Simple Spaghetti

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Background Story on Simple Spaghetti

I have been reading Brene Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead for a couple of weeks now.  If I was just reading that one book, I would be done by now.  However, I am reading about six books at the same time.  What I love is that the Holy Spirit has intertwined several themes across the board with all of these books:  vulnerability, shame, joy, gratitude, dealing with the unexpected, hustling for self-worth, and filling our thirst.

There are several things that stuck out with me so far in this book.  I would like to quote three of them:

Quote #1

“Embodying and practicing gratitude changes everything.  It is not a personal construct, it’s a human construct-a unifying part of our existence-and it’s the antidote to foreboding joy, plain and simple.  It’s allowing yourself the pleasure of accomplishment, or love, or joy-of really feeling it, of basking in it-by conjuring up gratitude for the moment and for the opportunity”. (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

This reminds of last night.  I got together with a group of friends.  I allowed myself to not dismiss the reality that my life has been filled with lots of drama and trauma within the last six months.  However, my heart was full.  It was so, so full.  I thanked God for my friends, the food, the fellowship, time to decompress, and the laughs from the movie.  I thanked him for all his goodness in spite of what my real life problems were.

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Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Quote #2

“Something as simple as starting or ending meetings with a gratitude check, when everyone shares one thing they’re grateful for, can build trust and connection, serve as container-building, and give your group permission to lean into joy.” (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

The second quote was a Holy Spirit moment because just a week ago, I had an accident.  I allowed myself to sink in anger about all the inconveniences, but then quickly gave myself a gratitude check.  That post can be found here.  The funny thing about it is that I titled the post “Gratitude Check” prior to reading page 83 of Dare to Lead.  God knows how to bring all things together.

Quote #3

The last quote is from page 97, which was another Holy Spirit moment.  It reminded me of my IT job from years ago, where I sought to prove that I could sit at the table with others who made a certain salary, instead of being discriminated against.  I didn’t realize that the only table that I needed to have recognition at is the table of Christ.  The “Heavenly Places” blog post can be found here.

“When people don’t understand where they’re strong and where they deliver value for the organization or even for a single effort, they hustle.  The kind that’s hard to be around because we are jumping in everywhere, including where we’re not strong or not needed, to prove that we deserve a seat at the table.” (Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown, page 97)

A few days ago, I decided to try my hands at a simple spaghetti recipe.  There were very few ingredients.  It turned out pretty good.  The only problem was that I put too many red pepper flakes.  I would take a bite to eat, then feel flames at the back of my throat.  This cycle repeated itself until the bowl was empty.  Enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti

Total cooking and Prepping Time: 40 minutes

Servings: about 12

Ingredients:  

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of basil
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato soup (low-sodium)
  • basil or spinach leaves (for garnish and eating)
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Valley of Grace Cutting Board-Shopify Store

Directions: 

  • Boil six cups of water with olive oil or butter so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Add the spaghetti to the boiling water.
  • Drain the spaghetti.
  • Dump the pasta sauce and tomato soup into the pot.
  • Add one can of water to the pot.
  • Dump all the seasonings into the pot.
  • Serve in bowls or on plates.
  • Garnish with basil or spinach leaves.
  • Enjoy!

 

God bless,

Katina

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Episode 6: Waiting on God For the Impossible

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Episode 6: Waiting on God For the Impossible
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Introduction to “Waiting on God For the Impossible”

Last week, the featured podcast was Episode 5: Woe is Me!  It can be found here.  This particular podcast dealt with the sin of self-pity.  It broke down the definition, signs and symptoms, the different areas self-pity can be involved in, and the tools to grow and move forward from self-pity.

 

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This week’s podcast is entitled, ” Waiting on God For the Impossible”.  I have found that waiting on God for an answer is one of the most difficult things to have to do.  If we were on the game show called “Family Feud”, it would come in as number two on the survey for what issues Christians find hardest to deal with.  Why?

  • It is God’s timetable not ours.
  • Our emergency is not God’s emergency.
  • The unknown can be scary.

 

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Photo by Matthew Henry

 

Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • Dissection of How Sarah and Abraham Dealt with Waiting
  • Oh, The Pain of Waiting
  • My Abraham Journey
  • Our New Home
  • My Financial Situation

 

Bible Verses to Meditate On

Genesis 17:

Part 1

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to himand said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c] for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan,where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Part 2

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant,you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Part 3

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.[d] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

Part 4

21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,

25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen;26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

 

Mark 9: 14-27

Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit

Part 1

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

Part 2

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

Gratitude Check

spiritual health, emotional health, character development, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, car accident

Introduction

The last six months have been filled with trials, unexpected trauma, and a whole lot of gratitude.  This gratitude involves the realization that I have life, strength, and decent health.  It makes me think of all the things that God made possible that I thought that I may never do again.  It is also gratefulness for a new calling in life.  I realize that nothing can be taken for granted.

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Background on Gratitude Check

After just coming out of a trial on Wednesday of last week, I was looking forward to taking it easy on the weekend.  So I thought.  I had just attended a meeting at church for the Sunday School volunteers.  My daughter and I were headed home.

We made a complete stop at the intersection around the corner from our house, waiting for eastbound traffic to clear so that we could make a left turn.  While we were sitting there, I had the words “crash and rental car” to come into my mind.  I tried pushing those thoughts out of my head.  I began to make a plan for what I would do when I got home:  rake the leaves, go for a walk, write out my podcast speech, etc.  The next thing that I knew, we were hit.  It kind of happened in slow motion.

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After about an hour and fifteen minutes of pictures and paperwork, we were able to go home.  To be honest, I had to stop and ask God “Why?”  I had just recovered from last week’s drama, only to end up with more trauma from the accident.  As I sat there, at my kitchen table, I acknowledged that I was mad.  There was no point in pretending.  Stuffing leads to more trauma, so I wasn’t going down that aisle.  I acknowledged that I didn’t feel like making the calls to the insurance company.  Then, I had to acknowledge the trauma from the accident that was starting to kick in.

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It took me two more hours before I could call and report the accident.  What was my gratitude check for Saturday?

  1.  God is good.
  2. The car was still drive-able.
  3. We didn’t suffer any major injuries.(My daughter is sore from the accident).
  4. God had a praise song in my head while we waited for all the pictures and paperwork to be done.
  5. The car wasn’t going any faster than it was.
  6. We found out that we were missing some major coverage on our car insurance.
  7. The other driver had insurance.

spiritual health, emotional health, character development, trauma, anxiety, PTSD, car accident

This accident reminded me of God’s answer to our thoughts and our plans:

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

God bless,

Katina

Episode 5: Woe is Me!

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Episode 5: Woe is Me!
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Outline of the Podcast “Woe is Me!”

Praise God!  We are on Episode 5, entitled, ” Woe Is Me!”.  Last week’s podcast featured Episode 4:  Unhealed Brokenness & Toxic Relationships.  It can be found here.

  • What is Self-Pity?
  • Why is Self-Pity So Bad?
  • What is the End Result of Extreme Self-Pity?

 

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  • The Competitive Side of Self-Pity
  • Self-Pity is Spiritual
  • View of Self-Pity for other Christians
  • View of Self-Pity for Unbelievers
  • My Experience with Self-Pity
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  • Factors for Ahab’s spirit of self-pity
  1. Retirement
  2. Location
  3. Money
  • Ahab’s childish behavior
  • Reminders about Temptation and Lust
  • James 1: 12-20:

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

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Five Steps to Freedom from Self-Pity

Have a blessed night!

Katina

When Grace Is No Longer Grace

Dissecting Grace

As Christians, we know that the best example we have for living is Christ.  We love because he first loved us.  We forgive because he has forgiven us.  We give grace because we have been given grace.  But, the question is, when is grace no longer grace?  This is the question that I have had to revisit several times in the last few years.

Grace is no longer grace when we have gotten to the point of disrespecting ourselves.  How do we know that we our disrespecting ourselves?  It is usually when our needs, thoughts, well-being, and boundaries are ignored.  Boundaries exist emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

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Body’s Reactions

One of the ways to know if we are disrespecting ourselves is to pay attention to our “gut reaction”.  A lot of times our bodies know that something is wrong before our emotional, mental, and spiritual knows that something is wrong.  When I first met a neighbor at my last residence, she seemed nice.  Although she seemed nice, there was still something that didn’t allow me to feel 100% safe.  During the course of talking to her, she almost fell.  She grabbed on to me to recover her balance, and my whole body locked up.  If you live with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis, then you are very familiar with the stiffness of the body as a reaction to trauma/stress.  Because of trauma victims having a negative charge, we are even more sensitive to detecting something wrong.  We are magnets to certain types of energy.  Had I acted on this warning, I could have avoided a lot of heartache.  When you have a gut reaction about something, it is your body’s warning that your boundaries are being crossed, or that something said isn’t right.

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Photo by Samantha Hurley

 

Giving Excuses

We all have bad days.  We are all broken, and because of our brokenness we are going to sin on a daily basis.  However, it is important to pay attention to how often we are giving excuses for behavior.

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Photo by Matthew Henry

Giving

We are not to keep score, however, it is important to know that there is give and take in any relationship.  If we are on the giving 90% of the time side, this is a sign that grace is no longer grace.  This will manifest itself through feeling drained emotionally during or at the commencement of the relationship.  This isn’t a normal reaction in a give and take dynamic.

 

Working

You are working to prove your value and worth all the time.  Jesus’ death cut out all the legalism of work.  If we are striving for approval or value from others, or we are given the hidden meaning to keep hustling for someone, grace is no longer grace.  I love this verse in Romans that makes this so clear:  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:6

 

 

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Control

Grace is no longer grace when we allow ourselves to to be controlled.  Control can be subtle or obvious.  When you find yourself in a toxic dance, your gut feeling is not right, and you are going around in circles, this is a sign you are being controlled.  It can also be a matter of having the things that you say or do be used against you.  For example:  Person A says :  Do this.  Person B:  Does this.  Person A says:  Why did you do this?  And then this repeats over and over again.  The only way to come out of the dance is to eliminate your action as person B.

 

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Patterns

One of the best ways to determine whether grace is no longer grace is to look for patterns.  These patterns will give a clue into whether or not there was a misunderstanding on our part, or if there is a pattern of sin on the other person’s part.  If it is hard to detect, then one of the best things that we can do is to pray.  Prayer for wisdom and discernment will allow us to receive what God wants us to know.  As much as we hate conflict, it is something that we can’t avoid.  The podcast on handling conflict can be found here.  We are told in scripture how to handle the conflict of sin:

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.  Matthew 18:15-17

 

What I have come to figure out myself is that if the scripture verses above were put into effect in all of my situations, then the draining/toxic effect could have been avoided or lessened.  We cannot save or fix others.  It is Satan’s job to make us believe that we can, to the point of disrespecting ourselves, where grace is no longer grace.

God bless you all!

 

Katina

 

 

Footnotes:

Episode 3: Broken People Judging Broken People

Episode 3: Broken People Judging Broken People
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Podcast Breakdown:

Last week, our podcast was focused on “Conflict Among Broken People”.  You can find the podcast here.  This week’s topic is  “Broken People Judging Broken People”.

  • What is brokenness?
  • What is judging?
  • What does Jesus say about judging?

Judging Others Matthew 7: 1-5

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

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Photo and Quote by Katina Horton

Judging Point #1

2 Samuel 12: 9-14

Judging Point #2

Our Reactions

Judging Point #3

John 8:5-11

In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Judging Point #4

Our Life Application

Episode 2: Conflict Among Broken People

Analysis of Avoiding Conflict

I used to think that avoiding conflict was good. I thought that avoiding conflict was the same thing as avoiding confusion, strife, and extra drama. I took pride in thinking that avoiding conflict was keeping the peace. I was so wrong about that.  What I was doing was avoiding dealing with a small problem, which later became an out of control problem.  This was due to fear of the response of the other person.

What God revealed to me recently was profound: We are all broken, and so when we avoid conflict, we are avoiding dealing with the problems that arise between two or more broken individuals.

This podcasts dissects all aspects of the word conflict, by giving the things that occurs when we avoid conflict to going through the steps to take to resolving conflict.

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  • King Solomon Handled Conflict
  • Used Wisdom
  • Used Discernment

 

  • King David Refused Conflict
  • Used Avoidance
  • Used Passive-Aggressive Behavior

 

Bible Verses to Focus on:

1 Kings 3: 28

Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.

2 Samuel 13: 21-22

When King David heard all this, he was furious. 22 And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.(2 Samuel 13-21-22) 

2 Samuel 13: 28-29

Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled. (2 Samuel 13:28-29)

2 Samuel 13: 37-38

Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son.  After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. (2 Samuel 13:37-38)

2 Samuel 18: 14-15

Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.  And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him. (2 Samuel 18: 14-15)

Matthew 18: 15-17  If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Revelations 2: 1-6

2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand – the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 ‘I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 

3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! 5 Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place – that is, if you do not repent. 6 But you do have this going for you: You hate what the Nicolaitans practice – practices I also hate.

The Belt of Truth

Exposed

Have you ever been in such a rush to leave out the door that you left your belt at home?  I have done it before, and it’s not a pleasant thing.  Nine times out of ten, you are constantly pulling up and tucking in for fear of your bottom layer falling down, or your top layer coming out.  Wearing a belt helps to prevent this from happening.  Let’s say that we decide to put the belt on, but the buckle is broken.  Well, then it makes no sense to even wear the belt at all.

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Belt of Truth

Our Charge

And so it is with our Christian lives.  When we leave out the door in the morning, and we leave off our belt of truth, we make ourselves vulnerable to the lies of the enemy.  We are all out of sorts, pulling up and tucking in trying to hide from Satan’s lies that he’s playing in our heads about our brokenness, insecurities, and identity.  He likes nothing more than to have us to feed off of them.  Ephesians 6:14 tells us:  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place…

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There have been times when I’ve been invited somewhere.  I was so excited getting ready for “women fellowship” time.  Then, upon arrival, the devil started me up with the comparison trap.  I started worrying about whether or not I am overdressed or under-dressed, or if my life is such a mess that I shouldn’t even make myself vulnerable enough to talk about it.  After having the tape playing in my head like crazy, I have to talk myself down, and then tell myself, “My identity is in Christ.  I am free to be who God created me to be.”  Sometimes I calm down pretty quickly.  Other times, not so much.

We are all broken, and in our brokenness, we need to build each other up in love, and remember to not leave ourselves exposed leaving out the door.  God’s belt of truth is a buckler.  It shields and protects.  It keeps us together.

 

Have a blessed evening!

 

Katina

The Flow of the Tongue

Tonight, I sat at the kitchen table hoping and praying for God to give me the words for a poem.  Three days ago, I felt him nudging me about writing a poem on the power of our tongue.  For those of you who write poetry, you know that you can’t just write a poem.  The words have to come to you.  You have to feel the words and the rhythm.  Then, after they come to you, you have to write them down before they’re gone.

I sat and waited, and God delivered.

tongue, fire, james 3, proverbs. life and death
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The Flow of the Tongue

It’s our mouths we can’t control.

Full of poison, can’t make us whole.

Giving the cursing and the blessing,

Giving our faith for sure a testing.

Filled with bitter and the sweet.

Asking for life for us to repeat.

Setting on fire the pit of hell.

Sharing the gospel that it entails.

Filling with power, and hate, and love.

Edifies sisters and brothers from above.

Knowing that it is one of our members.

Showing our grace, our warmth, our tenders.

 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit. 

Proverbs 18:21

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.  James 3: 6-12, NKJV

 

The Inner Critic Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

The First Part of the Critic

Today we are discussing another part in the series:  Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.  It took me a while on this healing journey that I have been on to realize that there is what is called an inner critic of trauma.  The first part of the inner critic aspect of trauma is the critic that is someone else’s voice.  This someone else may have been a parent, a friend, a relative, stranger, or someone else who said something in your childhood that rocked you to the core of your being.  Their comments of criticism and negativity caused you to internalize what they said, and then live out what they said as if it was the truth coming from the bible.  As a child, I was abandoned by my father, and because of this abandonment, I felt rejected.  In a child’s mind, there has to be some reason for this, and oftentimes fault themselves for the situation.  In my mind, since my father was no longer with my mom, and I felt rejected, then I concluded that my mom had rejected me as well.  This set the stage.  I was standing outside of my childhood church, when I overheard a comment said by one teenager to another: “Oh, her mom is so beautiful.  I wonder what happened to her?”  This became the first part of my ruling critic.  It “sealed the deal”  on my already low self-worth and insecurities about my appearance.  The second “other voice” of my inner critic was that of my ex-husband in his brokenness, who used my low self-worth to keep me under his thumb.  He would purposefully say and do things that would reinforce my low self-worth and insecurities.  I had to begin the process of deprogramming my brain from everything that was said and done, and look to the truth of who God says that I am in order to regain my identity and self-worth in him.  This process is one that is tedious, because you have to keep asking, “Are these words really reflecting who I am as a person, or is the “Other person inner critic”, and then telling yourself, ” I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.

critic, trauma, PTSD, coping mechanisms, grief, perfectionism,
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The Second Part of the Critic

The second part of the inner critic is yourself.  Yes, yourself.  This is a hard pill to swallow.  After being able to distinguish whether the critic voices are true to your sense of self or not, then comes the hard part of dealing with the lies that you have formed about yourself that the enemy convinced you of from day one.  There are no fingers to point at this stage because the mirror is only reflecting us.  These lies force us to deal with things by using coping mechanisms to get through life.  The coping mechanisms are byproducts of trauma.  Mine is perfectionism.  This perfectionism starting off as overachievement in school, but by the time my brokenness met up with my ex-husband’s it went into every area of my life.  However, there gets to a point on life, when God says, ” Enough! I freed you, and I want you to walk in it.”  Our coping mechanisms only work so long before we are faced with walking the path of freedom from them, or having them to stunt our growth in certain areas.  When we get rid of anything, it has to be replaced with something else.  I have found that if I am not striving/perfecting/overachieving/then I need to be resting in God.  I am not sure what your coping mechanisms are, but God can handle them all, one day at a time.

Blessings,

Katina

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.  Psalms 139:14