Saturday, January 30, 2016

Good Thoughts for 2016

     I've never been much of an adherent for New Year's resolutions because I always seemed to fill my plate too full, especially as a teenager, and then would fall short of my goals even if I did a lot of what I set out to do. I was setting myself up for what I perceived as failure when, in truth, I was setting myself up for disappointment unnecessarily. Since the year 2000 I have been at work on myself as a person and my goals are a constant quest in my life with the opportunity to do these things in a time that is humanly possible. There have been times when my goals have been changed weekly. I have had one goal on my roster for fourteen years now and it will remain even though I know I may never fully achieve it. In the meantime, here are some good thoughts for even the most resolution weary travelers: 
"If you can't fly, then run;
 if you can't run, then walk...
if you can't walk, then crawl--
whatever you do, keep moving forward."
 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Five Steps to Overcoming:
1) If I give joy, it will come back to me.
2) My worries can be released.
3) Any detour can be seen as an opportunity.
4) Remarkable achievements all began as thoughts.
5) New learning is always there, waiting for me to embrace it.
- the daughter of Norman Vincent Peale

Motivation is what gets you started but habit is what keeps you going.
-Jim Ryan
There is always something to be thankful for so...
follow your dream and

from The Castle Lady

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Expectations + Prayer = Real Results

     If ever I could say that a year just flew past me while I was trying my best to harness time, it was last year. By November I had to look up my records to find out when I had posted my last castle entry on my Word Press blog and was astonished to find that my Hertfordshire entries were posted during the earliest days of March and in a matter of a couple of days! I've been so busy trying to swat problems as they continually crop up that there was no time left for writing much of anything- especially about castles. Even this blog has really suffered for want of some good entries all through 2015. It's all the result of shifting from spending my designated eight hours ( or more) of reading, writing and researching to fitting those activities around a basic DIY day, every day. Nothing in the world is more impossible- with the exception of preventing wars! It's also quite exhausting.
     In the future, starting this year, all those things are going to have to take a back seat to my beloved work. The dishes will always be there. Mops need to dry out. I'll really put soap and my vacuum to the true test in 2016. Maybe someone will bless me with a Molly Maids gift certificate and I can go out to lunch instead ! Well, I can dream can't I ? Better yet, a housekeeper can stir up a white tornado around here while I sit in the eye of it and write my head off. It would be about time, huh?
     I do apologize for what seems like neglect but really is not. My heart has been right there- buried in the photos and videos and new books on castles and England. I'll have you know it's very frustrating to me when I can't get to my pet project. I even get withdrawal symptoms and pull out all my castle videotapes and the photos I've taken during my castle trips. I'm wondering if I ever had to have brain surgery, when they opened up my skull, they'd find it was shaped like a castle.
     All joking aside, upon receiving a revelation from the Lord, I realized suddenly that I have lowered my expectations about life a bit too far and really need to shift up into high gear a bit more. I need to doff the habit of praying and then forgetting all about it. Putting matters in God's hands does not mean dumping everything in his lap. We need to be actively engaged in the process of putting our prayers into action. The verse in James 2:26 is often misconstrued to mean that faith without carrying the matter out by yourself is useless but if the entire chapter is read carefully you find that it's all about bringing your attention to the matter at hand and to raise your expectations. Your faith level is contingent upon how high your expectations are of the outcome of your prayers and supplications to God. You certainly can't build faith without high expectations and you won't receive or acknowledge answers to prayer if you stay down in the well of despair.
     Therefore, I am going to challenge my readership on this blog and from elsewhere to start putting forth stronger faith along with accomplishments, dedication and plain hard work. Giving in to disappointments and discouragements can become habitual and they only weigh us down and put a damper on every effort we make towards goals, plans and dreams. God would not have any of us thinking like that and I'm not saying it's going to be easy but if you keep your faith and expectations high it can only help you. It certainly doesn't help to let all the negative naysaying and bad reports take center stage. That's nowhere.
     In order to live a full and happy life we have to take charge of it and there's no better way than taking the opportunities which allow you to shoot strong and high towards those things you feel will make a difference. I feel that way about my castle work and I'll never quit until I have accomplished exactly what I've set out to do. It's a long road but I love travel...
     So, expect to see a whole lot more castles on in 2016 on south England and perhaps even more often on this blog which has always been my catch-as-catch-can forum. Of all my blogs, this one tends to force me to take stock and then forge ahead. In other words,