The Anniversary Aspect: Trauma Series

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We have been dealing with the series “Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” for a while now. Today we will dissect “The Anniversary Aspect”. Just in case you missed the last post in this series, “The Unpredictability Aspect”, you can read up on that particular issue here.

Anniversary dates can bring on several reactions: laughing, smiling, crying, dread, and so on. These reactions can be separate. Or, they can coexist. The one thing that is true about anniversaries is that no matter how much you try to prepare for them, when the time comes, there is no preparation in the world for what the reality will look like.

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January 13, 2019 made six years that I had to put my ex-husband out. It was two months before his planned exit. Although that was six years ago, when the beginning of this past January rolled around, it felt like it had just happened yesterday. One surprising fact is that the 13th of January fell on a Sunday once again. Just like it was six years ago.

For the first time in almost six years, I dealt with triggers in regards to this event for almost an entire month. I knew that I wasn’t back there, but when the triggers came, it was as if I was standing around in the townhome 6 years ago, trying to decide what to do about the situation that I found myself in at the time: a husband who was staging a fake suicide four days in a row.

If I hadn’t responded in the manner in which I did, by going downstairs and checking the garage, me and my sleeping children could have ended up dead. There are some things that happen in life in which there are no words for, and this is one of them.

How did things get to this point? How could an individual go this far in order to regain control and pull you back in so they could emotionally and psychologically abuse you again?

So many unanswered questions.

And these things will more than likely never been answered on this side of heaven. Hurting people hurt people. Until we begin to take responsibility for our actions, we will continue to bleed out on everyone else in the form of drama, trauma, and layers of brokenness.

One thing that we can do when we are taken back on these anniversary dates is to ground ourselves in the present. We ground ourselves by reminding ourselves of where we are, what we are doing, and how it relates to now. We also create new memories to replace the old ones. There are times when following these steps don’t seem to work, and in those instances, you hold on to Jesus, and give yourself grace as you would give a friend.

Is there an anniversary date that you dread coming up every year?

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The Body

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Background on the Body

The last poem that I wrote was entitled “The Declaration”, and you can find that poem here.

God never makes a mistake with anything that he does. Just a few minutes ago, I was on Twitter doing some posting and scrolling, and I saw a post by Realistic Poetry. I decided to click on it and read it. They presented a challenge.

The challenge was to write a poem based upon two wooden figures leaning up against each other in a box. One figure has its arm slightly around the other figure. The first thought that came across my mind is whether or not I should enter the challenge. I’m glad that I did because God immediately gave me a poem.

The words that he gave me reminded me of how wonderful it is to be in the Body of Christ, doing life with believers who lift each other up, pray for each other, and bear one another’s burdens. Have a blessed Monday everyone!

I lean against you.

You lean against me.

Supporting each other.

It’s positioning you see.

But, then what will happen,

If one of us gets moved?

Will positioning change?

Will we stay in the groove?

Will the box even help?

Will it support us in pain?

Will the loss of “the Body”,

Bring way too much rain?

I lean against you.

You lean against me.

Supporting each other.

It’s positioning you see.

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Bible Verse for Meditation

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 King James Version (KJV)

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

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Background on the Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

I had a busy weekend.  However, it was a good kind of busy.  I got a chance to enjoy my mom and niece who were visiting.  I did plenty of cooking.  However, I also had a lot of down time.  Yesterday, I ended up watching a Hallmark movie that had a really good story line.

The main character’s sister, Alice, had died suddenly from heart issues.  Alice’s death prompted Lois to go back to her hometown first for the funeral, and then secondly, to take care of the affairs of her estate.  Instead of taking care of these things, and then going right back to her high-powered attorney job, she decided to stay for a while.

This visit was more than what she had bargained for.  All the memories from her sister’s car accident came to the forefront.  She also had to deal with the fact that she had become estranged from her sister over the years.  Alice’s friends knew more about her life than Lois did.

It took her awhile to reconcile the fact that the car accident that Alice was involved in was indeed not her fault, nor Peter’s.  Lois kept thinking that if she hadn’t been out with Peter, her boyfriend, then her sister wouldn’t have ended up disabled.

Towards the end of the movie, Lois discovered that Alice had birthed a child during her college years.  She was finally able to meet her niece and the adoptive parents, and find true forgiveness for herself and Peter.

In life, we are a lot like Lois, we think that “if only” we would have done or not done something, then things wouldn’t have turned out as they did.  It is part of the bargaining stage of grief.  However, Satan also uses it as a foothold to keep us stuck in life.  He wants us to pride ourselves into thinking that we are in control of all of life’s details.  The truth of the matter is that we are not.  God is.  We will not know all the reasons that he decides for things to be the way they are.

I love making bean concoctions.  The last one that I made can be found here.  Below is a recipe that I made a little over a week ago.

 

Activity:  Making Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

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Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  35 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • cumin – 2 tablespoons
  • chili powder – 3 tablespoons
  • onion powder – 2 tablespoons
  • turmeric – 2 tablespoons
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

  • Boil one cup of brown rice.
  • Cut up two zucchinis into chunks.
  • While the brown rice is boiling, saute the zucchini.
  • Heat up the beans in a large pot, along with three cups of water.
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
  • Heat up the mixture for about 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

 

Katina

Simple Chicken Burgers

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Background on the Simple Chicken Burgers

I have been reading a variety of books lately.  Along with this fact, I’ve also been listening to a lot of sermons.  Sometimes, I have listened to so many sermons, and read so many books at one time, that I start to second guess myself as to which book or preacher said what.  At this point, I usually have to go back and double check that I am giving the right author credit.

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In this season of my life, I have been hearing God’s small voice repeatedly encouraging me along the way.  I can picture myself taking off at the starting point with my number on, and God on the sidelines with his flag shouting, “Keep running!  You can do it! ”

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Earlier today, I was reading more of the book on leadership by Brene Brown.  The chapter that I am now focusing on is dealing with empathy.  Later this evening, I listened to a sermon by Joyce Meyer.  As God would have it, she was also preaching on empathy.  The key points that were stated from both is the following:

  • Empathy means being able to connect through the emotion that someone else is feeling.
  • Empathy doesn’t mean giving advice.
  • Having empathy shouldn’t lead to a comparison game of who has had the worst suffering.

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A few nights ago, I decided to make what I call Simple Chicken Burgers.  They turned out super moist and required very few ingredients.

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Here is the recipe:

Activity:  Making Simple Chicken Burgers

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of oatmeal
  •  cumin (1 tb)
  •  onion powder (1 tb)
  •  garlic powder (1 tb)
  • 1 16 oz. pack of ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
  • 3 tablespoons of water

Directions:

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.
  • Dump all of the above ingredients into a bowl.
  • Make burger patty shapes with your hands.
  • Place the six patties into a skillet, or as many as you can at once. (use 2 skillets if necessary)
  • Take the burgers out when they are brown on both sides.
  • Top with hummus and garnish with basil or spinach if you like.
  • Enjoy!

God Bless,

 

Katina

Simple Spaghetti

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Background Story on Simple Spaghetti

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

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

Quote #1

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

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

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Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Quote #2

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

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

Quote #3

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

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

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

Here is the recipe:

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti

Total cooking and Prepping Time: 40 minutes

Servings: about 12

Ingredients:  

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

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Directions: 

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

 

God bless,

Katina