Category Archives: Home Business

The Luxury of Staying Home?

To be a stay at home Mom or not to be a stay at home Mom….
….that is the controversy. (or at least it seems to always be controversial)

I grew up with a mother who graduated from college with a BA and teaching credential, got married, worked as a teacher for one year, began to have children and left the workforce for almost the entirety of her 27 year “active” mothering career. (being a mommy never ends but the day to day “job” of mothering does) Other than working a few hours, here and there, when we were all in school and occasionally substitute teaching, she was a “stay at home Mom” taking care of the business of managing a home and raising her children.  When the youngest began high school she re-entered the “away from home” workforce as a high school English teacher and enjoyed a 20 year career as a teacher, earning a Master’s Degree and excelling in her field before retiring with a pension. Personally I think that is awesome! She had the best of everything due to her and my Dad’s great choices, sacrifices and hard work….and my siblings and I were the beneficiaries!

A generation later, I earned my college degree and worked as a youth minister both prior to and after getting married. When my first child arrived I desperately wanted to stay home with her but couldn’t see a way to make it work with a husband in college at the time. So we figured out how he could work part-time, in addition to being a full-time student while I would work part-time as a teacher and school activity director. With this arrangement none of us stayed home…even the baby who was with one of us all day except for a three hour time period in the morning. As our family grew and my husband finished college and took a full-time job teaching I continued on in my part-time job. I still wanted to be at home with my little girls but did not see how we could make it work on my husband’s Christian school teacher salary. We just couldn’t afford it…or at least that is what I thought (and was often told by others).

In 1997 through a series of providential events I instantly and without planning became a “stay at home Mom”.  We made so little money that year that we were audited by the IRS who wanted to know how our income diminished so much in one year. (the agent even asked…how are you making it?) I did build a very successful home business in the years following that eventually replaced the income I had made teaching part-time and yet I was able to work from my home along side and with my children.  So…..I have been a “generating income outside the home mom” and a “stay at home income generating mom”.   (whew! those are long titles)

I hope we can agree that all moms are working moms, right?  Some generate income outside the home, some generate income inside the home and some do not generate income at all but as moms….we ALL work. Better yet, we all work very hard!

And yet the majority of women that I have talked with desire to spend much less time out of their homes working and more time with their children if they had a “choice”.  Yes, I realize that there are the few moms who even if they were independently wealthy millionaires would still want to work outside of their homes because they simply love their careers but I believe that most would rather stay home and raise their children if they felt they had that “luxury”.  Here is where my issue lies.

Is staying at home a luxury or is it a choice…that is the question?

Other than single Moms (by never marrying, being divorced or widowed) who most simply must work to pay the rent and put food on the table (unless they have an extremely lucrative child support payment or alimony…kudo’s to them!)…I personally believe that most married moms can make the choice to stay at home (some with  generating income at home and some without). 

No, I do not believe it is a “luxury” for those moms whose spouses makes a certain magical level of income. I believe it is a choice.  A choice to perhaps sacrifice personal fulfilment, career advancement, social interaction, achievement accolades and of course income.  A choice to “do without”, to let go of material possessions, goods and services and fun vacations that we have come to believe are essential. A choice to have 37,440 extra hours to pour into the life of our children, homes & families during their 18 years of childhood.

And yet many have bought into the paradigm that it is a “luxury that we can’t afford” to be a stay at home mom (income generating or not). That it is simply impossible for anyone other than the ultra rich to pull off.  We even get encouragement to think this way from our influential leaders.

Speaking at what the administration called “The White House Forum on Women and the Economy,” President Barack Obama said that after his two daughters were born, he and his wife—both Harvard Law School graduates—could not afford the “luxury” of having her stay home with the children.

In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama as a senator was paid a salary of $162,100, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

So let me see if I’ve got this right…..

Then Senator Obama made $162,000 a year plus outstanding benefits and they could not afford the “luxury” of Michelle staying at home to raise their children? (he did not say she was working to advance her career or for personal fulfillment or for benefits….he said they could not live without her salary)

Things that make me go…”huh?….am I missing something here?”. Let’s see….if my husband currently made $162,000 a year that means, even after taxes, we would have about $9,000 a month for our family budget. (actually we would bring home even more than that knowing the charitable contributions we would be making and the number of kids we have would reduce our tax liability greatly) We live in California, said to be one of the more expensive states to live in and my husband brings home a third of that much money every month. If I had an extra $6,000 a month I could pay myself a salary for my hard work as a Mom of eight children and still have thousands of dollars extra each month to save, to spend and to give away. It would be a life of luxury for me as well as my family and my husband, who might actually enjoy a clean bathroom every once in a while! (yes I could pay someone to clean our bathroom or clean it myself with the extra time I would have from not having to work at my home business)

I do realize that most families who make this amount of money (equal to Obama’s $162,000 in 2005) do decide they can live on one income and one parent does stay home to take care of household business and raise the children. But there are many who make less than half of that salary who say they “can’t afford the luxury” when in reality they actually could. Yes, they might have to drive beat up cars, live in smaller houses, skip private school tuition, and forgo some “extra’s” in life (like eating out, cable TV, expensive cell phone bills, nicer vacations, manicures, gym memberships etc..) But in reality are not all those things actually  luxuries that the previous generation, who primarily did have stay at home Moms, did not have?

No, for the vast majority of couples having one parent stay at home is really not a luxury they can’t afford but a lifestyle choice that they have made. (just as it was for me during those early years when I bought the paradigm that we “couldn’t afford” to have me home) And as a culture we need to “call it what it is” instead of using rhetoric to justify our choices  or perceived lack thereof as well as making moms feel like they simply “have to work” to survive or by giving husbands the cultural confidence to tell wives they “need to work”. (I mean after all honey, Senator Obama needed his wife’s income, so you should work too) ** Husbands who pressure their wives to work is in itself is a whole other blog post that perhaps needs to be written about men who no longer feel pride and motivation to creatively provide for their families and demand their wives drop their precious babies off at daycare for nine hours a day for someone else to raise, when those mommys desperately want to stay home…..but back to the point.**  I believe that we need to influence our culture to encourage moms (or dads) to make the choice to stay home to raise their children. The more families that can have at least one parent investing a significant  amount of time (37,440 hours!) and energy into their home life and children the better off our society will be!  So let’s be honest:

It is a choice…not a luxury we can’t afford.

P.S. To my very special single, divorced & widowed Moms…let me say again I know that you do not have a choice as to whether you can work outside your home nor did most of you choose to be single Moms…I pray that the Lord will strengthen you, encourage you and wrap His loving arms around you all the while multiplying your time, energy & resources and surrounding you with great friends to support you!

And yes I do understand that there are special circumstances and situations (illness, loss of jobs, business going under, medical bills) that may at times “force” both parents to work).


Filed under Economics, Home Business, Life Lessons, Motherhood, My "take", Priorities, Uncategorized

The thrill of victory!

High school sports – there’s nothing quite like ’em.

I have spent much of my life playing, coaching and now regularly attending high school athletic events.  I was on the swim team and played field hockey in high school (and college too).  As a youth pastor I attended high school sporting events all over the city to cheer on the kids who attended our church. I faithfully sat in the stands almost every Friday night for three years as my fiance and later husband, Dan coached a local high school football team.  When I began to work as a teacher at a Christian High School I got talked into coaching the Varsity Girls Volleyball team (which thankfully my dear darling hubby took over later – and did a far superior job!) and for the past 21 years of working at Christian high schools we have been in the bleachers cheering wildly for countless sporting events.

While I have enjoyed watching my girls (and I am sure all to soon, the boys too) playing youth soccer, swimming on the neighborhood swim team and playing city league softball, I loved going to college football, volleyball and basketball games and I thoroughly enjoy attending a professional baseball game (when we can afford it)….there is still nothing quite like high school sports. 

The emotions run higher – the victories more thrilling and the losses more devastating. The friendships formed often create a bond for life. The fans are more connected to not only the team and the school but to one another as well. The coaches (who get paid very little) are there because they love the kids and they love the game. The entire atmosphere is electrifying.

This past weekend we got to experience yet another exciting high school athletic competition as we attended the softball section finals for our area.  Our beloved Lady Eagles from Jim Elliot were in the championship game for the fifth consecutive year.  Our team was down by one run in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run on second and two outs when the player at bat hit a triple and then ran home to win the game on an overthrow error.  The screams, whistles, wild cheering, hugs, tears of joy, jumping up and down went on for what seemed to be eternity.  Just several feet away, the other bench felt the agony of defeat after being so close to beating this powerhouse team.  The sobbing, down on bended knees, hitting the dirt, consoling in one anothers arms, looks of shock and dismay equaled the emotion of the championship team. For those talented teams, dedicated coaches and devoted fans, it will be a day not too quickly forgotten.

For the vast majority of athletes…that final high school game will be their last time in competitive sports. A few will go on and play in college and then four years later, they too will close that chapter of their lives.  But the lessons learned through athletics will be with them for life! These lessons are some that could benefit our families, our marriages our businesses and our lives.

  • You learn the power in having a positive attitude

Every good coach or trainer will tell you that the athlete who wins is the one who believes he is going to win.  The single best predictor of success when two athletic teams have equal ability and talent is what is in their minds before they compete.  We hear it over and over again…but when will we start being diligent at putting positive things into our heart, mind and spirit.  It is the difference maker!

  • You learn that any team can win on any given day

What a great way to live – knowing that no matter what hand you have been dealt, no matter what the odds, no matter what the gloomy prediction – you can win, you can overcome and you can beat the odds!Unfortunatly this lesson can also work against you – that same softball team that won the championship on Saturday learned this lesson the hard way last year when they lost in an agonizing defeat to their biggest rivals who they had beat decisively several times earlier that same season.  They came in with the a relaxed attitude and a bit lazy, knowing that even if they had a bad game they could easily win the section championship.  They did not play their hardest, they made stupid mistakes, they were a bit arrogant and they were not on the offensive costing them their fourth consecutive section championship and the number one ranking in the state.  You have to live life on purpose, on the offensive and always ready to give it your all.

  • You learn that you must stay focused even under incredible pressure

This perhaps is one of the greatest lessons competitive sports can offer us.  When the pressures of life come, you must not fall apart but remain calm and focused.  With two outs and the team behind by one, the batter up was under an incredible amount of pressure.  If she had concentrated on that pressure instead of being focused on hitting the ball, she most likely would have failed.  In the same way when the third baseman, on the opposing team, was under extreme pressure trying to prevent the winning run from scoring, she lost her focus and overthrew the ball resulting in the game winning run.  How often do we do the same thing when under pressure with often disastrous results. Extreme pressure has destroyed many a marriage, caused businesses to close and contributed to many health ailments and damaged relationships all because we crumbled under the pressure instead of focusing on the fundamentals and keeping a cool head. 

  • You learn that the long hard practices pay off when you win the game

Face it – no one likes to practice.  It is hard work, causes pain, takes lots of time and energy and equires discipline.  It is for the love of the game that people spend hours daily practicing and training.  Yet 90% of an athletes time is spent in practicing and training.  But the 10% is worth it all.  This is not much different than our businesses.  No one loves the hard work, the phone calls, the rejection, the paperwork, the hours spent with seemingly no results….but we all love the pay days, the incentive trips and the rewards of being a business owner.  Our relationships often take lots of hard work, practice and self discipline too.  But what a great reward in the love of a child, a strong solid marriage and life long deep friendships. Almost every area of life takes a large measure of hard work, personal discipline and practice but the rewards are worth it all!

  • You learn that it takes more than individual talent – it takes teamwork

No matter how talented you are – you can’t win on your own.  In order to win a championship, you need a team who will work together towards a goal. A team that is committed to the same end. A team who will support, encourage, challenge and hold each other accountable.  In life, in business, in marriage and family – you need to be a team!  You cannot win on your own.

  • And on a Christian school team you learn that the most important thing is to glorify God!

Last year when the team lost the section championship and this year when they won – the game ending cheer was the same – “Good game (the opponents), thank you officials,  Glory to God!”  The most important thing we can do in our businesses, in our marriage and family life, in our jobs or careers, in our friendships and in our lives is to bring glory to God.  Whether we win or lose, whether we are number one in our field or just barely hanging in there, whether or marriages are strong and healthy or we are struggling to stay together…the most important thing is that we look to glorify the Lord in everything.  We don’t have control over all the circumstances in our lives (and those that we do have control over we need to do something about) but we do have control over our response to the circumstances.  Are you praising or cursing God? Are you calmly trusting His will or panicking and stressing about life? Will you give God glory no matter what the outcome of your current crisis? Is what you are doing glorifying God?

Congratulations Lady Eagles on your fourth Section Championship. May the lessons you have learned during your years as a high school athlete be a foundation for a life of excellence.

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Filed under Home Business, Inspiration, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations, Uncategorized

Ahaaa chooo!

I love living in the Central Valley of California!

I love the beautiful & moderate weather that we experience throughout the year.  I love the size of my city and that I can get anywhere I need to in 15 minutes or less – with no traffic.  I love the trees, foliage & flowers that grace the residential neighborhood I live in. I love the cool and comfortable evenings taking walks with my husband after enjoying a delicious date night dinner. I love that I can hop in the car with the kids and be at the beach enjoying the sand & surf or in the mountains camping or snow skiing in a short two hour drive. I love my church that I have attended faithfully for almost 25 years.  I love the dear friends that I have made here. I love my home. I love the beautiful downtown waterfront. I love that I can see Starbucks from my front yard! I could go on & on about the things I love about living in Stockton. But even with all the things I love, I have to tell you that for 6 weeks every year – I am miserable!  I sometimes even find myself loathing it!  You see by living in Stockton, California I can’t escape from the allergies that seem to affect many of our residents.  Before coming here as a college freshman I never had ANY allergies.   Then I experienced my first spring in the Central Valley and now I find myself every year sneezing, gagging, itching, and with watery eyes, a runny nose & a scratchy throat.  The only thing that gets me through is a daily dose (or two) of medicine and the knowledge that “this too shall pass.”

Recently as I was going through another box of kleenex I thought – “this is just how it is with our home based businesses”.  We all love them – the products, the mission, the friends we’ve made, the income opportunity, the trips, the prizes, the recognition, the tax write offs, the conventions.  We could all come up with a long list of things that we love about our businesses.  And yet often, just like the winds of spring blow in pollens, peat dust & allergens that make me miserable, we get “stuck” on the things that make us miserable about our businesses. We find ourselves dwelling on the things that are hard or the aspects of our business that we flat out don’t like. We sometimes even think that because these aspects of business that we should just pack up & move on!

How crazy is that?  Yet even as I type this many of you are considering “throwing in the towel” because…..

  • you don’t like making phone calls
  • you are uncomfortable with sales or recruiting
  • you can’t stand doing the paperwork
  • you are sick of  cancellations
  • you have a fear of rejection or coming across as being pushy
  • or put your own frustration in here______________________

Wouldn’t it truly be crazy for me to pack up my family & move from the place we call home & the people we have grown to love simply because of six short weeks? Yes…it would!  You know why?  Because no matter where I went in the world there would be things I disliked, things that were uncomfortable, things that were not “just right” and things that made me miserable.

And the same is true with your business. It would be crazy for you to quit something that you love simply because of a few hardships, obstacles or discouragements. No matter what you do in life, there will be things that cause you grief.

The better answer is:

1. List all the things you love about your business or life, review it often and be thankful for the things it has blessed you with. (just writing here all the things that love about the place I live has helped me get through each sneeze)

2. Take your medicine every day – what is the antidote to your personal business allergy?  The best medicine for most business “allergies” is a healthy dose of positive thinking.  Are you filling your heart & mind with positive, uplifting & encouraging things?  Are you surrounding yourselves with positive, uplifting & encouraging people?  I challenge you to spend 30 minutes everyday reading a motivational book or listening to a CD. I can guarantee it will do more to bolster your immune system to business “allergies” than any single other thing you can do.  

3. Remember that “this too shall pass”.  Things never seem as bad once we have gotten through them.  In fact, I know that by mid June I will hardly even remember how miserable I am today. What you are struggling with right now in your business, the things that are making you miserable will eventually pass.  You will survive them if only you don’t quit.  You will come up with great ways to overcome obstacles, or you will learn to deal with the hardships or you will simply hang in there (perhaps even suffering a bit) until you make it through the trials & move on to the triumphs!

And as we say after each sneeze – “God bless you” – every step of the way.



Filed under Attitude, Home Business, Monday Motivations

Leader Extraordinaire

My upline Cathy recently promoted to Executive Director with Creative Memories.  For a look at what makes an exceptional leader I’d like to share with you the letter I wrote for her in honor of her promotion. We should all aspire to such leadership.


Dearest Cathy,



CONGRATULATIONS on promoting to Executive Director! I could not be more excited for you as you achieve this CM milestone.  I am filled with so much joy and excitement, only wishing that I could be there in person to celebrate with you! Enjoy every moment of being the shining star.


As my upline in Creative Memories you have been amazing!  From the very beginning when I was not interested in pursuing CM as a business, you called me regularly just to check in.  You did not push me, but simply offered the opportunity to take my career to a new level through motivation, encouragement, enthusiasm and your personal business success.  When I did decide to jump in with both feet, you provided everything that was needed to soar to the top!  You were there to provide wisdom and advice from your years of experience as well as outstanding training. You role modeled a balanced and successful hard working business. You offered incentives and you showered me with praise, recognition and rewards.  You challenged me and cheered me on every step of the way.  When we hit bumps in the CM road, you offered a listening ear, supporting and being there every step of the way.  Your leadership is one to be commended, rewarded and recognized.


You are much, much more than simply my leader and upline in Creative Memories –


  • You are my friend.  We have shared so many wonderful times together over our CM journey.  We have laughed, jumped up and down, screamed with delight, danced, embraced and cried together.  We have gone on the most incredible incentive trips, had the time of our life at conventions, relaxed and scrapbooked together at retreats and enjoyed great fellowship in each others homes. The memories are warm and wonderful and will be forever cherished!
  • You are my sister in the Lord.  Our common faith in the Lord Jesus has been such a great blessing to me.  You are a woman of virtue and solid moral values. What a joy to have a leader whose priorities include serving the Lord.
  • You have given generously of your love to both me and my precious family – Cathy your love is truly the best gift that you have given me over these past 12 years. You have been there to welcome three new babies the Lord blessed us with. You were there as we scraped and struggled to start Jim Elliot Christian High School – always believing in the vision.  You have walked with us through some tough times as we have had to deal with the loss of our employment, major health issues and serious financial struggles. You have celebrated with us through many of our milestones – wedding anniversaries, birthdays, the start of JECHS, graduations and much more. You have been so kind and generous to the girls – showering them with little gifts, passing down your daughter’s fun toys and beautiful clothes and always making them feel special and welcomed to CM events.


Cathy, I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you in every way as you have blessed so many others.  As you continue to celebrate this promotion over the upcoming months may you be filled with great joy and fulfillment as you are given recognition of the leader you have been for years. Here’s to you!


With much love, appreciation and admiration,





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Filed under Home Business, Making a Difference, Monday Motivations

Spring has sprung

Just in from my morning walk and….Spring has Sprung!

Everything is fresh, clean & new – the warm sunny days and perfect cool evenings, the kids riding bikes at the park, the smell of BBQ’s firing up in neighbors backyards, shorts & cooler clothes coming down from the attic, flowers blooming & grass growing longer and greener. Yes, Spring is here…and I love it!

There is something refreshing about the change of season.  Just when we are getting tired of the rain (or snow!), the cold winter nights, or foggy mornings…. God in His incredible creativity brings us a new season to enjoy. It gives us energy & enthusiasm and a fresh new start and perspective on life.

Perhaps this morning you need “spring” to arrive in your home based business. Perhaps its been a long cold winter & you haven’t seen much “sun” in your business lately. Perhaps you need to see new, fresh green growth in your business, or you are ready for a major change, or you need to add some fun & play.

Why not officially declare today the start of Spring in your business and start a little –

  • Spring Cleaning

There’s nothing like a stack of paperwork, unfinished business, discontinued products or inactive customers to really bog down your business! Its time to clean up…..if you haven’t used it…throw it out! If you need to finish up a project – get going! If you have a bunch of customers who never respond – give them one last call and tell them your doing some “Spring cleaning” and you’d like to know if they are still interested in staying on your active mailing list. (If they say no….by all means remove them… WILL be relieved!). Have a Spring cleaning “sale” or “special” and get rid of that discontinued or overstocked products you have. (its a great way to get events on your calendar too by offering EXTRA free gifts that have just been collecting dust anyway!) What a great feeling to start fresh & clean! (While your “physically” cleaning up be sure to start with a clean heart attitude too. Throw out your past failures, excuses or disappointments with your business and start a new today!)

  • Gardening 

 The best thing for any of our businesses is to see a bit of green growth happening. It lifts the spirit and soothes the soul to see the growth of spring & the beautiful array of flowers that begin to sprout up everywhere. It brings joy & life to everything! The same is true as business owners – we need to cultivate NEW growth in our businesses. If you haven’t held an event in awhile, perhaps you need to get revitalized and renewed in your vision for your busness. Or perhaps its time to begin planting seeds to get a fresh new brand of clients at your workshops, or a new excited hostess, or the greatest of new growth, an excited, hopeful, energetic, full of dreams & vision new recruit. Or maybe its time to start that Aspiring leaders group you’ve been thinking about. (I guarantee that if only one new leader pops up into your garden…it WILL revitalize your business!)

  • Play a little

Have some fun! Don’t be so serious – do something spontaneous! Get out from behind the computer and enjoy the sunshine. Have lunch with your consultant friends just for the fun & fellowship. Start a “dream” album, faithbook or celebration album all about you! Do something new in your business that you would enjoy – have a customer Spring tea, or meet at a park (let the kids play) and take time to enjoy looking at your customer albums (and letting them look at yours), or hold a fun theme workshop for your closest friends where you crop along with them & renew your love of scrapbooking. Remember to enjoy life each day and everything it brings.

Here’s to a new fresh spring start in your business….have an incredibly beautiful & blessed day! 



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Filed under Home Business, Monday Motivations

It’s the deadline

I have a BIG deadline looming ahead of me that is forcing me to turn all my attention, effort and energy in that direction. In less than three weeks I am in charge of a Spring Dinner Auction for Jim Elliot Christian High School, that is their biggest fundraiser of the year. 

I am promoting, planning, preparing, soliciting donations, selling tickets and recruiting, training and leading over 50 volunteers!  

Deadlines are amazing motivators, don’t you think?  So for today’s Monday Motivation, I am reviving something I wrote five years ago about setting your own personal deadlines.  Here it is:

“I work better under pressure” 

Haven’t we all heard (as well as used) those words often in our lives?  The truth is we don’t necessarily work better under pressure BUT we certainly do WORK!  It seems like all we need to accomplish something in life is…..a deadline.

Think about it –

  • How many of you will finally start getting around to doing our taxes this next week?  It’s that April 15th deadline!
  • Why can’t we lose that extra weight until the invitation to the class reunion arrives in the mail?  It’s because we finally have a deadline!
  • When do our kids sit down & really study for that test or write their term paper?  The night before its due – the deadline!

We all have a tendency to work hard & accomplish the goal when under the pressure of a deadline.  Just this morning, I told my girls that if they got dressed, ate breakfast & finished all their chores before I got home from my doctor’s appointment that I would take them to the store to buy their summer sandals.  It was amazing!  What usually takes them over an hour with lots of prodding from Mom was accomplished in half the time & they were ready & waiting to receive their reward.  They had a deadline!

In business, I think we often fail to work hard & accomplish our goals because we lack a deadline.   But the bottom line is we are self employed.  No one will fire us or fail us if we don’t meet these deadlines.  We must have internal motivation, drive & desire to put a self imposed deadline on our  goals & dreams and then work hard to meet that deadline.

  • Deadlines provide us with a sense of urgency.  We feel that “pressure” to get things done….and get them done NOW!!  As a matter a fact I am feeling that same sense of urgency that a deadline provides right now -with less than three hours left of Monday. (can you believe I actually began writing the first lines early this morning?)
  • Deadlines give us extra energy.  Have you ever noticed that you can stay up most of the night and not even feel tired, before a big event and accomplish all sorts of wonderful things, simply because it has to be done by tomorrow.  The adrenaline of the deadline helps us to accomplish the seemingly impossible
  • Deadlines forces us to lay aside our excuses. When faced with a deadline we stop making excuses as to why we haven’t done something yet and we start looking for ways to do it.
  • Deadlines help us to focus. We are able to really concentrate on that one goal and not let anything distract us from meeting it.  We have the single-mindedness, determination and power that focus brings.

Begin today to set yourself a self imposed deadline to meet your business goals.

Set a deadline to schedule ___X___ number of events in the next month by this Friday. Call your upline or manager and tell them your goal.

Set a deadline to make five phone calls before you get to enjoy your morning coffee!

Set yourself a deadline to have your current family pictures in your album & journaled by National Scrapbook Day (what a great example you’ll be to your clients!) Email them & tell them that you’ll have it there to show them along with great ideas to complete simple & easy albums.

Set a deadline to promote to leadership in your company by ______________,2008.  Tell your spouse, your family, your friends, your upline and sidelines. 

Did you notice all these “self imposed” deadlines also included telling others?? The more people you tell the more it will feel like a “real” deadline. (and the more pressure you’ll put on yourself to meet the deadline!)

I had a self imposed deadline today, that when Joy was 6 weeks old, I would do two things – start back up writing Monday Motivations and go back to the fitness center!  I put it on my calendar and planned and prepared to do it, but I also told others.  For Monday Motivations I emailed & told everyone I’d be back  (no pressure there…..Ive already received several emails today asking if I had sent it yet!) and as for working out I shared my deadline with my friends, the owners of the center and my family. 

And as I sit here in the quietness of the late evening, with my muscles aching from my first workout in nine months, typing one handed as I nurse the dear baby, I have that sweet satisfaction that comes when you have accomplished your goal & met the deadline!


Here is that “dear baby” I was nursing when I wrote that Monday Motivatin. Joy just turned five in February!

I hope to be able to keep posting during the next three weeks before the BIG event (as it is a very enjoyable “break” for me) but if you begin to hear from me less, you’ll know why! It’s the deadline! 🙂

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Filed under Home Business, Monday Motivations

And the winner is….

I don’t usually watch the Academy Awards (or any television for that matter), but last night I caught bits and pieces of this grandiose event.

Why is it that I found myself getting misty eyed everytime the award winners got up on stage to accept their award? After all I don’t know these people personally nor have I even seen most of the films honored. (My two personal favorites in 2007 were –

Amazing Grace“Amazing Grace”  and

The Ultimate Gift“The Ultimate Gift”    neither of which received any Oscar nods but are FABULOUS movies that I highly recommend you see on DVD!)

No, my heart was stirred because it is very inspiring and touching to see others earn awards, be honored, or achieve a lifetime dream…..there is something simply magical about it. Perhaps it because we all have dreams and desires in our lives and for a small moment we can imagine accomplishing our goals, winning wonderful awards or achieving a lifetime dream.

Recently I had one of those magical moments where a longtime dream became a reality.  One of my passions is Christian education! I believe the impact that a Christian school and faithful Christian educators has on young people can change the world. I have seen the influence first hand as my husband and I have spent over two decades in this life changing ministry. Because of that I have always dreamed of being able to help provide scholarships for students who did not have the financial means to attend Christian schools yet wanted to be there. 

The one obstacle to this dream was… You see when you are in Christian education, more often than not your salary is…well let’s just say…”great is your reward in heaven!” 🙂

Just two weeks ago at the Jim Elliot Christian High School Founders Gala, my dream became a reality with the introduction of the Dan and Beth Lambdin Scholarship Fund!  I felt just like one of those Academy Award winners as I stood up in front of hundreds of people amidst the glamour and glitz of this fancy affair, dressed to the hilt and received a plaque announcing this fund that I had been dreaming of for years! It was glorious.

Dan and I are beaming after the scholarship fund announcement!

Why is it that many don’t dream at all, others just continue to dream with no results and some actually achieve their greatest dreams and desires? I believe those who dream, believe and achieve have some things in common:

1. They actually have a specific dream.

Those winning Oscars last night had a specific dream of winning that award. They knew that someday they wanted to be taking that coveted Oscar home. I’m sure many of them had actually visualized themselves up there accepting that honor. None of them had vague hopes or fuzzy fantasies. They knew they someday wanted to be at the top of their field and the “proof” of that would be their nomination or winning of an Oscar.

If you are going to achieve your greatest dreams they must be specific and measurable. They can’t be fuzzy or vague. You have to know exactly what you want. Seven years ago at the National convention for my home business (as I was receiving my Senior Directors Chair – another magical moment achieving a dream) we were challenged by the main stage speaker to write down our specific dream.  It was at that moment that I wrote down that I wanted to have a scholarship fund for JECHS students.

 What is your specific dream? (or dreams – if you are anything like me – you have many!) Take that first step and write them down today.

2. They tell others their dream

One of the single best thing you can do to move your dreams closer to reality is to tell others your dream!  While this is so simple, many people do not do it.  They keep their dreams to themselves, afraid of failure or of looking foolish to others. Telling people your dreams – propels you into action, holds you accountable  and helps solidify your belief in that dream!

I have told hundreds of people over many years my dream of having a scholarship fund.

3. They are committed.

No one achieves great things in life without a rock solid commitment to their dreams & desires. Everyone who won an Oscar was committed to their career. How can you tell what it is you are actually committed to in life? One simple formula:

Time = Commitment

Look a where you spend your time and I promise that is where your commitment lies. There is no way you can expect to have a successful business without putting in time (the same is true for your marriage, parenting or anything else you want to have success in.) It’s not that you can’t do ok or even accomplish a measure of success by just being involved in your career BUT you will never “win an Oscar” by just being involved – you must be committed. (my standard analogy here as to the difference between being “involved” or “committed”….a big yummy bacon & egg breakfast takes two animals…a chicken & a pig…the chicken is involved in making the breakfast, the pig is COMMITTED!)

4. They work hard!

Sorry….there is no way around it. Everyone who has accomplished anything great… hard. It takes sacrifice, sweat, shortness of breath, stretching out of your comfort zone and pain while you are working towards your goals & dreams. There is no easy road or short cut to rewards. As the popular saying goes – “no pain, no gain”.

5. They involve others in their dream.

Every one of those receiving Oscars thanked others – the people that helped them get to where they were – friends, family, co-workers, agents.  Not one of them attempted to say they did it on their own.  And likewise none of us will accomplish our dreams without the help, input, coaching, training and support of others.

The Dan and Beth Lambdin scholarship fund already has over $6,500 in it thanks to the generosity of others who believe in Christian education and believe in us!  And the scholarship fund will only continue as others join with us in donating money to help young people attend our school.  My personal goal is to provide 10 full scholarships and 20 partial scholarships each year. That translates to $100,000 – which may seem like a lot to you – but if just the folks who read my blog each week decided to contribute something we would be right there!  I keep dreaming BIG! 🙂

6. They stick with it.

Quitting is not an option. They are like super glue – holding fast to their dreams despite what is happening around them. No matter what disappointments, discouragement’s, or road blocks they had to endure, they did not quit. This tenacity and perseverance alone is one of the single most important qualities you can develop in your life to ensure your success!

It took seven years from the time I wrote down my dream of a scholarship fund for it to become a reality.  There were many roadblocks standing in the way, many discouraging days, many detours and times when I just couldn’t see how it was going to happen but I just kept pressing on, believing and working to make the dream a reality.

Are you ready to begin to make your dreams a reality?   

Can’t you picture it? Wouldn’t it be great? Your time to shine & sparkle like the stars!

Decide today what your dream is. Write it down, tell someone (I would love to hear your dream!) – then make the commitment, work hard, involve others & don’t quit! And soon you too will be hearing –

“And the winner is…YOU!”

PS – If you would like join me and contribute to to the new Dan and Beth Lambdin Scholarship Fund to help students attend a fabulous Christian High School and have their lives influenced to go out and positively impact the world – you would bless me beyond measure!  Just click here to donate to this fund!  Or you can send a check to (please specify it is for the Lambdin Scholarship Fund):

Jim Elliot Christian High School

2695 West Vine St

Lodi, CA 95242

You will receive a tax deductible receipt.

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Filed under Goals & Dreams, Home Business, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations

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

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

You have to want it!

Greetings to you all on this lovely crisp, clear, cool autumn morning!  What a beautiful day. 


I had a wonderful weekend celebrating my daughter Rebekah’s Honor Star crowning.  After three years of very hard work & determination she completed a rigorous program that included earning 27 badges, memorizing countless scriptures & the books of the Bible, reading the entire New Testament, completing many service projects and much more! She is one of only four girls from our local church and a hundred girls from the Northern California/Nevada district that achieved this accomplishment. I was so very proud of her.



It got me to thinking…of the thousands of girls who start out and participate in this program….what is it that makes only a small percentage of them achieve this honor?  Everything is available for them to be successful:

  • The program is hard but the plan is all laid out and easy to follow. 
  • There are teachers and sponsors available to encourage, assist and keep the girls on task.
  • There are weekly meetings to help them complete their assignments.
  • There are even fabulous incentives — what young girl do you know who would not want to wear a long beautiful white dress, be crowned with a sparkling jewel laden tiara, be given flowers and escorted by her handsome prince of a father while being recognized on a local & district level?
  • And of course there is the wonderful feeling 0f pride for accomplishing a goal. 

And yet even with all that, only a few who begin the program end up being crowned.

So what is it exactly that makes some “go for it” and others pass it by or quit in the middle??? I am sure that there are many reasons but one stood out crystal clear to me this weekend.  All the girls receiving their rewards…..

Wanted it desperately!

There is a lot involved in achieving any accomplishment but it can often come down to sheer determination and will.  Do you really want to achieve your goals in life?  Whether they are business goals, personal goals, financial goals, physical goals, or family goals – do you really want to accomplish them?

As a high school field hockey player (on a very competitive team)…..we use to say this cheer before every game…. “You’ve got to want it to win it & we want it more!  S — C — O — R — E…..score team score!”

I grew up with a Mom who use to say on a regular basis…. “Where there’s a will…there’s a way!”

And as a high school teacher when counseling a young person who was frustrated that life was not going the way they wanted it to I would often say…. “Make it happen!”

A lot of what we achieve or do not achieve in life boils down to this:

Do we really want it?

Are we willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen?

What do you really want in your life? What do you really want to do, have or accomplish? (staying home with your kids, private school tuition, losing those extra pounds, stopping that bad habit, having a fulfilling marriage, starting your own business, working at your “dream job”, getting a degree, traveling, additional income to “make ends meet” or for some “extras” in life….the list goes on & on!)

If you really want it… need to put your determination and will into making it happen!

Start today! I know you can!


Filed under Determination, Goals & Dreams, Home Business, 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

It’s a brand new day!

It is a Monday. It is the 1st day of October. It is the beginning of fall.

As I turn the calendar over to a brand new day, week, month & season…..I can’t help but feel that in a small way today is a new beginning, a fresh start, a chance to do new things in a new way, a blank slate with no mistakes on it.  One of the things I loved about being raised in a military family & moving every few years growing up, was the ongoing opportunity to start over & begin again.  As we pulled into our new city, I remember thinking that I could be & do anything I desired.  I had no reputation to live up to or to try to change or overcome.  No one knew my personality or preferences, my strengths or weaknesses, my failures or successes.  No one even knew my name.  I could start completely over and become anyone that I wanted to be.

Now the bottom line is that no matter where we go, our basic God given personality does not change and we still operate in our areas of strength and still have weaknesses to deal with.  But….within those areas there is still a great deal of room for personal growth & change and we can always work on our character flaws as well as trying new and different things.  As I sat in the back of our latest station wagon  (you rember the ones with the wood laminate paneling & the back seat that faced the rear…oh the memories!) driving across the country I had lots of time to think about my life and what I wanted it to look like.  I remember consciously deciding to be more friendly & outgoing with one move, to be a better student with another and to overcome negative peer pressure and be a leader rather than a follower after moving in high school. I even changed my name several times, as is evidenced by school work my mother saved for me. (When you are named Virginia Elizabeth & your parents called you Beth…I had many options to go by new names….my real first name, my formal middle name or variations of either…Ginny,Gin,  Liz, Lizzy, Betty, Betsy  etc…. It was quite amusing when those first friends would come to the door & ask for “Ginny” and no one in my house had any idea who that was!)

Who is it that you want to be today?  What do you want to change about your life?

Are you tired of that extra 20, 30 or 40 pounds hanging around your waistline and want to change your physical appearance, become healthier or fit into the closet full of “skinny clothes”? You can begin a healthier lifestyle today – eating less, exercising more. (darn it! It really is that simple…what are we waiting for?) Forget your past failures…it is a new day!

Do you want to finally get that home business up & going and accomplish your personal goals?  It is a new week! Start making those phone calls, marketing your services, brush up on your skills, make a business plan and begin to work that plan now.

Is there something about your character that you want to change? Do you want to stop gossiping, complaining, worrying, being negative, mean spirited, crass or condescending?  Are you arrogant, argumentative, short tempered, stubborn, selfish, a perfectionist, always playing the victim, dishonest or lazy?  (ouch! That’s an overwhelming list that I find myself “guilty as charged” in many areas.)  We can begin now to improve our character.  Pick something that you want to work on and ask for assistance from family or friends who can point out to you when you fall back into this sin. I have found one of the best ways to overcome character flaws is to actively do the exact opposite. For example – instead of gossiping say something complimentary about the person you were about to talk about, instead of complaining look for & talk about the good & positive things in life, instead of being a perfectionist let things go on purpose, when you feel like being lazy force yourself up off the couch and get going on a project.

Are you wanting to be a better wife and mother? Do you want to be purposeful about having a “dream marriage” and raising children who will grow up confident knowing they are loved, valuable and have a great purpose to make a difference in their corner of the world?  Today is the day!  Text message your dear darling hubby at work & tell him you love & appreciate him and you can’t wait for him to come home. Hug your kids, pray for them and begin planning how you can help shape their lives through training, teaching & role modeling the qualities you want them to have. 

Do you desire to know the Lord more intimately? Do you want to develop a daily discipline of prayer & reading the Bible? This is a lifetime quest and battle for everyone who loves the Lord and wants to know Him. The amazing thing is that God Himself is just waiting to love us, speak to us, teach us & help us with each & every new day!  Read Lamentations 3:22-26    The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks  Him.

Yes, it is a bright new day! A sparkling new week! A brand new month! A fresh new season!   Take some time today to think about what you want your life to look like and what you need to begin to do to accomplish that.  Put aside the past with all its mistakes and failures and begin a fresh new life today full of hope for the future that it will be all that you dream & desire.

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

A bit of inspiration

For almost a decade I have been writing motivational messages on a Monday.  Why?  Strangely, it began because I was not feeling very motivated to accomplish much of anything.  My home based business had just taken a few disappointing turns, my household seemed to be in a constant state of chaos (I can’t imagine why with 4 very active young children), we were financially stressed beyond belief and it was just one of those Mondays that the Carpenters use to sing about – “Hangin’ around, nothing to do but frown, rainy days & Mondays always get me down”

As I sat at my desk staring blankly at my computer screen I came across an article written about a very successful business woman in my field.  As I read not only about her impressive financial achievements but her outstanding leadership and her family priorities, I became inspired!  It was not a new article to me. In fact I had read it several times over the previous year but at that moment it sparked something in my heart and mind that spurred me to action.  I instinctively knew that if I needed some motivation & inspiration to “get up & get going” that there were probably many others in my sphere of influence – family, friends, team members and clients – that needed some motivation too.  Instead of hoping they would happen to run across something inspiring, I decided to send them a bit of motivation via their email inbox.  The response was overwhelmingly positive.  What began with an email to several dozen people, all of whom I knew personally, grew to several thousands of people from all walks of life and has recently resulted in a blog web site that will hopefully inspire, encourage, motivate & bless countless others.

Isn’t it amazing what a bit of inspiration can accomplish?

Inspiration has built great cathedrals, designed awesome works of art and composed musical masterpieces. Inspiration has invented wonders, began companies and made millionaires. Inspiration has caused wrongs to be made right, cures to be found and brought hope to the helpless.  Inspiration has established institutions, created amazing ideas and brought unity.  Inspiration has overcome the odds, broken the record, fought the unbeatable foe and made many a champion.  Inspiration has even resulted in love, sweet precious babies and 50 year wedding anniversaries.  Inspiration has brought dreams to life!

It cannot be denied, true inspiration moves us to action.  I know you are all thinking…..”If a bit of inspiration can do all that… can I get some?” It really is simple just discover what you are inspired by and be sure that your life is immersed in the inspirational.

Personally I am inspired by –

  • a person who is achieving greatness no matter how big or small –  I feel challenged & motivated when I read about, watch, see or know someone who is doing something significant with their lives.
  • an encouraging comment on a job well done – It inspires me to do more when I am appreciated and when others notice my gifts, talents & strengths (we ought to all try this inspiration on our children!)
  • zest, passion & enthusiasm –  When I see someone truly passionate & enthusiastic about their life, beliefs & activities it makes me want to jump on board! I try to spend the majority of my life around these types of individuals. (even if it is via motivational speakers on CD or DVD)
  • those with disabilities who overcome amazing odds –  We are all disabled in some way & those whose physical or mental disabilities do not stop them from achieving are great inspirations for me to get it in gear. This recent video sent to me by a dear friend who has a daughter with Downs Syndrome was inspirational…watch it!
  • music and media – I have often heard a song played that has stirred my heart and changed my attitude or even spurred me to action. Music has an incredible emotional power. I also have often been inspired to do something by a message in a movie. (most recently The Ultimate Gift – an inspirational must own movie!)
  • financial rewards – I am highly motivated by what money can do for myself & others.  I have many plans & dreams for my life as well as organizations, ministries and people I would love to bless in big ways.  It inspires me to work hard, be creative, innovative and take risks.
  • Gods Word, love and creation – perhaps this should have been at the top of the list (although they are not in any particular order).  I am inspired in every way when I read the Word of God. It challenges, motivates & moves me to action.  His love is amazing and His creation (especially babies and the beach) is constantly awe inspiring and leading me to love others, to live an abundant life, to have joy, to create, to speak and to write.

So I immerse myself in the inspirational and find that most of my life I am truly inspired and moved to action!  May you too find your inspiration and immerse yourself in it.


Filed under Attitude, Home Business, Inspiration, Monday Motivations

After this day

In honor of the bright, talented, goal setting, driven, intense, persuasive, strong willed, lovely, going to change the world  #4 Lambdin lady  – Rebekah – who is turning 12 years old tomorrow, I am posting an updated Monday Motivation that I wrote seven years ago shortly after her 5th birthday. It is very timely in my own life as I am currently saying “after this day” in a couple areas of my own life.  Here it is from October 2000.

This morning I was snuggling in bed with my 5 year old, Rebekah, who wants to break her life long habit of…sucking her thumb! 

While we were laying there talking she put her head down on the pillow & popped her thumb in her mouth.  rebekah1.jpgI gently reminded her that she had made a commitment to stop sucking her thumb on her birthday a few weeks back.  She pulled her thumb out of her mouth, smiled wryly at me and said with confidence “Oh Momma…I will stop sucking my thumb…..after this day, rebekah2.jpgand then promptly put that thumb right back in her mouth.  After quizzing her about why she was putting it off, why she didn’t just stop today and then going over all the compelling reasons as to why she should stop, she finally said with exasperation “it’s toooooo hard, Momma!”

Hmmmm, now doesn’t that sound familiar? Isn’t that pretty much what we all do when something is  just to hard or will take to much time, effort & energy?  We tell ourselves we will do it – “after this day”.  What types of things are you putting off doing? Do any of these hit home with you?

  • going on that diet or exercising regularly & eating healthy
  • starting that home based business (or really beginning to actually work at the one you’ve already started)
  • getting on a budget or having a financial plan and sticking to it
  • doing something with our precious photographs (you know the ones that you say are so important that they are first thing you’d save in a fire or flood?)
  • finally quitting smoking, drinking, gossiping, overeating, complaining (or whatever your bad habit or vice is…we all have them)
  • getting together with, writing a letter or calling that old dear friend of ours who we have not connected with recently
  • writing those long overdue thank you notes
  • beginning to work toward achieving that personal dream you have in your heart
  • volunteering your time or giving your money to that organization you really believe in
  • going to church, joining that Bible study or spending consistent time in the Word and prayer
  • being bold and opening my mouth and sharing my faith with those who need the Lord
  • mending that broken relationship or asking forgiveness
  • being purposeful about creating a meaningful family life & raising children who have your values, morals & faith
  • _______________________________ (list what you are putting off until “after this day”)

But unfortunately, too often for many of us “after this day” never comes.  Saying or thinking we will do things “after this day” just helps us to justify the fact that we are not doing what we say we want or need to do! It gives us a false hope that perhaps someday we really will.  Telling ourselves “after this day” pacifies us just like Rebekah’s thumb pacifies her.  

Our “after this day” often sounds like this –

  • after….this crazy, busy, out of control week (month, season or even year)
  • after….my kids start school (go back to school, get out of school, graduate from school or leave home)
  • after….I get organized (settled down, clean my house or office desk)
  • after….I have this baby (the next baby or the last baby)
  • after….the holidays (my birthday, vacation or that special event)
  • after….I get that job (quit that job, finish that assignment or retire)
  • after…everything is perfect! (“when the moon is in the seventh house & Jupiter aligns with Mars”  to quote a popular 70’s song that often makes me laugh at myself  & others when we make crazy excuses that we are waiting for just the right time!)
  • after…..____________________(fill in the blank with your favorite reason to put off something)

Of course occasionally it is appropriate to wait or put off something until a better time but more often than not it is simply just an excuse to not do something or at least get started in that direction.  Let’s get honest with ourselves today and first decide what is it that you REALLY want to do.

Do you really want to lose that weight & live a healthier life?  Do you really want to make extra income, have less stress and be able to enjoy some financial freedom that owning/working a business, budgeting or planning can bring you?  Would you love to have your photos and memories organized, preserved and available to be easily enjoyed regularly? Are you tired of bad habits, character flaws or unhealthy lifestyles controlling you?  Do you long to have restored relationships with loved ones? Do you want to have the personal fulfillment & blessing of giving of your time, talent or treasure to a worthy cause?  Do you need to be in a growing relationship with God? Do you want to live a meaningful life and pass on your values, morals & faith to your children?  Do you have a dream or goal that often wells up in your heart and mind that you would love to see become a reality?

What is it that you want to do that you keep putting off until another time?  Perhaps it is time to STOP saying  “after this day” and start saying TODAY IS THE DAY!  Forget the past failures, present hardships and put away the many excuses. Begin this very day to do the things you need to do to move you closer to accomplishing your life goals & your dreams! 

Here’s to starting….TODAY!

2007 update:  Rebekah did eventually stop sucking her thumb but not until she was forced to by the orthodontist who put a palate expander in the roof of her mouth.  She was nine years old by that time and had to suffer the pain & problems of extensive dental work in part because of her “after this day” decision.  There is almost always some type of consequence to putting off important things in our lives until “after this day”.  A life lesson that has hopefully been learned well so she can avoid in the future having an “after this day” mentality.

She is now a twelve year old and a tenacious “go getter”!  She is all about planning, working & accomplishing her goals & dreams.  And her attitude is always….Let’s do it NOW. Here is her current “short list” of things she wants to do and/or accomplish –

  • Start her own business this year (actually 2 different businesses – a “Moms morning out” and a trash can cleaning business)
  • Make lots of money (she wants to buy a high quality digital camera, travel, add to her beauty product collection, give money to missions and save.)
  • Travel to Hawaii & Texas in 2008
  • Glorify God by being kind & compassionate to others
  • To consistently help the homeless & hungry by having fast food gift cards & water in the car ready to pass out at any given time.

Rebekah – You go girl! Happy Birthday

Photo by Sallee Photography

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Filed under Goals & Dreams, Home Business, Monday Motivations, Time Management

File under: What was I thinking?

 What was I thinking??

Have you ever muttered those words or had them flash across your brain like a neon light?  I have had a knack for doing a few not so brilliant things in my life where those words were not just said or thought by me, but by many others as well.  A few examples (at the risk of seeming like a big idiot) –

Slicing a 1 inch hole in my knee with a pair of manicure scissors while attempting to cut my toenails. (and I still have the scar to prove it!)

Holding a metal ruler with my mouth while needing two hands to do something else & then banging it on the table….shoving it back into my throat & cutting it severely…….ahhhhhhhhh!! (didn’t Mom always tell you not to put things in your mouth?)

Teaching a high school class a day after my due date while having contractions 3 minutes apart! (my water broke minutes after leaving the class..that would have been a great deterrent to teen pregnancy!)

Deciding I could handle the black triangle ski run (even though I was not an expert skier) and after crashing & tumbling half way down the steep hill…taking off my ski’s and walking the rest of the way down. (To the condesending glances of those riding the ski lift above me)

Ok….that’s enough! (Believe me there are plenty more but I’ll save some of my pride)

Then there are other moments, seasons & decisions in my life that I could have filed under the – “What was I thinking?” category (& certainly everyone else was thinking that!)….however, while they seemed crazy to others & even at times to myself, they were really steps of faith…overlooking the obstacles and realities of my life & seeing the vast potential of the opportunity ahead of me while relying on God to give me the strength to move forward with His supernatural power & wisdom.

The time I signed a “part time” contract (with a part time salary) to do many different full time jobs at the high school where I was employed – guidance counseling, admissions director, student activity director, yearbook & journalism advisor and leadership teacher. (They hired 5 different people when I left!)

What was I thinking?

I often wonder that exact thing but that season of life resulted in a wealth of experience & knowledge that has benefited me greatly in everything I have done since that time.  The relationships I developed during those years with my students, their parents & the staff has enriched my life like none other.  In fact rarely a day goes by where I do not come face to face with the reality of those relationships.  It was a good thing that I wasn’t thinking or I would have missed out on this awesome blessing!

Then there was the time I decided to begin my own home based business at a period in my life when I had four children….whose ages were…. 6, 3, 18 months and a newborn!

What was I thinking?

I wasn’t thinking! (and who is when they are postpartum & have several tiny ones under foot…you don’t have time to think, your brain is in a fog & you are just trying to survive!)  However, that business was and is a huge blessing to my life.  Not only was I able to provide a much needed income for my growing family but I learned to blend my family with my business and we all benefited greatly.  Here eleven years later those children are 17, 14, 131/2, and 11 (and there are three more now – 8, 4 and the baby) – the skills they have developed and the confidence, as well as awesome people skills are a direct result of being involved in Mommy’s business.  I’m glad I didn’t do much thinking about my life situation and obstacles!

Another example is when my dear darling husband and I were facing an unprecedented financial crisis in our lives & we had no income. Instead of taking one of the many job opportunities that came our way, we decided to “live by faith” and start a much needed Christian high school in our area. Other than a handful of people everyone else thought we had lost our minds!

What were we thinking?

We were only thinking of the incredible vision & dream we had of a fabulous, thriving high school that would touch the lives of young people in such a way that they would in turn go out & make a huge and positive impact on the world! And am I ever glad we didn’t do much thinking or perhaps the school (where my husband loves serving as Chaplain, where one daughter has graduated from & is already out impacting the world, another daughter has just begun there & two girls follow close behind in the next few years) may not even exist. I am thankful that we didn’t let our logical thinking process drown out our faith!

What are you thinking about doing?

Is there something looming in front of you that seems bigger than life, impossible or perhaps just too crazy to even try? Does it keep coming to the forefront of your mind but you want to write it off as insane?

Sometimes you need to stop thinking. Sometimes analyzing every side of a situation can paralyze you and keep you from jumping into something that just might be life changing! Sometimes you need to ignore the voices inside your head or around you from others and do something that might be “outside the box”, different, crazy or even impossible to everyone but God.

I find myself once again on the threshold of a “What are you thinking?” moment and getting ready to jump into something that is a bit crazy with obstacles to overcome and realities to deal with.  But I will press forward with Gods strength and power in the hope that when I look back on my life I will rejoice that I didn’t “think” too much but rather jumped in and experienced incredible, life changing  & miraculous things!

What are you thinking about?


Filed under Attitude, Home Business, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Lifes Challenges, Monday Motivations, Time Management