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It’s Time to Speak Up

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; (‭I Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭15‬ NKJV)

I am often nice to a fault.

Afraid to offend.

Afraid to hurt feelings.

Afraid to speak up.

Mousy and timid.

In fact, Will often teases I’m “Minnie.”

I’m not necessarily shy (after all I’m occasionally an Elmyra), but It’s also not in my nature to command crowds or be bold.

Suddenly, however, God is drawing me out. Gently calling me to step out of my comfort zone and speak up.

To take a stand.

Not to be silent.

To finally care so much about people that I have to make a move.

It’s causing simultaneous angst and urgency.

Afraid to do it, yet unable to sit quietly.

A struggle I increasingly battle.

Perhaps you’ve heard the quote that says, “Preach the gospel, if necessary use words.”

There is certainly a time for silence. There are times in which your mere, quiet presence in a situation can speak volumes.

However, in these days and times we live, I believe words may be more critical than ever.

It’s time for me to speak up and share the hope in Christ.

Verses

To share his love and mercy with things I say.

To speak about his forgiveness and tenderness.

To announce his return.

It’s time to speak up in love.

It’s time for me to no longer just be nice. Me being “nice” is likely not doing much to spread truth of life in Jesus. 

It’s time for me to put that niceness together with godliness. To be bolder. To be okay with people disagreeing with me. After all, that’s the beauty of God’s free will.

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Maybe you struggle with this too. Perhaps all too often you are concerned about the destructive path a family member or friend is going down, or the despair your see someone in, but remain silent.

Friends, it’s time to speak up. If not for you, for them!

Remember (and I’m talking to myself here), speaking up doesn’t mean having to be something you’re not. After all, the first verse I shared talks about sharing the truth in meekness and fear. Just because I’m not naturally commanding doesn’t mean I still can’t be bold in my own right.

I know it’s hard, trust me, but when we pray for boldness and opportunities to share our hearts, watch out because he will do it!

I believe God is big enough to give us the opportunities, so here’s to stepping out of our comfort zone and being braver. ❤️

Verses

***
Happy Friday, friends. I got my car yesterday! The rest of the weekend is going to be pain-ful. We are doing a garage overhaul to make room for the new car. It’s not going to be fun, but I’m going to look as it as an opportunity to burn some extra calories. smile Check in Monday!

The Hostess with the Mostess

A few years ago, when my heart was incredibly hardened, I would come unglued at the thought of people coming over to our house.

Absolutely unglued.

I was in graduate school, working full time, stressed out of my mind. Seemingly any little deviation from normalcy would derail me.

I would have such an ugly attitude.

Since I was in school at the time, our house was a disaster not as tidy as I hoped, so I would take off Friday and spend the whole day cleaning.

Cussing, and cleaning.

Angry and ugly.

I was mad my plans and schedule were interrupted, and I was always relieved when our guests left.

Oh friends, when I look back I was seemingly forever in a state of total pissed-off ness. Sorry for the term, but it is so very true.

You’d never know on the outside, but I did. I know Will saw plenty of glimpses of my ugly heart, too.

That’s the funny thing about the heart. You might be able to fool a lot of people, but you can’t fool God.

As you have hopefully seen over the last couple years, The Lord has been doing a work in my heart and in drawing me back to him.

He restored me, cleansed my filth, and made me new.

I look back over the course of the last several months and see His guiding hand over so many changes in my life.

Hosting family last weekend was yet another confirmation of His grace. 

He is so good to me.

I never would have looked forward to hosting four people overnight before, and yet this time I did.

The Bible says to be hospitable without grumbling, and with his spirit and help, I was able to actually do that!

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I enjoyed preparing for our guests last weekend. I got excited thinking about ways to serve them.

I made little gift bags.

While I cleaned, I didn’t stress about the details.

I simply thought about having our family with us and enjoying their company, and less about my selfishness and being “put out.” I didn’t feel that way at all! I was blessed to host them.

Who the heck is this lady!?!

Girls, The Lord has blessed us richly, and we should enjoy opening up our homes to others and sharing his blessings and love.

I realize I sound all fluffy, and that I’m making this transformation seem so easy.

Trust me, I’m not.

However, Jesus is able to transform even the hardest of hearts.

So how are ways we can begin that transformation and be the hostess with the mostess?

1. Be thankful

I find when I’m worrying less about what others have and what I don’t have, I’m much more conscious of what I do have.

Practicing gratitude is a must if you’re going to be a good host.

I decided to worry less about dirty outside windows and more on ways I could show my guests I loved them.

I decided not to worry about my house not being fully decorated in some places, and more about the many blessings God has given me and our house.

2. Be generous

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Everything good and perfect thing comes from God.

It’s His, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

He’s given me a beautiful house he’s allowed me to live in, and I can’t help but feel compelled to share these blessings and God’s goodness with others.

Proverbs tells us that when we are generous we will prosper, and when we refresh others, we are in turn refreshed.

Instead of feeling like the life is sucked out of me, I want to feel like I’m willingly giving myself to others.

For example, I got totally giddy at the thought of making them little goody bags!

Just a simple mindset change actually blessed and refreshed me just as I prayed I would refresh my guests.

3. Be a servant

You don’t hear that much these days, do you?

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I would often scoff at all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry associated with overnight visitors.

However, the more I prayed for God to soften my heart and make me more like him, the more I desired and actually looked forward to serving my guests.

I took joy in cooking something yummy for them, or laying out freshly scented towels.

I wanted them to see God’s love in me, and the best way I felt like I could do that was to serve them with an undivided heart.

4. Ask for a heart change

Sometimes?

Sometimes, just like my story, we need a heart readjustment. No amount of trying to serve or be grateful can change us if it doesn’t first start with our heart.

Oh friends I’ve so been there!

The good news is that He makes water flow in even the driest deserts. 

He can change your heart towards being the hostess with the mostess and a whole lot more if you let him.

But it’s our choice. We have to choose to turn away from or junk and let Him be Lord.

So what’s it going to be?

****
Here’s to hoping you show some hospitality to your family this weekend!

It’s Will’s birthday weekend, so I intend to do just that! Our weekend involves a peanut butter ice cream cake. HELP!!

Check in Monday! ❤️

Gathering Water (Part Two)

Happy Friday pretties.

Let’s pick up where we left off.

Last week I shared about King David and Absalom. I asked that we be mindful of it both in the context of David’s situation as well as how it might pertain today.

I hope you were able to think on it a bit last week.

I found myself personalizing verse 14 more and more each time I read it.

It’s as if God plucked this verse from the story and wrote it on my heart, in addition to so many other complimentary verses throughout the Bible that affirm the very same thoughts from this 2 Samuel passage.

In fact, let’s look at it again.

Verse

Oh friends, how I needed to read that verse, and still so even now.

I don’t have children, yet I can imagine the anguish of being separated from them. It must feel like dying.

When I think about this verse, I think about my Heavenly Father. How much more He loves me than my earthly parents.

How much more He loves me than King David loved his son.

How much he loves you. More than anyone in this world.

Think about the person you love most in this world.

The person that makes your heart leap.

The person who, if ever separated from, you would search the depths of the Earth high and low to bring next to your heart again.

He loved us even more than that.

Mind blowing.

I think about how I, like Absalom, am the worst of offenders.

Convicted and guilty.

Dirty and shamed.

Yet, even in these circumstances, Jesus still paid the ultimate sacrifice for my terrible state.

As a means, a way, to bring me back to him.

You see, my life, is that spilled water.

It’s a mess. There was no clean way to put in what was spilled out.

I know the term “beautiful mess” is popular these days, but I can assure you, mine was anything but beautiful.

The verse refers to our lives being like that water, and although I was alive, I was actually more like the walking dead.

My water spilled into nooks and crannies I never even knew existed in the darkest parts of me.

And yet, in His patient and perfect nature, my Father was somehow able to do the impossible.

To gather the spilled water and create an opportunity for real life.

To create a way for me to be gathered into Him.

I should have been banished, yet He made a way. I still don’t know why sometimes, but I’m so very thankful.

Oh friends, to be reconciled to Jesus is such a tender thing.

Somehow, he’s able to piece together all the spilled water of even the worst prodigals and turn them into a beautiful, full being in Him.

Not a beautiful mess.

Not at all.

He makes us a new creation.

A beautiful new creation.

If you are living a life on the run, know you don’t have to.

He makes a way for us to reconcile ourselves to Him. We simply have to turn away from our mess, and believe in His truth.

I know it seems overly simplistic.

Trust me, I’ve struggled with it before.

But you know what?

It is.

Faith like a child, my friends. It’s all it takes.

So what’s it going to be?

More to come. ❤️

Freedom.

Verse

I feel incredibly overwhelmed today.

Day after day I continue to feel such incredible love and blessings from God.

Lately it seems like such a blatant fog surrounding me, that I feel like I can’t even take it.

I’m speechless and brought to my knees in gratitude that He chooses to generously pour such loving kindness all over me.

Nothing huge has happened outwardly that would make you see these blessings.

I haven’t run into some unexpected money or come upon some recent good fortune.

It’s all happening on the inside, in the small day to day trinkets of quiet moments with Him.

I don’t know why He bothers with me, sometimes. Especially after a lifetime of failures.

I already know the answer, but I still can’t help but ask, “Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you remember the severe ways I have hurt you?”

He knows who I am, and he knew the ways I would hurt him long before I ever did.

He knew when I loved Him as a child, He knew when I pursued him as a youth, and He knew when I hurt Him as an adult.

Yet He didn’t hold it against me.

His grace abounded, and His forgiveness was available. He softened my hardened heart and reminded me who I am in Him.

And I continue to be blown away by the way He so generously lavishes his love on me.

I want to tell Him to stop.

I want to remind him I’m so undeserving, yet that’s exactly when He seems to reassure me and hold me tighter all the more.

I am blown away that he allows me to be intimate with Him. That I am able to draw near to His heart and be changed by His gentle guiding hand.

In spite of me.

In spite of my filth.

His forgiveness and sacrifice is greater than I can fathom, and I cannot fully grasp how deep and how wide His love runs.

He is the first person I think about when I wake up, and my last thought as my head hits the pillow each night.

You see friends, some may say following Christ is restrictive. That it compromises our own wants, dreams, or desires.

That we are confined to chains of rules and regulations.

The truth is, though, in the true fullness of Christ we are free.

He has transformed my way of thinking and given me true freedom.

That doesn’t mean it’s a license to do whatever I want. This freedom is exactly the opposite. It’s because of freedom, that I’m free from the pain and poor decisions I’ve made.

I’m no longer weighed down to my past, or a slave to what I was. I’m encapsulated in God’s righteousness and “things that lead to holiness and eternal life” (Romans 6:22).

Things aren’t a walk in the park, and life isn’t perfect. He never promised that.

However, it feels so good to know He’s here with me along the way. That I can live in Him and know he will use my path to work for my own good and the good of those who also love Him.

Sorry to drone on. However, on this day we celebrate our freedom, such as freedom of religion, I can’t help but want to cry out for the freedom I have in Christ.

Oh girls, I don’t know why He is so good to me, but I accept it and am so eternally grateful.

Happy 4th friends. More to come…

❤️

Dealing With Doubts

I’ve been “saved” 3 times.

Once when I was six,

once in junior high dealing with doubts,

and finally my freshman year of college when I was struggling with doubts so very intense to the point when I thought maybe I never really “got saved” that day on my parent’s bed in junior high.

I concluded these doubts probably meant I wasn’t saved...so I need to “get saved.”

Just to be safe.

I know what you’re thinking, “Um… once would have been enough. Why three?”

Oh friends. If you’ve grown up in an evangelical church maybe you’ve known someone with a story like mine, or heck, maybe you’ve been like this yourself.

Looking back, I know in my heart I gave myself over to Jesus at a young age. There was so much fruit only God could have produced in my life back then.

When I look back at that moment my freshman year of college, on the church parlor floor with Cindy B., my Bible study leader, crying my eyes out, I was really crying out for repentance and a fresh start. A rededication. Not salvation. I already had that!

I had always walked so closely to Christ during my youth.  I had never done anything “bad” up to that point (which is funny, considering God sees all our sin as sin, no rankings). So when I actually screwed up, I felt like it meant I wasn’t a Christian.

Turns out it meant I was human (genius, Brittny). A Christian saved by grace and in need of his forgiveness.

I don’t know why I couldn’t realize it. At the time my mind was so clouded.

God had already saved and redeemed me long ago, yet I couldn’t get it through my thick skull that I simply needed to repent. I was already saved.

Because I was a Christian, God was convicting me of sin. Sin I needed to deal with.

Instead of going directly to God about the way my heart was feeling about this conviction, I got it all twisted in my mind and was convinced it all meant I wasn’t ever really saved. It totally paralyzed me in fear.

So, I decided I needed to walk down the aisle and do what my heart had already committed to long before.

Instead of going to my knees and asking for forgiveness, forgiveness he had already given me as His child, I just up and made the decision to pray the sinner’s prayer.

Again.

I tell you this story because I know a lot of people that have struggled with doubts about their salvation.

Having doubts doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not a Christian.

Today’s post isn’t a one size fits all, but I did want to offer some helpful thoughts regarding doubts. Things that have helped me in my own walk over the years.

1. Satan loves to mess with our minds.

Our crazy brains can be so vulnerable to attacks if we are not on our guard.

Things like-

“You’re not good enough,”

“God could never forgive you,”

Or “God will never use you”

Can all too easily paralyze us from being who we are meant to be.

It’s total head trash, and the devil loves to fill our minds with it to make us doubt who we are in Christ.

Aaaand it works.

I know so many people that allow fears and doubts keep them from living in the fullness of Christ.

We need to be aware of the devil’s schemes.

The Bible says he prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour.

Um devour. As in rip to shreds.

Not like how I occasionally like to tear into a good veggie burger either. Way worse, way serious.

It’s serious business!

He wants to mess us up. It’s important to be on our guard and recognize his ploys and protect ourselves by arming ourselves with scripture (our sword!).

2. Put on your helmets!

I lovingly remind Will to put on his helmet every day he rides his motorcycle. I love that guy and want him to protect his precious head!

Likewise, Ephesians 6 gives us instructions for how to protect ourselves from our spiritual enemies. Verse 17 tells us to put on the helmet of salvation.

I love the fact it’s called the helmet of salvation.

If only I stopped to use my brain all those years ago, I probably would have avoided a lot of stress, worry, and confusion!

Paul is deliberate in naming this piece of armor the helmet of salvation.

See number one above. Satan loves to mess with our heads. He loves to stir up discouragement and doubt, and why not? It’s worked since the beginning of ages!

We must protect ourselves from those fiery darts by putting on our armor each and every day.

Seriously- put it on. Pray it on every day. 

3. Perform a reality check.

Read First John.

I love this book because the way I test God’s truths are through prayer and through is word.

Read the book and consider if these assurances are true in your own life. This book was (and is) very helpful to me during times of doubt.

If some of these things aren’t true in your life, take a look in your heart and see if there is something you need to deal with. Like me, perhaps God is tugging at your heart to deal with something wrong in your life that has been allowed to fester and damage your relationship with Him.

4. Talk to someone you trust.

Reach out to your pastor, small group leader, or a spiritual mentor you can trust and share your doubts. Chances are, they’ve been there too (read number one again) and can talk it out with you.

5. Perhaps you’re not.

Finally, another reason you may be feeling doubts is because you haven’t had a time in which you turned over your life to God and allowed him to forgive you and be your Savior.

This type of doubt is God’s grace, meant to lead you to repentance. It’s kind of like a big flashing light meant to get your attention and stir your heart.

If that’s you, don’t ignore this tug on your heart, it’s serious business!

Here’s a resource you can use if you think this one applies to you. I realize these sort of sites are sort of impersonal, so if you ever want to chat- I’m a FaceTime call away (just don’t make me stare at the ceiling the whole time like Will does. smile ).

Final Thoughts

It happens once, friends. If you are a true child of God, you will know by your fruits and the Holy Spirit working in you.

You can’t be “unsaved.” When you are a true child of God, the Bible says nothing can snatch you out of His hands. He died once. Once for all of us, and it’s enough.

If you’re in a period when you’ve fallen away, God will bring His children back into Himself. Run back to Him and allow your heart to be softened to His healing.

This isn’t a catch all for doubts, rather something I hope may resonate from some of you who have been there before, or are there now!

I just felt compelled to share.

Love and hugs from your internet friend. <3 Check in soon for more fun!

Verse

When We Only Have One Piece of the Puzzle

No flowery thoughts or helpful insights to share today.

Today, I simply feel compelled to share my heart.

Because sometimes?

Walking the straight and narrow isn’t easy.

It’s hard.

It takes faith in what is unseen.

It takes trust in another.

And I realize that may come easy for some, but that’s not always the case for me.

The B-Love family had faced some recent challenges lately, probably no different than many of you.

Why is adulthood so hard sometimes?

Why don’t things go as planned?

Why does it seem like we are going in the opposite direction from where we want to be?

I realize there are plenty of places on the internet that may say otherwise, but God never promises our lives will be rosy 100% of the time. I think it’s important to remember this truth.

Right now, I’m working through this reminder.

Will and I made a family decision about something I am so sure is grounded in God’s will. When we made the decision, we knew it might come with some challenges. However, recently we’ve been bombarded with so many of these aforementioned “challenges” that we are left scratching our heads wondering what’s going on!

In times like these, it’s easy for me to question whether God really guided us to this point, or whether we made the wrong decision.

Should we have done something else?

Should we change the course now?

However, I know we can’t. I know we made the right decision, even though things seem to be going wrong right now.

You see, we only have one small piece of a much bigger picture that only God holds. “He’s got the puzzle box top,” my pastor shared the other day.

It’s a weird thing, being in God’s will and trusting Him during a time when His path feels rocky under my feet.

A gamut of emotions run through me, and even more run through Will.

He bears way more on his shoulders than he should.

However, I keep coming back to the truth that I know for certain He has brought us here. And all I can do is cling to Him for dear life! That’s all we can do, and perhaps that’s all He wants.

Despite the gloomy picture I feel as though I’ve painted, the Lord has held me close and really let me know he’s here and he cares.

That’s the best part.

Oh, and I realize I sound a little dramatic.

It’s nothing like that.

Don’t worry, this is all normal life stuff I’m certain you’ve faced too at some point, nothing extremely serious. But seriously, “normal life stuff” can still be tiring sometimes, right?

I’m just feeling a little tired today.

Every now and then I think about abandoning the decision we made, but I’m continually reminded I haven’t been abandoned and I need to obediently stay the course.

Besides, I don’t want to be where He’s not, and so I stay and wait patiently on Him to carry us through and give us wisdom and grace along the way.

I had this big elaborate plan to share something else today, but it would seem as though that’s not in the good Lord’s plan because I’ve been trying for an hour and still can’t get things to flow.

And so I simply share this. Which is still part of my tender heart exposed for you to see.

Sometimes when things don’t go our way, we just have to hunker down and hold tight. 

Sure, there are times to fight back in the name of The Lord and go to the mattresses, however sometimes the storms of life require us to brace ourselves and take shelter in His arms.

My dear Will is struggling with this concept as he’s the fixer, often relying in his own power to get.stuff.done.

I too have had my moments. However more and more I find myself crying out for Him. Telling Him I love Him and have to have Him. Because, after living a season without His fellowship, I can attest with my entire being it’s true.

I have to have Him.

And even more so when things that seemed so clear, feel so hazy now.

Friends, if you are His child and walking in His light, He will guide you and keep you. He never promised it would be easy, but He promised he would never forsake us.

So as I walk though this fog, I hold my hands out before me to grasp onto our Savior. I would rather be with Him in obedience during this storm than without Him and out of His will.

Prayers this helped someone else out there today wondering just why the heck things may be going the way they are. He is faithful, and we have one small piece of the puzzle. Remember, He has the box top and will use it to create His masterpiece. ❤️

More to come.

Verse

Deep Cleaning (Heart Matters ❤️)

We’ve been doing some spring cleaning at the B-Love house lately.

Seriously. The stuff we’ve hung onto is ridiculous!

Because we might need it. Ha

You should see the fashion gems that have been hiding out in our closet.

We have a long way to go, but this initial deep cleaning feels good even still.

My home purge got me thinking about how cathartic the whole cleaning process can really be.

Not just for our house and tangible things, but also our heart.

Have you ever been around a bitter person?

Not much fun, is it?

Sometimes bitterness or hatred is outwardly visible.

However, sometimes it remains silent, deep in our core and being.

Gnawing away at us and preventing us from true peace.

Today I want to talk about cleaning house in our hearts.

Has someone ever wronged you?

I’m pretty sure the universal answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

It hurts.

Sometimes it makes us burn with anger.

Sometimes it might prompt us to want to equal the score.

Sometimes it keeps us up at night.

Sometimes it unintentionally gets projected onto those we love.

Sometimes it makes us ugly cry in the shower so the tears get washed away with the water and no one can see.

When people hurt us, it has the ability to evoke a lot of different feelings and responses.

Perhaps we are completely in the right, too.

That’s when it seems to hurt the most.

Wow. This stinks. So what now?

What if we got crazy?

I mean absolutely radical.

What if we decided to throw away all those feelings of bitterness, hatred, and ill-will toward the person who wronged us?

Do you think I’m off my rocker?

I get it.

But humor me for a moment.

I don’t know about you, but there have been times I’ve felt grossly mistreated by others to the point where I’ve felt physically sick.

I’ve allowed someone else’s actions, that I cannot control, completely turn my world upside down.

What??

Real life.

And you know what seemed to shock me all the more?

The fact that the person who wronged me couldn’t care less about it.

This reality seemed to fuel my bitterness, when in reality, it should be the very thing that helps me clean house. Why am I keeping myself up at night and making myself sick over a person I can’t even change or control?

Even still, regardless of the other person, let’s take a look inward at our heart for a moment.

When I do this, I’m hurting myself more than the other person

The Bible commands us to forgive. When we harbor these feelings against someone, it hinders our ability to have a full heart focused on knowing Him and loving others.

We need to get rid if this junk. For us.

I need to do it for my healing, not theirs. I cannot control what they do, but I can control my own heart’s actions.

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (1 Peter 2:1 NIV)

I realize I’m making all this stuff sound easy. Ha, if only right?

I speak from experience. In fact, I’m dealing with this situation even now!

So how do we clean house in our hearts and get rid of these life-sucking feelings?

Let’s talk about it.

1. Pray with an honest heart.

Tell God how you feel.

Tell Him your heart aches.

Trust me, He’s big enough to take it.

Tell Him why you hurt.

Tell Him how stinkin’ mad you are.

He cares.

Plus, He already knows, so why hide it?

2. Pray for healing.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, ask for God to heal your heart.

Pray scripture and ask Him to rid our hearts of malice and bitterness like only He can do.

He will do it.

We need to daily surrender our hearts over to Him and ask him to do a healing work. He is the great physician able to make all things new. Even our hearts full of baggage. 

In facts, He tells us to fast our burdens on Him because he cares for us.

Trust me, if He can carry mine, He can carry yours.

3. Pray for the person who wronged you.

And that doesn’t mean praying they have a lifetime of acne, either!

Whisper a prayer of blessing for that person.

Even if all you can muster right now is a short, Bless them.”

As hard as it might be at first, I can promise you eventually you will be the one blessed and healed by this prayer.

4. Forgive

Make the decision to forgive, and ask God to really help you to do it.

Verse

5. Say you’re sorry

Sometimes, when your heart is soft and full of forgiveness, you’ll realize perhaps you were in the wrong.

If that’s the case, be brave and say so. Apologize and seek forgiveness.

The other person may not be in the same place as you and may be unwilling to accept your apology, and that is on them. All you can do is what you know in your heart to be right, and it will be blessed and give you freedom.

I’m dealing a little with this very topic myself. I know others probably are too, so I felt compared to share today.

I’m praying for the person, and praying the Lord would give me a heart for forgiveness.

So now it’s your turn. Have you ever allowed these feelings to keep you up or gnaw away at your joy? How have you handled it?

Don’t Look Back: Lessons From Lot’s Wife

Do you ever feel anxious about the future?

Does it ever hold you back from doing what you know you should?

I know many of us feel that way at one time or another.

I was camped in the New Testament for a super long time, but recently made the trip back to the beginning.

Back to Genesis.

I recently read about how God saved Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Not a new story for me, but if it is for you, you can find it here.

I have no idea why, but my whole life I sort of glazed over the fact that Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.

What?!

It’s not that I didn’t realize it happened, I guess I didn’t really pay attention to the application of the story.

You know, aside from the fact that if an angel specifically tells you to run and never look back and you don’t listen?

You will vaporize into salt.

Yeah… aside from that. smile

Here’s where the rubber meets the road for me, and why I find the story much more pertinent at 31 than I did at any other time prior to now.

While I don’t know a ton about Lot’s wife, I feel like perhaps I can empathize with her to a degree.

They seemingly had a pretty great life. Lot was blessed and was successful. I imagine they lived a very comfortable, very blessed life.

Unfortunately, though, they lived in an abominable city.  So detestable that God decided to destroy the place altogether!

The Lord sent Lot advanced warning which allowed them the opportunity to escape the impending destruction. While that was a glorious blessing from above, I imagine my mere humanness would have still been terrified.

What about the lives we built here?

What happens next?

I think of them scrambling to get out of town, their minds racing.

Grabbing nothing to take with them, and getting out with only the clothes on their backs.

They were running for their very lives, and I imagine it was emotional. It was intense, it was confusing, and it was all happening so very fast.

Leaving the entire life you had built, watching it go up in flames, and running toward a whole new set of unknowns.

As a woman who likes stability, I can imagine what a number this whole fire-and-brimstone-on-the-land stuff would have pulled on me.

I wonder if I would have been like Lot’s wife.

Here I am, with the people I love most, running like the dickens, but also leaving behind the life I knew.

Would I have wanted to look behind to make sure I wasn’t going to be swallowed up by the flames of fury, instead of looking ahead instead, in faith that God would keep us safe as He promised?

If I’m totally honest, I probably would have done those things.

I think this story is valuable for me, and perhaps you too because there’s a lot we can learn here.

We can learn the importance of not staying paralyzed in the past, and not getting too comfortable where we are.

Perhaps God is preparing you for something completely different than what you’re doing right now.

Don’t get so comfortable with your current situation that you are unwilling to move where you know you need to be.

That sentence was entirely for me, but I figured it might help someone else, too.

God’s blessings await, we just need to be obedient.

With that said, I know the here and now can be so much easier.

It is familiar and cozy.

The thought of shaking up the norm and leaving behind all we know can be downright petrifying! However, if God has called us to make a move, than we just need to take a step of faith and get out of Sodom already!

I realize today’s story is probably more literal and catastrophic than anything we’re facing today, but it’s still pertinent.

Sometimes God wants to get us out from where we are so He can get us to where He wants us to go.

Maybe that means God is calling you out of your comfort zone to lead a small group or give up something you’re struggling with… I don’t know what your “Sodom” is, but I know that if He’s called you out of it, get out of it!

We can also need to remember not to focus on the flames behind, but rather focus on the road ahead. Remember, God is rescuing you!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so caught up in what I’m running from that I forget who I’m running to.

God is with us, and we need to be mindful of his guiding hand. He is able to save us from the fire and destruction, and we need to trust in him.

As Paul says in the new testament, we need to forget what is behind, and run toward what is ahead.

While our past can be a useful tool and witness, it can also debilitate us from doing all we are called to do. God is rescuing us, gosh darn it, so let’s get out of Dodge already and not look back!

Look straight ahead run with all your heart.

I love talking through these things “out loud” because I feel like I learn so much more and see how relatable the situation is to my own life. I don’t want to get so bogged down in my comfortable American life that I forget that I am the hands and feet of Jesus. I also don’t want to get stuck in my past to the point where it “vaporizes me” and keeps me from where I want to go and who I want to be.

All things I need to pray for.

Maybe you have been right there with me a long time ago, or maybe you’re right here with me right now. Let’s clasp hands and finish this stretch together. Not looking behind, but only ahead. I’m praying the Lord gives you strength, guidance, and discipline to look ahead. More to come. <3

Don't look back

31, Reflections, & A Look Ahead

Hello lovelies!

I realize it’s Monday, and we have a week ahead of us, however it doesn’t feel too bad this week because:

1. It’s my birthday, and
2. Will and I both get Good Friday off!

Not too shabby.

Before we get into all that, though, let me hit some of my weekend highlights!

Friday Will and I were both off and had a very productive day.

I made it to the gym before 7, so it wasn’t too busy. I enjoy not having to share equipment. smile

Then, got ready and was able to shop at the grocery store in peace, get a fancy (read: cheap) watch at a local jewelry shop, as well as run a couple more errands all while Will painted our spare bedroom!

Watch

Afterward, we went downtown to a glass shop to get a piece cut for our entertainment center. Then we went and saw Draft Day!

I’m sure you’re shocked we went to see a football related movie. Ha

Friday was a busy and productive day.

Saturday was full of fun and just as packed.

I got an early leg workout in at the gym, followed by a little time with my sister and Layla.

Afterward, I got ready and Will and I made a trip to Lowe’s, and then headed to Norman for the red and white game!

It was a big crowd Saturday, making it all the more exciting. After that decisive and epic victory over Alabama last season, I think we are all pumped and ready for football.

Red & white game

WB red and white game

After the game, I had Will take me to Cool Greens for my “birthday lunch.”

I’m a super cheap date. smile

We just bought another matching couch to accompany the one we just got in a few weeks ago, so I didn’t want to do anything over the top. Plus, honestly? It’s one of my favorite local places.

I got their skinny plaza salad. So, so good.

Afterward, we came home and had a relaxing and uneventful evening!

Yesterday I got to spend the morning with my family! I love them very much. We had a birthday breakfast, and Layla even sat by me which was a nice treat. smile

My sister got an action shot of us admiring artwork. haha

It's a Bird, it's a plane, it's a huge pic of food at Jimmy's Egg!

We missed church because breakfast was followed by a trip to Best Buy and a two hour nap (!!), so we will have to watch online this week.

The rest of the afternoon was far less exciting than the rest of the weekend, but it was really nice to relax and not do much!

I did, however, spend a couple hours in the kitchen prepping food for the week. More on that soon.

That afternoon I went over to my parent’s house and had birthday cake! I love my mom so very much. She made me the prettiest, springiest, most beautifully colored cake. smile

31

It was delicious.

So that was my weekend!

And here we are again.

And here I am, 31.

How did that even happen!?

Last year felt like a huge milestone, and I suppose it was. I felt old, but I also felt “official,” like I had finally come into my own.

I’ll leave you with a few random thoughts at the end of this post on life in the 30s this far, and would welcome your own comments, too!

But for now, let’s talk food this week.

This week we’re having:

-Vegetable lasagna (with zucchini as the noodles smile h
-Caprese salad
-Philly cheesesteak sandwiches (I’m having leftover lasagna)

Yum!

Now let’s talk posts.

This week we are talking about:

-How you just gained refrigerator rights
-Arms month continues! Sculpting sharp shoulders
-Thursday confessions
-How the Bible helps

So check in this week and don’t miss out!

I close with just a few random thoughts on the 30s (or lack thereof at times smile)

Share some of your own thoughts below! <3

1. I finally feel like I’ve arrived and have more of a seat at the table.

Unless it’s Thanksgiving with Will’s side of the family.

I’m pretty sure we will forever be at the kid’s table there. 

2. I’m still terrible with directions.

And feel like I might always be.

3. I’m more comfortable with who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be.

4. Oddly enough, I feel way more comfortable and less self conscious about my flaws. While I looked better in a bathing suit 10 years ago, I’d probably rock it with more confidence now.

5. I’m a better wife.

6. I understand the importance of rest and a day off work sometimes.

7. I finally understand God’s grace.

8. I’m (slightly) better at putting on fitted sheets.

9. If I want a giant spoonful of peanut butter, I’m going to eat a giant spoonful of peanut butter. I trust myself way more and no longer fear self-sabotage. It comes with understanding moderation.

10. I realize birthdays are far better than the alternative and therefore appreciate each passing year.

So there you go! Now let’s enjoy our Monday!

More to come…

Radiance: The Best Kept Beauty Secret Revealed

I love the look of a beautiful, dewy glow.

Some ladies are blessed enough to simply wake up with a beautiful vibrance.

Others can thank pregnancy hormones.

The rest of us?

Well, thank goodness for products that help. smile

There’s something about a healthy glow that attracts me to others. The warmth, the life, the lovliness.

Let’s camp here today.

There’s a lot that goes into a striking radiance. I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so I can only offer what has helped in my personal experience.

Quite honestly, there’s no secret. It’s the complete obvious.

-Drink plenty of water

-Drink warm lemon water in the morning to help remove toxins

-Get plenty of sleep (if only… this is the one that always gets me!)

-Eat real, whole foods as much as possible (And don’t be afraid of healthy bacteria to help with digestion! This includes eating fermented foods, cultured yogurt, or taking a probiotic.)

-Exercise!

There are others I employ, like microdermabrasion, as well as a few oddities that might make you think I’m a total weirdo, but the ones listed above are the big ones.

Let’s get real today. Just about all of us want to be beautiful and glowy, and feel good in our own skin.

Today I want to let everyone in on the best kept beauty secret ever.

Yes, ever!

The secret to radiance is a constantly beautiful shine that comes from within.

Yes, the junk our friends, mothers, and mentors told us all our lives is actually true.

I touched on this truth here, remember?

(Gosh the pic in that post is terrible!)

I don’t care how outwardly beautiful you are, if you don’t have an inner glow of warmth, love, and kindness, I tend to think it dulls the outward beauty.

So how do we attain this beautiful, constant glow?

It might be a little different than you think.

To exude a radiant glow, you ought to look to the Lord.

I know what you might be thinking.

“Seriously, Brittny!? I read all this to get advice like that!? That’s the best.kept.beauty.secret.ever!?”

Here me out, friends.

Psalms 34:5 tells us, “Those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces are never covered in shame.”

Ugh, shame.

When I think of my own shameful experiences, my heart groans within me. I feel sick, downcast, defeated, and horrible.

In short, I don’t feel very “radiant.”

Not at all.

How about you?

What comes to mind when you think of a time when you experienced shame?

No one likes to dwell in shame. It’s the worst!

Yet, so often I feel like we do.

I feel like it is so easy to stay entrapped to past hurt, guilt, and regret.

None of those things portray a glowy life, am I right?

So why do we stay there, wallowing in our defeat?

Why, in some sick way, do we seem to get comfortable with those feelings of hurt and “yuck.”

The Bible says in Micah, “Though I sit in darkness” (and I’m sure we’ve all been there)), “the Lord will be my light.”

Do you see that?

The Lord is our light.

Sure we have our moments, but it’s hard to be full of light and radiance all the time.

I’m sorry to tell you guys, but it’s because we’re human and imperfect. smile

It’s the Lord who is our light and salvation from shame.

To enjoy a radiant glow, it really comes down to looking to Christ. Allowing Him to heal our hearts from shame, and exude a love and servitude through us.

It may sound elementary, but He lights up our life and reminds us of His beacon and His truth throughout the gospels.

I want a radiant glow.

One that lasts and surpasses my youth (of what little is left of it. smile ).

How do we get one?

-Pray. Tell The Lord our shame and hurts. He already knows them, so be real with him.
-Ask for forgiveness and healing. He is faithful and will do just that, I promise.
-Read his word. There are so many healing truths found there. His love is ridiculous for us, my human mind can’t really understand most of the time.
-Repeat.-

Look to The Lord and cast off the shame, sisters.

It’s time to throw off the past.

It’s time to throw off the sin that entangles.

It’s time to be radiant.

It’s the best and most underutilized beauty secret I know. ❤️

Verses

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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!


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