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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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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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Who am I?

Well, this can/is a hard question to answer. I had a friend on Facebook post who she was. Take her or leave her kinda thing. I imagined she felt freer after she posted it. Maybe those in her life found out things they didn’t know. Loved her more for putting herself out there. I’m not exactly sure why but ever since I read her post, I wanted to do the same. Lay myself out there. Not one person knows all of me. This post won’t allow you to see all of me but it’ll give you more than you probably already know. I have no idea why I feel the need to share any of this with you, but when I am told to do something, I suck it up and listen. I might add that I don’t listen immediately but I try to follow Him and His nudges. 

I can tell you my name. I can tell you what I do. I don’t necessarily think those things define who I am. 

My name is Trel. 

I am a mother, daughter, wife, aunt, daughter in law, granddaughter, friend, sister, step sister, step daughter, niece. 

I clean dishes, wash clothes, wash dishes, heal boo-boos, read stories, play games, listen to problems, fix problems, play dress-up, color, cook meals, and much more. 

But who am I? What do I like? What are my passions? Weakness? Strength? What makes me laugh? Makes me angry? Calms me? What do I believe? Who do I believe in?

I may not know 100% what all these answers are or have more than a few answers, but I do know one thing about myself. I’m complicated. I don’t always understand why I do/feel/think what I do. 

Here are things that I do know about myself:

I love with all I have. I’m a jealous person. I forgive when others tell me I deserve not too. I anger easily. I laugh at inappropriate times. I am inappropriate. I hold back when I should give all. I can be rough. I hurt others. I miss those not in my life deeply. I don’t so well with change. I shove my sadness and frustration down until I just explode. I can tell you all day long how to do something or how to handle a situation but I cannot always practice what I preach. I have the mouth of a sailor most days. I regret. I love to help people. I crave being with my friends and mister. I don’t appreciate what I have. I take my bubble for granted. I suck at admitting I’m wrong. Even harder for me to say I’m sorry. I get clingy but hold back. I start to question things when my friendships reach a certain point. I would do more if I had more to give. I need a partner, I am not good being a leader by myself. I fail daily. I believe in God. I am a Christ follower. I believe what the Bible says. I believe that there is only one way to heaven. I believe everyone has the free will to choose what they believe. My actions/words do not always match my beliefs. When I’m hurting, you probably wouldn’t even know it. I’m good at putting on a smile. I’m a horrible liar, my face will tell on me. I cannot eat/drink something I do not like. No matter how full my life/plate is, I want to help others. I take tons of notes that I, usually, never look at again. My anxiety is ridiculous. Organization calms me. But you wouldn’t know it with the way my house looks. My children have taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I am slapped in the face daily by them…not always a bad thing. I fail them daily. I hope I don’t have to pay for therapy in their future. They make me become more filter less. More courageous. They have made myself build a stronger backbone. My nonsense meter is very low. I have no room for drama in my life…my children’s drama is enough. I am ungrateful. My thanks aren’t enough.  I am forgiven. My mistakes don’t outweigh my worth. Tomorrow is always a new day. The next week/day/hour/minute is another chance for me to be better. I am the least perfect and put together person you will meet. I am a mess. I don’t have all the answers….though my life would be easier if I did. I’m not proud of my past but it’s part of my story. I won’t know what I have until it’s gone though I pray I don’t wait that long to ‘get it’. I trust too quickly but not as quickly as I used to. I’m nice to everyone but I don’t like everyone. If you could hear my inner voice and the goings on of my brain, you would be frightened. I am crazy. I think too much. I like to but if put in a corner, I will fight to the death. I’m impatient. I have to check myself before I wreck myself….daily. I am messy. I talk a hundred miles a minute. I get depressed. I have high highs. I am just a mess trying to do my best and please God. I eat too much. I am so thankful I’m not allergic to chocolate. 

This is me (and more than what I can verbally say). Take me or leave me. I’m not here to please you or make you happy. I don’t apologize for who I am but I am working on making me better. There is always more of me you don’t know or understand (I don’t even understand most days). 

This is me. Trel. 

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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 – 2/365

Today is January 2nd.

I was actually struggling to find something to be thankful for all day. It just wasn’t a very good day here in our house. We had moments but overall, I’m glad it’s bed time.

I was originally going to say that I was thankful for the rain we are getting today. We live in Texas and are currently in a severe drought, stage 5 to be exact. So when we get rain, everyone is thanking God for it.

Then I got to thinking that I really needed to look for something that might not be so obvious, something that wasn’t right in my face.

Everyone had had gone to bed and it was close to 9pm and still hadn’t found something to write about. And then I was playing with Emma, just her and I. And I looked in her eyes and thought, man am I so thankful for you!

(In case you are new or don’t remember, as I didn’t and had to go back and read it, here are my thoughts when I finding out I was pregnant with our 6th child)

I wasn’t always so excited that this baby would be here. I didn’t want this baby to be here. now when I look at her, I can’t imagine my life without her. She is only 5 months old and it feels like she’s been much longer than that and other times it feels like she just got here. The majority of the time (when I have those moments to reflect) it feels like she was always supposed to be here. And I know that she was in His plans the whole time. I love her so much it hurts sometimes. I cherish her a bit more than my other babies because I feel like she is my last baby. I probably won’t have these moments again. I know that I need to soak them up as much as I can.

I am so thankful for this baby that I cried about when I found out that I was pregnant with her and wished that God would give her to someone else (true story. I even told God who I wanted him to give my baby to). I am so glad He didn’t listen to  me. I’m so glad that He gave her to me. Emma will always be my baby and be my own personal proof that His plans are always better than mine.

 

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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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#30daysofthanks

You all know this hashtag by now, I mean it is the end of November.

I think that I always jump on this bandwagon every year. I don’t think there’s ever been a year that I actually completed 30 days. And seeing the lack of posts in my newsfeed by the end of the month, I’m not the only one. They say 21 days makes a habit but I can never make it that far into the month, ha!

So, if I don’t finish my #30daysofthanks, does that mean I’m not thankful!?

Absolutely not!

I think we should be thankful for everything, everyday. I know that more people are than aren’t. I understand why it’s more focused on in November. This time of year brings to our attention why we should be thankful for what we have and how great our lives actually are. Our focus kinda gets put on the back burner the other 95% of the year. I can totally see how and why that happens. Life happens. Life gets in the way. Our lives are our bubbles and sometimes the things that happen in our bubble are just so consuming that we forget to look outside our bubble. What happens in my bubble may not be a big deal in your bubble and vice versa. We tend to not be as merry and bright the rest of the year. We don’t put as much emphasize on giving and others the rest of the year.

Or maybe you & your family does. I know that our daily events get in the way I/we forget or choose not to focus on it. I’ve got a lot going on in my life daily that I’d rather not think of everyone else’s problems. As harsh as that may sound, it’s true and I know I’m not the only that thinks like this. It’s not meant to be mean or offensive to anyone but it is the truth.

Let me be real with you right now. My attitude, words, and thoughts have been anything but thankful these couple of days, almost a week. I see myself being thankful in certain moments or when things go a certain way. I’m seeing that I’m not so thankful when those moments aren’t going my way or something unexpectedly happens that throws a wrench in my plans. I have been spewing words of anger, hate, and just plain nasty words to my family. This is not ok. This isn’t me being the best me that I can be. This isn’t me setting a good example for my children. This isn’t me being a safe/happy place for my family to enjoy. I’m wallowing in my own self pity and getting so mad about something that won’t even matter next week. And if it will matter next week, it’s not even a big deal. I am not liking this side of me at all. I feel awful and horrible about how I’ve been treating my family and the words that have been coming out of my mouth. I am ashamed and would be embarrassed if anyone overheard me.

 

And so because of this, I am giving myself a challenge. You can join me if you’d like, you can help hold me accountable, you can just simply read my posts, or you can do nothing. All are acceptable and perfectly fine for you.

Starting January 1, 2015 I am going to be posting what I am thankful for every day for 365 days. It seems like a big task and. Bit overwhelming. I mean, I can’t even post for 30 days what I’m thankful for, what makes me think that I can do 365? I have no idea! But I am going to challenge myself. This is something that I am doing for myself and no one else. I’m not proving anything to anyone. The one reason I am making a public statement is, mostly, for accountability. Plus, I know someone else out there will need to check their attitude & words also. I’m not the only person out there having this negative nancy on their shoulder.

Im putting a stop to it before it gets too far out of hand. I’m the only person that can control this. I’m the only person that can make myself change. I cannot do it for anyone else but myself. I’m sure that by the end I will be a happier person.

Will I have days where I don’t want to find the good and be thankful for something? Yes. Will it be hard to come up with so many things? Sure. Will I miss a day? Or two? Probably! In the end though, it’s not about how many days in a row I did this. Or how many days in a row I missed. It’s a heart thing. It’s a happy heart thing. It’s always about the heart. Good and evil. It’s a heart and mindset kinda thing.

Let’s change our hearts & minds so that we can become the change we want to see I our spouses, kiddos, family members, friends, and communities. Sounds super cheesy, I know.

But I also know that it’s true.

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My threats aren’t empty anymore

How many times have you threatened your child with taking away a toy or saying that you are going to throw everything away if they didn’t clean it!?

All the time, right?

Sometimes we follow through but most of the time we are just using these threats to get our kiddos to do what we want them to do in that moment and usually we are making the same threats the very next week.

Why? Why can’t they just listen the first time and remember it? Why do I have to repeat myself so many times about the same things?

At the beginning of the summer, I told them that I wanted their rooms cleaned. That way they wouldn’t have to spend all summer cleaning but just maintaining. Told them I would help organize and find homes for everything.

What should have taken no more than 2 days turned into months (and no, I’m not exaggerating either). I kept saying that if it wasn’t picked up within a certain time frame that I was just going to throw away whatever was on their floor. I mean they couldn’t have cared too much about it if it we’re left on the floor to be stepped on & broken. Oh the fits that we’re thrown with every threat I claimed I was going to do. Not only was I getting worn out fighting with them, I started to get upset with myself. I even went as far as asking if any local friends had a snow shovel that I could borrow so that I can could throw their stuff out! Why was I saying things that I probably wasn’t going to do in the first place? Would I really ever follow through with just throwing away whatever was on their floor? Would I have reach that point?

Yes.

The answer is yes. I did reach that point. I did throw away whatever was on their floor without even looking to see what was there. I did follow through with my threat.

I did feel horrible for throwing their things away. I did feel bad that they lost things. Like I said just a few sentences ago, and something that I said & continue to say my kiddos, if you wanted it so bad in the first place then you would have taken better care of it & not allowed it to end up on the floor.

Every now and then I will go in the boy’s room and see what it looks like. If it’s not in acceptable order to me then I give them a time frame & whatever isn’t picked up gets thrown away. I’ve only had to do it once after the first time. I hope they get the message.

I’m not doing this to be mean. I’m doing this to prove a point to them. I have to stick to my word. I cannot just keep saying I’m going to do something and then never do it. That teaches them that I’m not accountable and that they can keep doing it. It’s making it ok for them to do something that isn’t ok. I hope that I don’t have to do it anymore. I hope that they got the message that I’m serious about their rooms.

I’ve applied this mentality to everything else. If I say something I really try to follow through with it. I need to be careful what my threat is and make sure that I’m honestly willing follow through with that threat and not change my mind. Now I do give 2nd chances/extend grace but it’s pretty much base don’t their attitude towards me. I can tell when they are truly sorry/forgetful/confused/insert anything and they are just saying it to get their way.  Sometimes I give them their 2nd chance even when they don’t deserve it or have earned it. (That is a whole other blog post though)

This is what is working in our household right now. It may not work next week. It may not work in your household. That’s ok, I don’t expect it to. I would love to hear what does work for you!

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Praying for the family

We hear & ask this of people all the time. When something happens to someone we always want to send prayer chains & requests for these people. Most of the time we are asking this for loved ones & sometimes we hear about a person/family that we don’t know but pray for them anyway. Please keep in mind that as I talk about this subject, I am not talking about people who are sick, a natural disaster happened to them, or something that a human didn’t cause.

Though we should pray for those people going through those things I listed above, we also need to pray for those who cause harm/trouble to others. I know that this may seem foreign to most but it’s what we are supposed to do. We tend to just pray for those who are affected by others…not pray for those who caused the problem. I know that in our eyes there are levels of sin, but in reality sin is sin. There is no worse than…no grading scale. They are all the same in God’s eyes.

We are to pray for our enemies. Those who hurt us. Those who do wrong to us.

Matthew 5:43-45
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.…

That is & can be a very hard pill to swallow. No one wants good things to come to those who do us wrong. No one wants to pray for those people who hurt our loved ones. It’s not natural for our emotions to go this way. Our first & natural reaction is to hate this person & wish nothing but bad and even worse things on them.

Just because something comes natural to us doesn’t it mean that it’s always the right thing to do.
When something happens to us, a loved one, or a complete stranger, we need to remember to show/offer grace and forgiveness. Is this easy? Absolutely not! It’s one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life. I don’t want to forgive those who have done wrong to us or who have lied to us.
It does me & my soul no good though to be this way towards those people.
I have had to take steps to get to this point. And so will you. This isn’t something that can happen right away. Maybe it can for some people but most people need time to get to this point.

When someone does someone else wrong (no matter what they have done….lied or killed) we need not only pray for the victims but also the person that has committed the wrong. We tend to forget that we are all human & all very much capable of doing what those on the news do. It’s all about what choices you make. The ‘bad guy’ may not  realize it but they want to be forgiven and given another chance. We all do when we do something wrong. No matter what wrong you have done, you want someone to give you another chance. Just because your mistake was different than the person you just read about or heard about on the news, makes them no different than you.

I am sure that there are many people out there that will disagree with me. That’s ok. I’m not asking people to agree with me. I am asking that you show grace to those who do wrong….no matter their wrong. We all make mistakes. We all do things that are wrong. Show everyone the same grace and compassion that you want. Remember, one sin isn’t worse than another.

Not only do we tend to not even give the bad guy a second look but we tend to over look their families as well. Just because someone does something doesn’t mean their family agrees with it or even knew their loved one could do such a thing. We have to not only pray for the victims & the bad guy(s) but also their families. I can’t imagine a family member doing something to affect so many & then be shunned just for being related to that person. There is no need to punish the family of the ‘bad guy’.

I am in no way saying the ‘bad guy’ shouldn’t be punished by law because he/she absolutely should! But we need to pray for them more than anything. Pray for a change of their heart. Everything that people produce comes from the heart….good & bad. It’s a heart issue & nothing more.

I don’t ask that you agree with me. I ask that the next time you hear or read about someone doing something awful to another person that you just stop and pray for that person. We don’t know their battle. Pray for their heart.