Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
Mr. & Mrs. B-Love

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.

Will and Brittny Take Tennessee

Happy autumn friends!

Fall finally arrived in all its glory here, and I’m basking in cooler temperatures and all things pumpkin spice.

There’s so very much I want to share with you, so I’ve decided to do a two part post.

1. The first to recap our recent Tennessee vacation
2. The second (and my favorite!) to give you a big fat life update and share some of the things God is putting on my heart.

So let’s get moving back with that Tennessee recap!

This past Labor Day Will and I hopped on a plane and flew to the beautiful land of rolling hills and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet- Tennessee.

In the interest of actually getting this post done and on the blog, here’s a rundown of just the highlights each day.

Monday, 7 Sept
For a travel day, we did well. Usually we’re running around like madmen scrambling to get out the door. This year we had to drop the dogs off on Saturday instead of Monday, so it helped reduce the craziness.

Monday was a total travel day. Long and uneventful. Thankfully everything was on time and we got to Nashville late that afternoon.

We were tired and kept things low key. We stayed at the Music City Sheraton, so we checked in, hit a Kroger for a few items, and had dinner at chickfila.

Fancy schmancy.

I also got to sleep tons, y’all! It was great! In fact, I went to sleep close to 8 that night didn’t wake up until 7:30!

Vacations are the best.

Tuesday, 8 Sept
Our first full day of vacation was wonderful. We had a leisurely morning followed by a scenic drive outside Nashville.

We drove a little outside of the city to have brunch at the famous Loveless Cafe.

It was so darn fun!

It used to be a hotel back in the 60s and was a hidden gem for travelers. Known for their delicious homemade biscuits, they grew in popularity throughout the region.

They eventually converted the hotel into little adorable shops and just keep the restaurant open- and it’s always busy!

The biscuits and jam pretty much killed me.

Can't believe I get to have breakfast with this man everyday. Beyond blessed. 💗

I also went a little wild at the store.

And with pictures.

Loveless cafe and hotel. That's how we roll
😍Loveless Cafe

After brunch Will and I headed into Nashville to tour the Opry!
I found the backstage tour very interesting. I didn’t know much about the Opry before, so I learned heaps about the history.
We got our picture on the stage and our tour group even got to sing a song front and center. smile

The next big thing 😂 Will and Brittny take the Opry

We went to the mall across the street between the tour and the evening show. We had a quick bite at Moe’s and headed to see the show!

We were lucky enough to have a great show the night we went. I also had no idea it was a live radio show! Interesting.

The lineup

Wednesday, 9 Sept
Although I slept late again, I managed to get in a workout Wednesday morning.

We got a late start and after getting ready headed downtown to the Ryman. Much like the Opry, I didn’t know a whole lot about the history of the Ryman. I found its origins very interesting and enjoyed hearing how they’ve grown over the years and are still going strong.

Like the Opry, we were able to go backstage, onstage, take lots of pictures.

WB at the Ryman

If you’re traveling to Nashville and are torn between only wanting to do only one tour I’d definitely say to the Opry. I liked the Ryman, but the Opry was better.

Afterward, we drove around downtown and went to see The War Room.

Yep. We saw a movie we could have seen at home while we were on vacation.

Ah friends it was so good and totally drives home the importance for prayer. Life is a battle and we truly so have to fight the good fight equipped with the word of God as our sword.

Go see the movie and most importantly- find your personal prayer space and start talking to God!

We treated ourselves to the Marble Slab after our movie and walked around the Opry grounds.

Considering it was vacation and we had yet to have a really good meal (um not counting those dang delicious loveless biscuits!), we intended to have a decent dinner. However we ended up getting full on ice cream, like complete children, and spoiled our dinner. Haha

We went back to the hotel, watched TV, and called it a night.

Wild and crazy.

Thursday, 10 Sept

I got another good nights sleep and woke later than I intended. I managed to workout and quickly get ready. Today started my favorite stretch of the trip!

Before leaving Nashville we went back to the Opry Mills Mall and ate an early lunch at The Aquarium.

I’d been there ages ago, but Will had never been. He was completely enthralled. It was adorable. We got there early and were able to watch the marine biologist feed the fish. It was so very neat!
Will enthralled by the fish
Because we're on vacation

After our giant lunch, we drove a little outside of Nashville to Whites Creek, Tennessee.

The very hospitable and beautiful Inn at Fontanel.

The Inn at Fontanel. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous ❤️

Will arranged a little surprise for us to stay at the beautiful Inn at Fontanel. It’s this tiny and beautiful bed and breakfast hotel on Barbara Mandrel’s former property. Not only that, but you can tour her house, and it’s still the largest log cabin house in the nation at over 30,000 square feet!

I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed every minute at this little bed and breakfast and all their little fun shops!

The staff was so nice and inviting and the whole atmosphere just screamed relaxation.

Our little bunker had a welcoming little mini porch, and our room was just as cozy.

After checking in we toured the grounds. We checked out the shop, the bistro, and the winery while waiting for our mansion tour to begin.

The mansion was flat out spectacular.
The Fontanel Mansion (formerly Barbara Mandrel's house)

The best part?

You’re really able to make yourself at home. If you want to pick up a guitar in the wall, lay on the furniture, get funny selfies- they’re game. It was so neat and totally different than most tours like that. Usually everything’s behind a velvet rope with a “do not touch” sign. So fun and so cool. I would have taken way more pictures than I did but my poor Will was picture-d out haha
Barbara Mandrel's bathroom and separate closet are a sight to see. Very impressive! Lots of space, lots of mirrors, lots of lights!
On Gretchen Wilson's four wheeler from the Redneck Woman video. #classy

Afterward, we hung around the hotel grounds, got a snack at the bistro and ate outside, and then went back to our room to watch the NFL season opener while I did a little work.

Oh- and we also experienced our first Goo Goo Clusters. 

Have you ever had one!?

Dead.

Friday 11 Sept
I was excited to rise early and enjoy the beauty of God’s glorious sunrise at the Fontanel.

“Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬ Perfect way to begin my morning. Beautiful Tennessee sunrise

I intended to workout outside, and certainly made an attempt, but the Inn’s aggressive duck, Boomer, kept chasing me and made my outdoor workout impossible.

Boomer the duck was given a chance at a new life at the Fontanel but only lasted mere days because he was aggressive with the guests. Boomer did not like me and enjoyed chasing & hissing at me during our stay. 😂

(And as an aside, poor Boomer was so aggressive with the guests he only lasted a week before getting sent back to his owner!)

I moved my workout into their gym area. Afterward I enjoyed my Bible study on our little patio. It was such a beautiful morning!

We got ready and had breakfast in the main hotel area. Their continental breakfast was nothing like you typically think of when you think free breakfast. It was a delicious full meal.

Afterward, we are we took an extra long walk around the Fontanel grounds and enjoyed the beautiful weather. 
Post breakfast nature walk at the Fontanel

I was sad to leave mid morning. I could have enjoyed another full day there. Such a relaxing bed and breakfast and definitely well worth the little detour on route to Knoxville.

Speaking of Knoxville- that was the next stop on our trip!

We had a couple hours to drive as we headed that way, so we played “classic country Shazam trivia.” Haha

After the Christian music station went out we found a classic country station and I tested Will to see how much he knew.

He knew a lot.

Before we knew it, we were in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and at our hotel!

First order of business? Find some Tennessee barbecue.

We headed into Knoxville to find Will burnt tips. He’s been talking about and wanting them forever. We’ve never been able to find them in Oklahoma, so when we made vacation plans, “burnt tips” was on the list.

We ended up at Dead End BBQ for a mid afternoon lunch. It was packed and full of Vols.

We enjoyed our lunch and the manager stopped by and talked football with us for awhile. Lots of fun.

After dinner we hit up a Kroger for cookies (priorities) and called it a day.

Saturday, 12 Sept

Game day!

I got up early, worked out, and got around.

Anytime we head out of town we look to see if there’s a Perkins in the area.

That place always brings back good memories.  Anytime we’d fly into Minneapolis from Kuwait to stay a couple days, we’d hit up a Perkins and devour their mammoth muffins and pie.

We continued tradition in Knoxville, treating ourselves to a big breakfast...and peanut butter pie.

Because I'm on vacation. That's why.

Hey, it’s vacation.

We drove to the civic center to take their shuttle to the stadium. We were early, so we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Once we got to the stadium we walked around and enjoyed the scenery, even with all the orange. smile

Their stadium is crazy steep, which always makes me a but nervous. It didn’t help when we watched an elderly man tumblr six rows from his seat!

Horrifying. Thank God he was ok, and I was more than fine not moving a single bit after we got settled.

The volunteer stadium is huge and seats over 100,000. The Vols were excited and came loud!

I still can’t get over how deafening it was. In fact, they broke a stadium sound record!

They played hard. For almost the entire game I thought we were a goner. Somehow, someway, sooner magic made its way on the field and the boys tied it up and sent it to overtime.

Two overtimes, in fact.

Talk about a nail biting victory!

What a game!

We won! 😱

WB ready for a sooner victory! OU takes Tennessee

We intended to quickly leave and get back to our car.

Only, no one tells you how long it takes to get out of the stadium, off the campus, and out of traffic.

Think about a city of 100k all making a mass exodus from a small space.

Chaos.

We left our stadium seats around 10:00 and didn’t even get back to our car from taking the shuttle until after midnight!

Then we had to drive to our hotel.

It was a long night and I’m sure glad we won!

Sunday, 13 Sept
Vacation officially ended this day.

What a bummer.

We flew out of Knoxville, so thankfully no two hour road trip back to Nashville. Off and away we went. We left early and were back home before noon.

And that was it!

Oh man we had such a wonderful vacation. It had been awhile since we’d taken a good trip like that, so we thoroughly enjoyed our getaway.

So there you have it! I needed to get this all down for posterity’s sake. We always look back years later and reminisce about little details on these trips, so I try my best to capture it all while it’s still somewhat fresh.

Thanks for indulging me.

A big, fat life update on the way soon. 💗💗

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 💗🙏

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. 💗

***
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. 😂

Attempt number one
Bandage attempt #1 😂 MOHs surgery day three

Attempt number two

Attempt #2 just as awful Mohs surgery day three

😂

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. 💗

Part Four

Need a recap? Check out part one, two, and three.

So what now? Where do we go from here?

Good question.

The truth is, I have no idea.

It drives me crazy.

It drives Will crazier.

I began to think this whole unfolding was God’s “gentle” way of bringing Will back to the ministry, but we honestly have no idea.

So we wait on the Lord and take the next step He illuminates.

Despite the unknown, God has given me peace and assurance that my waiting has a purpose

I continue to live and walk in Him day by day.

The unexpected blessings that have arrived in our bank account, the continued reminders to trust and wait on the Lord in my daily readings, and the peace that surpasses all understanding. These things give me rest.

Sometimes you just need to rest.

Rest in the Lord.

We decided Will would take the summer off so we could catch our breath.

It’s been a bumpy start to the year, and we thought it would be good to regroup.

We didn’t just want to jump right into something else without truly seeking God and figuring out the next step.

Because honestly? We still don’t know.

The world tells us we need a five year plan. That we should know exactly what comes next and have a clear cut plan for execution.

While Proverbs certainly offers wisdom regarding preparedness, we also know we walk by faith and not by sight.

Verses

We can plan until we’re blue in the face, but sometimes God has a different plan.

Verses

God is up to something and wants to work in and through us if we allow Him.

That means surrender.

A word we don’t often like to use.

Verses

Sometimes that means our five year plans of grandeur get tossed altogether.

As Christians, we live differently than everyone else because we serve a God like none other.

It’s scary sometimes.

Because we can’t see what’s next.

But we walk by faith, and not by sight.

So, instead of Will just finding any old job immediately, we just decided to wait this summer and pray for direction. 

I would be lying if I told you there were days I wasn’t frustrated, or unsure, or completely exhausted by the waiting.

I feel that way sometimes.

There are no neon signs on the road we’re walking.

No bread crumbs to lead us home.

It’s us, and it’s God.

I often remind myself of the words He spoke to my heart last summer. “Do you trust Me?”

It seems logical to want to say no. It seems logical to flail my arms and scream that we have no idea what to do next.

Yet, we trust.

The spirit in me has yielded to God, and while I don’t know what our five year plan holds, I trust.

We put one foot in front of the other and let Him guide and lead.

We know the next step, that’s it.

I am preparing to launch my women’s Bible study.

Will and I are praying about a location to hold a Bible study for men and women.

It’s the natural next step, and how the Spirit has led our hearts during this time of uncertainty. 

We’ll take the summer off, and we’ll trust Him with Will’s job hunt just like we have every other step of this process.

Despite the craziness, things have actually gotten simpler:

I exist to know Christ.

To know Him deeply. To love Him fiercely. To serve Him wholeheartedly.

This life?

It’s not about me.

Something I knew, but only lived out when it was comfortable to do so.

Five year plans are great, but life really comes down to one question- do you know Christ? Do you really know Him in the core of your whole being? What have you done with this Good News?

While I want to be able to live with some semblance of a plan as we work through this process, this experience has reminded me of my true purpose-

To know the fullness of Christ and the power of His resurrection.

I am left only to respond with my entire heart.

Anything, Lord Jesus.

Anything you want me to do, anywhere you want me to go, anything you want me to say.

Anything Lord.

This year hasn’t gone as planned, but we’re here, and we’re trusting, and we’re finally starting to get it.

We are made for You.

May it be on the forefront of our minds.

So what’s next for our family?

I don’t know.

But I know it’s not about me, and the pressure’s off in finally grasping that reality.

I appreciate your prayers as we start Will’s job hunt, as well as whatever else is in store.

Love you girls! Check in next week. 💗

Part Three

Before we get going, you can check out part one here and part two here.

I realize I’ve been dragging this story out for-ev-er, but this is my life right now. I wanted to stop and take a minute to really get everything on “paper” while it was still fresh.

Let’s get going.

**********

I was full of bitterness and anger for days after making the decision to sell our portion of the business. I didn’t really feel like we had much choice and were bullied into it.

Will was quiet after the first couple of weeks and internalized everything. I feel like he knew in his heart he made the best decision for our family and had peace from God amidst the pain.

I, on the other hand, had peace but would let my big fat mouth flap about how mad I was whenever we were alone.

Sounds real peaceful, right? Ha!

I felt so wronged. How could someone we trusted do something this hurtful?

The anger consumed me for days.

And then telling people.

It was like reopening the wound over and over.

Will was so proud of this opportunity and had joyfully shared it with many of our family members and friends.

It was like reliving the pain anytime they asked how the business was going.

We knew, absolutely knew, this was a God thing. Yet, in our own prideful perspective, we didn’t really approach it that way at first.

It felt embarrassing, angering, and painful.

Not only that, but it wasn’t as easy as just selling the business. It required a process of paperwork and phone calls. Opening the hurt over and over.

I knew in my heart it wasn’t healthy to let it grow and fester, but honestly? In my own sick justification, it felt good to feel angry.

Have you ever been there?
Verses

The holy spirit began working on my heart. I knew He wasn’t going to let me wallow for very long.

I (reluctantly) added the guy’s name to my prayer list.

Actually… I couldn’t even bear to write or pray his name. It hurt too much.

I simply added his initials to the list. I would just say “him” in my prayers. It felt like a monumental step.
Verses
Verses

For the first several days I prayed that my heart would forgive him. I knew The Lord wanted me to, but I struggled with wanting to.

He began to soften my hardened heart and restore me. He continually reminded me that He was in this..

Day by day I constantly thought about the question he asked me “Do you trust Me?”

Oh the stories I will share next week of His hand on us time and time again. 

To the Lord’s credit alone, I eventually even began praying God would bless the guy.

Nothing inside of me wanted that, and yet the Lord began to move me to pray for it. It was all God at work in my heart. Praise be to Him alone.

We finished up the sale earlier his year and finally felt a sense of closure. 

It was behind us.

But what was in front of us?

That was (and is) the big question. We’ll talk more about that next week.

So why am I sharing all this baggage and hurt with you?

Believe me, I’d much rather keep it to myself.

However, I truly believe there’s power in our stories. What satan or people mean for harm, God can use for good.

Perhaps you’ve been wronged and are deeply hurt by someone. I get that.

Perhaps like me, you enjoyed feeling anger toward that person and felt justified because of their painful actions. I get that too.

As trite as it sounds, it’s true- we are really only hurting ourselves when we don’t relinquish those awful feelings.

It really screws us up more than the other person.

It’s necessary to allow God to perform surgery on our hearts.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to be angry. That’s different. It’s what we do with the anger. It’s the bitterness and hatred that came with anger that got me.
Verses

The good news is, we don’t have to live with it.

He can take that big weight off our shoulders and transform it into forgiveness and restoration.

It seems lofty and impossible, but with God all things are possible.

When we give ourselves over to Jesus, He softens our hearts and helps us heal.

It feels so much better to remove any blockages from His presence. I never want to hinder my relationship with Him. I want to approach His throne with confidence, and that means drawing near with a pure heart, trusting in Him.

If you’ve been wronged by someone, I urge you to free yourself from any unforgiveness, and seek Him to overcome.

I can tell you firsthand- you will feel complete freedom and relief in doing so.

So what now for the B-Love family?

Check in next week for what’s been going on since this all unfolded. 

Until then, have a great weekend!

Part Two

A few weeks ago I briefly shared how the Lord spoke to me last July, but I wanted to share it again because it is such a big part of this story.

It’s what keeps propelling me though each day of uncertainty!

Last July, when things were going fantastically in my life, clear as day a rush came all over my body and the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “Do you trust Me?”

I found the question odd, and easy to answer. Of course I did. However, it did get me wondering if perhaps He was preparing me for something in the future.
About a week later the exact same thing happened. “Do you trust Me?”

It’s easy for me to trust when things are going swimmingly. But what about when things got hard? Could I trust the same way then?
I believe with all my heart the Lord asked me that question in preparation for this season of life.

As I mentioned in Part One, things with the business were moving full speed ahead toward the middle to end of last year.

Will quit his job in January to run the day to day needs of the business.  He was a busy bee and loved every minute of it.

I had never seen Will so happy to wake up and go to work each morning. It blessed me so much.

I suppose I should back up a little and tell you that although things were progressing nicely with the business, things had taken a bit of a turn with Will’s business partner.

Not awful, but not good either.

You know how you have friends who found that perfect guy or gal to marry but things weren’t as they seemed? Everything was like a dream...until right after the wedding when your friend woke up next to someone different than the person they thought they were marrying.

That’s really the best way I can describe what began to unfold.

Will did his best to manage the situation, putting out fires with patience, wisdom, and grace only God could provide.

Things continued to deteriorate despite our continued prayer and efforts. 

Without getting into the details, out of the blue one day Will’s partner lost his temper and gave him an ultimatum.  Either we would buy him out of the business, or he would buy us out.

Obviously there’s lots of background regarding the way things unfolded.

My human side wants to tell you the way we were hurt and how things happened, but the spirit inside of me keeps telling me I can’t.

I truly desire to share this story with a pure heart. I’m not sure I’m doing a good job conveying everything. I’m praying in spite of myself, the Lord will do a work anyway. I ask for your grace.

Moving on…

Will told him we would pray about it and let him know.

Will came home and told me everything that happened.

We felt confused and defeated. Completely blindsided. We knew we were in the center of God’s will in starting this business. How could this be happening?

Will is my lion. My knight in shining armor. He fights for our family and is my leader.

I, on the other hand, am a timid Minnie Mouse. I am meek and fragile.

Oddly enough, during the first few days after everything unfolded, I was ready to go to the mattresses. Fight to the end! Prove a moral and spiritual point!

Will was much more reserved. Quiet and yielding. Peaceful, and relentlessly seeking to be amiable despite how things happened.

Who was this guy!?

We had such a godly peace about starting the business, so we felt lost about what happened next.

This business was supposed to be the vehicle to all the things we desired. Not just physically, either. I honestly felt in my core this business was going to be the thing that allowed us the opportunity to pursue God and honor Him with our gifts and abilities in a whole new way (captured in Part One).

So why was this happening?

We sought God in scripture and prayer, earnestly desiring His will be done.

Will almost immediately knew in his heart what he believed we were called to do, but refrained from making a final decision until I sought the Lord and we came together to discuss. In his mind, the other guy had the technical expertise and Will had the business expertise. Without the technical piece there really was no business.

Nonetheless, we agreed to take the weekend to pray about it and not really talk about it until Sunday night.

As I sought the Lord in my regular Bible study, He blew me away with a gigantic confirmation to walk away from the business.

It was very clear, and I had a deep peace in my heart.

I can’t even begin to describe it, but Will sensed it too.

Verses

The walls were closing in around us, yet we both felt this crazy out of place unshakable peace. We both knew our decision. 

Verses

We started this business with peace and confirmation from the Lord and just as quickly walked away from it with His peace and confirmation.

Verses
It was the strangest thing ever, but we knew He was in it and was up to something.

My mind flashed back to God’s question- do you trust Me?

Oh boy it felt like that question was coming full circle!

Despite the peace to walk away, we still had raw and hurt hearts.

Next week I want to talk about forgiveness and learning to trust God through this process, and the week after, I’ll share where we are now.

Thanks for listening. Although this is all still very fresh, when I step back and see everything on “paper,” I really see God’s hand guiding us along the way. ❤️

Tuesday Things

Heyyyy, how about we do a Tuesday and Thursday things this week?

Only, we’ll make this one a little less structured.

You know, since Thursday is completely organized and full of useful knowledge.

Let’s talk about the ridiculous amount of movies Will and I have been watching in the man cave these days.

Finished product. Watching games will never feel the same again.

I find I often don’t have the attention span for movies, especially multiple ones each week.

Will?

He does. He totally does.

Even during the work week.

I just can’t.

I don’t know why, but a movie during the work week feels a little like entertainment suffocation.

Not only that, but the man cave feels a bit like a furnace.

You get the playstation going, the cable box, and then the big TV all generating heat and hot air (even more than me. Ha!) Yikes.

Then the pups. They love to snuggle on these chairs.

The dogs love the theatre chairs as much as we do

It’s easily a thousand degrees.

Couple that with the aforementioned entertainment suffocation, and a random Tuesday night can quickly turn into a scratchy wool sweater.

Thankfully Will is very accommodating, always being sure we end our nights with a 30 minute comedy or two to change things up.

When all else fails, though? Not only are his chairs great for comfortably watching movies. They’re even better for naps!

You know by now we’re old and boring, so why not take it step further and be cozy while boring, yes?

So yeah. That’s life at the B-Love house these days. If you’re free this week we’ll be having a showing of The Empire Strikes Back followed by some sports inspired motivational feel good feature film. Come on by. Popcorn not included. 

Part One

I’ve mentioned “changes” for about a year, and have never divulged what they were.

It’s annoying, right?

What’s funny, though, is how different the changes were between when I first started talking about them, and what they are today.

I’ve wanted to share this story with you guys for awhile now, but the truth is-

We haven’t reached a good breaking point.

We’re only halfway though.

I wanted to share this story with a clear beginning and end, along with some concrete explanation for how God moved and what’s next.

I don’t have those answers.

But then I realized something.

Even though we still don’t know what’s next, God still moved, and continues to move even though we haven’t reached the conclusion of this story.

So instead of holding out, I decided to share and bring you along this journey.

Today is part one.

***
About this time last year, we had a fantastic opportunity to start a business.

Will’s brain for business is ridiculous. He would completely be in his element, having helped his dad with his for many years.

We’d thought about it before, but the right opportunity ever presented itself. This particular opportunity was exciting because it involved a partner with a very rare and technical specialization. He admittedly lacked the business know how, and Will lacked the certifications this other guy had.

Both felt the pull to go out on their own, and it seemed to work great. The other guy would run the operations side, while Will would handle the day to day business. A match made in heaven.

Best of all, he is a Christian too and held many of the same beliefs as us.

Before moving forward, Will and I bathed the matter in prayer and sought God in scripture.

We did not want to move forward with such a huge decision without clear confirmation from the Lord.

During my usual Bible study several days later, I found such rich, confirming scriptures in Deuteronomy that gave me such peace about our decision.

Verses

The caveat was this- He must absolutely be kept first. No matter what.

With clear peace and confirmation, we agreed and moved forward, expectant and in anticipation for His work in our work.

Verses

I knew this decision put us in the center of His will, and that’s exactly where I wanted to be.

I grew more excited with each passing day of business preparation.

From them purchasing equipment, to finding a building (pictured below with our big eyes and shiny smiles), I began to hang my hat on what could be.
Merry Christmas!

I began to think this was God’s way of bringing the prayer I prayed in 2013 to fruition. The prayer when I asked Him for the opportunity to serve Him full time in ministry again.

You see, that was the tug on my heart when I was just 15 years old.

It was very real and very anointed.

Yet, in my “great” young knowledge and desire to rule myself, I ran far away from this calling after Will and I served at our first church.

So far away, in fact, we ended up in a Muslim country with no church family at all!

My will, but part of God’s story.

I’ve shared pieces of that story before, so I won’t dwell there today.

However, it’s that story and God’s persistent faithfulness that brought me to my knees in repentance and back into His will.

That sunny day in my car, I acknowledged that I ran from my calling, while He remained the same. I asked Him to allow me the opportunity once more to carry it out, knowing in my core it’s what He wanted for me all along before I ran.

I saw this blossoming business as an eventual way to make my heart’s desire a reality.

Everything was coming together so effortlessly, and we received multiple confirmations He was in our decisions. Such peace, such closeness with God with each passing step.

Oh friends, things were on the up all around.

Will quit his job in January and everything was in full swing.

I couldn’t wait to see how God was going to use this business as a way to accomplish His will.

Only… I had no idea what He quite had in mind.

I think we’ve reached a good stopping point for Part One today.

I think the spiritual nugget we can take away from this story is: seek Him in your decisions and trust.

Verses

If I knew today what I didn’t know then, I would never have trusted God and moved forward with this decision.

However, it’s because I didn’t know, and because of our obedience through this decision I’ve been able to see the realest, most blatant hand of God during this time.

We only have a small piece of the puzzle, but He has the whole box top picture and sees how the pieces weave together.

If you’re in a season of decision-making or uncertainty today, seek the Lord in scripture and prayer. He desires that we seek Him, and will reveal Himself when we seek Him with all our hearts.

If there’s a decision you’re struggling with, I would love to pray for you this week. Feel free to leave a comment in the “share the love” section or send me an email, and I promise to hold you in prayer.
***

There you have it. A partial explanation of all the “changes” I’ve been talking about.

Check in next Friday for part two. Until then, have a fantastic weekend, and I’ll see you Monday!

Thursday Things, 11 June 2015

The World Cup

Let’s talk women’s soccer.

And how the mere suggestion of attending any type of soccer game makes Will want to drive a stake through his left eye.

OKC got a semi-pro (I guess that’s what they are? I have no idea.) men’s soccer team last year. I mentioned we ought to go to a game, and Will looked at me as if I were purple and had four eyes.

Real life. 

Anyway, something about the World Cup is different. I have no idea what the technicalities are for impassioned cheering versus complete lack of interest, but from what I can see, the World Cup appears to be the dividing line.

You’d think Will followed women’s soccer year round the way he knows the players and talks to the TV.

We watched them win Monday night and will watch tomorrow, too. So yeah. Will: the biggest non-fan, fan that exists

Is anyone going to see Jurassic Park besides kids who grew up in the ‘90s?

Remember how huge those movies were for our generation? HUGE!

Only, I’m not gonna lie, I’m not as excited about this new one. Yet, I feel completely obligated to see it because of how big they were when I was younger.

I wonder if it will be a whole bunch of us 30-somethings in the theatre along with our kids we dragged along with us? Or maybe it will be completely different. Like a whole new movie for a whole new generation?

Since we’re talking movies...
Will and I are currently on a Star Wars bender in preparation for the new one coming out this year.

After re-watching Episodes 1-3, and then the originals, I have this awful fear they’re going to Hollywood everything up and ruin the new ones.

Let’s hope not.

Today’s TBT comes courtesy of the Kuwait Towers

Will & Britt by Kuwait towers-May 2005
This was taken way back in 2005 during one of our first weekends in Kuwait. Its crazy how long ago that was!

For a fun and crazy blast from the past, take a gander at my blog archives then. What a doozy!

The Summer of Sipping

I’m all about cold summery drinks this time of year.

I’m a sucker for Sonic’s unsweetened teas (especially blackberry), just about any random iced tea flavor I make on my own, lime infused water, lemon infused water, basil infused water, lemon-lime-basil infused water, all the water, chickfila iced coffee (always), and fruity green monsters.

You get the point. It’s sort of a thing right now.

These raw and brave series of posts about one beautiful woman’s decision to have her implants extracted.

Start at Part One and keep going. I’ve teared up multiple times.

More camping
Oh my stars, guys. Remember my breaking camp post? It’s been a big theme in my life right now.

I often grow restless and anxious with the process. I love that God knows us better than we know ourselves and always gives us reassurance when we start to grow weary.

Without missing a beat this week, the Lord revealed more “camping” verses to me in Jeremiah 29 as I continue to wait on Him, do His will in the things currently on my plate, and trust Him for the next steps. It’s crazy how blatant He spoke, guys! Such truth I needed to hear.

I hope to share it very soon, but not this week. Tomorrow I have something else up my sleeve. It’s been a long time coming.

That’s it for today, dears! Any randomness you care to share?

WIOW: For the One Not as Zealous

As much as I’d hoped Will was going to get on fire for working out, turns out the guy hates exercise.

I get it.

I do.

Sometimes I forget a large percentage of people don’t find exercising “fun” at all!

It’s a workout, after all.

I tend to get overzealous about fitness and need a gentle reminder that, “Hey! Not everyone gets batty over burpees and shoulder presses!”

Thank you, Will.

So what do we do when we’re close to people that don’t love fitness as much as we do?

I thought of heaps, but here are just a few thoughts based on my own experience.

1. Don’t cram it down their throat
They get it, we LOVE fitness, but that doesn’t mean they do.

I usually do a good job of never annoying or bombarding Will with stats on health, but when he expressed interest in working out, I kind of sort of forgot rule number one.

Here’s the deal.

Most non-fitness enthusiasts don’t need to hear about heart disease, diabetes, or how sitting is the new smoking.

I’ve found most people already have a good idea they’re not healthy, and our gentle reminders often hurt more than help.

If I want to get Will to the gym, I’ve found I’ve got to obey #1. It’s got to be his decision, not mine.

2. Invite, but don’t beg

Again, same as number one. It’s gotta be their decision.

I just about always extend an invite to Will, and he always passes. However, a few weeks ago he actually said yes!

He said the fact that I didn’t pester or beg him to go was helpful. Asking is one thing, but begging? Let’s not be over-the-top, here!

3. Don’t have them do the same workout you’re doing

Obviously.

Non-fitness enthusiasts need to ease into working out just like we did when we first started.

Having them do an advanced workout risks injury! Get them in the gym, and get them started on something manageable.

You wouldn’t give an infant steak, so size up workouts accordingly!

You can check out my resistance workouts for Will here and here.

4. Celebrate the small stuff

It’s a good idea not to go full commando on them.

Yes it’s a lifestyle, but their version of lifestyle it looks way different than ours.

Will would never start out with a goal to do a marathon next month. Little victories like actually making it to the gym three times a week for a month is a huge deal for my guy, and it should be acknowledged and celebrated.

5. When all else fails, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day
I’ve seen lots of ups and downs over the years. Full bore commitment, with many (many, many) droughts in between.

It sometimes hurts my heart when I reflect on a loved one’s bad eating and exercise decisions. They know I care, but make the same decisions anyway. It’s hard sometimes!

Much like the above points, I really try to be a positive, healthy influence instead of a condemning one.

For example, Will knows we’re always going to have healthy dinners. I don’t have much “control” over what he eats for breakfast and lunch most days, but I always know he’ll get a healthy dinner.

Would he love cheese fries for dinner? Of course (Um...so would I!).

He acknowledges its important to eat healthy and is thankful I care enough to make sure at least one meal is!

Baby steps can be huge in this arena, and we have to claim each one, every step of the way.

***

So yeah, a lot of people aren’t as enthusiastic as we are about being healthy. Let’s try to remember that. smile I’ve personally found the above points (as well as many more!) have been helpful in my own life and wanted to share.

Thanks for checking in! See you tomorrow!

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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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