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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)!

Mommy Perspective

Children are a blessing. I think that is something that I have heard all my life, and when I became a mom I realized just how true it is. I don’t think society as a whole believes that statement though, or at least they don’t always act like it. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that little ones are a lot of work, and require a lot of sacrifice. I have realized over the past two years that our perspective of our children affects so many things, and sometimes we just need a reality check to get our perspective where it needs to be.

Our perspective of our children affects every aspect of the way we parent. The mindset that children are a burden is seen everywhere in our society, and if we aren’t careful it can so easily creep into our hearts.

We get annoyed when things are taking too long, without realizing that we have the opportunity to train these precious hearts.

We are bothered by the noise and the mess, without thinking of how lonely our home would be without them.

We feel like we are surrounded by so many mundane tasks, without thinking about how training a child may be the greatest impact we ever have on this world.

We hate the way that pregnancy has changed our bodies, without thinking of the women struggling with infertility who would give anything to be in our place.

It breaks my heart to see this mentality so prevalent, and it hurts even more when I realize that I sometimes let it creep into the little parts of my life. Help me Lord to have the right perspective, and remind me of how blessed I am to train little hearts.


“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”    Psalm 127: 3-5a


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Jillian Tree

So true! Love this Kristin! <3

Caitie Sheppard

Love it! Can’t wait to experience “motherhood”… <3 and miss you all!! xoxo

I Know Who Goes Before

It always amazes me when I find the same concept repeated over and over in Scripture, and then in all kinds of places in my life. It is usually a clue to me that the Lord is trying to tell me something. I started reading Deuteronomy a few weeks ago…and if I am honest it wasn’t because I was so excited to read the law…but I have been working my way through the Bible usually alternating between an Old Testament and a New Testament book and this was one left on my list that was staring at me. I am not going to lie and tell you that I was spiritually filled by reading about the dietary restrictions of the Israelites…but I have gotten so much out of this book.

It seems that God had planned for me to read this book at this time. As I look ahead at the next few months and the planner in me tries to figure out how I am going to juggle two sweet kiddos, a home, a husband in Seminary, and a business among other things, I have been reminded that God already knows. I have read this month about how God takes care of His people…even in the wilderness. Now I am not saying that my life is a wilderness…though as I think about it sometimes it does feel like my living room is a wilderness of toys, books, and sippy cups. I have been so encouraged by the fact that I know that He goes before me. He knows what lies ahead because He is already there. Deuteronomy 31:8 says “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” I don’t think it gets much more encouraging than that.

About the same time I started Deuteronomy, and read these words over and over in variations throughout the book, we picked up Chris Tomlin’s newest CD, and one of the songs has lyrics of these verses. It has been on my playlist for weeks…and I can listen to it over and over. You can listen to it here. We have no need to fear, or worry, or feel overwhelmed because we know that He is by our side.

Kristin Life-33

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Marilyn Schmucker

Beautifully written from the heart! Amen and Amen!

Shadow Ridge Farm Wedding | Lucy + Cole

There is just something about these two. They have never met strangers, and they light up every room they are in. You don’t have to be around them long to see that they are made for each other. They perfectly compliment each other and they just fit. They got married at the lovely Shadow Ridge Farm, and the day was perfect. Everything was beautiful at their rustic fall wedding, and the personal details that they had added so much. There were cowboy boots and mason jars and all of the southern details fit them perfectly.

Lucy and Cole, Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your wedding and your lives. We love you both and we are so excited to watch you start your life together. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the two of you!

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Lucy Woodard

Absolutely beautiful. I could not ask for a more amazing couple and true professionals to capture our wedding day. Jeremy & Kristin are a joy to work with, and we feel so blessed to always have their art to remember the day we became husband and wife. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!