Back in February, Mr. Castle and I went on a Caribbean cruise. What a blast we had.
The best memory I have...and there were many...but I went snorkeling for the very first time. What an experience. But it turned out to be more than just a cool excursion, it was a perspective changer.
You look out across the waters, which were beautiful and so clear, and don't even realize there's a whole world just beneath the surface. It's not until you actually go out into the depths, step off the shore, take that plunge, that you are able to see the amazing wonders of God's world.
I'll admit, me and water have a love/hate relationship. I can swim...well enough to get across a pool.
Okay, halfway, but whatever.
I think it's pretty. I love the many blues. I love the expanse.
So long as I'm on shore. Or on a boat. The bigger the better.
This day, I was going in. Oh boy, I was quaking in my flippers, let me tell you. But there was this little voice, an unreasonable, yet persistent voice, that begged me not to miss the opportunity.
I couldn't ignore the voice. So I went in. Despite my better judgement.
What is happening to our world?
If you're like me, you might be asking this question a lot lately.
Today, I just got word that my county has put out the "stay in place" order. Anyone else singing, "I'm so lonely, oh so lonely?"
Well, I'm not entirely lonely. I actually have more people around than I'm accustomed to now that some of my family have been laid off their jobs until this virus scare is over.
The news is all bad news and more bad news. (I have strong feelings about the media's involvement in all this, but I'll not spout that here.) Still, it seems like everything bad that can happen is.
But I'm here to tell you that this simply isn't true.
I'm not going to make light of our serious situation, because it is, very serious. But through all this, I've witnessed some amazing things. So, let's wipe off our dirt-smudged glasses for a little bit and take a closer look at what's really going on.
This is what happens in your brain when you feel happy--
Endorphins wake up. These are the body's "happy juice" that are released when you experience moments of happiness. They are responsible for fighting those yucky feelings of stress, sadness and pain by blocking those areas of our life.
This evidently, is scientific fact, my friends.
These wonderful, magical endorphins go zooming through your bodies, like Superman in flight, working to lower blood pressure and leaving us feeling more relaxed.
So, that's what science says.
My question is... where is the big red button that makes these feel-good mighty hormones when you need them? Can I get an amen?
During one of my morning quiet times, I posed this question:
What needs to happen for me to feel accomplished?
I'd made a list of things I desired for this year, and as I read over that list, I asked myself, "what would it take?"
Take care when you throw a question out to the universe. God is listening, my friends.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, our family lost a dear member.
We expected it, but yet, we didn't. We'd so hoped he'd hold on through the holidays, but cancer doesn't follow any rules, and doesn't care about one's wishes.
Needless to say, it was a very bittersweet week.
In the midst of heartache, stress, and mourning, God showed up. I'd catch glimpses of Him working good out of the bad situation. Some of the glimpses came from small things that worked out for the best. Other glimpses came from His children and my church family.
Welcome to the final day of our Valentines Countdown to Great Giveaways!
I hope you've come away with more than just a load of books and gifts, I hope you've found some treasures along the way to store in your heart.
Today, I'd like to finish up our countdown by talking to you all about the Language of LOVE.
I've been spending the past month making plans for 2019.
I know some people like to make resolutions. (Guilty of making and breaking many resolutions). So nowadays, I'm more likely to make "plans" instead of "resolutions."
I know not all my plans will work the way I'm hoping, but by laying down a few dreams, the possibilities begin to come to light and hope springs inside of my heart.
How many of you are already thinking about the year to come? Are your calendars already purchased? Planners filled with fresh pages and ready to go? Goals, or perhaps resolutions, written down. Maybe this year we’ll make it to March before scraping them? Ha.
This morning as I was having my quiet time, I was reading the first chapter of the book of James. Here is a book that packs a big wallop. Our Bible study group decided to go through James for the next two months and after three days, I've only managed 12 verses! Yikes!
Today, I read verse 12: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (NIV)
I wish that I'd come across this verse while I was working on the last Lavender Vale Farm book, Blessed Gifts, because this would have fit the theme and Ben Brown's dilemma perfectly. Ben is faced with making a rather difficult choice which boils down to taking the easy way, or taking the hard way.
The easy way has it's perks, but it's the hard way that the Lord promises is where we will find our true reward. Which is guess is why James said, Blessed is the man who...
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I lift up my eyes to the MOUNTAINS--
where does my help come from?
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.
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