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Countdown Day 2-- Loving Yourself: One of the greatest relationships you will experience

Welcome to the Valentines Countdown to Great Giveaways

Romance Special!

As I mentioned, this is the second day of our Valentines Countdown. This wonderful event will run until February 14th with a different author offering a giveaway and an awesome article about love.

Welcome! If you haven't done so I invite you to visit Jackie Castle's Day 1 Valentine's Countdown page.

Also, make sure you visit the Main Page for this fabulously sweet event so you don't miss out on any of the giveaways, especially the $50 Amazon Gift Card Rafflecopter Giveaway.

My special giveaway to you is the first book in my Chandler County series, Missing Destiny!

When a mysterious man becomes a threat to her health Dr. Shauna Nathan, a workaholic scientist, is about to lose control over her emotions and her life. Her family steps in to protect her even if it means disrupting her otherwise predictable and orderly existence by bribing her with a chance to spend time with her old college roommate and surround herself with her one true passion — horses. She heads to a ranch in Chandler County to hide from her stalker. Instead, she might find there healing she looks for -- and love she doesn't. Horse therapist Zach moved to New York, had a successful career in finance, a beautiful wife, and daughter one day and the next it was all gone. He came back to Chandler County to come to terms with his loss and find a modicum of peace as a ranch hand- turned therapist at Murphy’s Equestrian Therapy Center. He has lost everyone he loved. Would he risk his heart again for Shauna? Though the ruthless killer on Shauna's trail will stop at nothing to destroy her, will Zach and Shauna escape danger and find happiness in each other's arms and their missing destiny?

To redeem your free copy click on the cover. For more information on the rest of my Chandler County series click here.

One of my greatest loves

I have started and stopped this article a few times. Not due to lack of knowing what to say, but the passion I have for this subject. When I get passionate, I tend sound preachy on paper and all I wish to express is the love, honor and blessing I feel at being able to experience life through this lens.

So here I go again… To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ~ Oscar Wilde

I love that quote, especially as a romance writer and hopeful romantic. It is not a form of infatuation that is fleeting like a breeze. It doesn’t come and go like an accidental good day. I know this because I had a few of those episodes when I was young. They were the “good days” and they were few and far between. In the meantime, I ran myself ragged trying to please everyone because the thought of someone (other than myself) not liking me was devastating. I measured my value in acknowledgments, approvals, endorsements and agreements until it wasn’t enough and my soul cried out that it needed more…

And that’s when God got my attention. My first love, my Lord and Savior, yes, and my confidant, my friend and the one who showed me what He saw in me and taught me how to see it too.

At twenty-six I found myself finished with college and sitting in a transitional limbo. I had planned my life up to that point when I was eleven -years-old and couldn’t go any further. I sat in limbo for six months trying to find a job to go with my degree, a man to go with my lifestyle and the energy to keep moving forward.

I got invited to a bible study that brought the word to life for me. I’d attended church most of my life, but it was more of a tradition than a privilege. The words in the bible became promises to me and once I was filled with the Holy Spirit, as my denomination calls it, different perspectives of my situation and life were revealed.

Everyone’s walk with God is as unique as they are. There are experiences that will trigger thoughts that become epiphanies for some and fleeting feelings for others. For me, I wanted to be special. I wanted to be thought of as invaluable, irreplaceable, someone that had to be cherished. Why? Because there were too many experiences in my life that left me feeling used, a slave to my body, and not quite above average.

What I received as I read the bible, meditated on my devotionals, prayed and just spent time with God was an introduction to the beautiful creature that could love God and herself as no one else could. I was shown pieces of myself that I agreed were lovely to look at. It wouldn’t have worked if He just told me that I had lovely pieces, as in a wit that could be used to heal, a compassionate heart, a desire to help and a fierce protectiveness for young women. He showed me with several situations, conversations and life experiences.

My value in myself went soul deep. It couldn’t be bought, bartered, or measured against anything temporal. If others couldn’t see it at first glance, I wasn’t desperate to convince them. I just continued to move in love. It’s funny how you are able to see the beauty God shows you in others when you stop looking for the faults in yourself.

Preachy Warning - Accept it. You are beautifully and wonderfully created with a purpose.

Loving yourself is freeing, unapologetic and fulfilling. You will want to make yourself happy, do things that feed your soul and take care of you so you can show others how to do it for themselves.

“You must love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31

How do you do this if you don’t love yourself?

1 Corinthians 13 States both the importance of love and how to put it in action.

I used to think verses 4-7 were only actions I did for others but when I realized I was supposed to do them for myself it made the action of loving myself easier.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Loving yourself is one of the greatest relationships you will experience.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy the rest of the stops.

Click here to get back to the main page and rafflecopter giveaway.

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