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October Ipsy Review!

October Ipsy time!

I pretty much always get stuff I like with this subscription, and am rarely disappointed. This month was consistent with others, so that was a good thing!

This month’s theme was Beauty Candy, full of colorful and stand-out treats.

Here’s the bag everything came in.
Oct Ipsy

Fun, pretty, and feels cool. I will probably add this to my rake up the makeup pile because I’m getting quite a collection of these, but I definitely liked it.

Let’s look inside!

I got this gorgeous ultra deep burgundy Nicole by OPI nail polish in Feeling Very Cherry.
Oct Ipsy

At first I was a little skeptical, because it sort of looked black, however once I put it on I really liked the color and couldn’t wait to celebrate fall with this rich color.
Oct Ipsy

It dries fast, which is usually a great, but when you’re clumsy like me sometimes you can use an extra five seconds to fix the messes you’ve created all over the edges. Haha

I also got this Epice International Purifying Exfoliant.

Oct Ipsy

While I definitely prefer makeup over skincare in these bags, I still find the masks and washes they send to be a real treat. Plus I always use them when I travel!

I enjoyed using this stuff. The exfoliators were much smaller than a usual face scrub, so it felt more like a microdermabrasion. Not overly abrasive, but definitely effective- a good thing for my aging skin.

Oh, and it has a very light, clean smell.

I also got this mini sample sized Figs and Rouge lotion in a lovely rose berry scent.

Oct Ipsy

I find many people love or hate the smell of rose scented products.

I most definitely, totally, and completely love rose scented products. If that makes me a grandma, so be it. I love rose scented stuff. And grandmas. Winning.

Anyway- I think this lotion is a perfect balance for those on the fence about rose scented stuff. I had a gentle hint of rose but also has a really nice and awakening berry scent to go along with it. Definitely fun.

If you’re on the fence about rose (though I have no idea why you would be), this may be a good starting point. Dip your toes in the world of rose-berry. 

This is my second small hand lotion in two months, so “eh,” however they always get used up and are perfect for stashing in your purse.

I also got this Mini Starlooks lip gloss in Guilty Pleasue. I’m a big fan of all the Starlooks products I’ve gotten this far, and this is no different.
Oct Ipsy

It has a nice, light subtle baby pink and is nice alone as a little nude tint or also kicks lipstick up a notch. It goes on matte and isn’t too sticky.

Oct Ipsy

Finally, I got this Modelco Volumeyes Extreme mini mascara sample.

Oct Ipsy

Ipsy has been good to me in terms of mascara. I think this is like my third this year maybe? Regardless, I love being able to use these up. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to buy mascara,
and that makes me happy!

There you have it! October Ipsy.

Let’s take a look at the cost:

Nicole by OPI Nail polish- $7.99
Epice International Face Exfoliator-$11
Starlooks Lipgloss $4 (best estimate)
Modelco Mascara-$10? (full size is $20)
Figs & Rouge Lotion- $6.56

I had a hard time getting a couple prices, it regardless it was far more than my $10 spent.

There you have it! Check in next month for my November review, and check in tomorrow for our Ezra study! 

posted in Prettiness! bullet share the love bullet permalink bullet 10.30.2014

WIOW: A Workout When You’re Weak in the Knees

Happy Wednesday sweets!

Halfway there, so let’s finish the week strong.

On Monday, I mentioned having a sore knee. Not really painful, rather a small annoyance.

I wanted to treat it gingerly during last week’s leg workout, but I also didn’t want an easy snooze fest.

This workout was an excellent compromise. It involved zero heavy lifting or compound movements that would aggravate my knee. Instead, it involved lighter weight, higher rep, tempo mapping.

Before we go any further- I am not a doctor nor do I play one on the Internet.

If you’re in pain or something feels “off” definitely see a doctor. Don’t push through workouts when you’re injured. That’s the worse thing you can do!

Okay. Had to make sure I said that. Let’s carry on. smile

I dropped the weight super low and focused on time under tension instead of loading up the rack and doing something stupid to hurt myself!

I did three rounds of each exercise, adding abs and calves in between each set.

Ready?

One Legged Leg Extensions
Here, I like to use the leg extension machine and instead of working both legs at the same time, I drop the weight and do one leg at a time.

You’d be surprised just how much harder it is doing one at a time if your legs aren’t used to it!

One Legged Leg Curl
Same thing here. Instead of using this machine with both legs at the same time, drop the weight and give each leg their own TLC.

Glute Bridges
This one is pretty much a staple in my routine. I used a moderate weight here and tempo mapping to really feel the burn.

Light Weight Leg Press
I love the leg press machine. I love loading it up super heavy and seeing how many reps I can push out.

Unfortunately, that was not a smart option last week! Instead, I dropped the weight extremely low and used high reps and tempo mapping to really feel the muscle contract while still lightening the load on my knee.

Cable Kickback
This is another great way to target the glutes and hamstrings, as well as core strength since you’re doing one leg at a time.

I usually like to load up the weight here, but just as the other exercises I concentrated on lighter weights, much slower movements, and really focused on getting a good squeeze of the muscle with each rep.

***

I was still able to reach muscle exhaustion on each of these exercises, I just had to adjust my reps, tempo, and really focus on my muscle contractions to get there.

Of course I would have preferred to do my usual thing, but sometimes I believe it’s better to play it safe and not aggregate something that’s slightly off. 

I was able to get an effective and challenging workout by a few modifications, and hopefully you will be too!

Check in tomorrow for an ipsy review!

Tuesday Things, 28 October 2014

Please tell me you’re watching the final season of Parenthood?

I feel like there are way too many loose ends right now and it’s going to be impossible to put a pretty bow on everything.

That’s what I want. I want Zeke to get better, I want Christina’s school to be a success, I want Amber to find her way, and most of all I want Joel and Julia to get back together.

Sadly, I feel like this is the type of show that is most definitely going to end with a little heartache (probably Zeke?) and just a continuation of life with no real definitive resolutions.

I need resolutions.

Joel. Julia. This needed to happen yesterday.

We’re getting crushed in Fantasy Football

Yes, I didn’t say we’re crushing fantasy football

I said we are getting crushed.

It’s not so fun when you’re getting crushed. Lucky for Will, he has a couple more leagues on his own that are doing better.

But that doesn’t help ours! We stink.

Although he hasn’t said it, I’m pretty sure Will thinks I’m dragging him down. smile

Don’t tell Will, but I think I’m about to bring out the Christmas music.

I’m usually not that type, but its November this week, and I think it’s totally acceptable to play it in November.

I bought cashew milk on a whim the other day

I’m an almond milk girl all the way, but when I saw this at the store, I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s good! I’m still all about almond milk, but I’m glad I gave this one a go.

What goes good with cashew milk?
Chocolate cake.

Aaaand a little stress.

Soooo Will’s mom’s 60th birthday is coming up. About two months ago, I started prodding Will and his dad to figure out what we should do for this big birthday.

We took a trip to Branson for Will’s dad’s 60th, so I at least thought it would be nice to do a party and make it a big deal.

...

Those are crickets. Week after week I would ask about it and was told they were thinking about it, look at the calendar, going to coordinate with her mom (Will’s grandma), etc.

Will told me this was his dad’s thing, and he wanted to take the lead on deciding what we should do.

As I anticipated (I should have known leaving it up to the boys!), even with my early gentle reminders, nothing got done and everything is going to be last minute.

I was a little frustrated, as now Will’s grandma, aunt, and I are trying to put a little something together and still make it a big deal.

Thankfully my mother in law has a good and gentle spirit and I’m sure she will be tickled that we thought of her regardless of how it comes together.

But seriously.

Chocolate cake.

That’s all you really need for a party, right? 

the one that didn’t go as planned & look ahead

Beware, today’s post is a bit dull today.

I’m not going to go all out and say I’m glad it’s Monday, however I will say I’m glad this past weekend is behind me.

I looked forward to this weekend, but unfortunately plans were completely thwarted, so that was a bit of a bummer.

I’d like to tell you I made lemonade of the lemons, and I suppose to a degree I did, but let’s just say it was still a little sour! Ha

I’ve mentioned some changes coming to the B-Love family, and they’re already well underway. These changes were the culprit that occupied my entire Friday and part of Saturday.

Unplanned changes, that is.

The good news was that it was a bye week, so no football to compete with.

Cryptic weekends do not make for fun blog posts. smile I promise I will share more soon.

I suppose I can still share a few highlights.

Friday was supposed to be cleaning day, because my house is seriously a pit.

A pit.

I haven’t given it a proper and thorough cleaning since the weekend before the TCU game. Yes, real life.

While I wasn’t exactly thrilled to clean, I was ready for the end results! Instead, I was holed up in front of a computer for almost ten hours. True story.

I did get a workout in, so I was pleased about that. I worked back, biceps, and shoulders and felt it big time the next morning (in a good way).

I changed up a few things in my routine, and my body definitely responded!

I also managed to spend some time with my family, too. 

Check out this huge “thing” (which I formerly thought was a crab apple and learned it isn’t)! I’ve seen lots in my day, but this one is like a small cantaloupe. It’s like the size of Layla’s head.

Crab apples As.big.as.your.head.

I’m pretty sure if this fell on you, you’d wake up on the ground in a knocked out stupor wondering what the heck just happened!

Will and I had a pretty quiet Friday evening, as he had to work half a day on Saturday. We caught up on some shows and called it a night early.

I couldn’t believe how wiped I was. Sure I sit in front of a computer all day at work, but this was the first time since my masters that I devoted ten hours to full blown creative work in front of a screen on a day off. It had been awhile!

Saturday started early! Will had to work half a day (boo!), but it gave me the chance to get a few things done.

I hit the gym and worked legs (and did some cardio woo hoo!). My knee has been a little sore, I think I bruised it maybe? Anyway, I made some modifications to my workouts and was able to have an effective workout despite the sore knee.

The rest of the morning was spent in front of the computer performing the aforementioned cryptic duties.

Real exciting I tell you. smile

After Will got home, I took some time to chat with a friend, and also watch a documentary while Will napped!

I suppose I shouldn’t be groaning too much about he weekend. It was a typical adult weekend full of things you sometimes have to power through for the good of others.

Yesterday was much more relaxing than the previous two. We went to the sunrise service again, which left us the rest of the day to relax and rest.

I worked out, made another batch of granola, watched football with Will, and got a couple posts ready for the week.

I also enjoyed some cleaned up football fare. Instead of greasy and fat laden cheese fries, I made roasted sweet potato bites with buffalo sauce, scallions, and organic plain yogurt.

Football fare

Don’t let that fool you, though. I also ate more than my fair share of granola, so yeah… Not exactly the picture of health. Haha

Now another week begins, and a long one at that. Thankfully, I have some fun stuff lined up to look forward to.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week:

-Tuesday Things
-A workout when you’re weak in the knees
-October Ipsy
-Ezra seven

I hope you check in this week! Until tomorrow, here’s to a blessed Monday. 

Ezra Six: The King’s Decree

Ezra

If you’ve been reading along, you probably have a good guess for what comes next.

If you guessed King Darius read the letter sent to him and took the Israelites advice, you’d be correct!

Need to catch up? Check out the chapter here.

Upon reading the letter, he had the archives pulled, and just as the Israelites said, King Cyrus authorized the temple construction many years earlier.

Isn’t this one of those, “We told you so moments!?” smile

But we aren’t surprised, are we?

Once the king confirmed what had happened, he decreed the continuation of construction.

Then he goes about ten thousand steps further.

Not only does he allow the Israelites to continue, but also orders the governor to assist in temple completion and fund it.

He even goes further by declaring the governor was to make sure the Israelites had all the animals, oil, salt, and whatever else they needed in order to sacrifice to God.

Real life.

The chapter ends with the temple dedication and celebration of the Passover, completely, properly and worshipfully.

So let’s talk about some things that stand out.

A common recurring theme.
You may have noticed, but just about every post on this book points back to God’s provision and his ability to make a way when things seemed hopeless.

I sound like a broken record, but there’s nothing broken about this truth.

Honestly, I find it to be a beautiful reminder over an over of God’s continuous grace, love, and immense patience with his people.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes need this daily reassurance!

He knows it. I like to think that’s why the entire Bible is full of so very many reminders of his provision.

Today’s chapter is no different- and your life isn’t either!

God loves you deeply and wants to guide you into a meaningful relationship with him.

I realize this may sound a little weird to some, but our entire purpose in this life is to love God with all we are, and then to love others.

If our heart desires it, He will provision it, just like he did for the Israelites.

Not only that, but watch out because he may do it in abundance!

Ask Him to open your eyes for the opportunities you have to love Him and others. Chances are you will begin to see your family, coworkers, friends, and neighbors in a different light.

Just as God blessed the Israelites beyond their wildest dreams (I’m sort of thinking they just expected to get the go ahead to resume. Not that the king was going to roll out the red carpet and then some), He is able to do the same in our lives too. 

That doesn’t mean untold riches or never getting wrinkles (haha). It means a meaningful and purposeful life in Him.

One able to heal marriages and friendships.

One able to move mountains of those dead dreams and make streams in the desert of hardened hearts.

The one who calls us is faithful, and he will do it.

So often we are afraid to seek him or ask for his help because we are afraid he won’t do it.

We are content to stay put like the Israelites were a couple chapters earlier.

However, that’s where the whole premise of faith steps in. How many times did Jesus tell his followers to believe? Many. Seemingly countless!

Commit to the Lord all you do, and your plans will succeed. He can equip and empower us to do all things, and it’s about darn time we realize it and take a stand for his truth.

This book is a beautiful reminder of God’s continuous care, verse after verse after verse.

It wasn’t always a walk in the park, and the Israelites weren’t always model students, but God made a way.

Let’s not sit on the sidelines like the years that went by for the Israelites. 


Let’s be active participants in our relationship with Christ, trusting he is able to move the hearts of the King Darius’ in our lives- and not only that, but also stir a heart change with us, too!

It’s not about us, it’s about Him. Are you in?

Thursday Things 23 Oct 14

1. I’m pretty sure I’m incredibly annoying at football games.

Last year I determined it was highly probable I was annoying.

This year I determined it is most definitely true.

I’m most definitely annoying at football games.

Although rarely overly boisterous, I often interject commentary and thoughts on the plays, flags, players, and well, anything else.

It’s annoying. I want to tell myself to shut up.

In fact, 99% of the time, I’m talking out loud to myself, as my dear die-hard football fan husband not only watches the game alongside me, but also listens to it on the radio (yeah I know- it makes no sense to me either).

I’m much more conscious of my commentary, and am trying to dial it down a bit. However, I make no promises.

So to those in the rows behind and ahead of me: please ignore and forgive me. What can I say, I love college football.

2. I want to live inside pumpkin spice lattes.

I know.

So typical.

The minute the clock hits October we’re all about lattes and scarves and everything harvest-y.

But seriously.

There’s a reason.

It’s because all those things are lovely.

So please let me guzzle my pumpkin flavored everything in peace. Click here for a delicious cleaned up version of our beloved latte.

You’re welcome.

3. Can we please freak out over the fact that next week is November!?

I feel like much of my recent adult life has been a whirlwind, especially after Layla was born.

But seriously.

Where the heck did October go!?

I relish these fall months and I can’t believe how quickly they are slipping through my fingers.

4. Peanuts in your coke
Soooo apparently this is a thing.

An actual thing.

Like a whole craze I missed.

Please please tell me you have no idea what this means.

Because seriously- it’s NOT a thing. At least in my book.

Long story short, my sweet country boy Will informed me putting peanuts in your coke (regular old coke NOT diet) was a thing “back in the day.”

So I called my parents and sure enough, it was a thing.

So tonight I am going to be schooled on the art of “countrified” soft drinks.

Truth.

5. I do NOT hate puppies and babies
Oy.

So about a month and a half ago, I scheduled a meeting with our friends from the north.

The meeting was set for Tuesday, the 14th. They accepted, made no comment about it, and we were good to go.

Except....

Do you know what last Monday was in Canada?

Thanksgiving.

Thanks-flipping-giving.

I had these guys travel to Oklahoma on their Thanksgiving holiday.

What a selfish American jerk!

I obviously had no idea (because Duh! Everyone knows Thanksgiving is in November) and completely forgot theirs was in October.

Aaaand Canadians are so nice that of course they didn’t even say something.

So yeah. I hate sunshine and flowers. Except not. I’m sure those guys may say otherwise though!

Can you believe I did that!?

I feel like I should send them a cornucopia as like a peace offering or something. Thoughts?

WIOW: Fall Football Fitness Goal Follow-updates

Wiow

That title is a mouthful!

Tuesday I bared my bio screenings, and today’s another dose of truth! Today we’re following up with my Fall Fitness Goals! 

You didn’t think I was going to let myself off the hook, did you? smile

About a month ago, I established a few goals I wanted to stick to during football season- the time of seven layer dip and football cupcakes.

And everything pumpkin.

I thought it’d be a good idea to check in and see how things are going now that football season is well underway.

Truth be told, the last couple weeks have been a bit of a challenge for eating and exercising, as we were in Texas for both of them, but nonetheless I did manage to still sneak some workouts in and eat as best I could.

Enough chatter- let’s look at those goals!


Stay consistent with my usual 5 workouts per week, but also add in 2-3 cardio sessions of 20-30 minutes each depending on my work schedule.

So far, this has been going daily well.

Three weeks ago we went to Dallas for the OU-TCU game, and two weeks ago we were in Dallas again for OU-Texas weekend.

That meant I had to modify my workouts.

A few years ago I would have stressed out and found a way to pound hours on the hotel gym treadmill, but now I keep things functional and realistic.
Did I log those extra cardio sessions last weekend?

Nope.

But I did workout all three days, which I consider a success.

Aside from those two weekends, I’ve been consistent with my cardio and I’m pretty proud, if I do say so myself.

I’m not a cardio girl, so this is a pretty big deal!

Keep diet, calories, & macros in check

Check, check, and check.

For the most part, I’m crushing my diet. That excites me. I feel like diet is the crux of my success or failure, so keeping on track makes me happy.

I’ve been on point with my goals, and when I don’t have healthy options (hello Texas state fair!), I either bring along something or do my best.

I’m snacking and planning ahead. Allowing indulgences helps make things so much easier, too.

Allow flex calories throughout the week.

This is most definitely one of the reasons I’ve been able to keep on point with my eating goals.

Giving myself the flexibility to have a specific set aside amount of “flex” calories allows me to indulge a little here and there without food guilt or feeling like I have blown it.

It helps my outlook and also, as counterintuitive as it may sound, keeps me on track.

Eat fair food and not feel guilty

Definitely did this.

I had a vegan Dole whip cone, French fries, peanut m&ms, a piece of fried mac and cheese, and pizza for dinner that night.

So yeah.

Definitely lived it up and didn’t feel bad at all.

Not one iota.


Incorporate at least two strolls around the block each week.

So here’s where I’ve lacked. I’ve definitely done more walking with all this beautiful weather, but have not been consistent about evening strolls like I had hoped.

This is definitely an area for improvement.

Can we talk about why the first hour after arriving home from work is always complete madness!?

My drive is a little hairy and then from the time I get home it feels a bit like chaos all the way until 30 minutes after dinner when everything is finally done, put away, and prepped for the morning ahead.

Anyway, by the time I get all my usual “night stuff” done, I’m spent. Plus we go to bed so early that walking doesn’t really appeal to Will after a long day with such a short night together at home.

I may just have to do one quick lap myself while dinner cooks, or be extra sweet so Will comes along with me. smile

That’s the update on my fall football fitness goals. I need to work on walking, and stay on track with everything else.

Did you make any goals this fall? Do you find it harder to stay on track this time of year?

At the Doc w/B-Love: A Peek at My Recent Blood Work

Alright girls, I’m getting personal today.

I’m inviting you to take a peek at my recent blood test results.

It doesn’t get much more personal than that!

I had a health screening last week.

Full disclosure- it’s been years, many years since I’ve done this.

Maybe even before we moved back? I have no idea.

As someone who claims to live a healthy lifestyle, I was embarrassingly overdue.

Probably ought to do this more than once a decade, eh?

Anyway, I was pretty pumped to see my results.

I claim to be healthy, but it was encouraging to actually see cold, hard facts.

I still have work to do (you’ll see my cholesterol is a little higher than I’d like it to be), but at least I have a baseline to compare against next year when I do this.

Notice I didn’t say next decade. Haha

Oh, and as an aside, can we please talk about the fact that Will and I got ours done on the same day?

I say I’m not competitive, but I sure did want us to whip out our papers and compare.

So sad.

But true.

Will’s results were a little sobering, but not surprising. The good news is that the reality of seeing them in black and white motivated him to make a few healthy changes.

So now let’s get to the nitty gritty. My results.

The numbers in the first column are the “desirable” numbers, the middle is “borderline risk,” and the last is “elevated risk,” with my results written on the end.

Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights, as well as some lovely personal commentary on how I think I can improve or stay strong.
Biometrics

With the exception of total cholesterol, I was in the “desirable” range for every single element.

I completely attribute that to exercise and my primarily vegetarian diet. I’m a firm believer both these elements were the reason I had such good results.

Blood pressure was good, but Will can attest that can fluctuate on a given day. I’m a woman after all. wink

My “good” cholesterol was through the roof, and my bad was good too, however my overall composite cholesterol was 216, with the desirable range being below 200.

I was kind of bummed to see it was a little higher than desired. I certainly don’t feel as though I’m at risk by these numbers by any stretch, however I do want to be a little more cognizant about the cholesterol I eat and where it’s coming from.

I already do a pretty good job about it, however high cholesterol runs in the family and now that I’m old over 30, it’s time to keep an eye on it.

I was surprised by my blood glucose and it answers why I have to eat before I workout these days.

I used to be able to get up and hit it hard on a completely empty stomach, but over the last year I’ve had to have just a little something or I’ll feel faint. Ha, well there we go!

As for other things, I was really disappointed in my body fat level.

Having a desk job and literally sitting for close to ten hours a day really takes a toll on a body, and getting older hasn’t helped either.

I was in the desirable range, but I really felt like it should be lower than it was. It is difficult to find ways to do more than I already do, so I may just have to find creative ways to get up during the day and move around a little more.

So yeah. We just got pretty personal. You went to the doctor with me. smile

There you have it, friends! Check in tomorrow for a goal review!

The One with Beautiful Weather & Look Ahead

Praise the Lord for the beautiful weather this weekend!

I think it’s the only thing that salvaged our Saturday.

Girls, those Sooners…

We’ll get to that soon enough. Let’s start with Friday. 

Will and I had a fancy date to Taco Mayo (they have a salad I like) and the grocery store Friday night. I hadn’t been since the week before OU-Texas, so our cupboards were pretty bare!

After our exciting night out, we came home and I made a batch of homemade granola.

Between the vegetarianism, homemade laundry soap, and now granola making I’m pretty sure any day now Will expects me to start wearing socks with sandals and living on the land. Ha!

Granola!

Anyway, the granola? It’s killing me. Recipe to come soon.

I hit the gym early Saturday. While I’ve worked out at home, I hadn’t stepped foot in the gym for 13 days! I’m pretty sure that’s my longest record.

It felt good to be back, and my legs are suffering for it (in a good way).
OU-K state18 Oct 14All smiles before the loss

The game consumed most of Saturday.

It was an 11:00 kickoff and close the whole time.

That meant we, along with 90,000 others, stayed in our seats until the last few minutes.

They break our hearts every time.

As someone that has invested lots of time, money, donations, and trips to support them, it sure is a bummer when they stink it up.

We usually take a shuttle back to our car, but we decided instead to enjoy the beautiful day and walk back.

I was thankful we walked. Not only was the weather gorgeous but the exercise was nice too.

Poor Will, he bleeds Crimson and lives for this time of year. He was super disappointed and frustrated by the loss. We walked with thousands of others, mostly in silence, and tried to enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

Afterward, we seized the beautiful day by running a couple errands and washing the car.

I also saw my mom and Layla, always a highlight.

Yesterday we got up early and went to the sunrise service, and they aren’t lying about that! The sun really was rising as we were walking in. Haha

After church I hit the gym and did some cardio and upper body work. I also watched the Colts game with Will.

I did my usual food prep, laundry, took a couple laps around the neighborhood, and even managed to sneak some time in with P and Layla and also chatted with a friend!

All in all a good weekend, full of absolutely gorgeous weather.

This is my short week, and I sure am thankful! My house desperately needs to be scoured.

I suppose I’m getting a little ahead of myself, though. We haven’t even talked about the fun coming up this week!

Here’s a look at what’s ahead this week:

-A dive into my recent blood test results
-Checking in on fall goals
-Thursday things
-Ezra six

Hope you had a good weekend.

Here’s to a Monday that goes fast (😊). Check in tomorrow!

Ezra Five: Building Resumes (via a little kick in the pants)

Ezra

We made it to Friday and chapter five. Woo hoo!

Haven’t read the chapter? Check out out here.

Well I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that after years of cessation, temple construction resumes!

Alright! Let’s celebrate!

Wellll, not so fast.

We will get to the bad news in a minute, but let’s talk a little about the whole stop work.

Several years passed from the time when the Israelites had to stop work and the 2nd year of Darius when work resumes (haven’t gotten there in our study yet- but sit tight! 😊).

So what was going on!?

Not much.

The Israelites had strong leaders at the beginning of building, but when the stops were put on, they seemingly gave up.

It wasn’t until the prophets Haggai and Zechariah breathed fresh life and prophecy on the people.

Zerubabel rose up as a mighty leader and once again and got to work. The prophets came alongside them and helped them and were with them.

They collectively worked together to accomplish the task at hand.

I love this picture!

The bad news is that we’re still waiting on “official” approval for them to do so.

I use official in quotes because God mandated it, but as you recall in chapter 4, the government ordered a stop to all work.

Today’s chapter also includes more pushback, this time from the governor. Thankfully the Lord continued to make provisions and building continued while the government did some more investigating.

In addition to everything we discussed above, chapter 5 also includes a letter to King Darius outlining Cyrus’s approval for the Israelites to return home and rebuild the temple years earlier.

Ah- but we get yet another teaser!

The chapter ends with the governor’s letter and a petition for him to search Babylonian archives to confirm whether Cyrus actually declared the rebuilding of the temple.

So still no “official” go ahead to resume.

That’s where we leave off today!

What a recap! So much to cover.

Let’s talk about some takeaways.

1. The Lord raises up leaders to accomplish his work

I’m not sure I’ll ever cease to be amazed over the fact that God equips mere, flawed humans to accomplish kingdom work.

Is this for real!?

Yes.

Without getting into the weeds, the Lord used Haggai and Zechariah to send some pretty clear messages to the Israelites- “Rise up people! Get off your duffs and get to work!”

Okay… Maybe that’s my interpretation, but if you look at the first chapters of both books, God certainly called them to speak action and truth to the people.

It had been years… What were these guys doing!? They needed some tough love and truth.

A good kick in the pants.

When they did, Zerubabel rose up and led the cause alongside the prophets.

If you are willing, God will give you more and more of himself. The Bible says we will find him when we seek him with all our hearts.

Sometimes that means taking an unpopular stance or speaking truth- in love. That’s the key differentiator between a swift kick in the pants and a well-intentioned one full of humility and love. smile

When we humble ourselves and seek him, he can use us to accomplish mighty kingdom work.

I so desire to humble myself and see what he’s capable of doing in my heart as I let him change me. I pray he does this work in you too!

He is faithful to do it! He will use us if we yield to him and obey.

2. God is big enough to make a way

It looked like, once again, the brakes were going to be put on construction. Yet verse five tells us that the eyes of God were on his people and they were able to continue their work.

They were able to continue their work.

If God has placed an opportunity before us, he’s going to be faithful to help us continue our work even in the face of challenges.

My faith continues to grow and stretch, and my thick headed 31-year-old self finally realizes that the one who calls us is faithful and he.will.do.it.

He will. He does. He can.

He made a way for his stubborn people to realign themselves with his desires and continue the work laid before them, and when we seek him, he does the same with us too.

Oh man I love how God loves us. I love how he can reach me in this present time through Bible stories thousands of years old. He is the same then and today. I love that, and I love Him.

I sure hope you’re being blessed by these Ezra studies. We are halfway through, if you can believe it!

Thanks for checking in today. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to catching up Monday

posted in Destination Beautiful bullet permalink bullet 10.17.2014

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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics, veganism (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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