after all I can do anything for only 30 minutes!  I also have found an eating plan that not only works for me in losing weight but is very healthy and stabilizes my blood pressure as well. (This morning it was 112/72)

You need to have a business with a plan that will work for you and your lifestyle too. There are sooooo many “plans” that can work (just like there are a zillion exercise programs, gyms, fitness centers and diets out there) The key is to find the plan that “works” for you & then DO IT consistently. 

Begin today (after all its January 22 – so you won’t be the “norm”) to fight the fat or build your business (or both!)….the pay off will be worth all the pain! 

PS – I’ll keep you updated since you are all now my accountability partners!  Since January 2 – Total pounds lost: 15 (although five of it was just that post Christmas “I just ate two pieces of pie weight”), Exercising 5 out of 7 days a week, BP – is great & I just began cutting my meds in half and the fat clothes are no longer tight.


Filed under Consistency, Determination, Home Business, Monday Motivations, Weight Loss

Anniversary Get Away

It’s that “most wonderful time of the year” – yes it is Christmas but for us it is also the time to celebrate once again our wedding anniversary!  21 years ago – December 20, 1986 – on a beautiful clear winter evening – in a candlelit cathedral  – Dan and I began our lives together.

And every year since then we have been diligent to celebrate that momentous occasion with an annual anniversary get-away.  We take time away from daily life to –

  • thank the Lord for giving us each other and to recommit our lives to Him and to one another.
  • to talk and share our hearts, hopes and dreams with each other
  • to laugh, love, play, relax and enjoy being together
  • to keep that spark of romance alive in our marriage and “fall in love” with one another all over again!

These anniversary celebrations have happened – no matter what!  Just like our marriage vows we have committed to celebrating – for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health – as long as we both shall live!  No matter how crazy life gets, no matter how full the holiday season is, no matter how broke we are, even if I am in the midst of debilitating morning sickness or we have a tiny little newborn we still take time out to celebrate our anniversary.

Here is a glimpse of the past 2 decades of anniversary celebrations –

  • 1987 – A weekend away to the California coast – Half Moon Bay & Carmel – horseback riding on the beach, an excursion down 17 mile drive, shopping and enjoying delicious meals
  • 1988 – A 2 week trip across the country to my parents home in Virginia
  • 1989 – After the recent arrival of an extremely colicky baby – our 1st born Michelle – we still managed to have a “night off” for dinner and a movie
  • 1990 – A bed & breakfast get away to North Lake Tahoe (best memory – sleeping through the night – with no baby to wake us up!)
  • 1991 – A weekend adventure to Monterey – shopping, looking at Christmas lights, eating out & a great hotel stay
  • 1992 – With the upcoming arrival of baby #2 – I “kidnapped” Dan for an early celebration in South Lake Tahoe
  • 1993 – Despite being “great with child” (baby #3) we still managed an overnighter to the cutest little bed &breakfast in Jackson, CA.  We decided on baby names during that trip
  • 1994 – With 3 small children (and 1 still nursing) we decided to get a room at our local Hilton and stay close to home. But it was a refreshing break together – sleeping in, talking over coffee, and enjoying a leisurely day
  • 1995 – This may have been one of the most difficult years of our married life – baby #4 had just arrived, we were in a stressful time with our employer and life just seemed to be a time of unrest & uncertainty (looking back all of which strengthened our marriage)  We once again got a room at a local inn for a night & actually rarely left the room
  • 1996 – 10 years!  We had a grand celebration of the first decade.  We had a large party with friends & family and then headed down to San Diego for a glorious four days of celebrating.  It was awesome!
  • 1997 – A “for poorer” year – after a life altering job loss – we were broke. However thanks to the generosity of several dear friends we were able to get away for a night to a bed & breakfast in Sacramento
  • 1998 – Baby #5 arrived just 2 weeks before our anniversary so we did another local celebration – dinner, movie and our home anniversary suite (while shipping the rest of the girls off to friends)
  • 1999 – My CM business was booming, Dan was settled in at the new school and life was good!  We were able to spend 3 days at the most exquisite bed & breakfast in Monterey – the Grand View Inn – it was “picture perfect” in every way!
  • 2000 – We spent a fun filled couple of days at Hume Lake Christian Conference Center and were joined by my sister Caroline & her husband Mike who had just moved from Tennessee to California & have a December 22 anniversary. (they are celebrating 23 years together this month! Happy Anniversary Caroline & Mike!)
  • 2001 – Our 15th anniversary – I wrote about here last week. We renewed our vows in a beautiful & meaningful ceremony
  • 2002 – “Great with child” #6, we stayed close to home again – however this time we splurged on a night at the “Wine & Roses Inn” an elegant local hotel and restaurant.
  • 2003 – We had some frequent flyer miles due to my traveling & speaking all across the country so we flew down to San Diego for a warm wonderful weekend together (along with Joy our nursing baby!)
  • 2004 – We headed to a bed & breakfast in Napa Valley for a few days of shopping, massages, great food and enjoying the sights & sounds of that beautiful part of the country at Christmastime
  • 2005 – A trip down the California coastline – Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Solvang, Hearst Castle – enjoying every minute together
  • 2006 – Alas after several years of  a “for richer” era – we were back to counting our pennies.  This was our 20th year anniversary and despite very rocky and changing times with my business and being uncomfortably pregnant with baby #7 (excited…but tired & sick) we were determined not to forsake our commitment to celebrating our anniversary.  Our “get away” was to our friends home who were going away for the holidays.  We enjoyed their lovely warm home watching movies and snuggling by the fireplace and splurging on a dinner at a nice restaurant

That brings us to this year – 2007 – our 21st wedding anniversary.  We are still counting every penny and embracing our “for poorer” vows which has led us to celebrating this year in our very own home.  The school my husband teaches at has a “no personal days off during finals” policy during our actual anniversary which is next Thursday. So we are celebrating this week. Dan took the day off of work and the girls are all staying a couple days with friends (they are actually at 4 different places – well 5 if you count Michelle being in Australia) and we have baby Daniel here at home with us as we celebrate our 21st anniversary.  The girls cleaned the house spotless and left us a card with some money from their hard earned babysitting jobs so we could go out to lunch or dinner. Last night, we enjoyed a wonderful evening together over a home cooked meal – talked by a warm crackling fire and got an incredible nights sleep. (It seems amazingly quiet here with just the 3 of us and Daniel actually slept 7 hours straight – that was a first!)

Today is all ours to do as we please – perhaps a little “window” shopping, maybe taking a walk or a drive, enjoying a leisurely morning over coffee and the newspaper,  going out to eat and maybe even a movie – but no matter what we do we will enjoy just being together, remembering our love and the commitment we made to one another 21 years ago.

I hope that those of you who are married – whether you are on your 1st, 21st or 51st anniversary that you too will always take time out to renew your love and commitment each year to your spouse.  For those of you who are about to get married or are newly married I want to challenge you to make this commitment – no matter what – to always celebrate your anniversary in a meaningful and purposeful way! (in case you are wondering how I could remember all the things we did each year – I have a special “anniversary album” that has it all recorded with pictures and words so I will never forget)

If you want to see some photos of this happy married couple over the years click on the photos tab & go down to the last slide show.


Filed under Consistency, Family Traditions, Priorities

The making of a life champion

I spent Saturday afternoon, in the pouring down rain, watching as my daughter Amy’s high school Varsity Cross Country team took the Section Championship for the fifth straight year! 

I was amazed and impressed as I saw these talented, hard working young athletes give it everything they had and once again take home the top prize.

As a former athlete both at the high school and college level, I know that this championship team did not just get “lucky”, happen to be successful or were even just blessed with exceptional talent.  No, this team has some key components available to everyone, that have contributed to their success.  Whether we are competing as an athlete,  working to run a successful business, managing a productive home, raising the future generation or seeking to live a life of purpose, we too need to seek similar key components if we are to be a champion in life.

 1. You must have a great coach

It is true, whether you are an undefeated recreational girls soccer team, a number one ranked college football program or an Olympic gold medalist – you have great coaches! And in our businesses, families and life pursuits we need great coaches too.

The JECHS cross country team has one of those exceptional coaches.

A great coach is –

  • influential & inspirational
  • a teacher & a trainer
  • a role model & example
  • a cheerleader & encourager
  • a drill sergeant & an accountability partner

We need to seek out great coaches in our life.  Align yourself with people who will inspire and influence you to greatness.  Look for excellent teaching and training.  Be diligent to be around positive, encouraging role models who will lead by example. Submit yourself to programs that require hard work and discipline. Allow others to hold you accountable.

These coaches can also be books, CD’s, videos, articles, radio broad casts, conferences or a multitude of various resources that can help train you to become a champion in life. In fact,  the most inspirational and influential life coach is as close as that #1 bestseller sitting on your shelf…the Bible.

2. You must practice consistently

Every team or athlete I know practices and trains on a regular basis.  Whether its once or twice a week in recreational sports or everyday for championship athletes,  we too need to practice our pursuits consistently.    

What is your practice schedule like?  Are you diligent and consistent in working your business, managing your home, raising up your children or living the life you desire?  Do you practice daily the skills you need to be a champion?  Or are you living life with inconsistent or only occasional training time?

Are you spending time

  • warming up (planning and preparing)
  • doing drills & sweating (working hard at the things that will help you succeed and doing them over and over until you get them right)
  • building endurance & sweating even more! (going the “extra” mile…not just doing the minimum)
  • cooling down (taking time to reflect and evaluate)

For any of us to truly be successful in any area of life we must commit ourselves to a consistent practice schedule.

  3. You must see and believe

Much of what is needed when becoming a champion is mental. It is amazing the power of our mind.  An athlete or team who is mentally prepared to win – can visualize beating the competition, getting that trophy and believes that they can and will win the prize – always has the competitive edge.  On our way to the meet this weekend Amy was verbally going over the race she was going to run.  She decided that she would stay with the top runners and that she would run her fastest time yet. She believed she could accomplish this.  Add to that the prayer that is a regular part of her teams pre-game preparation and Amy came across the finish line in the #2 position for her team with her fastest time of the season and with the coach proclaiming that she “ran the race of a lifetime!”

What do you see for your business, home, marriage, children and life?  What is your vision for the finish line? Do you believe that with the Lords help & strength you can accomplish everything that you set your heart and mind on?

4. You must endure and not quit

Far to many people have quit before they cross the finish line.  They have given up on themselves as an entrepreneur or business owner. They have tired of managing their home and let things slide. They have quit on their marriage or in being diligent to raise their children with strong morals and values. They have simply stopped practicing, training or working towards accomplishing their life goals & dreams.

If you are going to live a championship life….you can’t quit!  No matter how hard it gets, no matter the obstacles, no matter the overwhelming circumstances…keep going.

I can’t say it better than the Bible does in I Corinthians 9:24-25

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Let’s live the life of a champion!

  Let’s run the race to win!


Filed under Consistency, Endurance, Home Business, Inspiration, Monday Motivations

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Several years ago, after coming home from a fabulous scrapbooking weekend, my dear darling husband said with exasperation, “I think I have sung the itsy bitsy spider song…300 times!”  I laughed, apologized for not warning him, and told him that this was our then 3 year olds favorite thing to do and to get use to it…because it didn’t look like it would end anytime soon!

Do you all remember that simple little song?  It has great applications for working hard and acheiving success in life! (be sure to sing & do the hand motions as we take a look at this song…its much more effective!)

“The itsy bitsy spider…went up the water spout”   

Do you ever feel “itsy bitsy” with a huge, hard or new task ahead of you?  Yes, sometimes when we are beginning a business, career, relationship, fitness regimen, diet, budget or organizational plan or perhaps just adjusting to a new season of life (moving, going away to college, getting married, having your first baby…or 2nd, 3rd, 4th, becoming single again through death or divorce), we simply are not confident that we can really do it. We feel just like the itsy bitsy spider….a small insect trying to scale a seemingly impossibly high pipe.  BUT just like the itsy bitsy spider….we have to just start going up the water spout… matter how hard and high it seems to be….we need to simply begin to climb and move forward.

“Down came the rain…and washed the spider out” 

YES, it may be depressing but it is true. The rain will come… everyone! Everyone has had the rain come down on them & wash them out.  DO NOT THINK for one minute that those who seem to have “made it” have not experienced everything that you have gone through.  They have had hardships – sickness & disease, handicaps, financial setbacks & ruin, emotional stress & pain, devastating loss, rejection, intimidation, betrayal….you name it….they have experienced it and YOU WILL TOO!  It’s part of living. (If you do not believe it – read Matthew 5:45 – the rain falls on both the good and the bad!)

“Up came the sun & dried up all the raindrops” 

Now that we have been reminded that the rain will come, let’s be diligent at getting the sun to dry up all those raindrops!  The sun is often our attitude and outlook.  You’ve all heard the saying that negative people see the cup half empty and positive people see the cup half full. Well, let’s go one step beyond that and say….successful people see the cup completely full! (half full of water & half full of air).  The better our outlook and attitude…the faster those rain drops will dry up & we can get on and about our business of climbing. I have said it before & I’ll say it again – we need to guard our hearts, minds & spirits from anything negative.  We need to aggressively pursue a positive attitude & outlook, not just sit by and hope we will see life through rose colored classes. Its as easy as 1…2…3 1. Cast out any negative thoughts & attitudes2. Fill your mind with positive (books, emails, videos, audio tapes & uplifting music)3. Surround yourself with positive, inspiring & successful people 

“And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.”

Ok….so its not exciting but consistency works!  You simply must get out there and CONSISTENTLY keep climbing.  There is no short cut, there is no other way.  Do the right things and do them over & over & over & over and yes even over again (even when you don’t “feel” like it and despite the rain…because it will come) and you will succeed at anything you want to do in this life. Iza Trapani told & illustrated a book about the itsy bitsy spider that ended with this verse:

 The itsy bitsy spider

Climbed up without a stop

She spun a silky web

Right at the very top

She wove and she spun

And when her web was done,

The itsy bitsy spider

Rested in the sun.

May you all begin the climb today not letting the rain stop you, keeping a positive outlook, consistently working hard day in and day out until you are resting in the sun, basking in the contentment and joy of a job well done.

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Filed under Attitude, Consistency, Home Business, Monday Motivations

What do you really want?

I had to chuckle yesterday morning as I overheard (and I was not eavesdropping….when you live in a small 1400 square foot home with 8 people…nothing is private) the conversation three of my daughters were having as they were in the bathroom getting ready for church.  It went something like this.

Amy: I really want to have kids!  But…..I really, really don’t want to get married.

Grace: I really, really want to have kids too!  But…..I really, really, really don’t want to get married….and you can’t have kids unless you get married. (I’m so  glad the 5 year old already has that instilled in her)

Rebekah: Well………I really, really, really want to have kids!  But (said emphatically)…..I am not going to get married! Grace: (running thru the house) Yeah….I don’t like boys! I only like Daddy!Amy: (with despair & frustration in her voice)  I know BUT……..I really, really, really want to have kids! And I really, really, really, really don’t want to get married.  <sighing> What am I going to do??

I sat in my bedroom nursing Joy and laughing…..their dilemma is not unlike many of our own.We really, really, really want to …….lose weight.  But…..we really, really, really, really don’t want to exercise. We really, really, really want to …….have some extra money.  But…..we really, really, really, really don’t want to be on a budget.

We really, really, really want to …….be current with our photo albums. But…..we really, really, really, really don’t want to let go of our perfection. We really, really, really want to …….have daily devotions.  But…..we really, really, really, really don’t want to get up early. We really, really, really want to …….have a successful business.  But…..we really, really, really, really don’t want to make those client contacts

And just like my girls…..we go back and forth in desperation and frustration over what we really, really, really want to do (or earn, or make, or be) AND what we really, really, really don’t want to do.  And more often than not we let the thing we really, really, really don’t want to do STOP us from doing the thing that we really, really, really want.Now I am very confident that age & hormones will solve my girls dilemma fairly easily and that they will overcome their objection to getting married and that they will find awesome godly men who want as many kids as they do. (which is a lot….thanks to me telling them that babies are one of the greatest gifts God can give you and that I want dozens of grandchildren!)But what will we do to overcome our own objections and to press in & do the very thing we don’t want to do in order to get the very thing we want? (did you follow that??)Here are seven simple steps:

1. Make a list (not just a mental one….a written one) of exactly what you really want in life.  

2.  Below that list write down an action list of everything you know you need to do to make what you really want become a reality.      

3. Put a star by all the actions that you really, really, really don’t want to do. (or dread doing)

4. Decide that you are going to overcome your fear, disdain, distaste for that activity and that you are going to do it ANYWAY because you are not going to let your own objections STOP you from getting what you really, really, really want!5. Call a friend who you can ask to hold you accountable.  Tell them what you really, really, really want.  Tell them what you are going to do everyday to get what you really, really, really want.  Tell them the specific things that you really, really, really  DON’T want to do and give them permission to ask you every week if you have done those things.  Tell them you  want to be held accountable and that you are counting on them to bug you. (and mean it)6. Get up everyday and do those actions.  If you are like me and want to see that you are making progress. (Ok, so I’m a former teacher!)  Buy yourself a grade book…write in all the things that you are going to do under the assignments and then check off everyday that you complete those activities  If at the end of the week you have NOT done them consistently say to yourself….”I will not allow my own personal objections stand in the way of  getting/achieving/being what I really, really, really want.”7. At the end of every week that you have consistently done the business building activities that you have objected to….reward yourself with a treat and celebrate your success because you are on your way to achieving what you really, really, really want!

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Filed under Consistency, Goals & Dreams, Home Business, Monday Motivations

Swimming Success

What a difference a year makes!

We just finished our second season on the recreational neighborhood swim team.  (and do I ever love the swim team… forces me to go to the pool every day….which gives me an excuse to “live” in my bathing suit and get my hair wet!)Last year at the beginning of our first season on a swim team my then 6 year old Rebekah could barely swim across the short end of the pool.  She was definitely in “over her head” in more ways than one!  On the first day of practice I took my seat by the pool, with a magazine in one hand & my Ice Venti Vanilla Latte in the other, thinking I would kick back in my beach chair during the hour long practice.  But…as I looked up at the pool I watched in dismay as my Rebekah struggled in the deep end of the pool gasping for breath and grabbing the lane lines every other stroke. I looked over at dear darling Dan & said…”I think she’s going to drown….is the coach going to jump in and save her?” That was her swimming debut…..she was horrible. She had no form, no technique,  no endurance, and really no clue what she was doing.  My first thought was…what have we done?  She needs to take lessons, she needs to prepare, she needs to live! (ok, so I didn’t think that they were going to let her drown…but I did almost jump in the pool to rescue her!) 

But what she did have was determination & enthusiasm!  She hopped out of the pool after that first day of utter failure and a very out of breath and exhaustedly blurted out….”When’s the next practice Mommy?”  Her eyes had that look of determination and her voice quivered with excitement.  Soooooo…rather than saying…maybe we should wait a year….I  kept my mouth shut about all my doubts and fears and said with mustered up enthusiasm….”Well it’s tomorrow, sweetheart!”

By the seasons end after practicing everyday and getting mostly “participant” ribbons at meets (those are the pretty multi colored ribbons that mean you didn’t place or you got DQ’ed by the stroke & turn judge…of course Rebekah loved them because they were much prettier than the blue, red or white ribbons!)….. she resembled a swimmer.

Now this year was AMAZING!  She started off the year riding on her experience from last year, still enthusiastic as ever (the girls began asking in March when swim team would start…I guess that’s what I get for taking them to the beach “off season” and letting them swim in the frigid Pacific Ocean), and determined to get as many blue ribbons as possible (her big sisters informed her that these were the best!).  She added to that a daily practice regimen and a little bit of goal setting ….and the results were PHENOMENAL!!!

Rebekah last week looked like a competitive swimmer!  Not only does she have her form & technique down and she consistently placed first (even competing against the boys)…BUT she is only 2 seconds away from “A” times which are the times that a National swim organization has set up for the very best swimmers.  Could this really be the same little girl that struggled to swim just one lap one year earlier??  Yes…what a difference a year can make in our lives.

Are you “in over your head” with your business or life?  Are you struggling to just get a breath and make it to the end of each day without drowning?  Do you feel like you have no “form” or “technique” and really have no idea  what you are doing?? Well, there is good news!  You are no different than Rebekah was last year this time.

Yes…she grew bigger & stronger and yes she had a great coach that trained her & encouraged her….but the number one difference in her results between this year & last year was the consistent daily practice!  Everyday she devoted one hour to her swimming endeavors. She swam laps…..over & over & over again….non stop.  She just jumped in everyday at practice did what she was told and now she has found success!
Everyone who begins a direct sales business starts off the same… experience, no technique, and even sometime no clue where to begin.  The ones who are successful all have the same things in common…..Determination  —  Are you determined, as Rebekah was, to stay on the team??  Do you love your products and being a part of the awesome team??  Make up your mind that you will not quit…even when you are struggling for breath & can’t see the finish line….BE DETERMINED to stick with it until you achieve success!

Enthusiasm — This is the single most important factor to achieving great results in anything in life.  Are you excited about your companies products?  Are you excited about the income opportunity we all have in this awesome company that is breaking sales records monthly?  Are you a positive, upbeat and enthusiastic person.  If the answer is yes… WILL soon be winning blue ribbons & breaking records.  If the answer is no….begin to fill your mind with positive books, CD’s & videos and become the most enthusiastic positive person you know.

Consistent Daily Practice Add to determination and enthusiasm a regimen of consistent, daily practice (even when you don’t feel like it!).  Make those daily phone calls to potential contacts.  Call your current clients and tell them about new products. Take someone out to coffee and tell them about the income opportunity.  Work everyday at your business.  Attend meetings & conventions at every opportunity.  Practice, practice, and practice some more! 

And a year from now… will have a strong business –  winning awards, breaking personal records, promoting to new “A” time  levels and celebrating your success with the whole team!

Off to the pool with the girls……to begin training for the next event….the City Meet!  Won’t you start practicing today?

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Filed under Attitude, Consistency, Endurance, Home Business, Monday Motivations