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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

© All Rights Reserved

 

 

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The Power of Intentions

A long line formed outside the door of the fitness room. With yoga mats in arms, the group whispered excitedly to each other as they waited for the teacher to usher them into class. It took a couple of seconds for it to register, they were all waiting for me and my class and what God would reveal through it. 

 

 “When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what you were meant to be doing.” – Gary Zukav

 

Life Like Yoga

Yoga is good physical fitness, but it is the mind is where all yoga postures begin and expand. In my classes, I usually start the session by having my people center their mind and set an intention for their class. We start simple, focusing on sustaining deep and resourceful breathing. From there, we can move on to more specific intentions like mastering a pose, healing an injury, releasing physical and emotional tension or improving flexibility and alignment.

Your intentions whether conscious or unconscious, positive or negative will prove themselves in the end, taking you in their direction. Like a signal or message transmitted from us, intentions are always being served.

 

Alignment – Agree With the Soul’s Wisdom

 As long as your intentions are in agreement with the spiritual energy and wisdom within the soul, your intentions will have power! This energy will bring bring your desires closer to you. You’ll be surprised how much support flows to you when you bring a greater spiritual meaning to your physical experience. This invariably involves harmonizing your intentions with how you can best serve others while still being true to yourself. An authentically driven person lives in love.

 

Gary Zukav_quote

 

Desire and Destiny

Don’t put off living. Do what makes your soul sing! Only you know what you desire more than anything else in life. Powerful actions are shaped from that knowing. As your desire is, so is your intention and your destiny.

Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need.  In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the Law of Intention and Desire, Deepak Chopra lays out five steps to setting powerful intentions. This is a brief summary:

  1. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention.
  2. After you set an intention, let it go—simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.
  3. Stay centered, abstain from being influenced by doubt or other people’s criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.
  4. Relinquish any attachment to a specific outcome because attachment is based on fear and insecurity. Have an unquestioning belief in the power of your true self. Intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.
  5. Your intention will set the power of the universe in motion. Trust it. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you have to be in charge or obsessively vigilant to accomplish your purpose. The outcome that you try to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. Release your intentions to bloom when the season is right.

 

It’s all God’s anyway. He already knows what we want and need. The Scriptures put it like this…

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28 NLT

My attention for this moment is focused on being grateful for right now, full of praise and wonder, growing more in the understanding of myself and God. I make my intentions with thankfulness, acknowledging my current blessings and what is to come, as if I am already in receipt of it.

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Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Many Blessings, Linda

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

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My heart and prayers go out to the coast of Texas and the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Join me in supporting them through the Red Cross and Foursquare Disaster Relief.

 

© All Rights Reserved, Linda Eichberg – 2017

 

 

LotusLand Adventure

Gana Walska Lotusland is a whimsical and uniquely designed collection of many different styles of botanicals and landscapes formed over decades by creator Gana Walska.

Lindsay arch_Lotus Land

Entrance to Lotusland

The spectacular assortment of exotic plants throughout the 37-acre property are a very personal expression of Walska’s penchant for the dramatic and the unexpected.

My daughter Lindsay treated me to this magical day in Montecito!

Japanese Gardens

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Fern Garden – Check out that giant stage horn fern, this one probably measured over 8 feet across!

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Vibrant Flowers

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A giant clam shell fountain that led to a quirky faux beach and pond.

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Water Garden – Our guide told us the best time to view the lotus and water lilies in bloom is June and July.

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Expansive Cactus Gardens

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Giant Cactus two stories high

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Desert Scape – over 300 different species of cacti!

cactus collection_Lotus Land

Interesting mosaics, pebble patterns, glass borders and even a semi-precious stone garden.

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I loved the blue glass stone paths.

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There were succulent gardens and blue gardens and great stretches of laws with topiaries.

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With the distinction of being one of the “Top 10 Gardens in the World”,  lotusland includes exotic trees and plants from different parts of the globe.

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Local wildflower and butterfly gardens were featured.

California natives Lotus Land_

Look at this fantastic lemon arbor. I’ve never seen anything like it!

lemon arbor_Lotus Land

One of my favorites was the tropical garden.

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For a moment, I felt like I was in another world.

tropical jungle lotus land

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Cycad Garden – Lotusland botanical gardens holds rare and endangered species of cycads, including some that are extinct in the wild.

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Koi pond in the cycad garden

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I learned a lot about cycads from our knowledgeable guide.

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Male and female sago

After two plus hours of absorbing such beauty we ended our tour back where we started, at the Japanese gardens.

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Lindsay in the Japanese gardens

So grateful to be the beneficiary of Gana Walska’s eccentric love of gardens and all things beautiful.

Dancing in the Theatre Garden

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Santa Barbara is only a few minutes from these botanical gardens in Monticeto, CA. After our tour, we had a fabulous lunch at Carlitos in SB.

I loved LotusLand! Reservations usually need to be made months in advance.

http://www.lotusland.org

Be blessed, Linda

 

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” – Revelation 4:11

 

© I own all photos contained within this blog. They may not be used for any purpose without expressed written permission.

 

The Love of Trees

I couldn’t see it at first. From the trail it just looked like a gnarly old oak tree but something beckoned me to take a closer look. I thought I should beware of rattlesnakes in the grass but my curiosity got the best of me. I walked off the trail through the thick wild grass and stood before the tree’s massive form. And there it was, staring at me with a gaping mouth, like it was trying to speak!

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“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues,” – Dr. Seuss

 

TREES ARE VITAL TO OUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET.

As stewards of the Earth, Earth Day is a good time to renew our commitments to the Earth and give thanks for its constant support, beauty and inspiration. This year I honor the trees.

Trees are beautiful and make people feel good.

Exposure to trees and nature has a positive effect on our health and mental attitude. Recent research has shown that trees not only filter pollutants from the air so we breathe easier, but they help make us feel better emotionally as well. ¹

Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows that trees help people to feel more alive. And another study, in the Journal Landscape and Urban Planning, shows evidence that being around trees could actually decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Acacia-yellow-flower_I planted a variety of drought tolerant trees around my home including this attractive flowering Acacia tree. I enjoy its beauty. It’s the first tree to bloom in late winter. With a burst of color it offers the hope of Springs eminent arrival.

Laboratory research shows visual exposure to settings with trees, produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. – Dr. Roger Ulrich Texas A&M University ²

Trees conserve energy.

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can lower summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. – Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research ²

Trees increase property value.

The majority of realtors believe that having well cared for trees in your yard, will have a significant impact on the value and salability of your home. Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value. – USDA Forest Service.

Trees cool our cities.

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased. ³ The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. – U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Trees combat climate change.

Excess carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs, six tons of carbon dioxide, the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. ³

Trees provide oxygen and clean the air.

One acre of forest puts out four tons of oxygen. According to the U.S.D.A., this is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

“In a study published in 2014, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms. The researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year.” ¹

I love trees. Trees are an amazing creation. Let us show our gratitude with action by protecting our trees and rainforests, for they are the lungs of the earth. Together we live or together we die. – Linda Eichberg

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Love our earth and be blessed, Happy Earth Day!

~ Linda

 

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. – Psalm 33: 8-9

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-being-around-trees-help-people-feel-good/
  2. https://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm
  3. https://www.treepeople.org/resources/tree-benefits

It’s All In How You View It

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” – Epictetus

Consider what your life might be like if you changed your perspective. Getting a different point of view can make life tolerable, even interesting, like the colorful shades of a sunset.

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My friends and I visited Newport Beach beach last week. While we were watching and photographing the sunset, a young lady rushed up to the beach with her camera just after the sun disappeared into the ocean. “Oh, darn I missed it,” she moaned, as she walked away disappointed.

The woman’s point of view was that the sunset was all about seeing the orb of the sun disappear behind the horizon. My friends and I knew to wait and see what magic awaits after sundown.  

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

More often than not, I have found the best part of sundown is the afterglow. The hues become deeper and more vibrant as the hidden sun reflects upward. I was not disappointed on Crystal Cove Beach that evening – same sunset but different views, same beach but a distinctive new horizon.

crystal-cove-newport-beach-afterglow

Crystal Cove Dining and Watersport’s

Crystal Cove in Newport has magnificent sunsets and a wonderful restaurant on the beach called Beachcomber Cafe. A little further down the road, I tried two good restaurants at the Crystal Cove Shopping Center. Javier’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant, has fabulous food and gorgeous decor but forget about going on the weekend. It’s very popular. Babette’s specializes in local organic produce and meats. They offer an eclectic array of dishes including delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Their cocktail menu features a variety of unique handcrafted cocktails.

My travel companions and I worked off part of our delicious dinner by enjoying kayaking in the Newport channels the next day. Southwind Kayak Center is a great place to rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and more. It’s in a superb location off Newport Harbor.

Making Memories and Getting Another Perspective In Relationships

I love seeing familiar things through new eyes but also making brand new memories with people. I can build successful relationships and become a better travel companion by blending my point of view with an other person’s. We never really know someone until we consider things from both their perspective and our own.

I like to look at all the angles of a person or situation. I’m learning not to make assumptions about people. It’s a challenge to view things based on the mind set of who I’m with while still being true to aspects of myself.

“Each person is like a multifaceted  gem that is to be viewed and appreciated from many different angles.” – Linda Eichberg

Getting a New Perspective On the World Around You

Take a trip – Travel, especially international travel, is a good way to broaden your world view and change the way you look at things. It has always taught me something.

Volunteer – Volunteering to help others in need is also a great way to break out of your mold, widen your perspective and grow compassion. When I give hope to others, it gives me a reason to hope.

Practice Gratitude – Reflecting on God’s perspective and character will adjust your attitude. I see life differently when I am gratefully counting my blessings.

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Look for the daily miracles God pours into your life and your perspective will change. When your perspective changes, your life changes. ~ Linda Eichberg

What will you see? Keep your eyes full of the light of God’s goodness.

Blessings ~ Linda

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“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” – Luke 11: 34-36 (NLT)

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Keeping Your Peace In Tumultuous Times

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Choosing to look forward to a bright future is exactly that, a choice. The world seems a little scary right now. Every day, whether in the news or in our personal lives, we are presented with a multitude of problems and troubles. I yearn to keep this negativity from taking my peace.

“While it may sometimes seem impossible, inner peace is possible despite the emotional influences from world events, media, negative people, and our own judgments.” ¹

Peace is a State of Being.

I am not in denial. There is real evil in the world. Peace does not necessarily mean a world without problems, pain, or persecution.

This latest horror in Nice, France, on July 14, hit close to home because, Nina, the daughter of my good friends, was a couple of blocks away from the violence and she was caught in the stampede of panicked people that followed. Nina Heintz found refuge under a restaurant kitchen sink where she hid for an hour, not knowing if anyone was coming in with a gun. Thankfully she is physically fine but it will take a while for her to heal emotionally and regain her inner peace. “I wish I was more fearless like I use to be, but everyday gets a little better,” Nina said, “… and in the long run it will make me stronger…”

Peace state of mind_1

Finding Peace In Chaos

During a time of crisis strong emotions can overtake us and our very existence may come into question. Taking time to be alone with our thoughts and feelings is a valuable tool to develop a strong foundation of inner tranquility and hope.

I recall the day I drove by San Bernardino, right after the mass shooting on December 2, it was like a war zone. Numerous helicopters flew overhead  and dozens of police and SWAT vans zoomed past me. My heart pounded and my stomach turn with nervousness. The tragic details played over and over for days in the news. It took a while to work through my feelings of confusion and despair.

“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.’” ― Marianne Williamson

Pursuing Peace

Some of my friend take periodic fasts from the news. Turning off the outside world from time to time is important. What helps you feel peaceful? For me it can be: meditating on peaceful thoughts, a walk in nature, yoga breathing, prayer, a day by the ocean or sometimes just time to rest and enjoy a book or a movie. Taking care of ourselves goes a long way to maintaining a calm state of mind. Self-care can easily be intertwined into our daily routine.

Creating A Peaceful Mind

Keeping our thoughts on happy memories and taking into account all the the wonderful things we are grateful about will also help us keep a hopeful attitude. Remove thoughts of “need,” “must” and “have to” from your life. These words communicate life-and-death direness that probably doesn’t exist and robs us of happiness and peace. ²

“An affectionate disposition not only makes the mind more peaceful and calm, but it affects our body in a positive way too.” – Dalai Lama

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Preserving A Peaceful Heart

Doing kind deeds or supporting others who are doing a good service, helps me to maintain a feeling that the world is becoming a more peaceful, loving place. Just looking at this photo of my grand-niece, Riley, and this New York policeman as she shares her plush unicorn, named Uni, and he shares his police cap, gives me a nice, serene feeling.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body.” – Proverbs 14:30

Positive Outreach – “To Protect and Serve Ice Cream”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police department bought an ice cream truck dubbed, Operation Polar Cops . The police men and women hope their ice cream truck and free ice cream will help kids see them as positive role models and develop a better relationship with the community they protect and serve. Surely, it couldn’t hurt! The idea spread from the Boston Police Department; they also have their own ice cream truck.

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St. Louis Police hand out ice cream

Using our creativity in a peaceful and harmonious way can give us empowerment when we face injustice and feel like the moral compass of the world is spinning out of control.

First keep peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others.” – Thomas a’ Kempis

My friend Theresa Bishop Miller created this graphic as a creative contribution toward unity and understanding and to move her own consciousness and purpose in a positive direction after a string of senseless killings throughout America.

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This photo is a reminder of our potential together as fellow human beings.

We need to do whatever we can to spread love, dismantle hate and become the people we aspire to be as a nation.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

 

Peace That Transcends Understanding

The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). ³

Christ’s peace has to do with having a right relationship with God, reconciled through his love and sacrifice. 

My faith is tantamount to why and how I can maintain peace in my heart. I know God is pure goodness. His goodness in the face of the atrocities that exist in the world are beyond my understanding but I know God is Sovereign above all, and desires that I come to Him with childlike trust and rest in His compassionate presence. Yes, I receive His supernatural comfort, protection and peace.

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden

The bible reminds us to: “pursue”, “seek”, “promote”, “search” or “run after” peace (Psalm 34:14). I’m not trying to add work or pressure to your life; quite simply, peace can be promoted with something a easy as a smile or a prayer. In Christ we are free! Jesus paid it all. So, be grateful, lighten up, rejoice, have a little ice cream and laugh a lot. It’s good medicine!

With a grateful and peaceful heart, Linda

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“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

References:

1. Quote from – Sandra Lee Schubert, an interfaith minister. http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/2008/10/9-ways-to-find-peace-amid-chaos.aspx?p=2

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-purpose/201309/lighten-and-laugh

3. http://www.gotquestions.org/peace-that-passes-all-understanding.html

© All rights reserved

 

Capturing the Aloha Spirit

Aloha is indeed a way of life, an attitude. The kahuna David Bray interprets this code of as “Come forward, be in unity and harmony with your real self, God, and mankind.” Be honest, truthful, patient, kind and humble to all life forms.

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North Kaanapali Beach

Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion, and mercy. It is also used for hello, good bye or love. But aloha stands for much more than that; its deeper meaning is “the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo).”

To Hawaiians, the joyful sharing of this life energy is the secret for attaining true health, happiness, prosperity and success as long as it is shared and used with love.

I endeavored to captured the essence of Hawaii aloha in photography. My experience in Maui last month was one of tranquility, beauty and friendliness with an awe of creation.

Maui-Kaanapali-North

 

Sunsets – God’s Artistry!

Maui Sunset by Linda Eichberg

 

I have visited Maui many times but there are always new surprises and new life. I had never seen a hibiscus with this unusual combination of colors.

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Hibiscus with extraordinary coloring!

 

We stayed in sunny Kaanapali but only a short 15 minute drive away to Kapalua, toward the rain belt, the landscape changes significantly.

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Kapalua

 

Hawaiian Blessing

The spirit of aloha is about giving blessings. 

Bless everyone and everything that represents what you want by giving recognition or emphasis to a positive quality, characteristic or condition, with the intent that what is recognized or emphasized will increase, endure or come into being.

 

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Gathering of the sailboats to honor the sunset

 

Focusing on the blessing, acts to increase the same good in your life.

The positive occupation of your mind stirs up the positive, creative force and allows that same energy to come through you.

 

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Nothing can compare to the fragrance of Plumeria.

 

When you bless for the benefit of others instead of directly for yourself, you tend to bypass any subconscious fears about what you want for yourself.

What is so wonderful about this process is that the blessing you do for others helps them as well as you.

 

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As you bless, imagine the person or thing you’re blessing is surrounded with some of the same peace, grace and positive energy that surrounds you.

To the Hawaiians of old, Aloha meant “God in us.”

 

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I cherished my morning meditations and beach walks.

 

The Aloha Spirit is a well known reference to the attitude of friendly acceptance for which the Hawaiian Islands are so famous.

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Our traveling companions, Jack and Chris!

Experiencing the aloha spirit is best shared with friends. One of the highlights of our trip was our canoe excursion to a fantastic snorkeling spot where we swam with friendly sea turtles and tropical fish.

Chris and I enjoyed the freedom of not having to style our hair. We just let it air dry. She came up with the mantra, “beach hair and I don’t care.”

Maui friends

We ran into some other good friends, John and Madi, who just happened to be on the island the same time were, an unexpected treat!

Together we experienced the spirit of aloha, fantastic food, hospitality and breathtaking scenery.

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A magical moment-a double rainbow!

I hope you captured some of the aloha spirit too. Give a double portion of blessings and you will also be blessed.

With gratitude, Linda

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A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs – 11:25

 

© All contents of this blog are copy written and may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

Earth Day – Gratitude In Action

Earth Day is the perfect time to honor our common home for the bounty, beauty and sustenance God and Mother Nature gives us for free. It’s also the perfect day to esteem people who are making  a difference in preserving the beauty of our planet.

Earth Day Prayer

“The greatest gratitude is gratitude for existence, the greatest reverence is reverence for life and Mother Earth makes it all possible. With gratitude, reverence, and humility in our hearts we honor her today. Let us work to keep her sustainable so we may in turn be nourished and sustained.” – Deepak Chopra, MD

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My sister, Maria, and I sharing Earth Day gratitude!

We bend our bodies toward the earth and the beauty of all creation.

We open our hearts in thanksgiving for the mighty, deep, blue oceans.

We unite our breaths with life, inhaling the fresh and fragrant breezes.  

We turn our minds to gratitude for the sun’s radiant energy. 

~ Linda Eichberg

 

Earth Day Action

My husband and I love our solar panels, they are producing big savings on our energy bills. If you can afford the initial investment, I highly recommend buying solar energy.

My sister, Alane Degli Esposti, and her son, Marco, grow and distribute organic sprouts and wheatgrass from their Campi Verde Foods greenhouse. I must say, they offer the freshest, most delicious sprouts I’ve ever tasted!

The nutrient content of wheatgrass and sprouts are powerful and readily absorbed. Plus, they’re unprocessed, straight from Mother Nature. Buying from local  growers and farmer’s markets are some of the most effective ways to eat nutrient-rich food and reduce the carbon emissions of transportation and food processing.

 

THE FACTS 

Carbon Emissions

“In damaging our climate we become the architects of our own destruction. While the planet can survive the scorching of the earth and the rising of the waters, the human race cannot. The absurd thing is that we know exactly what needs to be done; we know we cannot adapt sufficiently to go on as we are, nor can we build ourselves a new atmosphere. To avoid catastrophe we must restrict climate change to less than two degrees, which requires a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions.” – The Prince of Wales, from his speech to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference

Ocean Health

If the current rate of ocean pollution continues, in less than 9 years there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of ocean fish, according to a report by the 5 Gyres Institute.

“Currently, up to 95% of plastic packaging (valued at $120 billion) is lost after one use. The irony is, recycling plastic can take 90 percent less energy than making plastics from raw materials and, if managed correctly, plastic is virtually infinitely recyclable.” – Jose Minski, CEO of Wellnext

My family is invested in saving our precious oceans and I am an avid recycler but I know I can do more.

We are only here on this magnificent earth for a short time. We must stay mindful of making a positive impact on our environment and how we are respecting the world we are leaving for our children.

In Gratitude, Linda

 

“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.” – 1 Chronicles 16:33

 

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Year of God’s Abundance

This has been a challenging, perplexing and emotionally painful year for me and for many of us; all the more reason to hold on to the hope of God’s faithful promises.

Recently, I had a big scare about a mysterious medical problem my husband was going through. It has been resolved, but in the midst of the crisis, I was on an emotional roller coaster riding the turns between processing grief and standing strong; moving up and down between fear and courage. A very tumultuous ride to say the least. I leaned on friends, my faith and sought counseling. Relief came when I released my white knuckled grip and rode with my hands raised up to God. 

Letting Go

The human psyche is delicate and complicated. Our flesh and God’s Spirit are at odds with one another.¹ This could be the subject of a lifetime of blogs but, right now, I will stick to this one simple thing. Whatever difficulties you are going through, my prayer is that meditating on these promises of God will comfort you as they have me and help bring you into healing, restoration, transformation and joy. 

As we let go of the old and embrace the new, I wish this New Year to be an exceedingly abundant year of grace for you, beyond your wildest dreams.

Ephesians 3-20

Praying the Promises of God

Abundance
“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” – Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

Purpose
“The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” – Psalm 138:8 (NLT)

Comfort
“The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34: 18

Favor
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” – Psalm 84:11

Guidance
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” – Psalm 32:8

Compassion
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” – Psalm 103:2-5

Righteousness
“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” – Proverbs 4:18

1 John 1-9

Forgiveness
“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

Endurance
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Healing
“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14

Restoration
“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” – Isaiah – 44:22

Fellowship
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7

Meditation
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

Harmony
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

John 14-27

Peace
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

Safety
“For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” – Proverbs 1:32-33

Provision
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

Courage
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

Judgment
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:1-4

Priorities
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

Assurance
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” – Romans 8:38 (NLT)

Hebrews 10-23

Hope
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

Understanding
“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” – 1 Corinthians 2:12

Prayer
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” – 1 Timothy 2:1

Goodness
“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” – Psalm 145:9

Acceptance
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” – Romans 15:7

Health
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:7-8

God’s Kingdom
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.” – Romans 14:17-18

Psalm 27-1

Strength
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1 (KJV)

Mercy
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” – Ephesians 2:4

Purification
“I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.” – Jeremiah 33:8

Reconciliation
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

Gratitude
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

Faith
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:1-2

Truth
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

1 John 4-19

Love
“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

Kindness
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” – Galatians 1:7-8 (NLT)

Freedom
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” – Romans 6:14 (NLT)

Wisdom
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17 (ESV)

Thoughts
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Victory
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57

Transformation
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)

Direction
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NKJV)

Desire
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

Power
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)

Grace
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

God’s Children
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)

Thanksgiving
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 107:1

Perseverance
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

Romans 15-13

Joy
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

Self-worth
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:13-14

Trust
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” – Psalm 28:7

Redemption
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:24 (ESV)

Deliverance
“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” – Jude 1:24

Salvation
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” – Acts 16:31

Eternal Life
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

God is with us; God is for us. May these words live forever in our hearts! From our house to yours have a Happy New Year filled with the blessings of God’s promises.

Eichberg Family Christmas

Be kind to yourself. 

With love, Linda

 

References: Bible verses are from The Holy Bible NIV, unless otherwise stated.

  1. http://ptl2010.com/2011/02/03/where-is-my-miracle/

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Creating the Warrior Spirit

We-Are-His-Workmanship-Created-In-Christ-Jesus_dreamstime_s_39734135

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

I am continually amazed at the gifts God gives us, the variety and the beauty! Some are subtle, almost unseen but still so necessary; while others are obvious, prominently displayed in the forefront. All receive equal honor because the Master’s hand created them.

God – The Giver of All Gifts

When I work in my job as a yoga and Pilates teacher, I remember my faith and that God can use me for healing and health-giving purposes. Since I am very flexible, I have to keep in mind that I can push my students too far. It’s a delicate balance between healing and harming.

linda-eichberg-warrior-1-yoga_

Warrior 1 opens the heart with hands reaching towards heaven and feet grounded on a firm foundation.

I don’t always get it right, but looking up to God, the giver of all gifts, I have hope and motivation because I know I am His craftsmanship he is not finished with me yet. He is still carving, shaping and polishing to create something special for His grand design and His plan for my life.

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8

I am grateful for God’s patience and guidance. I know He will take me exactly where I need to be. Wherever I am, I have the opportunity at all times, to do good works and reflect God’s love.

Warrior-3-Linda-Eichberg-yoga

Warrior 3 (or Balancing Stick pose) requires balance, strength, grace and mental focus. 

 

Warrior of the Lord

This week I had the chance to see a very unusual and remarkable creation, a God breathed sculpture carved from a 2,000-year-old redwood stump.

warrior-of-the-lord

The “Warrior of the Lord” is a dramatic 7-foot-tall carving and has an impressive 9 foot wing-span. With his wings spread and his cloak is flowing. The majestic archangel stands ready to take on his fight against evil.

warrior-of-the-Lord-SafonovThis beautiful piece of art carved by Alexandre Safonov, stands in front of an antique store in mountains of Agoura Hills. The artist’s creation was inspired by the Holy Spirit. “I feel the Holy Spirit”, Safonov said. “I put the energy of God into this piece.” ¹ Alexandre prayed every time he started work on his masterpiece.

“This is a warrior; he represents God and the word of God.” – Alexandre Safonov

His eyes seem to be looking up in adoration to God.

The Armor of God

When I saw the statue, I immediately thought of several scriptures, particularly Ephesians 6:10-18, about spiritual warfare and putting on the ‘Armor of God’. ²

alexandre-safonov-warrior-of-the-lordThe archangel’s “Sword of the Spirit” carries a ‘B’ to represent the Bible, the word of God. His “Belt of Truth” bares the cross of Jesus and his massive “Shield of Faith” is emblazoned with the initials of Jesus Christ, ‘JC’.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. – Ephesians 6: 10-12

steven-eichberg_

Warrior Fathers – Men of Honor

Happy Fathers Day to all the men who are warriors for their families and especially to my husband, Steven, who is an amazing and supportive dad to our daughter and devoted to his family. He is a warrior for our family each and every day. We are blessed and I continually thank God.

Many blessings,

Linda

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Footnotes:

1. http://www.theacorn.com/news/2015-06-11/Community/Woodcarver_uses_faith_talent_in_work_of_a_lifetime.html

2. Ephesians 6:10-18 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A+10-18&version=NIV

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