About Linda Alberici Eichberg

I am certified fitness professional, promoting a grateful, positive and healthy lifestyle while empowering woman to be the best they can be to fulfill their God given purpose. I'm a motivational speaker and writer along with my sister, Maria Lauren. Both Maria and I sing, entertain and speak about our book - BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS, which we co-authored.

Barcelona and Park Guell

The beautiful Le Meridian hotel on Las Rambles was the perfect location to take in the sights and sounds of Barcelona. Our first night in Barcelona, we decided to walk from the hotel and explore on our own. In the small center, right outside our hotel, an acrobatic street show was going on and a cheering crowd had gathered. Their energy put us in a festive mood.

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The buildings along the way were beautifully adorned with interesting architectural details.

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Las Rambles was packed in the early evening. The street was teeming with the overflow of people.

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PLACA REIAL

After walking about 15 minutes and turning down aside street, we came upon the coolest place, Placa Reial. It was an expansive plaza with a dozen or more restaurants circling the inside perimeter. There we saw more talented acrobats performing. The street artists entertained the crowds as they dined. I was amazed at the dare-devil tricks they did on hard cement. 

Barcelona-street-acrobats

 

Watch this clip of the street performers as one of them does a flip over four people selected from the crowd.

 

A lovely, large fountain accented the center of the Plaza Reial square. my husband, Steven enjoyed people watching from his position at the fountain.

Steve-fountain-Placa-Reial

Steve also loved perusing the restaurant menu’s that were prominently displayed outside of each restaurant.

The biggest surprise of the evening was the stunning sunset in the Placa Reial.

Barcelona-Placa-Reial-sunset-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

 

PARK GÜELL

Our second day in Barcelona, we met some family members who joined us on vacation. Our first stop was Gaudi’s Park Güell.

Park-Guell-entrance

 

Park Güell features lovely gardens and architectural wonders by Antoni Gaudi. 

Park-Guell-gardens

 

The buildings reminded me of gingerbread houses. I love Gaudi’s creative liberty and imaginative, ornamental creations.

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Gaudi put into practice a series of new structural solutions rooted in geometry. His works acquire a structural richness of forms, free of the rational rigidity or any sort of classic premises. In the design of Park Güell, Gaudí unleashed all his architectonic genius and that would become the symbol of his organic style.

 

Gaudi-bridge-Park-Guell

 

My nephew, David peeks his head out of the window.

David-Gaudi

 

Charming, like a fairyland! Gaudi’s fantastic mosaic work was incredible. My photos couldn’t capture the amazing detail.

Gaudi-Park-Guell

We bought our “skip the line” tour tickets to the park weeks ahead of time on Viator. I recommend doing that during high tourist seasons.

Part two of our Barcelona adventure will continue, it includes the spectacular Sagrada Familia. Check back next month!

Gratefully yours, Linda

 

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. – Psalm 32:8

 

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Love Is in the Air

“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity between them.” – Martin Buber

Lindsay-Ben-sunset

It is a wondrous time for our family, we recently celebrated my daughter, Lindsay’s wedding shower and now the BIG day is here.

It almost seems like yesterday when my daughter was born. A magical day filled with expectation and hope for my healthy baby girl’s future. Lindsay was strong from the start. On Lindsay’s first day, when her dad watched her in the hospital nursery, he was astonished when she did a push up, lifted herself up with straight arms and looked around the room.

To this day Lindsay has a great outlook and perspective. Her positive, ‘can do’ attitude helped her land the Senior Global Brand Manager position at Lionsgate Entertainment, home entertainment division. And now she has recently been promoted to that position at 21st Century Fox.

Linda-and-Lindsay-Eichberg-shower

I am proud to say that My daughter has grown into a strong, beautiful, intelligent and kind woman who has gracefully come into her own. And she has found the perfect partner along the way.

“Love is when he gives you a piece of your soul that you never knew was missing.” – Torquato Tasso

Engagement-Ben-Lindsay

When I see Ben & Lindsay together, my heart is filled with contentment and joy knowing she has found a loving partner she will share her life with. They are perfect for one another And I cannot thank God enough that they were able to find each other.

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

I am not losing a daughter, I’m gaining a son tomorrow!! May they have a long, happy and healthy life!

With Gratitude, Linda

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  – 1 Peter 4:8

Open Your Fifth Chakra with Blue Space

Yoga-extended-side-angle-Linda-Eichberg

Extended Side Angle pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana

I always get a spiritual and mental health boost when I visit the ocean and that’s not just me. A study, co-authored by Michigan State University’s Amber L. Pearson, is the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water, which the researchers call blue space.

“Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress,” said Pearson, assistant professor of health geography and a member of MSU’s Water Science Network. ¹

The study found that having a view of the ocean was associated with improved mental health.

 

Open your Throat Chakra with the Color Blue 

Associated the color blue, a healthy throat chakra (Fifth Chakra) enables self-expression and speaking with wisdom and honesty. Meditating on the color blue or a blue ocean can help alleviate throat chakra imbalance.

 

Ocean Breath 

Whether you’re on the beach or in a quiet room, you will enjoy the stillness and health benefits of the ocean breath. Ocean Breath; Ujjayi Breath offers gentle stimulation to your larynx and thyroid as well as a chance to slow down and quiet the mind from distracting thoughts. Create a sanctuary within.

How to do ocean breath for the throat chakra – Sit in a comfortable position with your core engaged. Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the nose. Inhale fully under the diaphragm with your lips closed and relaxed. Exhale with a haaa sound similar to what you would hear if you had your ear up to a conch shell to ‘listen’ to the ocean.

Feel the sensation of the breath touching the back of your throat. Focus on the color blue. Visualize the blue ocean surf ebbing and flowing in time to your breath.

Yoga is as much about breathing, (Pranayama) as it is about postures. Using the Ujjayi breath in your yoga postures can help give you focus and power.

 

“Meditation is not meant to eliminate thoughts. It simply teaches you to direct the mind’s mental traffic” -Leonard Perlmutter

 

Singing and the Fifth Chakra 

Ah, the perfection of gazing at a blue ocean and singing a positive affirmation.

My father taught me this affirmation when I was a child. I loved the way it soothed my soul when he sang it. “I’m healthy, I’m strong, I’m peaceful, I’m loving and I’m happy.” Sing it with me!

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ~ 2 Cor. 12:9

 

Footnote

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160428132236.htm

 

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Hiking China Flat

It was early evening on a hot day in May when I headed out with my two friends and two dogs to see the last of the wildflowers on the China Flat trail.

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The hills were still green from the winter rains. The peach and pink mountains created a lovely backdrop for the green and silver scrub.

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The hike started out with a gentile rise that gradually grew steeper. We would be going up to an elevation of 1,081 feet.

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As we rounded the bend, the mountains gave us some much-needed shade. Mornings or early evenings are good times to hike this trail because it can get very hot.

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We were starting to break a sweat from the climb; the shade felt good. My two Maltese were also very happy to cool down.

Maltese-on-the-trail

I wasn’t long before we were greeted by an oasis of yellow wildflowers, natures rock garden!

yellow-wild-flowers

As we traversed higher we began to get a good workout. Hiking is a great way to keep your heart healthy. My friends and I were beginning to see some amazing views of Oak Park.

oak-park

It was about here where one of my dogs put the brakes on and stopped to rest. After a few minutes, I picked him up and continued on.

Linda-China-Flat-hike

We came across some yellow-orange Monkey flowers. I paused to admire their natural beauty.

monkey-flower

Hiking in nature always refreshes my mind. The panorama was stunning up this high, looking over towards Agoura Hills!

Oak-Park-Vista

On the way down this lollipop shaped trail, we saw more wildflowers, like this pretty Wild Lilac.

wild-lilac

The hike up China Flat is 4.1 miles out and back. This trail in Oak Park, California, is a good one for beginners, if you go at a leisurely pace, and it offers lots of natural beauty to entertain your eyes along the way.

wildflowers-Oak-Park

Happy trails, Linda

 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth the heights of the mountains are his also. – Psalm 95: 3-4

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Feeling Uplifted with Upward Plank

I don’t usually like spending a lot of time in front of the computer but the past few weeks, I had to for various reasons. I can feel the extra tightness in my shoulders and upper back. When I need to re-balance my body after a long day of working at a computer, I like to do Upward Plank Pose.

Practicing upward plank can be a great way to counteract the negative effects of desk-slouching, driving, and other forward-facing actions that can cause rounded spines. ¹ Purvottanasana opens up the whole front side of the body and it is invigorating!

 

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Benefits 

Upward Plank is a very good yoga and Pilates exercise for improving your posture, building strength and flexibility. It stretches the shoulders, chest, abdomen, forearms, tops of the feet, and ankles; while strengthening the arms, shoulders, upper back, legs, glutes, and wrists. Practicing this skill regularly, builds core strength, and increases energy levels.

How to do Upward Plank:

Sit up with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, your feet together and spine erect.

Bring your hands several inches behind your hips, shoulder width apart. Rotate your palms so your fingertips point in the same direction you are facing (toward your feet).

Draw your shoulder blades together, lean back and support the weight of your body with your hands. Do not bend the arms.

Breathing in, raise the pelvis up toward the ceiling keeping the whole body straight and long. Your chest is lifting and the spine is in one straight line.

Keep your knees straight and bring the feet flat to the floor. Point the toes towards the ground and let the head fall back. Your hands should end up under your shoulders.

Hold the pose and continue breathing. As you exhale, come back to a sitting position and relax.

Do not practice Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana) if you have carpel tunnel syndrome, a wrist or shoulder injury. ²

Upward Plank (also called Reverse Plank or Incline Plank) requires a lot of strength. Beginners can take some of the weight off their arms by practicing with their hands on a raised solid surface like a step or sturdy bench. If the intensity of the pose is too much, try Reverse Table Pose instead. Reverse Table has similar benefits.

For the Challenge

More advanced students can come into One-Legged Upward Plank Pose (Eka Pada Purvottanasana) by extending one leg off the ground and up into the air. Just remember, take it slow and don’t push the pose too far. Safety and form is first and foremost.

 

Linda-Eichberg-upward-plank-incline-plank-yoga

My head is turning towards the camera in this One-Legged Upward Plank Pose; but normally, you would hold your gaze straight up.

 

Have an uplifting week, Linda

 

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. – Psalm 31:24

 

Please visit my website: http://www.lindaeichberg.com

©All Rights Reserved. This blog is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice; consult your doctor before starting any new physical activities.

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-upward-plank-pose-in-yoga/
  2. https://lifenlesson.com/upward-plank-pose-and-its-benefits/

Time To Blossom

If you’re wishing and waiting for things to be better, you are wasting your time and your precious life force! It is essential to make peace with this moment and be grateful for all the blessings in front of you right now.

 

gratitude-quote-Linda-Eichberg_

 

The time to blossom is today, not sometime in the future when we believe there will be no distractions or roadblocks. At this very moment we have beauty flowering in our lives, even if circumstances seem dim. Having a vision for the future that differs from our present status can be inspiring but it can also keep us from fully participating in this hour and seeing with fresh eyes the Divine at work.

Shift to Gratitude

Unforseen tragedies do happen and must be processed and then let go so we can make room to receive what is meant for us now. So, here I go with my personal story…

Our beloved family patriarch, my father in law Norman Eichberg, passed on recently. His sister also passed away a couple of weeks after him. Norman and his sister, Hilda, left an incredible loving family and legacy. My focus lately has been holding on to gratitude for that.

 

 

My husband’s father was a leaders, leader. He was larger than life with a booming voice. Norman loved telling jokes, he was gregarious and intelligent. Steven’s dad was a compassionate man who had a thirst for life up to the day he died. He lived an amazing 97 years.

 

shirley Norman young

Steven’s parents, Norman and Shirley

 

Being active in the community and a vocal leader in the Jewish community, Norman and his wife, Shirley were one of the founding families of Stephen S. Weis Temple along with, Rabbi Zeldin. This notable man also passed away within a week of my father in law. Stephen S. Weis is a Los Angeles landmark and grew to become one of the largest Temples in the United States. Norman served two terms as President of the Temple.

 

Norman-Eichberg

 

Norman Eichberg was a World War II veteran, an officer in the Army Chemical Corps. After the war he became a successful business man and grew a well-respected insurance company, Eichberg Associates. He was also a humanitarian and devoted family man.

 

Norman boys youth

Norman and his three sons

 

Steven’s Aunt Hilda had a heart of gold. She was like a second mother to him and his brothers. When they were young boys, Hilda helped raise them while their mother was working. Hilda was fit and athletic; she had a brilliant, witty personality.

 

Norman Eichberg with his sons, Steven & Peter and sister, Hilda Markus

 

My husband, Steven, cannot remember a night when his parents did not kiss him good night. Both of his parents were loving and non-judgemental. Norman and Shirley opened their hearts and their home to all kinds of people without reservation, including children with behavioral challenges in partnership with Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. These special children got to experience living with the unconditional love that was expressed in the Eichberg family, giving them the healing and life skills they desperately needed.

 

 

It’s easy to get stuck in the pain of loss. Practicing gratitude daily, will keep us moving forward. We heal this moment in time by calmly centering ourselves and finding the place of our joy and happiness.

Celebrate life and count your blessings. It is a powerful way to consistently raise your vibration to attract what ever it is that your heart desires. What you focus on grows!

 

Eichberg Family group

 

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

What are you waiting for?

Gratefully yours, Linda

 

A Loving Celebration of the Life of Norman Eichberg by Steven Eichberg

Our father Norman Ira Eichberg passed away at the age of 97 and a half years young. He was older in body, but his infectious laughter and sense of humor kept him young and able to cope with whatever came his way. From the time we were little boys our dad always wanted to spend time with us in whatever activities we would join. Our first was the Indian Guides and dad accompanied us to every meeting and eventually became chief of our tribe. Next was Cub Scouts and dad became our den leader attending all of our meetings and events. Next we joined the Boy Scouts and he became our co Pack leader along with the legendary Lloyd Bridges.
When Pete and I began to venture into sports dad and mom went to every game. Dad eventually coached then managed our various teams. Our father was always active in our lives.
Dad and mom took us on vacations every summer. Whether to Yosemite National Park, Palm Springs, Dear Valley, The Grand Teton, San Diego the whole family always had a ball. It wasn’t where we were that was important, but that we were all there together.
The Eichberg family was as close-knit as any family could be. There was so much love between all of us we grew up emulating our dad and mom by trying to spread it always and to everyone.
Our father was humorous, extremely bright and had a God-given talent to speak almost every major language in its exact accent. He would have us and friends and family laughing hysterically when he broke into all his different dialects. Up until the day he died he had the nurses and staff at the Vi skilled nursing residence laughing at his jokes and his still funny and remembered accents.
Norman Eichberg served his country as a Lieutenant in the army in World War II. He was eventually stationed in Paris, France where he was handpicked by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to command the allied forces chemical corp. He came back from the war to his wife, three children and began the next three-quarters of his amazing life.
We love you dad and will always miss you, but knowing you are now with grandpa and grandma, Uncle Alvin and most important our brother, Rob, along with your not suffering from melanomas, hip pain and other things you always just shrugged off, gives me some comfort.
RIP Dad

 

Photo memories of our family patriarch are presented in this beautiful slide show by Alison Eichberg.

 

 

“Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.” 
– Job 11:18

 

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Pain Prevention For Your Knees

It is not uncommon for my fitness clients to ask how they can alleviate their knee pain. Pain prevention may be as simple as doing a few quadriceps stretches. The quads can be a source of knee problems. The quadriceps provide support and mobility for the knees, when they are tight, you can experience knee soreness.

In general, it is important to have a well rounded exercise plan that includes stretching. Stretching is essential for optimal joint and muscle function. Even if you are only taking a walk or short jog, it is key that you stretch your quads if you want to preserve your knees. I learned this the hard way. In my younger years, I was a jogger and had aching knees just from skipping my quadriceps stretches.

 

Linda-Eichberg-quad-stretch

Lunge and pigeon quad stretches work deep and excellent options to the typical standing quad stretch.

 

Yoga and Knee Pain

Strengthening the quadricep muscles can also be helpful to those suffering from knee troubles. Warrior poses are often useful, says Dr. Sydney Pardino. “In these poses, the front leg is bent, while the back leg is straight. In a well-aligned warrior pose, the knee is positioned vertically over the heel – this is an excellent pose for strengthening the vastus lateralis, the largest and most powerful of the quads.” 

 

Linda Eichberg-Maria Lauren-Alberici Sisters-warrior_

Alberici Sisters – Warrior Pose modification

 

Yoga is a form of dynamic stretching that takes a muscle through the full range of motion. The practitioner moves slowly from one pose to another, which makes it ideal for those who are new to a fitness program or who have knee discomfort. ¹

Yoga and well as Pilates can correct postural alignment which will improve your gait, taking stress off the knees. Knee pain may be a sign of a serious problem. See your orthopedic doctor or Chiropractor if you experience pain or swelling that lasts for more than a few days or if you are unable to put your full weight on your leg.

Blessings in health, Linda

 

“For who is God besides the Lord? And who’s the Rock except our God?”  – 2 Samuel 22:32

 

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Footnote

  1. https://deserthealthnews.com/stories/advantages-stretching-knee-pain/

 

Why We Cry in Yoga Class

It is a rare occurrence but I have had students cry in my yoga class. I have cried in yoga class. The tears are not from any physical pain caused by the yoga postures, so why does this happen?

Yoga and Emotional Healing

“The body remembers everything and holds unprocessed tension”, Melody Moore, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and registered yoga teacher says. “When we move our bodies and breathe, it gives us an opportunity to work out that tension. As it releases, so too does the emotional story or baggage.”

Karol Ward and other therapists maintain that the body holds on to feelings, even if it seems the mind has dealt with them. “So if a person has the opportunity to relax that area, whatever has been held there can come to the surface,” Ward says. “The body wants to complete the emotional experience.” ¹

 

movement-medicine-Linda-Eichberg-yoga

 

Awaken Your Body – Movement is Medicine

Certainly, one of the reasons we go to yoga class is to release tension but understanding that memories, and the emotions attached to those memories, are held, even trapped inside our muscles is a revelation. The stretches and exercises we do in yoga release pent-up emotions, adding another perk to the holistic benefits of yoga.

Some say crying is more common in hip-opener poses like Pigeon pose. That is the pose I was doing when a repressed memory and emotion flooded to the surface and had me weeping.

 

pigeon-and-laying-pigeon-Linda-Eichberg

Pigeon and laying pigeon pose

 

“The yoga mat is our own personal island where any emotions we feel—joy, dread, exhilaration or despair—can all surface safely here without judgement. A good yoga practice taps directly into our core and reality of what’s happening in our lives, so it can be an emotional release depending on what we’ve been denying or holding in. It’s a fabulous place for sweet release and surrender which leads to healing.” – Kathryn Budig, (yoga author & instructor)

 

Yoga and the Psyche

I think, when you soften your heart and body you find your true spiritual essence and improve your yoga practice. Yoga teacher, Marc Holzman clarifies this; “We wear thick, protective, armor. Our survival tactics are well in place and have accumulated over a lifetime. After a deep practice, when you least expect it … even when you’ve had an ordinary day … some of that armor melts. The thick outer shield softens and gives way to a softer more vulnerable layer. We surrender just a little bit. We give up the fight. Emotions can easily make their way to the surface.”

Mariana Caplan, Ph.D., and author explains, “The body contains the memory of the whole life we have lived,” so many emotions—sadness, fear, anger, arousal—can pop up in class when you’re not as focused on your day-to-day demands.

If you ever do find yourself crying in yoga class, remember this is healing, let the tears flow in gratitude and take Caplan’s advice. “The body just needs to release sometimes,” she says. “Allow it to happen and don’t make too much of a story. Let it be and trust it’s a positive thing.” ²

Best in health, Linda

 

“Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me.” – Psalms 31: 16 (NLT)

 

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Footnotes

  1. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21073097/ns/health-fitness/t/moved-tears-workouts-waterworks/#.WnILoiPMzm0
  2. https://www.self.com/story/crying-in-yoga-class

One Thing Remains

Thankful For Unseen Favor

“God spared my life”, that’s what my daughter, Lindsay told me after she was the victim of a hit a run accident a couple of days ago. A car going about 80 miles an hour side swiped her car. Thank God it hit her front tire instead of her door. A fraction of a second difference in the timing could have made the difference between life and death. Lindsay is fine, but the perpetrator sped away as a piece of his car came flying off into the street.

How many times does God’s angels save us from near disaster and we are unaware?  Probably too many to count and I am thankful for those times. But yet, God allow’s other sad and hurtful things to happen.

This year has had its share of difficulty and it’s ending like the last, with the loss of a loved one. My sister-in-law’s mother, Bernice has left this world. She was a comforting, steady presence in my life. She was there for every family function bringing her wit and wisdom to the table. I will deeply miss her. I remember how happy she looked on her grandson, Jeremy’s wedding day.

Bernice with my nephew, Jeremy and his wife, Helaena on his wedding day

 

Grief Is My Teacher

Grief is becoming my greatest teacher. It has taught me to listen and to be patient and understanding as each person goes through their grieving process so I can be there for them. The loss of a beloved family member guides me to the importance of my changing role in the family as things shift. Like any good teacher, grief gives me the choice to take the path that leads to the highest evolution of my soul or to take the path that leads to a bitter and ruptured soul. Grief opened my eyes to my blessings because without gratitude, I would spiral downward.

Gratitude For What Remains

Grief shook the foundations of my being, but after the sadness washed over me, I turned my focus to the wonderful things in my life. This month, I shared in some big, loving family gatherings and I laughed off things that normally would have irritated me. Being together was comforting and healing.

Kenzie-Adam

Kenzie and her dad

We celebrated my grandniece, Kenzie’s first birthday. Her giggles and joy filled the house that once was mourning, bringing hope of a better tomorrow.

There will always be ups and downs, highs and lows, but one thing I know and believe, one thing remains that will not waver or change. “We love because he first loved us.” ¹ Jesus lived in the love of his Father, God. No matter what happened around him, he trusted Him. In the same way, Jesus Christ gave me the gift of living in his love. His love never fails; it never gives up. ² He was willing to act in my best interest and meet my greatest need, even though it cost him everything and I’m not worthy of such love. I trust him even though I don’t fully understand.

 

mountain-sunset_One-Thing-Remains

 

With each renewal of the heart comes the joy of Christ’s love filling our lives. No matter what the New Year brings, I pray you can enjoy simply being, knowing that you are loved.

 

Christmas-2017_

Happy New Year from The Eichberg’s

 

From our house to yours, Happy New Year. ~ Linda

 

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” – Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

 

 

Footnotes:

  1. We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
  2. One Thing Remains (Love Never Fails) by: Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black Gifford – Bethel Music Publishing

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Going Beyond Thanksgiving Into Gratitude and Grace

It was only a month ago but it seems longer since I wrote my last blog about walking meditation. It was a pause that refreshed and it prepared me for all the hustle of this month. So far, November has been full of activity and good things. First of all was the continuing celebration of my daughters engagement and the preparations being made for Lindsay and Ben’s wedding day.

Love Is In The Air

Lindsay - Ben Photo-60_

It has been a joy to everyone who knows Lindsay and Ben, to see how their love for each other has grown. The grace God has given them, by drawing good people to them on their journey, has made my heart swell with gratitude.

Lindsay - Ben Photo-1_

Congratulations Ben and Lindsay!

 

The Season of Family and Thanksgiving

This year Thanksgiving fell on the birthday of my mother in law, Shirley. We had a double celebration! At 97 years young she is a delight to be with. Mom often talks about her older friends who are still active. “We have a 106 yer old man here (Laguna Woods) who still golf’s at 106 years old, she told me.

Shirley grandchildren 2017_-1

Nana Shirley with her grandchildren and great grandchild, Riley

My sister-in-law, Alison and my niece Erin, hosted the festivities with their usual graciousness and artistic flair! They bring the best of Pinterest and “Martha Stewart Living” together for a fabulous event.

Erin Alison Thanksgiving table_

Erin and Alison and their beautiful Thanksgiving table

I am so grateful to be on the receiving end of their grace and gift for hospitality. Even though I am family, I still look on myself as one who is receiving grace, undeserved favor, not earned. 

 

Giving and Receiving Grace

Grace begins when one person is full and another is empty. One person has and the other has not. “Then grace comes into action as the emptiness of one is filled up by the fullness of the other. What we do not have is supplied by what he has.” ¹

Whether we are giving or receiving grace, it can become sour or boastful when humility is not present. “The notion of “self-made persons” who deserve all the success and wealth they’ve received is simply wrong. Indeed, “deservedness” is the opposite of gratitude, even if it occasionally produces prayers of thanksgiving.” ²

 

Gratitude vs. Entitlement_-

The Greatest Gratitude

Being thankful can often times just be an expression of good manners but real gratitude, received in grace, goes beyond the expression of “thank you” to a feeling of awe and blessedness for God’s goodness through people and circumstances.

Speaking to my youngest brother Al on the phone this week brought this all home in my heart. Al has served as the Director of Worship and Music at Living Rock Bible Church for over 18 years. His beautiful family also serves in leading worship and ministering the grace of God to their church.

Alberici_-2

The Alberici family

Al is not only my brother but also my Christian God son. We have a very special connection.

Almost every week Al sings about the most precious grace of God, the debt of our sin that was paid by Jesus Christ. A perfect sacrifice was given, that brought heaven down to earth. The curtain separating us from God was removed, giving us access to our Father God through His Son.

In this pure state of worship, gratitude and grace, my heart becomes full, not with pride or deservedness but with  humility and blessed joy. I am filled with an incredible lightness of being that actually restores me to God and changes me from within. 

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! – 2 Corinthians 9: 15

From my heart to yours, be blessed, Linda

 

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5: 1-2

 

Footnotes:

1. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/grace-gratitude-and-the-glory-of-god

2. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/marcusborg/2013/11/gratitude-one-of-the-most-important-virtues/#cM0CHR8bcoShA0MX.99

 

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