Weeds and Lies

So i’ve become a gardener. I bought gloves, seeds, a hat and anything else gardening-ish that would make me legit. I have this problem  (and my husband can vouch) that when i find something i’m interested in, it consumes me. I go full force into said thing for a solid three months until i move onto something else. Michael still dislikes me for the piano he had to move into our old little house that i played 4 times. I’ve tried to change this about me but in all my 25 years, i just can’t.

I have the fight to start something but rarely to finish it. I would love to have home grown peppers and tomatoes on my plate but i don’t know if i want to put in the work to grow them. I want instant gratification. Don’t we all?

The thing about gardening is there’s weeds. I have kept myself up at night thinking, “what if i can’t tell the difference between weeds and my precious little veggies?” Of course like most things in my life, my brain takes me somewhere else altogether. I started thinking about my own life and how sometimes i can’t tell the difference in weeds and these beautiful, nutritious things i have growing. Between the lies i tell myself and the truth.

I was thinking about my garden and how i would be so disappointed if i watered it and talked to the peppers like i was a plant whisperer and killed them because i thought they were weeds. But if you don’t pluck the weeds, they will suck all the life out of your plants until it kills your garden completely.

The thought of taking care of something scares me to death. How i’ve managed to keep two dogs alive for a few years is beyond me. But learning to keep things alive is molding me to be a better human. (i hope)

One of the biggest lies i tell myself is that i can’t do it. I looked at my husband literally ten minutes after i planted my seeds and said, “these will never grow.” And that’s a lie i constantly tell myself. “Brooke, you won’t succeed. You won’t make this job, marriage, relationship or garden last.” And that’s my lie.

Lies become crutches. Sometimes you tell yourself lies so much that you don’t know the truth. You don’t know the difference between a weed or your tomato. If you are feeding your lies more than your truths, they will grow larger and larger and overtake your mind. Whatever you tell yourself and whatever lies you think are harmless, have the potential to suck the life out of you. Whatever lies you are feeding yourself, cut them off at the root.

This is so much easier said than done, i know. You literally have to retrain your brain. You have created this groove in your brain that keeps getting deeper and deeper with whatever lie you are telling yourself. Just like a carpenter carving away creating deep grooves. He has the power to create so many different objects but it depends on how he uses his knife.

Loving yourself is hard when we live in a world so quick to condemn. I’m cutting my lies off and not showing them any sunlight slowly but surely. I have a good friend who tells me all the time that i am worthy to be happy and deserve it. And i PROMISE you, if you keep telling yourself that, it will grow and grow and give you more nourishment than you could ever imagine.

A prayer you can use:

“Lord help me know what lies i feed myself and what truths i feed myself. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Please help me distinguish them and make them black and white. Show me the weeds in my life. Show me how to stop them from growing. Help me retrain my brain with truth and not lies. I want to be alive.”

-B

Abide 

  Abiding is such an old word that I don’t hear often enough. This word used to scare me to death. Growing up baptist, I thought God had a list of rules I had to abide by or I would get punished. I was terrified of everything that heavy word meant. It wasn’t until I switched churches, I realized God didn’t mean that word to use as a punishment for us.

Abide by definition means: follow structured series of spiritual instruction, exercises, prayer and encouragement to heal the hardest parts of your life. To heal the hardest parts of your life. I think of the hardest parts of my life and I think how much I want to be healed from the situations I’ve been in and am still battling every single day. There are days when you want to be someone else or be somewhere else. There are some days where you want relief and want to crawl in a hole just to hide from the hardest parts of your life. As I prayed over this post to help someone, I hope it helps me as well. I get it. There are days when you aren’t feeling like yourself. There are days when you pray to God to end your suffering. It won’t always be like this. I wanted to dig and dig and figure out what the Bible says about abiding. In John, Jesus talks to his disciples and says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.“
I’d like to think Jesus meant don’t let your head run wild in search for answers by trying to solve your own problems. Just stay calm and stay close. A branch can’t produce fruit without the vine. You can not face your problems and come up with solutions without Jesus. Instead of worrying and feeling anxious about what’s to come, whether it is financial stress, relationship issues or just the grind of every day life. Abide. Place your feet on the ground and stay with him. You deserve good things. You deserve all the blessings that God wants to shower you with. But dear, how are you going to look for and get those blessings if you are trying to grow fruit in a garden with no vines? In a life where Jesus isn’t the front runner of your race?

Only in the darkness do you know light. Maybe you’ve listened to that sad country song one too many times. I don’t know what battle you are facing. Maybe you feel left behind or forgotten. Maybe you’re sipping coffee reading this and wondering if God will ever show up for you. Maybe you can’t feel him like you used to. It’s okay if you don’t feel whole right now. It’s okay if you feel lost or confused. Just keep fighting the battle. I pray you abide in Jesus so he can abide in you. Stay so he can stay with you. 

Always in your corner, 

-B

Hello 2016, it’s me…

I hope everyone reading this has had more love, joy and unpredictability that 2015 could possibly offer. As this year draws to an end, it’s hard not to think about what 2015 brought. For some people you might hate to see it go because you can’t possibly think of another year that could top this one. For others, you might have helped 2015 pack its bags, dropped it off at the airport and never looked back in the rearview. Whatever your situation is, I hope 2016 leaves you humble and speechless. I hope you find so much love and give so much love that you look back at this time next year and thank God for 2016.

I usually think of things I want to accomplish come this time of year for the upcoming one. But this year, I got married, I bought a house, I’m in good health, all of my family is still living, I got a new job and started this wonderful messy blog. I can’t think of anything else that I need or want. So I thought about contentment. I thought about how scary that word is. How there’s so much gray to it. On one hand, you don’t want to be so content that you stop moving and shaking. On the other, you don’t want so much chaos that you wouldn’t know what contentment looked like if it was looking back at you in the mirror. So there’s an ultra fine line when it comes to being content. My version of content is to not fall into comparisons death trap. It can steal everything from you if you let it.

This year i will unfollow things that leave me wanting more. Things that leave me feeling a little less worthy of being happy. Trust me; you are so worthy of being happy. You are beautiful and wonderfully made. It is in our human nature (thanks to Adam and Eve) to want what we can’t have. It is so easy to get caught up in the idea if you have XYZ then you’ll be happy.

I want you to slow down. I want you to be content with what you have. That doesn’t mean to settle and not push yourself to be a better you. I don’t want you to compare your life to others. Unfollow people on social media if you have to. Work towards becoming the happiest you. With contentment comes letting go and that’s a hard concept for many people. I hope you leave all the things that were bad for you behind in 2015. I hope you let go of that relationship that makes you feel second best. I hope you let go of that dead end job that won’t ever promote you when you’re all too deserving. I hope you let go of that toxic friend that drains you. I hope you let go of feeling the need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Say yes to the ice cream.

This year, I hope to spend more time with God. I hope to be less impulsive when the world comes pressing down on me to have the latest and greatest thing. I hope you ask yourself before doing something, “how will this serve you, God?”

I started reading what the bible says about being content and this stood out:

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”- Philippians 4:11

 

“..in whatever situation I am to be content”…that is a hard one for me. I know I have had too many situations where the last thing i’ve felt is contentment. I hope this year I will learn to be content no matter the situation.

This year, I promise to fall flat on my face. I promise to make messes and clean them up. I promise not to let the world make me feel unworthy. I promise to realize we all fall short and it’s okay to not get it right. I promise to cut myself some slack and not be so hard on myself. I will show fear that love ALWAYS wins. I’ll show up for my family and friends. I’ll really see people for who they are, not who i expect them to be. I’ll chase after the life I want, no matter the cost. I’ll help others along their journey of 2016 because no matter who you are, we’re all just trying to make it. I hope you show 2016 what you are made of. You are cherished, loved and completely rad. I hope you promise all the above to yourself and so much more.

always in your corner,

B

 

 

Not being okay is okay….

I have been wanting to write about this for a while. But every time I sit down to write it, it seems to fall short of everything I want to say. I hope I can give this topic justice. Mental Illness. I see it every day of my life in my job and in myself.
The thing about mental illness is no matter which strand of it you may have, it still will affect every other aspect of your life. Your job, your relationships, your well-being and everything else stems from your mental health.

As I have been going to therapy a lot recently to figure out why on Gods green earth I can’t sleep, it makes me wonder how many people are hiding behind a therapist. I could go see said therapist and no one ever know. There’s a stigma that people put on mental health that people get embarrassed about. It has got to stop. I have heard people SO many times say, “I don’t get depression, why can’t people just be happy?” REALLY? How about you try telling a cancer patient to just not be sick anymore. That’s the thing, mental illness is a sickness. It is not something someone chooses, I promise.

Can you imagine feeling so hopeless that you can’t make it out of bed in the morning to start your job that the rest of your life (i.e. bills, food, survival) requires you to attend, but you just. can’t. Or feeling your heart about to beat out of your chest because you walked into a crowded room and felt like you just couldn’t take the heat, even if no one else noticed you. You may feel like this occasionally, but mental illness isn’t occasional. Imagine going through this every day. Now imagine someone telling you to “just be happy” or to “man up.” Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It isn’t racists, sexist and doesn’t base itself on geography.

I knew when I started this blog that I would be writing about this eventually. That someone needed this. I am not here to tell you to run to the nearest therapist door and spill out your problems. I’m just telling you it’s okay if you do. I’m just telling you that it’s okay to not feel okay. That it’s society that makes you feel like less of a person. You aren’t. I’m just telling you that you are so brave. And if you don’t have any demons that run through your mind, thank God! But, try to be a little less critical of someone who is anxious or depressed. You never know what someone is going through. It doesn’t come draped on their clothes like a big red A. It’s silent and dangerous.

I am not a therapist by any means. Having a degree that majors in people’s minds or suffering from PTSD or a sleeping disorder does not make me a professional. But it does make me aware and knowledgable and have empathy. Maybe you don’t want to talk to a therapist but just need a little extra love. I will give it to you. If you are struggling and need some words to grasp, I will be there. Simply email me. Whether I know you or not, I will send light to your inbox. I don’t know what you’re going through and I don’t need to if you don’t want to tell me. Just email me with the subject, “love letter” and I’ll show up.

Brooke_trent@icloud.com

always in your corner,

B

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

love me like Jesus does

i wrote an entire blog and erased it. It felt so fake. It was everything I wanted to say but it wasn’t. It was sugar coated. So i’m starting over. I don’t ever want to lie or tell you things just because you want to hear them. That’s not reality.

Bookstores, coffee shops, car rides after midnight and you. That’s my church. I’ve felt God more in those 4 things then I have in a pew in a very, very long time. My preacher last Sunday told us that he would not talk about what is going on in the world regarding homosexuality, transgender, abortion or the killing of animals. He talked about why he wouldn’t talk about those things and I could feel the tension in the sanctuary shifting. They wanted to hear those things. They wanted to voice their opinion and hoped the preacher shared the same one. I was proud of him.

But on the drive home I was thinking about how those things are relevant but it does not make you relatable.

If someone’s completely heartbroken, your view on equal marriages is not going to mend their shattered organ. I sometimes think God allows certain things to happen in your life so you can help others cope when it happens in theirs. They need a shoulder. They need one more piece of you when you think there isn’t a piece left. Heartbreak happens and it takes you off your pedestal for other people. They need you to love them like Jesus does. That’s what we should be teaching in church….

The Jesus I know didn’t go around hosting political campaigns or wait for a jury of peers to make a decision. He simply asked…

Do you love me?

The questions of sexuality, equality and religion will never heal a broken heart. But loving Jesus will. And loving other people like you love Jesus, surely will. In a world consumed by what’s going on in the news, be a light they can find their way home to.

always in your corner,

B

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 :))