Category Archives: Goals & Dreams

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.

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

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!

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

What would you tell your “college age self”?

I just spent the past several days down in Southern California on a college visitation trip with two of my high school girls and their dear life long friend along with one of my closest friends and mentor to the girls.  We had a great road trip complete with long hours in the car, lots of fast food and  less sleep than we needed but lots of good times, learning and laughter too!

I found myself looking back to thirty years ago when I  was a high school senior choosing where I would attend college. I tried to remember my thought process and how I came to the decisions that I did.  I remembered  first stepping  foot on my college campus as a young and in many ways unprepared student and the many decisions I made both good and bad while I was there.  I also wondered if my decisions would have been different had I had older and wiser mentors in my life giving me advice along the way.

I do not remember much advice at all from my high school teachers or counselors other than – “go to college where you can get the best financial aide package” or “make sure they have your major”. (why? because your major will never change several times during college…ha!)  My church youth leaders gave no input.  My friends talked about having the most amount of fun (dorm  life, fraternity parties, football or basketball games, boys etc…)  and freedom (from any rules or restrictions) wherever you chose to attend college.

I am thankful for parents who gave me the following advice (aka: non negotiables):  You will go to college or you are on your own after high school.  You will go away to a four-year college and live on campus. You will not get married until you get your degree.  You will visit several colleges to find the right “fit” for you.  While these paradigms were quite valuable and more than many high school students receive, I often wish I had been given more from those older and wiser mentors around me.

In fact I began to think this weekend what exactly would I, now three decades later, tell my “college age self”?

  1. Choose carefully and wisely where you go to college.  No other time in life are you more immersed in a community and culture than during your college years.  You are living with people outside your family 24/7,  you are engaged in constant exchange of ideas both inside and outside the classroom, you are exposed to different and new ways of thinking, believing and living.  Is the college environment one that will increase your faith, solidify your values and produce growth and maturity in your life? You will likely make life choices regarding your calling and career that will affect the course of your life.  What type of college and professors do you want to influence those choices?  You will likely develop forever friendships with both students and faculty and you may even meet your spouse…look closely at the profile of students who desire to attend the college as well as why the faculty are teaching there.  Are these the people who you want to have influencing, mentoring, inspiring and challenging you throughout your life?
  2. Do what you love!  Choose a course of study in something you are passionate about regardless of anyone else’s opinion, regardless of whether it will make you rich (or even make you money at all), regardless of the job market, regardless of  if it is the “smartest” or most practical thing to do or even regardless of if you will ever do anything career related with your degree. (and if you have many passions…pursue them all!)
  3. Embrace this season of singleness. (ie: do not spend time the moment you step on campus looking for “the one”) You have spent 18+ years in your parents home and you dream of being happily married for 50+ years.  If you live an average life span that leaves less than a decade of being single.  Embrace it! Enjoy it! Don’t waste it away always looking to the future and missing the opportunities in the present.  Work on becoming the most godly, loving, giving, self-sacrificing, interesting, knowledgable and mature person you can be so that when you are married you will be the most amazing spouse and parent ever!
  4. Develop positive habits that will add value to your life.  Up to this point you have probably been “forced” to eat healthy (as much as your parents could make you), exercise regularly (thanks to PE classes & sports), balance your budget (mostly due to your lack of credit worthiness or available funds), go to class, attend church services regularly and plan ahead.  College should be a time that we build upon these positive habits not throw them out the window and live an undisciplined, out of control, “free for all”  life.  This is the time not only to learn and grow academically but to practice self-control and discipline in your life without being forced to do these things.  It is a true sign of growth and maturity and may even be a greater benefit to your life and happiness than your actual college degree.
  5. Go out of the country.  Whether you study abroad for a year, go on a summer missions trip to a third world country or participate in a “semester at _____” (you fill in the blank) you MUST take advantage of at least one opportunity for amazing growth, learning and a life changing experience.  After college you will have responsibilities to take care of, bills to pay, careers to pursue not to mention marriage and parenting that may arrive sooner than you think.  Do not say you will “do it later” because even if you are one of the rare adults who are able to pull that off – it will be harder, more complicated and you will wish you had gone during your college years. Let’s have no regrets here people!
  6. Seek out mentors.  I really wish that someone would have encouraged me to find older mentors in my life to learn from during my college years.  They could be upperclassmen, grad students, faculty members or even college pastors or adults from a local church.  I now realize that we can learn and grow so much more from other people “speaking into our lives” than we do through classes, lectures or textbooks.  While a few small private colleges encourage and promote these types of relationships, you need to decide to seek them out for yourself.  Find people of godly character, full of wisdom, passionate about their purpose and traveling in the direction that you want to go.  Then be bold and ask for their time to invest in your life. (You need not be demanding or draining to them…simply be willing to just hang out with them at their convenience or be a blessing by working alongside them) 
  7. Serve others.  The college years can often be very self-centered and self-serving. One of the best ways to grow and learn is to serve others and give of yourself.  Find ways to serve your college or community.  Become a resident or student advisor, start a prayer group or bible study, pick up trash around campus, volunteer to help in admissions or campus tours.  Get off campus and feed the homeless, volunteer at a crisis center, participate in a non-profit fund-raising campaign, serve in a church nursery.  A life lived only for your self and your own self interests is a shallow and unfulfilling existence.
  8. College is a valuable investment!  If you have to take out loans, do not stress about that.  It is a better investment of your money than your future home (that you will likely take out a very large loan to purchase) or a vehicle (that can cost you more than any loans you aquire in 4 years).  Your college education will not rust or break down or become worthless as it ages.  No one can take it from you, steal it or destroy it.  It will be one of the most valuable things you have in life (especially if you go to the right college and use the time wisely)  If you have to work several jobs to make it happen…do it!  Apply for every scholarship possible (and perhaps some that are impossible.) Ask others to invest in you. Leave no stone unturned!
  9. Appreciate every aspect of not living in the “real world”  — ok so I am sure many college student’s dislike hearing over and over that they are not living in the “real world”  but really…it is truth in many ways?  When, in your adult “real life” will most of you –
  • have someone available to cook for you at every meal (not to mention the wide variety and volume of food available in most college cafeterias – endless salad bars, soft serve ice cream, soda fountain etc..)?
  • put your  dirty dishes on a conveyor belt to watch them “magically” disappear and then reappear at the next meal clean and sparkly?
  • not have to ever clean your own toilet?
  • be able to work out at a fully equipped fitness center just steps from your living space?
  • wear whatever you want to work (aka: class) or for that matter decide when you want to attend and when you don’t want to attend work?
  • have access to social interaction and fun 24/7 (as well as 24/7 access to trouble & temptation)?
  • create your own personal hours according to your personal preference by only signing up for afternoon & evening classes (or the opposite if you are one of “those” morning people)or  not taking Friday classes and giving yourself a three-day weekend? (I can promise most of you that you will never again get to completely create your own hours)
  • and if you go to a Christian college…get to attend an inspirational worship service and listen to compelling, motivating  speakers three times a week? (my oh my what I would give to have that part of my “real” life almost every day)

   10. College is not for everyone.  While I believe that here in our culture in the United States that college may be the wisest way go for most young people, I do not think that everyone must attend college.  However, I do believe that the college age is a very important season of life for growth, education, maturity and experience.  It is not a time to be wasted or used in a frivolous way. Almost all of the things I would tell my “college self” can be applied to a young person who has decided not to attend college.  Be purposeful and productive.  Some other great options are trade school, an internship, the military or a missions trip.

What would you tell your “college age self”?

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Filed under College & Career, Goals & Dreams, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Parenting

A Lesson Plan for Life

Can someone please tell me when the month of August ceased being summertime?  I am becoming a militant mom on a “save our summer” campaign as it seems summer break is getting shorter and shorter each year.

Isn’t August still a time for being a “floatin’ fool in the swimming pool”, savoring backyard barbecues with friends, attending carnivals, state fairs & baseball games, sipping ice coffee & having conversations on the patio in the cool of the evening after a sweltering day, enjoying late night ice cream sundaes in front of a newly rented movie and sleeping in as late as you want in the morning! It is truly the best of the “dog days of summer” …no schedules, no agenda…just enjoying the easy living of summer!

A few photos of what we have been doing this week!

These days summer seems to come to a screeching halt by the end of July as more and more schools are choosing early start dates instead of the traditional day after Labor Day, 1st day of school. My life has been affected by this evolution….with dear darling hubby working at an educational institution that began August 10 along with three of my daughters who attend there, the charter school I homeschool through following suit, soccer practices already in full swing for the fall season & even the local neighborhood pool cutting back their hours to weekends & “after school” (even though its 100+ degrees outside today!). It has even dampened my September 1st birthday celebration that always fell during the last week of summer vacation with no worries, no school, no homework. (and I didn’t care about missing out on cupcakes in the classroom…I’d take a vacation time birthday over that anytime!) Yes, in my perfect world …it is and should still be – Summertime – with all its many wonderful diversions!

So, since I refuse to conform to this “new” definition of August…for us this marks the last week of summertime before school starts.  Which means it is a time to continue to enjoy the last lazy days of summer while at the same time beginning to form a plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.

Having personally been entrenched in the education world for over 24 years (11 years as a high school teacher & administrator and the past 13 years as a home school teacher)… I always see this time of year as a new beginning much like the time right before the new calendar year in January.  A fresh start to a brand new school year that I can make into whatever I want it to be.  The past school year, with all its failures, mistakes as well as successes,  is over and gone, only to be remembered through report cards, school records and the scrapbook or yearbook.

I always loved that fresh start feeling! I had an empty lesson planner and a school year calendar sitting blank in front of me and I could create whatever type of year I wanted. I could continue to fine tune & develop the things that were successful and make them even better. I could throw out things that were not working so well. I could try brand new, perhaps even “risky” ideas in hopes of inspiring my students in their quest of learning.  As I sat there with my yearly calendar, my goals & objectives and my weekly lesson plans…the sky was the limit! I could accomplish anything that new school year.

But one thing was always certain….I never started a new school year without a “plan”.  And none of us would accept our child’s teacher telling us that they had no specific plan for the year – no goals or objectives – that they were just going let things happen.  No, we would leave that classroom (in shock!) and head  straight to the office to demand a new teacher!  

YET…that is exactly what many of us do with our lives.  We just “let it happen” without any goals & objectives and with very little planning and then we wonder why it’s not working” for us? I want to challenge you today to begin to make a plan for your life this “school year”. Forget the past…and make this year a fresh new start.  And my first suggestion would be to…

…Begin with the end in mind!

Well, maybe not the very end (although that’s an excellent way to live….thinking about what you want your life to have looked like when you are on your death bed!) Let’s start with this –  Next August in 2011, what do you want your life to look like? 

  • What personal or family habits do you want to cultivate?
  • What new traditions do you want to establish or new ways to celebrate life?
  • What do you want to teach your children?
  • What do you want for your marriage and/or family relationships?
  • Do you have any new skills you want to acquire or talents you want to improve upon or use?
  • Where do you want to be spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally & financially?

After you write out your dreams, goals, objectives…..take each of them and make a list of what needs to happen to accomplish them. Then “calendar” those things into your year and write out your  daily, weekly & monthly “life lesson plan”. 

Here is an example of what that could look like –

Goal: To get caught up & stay current on my family photo albums

Ways to accomplish this:  weekly time set aside to journal, monthly workshops, yearly retreats

What to put on the life lesson plan & on the calendar: 

  • Weekly: Journaling time every Sunday afternoon for 1 hour
  • Monthly: First Friday of the month attend a 4 hour workshop to complete albums
  • Bi-Annually: Every October & February go on a scrapbooking weekend retreat with friends.

Here is a “heavier” example

Goal: The family to grow spiritually over the next year.

What needs to happen to accomplish this: church involvement, regular family prayer & devotions, scripture memory, cultivating personal time with God, becoming missions minded, developing meaningful spiritual traditions around the holidays etc…

What to put on the life lesson plan & on the calendar:

  • Daily or Regularly –  
  1. Provide a “quiet time” at home (even if it is just 15 minutes) for cultivating a relationship with God thru the word & personal prayer & meditation.
  2. Decide on best time for family prayer & devotions and make it happen. (even if you begin with once or twice a week rather than daily)
  3. Pick a verse to begin memorizing and post it around the house (bathroom mirrors, fridge, car dash board etc..) – practice together daily at a family meal or while driving to school.
  • Weekly 
  1. Calendar in weekly church attendance  – Sundays and or week night youth or prayer services
  2. Do a weekly family Bible study together
  • Monthly or Quarterly:
  1.  a mission trip or other local outreach opportunity (like working at a local soup kitchen or passing out blankets to the homeless)
  2. Research making holidays meaningful & implement one thing to each holiday this year. (for ideas & inspiration for holiday and other meaningful family traditions you can look at my blog here and here and here)
  3. Have a monthly time of family communion (read about this here)

And one more example – since the #1 post on this blog (11,500 views) has to do with improving your marriage (taking the love dare challenge) let me give you a sample there too.

Goal: To improve our marriage and have greater communication, deeper friendship and renew passion

What things need to be accomplished to meet this goal: setting aside time to talk and pray together, going on regular date nights, looking for ways to serve one another, loving each other in the way they need to be loved, reading, learning & growing in our marriage skills, romantic weekends away

What to put on the life lesson plan & calendar:

  • Daily –  
  1. Pray together each morning or evening while in bed (no distractions)
  2. Don’t leave each other each day without an “I love you” & goodbye kiss
  3. Greet one another upon returning home with an “I love you” &  hello kiss
  • Weekly 
  1. Have a “coffee & conversation” time each week…perhaps on Sunday night before a new week begins to discuss both the good and bad of life, whats on your plate for the upcoming week and any other issues needing to be discussed
  2. Do one thing each week to purposely fill the love tank of your spouse (you would need to read The Five Love Languages by Gary Smalley to really understand this…but basically you are choosing to love them they way they want to be loved…I think I will write another blog about this because I feel a plan brewing)
  • Monthly:
  1. Date Night…special time out alone…looking great…just like the pre marriage dating days!
  • Yearly
  1. Attend a marriage conference or read a book together to improve relationship (even if it is good!)
  2. Go away for a romantic weekend together (or longer if you can pull it off!)
  3. Celebrate your anniversary every year (which is when we take our romantic get-aways!) 

 So as your summer winds down & the new school year begins – stop and take the time to write out your dreams & goals for this year. Make a life lesson plan & then put that plan into action and on the calendar! (In my house our motto is: If it is on the calendar…it happens!) Don’t continue to just let life “happen”  but rather “Make it happen”.  You will reap great rewards for your efforts.

Here’s to August 2011 when as you are enjoying the “dog days of summer” basking in the sun by the pool, you’ll also enjoy looking back at your many accomplishments of the past year & basking in the glory of a year well lived.

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Filed under Goals & Dreams, Life Lessons, Marriage

No Time Like the Present!

My dear friends, family & 600+ blog fans….

You are probably wondering where I have been as far as writing on this blog…or perhaps maybe I am just hoping you are wondering. I can hardly believe it has been over two months since I have posted anything at all! Yikes! Seeing that this is one of my favorite things to do, you think that I would not let that much time go by without sitting down at my computer and tapping out my thoughts, opinions, ideas and life stories in hopes of encouraging, motivating & blessing you.

Not to worry….nothing tragic has happened in our lives and it is still my plan to write regularly (and yes perhaps one day even write a book or two).  I really have no good excuses although let me try some out:

  1. I forgot how time and labor intensive it is to have two “littles” less than two years apart. (ummmm…..but 13 years ago I had 3 “littles” in the span of 3 years and I started a home based business, founded a Christian High School and still made time to write Monday Motivation…every Monday! And then I didn’t have “big” girls to help me out.)  Excuse #1 out the window
  2. I have nothing to write about. (ummmmm….NOT! Are you kidding me?  I have had so much to share – Christiana’s adoption day details, Walking for Life, Our annual Beach Holiday that had almost daily insights, dealing with my “wild” high risk taking boy who managed to knock out another tooth, kidney stones, a surprise visit from my college girl, 7-year-old and sweet 16 birthday celebrations, my upcoming JECHS auction, and of course my opinions on Obamacare and specifically its effect on abortion funding)  Nope a “lack of material” excuse will never fly here!
  3. My laptop computer was so slow that I felt like I was living five lifetimes every time I tried to sign on. (ok so this is a truth…but I could have used my desk top…I am just not often actually at my desk)  Oh and did I mention I got a new work laptop last month so scratch that excuse.

Ok, enough with the excuses….but I will say that one of the biggest things that keeps me from writing more regularly is the fact that I need to make money to feed my family.  The way that I am able to do that while not sacrificing my time with them or having to go out & work 9 to 5 for someone else is by being an “independent contractor”. In other words I am self-employed.  Which is another way of saying that every waking moment I feel pressure to be working.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not whining or complaining.  I LOVE what I do both with Creative Memories and at JECHS and feel that I am using my unique giftings and am involved in work that I believe in passionately.  But honestly if I could create my perfect job (other than being independently wealthy and giving freely of my gifts & talents without any financial remuneration, which I would truly love!) this is what I would do –>

  • Write

  • Speak

  • Lead

If I could simply make a regular income writing, speaking and leading…I would be living my dream! 

I have several friends who are constantly “fanning the flame” of my dream.  One of those friends recently sent me a link to a conference called  She Speaks .  As I looked over the link I was almost salivating at the thought of going to a conference  that “encourages and equips women as they communicate God’s Word through writing, sharing their testimony, leading a Bible study and speaking from the podium.”  It had my name written all over it!  I quickly emailed her back and said “Oh what I would give to go to a conference like this.  Someday…”  To which she replied, “No time like the present” and pointed out that they had a scholarship opportunity knowing that my budget would not allow for an expense of this type.

So, despite the fact that I am “under the gun” with my upcoming large-scale event at JECHS (Annual dinner auction), I am taking a few minutes this morning to enter this contest for a $575 scholarship to the “She Speaks” Conference July 30 – August 1 in North Carolina.  Perhaps this will be one of those defining moments that I look back upon in my life and see that it was the beginning of the dream becoming a reality!

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

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Filed under Goals & Dreams, Life at the Lambdins

Celebration, Reflection & Contemplation

47 years ago today….I was born.

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My Celebration

Bops July- Aug 090Today I will celebrate my life!  My God given life – my abundantly blessed life – my 47 years on this earth – my health – my family & friends – my faith – my future!

I will celebrate with those I love and I will enjoy all the delights of the day! I will probably continue to celebrate throughout the week as well.

Yes, birthdays are a great time to celebrate life but they are also a time to reflect on the past and contemplate the future.

My Reflection

As I look back on my life, there is much for which to be thankful.   Mine is a life truly blessed.

  • I was blessed to be born to a father & mother who loved life, loved the Lord and loved each other

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  • I was blessed to be born in America – land of the free and home of the brave!
  • I had the wonderful experience of growing up with two sisters and a brother to play with, fight with, share with (no matter how unwillingly at times) and make memories together!

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  • I moved many times growing up in a military family which produced positive character qualities in my life as well as the awesome friendships that I made throughout the country
  • I had a very unique and amazing high school experience, especially my senior year and senior class.  It was stellar and stands out as a highlight of my youth

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  • As a 16 year old, I encountered the Lord in a very personal way that has clearly affected most of my important decisions since that day in 1979

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  • I had a life changing summer at Hume Lake in 1981

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  • I experienced and got to be involved in  a season of amazing revival at the University of the Pacific through Chi Alpha ministries  in the early 80’s

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  • I had the honor & joy of being the youth pastor to the most amazing group of teenagers from every high school in Stockton & Lodi for four years.

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  • After praying for six years,  I was given by God the very best man that I could ever imagine to marry and share a life together. I am still in awe of God’s gift to me.

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  • I became passionate about the ministry of Christian education during my early years at Brookside Christian . It was my time at this school that molded me, shaped me and caused me to grow immensely.  The students & staff from that era  are precious friends and will always hold a prominent place in my heart.

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  • I have been blessed by God with children.  Truly there is nothing better in this life than the gift of children.  Sometimes I stop and wonder what I did to deserve these wonderful blessings.  I look at them in awe and thankfulness….they are my life!

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  • I  was “forced” into homeschooling by our life circumstances (as I would have never decided on my own to homeschool) and this has been the single best thing for my children and our relationship.  I will never give it up now!

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  • My Creative Memories business has brought a richness to my life that is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  I have gotten to use and improve my gifts & talents, invest in others lives, experience amazing opportunities and make life long friendships in this committed community of consultants.

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  • Jim Elliot Christian High School is a miracle and I got the opportunity to be a part of  this one of a kind school.  After 11 years this school and the people involved continue to bring me joy, love and inspiration every day! I can only hope and pray that it will never end.

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Now in my reflection of the past there are also regrets, sorrows, things I wish I could change and life lessons to be learned:

  • I regret my indiscretions and poor decisions of my youth as well as the way I often treated my mother  & older sister when I was a teenager
  • I did not fully use the intellect that I have been given to study and learn throughout my high school & college education years
  • I would offer greater grace and show more compassion to the youth who were put under my charge as a youth pastor and teacher
  • I would be more humble and vulnerable to those around me
  • My older children would not have spent anytime in daycare and I would have trusted the Lord for His provision as He always proves Himself faithful.
  • I would have been more frugal with my finances, especially during the more prosperous years
  • After years as a high school & college athlete, I would have made healthy eating & daily exercise a life long habit, instead of  a “up & down” lifestyle
  • I lost my father when I was 33 years old…I wish I could have been given more time here on this earth with him
  •  I would have lost my temper less with my children, not “sweat the small stuff”  and spent more time praying with them and teaching them the Bible as well as studying and meditating on it myself
  • I would have held my tongue and attempted to only speak words of encouragement, love and appreciation to my family

 My Contemplation

Reflecting on the past is always a good starting point for contemplating the future.  Looking at the positive & the negative of your past can help you purpose in your heart to plan a better tomorrow. 

The next time your birthday rolls around what do you want your life to look like?

What do you want to do, accomplish and change in the next 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?

What were you born to do?  What is your unique and special purpose here on this earth?

When you are at the end of your life (which when you are my age, if you have done the math,  you are aware that there are fewer years ahead of you than behind you)…what will you want your life to have looked like? What will be your legacy? What difference will you have made in the lives of your family, friends, church, workplace, city, country or world?

As I do every year around this time, I will once again be contemplating these questions and be purposeful about making needed changes in my life and making a plan to do and be all that God has for me in this life,  that He has given me.

When the final day of my life…my “deathday” arrives I want to not only be ready but I want to have lived a life that glorified God and I want to leave a legacy to future generations of Lambdin’s that will inspire them to live a purposeful life fulfilling their destiny.

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Filed under Blessings, Goals & Dreams, Life Lessons, Making a Difference

The day after

It’s the day after.

Today could have been so very different for us all.  Instead of waking up this morning with the good news warming our hearts of the “Miracle on the Hudson” – the incredible crash landing of a US Air commercial plane into the Hudson River in New York – in which everyone survived, we could have been watching horrific videos and looking at photos of a fatal air crash.  We could, today have been grieving along with the thousands of friends and family members who had lost loved ones instead of rejoicing as we watched the joyous reunions and grateful passengers who were saved from an untimely death.  Instead of having a new national hero in “Sully” the US Air pilot as well as the New York  Ferry workers and first responders to admire, appreciate and be in awe & amazement of , we could have had to listen to commentators and experts talk about what went wrong and how the pilot could have possibly avoided a disaster.

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Yes truly….today could have been a much different day. 

As I enjoyed the heartwarming stories, positive reports, words of gratitude to God and heartfelt appreciation that overflowed on the Internet and in the news media today, my thoughts turned towards those 155 people who for a moment yesterday thought that this just might be their last day on this earth.  I wondered if today they had a new outlook on life?  If they felt like they had been given extra time here for a reason? If their lives from this moment on would change?  If they would begin to seize the day?

Yes, I am sure that they will hug their loved ones a little tighter and hold them a bit closer in the upcoming weeks. But will their daily lives change?  Will they begin to actually do those things that they have always wanted to do or pursue their passions with new fervor?  Will they begin to look for their purpose in life – using their unique God given gifts to do great things? Will they begin to see their life from this point on as a gift from God, a bonus round or exciting tie breaking overtime?  Having come so obviously close to death and been spared will they have a new drive to fulfillthier greatest dreams?

Then I thought about my life? 

  • Am I living my life on purpose, using my God given gifts to do great things? Yes, I believe I am.  Are you living your life “on purpose” or just wandering through this life without direction? Are you using your unique gifts and talents to do great things?
  • As far as my seeing each day as a gift from God, bonus round or overtime?  No, I don’t think I really do.  And yet I should. I have actually been in a “crash landing” of a twin engine 3 passenger Cessna airplane in 1981 – so the past 27 years have been a “bonus” and yet I have not lived them all like that. (I’ll dig up a photo I have of me standing in front of that plane on that fateful day and post it here tomorrow)  Perhaps you’ve been spared from cancer, or survived a car accident or lived through a natural disaster and have been given a “bonus round” or second chance at life.  But even if we haven’t had a life or death experience we should never take for granted our life or assume we are “owed” 75 years here on this earth. Each day is a gift.
  • Am I working towards fulfilling my greatest dreams –  well, yes…but lately I have been “stalled”.  As a believer in setting goals & having dreams I have always written out my dreams and in recent years, since I began my Creative Memories career, I transferred that list into a dream album.  My thoughts today on this “Miracle on the Hudson” and the 155 people whose lives were spared caused me to get that dream album off the shelf and do some evaluating as to where I am at in pursuing and fulfilling those dreams.  While I can tell you I have accomplished quite a few, yet there are still dozens left to accomplish….and for some…time is running out. What about you?  Do you have your dreams and goals written down and are you working regularly to accomplish these things?

So with a renewed vision, fresh perspective and energized drive, I will be getting up in the morning and living my life with purpose while working to pursue my dreams and enjoy the day as my gift from God!

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Filed under Attitude, Goals & Dreams, Inspiration, Life Lessons