Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Finding Joy when Joy does not find you...

Can JOY be bought?

Sadly I received a message from an old friend who shared with me that she has a hard time "keeping up" with me.  She shared that she is irritated that I am able to "find" joy in life.  She told me that she has no clue how to find joy in her life and is rather jealous that I can.

I called her and talked at great length.  She has a beautiful home, but does not find joy in that.  She has 3 wonderful cars, but does not find joy in them.  She has 2 great kids, but they wear her out.  Her husband earns six figures and she does not work, no joy there.  She lives in a warm climate in a great small town.  No joy.

It made me really ponder what joy is and how you find it when it does not find you.

So here is my take on JOY.

In this world that we live in there are plenty of "joy busters".  The economic downturn, the H1N1 scare, people becoming jobless and homeless - so on and so on.  If you spend any amount of time pondering these things - yes, your joy can be depleted.  When you are hurt through one experience and then another you close your heart and want to protect it.  

I know.  I have been there. 

After being hurt you are fearful that it will happen again.  When you let your guard down and allow JOY to seep in, you are caught off guard and want to close up in an effort to protect yourself.  You see JOY can only enter an open heart.  If you go though life with the door to your heart slammed shut - JOY will never be allowed in.

We often get caught in the trap of what we THINK brings us joy.  Most often we attach a price tag to these things.  If I only had a bigger home, a nicer car, more money my bank account, these things would bring me less stress and then I could "find" joy. 

Not so.

Joy is a fruit of the SPIRIT. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

So, back to the question - "How do you find joy if it does not find you?"

Joy is a RESULT of opening your heart, taking care of your inner self and allowing your heart to seek JOY.

Knowing that I am loved by God and that each new day I am afforded HIS Grace brings me joy.  I am joyful when my kids tell me they love me.  I feel joy when I hear birds singing outside.  I feel joy when the sun shines on my face.  Joy is what makes me feel like living.

JOY does not come from things that money can buy.  JOY is a feeling. 

It is amazing once you feel it.  Once you allow JOY in you can't get enough of it!

Music can bring you joy.  Nature can bring you joy.  Loving people can bring you joy.  Simply smiling can bring you joy.  Millions of things that are right in front of you can bring you JOY!  You just have to let it in!

It is simple.

JOY is all around.  OPEN your heart and let some JOY in this Holiday Season!
I wish you all the JOY your heart can hold!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Ahhh! First Day of Christmas Break!

My lil guys!

Ahhh the first day of our Christmas Vacation!  We slept in, are still in our jammies, are listening to Christmas Music while eating pancakes!  Life is good!

My kids are very excited that Christmas is almost here, but even more excited that their Uncles and Cousins are coming!  

Being together - that is the best gift of all!  A true gift that money can not buy!  

We plan on making cookies, playing games and spending time just being together.  It has been a few years since all the cousins were together at the Holidays!  

I still have some shopping to do and some "real life issues" that are putting a damper on my festivities.
It seems that bills are due, car insurance is up for renewal, etc. etc.  

I just wish I could make those things GO AWAY so we could just concentrate on the celebration of Christ's Birth and the love that this Holiday brings!

Perhaps I will knuckle down and try to tackle these "dampers" today and get them out of the way!

We are so blessed to have BEAUTIFUL warm weather for the Holidays and I am loving every minute of it!  It is neat to see the snow on T.V. and not have to get out in it!  We are so ill equipped for cold weather!  I do not even own a pair of closed toed shoes - just my UGG Boots!

It seems that the illness has returned to our house - both lil guys have bad coughs and Grandma came home from her cruise with a cough too.  We will not let it get us down!  We will push through and make this a fun filled holiday!

Here is wishing you get all your last minute preparations completed and that you can relax and enjoy your family!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Today is a day I actually wish it was a Rainy Day!  I feel like staying in all day and just editing the photos from the session above.  I get in my "creative moods" and want to do nothing except sit in my jammies and create storyboards and montages!

But it is not raining today.  Today is suppose to be clear, and warm.  A beautiful day in Southern California.  It is on days like these that I feel bad for staying in to edit.  I long to be out in the warm sun letting my boys enjoy the nice weather.

Perhaps I can do a little of both today!  The best of both worlds.

The weatherman is calling for temps in the 80's by Friday!  Wow!  Not too much like Christmas time when you are in shorts and flip flops!  But I am not going to complain!

Perhaps we can have an afternoon at the beach!

Sounds good.  Tomorrow Trevan sings at school and Friday Turner goes Caroling at a Senior Center while Trevan has a Holiday Party.  I want to clone myself to be in both places!

The life of a mother.

But Today is - Today.

I will focus on the here and now and go forth and be productive!
Have a great day today and I'll check in with you TOMORROW~

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Dynamics, Oh So FUN!

Kids...will be kids!

Have you ever felt like you were sinking in quick sand?  Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you tried - it wasn't good enough?

I tell you - kids can make you question your sanity!  I think that kids are just not made like they use to be!  When I was young I had a huge level of respect for my parents that is sorely lacking in my household today.  I don't know what I have done as a parent to warrant the disrespect that my now 19 and 14 year old sons display.  They see nothing wrong with copping attitude, talking back to us and using "trucker" language in our home.  

I use to think of my family like a quilt.  Neatly pieced together with lovely pieces - each different, but when all put together they were a stunning piece of work.  

Now my quilt is old and worn.  Pieces are torn, tattered and unraveling.

Can this "Family Quilt" be repaired?  

I am not sure.  Some of the pieces are so tattered and torn that piecing them back together will never work.  Some pieces are newer and can be carefully taken care of so that they will not suffer the wear and tear that the others have.

I feel that no matter how hard I have tried to take great care of my quilt, it has suffered the test of time and has come apart despite my efforts.

All I can do is pray that God can bring healing to the tattered pieces of our family's quilt and put some hope into it so that it will last for generations to come.

I am feeling very worn out as the Holidays approach.  I have not shopped for the kids, no decorations deck our halls.  My little guys both have Celebrations at the same time on the same day and I can't split myself in two.  They both want me to be with them.  But how?

Trenton got his report card today and he is doing worse.  He is now failing not two but three classes.  I am just at my wits end.  This is the age and stage where we "lost" Taylor.  He slipped from being our innocent little boy into a wayward, rebellious teenager.

I want to save Trenton from traveling this road, but don't know how.  I can't "get in his head" and know what is making him tick.  

Family dynamics, Oh So FUN!

I pray that we can settle down and have a nice peaceful Holiday with the Family.  Extended family is coming to town, both my brothers and their kids.  The cousins share a strong bond and for that I am thankful.  This brings me so much joy.

This is all I need.  Watching the love exchanged in my "quilt" will bring me all the joy I need this Holiday Season!

I hope your "family quilt" is not tattered or torn, but crisp, vibrant and a lovely site to behold!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Taylor!

From the Najjar Photo Shoot

Busy - Busy Weekend!  

We had our Road To Rwanda Silent Auction which was pretty rained out!  We still had a great time and did not do too bad - as our fellow team members did some bidding!

Yesterday, Maria and I did a photo shoot for the Najjar Family.  We had a great time with Tiffany, Maya and Tony.  I was up late creating their Holiday Card and placing their order so they can send out their Custom Cards ASAP!

Today I will be editing photos and tonight we will celebrate my "Baby" turning 19!  Taylor is 19 today!  He shares his Birthday with my nephew Brenton - who is 15 today and my friend of many years gave birth to her daughter Caroline on this date too!  Happy Birthday Caroline!!

I can't believe that Christmas is almost here!  Only a couple weeks and we will be sipping coffee by the fire at my mom and dad's.  After Christmas my brothers both come with the newphews and nieces and I can hardly wait!  I love those kiddos so much I could just burst!

We did not do much shopping and are not too prepared for Christmas.  But that is okay!  Being together is what it is all about!  Our place is too small for a tree - but perhaps one day in the near future we will be able to move to a larger place.

We have been enjoying our puppy Romeo.  We are pup sitting while my parents are in Hawaii.  My boys have missed their doggie!  

I was listening to the radio on my way home last night and heard someone speaking about the impact our words have on others.

It is so true.  Our words pack so much punch for the good and for the bad.  I am really going to make an effort to compliment my kids more and watch the things that I say.  I had a friend call me this weekend to thank me for being their friend.  It meant so much to me and made me feel so great.  We need to do this more!  It is so easy for the complaints to come flying out...we need to make more of an effort to tell those we care about how special they really are!

So, I challenge you to tell at least 2 people each day how much they mean to you - or shower them with compliments!  We all need this - and want it.  Spread a little joy with your words!  Simple enough!
Just think - it won't even cost you a penny!

Off to edit some photos!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Silent Auction


Please Join Us!

Saturday, December 12, 2009
11:00am - 2:00pm

6 Fresian
Coto De Caza, CA

Come to the Road To Rwanda Silent Auction. All proceeds will go towards missions efforts in Rwanda. There will be many great items up for bid such as jewelry, designer bags, photography session, hotel stay, handicrafts, and so much more.

Admission is $10 and includes a light lunch.

Silent Auction will take place from 11am-1pm

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Help us spread some love!

Spreading some LOVE!

Our Kids Small Group is making Holiday Cards and doing a Toy Drive for our local Ronald MacDonald House.  If you want to help us make this a really special Holiday you can donate GIFT CARDS for us to include in our Drive!  

Send Gift Cards for Restaurants, Movies, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. to me by December 21st at:

Janean Lindner
28715 Los Alisos Blvd Ste 7-348
Mission Viejo, CA  92692

Thanks for helping us in this effort!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ahhh - a HOME.

Photos of my parents remodeled bath and fireplace that my husband built...

My mom and dad have a lovely home.  They left yesterday for a wonderful cruise to Hawaii.  I am so blessed to be able to enjoy their home while they are away, taking care of our dog Romeo.

Romeo is a VERY loved dog.  He was our "baby" and when we had to move and could not have him my parents took him in.  He is now a "prince"!  

Last night I stayed here with the boys as Trevan's asthma was acting up with the rainy, cool weather.  He still has the cough from being sick with the flu.  We got into our jammies and curled up by the fireplace.  We all curled up in my parents bed and attempted to sleep.

At 1:00 am Trevan was coughing so hard we came downstairs.  We lit the fireplace and I propped him up, gave him medicine and rubbed his chest with Vicks.  Soon he was back to sleep and I got to watch T.V. shows that my mom had on her DVR.

I watched Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy while listening to the pitter patter of the rain.  So peaceful!

Today I have slumbered on and off on the sofa with the boys.  They are having so much fun getting into the "toy closet" and running about.  There is a lot more room here than in our lil apartment and they think they are Kings of the Castle!

Soon I will shower in my parents luxurious bathroom that my husband designed and built.  We will all set out in the rain with Romeo in tow to drive to Irvine and get Trenton from school.  We need to pick up Taylor and bring him back out this way to the doctor.

I am so relaxed here and wishing we could hunker down all day buttoned inside by the fire.  I love the rain but hate getting out in it and getting wet!  There was a time when I may not have had the appreciation for my parents home like I do now.  I love it and am enjoying it while they are gone - a mini-vacation for us too!

The Holidays are coming and we are so excited to see our family.  My brothers will be coming with my nieces and nephews and time spent here in this home is precious.  I love this time of year.

I pray you are safe, warm and happy on this very wet day here in California.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Boutique Time!

We are still in need of more Baked Goods/Candy and Gift Items to Sell at our Event this Saturday - let me know if you can help!

You are specially invited:

“Road to Rwanda” Holiday Boutique

Saturday, December 5th, 2009
Open House: 10 am to 4 pm
Hosted by Nani Plaza & friends (at Caicedo Residence)
26531 Kari Brook, Lake Forest, off El Toro & Creekside

· Come and find a unique holiday decoration or gift for someone on your list 

(and know the proceeds will go to Rwanda for the 2010 mission and for the women 
who are living with HIV/Aids)

· Come and purchase home baked holiday goods

· Take time out to buy a cookie or two, and then enjoy decorating

· Have the gifts you purchase wrapped for a minimal fee

· Come and hear about our ministry: where we have been & where we are going, “Road to Rwanda 2010”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Attitude is everything...

I know I have touched on this before - but lately it has really come to my attention that attitude is everything.  Have you ever noticed that if someone in your family is having a bad day and approaching life with a bad attitude that is it spills over onto everyone?  I struggle with this in our household.

One person gets all cranky and "off" and then everyone else starts in with the negative attitude.

I try really hard to see the glass as "half full" as much as I can.  Seriously - if you stop and look at it - doesn't God provide all we "need"?  The key word here is NEED.  Sure we have all these earthly desires but do we really need all that we want?  Heck no!

I need a roof overhead.  I have that.  I need food.  I have that.  I need to be able to seek medical care when needed.  I have that.  Basics.  

If we learn to appreciate the fact that our basic needs are being met the rest is easy!  Anything else is a "bonus" and your glass is half full!

This year, this Holiday, we have our needs.  We have a place to live and food to eat.  My kids know that there may not be the "end all be all" gifts under the tree and they are okay with that.  They are not "expecting" much at all so anything they get they will be grateful for.  I am thankful for this.  Perhaps if we had not gone down the road that God led us down they would not be grounded in this way.

I, myself have a greater appreciation for the simple things in life.  I expect nothing and get everything in return!  I am blessed more richly by my friendships and cherish things more deeply than I ever have.

This Holiday is not about what we "get" - but rather what we can "give".  We can lend an ear to a friend in need.  We can give our time doing something worth while.  We can share a talent we possess.  We can give a hug, bake some cookies and share a smile.  You don't have to be rich in a monetary sense to be able to richly bless others.

I just pray and ask that God uses me to richly bless others.  I pray that you too will not get caught up in the "commercialization" of the Holiday Season and forget that YOU have a lot to offer.  

Don't let it go to waste.  Pray and ask God to use you.  Be open to His leading and let him show you how blessed it is to be a blessing to others!

Smile even when you don't feel like it - it does wonders for your attitude!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beautiful YOU!

Celebrate your Beauty!

Maria Alvarado and I are
Now Booking XoXo Valentine's Day Portrait Session

When: January 16th at a Newport Beach, Luxury Hotel

You will receive a Personalized Photo Session capturing the true essence of your personality. Dress fancy, sexy, boudoir - your choice.  Champagne, Wine, Fruit and Chocolates will be served.

Indulge! Enjoy! Let loose! Come have a ball and be a lady!

Fee Includes Session, Portraits Artistically Edited and Re-Touched, Personalized Photo Gallery with Password Protection, Complimentary 8x10 Portrait of your choice, 
Special Valentine's Day Pricing 
and a TON of FUN!

You owe it to yourself!

Just - $125...

To book your session send your non-refundable deposit of $125 to janeanlindner@mac.com
via PayPal or email me to mail a check.

Space is LIMITED so book now.
Gift Certificates Available!