Plants bring so many benefits to our lives: 1) They give us oxygen and clear the carbon dioxide from the air. 2) Like pictures, they bring life and promote creativity to one’s home. 3) They bring the outside in by causing a de-stressing effect, and 4) For the most part, they are simple and low-maintenance.
A few months ago, one of my friends blessed me with two plants. I decided to add them to my bedroom so that I could feel refreshed upon waking up in the morning. I am all about aesthetics, and especially having spaces that are light and airy. I decided to place one in the corner of my bedroom in front of a wall mirror. The second one was placed on top of my storage trunk, along with another faux plant.
My son was given two plants recently for his birthday. One of them is a bamboo plant. He placed them in chairs by the living room window so that they could get proper sunlight. At first, I was questioning the location. Now, I have decided that I like them there. The greenery against the natural colors of the chairs and the curtain makes you feel so relaxed.
What simple, functional, grace-filled plants do you own? What places are you keeping them? Send in some comments and pictures below.
Episode 32: Surprised by Provision Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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Surprised by Provision Podcast Outline
Surprised by Provision
There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling. As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction. Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be.
That is what happened to Naomi. She was
surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.
Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their
two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the
famine. Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse.
Elimelech died. Their two sons found wives and got married. Then
their two sons died.
Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since
she heard that they had bread again. She figured that this might be a
small sign of God’s provision. Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to
head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t
have any more sons. Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)
When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that
Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And
it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved
about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me
Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi,
seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty
hath afflicted me?
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her
daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they
came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)
Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going
back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself. They went back
for bread. God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them.
He slowly began to reveal his plan.
Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named
Boaz. They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was
recompensing her work for her full diligence:
And Boaz answered
and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto
thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy
father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people
which thou knewest not heretofore.
The Lord recompense
thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
2: 11-12, KJV)
When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her
about the food. Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of
Boaz. Naomi knew this was good news:
And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be
he of the Lord,
who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi
said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth
2: 20, KJV )
According to the law, a kinsmen could be the
redeemer if a relative died. In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he
could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons.
However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz. This meant that he
had first pick. This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance.
Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all
the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was
Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of
Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon
his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his
brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)
What a surprise! The women encouraged
Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:
And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be
the Lord, which
hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy
life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth
thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)
My Surprise Disappointment
At the age of 25, I had my surprise
disappointment as well. I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked
all the way up to the day before delivery. At the time, I was the
breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in
my name. My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six
weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the
night. I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my
blood pressure was up.
This was confirmed when the home nurse came
out to check on me. As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew
that it was from lack of sleep. Four days before my six weeks was up, my
son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive
hours. However, I knew that I would
need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would
I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off. I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment. With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call. I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do. However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well. I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.
My Surprise Provision
My son was almost three months old when I
took him to his three-month checkup. After the appointment, I decided to
visit my old job, which was five minutes away. I got caught up with
everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work. I told my
old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”. I replied,” Yes,
just like that. End of story.” We laughed, and he asked me what I thought
of working for him again. I thought he was joking, but he was dead
serious. What a surprise!
Within two weeks, I was back to working
again. In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour
four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different
job. I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting
for me at this place. Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get
Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure
what you have in store for us. In your name,
My weekend discussion on this topic: How have you allowed yourself to be led by emotions? (i.e., tightening up control with the kids, yelling, saying things that you later regret?) What was the background story? What patterns of behavior do you notice makes you want to ride the wave? What patterns of behavior helps you to jump off of this surfboard? How could you have reacted better than you did? How did you heal the relationships that were damaged as a result of you being led by your emotions instead of responding to life’s issues?
Episode 28: Bad Advice Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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In case you missed our last episode, Episode 27, Simply Grace, you can check that one out first. Click here. Today’s episode is entitled, “Bad Advice”.
Bad Advice Podcast Outline
Younger Adult Advice
Same Age Group Adult Advice
Older Adult Advice
What the Bible Says About Advice
Solutions for Advice
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 28, entitled, “Bad Advice”.
When it comes to making decisions, some of us take way too long. Others of us make decisions too fast. We wish that we had thought things over well. A lot of times, bad decisions can’t be erased. The domino effect can be felt for years. When we make decisions, sometimes we include God and other times we leave him out. God also uses other wisdom-filled people filled with discernment to help us make decisions. Ultimately, we have to decide what we are going to do. Other people can’t make us decide to do what’s best.
Younger Adult Advice
It is good to gather advice from our younger friends. These friends are more than likely raising children younger than ours. They can cause us to have a come to Jesus moment about some of the crazy perfectionistic moments that we had with our kids when they were little, use this advice for our grandkids, and see how it is when younger adults are active in community. Some of our younger friends have been through a lot, and they have old souls. They can give as much advice as an older person.
Same Age Group Adult Advice
The next group of advice can be given from same age-group friends. These friends can give us a different view than we are currently using in raising children, making friends, and living in community. Since God hasn’t made any two people the same, our same-age group friends can help us to reframe what we are thinking regarding life, and vice versa. We tend to share parenting kids of the same age group, and thus we can share similarities and differences. If we are in community with safe friends, then they will go there and tell us what we need to hear.
Older Adult Advice
Our older friends have been there and done that. They have years of advice and experience to
give us. They can serve as mentors for
the younger and middle-aged adults. They
can tell us the lessons they have learned from their struggles in life. Older people are less into the comparison
trap and caring what other people think.
They have more of the you do you and let me do me. They help us to be more at ease. I praise God for my older friends who are
indeed old enough to be my mother. They
have helped me in parenting, living life, and being me.
What does scripture say about giving advice/training
different age groups?
however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.2 Teach the older men to
be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in
faith, in love and in endurance.
teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be
slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the
younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be
self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be
subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
We’ve all had times
when we’ve gotten bad advice. And this
is where we have to use discernment and proceed with caution. Healing advice from a person who has been
stuck in self-pity or blame for 15 to 20 years and is seeing no way out wouldn’t
be in our best interest.
Getting advice for how to deal with your spouse from a
person who hates all men or all women because they were wounded by one wouldn’t
be in our best interest as well.
Rehoboam got advice from the younger men in his age group. And it was the worst advice ever. Jeroboam had expressed to Rehoboam that his
father Solomon had a heavy labor load on them.
They wanted the load to be lightened.
The older men who advised Solomon said to lighten the load. The younger
men who were Rehoboam’s friends, said to increase the load. Not only did he deliver this awful news to
Jeroboam and the people, but he was filled with contempt and nasty with the
went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat
heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon),
he returned from[a]Egypt. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam,
and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4 “Your father put a heavy
yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on
us, and we will serve you.”
answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went
6 Then King
Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his
lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and
give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young
men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, “What is
your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke
your father put on us’?”
10 The young
men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your
father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My
little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a
heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I
will scourge you with scorpions.’”
days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had
said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the
people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of
the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even
heavier. My father scourgedyou with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen
to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of
Nebat through Ahijahthe Shilonite.
16 When all
Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
share do we have in David,
what part in
To your tents, Israel!
Look after your
own house, David!”
So the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites
who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
Rehoboam sent out Adoniram,[b] who
was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King
Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in
rebellion against the house of David to this day.
This one bad decision that king Rehoboam made caused a domino
So, the question is: how do
we combat bad advice?
Remember God’s advice is the best advice.
Don’t forsake the advice of our elders, especially when they have
proven that they possess wisdom and discernment.
Test the spirit as the scripture said. God often uses what we think he is telling us
by giving us confirmation through other people.
The question that I want to leave with you today is: “What bad
advice were you given that you are still paying the price for today?
Thank you for being a part of our listening audience for Healing
our Brokenness’ Episode 28: “Bad Advice”. If this podcast is making a difference in your
life, please submit a review, tag a friend, subscribe on YouTube, iTunes, or wherever
your podcast medium is located.
Episode 25: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1 Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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Hello everyone! I have a new podcast episode over on the blog. Just in case you missed the last episode, you can find that one here. Today’s podcast episode is entitled, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”. My podcast is now available on YouTube. Click here to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for podcast episodes.
The Sin of Cynicism Podcast Outline
Definition of Cynicism
Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism
Abuse and Cynicism
Good evening! Welcome to the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast. Today’s recording is Episode 25: “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”
Definition of Cynicism
the process of being a scorner, doubter, scoffer, having paranoia, mistrust,
and skepticism about things. Everyone is
cynical at one time or another, however, cynicism becomes a concern when it
gets in the way of life’s joys for us, other people being around us, and it is
labeled as part of our brokenness.
Blessed is the man that
walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor
sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Factors that Predispose Us for Cynicism
several factors that make up the reasons for one adopting cynicism as part of
have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
are historical patterns of things not working out in your favor, or working out
in a way that is undesirable to you.
get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to think that things
will be different.
of the people that you trusted let you down.
few times that you thought things would turn out good, they turned out bad, and
you lost faith in believing that things could be different.
the case may be, from the outside looking in, it is easy to be judgmental to
something we don’t understand. It is not
a license for us to commit the sin.
However, empathy helps us to understand that the sin of cynicism is just
like having any other sin. It becomes
addictive, spreads like a disease, creates negativity, and begs for more.
After having to deal with a divorce from a toxic individual, I experienced some cynicism creeping in. As a matter of fact, I had someone to mention it to me. It made me become more aware of when I was allowing it to get a foothold.
Abuse and Cynicism
I have also
noticed that when individuals have been abused, and the abuser has run an
all-out smear campaign packed with lies against the victim , and then
brainwashes, and pulls in the victim’s family, it becomes the perfect tool for Satan
to intertwine inside this person as a stronghold, rather than just a phase of
individual starts to believe that no one can be trusted. We know that this isn’t true. However, when we are in pain, we often shake
hands with Satan for all kinds of addictions and coping mechanisms to cover up
We can vacillate
from one end of the spectrum to another.
Either we are too trusting, or we distrust everyone.
a while to gain. When trust is broken
through lies and betrayal, we are left with the thoughts in our minds that
everyone will do the same thing that this person or persons did to us.
our pain and hurt with healing is the hard, but fruitful way out of cynicism. But as with any coping mechanism, what we
have allowed to go on for so long becomes part of our normal and dysfunctional
patterns of behavior.
aren’t happening our way, in our will, and in our timing, we trade whole faith and
God’s promises for broken pieces of cynicism.
I want to
leave you with some bible verses to help you if the sin of cynicism is a part
of your brokenness:
11 I ask,
then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an
Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,[a] a
member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom
he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he
appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have
demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to
him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the
knee to Baal.” 5 So too at
the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it
is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
15 We who
are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and
not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good,
to build him up. 3 For Christ
did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who
reproached you fell on me.”4 For whatever was written in former days was
written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the
encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance
and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in
accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one
another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Thank you for listening to Episode 25 of Healing Our Brokenness: “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”. Remember if this podcast is making a difference in your life, recommend a friend for listening. Thanks, and have a beautifully blessed weekend!
Episode 24: Hurting People Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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Hello everyone! I hope that you enjoyed your Resurrection weekend! In case you missed the last podcast episode, you can click here to catch up.
Hurting People Podcast Outline
Hurting People Hurt Unintentionally
Hurting People Hurt Intentionally
David and His Hurting Men
How to Stop the Cycle
Good morning! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 24: Hurting People. We have all heard of the phrase “Hurting People Hurt People”. While some of us may not like the phrase itself, it is the truth. God gives us freedom in truth. We are all broken. We live in a broken, fallen world. Because we are broken, until we mend and glue together the broken pieces of the puzzle to our family’s iniquities, we will continue to intentionally and unintentionally hurt others.
We unintentionally hurt others when we live with unhealed brokenness from the wounds of our past, sin, pain, and pride. Our unhealed wounds bleed out onto our immediate and extended families, coworkers, and Sisters and Brothers in Christ. A lot of times, when we are broken, we become so self-absorbed in our own pain and wounds, that we don’t even notice that other people are going through things themselves.
We make vows that we will never be like our family member or other person who inflicted pain upon us. However, if we are not going through some form of healing, whether it’s seeing a therapist, coach, or seeking self-help through books, we end up being just like them. Our kids start learning dysfunctional patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms for pain. We hurt them with our pain, and then they learn how to live their adult lives by what they see us doing. We continue to pass down this vicious cycle.
My Family’s Pain
Upon moving to my last residence, my kids and I had suffered so much trauma. And it wasn’t just that we had suffered trauma. We were trauma bonded through some of the events that had taken place. Because we were all dealing with an extreme amount of pain, initially we could only see ourselves as the ones who were the victim. Each one of us blamed the other person and put on the persona of being innocent. In actuality, each one of us had hurt each other unintentionally. We were blind to the truth.
Before moving from my last residence, I began taking serious steps of dealing with the trauma that I had endured in my life. Not only did I begin to deal with it, but I learned how to be vulnerable. And I had to learn the difference between vulnerability and surface vulnerability. When surface vulnerability occurs, you tell stay on the surface, only telling people what you think they want to hear so that you don’t look like the “broken one”.
When we intentionally hurt others, we make sure that other people are going to pay for what someone else did to us. If we were invalidated, then we make sure that everybody else is constantly invalidated. If were abused, then we abuse. If we were judged and criticized, then we make it our mission to judge and criticize others. If our beef is with something that another male or female did, then every male and female will have to pay. We turn into bashers.
For example, I was watching a television show, and on the show, one lady was trying to run a smear campaign on her former brother-in-law because he had operated on her sister, who had cancer and died. It had been discovered that negligence hadn’t taken place. However, she kept making her point that he would pay for what he had done.
Another female character told her that making her former brother-in-law pay for her sister’s death wasn’t going to bring her sister back. She had wounds that she needed to heal. She had pain that she needed to deal with. Blame blinds us to facing the truth that we are hurting. Blame works as a comfort pacifier and prevents us from seeing what the real problem is. Making others pay definitely doesn’t change the truth. It doesn’t right what was wronged. It doesn’t stop our hearts and souls from bleeding out. It only makes matters worse.
David and his men had been out on a mission. They returned to Ziklag, only to find it burned, raided, and the women and children taken captive. They were all in such pain, that they almost killed David. Killing David would have only provided temporary relief. At the end of the day, whatever we use to numb our pain will only be temporary. Our problems are still there. We have only added to the depth of them.
30 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them but carried them off as they went on their way.
3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
How to Stop the Cycle
When we are in pain, we take out hurt and hearts to Jesus. He is the only one who can help us to sort through the mess of our past.
Take responsibility and sign up for therapy and support group where we can be held accountable.
Refuse to give in to the enemy’s plan to isolate ourselves.
Listen to good preaching.
Read self-help books.
We are intentional about not making ourselves targets for the spirits of self-pity and blame.
Pray and ask others for forgiveness and patience as we wrestle through the pain and wounds of our past.
Thank you for listening to Episode 24: Hurting People! Have a blessed day in the Lord!
In case you missed our last podcast episode, you can catch that one here:
Podcast Episode 21: Approval Addiction Outline:
Dissecting Approval Addiction
My Issues with Perfectionism
Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
Good afternoon! Welcome to Episode 21: Healing Our Brokenness. Today’s Episode is entitled, “Approval Addiction”.
Dissecting Approval Addiction
Perfectionism and People pleasing are more acceptable words to say. It sounds better and makes us feel better than to tell someone that we suffer from approval addiction. Saying the words approval addiction makes us want to cringe. However, the deeper issue of these two sins is the need for approval. When it comes to the brokenness that occurs in our lives, either we tend to follow in the footsteps that this emotion caused, or we will do the exact opposite. People pleasing and perfectionism stem from rejection. If we are rejected, then the natural thing to do is to 1) disappear, or become invisible, or 2) to make sure that someone sees me.
First of all, we will examine the sin of people pleasing. When it comes to people pleasing, we are focusing on doing the things that people want us to do. If it gets to the extreme, where we are so trying to keep everybody happy, that we have literally lost our own sense of self in the process, that’s when we get to the point of waking up one day, and then asking ourselves, “Okay, what do I want?”
I have done everything that everyone else wanted me to do. How do I live outside of this? For example, If there are 50 people in a room, and we took a survey to see how all fifty of these people thought that we should style our hair, we could possibly have anywhere between 20 to 50 answers. What if we decided to follow their advice, we’d be going around just like the energizer bunny, worn out, and a tired, hot mess. They would be happy, but we wouldn’t be because we have decided to forego being true to ourselves. We have lost a sense of what we value and hold true to ourselves.
The next sin that we will examine is that of perfectionism. I was abandoned by my dad at age 11. I felt rejected. Since my mom and dad were no longer together, and we were total opposites, and I had to have some kind of conclusion to come to in a child’s mind, then I felt rejected by her. Thirdly, I had a situation where I stood outside of the Baptist church that I grew up in, and one teenager said to another, “Her mother is so beautiful. I wonder what happened to her.”
To a teenage girl, this is devastating. Mix it in with the fact that I already had double issues of rejection from my parents, as well as physical insecurities. It rocked my world. I internalized what was said. And then, I was setup on the course for dating and then marrying my ex-husband, who had his only brokenness of being controlling, manipulative, emotionally abusive, serial cheating, and the list goes on. I endured a 20-year marriage of this. And the question is, since I had grounds for divorce, why did I stay so long?
My Issues with Perfectionism
The above two reasons that I mentioned: extreme insecurities about my appearance and the three-part rejection issue. He was able to keep me in his back pocket so long because of my low-self worth. And, unfortunately, in my brokenness, I allowed it. It wasn’t until about three years ago that I got to the root of my perfectionism/approval addiction issues.
God was gracious and merciful at the time. Secondly, he showed me how it played out. I was the rule follower. The “good girl” in grammar school and high school. Katina didn’t get into trouble. My perfection played out in winning spelling bees, high grades in school, and performing in oratorical contests. I loved doing all these things. However, there was also recognition for doing all these things. Instead of choosing to become invisible, I chose to be seen.
Because of my ex-husband’s brokenness, he pretended like all I had to do was a few things and we would get back to the way that things were. What I didn’t know in the beginning is that I could do 50 things, or 1000 things, and the relationship was never going back to the beginning. I had been love-bombed, gaslight, devalued, and being groomed for discard unfortunately.
Perfectionism went from one area of my life to every area as I tried to fix him and give structure and control an out-of-control person. Who was I fooling? There was a two-way street going. I was on a mission to the fixing what he needed, and I took the devil’s bait of getting my self-worth from him instead of God. We will never be filled by another individual in an area that only God can fill. And if you are dealing with someone with his type of brokenness, they will just keep adding to the list, making you think, “if only you do this”. Trust me, it will never happen.
Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
Moses had the same setup from the Israelites. He led the
people out of Egypt as God had told him, but then all of the
needy people were coming to him for everything.
Here is the scripture taken from Exodus 18:
“18 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, 3 along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner[a] in a foreign land”), 4 and the name of the other, Eliezer[b] (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). 5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God.
6 And when he sent word to Moses, “I,[c] your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” 7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8 Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.”[d]12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God;
16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.”17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.
19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”
24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.26 And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.”
What happened to Moses is kind of like having your children say, “Mom”. You answer and then it turns into fifty more times. And to be honest, by then you are aggravated, and ready to run away or ring someone’s neck. It gets played out real fast. However, like in my relationship, Moses had his rejection issues from birth, and then his life in Egypt that were never resolved. He got caught in people pleasing/approval addiction. He could help the people in their neediness, and they could help provide him with the approval that he craved that should have been filled by God.
What happens? We get tired after a while. Emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological exhaustion takes place on both sides. Codependency sets in, like in me and Moses’ situation. Bottom Line: We can’t give people what they need.
God is telling us like he told Martha, “Come, sit at my feet. Rest in me. Fill your soul with spirit-filled activities. People are never going to be enough.” He is a jealous God. And he is jealous of our people worship.
He keeps telling us: “Come unto me all ye that labor, and I will give you rest.”
When we choose people pleasing and perfectionism over God, then we choose to settle for broken pieces of shame, other people’s expectations, rejection, unworthiness, and unacceptance.
So, how do we start the recovery process from approval addiction?
We remind ourselves that our identity is in Christ.
We speak to our soul and tell it, “God loves you!”
Remind ourselves that Jesus was despised and rejected so he can identify with our pain.
Christ is enough, and we are enough in Christ.
Rest in God.
We tell ourselves the follow statement:
“We are all broken, and so when we look to others for approval, we are getting approval from everyone else’s broken lens.”-Katina Horton
Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness: Episode 21: Approval Addiction. I hope that you have been able to have some takeaways to add to your healing. God bless!
Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
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If you missed the last episode, you can grab it here. Today’s episode deals with something that we have all found ourselves doing. Click and take a listen!
Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie Podcast Outline
What are we lying about?
Two Stories of Biblical Lying
Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness. Today I am featuring “Episode 20: Just A
Little White Lie”. Lying is something
that we have all done. When we lie, and
someone calls us out on it, our response is usually, “Oh it’s just a little
white lie. Everybody lies.”
So, what are some of the things that we are lying
about? Sometimes when we lie, it is to
spare hurting someone’s feelings. Other
times we lie to make ourselves look good, or as if we “have it altogether”,
when we don’t. When we enter the church
doors on Sunday morning, and we are greeting other Sisters and Brothers in
Christ, and they ask about our status, we are afraid to tell them “Okay” or
“Not too Good at the Present moment”, or “I’m going through trials at the present
moment, but I know that God is good.”
Forbid if we get real. No, we
have to say, “Really Good” or “Good”. Or
better yet, “ Fine.”
The last one was one of my favorites until I saw how jacked up that made me feel afterwards. If I was not fine at the time, and I tried to outwardly act like I was happy go lucky, my emotional and mental state knew that something wasn’t matching up. It would actually cause me to experience the trauma symptom of having dysregulated emotions and depression. Go figure.
A few months after I started noticing that was happening, I read a psychology article stating that it makes your emotions harder to control when you do this. Not that we should wallow in self-pity or anything, but when you think about it, we are one way, and trying to signal our emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay. The answer is “No” to that one.
r emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay. The answer is “No” to that one.
What else are we lying about?
We lie about our jobs, the kind of cars that we drive, our marital
status, and whether we were at home when someone tried to reach us.
When we’re at work, and the ladies or men are in a huddle
talking about their kids and their extracurricular activities, material
possessions, or their socioeconomic statuses, we lie about ours.
When we are in our church small groups, we lie about our
woundedness for fear that everybody else will have lighter sins and issues than
us. We don’t want to look “too broken”. We have to look as close to Jesus “perfect” as
possible. When we lie and head to the
perfection side of things, we actually cause someone else to miss their
opportunity to know that they are not alone.
Not only that, we quench the Holy Spirit , and miss out on our blessing.
No matter where we are, we find ourselves lying about our
intentions to others. We come to them,
telling them one thing. However, our
agenda is another. In a lot of cases, the
person that we are lying to is totally unaware of what is going on. One thing about being actively in the pursuit
of lying, there is always someone who witnesses what’s going on. And if there isn’t what the other person
doesn’t know, God knows. And such is the
situation that occurred with David.
David was on the run from Saul. He was without food and weaponry. He went to Ahimelek the priest and lied to
him about his intentions.
David at Nob
21 David went to Nob, to
Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you
alone? Why is no one with you?”
2 David answered Ahimelek the
priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know
anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told
them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then,
what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can
4 But the priest answered David, “I
don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some
consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from
5 David replied, “Indeed women have
been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s bodies are
holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” 6 So
the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there
except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on
the day it was taken away.
7 Now one of Saul’s servants was
there that day, detained before the Lord;
he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.
8 David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you
have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon,
because the king’s mission was urgent.”
9 The priest replied, “The
sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of
Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it,
take it; there is no sword here but that one.”
David said, “There is none
like it; give it to me.”
David made the assumption
that lying to Ahimelek would prevent Ahimelek from getting in the crossfire of
Saul’s hunt for David’s life. What David
didn’t anticipate was the fact that Saul’s right-hand man, Doeg, the Edomite, would
be hanging around Nob, witnessing the whole transaction that occurred between
him and Ahimelek. Therefore, Doeg was
going to give Saul the report according to his perception of what he saw.
David underestimated the
demonic forces that he was dealing with.
If Saul was willing to kill his own son, what would he do to someone who
wasn’t? So, what ended up happening?
Just as we are thinking, Doeg tricked on David. Basically, he said something like this, “Saul,
guess who I saw over in Nob, getting Ahimelek’s blessing?”
6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And
Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill
at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side. 7 He said to them,
“Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and
vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders
of hundreds? 8 Is that why
you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a
covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about
me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he
9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials,
said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelek
inquired of the Lord for him; he also gave him
provisions and the swordof Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelek son of Ahitub and all
the men of his family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the
king. 12 Saul
said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”
my lord,” he answered.
13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and
the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so
that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”
14 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as
loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly
respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of
God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his
father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole
16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your
17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the
priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was
fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”
the king’s officials were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests
of the Lord.
18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the
priests.”So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed
eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the swordNob, the town
of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its
cattle, donkeys and sheep.
20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named
Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David
that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day,
when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I
am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who
wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”
David’s lying caused Ahimilek, and all of his household, except for one, and all the other priests of Nob to be killed.
The last thing that I want
to talk about are the lies we tell about our stewardship. When we find out others are giving more money
than we are, we tend to lie about how much we are giving. When it comes to lying about stewardship, we
are lying to God, not men.
If we were able to, we would go back in time and ask Ananias and
Sapphira about this. The Christians over
in the book of Acts were on fire after being filled with the Holy Ghost. They operated on “one accord” at the time. If there were any brethren in need, they
would sell their additional land, and then offer it up to the disciples. No one was without. Ananias and Sapphira sold some of their land.
Their desire was to keep back of the money for themselves. They could have expressed this to the
disciples, but they didn’t. Selling your
land was an act of the heart and will.
It wasn’t a force situation.
The thing is, they wanted to appear super generous like everyone
else. Unfortunately, their lies caught
up with them, and then cost both of them their lives:
a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of
property. 2 With
his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but
brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled
your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for
yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong
to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?
What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human
beings but to God.”
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great
fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young
men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had
happened. 8 Peter
asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
she said, “that is the price.”
9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of
the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door,
and they will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the
young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside
her husband. 11 Great
fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
And so, the question that I will leave you with is this, “What
“little white lie” are we telling that could heap disastrous results?
Thank you for listening to another episode of Healing Our Brokenness.
Anxiety is something that we will all face in life. The causes of anxiety and the solutions for dealing with this common problem will vary from person to person. Listen in to Episode 19 as I discuss this topic.
Episode 19: Podcast Outline
Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
David on Anxiety
Solutions for Anxiety
Good morning! Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness podcast. Today, you are listening to Episode 19: Anxiety!
Picture this scene: I was in 7th grade, and at the time, I enjoyed competing in oratorical contests for fun. However, because my mother was a single parent, and had to work, she was never able to come to see me compete. I should have been grateful that she was working. However, I got caught up on her being there. She finally decided to come. However, she forgot to forewarn me. I was on the stage, and she waved to show me that she was there, and my mind went blank after the first two lines. I could hear my words trembling, and feel my whole body shaking intensely. She hadn’t done anything wrong, but my lack of preparedness for her coming totally threw me for a loop.
When we hear the word anxiety, all kinds of thoughts come to mind. Anxiety is normal in certain cases. For example, recently I was waiting for the test results from a mammogram, and as I was listening to the person on the phone, I became anxious as I proposed what her words would be and how I would react to them. Anxiety can sneak upon us as we get ready to take a quiz, and it can cause us to forget everything that we were going to say.
Anxiety can be debilitating. This type can often be hereditary and would fall under the column of anxiety disorder. That means that if our grandparents and parents have suffered from anxiety disorder, then it is a high chance that we could be dealing with the same issue. When we suffer from this kind of anxiety, it is something that we had no control over.
Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
There is, however, another kind of anxiety that I am going to discuss. This type of anxiety is from the things that we place on ourselves. Examples of this is trying to fix problems that we don’t have control over. We try to control our adult children and the mistakes that they make in their lives. There is a desire to control whether or not people will accept or reject our uniqueness.
We try to control whether the job that we have had for over 15 years will be the job that we retire from. Do you control the discipline that God gives to a family or friend in regard to their sin, and in the process, we began to enable the individual? When we try so hard to control, it only makes us more out of control. This eagerness to control creates an addiction within itself. This is what the devil doesn’t tell us. We don’t know until it’s too late.
Another type of anxiety that we place on ourselves is that
of making changes for the sake of coming out of vicious cycles. For example:
Stacy notices that she has an anxiety attack every morning in regard to
getting out the door and getting to work.
Reasoning: Every morning Stacy
stays in bed until 30 minutes before it’s time to leave to go to work. She has to rush to put makeup on, get her
breakfast, and pack her lunch. Stacy
knows what is behind this problem, but she fails to make the changes. Stacy is self-sabotaging.
Scheduling is another type of self-inflicted anxiety. This is the area that I am guilty of, and starting to make progress in. We pile as much as we can into a given day. The more things we keep adding to that list, the more things will be added to our list of anxiety about. The first thing that we don’t consider is exactly how long it will take to get each thing done. There are only so many hours in the day.
If we work outside the home, those hours are shortened. Unless we are God, there is no way that we can get all those things done, but we try. Sometimes it is possible to get those things done, but we have used this time up on social media, or doing a little bit too much relaxing, only to start the vicious cycle all about again.
The last type of anxiety that I would like to discuss is that of trauma-induced anxiety. Unfortunately, this kind is one that I am very familiar with. One kind of trauma anxiety is created from having to be in hypervigilant mode all the time. The other part of trauma anxiety that I have noticed for myself is that I might have a flashback or a trigger of something.
Then, what happens is that my mind may start to think about the details and feelings that this event caused. I push the thought away, thinking that maybe it is unimportant, only to realize later when it resurfaces, and continues to occupy my emotional and mental space, that it is something that I need to deal with. However, since trauma wants to be in control, it will cause you to start self-protecting, and then rationalizing why you shouldn’t talk about this thing.
You think you’ve somehow outsmarted trauma, but it outsmarts you because when this event keeps coming up, it usually causes anxiety to go from 0 to 1000 in your body, while the flashbacks are occurring, and what you don’t realize is that avoidance of discussion of this event is keeping the physical energy in your body, and delaying the healing at the same time.
I learned this the hard way when I tried avoiding talking about seeing my father abuse my mother in our apartment as a kid. I kept delaying and delaying, scratching off on my therapy notes, and saying, “Nope, not this week!” Weeks turned into months, and then finally when I couldn’t take it any longer and started feeling the impulse of swinging and punching at its peak, I did the best thing that I could do. I talked about it with my therapist. It got worse before it got better.
Now, when those feelings come up, I pretend like I am
kickboxing in order to release the energy from my body. Before discussing this event with my
therapist, I would zone into worship music to calm the impulses. What I didn’t realize is that the energy
needs to leave your body.
We ask God to help us with all kinds of things. However, we forget to ask him to help us with
anxiety, and to get to the root. In
Psalms 139 David reminds us about how God knows everything. We can’t hide anything from him. His presence follows us.
139 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. 2
You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar. 3
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4
Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me. 6
Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, And the night will be the only light around me,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You, But the night shines as bright as the day; Darkness and light are alike to You.
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. 14
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. 15
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with
many colors] in the depths of the earth. 16
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! 18
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 [a]O that You would
kill the wicked, O God;
Go away from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. 20
For they speak against You wickedly,
Your enemies take Your name in vain. 21
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22
I hate them with perfect and utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts; 24
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
What are some helpful ways to reduce anxiety?
Taking a deep breath in and out
Meditating on worship music
Sometimes medicine, along with everything lifted above.
I pray that you have heard something here today that has