Motivation Monday: The Touch of God

motivation monday

Two weeks ago I went to the hospital here in town to get a test done. My new infertility doctor wanted to perform the dye test to check and make sure my tubes were open and everything was positioned correctly. I was nervous because I knew the results of this test could steer things in dramatic ways. We could discover that I needed surgery…..or worse, that even surgery wouldn’t fix anything.

And also, I’m a chicken and I was afraid the test would hurt. They told me at the office that it would be “uncomfortable” so that obviously meant that I had great cause to panic. I know, I’m going to be a mess when I actually have to birth a child.

So there I was, standing in the room in my hospital gown, waiting for the nurse to come get me. I was trying to be brave, but not doing a very good job of it. My weak prayers seemed to fall short of even making it through the ceiling. The nurse walked in and led me into the x-ray room and I waited on the doctor to come in and perform the test. I tried to hide the fact that I was trembling, but I doubt I was doing a good job. My nurse tried to make small talk and I tried to focus on learning about her and her family.

The doctor finally came in and got everything ready. As he was beginning the test, the nurse just took a few small steps towards me and put her hand on my shoulder. Immediately, I felt God’s peace wash over me and I just knew that God was reaching out to me through this woman.

The test results were normal, by the way. It was certainly “uncomfortable” but I did not die.  😉

Yesterday we listened to a guest speaker at our church. She and her late husband spent almost their entire lives as missionaries in India. The ministry they built together there is astounding. Over 700 churches and 200 schools built. A hospital they built that has provided free health care to over 880,000 people. A daily feeding program that feeds over 25,000 people every day. This woman and her husband are absolute champions for Christ.

Yet it’s easy for us to hear stories of people like this and feel so very small. This woman and her husband have influenced millions of lives, what can I do? I work for a national cemetery in the middle of nowhere. I don’t have any major talents or giant platforms. I probably won’t ever record a CD and tour around the world, or write a dozen books and speak to millions of women. I get caught up in gigantic goals and feel discouraged at how impossible they seem in my right here and now.

But then I remember what a difference a hand on my shoulder made, and I realize that it doesn’t take much to make an impact. I can change the course of someone’s day by offering a simple hug, or by taking some time to listen and pray, or by simply putting my hand on someone’s shoulder in sympathy. We don’t have to be building schools and hospitals to be making a difference for Christ. Making a difference for Christ is found in both the huge and the small things.

Today is Monday, which means we have a brand new week ahead of us with brand new opportunities to show God’s love. Don’t believe that because you aren’t serving overseas or preaching to thousands of people that you do not have the capacity to shine the light of Christ. Stretch out those hands and touch a hurting soul this week. Offer comfort to the lonely. Go buy a meal for the homeless man you see begging on the street. Call up the friend who just lost her grandmother and ask her what you can do for her. Pray for a cancer patient.

We are all called and anointed to do God’s work here on earth.  And who knows? Who knows what God will do with a simple prayer or a small meal offered in faith?

I hope everyone has an amazing week! I love you all so very much! Now, let’s go be difference-makers this week!!

Follow us on: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Google+//Pinterest//Bloglovin’

xoxo,

Sarah

Friday Funday

Hey everybody! I just wanted to remind you real quick about the giveaways that have been running all week long. They’re closing soon, so make sure you enter!  And oh yea, HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Fall Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

There will be two winners in this giveaway. One lucky winner will receive two Maiedae prints, the gold geometric earrings, and a $25 Starbucks giftcard. The second winner will walk away with a $25 Etsy giftcard (perfect timing for the Fall Etsy Swap, am I right?).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow us on: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Google+//Pinterest//Bloglovin’

xoxo,

Sarah

//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js

 

An Update of Sorts

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, our life has been all kinds of crazy lately. {As my sister-in-law said in a text message earlier this week, when is it not??} I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of link-ups and promotions and such, but not a whole lot of sharing our actual life. Even though we’re still in The Fall Welcome Week (have you entered the giveaways yet?!?) I want to take a moment and just fill all of you in on what’s happening in the Casterline house.

household-happenings

1. If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen where I requested prayer for my oldest sister last week. She had a sort-of-sudden open heart surgery last Thursday. I say “sort-of-sudden” because we weren’t expecting it to happen until mid-October. Her surgeon had a cancellation and her doctor wanted her to have the surgery as soon as possible, so it was rescheduled. I was in Atlanta on Thursday for the surgery, again on Sunday just to visit, and then I’ll be going back this weekend to spend some time with her and help her around the house.

THANK YOU so much to all of you who prayed for her. She had a little bit of a scare on Saturday when some fluids started building up in her chest, but other than that everything has gone perfectly. She’s already at home and is recovering well. I was so overwhelmed {in the best way} with all of the texts, calls, and Facebook messages that you sent in support of us. It’s always so great to know you have people standing in agreement with you in prayer! Please continue to pray for her recovery. She’s having a good bit of back pain and it’s causing her not to sleep, so your prayers are still very much appreciated.

2. I wrote a post just over a month ago about my appointment with a new doctor. Roman and I had finally decided we were ready to start seeking treatment again for our infertility. Last month’s appointment was just for a regular check-up. When I went into detail on our journey with infertility, the doctor looked at me and said, “Honestly? I’m not going to waste anymore of your time. There’s nothing I can do here that hasn’t already been done. I’m going to refer you to the infertility specialist here in town if that’s okay with you.”

I was both disappointed and excited with her answer. Disappointed because I had hoped infertility would have never carried us this far……excited because at least I would finally be seeing a specialist who may be able to figure out what’s going on.

We’ve already had our first appointment with the specialist. He ran tests on both of us and then scheduled the dye test for me, which, oh yea, was one day before my sister’s surgery. I cramped the whole way up to Atlanta and the whole day in the hospital waiting room, so thanks for that, doc’. But it was worth it because the dye test showed that my tubes are completely open and everything is where it should be.  So no corrective surgery for me! Wahoo!

We go back on Monday to discuss the remaining test results and talk about our next steps. The best way I can describe our emotions right now is cautiously hopeful. Hopeful that maybe this part of our journey is about to come to a close, but cautious because we’ve been burned so many times before in all our hoping.

3. Life has been really interesting around here ever since we bought Rory. Buying a new car was definitely not in our budgeting plans and everything got thrown out of schedule with this surprise purchase. I’ve wanted to fill you guys in with a new financial goals post, but it feels like they shift every two weeks as one strange financial issue comes up after another. Holy moly you guys, I think Dave Ramsey might kill us. {Joking. Sort of.}

4. Two weeks ago Roman was gone for a week of work training. I surprised him with a living room update, using mostly things we had already. It was really fun, I spent way too many hours up past my bedtime, but I am still totally in love with the new look. Stay tuned for a full run-down in the next couple weeks, but here is a sneak peek:

V__677E

That’s it! That’s all you get! You’ll have to wait for the big reveal. 😉

And oh yea, how do you guys like the new blog background? Please tell me you love it because it took me forever to create it on PicMonkey and I may or may not have wanted to throw all my pencils on the floor and stomp my feet like a little girl. You love it, right? RIGHT???!?

What’s been going on in your world? Any living room decorations going up? Budgets being overspent? Please tell me I’m not the only one looking over my shoulder waiting for Dave Ramsey to chase me with a check register…..

Follow us on: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Google+//Pinterest//Bloglovin’

xoxo,

Sarah

You Can, We Can: Vol. 3

We’re continuing with The Fall Welcome Week link-up with Jenna from A Savory Feast, but today is also the fourth Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another You Can, We Can link-up. So watch me smash the two together. Bam!

www.lifewiththecasterlines.com

When I ask myself what the busiest time of year is for us, I always think of Fall. August-November always seems to fly by. School starts back, you have all sorts of sports going at the same time, back-to-school kick offs at churches, leadership conferences swing back into gear, and then BOOM. It’s time for Thanksgiving, Christmas tree hunting, Black Friday shopping, and suddenly we’re at Christmas wondering how in the world it’s already time to welcome a new year the next week. “2015 already? Wuuttt??”

There’s just something about Fall that makes time switch into hyper-drive and leave us all in the dust. And for us, this year is no different.

If you remember, I set three goals for my You Can, We Can challenge:

  1. Read the entire New Testament by the end of October
  2. Run a 10K on November 1st
  3. Get back into “those jeans” by the end of the year

Anyone want to take a guess on how many of those goals I’m behind on? Anyone? Here, I’ll give you a hint: all of them.

Ouch. I hate having to admit that in public. But when I wrote the last YCWC post, I was in the middle of doing a surprise living room remodel while Roman was traveling for work, and then the next week my sister had a somewhat sudden heart surgery (we weren’t expecting it to be until mid-October.) So as everything spun wildly out of control, I was skipping the gym, eating crap-food, and not staying caught up on my daily reading of the Bible. *sigh*

So you know what I did last night? I slept. I came home from work, laid down on the couch, and slept for two hours. Then I got up, cooked a crazy-healthy meal, washed dishes, picked up the house, wrote this post, and went right back to sleep. Because you know what? Sometimes we just need rest before we can keep going.

I have been so stressed and overwhelmed these last few days. I could tell that if I didn’t get some rest soon, I was going to wind up coming down with a cold. Yesterday was filled with grocery shopping and blogging, so today was my first real chance to get some rest. I wanted to go running so bad, but I knew that I was just too tired. As I lay down to sleep on the couch, I felt a tiny bit guilty for not getting more things done, but when I woke up I knew I made the right decision. I felt so much better!

And guess what? You need rest too. As much as we want to try and work and work and work to accomplish things, sometimes we have to just take a break. Maybe you just need to take a long nap like I did. Or maybe you and the kids need to be “pretend sick” so you can all stay home from school and get some extra sleep. Maybe you need to *gasp* skip church one Sunday morning. I’m not suggesting that we all just shirk our responsibilities for the next three weeks, but I do think it’s good for us to allow ourselves these moments of rest every now and then. And I don’t think we should feel the least bit guilty for it!! We weren’t created to be machines, after all.

Today, I’ll be going for a nice long run and then I’ll be sitting down with my Bible to get caught up on some reading. And who knows? I may still be able to squeeze a quick nap in there somewhere. Fall may be the busiest time of the year for us, but I’m determined to try and slow it down a little bit this year!

What do you do to get some extra rest? Have you ever tried taking a day off from work or pulling your kids out of school one day so you could all just sleep? Did you feel guilty?

Follow us on: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Google+//Pinterest//Bloglovin’

 

xoxo,

Sarah

Getting to Know You: Fall Favorites

This week I’m co-hosting The Fall Welcome Week with Jenna from A Savory Feast.

If you missed it, yesterday’s post had TWO giveaways! Click –>HERE<– to go enter.  🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. But once it hits August, I grow tired of frizzy hair and instant sweating each time I step outside. I start to stare longingly at my scarves hanging in the corner of my closet and my sweaters neatly folded on the shelf. At first I felt pretty silly wishing for Fall when it’s still September. I mean, let’s get real here, some years it doesn’t start feeling like Fall in the South until like, Christmas. And sometimes not even then. Surprisingly though, the temperature dipped down to a really nice number over the weekend and then again yesterday. So maybe it’s not so silly to celebrate Fall this week after all?

Either way, today seems like an awesome day to get lost in Pinterest-land and share some of my favorite things about Fall. I created a brand new board, so if you’d like to follow me there and see what I’m dreaming of this Fall, the link to it is right here. I’ll be pinning to this board all throughout the week…..and probably much longer than that.  😉

In the meantime, here are some of my Fall Favorites:

Fall Favorites

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/48835977185145248/

1. Who doesn’t love a good Fall Wreath? I’m planning to set some time aside soon to try my hands at something like this. Can’t wait!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/48835977185145178/

2. Boots ‘n Scarves. By far my most favorite thing about cooler weather is getting to wear my boots and scarves again! I’m definitely going to be on the hunt for a chunky infinity scarf like this one!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/48835977185145298/

3. All things gold. I’m on a gold kick right now. I like gold jewelry, gold paint, gold shoes….you get the picture. So obviously, this picture just speaks to me. #givemeallthingsgold

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/48835977185145217/

4. Mason everything. I have SO MANY mason jars that have accumulated around my house. How cute is this? I may give it a try as well!

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/48835977185145242/

5. Fall colors. I can’t leave out this one! {See what I did there? Ha.} Even though it doesn’t last long, I love seeing all the pretty colors as nature fades from summertime to fall. I could stare at pictures like this for hours. So beautiful!!!

What are some of your Fall Favorites? Have you been getting lost on Pinterest like me? I want to see what you’ve been Pinning! Feel free to link up to your Fall Pinterest board or to a specific Pin you love. And don’t forget to enter the giveaways

Follow us on: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Google+//Pinterest//Bloglovin’

xoxo,

Sarah

Giveaways Galore

Monday is rough, ya know? So today I’m seeking to make your Monday brighter by letting you in on not one, but TWO giveaways! I didn’t realize that both giveaways I opted to participate in were going to run at the exact same time, so that was an “oops” moment on my part. But who says I can’t tell you guys about two giveaways in one day?? You can enter both giveaways by using the Rafflecopter widgets included in this post. So without further ado, here are all the details. I hope you win!!  😉

For the first giveaway….

I’m fairly certain most of my readers are within a 300-mile radius of my geographic location, so you can all roll your eyes in agreement with me when I say that it does NOT feel like Fall is coming anytime soon. But then again, Saturday in Columbus was significantly cooler so hopefully I’m wrong about that. Don’t get me wrong, I love summertime…..the long days…..swimming…..going to the beach…..shorts and tank-tops and sandals. BUT GUYS. I am so tired of this heat and humidity! I’m more than ready for skinny jeans, boots, bonfires and scarves. So to kick off the *hopefully* cooler weather that Fall brings, I’m co-hosting a Fall Welcome Week with a group of awesome ladies, and we are kicking off the week with a giveaway! YAY!

Fall Welcome Week Hosts2

Left to right by row: Seriously Sarah // Lightly Sprinkled // A Savory Feast // Love the Here and Now // No Small Life // Strong & Sweet // The Walker Fireside Chats // 12 Twenty Seven // Life with the Casterlines // Goose Egg Blue // A Tiny Traveler // The Suzie Lou Blog // With Dignity and Coffee // Life w/ Mrs. G & the Artist // The Wetherills Say I Do // Set Free // The Beauty Section // Butcher’s Niche // Kent Heartstrings

Fall Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js

And now, here is Jenna from Dearest Love. She’ll be telling you guys about the second giveaway launching today.  🙂 

Happy Monday, y’all! Can you believe fall officially begins tomorrow? Where has this year gone? Fall is my absolute favorite season. I’m more than ready for cooler temperature to arrive, along with crunchy leaves, plaid scarves, and leather boots. Fall, you are so lovely. 

 

Today, friends, I’m teaming up with some of my favorites to give you a chance to win some of the items that are on my fall favorites list. Maiedae prints will always be on my favorites list. These two prints, though, take the cake. I think the Live Each day with a Thankful Heart print will be perfect year round, but especially for this season of thanksgiving. The gold geometric stud earrings are callin’ my name! As you may have heard, gold is my favorite color. These pretty things will go so perfectly with a plaid scarf. Dontcha think?

There will be two winners in this giveaway. One lucky winner will receive two Maiedae prints, the gold geometric earrings, and a $25 Starbucks giftcard. The second winner will walk away with a $25 Etsy giftcard (perfect timing for the Fall Etsy Swap, am I right?).  

 

This giveaway is brought to you by:

  Elah Tree + The Lady Okie + Life with the Casterlines + A Beautiful Exchange

This giveaway is run via rafflecopter. All entries will be verified, so please play by the rules! The winner must claim their prize within 48 hours of being emailed, or a new winner will be chosen. I’m so sorry international friends, but this giveaway is only open to those living in the US. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js

What are some of your fall favorites? 

Follow us on: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Google+//Pinterest//Bloglovin’

xoxo,

Sarah

Wifey Wednesday: Gratitude

Dang guys, it’s been over a month since our last Wifey Wednesday post! Today I’m smashing two things together: Wifey Wednesday and the Community Brew linkup. Since today’s topic for Community Brew is gratitude, I thought it would be fun to do a list of why I am grateful for my husband. So when you get done here, head over to Madison’s blog to read some other great posts on gratitude by clicking the graphic below or by clicking HERE.

community brew link upMost of you don’t know this, but Roman was gone last week. He had to stay in Atlanta for a week for training. Which means that I was left here all by my lonesome to be a responsible adult and to not be afraid of the dark. It’s been a really long time since I’ve had to stay at the house by myself, so not having him here reminded me of all the things that he does day in and day out. And not just what he does, but how much he means to me by just being here. So without further ado, here are 15 reasons why I appreciate my husband:

1. He can always make me smile after a long day at work.

2. Warm hugs.

3. Those busy nights when he cooks dinner.

4. He cleans out the litter box.

5. His obnoxious singing that always makes me giggle.

6. Arms wrapped tight as we go to sleep.

7. I don’t have to walk Duke outside at night.

8. He makes sure I don’t eat all the ice cream at one time.  😉

9. Evening walks through our neighborhood.

10. He’s Duke’s favorite playmate.

11. His servant-minded heart when it comes to keeping our house running.

12. He gets me out. of. the. bed. and to work *relatively* on time.

13. He fills our home with his musical talents.

14. He takes out the trash.

15. He always shows me love, even when I’m being difficult.

I suppose the saying is true: “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Because just one week with him not home reminded me just how much I love my husband and how empty my life is without him here with me!

What do you appreciate about your spouse? Or do you have a family member or close friend that means the world to you? Let’s show them a little love and share how thankful we are for them in the comments!

Follow us on: Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Google+//Pinterest//Bloglovin’

xoxo,

Sarah