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.

 

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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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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.

 

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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.

 

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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 prepared me for all the hustle of this month.

So far, November has been full of activity and good things. First of all, there was the continuing celebration of my daughters engagement. And now 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

 

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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

The Power of Flowers

This has been a season of helping others carry their burdens. I have a few family members going through some very stressful and hurtful situations. Some difficulties cannot be avoided or ignored. When you love someone you feel for them and you hurt with them.

Finding Beauty in Unexpected Places

One of the ways I like to restore my spirit is by walking or hiking in nature. The hills above my home in Westlake Village are a close retreat. When I started out on my hike my heart was heavy, unaware of the beautiful treasures I would soon find hidden in the chaparral.

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Within minutes, I was dazzled by a burst of color. I had never seen this particular collection of wild flowers. They were much larger than any I had ever come across before, so vibrant and delightful!

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Yellow California Wildflowers – Sticky Monkey Flower

“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wellness Through Flowers 

Nature provides us with a simple way to improve emotional health. Flowers trigger happy emotions, heighten feelings of life satisfaction and increase positive social behavior, according to a study at Rutgers University.” What’s most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way,” said Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher on the study.

The study also found particular benefits for seniors. There was a marked decrease in depression for older adults who received flowers. “Seniors performed higher on everyday memory tasks and experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.”¹

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Another group of wildflowers I saw that day was such a lovely orchid purple color, I could hardly believe my eyes. Southern California is in a drought and these beauties sprang up without any man-made cultivation. Incredible! They were perfection.

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Purple California Wildflowers – Chinese Houses

 

Consider How the Wild Flowers Grow

Does God speak through flowers? I think so.  As I moved in closer to more fully experience their fragrance, Jesus’ words came to my mind.

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” ~­ Luke 12: 27-31

These verses spoke to my heart, refreshed my soul and renewed my mind.

A Sweet Blessing

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~ Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts

Mothers are the sweetest beings God ever made and put a soul into.

I was blessed with a visit from my mom from Pennsylvania,. I am very grateful for those rare and precious moments shared with my mom.

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May the garden of your heart be filled with flowers.

Many Blessing, Linda

~~~~~~~

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Footnote:

  1. http://aboutflowers.com/health-benefits-a-research/flowers-a-seniors-study.html

A Mother’s Blessing

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What a day! On May 21st, my youngest sister, Alisa, delivered the 21st of my nieces and nephews. I can say I am a very blessed Aunt! That’s a lot of hugs and kisses and yes, that is a lot of birthday checks!

Alisa-JulianAlisa amazes me, two days after a cesarean section, with staples still in her stomach and not getting sleep for days, she manages to look so good for this photo.

Behind the smile, Alisa lives with the fact that baby Julian was born with a hole in his heart and with a leaky heart valve. This was due to mosaic trisomy 9 which can affects many different systems of the body. She has to navigate several medical options for him. Not knowing what lies ahead for her son, Alisa has stayed calm and joyful. She and her husband are standing strong in faith, taking it one day at a time.

A Rough Start

The arrival of my newest nephew reminded me of my daughter Lindsay’s early years. I started out as an awkward mother. After having a C-Section and being in pain, I didn’t have a lot of desire to bond with my daughter right away.

Lindsay was a beautiful baby with pink rose bud lips but she was a colicky baby, an inconsolable crying ‘thing’ that left me sleep deprived, cranky and depressed. I remember my father trying to cheer me up; he told me, “Lindsay is going to be your best friend some day.” I heard the words but at the time, I had a hard time conceiving of such a thing.

Lindsay moved on from her colicky phase. and into her ‘wild child’ era. She was only about 2½ or 3 when she dragged a chair to the 2nd story opening over the recreation room, stood on its ledge and waved good-bye to me, announcing that she was, “going to fly like Dumbo.” I never moved so fast in my life!

Motherhood was a wild ride. Lindsay was challenging, but today, Lindsay is one of my best friends and our love continues to grow. She’s a joyful, compassionate and giving woman, a devoted daughter who makes herself available for her friends and family. I wish I could take credit for how she turned out but the truth is, I had to surrender the whole motherhood thing to God early on. delight-yourself-in-the-lord-and-he-will-give-you-the-desires-of-your-heartI knew from the start I was in way over my head.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

We all have supreme hopes and desires for our children. I pray and put my hope  in God, but learning to “Delight in the Lord”, what is that exactly? How do I best do that? Am I walking with Him in love, joy and strength? I still ask myself these questions every day. My life line is this, I am grateful because my God is with me and for me. He will never leave me or forsake me. 

Persevere through the hard times; good times are coming! 

Joy For This Journey

On Mother’s Day, Lindsay gave me a special personalized gift and a sentimental note. Her words were so beautiful and heartfelt. I wish I could see myself the way she sees me.

Lindz also took her dad and I out for a cruise on her boyfriend’s family boat. His family’s generosity was amazing: flowers, food, great scenery and witty conversation. Everyone made it a lovely day.

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Mother’s Day was followed by a very romantic get away with my honey, Steve. I am thankful; at this moment life is sweet.

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God’s Promises to Never Leave Us

1. 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

2. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

3. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5

4. “May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us.” – 1 Kings 8:57

5. David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” – 1 Chronicles 28:20

6. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. “They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off.” – Psalms 37:28

7. “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” – Psalms 94:14

8. “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 41:17

9. “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16

10. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

 ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈

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God promises are true. “His word is above all! We can move forward because, He goes before us. And if God is for us, who can be against us”?¹

With a grateful heart, Linda

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Jesus in Matthew 28:20 ²

Footnotes:

1. http://www.thejourney2grace.com/index.cfm?i=11059&mid=1000&id=324730

2. Matthew Chapter 28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28&version=NIV

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Wonders Wait Just Around the Corner – March Miracles

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Going With the Flow

As I stepped outside my Westlake Village home, planning to rush off to the gym. The hills caught my eye. They were rich with spring color and they seemed to be inviting me to come and play.

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March is usually the greenest month in Southern California and with the abundance of local trails available to explore, it would be a shame not to sample one or two. I decided to skip the gym and headed to the Westlake Vista Trail in the hope of seeing some seasonal wild flowers.

The trail starts at Triunfo Canyon, just off Lindero Canyon Road at the Pentachaeta Trail. You will stay to the right for Westlake Vista. Just around the bend of the trail head is a grove of natural Oak trees, a meadow and then a fork in the path. Both paths lead to the reservoir but I took the left trail which quickly rises to view rocky cliffs.

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I was drawn toward the rocks to get a better look. There was a small trail off to the left but when I saw how narrow and steep it was, I quickly return to the main trail and soon arrived at the reservoir.

It’s a fairly easy hike for a healthy person but there are some loose rocks that make the steep sections of the trail very slippery. It took about 25 – 30 minutes to get up there. I probably could have made it in faster time but I was accompanied by my two Maltese.

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To the right I could see what looked like a vast open flood plain. To the left was the crystal clear reservoir framed by rolling hills and mountains.

We met a couple of other hikers up there and one of them offered to take a photo of me and my cute furry boys.

It seemed that I was already at the top of the trail. It was lovely; but exploring further, I discovered another small trail to my left. I hadn’t seen it the first time I ventured to the reservoir. The path brought me up to a view of the water that exposed a grander aspect of it’s liquid expanse.

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Higher and higher we climbed to another stunning vantage point as the captivating sounds of water birds echoed in the distance.

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It was at this point that I felt like I was in another world, instead of the city of Westlake Village. It was as if I was at a destination vacation in the mountains but I only went around the corner to experience this magnificent view.

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At the top, viewing the wide stretch of the regal hills, my ambitions were abandoned. There was only that moment, the clean air and the warm sun. The plans from this morning now belonged to the past. The present is filled with God’s love for me and the gift of His glorious creation.

“The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.” – Song of Solomon 2:12 (NLT)

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The Westlake Reservoir is an oasis hidden high in the hills. Taking it all in was like water for my soul. It remains natural and untainted.  It’s not accessible by car and can only be enjoyed after climbing the mountain. But it’s here, so close to my home, waiting for it’s majesty and beauty to be discovered and enjoyed.

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The view on the way down was also out of this world. And there they were, the wildflowers I was hoping for, my reward.

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Their colors graced the gentle slopes calling me to dance and sing before their Maker. So beautiful, but only here for such a short time.

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“Where flowers bloom so does hope!”

– Lady Bird Johnson

Our Time On Earth

My message is simple. There is always gratitude and beauty in every season of life, even in the trials and tribulations. My husband Steven and I are focused on caring for his dad and his wife, who are quickly declining from dementia. It’s difficult to experience this with them.

When we come to these hard moments in life, we find hidden strength in ourselves. We nourish our souls and receive refreshment in friends and in nature. We will all have to give an account of our lives, what we have been, and done. To give our parents companionship and joy in their advance senior years, is an enormous thing to them right now. Every lucid moment they have is a small miracle for which we are very grateful.

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)

Everything is a miracle. Have a blessed day! ~ Linda

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Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus, my savior, my friend, my healer and the greatest gift of all.

Jesus Christmas

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

JOY TO THE WORLD  

Jesus meets you where you are. He loves you as you are.

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Worshiping our Lord Jesus, the hope of the world, on Christmas Eve at Lighthouse Church.

I feel blessed that I could sing beautiful music to Jesus with the worship team and my church family on Christmas Eve.

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A few days before Christmas, friends from my church and I, sang for a friend who was hospitalized for the holidays. He was full of smiles and gratitude as we brought Christmas cheer to him and other visitors of Los Robles Hospital with our caroling. Later that week, we had a fun Christmas party together! We are very grateful for each other and the bond of Christ’s love that holds us together.

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Family Time

Sharing the holidays with my family and my extended family, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. They are all a sweet blessing to my life!

Unwrap the gift of Jesus and the joys and wonders of his love, salvation, forgiveness, restoration and peace.

Merry Christmas everyone. May your days be merry and bright – filled with his light. 

With a heart full of gratitude and joy ~ Linda

“Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.” – Nehemiah 8:12

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers or any group I am associated with. © All rights reserved.

Grateful Life Quotes From Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. He had a birthday this week and it got me thinking about him. In the summer of 1977 I had the privilege of touring with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Frank was one of the most unusual men I have ever met, he was in a class of his own.

Happy birthday Frank Sinatra!

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Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra share birthday cake

“I’m for decency — period. I’m for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man.” ~ Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Traveling Buddies – Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra

“If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It’s one world, pal. We’re all neighbors.” – Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Fun times with Frank and his pal Dean

When Frank Sinatra accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, he had this to say:

“I’ve been thinking about why you have to get famous to get an award for helping other people. If your name is John Doe, and you work night and day doing things for your helpless neighbors, what you get for your effort is tired. So, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, and all of you who give of yourselves, to those who carry too big a burden to make it on their own, I want you to reach out and take your share of this. Because if I have earned it, so too have you.” – Frank Sinatra

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“If power doesn’t mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love , then you haven’t really got any.” – Frank Sinatra

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“My greatest teacher was not a vocal coach, not the work of other singers, but the way Tommy Dorsey breathed and phrased on the trombone.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in Music: A Book of Quotations 

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“People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.” – Frank Sinatra

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“I love all those girls the same as they love me. I get thousands of letters a week from girls who love me…. Every time I sing a song, I make love to them. I’m a boudoir singer.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in His Way: An Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra

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On the set of the Dean Martin Variety Show, Frank and Dean with the Dingaling Sisters

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in And I Quote

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“Don’t hide your scars. They make you who you are.” – Frank Sinatra

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“A friend is never an imposition.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Good Friends – Frank, Sammy and Dean

“I’m not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I’m not looking for the secret to life…. I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.” – Frank Sinatra 

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Sinatra family, the early years

“I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Frank loved to laugh and he loved his friends. When we toured together, he traveled with a large entourage of people. Among them were some of the best musicians in the world. Sinatra was a pretty intense guy to work with because he demanded excellence in his music. I’m extremely grateful to have watched and learned from his musical genius and to have met some of the members of his family. It was a blessing.

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Backstage with Frank Sinatra and The Golddiggers, that’s me on the top right.

In our book “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”, my sister Maria and I share stories about our time with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and The Golddiggers. We also give insight into what is was like to work with the ‘Stars’ on Dean’s TV Show, The Tonight Show and more. Dozens of musicians and entertainers contributed to the book. Read the inside stories from people who were there.

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BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS by The Alberici Sisters is available on:

Amazon & Barnes and Noble

For more info visit – www.BeyondOurWildestDreams.com

With gratitude to God,

~ Linda

“I will be fully satisfied with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you”. – Psalm 63 :5

 

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God Blessed This Beautiful Mess

Thanksgiving day is almost here and I am gearing up to entertain twenty one people. I’m posting some funnies to remind myself to keep my sense of humor in the busyness of planning the holiday dinner.

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Generally, I have concerns about how the big day will turn out so I can always use a chuckle to lighten things up. I even find myself more productive when I take time out for some laughs.

Thanksgiving Preparations

I am not an organized and creative ‘Martha Stewart’ type. It took me almost half a day just to select some folding chair covers. With all the information on the internet, you would think there would be some good info to guide you to the best chair cover for a common metal folding chair from Costco but no. ¹

Several different sites instructed me to measure my chairs but there weren’t any covers that seemed close to fitting the size of my chairs. The ones I thought might be best had no photos showing the back of the chair cover. That’s what I wanted to see. Isn’t that what the guests will see first? Back and forth, back a forth, at some point I had to choose. Although I was doubtful, I clicked the ‘checkout’ button. I’m not having bare folding chairs for my dinner guests. I want them to feel special because they are.

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The covers will add a lot to the ambiance of the table. I am going to experiment with some accent bows but I haven’t picked a color scheme yet.

Making Memories

The Thanksgiving holidays remind me once again of the value of making memories, laughter and the importance of family and friends. I am very grateful I have a big extended family to share it all with.

This past month, all of my siblings and I traveled from different parts of the country, to be together in Pennsylvania, to honor my mother for her 85th birthday. My sisters planned a week of special surprises and family outings for mom to share with her nine children. It was a fun and busy week.

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Lillian Alberici and her nine children at her 85th birthday party

 

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Three generations – me, my mother and my daughter Lindsay at mom’s birthday celebration

 

Family Blessings

It was so great to see everybody. Sharing a little piece of life, in the homes of several of my sisters and brothers, was a blessing. They all have different styles but an abundance of love is prevalent in each of their homes.

I got to meet my youngest nephew Dylan, for the first time. He is such an incredible joy, as are all my nieces and nephews.

 

 

Apple and pumpkin with Dylan

Apple and pumpkin picking in Pennsylvania with Dylan

 

The Gift of Laughter

It was a delight to spend quality time with my mother, She has a fabulous sense of humor. I suppose you have to develop that to survive raising nine children! Her humor is a great gift to our family. It’s no wonder that research has confirmed the importance of humor in strengthening families. ² I plan to indulge in as much laughter as I can this holiday. It’s fat free!

A Beautiful Mess

My mother was a fantastic singer. She even sang professionally. There was a lot of singing and dancing in our home growing up. With nine kids, our house was usually noisy and a little messy. When most of my brothers and sisters were still very young, there was a season when my mother had to help my father start his own business. Mom was doing the house work, taking care of the children and running the office. She was stretched to the limit. My older sister and I would help her clean but it would only stay that way for a couple of hours. I heard my mom say often, “I need more house cleaners and less singers and dancers”.

Mom worked so hard taking of us; she sacrificed every day. My mother never did get her wish of having a house that was sparkling clean; but she felt she got something better. At her birthday party, mom gave a short speech to the guests, saying so sweetly, “God must have known what he was doing when I married Al and had these wonderful children. Of course at the time I wasn’t so sure”?! (Big laughs) “But they’re wonderful and I’m so proud to be their mother and I couldn’t have had better children”. Her heart was overflowing with gratitude. We were all misty eyed.

We were not always “wonderful”. We had a fair amount of arguments growing up and still do now and again, but we never hold a grudge and we’re always quick to love and forgive. 

                           “Be a lover, not a fighter”. – Al Alberici, (our dad) 

                    

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Alberici family in the early 1980’s

 

Life is messy but we keep dancing!

 

“In the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are made of songs and the floor dances.” ~ Rumi

 

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I’m especially grateful for my incredibly loving husband Steven and my daughter Lindsay and the beautiful music they play in my heart. For this, for Christ and so much more, thank you God.

From our house to yours, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Linda

 

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge”. – 1 Corinthians 1:4 – 5

 

Footnote:

1. My folding chairs were Meco brand (sudden comfort) and Samsonite. The material of the chair covers I selected is called ‘scuba’. The fabric has a nice weight to it. I received the covers quickly but they are a little too large, especially the seat part of the chair cover. They fit okay when I tuck that part toward the back of the chair seat. Then there is only a slight 1/2 inch over hang on the sides. Still great for the price of only $2.99 each. Thank you CV Linens!

2. http://www.clemson.edu/psapublishing/pages/FYD/FL526.PDF

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