I am a mother of two children, love cooking healthy meals, reading, upcycling, learning foreign languages, and decorating. I have a passion for ministering to women who have been through trials and trauma, and helping those of us who are currently in a valley situation to see how God's grace is there, and waiting to meet our needs through the impossible, while helping us to grow at the same time.
My last poem, Transformation, can be found here. This poem, Dance of Praise, deals with the story of David praising God after his victory, and his wife becoming jealous and spiteful because of how he praised God.
14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lordwith shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
17 And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts.
19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord.
22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
Since Christmas time is approaching, churches, organizations, and families everywhere are squeezing in the last of the shopping, get-togethers, and worship preparations. On Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending the “Women’s Christmas Gathering” at another church. One of my favorite things to do during this season is to sing Christian Christmas carols to help me in reigning in my heart, mind, and soul into the reason for this season: reflecting on that precious baby who was brought into the world to bring hope in a weary land.
My second favorite thing to do is to watch Christmas movies on Lifetime, Hallmark, and Netflix. Because of the fact that my free time is mainly in the evenings, and it is usually when I am tired that I’m trying to watch these movies, I end up falling asleep about a third of the way. And of course, on the following day, I am trying to figure out where I left off. Even so, for some odd reason, just having these movies playing, as I am sitting on the couch with a throw in my comfy corner of the couch is enough for me.
The last recipe that I featured was “Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup. You can find that recipe here. Today, I have included a recipe for chili that I made a few days ago. It’s called “Simple Everything Chili”. Why the name? I literally dumped everything in it to make it work. Send me a line letting me know if you decide to make it.
Activity: Making “Simple Everything Chili”
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 2 1/2 hours
4 tablespoons of cumin
4 tablespoons of turmeric
4 tablespoons of onion powder
5 tablespoons of chili powder
3 tablespoons of garlic powder
5 tablespoons of parsley
2 cans of vegetable soup
2 cups of pinto beans
1 cup of lentils
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
2 cups of vegetable broth
Dump the pinto beans into a pot of water, boiling them for 1 1/2 hours.
Add the lentils to the pot, boiling it for an additional 40 minutes.
Add all the rest of the ingredients plus 2 cans of water, boiling for an additional 20 minutes.
Today I am featuring a guest post on how to decorate, coming from a blogger over in Sweden. Our last DIY decorating post can be found here. I hope that these tips will inspire you as you decorate your new home.
Interior design and home decor does not always feel like the easiest field to dig into. However, it will always be of importance for as long as human kind moves around and keeps it interest of beautiful surroundings. Research studies during the past decades have shown that general content and happiness can be correlated to how beautiful one person’s surrounding are perceived. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but that does not take away the fact that if you regard your surroundings and your home as beautiful, your mindset and overall content will increase and improve to the better! This is something that everyone would benefit from!
But the first problem remains, interior design and the project of decorating your home beautifully is not always the easiest task. Therefore, we have written a small guide for you to go through and hopefully fins some guiding and useful advice whenever you find yourself browsing through online furniture shops.
Step 1: Do research on brands and style in order to decorate
Research, research and then a little more research. Why does this topic feel sometimes obnoxiously persistent in everyday life? But the fact is that without doing your thorough research, things will happen ad hoc and you will hence not feel content with your final choices. In the big ocean of interior brands one group stands out of everyone. Can you guess which one? Well, it is the Scandinavian design houses of course! Scandinavian interior design, with its unbarked and simple look has been on everyone and their mothers lips for many years now. Sleek oak wood, beautiful washed linen fabrics and a bright and uplifting palette are a few words that describes the Scandinavian design best. There are plenty of websites to browse through while doing your thorough research of Scandinavian furniture and interior. We have picked out a few examples for you to get started:
Reforma Sthlm – One of Scandinavia’s biggest inspirational websites where you easily can get inspired by everything from kids furniture with cool design to vintage and industrial interior. If you feel like buying something, they are also an e-commerce site so feel free to shop til you drop! Their focus is divided into two main parts. Danish, and modern interior as well as more rustic, vintage and industrial vibes. With good prices (it surely sometimes feel like you are shopping at one of the bid low cost furniture chains) and magnificent quality you will surely not find anything like it anywhere else. Make sure to be ready with your google translate button though, if you are not from Scandinavia that is. Otherwise be inspired by the beautiful pictures of homes and nice interior. It is just like a mini pinterest focused on only furniture and design!
House Doctor – The queen of Danish interior design. If you haven’t heard of House Doctor yet, be happy you are doing it now! They sell everything from sleek striped down wooden pieces, like drink trolleys, coffee tables and dining chairs to more bohemian and soft interior like seat cushions, decorative pillows, blankets and even vases and candle holders with ethnic patterns. The designs are always luxurious and high quality.
Bloomingville – The Danish furniture saga continues to the next of beautiful brands. Amongst Bloomingvilles range of everything from table cloths to decorative mirrors, you will find exclusive and fun design perfect for every home out there. With a fun and fabulous color palette and design that really has been though out outside of the box, you will get a smile on your face while figuring out how to decorate and furnish you apartment or house on this website. If you feel like getting something for yourself, why not head back to Reforma Sthlm and buy it. Reforma is the main retailer of Bloomingvilles products and you will surely be happy and satisfied with your new dining table or bureau.
Ib Laursen– For the people who wish to be different. If you don’t want your home to feel like the “home next door”, make sure to be inspired by the range of furniture you find at Ib Laursen. They use plenty of recycled materials such as old wooden doors and parts from former industries. The fact that they can use these wared parts and create them into amazing décor and furniture is something from out of this world! Buying vintage furniture online has suddenly become a possibility which is something that many people have not yet been informed of. But hey, here you go! When your research is done and you have gotten a picture of what interior style you like, move on to our next step!
Step 2: Write a list of what you need for your home
To not find yourself in a situation where you seem to drown in excess pieces of furniture that are just standing around doing nothing to no one, you need to figure out what you really need. And we need really, when we say really! This step is easy (and fun!) make a room-by-room plan where each room gets a list of what will be needed there. For example, in a bed room you will need a bed, blanket, decorative cushions, a night stand, a wall shelf, maybe a secretary with matching chair, a couch or an armchair, Some beautiful vases and pots, a soft carpet and… stop there! By writing a structured list of what furniture you need and where, it will be easier to make a budget as well as visualize your future in your new home, which brings us on to the next step in this guide…
Step 3: Visualize
We will try not to sound too new-age and hippie in this section, but visualizing your future somewhere will make it easier for you to actually create it for yourself. Step into the room you are decorating, for instance the kitchen, and try to really picture the colors, the fabrics, the materials and what will be placed where. Imagine you kitchen table, the plates and color palette and use all your new knowledge from the research you did at Reforma Sthlm. You will find yourself actually seeing what you want and how you want it to look. When this is done, head over to the next step!
Step 4: Plan and Shop
Bring out the note pad again, it is time for some planning! What furniture shops and interior boutiques have what you need? Do you want to go buy it physically or do you wish to purchase it online and get it delivered to your door step? Make a budget and make sure it is aligned with your monetary capability. Be smart and creative during this step, for a lot if people the actual planning is the most fun part of the interior process. You can structure your shopping list in whatever way you feel is the most convenient. Either you do it after each room, with boxes to tick next to each item when it is purchased and receiver. But the easies way is to do it after what shop you will get what. To give you an example: Let us say that you want to buy that beautiful lamp from House Doctor, that eye catching book shelf from House Doctor and that beautiful vintage coffee table made of recycled wood from Ib Laursen, fins a store that offers all of these items and structure the list from there. Too continue on the same example, the online furniture store Reforma Sthlm offers all of these items and thus you can tick off the boxes next to each items when you have gone through with the safe and quick purchase. When buying furniture and home décor online make sure that the payment methods are safe, that the store you are buying from offers good customer service and for your safety, also make sure that the pieces you get are refundable. Hopefully you will be pleased with your new items but better safe than sorry, right!?
Step 5: Put everything together in your home
The beautiful thing about online interior stores are the obvious fact that you get everything delivered to your doorstep. How did people manage 50 years ago? Let us be happy that we don’t need to drive around ourselves anymore. When you get the delivery, the fun begins. Make sure to have a friend or family over because this can still het heavy and sweaty! Putting all your need furniture together, whether it is that beautiful velvet couch or all the kitchen accessories that needs to be put into place, it will take time and energy. And together with a friend, assembling furniture becomes a lot more fun!
Step 6: Decorate to Enjoy your home
When your new home is furnished and decorated it is time to enjoy your achievements every hour of every day. With your new home décor, such as astonishing mirrors, cool lighting and comfortable upholstery you can now live a life in beautiful peace. Just like research has shown, a comfortable and appreciated environment in your home will in fact improve your happiness and content and therefor this process is as fun as it is important and life changing.
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men
nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Luke 15: 19-22
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Background on The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis
About a month ago, I discussed The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect of Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis. You can find that post here. Today, I will discuss The Holiday Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.
The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis
Holiday time can be tough in general. Let alone, if the holiday time is when you experienced a series of events that led to PTSD/trauma. When the holidays come around, it can feel like you are reliving these events. This is because the energy from them are still residing in our bodies.
The holiday season of 2012 is when a great majority of the trauma that my kids and I experienced in the last six years took place. It started a little before Thanksgiving, and reached its peak right after New Year’s Day. Almost daily, emotionally draining activities and sabotage were done to myself and the kids in order for me to put him out, so that he wouldn’t have to be the “bad guy” who left us.
The peak was a fake-suicide stunt with my ex-husband starting up the car with the garage door down, and the engine running. It was a last attempt to pull me back in emotionally, and to get me back to being the person that was a doormat/enabler, with low self-worth.
God had already begun to work a miracle in my life six months prior to this event, and so this “doormat” person was not there anymore. It was God’s grace that I went downstairs to check the garage, or this fake suicide stunt could have killed all of us. The kids were sleeping upstairs at the time.
Ever since then, the holiday time has been painful, and a time that I struggle. It has gotten better in some areas, and worse in others.
The first holiday season (2013) after my ex-husband left, was very difficult because I wasn’t able to tolerate any Christmas music or movies. A friend of mine dropped me off at the grocery store, and she waited outside for me. I had to pick up a few items. I remember Christmas music playing on the radio, and literally feeling trapped. The reaction to the music surprised me. Before I knew it, I was caught up in the “Overwhelmed Aspect”. An explanation of that aspect can be found here.
I quickly found the items that I needed, and got out of the store as fast as I could. This continued being my normal for the first year. A few weeks after that, the church that I was attending for Divorce Care offered a session for dealing with grief during the holidays. I gladly signed up for the class. We discussed all the practical unexpected things that could happen during the holidays, and how to handle them.
I can listen to more Christmas music now than before. I can also watch Holiday movies, with breaks in between for some of them. It is almost like the smell outside and the feel in the air knows it’s November, and then the trauma aspect kicks in for me. Down below, I have listed some things to help you ease through the holiday aspect of living with trauma during this season.
Self-Help for Making it Through The Holiday Aspect
Take advantage of the community that God has given you. Talk to friends on the phone. Have a girls’ or guys’ movie night. A month ago, me and my friends got together to watch a home movie in front of the fireplace. It was a wonderful time of eating, fellowship, and laughs. When you are dealing with anxiety or depression, you need something to help lift your emotions.
Therapy. This therapy could involve going to see your therapist, writing in your journal, poetry, painting, or cooking. There are several activities that allow us to be creative and are therapeutic at the same time.
Movement. Give your body the gift of movement. When you exercise, the blood and oxygen starts flowing, and the natural feel-good hormones rise to the surface. I like going for a walk, even if it’s cold, just to make my adrenal glands happy, and feel refreshed at the same time. I also like dancing to 70s’ and 80s’ music and walking the stairs for a certain amount of time to get my heart pumping.
Doses of Music, Movies, Etc. Try to allow yourself to watch or listen to music, movies, etc. a little at a time in order to build up resilience. Everyone is different. I found that when I tried to ban everything, it only made the trauma worse, so I introduced a little bit at a time. I am still in the process of giving myself little doses here and there.
Self-Care. Practice self-care by trying to get enough sleep, rest, and food as possible. Taking your vitamins and drinking herbal tea can be relaxing. It might be a time to take get bloodwork done to see if your vitamin D is low, since we are in the winter months, and there is less sunshine.
Prayer. Ask others for prayer, and lift yourself up in prayer as well. Listening to uplifting Christian music can be comforting and minister to your soul.
Send some comments to let me know what you use to get through the holiday aspect of trauma.
Prayers for you and your family as you march through this season!
How many of you have ever been given the title, “The Biggest Loser”? Well, unfortunately I hadn’t either until I played Bunco this weekend with a group of ladies. A few days leading up to Bunco night had been filled with grief and trauma symptoms. So, when I received a text from a friend inviting me to go to Bunco night, since they were in need of an additional two ladies, I hopped on board.
My eyes honed in on the words”filled with laughter” in the text. After listening to the pitter patter of the rain, and having an emotional Saturday, I knew that Bunco was calling my name. I got a chance to play with ten other women, who, like myself, were needing a break. As God would have it, I knew one of them.
The game got pretty intense, and surprisingly, I couldn’t seem to leave the Losers’ Table. Finally, after eight losses, I moved to the Winners’ Table, and I stayed there the rest of the evening. Although I made it to the Winners’ Table, it wasn’t soon enough. Before you knew it, the game was over, and I was given the title “The Biggest Loser”.
At first, I was a little sad that it was my worst ever Bunco score. That was short-lived because I soon found out that the “Biggest Loser” was actually the “Biggest Winner” in my book. The “Biggest Loser” was celebrated just as much, if not even more than the winner in my opinion. I received a sandalwood and amber candle, shea butter hand cream, and foaming hand soap. I smiled to myself, and I told God that he had a sense of humor.
In Luke 15, the Pharisees and teachers of the law were fussing and complaining because Jesus welcomed the tax collectors and sinners who came to hear him speak. This is the parable that Jesus told them, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shouldersand goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15: 4-7)
That night, I was the little sheep. The ladies had joyfully placed me on their shoulders and celebrated my loss.
Episode 8: The Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:26:24
Our last podcast, Episode 7: The Benefits of Suffering, was recorded two weeks ago. When we are dealing with suffering, as the word itself suggests, there seems to be no benefits at all. God has a word for all of us in how we can see this differently. That episode can be found here.
Today’s episode, Episode 8: The Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail lets us know the dangers of what happens when we mix the two. Hold onto your seats! Or, should I say run fast!
The Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail Outline
Cause and Effect of Fear
Cause and Effect of Exhaustion
Three Things That Happen when we Drink the Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail
Remedy for Fear and Exhaustion Hangover
What Happened when I Drank the Fear and Exhaustion Cocktail
Bible Verses for Today’s podcast
David Among the Philistines-1 Samuel 27
27 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”
2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath.3 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.
5 Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?”
6 So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since.7 David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.
8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.)9 Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.
10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.”11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory.12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.”
Elijah Flees to Horeb 1 Kings 19
19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
The Lord Appears to Elijah
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shatteredthe rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
The Call of Elisha
19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
As a kid growing up in the projects, we always played games to keep ourselves busy. Some of my favorites were Captain, May I?, Red Light, Green Light, and It. We also loved playing board games. My cousin and I were a little jealous because the kids next door seemed to have all the best board games. One of my favorites was Backgammon.
As adults, it is also important to create memories with our friends and and family. Now that holiday time is upon us, this means getting together and playing the board games that we probably have stored away and collecting dust. About a year ago, I saw an idea on Pinterest to create a tic-tac- toe board game. It was one of those days that I was in the creative mode, and I was surfing Pinterest, as a lot of us do. It took no time, and I had all the materials either here in the house, or right outside my front door! The wood that I used was left over from the breakfast bar that my son and his friend built. You can find that post here.
Activity: Making a Tic Tac Toe game
Time: 40 minutes
Piece of wood (Menards or Home Depot ) $2
Small Jar of Acrylic Paint $.99
Rocks : Outside or bag from Dollar Tree for $1
Paintbrush $1 from Dollar Tree
Use an extra piece of wood that you have at home or get a piece cut from the lumber department of the hardware store.
Using a paintbrush, make two lines going across, and two lines going down.