Miracles > Magic

I have been reading this book called, “A Prayer Journal,” by Flannery O’Connor. I went into this book with guns blazing expecting it to be the holy grail to an insight to God that i didn’t have access to before i picked up this novel. I was wrong. I felt like i was betraying a 21 year old girl from 75 years ago who is long gone. I wanted to unread it. I apologized to Flannery. Like i knew her deepest, darkest thoughts. I can barely handle my own thoughts about religion, much less someone with so much despair writing about it.

I know she meant well. I know that in maybe a year, or ten that i will feel differently about her prayers because i am fate-driven. But as of now, i feel like i know her secrets that she didn’t want some random 24 year old girl to know. She begged God to make her a famous writer, I mean, thats all she wanted. I couldn’t help but whisper to Flan, “God didn’t owe you that…”

Then i shut the book. I thought about all the things i ask him for. He doesn’t owe me any of it. God never promised me that he would give me my expectations. He did promise me that I wouldn’t have to fear the future and to give me hope for it. Which is WAY better than any of my humanly expectations. I thought how selfish she was. How all she prayed about was herself. I don’t think I liked her because she reminded me so much of me.

I had this vision in my head of someone praying for health while holding a cigarette in their hand. This almost humorous vision. I was mad at this book. She prayed about being a famous writer and then wrote about praying about it. It was so odd to me. Then i thought how often do i do this. How often do i beg God for something but refuse to change my habits..you want to be healthy? put the cigarette down. you want to be a writer? pick up a pen. In a society where instant gratification is what we want, it’s hard to accept this; God and magic do not correlate. God and miracles do. I don’t expect to wake up one morning with a book on my nightstand written by me, from God. (Santa is the one you should talk to about that.) But, what i can count on is that he will give me patience to sit still and let him speak through me to write.

You see, him giving you the equipment to make something is greater than him handing you something. Nightstands don’t come assembled. It takes tools and putting shelf B on upside down 7 times before you really needed shelf C. But man, it’s one hell of a nightstand that you put together after getting your Ph.D. in Big Lots instruction manuals. God is working on your pieces to make you one hell of a (insert expectation here) for him. For HIS credit. Miracles > Magic.

Thank you God for not treating me as my sins deserve.

XO
-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

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)

Ascending to the Nations

“You can not change what is going on around you until you change what is going on within you”

I never know what i’m going to write about when i sit down to type. But, today, i know.

For many years I have felt this yearning to go out to different countries and help learn who Jesus is. Recently, I have become so frustrated because I am stuck. I am stuck at my job, in this city and with people I already know. I take the long way to work every morning so I can watch the planes. I think to myself how I would do anything to be on one of them headed somewhere foreign so I could meet people from different walks of life to hear their story and be a missionary to them. I am terrified of flying, but fear is the devils biggest illusion.

Then, one morning, arguing with God that i NEEDED to do this, it was like I heard God say, “Brooke, you have asked me to send you to nations but how can i do that when i can’t trust you in your day to day? You complain about going to work, you gossip about others and you haven’t spoken my words to people you come in contact with every day.” I walked to scream and cry. But i didn’t. I knew God was right. I haven’t been living for him here, so how could i live for him thousands of miles away.

Since that day, i have watched my words, I have tried to not complain about a job he has blessed me with and starting with this post, I am reaching out to my friends and family and others who I don’t know so well, by them reading this. I will be more like him so others can see. When i am ready, i will go. I’ll go places far and tell everyone my story. I won’t try to run away from my problems here, I’ll be more like Him. I will be uncomfortable, because being uncomfortable is being like Jesus.

Exodus 9:16 – “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

The world does not need to be pleased, it needs to be changed. And i hope this is the start of the change God will help me make.

XO,

B

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{early morning airport drive}

As always, you can reach me via Instagram, Twitter or 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 :))

I believe…

I believe that the sun is the best form of therapy. I believe to follow your heart over your head. I believe in being innocently wild. I believe you should learn the difference in holding a hand and chaining a soul. I believe you’ll regret every chance you didn’t say yes to. I believe you’ll find yourself more in a foreign country than at a 9-5 job. I believe that failing is not always failure. I believe in books and being alone. I believe that luxury doesn’t mean wealth. I believe that something that burns the soul is hard to forget. I believe women should inspire each other. I believe we stress because we forget we aren’t God. I believe in a good cup of coffee. I believe the way you see the world can change your life. I believe nothing can substitute expierence. I believe there isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you didn’t know their story. I believe for every bad thing in the world, there is 1000 more good things. I believe you should wear what you want and don’t feel guilty about it. I believe we have more fire in us then what we want to believe, even if we don’t see it for ourselves.

XO,

B

Dark Paradise

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EIGHT days of snow. 8. To say i’m going stir crazy is an understatement. So you people reading this who is at least 100 miles in the proximity of sand, for the love of god…send some my way!

With eight days in a snow daze, i’ve had a lot of time to think. I’ve thought about this subject for years. i mean, since i was 5. Dreams. I’m not talking about goal oriented dreams, i mean dreams while you are dead asleep and you wake up wondering who you are and how you got there, dreams.

A lot of people have dreams or nightmares and just brush them off and go about their day. For me, it’s not that simple. This might seem so silly to some people..like who cares that she has dreams…Dreams have changed my life. I have had vivid, morbid, thrilling, out of this world dreams since about the age of 5. I can tell people what i dream about and they look at me like i have 4 heads. They don’t understand that i go through this every morning. That i recall what i dream about every single day and that it can make or ruin my day.

Many people take depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other mental disorders very seriously. After suffering a tremendous loss by one of my friends passing away in my presence and losing whom i thought was the love of my life simultaneously, i had a sever case of PTSD. I had to sleep with my sister for months, i couldn’t shower with the door closed, i couldn’t be alone while i slept because of my dreams.

Coming from a background in psychology, it is in my blood to tear a part every single thing in my dreams. Why was it cold? Why was i in a graveyard? Why did i touch his face? Why were my grandparents zombies? One dream can mess up my entire day. It can make me or break me. It can determine my mood, my energy, my appetite. I know some people who can’t recall their dreams, some do and don’t really care. But it nature to care and to be analytical about everything in my life. I won’t go into detail about these dreams because if i did, i wouldn’t be typing this, i would probably be in a straight jacket.

I have tried multiple ways to just stop dreaming every night. Alcohol, medication, (prescribed, of course) changing my meals, therapy, not eating after a certain time of day, not eating dairy, i even went so far as to draw a dot on my hand and whenever i got scared or mad or wanted to wake up, i would remind myself before i went to sleep to press that dot really hard so i could wake up. I have woke up in crying fits, i have woke because i forgot to breathe, i’ve been scared awake and i’ve woken up so happy that i wanted to fall back asleep.

White bear problem refers to the psychological process whereby deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts make them more likely to surface. An example is when someone trying not to think of a white bear is more likely to imagine one. I chalked my dreams up to this for a long time. But what if it’s something more…

Psychology is so new that we have just begun to scratch the surface. How much can we know about something that isn’t even 200 years old? So with that, i question do dreams have something to do with having a mental disorder? Why so some people dream so vividly and recall every thing about them and other people nothing. Everyone dreams, but what if you dream to the level where it messes up your day? your relationships? your life? is that possible? or should we just let them go the moment we wake up and not think twice about them? Is it your subconscious trying to break out of your skull and get to you to acknowledge it with your conscious?

I don’t really know and for right now, i don’t care too much. I think about things deeply and it doesn’t stop when i sleep. I’ve learned to accept this more now than to try to make them disappear. One other person knows this about me. This is something real and raw and something i want to share, something i want to get comments on.
Don’t ever let someone feel bad or weird for who you are, for what you think or feel. Don’t hide your insecurities, embrace them.

XO,

B

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Today’s song: a little Lana

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

Eat Carbs, Drink Champagne and Forget Valentine’s Day.

This may be the single most important piece i’ve ever written.

Everyone puts the biggest emphases on this holiday. Whether it’s someone being bitter about this money driven holiday or some white girl tagging how lucky she is on insta with her new Michael Kors watch, this holiday is either dreaded with a bottle of jack or welcomed with over priced flowers.

When I was in high school, on Valentine’s Day, you could buy a rose and send it to someone within the school. I can not for the life of me remember if i got a rose any of the four years of my high school career. I’m so sure at the time I secretly wanted one but ten years later, WHO CARES if Nick from Algebra got you a dollar rose!??

My little sister is 13 and she is so much smarter and wiser than i was. At 13, it is so hard to realize this is not what matters in the long run. I wish I could go back and tell myself and tell her how one day, Valentine’s Day will matter only because of the person God chooses you to be with. That no amount of flowers and candy in the world will compare to the nights me and my future Valentine will be in bed at 8:30 on Valentines night.

This time last year i was in Atlanta with my best friend. It is perfectly okay to be single on Valentines Day. Actually, it was one of the best weekends i’ve ever spent with her. Don’t take yourself too seriously and let me say this ladies and gentlemen, it is better to be alone than with someone you know you can’t marry or trust.

Hindsight is 20/20. If you’re single, ENJOY it!
Live alone–you can do whatever, whenever you want! it’s awesome.
Quit your dead end job–trust me, you won’t get to when you have two mouths to feed.
Travel–and don’t tell a soul.
Eat well–Eat that pizza at 2 am with no one there to judge you.
Take trips with your bff–go somewhere fun and shop, eat and party.
Splurge–buy that dress, that xbox, that concert ticket. there will be plenty of time for bills and joint checking accounts later.

Some people live their whole lives and never get married? Guess what? Life isn’t about getting married, life is about being who God called you to be. God will fulfill you, not someone texting you at midnight because he or she is cold (yes, girls do this too.)
I just happened to find a pretty cool guy to spend the rest of my Valentines days with..but i promise, if i didn’t, i would not be sulking about it. Timing, timing, timing.

Even if you are in a relationship, remember that anyone can get you a ring and anyone can say the right words but God will lead you to the right person. Marry someone with a purpose. Don’t take me to a fancy restaurant, show me where you plan to be in 5 years. Marry someone with goals and dreams and someone who puts God first so he can love you like he loves Christ. When you do that, you don’t have to wait for Feb 14th to celebrate your love for one another, you can celebrate each other 365 days a year.

XO,

B

Also, go follow my cool friend who just started his blog! steveduewest.wordpress.com

you can foliow me via twitter: https://twitter.com/macaronsnmoose
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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