Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies

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Last week, I had a sweet tooth for cookies. And so, on Friday I purchased some pecans, and got to making this desire a reality on Sunday after church. I was surprised that they came out pretty good since it was my first time trying out the oatmeal raisin cookie combination.

I will definitely have to make these cookies again. If you are feeling adventurous enough to try them out, send me an email and a picture letting me know what you think. Have a blessed week!

oatmeal raisin pecan cookies, recipes, healthy eating. lifestyle, food photography,food, katina horton, blogger, food blogger, simple functional grace-filled living
Photo by Katina Horton

Total Prepping and Cooking Time

35 minutes

Ingredients

  • oatmeal- 1 1/2 cups
  • raisins- 1/2 cup
  • almond milk – 1 cup
  • chopped or whole pecans – 1/2 cup
  • sugar – 1/2 cup
  • almond flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • flaxseed meal – 3 tablespoons

Directions

  • Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl using a whisk or wooden spoon.
  • Using a cookie scoop, grab one scoop at a time, making sure that you press against the side of the bowl to rid of any excess liquid.
  • Place the scoops on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake on 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

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Episode 52: Living in the Moment

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Episode 52: Living in the Moment
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Living in the Moment Introduction

We all have a never-ending list of things to do. We are so maxed out that we are piling up three and four things at a time, but not fully present to any one thing. How can this change? Take a listen to today’s podcast episode.

living in the moment, emotional health, mental health, overwhelmed, acceptance, expectation, resolution, maturity, realization, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle, podcast, episode 52
Photo by Sarah Pflug

Show Notes

Podcast Outline

  • My Encounter
  • What Jesus Says

Challenge Questions:

What are some of the steps that you can take in order to be more present?

What are some of the patterns of behavior that you have observed that prevents you from living in the moment?

I Can’t Sleep!

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle

Sleep is one of those things that we can’t live without. At one time or another, we’ve all had problems sleeping. But what happens when lack of sleep starts to get the best of you? Read the poem below to find out.

I Can’t Sleep

I can’t sleep! I can’t sleep!

Do I pray or do I weep?

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Photo by Shopify Partners

Let the music play in your head.

Rest in Jesus while in your bed.

This lack of sleep, all part of trauma.

Give him your fears and all your drama.

I can’t sleep! I can’t sleep!

“I know my child.

My grace runs deep.”

The Sleep Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle

Introduction to The Sleep Aspect

We all love a good night’s sleep. When I picture falling asleep, I think about having just the right amount of flat sheets, a soft comforter, a few pillows surrounding me, just the right temperature in the house, and having sweet dreams. Just thinking about this scene would make all of us stop and long for sleep.

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle
Photo by Shopify Partners

Sleep can be one of the sweetest things in the world, and then on the other side of that coin, it can be that of agony for a person living with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis. There is also no rhyme or reason as to when sleep deprivation will occur.

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Photo by Matthew Henry

Breakdown of My Sleep Aspect of Trauma

Five years ago, unbeknownst to me, I entered an extremely toxic work environment. At the time, I had already been dealing with sleep issues as a side effect of the trauma of my divorce, as well as the events immediately preceding and following the divorce. I would describe the events as a crazy Lifetime movie. Unfortunately, this movie was my life. Although I was already having problems staying and falling asleep, nothing could compare to the level of sleep problems that occurred as a by-product of working at this company for nine months.

People living with PTSD/trauma often face two issues when it comes to sleep: falling asleep and staying asleep. I had and have both. During the time that I worked at this company, I would try to fall asleep around 10 pm. From 10:00 pm to 3:00 a.m, I would fall asleep for a few minutes, wake up with my teeth and whole body tense and clenched tight, and the cycle would start all over again.

Breakdown Part Two

I am going to keep it real here. The first couple of times that this happens, you find yourself trying to stay positive and you start telling yourself not to overly think about. “Don’t be concerned about the time.” However, when you have done this 5 or more times within five hours, and realize that you have only had a total of maybe one hour of sleep, and you have to get up pretty soon for work, the positivity can wear off real fast. I had to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work, which if we all do the math, we know that this isn’t enough time for restful adequate sleep.

The toxic job, along with this vicious cycle of sleep caused major life-threatening thyroid problems, along with an overactive adrenal gland.

God granted me grace by allowing me to be let go from this toxic environment. It gave me time to heal and try to breathe again.

Sleep Aspect: What’s Going On Now

I still have issues with my sleep patterns due to trauma. They are not as frequent as they were, but they are still a problem. Last week took me clearly by surprise.

I had been suffering with sinus and allergy issues since August, and last week these issues came to a head. And guess what came with it? Sleep deprivation from trauma. I had two nights with four nights of sleep.

Then, I had one night with five nights of sleep. Just as I thought I was turning the corner, the following night was an all-nighter with only one hour of sleep at best. I nodded off for ten minutes at a time, woke up, and then stayed up for hours, with my body attempting sleep several more times.

I have to get up at 4:00 for work, and so, when this time came, and I was still awake, I reluctantly resigned to calling in and staying home. What I had to do was to give myself grace and compassion. I had to tell myself that I needed a time-out to rest, get in as many liquids as I could to help my sinus issues, and just relax. Finally, I fell asleep at 5:00 a.m. and slept until close to nine.

I would have liked to sleep until one o’clock. However, that didn’t happen. What did happen is that I literally laid down for part of the day, and sat up part of the day and allowed myself to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually in Jesus. Sometimes we just have to admit that we are having a bad day, week, month, year, and simply REST!!!

Sleep Aspect Conclusion

Sleep deprivation from trauma is real. I won’t downplay it. However, God is also real, and he can meet us right where we are. When we have these hiccups in our schedule, the devil wants to make us think we are right back where we are. WE ARE NOT!!

Unfortunately sleep issues are a part of living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, but it doesn’t define us. God does! And guess what? When I couldn’t sleep during the night, I had praise music playing in my head as if I had turned on a radio. Even though my feelings were telling me different, God was telling me that he was with me.

God bless and have a wonderful rest of your week!!!

What are some of the things that you do to help yourself when you are dealing with the sleep aspect of trauma?

Barbecue Vegetarian Meatballs

katina horton, lifestyle, vegetarian meatballs, healthy eating, barbecue, simple functional grace-filled living, lifestyle, blogger, blog, food, food photography, family time, grace, intentionality

Background on Vegetarian Meatballs

As our kids are in the process of becoming young adults, it gets more and more challenging to carve out connection time. They have their lives. You have yours. And to top it off, if both of you are working, then you are presented with even more of a challenge.

About a week and a half ago, my son was home to visit. We were both working and extremely busy. However, we were able to carve out some connection time together a little bit before he left, and we decided to explore listening to French music, catch up on each other’s lives, and make vegetarian meatballs.

katina horton, lifestyle, vegetarian meatballs, healthy eating, barbecue, simple functional grace-filled living, lifestyle, blogger, blog, food, food photography, family time, grace, intentionality
Photo by Katina Horton

I hope that you enjoy them as much as we did.

Here’s the recipe:

katina horton, lifestyle, vegetarian meatballs, healthy eating, barbecue, simple functional grace-filled living, lifestyle, blogger, blog, food, food photography, family time, grace, intentionality
Photo by Katina Horton

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican crumble (little bit of a spicy kick to it) per bowl
  • 4 teaspoons of chili powder, garlic powder, parsley, cumin, curry, onion powder, and garlic powder per bowl
  • 1 pack of shredded cheese
  • bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
  • 4 eggs (2 per bowl)
katina horton, lifestyle, vegetarian meatballs, healthy eating, barbecue, simple functional grace-filled living, lifestyle, blogger, blog, food, food photography, family time, grace, intentionality
Photo by Katina Horton

Directions

  • Place one pack of vegan meat in two medium sized bowls.
  • Add 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal, oatmeal, seasonings, and desired cheese amount per bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients in each bowl.
  • Grab two cookie sheets and line with parchment paper.
  • Use one cookie sheet per bowl.
  • Use a cookie scoop the size of your choice to scoop the meatball mixture, carefully leveling off and pressing the scoop against the side of the bowl to solidify the mixture.
  • Place the cookie scoop as close to the parchment paper as possible and then release the ball onto the sheet to reduce crumbling.
  • Heat on 325 degrees for about 25 minutes and drizzle with barbecue sauce when done.
  • Enjoy!

What are some of the things that you like to do for fun with your young adult children?

Pasta with Black Lentils

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Background on Pasta with Black Lentils

Over the weekend, I attended a women’s conference at my church. It was a Holy Spirit-filled good time. Because of having a busy weekend, I decided that I wouldn’t cook on Saturday evening. I ordered two build-your-own pizzas, watched movies with my mom, and took it easy.

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Photo by Katina Horton

On Monday night, I decided to cook dinner for the week. I loved the end result. The dish has a little bit of a spicy kick to it. It is just enough for you to enjoy the dish, and at the same time not be overwhelmed.

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Photo by Katina Horton

I pray that you are having a blessed week so far, and preparing to embrace the weekend that is upon us.

Here is the recipe for Pasta with Black Lentils:

katina horton, blogger, healthy eating, food, recipes, pasta with black lentils, tomatoes, fettuccine, lifestyle
Photo by Katina Horton

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 pound of black lentils
  • 4 tablespoons of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, parsley, cumin, and curry

Directions:

Boil a pot of water, placing some oil in the water to avoid sticky pasta.

Boil the black lentils for about 30 minutes.

Place the pasta and quinoa into the boiling water.

Cut up the zucchini, and then saute the zucchini and tomatoes together.

Add the seasonings to the vegetables.

Dump the vegetables into the pot of pasta and quinoa.

Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

Episode 49: The Anchor

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Episode 49: The Anchor
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Podcast Show Notes

The Anchor Podcast Outline:

  • Storms and Disappointment
  • When Discouragement Sets In
  • My November Accident
  • My Recent Accident
  • Shifting Our Focus
the anchor, disappointment, discouragement, hope, depression, car accident, resolution, thriving, living, trouble, storms, reality, challenges, car accidents, katina horton, valley of grace, podcaster, lifestyle, podcaster lifestyle ,blogger, writer, podcasting,
Photo by Alexandra Lee

Reflection Questions

What does the word anchor mean to you?

Have you ever had to use an anchor, and if so, for what purpose?

What is the first thing that you do when a storm enters your life?

What emotions do you feel when disappointment sets in?

Have you ever wrestled with the reality of things not happening at the best time?

What resolution can you make when the storms of life seem overwhelming and never-ending?

How can shifting your focus to the anchor change everything?

He Speaks

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This poem was written as a reflection of some of the different ways in which God speaks to us. We like to put God in a box. We often forget that God has an infinite way of relating to us, and allowing us to hear his voice. When Elijah was in the process of running away from Jezebel, God revealed Himself to him. Elijah had put God in the box of coming to him in a “great and mighty way”. Instead, he whispered to him in the still, small voice. God knows what we need, and when we need it. He is a God who meets us right where we’re at.

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Picture by Sarah Pflug

He Speaks

He Speaks! He Speaks!

But where will it be?

In a message, in a song, or the birds in a tree?

Will it be in the coolness of the wind blowing at night?

Will it be in the calmness of the crickets singing in flight?

Will it be in the morning when the rabbits talk to squirrels?

Or the munks tunneling through grass, and the robins dancing a twirl?

Will it be in the waves that are splashing at the beach?

Or the smiles of the saints as they’re waving “Hi” to me?

Will it be in the sun that is setting in the sky?

Or the swans overhead that are reaching by and by?

When he speaks, will I hear him, same voice as before?

Or will it be with great trumpet?

All of that, and Even more!

God bless,

Katina

Episode 42: Lessons from the Vine-Part 1

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Episode 42: Lessons from the Vine-Part 1
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Lessons from the Vine Outline

  • Introduction
  • Scripture
  • Conversation with Coworker
  • Application to our lives
  • Podcast Transcript
lessons from the vine, vine, branches, fruit, no growth, immaturity, podcasting, podcaster, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle, emotional health, mental health, psychology
Photo by Sarah Pflug

Good afternoon everyone!

Welcome to Healing our Brokenness episode 42, entitled, Lessons from the Vine”. Have you ever received a lesson from a vine? What about the illustration that God gives us in his word regarding the vine and the branches?

John 15:5 New International Version (NIV)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.



This past week I was talking to a coworker of mine about how the flowers in my front yard, the side of the house, and in the backyard were doing something weird this year. It is as if they were confused due to a combination of lack of sun, cold temperatures in May and June, and a variety of other reasons.

There were 2 flowers that we discussed.  One is a vine, and the other is a burning bush.  The one that I will dissect today is that of the burning bush.  The burning bush sits in front of my house. It literally has 4 different things going on with it. The first situation is that there were some branches were no leaves were produced.  The second situation that was going on was that there were branches with leaves that produced and is thriving. The next situation that is going on is that some leaves were thriving but are now dead.  And the last situation was one in which some of the Leaves had started turning their burgundy color as if fall was approaching already.  I decided to cut off the dead withered leaves.

She brought it to my attention that it could be a perfect illustration for our lives. Here is what God gave me as a lesson from the burning bush. There are certain areas of our lives that are dead.  They need to be cut out. The second lesson is that there are some areas in our lives where we are trying to move too fast instead of going through the process that God has for us. This could be due to seeing others thriving and excelling in their businesses etc.  The 3rd lesson from the burning bush is that there are some areas in our lives that are right on target and maturing properly. The last lesson from the burning bush is that there are areas of our lives where immaturity exists, and therefore, there is no growth at all. These are the areas that God wants to prune so that we can produce fruit and continue to grow.

Which one of these lessons do you identify with? I’m quite sure that we can find a little bit of ourselves in each one of them. Let’s be mindful of the areas that need growth, areas that are moving too fast, areas that are dead, and the areas that are growing in maturity in Christ just fine.

Thank you for listening to “Healing Our Brokenness, episode 42, “Lessons from the Vine”.  God bless and have a wonderful week!

Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Background Story on “Seasoned Chicken Breast”

I am reading about six books at one time. This is almost always the norm as of the last couple of years. One of the books that I am reading is entitled, “I Thought It Was Just Me (But IT Isn’t) by Brene Brown. I just recently started this book. This particular read hones in on shame and perfectionism, how they work together, and how we can employ shame resilience.

Although I am only at the beginning part of the book, what stuck out to me is the correlation between shame and performance. We have all been guilty of using shame to get the end result of performance. This happens everywhere, including work, home, and in our churches. However, using shame to get this result only damages both side. It damages the shamer and it damages the one being shamed.

No one is left feeling good about themselves. Why is that? Shame reaches into areas of our lives that stirs all kind of unwanted emotions. In order for people to change, we have to have a motivator for ourselves, not from the pressure of other people via shaming or any other form of pressure. Change will not last in this manner. Consequences are not always enough to produce change. Understanding what our behavior does to others will.

Now, on to the recipe. This recipe that I made two weeks ago is a quick recipe for seasoned chicken breasts that can be made in no time and then placed on buns to make a chicken breast sandwich restaurant-style. Hope you enjoy!

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Photo by Katina Horton

Activity: Making Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Parsley- 3 teaspoons
  • Onion powder-2 teaspoons
  • Curry-3 tablespoons
  • Chili powder -2 teaspoons
  • Black Pepper – 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin-2 teaspoons
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

Directions:

  • Rinse off three large chicken breasts.
  • Cut them up into chunks, season them on one side, and place them in a skillet of oil.
  • Turn them over after 13 minutes and season the other side.
  • Eat them paired with sides, alone, or in between two pieces of specialty bread.