It’s All About Perspective

Introduction

Picture yourself at a get-together among friends. At this particular function, each person shares what’s on his or her heart. The sharing time gets really vulnerable, but it’s what everyone needs. After sharing, you sit around the fire talking about the good ol’ days when you were a teenager or young adult, having fun, making memories, and in so doing, making some bad decisions. But, they were the good old days.

After fireside time, one of your friends, who’s a performing artist, decides to play some heartfelt music. After the music, you guys decide to go back to eating more food, which happens to be wonderfully spread out on the tables up on the deck. Then there is more music, more fireside chat, and more vulnerability. One of your friends, who’s a photographer, has to grab a few photos that best capture these moments. After a while, everyone decides to go home. The night was perfect.

The Interviews

On the following day, a reporter from a local newspaper wants to write an article on the benefits and blessings of community. In order to write this article, the reporter feels that he needs each of the friends who were in attendance at the function to talk about what went on that night.

By the time all the interviews are over, the reporter wonders if everyone attended the same party. The answer was “Yes”. Each person gave their own account of what happened that night based upon his/her own perspective. Our perspective is made up of our experiences in life, good or bad, our trials and traumas, failures and successes, and our level of resilience.

The performing artist would come at it from a music angle, and blending in more of his experiences to describe that night. The fire starter would come at it from the angle of being an outdoorsman. The ones who cooked the food may focus on the culinary aspect of the night. If there are therapists or coaches in the group, they will focus on the vulnerability and conversations of the night. The photographer would tell their story based on what he/she sees through the lens of the camera.

No matter what each individual’s focus entails, the end result is the same: the reporter was able to assess what went on that night, feeling empowered to write a state-of-the-art article on community. And guess what, he has pictures to back up those moments.

The definition of empowerment is: the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. In order for empowerment to be successful, there has to be several things involved/attained: information, perspective, autonomy, application, and self-awareness.

Empowerment

Empowerment is hindered when we have experiences, traumas, knowledge, and tons of information that is never applied to anything. We all want an empowered new chapter of life. The problem is that we don’t understand that there is an unconscious disconnect between the knowing and doing (life application).

Why Perspective?

Perspective cannot be left out. The reporter had to gain knowledge of each person’s perspective, applying knowledge, experience, and information that he already had in order to create a picture of his own perspective when writing the article. Creating a satisfying future hinges upon healing from past hurts. That’s because healing brings perspective and resilience.

It’s easy for us to resist the healing part. However, the knowledge of how everything goes hand in hand gives us the courage to move forward in our new chapter of life.

Until next time,

Katina

Last Blog Post

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DIY Pine Coffee Table

Introduction

Some time this past spring, I decided that I wanted a DIY Pine coffee table for my guest room/library. It just so happened that my son was here visiting due to the changes that the pandemic brought to his career, and so it worked out nicely. I bought the items from the hardware store, and he built the coffee table.

Basically, I was blessed with a two for one deal: I was able to spend some quality time with him, as well as have him here to help me with some of the projects that had been sitting for a while. Either I was unable to do them because of not being handy with a drill and other tools, or I literally did not have the time because I was getting up early in the morning for work, and was too tired for completing projects when I got home.

DIY Coffee Pine Table Instructions: keywords: pine table, blogger, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, Valley of Grace, lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, thriving, plumbing pipe materials, interior design, influencer, minimalism, minimalist, home decor
Photo by Katina Horton

Mission

I ended up going to the hardware store about three times. First of all, I was going to make a skinny coffee table, but the piece of wood that I bought was too short. I looked at the table and decided that the would wasn’t wide enough. In essence, the table would look too skinny. So, I set out to buy a piece of wood that was wider and longer. Come to find out, Menards stated that they do not sell lumber pieces wider than 12 inches. The store associate suggested that I place two pieces of wood next to each other and connect them together with some form of hardware from the hardware department.

DIY Coffee Pine Table Instructions: keywords: pine table, blogger, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, Valley of Grace, lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, thriving, plumbing pipe materials, interior design, influencer, minimalism, minimalist, home decor
Photo by Katina Horton

The guy in the hardware department showed me several different pieces of hardware to connect the lumber together. However, he stated that he was more so biased towards one particular bracket. He enforced the importance of having hardware that could handle the weight of the lumber, and he’d had experience building a table for his mother, so I was definitely all ears to his suggestions. I decided upon a hardware piece called “mending braces”.

Unfortunately, I ended up going to the hardware store another time because some of the plumbing pipe flanges were bent. This was going to cause a problem with the stability of the table. I felt like a kid waiting to open his gifts on Christmas. Was this table ever going to happen? Well, it did.

DIY Coffee Pine Table Instructions: keywords: pine table, blogger, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, Valley of Grace, lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, thriving, plumbing pipe materials, interior design, influencer, minimalism, minimalist, home decor
Photo by Katina Horton

I am very excited with the end result. The coffee table helped to make the library look like a library. The natural wood also helped to give the room more of an organic look. And lastly, the table is multifunctional: it serves as a holder for magazines, books, frames, mugs, and a footrest.

There are a couple of tips that I would like to give you in regard to building this table (according to my son):

  • The more mending braces used, the sturdier the table will be. (Especially if someone decides to sit on it.)
  • You want to make sure that the two pieces of construction lumber are as straight as possible before you start drilling the holes into the wood.
  • The flanges should be as flat and stable as possible before you start drilling into the wood.
  • Be careful that the wood that you select isn’t too split, or the table won’t last. (I like the worn split look, but not too split.)

Tools:

  • (8) 1/2″ galvanized pipe flanges
  • 2 packs of National Hardware Mending Braces (4 braces are in each pack)
  • (1) 1/2″ 48″ galvanized pipe nipple
  • (8) 1/2″ 6″ galvanized pipe nipples
  • (4) 1/2″ 5″ galvanized pipe nipples
  • 1 dril
  • 1 screwdriver
  • (6) 1/2″ galvanized tees
  • (2) 2″ x 12 ” wide X 60″ long pieces of construction lumber (this is what I should have done; instead I bought one long piece of construction lumber had them to cut it down to size; either one works. The second option give you leftover lumber for other projects.)
  • (16) 1 1/2″ construction screws

Execution

  1. Make a letter H with the plumbing pipe materials on both sides, connecting the 1/2″ 48″ galvanized pipe in the middle, per the instructions and picture below.
DIY Coffee Pine Table Instructions: keywords: pine table, blogger, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, Valley of Grace, lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, thriving, plumbing pipe materials, interior design, influencer, minimalism, minimalist, home decor
Photo by Katina Horton

Take a flange, screw in one 6″ pipe nipple, attach one tee, and then another pipe flange at the bottom.

Attach a 5″ nipple to the tee in the middle, followed by a tee, then another 5″ pipe nipple.

Make the right side of the “H”.

Take a flange, screw in one 6″ pipe nipple, attach one tee, and then another pipe flange at the bottom.

2. Attach the 1/2″ 48″ pipe nipple to the middle tee of the “H” on the left side.

Create the Right H following the same instructions above, and then attach to the 1/2″ 48″ pipe nipple in the middle.

3. Lay the two pieces of wood next to each other, making sure to attach enough mending brackets for stability, staggering on the top and bottom of the wood.

Turn your structure upside down, laying it on top of the top piece of the table, using 1 1/2 inch screws to attach the pipe flanges.

DIY Coffee Pine Table Instructions: keywords: pine table, blogger, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, Valley of Grace, lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, thriving, plumbing pipe materials, interior design, influencer, minimalism, minimalist, home decor
Photo by Katina Horton

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.

Psalms 127: 1

DIY Coffee Pine Table Instructions: keywords: pine table, blogger, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, Valley of Grace, lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, thriving, plumbing pipe materials, interior design, influencer, minimalism, minimalist, home decor
Photo by Katina Horton

Episode 85: Begin to Declutter Your Body

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 85: Begin to Declutter Your Body
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Last week was the first official week of the new year. It was during this week that I started a brand new series in order to get us started off on the right foot. The name of the series is entitled, “Begin to Declutter”. In case you need to play catch-up, I have provided a link to the first three podcasts down below.

Begin to Declutter Your Mind

Begin to Declutter Your Heart

Begin to Declutter Your Soul

emotional health, physical health, mental health, food, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, simple functional grace-filled living, psychology, stewardship, bodies
Photo by Shopify

Over the weekend, I was blessed with an opportunity to interview writer Victoria Coberly. You can find part 1 and part 2 of her interview here.

At the beginning of every year, there are people who are eager to come up with New Year’s resolutions. When I was a young adult, I was eager to do the same. Now that I am older, I prefer to have a word of the year, or better yet, some life goals. These goals may be professional, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, etc. The main point for me is that I am purposely moving forward and growing.

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Photo by Shopify

One of the most popular areas that we have resolutions/life goals in is that of having healthier, fit bodies. Achieving this goals takes work, grit, determination, motivation, and consistency. It is not a one-time thing. It’s a lifestyle. Listen in on today’s episode to see what it feels like and what’s involved when you begin to declutter your body.

Begin to Declutter your Body Episode Outline

  • Introduction
  • God’s Calling for our Bodies
  • God’s Calling for Daniel
  • God’s Calling for Others’ Bodies
  • Respecting other People’s Choices
  • Stewardship Over Our Bodies
emotional health, physical health, mental health, food, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, simple functional grace-filled living, psychology, stewardship, bodies
Photo by Shopify

Tips

Fun

Begin to Declutter your Body Scriptures to Meditate On:

Acts 10:13-15

Then a voice said to him: “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” “No, Lord!” Peter answered.  I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time: “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”…

Daniel 1: 8-10

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or wine. So he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself. Now God had granted Daniel favor and compassion from the chief official, but he said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking thinner than those of the other young men your age? You would endanger my head before the king!”…

Episode 84: Interview with Woman of God, Writer, Blogger, Teacher Victoria Coberly-Part 2

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 84: Interview with Woman of God, Writer, Blogger, Teacher Victoria Coberly-Part 2
/

Yesterday, I posted part 1 of my interview with Woman of God, Writer, Blogger, Teacher, Victoria Coberly. If you want to listen in to part 1, click here. Today, I am posting part 2. It is nice to be able to sit down with women of God, learn about their life, their stories, their purpose, and passions. I pray that you will find something in this interview that resonates with you.

brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, pandemic, writing, traveling, parenting, home, healing, podcasting, podcaster, teaching, tutor

Episode 84: Interview with Woman of God, Writer, Blogger Victoria Coberly-Part 2 Outline

  • The Pandemic
  • Career Path
  • Homeschooling
  • Foreign Languages
  • Writing
  • Brokenness

Bible Verses to Meditate on:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

Other podcasts with Teachers

Lisa Romero

Joyce Mosely

Other podcasts on Foreign Language and Homeschooling

Timothy Horton

Episode 80: Begin to Declutter Your Mind

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 80: Begin to Declutter Your Mind
/

Begin to Declutter Your Mind Introduction

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When I think of clutter, I think of paper. And when I think of paper, I can’t help but think of the paper that took over the tiny closet in my first apartment when I was married. There were tons of paper built up from all the different classes that I was taking in college. And I mean tons of it. When you think about it, every piece of information that goes into our brains is just like those tons of paper that were stored in backpacks and every other kind of bag it could be stuffed into.

We have tons of papers in our brains, and we all have our own filing system for those papers. But, have you ever stopped to think about the paper that you are storing, whether it is good or bad, toxic or not, informative, etc. Today we will begin to dissect and declutter the paper in our brains and find out whether it is necessary, or if we are just on overload. Are we doing what I did at the time, stuffing and stuffing more into our brains, not paying attention to whether or not you really need to hold on to it? Or perhaps you need a better system.

Click here to catch up with the last podcast episode.

Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • What are we doing?
  • Where is your focus?
  • You won’t let go
  • What are you neglecting to do?

Meditation Verses

Philippians 4:8 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1 Kings 19 Part 1

19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

Have a blessed week!

Katina

***This page contains affiliate links, meaning that I would receive something back for you purchasing something through this link. Click here for your 2021 Prayer Calendar

The Traffic Light

How many of us can stop and think about a time that we felt like we were sitting at a traffic light forever? I know with myself , it’s usually during a time that I didn’t plan my time well prior to leaving out of the house, and thus, have no margin whatsoever as a cushion. Every light seems longer. Sitting and waiting seems more drawn out and daunting. But, what about the traffic lights in life? Read the poem below to catch a glimpse of how that works.

The Traffic Light

Racing.

against time.

against cruelty.

against uncertainty.

against the monotony

of

the songs played

on the piano,.

that whisper,

“You won’t make it.

Can’t take it.

you’ll always be

here at this red

traffic light.”

But then, the light

turns green,

and God says,

“Go dream, and

make those dreams come alive.

Thrive in every area now.

No holding back!

Go forth!”

Pasta, Black Bean, and Vegetable Mix

Pasta, Black Bean, and Vegetable Mix

Check out this recipe on-the-fly that came about this past week:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of thin spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons of italian seasoning, onion, chili, and garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil
  • herb and garlic pasta sauce
  • vegetable pasta sauce
  • 1 1/2 cans of black beans
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 1/2 cans of diced tomatoes

Directions:

  • Boil a pot of water, adding the thin spaghetti and a tablespoon of oil after the water has started boiling.
  • Rinse the excess water off the pasta when it is done.
  • Add the Herb and garlic and vegetable pasta sauce.
  • After cutting the zucchinis into chunks, saute them, along with the diced tomatoes and black beans.
  • Dump the vegetable and bean mix into the spaghetti mix, adding the seasonings, and then combining the ingredients.
  • Enjoy!

Lentil, Pasta, & Eggplant Soup

Three weeks ago, I made lentil and eggplant soup.  I promise you, it did not disappoint.  So, if you are up for something new, why not try it out?  Enjoy and have a blessed rest of your week!

Lentil, Pasta, and Eggplant Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Rotini pasta
  • 1 lb of French lentils
  • 1 lb of ground turkey meat
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/2 jar of garlic pasta sauce
  • 1/2 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, ginger,curry, and parsley
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of avocado oil
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 2 bunches of asparagus

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Directions

  • Boil the french lentils for about one hour, simultaneously, boiling the rotini and quinoa together in water and 1/2 cup of oil for about 25 minutes.
  • While they are boiling, brown the ground turkey meat in 1/4 cup of oil.
  • Saute the eggplant, asparagus, and diced tomatoes together.
  • After the rotini and quinoa finishes boiling, add them, the vegetable mix, the ground turkey, and all the other ingredients into a bigger pot and boil for about 45 minutes longer.
  • Enjoy!

Whole Faith

What is whole faith?  Whole faith is the faith that you hold on to when you don’t have details of when, why, how, or where that the “what” you need to happen is going to happen.  When we having been praying for something so long, it is very tempting to throw in the towel.  It is easy to want to go according to what our feelings are telling us; that this thing that you want so badly is not going to happen.

Whole Faith says , “Lord, help my unbelief!” like the Father who cried out so very desperately for his son to be healed.  He had been demon possessed since childhood.  He didn’t know what else to do, nor what to say.  The disciples had proven his point of dealing with an impossible situation when they couldn’t cast it out.

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Whole Faith says, “Lord, here you go. You are in control.”  We release the situation to God.  We know that we have prayed enough, and we need to sit this thing at his precious feet.  And lastly, whole faith says as Jesus did as he hung on the cross, “Thy will be done.”

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What are some ways that you have had to exhibit whole faith in your life?

Embracing Our Uniqueness in Christ

Have you ever wished that you could decorate your home like someone else?  This someone else seems to have just the right kind of decor in their home that is illuminated with just the right kind of lighting and furniture that gives it an airy feel.  It’s the kind of feel that makes you want to stay for a while.  The kind that makes you want to sit with a cup of coffee or tea, and snuggle up with their perfect-looking throw. 

Photos by Matthew Henry

It’s so easy to get caught up wishing that we could have a home, a car, a job, or any other kind of material object that other people have.  The question is, have we stopped to think about how good and creative of a God that we have to give us the things that are unique to us and our families? 

Some of us are the cute cottage-style type, then we have tudors, farmhouse style, industrial, town-homes, traditional, duplexes, and the list can go on and on.  The truth is, if we could trade with these people, after a while, we’d see something else that we would feel is better.

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When it comes to our spiritual gifts and talents, we play the same game.  We say things like, “I wish that I could teach or preach like him or her.” Sometimes this person does a better job than we do.  However, that is not the point.  The point is, that because we have been uniquely designed by God, we will do what we have been created to do in the way that God created us to do them.

God tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  In these wonderful creations of God, there are no two people who are exactly alike.  Even if we have 50 things that we have in common with someone else, we will still find 10 more that we don’t.

Embracing our uniqueness in Christ involves making peace with all that God created us to be.  It has taken me a while to realize this.  But as the old saying goes, better late than never.  We have to make peace with our physical appearance as well as our gifts/talents, personalities, and possessions.  Just recently, I was faced with an opportunity.  It took one accidental obstacle placed in my way to help me realize that the opportunity would not fit me as a person.

I am a talker.  A very detailed, dramatic talker at that.  Sometimes it takes a while to get through my stories.  My son says that it takes me longer to give the background information before I get to the point of what happened. It is so true.

Being placed in a role with a restriction on how the conversations would have to take place would have gone against my wiring.  I praise God that this one accident helped me to realize that among other things.  Take a moment and think about what things you have been doing that totally goes against your wiring.  

Let’s pray and thank God for all the things that he gave us that are perfect for us.  We can only be our true selves when we are who we were created to be.

Let’s have a party and join together in celebrating and embracing our uniqueness in Christ!

God bless and have a wonderful Sunday!!!