Category Archives: My “take”

Trip Top Ten (part 1)

There are oh so many things that I loved about my recent trip to New York and Boston…but I thought I’d give you a Top Ten list of my favorites:

10. I Love History!

I love the rich history that is found around every corner in the eastern region of our United States.  History just comes alive when you see it in “living color” right before your eyes. Whether it is a visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and imagining what it would be like to immigrate to this great country hundreds of years ago, walking through Paul Reveres house and picturing him riding through town yelling – “The British are coming! The British are coming!”, reading inspiring epitaphs on gravestones (see my earlier blog post here), or even more recent history that is a part of our own life story as we visited the Ground Zero Memorial that has just recently opened up and reflecting on the impact and influence that single event has had on all of our lives. There is a vast amount of things to be learned on a trip like this. I drank it all in…it never gets old for me and I never stop learning new things.

We also took time out to visit the occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park…history in the making!  As my girls questioned why we were taking time to do this, I explained to them that when their children sat in history class in a couple of decades that they would be studying the Occupy Wall Street Movement and they could share with them that they had “been there”. We walked right down into the middle of the encampment – reading signs, listening to debates and observing the people.  It was quite an education!  And I loved it when a few days after we returned home I got a text from my daughter one morning as she was beginning her school day – “Mom!  They are evicting the protestors….70 arrested this morning”   I can promise you that had she not just experienced first hand the OWS movement that she would have had no idea what that even meant or been the least bit interested. (and my other daughter just walked in the door exclaiming – “Mom! Guess what the extra credit question was today in Government?….What is the current protest in New York called?”  I am thinking she will get those bonus points!)

  

Note to all my friends who have school age children – whether you homeschool or they are in “traditional” school….get out of the house, take them out of school and go and “do” things.  It is one of the BEST ways to really learn (that and reading, reading, reading)  As Mark Twain said – “Don’t let education get in the way of your learning”

9. Tea Time at Alice’s

Actually….having tea anywhere and anytime is one of my very favorite things!  Michelle has found the cutest little tea house in the Upper West Side that is based on Alice in Wonderland.  It is a darling place with fabulous tea and delicious pastries!  We began our Sunday morning at Alice’s Tea Cup enjoying scones – pumpkin, strawberry lemon and savory ham along with tea selections of cinnamon apple and birthday tea (which was AMAZING!) Even now as I type this I find my self relaxing and warmly remembering this cozy tea shop.  

Nothing better than a cup of tea….except for a cup of coffee of course! 🙂

 8. The Magic of Musicals

I have always been a big fan of musicals!  As a “drama” girl in high school my all time favorite play that I performed in was the musical Godspell.  I also watched every musical that came out in the movie theater or on television and took advantage of many stage performances.  I love the music, the fanfare, the energy, the dancing and the magic of it all. Wouldn’t it be great if in “real life” people just burst out into song at every opportunity? Well, in my world it would be awesome! 🙂

We had the opportunity to see not one but two musicals!  First Rebekah and I were treated to the Broadway performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” as part of The King’s College Inviso weekend for students looking at the college.  It was awesome! 

Then we were all able to see “Wicked” through the generosity of a friend who “comped” us two tickets and then we were blessed to win the Broadway lottery for the other two tickets (front row seats!) So all four of us enjoyed an amazing matinée performance of Wicked.  I knew the music well as the soundtrack is one of my girls favorites to listen to while cleaning but I had never attended a performance.  It was spectacular and had a great message!  I enjoyed every minute.

Oh and speaking of musicals….I found myself often breaking out in song as we walked through Central Park (“That’s How You Know” from Enchanted), down the streets of New York (“N.Y.C.”  from Annie) or in Times Square (“Give My Regards to Broadway”)…cuz that’s how I roll!

7. Churches, Cathedrals & Sanctuaries

I am enraptured by large beautiful places of worship that are built of brick, slate or stone and have ornate designs, massive columns, long aisles, traditional pews, stained glass windows and cavernous acoustics. I also love simple yet traditional colonial style houses of worship with the beauty of altars, pulpits and windows looking out to God’s creation. I want to see, feel and be enveloped by the majesty, wonder and awesomeness of my Lord. I want both the sacred and serene as well as the stirring of the spirit I feel in these places of worship. Don’t get me wrong, I can worship anywhere….from the more modern multi purpose type church sanctuary that I have attended for 28 years, to under the overpass while ministering to the homeless, walking alone along the seashore or even in the shower but there is something in my soul that longs for a breathtaking cathedral, an ivy covered brick church with stained glass or a simple sanctuary with pews looking up to an altar while the sun streams through the colonial windows to meet with God.  I had a vast array of these opportunities while in New York and Boston. It renewed and refreshed my spirit.

         

6. Hungarian Coffee….who knew?

One of the best things about our trip to New York was having a real “New Yorker” with us!  While not being a born & bred New York gal, after three years of living in New York I think Michelle made an excellent tour guide.  One of the places she took us that we would have never experienced without her expertise was a little Hungarian Pastry Shop. It was one of our last stops before heading to Boston and it was well worth it!

The Hungarian coffee was smooth, delicious with a hint of almond and a dollop of whip cream laced with spices.  It touched all your senses with its pleasing smell, its amazing taste and its appealing presentation.  Who knew I could be won over from Starbucks so easily?  Can someone please open a Hungarian pastry shop in Stockton?

Oh and the baklava and cream puff we devoured….oh my!

 

To be continued in Trip Top Ten (part 2)…..

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So much to say….so little time to say it!

So many things I want to write about and yet life continues to be a whirlwind of activity.  So this is just a random crazy rambling that contains many of my “all over the place” things I want to share with each of you. So grab a pumpkin spice latte my friend and let’s share some time together.

Life is often just a matter of perspective

Have you ever noticed that when you are gaining unwanted weight…the number on the scale in the morning makes you crazy, mad or depressed! And yet when you are losing weight …that exact same number is a cause for rejoicing?

Thinking we should realize that through all life’s twists and turns (or ups and downs like the scale) we should keep it all in perspective…just down the road a piece what we see now as maddening or depressing could look pretty darn good!

“Danielism’s”

My four year old son gives me enough “material” to write about daily as well as saying the “darndest” & cutest things on a regular basis!

There was a major chemical plant fire in my #2 daughter, Amy’s college town of Waxahachie, Texas. Daniel while watching the live feed of the fire says: “I hope Amy doesn’t get fired!”  Then looking quite stressed out he continues with intensity…”I need to tell Daddy about this!” (I respond – “Daniel…Daddy is in Texas  with Amy!”) Daniel jumps off the bed and says “Oh good then Amy won’t get blown up”…and he runs off to play without giving it another thought.

Don’t you just love it that he thinks his Daddy can take care of it all just like any superhero?! (hmmmm…perhaps we should become like a kid with our heavenly Daddy and rest in the fact that He’s got it covered!)

Communication Breakdown

In this day and age where we have multiple amazing avenues of communication….why did I have to call my daughter in Texas to have her send a facebook message to my next door neighbor to ask her to knock on my back door and tell my family to please call me because I was stranded on the side of the highway in the pouring down rain an hour away from home?

Why? Because after calling the house phone (which apparently they could not find…curse those cordless phones that are not attached to the wall…some technology really has not helped us) and my husband’s cell phone (which he apparently left in the car…why even  have a cell phone if it is not with you?) multiple times (read here 20 times each phone) I finally got creative and figured out a way to personally deliver a message to my family when it really was an actual emergency!

Next time I am traveling with a carrier pigeon…

Movies – When it Rains it Pours

Typically before the monthly “date night” with my love….I do a “once over” on the movie review page and decide there is nothing playing worth wasting my valuable time or my limited resources.  But lately there as been an abundance of really GREAT movies! (and not enough date nights!)

The Help — ummmmmm loved this movie! Funny, Moving, Passionate, Angering, Endearing, Inspiring…. So many “take aways” that could be life changing for you.  While most of us who saw the movie shared our outrage over the treatment of those of a different race or ethnicity I wonder if we realize how many of us think of others who are not of a certain “class” (be it educational, social, financial, religious or even racial) as lower than we are.  Even if we are not overtly treating them as “second class” citizens…our thinking is probably coming out in some of our actions no matter how small.  What would happen if we got as disgusted with ourselves as we did with the racist characters in this movie and changed even our thinking about those who somehow we view as “below” us?  Something to think about….

Courageous  – If you are a Dad….if you have had a Dad….if you have ever wanted a Dad – that is right everyone of us needs to see this inspirational  action packed movie about failure, fear, faith and fathering.  Bring a pack of kleenex because you will cry! You will also be convicted!  And hopefully you will be challenged and changed. It is currently #6 in the box office after two weekends running…GO SEE IT!

Seven Days In Utopia  – first it is rated G….love that! Although it is about golf (not my favorite subject) this movie is more about forgiveness and mercy and grace.  Love it when I can go to a movie and leave with great life lessons learned and positive messages. (reminds me of The Ultimate Gift…another GREAT movie!)  It has been out over a month so if you don’t catch it at the theater be sure to look for it when it comes out on DVD.

 

Machine Gun Preacher – so I haven’t seen it yet and there are probably many things that will irritate & greatly offend me about this movie (mostly the excessive foul language)…I am pretty sure I will go see it!  Why?  Because I love the fact that it is exposing the atrocities of how children are being horrifically treated in Sudan and perhaps it will ignite some “righteous justice” in those of us who are content to sip our lattes in Starbucks while simply talking about the injustices in the world but never getting off our fannies to actually do anything about it.  My college age daughters have both already seen it because they live in our near BIG cities where it has already opened. Besides it’s a great couple movie as it has lots of guns & violence for the guys and the emotional tug of precious children being rescued for the gals. (PS – No I won’t let my children see this one)

 

Marital Bliss

Speaking of date nights…lately I have found myself sharing tidbits of advice to couples who are committed to their marriages but find themselves struggling with different challenges. (not too mention the fact that the all time number one blog post visited on my blog deals with overcoming marital problems…it must be something we all need help with)

One of the things we often do on our date nights when we are having fun, at peace and enjoying our relationship (in other words not in the middle of a disagreement or intense conversation) is to ask each other this – “What is one thing I can change or do better that would really be a blessing to you?”   The rules are –> it can only be ONE thing (we can all handle tackling one issue at a time), that I won’t argue about it and that I will make an honest attempt to change or do what is asked.

You need an example? Ok….so usually my sweet husband answers with…”hmmmm (then a pause to think), no I’m good Beth, I can’t think of anything. (HA!  I know all too well how hard I am to live with…he is just a wee bit easy going. And of course I always have something that he can do or change that would bless me)  But a few years ago he did come up with something.  He shared with me that it would really bless him if I would be on time for church. (according to his idea of “on time” – 10 minutes early…not my idea of “on time” – right at the starting time and up to 10 minutes late)  So even though I was comfortable in “my way” of doing things and I didn’t really see the big deal…I agreed to do this because it was a big deal to him.  And because I love him I am willing to change and I want to bless him!

That is just one small example of something that can really help you on your road to marital bliss! So next time you are out on a date night (you are going on date nights right?)…make this one sentence a part of your wonderful evening.

Oh where in the world is Virginia Elizabeth?

In case you missed the reference to “Oh where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” (and you would if you were not a kid or raising kids in the 90’s or early ‘oos) OR you have no idea who Virginia Elizabeth is…the comment is from an educational video game & television series exploring geography & history.  And since “Oh where in the world is Beth“….doesn’t have the same ring or pizzaz as Carmen Sandiego…I used my given name…Virginia Elizabeth (fancy huh?)  Did you know that my real name is Virginia and I actually go by a nickname of my middle name. Strange huh?  Even my own dear mother can not explain why they did this…and it has definitely been a challenge in a day and age where identity is so crucial. As a result I have named my children exactly what I have called them, without even nicknames.  It has also been humourous at times having several “real” names….but I digress. What I really wanted to tell you is that I have been traveling or going on out of town excursions A LOT in the last six weeks!

  • from the beach in Santa Cruz, CA with dear friends
  • to Waxahachie, Texas where my second daughter has begun her freshman year of college at SAGU
  • to Lorton, Virginia to spend time with and help my mother out while she has been experiencing some challenging health issues (bonus: my Micehelle took the bus down from NYC to see me and celebrate her 22nd birthday!)
  • to our annual Apple Hill fall family day trip…love this! (you can read about this tradition here)
  • and finally I just returned yesterday from my 16th Croptoberfest Retreat weekend in Toulomne, CA with close to 100 women who were happily relaxing, scrapbooking, eating & enjoying time away from it all with dear friends.
  • Oh wait….I also have driven to the Oakland airport & back six times in the past month as my family has been doing their fair share of traveling as well  (and last week the car I was driving lost its transmission on the way home and I got a lift back home from the tow truck driver…that was a first)

If you love pictures & want to see more of my last six weeks in full living color…click here! I am officially home for the next three weeks until I fly off again for a combo 16th birthday/college visitation/time with Michelle trip to NYC & Boston in November.

Inspire Ministries….am I speaking & writing?

Hmmmmm….a year ago I announced that the Lord was moving me in a direction of beginning a ministry that would involve using my gifts and talents in speaking & writing to inspire people to live a life of purpose, passion & praise.

Soooooooo….have I been doing that? 

Well the writing is sporadic with a constant nagging in my mind that I need to “get on it”.  And yet here I am not even consistently blogging, let alone actually working on a manuscript. Yes I am “busy” (HATE that word).  Yes, I have 8 children to care for. Yes, there are a dozen legitimate excuses.  And yet excuses are just that excuses for not doing what you say you want to do.  If we really want to do something, we will do it. Period. End of story.  Which means what I need to say is that it is just not my priority (not important enough to me at this time).  Admitting the truth is often the first step to change…we will see if I change.

Speaking…I have “officially” had 6 speaking engagements this past year. (and 2 additional invitations that I had to pass on due to conflicts)   They have ranged from women’s luncheons to retreats to conferences.  They have all gone well with the Lord using me to speak His words of life through sharing my life stories and insights.  I love it!  My goal was 6 this past year and 12 this coming year.  The problem with speaking (unlike writing) is that you have to be invited to do it.  So after a good first year start I am staring at an empty calendar except for a lone Moms Fellowship Group in January.  Now I do a lot of “one on one” speaking assignments and I simply love these too! (could these be called counseling or life coaching?  Funny, I find myself often saying the same things I say in a group setting with just a bit more personalization)

Perhaps you or someone you know is looking for a speaker for their event, conference, luncheon, meeting or retreat.  I would love to come!  And while I do not have a website up & running yet.  Let me share some of the many topics I feel confident to speak on (I am sure there are more…this is a quickly drawn up list):

  • Marriage Topics – Nurturing a healthy, happy & holy marriage, Becoming the best wife you can be, Preparing for a life long marriage, Overcoming challenges on the road to marital bliss, Love languages & personality teaching
  • Parenting Topics – Raising children of faith, Purposeful parenting, Family traditions, Bringing up good girls in an X-rated world, Mommy lessons from having 8 kids, Building your child’s confidence
  • Personal Growth Topics – Knowing who you really are to God, Trusting God, Help for the control freak, Living a balanced life, Letting the Lord be enough, Living a life of purity, Goals, dreams & visions, Discovering & using your gifts & talents, Married & wishing your were single OR Single & wishing you were married, Taming the tongue
  • Working at Home Mom Topics –  Running a successful home based business, Balancing Family & Business, Building a God honoring business

I have often tailored a message to a groups theme or purpose as well.  If you have an idea and I feel like I can meet your need, I am willing to do it! I appreciate your help in spreading the word for me, as well as your prayers or words of advise are always welcome!  I am trusting God to open the doors He wants me to walk through.

Ok, my latte is all gone…would love to hear what you have to say!

Until next time…..

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Filed under Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges, My "take"

911: Remembering & Recommitting

September 11, 2001…where were you?

911 002I was actually in the Washington DC area on a business trip on that fateful day in American history, along with my then seven-year old daughter, Kristen. (she is now 17 and a senior in high school!) We were getting ready to fly home on that very morning the planes were flown into the twin towers in New York City.

And ironically I am in Virginia again on this 10th anniversary of 911.  This time I am here by myself without my precious Kristen.  I am here to help my mother who has recently had some intense health issues that require her to need assistance.  When I first made my reservations to come to the East coast it did not dawn on me that I would once again be in the nation’s capitol on September 11.  I believe this anniversary is an appropriate time to remember, to reflect, to honor those whose lives were lost and who gave sacrificially and to renew our commitments to our faith, our family & friends and our country. How significant then that the Lord would orchestrate the circumstances of my life to be in the same place I was on that fateful life changing day.

Here is an excerpt from my photo album written shortly after September 11, 2001. (I am so thankful that I took the time to write this down back then, one of the many bonuses of being a scrapbooker & journaler!)  –

911 003From the moment I turned on the television at my mother’s home in Springfield, Virginia…everything began to become surreal. I sat frozen alone on the couch as I realized the atrocity and severity of what was happening. Terrorists hijacked  two airplanes and crashed them into the twin towers in New York City. As the events unfolded I watched with horror, along with millions of Americans who were glued to their television sets.  It was like we were watching a nightmare and wondering what might happen next and if we would ever feel safe again.

All I could think was that I wanted to be home with my family. I was 3,000 miles away and with all air traffic being suspended indefinitely, there was no certainty of when I could get home. I called Dan who was still unaware of what was happening on the East Coast (It was still very early in California). He prayed for me & told me how much he loved me. He also shared how relieved he was that I was at home at my Mom’s and not on an airplane at that moment. As I sat back down to watch the unfolding drama I learned that another plane had crashed just down the freeway from where I currently was staying — into the Pentagon. I was stunned! 911 005What was happening…and what would be next? It was at that point I looked down at my confirmed airline itinerary dated September 11. 2001 from Washington DC to California. The full impact hit me. My daughter and I could have easily been  passengers on one of those airplanes heading to California. I began to cry & praise the Lord that it was not my time to die and that I was not on an airplane right then being diverted to another city somewhere in the United States.  Instead, I was safe at my mother’s home with my sweet daughter. I had a lot to be thankful for that day. We finally did get home five days later. (but not without several delays and obstacles including getting stuck in Minneapolis for a night and being graciously taken in by a business associate, Leanne Anderson, who rescued us from having to sleep in the airport) When we finally touched down in San Francisco, I cried. I had never been happier than to simply be home with my precious family.

911 001In the aftermath of 911, it was inspiring to see patriotism come to life in America. Everywhere you looked people were wearing red, white & blue, flying flags, putting up signs & showing their love for their country & fellow citizens. Flags were everywhere – on every home, hanging from bridges, on cars, on buildings, on clothing…it was overwhelming & emotional. I found myself with eyes filled with tears and getting choked up several times a day as I witnessed the love of others and the patriotism that had been sorely missing in the daily life of most Americans. People also began to give of their time, talent & treasure in abundance. On every street corner money was being collected & people gave freely. Many volunteered their time and stood in line for hours to give blood. It was an incredible moment in history to witness this outpouring of love & generosity.

911 004This tragedy of 911 also turned many hearts back to the Lord and to faith. Everyone was in desperate search of answers and in great need of peace, hope & security. People were coming together in droves to pray and seek God. Our common faith in God became evident to all. The cross rose up out of the ashes of the towers and became a symbol of hope for those at Ground Zero in New York. We all knew that we desperately needed God. No one was offended by people praying or evoking the name of Jesus. There was a National Memorial Service broadcast worldwide where Billy Graham boldly proclaimed the gospel.

September 11, 2001 was truly a day that changed everything. 

911Were you changed by the events of September 11?

Did you stop everything & order your priorities aright?

Did you have a renewed sense of patriotism & love for the USA?

Did you weep with those who lost loved ones and hold your precious family closer?

Did you give blood, donate your time or money in the aftermath?

Did it draw you to the Lord?

Perhaps on this anniversary of 911 it would do us all some good to recommit to these same things today.  In this ever-changing and turbulent times we are living…none of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  I Peter 5:8

It is so easy in the years following a disaster or life changing event to lose your resolve, be lulled into apathy or even forget the things that you thought would stay with you forever.  Take the time today to remember and recommit yourself to loving God, loving others, loving life and loving our country with the intensity we did after 911.

I will be re-committing my life to these values as I attend a memorial service in Washington DC on Sunday. I want to live my life as if each day could be my last –

  • ready to meet my Lord by humbly living a life pleasing to Him
  • loving my dear family & friends and spending time enjoying each other
  • reaching out with kindness and compassion to strangers, those in need and even those that I find challenging
  • not stressing about the small inconsequential things that try to irritate or distract me from the truly important things in life
  • joyfully serving my church, my community, my country and my world using my God-given gifts & talents to benefit others

What do you remember about the way your life changed after September 11? What values will you recommit to on this anniversary of that horrific day? Don’t let this moment pass you by without some reflection on the past and commitments for your future…in just a blink of an eye we will be another decade away from this fateful day…let’s be changed for the better!

God Bless America!

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Don’t you know what causes that?

“Don’t you know what causes that?”

It started with my third pregnancy…as we began to share with those around us the news of the anticipated birth of our baby…the smirking and joking from a few friends who assumed that we could not have possibly planned to have a…<gulp>….third child!  I suppose several gave us a “pass” on their comments since we had already birthed two girls and they assumed we were “trying for a boy”.  But when the fourth pregnancy was revealed less than a year later friends, family and even strangers jumped on the band wagon to ask us silly and/or personal questions or make shocking and/or rude statements:

  • Were you trying?  (nope, we were doing and succeeding mind you!)
  • How many more are you going to have? (you’ll have to ask God)
  • Was this an accident?  (Really? Like getting pregnant is being in a car wreck or breaking your leg)
  • Are you going to get fixed after this one? (hmmm…didn’t know I was broken)
  • I am glad it’s you and not me! (I am sure the baby is too and my husband is definitely glad it’s not you)
  • How are you ever gonna pay for college? (I don’t know…how are you?)
  • You’re crazy! (if that was said to my face I can’t imagine what was said behind my back)
  • You’re having another one?  (yes, at least one this time)
  • When are you going to stop? (stop?….stop what?)

And my personal favorite from all the people who think they are “oh so funny”…

  • Don’t you know what causes that? (I have so many great answers in my head for this one that would make most people turn beat red or greatly embarrass my teenage girls…but I was raised to be a dignified lady so I try oh so hard to keep my mouth shut)

Assuming that the readers of this blog have all taken a junior high sex ed class, have been through a “secret weekend” (as they are called in our family) or have had “the talk” with their parents where they learned all about “the facts of life” (otherwise known as human anatomy, sexual relations and how life is conceived)…I do not think that you need a biological play by play on what caused us to conceive seven children during our almost 25 years of marriage.  But perhaps you are curious about what might cause a couple to have such a large family in a society that teaches and embraces a two child…or three at the most…standard philosophy? (and laughs at, sneers or condemns anyone who dares to do otherwise)

What caused us to have so many children?  Well let me tell you it all began 25 years ago this very month and if you are interested or curious, I have finally decided to write out and publish our story. (WARNING: If you have a tendency to feel “judged” simply by the lifestyle and choices others make that are different than yours, you might want to just stop reading now and save yourself the grief.  DISCLAIMER: I am in no way judging anyone for their choices regarding children, reproduction or family size nor am I telling anyone else how they should decide these things.  I am simply sharing our God inspired story for those who are curious, interested or questioning. It may challenge your theology or thinking and… it may not)

I was 24 years old and just a few months away from getting married when the Lord began to work in my heart concerning my ideas about birth control, family planning and being truly open to every life that He wanted to
give to me.

I was a very committed & passionate young woman who was serving as the youth pastor to hundreds of “on fire” teenagers. I had what were called “radical” views on dating and relationships as well as very intensive discipleship programs for our youth.  I considered myself extremely pro-life and wanted to do everything within my power to stop the atrocity of abortion in our country.  In many ways I was  quite different than the average church going evangelical yet I found myself among the norm when it came to buying into the “planned parenthood” mentality of our day.

I was engaged to be married to an awesome godly young man and we both agreed that the plan would be for me to begin taking the birth control pill and then we would wait several years, go off the pill and have perhaps two children, a boy & a girl, and then be done. Perfect, right?

As part of our marriage preparation we attended an Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat where we were encouraged to take an opportunity to dialogue honestly and intensively about our prospective lives together– our strengths and weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, our attitudes about money, sex, children, family, our role in the church and society–in a very comprehensive way. (I highly recommend this type of purposeful marriage preparation and am always shocked when couples have not taken the time to explore these areas and come to an agreement prior to saying “I do”!)   After each topic was introduced, we were given a list of questions to answer privately in a journal and then come together to share our answers with one another. (a great way to have honest communication)

About half way through the weekend the session on family planning, birth control and children was introduced.  As Dan and I each found a private place to write in our journals I began to feel a strong stirring in my heart. I was challenged in my spirit to completely rethink my beliefs in this area.  As I sat on some rocks in the foothills of Copperopolis and tried to write down my well thought out answers (you see I knew exactly what I wanted in this area of life and marriage), the Lord literally threw out questions one after another in my mind, fast and furious –

  • Have you ever considered asking Me what the plan for your family should be? (hadn’t really thought about that, Lord)
  • How about inquiring of Me how many children I want to give you? (Well, I just thought we would just decide what we wanted and you would be fine with it)
  •  Is it birth control or God control that you desire? (ouch…this one stung!)
  • Who is in control of your life anyway? (ummmmm….You are God?? I love you & want your will for my life)
  • Do you believe that children are a blessing from Me?  (of course….I think so)
  • Why do you want to limit my blessings? (well…..I don’t know?)
  • Do you believe that I know you and will give you the very best for your life?  (Yes!)
  • Do you trust me? (I thought I did)

I felt like I was in some type of wrestling match with the Lord as He tried to get me to release control of my life and give my plans over to become His plans. (Thy will be done)  But when I was finally ready to stop arguing with Him and listen He gently reminded me to just relax and trust Him…for He truly had an abundant life for me to live. Better than I could ever ask or think! After that hour with the Lord, and a subsequent long conversation with my soon to be husband (when we got together later to share our journals…and I had written not a thing down), together we gave our plans for family to the Lord and ditched the “planned parenthood” philosophy.

We did not decide to have a “boatload” (or 15 passenger van load) of children.

We did not decide to have one, two or three children for that matter either.

We did not decide to be married for three years and then start our family and we did not decide to get pregnant right away.

We simply decided to give God control of our family dynamics and to ask Him to lead and guide us every step of the way. (not really a complicated decision to merely ask the Lord what He wants and yet so few do ask Him when it comes to this area of life)

A month later I learned quite by happenstance that the birth control pill was an abortifacient. (well documented and researched so no need to argue with me on this point…even if your doctor told you it wasn’t they were using some type of semantics and faulty reasoning…all you have to do is read the insert that is in the pill container) I was appalled that no believer had shared this with me and I got down on my knees and thanked the Lord that I had never “accidentally” aborted a baby by making my womb hostile to implantation of a conceived child.  With my heart & passion for the unborn that would have been difficult for me to live with. During that time I had gotten even more confident in my conviction that we should simply put the control of our family in God’s hands.  After all He was the creator of life (albeit He lets us be a part of that as co-creators) and since His view on children as being a gift from Him and a blessing, we could certainly trust Him. I also realized that the Lord might not bless us with any children by birth and I committed that into His care as well. (something that in this current world of rampant infertility issues one would be best to realize early on — the truth that no one is guaranteed to give birth to a child) We had also already experienced the miracle of adoption through our newly adopted niece who joined our family the same week we got engaged…we knew that adopting a child was not “second best” to having a bio child and we considered that adoption would someday be a part of the plan for our family as well.

On our wedding day we publicly affirmed & committed to raising children to glorify God (to the actual laughter of many of our Christian friends…you can hear it on the video) and throughout our 24+ years of marriage we have continued to trust God in this area.  We have prayed at times asking for the Lord to give us a “breather” (after we had four children in six years and extremely difficult pregnancies) and we along with our daughters have pleaded with the Lord for over three years to bless us with yet another sweet baby to love (#7) and we spent countless hours and persisted through many roadblocks and closed doors as we asked God to let us adopt.  Children came at what others considered “bad times” (one during my husband’s last year in Bible school, several back to back, another when we had taken on a challenge of starting a Christian school, and of course the health risks for myself and baby that many gravely warned us about when I had two babies post 40 years old) but as always in hindsight we see that Gods timing was perfect with each and every child. Through it all we chose God control and ultimately said… “Thy will be done”.

The results….we have been blessed with seven awesome children by birth (six girls – 21, 18, 17, 15, 12, 8 and a boy 4 years old) and so far one girl (age 2) through the miracle of adoption. They have brought more love, joy & peace into our lives than we could have ever imagined. (as well producing other fruit of the spirit – patience & self control – we didn’t start off with these qualities but you better believe we have given ample opportunity to grow!) It would take another long blog entry to tell you about all the blessings and benefits that we have been given through each of our children as well as by having a plus size family. Things we could have never imagined those 25 years ago and yet God knew.  And we are ready, willing & wanting to take any more that the Lord sends our way through birth or adoption. (to the utter shock, amazement & sometimes dismay of most of the people around us.)

So……do I know what causes this?

Yes I do, thank you!

What causes a young soon to be married couple to decide to chuck the current popular world view on birth control, pregnancy, child spacing, family size and children out the window?

It was caused by:

  • the joining together of two hearts that wanted nothing more than to listen to the Lord and follow His plan for their lives.
  • a desire to give Him complete control over their lives and their destinies
  • a hope to come together in marriage to glorify God and be an example of Christ and His unconditional love for His church
  • a belief that all life is a gift to be cherished and that babies are a blessing from God
  • gaining an understanding of how much God loves the orphans, the fatherless and children without forever families that His heart beats for adoption
  • trusting God and saying…Not our will but….Thy will be done!

How about you….Do you know what causes that in your life?

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Filed under Adoption, Attitude, Blessings, Faith, Fatherhood, Life Lessons, Marriage, Motherhood, My "take", Pro-life

Letter to the Bethany University Family

Dear Bethany University Students, Staff & Alumni…

I am not a BU alumni but I have been following the alumni facebook page for several months hoping & praying that Bethany University would overcome their current obstacles, hurdles and challenges and live to see another season of awesome ministry to students who will carry on to impact the world for Jesus Christ.

My heart was bolstered with confidence after the District Council Meeting in April when it appeared that Bethany would be given yet another opportunity to carry on in service to our Lord.  I rejoiced with you all as we heard the news of “Miracle  Monday” and began to pray about what way the Lord might use my family to help continue the amazing legacy at BU through giving of our time, talent and treasure. And this last week I have grieved deeply along with you all at the heart wrenching news of the impending closing of this amazing university.

You may wonder why, if having never been a student, staff member or alumni of this school, that my heart would be so connected to your beloved alma mater?  Let me explain….

You see, I should have been a college student at Bethany University in the early 80’s.  It would have been  the “perfect fit” for a passionate young lady who knew that she was called to minister to youth and wanted more than anything else to know God in a deeply intimate way. Unfortunately, I lacked the knowledge that a school like yours even existed and without any wisdom or counsel from the adults around me I ended up at a private secular university where I sat in disgust as the professor in “Intro to New Testament” spent the semester “proving” that the Bible was not the inspired word of God.  Yet God, in His amazing grace kept me secure in His hands and while I ultimately graduated with my faith in tact I missed out on truly what I desired from a college experience. Here is what I would have wanted:

  • solid Bible teaching as well as other classes that were motivating and inspiring, taught by faculty who truly wanted to mentor, invest and speak into my life
  • friendships that would encourage me, sharpen my faith and last for a lifetime through the bonds of Christ
  • a positive uplifting environment in every area from dorm life, to athletic events to chapel services
  • a place where I could seek unhindered the Lord’s will for my life & future along side students and staff who would care for me, pray for me, rejoice with me and cry with me

A college much like Bethany University!

I graduated from the University of Pacific with a degree in Recreational Leadership (that would work for youth ministry right?) and went on to be a youth pastor for four years at an Assembly of God Church in Stockton, California.  During those years I came to learn about Bethany University and was always so excited when the admissions teams would come share during our youth service or we would take students over to the campus for preview weekends.  Everytime I met a Bethany student or walked on campus I could sense the spirit of the Lord moving in hearts and lives. It was like a breath of fresh air. During my years as a youth pastor and subsequently a Christian high school teacher and guidance counselor, I encouraged many young people to attend BU and those that did had life changing experiences. Despite an often “older” run down campus, limited majors, a small community and even an uncertain future I have continued to promote the college to young people who are seeking to know the Lord and follow His path for their lives because there is simply something very unique and special that happens at Bethany.

Bethany University has also affected my life richly through the number of alumni who I have personally been ministered to, worked and  enjoyed fellowship with over the past 30 years. My husband and children have also been profoundly affected by many BU alumni.  In fact as I began to make a list of Bethany alumni who have been a part of our lives, it is vast and impressive.  Truly a university who has produced the number of exceptional men and women of God attributed to this school must have a special anointing upon it.

And finally I feel connected to BU because I was about to become a “Bethany Mom”.  My second daughter, Amy was to enter the college this fall as a freshman.  After applying and being accepted to six private Christian colleges in California and one in Texas there was just “something about Bethany” that drew her.  Because my husband, her father is a licensed minister with the Northern California/Nevada Assemblies of God (he is however not a pastor of an AG church but has committed his life to the ministry of Christian education as a high school chaplain & Bible teacher) we perhaps had more “inside” information than many incoming freshman and even with the knowledge of impending doom, Amy chose to attend Bethany.  Her response to those who questioned her wisdom? “I would love to be at a school where students held special prayer meetings to save their school.”  She had already been captivated by the heart and soul of Bethany. She is currently doing earthquake relief ministry in Japan where I had to convey to her last week via email, Bethany’s decision to close its doors.  Even though she is much less impacted by this decision than the current students are, she still feels a great sense of loss for what “might have been”.  As she takes another look at her other college options, many good solid Christian institutions,  there is a sense of unrest and dissatisfaction.  They just aren’t Bethany.

I decided to write this missive tonight for three reasons:

1. To let you the alumni, current students and staff know that there are many of us out here, who while not directly a part of the Bethany family, truly care about Bethany University.  We are standing with you in prayer.  We are grieving the current loss and we are ever hopeful to be rejoicing in what the Lord still may do in the future. (with God all things are possible!)

2. To encourage and challenge you to come together in unity to fight for the future of Bethany University! For all of the reasons I have shared above and many more this unique, special, one of a kind, anointed school needs to be saved. And while we often think it will take investors with the type of wealth that most of us can only dream of, I have found that much of the time God chooses the small unknown, yet full of faith and confidence in God… “Davids” in the kingdom to slay the “Goliaths”.  I have personally experienced this type of miraculous victory when well over a decade ago my husband and I set out to start a Christian school in our community, against all odds.  We were just a young couple, without money, power or influence and yet the Lord chose to use us to gather a group of passionate parents together in hopes of starting a unique, special, one of a kind, anointed Christian High School.  Using just our Christmas card mailing list we sent out a letter asking for support to start this massive undertaking and within a month had raised close to $30,000. That momentum was just what was needed to put together a school board, incorporate a non-profit and continue to raise the quarter million dollars that was needed to begin the school. When I look back I stand in amazement that people were willing to give to a school that did not even exist, a school that could have potentially never opened its doors, a school who even in its first year faced great financial struggles so much so, that even our board president predicted that it would close its doors after the first graduating class.  And yet God prevailed, not through multi million dollar investors but through average everyday people who monthly gave in faith what little they could afford.  Fourteen years later that school – Jim Elliot Christian High School in Lodi – is still impacting students lives! To God be the glory!

Perhaps God is speaking to one or several of you…to lead the charge, to step out in faith, to gather all those who are passionate about Bethany University and together make a difference.  There are thousands of alumni, hundreds of students and dozens of faculty and staff members who all have friends and family that they could invite to make an investment, a step of faith in a university that actually does exist, a university with an amazing legacy, a university with WASC accreditation, fabulous faculty and committed students, a university that will touch the lives of its students who will in turn go out and make a difference in the world. I can easily do the math…and it adds up to millions and millions of dollars that could be raised in a very short order (if my Christmas card mailing list raised $30,000 in 30 days from “average” folks who donated to a “potential” school….what could all of your mailing lists combined do?) But it takes vision and leadership to take on the Goliath (in this case massive debt and vital restructuring of business practices).  Maybe the Lord is piercing one or several of your hearts to lead the charge!

3. To use my God-given gifts as well as sphere of influence to share the Bethany experience and the impending closing with others in hopes that perhaps someone out there may feel led to make a difference in the future of this University.  Besides posting this on the Bethany alumni facebook page, I will also publish it on my blog where I know my thousands of readers will at the very least pray for the current students and staff as well as alumni and for the Lord’s will to prevail. (I do realize that it well may be the Lord’s will for BU to close…but I feel compelled to share the “impossible” possibilities)

This time it is not my place or purpose to lead the way but perhaps it is your turn! I am willing to offer my time and talent in the area of development to any of you involved with efforts to help a new day dawn for Bethany University.

Blessings to each of you,

Beth Lambdin

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Filed under Determination, Faith, Lifes Challenges, My "take"

Accolades for Amy

Here I am on the eve of my second sweet daughter’s graduation from high school.

In many ways that is not remarkable as millions of families will watch their children and grandchildren march across a stage, field or platform in the upcoming days and weeks to receive that coveted diploma. Yes, she is just one of millions in the global class of 2011.

And it is quite unlike the first born graduate who accomplished this same milestone four years ago. There will be no valedictorian speeches, no honor cords or scholarships awarded her at the ceremony tomorrow. She will be just another one of the graduates in the JECHS class of 2011.

  • Unremarkable?
  • Average?
  • One of many?

NOT!

Amy, while not an academic achiever according to the standard of this world, is an amazing young lady with unique gifts and talents, influential leadership, godly character and a heart for the Lord!  She is remarkable! She is uncommon! She is stellar!

And yet she is in the season of life that I call the “academic” years.  Those years where it seems like most of life is centered around your academic achievements.  You are judged and evaluated by your ability to take tests, your grade point average, your SAT scores, your AP & honors courses, your college acceptance letters and your scholarship awards.  You are continually being asked questions about your academic achievements by relatives, adult mentors, teachers & peers.

Personally, I sailed through this season of life with relative ease. (and it truly is just a season…no one has asked my GPA in the last three decades!)  While I was the least “academically inclined” of my parents four children, I still had giftings in the area of academics and along with my brother & sisters acquired the appropriate amount of academic accolades, achievements & awards.  I was also an “academic snob”.  While I realized that people had various degrees of intellectual ability, I figured that most everyone (with the exception of the most severe disabilities) had the ability to achieve academically if they “put their mind to it”.  This carried into my early years as a teacher as I was appalled by students who came into my classroom as junior highers not being able to spell simple words like paper (papper) or having acquired basic reading skills or understanding of math.  Not that I expected everyone to be “straight A” students, I actually thought most had just not “worked hard enough” or were lazy.

My first born fell right into my line of academic thinking.In addition to being a classic first born overachiever, she spoke in full sentences by year one, began to read at age four and could spell “beautiful” in kindergarten. I am sure in my mind I was “patting myself on the back” for creating such an academic acheiver (which in reality I had precious little to do with it)  Then along came Amy….

She was the sweetest baby ever.  She was calm, good-natured, smiled & slept a lot. (in shocking comparison to her extremely colicky…crying for 9 months straight… elder sister).  We nicknamed her “Sleeping Beauty”.  It didn’t concern us that she was not speaking as early as her sister as we figured this was typical for a second child.  But….when she still was not speaking more than 10-15 coherent words by age four we knew there was some “issues”.  She was diagnosed with serious speech delay and began four years of therapy. Then she was only able to read very short kindergarten readers by age ten. After trying every program known to man to teach her to read we finally found the program (Powerline) and the teacher (the amazing Miss Pam) that worked for her dyslexia. We rejoiced that she was able to read and comprehend novels before going to high school (and went from “I HATE reading” to “Mom, can I read all day?”).

While I was raising Amy (or perhaps she was raising me) I began to change my mindset.  I began to “re-think” the way society sees academics. I began to be very purposeful about teaching Amy that her value did not come from her ability to excel academically (or for that matter athletically, musically, artistically or in outward beauty or wealth…all things the world puts a high value on) but that her value was to be found as a child of God. I also ingrained in her heart & mind that the God who created her had also endowed her with unique gifts and talents to be used for His glory. (“Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.” 1 Peter 4:10)  For her those gifts did not happen to be in the area of academics and yet she would still be required to perform at a certain level to get through this academic season of life.  It is just the way we have set up our society.  (on a side note I find this interesting…what if we required someone to play sports for years and “pass” athletic milestones even if they had no athletic propensity?  Or if we required musical accomplishments from people who were tone-deaf or can’t clap & sing at the same time?) Of course since she was homeschooled, the normal academic pressures of traditional school were not something she had to face.  She had a happy, carefree childhood free from thoughts of – “I’m in the slow group” or “I am dumb” or “What is wrong with me?”.  She learned at her own pace. She discovered her unique gifts and talents and excelled at them. She learned to love the Lord. She developed godly character.  She actually blissfully unaware of any disabilities she had.  As she began to prepare to go to a traditional high school, I spent time reinforcing these values and ideas so that she would be able to get through school without losing her sense of value and purpose. I warned her:

  • She would have to work harder and likely not get as good results as many of those around her
  • That she may stay up half the night studying and still fail the test.
  • That some teachers would be “academic snobs” just as I had once been or think she was lazy or had not studied…just smile and pray for them.
  • This is just a academic season of life and that it has no reflection on her future success and plans
  • That her accolades would need to come from the Lord and the voice in her own head (she spent much of her childhood listening to motivational speakers and memorizing their quotes! It paid off!)

I encouraged her:

  • That God has uniquely gifted her and that she needed to develop those gifts and use them for His glory
  • That she needed to work hard (and thus develop godly character) no matter what the results
  • That it was much smarter to take the areas you are good at and make them great than to take things you are poor at and make them average. (Why spend time trying to take a two to a five when you could take a seven to a ten?)
  • God is in control of your life.  You seek Him, commit your way to Him and live upright, He will accomplish what concerns you and He will lead you in the right path.
  • Never forget your value lies in being a child of God!

And she did just that! It was hard at times. She had moments of disappointment and discouragement…but she pressed on!  As she walks across the stage tomorrow and receives her diploma, this former “academic snob” momma will be

  • rejoicing with her as she celebrates her success!
  • beaming with pride (just as I did with my first grad in ’07) that she is pursuing her God-given gifts and talents, developing godly character and loving the Lord
  • shedding a few bittersweet tears as she ends this season of life

PS – For those Moms of “youngins” who struggle with academic achievement and are concerned (translate worried) about their education and future let me encourage you.  Amy will graduate from high school with a 3.18. She was accepted to five colleges (two on academic probation) even with below average SAT scores and received financial aid & academic scholarships from the colleges (we did giggle with delight when these offers arrived). She will be attending Bethany University in the fall and continue to seek the Lord’s plan  & purpose for her life.  Who would have ever guessed that 10 years ago?  But God…..

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Filed under Attitude, College & Career, Determination, Homeschool, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Life Lessons, Lifes Challenges, My "take"

Random, Abstract & Off the Wall

A new experience for me in the blogosphere…today and Monday I am a “guest blogger” over at Tommy Mom for my dear friend Teri Helms. The subject is one of my favorites – being purposeful about creating a home full of meaningful family traditions. So head on over and check it out! 

In the midst of writing for Teri I thought I better post something new on my blog since it has been over a month since you have heard a peep from me (unless of course you are my facebook friend and then you’ve heard more than you ever wanted to know!)

The winter fog here in the central valley of California seems to cloud my mind as well…so here is the most random, abstract and off the wall post you may ever read here on my blog.

“Mother of the Year” Award….Not!

What do you do when your teenage daughter comes in from “experimenting” with skateboarding (which you recommended against) and is in pain complaining that she fell off and is sure she broke her foot?  You tell her to “toughen up” and take a Tylenol, of course!  I mean come on!  I’ve been a Mom for 21 years and certainly I could tell if your foot was really broken….besides we don’t break bones in our family.

Fast forward two weeks later and we are in the doctor’s office getting an xray.  Guess what?  Her foot is broken and she now has a pretty purple cast.  So much for “Mother knows best”.  Just bring your fingers to your forehead in the shape of an “L” and call me a loser, I can admit when I messed up!

Loving Life Coaching  

Just in the past two weeks I have met with, talked on the phone or answered questions via email with over a dozen people giving advice, opinions and hopefully wisdom in the following areas – adoption, dating & relationships, parenting, college & career counseling and callings, raising girls, fundraising and philosophy of Christian education.  I love it! Now if I could just figure out a way to get paid to do this without charging the people receiving the “coaching”. (I know that sounds insane…but I really would love to just help people for free! It brings me great joy and fulfillment) Trying to figure it all out.

Family Photos – better than therapy, depression and anxiety meds or stress relievers

I took the dive into digital album making this year.  I have been taking exclusively digital photos for the past 4 years and decided it was time to start really organizing those photos and transition to digital “scrapbooking”…although my style of album making has always been less “scrapbooky” (is that a word?) and more like a yearbook.  So in true Beth Lambdin “jump off the cliff” style…I took a “crash course” in digital photo “stuff”, scheduled weekly digital classes and an all day Saturday workshop, transferred & organized  9,475 photos (and that was just those taken in 2010…excessive!), and have completed 27 digital 12×12 page prints to put in my CM albums.  Here is a sample page:

If you want to see all 27 pages here is a link – My First Digital Album

And you know what the very best thing is about working with and looking at your photos?  It allows you to relive all of the good times in your life (because we don’t take pictures of the not so good times like the dirty dishes piled high to the ceiling, the mold in my shower, the screaming child with the runny nose). It let’s you celebrate life’s highlights again.  It reminds you how much you love the people in your life and what great moments you have had together.  It makes you laugh and smile over & over again.  It is better than any therapy, any meds to make you happy or anxiety free and it instantly brings you joy, peace and love in your life.  Try it!

The Good News & The Bad News

The good news…I weigh exactly the same as I did before the holiday feeding frenzy began at Thanksgiving and carried on through Epiphany. 

The bad news…it is a good 20 lbs (ok, ok 30) more than what I need to weigh for my health and wardrobe. And so the life long (or at least since beginning mommyhood) battle continues. To eat or not to eat? Picked up a copy of  the new book by Lysa Terkeurst – Made to Crave – this month. It looks good (and so do those delicious orange creamsicle scones that my dear friend Rachel made yesterday….oy vey!)

Boys & Bunk beds

As of this week we now have a bunk bed in the “boys” room. (aka: Daniel’s room but he has never slept in there one night because he does not want to sleep alone so he has squeezed himself into the girls room for the past year and a half).  He did actually sleep in this room last night after convincing his sister Joy to join him. 

So….we have a boy’s room complete with a bunk bed and room for another one. Daniel wants us to “buy him a brother”. We want to adopt two boys from Ethiopia.  We have the room. We have the desire. We have the heart.

We don’t have…the money. ($40,000)  But God…..

What’s in your pocket?

I know the phrase is supposed to be “what’s in your wallet? (Master Card…right!)  Well since nothing is in my wallet I thought I’d share with you the things I find in my pockets (all four of them)

  • a small hair bow (which made me smile & remember to live in the moment)
  • trash (do you collect your kids trash too? such an odd Mom thing)
  • a pain pill for my daughter with the broken foot (hey they still work with a bit of fuzz on them)
  • a half eaten sucker in its wrapper (really??!)
  • several cards – debit, costco, insurance, a starbucks card with 65 cents on it (getting bent cuz they are in my back pocket)
  • a pen
  • a memory card (that’s a great place to store your photos – sarcasm -)

Give and it shall be given unto you

I cannot begin to do justice to this category by a few random thoughts.  So I just have to say in the past several months

  • we have made less income than we have in 14 years
  • we have given away more money, time and talent
  • we have paid all our bills on time and fed our family
  • we have been given more than you could imagine in ways that are unbelievable!

It is just true (not that we ever doubted) that if you give it will be given unto you….give of your time, your talent and your treasure….and watch what is given back to you!

Beach Holiday Countdown

The countdown has begun….in less than 3 weeks I will pack the car, load the youngest four kiddos and head over for my annual beach holiday in Aptos.  I cannot even begin to tell you the overwhelming sense of joy and peace that come over me just thinking about this.

It is NOT a vacation, mind you.  It is a true holiday as defined in the dictionary —

  1. a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment
  2.  a religious feast; holy days
  3. a period of cessation from work or one of recreation (read this: re–creation)

And everyone needs one of these.  When was the last time you just “lived” – no appointments, no rushing around, no work, no “to do” list, no phone calls, no plan – just truly a time of refreshment, relaxation and rejuvenation?  A time to think, to read, to commune with God, to enjoy His creation, to build relationships with loved ones and to live in the moment. I highly recommend it!

Is your family car a mobile trash can, library and closet? Just wondering….

Oh….and how many of you find random Christmas items in the oddest places weeks after you have diligently organized and put it all up in the attic? What’s a girl to do?

I warned you this would be random, abstract and a bit off the wall….hope it blessed, inspired or challenged someone out there! Hope to be back here again soon.

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Filed under Blessings, Economics, Family Traditions, Life at the Lambdins, Life Lessons, My "take"