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Lamp & Light

I follow a lady named Kristin Schmucker on instagram. Towards the end of October she announced that she was hosting a photo challenge for the month of November & I decided to jump on that and participate.

lamplight

I did get days behind and then had to play catch up but I am happy to report that I actually did all 30 days! I usually start these things and then finish them….go me!!

I was going to share the pictures from instagram to facebook but then I thought that I would just put them all here & add the description that I wrote along with it.
I don’t really know why I choose to share this way but oh well, I did!

My tattered bible along with the current bible study I’m doing.#lampandlight #day1 #imbehind#playcatchup #novemberphotochallenge#bible @kristinschmucker#kristinschmucker

Reminds me to always know that the bad that happens is to bring Him glory!#lampandlight #novemberphotochallenge#day2 #genesis50:20 #playcatchup#imbehind #favoritebibleverse@kristinschmucker #kristinschmucker

One of my favorite mugs. Given to me by a great friend as a Christmas present. Every time I use it I think of her and all the fun we have together!#novemberphotochallenge #lampandlight#day3 #mugshot @kristinschmucker#kristinschmucker

My Bible study spot…..where I’m comfortable and snuggly & if I fall asleep while studying (which happens often), I don’t have to get up and move! 😜
#lampandlight #biblestudyspot #day4#novemberphotochallenge@kristinschmucker #kristinschmucker

I have many goals that I’d like to accomplish in my life. At the end of the day I know none of that matters if I’m still the old me. It’ll take time but I know that my ultimate goal is to be a better me than I was yesterday.
#lampandlight #day5 #playingcatchup#goals

The book of Proverbs is an instructional manual in my opinion. It can tell how you act and what to say. So much wisdom is within those pages.
#lampandlight #day6 #playingcatchup#day6 #proverbs #bookinthebible

As much as they drive me questions and even question I was given an army of mini me’s, these little people have made my world better. They have taught me so much and made me step out of my comfort zone to give them a better life. I love them and they certainly my small blessings.
#lampandlight #day7 #playingcatchup#smallblessings #mykiddos

A prayer in my bible from a few years ago. #lampandlight #day8#playingcatchup #anoteinyourbibe #prayer

This is one of my favorite quotes. My dad used to say this all the time when I was growing up and it’s so true.
#lampandlight #favoritequote#playingcatchup #day9

This has been something that’s been laid upon my heart for at least 6 months, if not more. It’s something I’m praying about and asking God to tell me where and how I should do this.
#lampandlight #onyourheart#playingcatchup #day10 #titus2:3-4

This journal is one of my favorite things. A great friend gave it to me and it’s a place where I can create and draw out the Word when it touches me.
#lampandlight #afavoritething#playingcatchup #day11 #biblejournal#create #givenbyafriend

I know that I’m given grace ever second of my day but to be able to wake up every morning and start from a clean slate is the biggest sign of grace to me.
#lampandlight #areminderofgrace#playingcatchup #day12 #sunrise #grace

There are too many to list but this seems to be one of the biggest prayer requests I have right now. A house. One that will fit us more comfortably than the one we are currently in. One that we can call home.
#lampandlight #day13 #caughtup#aprayerrequest #aplacetocallhome

“We bring the kingdom come” We Christ followers are the ones who bring the kingdom to others on a daily basis. Not only do I love this lyric but I love this song!
#lampandlight #day14 #favoritelyric#webringthekingdomcome #jasongray#witheveryactoflove

A dream would be for Mister to be a stay at home dad with me.
#lampandlight #day15 #dream#stayathomedad #stayathomeparents#freedom #timeandmoney

My memory today is my grandparents on my moms side. I miss them much and it saddens me to no end at what they are missing out on. I’d give almost anything to have them back!
#lampandlight #memory #grandparents#wishtheywerestillhere #mcgrew#missthem #lovethem

 These two things are always on my to do list. There are others but laundry & dishes take most of my time.
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day17#todolist


 I love her story and think she is a great example of what you do doesn’t define you & anyone can change.
#lampandlight #characterinthebible #day18#rahab

Nature can give us signs of life & death but has a way of making it look so beautiful. It’s almost thanksgiving and though most trees are turning and leaves are falling, they still are so green! And that blue sky….I just love me a Texas clear blue sky!
#lampandlight #day20 #nature #texassky#fall #trees #lifeanddeath #beautiful

When I study scripture or just read my Bible, I have my purple pen, Bible, and my journal. I never know when a verse will hit me and I want to be ready to journal it.
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day21#howistudyscripture

I have to be honest and say that I haven’t read Psalms enough to have a favorite verse from this book. Think I know what book I’ll be reading next!
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day22#favoritepsalms #bookofpsalms


This is a book that helped me to be involved where I feel led/called to be involved in. I’ve cut out the ‘extras’ and just concentrating on my calling.
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day23#abook #calling #thebestyes#lysaterkeurst


  This word is one that I’ve taken to heart over these last few months to a year & a half. My joy cannot and will it be stolen by anyone or any situation that life throws me. I choose joy. Bad things can happen but my joy still remains.
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day24#joy #cantstealmyjoy #ichoosejoy

This will always be home to me. I’ve lived in many places but Virginia will always have a special place in my heart.
#lampandlight #day25 #myhome #virginia#specialplaceinmyheart


  
Me! You! We are all attributes of God. We are made in His image!
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day27#anattributeofgod #me #you#madeinhisimage
  This is so true and definitely something I’m thankful for!
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day26#whatimthankfulfor #friends #family

   We are mixed up, crazy, tired, annoying, real, and all of this equals a beautiful mess.
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day28#abeautifulmess #welkerfamily #family#welkerkiddos #welker


  It took awhile to figure out how we were going to announce that we were expecting baby number 6 but I love how this turned out. Things can change with one step (literally & figuratively) and our step was adding two more feet to our family.
#lampandlight #playingcatchup #day29#aphotoilove
PS- just want to say that I am NOT pregnant. I tried to word it so it explained a previous pregnancy announcement but it didn’t come across that way.
I’ve been saying this for as long as I can remember & it’s so true.
#lampandlight #day30 #wordstoliveby

 

There is my 30 day photo challenge! Hope you enjoyed it…..let me know if you did this one too! Now onto my December challange!!!<<<<Let me know if you will do this one with me!

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Rekindling friendships 

Life is funny sometimes….well all the time if we really look at things and how it all turns out. 
We find people we click with and want to do life with them. Those relationships either continue or are broken for whatever reason. Usually when they are broken, they stay broken. Too many times it’s over something so trivial and neither party wants to swallow that hard pill….pride. Pride is not our friend y’all! 

Sometimes those relationships are broken for good reasons and they should stay broken. 
Whatever the reason your relationship is broken, really look at the problem and be honest about it with yourself. It’s so much easier to hold a grudge than it is to mend that tear in the fabric of our friendships. 

In reality, that’s not what we are called to do. We aren’t told to hold grudges or leave things messy. 

We are first and foremost called to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t for the other person, believe me when I say, it’s for ourselves. Forgiveness allows the weight of the issue to leave your shoulders and you feel 100 pounds lighter. I know this is hard and takes time but it’s something we have to do. Holding onto unforgiveness is ugly and messy….no one wants that. (Matthew 4:16)
When you lose a friend and there’s an opportunity to heal and restart, take a moment and ask yourself (and put yourself in their shoes) if it’s something you can move past. Most of the time it is. People will do is wrong, lie, cheat, steal, and hurt us to the core. That is no excuse to not forgive. Pray about your particular situation and listen for your answer. Sometimes we have to do what we’re supposed to do instead of what we want in order to be obedient to Him. 
Proverbs 17:17

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My Momma Heart

Oh is my Mama heart hurting big time tonight!
We’ve all been there on those days when we are telling our kiddos to pick up their rooms. Sometimes you have to go in there and tell them to stop fighting and/or playing around. Work as a team to get their room cleaned up. 
Oh and how many threats we pull out to get them to do these things! More than 90% of those threats have just been smoke up their rear ends I’m sure! I know because I use empty threats all the time. 
Today was a day that my threat wasn’t empty. Today was a day that I actually followed through with what I said I was going to do. Today was a day that my Mama heart broke. 
I heard the boys playing and fighting in their room again after going in there several times, telling them to stop, and threatening to throw whatever was on the floor that belonged to them away. Two of my boys didn’t take me seriously. One of those boys had to throw his own stuff away. The other boy didn’t want to listen (again) so I had to bring the trash can in his room myself and throw it away as he’s screaming at me that he wants his stuff and asking for another chance. That’s same boy continues his tantrum and decides to take his homework out of his binder, erase all his homework that he spent his afternoon completing, and scribble all over it. I then decided to write his teacher a note over the scribble and tell her to not allow him to get another sheet and that there are consequences for his actions and the grade he gets is one of them. 
As I was watching my son who had to throw his own things away carry his belongings outside and dump them in our big green trash can outside and watching him cry made me want to sneak outside while he was sleeping and take it all out. My other son is also very upset about his things being thrown away. When he realized he wasn’t going to be able to redo his homework, he became even more upset because he was going to get a life skills mark. 
As I’m writing this one of these sons keeps going into our bedroom begging to have one more chance and that he’ll even get his brothers things out of the green trash can if I do give him this last chance. As much as I want to (and I really do want to) give both of my boys another chance, I cannot. I have to stand firm and follow through with what I said I was going to do. If I’m not willing to follow through with my threats, then I shouldn’t make them in the first place. I had to explain to them that if I didn’t love and care for them, then I would’ve continued to allow them to misbehave, be rude, disrespectful, and disobedient towards me. But because I love them I had to do this. 
How many times has God had to take something away from me because I just wouldn’t listen? How many chances is God willing to give me before He must put His foot down? As much as it breaks my heart…man, I can only imagine how it breaks His. I’ve asked so many times for things to be different or to have something back that was taken from me. But if I would’ve gotten what I asked for them I wouldn’t have learned what I did and wouldn’t have realized that because He takes He really does love me. 
So Mamas out there…showing your children consequences isn’t unloving or mean but a must to show them your position & to be taken seriously. Just make sure that you are ready to follow through with whatever threat you give them….no matter how much you don’t want to or how much it hurts. 
Press on Mamas…..tomorrow is another day to show more love and grace.

Written on 09/29/15

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Joy: a choice

Mister and I were rearranging our bedroom a few months ago. I was moving things from my side of the wall to its new home. I moved a word hanging that I keep out. The word is Joy. A friend had made it for me years ago when we had a small business (I think, I honestly can’t remember that far back! Ha!). I would say this was made about 5 or 6 years ago. It’s been packed from NC to TX and two moves since we’ve moved to TX. 

Anyway, when I moved the word a spider had come from behind it. The letters aren’t attached to each other like they were when it was new. Some of the red paper has come off. The green border doesn’t stick in some spots. 

  
But I still love it.

Our own joy can look just like the physical word JOY that hangs in my room. Torn, beaten, not brand new, a little nasty spilling out….not like it once was. 

Joy is something we choose not something that is given. No matter what is going on in your life, chose joy! There is always something to be thankful about, no matter how small. Our joy cannot be stolen unless we allow it to be. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

James 1:2 NIV

We’ll have hard days where that joy is hiding. Look for it. 

They’ll be days when we feel down & out that you think no one knows how you feel. Seek joy anyway. 

Satan will throw anything he can at you to steal your joy. Don’t let him. Don’t let him win. Let him know who’s boss…and it ain’t him! 

No matter what your joy as looked like before or how you think it’s supposed to look, grab your joy and run with it! 

Joy comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes…seek yours and never let go!

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Sidekick update

Well it’s been a week since I had my genius idea and I’d say it’s working out pretty good! Last week was easier than this current week simply because we didn’t have anywhere to be. I’m glad that I’m having to figure out how to get what I need done while it’s still summer though. Good practice! 

I highlight what I get accomplished from my list. Last week was bright yellow!

  
 This week….I have a few yellow dots. 

  
Again, I’m learning to be ok with that. I just try and move whatever I didn’t accomplish to the next day. Laundry is something that I’m trying to get done no matter what else is going on that day. I do 2 loads a day, 6 days a week, so laundry is definitely something that I cannot get behind on! Has long has its been washed and dried then I’m ok with that. My goal is to actually have it put away and then I mark it has being finished. 

Anyway, this post isn’t about laundry! 

I’m really liking that everything is all there. I don’t have a notebook for a shopping list, chores, phone calls, and whatever else. It’s all in one and makes toting it around much easier. I’ve already started writing down ideas for what my next sidekick will contain. I will start putting it together in December to get ready for the new year and so that it will coincide with my 2016 planner. 

Overall it’s working out great! I’m glad that the idea came to me and I didn’t push it aside. I go to bed feeling good about what was accomplished and, most, mornings I don’t wake up with all this weight on my shoulders filled with lists and to dos and all that jazz. 

I’m excited and looking forward to continuing this new habit and putting together one for 2016! Cannot wait to update and show you!

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No yelling: Day 4 – now

So I obviously didn’t do a very good job of blogging the week that I wasn’t going to yell. I also didn’t do a very good job of not yelling. I have yelled every day from the first post until now. I don’t know how to not yell. I get to point where talking doesn’t work. I’m tired of being given respect by my kids. I can and will only take so much before I have hit my limit.

I have, however, stopped myself in some moments and just began to talk in a normal voice. That doesn’t happen very often but I’m glad when it does. It helps me calm down and I’m sure they enjoy it more when I’m just talking vs yelling. I wish I could do that every time. I wish I wasnt a yeller. Again, I don’t know how to not yell. Maybe one day I wont, I hope sooner than later.

I know the area in which I need to work on. It’s the ‘in the moment’ moments that I’m terrible at. I can tell myself all day long what I need to do but when I am in the middle of those moments, it all goes out the window. I always fall back into the same cycle that I don’t want to be in…..the crazy cycle!

I will break this cycle and beat it. I don’t when or what will be the magic ingredient but I will!

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#365daysofthanks – 1/365

Today is January 1st, 2015. The first day (technically night as of right now) of a brand new year. Today starts 365 days of me saying what I’m thankful for for an entire year. I’m really hoping to complete this. I’ve started things before but have never finished it. I want to complete this! (Here is my original post of where this started)

Today I am thankful that I have started reading to my kiddos every night. We started on the first book of a series that no one had read before. We are now on book 4. Not only do I look forward to this time with them, my kiddos do also. My two year old will ask throughout the day “read?” I love that they are enjoying this.

I picked up about 3 books each for the kiddos at the library and told them that when they wanted to read them to do so. They’ve actually been doing it! I help B & C read their books and read Lily her books. I absolutely love reading and books! I have yet to have any interest in getting a nook or kindle. I love having a book in my hand. To turn the pages. To smell the pages of a new book. Those are things that I cannot get from a piece of plastic.

I am just thankful to have this time with them every night and that they are enjoying it as much as I am.

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No yelling: Day 2 & 3

Well I can’t say that I’ve been very successful at this no yelling thing. All I want to do is blame the kiddos and say that if they wouldn’t whine/cry/complain/do what kids do then I wouldn’t have to yell. But in the end, it’s not their fault and blaming them would be a lie. It would be a copout. It would be childish of me. It would be wrong.

Do their attitudes,whining, cry, and other emotions get under my skin? Absolutely! They wear on me to the point that is like nothing better to do than pull my hair out and send them on a hike! I would like to control the volume and sound just like a TV with them. I would like to duct tape them to the wall so they can’t push, shove, and hit each other. Boy, would that make life a bit easier!

I have to swallow my pride and only blame myself for my attitude and actions. I need to learn techniques that have me step back, take a moment, and then deal with whatever is going on. I don’t always have to argue back, have the last word, or be right. What I should always strive for is to solve the problem not add to it. I shouldn’t have to feel so drained within the first 30 minutes of them being home from school. I shouldn’t have a countdown of when they go back to school in the back of my mind. I need to change my mindset. I need to change the way I deal with things and maybe it’ll run off on them. What a concept I just thought of!
{insert sarcasm}

The sad part is that I already know all this stuff. I know that I should back off and then deal with my kiddos. I know that I need to set the example to them on how to deal with conflict and unfairness and other people. All I’m showing is anger and loss of control. Horrible example to my kiddos.

I need to make the effort to do what I know I should be doing. All my kiddos are doing is a reflection of what I’m doing. And I’m getting mad at them for being just like me! So silly!

All my kiddos are over being sick, I’m out of the house today, and all my school aged kiddos have a Christmas party at school today I’m going to make an effort to think before I speak and/or act. I am going to set a new tone and example in my house. I’m going to be the change I want to see in my kiddos.

If not me, then who?

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No yelling, Day 1

I was too tired to update last night, so you’ll probably get two posts today….lucky you 😉

Yesterday was a fail. I am always good until the kiddos get home from school. I think that’s just because there is so much going on with so many people at one time between homework/school folders and snack time. They are all done with school & I want to get folders and homework taken care of. So in less words, our agendas don’t match.

Yesterday’s frustration started on our way home from school. We walk from the school (like a 10 minute walk) and it never fails that one kiddo whines about it. Well yesterday C-man had his tantrum about walking home. He pulled on my hand, let go, and then landed on the ground. I don’t play these games so I kept walking. He sat on the ground yelling at me that he hated me. I turned around, told him that I wasn’t waiting for him, to watch what he was saying to me, and kept walking. I guess he didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t entertaining this tantrum and got up to catch up with us. That’s where it started for me.

C-man also had a bit of homework that he needed to make up from missing school all last week. He started acting up doing this. I get that he didn’t want to do it all & I wasn’t going to make him do it all in one day. I was trying to be firm with him about just getting some done & to stop acting the way he was. I am not completely sure that I was yelling but I sounded louder than I wanted to be in my head.
Then as I was making dinner I was getting frustrated because no matter how many times I make it or what temperature I have the stove-top on, I (almost) always burn a grilled cheese sandwich! Never fails this happens. This is what we were having for dinner and my frustration was getting bigger. Now that I am typing it out, it seems so silly that I was getting that upset about making a grilled cheese sandwich.

Get it together woman!!

C-man had an issue with what was for dinner and Emma wasn’t having it that she wasn’t being held by me, and a few kiddos were complaining that their tummy was hurting.
Ok, so dinner was done, pjs were getting on, and then a kiddo coughed & threw up. Great. Another one down with the stomach bug. So I had to clean up the floor while trying to tell Bailea to stay in her room & that she had to wait a minute for whatever it was she wanted and trying to tell Mister that he needed to keep the dogs outside longer so that I could clean up.
I wasn’t upset with Dom that he had gotten sick on the floor, I was upset about the situation. I tried very hard to keep everyone else away from Mister when he came home sick with the stomach bug last week. Apparently my efforts failed.

I was just beyond frustrated at this point and let out a loud ‘AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH’
And then I felt a little better.

I just needed to sit for awhile and just mindlessly be on Facebook or play those dumb games I have on my phone to just chill out. It worked and then I went to bed.

I will save what has happened this morning for the post later tonight!

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I’m tired of hearing myself yell…..and I’m sure everyone else is too

I’ve heard myself say this to myself, and I’m sure out loud also, so many times.

I’m so tired of hearing myself yell. I don’t like to do it and it wears me out and it’s in(un)affective and no ones ears enjoy it.

I’m a yeller by nature. I have no idea why. I honestly don’t know if I’ve always been this way or it’s been a progression since having a big family.

Logically, I know that yelling isn’t going to fix, help, or change anything or anyone. I could yell until I have no voice and I know things wouldn’t change. If I know all this then the next question would be, then why do I still do it?

For a fact I know that I out of frustration. I yell because I feel like I’m not being heard. I yell because I don’t know what else to do. Well, let’s be honest here, I do know other ways to handle things but I don’t always take a step back, breath, and then address whatever is going on. It’s the ‘in the moment’ thing that I don’t think all the way. I don’t stop and think (something I should probably do considering I tell this to my kids all. the. time.). I react. And then I wonder why in never works. I wonder why I feel guilty after having a yell-fest. I wonder why I’m apologizing to my kiddos all the time. You’d think by now I would’ve thought of a better way of handling this or would have changed my ways by now. But no, no I haven’t. I’ve also noticed that instead of spending all this time working on me & my ways, I’ve just kept saying ‘well if the kids wouldn’t act/say what they do, then I wouldn’t have to yell’. So basically, I’m blaming my kiddos because I would rather point the finger at someone else than swallow that pride pill, own up to my fault, and work on this.

#momfail

I’ve tried this before about 2-3 years ago. I don’t remember it lasting that long. I do remember feeling less stressed. My nerves weren’t shot by the end of the day. I remember my kiddos weren’t yelling at each other either. I remember not feeling like a hypocrite when I’d tell my kiddos to stop yelling, while yelling at them (1+1 doesn’t equal 2 here).  My kiddos are older then they were before and I can tell them to hold me accountable with this also.

I’m not going to yell for 1 week. No yelling, period. Not even if I’m on one side of the house and need/want a kiddo. No yelling means no yelling. I’m going to come here and vent my frustration, everyday for this week.

Will it be difficult? Yes, considering that I don’t go 1 day without yelling now. I know that I can do. I know that I have to do it, not only for me but (most importantly) for my kiddos.

Fingers crossed for day 1!