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Beating the January Blues

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Well, I did it in 2013, and again in 2014, and things are no different today.

The dreaded January Blues.

They’re back with a vengeance.

Vacation is over.

Decorations are up.

Fun Christmassy outings are done.

Work is busier than normal, since little gets done the last two weeks of the year.

The gym is busier than normal with resolutioners out to meet goals.

Life is officially back to normal.

I read about a dozen posts last week about the excitement of a new year.

I get it.

I probably kind of feel that way, too.

However, in all honesty, for the first couple weeks of January, I’m always in a bit of a funk.

Trying to ease myself back into normalcy.

The short days, bitter cold, and no holiday until April gets me every time.

As usual, it’s time to give myself a January pep talk and push on through the month.

Here’s my January plan for beating the post-holiday blues.

Clean house

I realize cleaning house seems like the antithesis of “perking up,” but it’s the truth.

I need to give my house a good post-Christmas once over.

I don’t need all this “new year, new you” stuff going around. I need my floors mopped and my surfaces dusted.

I’ll feel a million times better, I know it!

New year, new you?

No.

Clean house, happy me.

Use stuff.

You know the pretty glasses you own but never use?

Or the expensive perfume you have and rarely wear?

I have that too.

And the stuff seriously never gets used because I’m waiting for a “special occasion” that comes around once in a blue moon.

This month I’m going to use stuff.

There’s something enjoyable about luxurious lotion on a dreary Monday morning, or drinking iced tea from fancy glasses.

It just makes the usual, a little more fantastical.

Exactly what I need during the January doldrums.

Enjoy the weekends.

Yes, seemingly a no brainer.

Honestly, though, I feel like Will and I take our weekends for granted sometimes.

I want us to plan our weekends better and really soak up every minute we get.

Now that football season is over, our Saturdays are free, and I want us to seize the weekend during these dreary January days (and always 😊).

Perform a random act of kindness

I love the warm-fuzzy feeling accompanied by random acts of kindness.

It’s hard to be in a funk when doing a good deed!

While I hope I always seek such opportunities, I plan to be more intentional during these cold January days.

Finally, Pray and Praise

I need Jesus each and every day, whether it’s December, full of jubilance and festivities, or the quiet, still moments of January.

These dreary mornings, when I drag myself out of bed after a lengthy vacation, remind me to thank Him I have a bed to be “dragged” from.

Hot showers to enjoy, breakfasts to eat, and a place to work.

There are so many good things in my life that can be overshadowed by post vacation blues if I’m unfocused.

Spending time in prayer and in the word help me fix my eyes on Jesus.

It reaffirms my purpose and sets my mind on things above.

And oh boy do I need it during these post vacation January days.

So there you have it, friends. My recipe for beating the 2015 January Blues.

Here’s to getting into the swing of things and making it an excellent year!

Check in tomorrow! 

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas friends!

Hopefully you’re elbow deep in Christmas pancakes while simultaneously putting batteries in all your kid’s toys.

That’s the life.

I worked out today.

I then had a healthy green monster for breakfast… followed by two of my mom’s Christmas cookies.

The breakfast of champions.

Her cookies are killing me.

Every single one of them are delicious.

Delicious!

Every.single.one.

I love that she still makes us a big variety and plates it up all thoughtfully.

Moms are pretty much the best.

And so are their cookies.

Oh, and while we’re on family, Christmas week texts with mine are a hoot

I'm no wrapper

I’m an awful wrapper. Always have been.

We did Christmas with them yesterday.

I also plan on relishing yesterday’s Christmas Eve leftovers when we get home tonight.

Pretty much everything was healthy, so that’s a win...except the dessert part.

Today we’re off to celebrate Christmas with Will’s family.

Every year we do a Christmas brunch and exchange gifts.

There’s an outing later this afternoon, but Will and I have to work tomorrow and decided to pass this year.

Oh yeah, did you see that sentence above?

I’ll be holding down the fort tomorrow. 

Wee!

Anyone else?

I realize working the day after Christmas is a serious drag, but I’m wearing my big girl pants tomorrow and am going to relish each and every painful minute.

I’m probably lying.

Also, my husband is a big stinker.

Very early this month we both agreed we were NOT buying gifts for ourselves this year.

Period.

Later this month it was all like, “We’re not doing gifts this year, right? Because I’m not doing anything, so you better not be either.”

“Agreed. No gifts.”

Only, the conversation was more annoying because I double and quadruple checked with Will.

“Seriously, no gifts right?”

“Really- we’re not getting presents, right?”

And so on and so forth.

Anyway, that guy up and bought me a little something and it touched my heart.

We’re really big time trying to save money right now because of all these recent changes (which will be revealed very soon), so it was a big deal that we absolutely not buy anything for ourselves.

Yet Will spent his fantasy football earnings to buy me the fanciest herb garden EVER, complete with LED lights and all.

It's about to get herby

It’s funny, I’ve tried to have one on my own many, many times but they’ve always died.

And it really bummed me out. I really want to channel my inner Nigella with fresh herbs from my house.

He knew that. smile

It’s never a gift I would have ever have thought to ask for, but sometimes Will, who pays better attention than I realize sometimes, knows me better than I know myself some days.

It was a kind surprise, and a sweet sacrifice.

No pressure on keeping everything alive now.

You know, since I’ve had such good luck…

Let’s think positively, though. It’s Christmas!

Today, this beautiful Christmas Day in which I’m not working, I’m going to soak up the rich love of Christ and celebrate Him.

He is my savior. The innocent baby who came to earth and made a way for me to know him. 

Happy birthday, Jesus. Today I rejoice in you. ❤️

More to come soon. Until then, Merry Christmas friends!

What all are you up to today?

(Mostly) Smarter Than a 5th Grader

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you before, but I’ll tell you again:

I hate math.

But we’ll get to that soon enough.

I’ve partnered with a local elementary school and get to spend some time each week tutoring a little girl.

This school is full of underprivileged students, and many have seen more at their age than one should ever see in a lifetime.

Oh man guys. It is such a rewarding blessing to be able to be a light.

Although, I gotta come clean.

Sometimes I have absolutely no clue what my student is learning in school, or how to explain it in a way she understands.

They learn a little differently than they did “back in my day.”

And the math.

Oh the math!

“Do you want to read today?”

“No, I want to work on my math!”

Except… I have no clue how to help you!

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Apparently not.

I graduated with honors, and even have a master’s degree.

Yet I’m struggling to covert fractions and figure out triangular degrees without my phone calculator.

HELP ME.

The good news is that she’s pretty darn smart.

Whew.

That’s good news for both of us. smile

Despite my lack of fraction skills, I do feel like I’ve been helpful to her and be a positive influence.

She sure has been a help and day brightener for me, too.

I look forward to the days I get to see her, and feel like I’m making a difference when she runs up and gives me a giant hug.

It’s pretty darn rewarding.

Today is our tutoring Christmas party!

I was able to buy my student a small gift, and will get to do some fun artwork and spend some time together.

I got her a lotion and body spray set, her favorite scented lip balm, her favorite snack, some Christmas candy, and a new book since she loves reading so much.

(Maybe I should have picked up “Elementary School Math for Dummies” for myself)

I feel like this gift will be my favorite to give this year.

So yeah.

I’m not great at elementary school math, but I hope I’m pretty good at being a positive light to my girl.

That’s what I’m loving this Thursday.

As for other things, I wonder if I can ask Santa for better math skills this year…

The Art of Face Shaving

There’s really no eloquent way to discuss today’s topic, so I’m not even going to try.

Today we’re talking peach fuzz and how we don’t have to live with it. 

Face shaving.

For women.

Not lying.

Before you click off, hear me out!

I’m sure we all know women who wax, thread, or Nair parts of their face. This is the same concept, but in my opinion a little better.

Let me be clear-

You’re not grabbing your hubby’s razor and lathering up with Gillette shaving cream.

And absolutely no finishing the job with a splash of Old Spice. 

I promise.

There are actually special (and inexpensive!) facial razors on the market for this very purpose.

In fact, you might be surprised just how many ladies, famous and non famous alike, sport smoothly shaved faces without you even knowing!

Here are some of the reasons snipping that upper lip hair is beneficial (I’m killing myself over here 😂)

1. Exfoliation

Doing so removes dead skin helps with better cell turnover and overall younger looking skin.

2. Better product penetration

I personally feel like I get quicker absorption with a smoother face. When you spend good money on anti aging products, that’s a plus!

3. Smoother, more flawless looking foundation

This is a big one.

Foundation glides on so much better and really helps produce a beautiful glow on a smooth face. I also find highlighters reflect so much better on a smooth face, too.

Other things to know:

1. You need the right tool.
You’re obviously not taking a Venus razor to your face! Beauty supply shops sell razors specifically for the face area. I got 3 for $5.

2. You’re not going to come home with a 5 o’clock shadow.

I repeat! You’re not going to come home with a 5 o’clock shadow.

When you use the correct tool, your hair grows back completely the same way it was before- fine teeny little baby hairs. Scouts honor.

3. Where & how
For best results, do it in front of a window for natural sunlight with a clean, makeup free face.

Now you little more about why it’s great, but don’t take my word for it! Try it out for yourself!

I made a three minute video that covers the basics of all you need to know to buzz your fuzz (haha).

Sort of goofy, but hopefully a little informative.

Check in tomorrow for Ezra chapter three! I can’t wait to talk about this chapter. <3

How to Fall Away From God (Streams of Consciousness)

When we cleaned the garage last weekend I found lots of interesting things.

Some I wondered why I even kept, some made me laugh (like my Super Nintendo), and still others made me incredibly reminiscent.

The reminiscent stuff is what I want to talk about today.

Do you have some time and some coffee?

Go get some and come back.

***

We found lots of “treasures,” but a few stand out:

A giant picture frame someone gave us, full of pictures of us with youth at the church where we served,

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A couple pictures that used to hang in my bedroom before I got married,

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And a journal I wrote in my first few months in Kuwait.

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All are distinctive, yet united under the same feelings evoked when I saw them.

Depending on how long you’ve read my blog, you may not know that Will was a youth minister when I met him.

Will & Brittny-counselors at Super Summer 2003

Here we are serving as camp counselors together way back in 2003!

It was perfect. I surrendered my life to ministry as a youth, and our marriage and ability to help serve alongside Will at our church was a dream come true.

Only, no one ever really told us just how difficult our time there would be.

It didn’t come easy like the places where we were before.

The youth were so very different than we were used to. No more squeaky clean preppy kids with parents who were involved.

Every week Will would drive the church bus to pick up almost every single one of those kids in some of the worst neighborhoods in town.

Only a few had parents that went to church, and only a couple helped out.

The biggest struggle was that the church was wrought in pain from the past. There was much division, and the church had never really recovered.

A few months into Will’s service, the pastor was asked to leave, and we faced so many new challenges.

Talk about a heavy load for two kids in their early 20s.

It was hard, and Will hated it. It wasn’t exactly the dream I envisioned.

Then the chance to go to Kuwait surfaced.

What initially seemed like something so outlandish, became an attractive opportunity.

We prayed about it and it seemed like everything lined up to go, and so we went. (Perhaps this will be a future post?)

If you read the archives from waaaay back in 2005, you’ll see lots of adjustments to the new life.

I didn’t work for my first four months there, which felt like torture at the time but in hindsight was such a huge blessing.

It gave me time alone with God. To seek Him and draw close to Him.

When I look back on my journal, I could still see a lot of immaturity and want to tell myself, “Oh Brittny, if you could only see how God was doing a work!” However, I also saw growth and my desire to really pursue a relationship with Jesus.  I had loved Him all my life.

When I looked at people seemingly very close to God who had fallen away, I could never understand it.

How could you be so close to God, and so deeply pursuing Him, and then all of a sudden completely fall face first and turn away from His goodness?

Well, sadly I can tell you how it happens.

Listen up, and be mindful my friends. It pains me to be able to share these lessons, but I sincerely hope it somehow serves as a lesson to some of you who may be going through something similar.

The truth is, when I would see people who were formerly strong in their faith who had fallen, I was only seeing the end result of much more.

A process.

Do not be deceived friends, the enemy is all around and wants us to stumble. The Bible says he looks for someone to devour.

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It’s very true. The enemy was very patient with me, as I suspect he is with many believers.

It was years of slow erosion. Slowly chipping away in such tiny increments that I barely noticed. He’s crafty that way.

Oh friends, I allowed myself to step out from God’s umbrella of protection and became so vulnerable to deception.

How did it happen?

Let’s dissect.

1.Lack of Community

Moving to a Muslim country made it difficult to openly pursue a relationship with the Church.

Thankfully, someone we knew hosted a Bible study which allowed us the opportunity to meet with other Christians and fellowship and study the Bible.

Unfortunately, soon after our arrival, conflicting schedules prevented the leader from hosting and things dissolved.

Will and I were on our own.

The Bible stresses the importance of relationships with believers.

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I needed that community of like minded people in my life to encourage, to get encouragement, and to have a support group as we collectively pursued God together as a unit.

It was hard doing life on our own, but we managed to adjust.

Of course we did.

If you’re a Christian not attending church, you’re missing out and vulnerable. I would encourage you to find a church that preaches God’s word and get plugged in.

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2.Compromise & Complacency
In addition to lack of community, small compromises here and there primed my heart for falling away.

Seriously- like minuscule things that didn’t seem like a big deal.

However, that small wearing away allowed my heart to become vulnerable to attack. The more “small” sins I determined to be acceptable, the more I was on a slippery slope.

The more satan can get you to dip your toe in sin, the easier it can be to get dragged into the depths of the sea.

Sin is sin in God’s eyes, friends, no matter how we weight it here on earth.

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The Bible says God has “honest scales.”

Sin separates us from God.

If we allow what we believe to be “small” sins in our lives, we are sinning plain and simple.

We are opening our hearts up for more and more compromise. I know because I did it myself!

Before long, compromise was followed with complacency.
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Being totally fine with those “small” sins. In reality though, they were totally hardening my heart more and more.

Want to fall away from God?

Start making compromises and allowing sin in your life under the justification that “it’s not that bad.”

3.Apathy

Inevitably, compromise and complacency give way to apathy.

You just slowly stop caring about the things of God.
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You might say you do, but the heart doesn’t lie.

When we first moved back, we halfheartedly visited churches and kept on the outskirts or things.

Having spent three years without attending made us sort of accustomed to not going.

The first few years home weren’t our best. As I’ve shared so many times, my heart was so different than the one I knew so well as a youth and young adult.

As crazy as it sounds, I didn’t feel like me.

I felt like some other person, so unlike the Brittny I knew my whole life.

Living a sinful life far from God.

I stopped praying and reading the Bible.

Apathy will do that to you.

Apathy is such a dangerous place to be for professing Christians.

In fact, I’d venture to say it is nearly impossible to come back from a place of not caring unless the merciful Lord intervenes.

Thank God He is slow to anger and bountiful in love.
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4.Fear and Doubt

I started to feel Jesus’ gentle pull back to himself a couple years ago, but I believed I had gone too far. That He couldn’t take me back.

After all, I was the “perfect one” all my life. The youth leader, and the one who went on mission trips and truly loved God with every fiber in my being.

How could I go from that, to what I had become?

And how could God forgive me after I had already known his love so well and yet still fell away?

Apathy turns to fear and doubt.

And fear and doubt can often keep people from repentance.

It’s one of satan’s worst lies of all.

I was paralyzed in this fear, and yet slowly and continually, piece by piece, God reassured me of His love.

He reassured me that He could scatter what I had become as far as the east was from the west if I truly came with a broken and repentant spirit.

That he could restore me and bring me to an entirely new level of knowing Him.

Verses

***

Oh friends, this is but a glimpse into the story.  However, I felt compelled to share it with you because we must be on our guard against the devil’s schemes.

They’re much more insidious than we think.

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That’s what makes them so dangerous and painful. 

If you want to fall away from God, you do the foolish things I did above.

Saturday night, as I tried to go to bed, I thought about the things I discovered in the garage and hot tears began to stream down my face.

The streams turned to quiet sobs, and I did my best not to wake Will.

Sooo, I crept into the bathroom and sat on the toilet seat.

Classy gal.

God and I had been in this place many times before (well, maybe not plonked down on the toilet seat per say, but in this very same situation).

I needed a lot of reassurance from Him along the way.

I found myself at His feet once more apologizing for wasting such a huge portion of my adult life living selfishly. Thanking Him for His mercy, and pouring my heart out to Him.

Telling Him how I want to get to the same level of intimacy we were before, yet in some strange way feeling as though I was more raw and intimate with Him recently than in my entire life.

I ended up reading exactly what I needed at that moment. This post about how God can make beauty from ashes.

In fact, the Bible days that things meant to harm us can even be used for good.

We serve a big God.

Bigger than our failures.

A God big enough to help us pick up the pieces and create a masterpiece that could only be used for His glory.

Perhaps you’re caught in one of these situations?

Maybe you’re on a similar path to falling away that I shared?

Oh friend, turn to Jesus.

I know the trappings of this world and “doing as thou wilt” sure seems great sometimes, but it pales in comparison to the freedom of living a life centered in Jesus.

I can say it because, unfortunately, I’ve lived on both sides.

Commit to Him and His plan, friends.

To wrap things up, I decided to hang a couple of those pictures.

And who knows, maybe I’ll even hang the collage I once deemed “hideous” as a simple reminder of the impact a life devoted to Christ can make.

Thanks for listening, and know I’m here to listen too!

❤️

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! ❤️

DIY Homemade Chapstick!

It’s about to get crazy around here, ya’ll.

Crafting.

We’re making chapstick today!

I cannot tell you how incredibly excited I am to share today’s post and recipe.

I got an all-natural chapstick in one of my Ipsy’s a few months ago and absolutely loved it. Ever since, I’ve been looking for the best chapstick recipe to make my own.

I found it, and it’s super easy to make. Plus you can get just about everything you need at the grocery store, with the exception of beeswax and the chapstick tubes.

I posted a video of my efforts below, so you can check it out that way, or simply read these super easy step by step instructions.

Oh- and don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom, because I’m giving some tubes away!

So let’s get moving! If you have about 15-20 minutes (seriously- that’s it), you can whip up a batch in no time.

Here’s what you need:

-Double Boiler (I used a regular pot with water as the bottom part, and then a pie tin I got at the dollar store to place over it and make my chapstick)

-Chapstick tubes (purchased on Amazon)

-Medicine Dropper

-1 oz beeswax (purchased on amazon)

-2 TBSP Coconut Oil

-2 TBSP Olive Oil

-4-5 drops essential oils ( no need to get fancy here, I actually just used regular old peppermint extract because it’s all I had on hand)

-Optional: A smudge of lipstick

-Optional: Labels

Ready?

Here’s what you do:

1. Fill a regular pan halfway with water and place on your stove over medium heat.

2.Using a food processor or regular old cheese grater, grate your beeswax and place in your pie tin (or whatever you’re using for the top of your double boiler)

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the tin.

4. Place the tin over your pot and begin slowly stirring constantly until everything is melted, reduce heat to low.

5. Using your medicine dropper, begin “piping” chapsticks into your tubes. Allow 10 minutes to cool.

6. If desired, add some labels to your tubes!

So the labels.

A total fail.

Since this was my first go, I didn’t want to spend the time or money to buy fancy labels and print them off on the computer.

Because, Duh! That would have made way too much sense.

Instead, I just bought regular old labels at the dollar store and handwrote some fun things in pretty markers.

Except… yeah… I didn’t stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the size I got wouldn’t fit chapstick tubes.

Real life.

Since I went to the trouble to handwrite all of them, I still went ahead and used them.

They look classy, ya’ll, real classy.

Except not.

Now that I know what a success this chapstick making was, I am definitely going to print pretty labels next go around.

So there.  Look at you! You just made beautiful chapstick!

This recipe should make between 22-25 tubes, which should last you a super long time. Give some to friends, and family, and enjoy some for yourself too.

I cannot get over how easy it was, and look forward to making another batch soon.

So here’s the fun part. I am giving away five chapsticks on the blog this week. Just comment below in the “share the love” section with your favorite lip product, and I will send the first five people their very own chapstick!

And if you have five minutes and want to see all the stuff I just wrote about, here’s my how to Chapstick video below. smile

Comment below, and check in tomorrow for more fun! <3

Why Sometimes I Eat Thin Mints

Sooo, I wanted today’s post to be all about my first day.

However, when I stopped to think about how overwhelming Monday probably would be, plus the fact it would be my first day battling life as a commuter (which means getting home late), I thought I better play it safe and write this post on Sunday.

So that’s what happened.

I figure I will share some highlights about my first week on Friday!

With that in mind, I didn’t really have anything else planned for this post.

Which means we are both in trouble.

We could talk about how Will is sabotaging me.

Help!

Yes, there’s two in that pic.

Regular people eat one, and save the other one for later.

I’m not regular.

I eat both pretty much back to back.

I disgust myself.

Or we could talk about my own self-sabotage.

For Will… Minus the row if thin mints I ate

Will loves Girl Scout cookies (who doesn’t!?), so I surprised him with four whole boxes last week.

He was very appreciative.

Only… Will is regular (see Reece’s story above). He can open a row of thin mints, eat a few, and stick them back in the freezer.

(Because everyone knows that’s where they belong)

Surprisingly, even though I love all things sweet, the Girl Scout cookies don’t get to me that much.

In fact, we even have a Sam’s size box of Grandma’s Cookies that don’t tempt me much these days either.

Except…

Last Friday Will was out late at a friend’s for poker night. Which meant I was left to my own devices.

Around 10:30, you know, the perfect time to eat 600 calories in one sitting, I decided I would sneak a few of his thin mints.

He had half a row left in the freezer.

Who does that!?

Regular people.

I ate three, and called it good. After all, I had cake for my going away party and also splurged at my mom’s birthday dinner.

Five minutes later I decided, “Oh what the heck, let’s call this a cheat ‘day’,” and ate the rest.

Not regular.

Irregular.

Whatever.

Anyway, as I reflected on the day, I was surprisingly okay with it.

What’s crazy is that a couple of years ago, I would have felt like a total failure.

Like I had to punish myself the following day by eating less and exercising more.

I finally have such a healthy relationship with food and my body, that I’m okay having a “bad” eating day like that every now and then. Mainly because I eat so healthily all the time.

It’s living my life and enjoying the going away parties, birthdays, and even occasional late night snacks that keep me from eating an entire loaf of bread over a weekend (Real life).

Setting my mind on things above instead of earthly things or my past food fixation has helped me immeasurably.

No, I don’t recommend eating two giant Reece’s a day or eating a row of thin mints before bed every night. I’m just saying finding your own balance can go a long way to enjoying your life and still reaching personal goals.

I received two super thoughtful compliments while at the gym this weekend, and it’s not because I spend hours doing cardio or not eating carbs. It’s because I’ve found my healthy balance and no longer obsess over food and exercise. Definitely felt good to realize that this weekend.

Here’s to a healthy recovery week for me, and a healthy week for you! <3

In the Way He Walks (Happy Valentine’s Day)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Lovelies!

Are you up to your ears in flowers and chocolate?

Or perhaps today is a little more low key, as is such in the B-Love house.

We’ve never been huge Valentine’s Day celebrators. Not to say I don’t enjoy the trinkets the holiday brings, but at the same time, you won’t find us out at dinner tonight with the masses either.

Nonetheless, today is a good reminder of our loved ones. No time like the present to tell them how much they mean to you!

With that in mind, today I want to share a total twist on Valentine’s Day. But hang with me, because I promise (or at least I hope!) we will come back full circle.

Today I want to talk about the green eyed monster, and how it got hold of me recently.

Yes, it’s true.

I even debated sharing today’s post since it’s so raw. And at the mere thought of questioning whether I should share such a soul-baring post, it propelled me all the more to hit “submit.” It’s no use for me to have this blog if I can’t be transparent, yes?

Anyhow, let’s get back that green eyed monster stuff.

The other day I had the opportunity to be around someone (and I apologize in advance for the cliché)on fire for God.

Just being around her was so exciting.

Talk about major girl crush.

Her positivity was electric, her love for others and God even moreso. 

And? And she was humble. 

Her heart is simply beautiful. And let’s not even talk about how super perfect her outfit, hair, and makeup was. No amount of foundation could make a face as flawless as hers.

Does she ever have a bad day?

Insert green eyed monster.

Not that you can really ever justify jealousy (though I’m about to. Ha), but I wasn’t “maliciously jealous” toward her (you know, because now I’m also compartmentalizing types of jealousy).

Rather, I just was more in awe. I totally wanted her heart, her amazing fashion sense, her love for others, her passion, her inner beauty.

As I left my encounter with her, you’d think I’d be feeling all excited and inspired, but the truth was that it left me feeling sort of lousy.

Why can’t my life be perfect like that? Why can’t my relationship with God be that amazing?

Why, why why!?

Sheesh. Talk about attack of the green monster and pity party fairy.

(what’s up with all these silly names to describe negative emotions?… eh, I’m just going to go with it.)

I just felt sort of blah.

I felt like a mess.

All the more I began to stare at the ever deepening lines under my eyes, and the bags to go along with them. My frizzy hair, and ridiculously pale skin.  Ugh, then my messy house. Don’t get me started on that! Then I began to contemplate my heart condition and how I wished to be so bubbly and enthusiastic much like her.

Sigh.

Days passed, when I began to think about the whole thing again.

As I contemplated, I realized instead of looking outward, I really needed to be looking upward.

So much of what I admired about this woman wasn’t necessarily all just her, it was God totally working in her.

You know what’s amazing about that?

He can use all of us.

The people we admire often have characteristics we’re entirely capable of possessing ourselves.

Not only that, but the traits I admired in her were simply extensions of the very traits God himself possess and gives freely to those who seek him.

When I watch others able to give so freely, I realize- I can be a giver too. When I see others show mercy, I realize God can give me a merciful heart too.

These are all things God can mold and make us into for his own glory.

With that said, it’s also important to remember our own uniqueness!

I know we’ve heard it our entire lives, but seriously- we’re unique.

And we’ve been placed on this earth for this very moment in time to fulfill opportunities the Lord placed in advance for us to do.  Okay, I know some of you are probably like, “Hmm… is she drinking the Kool-Aid?” If I’m wrong, I’m wrong (but I’m not smile ), but I’m a firm believer of this truth based on scriptures.

What I’m trying to say is, we’re not all going to be the Donna Reeds or Mrs. Billy Grahams.

I’m me.

I have my own unique story and past and present that can be used as inspiration to point others upward just like this girl did for me.

To put a bow on today’s topic, and come full circle to today’s special day, it’s in remembering our first love that we’re able to show love to others.

To be that light and inspiration others are drawn to. It’s simply a matter of walking in the way HE walks, and not looking at others.

Looking upward, my friends.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the man who held my heart before I even knew his name. <3

He walks

Casting My Pearls Before Swine (Rethinking My Pie)

image
Source

Do you feel like you just get busier?

I sure do.

Where does all the time go!?

Ooh, I have an answer for that!

Let’s do elementary school math.

Because that’s sort of the only math I can do.

(um, except the really hard elementary school math, of course).

Oh, and I’m sort of using “math” loosely.

Very loosely…

Visual aid time!

Here’s a pie.

image

Source

A calorie-free, vegan one I’m sure.

Let’s pretend it’s our day.

A chunk of it goes to getting ready and out the door every morning, the biggest piece goes to my job, then there’s the running errands, driving home, cooking, extra activities, church, family, friends, and sleep, let’s not forget that.

We all have one pie and limited ways to cut it.

(um, and with all this talk about pie, all I want to do is skip the slicing part and take a fork right to the middle. Good thing this is a virtual pie! smile )

It seems like most of it is gone before we really even have time to think about better ways of slicing.

image
Source

How are you going to divide up the slices in your pie this year?

I’m changing the way I am, that’s for sure.

Are you going to make time for those resolutions?

I hope so.

Time is precious. Let’s not forget.

image
Source

I mentioned wanting to focus on living a life that honors God each and every day, and I am committed to it (not in my own power, but through Christ’s, thank goodness)

That means my pie is going to look different than in year’s past.

It means more time with people I love, and less time with toxic people.

It means more bang for my buck in the gym, and less time wasting time on ineffective workouts.

It means more time eating healthy meals, and less time feeling sick from over indulging.

For me, it means less time doing things that have little value and investing more time in things that do.

It means less judging and more loving.

Less pride, and more humility.

More time listening, less time chattering.

This life is short, and I have limited slices in my pie.

I don’t want to spend it doing things devoted to selfish ambition and vain conceit. I want to spend it loving others and showing grace. I want to spend it doing things that matter.

We don’t have time for negativity, poisonous people, or faith-killers.

Don’t let people bring you down in meeting your goals this year. Be an encouragement and inspiration to them.

Stay the course, stay focused, and make time in that pie for what’s important.

I doubt you’ll look back years from now and wish you hadn’t.

How are you going to manage your pie this year?

Pearls to

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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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