French fry A la Mode

french fries, veggie burgers, barbecue sauce, spinach, super green, vegan, vegetarian, routine, establishing routines, wellness, concoctions, healthy eating, healthy recipes

Background on French Fry A la Mode

If you know me by now, you know that I love coming up with all kinds of fun food concoctions. And the other day was no exception to the rule.

Before I give you the recipe, I want to talk about some of the benefits of creating a weeknight routine.

french fries, veggie burgers, barbecue sauce, spinach, super green, vegan, vegetarian, routine, establishing routines, wellness, concoctions, healthy eating, healthy recipes
Food Photo by Katina Horton

Routines help to center, direct, and structure/stabilize/ground us. They also give us predictability for our minds and our bodies. Weeknight routines give us grounding and investment for a good night’s sleep. When we make time and space for the things that we are gifted/good at, and love to do, we are caring for our souls.

french fries, veggie burgers, barbecue sauce, spinach, super green, vegan, vegetarian, routine, establishing routines, wellness, concoctions, healthy eating, healthy recipes

This past week, I decided to be even more intentional in adding some things back to my weeknight routine. One of these things is walking. The benefits of walking are endless. The fresh air, automatic feel good hormones that run through your body, the blood flow, lowering of blood pressure, etc. Walking makes me feel good and keeps my mind creative and flowing with ideas. It also helps me with my writing and allows me to really appreciate nature and how great God is.

Other things that I do for my weeknight routine are listening to podcasts/preaching, dancing, reading books, showering, and drinking tea.

As an exercise tonight, think of all the things that you love to do and are gifted at. Circle all the important things that you wouldn’t want to do without. Make these things a part of your weeknight routine and see how much of a difference that they make in your overall well-being.

Here is the French Fry A La Mode for the Family Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of french fries
  • 4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers
  • 1 container of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
  • 1 bag of cheese

Directions

  • Bake a bag of french fries.
  • While the fries are baking, fry 4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers.
  • Grab bowls and add a couple of servings of fries into each bowl.
  • Cut up the veggie burgers and evenly spread them on top of the fries in each bowl.
  • Add shredded cheese and barbecue sauce on top.

Enjoy!

God bless you!

Katina

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The Savior’s Love

sunsets, Savior, God's love, beach, sand, reflection, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, blogger, blog, poetry, poem, lifestyle, valley of grace

Did you know that there are many ways that God exemplifies his love. I believe that the sunsets are a perfect array of this demonstration. The poem below, focuses in on this great revelation.

Sunsets teach us about our Savior.

About his love and his behavior.

The subtle streaks of pink and blue.

Or bolder tones of golden hues.

sunsets, Savior, God's love, beach, sand, reflection, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, blogger, blog, poetry, poem, lifestyle, valley of grace
Sunset Photo taken by Katina Horton

The artist breaks through every dimension.

To give out love, get our attention.

sunsets, Savior, God's love, beach, sand, reflection, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, blogger, blog, poetry, poem, lifestyle, valley of grace
Photo taken by Katina Horton

Summertime Salad

summertime salad, family, food, healthy eating, recipes, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living

Background Story on Summertime Salad

My mother and two nieces came to visit me this weekend. I picked them up on Saturday, hoping beforehand to have made at least four out of six stops completed prior to picking them up from the train station. Well, I got three done. I had to talk myself down to the fact that I would have to make three stops with two little ones. It wasn’t that bad after all.

After all of the stopping and putting away groceries, we decided that it would be best to grill on Sunday after church. It rained overnight and Sunday morning. However, as the weather man predicted, the rain stopped at around 1:00 p.m. By 2:00 we were ready to grill.

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Summertime Salad Photo by Katina Horton

Some of the highlights of my weekend were: 1) watching a two-year old dance and climb a flight of stairs with the look of joy on her face, 2) watching both nieces play with twigs and branches in the backyard 3) listening to 70s, 80s, and 90s slow jams, 4) watching movies, 5) baking oatmeal lemon nut and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with my niece, and 6) grilling for the first time since living here. I hope and pray that you had a simple, functional grace-filled weekend as well.

Here is the recipe for the Summertime Salad that I made on Sunday:

Ingredients

  • 5 medium beets
  • 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons of minced onions
  • dressing of your choice
  • 3 medium green bell peppers
  • 6 to 8 mini sweet peppers
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 tub of mixed green salad
  • 6 tomatoes cut into wedges or slices

Directions

  • Roast the beets for 45 minutes on 350, pouring olive oil and wrapping them individually in foil and placing them on a cookie sheet beforehand.
  • When they are done, allow them to cool off for 15 minutes and then peel off the skin with a towel.
  • Cut the beets into wedges.
  • Dump the mixed green salad into a bowl.
  • Dump the tomato slices or wedges into the bowl.
  • Dump all the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle the seasonings last.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

Family

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Lots of times being with family can bring out a full range of emotions all at once or individually. This particular poem illustrates the happy, freeing moments of family time. As you read through the poem, ponder over the following questions: What are some words that come to mind when you think of family? What are some of the emotions that are stirred up? How can you engage more with your family?

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Photo by Sarah Pflug

Family

Family-it’s what we need.

Family-there’s strength indeed.

Biological or spiritual-doesn’t matter.

Some prefer the former, some prefer the latter.

Hold them tight.

Hold them near.

Just have fun.

Make it dear.

Laugh and twirl.

Turn around.

Dance and sing.

Hit the ground.

Move your feet to the beat.

Hand in hand.

Oh, how neat!

Reminisce.

Good old times.

Gather ’round.

Time to dine.

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

John 21:12

Episode 50: The Journey Reading

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Episode 50: The Journey Reading
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Show Notes: The Journey Reading

How many of you have gone on a journey? We take many things with us when we embark on our journeys. When you went on your journey, what did you decide to take with you?

journey, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, podcaster, podcast, episode 50, blogging, PTSD, trauma, Toxic work environment
Photo by Matthew Henry

Sometimes, there are things that we plan to take on our journey, and other times that are things that happen to us that are totally unplanned. Today’s podcast will feature a reading from my first book. I would classify it as an autobiography/ faith journey. There were several things that happened to me on my journey. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have planned for a lot of the things that happened to happen. However, it is through this journey that God has made me stronger, and allowed me to see that he is my only security, and that it is through his grace that I am where I am today.

God bless!

Fear

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When it comes to fear, there is no respect of persons. It gets a toehold, and pulls you in when you least expect it. With a combination of marinading ourselves in God’s love, prayer, and praise, fear will take a backseat. However, Satan isn’t going to want to let us go without a fight. He is always on the move. Therefore, we have to constantly stay armored up. For when fear is conquered in one area, he is sure to attack us in the next.

fear, perfect love, psychology, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, spiritual attack
Photo by Matthew Henry

Fear

Fear.

Sneaks upon from nowhere.

Fear.

Latches on you if you dare.

Fear.

Masquerading as your friend.

Fear.

Only torments in the end.

But,

Just Remember to look above.

At,

Our Dear Father’s Perfect love.

Why?

In his love, there is no fear.

Yes,

Abba, Father, He is Near.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

Direction

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Background on the Poem “Direction

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Photo by Matthew Henry

There are times in life when we don’t know which way to go. During these times, if we seek the Lord, then our mission, our purpose, and his will becomes clearer. Of course, it also means that we have to still do our part. Our part involves intentionality, setting goals, and aligning our will with his. We also need wisdom discerning in whom we should confide God’s great revelation.

I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the ramparts. I will watch to see what He will say to me and how I will answer my reproof. Then the LORD answered me: “Write down this vision and clearly inscribe it on tablets, so that a herald may run with it. For the vision awaits an appointed time; 

Habakkuk 2: 1-3

Direction

Listen- to every word that I say.

Vision-making it plain, don’t you sway.

Write it-on your heart and your mind.

Do it-all in wisdom and my time.

Show it-to your siblings, the believers.

Hold it-From the wicked, the deceivers.

Episode 49: The Anchor

the anchor, disappointment, discouragement, hope, depression, car accident, resolution, thriving, living, trouble, storms, reality, challenges, car accidents, katina horton, valley of grace, podcaster, lifestyle, podcaster lifestyle ,blogger, writer, podcasting,

Episode 49: The Anchor
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Podcast Show Notes

The Anchor Podcast Outline:

  • Storms and Disappointment
  • When Discouragement Sets In
  • My November Accident
  • My Recent Accident
  • Shifting Our Focus
the anchor, disappointment, discouragement, hope, depression, car accident, resolution, thriving, living, trouble, storms, reality, challenges, car accidents, katina horton, valley of grace, podcaster, lifestyle, podcaster lifestyle ,blogger, writer, podcasting,
Photo by Alexandra Lee

Reflection Questions

What does the word anchor mean to you?

Have you ever had to use an anchor, and if so, for what purpose?

What is the first thing that you do when a storm enters your life?

What emotions do you feel when disappointment sets in?

Have you ever wrestled with the reality of things not happening at the best time?

What resolution can you make when the storms of life seem overwhelming and never-ending?

How can shifting your focus to the anchor change everything?

Episode 48: Helping Someone During Grief

grief, life, death, trauma, compounded trauma, Job, psychology, friends, consolation, empathy, sympathy, pain competition, katina horton, healing our brokenness, sadness

Episode 48: Helping Someone During Grief
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Podcast Show Notes

grief, life, death, trauma, compounded trauma, Job, psychology, friends, consolation, empathy, sympathy, pain competition, katina horton, healing our brokenness, sadness
Photo by Matthew Henry

Helping Someone During Grief Podcast Outline

  • Symptoms of Grief
  • Job and his Grief
  • Right and Wrong Things to Say or Do During Grief

Reflection Questions:

What are some of the cliche terms that you have said when you tried consoling someone who was grieving?

Did you say these terms to avoid feeling the other person’s pain, or in a rush for the other person to feel better?

What are alternative words that can be said to someone who is suffering?

Do you have pain competitions with others when they are grieving in order to make them have a reality check, or yourself feel better because you feel that you have it worse than them?

What changes can you make to insure that people feel loved during their time of grief?

He Speaks

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This poem was written as a reflection of some of the different ways in which God speaks to us. We like to put God in a box. We often forget that God has an infinite way of relating to us, and allowing us to hear his voice. When Elijah was in the process of running away from Jezebel, God revealed Himself to him. Elijah had put God in the box of coming to him in a “great and mighty way”. Instead, he whispered to him in the still, small voice. God knows what we need, and when we need it. He is a God who meets us right where we’re at.

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Picture by Sarah Pflug

He Speaks

He Speaks! He Speaks!

But where will it be?

In a message, in a song, or the birds in a tree?

Will it be in the coolness of the wind blowing at night?

Will it be in the calmness of the crickets singing in flight?

Will it be in the morning when the rabbits talk to squirrels?

Or the munks tunneling through grass, and the robins dancing a twirl?

Will it be in the waves that are splashing at the beach?

Or the smiles of the saints as they’re waving “Hi” to me?

Will it be in the sun that is setting in the sky?

Or the swans overhead that are reaching by and by?

When he speaks, will I hear him, same voice as before?

Or will it be with great trumpet?

All of that, and Even more!

God bless,

Katina