Person Centered

“do you feel important?”

I went home last night and started thinking how i’ve probably never asked anyone that before. Then I started thinking how different would life be if I had been asking people in my life this all along. Or what if people had been asking me this? This training that I am doing is called Person Centered and I realize how much I am not that. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Humans are incredible. The hard thing is there is no guidebook as to what to say to people or how to be more person centered. We are products of trial and error. We fail each other. We say terrible things. But people will surprise you if you let them.

So what would happen if we became more person centered? At our homes? At our jobs? What if you were really kind? What if you started asking people what would make them feel important? I hope if you’re reading this, you’re a little kinder today, tomorrow and five years from now. Don’t write people off because you don’t understand them. Stay surprised.

XO,

B

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Salvation and Marriage

Marriage season is fast approaching and there are tons of things I could say and talk about to help people suffering from cold feet. But as i kept typing, i kept thinking about what I wanted my upcoming marriage to be like.

People have tried to talk me out of getting married next month, they’ve tried to make sure i’m ready for the big day and for the rest of my life with one person. It started making me think, “is anyone ever ready for anything?”
I think this best things in life, you won’t be ready for. To be ready is to stay in the norm and I am not a fan of that. To be free and willing is to trust God.

Am i ready to be married?
the answer is no.

Will i be ready to have children one day?
probably not.

Will i be able to watch them walk down the aisle to the person of their dreams?
honestly, no.

But those things I listed above can serve as the most rewarding. Let me go further into this before you start thinking, “why is she getting married if she isn’t ready?’ 

Marriage, in this bible belt that I live in, is normal. I am not normal. I did not have my wedding planned out from the time i was 7. I did however have my career planned. I would line up my Barbies with a dry erase board and as them how they were feeling. (no joke, ask my cousin.) So this wedding planning is uneasy territory for me. I’ve had to rearrange my plans in my head to plan a wedding that i have no clue how to. The norm for me would be to travel in solitude or focus on my psychologist career. Now i have to share that passion with someone and that’s scary. We could be more financially ready, more mentally ready, but what is even better is that i am ready for someone to come along for the ride. I am ready to spend my life with someone who hasn’t left my side since the day he walked in it 5 years ago.

Michael and I have taken some time a part in the past and even then, he would have done anything for me. I get the age old question that, “well it didn’t work the first time…” the thing about that is i wasn’t ready to be a wife. I wanted more from him then i was willing to give in return. How did this change? Why am i different now? Read Proverbs 31. I read that and it was like God spoke and said, “you have prayed and prayed that Michael be the man you need as husband but you are NOT the wife he needs.” So i changed. I started praying that God would make me into the wife that Michael or whomever i marry needs and deserves. My life changed drastically. I saw God work in ways that i haven’t seen him do so before. I will pray that prayer every day and as long as i am praying that, i will never have to worry if Michael will be the husband i need, because God has that covered.

My uncle (who is marrying us, cool right?) told Michael and myself that if we have anything we need to get out in the open, now is the time to do it before we say the “i dos”. People have told me their marriage horror stories and how it failed and what not to do. I hope that in thirty years, i won’t give someone that advice and I will tell he or she that marriage is the greatest gift on the planet. I want to compare it to my salvation.

I know salvation is a lot different from marriage. Marriage can not get you into heaven unlike salvation, but bare with me as I talk about this. I got saved at a young age at a body building competition at Christ Fellowship (i know, not a normal salvation story) but i got saved nonetheless. There are days when i fail Jesus miserably. But, the great thing about that is i will never be unsaved. I know that i will never lose my salvation and no matter how upset i make Jesus because i am born again in him. In my marriage, I will fail Michael and he will fail me because we are human. But as much as we will fail each other, we will never have to go back to the day where we are single sinners again. I will never have to go back to the day where I don’t know Jesus and (Lord willing) I will never have to go back to the day before i’m married. I have a partner in my eternal life and a partner here on earth.

The best advice i could give someone is consider your marriage like you do your salvation. Strive to please the other person, learn from your mistakes and ask forgiveness for your faults. God forgives me everyday when I am so underserving and I hope I have a marriage that offers forgiveness and purity and hope that no matter what happens, we will never have to go back before that day we said our vows. God doesn’t ditch me when i treat him horrible and i want to reflect that kind of love to my husband when he doesn’t live up to par and i pray he does the same for me. God protects his children, just as you should protect your marriage and spouse. Always, always, protect what you love.

XO,

B

(brooke_trent@yahoo.com)

Stagnant

A friend told me recently that to be comfortable is to be stagnant. It made me think, who wants to be stagnant? I remember going camping with my parents around the age of 9. The hike took forever and my nine year old chunky self was not a fan. But, some of the lessons you learn when you’re young will play a huge role in your life later on, whether you realize it or not. On this trip, I went to fill up my water bottle with water that I could reach, that wasn’t ever-flowing, that was stagnant. My step dad grabbed the water bottle from me and told me never to drink stagnant water, that there are mosquitos surrounding it and it carries bacteria and to always drink running water because it is fresh and clean and always moving from deep in the mountain.

I thought about this after my friend told me that being comfortable is being stagnant. You don’t drink stagnant water because it can harm you, so why are people so comfortable living a stagnant life? Running water is beautiful, fresh and better for your well being. It can also be dangerous. Falling into powerful running water with a rip current can harm you if you aren’t careful and can take you under. But that’s the thing, you have to risk that chance in order to have fresh clean water without any bacteria that can harm you from the inside.

Being stagnant in life to many can seem appealing. There’s no rip current, no movement, no danger. But who is happy there? Jumping off a waterfall gives you more adrenaline than floating at the bottom. Constantly moving is something everyone should be doing. We should not remain stagnant. We should not be afraid of falling in and going under. We should take that leap and drink from that fresh current.

I like scary. More times than not, being scared of something leads to something great. Another level of yourself that you need reviled. I hope everyone who reads this picks the current. Swim against it, take a gulp of water from that mountain instead of safely filling your bottle up with shallow, dirty, non-fullfiling water. Choose. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the job you want? Is this the person you want to love? Choose. I used to think by the time I was 25 I would have it all figured out. I don’t. And that may be one of the biggest blessings in disguise.

XO,

B

(my song for this post is Riptide by Vance Joy :))

And the Winner is…..

Everyone has heard the phrase, “if you love your job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Cool…now i have to find a job that i love with a bachelor’s degree that is more common than not in a dog eat dog world. EASY!

My whole life my parents put such an emphasis on education. I got in trouble for my grades over anything. So, when i graduated high school, i didn’t have much of a choice but to attend college. After all, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Wrong. Do what you love. I have a BS in psychology because i wanted to help people. That degree is hanging on my wall…the only thing it’s helping is dust bunnies find a home. For the longest time i thought i had to have that degree to matter, to make an impact on the world. I wish someone would have told me otherwise. I can make an impact by writing, by being passionate about something, by living a life i’m proud of.

While, yes, some degrees very much so help people and you have to have them to practice. But school does not make you better or worse than anyone. As i am fixing to launch my business, i feel so far away from that bachelor’s and closer to what i want to do for the rest of my life.

As i’m watching The Grammy’s, i feel hopeful. These people chased their dreams, got rejected and didn’t quit. Ed Sheeran once tweeted, “Give me a few years. I’ve got some big plans.” That was in 2011….

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GUESS WHAT?? He’s doing pretty damn well for himself beside Mr. Mayer here in 2015! Know why he’s beside a legend? Because he didn’t take no for an answer. He kept playing pubs and bars until he made it. He got rejected. He got told he wasn’t good enough to play in America. He. did. not. quit.

Don’t quit. Follow your heart and follow it whole heartedly. Open that coffee shop, travel the country, become that makeup artist, body builder, hair dresser, full time scuba diver. Don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t make it. Someone told me that you don’t have to have money to make money, you have to believe in what you’re selling and have other people invest in your ideas and you’ll always make it. network. network. network. Empower each other. My friends and family supporting me is the biggest encouragement. When someone tells me my blog helped them, i know i’m on the right path.

Stick with your gut. Support peers. Take a leap of faith. PRAY. Trust yourself. Leave that comfort zone and don’t ever, ever quit.

XO,

B

Eat. Pray. Travel.

“It is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”–Asian Proverb

My life right now is crazy, I have 348 things on a plate that only holds 10. Between working a full time job, planning my wedding, working out, moving to a new house and trying to launch my new business, life just gets in the way. So, I decided I would write about something I love, traveling.

My favorite possession is my passport. I think of it as a key that can unlock just about anything. I was so excited that I got to use it for the first time last August for Mexico!
Before I talk about that trip, I’m going to tell a story.
My junior year at college, I had this professor, lets call him Dr. S. Dr. S. was the biggest douche bag I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I loathed this man. He made me cry, he made me mad, he made me think, he made me question, he made me a more knowledgeable person.

So, my final for this class was a one on one with me and Dr. S. It was going to last 50 minutes and he would ask me one question of his choice and I had to tell him why I felt the way I did. I racked my brain, thinking the question would be about God or abortion or why I ate processed meat. Nope. He asked me the simplest, yet complicated question in the history of mankind. Here is how this final oral exam played out.

Dr. S.: Brooke, you didn’t speak much in class, so I’m curious to your answer to your final question….if you could do anything on earth right now, what would make you the happiest?
Me: (thinking to myself, ‘that’s it?!?! this crazy man wants to know what makes me freakin happy?!’) well…i would travel.
Dr. S.: Travel where?
Me: Everywhere.
Dr. S.: Then quit school.
Me: But, I need money to travel. This will be the hoop I jump through to travel.
Dr. S.: There are plenty of poor people who travel. Get a work visa. I know you’re religious, what if you travel to India and it changes your outlook on “God” (yes, he quoted it.)
Me: Well, school is important to me and my family too.
Dr. S.: Just like God is and the places you travel won’t believe in the same things as you and you will question the way you’re raised. Do you still think traveling will make you the happiest Brooke?
Me: yes sir, I do.

This conversation went on as to why I believe the things I do and surprisingly really did last 50 minutes.

I didn’t drop out of school to travel…shockingly. I have a degree and I travel some place new once a year. I don’t believe we aren’t meant to stay in one place. I yearn for new sites and new people. I remember seeing the Mayan Ruins in Cozumel and thinking how have I’ve missed so much of this world because I was set on going through the motions. I remember driving down the streets in the Cayman Islands and seeing children playing and thinking how small my problems seem. For years, I have stared at the ocean, last year, I was in it snorkeling. I’ve looked at surface for so long that I missed the point of it. I remember walking back on the beach after spending hours swimming with fish and turtles and feeling so accomplished that I got to see a whole different form of life I had been missing. I couldn’t believe that it had taken me 23 years to realize how big the world was.

Going to another country didn’t change my religion though. It made me understand the God I serve even more. That the same God who made me and my little world I had been surrounded by, made that weird purple colored fish I just touched underwater and he made the guy who made my margarita too strong. It fascinates me and makes me want to understand Him even more.

My fiancé proposed to me in the dark, in the front of the ship, in the Caribbean Ocean under millions of stars. I wouldn’t trade that moment for all the money in the world. I will never be the same after seeing those stars.

It doesn’t matter where you go, whether it’s Mexico, California, or an hour away, go some place you’ve never been. It’s worth any cost and sacrifice. If you wait to have money or for someone to come with you, you’ll never go. It’s a matter of courage and adventure. The world is cruel and we are so quick to think how bad it is, but the people I met while in Mexico last year, gave me hope. You don’t realize the people you’re missing out on or the places until you just go. One day, you won’t have the time.

Here is a couple of pictures from Mexico and The Cayman Islands!

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Stay tuned to see our honeymoon ones! Next stop; St. Thomas!

XO,

B