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

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

 

 

you are better than the birds

“You are smart enough,” he said. Four words. Four big, massive, breathtaking words. I heard them today for the first time in a very long time. You see, I thought by the time I was 24 and married, I’d have it all figured out. Life is one hell of a pitcher and curveballs is its go-to. There’s so many roads I could take that would lead to a different outcome.

As I talked to a friend tonight, I told him about an interview I have tomorrow for a new job and he giggled and said, “I thought you wanted to be your own boss?” I said, “I need a plan B.” He said, “no you don’t…you are smart enough.” It kind of shook me. Maybe I’m just scared of the enough part. I am smart. I have a degree, I can budget money well, I can do a lot of things that people struggle with but is that enough?

In a world where people tell you that you aren’t pretty enough, talented enough, strong enough, fit enough, out of all of those, smart enough stands alone.

Since when did we have to be enough for anyone? You are enough for yourself.  You are brilliant. You don’t have to be scared of not being enough. You are you. No matter what roads you take, it will be right because of you. It will be enough. Whatever you are thinking about doing, do it. Tie your ambitions to a goal, not a person or object and you will always be enough.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”-Matthew 6:26

Please don’t spread yourself so thin that all of your enoughs for everyone else makes you less of yourself. You are enough to someone. People love that gratification of hearing, “you’re perfect the way you are!” You do not need gratification from anyone besides yourself. God thinks you’re more valuable than those perfect colorful birds. If you are trying to be enough for 15 different people, when will you be enough for yourself? It’s so lovely to have someone take you as you are. Where you don’t have to worry about being smarter or prettier or skinnier or better. Those are the people worth keeping around.

XO
-B

7 reasons you’re better off than you think

I don’t know what prompted me to write this, i never know why i write the things i do..then someone tells me they needed to hear what i had to say and it seems worth it. The responses i’ve been getting from you all have been surreal. From people i barely know to my closest friends, thank you all for taking the time to read what i have to say. it’s why i do this. it’s why i continue to write. as long as you read, i’ll write.

I have a lot of people who read this from Australia and Canada and let me tell you, the weather here is FRIGIDDDD. i’ve been snowed in, stuck, bored out of my mind. Someone a lot smarter than i am once told me, “before you marry someone, so camping with them for five days with no electronics, no toilet, no shower, just you two, food and a pack of cards and see if you still want to marry them on day five.” I hate camping so being snowed in is the closest i’ll ever be to this. So, as you all are braving this cold, just think about that and see if the person you’re stuck with is well worth being stuck with.

I’ve been hearing people complain all week about this weather. including myself…so i thought i would make a list of reasons why your life is (hopefully) great!

1. FOOD
This is one of the most important essential things obviously. But, it’s not just that you have food on your shelves, you have options. Don’t want a ham sammich, okay, lets eat spaghetti and meatballs. Having options is a luxury denied by many throughout the world, so think about that the 5th time you open the fridge with nothing to eat.

2. LOVE
Ok. Same with food, you have OPTIONS. You can literally pick who you want to be with or who you don’t…someone’s not living up to your standards? you have the choice to kick their camo croc loving self to the curb. Or marry them. God willing your marriage isn’t arranged, you can pick who you want to spend the rest of your life with.

3. LOVE AGAIN
This is so important that i mention it twice. If you have had that all consuming, don’t know which way is up, made you one taylor swift song away from driving your car off a cliff, guess what? Take a look around, you’re doing better than half the population. Most people never experience that kind of love. Even if you may have lost it, you got to have it. You got to feel what some peoples ultimate goal is. You’re the lucky one.

4. RELIGION
I am surrounded by people of different religions than me. At work, some of my friends and some of my family. I may not agree with a lot of them but you get to live in America where you get to pick your religion, even if some people don’t agree with it, you get to decide what you believe in and worship. I don’t judge anyone (except maybe radical terrorist) for the religion they choose. Your religion is helping me understand mine more and who i do choose to worship and why. Some people are told who they have to believe in and in other countries you get murdered or murder for not believing. You are so, so lucky that you got to choose and no one chose for you.

5. JOB
The biggest thing people take for granted. The biggest thing people take advantage of. One of the biggest things people pray for. You have it. You have a job that gives you options to choose what to eat, wear, where to live, what your hobbies are and what surrounds you every moment of every day. You may hate it, but you would hate being homeless and hungry even more. Not only do you have that job but you can choose whether to leave it for another job. You aren’t forced to stay at that same job for the rest of your life. Even the president only serves 4-8 years and moves on. If you aren’t growing, move on.

6. EDUCATION
I know i’ve stated before that education isn’t everything. I’ll say it again, it’s not. Formal education will give make a living but self education will make you a fortune. You get to choose whether you get to go to school and what to study that will direct your path to your future jobs through formal education. But, even more importantly, self education. You can learn different things all day long! Stuck in from a blizzard? Try underwater basket weaving. i don’t freakin know. the point is, you can learn anything you want.

8. HEALTH
I know that some people get the bad end of this deck of cards and have horrible things happen to them. But, even in the worst situations, i’ve watched people come out stronger than before. But, for this instance I am talking about image. You can literally change how you look if you feel overweight or underweight. You can alter your physical appearance to make you feel better and healthier. You can workout as much or as little as you want. Self preservation is a powerful thing and you have access it to it all the time.

My list can go on and on and on..these are just a few of the things that came to mind while on my drive home today.

You can lay in bed all day, you can go start a business that makes you a living you never dreamed up. Ultimately, the choice is yours. But, the next time you think you have it rough just think about all the freedom you get to have that is denied to so many countries and people throughout this world. This is a great country that we complain about a lot because of the way it’s ran but man we are Americans that can live the way we want (as long as you aren’t hurting people, if you are, go somewhere else.)

Thanks for listening to my ramblings today guys!
Again, if you want to talk to me but don’t have wordpress you can…
Email; Brooke_trent@yahoo.com
Tweet; @macaronsnmoose
Insta; @brklynntrent

XO,
B