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.

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

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

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

The Haunting

So…today in my lovely daily calendar it read, “Do your heart a favor and forgive the one who’s hurt you the most.” Of course, without hesitation, i know exactly who the one was. Flash back six years ago, this 17 year old girl just left her hometown to move 3 hours away to a new school without anyone i knew!! SCORE! I remember being so excited that I finally got to be on my own. So much went on that year. It was one of the hardest, yet, most rewarding year of my life. At TN Tech, I wrote an essay and out of 2,000 people, I won. I won a huge scholarship that I didn’t tell anyone about. This is actually my first time mentioning it, ever. I knew then that I could write. That I could be more convincing on paper than with my tongue. Where my words fell short, my hands didn’t.

I also fell in love that year, for the first time in my life. It was my first love and it was indescribable. So was the heartbreak that followed. I learned that you can’t carry that heartbreak to new relationships if you want them to last. I lost one of my very good friends and almost my brother to a tragic accident. I learned to not take the ones you love for granted and to tell them you loved them every freakin day. I won’t go into details on any of these in this blog post but six years later, I didn’t realize how innocent I was. I thought I knew it all…I didn’t. I know that in six years, I’ll look back at 24 and realize I knew nothing now as well. And thats perfectly okay. If I didn’t move away, I wouldn’t have grown. I also wouldn’t have the chance the forgive the person I’m oh so haunted about. The living can haunt you more than the dead.

But, I realize in all my years growing and and learning, that forgiving is one of the hardest damn things I’ve learned to do since not eating 6 donuts in one sitting. I realized a long time ago that you shouldn’t let something that is long gone, control you. That you forgive not because that person deserves it, but because you deserve peace. I had a irrational dream and I woke up with my heart pounding and fighting mad. A dream I couldn’t control, tried to control me. I thought about throwing my coffee cup because I couldn’t yell at who I wanted to (I realized the cup had cupcakes on it so I decided against it). I wanted to be angry. Angry. Is. Easy. Forgiving isn’t.

Things like this, can control you if you let it. I started thinking about all the things I do wrong and my flaws and how God forgives me everyday. How I have to be more like Jesus and forgive even when I want to throw my coffee cup in a fit of rage.  I’ve learned a lot since those days in my cracker jack size dorm room but one that stuck is that you should forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now what seems obvious in hindsight. I’ve prayed for peace and patience and it seems like God shows 10 people that have wronged me all in the same day just to make me realize if I want a peaceful life, this is what I have to do. You never have to forget what people have done to you, but if you have peace in your heart, you’ll know you’re on the right path to forgiving them. Just think, nothing annoys someone more than you being silent when they expect you to be enraged.

XO,

B

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