I’m trying to keep a brave face over here, but I’ll admit that lately I have started to become increasingly annoyed with how long my album is taking to be completed. The reason for the delay is completely out of my hands. As frustrating as it is, I believe God is trying to teach me complete reliance on him. Because I know His promise stands true—that he will be good to me—I can praise Him even through the annoyances. ;-)

I loved your cover of "Oceans". When can we expect another Alison Brook youtube video?

- Asked by Anonymous

Thanks anonymous. You can expect another youtube video tonight actually. ;)

How does a person donate to your ministry from this website. If there's a way, a person of average intelligence can't find it.

- Asked by Anonymous

Thanks for your interest in donating to my ministry. It sure means a lot to me! The reason why you couldn’t find a way to donate on my website is because there was no way until now! Honestly, I didn’t think there was any interest until you brought it to my attention. I have now placed a “donate” button on the sidebar of the main page of alisonbrook.com (all the way down on the left after the Facebook widget and the copyright script). You can donate using any major credit card as well as a bank account via PayPal. Again, thank you!

Hi =] Whos your favorite prophet and why?

- Asked by Anonymous

Great question! I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this before! I really don’t know if I have only one favorite, but I really like Deborah (Judges 4:4). When I would read the story of Deborah as a young girl it would strengthen my little heart because I could look up to another woman as a spiritual leader. I also think she reminded me of my mom a little bit—a woman with a wise soul—and I really love my mom. 

[Creative Life] Doily Lamp Shade DIY

I love DIY projects because they make you feel super good about yourself when you’re all done: you saved money AND made something pretty!

This week I decided to expand my blogging topics. You can now navigate these topics by going to the blogs tab at the top of the page. I decided it was time to start beefing up the “Creative Life” section a bit more. So, without any further blabbering on my part, here is an easy project I did last night. I got the idea from A Beautiful Mess. You can follow the instructions on their webpage or try following along with my poor quality phoneography. 

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Make sure you find a wire structured lampshade, or else your doily covering will flop around. 

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On a beautiful mess they encouraged you to lay your doilies out. Usually, I’m the type to just “wing it” but I’m really glad I didn’t skip this step. 

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I got inventive and used bobby pins to keep the dolies in place while I sewed them onto the lampshade. 

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And there you have it! A beautiful lampshade! 

[Daily Life] Wedding Photos & Thanks

The first of the wedding photos have finally arrived and I’m so excited to share a few with you! Though there’s the risk of this post sounding like a thank you speech at the Grammy’s, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank a few key people. Public affirmation is important to me. 

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My husband and I decided to plan a wedding that wouldn’t put us, or anyone else, into debt yet wouldn’t skimp on personality. In order to do that we had to enlist the help of many giving people. First, I would like to thank our parents, friends, and supporters for all the things they did to make our wedding successful. The things both seen and unseen (you know who you are Nathan, Jorge, Laura and Emily). Our mothers, Jennifer Jill Schwirzer and Eloisa Ramirez, were particularly instrumental in making all the food! It was delish too!

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Another person who played a crucial role was my friend, and wedding planner, Emily Carlson. I wish her all the money in the world because I surely didn’t pay her enough for the many hours she put in as well as stress she endured the day of our wedding.

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Our friend and photographer, Cody McCabe, also went above and beyond. We appreciate his talent, flexibility, and positive attitude. The guy endured blazing hot weather all day and I didn’t hear him complain once. If you are interested in his photography skills for your event email him at cody.mccabe.photo@gmail.com. Seriously, do it. 

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Another big thank you goes to Hannah Thompson of Beyond Forever Events. I didn’t even know this girl that well (Hannah let’s be friends forever, you are cool) and she volunteered to arrange flowers, create the backdrop shown in the last picture, and allowed me to borrow wedding decor. This was such a huge blessing to us and her kindness, several times, brought me to tears. I didn’t know how much I loved flowers until I saw how she created magic from nothing: wild flowers and a few grocery store roses. If anyone in the midwest is looking for someone to arrange flowers or to help with decor at their wedding, Hannah is your girl. Like her on Facebook!

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I would also like to thank the musicians who shared music at the wedding. We are so blessed to have friends of many talents. Click their names, visit their websites, and listen to and buy their music: Crystal Cheatham, John Millea, Eric and Monique (shared a song via video), Illana Cady, Nathan Beddoe, Jasmine Good, Lee G, Laura Whidden, Matthew Master, Naomi Jackson, Chloe Lewis, Jennifer Schwirzer (mom). 

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Many people made my wedding a success, but we couldn’t have done it without our heavenly father. Without him this wedding, much less this marriage, wouldn’t be possible. The picture above is from our favorite part of the wedding when all our guests prayed over us. All the beauty and all the celebration was wonderful, yes. But this moment is the one I would relive over and over and over again. Thank you Jesus!

[Music Life] Alison Brook & The Lamb Wins: CA Tour

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Hello everyone, 

I took a little break to get married and do a little “nesting” but now that those things have been wrapped up, I am ready to conquer the world! I have teamed up with The Lamb Wins to tour California this October. First and foremost we will be sharing songs for an evangelistic series held in Sonora California at the Sonora SDA Church and preached by Nathan Renner. Here’s the nights we will be sharing:

Oct 11 - 6:30 PM & 8 PM

Oct 16 - 6:30 PM

Oct 17 - 6:30 PM & 8 PM

Oct 18 - 6:30 PM & 8 PM

Oct 24 - 6:30 PM & 8 PM

Oct 25 - 11 AM & 6:30 PM

The Lamb Wins will also be doing a few full length concerts:

Oct. 10 - 7 PM Sonora, CA

Oct 11 - 11 AM - Ceres, CA

Oct 12 - 5 PM - Victorville, CA

Oct 18 - Angels Camp, CA

Oct 19 - Cambrian Park, CA

Oct 22 - Calistoga, CA

Finally, I am also hoping to do a few solo shows while on tour with The Lamb Wins. Problem is, I just got married and being busy with that has distracted me from doing the booking I would have liked to do. This is where you come in! If you have any connections, or even just suggestions, of places I could share my music here are some of my open slots:

October 13-16 all day

October 23 all day

October 24 in the AM or after 7 PM 

I will be based out of Sonora, CA so any Sacramento area—or places comparable to its distance from Sac—would work perfect for me! Please email info@alisonbrook.com if you have a suggestion or just leave a comment below!

I’m excited to get back to concertizing and can’t wait to share the love of God during this October tour!

[Spiritual & Daily Life] When the Grass is Greener on the Other Side, There’s Always Surround Sound

One night, when my husband and I were still dating, we sat down at my friends house to watch a movie on my computer. I had these tiny, poor quality, portable speakers that plugged into the computer. We placed a speaker on either side of us as we watched, and joked about how it was our version of “surround sound” audio. In that moment, I remember being incredibly content. Though we had nothing, we had each other. After the movie was over, I leaned over and I told, my then boyfriend, that I didn’t care what lifestyle we had, just as long as we had Jesus, each other, and our version of surround sound. From then on out, the phrase “surround sound” became our personal mantra of love and contentment. 

Contentment is a beautiful thing, but discontentment can creep in very subtly. The first time I noticed I was beginning to be discontent with my lifestyle was during wedding planning. The wedding industry is geared to make you spend more money. After all, you only do it once… right? When I was registering for gifts, the sales lady helping me asked me what I was most excited to register for. When I told her “sheets” she gave me a crazy look and must have thought it wasn’t fancy enough because she then proceeded to convince me I needed a salad bowl that cost more than I would spend on 5 pairs of jeans combined. Yet despite the temptations I finally made it through the wedding without going over budget. In the end, I was completely happy with my DIY, casual, and meaningful wedding. 

Just when I thought I was done being tempted with discontentment, the post wedding “I-must-have-my-life-together-now-because-I’m-a-grown-up” thing came along. Maybe I’m the only one that this happened to, but after we got settled into our apartment there was suddenly a sense that I needed matching china, fancy mixers, and a lease on an apartment with wood floors and crown molding. I got the fancy mixer (thank you Schuster’s) as a wedding gift, but the rest I will have to wait on.

My husband and I traded china, wood floors, and crown molding for something more practical: buckling down and paying off school debt. For one year we decided to live in my basement apartment while we get on our feet financially. Though practicality wins, it’s sometimes hard not to notice the weird pipes hanging from the ceilings, the spiders, and the fact that the kitchen/laundry room was made for midgets. But the rent is cheap and it’s all we need for now. 

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One reason the recent discontentment has been a struggle for me is probably because of comparisons. Last week, as I was using up our wedding gift money and properly outfitting our apartment with “grown up” things, I started admiring other people’s green grass. I began to get frantic as I tried to stretch the dollars to somehow keep up with other people’s lifestyle success: buying SUVs, houses, and landing cushy jobs. Obviously, I came up short. Sometimes the grass doesn’t just seem greener, it actually is greener on the other side.

One of my friends, Andrea, sent a unique gift card where you get to choose from 20 or so different options; sort of a reverse registry. As I was looking through the options the other day I came across a surround sound and DVD player system. We don’t even have a TV, but somehow it seemed like the right pick. It’s much nicer than the surround sound system that my husband and I first loved when we were dating, but there—as I was frantically trying to keep up with everyone else—was a little reminder of the first love and contentment we felt in my friends apartment watching a movie on a laptop. 

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Maybe someday the Lord will bless me with the things I want; a normal sized kitchen perhaps? But for now, I love our apartment. It’s all ours. Yes, we still watch movies on laptops (except now we will have a real surround sound system to plug into!), but I couldn’t ask for more. Yes, the apartment still has pipes hanging from the ceilings, but there is so much character and so many memories in this tiny place already. Right now, my adorable dogs are perched on “their” chair because I won’t let them on the new couch (another wonderful wedding gift I’m thankful for). I am thankful for them, my new husband, and our little life together. I couldn’t be happier. 

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I am content when I keep my focus on what I do have rather than what I don’t. When the grass is greener on the other side, there’s always surround sound. What I mean by this, is that when life tempts you to want things you can’t have, remember the moments when you were thankful for the simple things. Rejoice in those things. Give thanks for them because when you do your heart will be so full you won’t know what to do with it except spill it out onto the hearts around you. 

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Ps. I could only bear to show you the cute parts of the house, except for that one pipe. 

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