God | Kay Trotter

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All Posts Tagged: God

Christmas Dinner Menu Past—Family Traditions

Since I am iced in today (thunder-sleet storms, ice and snow here in North Texas) I thought I would use this down time to create this year’s Christmas Dinner Menu. As I started looking at recipes, I found a few past Christmas dinner menus and thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you.


Cooking Nurtures My Soul – Cooking Grounds Me

166216_1664273120592_6628374_nChristmas dinner is an especially important cooking activity for me. I research recipes, explore food pairings from appetizers to dessert. Then its time to create a fun design for the printed dinner menu.

I like to enjoy the sparkling festiveness of a Christmas-themed dinner table, Christmas dinner table is set weeks ahead of time. Then, on Christmas day, I turn my kitchen counter into a shining, flickering, happy place to munch on this year’s tapas and sip on raspberry Champagne, something that has become a traditional Christmas Dinner cocktail in my home.

07menu

Christmas Dinner 2007

Cocktail: Seasonal Breeze • Campari Liquor, Blood Orange Juice and Cranberry Juice • Recipe courtesy of Feast Food to Celebrate Life, December 2004

Soup: Crab Bisque • Blue Crabs with a hint of Old Bay spices and fiery peppers • Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine, December 2007

Salad: Poached Pears with Ginger and Port • Ripe Anjou pears, Tawny Port wine and Mascarpone cheese • Recipe courtesy Gourmet magazine, March 1997

Vegetable: Perfect Roasted Potatoes • Yukon gold, red and sweet potatoes, roasted with fresh rosemary sprigs • Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine December 2004

Entree: Roasted Duck with Pomegranate-Wine Sauce • Roasted duck, garlic, herbs, white and red wine drizzled with a orange pomegranate molasses sauce • Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetite, December 2004

Dessert: Southern Pecan Pie • Recipe courtesy of Sudekum Family Favorite Cookbook

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 10.17.55 AMChristmas 2008

Appetizers: Raspberry Champagne • Artichoke DipCheese Tray: Brie, Gouda and Mild Cheddar

First Course: Shrimp Cocktail

Second Course: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Third Course: Caesar Salad

Main Course: Garlic Standing Rib RoastGoat-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes With Chives

Dessert: Southern Pecan Pie

I have also blogged my 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Christmas Dinner menus.

As you can see my family loves to cook and we have lots of Family Traditions

For more of my family recipes, please check out my Pinterest board Yummy Sudekum Family Favorites Recipes.

May Gods blessings float down like soft snowflakes on you and yours this Christmas

~  Dr. Kay

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Staying Connected In Hard Times – Thanksgiving Grace

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a time to reflect, a time to give thanks.  For me (Dr. Kay), this Thanksgiving is more meaningful than others after being stranded at sea for five days on The Carnival Triumph followed by my mother’s death shortly thereafter. I view the world differently now — just watching the video about being trapped at sea brought streams of tears cascading down my face as I relived those trauma-filled days. And, before healing could take place from that surreal experience, I soon found myself at the bedside of my dying mother… Yes today God’s blessings of family and a life lived well hold a special place in my heart.

So this Thanksgiving blog is not about: 10 Ways to Eat Pumpkin (That Aren’t Pie) or How Capitalism May Actually Save Thanksgiving. It’s about love… it’s about faith… it’s about the power of the human spirit.


dr kay trotter

Paul Taylor

Guest Blogger Paul Taylor and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to “www.babysittingjobs.com”. Paul personally thinks his blog will help finding information on all things related to a babysitter.


Staying Connected In Hard Times

In the past six months everything in my world has changed. My mother has had two major surgeries and been hospitalized for infection. She is 77-years-old and, previous to these surgeries, was in almost-perfect health. Since she had the surgeries, she has lost her appetite, lost more than 30 pounds, and has trouble with her balance and walking. She has also had an increase in medications times three and has a hard time taking her pills. The stress of it all has caused her not to be able to remember things easily and she does not always understand things as quickly as she had before. She needs someone around almost continually and I am that someone.

I was getting quite overwhelmed with the responsibility for awhile. Not only that but my work, house cleaning, young adult child still at home, and shopping, etc., were getting to me. It seemed as though I never had a moment for myself and it was discouraging. And not just discouraging but the future seemed dismal as I thought ahead. I am a Christian and I knew that this was not the attitude I should have or the direction I needed to be going so I started to talk to the Lord about how I was feeling. I was really quite isolated and He reminded me that we should be meeting with other Christians, “24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) We all need encouragement today and especially when things are difficult.

This applies not only to those who are caregivers but also for those who stay home with young children. It is never good to be isolated and alone. I had been in a serious car accident several years ago, one that left me unable to walk for quite some time. It had also caused me to have emotional issues such as depression and anxiety disorder. For some time I was unable to talk on the phone or go places because I would have panic attacks. It has taken me years of healing from reading God’s word and prayer to get back out into the world. But during this time we also moved and I had not done much to make new friends. I attended church but had not gotten involved in any small groups and the Lord began to talk to me about reaching out and making connections with other believers.

My adult daughter was instrumental in getting me involved in a small group bible study near our home once a week in the evenings. My daughter volunteered to go with me to get me started. What a blessing this has been for me to get out once a week for a couple of hours and chat with other godly people and also to find out that many of them are dealing with the same issues that I am. In my age bracket (50 – 60) there are so many of us that are now taking care of aging parents. What a blessing to fellowship with them and to know that they understand and are also praying for me! I in turn get to minister to them and help and encourage them which creates a bond and even though we do not know each other well we are united by the Lord and by our mutual circumstances.

Anyone that works at home or finds themselves in any care giving role whether it be for small children, aging parents, or someone battling an illness, it is imperative that you reach out and get involved with people who you can connect with on some level. I find that small bible studies, Sunday schools classes, and church fellowships are wonderful ways for me to get connected. Other ways that are a lot of fun and help you to meet people are exercise classes, which also have added benefits for stress release and fitness. I have also had a great deal of satisfaction and met wonderful people taking art classes such as ceramics at my local community college. They have many programs that are not for credit, just for pleasure that do not cost a great deal. There are also book clubs for those of you who love to read. Getting hooked up is easy, just type it into your search engine and I am sure you will find many opportunities in your community.

It is so important to have people to talk to and to visit with when there are hard times in your life and even when there are not it is important to reach out and connect with others. I was really surprised how much better I felt just being around others who understood and empathized with my situation. Even better than that, in my situation, I know that they are praying for me and my family and through their prayers and my own, the Lord is sending more and more encouragement our way. He is the God of encouragement and perseverance and He cares so very much about what is going on in our lives.

I have had a friend through all of this surgery, hospital time, and taking care of my mom that is quite unique and God engineered that I want to share with you just to show you the power of God and how much He loves us.

About two years ago I was going to a week-long bible study at a church with my cousin who was visiting her mom from another state. To get to the church I had to use the toll road and every night on my way I would go through a toll booth and the same lady would be there. We exchanged pleasantries and I shared with her that I was on my way to a bible study. She got excited and she asked me to please ask for prayer for her and her sisters and she told me what was going on. I assured her I would and that I would be praying for her as well.

Not only did I ask for prayer at the bible study but I kept her on my prayer list for two years. When my mom needed surgery we decided on a hospital across town a ways and I found myself using the toll booth again. When I drove up I thought I recognized the lady as my friend, Al, who I had been praying for these past two years. I asked her name and sure enough it was. I immediately asked how her sisters Ruby and Carol were doing to which I got a very surprised look. I told her I had been praying for her for the last two years and reminded her of our meeting. She was overwhelmed and excited to know that someone had been praying for her all this time. We exchanged telephone numbers and we talked almost daily. She was there for almost every drive home from the hospital on the phone with me encouraging me in the Lord and just being an ear to listen. Her mother had passed away years ago and one of her sisters had also passed since I had begun to pray for them. She knew my heart ache and my discouragement and has been so faithful in these last months. That is our God and He is so good.

He prepared this friend for me all that time ago. And the people from the bible study group have been more than encouraging. My mom’s sister passed away a few weeks ago and they were bringing food to our door and sending their thoughts and wishes via texts and calls. The people in Sunday school have reached out to us as well, along with the pastoral care team who showed up from my mom’s church and mine. You do not really realize how much you need people until they show up. Sometimes we just think we have to do everything on our own because no one really cares anyway or you feel as if no one wants to hear your problems. I can assure you that this is not true. People are for the most part very caring and loving and willing to help in times of need. You do have to make yourself available and reach out to others or they will never know your desperation.

You always hear about the ugliness in the world and that people do not care. I have found that if you look around and find like-minded people that have similar situations in their lives you can find help and comfort through these connections. Not only will you find help, but you will find yourself in the position to help others, which is extremely and surprisingly healing for all involved. None of us were meant to make the journey of life alone. God sent His Son to die for us and take all these burdens on Himself and then rise again and return to the Father so that He could intercede for us if we belong to Him. And all that it takes to belong to Him is, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (NIV) This world is hard sometimes but this is not my home. He uses people to love through them and encourage those that are struggling. Make yourself available to others so that you will not feel alone.

Author: Paul Taylor has also written blog post for:

http://thethingswomenwant.com/staying-fit/

http://motherandfitness.com/keeping-children-active/

http://www.teachingchildrenaboutmoney.com/blog/1482/guest-post-using-the-sims-to-demonstrate-finances/

 

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Along My Journey…Grieving

Grief is an interesting process, one that I understand but, then again, don’t. Grief seems to take on a life of its own and, for each person, this journey is uniquely their own. For me, the death of my mom this past spring is still too raw and I have not ventured into those turbulent waters. However, my sister, Ann, who lived with our mom, has taken a different route on her journey.

Along My Journey

by Ann Sudekum
Ann and mom February 2013

Ann and mom February 2013

One thing that has helped me with my grieving process has been writing in a journal, which releases a lot of anxiety and pain and anger. Not just with the loss of my mother, but also with the loss of other dreams and desires.

Much of what I have written is for my eyes only, but sometimes I think my words could be of value to others. So, today, I offer a recent “stream of consciousness” in what could be considered a poem.

 


Along My Journey

Along my journey I have walked into many caves and the darkness frightened me and made me cry out for help.

Along my journey I have received love and kindness from many angels here on earth. These angels are the living, breathing human beings in my life who hold me up and encourage me.

Along my journey I have felt like I had dragons to slay; big, mean dragons. But, slay them I did and, when I did, I loudly whispered amen.

Along my journey I have received an overwhelming sense of peace from many angels in heaven. These angels are the people I speak to at night and who visit me in my dreams.

Along my journey I have encountered a hungry tiger and I fed him with my guilt. But the hope inside me helped me redeem myself.

Along my journey I have wandered astray and wearily asked God for help to guide me back home and He has taken my hand and walked beside me.


536672_10200831568021978_937239642_nAs someone who likes variety in their life, Ann Sudekum is a writer, a personal chef, and an all-around marketing consultant. She owns two companies: Ann’s Custom Cuisine and Sudekum Solutions and spends most of her time in front of the stove or in the front of the computer (usually while sitting outside on her patio). In her free time, she enjoys walking her Collie, Seamus, planning her next party or reading a mystery novel.

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I Offer This Blessing—To Bless The Wonderful Person So Worthy Of Love That YOU Are

As I sit here pondering the past year and reflecting on my life and the treasures bestowed to me and the ones yet to come, I find that I am grateful for it all. For the joys and for the sorrows, for without these experiences I would not be the person I am today. Through the losses in my life’s journey amidst the pain and tears I also was blessed to discover that the ONLY thing important in life is the relationships we have with each other—our connectedness with loved ones. Everything else is just stuff.

So, with this in mind I “Send Blessings Out Into The Universe With Your Name…….I offer this Blessing—for you. My hope is that you will embrace and “recognize your infinite good which is part of the very fabric of the universe.” I also pray that you send out blessings wherever  you go and these beautiful words on the gentle art of blessing written by Pierre Pradervand is a wonderful example of how to bless others in your everyday life. – Dr. Kay Trotter

Be sure to also watch this beautiful video “The Gentle Art of Blessing” where  Janes Joy brings Pierre’s words to life with music and wonderful photo’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WegAgepCYfo

“The Simple Art of Blessing” by Pierre Pradervand 





On awakening, bless your day as it is already overflowing with an abundance of goods that show your blessings. For bless means to recognize the infinite good which is part of the very fabric of the universe. He expects us to sign a manifest.

People crossing the street, on the bus, at your place of work, bless them all. The peace of your blessing will be the companion of their way and will have a discreet fragrance light their way. Bless those you encounter in their health, their work, their joy, their relationship to God, to themselves and others. Bless them in their abundance and their finances. Bless them in every way conceivable, because such blessings not only sow the seeds of healing but one day, like so many flowers burst forth with joy in the arid areas of your life.

As you walk, bless your village or city, those who govern and its teachers, its nurses and street sweepers, its priests and prostitutes. At the very moment someone expresses any aggression, anger or lack of kindness towards you, respond with a blessing silent. Bless them totally, sincerely, joyfully, for such blessings are a shield that protects you from the ignorance of their misdeeds, and diverts the arrow that is sent to you.

To bless means to wish and want unconditionally, totally and unreservedly good unlimited – for others and the events of life – drawing on sources deepest and most intimate of your being. This means reverence and awe with a total look that is always a gift from the Creator and that whatever appearances. One that is supported by your blessing is set apart, consecrated the world.

Bless everything and everyone, without discrimination, is the ultimate form of giving, because those you bless will never know from where does this sudden ray of sunshine broke through the clouds of their skies, and you will rarely witnessed in this light their lives.

When, in your day, some unexpected upsets you you as far as your plans, burst into blessing, because life is going to teach you a lesson, even if the cut may seem bitter. For this event you believe to be undesirable if you have in fact created, in order to learn the lesson that you escape if you hesitate to bless him. Events are blessings hidden and cohorts of angels follow their footsteps.

To bless means to recognize beauty everywhere hidden from material eyes. This is to enable the universal law of attraction, from the depths of the universe, will bring into your life exactly what you need in the moment to grow, grow, and fill the cup of your joy.

When you pass a prison, bless its people in their innocence and their freedom, their goodness, their pure essence and unconditional forgiveness. Because we can only prisoner of the image we have of ourselves, and a free man can walk without chains in the courtyard of a prison, as well as citizens of a free country may be trapped when fear lurks in their minds.

When you pass a hospital, bless its patients in the fullness of their health, because even in their suffering and disease, this fullness is just waiting to be discovered. And when you see someone crying or seemingly broken by life, bless it in its vitality and joy for the senses do not show that the inverse of the splendor and ultimate perfection that only the inner eye can perceive .

It is impossible to bless and judge at the same time. Then hold in the desire to bless you as an incessant inner resonance and as a perpetual silent prayer for you and those are the peacemakers, and one day, you will discover all the face of God.

 – Pierre Pradervand

PS And above all, do not forget to bless this wonderful person, totally beautiful in its true nature, and so worthy of love that YOU are.

http://vivreautrement.org

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group you can contact her at: 214-499-0396, Kay@KayTrotter.com or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com

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Surviving Postpartum Depression

These days, as I excitedly await the arrival of my first grandchildren (twins), a precious little boy and a sweet baby girl, my world is surrounded with everything, wonderfully baby. But sometimes motherhood brings the bittersweet dance of joy and sorrow. The following true story has a happy ending, but not without soul-searching, self-doubt and God’s blessings that my friend found help and is now a survivor of Postpartum Depression – Kay


SURVIVING POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

I can’t wish it away, pray it away, talk it away, or distract myself enough

In the midst of my shame and crying I heard the therapist say, “It’s OK, we all get depressed sometimes. I know that you are thinking that you shouldn’t be depressed, but it’s OK. This too shall pass. This happens to a lot of women after pregnancy; your hormones are out of balance.” This feedback came after I had spent a full hour in a therapy session trying to explain to the therapist why I didn’t have post-partum depression.  Never mind the fact that I couldn’t stop crying, I had trouble staying awake during the day, was completely overwhelmed, agitated, and in a fog, and had hit rock bottom.  That’s the real reason I made the appointment in the first place.  At the time I didn’t realize to what extent I had minimized my symptoms of post-partum depression (PPD). It was after months of denying it and talking to friends and professionals that I accepted that I really did experience PPD.  I say “experience” rather than “had” PPD because it is something I couldn’t wish away or get rid of with a magic pill. I couldn’t wait it out like a cold, the severity came and went and felt different each day. Therefore, I say “experience.”

I would like to walk you through my experience of PPD and describe some things I learned along the way to help me get through it. My hope is that if one woman reads this and is able to get help or feel some relief, then sharing my story will be all worth it.

So let’s get straight to the point: What does post partum depression (PPD) feel like? How do you know if it’s just “the new normal” of mommy hood or really clinical where you need help? When I say “clinical” what I really mean to say is I couldn’t wish it away, pray it away, talk it away, or distract myself enough. It was always there hanging over my head like a cloud. I tried everything I could think of to make myself feel better. Some strategies helped distract me long enough to think I was feeling better, but they usually ended up exhausting me even further in the long run. For the textbook definition of PPD, you can go to any pregnancy book or website to read the clinical description. I had read the symptoms before, but living inside of a body and mind experiencing PPD is much different than reading about it.  I can remember identifying with a few symptoms after reading about PPD in a book a couple of months after delivery and thinking to myself, “I must just be sleep deprived. I bet when I start sleeping I’ll feel better.”  I also remember thinking that something must be wrong with me and I wondered how on earth other women made it through the first few months with baby.

I had lots of other symptoms as well. I worried about everything, which I thought was somewhat normal for first-time mothers, but I was obsessive about every little thing. I obsessed about baby’s sleeping and naps and charted everything to the minute. I read numerous books on everything about pregnancy and babies (being educated and informed is great, but being obsessive and thinking that I needed a degree in child development, nutrition, and sleep is not healthy). I felt guilty for everything—letting him sleep in the swing and in the stroller, letting her cry for five seconds, and not being happy all the time.  I felt guilty in the mornings for thinking “I have to do this all over again.” I remember almost falling asleep one morning while changing her diaper and thinking, “I don’t know if I can change one more diaper. I want to run away and be by myself.” In the mornings, I stood in my closet overwhelmed and not able to decide what to put on for the day. I was too overwhelmed to take baby out of the house because I thought it would be too exhausting to go anywhere and what was the point anyway. Everything seemed so overwhelming and pointless. I was irritable and agitated and felt helpless and frustrated when I would hear other people’s children cry in public.  Actually, it would send me off the deep end and I would feel panic stricken. (You might be thinking that is normal, but typically I would have responded in a very nurturing way – so this was atypical of me.)  I was very fearful and mistrusting of anyone taking care of baby or even holding him. I was afraid to leave him with anyone; I missed my husband and missed spending time with him. When my husband came home for lunch, I didn’t want him to leave.

Fortunately, I could get out of bed in the morning—another reason why I didn’t think I really had PPD. I always woke to my son crying, so of course I could get out of bed, but staying awake was difficult. I felt groggy and indecisive all day and in a fog. Things I had previously enjoyed annoyed me, but I didn’t realize that it was part of depression because I was stuck in it. I thought I had changed from having a baby. Looking back, it is so obvious but, when I was in it, I felt completely different and believed that how I felt was real. I felt guilty for working outside the home. I would cry in my office and cry on the way home.  I felt like I was being panicky when I was away from my son. Even in the hospital I felt panicky when other people would hold him. I felt disconnected and separated when I wasn’t holding him. This is another reason I didn’t know I had PPD—most books say you feel no connection to your baby. My PPD presented more like an over-connection. I rationalized this by saying that it was from the oxytocin from nursing.  To an extent the oxytocin does create a bonding feeling and a desire to be together, but it was like mine was on overdrive.

The scariest part of my experience was when I felt disconnected from the world. It was like I was behind a hazy screen or like I was watching people on a movie screen. It wasn’t like a hallucination, but just a fuzzy kind of distant feeling.  I couldn’t stop my crying in public and I was very fearful.  Another scary part of experiencing PPD is that I felt so ashamed to tell my husband or anyone what negative feelings and thoughts I was having.  The only reason I finally told my husband was because I began to have fleeting thoughts of how I could end my life. I knew I just wanted to feel better but having fleeting thoughts of death was not typical for me. I knew I could not fight this alone.  I knew at that point that I needed to reach out. Up to this point I made excuses for my thoughts and feelings but I couldn’t dismiss this.

As soon as I told him about my feelings, he quickly intervened and was very supportive. We went to my ob-gyn who discussed different options for treating PPD and she also gave me a referral for a therapist who specializes in women’s and family issues.

What I learned from this experience is that so many women have experienced PPD and the severity of symptoms varies with each woman.  When I was trying to decipher if what I was experiencing was the reality of being a new mom or if it was PPD, I reached out to a lot of people.  Some of them were responsive/supportive and others were not. I am so grateful for my friends who shared their experiences with me and who encouraged me to seek help.  The other valuable lesson I learned was to do what works for me. There are lots of different opinions out there and lots of conflicting ideas, but I had to do what was best for me and my family.

A friend of a friend reached out to me recently because she had heard about me experiencing PPD. She shared her experiences with me, and I think it is because of her that I have the courage to write this. After hearing her experiences I felt validated in mine, like thank goodness I am not crazy! I am very hopeful because in meeting her I saw living proof that people do live through PPD and parenthood and THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I am thankful to her for being so real with me and also for letting me share my experience.

Looking back I also learned not to expect everyone around me to understand what I was going through. Not everyone can relate because they do not fully understand it or they may not be able to handle seeing their loved ones in pain. While some people may not believe that PPD even exists, I am grateful to have supportive family members and friends who I rely on each and every day.

So what are some things that helped me get out of PPD, or manage it? Now that I think about it, I guess I am still managing it—although I feel much better and feel like myself again. I think now I am mostly managing the challenges that new parents face.  These things are in no way intended to be advice; however, they do outline things that work for me, today. It may change tomorrow, but for today this is what works for me.

I allow myself to experience this. For one, it’s OK to be going through this. I have a habit of minimizing and telling myself that there are people in the world with bigger problems and, yes, that is true. Regardless of what suffering other people may experience and regardless of the level, what we all experience is our part of our journey. I remind myself that it is okay to struggle and get through this.

I am learning not to try to appear all put together. No one is and no one expects me to be perfect. No one has the perfect life, perfect marriage, or perfect kids.

I forgive myself. This is harder than it sounds, but when I start feeling guilty for missing one of my son’s naps (which rarely happens), or whatever else my ego comes up with to evoke guilt, I forgive myself. I remind myself that I am human. I stop beating myself up for the past. I omit the words: “I should have, I could have done this better, I wish I would have.” Forget about it. I tell myself: it’s over, done, move on.

I stay in the moment. I remind myself to stop trying to predict the future. Stay in today. I still plan for the important things, but I work really hard not to worry about the future. I have a sign on my fridge that says “Cross that bridge when or IF you get there.”

I let myself get angry. I just remember all of those social rules and don’t take it out on my family. I run, do spin class or find some way to let that frustration go. Running and yoga help me a great deal.  Saying what I feel in the moment helps too. My husband and I believe in being very transparent and not letting feelings build. We share frequently.

I rely on friends. I meet with a group of friends on a consistent basis to support and motivate each other in regards to goals and to have me time.  These groups remind me that I am not alone and that I can count on others for help.

I do what works for me. I seek feedback from other moms, dads, pediatricians, and research (although I am no longer allowed to read 800 books on each baby topic), and then I see how that fits with my family’s needs. I adjust the plan when it needs to be changed.

I ask for help. This is a work in progress.  I remember that it is IMPOSSIBLE to do everything on my own in spite of what previous generations reportedly did, and I benefit my family and myself when I ask people for what I need.

I take breaks. I tell my husband what I need from him and when I need to get out of the house. Since there are no more weekends off, I plan time so that both my husband and I can have some time for us.

I guess basically what I am saying is that I try to cut myself some slack. Having a baby is such a big adjustment, and it really has been the biggest opportunity in life to learn the lesson to stop and be in the moment—to stop worrying about the laundry or cleaning or cooking an organic meal from scratch, and train for a half marathon, and work outside the home, and try to have dates nights. During the week instead of telling myself I have to do it all, my new expectations are to enjoy baby and husband and to work. If I get anything else done it is a bonus!  If what everyone says is true, this time will go by so fast and soon he will be running off to school or driving off in a car. When I experience really great moments or days, I try to capture these in my being and in my memory. Of course I wish these moments would last longer, but then I remember that because those moments pass so quickly it means the less desirable moments won’t last too long either. I finally understand the saying, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

So when I sat down to write my story my hope was to help at least one person out there, to provide some relief or help someone feel normal and not crazy. I wanted to instill some hope in one of the readers out there. What I realized after finishing this is that it really helped me to share my story, to honor what I experienced and to remember all the nuances of this humbling, amazing, yet sometimes painful process of being a mom. I know this is only the beginning of a wonderful journey.

Helpful Links

Postpartum Depression and the Baby Blues Symptoms, Treatment, and Support for New Moms

Growing your Baby

The Bump 

Blogs:

Postpartum Progress

Ivy’s PPD

PPD Survivor

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly in her FaceBook fan page http://www.facebook.com/DrKaySudekumTrotter.

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The Healing Power of Nature – My Outdoor Therapy Room

Where do you go to nurture your soul? To relieve stress? To touch and be touched by our almighty Creator? I go outside to what I lovingly call my “Therapy Room.”  My home near Dallas, TX sits on a gently sloping acre dotted with a few oaks and giving me a view of the neighboring stables, where horses graze contentedly. It’s private, peaceful and wrapped in tranquility. Here is where I can sit and feel the gentle breeze and rising sun warm my body, allowing my soul to resonate with the presence of God. Here I am at peace, as my spiritual being reconnects with the expansive energy network of God, more generically know as the Universal Energy Field. This vast, cosmic sea of endless possibilities and infinite wisdom … the Source of All … extending infinitely … beyond human measure. This Universal Field, Source of All, or “God” is the ultimate living being bringing forth and staying connected to every other living thing.

My Source of All resides outside, and more specifically, on most days outside in my backyard. There I can sit overlooking the gently rolling velvet carpet of my lawn, surrounded by majestic post oak tress, singing birds, and the gracefully calming presence of nearby horses. I begin my healing spiritual journey each morning here in my backyard. Some days my journey includes just watching the clouds and feeling God’s presence; other days I may journal, or listen to the Matt Maher album, “Alive Again.” But today—after the tornados, floods and the highly emotionally charged counseling sessions of this past week, my soul was hurting, so I knew my soul needed to be taken on a guided “healing light” meditation by psychologist Dr. Jan Berlin. Popping in my iPod ear buds, the meditative journey began in the middle of my out-door oasis.

Today, I listened to this healing message with my eyes open so I could also take in the visual healing energy that nature provides me—feeding me. And true to form, tears gently rolled down my cheeks as I felt God’s presence and healing light permeate my body. Someday I hope to be able to offer all my clients an “Outdoor Therapy Room” where they, too, can experience how the out-of-doors can provide them a special place for the human adventure of body, mind, and spirit. Where they, too, can personally experience how nature provides an opportunity for mindful ways of being, for reflection, for peace. How just being in nature—nurtures the soul.

The Healing Light – A Sacred Lens Guided Imagery Journey ~ by Jan Berlin PhD Audio CD

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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Jambo (Hello) from Africa!

Jambo(Hello) from Africa!

Below is a e-mail from my daughter Kelly and son-in law Josh Widener who are on a 16 day mission trip to Kenya Africa, with church in Houston Texas. I found her letter so moving that I wanted to share with you the power and grace of God’s working hands. Please keep the team in your prayers.

How is everyone?? We are doing good. We have today off because they are having a HUGE election for their constitution so we aren’t allowed to leave our hotel. We are actually glad about this because we needed a break. This past weekend we switched hotels because the food at the first place made everyone sick, and it was about an hour from town. The place we are at now is much better! It has a/c so we have been sleeping much better, the food is 10xs better, and it’s right in town. So we are much happier.

Josh has done 5 paintings and they have been quite an ordeal. None of his electrical tools work so he has to do them all by hand. So it takes triple as long. The paint he is using also contains lead so it makes him feel sick. A few days ago he painted in a very crowded market here in Kisumu, which was quite interesting. I did not get to go with him because it was too dangerous. But he did a great job and the pastor said that about 60 people came to Christ after his painting. He is very warn out though since it’s such an ordeal to put the canvas together.

You guys would just die over how unsanitary everything is. I just can’t believe it. It really is amazing that we haven’t gotten sick. There is only about 4 people of our group that haven’t gotten sick. They say that has never happened before.

We have one more day in Kisumu and we are going to visit the Christian kids that live in the dump. Yes, I said the dump, and it’s just what you think it is. They live and eat off the trash…Then on Friday we go to the Safari. We are really looking forward to that…All in all things have gone well. Yesterday I was trying to think of a word to describe our experiences and the best I could come up with was…Challenging. Everything is just difficult and takes twice as long as it should. The food is pretty sketchy and we pretty much have just been living off of two things and snack food. So, we are very ready to eat American food. Needless to say, we are ready to come home, but are glad we have had this experience.

How are you guys?? How are my boys?? We miss them!

Hope all is well! We have internet for the next few days so feel free to email us back!

Love you guys!

Josh & Kelly Widener

To find out more about Josh’s Altar Paint Ministries go to: www.altarpaint.com

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Steps to Surrender

Steps-to-surrender

My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

July 2, 2009

Part 5 of a 5 part blog series

Today as I sat meditating I realized that another message I received yesterday is that God has a very important mission for me. Yes, it will change my life greatly, and it will also change the lives of many others. But I already knew that, right? So, what is the problem?

Surrender is the problem or lack of surrendering really. I need to surrender this to God and start doing his work. Knowing deep down in my being that when I go out on faith — when I own my healing power — God will be there and to take care of me. BUT my ego has got to get out of the way.

Great, you’re saying. How in the heck do I get my headstrong crazy ego to leave, or just chill out? Well, yesterday I finally heard the answer, and it actually is simple. It’s something that I’ve heard for years, but I guess I really did not truly hear it. It’s prayer. It’s asking specifically for God’s guidance. Asking for God to help me. So, in essence when we pray to God, asking Him to come into our lives and guide us, what we really are doing is two-fold. First, by “asking” we are giving God and all His angles permission to be with us. To interact on our benefit. To change the course of things. To be our companion. To work hand and hand with us throughout our lives.

I did not realize that because of the free will God gave us, without us asking God to guide us, he couldn’t. What irony is that?

All those years when I was a volunteer in youth group and people would ask me how I felt about abortion, I would tell them I am pro-choice. Boy, what violent and confused reactions I would get. Then I simply would ask them this question: “What is one of the greatest gifts God has given us?” The answer, of course, is “free will.” It is this gift of free will that requires us to ask God to guide us. Until we specifically ask, all God can do is sit back and love us.

The other thing that happens when we “ask” God is that through our asking, He now is in charge, and our ego can be removed. Once our ego is out of the picture, our fears lessen. Why? Because we are not in control – God is. Remember, we asked God to guide our steps, and to be in charge. We turned our troubles over to him. How cool is that.

Of course our domineering, blood sucking ego has a hard time staying out of things, so it becomes a process of assuring our ego — like little children —that everything will be okay. So during this discovery I wrote down some prayers and affirmations to help me ask God specifically to guide me on this spiritual journey.

Affirmation
I am surrounded by the pure white light of God
For love, guidance and protection
Only good shall go from me;
Only good shall come to me.
I give thanks, I give thanks, I give thanks.

Things to remember or focus on:
Guide me, God so I can be of spiritual service.
I must ask for God’s guidance and direction everyday in my life.
I must ask for spiritual assistance to come into my life.
I need to focus on the promise of what is coming (this helps keep my ego in check).

With all this in mind I came up with my daily prayer.

My Daily Prayer
Thank you, God, for calling me to be of spiritual service to you,
And for giving me this time to reflect and become whole.
Please guide me in doing the best possible actions each day.
Please send me people who will help me fulfill Your mission for me in this lifetime.

My Spiritual Journey Continued

Part 1 My Spiritual Journey

Part 2 My Struggle…

Part 3 God’s Passionate Touch

Part 4 God Wants to Talk to You

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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God Wants to Talk to You

God-wants-to-talk

My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

July 1, 2009

Part 4 of a 5 part blog series

It has been a couple of weeks since I have written in my journal because I have been running away.  That is not to say that God has stopped working in my life—for He has not. I am the one who has been confounding the process. Why, you might ask? Well, that is simple.  “ I got scared” and “I became overwhelmed.” It was interesting when this happened because even though I ran away from journaling and mediating, God was still there — talking to me and guiding me.  He was letting me realize what He wants me to know about Him and His children, and most importantly what He wants me to know about myself.

You might think that’s an awfully egoistical thing to say—that “I am that important.” I, for one, hate to be around people who are all about themselves. I often tell people who are caught-up in themselves, “You’re not that important.” Well, I say that on the inside, anyway. I am way too nice a person to say something so hurtful to their face. Perhaps what I have been doing all this time is saying those words to myself: “Kay, you’re not that important.” But to God, I am that important, as is each one of His children. Right now, though, during my spiritual journey, I think God is telling me, “Yes Kay, you are very important, and I have a very special job for you to do. I need you to embrace your uniqueness so that you can share your unique sense of passion and being.”

Yesterday I had a very special phone conservation with a friend of mine who God put in my life to help guide me on this journey, and to help me claim my healing power. Do you know how hard that was for me to just write that, “to claim my healing power?” The only way I could was to realize that when I claim my own power, in essence I am claiming God’s power. I can do that – I can claim God’s power. And as I go through this process I will gradually also claim my own power and be okay with that.  But today, July 1, 2009, I am not comfortable “claiming all my power.” Oh, I suppose I am okay with parts of it, but I definitely am NOT okay with claiming all of it.

Many things came out of my phone conservation yesterday — like it is me who keeps people at arms length, not them. Yes, people find me to be quirky, expressive and totally unorthodox, but they are not judging me as I thought they were. They are simply processing how to take in this very alive person. The judgment and criticism is not from them but from when I was a kid in elementary school. I was the black sheep of my class — in fact, a fellow classmates of mine repeatedly said I had “cooties.” Yesterday when I realized this, it was like a light went off in my brain.  I cognitively realized that the judgment I so often feel is an old schema from my formative years. Just like I tell my clients, I will have to work hard on changing this old schema and replacing it with a more positive and realistic understanding.

I feel myself growing, realizing ways I’ve limited myself and my happiness, knowing I have the power to change those old behaviors if I so choose.  This growth is not comfortable or easy – but it’s important, and good. I’m slowly turning my deepest hidden fears over to God, and with each one I release, I feel lighter.

My Spiritual Journey Continued 

Part 1 My Spiritual Journey

Part 2 My Struggle…

Part 3 God’s Passionate Touch

Part 5 Steps to Surrender

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

Spritual-Journey

My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition
Summer of 2009

Part 1 of a 5 part blog series

I’m Dr. Kay Trotter, and I love my clinical work as a counselor for children, adolescents and adults. While I respect all religious beliefs, I am also a devout Christian, and love the strong foundation my faith gives my life and my work. In addition, I love how I am spiritually inspired and guided, receiving messages and confirmations in intuitive flashes of insight.

While these three facets of me are all important – the clinical, the religious and the spiritual – for years I felt I needed to keep them separate from each other. It became more and more difficult, though, and I seemed to be attracting to me clients who required that I begin to work with them from multiple perspectives. For instance there was the young girl who saw ghosts, and needed a way to understand and control what was happening in her life. Other clients have asked me to pray with them.

From a clinical perspective, I was feeling torn. While I received excellent results when I used both my religious and spiritual experiences to help my clients, I still questioned the validity of deviating from the clinical model – or rather, building other layers on top of it.

I had to be authentic – I couldn’t pretend these other facets of myself weren’t there during a counseling session when I felt clients were needing guidance above and beyond textbook models. And in the instances where I did delve into my spiritual and religious tool box, I could see sometimes miraculous emotional healing in my clients. In summer of 2009, I finally realized I had to take a sabbatical to both prayerfully and analytically reflect on my work, and my future path.

I knew I had to undertake this spiritual journey for myself, all my clients, and all the people I am blessed to interact with on a daily basis. I also knew I had to journal my experiences – I couldn’t be the only counselor who was facing this dilemma.

No sooner had I made this commitment to myself and my clients than I found this remarkable passage, labeled “God’s View of Life:”

“God loves to decorate; God has to decorate. Let Him live long enough in a heart and the heart will begin to change. Portraits of hurt will be replaced by landscapes of grace. Walls of anger will be demolished and shaky foundations restored. God can no more leave a life unchanged than a mother can leave her child’s tears untouched.

It’s not enough for Him to own you; He wants to change you. Where you and I might be satisfied with a recliner and refrigerator, He refuses to settle for any dwelling short of a palace. After all, this is His house. No expense is spared. No corners are cut. “Oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him (Eph. 1:19).”

This explains some of the discomfort in my life. Remodeling of the heart is not always pleasant. We don’t object when the Carpenter adds a few shelves, but He has been know to gut a entire west wing. He has such high aspirations for me! God envisions a complete restoration. He won’t stop until He is finished. And he won’t be finished until I have been shaped “along the… lines…of His Son (Rom. 8:29).”

My Creator is remaking me into the Image of Christ. He wants me to be just like Jesus. This is the desire of God.”

— By Max Lucado
in Just Like Jesus

So with this strong confirmation, my journey began. It is an honor to share it with you through this blog.

Saturday June 6, 2009
Because I feel God is challenging me to go on a spiritual journey, I have chosen to take a three-month sabbatical from my counseling practice. For this journey I completely surrender myself and my hands to God, that He can take me where I need to go and show me what He wants me to see. I feel with all my heart that He is taking me on this journey to be in relationship with Him at a greater level than I am now—to the next level of faith. I do not know where He will lead me, but I will strive with all that I am to go where He takes me and to utilize all those He sends to guide me. I know that these summer sabbatical months are just the prelude for a lifelong voyage as I allow God to guide me in both my personal and my professional life.

God has also called upon me to re-dedicate my life to Him, symbolically, in a new Baptism. As of yet I do not know when or where my Baptism will take place — however I feel it is not far off. As I walk and cry on this journey, I hope to take you with me, sharing in my joys and hopes and risking to let those closest to me see the parts of myself that I keep close to my heart out of fear of be ridiculed.

I pray that God gives me the strength and words to let you in, something that I struggle to do. It is much easier to keep the deepest emotional parts of my heart and my faith cloistered away. I pray that God gives me the strength to not hide myself when I am overcome with the presence of the Holy Spirit and tears quietly roll down my face. I pray that God remove my feelings of self-consciousness and that I truly embrace all that He is sending me, no matter where I am, no matter who is around me and could possibly see me. I seek to move my faith and God’s presence in my life out of my private world and into the world of others. For I know this is what God is calling me to do.

As I write these words tears wet my face and the power of Christ fills me. This is a gift God has always given me, the ability to see and feel Him in so many different places and in so many different people. I have been the one who has kept Him locked up, out of fear of what others will think, fear of what others will do if they know how intensely I feel God’s presence and how unconventionally he works in my life.

Sunday June 7, 2009
I know this may sound silly to you, but God just showed me what He wants from me and what I am.

“I am a healer.”

I know those of you who know me are chuckling to yourself because you have always known that that I am a healer and I have known too. But — not at the level that God now wants me to own it. Like the Scriptures tell us, people longed for Christ’s compassionate touch. And each who came was touched. And each one touched was changed. I know that God has given me the ability to compassionately touch His children and on some level, I know they have been changed. But that is a lot of power — and I don’t know if I want that.

I guess that’s part of what this journey is all about — me learning to release God’s power in me and just let God flow thru me. I also know that thru this journey, God will help me learn to manage the physical and emotional drain—not just a ‘drain,’ but rather the pure depletion I can experience being His healer.

The cognitive part of me wants Him to show me coping skills, mediation, relaxation techniques to use to fill me up when I am empty. But on some deeper level, I know this will not happen. I have to learn once again to surrender myself to God and allow Him to use me. And I have to know that although I may feel like I am going to explode; that there is no more that I can give, that I am exhausted — God will be there to take care of me. He will be the one to fill me and replenish me in ways my human mind can not even imagine.

I was gong to write that I need to go Google some of our world great “healers” and see how they take care of themselves. Then I realized that it is this kind of ‘stinking thinking’ that I have to stop. Because God does not want “me” to take care of myself — He wants me to surrender to Him, and have faith that he will take care of this need in me so that I can do the great work that He is calling me to do. Since I now see this more clearly I will work on surrendering this aspect of myself more to Christ. God willing, I will succeed!

My Spiritual Journey Continued

Part 2 My Struggle…

Part 3 God’s Passionate Touch

Part 4 God Wants to Talk to You

Part 5 Steps to Surrender

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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