So this happened…..

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camp friends


There are some people that God brings into your life for just a season, and Adrienne and Emma are two of them. I counseled at camp with them last summer, and we laughed and cried and prayed and planned and taught and sang and served side by side for ten weeks. We had the opportunity to fellowship at The Cheesecake Factory this weekend and I am so thankful for their laughter and gracious wisdom! God is so good!

a day in portsmouth

last Friday I spent the day in downtown Portsmouth, NH with three of my good friends: Hannah, Aubrey, and Kali. we started the day before 6am and enjoyed the sunshine, the atmosphere, and each other’s company in this historic seaport city.

it was so refreshing to fellowship with these beautiful young women who love the Lord and encourage me to serve Him more!

Wawa

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One of the best parts of going back home to NJ…the FOOD! You’re never hungry here because by the time you’ve recovered from one meal someone is stuffing you with more. People love Wawa here…and I remembered how much I love it too when I ate this :D (the coffee is really great too).

by the pool

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Spending the weekend at a beautiful villa in south Jersey. My brothers are enjoying the pool (and chatting with the lifeguards), and I’m taking advantage of the quiet and beautiful weather to write some overdue thank-you cards.

imbued.

imbued [verb]:
inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality

I didn’t have a long stretch of “single years”, but there was definitely a short season of my life where I was convinced I was going to remain single forever. I did have to wait. I did have to be patient. It didn’t all just happen when I wanted it to. I was very blessed to be surrounded by mature and Godly women (old and young alike) who spoke much wisdom into my life and I gleaned so much from their experiences. I thought I’d share some of what I learned from these women and also from what God has taught me in my own life and I pray it is of some encouragement to you ladies out there who are actively waiting for their future husbands!

“What is something that you, knowing now as a girl really about to get married, would like to have known when you were in the season of preparing for marriage but had no idea who hubby was going to be?”

I was the kind of person who would check things off on a mental “checklist” when ever I met a new guy. Could he be it? Is this the one? It was really a burden, to be honest. I wanted to get married and wanted more than anything for a guy to see what a catch I was! I never threw myself in the way of guys, or flirted with them – and from the outside I’m sure I seemed very self-controlled. Ha! If only they knew that I was silently analyzing every little thing they did!

Looking back I feel such regret over wasting so much mental energy on this area of my life. It was dishonoring to them, to their future wives, to my future husband, and to the Lord! I wonder now, what COULD I have been thinking about whenever I talked to a brother-in-Christ? How SHOULD I have seen them? Look for ways to encourage or pray for a brother-in-Christ when you meet him for the first time, instead of running through a Potential-Husband-Filter in your head. He’s a person too. He has a family. He’s a redeemed sinner. He has dreams and gifts and talents just like you do. Just because he’s MALE doesn’t mean he’s an entirely different species (even though it sure feels like that sometimes!)

Finally, live productively and joyfully and in a manner that glorifies the Lord even if there is no one on the horizon for you to marry. If you don’t even KNOW any young men you could even consider marrying, or even if you attend a church that’s full of them – don’t stop living a sacrificial life and working heartily unto the Lord. This might seem contradictory to what I wrote about my thoughts on contentment during singleness (here), but it’s really not. You DO need to be content – actively and joyfully content. Our Heavenly Father is in the business of keeping His servants busy to glorify Him and you can’t do that if you’re constantly living in anticipation for the future.

“What are some habits you would
suggest me picking up now?”

I’m sure this is pretty straightforward, but do not neglect daily time spent in the Word and prayer. I cannot express how important this is! I had a very active prayer and devotional life in the months prior to my courtship with Sean, and it was the most Spiritually rich time of my life thus far. When the emotions of new love and the busyness of planning a wedding came in the months to come, it became tempting to forget my first Love.

You can do nothing unless you abide in Him. {John 15}. Remember, life will only get crazier in the years to come. It is never too soon to start making “abiding in Him” a daily priority.

If you come from a family who talks about everything and everyone knows everyone’s business…or if you have parents who are more emotionally absent and don’t talk about a lot of things, it is still so important to talk to your parents and go to them for counsel and guidance throughout your time living under their authority. In the last few years there were many things I didn’t share with my parents, simply because I didn’t see the purpose in doing so. I didn’t keep secrets from them or go behind their backs, but I didn’t share with them every problem or concern that they probably could have helped me with. Now, I wish I HAD spent more time talking with them or seeking their advice on things, instead of waiting until the last minute. Don’t wait until it’s too late to cultivate a loving and healthy line of communication with your mom and dad.

“…or attitudes I begin striving toward?”

Something I’ve had to learn (and will be learning forever, I’m sure) is this: don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought. Be humble. Don’t parade yourself around or act in such a way that communicates, “I am such a steal!” In Romans 12 it says, “don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (vs 3) When I had no idea who my husband was going to be, I had times when I saw myself in a way that was ideal…like I actually deserved a man who fit all my criteria. It wasn’t even until I became closer in my relationship with Sean that I realized how broken, sinful, and fallen I truly was! My courtship and engagement has been a magnifying glass to all the ways I needed to be humbled.

Strive toward cultivating an attitude of humility now and it will undoubtedly bless your future relationship with your husband.

“…or emotions I learn to grapple with now?”

When you’re in a position of unwanted or prolonged singleness, it can be hard. You look at other women who are in loving and Godly relationships and you can’t help but wish the same would happen for you. As much as you can tell yourself, “I’m content!”, truth is, you know you really couldn’t be content forever! It can be tempting to wallow in a bit of self-pity or let your singleness begin to feel like hopelessness. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Instead of dwelling on the things you lack, praise God for the blessings He’s given. Instead of feeling aimless, remember that “the Lord establishes [your] steps.” (Proverbs 16:9). Instead of constantly thinking of yourself and your needs, pour yourself out in service toward other people.

The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), but the Lord searches the thoughts and intentions of our heart (vs 10). I heard this somewhere: Don’t follow your heart. Lead your heart. Don’t let your mind run off with romantic fantasies that aren’t real. Don’t be shaken. Remain steadfast and sober-minded with your emotions in check and your heart in submission to Him.

“Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

To God be the glory

– b