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Stella is 2!

It is so incredibly hard to believe that it has been two years since we welcomed our sweet Stella Grace into this world. Life has changed a lot in the past two years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Everyone told me that my life would change when I had a baby, they talked about sleepless nights and a loss of freedom…but I think they got it all wrong. Life has certainly changed, but it has been good. Certainly there have been a few sleepless nights, but they are so worth it in light of morning cuddles. We may not have the same freedom we had before having children, but we wouldn’t trade doing things as a family for anything. Really, when it comes down to it, the thing that has changed the most is me. My heart has realized that this sweet little girl (and another on the way) is one of the biggest blessings I have ever been given. I can’t imagine what life would be like without her. These two years have been the very best, and we can’t wait to have so many more years of pure joy with out little Stella.  I am so grateful for so many little giggles and smiles, for tickles and princess dresses.

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Sugar and Spice

I realized that though we had announced this on instagram and Facebook we had not made it official on the blog. We are having…a girl! We are so excited for Stella to have a little sister, and to have our home filled with even more dresses and frills and princess things. We also announced that our sweet girls name is Sophia Kate. It is so much fun to talk to Stella about her little sister. I am not sure how much she understands, but my growing belly gets lots of kisses from her these days.

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That is so exciting you guys!Congrats! Stella and Sophia are going to be the best of friends! I love the name too!

Simplified Life | Stop Glorifying Busy

For some reason, being busy is the in thing these days. Your success is often judged by how much you do. As women, we chat about other women, and we make comments like “how does she do it?”, and “she has so much on her plate”. We make those comments like it is a good thing, but is it? We post pictures on instagram and Facebook of our busy, edited lives…but not so much of the quiet moments. For some reason we think that we are successful women, Christians, business women, bloggers, moms, and the list goes on, if we are running around non stop so overwhelmed with a million things on our plate. But are we doing what matters well, or are we just doing a lot of stuff?

There are so many choices that we are faced with daily, and the best choice is not to choose it all, but to choose the best things. We must choose the things that God has called us to do and leave the rest behind. My relationship with God, my marriage and being a mommy are the most important things to me, I must think about how every decision, or new activity will affect these things. I have lots of other things to think about, but when these things are in order everything else will fall into place.

I found this quote via Whitney English a few weeks ago and it was just so good. What are your priorities and are you making those things happen, or doing lots of things that keep you busy, but don’t really matter?

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Caitie Sheppard

Thanks for being so open and transparent! Thanks for bring real….for being you! I love you…

Absolutely love this post & needed to read it. Thank you for sharing. So much.

Genny Martin Holmes

Great post. So glad you are figuring this out now. You are a very wise woman. : )

I am finally popping over here from Instagram to peek at your blog! Yes, there seems to be an unwritten rule in our society that if you are not involved in every little thing you are not doing enough. But the opposite is true. I believe we need those quiet moments, moments to read a book, moments to watch a movie as a family, moments around the table playing a game.

Jody Shoemaker Roberts

So true… and so easy to forget

Daniel Devine

I agree!

Kristin’s Book List | November 2013

I know that the month isn’t over yet, but since we will be spending time with family for Thanksgiving I figured I might not have a chance to get this post in before the end of the month. So while vacation time may give me some extra time to read, I will have to make up for it with Decembers post.

Mended | Angie Smith

I loved the fact that the book is written as revised blog posts that Angie had posted on her blog. It broke the chapters into short little nuggets that I could read throughout the day when I had a spare minute. The little chapters were so full of things that Angie had learned about God from life, and from her children. She talks alot about her story of going through her pregnancy knowing that her little girl would not survive, and how much she learned through that situation. Such an encouraging read, especially for a Mom.

Strange Fire | John MacArthur

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review and I was excited to dive into it. I had never read much of John MacArthur, but had heard lots of good things about him, so I thought this would be a great place to start. The book discusses the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the Charismatic movement, and the prosperity gospel. Definitely a heavier topic that a lot of the books that I often read and review, but I was excited for the change. Jeremy said that it seemed right up my alley because it discussed history and theology which are two of my favorite things. I loved how much history was in the book and how well researched the topic was. The author discusses what the Holy Spirit does and doesn’t do and the dangers of twisting our thinking on probably the most misunderstood part of the Trinity. Though I always knew that I did not agree with the charismatic movement and the prosperity gospel the book was eye opening to what the dangers of the movement are and how it can distort the true Gospel. Though the authors viewpoints are strong, I feel he handled the material very well and also addressed those who are unsure of what the Holy Spirit’s role is today.  I have been thinking alot recently about what “illumination” is and how God speaks to us as believers through His Word, and I loved this quote. “To be filled with the Spirit, then, is to yield our hearts to the authority of Christ, allowing His Word to dominate our attitudes and actions, His thoughts become the object of our meditation, His standards become our highest pursuit, and His will becomes our greatest desire. As we submit to God’s truth, the Spirit leads us to live in a way that honors the Lord.”  So powerful.

A Woman’s Guide To Making Right Choices | Elizabeth George

When I was about 12 years old I borrowed Elizabeth George’s book “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” from my mom. It was one of the first books about being a Christian woman that I can ever remember reading. I remember soaking in the content. I was thrilled to get to meet Elizabeth a few weeks ago at a ladies conference and get to hear her speak. I picked up this book at the conference because it seemed like such a practical topic. I will admit that when I started reading it I was hoping for a magic formula that would help me make some big decisions. That isn’t what I found, but I still loved the book. Elizabeth is so practical and talks so much about how the biggest thing for us to do when we are trying to make decisions is to stay in God’s Word. How can we make decisions on the things that are impacting our lives if we aren’t immersed in God’s Word. She covered many other aspects in our lives of how we can make sure we have the right influences coming in so that we will make wise decisions. Such a great read, even if you don’t feel like you have a big decision to make.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode | Crystal Paine

I am pretty sure that every woman and especially every mom has felt before like they were in Survival mode, just going through the motions and the daily routine. I was excited when I got the opportunity to receive a free copy of this book to review because I have been following Crystal’s blog Money Saving Mom for several years (even before I was a mom), and she always has great tips, so I knew that her book would be helpful as well. She talked so well about how we as women feel the pressure to do it all, and then we end up overwhelming ourselves because we have so much on our plates. The book is full of practical tips on how to set goals that are realistic and achievable as well as how to be more disciplined to get it done. She uses personal stories on how she gets things done, and how she knows when she needs to say no to something. She talks about setting priorities which has been something that I have realized recently is so important. I love how she talks about figuring out what is really important and doing those things instead of overwhelming ourselves with to many things that we think we are supposed to be doing. I took away from the book that if I want to do things well I need to make sure that I am not committing myself to too many things, and especially to too many things that are not important just because I think that it is what I am supposed to be doing. If you are looking for practical tips on how to maximize your time and be intentional with your life, I think you would love this book. Crystal is down to earth and so real, and the book reads as if you are chatting with a good friend over coffee.

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Lamp and Light | Frequently Asked Questions

Several months ago I started a hashtag on instagram called #lampandlight, with the intention of using it to help myself and some friends hold each other accountable to be in God’s Word daily. I got a huge response from it as other women expressed to me that this was a big encouragement to them. I have gotten a lot of questions over the past few months so I thought I would write a blog post to answer a few that have come up a lot. Feel free to leave a comment here or on instagram, if you have any other questions. You can follow me on instagram @kristinschmucker and follow along with the hashtag #lampandlight.

What is #lampandlight?

As I mentioned above it is simply a hashtag to use to seek to be more intentional to spend time in God’s Word. It isn’t a specific Bible study, but just a way to keep yourself accountable and to encourage others. The name comes from Psalm 119:105 “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” I started it because I think we all need to remember that we aren’t in this alone. I would love if you would join.

How do you journal?

I get asked this often as well since a lot of my #lampandlight images show glimpses of my journal. I use the SOAP method to study and journal Scripture. You can read this post to find out exactly how I structure my time in God’s Word and how I use my journal.

Where should I start reading?

How to choose what to read is something that I am asked often. I highly recommend you to read through a book of the Bible instead of jumping from passage to passage. I think we can get a much greater understanding of Scripture if we read the whole story in context. You can choose any book that you would like. Sometimes I will alternate between New and Old Testament. It can also be helpful to start with a small book so that you can see accomplishment early as it won’t take as long to finish.

How much should I read each day?

I don’t think there is a single right or wrong answer to the exact amount of Scripture you should read each day, and for me it often varies from day to day. Instead of telling myself I need to read three chapters each day and then rushing through them and feeling like I didn’t learn anything I take it slow. Some days I might read a whole chapter or even two, other days I may only read two verses. It is really hard to understand the story of Scripture or make personal application if you are rushing through it. I recently heard someone say “eat until you are full”, and I think that is the perfect way to decide how much Scripture to read each day.

If you have more questions leave a comment and I will be glad to answer and help you dig into Scripture.

Kristin Life-5

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Rachel Stephens

I LOVE doing #lampandlight on Instagram! And reading all the other posts are encouraging, too. So glad I started doing it!

Elise Warnock

I love that quote: “eat until you’re full.” It’s such a simple phrase, but perfectly applicable. So many times I allow myself to go about my day still hungry. Thank you for this post, it was a huge encouragement to me (as are your #lampandlight posts)!