Category Archives: 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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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…..how 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.

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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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Live, Love & Laugh

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind

from Casting Crowns song – “Who am I?”

I have spent the past few days pouring over photos of a mans life in preparation for a slide presentation for his memorial service today.  He lived 64 years and from what I can tell thru those photos he packed a lot of living, loving & laughing into those years.   

The photographs depicted a man who loved & stayed committed to the wife of his youth, a man who was actively involved in his childrens lives bringing him joy and fulfillment, a man who had children that adored him, a man who had stayed close with his extended family, a man who enjoyed fishing, photography & the outdoors, a hard working man who once proudly served his country in the military and a man who smiled a lot, laughed and enjoyed life.

To some he lived a long & fulfilling life, to others his life was cut short.  To me……he lived a lifetime.  His lifetime happened to be 64 years.  His appointed time covered 768 months or 3,328 weeks,  or 23,296 days.  Each and everyone of us has been given our own lifetime to live.  We do not know is how long that appointed time will be.  It could come to an end just around the next bend or it could be next week, next month, next year or in the next decade or beyond.  We could have thousands of weeks or days left to live or we could have just a few months or years.  We just do not know. (and in this world of “knowing”  and being in control of almost everything…this really bugs some of us!)  All we do know for sure is that one day all of our lives will come to an end. (as my dear darling hubby tells his Junior/Senior world view class  – “Here is an accurate statistic for you  –  10 out of 10 people die”)

At the end of my appointed lifetime ….what do I want the photographs of my life to depict? 

I want people to see someone who lived –

I strive to live my life with compelling purpose & with passion.  I hope to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I live to glorify God! I want to have energy, enthusiasm & excitement. I desire to live a fulfilling life and to have very few regrets.

I want people to see someone who loved –

I love the Lord my God. I love my dear darling hubby. I love my wonderful children. I love my large extended fabulous family. I love my dearest life long friends. I love my former students and their families. I love my co-workers & clients. I love my large circle of friends from different seasons of life & different parts of the country.

I want to love those who are hard to love – the destitute, the outcast, the unlovable. I want to love those who see me as their adversary or who make my life difficult. I want to love with an unconditional love.

I want people to see someone who laughed –

I want my life to be joyful & filled with memorable moments. I want to smile a lot. (as my daughter reminds me often… “Smile Mom! It releases endorphins!”) I want to be less intense and more relaxed (ie: stop sweating the small stuff) I want to laugh a lot!

 When your appointed lifetime comes to an end….what do you want the photographs of your life to depict? 

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The apple of His eye

Wow! Am I ever “it” …”the one & only”…”the living end”…”the love of his life” and “the apple of his eye”……

Being a mother to a precious new baby is certainly good for ones self esteem.  When I walk into the room he simply can not take his eyes off of me.  A contagious smile spreads across his face and he squeals with delight!  He can’t get enough of me and never tires of being with me.  bw-beth.jpgHe finds pure joy & delight  in this strong willed, obstinate, opinionated, flabby, hopelessly flawed, middle aged woman  that he only sees as his awesome, cherished and beautiful Mommy. 

This morning I found myself battling aches & pains in my back (from an injury earlier this month), feeling extremly tired as well as overwhelmed by the week looming ahead of me and a bit melancholy while contemplating the absence of my eldest daughter who will celebrate her 18th birthday this week…6000 miles away from home (& me!).  As I glumly headed back to my room to get Sir Daniel Guy out of his crib (while mentally berating myself for not getting up early enough to start a much needed exercise regimen),  an amazing thing happened!  As he looked up at me with awe in his big beautiful blue eyes and as a huge smile spread across his face, all my aches & pains, overwhelming feelings, negative thoughts and heartache melted away and I felt my spirits lift and my heart sing! I was instantly transformed by his exuberant & unconditional love.  Everything about life seemed better and brighter under the adoration of this child. I confidently walked out of that room with praise on my lips, a smile on my face and a positive confidence to take on the day and week ahead of me!

If only we could all tap into this type of transformation on a daily basis wouldn’t life be just wonderful?  We could shake off our nagging feelings of incompetence, worthlessness or unattractiveness and confidently know that we are valuable and lovely just the way we are. We all struggle with negative thoughts and feelings that paralyze us and stop us from being our best, doing incredible things and living a fulfilling life.  If only we could replace the negative in our lives with the positive confidence that comes from joyful, unconditional love and acceptance.

We can!  You see we have a heavenly Father who thinks we are “it” …”the one & only”…”the living end”…”the love of His life” and “the apple of His eye”!  Read what He says about us –

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.”  Psalm 139:17-18

“He kept him as the apple of His eye.”  Deuteronomy 32:10

“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

 “Lord….Your lovingkindness to me is better than life.” Psalm 63:3

“the Lord appeared saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3

Read those wonderful words often, believe them, memorize them, recite them. Picture the Lord smiling down upon you with joy & rejoicing over you with singing.  Let the love of God pour into your heart and life and transform your  negative thoughts and feelings, your heartaches & headaches and your worries & weaknesses into everyday living with a positive outlook, confidence, contentment & joy.

bth2.jpg

Baby blessings of wide eyed wonder, contagious smiles, deep belly giggling and squeals of joy to you all today,

Beth &  Sir Daniel Guy

 

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Lesson plan for life

Can someone please tell me when the month of August ceased being summertime?  

Isn’t August still a time for “floatin’ fools in the swimming pools”, mouthwatering backyard barbecues with friends, carnivals & state fairs, baseball games, enjoying ice coffee & conversation on the patio in the cool of the evening after a sweltering day. (Ok, ok…so I live in California…my apologies to those of you who live in the weather ravaged parts of the world where its still HOT & HUMID at 9pm), late night ice cream sundaes in front of a newly rented movie and sleeping in as late as you want in the morning! It is truly the best of the “dog days of summer” …no schedules, no agenda…just enjoying the easy living of summer!

These days summer seems to come to a screeching halt by the end of July as more & more schools are choosing early start dates instead of the traditional day after Labor Day….1st day of school. My life has been affected by this evolution….with dear darling hubby working at an educational institution that began mid August & # 2 daughter attending there, the charter school I homeschool thru following suit, soccer practices already in full swing for the fall season & even the local neighborhood pool cutting back their hours to weekends & “after school” (even though its 98 degrees outside!). It has even dampened my September 1st birthday celebration that use to always be the last week of summer vacation with no worries, no school, no homework! (and I didn’t care about missing out on cupcakes in the classroom…I’d take a vacation time birthday party over that anytime!) Yes, in my world …it is & should still be summer with all its many wonderful diversions!

So since I refuse to conform to this “new” definition of August…for me today begins the final week of summertime before school starts.  It is a time to continue to enjoy the lazy days of summer while beginning to form a plan for the upcoming school year.

Next week when we officially begin lessons (as a homeschooling family our philosophy is “life is school” but we do complete lessons!) we will all be up a bit earlier in the morning, getting supplies together, and making sure the kids are properly dressed…before getting out the camera for the first day of school pictures. (the rest of the year they can do their school work in their PJ’s for all I care…but have to have those pictures!) 

Having personally been entrenched in education for over 21 years (11 as a high school teacher & administrator and the past 10 years as a home school teacher)… I always see this time of year as a new beginning. A fresh start to a brand new school year that I can make into whatever I want it to be.  The past school year (with all its failures, mistakes as well as successes) is over and gone, only to be remembered through report cards, school records and the scrapbook or yearbook.

I always loved that feeling! I had an empty lesson planner and a school year calendar sitting blank in front of me and I would create whatever type of year I wanted. I could continue to fine tune & develop the things that were successful and make them even better. I could try brand new, perhaps even “risky” ideas in hopes of inspiring my students in their quest of learning.  As I sat there with my yearly calendar, my goals & objectives and my weekly lesson plans…the sky was the limit as to what I could do & accomplish that new school year. BUT one thing was always certain….I never started a new school year without a “plan”. None of us would accept our children’s teacher telling us that they had no specific plan for the year…no goals or objectives….that they were just going to see what happened.  We would leave that classroom (in shock!) and head to the principals office demanding a new teacher!  

YET…that is exactly what many of us do with our lives.  We just “let it happen” without any goals & objectives and with very little planning and then we wonder why its “not working” for us? I want to challenge you today, during this week before new beginnings(like the start of a new school year, even if your kids started weeks ago!) to begin to make a plan for your year. Forget the past…and make today a fresh new start.  

Begin with the end in mind!

Well, maybe not the very end (although that’s an excellent way to live….thinking about what you want your life to have looked like when you are on your death bed!) Let’s start with this –  Next August what do you want your life to look like?  What personal or family habits do you want to cultivate? What new traditions do you want to establish or new ways to celebrate life? What do you want to teach your children? What do you want for your marriage and/or family relationships? Do you have any new skills you want to acquire or talents you want to improve upon or use? Where do you want to be spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally & financially?

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

Here is one example –

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

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

What to put on the life lesson plan & calendar:  Journaling time every Sunday afternoon for 1 hour (during baby’s nap), First Friday of the month attend a 4 hour workshop to complete albums, Every August go on a scrapbooking weekend retreat with friends.

Here is a “heavier” example

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

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

What to put on the life lesson plan & calendar: Calendar in weekly church attendance,yearly mission trip or other local outreach opportunity (like working at a local soup kitchen or passing out blankets to the homeless). Decide on best time for family prayer & devotions and make it happen. (even if you begin with once a week rather than daily) Pick a verse to begin memorizing and post it around the house (bathroom mirrors, fridge, car dash board etc..) – practice together daily at a family meal or while driving to school. Research making holidays meaningful & implement one thing to each holiday this year. Provide a “quiet time” at home (even if it is just 15 minutes) for cultivating a relationship with God thru the word & personal prayer & meditation.

So as the summer winds down & the new school year begins – Write out your dreams & goals for this year, make a life’s lesson plan & then put  that plan into action! Don’t continue to just let life “happen”  BUT rather “MAKE IT HAPPEN”.  You will reap great rewards for your efforts.

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

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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?

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

First day of high school – letter to Amy

 Life is flying by…at an increasing speed!

Tomorrow morning my fun loving, beautiful, crazy, blonde baby….my “Amy Girl” will begin her first year of high school. As she opens up her lunch bag she will find this note (along with some homemade cookies!)….may it inspire, encourage & challenge you today in whatever season of life you are speeding thru. (and yes…it will be going into the scrapbook!)

My dearest “Amy Girl”,

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Today is a milestone!  You are beginning your freshman year at Jim Elliot Christian High School. Ten years ago this week (when you were just a playful, carefree adorable four year old!) your Dad and I set out on a journey that was bigger than anything we could have ever dreamed of accomplishing.  We decided to start a Christian high school that would glorify God, while training & discipling young people to graduate and make a profound difference in the world!

We began with prayer. We asked for wisdom, guidance and Gods blessing on this endeavor.

We surrounded ourselves with people who would inspire, encourage, support & pray for our success!

We knew it was going to cost us our time, our talent & our treasure.  We worked HARD round the clock using the skills & talents we were blessed with & our experience of a combined 20 years in Christian education.  We sacrificed our incomes & job security…stepping out in faith to make this dream a reality.

We faced fear, doubt & discouragement. We were even ridiculed. (Comments like – “It will never happen”, “How do you think you are going to start a high school?”, “No one is going to sign up for a school that doesn’t exist!”, “You’ll never raise enough money”)

We kept the faith and pressed on toward the goal and….

….one year later, on September 2, 1998…the vision became a reality! Jim Elliot Christian High School began their first day of school with 42 students!  It was one stellar day!

Now today …you are joining a student body of over 200 hundred students at a fabulous & successful Christian High School with the dream of graduating in four years with a good education, a strong vibrant faith & a clear direction for Gods plan for your life!  I want to encourage you today to follow the same plan & principles that were instrumental in starting the school you now attend.

Begin with prayer!  Pray for wisdom, guidance & success. Give each & every day, semester & year to God. Know that Dad & I along with all your sisters are praying for you as well.

Surround yourself with positive friends who will encourage, inspire, motivate & support you!  We do become like the company we keep. Choose wisely!  Amy, you are such a shining example of having a positive attitude & seeing things on the bright side of life.  You are always quoting Zig Ziglar or Amanda Gore…this is so impressive for a young person your age. Don’t lose your zest & enthusiasm for life! It is contagious.

If you are going to be successful it will cost you something. Work hard to be everything you were created to be.  This requires sacrifice, self discipline & determination.  Don’t look back with regret & wish you would have done things differently.  Strive for excellence in everything you do.

You will face fear, doubts & discouragement….you may even be ridiculed along the way.  Fight your fears with faith. Drive the doubt away with hope.  Do not give in to discouragement…. keep trying despite what may come your way. Pray for those who ridicule or make fun of you and don’t let others stand in the way of your dreams!

Have faith and press on towards the goal!  We believe in you Amy & know that your four years of high school will be everything you hope & dream of them being and more.  You are a strong leader, smart, talented, athletic, super creative and an incredible actress! peter-pan-096.jpg

You are fun, energetic & enthusiastic! You are kind, compassionate, friendly and loving! You love the Lord & want to please Him in everything. You are my awesome #2 Amy girl (which we both know is the best number! 😉 )

Know that I love you dearly & am so very proud of who you are & who you are going to become during the next four years.  I will miss having you here everyday.

Zoot! Zoot! Zoot!

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Always,

Mommy

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Filed under Attitude, Endurance, Goals & Dreams, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations

Choosing the Best

It was one of those days….

….the “to do list” was overwhelming, the papers to shuffle were stacked so high they toppled over on the floor, there were emails & voice mails to answer and I had spent the day “running” – running errands, running to the store (and back – because it never fails in the Lambdin family that some critical item has been forgotten), and running kids to their many activities.

As I sat down after dinner to nurse the little knight (aka Sir Daniel Guy)….my mind raced as I made a plan on how to spend the rest of my evening to get a handle on life and things back in order. After he finished burping and stared up at me with that milk drunk look…I quickly moved to put him into bed looking forward with anticipation to a couple of solid hours to just get things done! As I headed back to the room he began to fuss….a sure sign that he was ready to go to sleep, as he was dry & fed. As a mommy of many I have learned to train my babies to lay down and “fuss” themselves to sleep after just a few minutes. (with the exception of the extremly colicky one!) As I was about to lay him down to do just that and rush off to “work”…that still small voice stopped me with the question…”Why don’t you rock him to sleep tonight?”

My first reaction was…I don’t have time…there is so much to get done…not tonight, maybe tomorrow! Yet despite these thoughts and feelings, I turned and went into the living area, turned the lights down low and sat down to rock the baby. As I rocked “Sir Daniel” I sang softly to him great hymns of the faith, I prayed for him to grow up to be a strong, upright, moral young man with a heart after God, I spoke scriptures to him as I stared into his sleepy eyes that were filled with love & adoration for me, his mother. As he drifted off to sleep…I enjoyed the heaviness of his body resting against me, his peaceful rhythmic breathing and the sleeping smiles that make you wonder what they are dreaming about. 🙂 I sat there in the midst of the current chaos of life and felt perfect peace and my heart swelled with love & joy.

Yes there were still piles & piles of things to do all around me….most definitely many “urgent” things as well as some very important things. And yes…I would begin the week slightly disorganized & haphazard without my two hours of evening work. But I knew this was the BEST thing to be doing with my time. Everything would still be there in the morning (albeit a few “deadlines” would be missed) but this moment would never be here again.

I haven’t always chosen the BEST things to do with my valuable time. As a driven “type A”, lion(choleric) personality, I get easily pulled into the daily “to do” list, the urgent deadlines & even the mundane tasks. While many of these things are good and even important …. if I spend most of my time on them I will miss out on the things in life that are truly the BEST – mainly my family, my friends, my faith and my Father in heaven – if I don’t stop and spend time just “being” and not always “doing”.

So today I will begin to work on the list, the piles and the messages…..but throughout it all I will make a point to look for the BEST things in life so those moments don’t pass me by.

What is the BEST way you can spend your time today?

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Filed under Monday Motivations, Priorities, Time Management

My “beautiful” bathroom

It’s all a matter of perspective.

You see, the “master” bathroom in our 50+ year old home is not usually my favorite place to be.  While I dream of having a large beautiful bathroom complete with a jacuzzi tub, a huge waterfall type shower with a place to sit down to shave, “his & her” sinks and a self enclosed tiolet (so I can still get to my stuff when dear darling hubby has taken the sports page into his favorite reading place)….what I actually have in reality is a teeny tiny bathroom (I can touch all four walls when I stand in the middle of the room!) with a door that hits my knees when the 4 year old barges in to ask Mommy something vitally important, what I call an “ugly gas station” sink and then a shower that if you bend down and attempt to wash your feet you bang both your head and your tail end on the tile wall. To top it off it was built with poor ventilation resulting in a regular battle against mold and the water damage beneath the linoleum is so scary that I joke with my girls that someday they will awake in the morning to find that Mommy has fallen thru the floor of the shower and is screaming as she fights off all the vermin that live below our foundation. 🙂

Yet even with all its complexities and problems, when I returned home last night covered with layers & layers of “magnetic Camp Richardson dirt” (if you have ever camped in South Lake Tahoe…you know exactly what I am talking about!), my bathroom turned into the most desired room in our house!  As we unpacked the car, began the mountain of laundry, cleaned all the camping gear, restocked & put it away for the next adventure all I could think about was getting into that bathroom.  It became the center of my focus and I wasn’t thinking about all its flaws…I was only thinking that it was my bathroom(complete with my germs & mold…which somehow seem cleaner than in public bathrooms).  I looked forward with joy to getting into that small shower and just standing there letting the steaming hot water pour over my entire body.  I relished the thought of every part of my bathroom experience!  It became my oasis!

What changed?  Not my bathroom….it was exactly the same as it has always been.  No, what changed was me and my perspective!  Isn’t it amazing how if we simply adjust our perspective and choose to change the way we see things we can go from disgruntled and unhappy with something….to satisfied, content and even possibly excited about it? 

Perhaps you are not particularly thrilled with a piece of your life right now.  What can you do to change your perspective?  How can you begin to look at the situation, circumstance or person through a different lens?

If you are unhappy in a relationship with a family member, spouse, child or friend….how can you begin to look at that person in a new way?  Can you overlook their faults and flaws and choose to concentrate on and look at the good things they add to your life?

If you are a stressed out Mommy of many little ones and feeling overwhelmed & exhausted….what can you do to look at this short time of your life and savor the moments instead of wishing them away? (they will be gone sooner than you want!) Can you forget the “to do list” or the desire for perfection and just play with and enjoy your children in the midst of all the undone things?

If you are struggling with the work load at home or in the office (even if your office is just steps from your kitchen!)….what can you do to change your perspective? Can you appreciate the fact that you have a home that requires lots of hard work and that you have a job that pays the bills…think of what life would be like without your home or work. Can you begin to “whistle while you work” or remember Mary Poppins advice..”In every job that must be done there is an element of fun”?

If everything you own seems to be old, falling apart, breaking down or in need of major repair….can you begin to look at your many blessings (even if they are “tattered & torn”) through the eyes of those who have nothing? (if that’s hard for you…perhaps a missions trip to the slums of Mexico may help you..it certainly has worked for us!)

If you are heavy laden & burdened by financial strain….can you take one day at a time and trust that the God who feeds the creatures of the earth & dresses the flowers in the fields will certainly provide for your needs? Can you choose to be content in all circumstances?

If you are facing major health issues or other overwhelming circumstances in your life that are causing you to be sad, scared or depressed….can you think on the positive purpose these things will perhaps potentially add to your life.  Can you focus on the little joys in life (like the laughter of a new baby, smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing, beauty in a flower, hug from a dear friend, a breathtaking sunset, clean smelling bed sheets…the list goes on & on) even when it is compromised by crisis?

Changing your perspective will not necessarily change the “facts” of your life!   Many of us will still have problems in our relationships, stresses in our lives, overwhelming circumstances and things we wish would change even if we choose to look at them differently. I still have a tiny, moldy, flawed bathroom….yet today I see it differently and I am a happier, more contented person because of it. 

Changing your perspective will change you!

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Filed under Attitude, Lifes Challenges, Monday Motivations

Camping Colic

I love going camping!  Really….I do!

I love the fresh air, the open space & the “getting away from it all” of the great outdoors at the mountains or the beach, hiking to see waterfalls, lazy days sitting by the lake reading a good book and munching on snacks, the family togetherness singing silly songs by the campfire while roasting mouthwatering s’mores, playing cards, laying in the tent surrounded by little ones in a hushed atmosphere listening to the sounds of the night and peering through the screen window at the multitude of stars and of course nothing can beat a “camping” breakfast of eggs, sausage, pancakes & piping hot coffee.  Yes…I really do love to go camping!

However …last night was miserable!

We headed to bed a little after 10pm ready to settle in to our cozy sleeping bags and whisper to each other before dozing off for a peaceful nights sleep.  The baby had nursed & fell soundly asleep and my 4 year old, Joy, was in awe looking at the shadows of the leaves wave back & forth on the tent.  And then it began.  The stillness of the night was shattered by my sister screaming out…”Oh my! There’s a bear!” The commotion began as all three campsites holding over 20 of my family members were awake & peering out of the tent to catch a glimpse of the bear.  Pots & pans were banging, kids talking loudly & excitedly and little ones whimpering for their Daddys.  Just after getting everyone settled back down….another bear rattled away at our bear locker just 10 feet from our tent.  That was it for my 13 year old who came running over from the “cousins tent” to sleep with Mom & Dad.  So much for a peaceful night sleep!  And thus the beginning of the worst camping night ever!

11pm – 1:30am  Spent comforting & nurturing kids who were freaked out by the bear incident & can’t go to sleep.  (This is very hard  & requires much patience for a Mom who usually responds with “get over it!”)

1:45am – The 13 year old needs to go to the bathroom…fun.

2am  Baby wakes up to nurse…I notice the air mattress has slowly been losing air & dear darling hubby and I are slowly sinking to the bottom like we’ve fallen into a canyon!

2:30am The 8 year old exits the cousin tent to join Mom & Dad thus requiring us to move sleeping children to make room for them.

2:45am The air mattress is unbearable any longer & I tell Dan to just let the air out….and then after he does I realize, that do to nursing I have a clogged duct & cry out in pain as my left side hits the hard floor…up I get to take tylenol.

3am The 8 year old has to go to the bathroom, the baby wakes up…we all hike to the bathroom.

3:30am I inform  “Dan the man ” that I cannot sleep on the hard as rock floor in my current painful nursing condition so he goes into the van (so no one can hear the noise) & blows up 2 twin size air mattresses for us to sleep on.  Baby wants to nurse…very difficult on a twin size mattress but we pull it off.

3:45am The 4 year old starts crying that she has to go “potty”…since she is wearing a pull up…I tell her to just go in it.  More crying, baby wakes up, she can’t do it & up we all go again to the bathroom.

4am I settle down to finally try to get to sleep only to notice that my twin air mattress is now losing air…oh no!  I turn over to see my husband snoring comfortably away on his fully inflated air mattress and  after  using much personal restraint and deciding not to tell him to get up & give it to me…..I lay there on the hard ground for two hours & wait for the sun to come up.

As I drag myself to the shower at 6am…I wonder….”what is it that I love about camping?” and “why exactly am I here?” and  thinking “Hmmmm…perhaps I should head for a hotel!”

You see isn’t that just how life is?  Even the things we truly love at times can turn sour momentarily and take a toll on us and damper any enthusiasm or joy we thought we had.

Yes….I love being a mother to my children but there are times when I want to scream out in frustration!

Yes….I adore my dear darling husband but there are times when he drives me crazy! (as I do him!)

Yes….I love the Lord & want to serve Him but there are times when it would be so much easier to give in to the ways of the world or just “do my own thing”.

Yes….I love my business that allows me to stay at home & provide for my family but at times I want to quit!

Yes….I love my friends & family but sometimes we don’t see eye to eye on everything!

Yes….I love my church but occasionally I don’t want to sit through even one more Sunday service!

Yes…I love my full, blessed “never a dull moment life” yet every once in awhile I want to walk away from it all!

I could go on & on listing things I love that at times…because of hardships, conflicts, weariness, hard work, effort, disappointments, discouragement & momentary afflictions…lose their appeal.  Yet this does not mean that I stop loving them….it is usually just a temporary feeling based on current circumstances that will soon be gone or overcome if we just “hang in there”, continue to press on or give it one more try.

As I walked along the shores of Lake Tahoe this morning taking in its incredible beauty of Gods creation and as I lay in the warm tent (on my NEWLY purchased air mattress) this afternoon in a lazy, weary & tired stupor and as I watch the smiling faces of my loved ones tonight through the sparks of the campfire…I will remember once again exactly why I love camping!

Don’t let temporary setbacks, momentary afflictions, hardships, or even miserable never ending nights keep you from pressing on and doing the things you love most! 

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Filed under Attitude, Endurance, Monday Motivations

Uncharted Territory

I remember the day clearly. 

I was sitting in the “pristine” living room (ahhh…can you remember when your “pre children” home actually stayed clean for longer than two minutes?) of our small apartment as the summer sun streamed through the windows. Next to me on the couch was another soon to be first time mother, several years my junior and we were discussing our upcoming “birthing plans”.  The over confidence I felt as I entered into this uncharted territory still amazes me.  I thought I knew exactly how it would all go.  I would have a relatively easy delivery where I would gently hold the hand of my dear husband (aka: labor coach) breath deeply, focus and deflect any pain onto thoughts of a soft sweet cooing baby soon to be in my arms.

Perhaps I needed this delusion as I would have never volunteered for 24 hours of excruciating, pitocin induced, mind numbing contractions and giving my husband the death grip and screaming at him…”you breathe!”…while moaning in unbearable pain and ending up delivering by c-section.  The most I could even muster up as they showed me my first born child was a sigh of relief that it was all over and I was somehow still alive.  Then to top it off my dreams of that sweet cooing baby dissolved into the nightmare of an incredibly colicky round the clock screaming baby girl.

Fast forward (and do I ever mean fast!) 18 years later and I am far less confident in my “knowing” much of how anything will go as I once again face new uncharted territory.  My first born child has just graduated from high school and will very soon be flying off to the other side of the world (Australia & Africa) to begin a new season of life.  Instead of confidently discussing my “coping plans” for when I say goodbye to this precious girl that I have spent most everyday of my life with for almost 2 decades….I am simply giving it over to God each day.   Yes, there will be pain and sadness as we say goodbye.  Yes, all of our lives will change. No amount of  planning or “coaching” will be able to deflect that pain….it is a part of living and loving.

What I am confident in is this –  The Lord loves us and has a perfect plan for all of our lives. That life may include pain and sorrow. It may include screaming and sighing.  It may include letting go. And yet it will always include the ability to see us through to the other side of whatever hardships and challenges we face along the way.

What uncharted territory are you facing today…..

financial or business stress?

strain in a relationship?

sickness or disease?

devastation of divorce?

loss of a loved one?

changes and challenges?

personal attacks or betrayal?

Whatever it may be….you will get through to the other side of this time in life.  Seek God and He will give you the strength & endurance, the guidance & wisdom and the faith & peace to make it over the mountain to the green pastures below.

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Schools Out!

Schools out for the Summer!

 Yes….it is the time of year that I have always relished, ever since getting off the bus after completing my first year in school!  Ahhhhhhhh, yes! That incredible feeling of FREEDOM after nine long months of being on someone else’s schedule, doing work others wanted me to do, a bit of boredom in the routine of classroom exercises, lessons & homework day after day. There was nothing like hopping off the school bus and running down the street….with the sun shining ever so brightly, the wind blowing gently and the sounds of all the kids laughing & screaming and chattering on and on about their summer plans. It was truly one of the most memorable moments of my childhood!I use to think that my excitement was because I had 3 months in front of me where I could DO NOTHING…..but looking back…that wasn’t it at all.  (Actually I think that I may have even been more productive in the summer than during the school year – attending swim practice every morning, planning & carrying out lavish carnivals for muscular dystrophy, putting on neighborhood plays, going berry picking for hours, working on earning every outdoor Girl Scout badge possible, going to summer camp etc…etc…etc….)  The joy was because I had the FREEDOM to choose what I wanted to do in the summer….noone was telling me what I had to do or had to learn, I got to make my own choices.

Years later as an adult….I thought I would truly never have that feeling again (even though as an educator I still had summers off…there was still the pressure of planning next years lesson plans, cleaning out my classroom, students calling in the summer for letters of recommendation).  Well….I have recently come to realize that one of the GREATEST joys of owning my own business is that it lets me have that same incredible, awesome sense of FREEDOM….all year long!

I have the freedom to choose:

1. When to work & when not to work…..it is so great to be able to look at my summer schedule and plan out all the things I want to do and then choose when to work my business.  I truly can have it all….summer afternoons at the pool with my kids, camping trip vacations, early morning coffee while reading the paper on the back porch & making money for my family doing something I love.

I have the freedom to choose:

2. How much money I want to make each and every month! Did you know that there are many different ways to make money when you own your own direct sales business?  WOW!   Now I don’t now about you… but in my former job as a high school teacher…there was one way and one way alone to make money….show up, do the job and get the same paycheck every 2 weeks regardless of the time or energy I expended or how well I did the job.  Now I get to decide how much money I want to make each month and then I do it!  I decide each month whether I want to make $200 a month or $2,000 a month (or as your business grows $5,000, $10,000 or more a month!) Isn’t that great?

I have the freedom to choose:

3. Who I want to work alongside!  This is so great!  Many of my clients and success line are my friends and family members!  It is so very AWESOME to attend conventions, meetings, business events, and go on coffee chats & have conference calls with my closest lifelong friends, former students, and my family members! The relationships I have developed thru my business have been life changing both in clients & consultants who have become dear friends.  (And I plan to recruit even more friends and family to my team along the way!)

I have the freedom to choose:

4. Where I want to work my business! I can choose to work in my home or out of my home.  I can choose to travel anywhere I want to  do business.  Get out the map…decide where you want to travel this summer and set up business in those areas!  (Personally I want to have team members in every state in the USA!)

I have the freedom to choose:

5. What parts of my business I want to emphasize! Its so great to be able to use your talents & expertise….and do what you do best. You need a balanced business of  that includes the basics od shows, sales, recruiting, downline management, special events & customer service  but….you can emphasize and spend more time on the parts you enjoy the most. Believe me I did not always enjoy getting up at 6am every morning to ride my bike to swim practice in the summer….but I loved the swim meets….everyone cheering wildly as you came in first place, the enthusiasm & unity of being a part of a team and ESPECIALLY getting those gold medals, blue ribbons and seeing your name in the newspaper the next day — perhaps its a bit like not enjoying making daily phone calls or looking for new contacts BUT loving the results of $$$ sales, home events & recognition within your team or even nationally in your company!

Yes….I am free! And I love it! With my own business, I have the “summertime” freedom everyday of the year…..does it get any better than that?

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What do you really want?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swimming Success

What a difference a year makes!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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