New Year – Same Me

New Year - Same Me

Hey y’all! So, if you read my last post, you’ll know that this post is about why I chose “New Year – Same Me” as my January 2018 monthly theme and what it means. Now, bear with me, as I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts on this into words. I think that this is partly because “New Year – Same Me” is a concept that I really want people to get behind and feel on the same level that I do, and partly because it’s hard to describe what it truly is without sounding redundant.

New Year – Same Me simply means that you spend the new year embracing (and learning to love) the person that you are instead of focusing on trying to be a different person all together. I understand that the “New Me” portion of “New Year – New Me” doesn’t mean that you are trying to be a different person, but think of the normal new year habits… For the first few weeks, most of us spend time working towards these new year goals and resolutions like they are all that matters. We spend so many hours and so much money on these goals that are typically formed (maybe) a month before. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all about working towards being a better person.

Here’s the thing; I think that goals should be set realistically and without a certain aspect of “peer pressure” or “societal pressure”. Basically, set goals because you have something that you would like to achieve; don’t set them because someone (or a holiday) is telling you too. Another thing is that I believe people have this crazy notion that a new year means that everything bad that happened in the last year will be washed away. Well, as much as I hate to point it out… that’s not the case. The past year still happened, the good and the bad, it’s not just going to go away.

My point to all of this (this post, this theme, and the way that I’m feeling) is just to tell y’all to spend this new year embracing what has already been you this whole time. Take everything that happened in the past year (and the years before it) and learn from it. Take the time to sit down and go through what you liked, what you didn’t, what you felt you could have improved on, and what you want to do moving forward. This new year is a blessing. It’s another chance to do the things that you haven’t done yet.

Set goals, but do so in a healthy manner and apply realistic timing to your results. Heck, join in communities of people that are going after the same goal to help you keep on track. Being a better you isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, you should always strive to be a better person than you were the day before. So, take this new year and use it to do fantastic things. Use it to learn how to love the you that you’ve always been and use it to improve the things that you aren’t happy with.

I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and I hope that your new year started off great! There will be more coming soon, so be sure to subscribe or check back in later. Below, I’ve listed just a few “New Year – Same Me” challenges to help get the new year rolling in the right direction. As always, much love!

 

New Year – Same Me Challenges:

 

  • Spend an evening with your family, without having your cell phone/tablet glued to your side. (Connect with them without letting social media and messaging get in the way)
  • Take some time to try new things. (Maybe you try a new restaurant that you’ve had your eye on, a new style that you’ve been thinking about testing, or even a new workout routine)
  • Spend some time on yourself. (Try to relax a little and don’t forget to take care of yourself)
  • Go for that promotion or apply to your dream job. (Learn to not keep yourself from moving forward because you’re scared of a “no”)
  • Make a list of goals that you would like to achieve and hang it up in a place where you will see it every day. (Be sure to set realistic goals and timelines and don’t give up!)

 

The Lamp & The Lamb – 2018 Plans

Hey everyone! I hope that your Holidays were great and that you are ready for the new year! Since this is my first post of 2018 (insert excited “woop” here), I have so much to share with you guys! So, if you have been following my blog, you will know that I’ve taken some time off recently… but don’t worry, I’m not leaving. I’ve just been getting things ready for the new year and getting myself organized so that I can provide better content and a reliable posting schedule. That’s not all though… there are some BIG changes coming to the blog this year. That’s right, I’m talking some really awesome stuff that I think y’all will like (can’t give away all my secrets yet), keep on reading for a sneak peak of what’s to come this year.

To kick off this new year, every month moving forward will have a theme. For January 2018, the theme is New Year – Same Me. I will be releasing a post about why I chose this theme and what it means very soon, but I can’t wait for you guys to see each month’s theme and how it shapes the content that I will be putting out this year. My hope is that these themes will also inspire you to make the most out of each month and maybe even give you some ideas of how to do so.

Next, I will be opening up a few posts for collaborations! This is something that is very new to me and I am beyond excited to explore this area of blogging. I feel like collaborating with other bloggers will not only give more information to whatever topic the post is on, but it will also bring in new perspectives. If you are interested in doing a collab with me, you can always reach out to me at my email, or pm me on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Don’t think that I’m done yet, along with monthly themes and the start of collaborations, I want to start engaging more feedback from y’all, my readers. I have been toying with the idea of incorporating videos or podcasts into my blog for a while now and I would love to know what you guys think of this idea. If you want me to do this or something like it, be sure to comment what you would like to see, or like this post.

These few things are just the start of the wonderful things that I’ve got planned for this year. I would love to tell you more, but I have certain things that I want to reveal as the year goes on and other things that are still in the brainstorming process. I hope that y’all are as excited for this new year as I am and I’ll see y’all in my next post. As always, much love!

Christmas Gifts To Get The Person Who “Has Everything”

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things that I do/would use/give to family and friends.

Hello all! Today I want to talk to you guys about something that time is ticking down on… That’s right, Christmas is coming. This week is going to be gone in the blink of an eye and Christmas is going to be here. Among other things, this means that if you don’t have gifts for everyone on your list, time is running out. If you’re racking your brain and coming up with nothing more than a card with money (which, I believe, is always a good gift) then worry no more. I’m going to give you the easiest  way to decide what to get for the person in your life who “has everything”.

These people are hard to buy for because they either have everything that they say they need/want, or they say that they don’t need/want anything. First you have to determine which type of person they are.

Person one is someone that goes out and buys everything as the year goes on and it’s near impossible to think of something that you could get them that they wouldn’t already have. These are the people that you have to kind of think in terms of “what wouldn’t they buy for themselves”. Now, this is probably not a long list, but if you think hard and long enough, you can come up with something that they may have never even thought of.

For the food-loving men in your life, that have it all,  you can get things like crates of exotic jerky (click HERE to view) and crates of BACON (click HERE to see the bacon sampler crate). I mean you really can’t go wrong with bacon and jerky! These crates come with an assortment of mouth watering jerkies/bacons and I am drooling just thinking about these. This is such a great gift for the guys in your life that gravitate towards meat more than anything else. This will let them try something new while allowing you to get them a gift that they most likely would never think to get for themselves.

For the women in your life that have everything, you can get something for pampering. That’s right, spa gift baskets! There are a couple of ways you can go about getting an awesome gift basket. You can get the “Premium Deluxe Bath and Body Gift Basket”, which contains 19 Lavender and Chamomile items! I’m going to put the list of what this comes with just because I am blown away by this basket… It has,

Stress Release Bubble Bath, Body Wash with Shea Butter, Hair Replenish Shampoo, Skin Loving Hand Cream, Skin Repairing Body Butter, Aromatherapy Bath Salts, Shea Butter Bath Caviar, 3 Fizzy Bath Bombs, Handmade Essential Oil Soap Bar, Lavender Chamomile Body Mist, Hand-poured Aromatherapy Candle, Wooden Reflexology Stick, Pumice & Brush Combo Stick, Spa Bath Mitts, Luxury Comfort Spa Slippers, Extra Long back scrubber loofah, Mesh Bath Pouf

I mean holy crap! This would be such an amazing gift for a special woman in your life! That being said, it is a bit on the high end for price, but it’s completely worth it (click HERE to see this crazy awesome basket). If you don’t want to spend quite this much on a present, you can always get the “I Think You’re Wonderful Gift Basket” that has 10 items. This basket is packed with HANDMADE and NATURAL products; yes please! I mean, this is just an awesome gift, hands down (click HERE to see this super cool basket).

Okay, I got slightly sidetracked with really cool gifts, but I’m back on point and ready to get to the next person. So, person two is the first person we see that doesn’t necessarily have a WANT for gifts. I would suggest asking them first, but a lot of times these people end up valuing EXPERIENCES over tangible gifts. This type of person is so easy to get for. I know, you are probably rolling your eyes at me right now, but I am so serious. Just take them somewhere that you know that they love or spend a day with them going to different stores that they enjoy. If you give them the gift of time and memories, you pretty much can’t go wrong.

The last type of person doesn’t WANT gifts for themselves; they want for others. Let me explain, they want you to take the money that you were planning to spend on them, and spend it on someone else instead. This type of person typically would rather you donate to a charity that they support or give a gift to a family/person in need  than get them a gift.

That’s the three type of people that are labeled “difficult” to shop for because they “have everything”. If you take anything away from this post, I hope that you have learned to think outside of the box with your gifts and if someone says “I don’t want anything”, instead of just dismissing their statement, talk to them about why they don’t want anything. I am a combination of the person who would rather have an experience, and the person that would rather see the money spent on a person/cause that needs it more. Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate tangible gifts on a major level as well. In my opinion, every gift and every type of gift is great because someone took their time, money, and energy to do something nice for you.

Finding gifts doesn’t have to be a hard process. Just let loose, have fun, and get gifts from your heart instead of your brain. As always, much love and Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cheer

Hey y’all! I hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with food, family, and friends! I’m sorry I didn’t post last Thursday like normal, but I was stuffing my face with all sorts of yummy foods. That being said, I’m back to my regular posting schedule again (New Pay It Forward Challenge and More on Life every Monday and a 5 Things every Thursday). So, today I want to talk a little bit about Christmas cheer. What is it? Why is it? Why should you care? I’ll tell you what I think.

What Is Christmas cheer? So simple, Christmas cheer is that feeling that (a lot) of people get when the Christmas season rolls in each year. You either know the people that I’m talking about, or you are one. To me Christmas cheer is turning on the Christmas music as soon as the radio stations will play it, decorating your house directly after you put up your Halloween decorations, and delighting in the stores Christmas displays “finally” (sometimes before Halloween, but not going to say anything) being put out. Christmas cheer is having these Christmas songs provide nostalgia and trigger memories of Christmas tree decorating and the smell of sugar cookies baking in the oven. Christmas cheer is a feeling that is unique only to this time of year and can’t be duplicated with any other season or seasonal holiday.

Why is Christmas cheer (yes, I realize that question doesn’t look like it makes much sense, but trust me on this)? In other words, Why does this feeling of cheer run so rampant through our biggest holiday? The answer to this is one that differs for everybody. To me, it is a big time for my faith, it is a big time to be with my family/ friends and those I don’t get to see often, and it is a time where the chaos of life seems to die down a bit and allow me to focus on the things that I find most important. Put these things together, and I have a joy that surpasses the joy that I’ve felt throughout the year. Beyond this, it’s unexplainable. The combination of cold air and Christmas everything bring out old memories while making new ones and I can’t help but smile at the way life changes over time and how the people around us do too. I’m not saying that every waking minute of the Christmas season is the best thing ever, but I do believe that it holds more happiness than any other time of the year (even summer… shocking, I know). I also think that the Christmas season tends to bring out the “giving nature” of those that don’t seem to possess it any other time of the year. Something about everything that’s going on just makes your heart pull a bit more to help others, and I think that it’s wonderful.

Here’s the big one… Why should you care? The reason that you should care about Christmas cheer is not complex in the slightest. You should care because it gives you the opportunity to do great things. I’m not talking about super powers or the ability to skyrocket your career (though how cool would that be); I’m talking about the ability to do great things for others. If you have spent any amount of time with me, or if you have read any of my posts/ Pay It Forward Challenges, you will have noticed that I want the world to be filled with a little more Jesus and a little less meanness. While ugliness is unavoidable in life, we have the ability to spread a little kindness and give a little faith to those around us. As I mentioned earlier, something about the season tends to bring out this nature in more people and it is a wonderful thing. You should care about Christmas cheer because it helps to motivate more people (myself included, and hopefully you too) to make this world a truly better place even if it’s only for a couple of months. New Year’s might think that the phrase “new year, new me” applies to it, but I think otherwise. I see the most change in people during Christmas. While joy runs rampant, kindness grows, and people that wouldn’t speak normally share a conversation, there is so much to care about.

During this Christmas season, my hope for you all is that you take Christmas cheer and you run with it. I hope that you make new memories while thinking about the old ones and that you spread kindness every chance that you get. So many people need a helping hand and a generous heart to impact their lives; this time of year is perfect for getting that ball rolling. I hope that you do things not for recognition, but for betterment of the world around you. To all who read and those who may never see it, I hope that happiness is abundant in your Christmas season and I hope that you spread the happiness to others. As always, much love!

 

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out this week’s Pay It Forward Challenge by clicking here.

Confessions Of A Wife

Hey everyone! Like always, I want to keep things real with y’all. So, today I want to talk about being a wife. Oh yes, I’m talking about the struggles, the great times, and the insecurities. Everything out in the open, no lies, no fluff, all 100% real life. Wives, you can (most likely) relate; husbands, y’all might want to read for additional information. To all who read, let’s do this. The real starts now.

First, I want to talk to y’all about the insecurities. I think that everyone at some point in their lives will feel insecure about something. For wives, I think that insecurities are very much the same as high shcool girls. I don’t care if our husbands tell us how beautiful we are 10 times a day or 100 times a day, we will always find flaws with ourselves. I can almost guarantee that you, as a wife, have looked in the mirror and thought “Well, maybe if I lose 10 pounds he would think I looked better”. I know this, because my husband always tells me that I’m beautiful(I hit the jackpot, he’s amazing), but the minute I get alone with myself in front of that daggone mirror, I start telling myself that I should look better, for him. Now, I am all about self betterment; I think that you should want to be a better person for your spouse. That being said, I think that half the time, we are inventing things to not like about ourselves that our husbands don’t mind one bit. Again, we always add the I should be ____ for him. I truly believe that we just add the “for him” so that we don’t feel as guilty for downing ourselves. Because, if we are wanting to better ourselves for our love, clearly that can’t be a bad thing. Yet we are the ones who are unhappy with ourselves, and instead of facing that head-on, we pretend that it’s our husbands who find fault with us. Then, BOOM, insecurity formed.

Another big point of insecurity is “another woman”. I’m going to tell the honest truth now. I have never, in the (almost) 5 years that we have been together, thought that my husband (boyfriend back then) would cheat on me. I still don’t think that he would. I just don’t see that happening with him (cue the women saying that he can and that all it takes is the right woman to come along… but he truly just isn’t like that). Even though I 100% DO NOT think that he would EVER, in a million years, cheat on me… I still get jealous when we are out and another woman looks him up and down (or worse, tries to flirt). It’s like it’s hardwired into me. Even though my brain and my heart both know that he’s not going anywhere, I cannot stand when women try to flirt with him. Even though I know that he is a handsome man and women are going to look at him, I still bristle up at the mere thought of another woman batting her eyes at him. Even though I know that he thinks that I’m beautiful, and he loves me more than anything, I feel insecure whenever I see (what I believe to be) a prettier woman look his way. It, again, is one of those things that has absolutely nothing to do with my husband, but in the way that I perceive myself. Because, again, how can he think that I’m beautiful if I don’t feel that way about myself.

Insecurities are things that just are. They develop for many reasons and it takes a long time and a lot of self-love to get rid of them. It can be done though, and every day my husband makes me feel better about myself by telling me how he sees me instead of letting my focus on how I see myself. Wives, tell your husbands about your insecurities, let them help you. Your husbands are your biggest supporters if you will let them be.

Next, I want to talk about the struggles of being a wife. Now, this is different for every wife out there. Maybe you feel like you do more of the housework (I was thankfully blessed with a man who helps me with the housework and often does most of it before I can even get to it). Maybe, you have a husband that you feel like doesn’t listen to you. Maybe you are in the same boat as me and you feel like you just don’t get enough time with him. Let me explain why we don’t get time. My husband is a full time student for Mechanical Engineering and he works part time. When he gets home, we eat dinner together, and then he has homework until we go to bed. When he doesn’t have homework, he’s so tired that he can barely keep his eyes open. That’s just the reality of marrying young while one of you is still in college (I went to a secondary school and got my training to be a nail tech, so I am able to work full time). Then, with all of this, he helps me with life and with the house, and the cars. I’m pretty sure he’s superman… anyway, there are many things in life that can pull you and your spouse away from each other. The trick is to turn it around and use these hard times, or use your struggles to grow closer together.

It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are times when you will fight for hours just to realize that you were fighting for no other reason than you were both tired and needed to yell. There are times when you will feel as though there is nothing but distance between the two of you and you don’t know how to fix it (usually fixed with a very long talk and a bit of time spent together). That’s what marriage is… it’s going through these struggles and facing hardships, but doing so together and coming out stronger that before. If you’re in the middle of a rough patch in your marriage right now, talk to your husband, talk to a friend (not the shady one who always blames your husband and tries to get you to leave him, but an honest one who is going to help you through it and give you healthy ways to fix the problem), or even talk to me (I’m always here to talk, by email or by snail mail through my P.O. box)… but know that the rough patches don’t last forever.

Lastly, I want to talk to y’all about the great times. In marriage, for every struggle and every insecurity, there is a great time to counteract it. Marriage itself is having a partner for everything and a support system to get you through any situation. Marriage is having the person, that you love most in this world, help you navigate life. I really think that marriage is one of the greatest things that a person can experience; you are one with your other half and it makes everything so much better.

While it’s not always easy, it always levels out to the great again. If you love your husband with all of your heart, and you know that he feels the same way, nothing can ever break the bond that y’all share. No insecurity, no struggle, and no person, can ever take away the love that you have. Even the small moments are great moments; everything from when he strokes a piece of hair out of your face, to when you finally see him (and can’t help but to smile) after a long day of work. Great times come in many forms and always leave you happy and at peace. So much easier to explain, the great times are whenever you don’t let the struggles and the insecurities cloud your marriage and keep you from remembering how much you love your one-and-only.

I feel like you need the balance of the good and the bad to make the good times seem great and the bad times seem insignificant. My husband is everything to me, he is my support system, my rock, and my love. Treat your husband well and appreciate the things that he does for you. We often don’t thank them enough for doing all that they do for us. Hug them, kiss them, and let them know how much you love them.

This is everything, the raw and honest confessions of a wife. I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and a huge thank you to everyone that takes the time to read it. I encourage you to share this with other wives and I encourage you to comment/reach out to me and let me know what you think. As always, much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on The Truth About Marriage by clicking here or my post on the 5 Steps To Keep Your Marriage New by clicking here.

Why I Blog

I know that I touched briefly on the reason I started this blog in my “About Me” post, but today I want to get a little more in depth with it. See, I want to tell y’all about what I feel God is pulling me to do, how I went about figuring this out (with help), and why you should pay attention to what He’s pulling you to do.

Let’s start with a little backstory (who doesn’t love a good backstory). I have always felt the pull to write (like since I was itty bitty and could start little “novels” in spiral notebooks). While I love to write, and always have, I was fairly certain that short of a miracle, I would not be an author or any type of best seller in the future. Now, let’s fast forward some years.

I have worked in a salon for the past couple of years and I really do enjoy my job. I have amazing clients and an incredible (Godly) work family. While I love my job, I have steadily felt the urge to write. Let me tell you, this “urge” has resulted in the, un-needed, purchase of many a notebook (never put away with anything more that a few pages of an unfinished story that I had started) and a plethora of Google Docs that were opened and filled with about a week’s worth of a story. So, you could say that I have been feeling discouraged on the writing front for quite some time. Despite the many failed attempts, I still pick up another notebook and open another Google Doc.

Recently, in about the last 6-8 months, I felt like I had been seeing “Start A Blog” posts everywhere. I was intrigued to say the least and decided then that I was going to start a blog and rule the world! Okay, maybe just rule my domain… and not rule as much as share my opinions… but you get the picture. So, determined to succeed, I started my research. As quickly as my interest began, it faded. All of this start up cost (which didn’t end up being to bad)??? How many hours of networking??? No way, I don’t have that kind of money and I don’t have that kind of time. Just like that, I pushed it out of my mind and went on with my life. Or so I thought that would be the case, but the thought of blogging never left me. I would find myself scouring Pinterest to look at “Start A Blog” posts, income reports, and “Blogging Changed My Life” posts. As much as I enjoyed reading through them, I still felt that it wasn’t my place in the world (though the whole time and for quite some time before, I felt as though I needed to be doing something more with my life). Let’s fast forward again.

We are now up to the point in my life that I like to call two weeks ago, better known as the day before Halloween. My husband and I went out to dinner with our friends (who both have faith that could withstand a hurricane). I always feel like God uses them to tell me things, especially when I’m being to stubborn to see the signs on my own, and this night was no different. While out to dinner (and while both of our husbands were talking away about something that didn’t interest us too much), we got to talking about career choices. She was telling me about some plans in her life that had de-railed and we were talking about how maybe God was trying to tell her that she needed to switch paths. I brought up, briefly, that I felt as though I was meant to be doing something more at the moment but not sure what the “more” would even be. It was a nice conversation, we finished it, and moved on to the next subject. Then, out of the blue, she asked me if I had ever thought of blogging. I told her what I just told y’all and she said that she really felt like God wanted her to tell me to go for it.

Confusing, I know, but I trust her and I trust God, so the very next day I sat down to plan (which I try to do for everything in my life and typically come up with 18000000 different ideas with no clear vision). I, nearly as soon as I sat down, had my name and what I wanted to talk about figured out. From there everything rolled into place. I started this blog, my blog, the very next day and I have loved every minute of it. I’m not the most tech-savvy, I have hit snags (which thanks to wonderful Facebook groups and Google, have been figured out), and I am still in my beginning stages but I really feel like I am doing something that I need to do. I love this and for something that seemed so terrifying nearly two weeks ago, it feels like another home now.

I tell you my “Why I Blog” story to encourage you to go after what you feel like God is pulling you to do. It may seem scary, unobtainable, or just downright not for you, but if God is telling you to do it, everything will work out. Plus, trust me, if you ignore His signs for too long, he’ll start hitting you over the head with what He wants you to do (figuratively of course).

Well, that’s all for today. I know that it ran a little long, but I really hope that it urges you to go after your God-pull. As always, thank you for reading and much love!

If you enjoyed my “Why I Blog” post, check out this week’s Pay It Forward challenge – https://thelampandthelamb.com/2017/11/13/pay-forward-3/

Aging and The Elderly

Today, I want to talk about the elderly. While going through a nurse’s journal (a nurse that is very near and dear to me) for Gerontology, I was reminded many things that I believe people (myself included) tend to forget when it comes to those who are older. Let me preface the rest of this post with a little bit of information about Gerontology. Gerontology, by definition, is the study of aging and the problems that accompany it (basically, the study of elderly).

The first thing that struck me, AGE IS INEVITABLE. It seems like it is complete common sense, but I have noticed that as I get older, the days seem to shorten and the years have become nearly non-existent compared to how they used to feel. I think that,without realizing, watch those around us age with a kind of numb adoration of “freedom” and we miss that they (as well as we) are aging. I mean, those of us that are younger (keep in mind that “younger” is a completely relative term) wish away our days by wanting all of the “freedoms”(no age restrictions) of those that are older than us. Meanwhile, while we are wishing away the time ahead of us, they are wishing that time would slow down. I have yet to meet someone in there 80’s that “just can’t wait” until they are 90, yet all the time I see teens wishing to be in their 20’s. The older I get, the more I see those around me aging and truthfully it makes my heart hurt a bit. Some would say that I am an old soul for at 20, I am already wishing that time would slow down so that I could enjoy the days,months,years, and, most importantly, the people that are around me.

Now, I’m not writing this to seem all doom and gloom. I simply believe that sometimes we need little reminders in our lives to help us slow down and appreciate the time that we are given. Age is as much a blessing as it is anything else. With age comes wisdom, knowledge (yes, it is different than wisdom), and memories. Aging gives you another year of life and more opportunities to touch the hearts of those around you and make a difference. Aging gives you another year to grow closer to God and better yourself. Aging is inevitable, but it is also a blessing.

The next thing that came to mind, UNSHAKABLE FAITH. It seems to me that the older generation has faith that is unparalleled by any other. Maybe it’s just around me and the elderly are as diverse in faith as those my own age; but I have a feeling that those that grew up with God in homes, prayer in school, and God in work (not to mention Church every Sunday – no matter what) might have grown closer to Him. I, personally, think that it is inspiring to hear the older generation talk about the Lord and their faith. They always speak with so much passion and love behind their words that it could move a stone statue to tears. When I hear them, I hear no bitterness in their voices when they speak of hardships. I believe that if the younger generation would start praying as much as they complain, the world would be a much better place. The faith that I read about today and the faith that I see daily in those around me that have been gifted with “old” age is truly inspiring.

The last thing  that stood out to me, LONELINESS. I hate even typing this because here I am writing, what seems to be, doom and gloom again. I don’t write this to be a bummer, I write this to be a reminder. Too often, the elderly are forgotten. Maybe thought of in passing, but often a fleeting though. They too, are part of the family and have so much to offer if you will just sit down with them for a minute or two (figuratively, please stay with them longer than only two minutes). They have amazing stories of harder times, wisdom, and knowledge to share. It doesn’t take long to sit with them and make their day; you’d be surprised to find that it might actually make yours as well.

That’s all for today. I know that it might have seemed a bit long and maybe even a bit dark at times, but I really felt the need to share it with y’all. I encourage you today to go and visit an elderly member of your family (maybe a grandparent or great grandparent) or even go to a local nursing home and see if any of the residents would like to have some company. You wouldn’t believe how big of a difference your presence could make. I hope that you will share this with your friends and family so that maybe they, too, will go out and brighten someone’s day. Plus, you never know who might need this message in their life right now. As always, comments are encouraged and thank you to all who take the time to read! Much love!

If you liked this post, check out this week’s Pay It Forward Challenge – https://thelampandthelamb.com/2017/11/06/pay-forward-2/

The Truth About Marriage

Hello all! To start, I really wanted my first in depth blog post to be something close to my heart. I’m going to be real and honest with you guys (in this post and all other posts) about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today, I want to talk about marriage. I want to touch on the differences between real marriage and the “idea” of marriage… because, trust me, they are two completely different things and I want to talk about sticking with the marriage even if times are tough.

The idea of marriage manifests in thoughts of super fun, stress free, wedding planning and then a perfect wedding where nothing at all goes wrong. This perfect wedding leads to a life of waking up early to enjoy breakfast together, spending the whole day together, and ending the night with a perfect, no hassle (yet elaborate), dinner. This of course is capped with the thought that a life of bliss will follow with little to no hardships. Well, let me provide a little reality for you (people who aren’t married – pay attention, newlyweds – get ready, and those who are married – you’ll know what I mean). Real marriage is hard, it’s messy, it’s work. Real marriage is fighting hardships, trying to survive life, putting in as much (if not more) work at home as you do at your job. Real marriage is fighting over the simplest things (major fights).  It’s holding your spouse’s hair/head while they are sick (which, truthfully is always gross… vomit is never fun). It’s having days where you or your spouse are mad at something completely unrelated to home, but you take it out on each other. It’s always putting someone else first. Real marriage is one of the absolute hardest things to do in life… but it is also worth every minute of it. Because, at the end of the day, real marriage is having someone you love be your teammate for life. It’s having a support system whenever you do something and having the person that you love most in this world help you with life. Real marriage is knowing that you face all hardships and difficulties together instead of alone and that all of the things that you do for them (like putting them first, letting them vent, and holding their hair/head when they get sick), they do for you too. It is having seasoned love that has stood the test of time, but having moments where you look at the person you love and feel every butterfly that you felt when you had just started dating. The “idea” of marriage seems nice, but real marriage is better than any “idea” could ever be.

Now, I want to talk about tough times and getting through them. Make no mistake, at some point in your lives times are going to be hard (for 9.999999999% of people). I hear, more often than not, that life is on track for a couple and that they have everything worked out and nothing will go wrong. While that is a lovely thought, it is merely a thought and doesn’t reflect the real world. Maybe it’s with a job, maybe it’s about the house, maybe finances are tight, maybe it’s even about the marriage… but try your absolute hardest to work through it. By that, I don’t mean just put in the bare minimum of effort and try to work it out for a week before you give up completely on the situation and your spouse; I mean take every ounce of effort that you can muster and throw it into that situation. Use the hardship as a tool to grow closer to the one you love instead of falling apart. The biggest thing, is DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t give up on the situation, don’t give up on your spouse, and don’t give up on yourself. Every situation can be conquered. Give it to God, pray like you have never prayed before, and don’t give up. I have always heard that marriage is a 50/50 relationship, but that  is so wrong. Marriage is a 100/100 relationship because you both have to put all of yourselves in to get the most out. Like I said before, it is hard, but it is worth it. If you use every difficulty that you face as a tool to grow closer (to God and to your spouse), there is no limit to how strong your marriage will be.

To my husband, I love you more than anything and thank you for supporting me in this crazy thing called life.

To all of you, married or not, I encourage you to share this with your family and friends. Show your dating and engaged family/friends to let them know the truth and show your married family/friends to give them a smile. As always, leave a comment and let me know what you think about this post. Much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out 5 Steps To Keep Your Marriage New!