Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos

emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, podcaster, podcast, podcasting, author, blogger, writer, blog, katina horton, listen, obey, trust, follow

Episode 18: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos
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There are a lot of voices that we hear on a daily basis. However, discerning the voice of God becomes the most important one that we need to focus on. Do we know what to look for? Is it the same voice for everyone? These questions and more will be answered in this week’s episode: Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.

emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, podcaster, podcast, podcasting, author, blogger, writer, blog, katina horton, listen, obey, trust, follow
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  • Podcast Outline
  • How to Know It’s God
  • How God Speaks to Me
  • Truths on Hearing God’s Voice
  • Samuel and the Voice of God

Part #1 Hearing God’s Voice

Podcast Transcript:

Good afternoon!  Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness Podcast!  Today we are on episode 18, entitled, Hearing God’s Voice in the Midst of Chaos.  When we think about hearing God, we often associate it with the Ten Commandments movie where God spoke to Moses on the mountain.  Sometimes God is just that powerful.  However, often hearing God can come in the small, subtle, or least grand ways than we expect. 

So, the question that you all are probably asking is, “Well, if it is small, how will I know?”

We do three things: 

  • We slow down enough to hear him.  If we aren’t slowed down enough, we won’t hear God, or gain clarity on anything else that is going on. 
  • We pray and ask God to help us to become discerning in regard to noticing his voice.
  • WE look for God to speak to us in themes or patterns.  This can be via sermons at church, small groups and bible studies, therapy, or via inner circle advice.

Part #2 Hearing God’s Voice

I have realized for myself that God speaks to me through my work.  Since I read and listen to a lot of blogs, articles, podcasts, and sermons, God will have them to center around a certain theme for me to understand that it is something that I need to work on. 

Sometimes he speaks to me in dreams to prepare me.  I have heard others say that God doesn’t speak to other people in dreams as in biblical times.  I beg to differ.  God knows each and everyone of us by name, the number of the strands of hair that is on our heads, and the names of all the stars.  I believe that God will use whatever means necessary for us to know that it is him. 

A few years ago, after going through a horrific divorce, I longed to see my dad who I hadn’t been in contact with for a while.  I searched for him, and unfortunately, came to a dead end.  About two weeks later, I had a dream that I was with him on the bus in Chicago, and he was wearing the leather jacket that he often wore when I was a kid.  I looked down at his shoes and pants, and I realized that he had the appearance of not keeping himself up.  So, in the dream, I pondered over asking him if he was homeless, but I was afraid to ask.  I woke up, wondering what this all meant.  Less than a week later, my dad got on the bus that a family friend was driving, and he was able to connect with my aunt who brought him to my house. 

The sight of him nearly made me fall to the ground.  He had indeed hit hard times and was homeless for a period of nine months.  God has given me a lot of situations like this to speak to me.

In several other instances, I thought that it was me being strong-willed/lazy in regard to something that someone else wanted me to do with them.  I am not a strong-willed person.  However, I am human, and a sinner.  And like all of us broken individuals, there are things that we know that we should do, but don’t feel like doing, and we fuss and go on and do it.  I thought this was the case in about three situations, then I realized my whole will had changed because God was trying to tell me that it is something that I shouldn’t be doing. 

It took a while to see the pattern.  They weren’t bad things.  They were things that I had already dealt with in my healing.  There was literally a pulling in my chest, and a feeling in my spirit that said, “No!  This is not for you.”  I was surprised because one time I had planned to write a certain devotion, and I felt God’s Spirit telling me, “No!”.  I decided to write on a different topic that night: Handpicked by God.  As I was riding in the car the following morning, I received confirmation that I made the right choice by getting a 3-minute clip on a Bible Teacher’s message.  It coincided with the new devotion.  The words that came out of her mouth were almost verbatim to what I had said in my devotion.  I choked up with tears.  What I thought was simplicity was God exemplifying that he is a God of order.

God can also have us to sense things in our spirit that something is wrong when we talk to people.  Their emotions and psychological dysfunctions can enter our emotional, psychological, and spiritual space.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure this out.  We are usually able to detect this in patterns after a while. 

A few months ago, I had the feeling that my confidence had been stripped away.  This was due to the trauma and the cycle of shame that revolved around it.  Even if there were things that I knew how to do, I would get afraid of not being able to do them.  This is indeed a problem with trauma, where you can forget how to do certain things temporarily at any point and time.  However, it isn’t often that it happens.  And I realized just recently, that Satan was using this fact to create low confidence in everything that I did.  Right around the time that revelation hit, I had three different instances of God speaking to me in regard to this confidence. 

The first one included a conversation with someone that I met who was able to discern this.  The second conversation was from someone wishing me a happy birthday, and then stating that 2019 would be the year of confidence for me.  The third time was reading a book, and having a specific chapter speak on self-confidence, the importance of it, and how to lean into God’s love to get it.  For some reason, I had never thought about praying for confidence. 

Here are some Truths that we can meditate on when it comes to Hearing from God in the Midst of Chaos

  • Being too busy will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
  • If we are limited to our way, we will miss out on hearing God’s voice.
  • The failure to act in obedience in the small window of time that God gives us in emergency situations may hinder us from hearing God’s voice.
  • When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we miss the opportunity to bless someone.
  • When we fail to act on God’s instructions to share what he has placed in our heart with someone else, we also miss the opportunity of bringing possible correction or rebuke to that person on an issue that God was already trying to show them.

Part #3 Hearing God’s Voice

Samuel learned to identify God’s voice.  And unfortunately, he had some sad news to give to Eli, who had neglected his duties as the person in charge of the temple in 1 Samuel 3:

And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.

And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.

And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

I have had situations where I felt God speaking to me about sharing with someone in regard to my own person struggles.  However, I allowed my own shame, and the worry about other peoples’ perception of me get in the way of obedience.  There have been other times that I was more afraid of ugly face crying and losing control in the process of vulnerability rather than the obedience itself.  I had to speak truth to myself about this.  It is sin.  I am calling it what it is.  When we know to do good, and we don’t do it, it is flat out sin.  I hope that you have enjoyed our episode of Hearing from God in the midst of Chaos.  God bless, and until next time.

Related Post:

Hearing God

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Episode 17: No excuses!

emotional health, mental health, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, excuses, spiritual health, writer, blogger, podcast, podcaster, poet, brokenness, healing, Jonah, survival, broken pieces,teachable

Episode 17: No excuses!
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Are you tired of making excuses for everything that you did or didn’t do? How about hearing excuses from your kids when they didn’t follow through with their chores, or something you specifically told them to get done? In the beginning, it doesn’t seem so bad, but after a while, like anything else, excuses can get played out. Even with God.


Like the Israelites, we find ourselves in a vicious cycle. We end up begging God for mercy. saying that we’ll do better, and then going right back to continue the same sin over again. We end up cheapening grace until God steps in and causes a wake-up call! Listen to the podcast for this week to find out what happened to me when I ran out of excuses. Last week’s podcast episode can be found here.

No Excuses Podcast Outline

  • Background on No Excuses
  • Example of No Excuses in the bible
  • My Chastisement
  • Podcast Transcript
emotional health, mental health, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, excuses, spiritual health, writer, blogger, podcast, podcaster, poet, brokenness, healing, Jonah, survival, broken pieces,teachable
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No Excuses Podcast scripture:

Jonah 3-4 King James Version (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Part Two

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?King James Version (KJV)

Podcast Transcript


Welcome to the Valley of Grace Healing our Brokenness Podcast. And this morning, we are recording episode number 17 No Excuses.

We make excuses for everything.  We secretly wish that we could do things as well as other people.  For some of these things, we have the resources and materials to do them.  We won’t put them on our calendars.  And when we do, we keep putting them off until the next day.  I’ll get to it tomorrow.  I’ll get to it on the weekend.  The weekend turns into next week, then next month, then next year, and then 5 years later we are still wishing that we could’ve developed our skills in certain areas.  We trade our desires for time scrolling social media excessively or having Netflix or cable tv marathons. 

Here’s another one:  As soon as the kids are in kindergarten, I will practice better self-care.  Instead of doing this, we become even more worn down from playdate overload.  Then, once the kids get into middle school, I will get involved in small groups instead of isolating myself.  Instead of getting connected, we become even more isolated because we are running kids around 5 days a week for extracurricular activities.  A lot of times our excuses is that we are tired.  And a lot of times this is the truth.  However, we miraculously find a way to get everything else done.

Here’s another one:

As soon as football season is over, we’ll start eating together as a family, having family night, and the list goes on and on.  What happens is that the older our kids get, the more intentionality has to take place, but also, the harder it is to plan because of conflicting schedules, part-time jobs, girlfriends and boyfriends, and their desire to do more with their friends than with their parents.

Before you know it, we look up, and that time is gone.  Our children are young adults, and we are unable to get that time back.

Today, we are going to look at one individual who made excuses in the bible.  His name is Jonah.  He was told to go to Nineveh to warn the people of their sins and God’s judgment if they didn’t repent.  Instead of going, he headed to Tarshish and God had it where he was given a belly of the fish detour for disobeying his command.  Jonah felt justified in his disobedience?  Why?  His excuse was that he knew that God would forgive the people of Nineveh.  Let’s listen to the conversation that takes place between God and Jonah: 

Jonah 3:10-4:5

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

We would rather make excuses for disobedience to God’s instructions when we have our own opinions of what God’s end decision will be.

When I was at my last residence, it got to the point that I knew that I wasn’t receiving the correct amount of child and maintenance support money.  I didn’t want the stress of going back to court.  I didn’t want the additional trauma either.  However, I struggled, playing the Robbing Peter to pay Paul game, trying to keep up with paying utilities and rent, and scrambling to buy food.  As circumstances would have it, (God) I got backed into a corner where I had to go to take him back to court as my kids and I were facing eviction.

The process lasted three painful years, and unfortunately, more lies than before erupted in regard to income.  Everything that he was doing was projected on to me.  Before leaving the courtroom, I almost ended up unfairly with a humongous amount of money to pay him.  The whole scene was one that was out of a crazy Lifetime movie, except it was my life. 

When I got home after court, the anger erupted, I said to myself, so basically three whole years for this end result?  Really!!!

However, the Holy Spirit had already spoken to me several months before the last court date and told me, “Even if you never see a penny of that money, it was never about the money to begin with.  It was about accountability and God wanting you to fight for what was rightfully yours.” 

God knew the only way that I would stand up for myself was to force me into a series of events that gave me no choice.

And so the question that I leave with you tonight as food for thought is this:  What excuse are you making that could be keeping you straddling the fence of disobedience to God?

Thank you for listening to Healing our Brokenness and have a wonderful rest of your night!

Call to Action

If you are ready to stop making excuses when it comes to living in survival mode, and dysfunctional patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms, check out my new online Teachable course. Remember: Healing, growth, and maturity is not a drive-thru service, it’s something that can take a lifetime. However, what are our choices: revolving door of stagnancy or thriving and freedom. YOU DECIDE! Click here for more information!

8 Truths to Pass On to Our Older Children

truths, spiritual health, college, young adults, blogger, writer, poet, podcaster, blogger lifestyle, God's timing, lifelong dreams, plans

Background on 8 Truths:

If we are parents, we know that at some time or another we will have to face the time of our children going away to college, and/or moving out on their own. It is during this time that we will wonder if they will remember all the truths and wisdom they have been taught. Then, our second concern is whether they will implement these truths in their lives. In this post, I am breaking down eight truths that we can pass on to our college bound/young adult children.

truths, spiritual health, college, young adults, blogger, writer, poet, podcaster, blogger lifestyle, God's timing, lifelong dreams, plans
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God is our only constant. Your life is going to be filled with a ton of surprises. You will say hello to new classes and then goodbye to old classes. Friends will come and go. Some friends will be around forever, and then others will be there for a season. You will disappoint others, and others will disappoint you. You may have to move several times in your life after having gotten comfortable in the perfect location that God placed you in. The one constant that we have is our solid rock Jesus. He will be the stable foundation that is there when nothing and no one else is.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8, KJV)

God’s timing is best. You will make tons of plans. They will be picture perfect. You will have dotted all of your I’s and crossed all of your T’s. Your plans may not work out. God isn’t ready for it to happen yet. Either he is preparing other people to work along with you, or he is preparing you and your heart to work along with other people. Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

God will use the good and the bad, even when we don’t make the best choices. As Christians, we are sinners that are saved by the grace of God. And thus, even when we mess up, and we will because we are not perfect, God will use everything for his glory. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

God’s word will keep you on the straight and narrow. It will be tempting to skip out on reading God’s word. However, God’s word will hold you up in life when nothing else will. It never changes. It is living and active, and sharper than a two-edged sword. It is music and a minister of truth to our souls. It will give you direction when you are feeling lost. Psalm 119:105 Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet and Light Unto My Path.

God is enough. It will appear that everything else in this life will fill your empty, craving soul. You will think that if you only get this one thing that it will make you happy. You will find out that only God can. When you try to fill your soul with other people and other things, it will leave you feeling emptier and emptier until you fill yourself up with Christ, and then God will make everything else a bonus.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

God’s grace covers us, but we can’t avoid the consequences of our actions. Whether we are planting good seed or bad seed, fruit will be the end result of our actions. God doesn’t give us consequences because he hates us. He does it because he loves us and he knows what’s best for us. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Everything that we have belongs to God, even our money. We may think that because we worked hard, it means that everything that we have is ours. We are only the managers. God is the owner of it all. He wants us to be good stewards over everything that we own. When we put God first, he blesses and honors that.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; Psalms 24:1, NIV

Keep yourself grounded in the Body of Christ(church community). It will be tempting to isolate yourself when you are going through things. The body of Christ will be there to be the hands and feet of Jesus, along with helping to restore you back to him.

God bless,

Katina

Other related posts:

God’s Timing is Everything

Episode 15: The Sin of Complaining

emotional health, mental health, psychological health, complaining, podcasts, podcasting, podcaster, author, blogger, blogs, Moses, Aaron, children of Israel, upset, reframing, thinking, changing our thinking, wilderness, trauma, PTSD, slavery

Episode 15: The Sin of Complaining
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Background on the Sin of Complaining:

When was the last time that you complained? Was it this morning? Did you complain because you had to get up out of the bed, and you didn’t get enough sleep? Did you complain because you had to cook breakfast, and no one washed the dishes the night before?

emotional health, mental health, psychological health, complaining, podcasts, podcasting, podcaster, author, blogger, blogs, Moses, Aaron, children of Israel, upset, reframing, thinking, changing our thinking, wilderness, trauma, PTSD, slavery
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What about going to work? Did you complain about the fact that you barely had enough gas in the car to get to work? To make matters worse, someone cut you off on the way to the office, and then they mouthed a few words that you wish you hadn’t seen. We all complain at one time or another. However, complaining is sin, and it affects everyone else around us when we start doing it.

Take a listen to this week’s podcast to find out what complaining does, and how we can do less of it.

Outline of The Sin of Complaining Podcast

  • Six Truths That Come From the Sin of Complaining
  • Bible Verses to Meditate On:

Numbers 11:1-11 New International Version (NIV)

Fire From the Lord

11 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah,[a]because fire from the Lord had burned among them.

Quail From the Lord

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.

10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?

Click here for the last podcast: Episode 14: Broken Pieces Introduction.

Simple Spaghetti

recipes, eating, food, food photography, healthy eating, healthy recipes, vegan, vegetarian, friends, family, drama, lifestyle,

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.

recipes, eating, food, food photography, healthy eating, healthy recipes, vegan, vegetarian, friends, family, drama, lifestyle,
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:

recipes, eating, food, food photography, healthy eating, healthy recipes, vegan, vegetarian, friends, family, drama, lifestyle,

 

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

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.

 

spiritual health, ABraham, Sarah, car, financial, prayer, moving, emotional health, spiritual health, emergency, family issues, scary, uncertainty, drama, issues, healing, healing our brokenness, waiting on God for the impossible, podcaster, author, blog, blogger, writer
Photo by Christian Mackie

 

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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!

self-pity, self-help, spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, anger, abuse, woe is me, valley of grace, character development, victim, victim mentality,

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?

 

self-pity, self-help, spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, anger, abuse, woe is me, valley of grace, character development, victim, victim mentality,
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

  • 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.

self-pity, self-help, spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, anxiety, depression, anger, abuse, woe is me, valley of grace, character development, victim, victim mentality,

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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Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

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.

grace, character development, boundaries, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, brokenness
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.

grace, character development, boundaries, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, brokenness
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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photo by Sarah Pflug

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.

broken, conflict, brokenness, healing, trauma, PTSD, judging, criticism
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