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.

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 

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