Direction

direction, decisions, life, poetry, poem, poet, choices, Habakkuk, vision, purpose, lamp, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, healing

Background on the Poem “Direction

direction, decisions, life, poetry, poem, poet, choices, Habakkuk, vision, purpose, lamp, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, healing
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.

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He Speaks

he speaks, poetry, poem, poet, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle, reflections, Elijah, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace

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.

he speaks, poetry, poem, poet, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle, reflections, Elijah, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace
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 36: Sharing in Need

Episode 36: Sharing in Need
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Sharing in Need Podcast Outline

  • Hunger
  • Value of Food
  • Christian Call
  • Transcript

Sharing in Need

sharing, food, clothes, katina horton, podcast, podcaster, podcasting, food, simple, world hunger, waste, emotional health, sharing, physical health, mental health, psychology
Photo by Sarah Pflug

Good evening! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 36. Last week’s episode, Value of Prayer, can be found here.

There is hunger and lack of clean water in several countries all over the world.  The problem of hunger is so bad that people have lost hope for themselves and their children.  It has been said that the amount of food that we throw away as waste is enough food to stop world hunger.  The thing about being good stewards, when it comes to God, is that stewardship is not just about money, it is for everything that God owns:  “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (Psalms 24:1, NLT) This means our time, talents, our bodies, everything!

When I grew up as a child, we placed value on food, and how we used it.  It wasn’t just because we were poor, but it was also because we realized just how many people were going without food, and in such a desperate need.  In this day and age, we think nothing of having our kids throw whole plates of food in the garbage without blinking an eye. 

As Christians, sometimes we get so cozy in our homes, and the immediate needs of our families, that we forget about our responsibility to take care of the poor:  “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV) It makes some of us uncomfortable to think about giving away some of what we have.  A lot of times, when it comes to clothing, we have the same few pieces of clothing that we like to wear over and over again anyway.  Having a closet full of clothes gives the illusion of false self-worth.

After the day of Pentecost, the Christians were on such a spiritual high from the workings of the Holy Spirit, that no one was in need: “All the believers were of one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone was sharing.  And the apostles preached powerful sermons about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and there was warm fellowship among all the believers,and no poverty—for all who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.” (Acts 4:32-37, TLB)

What would be required in order for us to have this kind of situation going on now?  It would require a change of heart and a change of mind.  Then our behavior will follow:  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV)   God blesses repentance and good stewardship.

Dear God,

Thank you for what we have.  We pray that you would move in our hearts to do more to help others in need.  We know that we cannot outdo you when it comes to giving.  Please help us to be mindful and sensitive to others who are in dire circumstances, and that if we don’t have anything to give, our hearts will be stirred to pray for those individuals.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness. If the show is making a difference in your life, please refer a friend.

God bless!!!

El Roi

El Roi, the God who sees, provider, provision, pain, brokenness, healing, Fears, tears, poet, poetry, poem, needs, katina horton, author, writer, blogger, blogs

What do you think of when you think of God? Think about Hagar. When she was kicked out by Sarah, to fend for herself and her son, she called God, El Roi, The God who Sees. He saw her distress, and he provided for her and her son. Who is God to you? Ponder this as you read “El Roi”.

He is El-Roi

He Sees me

He Knows me

He Loves me

He Heals me

When the Impossibilities Present themselves

All Around

And Our Countenance

Is Visibly Down

El Roi, the God who sees, provider, provision, pain, brokenness, healing, Fears, tears, poet, poetry, poem, needs, katina horton, author, writer, blogger, blogs

He Sees the Hurt

He Sees the Pain

He Sees the Broken

He Hears the Rain

Removes the Fears

Collects the Tears

He Sees.

Episode 27: Simply Grace

recipes, healthy eating, poetry, poems, healing, brokenness, PTSD, trauma, abuse, katina horton, author, poet, healing our brokenness, episode 27

Episode 27: Simply Grace
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In case you missed our last episode, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2”, you can find that episode here. Today’s episode, Episode 27, is entitled Simply Grace. I hope that you enjoy this special poetry reading.

  • Simply Grace Podcast Outline:
  • Introduction
  • Dissection of Topics and Reading of Poetry
  • Closing Remarks
  • Show Transcript
recipes, healthy eating, poetry, poems, healing, brokenness, PTSD, trauma, abuse, katina horton, author, poet, healing our brokenness, episode 27

Welcome to the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Episode 27: Simply Grace.  The intro and ending song that you hear on the podcast is entitled “Valley of Grace” and is song by Timothy Horton.  Today is a special episode.  Why is that?  I will be ready poetry from a book that I published back in February entitled, “Simply Grace”.  It is available on Amazon.  Simply Grace is a compilation of simple, healthy recipes that are mostly non-meat, along with poetry that tackles tough issues that we face every day.  However, these issues are seasoned with grace.  I deal with truth, so that the truth brings healing.  We are set free by true.  I also deal with raw emotions.

The first poem, entitled “The Quench” deals with Approval Addiction/Perfectionism/People Pleasing:

Reading of the poem

The next poem, entitled “The Source of Self-Worth” dissects our need for self-worth, and not just the need, but the struggle to get it from things, rather than the main source.

Reading of the poem

The next poem, entitled” Coat of Favor” deals with the Life of Joseph, his trials, and his redemption.

Reading of the Poem

Have you ever taken matters into your own hands, instead of waiting on God?  The next poem deals with just that.  It is entitled, “Oh, The Pain of Waiting”.

Reading of the Poem

For those of us who have been through abuse, we must relearn what love is.  That is what” Abide My Love, Dance with Me” is all about: God’s love poured out on me to reshape my thoughts on abuse.  Secondly, it describes how I danced with my Heavenly Father during a period of trials and financial despair, and how God “showed me his back” as his showed Moses, so to speak, by allowing me to feel his presence for several hours.

Reading of the Poem

The last poem, “I am the Vine, And So Is It Time?” deals with a combination of things:  the Crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross, John 15, and the Clematis vine that I attempted to tie to the trellis last spring as I was getting bit by mosquitos.  The first time that I attempted this adventure, there were too many mosquitos out.   The second and final time I was finally able to do it.  However, just within the few days of break in between, the clematis vine had completely wrapped itself around one of the heucheras.  It was a wonderful way to see the scriptures in action.

Reading of the Poem

Thank you for listening to Episode 27: Simply Grace, and if you are enjoying the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast, please recommend a friend, share on social media, and/or subscribe to hear us on Youtube, Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also listen to us on the blog.

God bless!! Until Next time!

Refusal to Heal

healing, refusal to heal, brokenness, sin, emotional health, ptsd, trauma, mental health, priorities, course, road, katina horton, author, poet, poetry, blogger

Background on Refusal to Heal

This poem reflects the struggle that lies within all of us when it comes to healing.  We all have the potential.  However, healing involves doing.  Which path will we choose?

healing, refusal to heal, brokenness, sin, emotional health, ptsd, trauma, mental health, priorities, course, road, katina horton, author, poet, poetry, blogger
Photo by Pedro Sandrini on Pexels.com

 

“Time to heal. Time to heal.

Though it may not be a thrill.”

 

No, I’ll stay busy.

I will avoid.

I won’t get help.

My soul’s annoyed.

 

It’s your decision.

There is no force.

Whatever you choose,

You’ve set your course.

 

Just as a reminder,

There is no win.

When you know good to do,

And ignore it,

Then it becomes sin.

 

 

 

 

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.  James 4: 17

 

Other poems:

Opening the Trust Door

Disappointments

Episode 21: Approval Addiction

valley of grace, healing our brokenness, podcast, katina horton, podcaster, healing, brokenness, trauma, trials, ptsd

Episode 21: Approval Addiction
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In case you missed our last podcast episode, you can catch that one here:

Podcast Episode 21: Approval Addiction Outline:

 

  • Dissecting Approval Addiction
  • Analyzing People-Pleasing
  • Perfectionism’s Trap
  • My Issues with Perfectionism
  • Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
  • Solutions
  • Podcast Transcript

 

approval addiction, podcaster, podcast, katina horton, mental health, spiritual health, physical health, energizer bunny, psychology, author, writer, poet, blogger, blogs, people-pleasing, perfectionism, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, valley of grace blog, episode 21, season 2

Approval Addiction

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.

  • Analyzing People-Pleasing

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.

  • Perfectionism’s Trap

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: 

Jethro’s Advice

“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. Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, 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”), 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”). 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. 

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,” 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. 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. 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.

  • Solutions

So, how do we start the recovery process from approval addiction?

 

  1. We remind ourselves that our identity is in Christ.
  2. We speak to our soul and tell it, “God loves you!”
  3. Remind ourselves that Jesus was despised and rejected so he can identify with our pain.
  4. Christ is enough, and we are enough in Christ.
  5. Rest in God.
  6. 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!

Behind the Bars

prison, poetry, blog, katina horton, valley of grace blog, simple functional grace-filled living, spiritual health, prison bars, Calvary, author, blogger, speaker, podcaster, poem, poet

Behind the Bars is a poem that is written to show the inner struggle that we have when it comes to walking in the freedom that Christ has given us with his sacrificial death on the cross. Blessings!

prison, poetry, blog, katina horton, valley of grace blog, simple functional grace-filled living, spiritual health, prison bars, Calvary, author, blogger, speaker, podcaster, poem, poet
Photo by Cameron Casey on Pexels.com

Behind the Bars

My Savior,

Oh, on Calvary.

You broke the chains.

Then set me free.

Will I walk?

Or will I stay?

Behind the bars,

That will decay.

I pray for you.

To set me free.

Did I forget?

About that tree?

The work is done.

I can walk out.

The guard unlocked

The keyhole’s spout.

My Savior,

Oh, on Calvary.

You broke the chains.

Then set me free.

Other poetry:

Separated

Stuck

Trust

katina horton, poet, author, podcaster, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, grace, trust, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health

It’s hard to trust. It doesn’t matter whether it is in marriages, friendships, or in our relationship with God. The difference about our trust in God is that he will never let us down. Either our answer will be something that is or isn’t in his will. He is our constant!

katina horton, poet, author, podcaster, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, grace, trust, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Trust

Trust

In Him.

Not On

A Whim.

His Promises

Are Real.

Not Just

What

You Feel.

Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Related Poetry

I’m in Control: The Struggle Between Two Wills

Trials

Episode 17: No excuses!

emotional health, mental health, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, excuses, spiritual health, writer, blogger, podcast, podcaster, poet, brokenness, healing, Jonah, survival, broken pieces,teachable

Episode 17: No excuses!
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Are you tired of making excuses for everything that you did or didn’t do? How about hearing excuses from your kids when they didn’t follow through with their chores, or something you specifically told them to get done? In the beginning, it doesn’t seem so bad, but after a while, like anything else, excuses can get played out. Even with God.


Like the Israelites, we find ourselves in a vicious cycle. We end up begging God for mercy. saying that we’ll do better, and then going right back to continue the same sin over again. We end up cheapening grace until God steps in and causes a wake-up call! Listen to the podcast for this week to find out what happened to me when I ran out of excuses. Last week’s podcast episode can be found here.

No Excuses Podcast Outline

  • Background on No Excuses
  • Example of No Excuses in the bible
  • My Chastisement
  • Podcast Transcript
emotional health, mental health, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, excuses, spiritual health, writer, blogger, podcast, podcaster, poet, brokenness, healing, Jonah, survival, broken pieces,teachable
Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

No Excuses Podcast scripture:

Jonah 3-4 King James Version (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Part Two

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?King James Version (KJV)

Podcast Transcript


Welcome to the Valley of Grace Healing our Brokenness Podcast. And this morning, we are recording episode number 17 No Excuses.

We make excuses for everything.  We secretly wish that we could do things as well as other people.  For some of these things, we have the resources and materials to do them.  We won’t put them on our calendars.  And when we do, we keep putting them off until the next day.  I’ll get to it tomorrow.  I’ll get to it on the weekend.  The weekend turns into next week, then next month, then next year, and then 5 years later we are still wishing that we could’ve developed our skills in certain areas.  We trade our desires for time scrolling social media excessively or having Netflix or cable tv marathons. 

Here’s another one:  As soon as the kids are in kindergarten, I will practice better self-care.  Instead of doing this, we become even more worn down from playdate overload.  Then, once the kids get into middle school, I will get involved in small groups instead of isolating myself.  Instead of getting connected, we become even more isolated because we are running kids around 5 days a week for extracurricular activities.  A lot of times our excuses is that we are tired.  And a lot of times this is the truth.  However, we miraculously find a way to get everything else done.

Here’s another one:

As soon as football season is over, we’ll start eating together as a family, having family night, and the list goes on and on.  What happens is that the older our kids get, the more intentionality has to take place, but also, the harder it is to plan because of conflicting schedules, part-time jobs, girlfriends and boyfriends, and their desire to do more with their friends than with their parents.

Before you know it, we look up, and that time is gone.  Our children are young adults, and we are unable to get that time back.

Today, we are going to look at one individual who made excuses in the bible.  His name is Jonah.  He was told to go to Nineveh to warn the people of their sins and God’s judgment if they didn’t repent.  Instead of going, he headed to Tarshish and God had it where he was given a belly of the fish detour for disobeying his command.  Jonah felt justified in his disobedience?  Why?  His excuse was that he knew that God would forgive the people of Nineveh.  Let’s listen to the conversation that takes place between God and Jonah: 

Jonah 3:10-4:5

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

We would rather make excuses for disobedience to God’s instructions when we have our own opinions of what God’s end decision will be.

When I was at my last residence, it got to the point that I knew that I wasn’t receiving the correct amount of child and maintenance support money.  I didn’t want the stress of going back to court.  I didn’t want the additional trauma either.  However, I struggled, playing the Robbing Peter to pay Paul game, trying to keep up with paying utilities and rent, and scrambling to buy food.  As circumstances would have it, (God) I got backed into a corner where I had to go to take him back to court as my kids and I were facing eviction.

The process lasted three painful years, and unfortunately, more lies than before erupted in regard to income.  Everything that he was doing was projected on to me.  Before leaving the courtroom, I almost ended up unfairly with a humongous amount of money to pay him.  The whole scene was one that was out of a crazy Lifetime movie, except it was my life. 

When I got home after court, the anger erupted, I said to myself, so basically three whole years for this end result?  Really!!!

However, the Holy Spirit had already spoken to me several months before the last court date and told me, “Even if you never see a penny of that money, it was never about the money to begin with.  It was about accountability and God wanting you to fight for what was rightfully yours.” 

God knew the only way that I would stand up for myself was to force me into a series of events that gave me no choice.

And so the question that I leave with you tonight as food for thought is this:  What excuse are you making that could be keeping you straddling the fence of disobedience to God?

Thank you for listening to Healing our Brokenness and have a wonderful rest of your night!

Call to Action

If you are ready to stop making excuses when it comes to living in survival mode, and dysfunctional patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms, check out my new online Teachable course. Remember: Healing, growth, and maturity is not a drive-thru service, it’s something that can take a lifetime. However, what are our choices: revolving door of stagnancy or thriving and freedom. YOU DECIDE! Click here for more information!