Keeping up with the Castilles:: Debt, Dancing, and Deaconization

Hello, my sweet family and friends!

Obligatory bluebonnet picture. The sun was bright. 😛

It’s been a while since I visited this little patch of internet. The sheer volume of documents at work has kept my fingers tapping constantly, and they feel the ache of repetitive motion by the end of the day. Most evenings, I can’t wait to grab my gym bag and give my body a chance to sweat out the stiffness of a day spent sitting.

Not only does my body shun the thought of sitting at the computer, sometimes words are just…gone.

For a highly verbal external processor who majored in Communication, it is an odd feeling to reach inside and find nothing.

Uhhhhhhh…me no have words. Come back later. 

But the Lord has been good. In the middle of the constant phone ringing at work, I feel His presence. When I’m feverishly typing out thirty emails, processing over a hundred new documents, and telling the tenth student in a row how to run a degree evaluation, He is with me, giving me gentleness when I just don’t have any left to give out.

And He keeps giving me times of refreshing. There was a recent tickle fight with my husband. There were tacos shared at our tiny table with friends. And check out the new flowers popping up in my garden!

But since it’s been a while–and because last week we enjoyed a rare vacation in Dallas and had some time to work on a post–I thought I should take the chance to catch you up on some recent highlights.
Here’s the first one, and it’s a doozy….
When I met my hubby, he had paid off his loans. But then he said “I do”, and cheerfully agreed to start from ground zero with mine.

After two and a half years of renting small, driving old, (and the generosity of my sweet Grandma Elaine who set up an amazing little trust fund for each grandchild at our births), we sent the last payment for my student loans two weeks ago!

Actual photo of the last payment!

Oh, there was no sweeter sound than that last mouse click. We totally did a happy dance in our living room. Thank you, God!


The students in our homegroup threw an amazing, retro dance party for my man’s 34th birthday! Everyone picked a decade, and we *literally* tore up the vinyl dance floor with music spanning every era of the past century.

There were twinkling lights, a photo backdrop bedecked with handmade paper discs, chocolate covered strawberries, and even–to my allergy-prone husband’s delight–a gluten free chocolate cake! Seriously, those girls outdid themselves.

I have a personal theory that most of us weren’t done playing dress up by the time we reached the age when we were too cool to do such things. And this is why adult costume parties exist.

My hubby was genuinely touched. In all the years that he has been leading a homegroup,  the students had never before thrown such an amazing party for him. He felt so loved and celebrated.

And then last Sunday, we celebrated for another reason…


This step has seriously brought us to our knees, totally flabbergasted at the goodness of God. When my husband came to our church in 2003, he was a college junior with spiked hair, energy that would rival a twelve year old, and no real concept of community.

Since then, my man has been mentored, discipled, trained, and encouraged by godly men in our church. As the years have gone by, he has become a mentor, a trainer, an encourager for younger men, all while continuing to receive love, correction and support from others.

It’s a beautiful cycle as we build up each other. When all serve, all are served. 

As he and the husband of my friend stood at the front of the church to be named deacons, our pastors prayed, and I bowed my head over my open hands.

I’ve realized that receiving the title “deacon” is a bit like being officially named a janitorDeacon is literally Greek for servant. And serving means continually dying to self, continually allowing the Lord to empty you–of pride, of expectations, of yourself. It isn’t glamorous, self-fulfilling, or comfortable.

But Jesus served. He died to himself in every way imaginable, all the way to the ultimate obedience at the cross. And if serving knits us closer to his heart, makes us more like Him, then I say bring it on.

6 thoughts

  1. Sweet update. Congrats to both of you on being debt-free. I bet that is a great feeling. It is awesome to see J through your eyes as well – very cool perspective!
    -Brian Williams

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