The Fear Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

For the next two weeks, I am going to do a quick series on the ins and outs of living with trauma on a daily basis.  I am not sure how many of you have dealt with trauma in the past or present, however, it is something that is more prevalent than one may think, and a lot of fears have trauma at the root of it. 

trauma, healing, grief, fear, anxiety, mental health, PTSD
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Women at 10.4 %, are twice as likely as men to experience PTSD.  About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.  I have been living with trauma all my life, unbeknownst to me. 

What I didn’t realize is that a lot of my trauma manifested itself as fear during my younger years.  After having compounded trauma within the last six and a half years, this fear effect gets multiplied.  Unfortunately, when this happens, we can definitely pray, and start to take deep breaths to help ourselves calm down.  However, the fear is so strong, that you would think that you are in an all out fight for your life.  The fear gets multiplied by fifty.

trauma, healing, grief, fear, anxiety, mental health, PTSD
Photo by Shashank Kumawat on Pexels.com

About three years ago, my kids were at youth group at church, and a tornado swept through parts of the town where I lived, along with some of the other nearby towns.  I was at home by myself.  Praise God for community!  My friends and I texted and called one another to make sure that everyone was okay.  This discussion took place as I stood in the bathroom with the door closed, begging God for the weather to pass over.  

My mother called to check on me since she heard that the tornado was headed our way.  I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was nervous.  I called the kids at church, and they stated that one of the youth leaders, who was a fireman, told them where to go, and what to do.  I knew that they would be fine, but I kept wondering if I would be okay.  The townhome that I was living in was surrounded by large evergreens on all sides.  I kept thinking to myself, if they were just here, then I would be okay.

trauma, healing, grief, fear, anxiety, mental health, PTSD
Photo by Demeter Attila on Pexels.com

Deep down, I knew that my kids couldn’t control God’s weather.  However, I knew that it would make the out of control fear that trauma had placed on me to loosen up.  I shifted between being okay, and feeling like my whole entire body had been tied up because my muscles were so tense.

Thank God that the weather did let up.  The tornado didn’t hit my side of town, but it did hit all around the church.  God protected the church.  All the while, as I stood there in that bathroom, God had praise music going in my head.  I knew that it was his sign that everything would be okay.  However, because of the fear from trauma, I must be honest, my body was saying a different story.  My kids made it home safely that night, and it was just another testament to God’s faithfulness, as trees had been knocked down everywhere from the tornado.

Have a blessed night!

Katina

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:23, NLT

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Six things You Need to Bring the Beachside In

We’ve all heard of the phrase “Bring the outside In”  when we look at home magazines.  For this purpose, since I love the beach, I decided that I would do a blog post on bringing the beachside in.  When I think of the word beach, I think of my feet in the sand, the water, and God’s big, beautiful sky.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters; beach, home decor
Beach-My Inspirational Spot

It makes me think about painting the color white on a blank canvas, and then painting the blue sky and water, and tan colored sand.  If I wanted to add to this canvas, other things that come to mind is a pier, a chair for one to sit on, minnows in the water, people, rocks, trees, flowers, etc.  Take a few minutes to think about what your beach would look like.

Now, let’s transfer this canvas to your home.  How can one keep themselves at the beach all year round?  Use a room or two in your home as the beach all year round.  I am including pictures of how I brought the beachside into my bedroom:

  1. Paint:  The walls would represent your canvas.  The first thing that you need is the right color of paint.  Bright, airy colors are needed to bring your beach to life.  For my personal choice, I would have shades of tan, cream, blue, or white.
  2. Pictures:  Pictures tell the story of your home.  They give your home life, and they keep your friends and loved ones close by.  Since this is a beach canvas, people, flowers, trees, sand, rocks, and seashells would be great.  However, this is your canvas, and therein lies the fun.  This is one of my favorite pictures from when my children were little.  They were about one and four years old.  Sometimes when I can’t find the colors that I need, I just paint the frames, as well as the furniture.
beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom
My kids when they were little

I found the pictures below at Goodwill for $.99 each a few years ago.  I have two sets of two on either side of my bed.

beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family
Flower pictures
beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family
Set of two flower pictures
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters; beach, home decor
Upcycled Canvas Painting with Burlap

The picture below is one of myself, kids when they were little, mom, and grandmother, who is deceased.

beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family
Picture of myself with my son(lower left), kids when they were younger, and mom and grandmother(deceased)

I painted the canvas paintings on the left below.  Three pictures were upcycled and painted over since my color scheme changed.  The pictures of peonies on the left were taken a year ago.  The clothespins and jute string were $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.

3.  Furniture: The next thing that you would need would be furniture that would give the beach vibe.  Adirondack, wicker, and bamboo seems to do the trick.  If you have more than one style of chair, that would work out nicely.  A mixture of texture gives rooms more of a natural feel, along with an illusion of more depth.  I was blessed a couple of years ago with the wicker chair below.  Next to the wicker chair is a wrought iron plant stand.  I got rid of the glass top to place the plants on.  It safely holds a journal and wallet that my sister bought me when she visited Europe.  I love this journal, but I have to be careful because it can easily rip since the pages are made out of a linen, natural parchment.

beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family
Wicker chair with Pillow Close-up
beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family
Wicker chair with ottoman
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters; beach, home decor
Coin purse and leaf parchment journal

4. Accessories:   Let’s not forget about the accessories.  In the picture above, I have a couple of books resting on top of the ottoman, a pillow, and fun necklaces that help give the beach vibe.  You can also add mirrors to the wall, as you can see in the picture above, a little bit behind the wicker chair.  The mirror was $6.99 at Goodwill.  I also found this mirror a couple of years ago.

5. Bedding:   Using bedding with the same color scheme of tan, creams, blues, and white,  gives even more of a serene feeling.  I upcycled some of the pillow cases with wool squares that I cut from a scarf.

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6. Plants and Flowers:  The last things that you need are plants.  They can be real or fake.  Hanging terrariums are a nice accent.  Using a combination of hanging and non-hanging plants makes your room look even more inviting.

beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family, iron plant stand
Flower with Candle

I found the fake plant above at Good will for 3.99.  The candle was on sale at Michael’s for $2.00 during one of their lowest prices of the season.  It smells just like the beach.

beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family, iron plant stand
Close-up of Terrarium
beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family, iron plant stand
Terrarium with jute rope

The cream colored flowers below are sitting in a mason jar of rocks. They were $1.00 from Dollar Tree.

beach, home decor, six things you need to bring the beach inside, rocks, sand, wicker chair, bedroom, family, iron plant stand
Creme flowers inside mason jar with pebbles

Have a blessed rest of your weekend!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalms 23:2, KJV

The Story of Joseph

I love the story of Joseph, and I love how God’s favor was all over his life.  When I think about Joseph’s coat, it makes me think about my favorite coat as a kid.  It was coral blue with a red heart just below each shoulder.  I called it my “Heart to Heart” coat.  It is good to know that even when we are in our worst of times, God’s favor can still rise above the situation.  God can still put us in situations where people are doing things for us, and they don’t even know why they are doing them.  Praise God for his favor!
joseph, prayer, poetry, prison, favor, God
Photo by lalesh aldarwish on Pexels.com
Coat of Favor
 
It was Joseph, it was Joseph, he had favor don’t you see,
It was favor from our God from the Lord Almighty.
 
Coat of favor, coat of favor, filled with stripes, awe, and wonder.
Filled with power from his dreams that the brothers would bow under.
 
Feeling lost, hurt, rejected from our daddy don’t you know?
He can’t stay here …let’s just kill him, he can’t stay here… he must go!
 
Sold in slavery, faked his death to our father, and he grieved.
Oh thank goodness… he is gone, and we are granted our reprieve.
 
God of Joseph, Slave of Pharaoh, gave him elevated power.
Wife of Pharaoh, full of needy, stripped it all within the hour.
 
Put in prison, with the baker and cupbearer of the king.
Placed in charge by the warden, God’s good favor it would bring.
 
These two prisoners, had their dreams told, to them then, right by Joseph.
Don’t forget me, with the king, need release from this low self.
 
They forgot him, yes they did, till the king had his dream.
Couldn’t sleep, someone help, can you tell me what it means?
 
Oh yes, Joseph, he can help you…he can tell you what it means.
Oh no, God, he’s the Father and interpreter of dreams.
 
Oh then, Joseph, oh yes Joseph, told the king what would happen
You’re released, you’re promoted, get this plan right and mapping.
 
And he did, with God’s help, he saved Egypt from the famine
Saved his brothers, Growth in character, and his faith, as you imagine.
joseph, prayer, poetry, prison, favor, God
Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.

Genesis 39: 2-6, NKJV

 

Dedication to Mudear

Everybody has a name that is special to them when they think of their grandmother.  For me and my family, my grandmother was always referred to as Mudear.  Yesterday was her birthday, and if she were alive, we would have been celebrating.  Her death occurred a little over five years, right when I was at the height of a series of traumatic events going on.  Due to trauma, sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday that she died, and other times it seems like it has been longer. 

Mudear was the pillar of the family.  She taught us how to enjoy life by doing the simple things.  She didn’t wear fancy clothes or buy fancy things.  She wasn’t afforded this luxury, and even if she was, it wouldn’t have been her.  She liked wearing her “house dresses”, as she called them, scarves tied on her head, getting her long fingernails polished, and watching her favorite television shows.

family time, importance, trauma, God, death, grandma, Mudear, simplicity, grace

We were graced by a woman who showed us what it meant to have community.  On any given day, she would stretch six dollars to feed us for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with there being the job of several trips back and forth to the local meat market by my cousin and I.  She welcomed people from all walks of life into her home, and even with all the drama that went on, we knew that there was nothing that dancing, singing, and good old laughs couldn’t cure.  She loved her children, and having all of her grandkids around her.  There was joy in simplicity at its finest.

Mudear wasn’t one who had to raise her voice in order to get her point across.  She just used her old sayings from the South.  If you looked nice, she’d say, ” You look sharper than Dick was when Hattie died.”  If you sat inappropriately as a young lady, she’d say, “You are sitting mighty high”.  If you didn’t clean up behind yourself, she’d say, ” Oh, you must have thought today was your birthday.”     

The holidays at Mudear’s house were filled with music, dressing, turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, and let’s not forget her homemade four layer chocolate banana cakes, coconut pineapple cakes, and caramel with pecan cakes.  Although we all miss you, we know that the love you shared will never be forgotten.  Thank you God for gracing us with Mudear.

 

Self-Worth

One of the main things that the enemy uses against people is self-worth.  His tool is a cycle of our brokenness, insecurities, and self-condemnation to continually run to people and things to fulfill us, instead of running to God.  He blocks out the knowledge that these things will only give us a temporary high, and lead to more emptiness if we are not being filled by God, our Living Water.  He makes us forget that our dependence on these things and people lead us right into the never ending game of idolatry. 

self-worth, approval, God, enough, portrait, grace
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

 

The Source of Self-Worth

We all want to attain it,

From people and things we know.

Forgetting your death has sealed it,

Some thousands of years ago.

 

When we look to an “other” to fulfill it,

Makes us lonely, empty, insatiate.

When we look to the one who revealed it,

Makes us joyful, peaceful, gratiate.

 

All the people and all the things,

Become blessings with two wings.

As we worship the true King,

Giving everlasting springs.

 

Presence of Peace before the Storm

Towards the tail end of last week, I had what I described a surreal moment of God’s presence. The last time that I experienced something so profound was when I was in the midst of extreme physical illness about three years ago, and I literally felt like I was going to black out.  I’d sat on my bed, criss-crossed, and lightheaded, and starting praying to God for help and deliverance. 

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The situation was so intense, that I laid hands on myself and prayed.  I am not kidding you, sometimes desperate times calls for desperate measures.  I remember asking God to please deliver me as he did the Hebrews boys in the fiery furnace, but if he didn’t deliver and heal here on Earth, then I knew that meant healing for me in heaven.  I knew God was listening.  Immediately, I heard a praise song in my head.  It was literally like a radio playing in my head.  Then, I felt God’s presence all around me, as if he was covering me with himself.

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Fast forward back to last week, and to the point when I was working on a blog post, I could feel the presence of God all around me.  It literally covered me from the crown of my head to the sole of my feet.  After working for so long, I decided that I would go for a walk to the beach, and get some fresh air.  His presence continued to cover me like a blanket.  I watched the sunset, and enjoyed seeing the clear water, and communing with God.  I walked home, and listened to gospel music, and had a worshiping good time in God’s presence.

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Little did I know, God’s surreal presence last week was to assure me for this week that he had my back.  It was the peace before this week’s storm.  Thank you God for your love and protection, and giving us what we need when we need it.

storm, peace, landscape, God, sky, sunset, disciples, Jesus, boat, presence

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

Have a blessed rest of your week!  

Dealing with a Bad Day

Every now and then, we tend to have those bad days.  When I say bad days, I am speaking of bad emotional days where you know that the only thing that you can do is to ride them out.  Last week was one of those weeks.  Praise God that this week is starting off better.  Along with praying and reading God’s word, I took a walk to the beach, and let the sand and water run through my feet. I notice that for me, it tends to happen when I already have a few issues that I am dealing with, and then unfortunately, a few to several more are taking place.   These are those days when I thank God for Lamentations 3: 22-24, which says:

adult background beach blue
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

 

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” NKJV

This verse gives us hope in knowing that every morning we get a new set of mercies, and that although we feel like our state is going to last forever, it isn’t.  God is gracious, and joy does come in the morning.  Praise the Lord!

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There are several things that I have found works for me when I am having a bad day:

  • Saturating myself in God’s word.  Sometimes we have a favorite book of the bible, or a favorite verse that we can recite over and over.
  • Praying to God for relief and provision during this time.  Sometimes I’ve literally laid my hands on myself, or laid out prostrate for God to break through, reciting his word back to him, and reminding him that he promises that his word would not return unto him void.  I also pray and ask God to help me to get to the root of what is causing this if I am not 100% sure of the cause.
  • Getting outside for fresh air.  It’s good for the adrenal glands, and an overall good feeling. If the sun is out, we get free Vitamin D.
  • Going for a walk.  When we walk, our blood is flowing, oxygen is running through, and it gives our bodies an overall good feeling.
  • Taking an additional Vitamin D if needed.
  • Going out with friends and having a discussion about some of the issues that are going on, along with talking about things that you like to do that will help to lift your mood.  Remember, we weren’t made to bear all of our burdens on our own.
  • If you live close to a beach or pond, watching the water gives a calming effect.  
  • Journaling:  Writing down a list of the things that you are dealing with, and going to God in your writing can also help release some of the weight.
  • Creativity:  This could include painting, upcycling, poetry, scrapbooking, etc.

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But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

Isaiah 43: 1-7, NKJV

beach, bad day, struggling, anxiety, depression, rest

 

 

Taking a Break

 

peony, taking a break, garden, flowers, reflections, God

Sometimes we are so busy doing things in the house, running around with the kids, and taking care of business, that we forget to take a break, and really soak in the air, the animals, flowers, and all of God’s creations.  This morning, I was busy doing things in the house, and I decided right then and there that I would stop what I was doing, and get some photography in outside.  It was literally a breath of fresh air.

Last year, as the peonies were blooming, I decided that I would go out and take pictures, and bring a few flowers inside.  That never happened.  By the time that I finally decided that I would do it, they were already dying.  I had waited too long.  I was waiting for the perfect moment.  This really made me sad, since photography is something that I enjoy.  Waiting for the perfect moment can cause us to miss out on the right now, filled with simplicity and God’s perfect grace for today.

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Unfortunately, the roses didn’t bloom this year.  This was also sad.  However, God blessed me with six more flowers to plant within the last three weeks.  Don’t forget to get out today, even if it’s just fifteen minutes.  Have a blessed rest of your week!

 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Isaiah 40:8

Reflections and Revelations

Do you ever have those moments where you sit back, relax, and reflect on what God has done, and is currently doing in your life?  I do.  Majority of the time, when it happens, it is usually right after waking up first thing in the morning, and my mind is fresh with ideas.  There are other times that it happens right after taking a much needed walk outside on a breezy, summer evening.  These walks have helped me to refocus my thoughts and regain a sense of being centered again.  I can give myself permission to take note of all of the things that God has created, and feel his presence at the same time.  The poem below was written after having a trying day, and me pressing into Jesus for comfort and reflection on the important things in life.

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Photo by Nina Uhlu00edkovu00e1 on Pexels.com

The Revelation

When our focus is on you,

Then our life begins anew.

When we see there is no coincidence,

There is only divine Providence.

 

When we listen for God’s perfect plan,

Then we’ll know that he is the only Man.

Who can fulfill all our needs,

Have people plant all those seeds.

Work at erasing all those greeds.

 

They say that the best things in life are free.

I had to think to myself,

“Is this what I believe?”

Stop, focus, and count to three.

 

But I opened my eyes and then I saw.

He pulled away the layers and he stripped me raw.

I could feel my eyes fill up with tears.

As he bent down low,

And whispered into my ears.

 

“Have you heard?

Contentment is the secret word.

I AM enough!”

 

 

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 

1 Timothy 6:6-12, NIV