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A New Year of Possibilities

It is that season where I am already thinking about the new year. January 1st really is one of my favorite days of the year…because it feels like a fresh start. I was thinking today about the different seasons we face in life, and how so often the start of a new year helps us move into the next season before us. Looking back on the past few years I can see distinct themes as the year changed.

Kristin Life-62

2013 was an amazing year. I think it is the year that I really got a good grasp on who I was. I was getting into the swing of being a Mama, and I was embracing who I was as a businesswoman. It was the year I started #lampandlight, got organized, and made time for what mattered. It was when I chose the words at the top of the screen, and focused myself in on living a life that was: intentional, simplified, and passionate.

2014 was a life changing year. It seems as though the year has been full of a lot of change, some that have rocked me to my core, and some that I have been able to see how God has been working for years. The loss of our daughter Sophia at the beginning of 2014 changed my entire world, and though it was the hardest thing I have ever faced…I have seen how the Lord can take even the hardest things that we face and use them for His plan. After years of Jeremy and me being full time wedding photographers while He was in Seminary…things began to shift. I started my online shop, and we moved across the country to begin our church planting journey. There were many good things, and many hard things.

So my mind is thinking about 2015, and I am wondering what a new year will bring. I can look back even through this difficult year and see how the Lord was preparing my heart. There have been seasons of joy and seasons of heartache…but regardless of what has come…He has been good.

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Megan Andzulis

This post is encouraging! I get so anxious about new phases of life: can I handle what will be thrown at me? Am I capable of taking care of what I need to? Will my finances keep up with us? It can be so scary. But youre right–God has never failed us and knowing He never will makes me feel awfully silly for even worrying sometimes :)

Regina Collins Simon

I have failed at the once a year resolutions but do really love the new, fresh start so I will be doing resolutions & goal setting at the beginning of every season. I didn’t have my act together for fall but am already planning for the winter months. I’m hoping to have more success with this way of planning and preparing but agree that no matter the method – God is ALWAYS good.

Our Refuge and Fortress Free Lock Screen

I haven’t done a new lock screen in awhile, and since Fall is here it seemed like the perfect time to switch things up. I love keeping Scripture on my phone as a way to memorize it, and this verse is a great reminder that God is our refuge and fortress. I am in love with all things chalkboard right now…so I thought a chalkboard lock screen would be perfect.

All you have to do to download is click on the image or here and click to save it to your phone. Then you will be able to make it your lock screen.
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I Remember

It has been a little over 7 months since we met and said goodbye to our Sophia. My heart still aches like it did the very moment I saw the sonographer shake her head signaling to us that her precious heart had stopped beating.  I can remember it like it was just yesterday. I remember every detail about the room my sweet girl was born in. I remember that my iv cord drapped over a bassinet I knew would stay empty. I remember that there were two screens used to moniter; one for my contractions, one for the baby’s heartbeat. I remember how my heart sank everytime I looked and saw that screen with a flat line. I remember how Jeremy fell to His knees and cried out to God when we heard the news that she was gone. I remember sweet friends praying over my hospital bed as I waited to deliver. I remember the pain of delivery, and so much more…I remember the pain in my heart. I remember the silence in the room when she was born. I remember the hushed sobs of the medical staff. I remember her beautiful face, and her straight black hair. I remember the ache in my heart. I remember the music that Jeremy played while we held her and prayed. I remember being wheeled out of the delivery room as a nurse said congratulations while another nurse grabbed her arm telling her there was no happy news. I remember sitting on a green vinyl couch preparing to say goodbye, reading Scripture, praying through tears, and singing Great is Thy Faithfulness. I remember driving away from the hospital without her, clutching only a small box of her things, and a heart full of memories of just 12 hours spent with her in my arms. 

But most of all…I remember feeling God’s presence like never before. I remember knowing as hard as it was, I was not alone. I remember peace in the midst of pain. I know that God is Good. I know that He is Faithful. I know He has never left me, and He never will. Seven months later I cling to Him still. It is in the moments when I try to do things in my own strength that I feel that weight of the sadness rush over me. It is in the moment that I run to Him, that I feel Him lift the burden to make it just light enough for me to carry through this life. 

Trusting God does not mean that we will never face suffering. It does not mean that it will not hurt, or that I will be able to move past. It means that I don’t carry the pain alone, but that He walks with me. It means that we have hope. It means that we know that though here our hearts ache for Sophia…there is coming a day when we will see her again. A day when we will say “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” I Corinthians 15:55

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Lois

Oh my what a sweet post. My heart aches for you. Loss is so hard and painful, the loss of your sweet baby must be unbearable at times. I am so thankful that I love, trust and serve a God who has experienced loss and is acquainted with grief. He loves us so. Many blessings to you.

Erin Bridges

Oh, Kristin. This post is beautiful as your wordsare. You continue to leave me in awe of your strength and faithfulness in this season. I’d love to send you an email, but can’t seem to find the best contact email for you. If you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to touch base with you in more than just a blog comment, erin@byerincreativeco.com.

Cara Cobble Trantham

I love you, Kristin. Thank you for sharing these precious memories with us. You are held up in prayer daily.

Nancy Wooden Fowler

Prayers for you. It is wonderful that you can be comforted in the knowledge that God is with you every day.

Tammy Damore

We will never forget!

Verity LeFevre

Bless your heart. I don’t know you, but I know that you know the same God as I do. During our terribly distressing and heart wrenching times in life, we can feel and know God in such a beautiful, special way. I thank Him for that. I especially like your reminder to run to Him and cling to Him instead of trying to carry our pain and burdens by ourselves. It really is our tendency to try that on our own. May God continue to heal you and comfort you and your husband. A sister in Christ.

I read this through tears… This was the very story my sister and her husband lived just earlier this spring. It wasn’t even my baby, but it was my little nephew and he is still so loved and missed. And yes, the faithfulness of the Lord is so real, so true, always. What a precious Jesus.

Ervina

Your precious Sophia was so very beautiful. I know what you mean by remembering everything in vivid detail. I replay the events surrounding our son’s labor and delivery over and over again… And yes, the atmosphere of God’s presence was profoundly significant through it all. So so grateful for Jesus in the deepest pain. Thank you for your words of hope and trust that keep me pressing into Him…

The Seasons Change…Yet, He Remains

So often the future seems so uncertain. Things seem to spin around me at times, as I am faced with adjustment and trying to figure things out. I like to have a routine, and since moving that routine seems to have been nonexistent while we seek to settle into the rhythms of this new season of life.  There have been so many changes, and yet I am reminded that our God never changes. His unfailing love abounds no matter what we are facing.

My friend Bailey posted this quote from Charles Spurgeon this past week, and I couldn’t repost it quick enough. The words resonated with my heart so much and where just the reminder that I needed to adjust my thinking. A reminder that He never changes, and though this world around me spins, though people hurt me, though I will face suffering in this life…He abides. His love is unchanging through it all. He is a Rock and a Fortress for my sometimes weary soul. When it seems my heart is overwhelmed and I have no where to turn…I do have a place to turn. I have the One who has walked with me through the hardest of moments…and even there He has shown me that He is Faithful and True.

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September Scripture Challenge

Back in May I held a Scripture challenge, and it was so great to commit to being in God’s Word with hundreds of women. Accountability helps so much in our lives, and being in Scripture is no exception. So starting September 1st we will be doing another Scripture challenge. Everything you need to know is listed below! I will be working through my new Freedom and Grace Journal in September. You are welcome to join me in studying the book of Galatians with the journal or to choose your own reading plan. September is the perfect time for a fresh start! Let’s make being in God’s Word a priority!

The Challenge:

  • Read scripture every day in the month of September.
  • Share a photo on instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #lampandlight each day,so that we can encourage each other on the journey and inspire others to make Scripture a priority.

How to get ready:

  • Decide what you are going to read. I recommend choosing a book of the Bible and starting at the beginning, but if you are already in a reading plan or going through a study you don’t need to choose something else. In the shop I have two different devotional journals that would last the whole month. One over Philippians and Colossians, and one over Galatians. You can view them here. I will be working through the Freedom and Grace journal if you would like to go through it with me.
  • Prepare your heart. Ask God to encourage your heart throughout the month of September, and instill in you a love and desire for God’s Word.
  • Ask a friend to join you. I will be here to cheer you on, and will be checking out the hashtag often, but it would be great to ask a friend or a few to try to commit with you so that you can encourage each other.
  • If you aren’t sure how to study Scripture, you can read this post about how I do it.
  • Share the image below on Facebook or instagram and ask friends to join in.
  • You can also share it on Pinterest using the Pinterest button at the bottom of the post.
  • Keep an eye on the blog! I will try to write some posts to encourage and give ideas about how to make time to be in Scripture. If you have any questions or something that you would like me to address in a blog post leave a comment here or on instagram and I will try to help!septemberchallenge
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I found your blog tonight through a devotional that I received from a friend for my birthday this past weekend. I got the Joy in Christ one and started reading it tonight. It was exactly what I need to hear! I am suffering through stage 4 cervical and more recently bladder cancer. The Dr does not have a good prognosis for me, but I still serve a miracle working God! I am wanting to dive more into the word and fill my head with more of God to keep my mind off of the depressing thoughts that Satan so frequently tries to give me. I thank you for allowing God to use you as a vessel for others to experience more of Him! I am excited to study more of Philippians and Colossians!

Brandy Kimbrough

I’m definitely doing the #lampandlight challenge! I will be reading through the book of Hosea <3

Danielle Cobb

I will be joining.

Anonymous

Going to finish your Joy journal and then start something new!

Angela Padilla

I’m in. Going to finish Esther, then start something new. Excited to be part of the #lampandlight challenge

Veronica Carr Yerger

This is very new to me, but I have been looking for a way to be more intentional about reading my bible. I am going to give Galations a go!

Keri Snyder

I love this! I’m going to join in and read Galatians

Donna Oates

I will be joining….as well as my hubby is making the commitment…. :)

[…] can participate in this challenge!  You can learn more about the September challenge here.  This is a chance to share your faith with others and to be held accountable by a fantastic […]

[…] Join in on the Scripture Challenge I saw this on my friend Denise’s blog and I love the idea. Basically I will be readinf through Galatians daily. You can read more about the challenge here. […]