The Savior’s Love

sunsets, Savior, God's love, beach, sand, reflection, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, blogger, blog, poetry, poem, lifestyle, valley of grace

Did you know that there are many ways that God exemplifies his love. I believe that the sunsets are a perfect array of this demonstration. The poem below, focuses in on this great revelation.

Sunsets teach us about our Savior.

About his love and his behavior.

The subtle streaks of pink and blue.

Or bolder tones of golden hues.

sunsets, Savior, God's love, beach, sand, reflection, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, blogger, blog, poetry, poem, lifestyle, valley of grace
Sunset Photo taken by Katina Horton

The artist breaks through every dimension.

To give out love, get our attention.

sunsets, Savior, God's love, beach, sand, reflection, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, blogger, blog, poetry, poem, lifestyle, valley of grace
Photo taken by Katina Horton
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Summertime Salad

summertime salad, family, food, healthy eating, recipes, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living

Background Story on Summertime Salad

My mother and two nieces came to visit me this weekend. I picked them up on Saturday, hoping beforehand to have made at least four out of six stops completed prior to picking them up from the train station. Well, I got three done. I had to talk myself down to the fact that I would have to make three stops with two little ones. It wasn’t that bad after all.

After all of the stopping and putting away groceries, we decided that it would be best to grill on Sunday after church. It rained overnight and Sunday morning. However, as the weather man predicted, the rain stopped at around 1:00 p.m. By 2:00 we were ready to grill.

summertime salad, family, food, healthy eating, recipes, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living
Summertime Salad Photo by Katina Horton

Some of the highlights of my weekend were: 1) watching a two-year old dance and climb a flight of stairs with the look of joy on her face, 2) watching both nieces play with twigs and branches in the backyard 3) listening to 70s, 80s, and 90s slow jams, 4) watching movies, 5) baking oatmeal lemon nut and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with my niece, and 6) grilling for the first time since living here. I hope and pray that you had a simple, functional grace-filled weekend as well.

Here is the recipe for the Summertime Salad that I made on Sunday:

Ingredients

  • 5 medium beets
  • 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons of minced onions
  • dressing of your choice
  • 3 medium green bell peppers
  • 6 to 8 mini sweet peppers
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 tub of mixed green salad
  • 6 tomatoes cut into wedges or slices

Directions

  • Roast the beets for 45 minutes on 350, pouring olive oil and wrapping them individually in foil and placing them on a cookie sheet beforehand.
  • When they are done, allow them to cool off for 15 minutes and then peel off the skin with a towel.
  • Cut the beets into wedges.
  • Dump the mixed green salad into a bowl.
  • Dump the tomato slices or wedges into the bowl.
  • Dump all the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle the seasonings last.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

Episode 50: The Journey Reading

journey, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, podcaster, podcast, episode 50, blogging, PTSD, trauma, Toxic work environment

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Show Notes: The Journey Reading

How many of you have gone on a journey? We take many things with us when we embark on our journeys. When you went on your journey, what did you decide to take with you?

journey, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, podcaster, podcast, episode 50, blogging, PTSD, trauma, Toxic work environment
Photo by Matthew Henry

Sometimes, there are things that we plan to take on our journey, and other times that are things that happen to us that are totally unplanned. Today’s podcast will feature a reading from my first book. I would classify it as an autobiography/ faith journey. There were several things that happened to me on my journey. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have planned for a lot of the things that happened to happen. However, it is through this journey that God has made me stronger, and allowed me to see that he is my only security, and that it is through his grace that I am where I am today.

God bless!

Direction

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Background on the Poem “Direction

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Photo by Matthew Henry

There are times in life when we don’t know which way to go. During these times, if we seek the Lord, then our mission, our purpose, and his will becomes clearer. Of course, it also means that we have to still do our part. Our part involves intentionality, setting goals, and aligning our will with his. We also need wisdom discerning in whom we should confide God’s great revelation.

I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the ramparts. I will watch to see what He will say to me and how I will answer my reproof. Then the LORD answered me: “Write down this vision and clearly inscribe it on tablets, so that a herald may run with it. For the vision awaits an appointed time; 

Habakkuk 2: 1-3

Direction

Listen- to every word that I say.

Vision-making it plain, don’t you sway.

Write it-on your heart and your mind.

Do it-all in wisdom and my time.

Show it-to your siblings, the believers.

Hold it-From the wicked, the deceivers.

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?

Episode 48: Helping Someone During Grief

grief, life, death, trauma, compounded trauma, Job, psychology, friends, consolation, empathy, sympathy, pain competition, katina horton, healing our brokenness, sadness

Episode 48: Helping Someone During Grief
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Podcast Show Notes

grief, life, death, trauma, compounded trauma, Job, psychology, friends, consolation, empathy, sympathy, pain competition, katina horton, healing our brokenness, sadness
Photo by Matthew Henry

Helping Someone During Grief Podcast Outline

  • Symptoms of Grief
  • Job and his Grief
  • Right and Wrong Things to Say or Do During Grief

Reflection Questions:

What are some of the cliche terms that you have said when you tried consoling someone who was grieving?

Did you say these terms to avoid feeling the other person’s pain, or in a rush for the other person to feel better?

What are alternative words that can be said to someone who is suffering?

Do you have pain competitions with others when they are grieving in order to make them have a reality check, or yourself feel better because you feel that you have it worse than them?

What changes can you make to insure that people feel loved during their time of grief?

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 47: Enough for Everybody or The Scarcity Mindset

birds, enough, scarcity, abundance, God is sovereign, God is in control, stewardship, ownership, Psalm 24:1, katina horton, valley of grace, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health,

Episode 47: Enough for Everybody or The Scarcity Mindset
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Enough for Everybody Podcast Outline

  • Two Bird Observations
  • What Can We Learn from the Birds
birds, enough, scarcity, abundance, God is sovereign, God is in control, stewardship, ownership, Psalm 24:1, katina horton, valley of grace, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health,
Photo by Mukesh Mishra

Show Notes

Enough for Everybody

About a year ago, I was looking out of the kitchen window, and I thought that what I was witnessing was a bird fight.  Instead of it being a fight, it was more like bullying.  Bullying among two birds.  One robin decided that he wanted the other robin to leave the grass. (Granted there was more than enough room for both of them.) The second robin (victim) tried to stay there. 

However, the first robin (bully), continued to peck him.  The second robin went over to the bird bath to relax there.  And what do you know?  Mr. Bully came over there and pecked him until he left that area.  Eventually the second robin flew into the happy face tree (someone literally drew a happy face on the tree itself) and stayed there for a while.  This made the bully very happy.

 Reflection on Enough

In the spring, I saw several birds in the backyard after it rained.  No one had the bullying and victim title.  They were all scavenging for food after it rained.  They knew that there was more than enough to go around.

God revealed something to me in that very moment.  Sometimes we are like the two birds from a year ago.  We feel that we are not satisfied until we are the only star.  We feel that there will not be enough of God’s grace, goodness, and mercy to go around.  We think we have to fight in order to get the blessings, or there won’t be enough.

Other times, we are like the birds from the spring, realizing that there is more than enough, God is the one who owns it all, and is running it all. 

The earth is the Lord‘s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalms 24:1, KJV)

Even with whatever talent it is that he has blessed us with, he has to tell the door to open and to close.  Some of us will be blessed with a lot, and some of us will be blessed with little.  However, when we realize that there is more than enough for everybody, then we can look to God, rather than other people to receive the blessing.

“O my people, listen as I speak.
    Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
    I am God, your God!
 I have no complaint about your sacrifices
    or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.

But I do not need the bulls from your barns
    or the goats from your pens.
 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
    and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

I know every bird on the mountains,
    and all the animals of the field are mine.
 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for all the world is mine and everything in it.

Do I eat the meat of bulls?
    Do I drink the blood of goats?
 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.” (Psalms 50:7-15, NLT)

Dear God,

We thank you for the gifts that you have blessed us with.  We pray that you will help us to realize that we don’t have to worry about being threatened by anyone else, because you have blessed all of us with different gifts/talents that are unique to us.  Please help us not to compete, but to work together for your glory.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

Episode 46: We Are All Qualified

interview, job interview, prayer qualifications, qualifications, emotional health, spiritual health, mental health, self-worth, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, hope, Our Father

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interview, job interview, prayer qualifications, qualifications, emotional health, spiritual health, mental health, self-worth, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, hope, Our Father
Photo by Matthew Henry

We Are All Qualified Podcast Outline

  • Job Interviews
  • Qualifications for Job Positions
  • Qualifications for Prayer Warriors

Show Notes:

Scripture Reading James 5:13-18   We Are All Qualified
Being a prayer warrior is one job that doesn’t require a special set of qualifications. We
don’t have to worry about God looking at our application, and going, “No, I am sorry, but your resume doesn’t meet the qualifications for our idea candidate.  I will keep your resume on file
for a year just in case something else comes along.”  We are all broken. And because of this
brokenness, we are in the perfect position for God to use us. The bible gives us one example
after the other of how God used a bunch of mixed up, messed up Christians to do his work.
What does the scripture say about the combination of prayer and broken people?   

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a
man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain;
and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.  And he prayed 
again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
(James 5:17-18, KJV)  

These verses hone us in on knowing what the requirements are to getting our prayers
answered: 1) willing hearts, 2) consistency, and 3) fervency (intense passion). Let us all be
mindful of this as we prepare our resume for review.    

Dear God,  
We thank you for giving us examples in your Word of how you used broken
people like us to pray and do your will. Please help us to be consistent and
committed when it comes to getting our prayers answered. You tell us in your
word that if we delight ourselves in you, that you will give us the desires of our heart.  

In your name we pray,  
Amen

Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma

emotional health, mental health, stillness, calmness, serenity,psychology, physical health, Peace, flowers, PTSD, trauma, healing, brokenness, emotional overload, body-mind connection, katina horton, podcaster, podcasting, lifestyle, author, writer, dissociation

Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma
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Be Still Podcast Outline

  • Definition of Still
  • Definition of Know
  • Dissection of Psalm 46: 10
  • What Happens With the Combo of Trauma and Constant Busyness
emotional health, mental health, stillness, calmness, serenity,psychology, physical health, Peace, flowers, PTSD, trauma, healing, brokenness, emotional overload, body-mind connection, katina horton, podcaster, podcasting, lifestyle, author, writer, dissociation
Photo by Fabio Manuel Neto da luz

Podcast Transcript:

Good afternoon! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness, episode 45, Entitled, “Be Still:” The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma on a Daily Basis”

What does it mean to be still?

Being still means without movement, without speech, calm, peaceful, serene.

I like to think of stillness as the act of eliminating busyness and distractions.

In Psalm 46: 10, God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.”

To know means to be aware of through information and observation.  For us to know something or someone, we must spend time with that person or learning about that topic. If we want to know God, we must quiet our spirits, stop the striving, distractions, busyness, and do what is required to be in a relationship with him. If we want to heal from trauma, we also need a stillness to exist.

This stillness required from healing that helps us to know about our mind and body connection, can only happen when we purposefully have 2 things: time and space.

When we are busy every minute of the day, we don’t have time to know our bodies. Our bodies reveal the secrets behind our emotions.  Just recently, and recently being about 3 months ago, I started working a full-time job. After a month, I realized that I needed to tweak my schedule for the weekend.  I had to block out 3 hours on my weekend mornings in order to make sure that I could continue having my time of stillness. Without stillness, it is hard to gain clarity.

Before working full time, I had more time and space for this stillness to occur. Now, since my schedule has changed, i must be more intentional about giving myself margin.

Right before starting work with this job, I had a traumatic event to occur. Along with learning new things at work, and relearning how to drive after 30 years, I was exhibiting “ADHD-like” trauma symptoms, and having a hard time focusing.  I knew that it was only a matter of time till the emotional effects of this event would come out. My system had to be relaxed enough with stillness, and time and space to go through the steps of processing everything that had gone down.

The first symptom that was exhibited was that of nausea. I knew immediately that this was grief. And how was I able to tell that? Four years ago, when I was living at my previous residence , I became very nauseated one evening after eating.  It was the worst case ever.  I thought that I was coming down with the flu or some type of virus. It was also during this time that I had not begun to process any of the traumatic events that had occurred in the previous 3 years.  My system was on emotional and mental overload.

All of a sudden, before I knew it, I ended up regurgitating 3 to 4 times. In between each time, I felt like I needed to cry very deeply. This is how I was able to make the connection that nausea for me equals the need for grief to be released from my body.  At the time, my son asked me about the contents of what I ate that could have made me so sick. I told him that I realized that it had nothing to do with the food that I ate.

When I told my therapist about what happened, she said, “Yes, this was definitely physiological.”  

Another symptom that occurred recently is where my lips started to become numb.  I knew immediately that this represented anger that I needed to work through.  Once again, if I did not have the time within the last few years to process some of the trauma, I would not have had a clue of what was going on.  I probably would have gotten myself all worked up and anxious, perpetuating the problem.

I was then able to go to God and ask him, “What is this anger about? Is it just this traumatic event, or something else along with it?”. Having my time of stillness, and space for reflection allowed me to get to the root of the problem so that I could start healing from, it.   That anger had been coming out sideways for about 2 1/2 weeks.

Music is one of my main go-to’s for enabling me to process trauma , and so when I added more of this into my time and space, I gained even more wisdom and discernment , along with being able to release the grief from my system through crying heavily.

Changes are good.  However, changes are only fully embraced once the old has been grieved. All of the “would haves”, “should haves”, and “not any more’s”. If you are having problems healing from trauma, ask yourself if you are allowing yourself the time and space of sitting in God’s stillness.  The pain, loneliness, and loss have to be grieved. I don’t want to mislead you. There will be pain in this process. There’s no way to go around it. And I promise you, if there was, everyone would be signing up for it. There is God’s grace, mercy, and presence there.  And it is very much needed. It is also in this stillness that our mind, body, soul, and spirit will begin to reveal the answers to our questions. It will help us to lead the way and or continue our journey to a life of thriving.

First, try starting off with one hour of lying down without any distractions and see if you can notice the difference of what this new stillness brings. Initially, it will feel very uncomfortable because you will want to quickly fill up your time with busyness. However, this quiet time will begin to declutter your mind and allow you to get to the root of your issues, along with the help a therapist.

I hope that “Episode 45: ‘Be Still: The Healing Aspect Of Living With Trauma’” has been beneficial to you in some way. If Healing Our Brokenness is making a difference in your life, please leave a review, tag a friend, and give a shout out on social media. God bless! Have a wonderful week!