So, what’s the difference anyway?-The Relationship Cycle

One of the main things that needs to happen in the relationship cycle in general is to form a healthy separation. When I say separation, I am not meaning separation in the terms of a last ditch effort before contemplating divorce.

Separation in this case is in regard to eliminating symbiosis. I like to think of symbiosis as the “Coming to America effect” where the prince asks his prospective bride what she wanted, and her response to everything was, “Whatever you like”. It means that you are so caught up in pleasing the other person, appearing agreeable and likeable, that you forego vocalizing anything that would rock the boat, or make you appear to have an opinion of your own.

However, one thing about any healthy relationship is that symbiosis needs to turn into differentiation, where both individuals in the relationship are no longer functioning as one person, but two. It can be scary to think about, but very necessary in order for there to be any growth taking place from either party.

And think about it, even in “Coming to America”, symbiosis played out real fast. The prince liked not having conflict at first, but then the prospective bride’s unwillingness to differentiate got on his last nerves after a while.

In my next post, I will discuss what happens when we enter stage three of The Relationship Cycle.

You are enough. Reclaim your power and identity. Grab your keys to the kingdom and get your inheritance.

Until next time,


The Relationship Cycle-Entering the Door-Part 3

As I stated in my previous post, there are certain things that are normal when you are first starting off in any relationship. Wanting to do everything that another person wants to do is normal when you are in love; and/or if it’s not a romantic relationship. You want to appear likeable and agreeable. Right?

What happens when the honeymoon phase of these relationships are over? What happens when both parties start to exert their likes/dislikes? And even more importantly, what happens when we ignore our own needs, and are so caught up in the needs of the other person? Yes, these are a lot of questions to ponder.

The truth of the matter is, if we do not work at keeping our own individual identity in tact, then we become involved with what psychologists call enmeshment, and/or codependency. The thing about it is that these two situations do not happen over night. It is kind of like the frog in boiling water. Our own childhood wounds and insecurities, along with that of the other person, play a huge part in whether or not these new identities develop.

We will dive deeper into these two areas in the next post. Would love to hear your feedback on how you shifted from the honeymoon phase of your different relationships in order to take the relationship to the next level.

Be blessed!

Until next time,


It’s All About Perspective


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 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,


Last Blog Post

Last Podcast Interview

The Art of Resilience

Everybody has their own way of defining resilience. This poem explores my definition of resilience. It comes from years of being knocked down in the wrestling ring, so to speak, and having to get back up again and again.

resilince, kicked down, adaptation, healing, healing our brokenness, christian blogger, podcaster, lifetsyle, get back up, christian coach, christian podcaster, katina horton, valley of grace
Photo by Burst at Shopify


It’s resilience.


built within.

Our failures.

Our sins.

Our kickdowns.

and all arounds.

Getting back up once

we have been pinned.

Pinned down on the mat.

The mat of injustice, oppression,

desertion, osbsession,

homelessness, and trauma,

and poverty, and drama.



built within.



It’s willing.

It’s resilience.

Podcast Episode : Let it all out

Podcast Episode: I’m Stuck

At Valley of Grace, we believe in thriving. In order to thrive, we have to begin grounding ourselves in our identity. The first step in making this happen, is dealing with the effects of our childhood wounds. Click here for Online Therapy today.

This is an amazon affiliate link, where a commission is paid to offset the cost of providing this information to you.

I’m tired of being stuck in this position! You’re tired. And confused. You keep sitting there comfortably, uncomfortable waiting for your situation to change. You don’t have to sit in a state of confusion any longer. Broken Pieces does the work for you. This course walks you through with personalized videos, getting you to the heart of the matter. This is an amazon affiliate link that assists in paying for our blog expenses.

Episode 63: Do What I Tell You

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 63: Do What I Tell You

How many of us often think, “If only they would just do what I tell them!” How many of us become angry and frustrated when others try to control us, but we never do anything about it? Listen to some helpful tips on today’s podcast episode, “Do What I Tell You”.

Episode 63 Podcast Outline

  • What is control?
  • What is intentional control?
  • What is unintentional control?
  • How did King Nebuchadnezzar deal with his pride and control issues?
  • What are the two things lying at the root of control?

Thoughts for the week: What will we do differently to make sure that we are not trying to control others? What are we going to do differently to make sure that we are not the victim of the spirit of control?

Almond Cookies

Background on Almond Cookies-Lately, I have realized that baking and cooking does the same thing for me that writing does. First, It helps to open up those creative and healing juices. Secondly, it helps me to see the unending possibilities of connecting certain things together.

almond cookies, healthy living, katina horton, food, food photography, recipes

When you are writing, one thought can connect to five other thoughts, and then, in turn, inspire you to a Holy Spirit-infused bible story and revelation. When you are cooking and baking, one ingredient can get the wheels turning to the possibilities for other ingredients. And with me, this starts the whole beginning of my concoction madness.

almond cookies, healthy living, katina horton, food, food photography, recipes

Within the last week, I have baked over 120 cookies. It was therapeutic, as I was using my hands, measuring, adding a dash of this and that. And then at the same time, praying that everything came out fine.

almond cookies, healthy living, katina horton, food, food photography, recipes

I finally tried out my “head idea” of making almond cookies. Of course, as you know me, I added oatmeal of course. However, these Almond cookies turned out so “almondy”, and of course, that isn’t a word, that you don’t even notice the oatmeal. The slivered almonds added a nice, extra crunch to the cookie.

A week ago, I made the recipe again. However, I substituted the slivered almonds for pecans just to try out something different. I promise you, they didn’t disappoint.

Here’s the recipe:

Yields about 24 cookies


  • Almond flour -1 1/4 cup
  • Oatmeal – 1 1/4 cup (Rolled Oats give a chunkier look and feel!)
  • Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Almond Extract- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Slivered Almonds- 1/3 cup (Can also substitute with pecans!)
  • Almond Oil- 2 tablespoons
  • Almond milk- 3/4 cup
  • Flaxseed Meal – 2 Tablespoons


  • Mix all of the above ingredients into a large bowl using a whisk
  • Use a small cookie scoop to make the balls, making sure that you press the side of the bowl with the cookie scoop to get any excess liquid off
  • Place scoops on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets
  • Bake at 330 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.
  • Enjoy!

Shutting Down

Synopsis of Shutting Down

We all respond different when we shut down from trauma. This poem is meant to encourage you and cause you to dig deeper in order to move forward. God bless!

shutting down, emotional health, valley of grace, katina horton, mental health, psychology, trauma, PTSD, coping mechanisms, staying grounded, bare feet, feelings, emotions
Photo by Shanu D. at Shopify

Shutting Down

Shutting down.

Shutting down.

Trying hard to maintain ground.

Feeling stuck.

A little unclear.

Knowing God.

Is always near.

Look around!

Look around!

Getting close to gaining ground,

Touch and feel and know you’re here.

No numbing out.

Just feel the tears.

Challenge Question:

What are your go-to methods when you find yourself shutting down?

Summertime Salad

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:


  • 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


  • 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,



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


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

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 49: The Anchor

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?