Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
From the <3

Thirty-Four

Hello friends!

Today I’m 34.

Officially “mid-30s.” (Face palm)

Side note- can you believe I started this blog when I was 21!? Who chronicles anything that long these days? I feel like my posts should be encyclopedia-ed in a library or something.

Anyway, in years past, thought I’d share some deep thoughts (ha) as I head into this new year.

1.I’ve been very blessed to have my grandparents in my life as long as I have/did

I lost one of my grandparents last month and realize how truly blessed I’ve been to have three of the four alive up to that point.

I was able to see my grandma just a couple weeks before she passed, for which I’m thankful.

“>Grandma πŸ’—
<
Will and I also made a road trip to Iowa last fall to see my Gran. I'm so thankful for that time and those memories!

πŸ’— Gran

I’m also very close to Will’s grandparents, and treasure them as my own.

To be 34 and have 4 special grandparents in my life (my grandpa, gran, and Will’s grandma & grandpa) sure is special, and I’m very thankful.

2. Will is genuinely surprised by my OU fanaticism.

A few years ago, when OU was struggling, Will opted to sell our last two home game tickets.

That’s blasphemy, y’all.

You don’t just sell your tickets because your team stinks!

Will was completely shocked by how strongly I felt about going.

See, Will is what I consider a “real and educated” fan. He loved them in the 90s just as much as he does now, guys.

If you know OU football in the 90s, you know that means a lot.  He knows seemingly everything about OU football, and I love it.

Anyway, he also listens to a radio during the game so he can hear the play-by-play.

Since he listens to the radio, he never realized how colorful my commentary is for the poor souls that sit behind and in front of us.

Nothing inappropriate, of course, but I’m rather talkative and lively.

Confession: I even sometimes annoy myself.

All this time he had no idea. Haha

The people around us, however? Yeah, they knew.

So yeah, while I’ve always been an OU fan (I say that loosely), I mostly married into the crazy.

However, my love for OU football has honestly become all my own over the last several years. It makes it that much more fun!

OU-ISU!

3. I’m harder on myself than I realize.

I never give myself enough credit. I’m always convinced of the worst. Quite a pessimist at times, which is strange because I generally try to think positively!

I honestly need to cut myself some slack sometimes. Take a deep breath. Not be so darn tightly wound.

For some silly reason I feel like I work for the Counter Terror Unit (that’s for all my old Jack Bauer 24 fans out there 😊) where I can’t take a single day off without the nation going into a tailspin.

It’s ridiculous, really.

One of the things about coming back to this job was that I knew I was going to have to be better about not driving myself crazy. Not putting too much on myself or worrying about everything.

I’ve done better, but I’m still not there. I’d like 34 to be the year when I do better and let go of some of those things. To pray more and just let go of so much of what I can’t control.

In fact, things are crazy at work right now. The old me wouldn’t have taken today off. The 34 year old me took it off anyway even though I’ll be checking email all day. I’d say I’m off to a good decent start!

4. Two Words: Mascara Primer
I’m not kidding. I discovered the fantasticness of daily mascara primer at 33 and I will never.go.back.

What’s a mascara primer? It’s basically a bra for your lashes.

Real life.

I honestly thought it was an unnecessary splurge, but guys- it’s kind of a must, especially if you’re like me and never leave enough time in your morning to apply eyeshadow.

Not all primers are equal.

I’m a Mary Kay girl through and through, but honestly you can’t beat the LancΓ΄me CILS mascara primer.

Line your eyes, curl your lashes, prime them, & add mascara. Trust me here. Game changer.

5.I actually think I’m pretty good at what I do
Coming back to my old job kind of fit like a glove.

I know what I’m doing, and I’m comfortable doing it. In fact, I was blessed to even get a promotion after being there less than a year.

Remember #3? I’m often too hard on myself and I need to remember I’m doing a good job and it’s ok to take a breath every now and then. I need to pray more, worry less. Trusting God with my job.

As crazy as it may seem, I distinctly remember praying for my future job when I was a teenager. I had no idea what I was going to do (Um, and I still don’t) but I remember praying for the job I’d have one day.

Guys, He is so faithful.  I honestly had no idea how 15 years later He would so richly answer my teenager prayers.

I could tell you it’s all because of my awesome smarts (um- it’s not) or communication skills (again no) or my “can do” attitude (nope, nope, and nope), but it unequivocally is none of those things.

It’s completely God’s faithfulness and provision, equipping me and helping me each and every step of the way.

6. In follow-up to #4
Since I already talked about my must have primer, I might as well share some more of my favorites for with my favorite 30 something gals.

Smashbox Primer Oil
I got this as a sample in my Ipsy several months ago and kind of forgot about it until this year.

Oh.My.Stars.

For my dry skinned girls, this is the bees knees.

My skin is super dry and makes me look way older than 34. My eye lines and forehead lines get so dry, and translucent powder atop my foundation just magnified the problem.

This primer is aces to help give extra moisture for these areas and hydrate all day with a beautiful but subtle glow.

I’m not going to lie, it’s expensive, and was a birthday gift to myself this year (plus a tube of mascara primer 😊). I bought it for my “free” Sephora birthday gift.

For me, it’s a luxe item, but I think it will last forever.

Knock-off Beauty Blenders
I usually tend to these things are sort of unnecessary, however a lot of the cheap ones work really well and give a beautiful, air brush flawless coverage. I got a Mint Pear blender in my Ipsy and really like it because it has a more contoured side for eyes and nose, but a larger side for the rest of the fact.

Mary Kay Repair Eye Cream & Night Treatment

I’m Mary Kay through and through when it comes to skincare. As a consultant,my loyalty lies with all their products, especially their skincare.

Their new line for “mature” skin is out of this world.

I don’t use all the products in that line just yet, but I have incorporated a couple of them into my daily routine and THEY WORK.

Their night cream is ridiculous. It has retinol and a host of moisturizing goodness to improve texture, lines, age spots, and damage.

It is pure fantasticness AND cheaper than the currently popular Rodan & Fields.

Their eye cream is equally potent. Sadly, due to the fact I treated my skin like crap in my teens (hello tanning beds!) plus genetics, there’s not a lot of hope for me here to some degree, but I’m thankful for the options I have that help!

7. I’ll never enjoy hot weather

Ever.

I hate hot weather.

I wither like a wilty flower.

I melt like a sno-cone in Phoenix.

I turn into a puddle of humid-y sweat and become quite the grouch!

It’s awful y’all.

It’s already been near 90 this year and everyone’s all,” It’s gorgeous outside!”

No. No it’s not.

A couple of us have been taking a quick break to walk a mile during the work day. It’s been so wonderful!

We sit hours on end each day, and many doctors claim desk jobs can be just as dangerous as smoking!

It’s been good to stretch our legs, get moving, and reduce stress, even if it’s just a few minutes.

The problem is...summer is approaching.

I’m not into sweating in work clothes (um or ever aside from the gym)…

But, I’ve come to crave my daily walk and can honestly attest to the benefits!

So I might have to see about going earlier.

This heat thing isn’t something I learned over the year, but it’s definitely been reaffirmed.

If it hasn’t changed now, it never will.

So if you invite me for a summer BBQ, let’s pretty please eat inside. Or at midnight.

(And as an aside, turns out I shared this exact same thing on my 32nd birthday. πŸ˜‚ See? Some things never change)

Drinks are my jam.

Over the last year, I’ve become quite the drinker.

Hot flavored teas, cold flavored teas, coffee with a smidge of creamer…

All the caffeine-y drinks.

Don’t worry, I realize these can become a calorie trap. It’s all about moderation, and I find a sweet drink treat can help fend cravings in the afternoon.

My current favorite? Celestial Seasonings peach tea with a shot of Coffeemate Italian Sweet Cream. At 30 calories it keeps me from donuts that abound in the break room!

9. Keep it Short & Sweaty

My workouts completely changed in my 30s, especially last year. While I enjoy longer workouts on the weekend, I’ve really begun to emphasize short and sweaty workouts.

I choose not to make time for long sessions during the work week but have not at all seen my weight go up.  In fact, I’ve read lots of reputable articles that attest to the value of short, quality workouts.

I limit them to 30-35 minutes and move pretty much the entire time.

My favorite right now? Les Mills GRIT Strength. Look it up on YouTube and take a “class” at home.

It’s awful in the best way possible.

10. By and large, I’m done with today’s Christian literature

Since entering my 30s, my heart has shifted regarding Bible study.

There was a time in which I relied heavily on today’s Christian authors to help me understand the Bible. However, a lot of books being published by “Christian” authors today are misguided at best, and heresy at worst. Quite frankly, it’s alarming.

The Lord has certainly raised up pillars of the faith who speak Truth. Their words, books, etc. can certainly be edifying to the church, but they are no comparison to the Bible itself.

It’s in knowing the Word of God for myself I am able to test the spirits, to know the Truth for myself. Not because some famous Christian author told me their interpretation of the Truth, but rather because I read it and study it myself.

I am burdened for the increasing biblical illiteracy within the church, and especially in my generation. We must get back to Truth. Testing “Christian” books against Scripture. Knowing the Bible ourselves. Not solely relying on others to spoon feed us. I desire meat, not milk, as scripture says.

33 brought an entire year devoted to the Gospel John & his epistles.

It revolutionized my Bible study. 

When I started, I wondered how I could ever study such a seemingly small piece of the Bible for a whole entire year. However, as December approached I began to wonder if I’d even be able to finish!

While I certainly relied on several resources during that year to compliment my study, the Bible was the main star. I realize that’s how it should be, after all, it’s Bible study, but that hasn’t always been the case.

Anyway, 33 was a huge year for me spiritually. I’m trusting 34 to be the same.

So yeah! “Deep thoughts” from a 34 year old blonde. Ha!

Switching gears, I also want to take a moment to acknowledge today. Good Friday.

It feels odd celebrating today when I generally find myself more somber and contemplative on this day.

When I consider Jesus was my age (well, my age yesterday) when He died, it adds an entirely new layer for me.

I consider His life as I consider my new year, but today I also consider His death. His sacrifice. His cross. The atonement and only acceptable payment for my wretchedness.

As I consider the magnitude of today, the depth of Good Friday, I am reminded that all I have to offer is my life. To dedicate each and every day of 34 to the glory of Him who gave me new life. And on that note? Here’s to 34.

(Almost) 34

To My Grandma (6/2/1931- 3/10/2017)

Grandma ❀ June 2,1931- March 10, 2017

You taught me about gardening.

You taught me about cooking.

Brittny-6 yrs old with Grandma Stroh learning how to make sausage

You taught me how to be tough (though I’ll never be), but also tender.

I’ll miss your rye bread, strawberry-rhubarb jelly, cabbage pockets, and cookies. Your fresh fruits and veggies, your beautiful flowers.

Brittny,Carissa & Grandpa & Grandma Stroh-2003

I’ll miss being your “little helper"- even well into my 30s.

I’ll miss seeing you fall asleep in your chair with a crossword puzzle across your chest, or hearing about all the books you’re reading.

I’ll miss talking about so many memories, and just having you in the same room.

I will miss so many things about you, but above all, I’ll just miss you.
Brittny Flint-2 years old & Grandma Stroh in Germany

“Lucky “ #13

Today Will and I celebrate our 13th anniversary.

Will & Brittny in the reception line

We were babyfaced kids the day we married. I was a month shy of 21, and he was 23.

We’d both never been on our own.

We hadn’t a clue how to do anything!

All-in-all, it was wonderful.

We were shiny-faced kids navigating this huge, serious thing called life with enthusiasm. Untainted by the world and invincible.

Will & Brittny-Feb 2003

Many say the first year is the hardest, but it was so fun for us!

Brittny&#x27;s 20th birthday with Will-2003

On our own for the very first time, and figuring it out together.

Then at some point reality sets in.

You grow up.

You aren’t kids anymore.

Life happens.

You have grown up problems and responsibilities.

You stay the same.

You change.

You endure a lifetime of ups and downs.

Some days you feel like that shiny faced kid.

Other days you feel ancient.

Some days you laugh until cry,

Other days the weight of reality feels too heavy to bear.

Let’s face it, “adult-ing” is hard. 

Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you quickly realize you don’t!

OU OSU

I’m incredibly blessed I have Will to walk alongside me through the ups and downs.

WB ready for a sooner victory! OU takes Tennessee

I can’t believe I get to be married to him and journey this crazy life together.

Future Sooner anchors

It honestly feels too good to be true.

I remember being a young teen, writing letters to my future husband, praying for him and hoping the Lord would answer my prayers.

Through I’m incredibly underserving, the Lord heard my prayers and blessed me far beyond my dreams. I definitely got the better end of the deal.

OU-TCU, too close for comfort. Get will quick Baker. We need you!

We are so deeply intertwined and not only spouses, but best friends.

I was over the moon for him 13 years ago, and I still am today.

Only now it’s deeper, more powerful, and wrapped in a lifetime of real life, not happily-ever-after fairytales.

It hasn’t been perfect. Not even close. I thank God every day for His grace.

This is a typical Family picture. Will, God love him, hates taking pictures, so I had to share what I usually get when someone tries to snap a pic of us. 😊 Merry Christmas! πŸ’—πŸŽ„

So here’s to lucky number 13, on March 13th no less!  Certainly no luck involved here. Rather God’s provision, mercy, and blessing.

Celebrating Jesus❀ Merry Christmas!

Cheers 13.

Will & Brittny laughing at the alter

Thieves in the Temple

We were at the Super Bowl.

The rainy one, where he played.

Britt&#x27;s Pics 078

Had I know how “epic” it truly was, I probably would have taken more pictures.

Like many of you, I grew up listening to Prince.

The world remains rocked about his death, outpouring reflective tweets, pictures, and posts.

Heartbroken over a musical genius.

Anguished about his greatness and the hole he will forever leave in the music industry.

My heart grieves his death from a completely different aspect.

I (obviously) didn’t know Prince.

I don’t know his heart, or who he was in his quiet moments.

I don’t know what he thought about before he went to sleep, or who he was when no one was watching.

Though he was a Jehovah’s Witness, who do not believe Jesus to be equal with God or able to atone for the sins of man, I don’t know if perhaps he did believe in Jesus. The true Prince of Peace.

I don’t know.

And so I grieve based solely on the fruits of what I do know.

Remembering life is short.

Remembering the things this world holds dear, that what they love as treasures, are so different than that which our Savior holds dear.

Remembering the things of this world shall pass away, but the Word of our God shall last forever.

That, for the most part, the movies, music, and trappings we enjoy will burn as chaff in His fire one day.

I don’t want to be remembered for my contributions in this fleeting world, no matter how great they may be (and trust me, I live a very small life and will never be esteemed as one who offered “brilliance").

I want to be remembered as a girl who loved God.

Who, despite my huge mistakes, was changed by His grace and truly, fully, wholeheartedly loved Him because of it. 

Who lived a life that was devoted to Him, and who left the souls of man forever changed for eternity because of it.

When I die one day, the world will not be full of saddened tweets about how I changed history.

In fact, in the grand scheme of the entire world, very few people will even know it happened.

I don’t want to change history.

I want to change eternity.

I don’t want to live for this moment.

I want to live forever.

So when I see the world grieving the loss of a musical giant, I grieve because they’re saddened over the wrong things.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to be sad, please don’t misunderstand. We all mourn the deaths of those we love.

It’s all about perspective.

One day we will stand before our Lord to give an account.

In spite of the fact everyone wants to believe we all worship the same God and just get to Him on different paths, there’s only one true God.

One true Path.

I realize these words probably don’t make sense to most.

However, for the few who know where I’m coming from, remember life is short.

May we not let the trappings of this life steal our eyes from our true Treasure.

To my fellow Christians, I implore you to live a life devoted to His work.

May we be more saddened over the loss of souls than music.

In keeping with Colossians 3, may we set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Perspective

Don’t know Him? Click here

33: Introverts Unite! (Quietly. In our own houses.)

I’m 33 today.

So am I technically still early 30s or have I officially moved into the dreaded “mid-30s?”

Don’t answer that.

As in years past, I wanted to take a moment today to share deep and meaningful (πŸ˜‰) life lessons I learned on the road from 32 to 33.

In all honesty, and as silly as it sounds, I really think I “grew up” and got to know myself better this past year.

It’s been a year of reflecting and trusting the Lord. Tossing away much of the useless nonsense that consumed my life for far too long.

It wasn’t an easy year, but it’s certainly been worth it. πŸ’—

1. I think that maybe (??) I’ve become more of an introvert in my old age.

True story.

Growing up as an army brat that moved tons, I never had a problem making friends and being heavily involved in heaps of activities. I loved people, and I loved doing “stuff.”

Still, I’ve was always been fairly quiet and timid (unless I’m among my trusted “tribe"). I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that my preference is for more intimate, less chaotic engagements.

I still love people, and I still (occasionally) love doing “big” stuff...but in smaller doses, and with my favorite people rather than the whole farm. 😊

So yeah, kind of a big revelation I discovered this past year. Ha!

2. Triscuits are the jam.

Yes.

Go buy a box of the cracked black pepper & olive oil, or the dill ones.

Once you buy them you’ve pretty much surrendered to the fact that they have to be in your kitchen cabinet ALWAYS.

3. Social media is overrated.

I know this isn’t the consensus, especially for people my age and younger, but seriously- for me, it’s true.

I enjoy taking huge breaks from the rat race that is social media (see #1 above).

I often use Lent as an opportunity to disconnect, and find my usage continues to say very minimal afterward.

It makes me more present and aware of the moment.

Of actual life in the flesh.

Of all the little moments before my eyes I often miss when I’m buried in my phone.

No lie- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up from my phone and can’t remember the last 10 minutes of real life around me.

Yes, I completely agree there’s a time and place. There are so many people dear to me that I can connect with through social media when I normally wouldn’t see them except major holidays.

I also see the value in social media (um, after all this is a blog post), but I also see so much more value in investing in the life right in front of me.

All about balance.

4. Silence is golden.

(See #1 and #3)

I find I often busy myself with noise.

The radio is always on.

The TV is always on.

I’m on my phone.

I’m constantly distracted.

I can’t focus and hear the voice of God.

When I finally intentionally quiet myself and step away from the craziness of life, it feels wrong sometimes.

Because I feel as though something should be done. That I need to be acting or moving or doing.

It feels unnatural because we’re constantly faced with stimulation.

Yet, when I force myself to declutter my mind and sit in the stillness of God’s word and actually listen, I find Him. I hear His Truth and desires.

It takes focus, but He promises He rewards those who earnestly and diligently seek Him. And it’s worth it.

5. Marie Callender’s Cherry Crunch Pie will make you hate yourself.

Seriously.

Don’t do it.

It’s so dang good, and you’re going to loathe loving it so much.

6. I enjoy at-home workouts as much as gym ones.

I suppose I always have, however given the choice, I’d always given the edge to the gym.

I love the versatility of at-home workouts in the privacy of my own living room.

Who cares if I’m sweating like a pig and don’t smell like roses!?

Boz and Lucy sure don’t mind. Haha

7. Things don’t go as planned.

Obvs.

But seriously, I’ve been extremely blessed my entire life and had been shielded from a lot of heartache.

The Lord has been doing lots of pruning on my heart in this season of trials, and it hasn’t always been easy or enjoyable.

Nonetheless, I can look back on this last year and consider all my plans and see how the Lord has steered our life in such a different direction (see Proverbs 16:9).

Not as I planned, yet I can still see His hand in it all and have peace.

8. Clean your shower every week.

Seriously. I know you probably hate it as much as I do, but DO IT already.

As we both know, the longer we wait, the worse it gets.

Need motivation?

Mix one cup of vinegar and one tablespoon of blue Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle and soak your shower with it.

Let it sit a few hours and then wipe.

Game changer.

You’re welcome.

9. Truth matters.

Unpopular, but true.

We want to live in this huge gray area so as not to offend anyone, but the fact of the matter is- you’re always going to offend someone. I firmly believe there’s a way to hold the line without being a jerk, which is what the media seems to portray anytime one “side” disagrees with another.

Truth counts, so own it and stand firm in your convictions and dialogue in love, don’t yell and flail in hate.

10. I’ve become a full-blown carnivore again.

Real life.

Well… Sort of.

I still aim for more of a veggie friendly diet, but I’ve also been adding chicken and fish to my diet 1-2 times a week.

Plus I pretty much can’t turn down grilled Chick-Fil-A nuggets.

They pretty much sent me to the edge, and it didn’t take much more to jump thereafter. Ha!

Brittny Flint-3 years old with weird chicken

11. Deep condition your hair.

And if it’s super dry like mine, do it every time you wash it. I used to think deep treatments were once a month type things until I started doing them twice a week.

Game changer. I’ll never go back now!

12. I have friends who genuinely care.

Y’all, I am so thankful for my inner circle of friends. I have been uplifted so many times this year by their love and encouragement.

13. This life isn’t mine to live.

This is the biggest lesson.

It’s something I’ve known as a Christian in theory, but have finally begun to behold.

I’m so done with trying to live my “best life now” with no consideration for standing before Jesus one day.

I want to be selfless and give more. Care more. See people more. Act more. Love more. Stand more.

Not for me or some meaningless cause, but for Jesus and Truth. Even when it’s unpopular.

I’m so done wasting my life and want 33 (and beyond) to be one of surrender and awe.

To see what God can do if I’d simply get out of the way.

So yeah.

Streams of consciousness from my heart to yours.

Here’s to 33. πŸ’—

33

Mustard Seed Faith

One of my dear friends bought me this beautiful necklace for Christmas.

Truth

To most, its just a regular necklace. However, to me it’s been a daily reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness.

Truth

You see that?

The flower with a teeny tiny dot in the center?

It’s a a mustard seed.

So small, so insignificant.

Yet we’re reminded both in Matthew and Luke that with the faith of a mustard seed, little becomes much when it’s given to the Lord.

Truth

If you’ve grown up in church you’ve heard the stories. If you haven’t, well now you have a little exposure.

The truth is, hearing the stories of “having faith the size of a mustard seed” and actually having faith the size of a mustard seed are two very different things.

Truth

It’s easy for me to say I have “big faith in God.”

That I trust Him whole heartedly to move my mountains and use the hurts and trials in my life for the glory of His namesake.

Those are good sound bytes that easily roll off the tongue and exude the appearance of deep spirituality.

But the truth is, over the last several months, I’ve truly begun to grasp why Jesus uses such a minuscule object to illustrate such a beautiful lesson.

You’d think it’d be easy to have faith the size of a mustard seed, but it can be quite a challenge!

When the storms of this life rage around us, when we’re in the thick of it and can’t breathe, when we feel the weightiness of this life bearing down on us, it can be hard to have such “big” mustard seed faith.

It can be scary to let go and trust God.

It feels like a tall task some days.

That’s why I can’t help but know in my heart that’s why Jesus used the mustard seed as an example.

When we look at it, it’s tiny. It reminds us that when we yield our whole lives to Him and trust Him with our entire being it feels humongous. Because, in our earthly eyes, it is’

Yet God can take the “simple” obedience of our surrender and multiply it infinitely farther than we ever imagined.

He’s our infinite God. Nothing is to big for Him! The struggle we feel to have “big” mustard seed faith reminds us how vast He is.

It’s not us who “moves the mountains,” it’s Him. It’s not us who “uproots the trees,” it’s Him.

In the grand scheme of this entire world, our lives and stories are very small. Yet they never go to waste when we yield ourselves to Him. He is able to take our lives and accomplish glory to His name when we simply put our trust in Him to do what He says.

So if you’re struggling to hand over the “big” things over the Jesus, you’re not alone. It can be hard. But may we be reminded all He can accomplish in and through us for His glory if we take a step of faith and let Him do the rest.

It only takes the faith of a mustard seed.

I owe a big fat life update, which will follow soon. I will look forward to catching up! ❀️

2016: Here’s to the Journey

New Year’s Eve was full of reflection in the B-Love house.

As you may remember, 2015 did not go as we anticipated or hoped.

We spent the last night of 2015 talking about our expectations for the year and how differently they played out. Who would have thought the bottom would have fallen out of the oil and gas industry, and that selling our half of the business might have been one of the best things that could have happened to us at the time?

Yet, before all that came to pass, our initial expectations for 2015 were quite different based on our limited knowledge.

As a preacher I know once said- We only have a few pieces of the puzzle, but God has the whole box top and sees how it all goes together.

We spent lot of time that night evaluating dreams, the past, the future, the “whys?” and the “what’s next?”

I told Will I was frustrated.

I could clearly see God’s hand and protection over us with how things happened with the business.

What a huge, huge blessing we can now look back on and see. How he made provision to protect us even when, at the time, we thought everything was crumbling around us.

Yet, ever since then, I haven’t really been able to detrrmine God’s guidance regarding what’s next.

I kept waiting for Him to show up in some mighty way this year. Divinely showing Will that he was supposed to go back into the ministry.

Yet, that opportunity came and went this year too (though I didn’t post about it on the blog).

Lots of waiting.

Lots of wondering.

Lots of wandering.

I told Will I was frustrated because I’m here. I’ve got my arms stretched out wide asking God, begging God, to use me.

To take my life and do as He pleases. To show me where to go. To open doors and give me opportunities to bring Him glory.

Yet, nothing.

More waiting.

More wondering.

More wandering.

More questions than answers.

It’s like we’re in the car ready to drive but have no directions to our destination.

“It would be a lot easier if He’d just tell us what to do next!” I told Will.

Will is used to my impatience.

He looked at me and said what I already knew.

“It’s the journey Brittny.  It’s the journey.”

“Do you think Abraham would have truly trusted God if he already knew a sacrificial lamb was waiting for him when we went to the mountain with Isaac?”

The journey is about being refined.

It’s a process.

We talked about the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews and how long, how incredibly long, most of the people had to wait for God’s full plan to come to pass.

Just like us, they waited. They probably wondered, and perhaps they even wandered and floundered sometimes too.

But they trusted and are counted as the faithful saints who placed themselves in God’s hands when they couldn’t see the whole picture. They rested in knowing He “had the box top.”

Step by step, day by day.

Being refined in His likeness.

God’s still here.

He’s always here.

He often doesn’t do what we expect, but that doesn’t mean He’s not at work.

We agreed we likely won’t see the fullness of our 2015 story for quite some time, because it’s a journey.

We will simply step out in faith this year and “do the next thing,” trusting that God will redirect if that’s not the right next thing.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about 2016. Nervous about the oil and gas market and how it’s affected and is affecting our great state. Nervous about my job in this industry, just as my fellow colleagues are too.

I truly believe I will have to trust in and rely on the Lord more this year than ever before.

Remember my post about that? It still rings true. Everyday.

I pray this year brings us closer to Him, and that we see His hand in every move we make.

I pray this year we will draw closer to Him and let Him do as He pleases, even when we don’t understand.

I pray others will be strengthened around us and that God will glorify Himself in all we do.

To the journey of 2016.

To the glory of the Lord our God.

A Life Update and Blog Things

Happy September beauties!

I thought it was a good time to check in with an update.

What’s been going on? What have you been up to? Share! Share!

The last month was busy, but good.

Let’s start with the MOHs stuff
I got my stitches out a few days after my last post.

Stitches out! Happy girl

I continue to heal. My nose is super red and will be for a few more months probably, but I’m thankful it’s all done and behind me.

MOHs recovery continues

Moral of the story? Wear sunscreen!

Chances are, lots of damage is already done from our younger years, and it’s all the more reason to take care of ourselves now!

I already see a couple more spots I’m going to have checked at my next appointment. πŸ˜³πŸ™πŸ»
Now for some fun and exciting stuff
P and her beau set a date and are getting hitched in November.

They went from planning a stressful and large soirΓ©e to a much quieter, simpler wedding. I love they went this route and will be honored to be among the small group of people they entrust with this sacred moment.

As a side note, how is my sister old enough to be married!?

I’m sure I’ll share all sorts of beautiful pictures, stories, and such in the coming months.

Oh and PS- Layla started preschool last week! I can’t believe she’s already old enough to be going to preschool! Not gonna lie, I got misty eyed.

She gets cuter everyday

Now onto the important stuff
All things college football.

Last Wednesday kicked off football season. It’s like an official holiday in our house.

We flipped back and forth between games soaking up every tackle, touchdown, and catch.

Our beloved Sooners took the field Saturday, and as usual, I nearly melted into a giant puddle from the intense heat.

We had a fairly mild August, but just my luck, temps went back to normal as football season started.

WHY DO YOU HATE ME!?

Nonetheless I’m excited about a new year and fresh start. I’m not picking us to take it all, or probably even win the big 12, but I think we’ll be much improved a serious contender.

My boot camp & a bible study

Guys, God has blessed me so much with this boot camp bible study thing. I can’t even take it!

I started out with just one person attending- ME.

Just a couple weeks later I was up to two, then three, with two more committed for our next session.

Considering we meet Saturday at the crack of dawn, I’m encouraged.

I gave it totally to God when I started in July and continue to let Him do whatever he desires.

Our workouts have been fantastic, the Christian playlists I’ve put together are ridiculous (in the best way possible), and our conversation has been blessed.

God is good! I sure wish you gals could join us.

A stroll down memory lane

For some strange reason, Will and I decided to stick in an old Frasier box set in while I was at home after surgery.

Here we are a month later and are already nearly halfway done with season 2.

I’m pretty sure it’s Will’s favorite show. It got us through lots of homesick nights in Kuwait.

It’s been fun and I felt I ought to remember it on her blog.
Other random things I feel you should know

We visited Will’s parents last weekend along with my BIL and SIL. It was fun. We went bowling and I broke my average 35ish range.

Serious stuff here, ya’ll.
Proof.

(I’m BB- still the lowest score but far better than my usual)

As for other things, I did a mini balyage treatment on my hair last week. I wanted to go back to my natural color thinking it was going to be a fairly dark blonde.

Turns out I was completely wrong!

I’ve highlighted half my head for years and never really paid attention to the underneath color. It always looked dark to me because the highlights were always so light.
Blonde blonde and back to my roots

Anyway, turns out I’m naturally way blonder than I thought (an 8 on a scale of 10), which explains a lot.

Such as why, upon realizing we were out of dish tablets, I put a tablespoon of ivory dish soap in the dishwasher, hit start, and let it run the entire cycle.

Let’s just say there were bubbles everywhere.

Everywhere.

Or why I threw Lucy’s much needed medication in the trash not realizing there were still several days worth of medicine still in the packet.

Resulting in a dumpster dive situation.

Genius.

Things like that.

All.the.time.

So yeah, turns out I’m not blonder than I pay to be. I’m actually really that blonde. Ha!

Important Blog Stuff I Need to Unpack
On a more serious note, I’m kind of unsure what to do with this space, guys.

It’s old, dated, clunky and I have no idea how to fix any of it on my own.

Not only that, but I kind of feel like this space is slightly schizophrenic.

It’s worked well for a decade, housing all my silly stories and experiences as a 20 something newlywed. However, now I’m not so sure.

I feel the few of you who still visit should be able to count on some sort of structured content each day, which I feel I’ve done a great job of keeping up with over the last few years.

However I can’t help but feeling the Lord moving me in a different direction, which is one of the reasons I’ve been posting less frequently.

I feel there’s so much pressure for everyone to have some sort of online presence, or following, or persona.

I completely see the value of online media and have so enjoyed keeping up with my friends that way.

However in this current season of life I’m prompted to pull back more. To take the focus off myself and to put it on Jesus.

I’m struggling to find balance between posting what I had for lunch and sharing why I feel the Church needs to refocus our affections on our one true Love.

I’m struggling because this blog was created by me, for me, and doesn’t feel like it belongs to Him.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel right posting here anymore.

So I’ve been sitting quietly.

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting fresh and creating an entirely new space, but it feels daunting.

I’ve thought about paying for a makeover of the current space, but I’m not sold on that either for the above reasons.

So yeah, I have no idea what direction this little site is going.

I find it important to chronicle some of our goings on, as I’ve valued being able to capture memories over the years, but I’m not sure this space is the right space to cover heavy topics on my heart right now.

You’ve got my Wednesday workout right next to a post on eschatology. It seems a little incongruent.

Am I making sense?

It took me over 30 years but I finally get that this life is so much more and so much better when it’s surrendered to Christ.

That’s how our life should be, but somewhere between the garden of Eden and today we decided we could do things better on our own.

I don’t want to do things on my own anymore.

And He’s taking me up on the offer of my surrendered heart.

It’s glorious, but sometimes it hurts a little too.

But it’s worth it.

I want to share so much of it with you, but right now I’m taking a step back to see what exactly that looks like.

I had no intention of pouring this all before you, but since I’m on a roll I thought I better share.

I’m not breaking up with my blog, but I do think there will be some changes.

Perhaps I start a separate site with more frequent devotional type posts while still maintaining this old dinosaur for capturing updates and life stuff.

We shall see.

Until then, look for update type posts like this one (minus the whole giant book I wrote about the blog πŸ˜ƒ) and devotional type posts.

So yeah. I think that’s my update.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you had a good extended weekend!

Heart (and Mohs) Surgery- and a real life update

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Which is simultaneously comforting and terrifying.

After all, we are reminded in Jeremiah that the heart is deceitful above all things, and the Lord searches and examines its depths.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what God sees when He looks at my heart.

Do I spend as much time on the inside of the cup as I do the outside?

Verse

I had Mohs surgery on my face to remove some potentially cancerous cells this past Wednesday.

MOHs surgery day one. Glamorous.

I was a wreck the week after my pre-op and as I googled the surgery.

A word to the wise- don’t google worrisome things you’re facing in life.

Seriously.

You will lose sleep.

It’s pretty much a guarantee the most extreme cases or situations will be the first to come up in the search and will ruin you.

I was a wreck because I’m a woman in my 30s. While my best years are yet to be, let’s face it, I’m not shiny faced and 20 anymore. Makeup is a necessity these days and wrinkles continue to appear out of nowhere.

And now I have to worry about basal cells so early!?

The night after my pre-op (which was over two months before the surgery!) I googled and cried and googled and cried some more.

This went on for about a week each evening.

Will, dear Will, was no help.

He’s a guy.

To him there was a problem (possible basal cells) and a solution (the removal of said cells).

Yes, he’s right, but any woman knows there’s more that meets the eye. The worry of all the new spots they’ll probably find in the coming years (a result of my stupid decision to tan during my teens). A giant scar on my face.

One of my dear friends and prayer warriors completely got it. We cried together a lot that week and prayed even more. Her prayers were completely beautiful, true, and anointed. She reminded me of my value in Christ and that He bottles my tears and works for good no matter what.

Verse

Her godly prayers strengthened me so very much and the holy spirit used them to bring such peace during the painfully long time between my pre-op and surgery.

Surgery encouragement πŸ’—πŸ™

I had a of of time to think about my heart condition during the two months leading up to surgery.

There’s so much gunk and yuckiness deep in the depths.

Pride, jealousy, worry, entitlement.

Ugh.

Untitled

Not only was I going to battle surgery and a scar on the outside, but I also needed some heart surgery on the inside too.

I’d like to tell you the inside surgery has been easier than the outside surgery, but I’d be lying.

It hurts to surrender to Christ.

Not because of Him- His burden is light.

But because of my own sinful nature and desire to rule myself and pursue my own desires.

Just as the doctor stripped away a layer of the bad cells on my nose Wednesday, the Lord has begun to strip away my own internal heart cancer layer by layer.

Pride, worry, spitefulness… The list goes on and on.

I can’t hide the scar on my face, it will always be there.

Two days post surgery

I also can’t hide my hurts before the Lord, He searches the depth of my heart and sears my soul with the promise He is ever present.

Just as my doctor took care to stitch me back together, the Great Physician, my Jehovah Rapha, heals my heart. He prunes away the things that dishonor Him, and fills me with more of His goodness.

My scar will take time to heal and will leave a daily reminder of what transpired. In the same way, my heart certainly also bears the scars of a heart broken by my own sinfulness and horrid decisions, only to be stitched together and healed by a God big enough to restore even the biggest of messes.

I’m not happy I had to go through this experience, but I am thankful for the reminder of where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m heading as I pursue Christ.

To our continued healing, inside and out. πŸ’—

***
On a much lighter note, I’ve taken several days off to recover and have not done a single thing.

Not even kidding.

It’s been the most uneventful and lazy few days of my entire life. Will and I are surprisingly really good at being completely worthless.

I don’t think that’s a good thing…

I’ve only gone out to see my mom a couple times (my sister and Layla stopped by too!). I also went through a drive through twice, but that’s it.

I have church tomorrow and was a little apprehensive about going at first. You should have seen the awfulness of Will and I trying to appropriately bandage my face. πŸ˜‚

Attempt number one
Bandage attempt #1 πŸ˜‚ MOHs surgery day three

Attempt number two

Attempt #2 just as awful Mohs surgery day three

πŸ˜‚

At this point I was having a complete meltdown. Thankfully Will went to the drawing board and engineered attempt number three, which was much improved over the previous two.

Third times a charm

I get my stitches out Wednesday and am so ready! Thankfully attempt three made me feel slightly less garish.

I’m sure Will would agree- this staycation has been incredibly dull, but it’s still been nice to be together and heal up.

So there you have it, not only a devo but also a real life update.

Thanks for listening. More to come. πŸ’—

An Open Letter From My Future Self to My Current Self

Dear Brittny,

I’m writing this letter as a much older version of who you are today.

I have to use my imagination a bit and ask for wisdom because, let’s face it, you’re a bit of a mess sometimes. I had to weed through all your quirkiness to imagine you a good 20 years from now.

Here’s to hoping I’m spot on.

Heck, I’ll consider it good if I’m even half right with this future version of Brittny. Ha!

Joking aside, do you remember the sermon you listened to last week?

It was about time and just how fleeting it is.

Verse

I can attest, as I’m in my 50s now, just how quickly it passes.

Birthdays, Christmases, life and death. The days, weeks, and months melded together and before I knew it, I woke up and was 52 years old.

My face is wrinkled and my hands are spotted from the sun. I even bought a pair of old lady pants last week. Lord help us!

I tell you all this because, I’m 52, Brittny.

You’re 52.

I look at you today and sure wish you would ease up on yourself.

You stress far too much about things that don’t matter.

You know better, but you do it anyway.

Verse

You’re anxious over the silliest things and let them squish you into a big stress ball.

I wish you wouldn’t.

You work too hard at things that will not matter, and not enough at the things that will matter.

Yes, work is important, but as I’m 52 and seen a few things that you haven’t, I assure you that agreement you’re working can wait until tomorrow.

Take a vacation day.

Put down your phone.

Stop worrying.

Stop Facebooking.

Breathe.

Be present.

Love your husband.

Be less of a Martha and more of a Mary.

They’re both important in their own right, I know, but you worry far more over things of such little value in the grand scheme of life.

Sit at Jesus’s feet.

Let a little dust collect on the baseboards every now and then if it means more time serving Jesus and your family.

Those are things that count.

Sleep more and worry less.

You’re not too busy for friends like you think you are.

They’re worth it. Invest time in them, you won’t regret it.

Keep praying that God will give you the desires of your heart.

I know you’re at a desk job pushing paper thinking it will never amount to anything, but keep praying and keep trusting.

The days go so fast, Brittny. So very very fast.

Stop putting your head down and powering through just to make it to the end of the work day.

Look up, look around, enjoy the day I’ve given you. It’s the only day you get.

July 31, 2015 is the only July 31, 2015 you’ll ever ever have.

Remember that and live like it.

Verse

Put God first and don’t worry about the rest. People will say you’re extreme. Love them and take it as a compliment.

Don’t be afraid to sing loudly, eat cake without feeling guilty, and tell Will daily how much you care- even when he gets annoyed by your gushiness. smile

Give more money to the causes you want, and don’t be afraid to say yes or no to opportunities.

(You’ll know when to say yes, and when to say no, trust me- and trust God foremost)

I don’t want you to have any more regrets about things you wish you could do or things you should have done.

Do them.

Know God and surrender to Him daily.

Love others without fear or expecting anything in return.

Lighten up, Brittny!

That’s the biggest advice I want to give you today. Lighten up.

Your life is but a breath.

Remember how short it is, and go easy on yourself.

It’s such a gift and goes so quickly.

I sure hope this letter touches your heart today. Please take it seriously and read these words from time to time.

Trust me, the older version of yourself knows you’ll need the reminder.

There’s so much more advice I could offer (like stop wearing that ugly green shirt you like so much!), but I think this is more than enough.

Chin up, sweet girl. You turn out just fine.

Verse

Love,

A much older, more lightened up, version of yourself πŸ’—

I’d love to hear what advice your older self would give our current self in the Share the Love comment section below. I’m sure I could use that advice too smile

Page 1 of 19 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


From Flickr


Archives



Most recent entries


Syndicate


Search



Site Meter