The Christmas Season has been in full swing since November. I learned three major lessons about surviving the holiday rush that I pray will prevent any turmoil from befalling you.
1. Look Before You Leap
I nearly killed someone the other day. I was backing out of my parking space at the mall. The car parked to my left had its passenger door open, waiting for a man to get in. He was a bit heavy set, and he was chatting with the driver. They were indecisive, and it was unclear whether they were getting in the car or going back into the store. I was waiting for him to close his door before I backed out. My engine was on, my foot on the brake, already in reverse gear. Finally he got in, and his door closed. I took my foot off the brake and felt my car start to move. In that same instant, I looked over my right shoulder and was shocked to see a woman walking right behind me. As my car moved, she jumped, and I thank God for her awareness. I slammed my foot on the brake and brought my car to a complete stop. She was heading for the driver-side door of the car on my right, which explained why her path had her virtually hugging my car. I was tempted to criticize her risky parking lot behavior when I realized that I was the risky one. I needed to look before I leaped. The next time you are about to leap, or take your foot off your brake, or criticize, please look with awareness and compassion first.
2. Prioritize Spiritual Matters
Christmas spirit means many things to many people. It’s even one of the categories for judging the best Christmas lights on a seasonal reality show. Presents, parties, and peer pressure to keep up with the Joneses can starve your spirit. Some people make it a point to say Merry Christmas because they want to emphasize Christ as the reason for the season. I invite you to take it further. Pick up a Bible, read the Nativity story, and wrestle with every verse. Do not let go of that verse until it blesses you with a deeper understanding of what the incarnation means, God in human flesh. I vividly remember one Bible study in our young adults group many years ago led by my dear friend Rodney Abriol. He took us to Matthew 2:3. I had never really heard that verse before, but as we wrestled with the Word of God, I realized that when God appears in His holiness, our wretchedness becomes even more apparent. It makes sense that we are troubled, and all (insert your town here) with us. When confronted by God’s love, let us take hold of what He is offering us in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ: forgiveness, transformation and giving you a holy character, and the glorification of God through Christ working in us. Every good gift comes from the Father (see James 1:17).
Have you been going non-stop? Do you have more things to do than you can possibly do? Please change your plans and get some rest. The rest I am talking about is not just a physical rest or getting enough sleep, although that is critical for your own health, and the well-being of those around you. Be sure you give yourself mental, emotional, and spiritual rest, too. Sleep in, don’t work on the seventh day, go to an easy yoga class, ask for hugs and hold on until you feel better. Look at your schedule and plan a time to rest. You know you need it. Give yourself that gift.
I learned these lessons the hard way and hope that reading this article can help you avoid the negative repercussions of getting swept away by the Christmas rush. I pray that the Lord will bless you and abundantly provide for you and your family this holiday season. Please feel free to comment below about how you have been blessed or provided for. May this be your best Christmas season ever.
Happy Thanksgiving! Do you have a lot to be thankful for? Have you found a silver lining in the clouds of your life? What are you most grateful for?
One of the most significant things I am grateful for is my grandmother’s health. Recently, my 94 year old grandmother faced a major health challenge and underwent surgery.
I was by her side with my two aunts at pre-op as the nurse was reviewing her medical history. We were all struck by how few ailments my grandmother had, other than two past challenges from which she recovered fully. Praise God!
The hospital chaplains came to pray for her before she went in. They asked her how she was feeling. She replied, “I feel good. I am right with everybody. I love everybody. I am in God’s hands.” Her faith encouraged us all. We prayed. We claimed God’s promises. I felt good, too.
It wasn’t until they wheeled her on her gurney down the hall and out of sight that I sensed a pit in my stomach. A chill ran down my spine. I repeated Jesus’ words in my mind, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36)
Afterward, her surgeon found us in the waiting room to let us know she was in recovery and doing well. That in itself was a miracle to me. When she was awake, we affirmed her courage and faith and thanked God for His care.
Her recovery is proceeding in God’s timing. She is in very good spirits. We celebrated an early Thanksgiving at my brother’s house, and she feasted and enjoyed herself greatly.
Since her surgery, I have been enjoying her greatly, even more than before. I and many others have been praying for her complete return to health. We also recognize that every day is a gift.
Are there people in your life that you are thankful for? Do not let another moment pass without letting them know how much they mean to you. Are there circumstances in your life that are bringing you down? Start counting your blessings and be grateful, even for the hard times because they are refining your character.
This Thanksgiving, choose to be thankful. Choose actions that communicate your love for your loved ones. Be present to the magnitude of the good in your life and make the most out of every moment. Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you and your family!
Note from Sherlyn Pang Luedtke: Lynn Lambrecht asked me a question that made me stop, think, and act. Her years in global leadership and emergency response in aviation gave her a proactive mindset and mission to help families be prepared for when life happens. I have invited her to ask you that same question and share her wisdom in this article.
My name is Lynn Lambrecht, and I founded The Living Planner this year.
My purpose in starting The Living Planner is: Every US citizen is prepared/ready in practical ways for all transitions in life. My personal mission is: To take the guesswork out of the unexpected by making sure that people feel confident and in control of their future.
I’d like to begin by asking you a question: Could someone step into your shoes today and take care of your day to day life with ease?
I’ve found there are many moving parts in our daily lives that run on “auto-pilot”. We often don’t think about preparing for a change in health, financial status or other life-altering situation. Preparing for the future need not be overwhelming. In fact, it can be quite empowering!
The purpose of this article is for you to get clear, prepare for meeting with an attorney to protect yourself, your family, your business and your estate, for your own peace of mind. I have a secondary goal which is to avoid probate. There are state by state differences legal counsel can help you understand.
In advance of meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney gather the following information to provide you with familiarity and a feeling of confidence. Prepare to discuss your situation with your attorney. Knowing what you have, what you desire and why you are protecting yourself and your loved ones will provide you with a sense of empowerment!
Here is a listing of some things to think about (mentally prepare) and physically gather before you meet with your attorney. You can contact me at Lynn@thelivingplanner.com for the details about each of these. Ready? Here we go …
1) Who do you want to “speak for you” when/if you cannot?
2) Who do you wish to act as an Executor of your Estate?
3) Your family: a) Guardianship for minor children. b) Pets
4) Your business documents – gather them together in one place.
5) What is your “heaven forbid clause”?
6) What about any relatives who are not named in the estate plan?
7) Health Care Directives
8) Current health status
9) Digital Assets: your online accounts
10) Protection strategies
11) All financial assets
12) Take notes and follow-up!!
Breathe in and out – taking each of these steps, one at a time can be done with ease. Know there is help available for you to explain each of these steps and answer questions you may have in lay person’s language. Taking the first step is empowering – you can do it!
www.TheLivingPlanner.com Contact Lynn@thelivingplanner.com #LifePlanningSimplified
Lynn’s background includes global leadership positions in aviation, non-profit and business start-up ventures. She served as a volunteer emergency team responder during her years in aviation. Dealing with the aftermath of large scale emergencies and the impact to families, she gained a new appreciation for the many moving pieces of life. This inspiration, coupled with her professional experience has proven invaluable in guiding others.
Lynn’s work with The Living Planner honors and remembers the victims, families and survivors of NW255, NW1482 and UA 175.
Valentine’s Day is near, and I hope you are in love, and not just because you are surrounded by hearts, candy, and flowers. My prayer for this world is to be in love. Real love. Not just romantic love that pours itself out of cute little Valentine cards or chick flicks, though I do confess that romance has its place. I am talking about love as a principle.
What is Love?
This question has been asked throughout the centuries and has been answered by philosophers, scholars, poets, and TV producers. Parents have been asked this question by their kids, and I believe it will soon be on my doorstep with my kids’ adolescent years ahead. My answer is found in scripture, in the Word of God. After all, God is love (1 John 4:8).
A close reading of “The Love Chapter” 1 Corinthians 13 shows us that love is more than actions. And it’s more than celebrating Valentine’s Day. It is a principle, a way of being. It’s up to each of us to decide how committed to that principle we want to be. Being in love, upholding that principle, shows in our actions. It starts within and works its way out into the world in how we respond, in our outlook, in the ability to forgive wrongs.
Being Out of Love
There are times when we find ourselves out of love. This often happens when we are busy and are so caught in self-preservation that we forget about what we have to be grateful for. It’s not easy to love when your feelings are hurt, if someone is attacking you, if you feel that you are in the right (which is usually the case, isn’t it?) and the other person is stubbornly wrong. It’s not easy to love when your child has publicly humiliated you, or when your partner has betrayed your trust, or when your friend is being critical and accusatory. Even though we were designed in the image of God, we have all strayed. We have all fallen short. Loving our enemies under duress is not our first instinct. Self-preservation is.
Love is Divine
As fallen as we are, God sees great value in us, every single one of us, from infant to elderly. Love is a divine quality. Divine love goes above and beyond live and let live. Love is entrenched in interdependence and deeply understanding that we are all connected, brothers and sisters. We are all one.
Wishing You Love for Valentine’s Day
While this holiday might focus on Cupid (Roman myth), St. Valentine (Roman martyr), sensual indulgence, or romantic infatuation, I invite you to dig deeper. Be in love, and not just for a day, but living a divine principle. It is not from within us. It is from above. Let us be in love and live in love, reconciled with God who seeks to reconcile all.
I hope you will have the most loving Valentine’s Day you have ever had. Let us know how you are using Valentine’s Day inspiration to fall deeper in love with your kids, with your partner, with humanity, and with God. Leave a comment below and share this with someone you care about.
Increasing Number of Obese and Overweight Children
Have you ever wondered why obesity is becoming an epidemic? Even worse, our future generation (our children) are the first generation that has been said to have a shorter lifespan due to poor health. If you agree with me, there is something wrong with this picture. Children are not supposed to have to worry about weight, bullying, and diets at such a young age. The culprit…added sugar in our diet in convenience foods.
Obesity, now affects 17% of children, triple the rate from one generation ago. One of the number one most important things you can do for your child, is to be educated about nutrition so you can raise a healthy child.
Finding the Silent Ingredient
You may or may not be aware of what to pay attention to when reading a food label. If the first ingredient lists sugar, then that food items main ingredient is sugar. Our society has become so accustomed to the taste of sugar, that it is added into almost everything.
Sugar has many disguises, careful reading of food labels are necessary to know how much added sugar you are getting. Some times, it may sound “healthy,” but still is sugar. It may be listed as honey, rice syrup, cane sugar, or fruit juice concentrate. Fruit juice concentrate means, very little remains, but the sugar. If you see the words, syrup, sweetener, or anything that ends in “ose,” it probably means sugar. Here is a list that includes most ingredients that would indicate sugar was added. Agave nectar, barley malt syrup, beet sugar, brown rice syrup, can crystals, can sugar, coconut sugar, corn sweetener, coconut palm sugar, corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, dextrin, dextrose, evaporate can juice, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, malt syrup, molasses, palm sugar, raw sugar, rice syrup, saccharose, sorghum, sucrose, syrup, treacle, turbinado sugar, xylose. In the end, your body doesn’t care about where it came from, it still has the same effect on the body.
High Sugar Diets Cause Long-Term Problems
There are many long-term consequences of having a diet high in sugar. There is a greater risk for cavities, obesity, and heart disease. It is also very hard to change food habits after they are established in childhood. For younger kids, the average amount of sugar is 14-17 teaspoons per day, and for older kids had as much as 27 teaspoons per day! The higher the diet was in sugar, the less likely they were to consume healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
Take Charge of Your Children’s Health
There are many things you can do to grow a healthy, happy child and it all starts at home. There are also many issues with cafeteria food in schools, such as, soda, juice, fries, hamburgers, etc…so your best bet is to send your child to school with a packed lunch, and make sure you are choosing healthy choices at the grocery store. Remember, you are the one that controls what goes into your panty, not your child.
Schedule Your Nutrition Consultation Today
As a special promotion, I will be offering 15 minute FREE nutrition consultations over the phone by appointment. I specialize in programs that are customized to fit families needs, that will provide nutrition and delicious options that your kids won’t refuse. If you are interested, send an email to email@example.com to schedule your appointment. Put in the subject line, free nutrition consultation. Make sure you also include your contact information.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your Free Nutrition Consultation today!
Would it still feel like Halloween when all you have are healthy Halloween treats? I am not a fan of Halloween but because of the candy, my daughter is. In preschool, she is learning about the difference between growing food and fun food. I wish they had called “fun food” by its real name – junk. I don’t mean junk food. I mean junk. It’s detrimental to eat it.
How unfortunate that its sugary sweetness and mouth-watering saltiness can console the revved up taste buds of modern life. People whose brains have been trained to associate junk with pleasure often crave it. It can appease their agitation and give them a rush in the short-term, temporarily, until the crash hits. I occasionally succumb to this trap and live to regret it.
What healthy Halloween treats could we choose instead?
I am a proponent of moderation and involvement. Health is a process. Here are key places for you to be involved in the process of creating health for your family.
- Communicate with your children that this the perfect occasion to teach them how to make healthy choices.
- Oversee the consumption process – ration the candy so your kids don’t have sugar crash headaches, stomach aches, diarrhea, or a reduced immune system that leaves them vulnerable to germs and sick days. Even if they do get sick, here are some tips for you to stay healthy.
- Substitute dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, nuts, light air-popped popcorn, apples and other fresh seasonal fruits which have nutritional value and fiber. These truly are healthy Halloween treats. Fill them up on natural and unprocessed so there is less room for junk.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Flush those toxins out of their bodies asap.
- Make sure you and your kids are getting enough sleep. The body regenerates during sleep. You may need to take special care to sooth and console. My kids and I often get nightmares because of the spooky imagery. The gore décor triggers fear physiology. Combine that with sugared-up body chemistry and you often end up with edgy temperaments.
- Keep your schedule simple and don’t over-commit. I give you permission to decline invitations to events.
Healthy Halloween Treats for the Mind
Lastly, I encourage you to exercise as much scrutiny with what you feed your mind as with what you are feeding your body. Healthy Halloween treats for your mind? Think about it. Our brains are stimulated by the images we see and experiences we have, as well as the food we eat. Turn away from gore and violence. Remember that trick or treat was an ultimatum, a threat. Refrain from entertainment at the expense of others: tricks, pranks, sinister voices, and scares. I confess that this is also for my own benefit. Some of us are more sensitive than others.
Violence, disrespect, gore, revenge, outbursts, and angry words already abound. Let’s keep our minds healthy and nourished by focusing on what is pure, lovely, and admirable. (Philippians 4:8) I am determined to stand for light and not darkness on October 31.
Please comment below and share what was helpful from this article, especially if you have your own healthy Halloween treats or experiences to share. I look forward to hearing from you and supporting your journey as a parent.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of parenting is being so connected with your child that you are one. For better or worse in your parenting experience and in your child’s experience, you empathize, love, forgive, and rejoice with each other. When I say “one”, I mean that you and your child are relating with each other with unconditional love and godly acceptance. That you are so connected that it reminds you of the days when you were pregnant and were truly one.
The other day at dinner my son did something I considered very silly. It was so silly I almost reprimanded him for it. He took one of his orange slices, put it in his mouth and smiled with the peel showing. It was a great big wacky orange smile at our serious dinner table. His giggling was so contagious that his younger sister put on her orange smile, too. I told my kids to eat their oranges properly, not wanting to encourage this behavior that was probably a hit at the school lunch table.
Yesterday I was snacking on orange slices. I remembered my son’s orange smile. It was something I had never done and could not see why someone would ever do it. Admittedly, my son and I don’t have the same sense of humor. What would I have in common with a 10 year old boy?
It has been my prayer this week that my family and I are one (John 17:21). I long for them, specifically my kids, to know that they are unconditionally loved, as well as to be connected and loved by my family. I long for a spiritual maturity and discipleship in myself and my family that would glorify God. I know it will mean change, pruning, suffering even, because we’ve got a long way to go.
I wondered what it would look like for our family to be one. Playing together, reading together, holding hands, singing, praying together, laughing together. Wouldn’t it be fun to laugh together right now and show my son I loved him unconditionally?
So even though it was not my style, I went to check on my son who was dutifully practicing piano. He was feeling discouraged about his ability to learn piano as quickly as he hoped. I was eager for him to finish the piece he was playing and look up at me. I could barely contain myself. When his eyes met mine, I nodded approvingly and flashed him my great big wacky orange smile. He burst out laughing. I felt satisfied and connected, like we were one.
In my acceptance and appreciation of my son, I recognized that I had an opportunity to step into the life of my child and take his hand and follow him into childhood joy. My orange smile left such an impression on him that he even mentioned it this morning when we were getting ready for school.
Having an orange smile is not what I would call the highest and best experience of being one with your child. But it was a simple way to connect, to share a laugh and say I love you. Children need your love and guidance. Children also need to learn that we are called to a high standard of living and being. Teach them to love and be led to reach their full potential.
When have you felt that you and your child were one? Leave a comment below and share this article with your friends. I wish you much love and oneness as you continue to grow as a person and as a parent.
October 1, 2013 was the day my book, The Mommy Advantage: How Having Kids Can Make You Happier, Healthier, and Wealthier, became a #1 best seller on Amazon.com. It was a very exciting and successful day that was the culmination of many people’s efforts. On the anniversary of that special time, I wanted to share with you some very private, behind the scenes sneak peeks of my personal journey.
There were three great aspects of my book launch experience and best seller campaign that I want to mention so that whenever you are setting, reaching, or celebrating your goal, you keep these in sight and reflect on them often. I pray that they will bring you great joy, success, and meaning in your creative work.
I was convicted to teach parenting and empathy many years ago when my grandfather had just died and my father was in ICU with a stroke. My family, my church, my friends had all been encouraging and sympathetic, but only in a free community parenting class (offering free childcare for my toddler) with people I had only seen a time or two did I feel deeply understood. I decided to write a book, and even put #1 Best Seller on my vision board. I put it all in God’s hands. He had put it on my heart in the first place.
2013 was as busy a year as any. Coaching clients, growing my business, raising kids, managing my household, and launching a book. It was a bit of a blur, requiring/mandating/necessitating focus to pull everything together. I had to be focused in order for it all to work. There were times when I wanted to stop. My father died earlier in the year with my mom and me at his bedside. The Mommy Advantage was supposed to be launched closer to Mother’s Day in May. It was too much for me, so we postponed to October 1. I was able to focus on what was important at the right times and keep going so I could cross the finish line.
Thank you to my husband, to my kids, to my mom and grandma who supported me and were so proud of me. I am so grateful for my extended family who participated in the launch along with me. I greatly appreciate my professional family: mentors, colleagues, and joint venture partners who contributed bonus gifts and sent out emails for The Mommy Advantage book launch around the world. Thank you to everyone who bought the book. I had woken up at 3:00 am in anticipation. My mom and grandma spent the day with me as we watched the book climb the best seller charts until it hit #1. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for granting this desire. It was surreal. It was a milestone. It was a dream come true. It was a blessing. And my family was there to share it with me, in person and virtually.
You might be wanting to do something bold. You might be in the middle of your leap of faith. If you are wondering whether or not you are going to be successful, remember to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3) Go for it!
Please comment below and share what encourages you most as you go for your big goals and dreams. I wish you all the best as you live out the divine mission you have been given.