Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!I'm joining my very FIRST link up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci. :)  Okay, here we go...

One   my handsome
God has grown me a little more this week, and through that I have a greater appreciation of the husband He has given me.  He really is my best friend.  He is a total entertainer at home.  He is patient and loving, and I am pretty sure I could go on forever about him.  He's not perfect, but he's perfect for me.  

Two  Armor of God study
Y'all, this study is fantastic.  Now, I am not going to tell you that each week I have done each day because I would be lying.  BUT out of three weeks, I'm only 3 days behind so that's not too shabby.  Anyway, it really is amazing.  It is eye opening, motivating, and encouraging.  I still have 4 weeks left of it, but already I am already loving it, and recommend it as a study for women.

Three  baby shower gift shopping for my seester (sister-in-love)
Unfortunately, I cannot show everyone the adorable items my husband and I picked out because occasionally she reads this blog, so then she would know what we were getting her, and that is NO fun; however, you can see from the picture above, it's happy camper themed.  I'm so excited for a new, little niece but I'm more excited that my husband and his family get to experience this baby excitement for the first time.  So you better understand: she is the first of three kids to have a baby, so my husband and his brother are first time uncles and of course, my in-loves are first time grandparents.

Four  Magic basketball season.
My husband is a huge fan, and I'm just a fan (haha).  We recently went in on a ticket package with my in-loves (parents, sister and her husband), so we will get to go to multiple games this season.  The atmosphere at games are my favorite, and it makes for a fun date night!  I'm so thankful we were able to do this.  Go Magic!

Welp, that's all for this week (I'm new at this).  I look back at these things and smile because it reminds me that God is even in the smallest details that, sometimes, we think are silly but bring us genuine joy.  Have a fabulous Friday!

A few tears, and a lot of love

10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics[a] of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore,
with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness

for the gospel of peace.[b]
In every situation take the shield of faith,

and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.
18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:10-18.  Good stuff, eh?
My lovely DOTK (Daughter's of the King) group at church is currently in the third week of Priscilla Shirer's Armor of God study, and WHOA - it is awesome.  Remember when I wrote about how the enemy likes to declare battles when you get serious about getting serious with God?  I wasn't kidding.  This past Sunday was an incredibly difficult day for me both, spiritually and physically.  Y'all, I was a mess.  Sidenote: I still can't believe that I'm here, writing, and sharing my feelings...I just don't do this sort of thing, BUT GOD has a plan.  
Okay, so I was a mess.  Like Kim Kardashian mess.  See below for visual:
I was mess for numerous reasons, insecurity, doubting God, irritation with my husband (he seriously is the best, I'm sensitive to a fault), just to name a few.  And for most of the day I was ugly, angry, distraught, and sad until I remembered what Priscilla shares in the first week of this study, "The most troubling things in your life - things you perceive with your five physical senses - are not your real issue.  Though you may be wrestling with them verbally, emotionally, financially, even physically, you are wasting precious time and energy that needs to be reserved for the real culprit - the one who is behind the scenes, striving to direct the details of some of your most acute difficulties.  Everything that occurs in the visible, physical world is directly connected to the wrestling match being waged in the invisible, spiritual world.". 
Caught ya! Ya sneaky, little snake. What I've learned is that the enemy wants us to forget about him.  He wants us to blame and hate everything, and everyone.  When we do this, we let him win.  We allow ourselves to get caught up in the world around us, things that take place in our personal lives, and anything else that doesn't go as planned or as smooth as we would like and we totally forget who is behind it all - the enemy.  Granted, sometimes things happen in order for God to grab our attention, and for Him to teach us something, but Holy Spirit will help you discern that.  
God has blessed me with a husband who is patient, and loving.  He just sat with me, talking, listening, and encouraging me.  A dear friend, and sweet sister in Christ, understood how I was feeling, corrected me in love, and shared her own personal feelings and thoughts to help me through mine.  So much love the Father has for us, and so often He uses friends and family to love on us.  So, now I want to encourage you, do not let the enemy steal your joy.  Remember that beyond the physical life and its' battles, there is a spiritual life that is waging war.  Be a Warrior, put on your armor, and fight.
Your family, friends, health, and soul are worth it. 

I've already failed at blogging

Yes, you read the title right...I've already failed at blogging - at least that is what I initially thought.  Literally, my words were, "it's been THREE weeks and I have already failed".  Well, friends, I did some research and guess what?  I can post as often as I want!  Snaps for you if you already knew this. (side note: "snaps" is a reference to Legally Blonde 2 and the 'snap cup' ;) ).  It was a relief to realize just because in my mind I wanted to post once a week and it didn't quite pan out that way, that I didn't totally fail at blogging so snaps for Jess! 

So about a week and a half ago I wrote the start to, what would have been, my third post; however, I read over it and realized that was not what God wanted me to share, not yet anyway.  Instead, I feel Him leading me to write about the awful 'f word' we all hate...not that f word, the other one - failure.  I have talked about discipline and with discipline comes the possibility of failure.  I'm going to fill you in on my current goals and what is going on with me.  

Okay, so I signed up for a 31 day challenge for the month of October.  If you know me then you already know that it was with Tone It Up .  I've been following this fabulous, online fitness duo for about three years and just became an official member (insert the huge, grinning emoji here).  Whoa, major side track - sorry.  So goal number one: follow the challenge workouts everyday.  Along with that challenge comes an entire meal plan.  Goal number two: stick to the nutrition plan.  I'll be honest here, I'm sticking to it about 80%.  Friends, this is where I look back at what I've accomplished in 5 days and think, "awesome, I'm failing miserably".  I missed days two and three of working out so that means my challenge actually ends November 2nd AND I've somewhat failed following the nutrition plan.  I get so frustrated with myself and it makes me just want to quit (I know you all can relate); however, this time is different.  My mind set is different.  What's the saying? Fall down 7 times get up 8.  That is what I'm planning to do, get up and not stay down, throwing my own pity party.  Goal number three (and the most important to me): get up early to pray.  So this one I started this week and so far I've gotten two out of three days.  The reason why this one is so important to me is because everything rises and falls on what my prayer life is like.  If I am committing my day to the Lord and spending time in His presence before the craziness of life sets in, then I have a better chance of everything else going fairly smoothly.  And if it doesn't, at least I know the day was committed to my Father and He knew all that was going to take place before it actually did.  Goal number four: read my Bible through the year.  Fail, with a capital F.  I felt so bad about being three days behind that I re-started and missed the second day.  (Insert wining emoji here - clearly, I like emoji's).

As you can see, on my "goals report card" I have received mostly F's.  Through this process I've realized that I need to give myself some G's.  What is that letter grade you ask?  Grace.  I need to give myself grace.  My Father in heaven, loves me and says that I am worthy of His grace, and so are you.

John 1:16 says, " For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."   - My seester (my beautiful sister-in-love who is also my absolute best friend. Ever. Aside from my hubby, of course.) loves this verse and I understand why.  It speaks a little louder to me now than before, perhaps because I'm learning more about grace, the grace I am given, and the grace I should extend.

We have to extend ourselves grace too.  Whatever it is that you feel like you are failing miserably at, extend YOURSELF grace.  You are beautiful.  You are worthy.  You are valuable.  Don't believe me?  Read what God has to say about you in His word.  

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.