Spreading positivity one post at a time!

for those of us in the valley

Tears welled in my eyes as I drove home from the doctor’s office, but I was determined not to let them fall down my face.

I failed.

If someone were to have told me last year how 2015 would have started, I wouldn’t have believed them.

Things were on the up for the B-Love family. A fantastic opportunity came into our lives that offered promising dreams for our future and goals. This year was supposed to be “our year.”

Only, this year didn’t start out so promising. In fact, thus far this year laid a big fat egg!

So many things we felt so good about, received godly direction and peace about, crumbled all around us.

He continued to provide peace in the midst of the crumbling. We received assurance it is part of the plan, but it all felt (and feels!) so confusing.

“And now this on top of it all,” I thought to myself as I arrived home.

I walked in the door, and Will was there to meet me with a hug. As he held me tight, the tears continued to fall and I whispered, “This wasn’t how this year was supposed to be.”

“Trust me, I know,” he whispered back. “God had a different plan.”

A different plan.

Will was putting it nicely.

Our plans were picked up, turned upside down, and I’m still not sure we’ve even fallen to the ground yet.

Yes, indeed He had a different plan.

“You know what my memory verse this week is?” I asked him.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps, Proverbs 16:9. It feels pretty personal right now!”

He agreed.

Verse

I wish I could put a nice little bow around today’s post and give you heartfelt advice about our pain and suffering on this earth, but today I simply can’t.

The truth is, I was a mess earlier this week.

Sometimes, as much as we wish it to be, we can’t tie things up in a nice bow.

Just as Proverbs says, (as well as the New Testament) we can make plans for tomorrow and talk about doing this or that, but we don’t know what the next day may hold. Our hearts plan our way, but ultimately God is Lord over all, and our best laid plans may not turn out as we so meticulously intended.

So what do we do?

Do we wallow in our anguish and give up?

I might of told you yes earlier this week out of complete self pity, but you and I know that’s not what we should do.

Here’s what we do.

We stop worrying.

We stop googling.

We stop stressing and running every scenario though our heads.

It feels impossible to type those things, but it’s true.

We rest in Him. He directs our steps.

We have to purposefully decide to surrender these worries to him.

The Bible tells me not to worry.

Verse

We pray this verse and claim it.

The Bible tells me not to be anxious. That he provides peace that doesn’t even make sense to our human minds.

Verse

We pray this verse and claim it.

The Bible tells me He works for good in ALL things.

Even this terrible thing.

Not some things.

All things.

Verse

We pray this verse and claim it.

I’m not saying it’s easy. Trust me. It’s not.

I still find myself sick with worry and having to consciously stop and surrender it to Him.

Ultimately we have to remember He is our loving Savior and does not intend to do us harm but refine us.

There will be trials and troubles, He told us so, but we overcome through Him.

Praise Jesus we overcome through Him. We’d be in a world of hurt if we had to rely on our fretful selves.

I close with one more story.

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?”

I decided to contemplate the question.

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.

When I feel worried, stressed, or doubtful I think about His question- “Do you trust Me?”

Sometimes I say yes, sometimes I say no.

When I say no, I ask for help and grace for it to be yes.

I’ve done that a lot this week.

If you too are in the midst of a valley, I certainly don’t have any helpful advice or wisdom. It’s awful right? And if someone tries to put one more positive spin on everything I might scream! Ever been there, too?

These times hurt.  I have no encouraging personal words to offer.

However, I know He’s bottling our tears and binding our wounds. I know He cares and will accomplish a work to completion. A work we only see such a small a sliver of right now.

Verse

In the midst of this valley we have His word, His truth, and His promises. We have the Blessed Hope.

Even when sometimes we don’t think it’s enough- trust Him. He is.

Thursday Things, 21 May 2015

The death of me.
I opened a Pinterest account last week.

I’d been fighting it for years, but at the (persistent) nudging of my sister, I opened an account.

I’m still fighting it (I only have a couple pins- sent by my sister), but I’m sure I’ll be a pinning pro before long.

(HELP!)

If you are a pinning pro, feel free to add me. I’m found at TheBloveLife.

Saturday’s Treat Meal

Will and I got Freddy’s to go Saturday night before the bad weather hit.

I ate their veggie burger sans “Freddy’s sauce” and thought it was delicious!

I got fries too.

I pretty sure I was stress eating (bad weather= burger & fries), nonetheless it was pretty darn good.

The “Dad Bod”

Let’s discuss the latest discussion to sweep the Internet-:

The Dad Bod

I know there are tons of opinions out there, and I have to know- what do you think?

This sermon on loving the Church

It kind of ties into what I was saying Friday. It’s number three- Unity

The Fog

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. I’m a huge perfume hoarder.

It’s a problem, really.

I don’t always like to use my “nice” (read: expensive) stuff for everyday at work. I’d rather save it for dates with Will.

We both needed new “everyday” type perfume/cologne, so I did some quick looking and turns out Walgreens is currently having a half price sale on their knockoff brands!

The idea of two for the price of one was too good to pass up, so we spent about 15 minutes in their fragrance aisle spraying and testing a variety of fragrances. Some good, some not so good.

We both completely fogged the joint and had headaches from all the various smell combining. Haha

We each bought two, and spent less than $25. Real life. I find mine smells just as good, but the staying power is weaker. Other than that, I consider the outing a success!

The itsy bitsy huge, numerous spiders

We’ve gotten about two feet of rain over the last 10 days.

Real life.

Apparently large quantities of rain flush spiders from their dwellings and often indoors for shelter.

That means they’re freaking EVERYWHERE.

Guys. I’m not kidding. In the span of five minutes last Sunday we found three in various locations.

The bad news is, we have about a million chances for rain this week.

The good news is, I’m having Will barricade us in with lots of bug spray.

The super long one
Today I started a five day vacation! Woo hoo! Memorial Day weekend fell on my usual Friday off, so I added Thursday to the mix and created a lovely recipe for relaxation!

The days quickly filled with various events and outings, but I’m thankful for the time off and hope to enjoy myself, and even clean out our closet.

Party Time, Excellent!

Guys. I had the weirdest dream ever a couple nights ago.

I was in a vehicle with a lady I barely know from work (seriously- hardly know this woman), and we were chatting it up like we had been longtime pals.

Will strolled up and stood outside the window and talked about how happy he was we were talking (I can’t remember what it was about).

Then.

Then

He started talking all crazy. Saying stuff like “Party time! Ex-cell-ent!” In a total Cali voice.

Not kidding.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we kept talking and at some point in the conversation he says something weird and then says some odd word I’d never heard him say before and made a weird gesture.

What the heck!?

I remember being totally confused in the dream.

Thankfully, my alarm clock woke me so I didn’t have to endure the uncharacteristic oddities of my husband.

As I tried to dissect what just occurred, it hit me.

I was dreaming my husband was part of Wayne’s World and mimicking their words and actions.

(WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!?)

Weirdest part about it?

Im pretty sure I only saw the movie once… Over twenty years ago.

Psychedelic dreams.

Should I get a pregnancy test?

In an instant
On Memorial Day 2008, Will and I flew into Oklahoma City to make our lives here after three years of life in Kuwait.

It feels just like yesterday, and sometimes it makes my heart a little sad.

That’s it for today, friends. Check in tomorrow. For now, I’m going to enjoy my day off! 

WIOW: The 400 Workout

Last Wednesday I shared a lower body workout that kicked my butt.

I planned on doing it again last Saturday, but I got up later than I wanted and the gym was too busy to dominate all the various equipment needed.

I did some quick thinking and decided to stick to a small space off on my own where all I needed was a barbell.

Yep, all you’ll need for this lower body burner workout is a barbell and low-medium weight plates.

I love the simplicity.

Today is a high rep workout that should completely exhaust your legs and have them begging for mercy! It will help lean out legs and burn serious fat.

The goal is to complete 100 reps of each exercise listed below.

I broke mine up into 20-25 rep sets, however toward the end my legs were seriously fatigued, so I did 15-20 some of the time.

The tricky thing is finding the right weight.

Too heavy and you’ll tire too quickly (and risk injury). Too light and it’s not a workout.

Assuming you’re cleared by a doctor to workout, give this one a try.

After a proper warmup and stretch, complete 100 reps of the following exercises, breaking them up into manageable sets (5 sets of 20, for example).

Insert your favorite ab and calve exercises between each set.

Complete all 100 reps before moving to the next exercise.

Ready? Go!

Stiff legged deadlift
Regular deadlift
Split leg deadlift
Squats with weight plate

I realize it’s very basic, but trust me, my legs were still sore even yesterday.

I love it.

I’m going to definitely make time to incorporate last week’s and this week’s leg work into my summer workout plan.

Give it a go and let me know what you think! 

May Ipsy!

Another month, another Ipsy, another winner.

Let’s get right to it.

This month was themed “jet setter” for all that summer travel.

Summer travel people who aren’t working full time during the summer, that is.

For the rest of us, we’ll just enjoy what’s inside. Ha!

Here’s the bag.
Ipsy

Check out this Nuxe face cleanser and makeup remover sample.

Ipsy

Oh.my.stars. I am a giant fan of this stuff.

I got something similar a couple Ipsy bags ago and really liked using it. Especially on nights I didn’t feel like my usual evening ritual.

It’s huge to be able to remove makeup and cleanse in one step. This stuff is fantastic! Plus it smells so very luxurious. Huge huge winner.

I also got this Bare Republic SPF sample.

Ipsy

It looks like Coola now has a lower priced option they sell at Target, which is exciting! I got some of the Coola sunscreen products last year, and it’s nice to know there’s a cheaper alternative available now.

These puppies are great for football season. I stick them in my purse and can easily reapply.

I also got this full size blending brush.

Ipsy

I’ve gotten a few brushes over the years. I suppose I ought to swap out my old ones for my new ones…

This Chella light brown brow pencil is so so great!

Ipsy

You may remember what a big fan I am of filling in wiry brows. I’ve never liked using pencils, but this is a great alternative since it doesn’t require sharpening. I am going to use this fast!
Ipsy

Finally, I got this Urban Decay sample pack of a lip primer and two glosses.

Ipsy

I opened the bittersweet, which is pictured below.

The color itself is beautiful, but as a lip gloss… I just can’t get behind it. It’s way too purple-y for my paleness.
Ipsy

Ipsy
I am, however, excited about trying the failbait. I think it’s very pretty!

Ipsy

Another bag down!

Hopefully you’re a little more inspired to give something new a try. Check in tomorrow!

posted in Prettiness! bullet share the love bullet permalink bullet 5.19.2015

The One with Family Fun & a Look Ahead

This.

Weekend things

Weekend things

Weekend things
Weekend things

Chicks! 🐤
Chicks! 🐤
Boo
Lots of green

Enjoying the nice weather

Loving lulu

Pepper flowers!

We had a lovely weekend. Lunch with ladies I love, a belated Mother’s Day dinner with Will’s parents (and a visit to see baby chicks!), house stuff, lunch with my parents, hanging with my family, praying for no storms, workouts, church, and rest.

I’m pumped for this week because it’s a short work week and an extra long weekend. Woo hoo!

Check in this week for

May Ipsy!
The 400 workout
Thursday Things
And more!

I hope you had a great weekend! 

Reaching the Nones

A study released this week showed an increase in the amount of people who no longer associate themselves with a religion.

Interestingly, the majority of these “nones,” as they’re called, are not necessarily atheists or agnostics, but rather people who have become disenfranchised with religion itself.

This is way too big a topic to cover in a simple blog post, but I’ve been mulling the article around in my head, and have some thoughts and opinions on the matter. 

At first blush, I completely get this perspective to a certain point.

As you may remember, I spent a couple years away from God’s will, dabbling in church here and there but never really committing or getting involved.

I would think back to my negative experiences in church. The harsh judgement of others, the busybodies, and gossip.

Often things I participated in, too.

When we moved back, I used these things as an excuse to keep me from getting involved.

I used people of the church to keep me from contributing to the Church, and it made my heart hard, and kept me completely out of God’s will.

Verse

My personal story aside, I completely understand why some have become disillusioned with the church.

Disillusioned not with the capital C church, because I truly believe that’s what many of these “nones” seek, but with the lower case “c” church.

The building full of manmade bylaws. Religion.

Disillusioned by how we Christians treat one another.

I think that’s a huge one.

Just the other day a ministry I follow online shared a post about a fellow Christian and a “controversial decision” they made.

My heart ached at the comments I read, ripping this woman to shreds.

Please don’t misunderstand, I believe the Bible clearly states we are supposed to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ, righteously and with love- and at first in private too, not all over social media!

However, they were doing anything but that. They don’t know this woman. They don’t know her heart or whether she sought God for direction. They made a judgement based on their own belief system, threw some out-of-context scripture at her, and said she wasn’t a real Christian.

Oh friends, no wonder the nones are increasing.

Verse
The Bible also tells us they will know us by our love.

A large portion of the New Testament is devoted to this important topic. In fact, Jesus said loving others was the greatest commandment after loving Him with all we are!

Again, I do believe in biblical church discipline. I don’t want to be misunderstood here.

However, I feel we’ve lost our way in many of our churches these days. Judging those outside the church and not showing them the love of Christ.

It is not the healthy people who need a doctor, but the sick.

I believe we can learn so very much from the early Church of the New Testament.

Church wasn’t just a building they went to once a week with happy, shiny, “everything’s great” faces. They recognized themselves as the Church and lived it every waking moment, even unto death.

It was based on their love of the Savior, not the charismatic preacher who tells the best stories, or wacky music minister who always skips the third verse of the hymn.

We are the hands and feet of Jesus.
When was the last time we used ours to serve someone in need?

Oh friends, the Bible warns of many falling away in the last days. Of those having a form of godliness but denying its power. May we be mindful of the time in which we live, and be the Church every day to a world full of nones.

Have we forgotten the only thing that makes us different than those outside the Church is Jesus? May we never forget the capital C church is full of complete screw ups, starting with me.

It is by His precious blood and grace that we are made new.

Here are a few things I think you and I can do to reach the nones around us.

1. Pray.

Yep. I realize it’s the number one churchy answer, but it’s the most important.

When it comes to my prayer life, God is knocking my socks off these days.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective, the Bible says.

Pray for softened hearts and opened eyes. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be at work. Pray for specific opportunities to share the love of Jesus and be the Church to nones.

2. Serve

Jesus’s ministry was active, not passive. He used His hands and feet to go into the world and demonstrate the love of God. We are called to do the same.

Verse

In fact, Ephesians also tells us God has prepared good works in advance for us to do. I love that!

Verse

May we pray and seek out opportunities to serve others. Putting others before ourselves definitely goes against the grain these days. and it’s is a beautiful way to show the love of Jesus to our friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

3.Love

No surprise here.

Guys, we cannot underestimate the power of loving and building one another up in the Lord, and what a testimony it is for those who don’t know Jesus.

Verse

We absolutely must take Jesus’s command to love one another seriously.

That doesn’t mean tolerating sin inside the church, or not standing for truth. However, it also doesn’t mean public shaming online either.

I feel we often downplay love in today’s world.

It’s overused and ever changing.

I love chocolate and pink, or loved her or him.

The love of God is completely, entirely different than that!

People are “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.” Many are hurting.

We have the love of God in us, and 1 John tells us that as we live in Him, that love grows more perfect.

May we abide in Christ and perfect our love through His power. May we love the faces off one another who know God, as well as those who don’t.

4. Live

Finally, let’s live lives worthy of the gospel.

Verse

Want to know why people are disillusioned with the church?

Probably because many nones feel they are just as good, if not better, than the people sitting in church each week.

I pray our lives point people to Jesus and are set apart from the way the rest of the world loves.

I pray we look different and shine His light so that there’s w notable distinction between us and those who don’t know Jesus.

We’re going to mess up, and people are going to see it. However, may we get back up and overcome by the blood of on the Lamb and start anew.

Verse
***

If you’re a none, I pray you give the capital C church a chance again. Yes, we’re full of all types of personalities and characters, but the Bible tells us not to forsake assembling together. We’re meant to do life forever. Please don’t let past hurts or judgements keep you from connecting with believers.

In fact, if you want to give church a go, I’d absolutely love to invite you to Mine. Not only can you watch a slew of sermons, but you can attend live services online at about a million times throughout the week. Come with me!

Not enough time to unpack everything, but hopefully this gives a little food for thought today.

Thanks for listening, and check in Monday!

Thursday Things, 14 May 2015

Going crazy
So my site is completely crashing anytime I try to link a webpage to my post.

It’s inconvenient, and makes me want to scream.

I have no idea what’s causing it, and I apologize in advance for the big fat full link I’m about to post below. Ha!

Nacho Average Nachos

Yep. I’m over 30, and I really did just say that.

I made Will How Sweet’s carnita nachos last weekend.

(Not) health food.

Actually, I ate them too, sans meat (and bought cantina style tortilla chips instead of making my own).

They are ridiculous in the best way possible.

Total game day food.

Not healthy.

Not even close.

If you’re looking for an at-home treat meal, make it. You can thank me later.

(Here’s the full link http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/05/crispy-carnitas-oven-nachos-with-homemade-tortilla-chips/)

Aveeno Protect & Hydrate

It’s time to think about more comprehensive sun protection, and Aveeno’s Protect & Hydrate fits the bill.

I received a sample from Crowdtap and couldn’t wait to try it.

I don’t know about you, but during the summer, the less goo and stickiness, the better. I love that this stuff is a two in one and not only provides SPF, but ample moisture too.

Lunch Bunch

Girls, I’m so excited! I’m having lunch with two of my most favorite former coworker ladies tomorrow.  I haven’t seen one in a couple years (though we’ve kept in touch via email).

Im already trying to figure out how to keep our chat to just an hour so I can get back to work in time.

I can’t wait to see them, and I can’t even take it. Eeep!

TBT

Today’s TBT comes courtesy of the Poconos!

img157

That’s where we took our honeymoon and stayed in a totally fun newlywed suite. Good times!

Download This Song NOW

Song

Hillsong Touch the Sky

It’s my totally jam right now. Watch out if you’re in the car with me.

For real.

Download it. You won’t regret it. So so so good.

Wherein I turned 55 overnight
Soooo, I bought my first pair of old lady pants last week.

True story.

They’re pull on straight leg dress pants with a “flattering waistband for a slimmer look.”

In my defense, they had excellent reviews- and not just from grannies, either.

I bought them, stressed over them, tried them on, stared, took them off, stared at them on the bed…

Then I asked for honest opinions. My mom and sister said I was crazy. That they looked great and not granny-ish at all.

Will didn’t understand how dress slacks could have no zipper.

He was perplexed. He said the zipper thing like ten times.

Anyway, I decided to keep them. Just call me me-maw.

That’s it today. Any randomness you care to share?

WIOW: Lower Body Work

Last week was upper body, this week is all about the lower body.

I switched up my leg routine last weekend and enjoyed the workout so much I had to write it down so I wouldn’t forget (and share!).

I’ve posted a few lower body workouts over the years (just search those words if you’re curious), but this one is new and fresh and more advanced.

Plus it left me sore for days ("Good" sore, not hurt sore!).

Winner.

(Assuming you’re cleared to workout) Don’t go easy on yourself in this circuit. It’s a workout.

Push yourself and have fun.

Somewhat like last week, this workout is multiple rounds, with three sets per round.

Last week we did three supersets with three sets per round, for a total of 27 sets to target our entire upper body.

Today?

We’re kicking it up a notch.

Legs need a little extra oomph and attention when it comes to targeting them. That means we’re doing 5 rounds of supersets, and three sets per round for a total of 45 sets to target hips, thighs, and our glute muscles!

Lots of squats, lots of deadlifts. Hello toned legs!

Each round gets repeated three times before moving onto the next.

Take rests between each round as needed.

On your mark! Get set! Go!

Round One
2 warmup sets & and first three “real” sets:
Leg press machine, start with light weight, and steadily increase heaviness with each set.

Round Two Superset

Leg press machine (yes, again!)
Stiff legged deadlift
Calve raises
Lying leg raises

Round Three Superset
Deadlift
Goblet squat
Weighted calve raises
Weighted Russian twists

Round Four Superset
Romanian deadlift
Squats immediately followed by good mornings
One legged calf raises
In & Outs

Round Five Superset
Walking side lunges
Squat jacks
Weighted calve raises
Decline crunches

Whew! I’m tired just typing.  smile

I’ll be doing this workout Saturday and would love for you to join me!

posted in Health & Fitness bullet permalink bullet 5.13.2015

Tuesday Confession: The Vitamix Diaries

The people at my previous job knew me well, giving me a very nice vitamix as a parting gift.

A vitamix I’d been wanting for.ev.er.

I’d been talking about it for ages and drooling over them even longer.

Naturally you’d assume I ripped into it and used it to make everything under the sun. Peanut butter, smoothies, soups, sauces...everything.

Obviously.

Onlyyyy- I already had a trust blender.

I figured since it was a cheapie it was probably on its last leg. After all, I’d used it every single day for years on end.

I’d just go ahead and run it to the ground. It’d probably only be another month or two.

Yeah… That was 14 months ago.

Who does that!? Especially with a gift that fits them and their passions for blending perfectly

Crazy people.

Odd people.

Crazy odd people do that.

(HELP ME!)

Real life.

I finally sold the thing last week and setup the vitamix.

Um.

When it comes to blending?

Complete life changer.

It’s like drinking a green smoothie for the first time.

Why did I wait so long to enjoy something perfect for me!?

Ridiculous.

Anyway, my culinary life has pretty much been transformed since last week.

I don’t even know who I am anymore.

There’s definitely a sermon in this post, but I’ll simply let you read between the lines.

After all, most of you are still wrapping your head around what kind of ninny has a vitamix they don’t use for a year!

The One with Mother’s Day and a Garage Sale & Look Ahead

No filter needed. His name is great and greatly to be praised.

Truth

Garage sale prep

Everything's rosy

Will loves Layla's trike

My friend Elsa.

My jam.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Weekend things

Garage sale-ing

Playing with miss pigtails.

The dog bed: just her size. 😂

My favorite kids

A loaded weekend! Garage sale (which was a complete bust because of bad weather hmmm), lots of fun family time and meals together, more garage sale action Saturday, house stuff, workouts, meal prep, relaxation, early Mother’s Day celebration, and church.

It was a wonderful weekend full of my most favorite people!

I hope yours was too. What did you do!?

I hope you’ll check in this week. I’ve got a lower body workout, Thursday things planned, and more!

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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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