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

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What the Bible says about anxiety

I have prayed and prayed about what to write about. I’ve started writing a few blogs and then they just came to a halt. I realized today I knew what i needed to write about…I’ve actually known for a while and I keep saying, “not today God…NOT TODAY.” But God pushed me and not in a bad way. I want to start off by saying I am not a medical professional. I have my degree in Psychology but so does half of America. You can pretty much google different disorders and hey, you probably know just as much as i do. But, I am going to talk about this because it’s personal. I’ve been going to therapy on and off for about 7 years. If anyone who has a mental illness knows this to be true, when you think you’re better, you think you’re ALL better. Medicine tricks you sometimes into believing you’re okay. Anxiety, for me, has been a lot like that. I thought I was better and needed no help only to take 10 steps back.

Recently, my anxiety has increased dramatically. I blame my job and having a lot on me but thats probably not the case. The case is that I think I can handle it alone then I realize I just can’t. My anxiety comes in waves. It’s a constant struggle of wanting solitude and wanting to be with friends. I want to handle my crap myself. I want to be bigger than any mental illness. Unfortunately, you can’t wish anxiety away. In a world that’s fallen & fractured, nervousness and worry lurks around every corner.

 Have you ever almost missed a step while walking down the stairs and your heart races but usually subsides within a few seconds? Imagine that feeling lasting anywhere from 2-30 minutes multiple times a day and you have no control over when or where it happens. Followed by sweating and feeling like you’re going to faint and you can not catch your breath. There’s such a stigma when it comes to mental illnesses that needs to cease. I’ve known about my anxiety for years but no one else has. I’ve been called antisocial, snobby, shy, awkward and pretty much everything except a white girl. All because no one knew I was dealing with something that wasn’t visible like a broken leg. Imagine someone telling you it’s in your head and you’re just being dramatic. It’s a constant battle of wanting to be brave and wanting to crawl in a hole and never come out because you feel like no one understands how you feel. Anxiety is relentless and there have been days where I feel like I just can’t go on. 

There is one thing that has helped me more than medicine, therapy and solitude ever could and that’s Jesus.

If anxiety, fear, stress or worry creeps up on you, remember, you are only human. That God forgave you for your sins and you are PRECIOUS. I have constant feelings of inadequacy. Like no matter what I do at my job or my relationships that I just am not enough. I always had this weird connection with the stars. Ever since I was a little kid, I could just look at them for hours and feel how powerful they are. Then I stumbled across this verse..

“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.”- Isaiah 40:26

How much more valuable are you than the stars?? If the same God who calls stars an army, imagine what He’s doing in your favor if you are willing and unafraid.

The bible tells us that we will have trials and hardships. Anxiety is a tool that the enemy uses. Knowing that gives me extreme peace. In most cases, I am anxious over something I have no control over. That’s when God steps in.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”- Phil. 4:6

The best defense is continuously communicating with Him, sprinkled with thanksgiving. Try to confess and talk about your nervousness. 

It took me a while to seek help. Talking about what is bothering you really puts things into perspective. Saying how you are feeling out loud speaks volumes about you and that you will not be defeated. The words you say or type have complete power over your life. His word is powerful. Speak it in victory and not fear.

If you are having any of the symptoms I talked about above, i encourage you to seek medical help, but also pray. pray without ceasing. I hope you love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”-Psalm 118:6

If you are in this battle, you are not alone. The devil can use it for evil but only God can use it for good. God speaks volumes about rest in the bible. He created the Sabbath specifically for it. Rest and realize God is on your side. It’s all downhill from there.

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

it keeps no record…

I am changing. Slowly but surely.

4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.-1 Corinthians 4-5.

I have read this verse a dozen times over the past decade. Always skimming over it. Always acknowledging the words but not digesting them. Until one morning, “it keeps no records of wrongs” smacked me in the face. You see that’s how my brain works. It will bring up intense things I HAVE to share while just drinking my coffee and it won’t leave me alone until i do it justice by writing about it.

I may be non confrontational but I can remember you trying to cut my hair with scissors in the first grade. I will hold you accountable even if i’m the only one. I realize a lot of my relationships have failed because of this. My, “how could you do that to ME?” fight was no better than us working through it and me bringing it up 5 years down the road..

I have had an argument in the past that literally went something like this…

Him: “why won’t you come to see me?”
Me: “because you didn’t come come see me 2 years ago when i asked..”

Back then i thought i was doing the right thing. I thought I was winning. The, ‘i’ll make you regret doing that to me’ ego that most people have will not let you win. I have hung up the phone thinking i showed him….No. I have showed him that I am too immature to stay silent when no words were needed. No jabs to the throat were needed. That is not love. Holding someone accountable is God’s job…I’m not saying to let people run all over you but this is not your job. How can you ever focus on yourself if you have a mental tally system going on in your head of every time someone doesn’t live up to par for you? You have enough to worry about. This is not love. Love keeps no records of wrong. Try it for a day. Then try it for a week. Then a month. Stop punishing people for the same sin they’ve repented for years ago. I promise it will make you less stressed. There’s a valuable lesson to be learned when you forgive and don’t bring it up years down the road. It’s called peace.

Someone told me this was good…this was good that I knew how to change. I hope so…

Stay focused. Slow it down. Stay humble.

xo

B