Category Archives: Inspiration

21 gifts of guidance for my 21 year old

How is it that I have a 21 year old daughter? I can remember so clearly my own 21st birthday – I went to my senior classes at the University of the Pacific during the day and then was joined by several college friends for a small backyard birthday barbecue at Pastor John Butrin’s home that was also the culmination of my summer internship at Lincoln Neighborhood Church. I was loving my Lord and my life, surrounded by dear friends and excited about my future plans! I can still remember that day with joy in my heart.

Today my own daughter is turning 21. She too is a young, energetic and enthusiastic student attending The King’s College in New York City. She has many good friends and will likely be celebrating her birthday tonight surrounded by those who love her. She has a bright future ahead of her and I could not be more thrilled with her character, her life choices and her commitment to her faith.

For her 21st birthday instead of a gift of “things” I want to give her my gift of guidance as she reaches this new milestone in life that here in the USA signifies a “coming of age” or adulthood. (although being the counter-culture family that we are…we have raised our children to enter adulthood much younger so in some ways this is just another birthday)

Michelle…here are 21 “gifts of guidance” from your Mom who knows that you desire to have a life that is lived to its fullness, a life that is lived well and a life that makes an impact on the world! May these 21 gifts encourage you, challenge you and inspire you to live that life!

1.  Never leave your first love – Jesus. He is the most faithful friend, the best big brother, a passionate intimate beloved and warm, loving father.

2. Never stop believing in and meditating on the inspired inerrant Word of God…even with all the facts on your side…it still takes faith.

3. Be thankful every day for the firm foundation you received growing up in a committed Christian home – it is truly an amazing blessing.

4. Let God be God…because we are not. The sooner you relinquish to Christ complete control of your life and your future the better off you will be.

5. Flee temptation…never was there a better word from God…and yet we often ignore it because sin feels good, tastes good and looks good. It never turns out to be good. Run!

6. Remember it is not the hard things that happen to you along the way that matter…it is how you respond. God is more interested in your response.

7. You will truly look back at the tough times in life and be so thankful for what they brought you…so why not just be thankful in the midst of them?

8. God wants to meet all of your needs – physical, emotional, spiritual, mental – so just let Him.

9. Do not believe it when people say “it can’t be done” or “that will never happen”  – with God all things are possible!

10. Everyday God puts divine appointments right in front of you – don’t get distracted and miss them – it is one of the greatest delights of life.

11. Give, give, and give some more….you will simply be given even more to turn around and give more! Give to everyone who asks of you – your time, your talent or your treasure!

12. Wait for a man who is passionately committed to our God and who will be a life partner and together you will do more for the kingdom of God than you could have ever accomplished alone – there is nothing better than being married to a man who shares your love for the Lord and your life purpose.

13. Worship with full abandon…sing loudly, turn up the music, dance, clap, shout, raise your hands, bow before him, pour out your heart in praise, let His creation awe and inspire you. This is what you were created for!

14. Adopt!

15. Don’t buy into Christian “worldy wisdom” on children, safety, dating & relationships, retirement, material possessions, sharing your stuff or “praying about things” that are clearly commanded to do in His word.

16. Don’t waste time in trivial pursuits – if it is not about God, relationships, people, service or ministry – do not give much of your life to it.

17. Pursue friendships with those who will encourage you, challenge your faith and take you to a deeper level. (skip the shallowness of talking to your girlfriends about where to get your nails done, how much those jeans cost, why they are mad at their husbands, shopping or the latest “void of value” TV show).

18. Be faithful and true to your word, to the body of Christ, to your marriage, to your family & friends.

19. If you see a need…meet it! (you don’t have to be “called”)

20. If you are continually looking for ways to love and serve others…you will never have time to be depressed, bored or critical.

21. Compared to eternity…life here is so very, very short. Invest your life in eternity!

To my amazing, awesome, beautiful, strong, tenacious, determined, creative, passionate, purposeful, lovely, gracious, compassionate, enthusiastic, helpful, influential, Christlike first-born daughter….Happy 21st Birthday! I love you so much Michelle-my-belle! I know that God has great plans for your life and I will be cheering you on!

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Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Faith, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons, My "take"

Longing for My Home

Well I have been home from my annual beach holiday for over a week now and I can’t stop wishing I was still there!  It doesn’t help that every time we pulled up into our driveway last week, my 2-year-old boy would yell out – “Not this house Mama…our beach house!”  I feel your pain lil’ guy!

Now don’t get me wrong I love my home.  I really do.  It is cozy & comfortable. I specifically love:

  • the big (by California standards) back yard
  • the 15 foot wide sliding glass door that lets in so much light
  • the location of the dining area that allows us to add extra tables and seat 16-18 people together for a meal
  • our remodeled (thanks to State Farm “being there” for us) kitchen
  • our extended family/school/office room (that has a very special place in my heart as it was expanded through the efforts of many friends & family giving of their time, talent & treasure, every time I walk in that room I feel loved & cherished)  

I love the location of our home right in the middle of town close to everything and I love Stockton (yes, that is right I do love this city….if you missed that post you can read it here) Not too mention, we have a lifetime of precious memories, hundreds of treasured friends and a school ministry here that bring us all great joy. I really do love my home and where I live!

And yet….I long to be at the beach!

The beach is amazing, miraculous & wonderous! 

The beach sunsets are divine!

The beach house is spectacular!

 My bed where I get to fall asleep listening to the ocean waves, watch the sun rise over Monterey Bay, sleep in whenever I wish and at times even stay in bed on a rainy day

 The beautiful view from my bed

 the view from the living room..it is almost like you are on the shore

 the porch where I enjoy my morning coffee, many a lunch and watch the sunsets each evening

 even cleaning the kitchen is a joy when you can look out at the ocean while you are doing it!

I love everything about being at the beach – the rhythm and roar of the ocean waves, the smell of the salt air, the soft sand between my toes,  the vast expanse of blue skies during the day & brilliant stars at night, Capitola Village, the Boardwalk, Bloomsbury Tea House, the many fine resteraunts especially The Crows Nest & Bittersweet Bistro and the salt water taffy.  I love it all!  But even more than the actual location.  I love who I am and what I do when I am at the beach for what I affectionately call my…”Beach Holiday” (for the past 8 years I have been able to have an extensive amount of time at a beach house rental on the California coast….and lest anyone think that we are wealthy or own a beach house let me share that this “holiday” rental has been 100% financed through my home based scrapbooking venture)

For a month I am away from it all….the daily grind of appointments, car pools, athletic events, school activities, classes, work, phone calls, messages, junk mail and more. I even take time away from making dinner (although I do cook for pleasure at the beach) and doing chores.  I rarely get in the car and some days I stay in my jammies all day long. There is no schedule, no agenda and no pressure.  It is my personal “heaven on earth”.

  • I take long walks on the seashore most every day

  • I whisper my love to my children & soak in their physical presence

  • I play games – Hearts, Mexican Train Dominos and Nerts (and I win! Had to say that girls)

  • I pray and worship the Lord
  • I enjoy relaxing with a cup of tea while reading for pleasure

  • I drink in the nightly sunsets and marvel at God’s glory

  • I hang out on the beach…digging holes, making sand castles, laying in the sun, playing ball with my kids

  • I watch good movies, read interesting articles on the computer, check out magazines and I scrapbook
  • I dance and sing loudly and act silly with my kids!

  • I savor my coffee and enjoy fabulous foods. I eat lots of ice cream!

  • I take bubble baths, get foot massages and put on facial treatments
  • I write love letters to my darling husband and count the days down until he arrives for our romantic weekends together

  • I stay up as late as I want, sleep in & take naps
  • I celebrate! Valentines Day, Birthdays & the anniversary of our engagement

  • I nurture relationships with family & friends
  • I reflect, think, dream & write
  • I stop doing and just “be”. I breathe. I relax. I enjoy.

Even as I write this blog entry and look over the hundreds of photos, that barely capture the essence of this beach holiday, I begin to wish I was back there. I feel such a longing in my heart to return to my personal paradise.

This weekend as I was running into friends that I have not seen in a month they each asked me how the beach had been and several wondered if I was glad to be back home.  I thought about that question and answered honestly that while I love being home….life here cannot compare to the beach holiday . As I spoke those words that still small voice of the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear…”That, Beth,  is how you should feel about heaven”. 

Wow!  What a revelation to me. I have always said that when it is my time to go, I am ready to meet the Lord and spend eternity in heaven, but I have never really longed for it. (ok maybe on some particularly hard days of sickness, troubles or excessive financial stress I have longed for it but not regularly) I have been quite content with my life here on earth. It is a good life and I do love it. If I am completely honest I thought of heaven as simply a “bonus” after living & loving here on earth. I believed that it would be awesome and wonderful but I didn’t long for it, hope for it and look forward to it the way I do with the Beach Holiday. Until now…

If God can make a creation like the one we live in that is “fallen” and scarred by sin…how much more will heaven be amazing, miraculous, beautiful,wonderous, spectacular & divine. 

  •  The beach I love so dearly will have nothing on the new heaven & new earth that God has prepared for us (“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not even entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9)
  • The multi million dollar beach home that is so much more spacious & luxurious than anything I may ever live in is nothing compared to the mansions that God has awaiting us.  (“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John14:2 )
  • The glorious, fulfilling, joyful and fun season I have at the beach each year will not light a candle to what I can look forward to forever in eternity.  (“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 64:11)
  • The rest, peace and freedom from stress I experience is just a small minute fraction of the true everlasting rest and peace I get to look forward to with the Lord.   (“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” John 14:27)
  • And if you read the description of heaven in the Bible besides the promise of no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying and no more pain, it describes precious stones, pearls, cities of pure transparent gold, pure water clear as crystal, a tree of life that bears a different fruit each month and a banquet table to feast upon….and that is just the beginning.

Now that is exciting to me. That is something to look forward to and long for!

Longing for my beach holiday each year does not mean that I do not enjoy my life here with all its relationships, good times and memorable moments because I do live life to its fullest the 11 months that I am not at the beach.  However, throughout the year I do think about it, look ahead for it, get excited about it, tell others about it and get ready for it which all bring me happiness as well. Longing for heaven should be the same.

 And the greatest thing about heaven is not only will it be my “forever” Beach Holiday it will also be my home! 

If you are unsure that you have this amazing, beautiful, miraculous, wonderous, spectacuular and divine eternal life to look forward to I would love to share with you my hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.

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Filed under Attitude, Faith, Inspiration, Life Lessons

Birthday Blessing to my love

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Dearest Dan,

 I pray that your special day is blessed beyond measure!

  • May the Lord your God pour out to you His abundant love, grace, faithfulness, joy and peace.
  • May your students both near & far affirm your calling to young people and the influence you have had in their lives.
  • May your co-workers at JECHS encourage, support and praise you as you minister together for God’s kingdom
  • May your friends remember you with kind words, appreciation and laughter
  • May your family share their heartfelt sentiments of how much they love, support and are proud to call you their son and brother
  • May your children shower you with love, hugs and kisses and may you bask in the joy and contentment of their complete adoration and respect of you…their awesome Daddy.

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I am blessed by you each & every moment of my life. You are amazing and truly the best! I know I have told you this before but the Lord truly shined down upon me when he gave you to me as my closest friend, my faithful husband, my hard working partner in everything we do and the true love of my life. May a portion of how you have blessed others come pouring out to you today as you celebrate another year of life.

I love you!

Always,

Beth

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Oh Happy Day!

Today is a happy day!

Sixteen years ago today, my eldest daughter Michelle attended a children’s outreach service at our church and at the end she walked the aisle and gave her heart to the Lord Jesus as her Savior & Lord.  I can clearly remember sitting with her in the back of a dimly lit sanctuary along with Dan & her baby sister Amy as we watched a puppet show that shared the simple message of salvation –

  1. God loves you more than you can ever know (to the moon & back) & He wants to be your friend
  2. You are away from God because of  the  “bad” things you do
  3. God sent Jesus, His only son to the earth to die (take your “time out” or spankin’) for your sins
  4. If you believe in Him and speak out of your mouth that Jesus is your Lord….you will be His friend  & get to live forever!

When they asked the kids to raise their hands if they wanted Jesus…Michelle’s hand shot up with no hesitation and she and her daddy walked to the altar where she prayed.  I was bouncing Amy in the back of the sanctuary with tears of joy rolling down my face as I watched my child trust in my Savior.  Yes…..Oh happy day!

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Having myself been raised in a Christian home and never remembering a time that I did not believe in Jesus (although I clearly remember a life changing event as a teenager when I fully committed my life to Him), we wanted to be sure to memorialize this moment for each of our children…knowing that while there would be different levels of knowledge & faith as they grew and matured this would always be the foundational point of their spiritual lives…the moment they first believed.  So we celebrate each and every year the day that they trusted in Jesus for the  first time.  

5969_102477437661_633092661_2131007_1051612_nToday Michelle has a vibrant & strong faith in her Lord that she strives to “live out loud” each day of her life… and nothing brings me greater joy! Oh Happy Day!

 

 

 

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Filed under Faith, Family Traditions, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Parenting

How does your garden grow?

This summer my sweet 10 year old Grace decided she wanted to start a garden.  Being the homeschooling Mom that I am…I said,  “Great! This can be your summer science project.”  (my motto – everything in life is school!)  With that she began to research what might grow best in our backyard, purchased all the things she needed for her garden and began the hard work of weeding the area and preparing the soil for planting.

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Besides her research on the Internet, her daddy helped provide some of the labor, her sisters cheered her on with support, her Aunt Caroline gave her the wisdom of her experience (which her parents completely lacked) and even Daniel chipped in to help start her garden!

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Since we got going a little late, she began mainly with seedlings – deciding on corn, bell peppers, cantaloupe and tomatoes.  She also used seeds to grow carrots, pumpkins & watermelon.

After the initial planting she simply did two things almost everyday – watered & weeded.  Since we are blessed to live in the very fertile and very sunny Central Valley of California….God did the rest.  The garden grew! 

fab friday 074I was amazed at the growth. In fact it seemed like almost everyday there was noticable change….first in heighth and width, then in flowers blooming, then in density and before we knew it the garden was big, beautiful and bountiful! 

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It became our morning ritual to go out to the garden and marvel how much everything had grown each & everyday.  It was miraculous to us that these things that we had planted were really growing into food that we could soon enjoy.

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During this past month we were blessed with an abundant harvest of vegetables  – we enjoyed the incredible farm fresh taste, the convenience of bringing food in right from the backyard and the great satisfaction of having grown them ourselves.

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These delicious vegetables also motivated us to try out some new recipes that made this gardening experience even richer for us.  There is something about taking your homegrown creations from this —

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to this  (delectable gourmet tomato soup) that brings complete satisfaction of the body, soul & spirit –

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As a new gardener I am still in awe of the fact that we were actually able to grow our own food.  To many, this probably  sounds silly….”why of course they grew”, you may be thinking, “I mean, what did you expect?”  I am not sure that I expected it to be so easy.  Just do the right things –

  1. Prepare the soil
  2. Plant the seedlings
  3. Water & Weed

Hmmmmm…I am sure there is  life lesson in there –> just do the “right things” and you can expect good results.  That is simple right? 

Well almost.  We did have a few vegetables that we planted in other parts of our yard that did not fare as well – our watermelon, pumpkins & a few extra tomato plants. Yes, we prepped, planted, watered & weeded but the growth just did not happen like the plants in the main garden.  What was the difference? 

The amount of sun!

While these plants got some sun everyday, they were also shaded by trees and the house and did not receive full sunlight as the others did.  This resulted in not only slower & stunted growth (and even death of the watermelon plant that was in way too much shade) but a miniscule harvest and in some cases no vegetables at all.

We learned that sunlight was of utmost importance to the growth and development of our garden, no matter how diligent we were to care for the plants.  They simply needed more than what we could provide….they needed God given provision of sunlight.  Just like our lives.

We can do everything “right” and yet even with our best efforts we cannot completely grow & produce a bountiful harvest without God’s provision through His Son, Jesus Christ –

  • His amazing grace
  • His unfailing mercy
  • His unconditional & everlasting love
  • His perfect peace
  • His powerful strength

How will you grow the garden of your life?

Will you move into the SON today and bask in the grace, mercy & love of God while being renewed by His peace & empowered by His strength so that you can grow, flourish and produce a life of abundance to be enjoyed by you and all those around you? I pray that we will all live in the Son.

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Filed under Blessings, Faith, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons

Her children arise and call her blessed

mom 001Gloria Virginia Winslow Borden is a lovely Christian lady with a strong, independent, adventuresome spirit whose positive outlook, faithful heart, solid commitment, strength and encouragement have had an awesome impact on my entire life. She is my mother!

My mother gave me life, love, physical, emotional and spiritual nourishment, a solid family and a warm & wonderful home. mom 002She was and is always there for me. She instilled in me values, principles and paradigms that have positively impacted my life and that I hope as a mom to pass on to my own children.  Let me share a few:

  • Her Christian faith & values allowed me to see Jesus as my Friend and Savior.  She loved the Lord and along with my father faithfully took us to church every Sunday, had family devotions and centered our home on the Lord. She taught me to follow God’s commandments yet made serving the Lord a celebration of life! I will always remember a note on the refrigerator that said – “Is what you are doing pleasing to God?” My Mom role modeled a life that is seeking to please the Lord.
  • Her commitment to marriage and family was unshakable. Smomhe was married to my Dad for 35 years before his death. I grew up with the security and stability of knowing that she believed that marriage was forever and that she would never forsake her commitment to my father. She not only spoke these words often but she lived them out daily always being diligent to work at strengthening her marriage. She often told us that the best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other.
  • She was a “Stay at home Mom” with a commitment to being there to raise her children.  Even though she had a college degree and a teaching credential she gave up a career to stay at home and be there for her children. (she did go back to work after her children were grown and had a dynamic and succesful 20 year career as a teacher and also earned her Masters Degree along the way – the best of both worlds!) I was blessed to have my Mom at my side for every important moment of my growing up years.
  • Her positive attitude and her belief in me was amazing!  I know that my successes and accomplishments in life are a result of my mothers attitude and words.  She began each morning on a positive note saying…”This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it”. She truly looked at the positive side of life. mom 003She believed in me and told me on a regular basis that I was smart, talented, creative, beautiful, special, successful and good.  She always shared her belief that I could do anything in life that I set my heart and mind on and that God had created me for a special purpose.
  • Her adventuresome spirit is inspiring!  Because of my Mom, I have a zest for living.  She was never one to sit in front of the TV or lay around being “bored” (nor were we allowed to). Mom saw life as something to grab hold of and get the most out of and she taught me to do the same. Even into the 7th decade of her life she is zip lining through the rain forests of Costa Rica, teaching English in Thailand, walking the streets of New York City and cruising to Antarctica…to name a few!
  • My mother is classy, cultured and proper lady.  I have learned the importance of RSVPing (something sadly lacking in today’s society), writing thank you notes, dressy properly for the occasion, setting a proper table, speaking correctly, acting like a lady (and being treated like one from a true gentleman), having good manners and avoiding all appearances of evil.  She also brought culture into my life making sure I was exposed to concerts, symphonies, the theater, musicals and museums. My life is richer because of her influence.DSC_7058

Those are just a few ways that she influenced my life. On this special day set aside to honor our mothers I want to say thank you to my Mom.  I am truly thankful for all that she was, is and will continue to be in my life.  I love you Mom!

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Inaugurations Happen….Every Four Years

Four years…will fly by!

How do I know?  Well after dragging my kids out of bed last Tuesday to watch the historic inauguration of our first black president (which we would have watched the inauguration events no matter who was being sworn in – to me it is patriotic!), I began to reminisce on past inaugurations.

  • Just four years ago in 2005 three of my girls – Michelle, Amy & Rebekah attended the inauguration of George W Bush for his second term
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  • Four years previous to that in 2001, Michelle, after working for months volunteering her time for the Republican Central Committee (as an 11 year old….mind you!) raised the funds and secured a ticket from our congressman to attend Bush’s first inauguration! 
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  • of course I can remember the 1997 inauguration of Bill Clinton because my four girls ages 7, 4, 3 and 18 months and I made & ate an entire batch of chocolate chip cookie dough to drown our sorrows. (ok, so the girls were happy even before the cookie dough except for perhaps Michelle who even at seven was already political)
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  • During the 1993 inauguration I only had two little girls…just a “starter kit” family 🙂
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  • If you go back to the 1989 innaguaration of George H Bush I was pregnant with Michelle just beginning my nine months of non stop “morning sickness”.
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  • And in 1985 I was single (not even considering matrimony or motherhood!) & a youth pastor for over 100 teens
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  • 1981, after voting for the first time the previous November for Ronald Reagan, I was an 18 year old freshman at the University of the Pacific
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That is only eight inaugurations since my being old enough to vote.  Then I began to do the math….our children will be at home with us for,  a mere four or at the most five inaugurations.  FOUR!!!???  Does that not seem like an incredibly small amount of time when you put it in perspective?  I know that when “your guy”  is not in office four years may seem like an eternity.  But it really does just fly by like all of life once you enter the “adult world”. (When I was a child everything seemed to take forever to get here…is that still the case today?) 

So wether you are lamenting or rejoicing in the next four years under our current administration

  • Take a moment to realize and let it sink in how very short four years is and how incredibly fast it will go by
  • Take a moment to count how many innaguarations your kids have left under your roof (Michelle is already up & out, this was the last innaguration for Amy & Kristen to be at home….<big sigh & gulp>, Rebekah has one left, Grace has two, Joy has three and Daniel has four)
  • Take a moment to decide what are you going to do with that time you have left, Lord willing, with your children?

Be purposeful in your parenting.  Have a plan and inact that plan! You have four short “terms of office” as their parents to

  • mold and shape them into people of character & conscience
  • teach and train them in the principles of the Word of God
  • disciple and mentor them to fear the Lord and glorify Him in all that they do
  • influence them to be life giving and show love to the “least of these” – the orphans, widows, elderly, disabled, depressed, outcasts, enslaved and the unborn
  • inspire them to live a life of service that will make a difference and have a lasting impact

Take an oath today that you will be purposeful in your parenting during the term of office you have left.  Don’t let these years just pass you by – all too soon your term will be up and your legacy will be carried on….for better or for worse by your children. What will history write about your parenting?

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Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Making a Difference, My "take", Parenting, Service, Time Management

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

We the people….

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The Preamble to The US Constitution

Having just spent a day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…the birthplace of the United States of America, I was inspired all over again by the incredible providential history of our awesome nation, the brilliant leaders who were our founding fathers and the eloquent and influential words that have stood the test of time in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

As I stood and took this photo of my husband, Dan and my two eldest daughters Michelle and Amy, I was motivated to write on my blog how important it is for us, as mothers and fathers, to instill patriotism in our children by not only teaching them the history of this great nation but also by motivating and influencing them to be actively involved in this constitutional republic. 

We, the people of this great USA, must not only be involved and active in the government of our cities, counties, states and nation ourselves but we must teach and train our children to be involved as well….if we are to secure the blessings of liberty to our posterity!

I will confess that this comes easy to me, as a product of a military family where things involving the government, politics, citizenship and patriotism were a part of our lives growing up. (Ie: My Mom & Dad did a fabulous job of teaching & training their children!)  It also doesn’t hurt that I am a passionate person and am always 100% involved and intense in the things I believe strongly about. I will also admit that during election years I am a bit “obsessed” with the governmental process and often need to pry myself away from election news. (I recently realized that political talk radio was on in my house and car constantly when my five year old daughter asked last week….”Mommy, Who is Joe the Plummer?” )

But even if you are not as passionate as I happen to be, I still believe that it is important to teach your children to be involved in the process.  Here are a few things that we have done with our family:

1. Praying for our country and our leaders.  This is something everyone can do.  Whether it is around the dining room table during your daily meals or at the foot of the bed before saying goodnight, take some time to pray with your children for Gods blessing on our nation and for His direction for our leaders. We always attend a National Day of Prayer Event in May as well.

2. Talk with your children about our nation’s history, our past and present leaders and the governmental process.  Listen to the news or radio during election season and talk with them about the issues.  Don’t assume your children are too young or not interested….you may just be surprised. 

3. Make it come alive by going on “field trips” to historical places and government offices – there is nothing better to fan the flame of their interest and generate enthusiasm than by actually being there.  If you live on the East Coast – you have it made – with multitudes of places to visit but even those of us in other parts of the country can go to our city hall, state capitol or visit a local government official.

Michelle & Amy in front of the Liberty Bell

4. Teach them patriotic songs like Our National Anthem, God Bless America, She’s a Grand Old Flag, Oh Beautiful, My Country Tis of Thee and one of our family favorities – I’m proud to be an American. Music inspires and uplifts but it also is a great teaching tool.  We remember easily things we sing about. (If you don’t think so – just put on a song you listened to decades ago on your youth & see how easy it is to sing every word!)

5. Get them involved in the election process! These pictures tell the story of how I have had my children be involved.  We take a day or two every election season to help distribute campaign materials.  My eldest daughter even was a volunteer for our local Republican Central Committee Office (as an 11 year old!).  This past June my four eldest girls distributed pro-life election literature to local churches.  And as a senior in high school, Michelle volunteered to work at our local polling place.  There are truly multitudes of ways to be involved in the process that don’t take much time at all.

Joy, Grace & Daniel outside of our local Republican Office

Joy helps pick up some lawn signs & bumper stickers to pass out to our friends one afternoon

6. Take your children to the polls with you when you vote.  We have done this many times over the past two decades.  It is a great way to role model voting to your children as well as have some great discussions as to why it is important to vote. (even if you live in a state that is sure to go to a candidate other than who you are voting for – you should still cast your vote)  I share with them often how men and women have fought and died for the right to vote and that we need to be diligent about expressing our freedom by voting.  This year since we will be in New York on election day….we voted absentee for the first time.  This did not stop me from making voting an “experience” for my children!  Here they are mailing off Dan & my ballots last week.

 

 

And after this week in Philly, I was inspired to add another idea to the list —

7. Have them memorize some or all of our countries great documents.  As I read the words once again, I decided to have my homeschool age children memorize the Preamble, sections of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence (High school & College age daughters feel free to join us!) And don’t think for a minute that this is too hard for children to accomplish!  Not at all!  I have been amazed as my girls in past years have memorized entire chapters of the Bible, The Apostles Creed as well as countless scripts for plays they have had a part in simply by reading it over once a day! I can’t wait to get started with them.

Here’s to all of us securing the blessings of liberty to our posterity!

May God Bless America

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Filed under Family Traditions, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Motherhood

Always “Daddy’s Girl”

Early on a Sunday morning, October 22, 1995, my life was forever changed.  Dan and I were in bed when the ringing of the phone jolted us out of our deep slumber just before dawn.  I could hear my mothers quivering voice on the answering machine pleading with us to pick up the phone.  As I jumped out of bed and lunged to get the phone my heart began to pound and my mind raced wildly with thoughts of what could be wrong. She slowly and painfully told me that my Dad had died of a heart attack in the middle of the night.  I felt the tears well up in my eyes and begin to fall uncontrollably onto my dresser as I struggled to catch my breath.  I simply could not believe that I was actually hearing those words.  My dear father was gone and I would never see him, hear him or touch him again this side of heaven.  As I fell back into bed, Dan held me close and the tears flowed as he tried to comfort me.  I knew in that moment that my life would be altered forever.

You never really “get over” the death of a parent. (and I can imagine it would be even more so if you lose a child).  You learn to live with it but you do not get over it.  They are a part of your very being.  You grieve many times over – holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and even in the “everyday” routines, habits and life happenings that bring back memories of that beloved parent.  I find myself often wondering – “what would Dad think about this or that”?  Just in the past month alone I have pondered what his thoughts would be about:

  • this years election and all it’s historic  happenings (Obama – the first Black man to run for the Presidency, Sarah Palin as the first woman on the Republican ticket)
  • John McCain (they were classmates at the United States Naval Academy both in the Class of 1958)
  • the war in Iraq (he was a career Navy man who worked many years in Naval Intelligence during the Cold War)
  • terrorism
  • the signs of socialism in our country (ok, so I don’t have to wonder about this – he would be having a fit!)
  • Michelle attending college in NYC
  • the girls and their high school sports achievements (he rarely missed one of my high school field hockey games)
  • the new baby boy in our family (oh how he loved babies!)

I also would have called him for advice on

  • how to get my “ancient” car to pass its smog inspection?
  • every aspect of the the new addition in our home (he was the handiest of handy men)
  • computer challenges (he was an expert computer whiz long, long long before everyone had several in their homes – alas I did not take advantage of this expertise)
  • how to get my kids to learn math?

 My Dad was an awesome man and an exceptional husband and father. He loved the Lord, was a faithful church member (read here – we never missed a Sunday church service and always sat together as a family) and his knowledge of the Bible was impressive (I often wondered if he had the entire thing memorized).  He lived a life of integrity, hard work and commitment.  He loved my Mom and was faithful and committed to his marriage for 35 years – “until death do us part”.  The word divorce was never heard or spoken in our home – that security had an indelible effect on all of our lives. (The four of us children are in committed marriages with a grand total of 74 years between us all! We are believing for that legacy & blessing to be passed down to the next generation of 15 grandchildren.)

 

 He was the most wonderful father and I was the beneficiary of his love and admiration.  He made me feel special.  I was the “middle” child (is there really a middle of four?) –  my older sister was the first born, the other middle child was my brother – the only boy, and my younger sister who came along a bit later than the three of us was the “baby”.  This gave me a reason in my mind to feel different, left out, inferior etc… Of course when I hit adolescence these feelings, no matter how unfounded, were magnified.  My Dad always had a way of reminding me that he too was a middle child and that I had a very special place in his heart.  He would smile with his eyes, give me a wink and a bear hug and all those feelings would melt away.  No matter what I did or how I acted – my Daddy loved me.  He disciplined me strictly when I  was disobedient, defiant or disrespectful but it was always followed up with love and forgiveness. He showed me my first glimpse of how God the Father loved & adored me.  I know that my incredible ease in loving and trusting the Lord is because my Dad was such a stellar example of God’s unconditional love, trustworthiness and strength.

My Dad believed in me, supported me, challenged me to do beyond my best and had high expectations of me.  He also treated me like a princess – he would pick me up and twirl me around in the living room to the songs of Ed Aames and Andy Williams, he opened doors for me always treating me like a lady and he would admire and tell me often how beautiful I was.

 He filled my need for love and affection with his kind words (often found in his greeting cards that he personally picked out & signed), his bear hugs and sweet goodnight kisses.  He showed me how I should be treated by a man – that I should expect to be cherished, loved, protected and admired. 

As I grew into an adult he continued to be a source of wisdom, strength and love for not only me but my husband and my children.  He was an awesome father-in-law and the most amazing “Papa” (the name my eldest daughter Michelle gave him – although he was “Grandad” to the older cousins) in the world.  He would rock my babies for hours on end and when they got older he would take them to the park to play and out to ice cream. 

 

 I so regret that only Michelle really got to know him and has memories to cherish (she was 6 when he died) ….the rest thankfully do get to experience him through our photo albums, stories and in the lives of their Granny, their aunts & uncle and myself who carry on his presence in our hearts, attitudes and actions.

Today on the 13th anniversary of his passing, I wanted to share just a bit of my Dad with the world, as not only a tribute to him, but hopefully as an inspiration to everyone who reads this blog – especially the fathers out there. Dads,  please know that you are so very vital in your children’s lives and it is so important that you become a faithful man of God. Spend time with your children – play with them, talk to them, hug them, tell them how much you love, cherish and believe in them. Be a role model for them to look up to and set a standard of excellence.   You will have a lasting impact on your children and your children’s children – be diligent to make sure it is a positive legacy.

I was, am and always will be…”Daddy’s Girl”

Daddy,

I love you and miss you each and everyday of my life. I look forward to seeing you again and feeling your warm loving arms wrap around me as we rejoice together for eternity in heaven!

Always your girl – Beth (although my Dad was the only one who called me Virginia – my real name – and it wasn’t because he was mad at me – then it was – Virginia Elizabeth!)

This is our last family photo together – Summer 1995 (and yes I am “great with child” -my 13 year old Rebekah).  I just have to add as we are coming into a holiday season – don’t pass up an opportunity to have a family photo taken while you are all together – we never know when it might be our last time together here in this life.

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Filed under Blessings, Faithbooking, Fatherhood, Inspiration

Oh the places they’ll go!

I’ve never been one to live vicariously through my kids.  In fact, I have often felt pity on parents who were so over involved in their children’s athletic endeavours, academic achievements, musical or dramatic talents and even their “love lives”  – it was as if they were trying to either re-create their own childhood or live a life through their child that they would never have the opportunity to experience.  To be completely honest I often thought pathetically to myself – “Why don’t they just get a life of their own?”

Well, here I sit living my life vicariously through my nineteen year old daughter, Michelle who is beginning her college career this week at The King’s College in the heart of New York City!  Last night (or perhaps I should say early this morning as it was 1am – ahhh the city that never sleeps!) as I rode the subway back to the apartment where I am blessed to be staying on the Upper East Side (doesn’t that just sound so “posh”?) I couldn’t help but imagine that I was actually the young college co-ed who was about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of her life!

  • She is living in one of the most exciting cities in the whole world, in a “large” apartment (well perhaps this is personal perspective – but for a gal who has shared a 10×11 room with her five sisters, this one bedroom apartment she will share with three roommates is an “upgrade”) that overlooks 5th & Broadway, the route for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. She is within walking distance of Times Square, Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, Union Station and The Empire State Building, to name just a few. She can catch the subway to destinations in Brooklyn, Long Island, New Jersey and more. There are people of every race, culture, background, religion and language to meet and learn from.  There are multitudes of restaurants and delicious different foods to try, more shopping opportunities than one could ever attempt to conquer, museums to explore, Broadway shows, concerts and athletic events to attend. (I am sure she will join you in being a Yankee fan, Granny!)  Yes, I could do this!

 

She is already meeting and becoming an extended family member of some New York locals – the Shaerf family – who have generously opened up their hearts and home to her during her time in New York.  They are “my type” of people – energetic, enthusiastic, motivated, “go getter’s”, committed to their community, their faith and their family (they have three darling, fun children who I know Michelle will love).  Yes, I could thoroughly enjoy company like this.

  • She has the choice of many dynamic churches to attend here.  The one we went to on Sunday was called Origins. It was an awesome experience combining enthusiastic worship, traditional liturgy, inspirational scripture based teaching (and the pastors Australian accent was a bonus!), communion and obvious committed fellowship as many hung out in the pews for hours after the service talking and praying for one another.  And from what we understand there is a smorgasbord of churches just as wonderful here in NYC.  Yes, I could get into those options!
  • She is attending a college that is inspiring, challenging and quite impressive in their mission, goals and accomplishments.  I attended a preview weekend here a couple of years ago and was “sold” on this being the perfect place for Michelle.  It was a match for her heart, her vision and her desire to be a world changer.  Their commitment to a Biblical worldview is stronger than most private Christian colleges that I have experienced (and as a guidance counselor for over a decade in several years back I have sat through more than my share of college presentations) and their rigorous academic program would be a tremendous benefit for her life.  This week as I have attended Parent Orientation, talked with faculty, staff and students, I am not only convinced it is the perfect place for my daughter,  but I will be promoting this incredible institution to everyone!  I could go on and on with stories of their alumni and what they are doing – a most impressive group of world changers who are working in business as venture capitalists and highly sought after by many Fortune 500 corporations, who are influencing public policy on Capitol Hill, who are employed in media, public relations and journalism, who are continuing their education by attending law school, pursuing MBA’s and Phd’s and receiving Masters in Divinity.  They have students just this past summer who interned through the school for the Coke Foundation, the New York Sun, Ralph Lauren, a Washington Senator and one as a White House Intern supporting First Lady, Laura Bush. Wow! Ok so I have just shared the tip of the ice berg on all that I could tell you about this remarkable college, but I will have to save it for later posts. Let me suffice to say that it is a school of excellence in every way and that I left Parent Orientation wanting to enroll in this college! Yes, I could thrive as a student at The King’s College.
  • Ok, so I wouldn’t mind a Starbucks on every corner and having tea at The Plaza Hotel either! (thanks Carrie) Yes, I could live in NYC.!

 

As I was relishing in the past few days I began to realize that this was just the beginning of my living vicariously through my kids.  Michelle is just the first of seven to begin her life journey away from our home.  Who knows the places all my children will venture to and the things that they will do, see and experience as they follow the Lord’s leading in their lives. Perhaps living life through your children is not so pathetic after all…in fact maybe getting a chance to live life all over again is one of the blessings of being a mother.  I will be looking forward to many more decades of living this vicarious life through each of my awesome children. (although rest assured I will surely be living my own full and exciting life as well).

New York, New York

Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it – New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it – New York, New York

I wanna wake up in a city, that doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill – top of the heap
A number one

These little town blues, are melting away
Ill make a brand new start of it – in old New York
If I can make it there, Ill make it anywhere
Its up to you – New York, New York

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Filed under Blessings, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Motherhood, The King's College

Choose Well

Sunday June 15 was the “perfect Father’s Day”.

First let me say that anyone who feels “sorry” for my dear darling hubby because he has six daughters needs to think again. This man is one very pampered Dad! For weeks the girls have been planning and scheming and continuing to come up with more ideas to give their Daddy an excellent Father’s Day.

The day began as the two eldest walked through the door Sunday morning (they had been house sitting the night before) with his favorite Starbucks coffee and a newspaper in hand. They then proceeded to prepare his favorite breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage that we enjoyed on the back porch. (although he insisted on making the pancakes – saying no one makes them as good as Dad!)

During breakfast, he was surrounded by the lively chattering of all his girls (and Daniel threw in some boy noises for good measure) as well as several dear young ladies that he has been a father figure to who joined us for the days events. Before long it was time to pile into the van and head out of town to enjoy a day at the ball game where Dans favorite team (the Oakland A’s) would take on across the bay rivals the San Fransisco Giants.

We arrived at the beautiful ball park right on the Frisco Bay with plenty of time to enjoy a leisurelytailgate party with all the fixen’s – ribs, brats, corn on the cob, fresh fruit, chips and cookies. (and yes we both took the day off from the “healthy eating plan”!) The weather was simply gorgeous  – a light breeze blew through the sunny stadium that was a perfect70 degrees. We had great seats overlooking the Bay Bridge while watching the A’s beat the Giants in a 5-3 decision. We returned home to ice cream sundaes and a movie in the family room while we soaked our feet in warm water and applied moisturizer to our lightly sunburned skin. We all slept soundly after our fun filled day.

As I was reflecting on the “perfect day” I thought about how incredibly blessed my children are to have Dan Lambdin as their father. I hope and pray that each one of my daughters will find and choose such a man to be the father to their children. 

To my dear daughters (and those who are like my daughters),

Before long you will enter into a season of life where you will choose a man to marry.  Too often young ladies concentrate on things that are shallow and even trivial when they dream of the man they will someday marry.  The “short list” I hear from many a girl is that they want them to be handsome (or I believe the current term is “hot”), physically strong, funny, romantic and earn a good living (ie: be rich).  Let me assure you that those things are the least important attributes you can look for. I am sure many wise women out there who have “been there, done that” can attest to this truth.

When I hear women complaining about their husbands and their lack of help with or interest in the children, I can’t help but think –  that is what you chose!  At least here in America your marriage is not arranged or forced on you – no, you get to choose the man who will someday be the father to your children!

  • Choose a man who likes babies.  Look for the one who is drawn to the little ones and who puts out his arms to hold them, who is comfortable with playing “peek-a-boo” and who is not too cool to change the tone of his voice and make goofy faces to make a connection with babies.
  • Choose a man who is self sacrificing – who you see regularly denying his own desires and putting others before himself. (not only giving of his time, talent & treasure to help his family and friends but also volunteering and serving others without getting anything in return)
  • Choose a man who speaks with the mindset that children are a blessing not a burden, a miracle not a mistake, an asset not an accident and a treasure not a taxing financial drain
  • Choose a man who like Jesus says – “Let the little children come to me”
  • Choose a man who is pro life – who has a heart and compassion for the unborn
  • Choose a  man who believes that every child is created by God and who does not want to limit or miss out on the children that the Lord has to give him – whether by birth or adoption into his family
  • Choose a man who loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength

Choosing a husband, the future father of your children is the single most important decision you will ever make outside of choosing to serve the Lord.  Choose well.

Love,

Mom

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Filed under Courtship, Family Traditions, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Marriage

Our 10th graduating class

This past weekend fifty two excited students marched across the platform to receive their diplomas and become the 10th graduating class at Jim Elliot Christian High School.  We now have over 350 alumni who are making a difference in this world after  being trained, taught, discipled and mentored at this exceptional school.

Dan and I are proud to have been a part of the beginning of Jim Elliot and each year as we witness another class graduating our hearts overflow with joy and thanksgiving to God for the great things He is doing in and through these incredible young people. 

 This years class was an awesome example of the kind of sacrificial giving and life of service that we hope to instill in our students.  They were continually giving of their time, talent and resources to bless others.  They volunteered at children’s homes, pregnancy crisis centers, emergency food banks, retirement homes, hospitals, churches, tutoring elementary school students, special olympics to name a few.  They opened up a snack shack during lunch and ran it all year raising over $11,000 for student tuition assistance.  They held a talent show to raise funds for college scholarships for next years senior class.  Several young men spent the entire year helping a handicapped girl learn to ride a bike and roller skate and in the process gave her the confidence to begin to communicate more effectively with everyone around her.  And the list goes on.

One of the best examples of the type of stellar students we have is this –  When I asked the student body president a few months back if he would do me a favor, without hesitation he enthusiastically responded, “Of course!”.  I looked at him and said, “But John, you don’t know what it is I am going to ask you yet.”  To which he replied, “It doesn’t matter what it is Mrs Lambdin, I will do it for you.”  How refreshing!

It is amazing to me that these mere eighteen year olds have often done more to serve and give to others in their four years of high school than many adults have done in a lifetime.  I pray that their legacy of service will touch and inspire others to begin to live a rich life that is centered on God and service rather than self centered pursuits that are ultimately empty and unfulfilling.

Congratulations Jim Elliot Christian High School Class of 2008!

 

 

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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

Making the most of the moment!

One of the things you become very aware of when living at the beach is that the weather changes swiftly and that it is never consistent from moment to moment or with what the weather reports say it will be.

You can wake up to a beautiful sunrise thinking “Oh it is going to be a beautiful sunny day”, only to have the clouds slowly drift in and cover up the warm sunshine.  The wind can be blowing strong one moment and then a great stillness will come upon the shore and you can barely feel the breeze upon your cheek, as you lay out baking in the sun while reading a book on the beach.  The day can begin with rain storms and a quick check on the Internet says you should stay inside and marvel at the rainstorm and roaring waves from the comfort of your living room and then in an instant the rain stops, the storm clouds part and blue skies poke through and before you know it – the makings of the most beautiful outdoor day ever!  You cannot even be guaranteed to have a “picture perfect” sunset on one of those bright, clear sunny days as just at the last moment a bank of fog may roll out to sea covering up any hope of the brilliant bright red, pink orange and golden hues that you were hoping to relish at the days end.

This phenomenon however helps me to develop a great habit of making the most of every moment because I cannot count on having another opportunity like that again.  So when I am woken up by the cries of my baby boy at an incredibly early hour and get a glimpse of the amazing sunrise over the Montery Bay peninsula, instead of rolling over and going back to sleep – I lay there awake and take it in or even get up and have my morning hot drink out on the veranda and just admire Gods handiwork. (I would love to say hot coffee – but alas for now as I fight the “fat face” and other health goals – it is hot lemon water) Or when I see the morning sun dancing down on the water forming sparkling diamonds all over the ocean, I eagerly put on my walking shoes and head out for the wonderful exhilarating walk along the seashore.  Likewise when it is rainy and cold, I take advantage of some enjoyable indoor activities like scrapbooking, writing or playing with the girls as I know as soon as the weather turns I will want to be outside (and sand, sun & scrapbooking do not mix!). On warm sunny days, I eat every meal possible out on the deck overlooking the ocean  and I enjoy every picture perfect sunset knowing that it may be the last one I have this year during my beach month hiatus.

If only I could live the rest of my life in the present just like this – making the most of every moment!  What if I stopped waiting until tomorrow to –

  • quit worrying about cleaning my house and stop to enjoy a leisurely conversation and cup of tea with a dear friend who I have been wanting to spend time with?
  • be spontaneous with my children and stop the mundane daily routine to take a walk to the park on a beautiful morning, jump in the pile of leaves on that fall afternoon, build a fire and cuddle on the couch reading books on a stormy day or one of my girls all time favorite memories of their mommy – going out in the rainstorm and stomping in every big puddle you can find or sliding down the kiddie slide into the mud puddle below until you are all completely soaked and muddy!
  • Begin those desired family traditions or put together those memory filled photo albums you have been wanting to complete and just jumped in and got going on it with even just that spare 15 or 30 minutes you occasionally have.
  • Call that friend or family member or even acquaintance that you just “happened” to think about today and tell them you love them, appreciate them or just had them on your heart or mind.
  • Kiss your spouse and tell them that you love, adore, cherish and appreciate them and get all decked out and go for a “night out on the town” or a romantic weekend get away!
  • Get up early and watch the sunrise, take a walk through a beautiful park or garden, lay on a hammock with the late afternoon sun warming your face, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with something sweet while listening to inspirational music, lay out in your backyard on a clear evening watching the stars sparkle.

What if we all made the most of each and every moment, each and everyday day, each and every season and each and every year to simply enjoy our lives, our loved ones and Gods creation?  As I head for home later this afternoon, my prayer is that I will continue to live in and make the most of each and every moment I have.  Won’t you join me?

One of our last beach sunsets (photo by my 13 year old daughter Kristen Lambdin – as were the starfish pictures – I think I have a budding photographer on my hands – and all with a “point & shoot digital”, can’t wait to see what she does with the SLR camera she is saving her pennies for!)

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Filed under Attitude, Inspiration, Time Management