arils & castles

Welcome to arils and castles,

My introverted nature would prefer anonymity and my adventurous side would amuse myself immensely by assuming a pseudo-mysterious, online ghostwriter persona.  However, since this space is about living authentically in Christ, let me introduce myself.

My name is Nicole and I want to warmly welcome you to arils and castles.

Life is shared together with Kenneth, my husband - who I have the honour of working with side by side together in worship ministry.

By day, I also work for a non-profit organization that shares my passion to to advance career-specific college education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Despite working in church ministry and various leadership roles over the years I still found myself struggling to live aware of the love and joy of Christ in my life.

So I sat down in prayer to compose a rule of life to create space to intentionally seek, discover, and document the unfolding of the Beloved in order to learn to live joyfully awake in Christ.

So what does that have to do with arils and castles?

First of all, I confess that I happen to be slightly addicted to arils, which is the name for those brilliantly hidden ruby seeds of the pomegranate.  I eat them like candy!  It became sort of a running joke when my husband began to notice that I would find a way to have these seeds appear in almost every dish I made...sweet, savoury, mains, salads, name it.

It is also my quirky sense of humour since my maiden name is actually Castle...go figure.  

Hence, arils and castles seemed like a natural fit and the title was born!

For those of you who would prefer a more spiritual reason than that for the title of this blog, here you go...

Have you ever eaten a pomegranate?

Well, it is a messy process that takes patience and time to uncover every one of the sparkling scarlet gems hidden inside.  I still have not figured out how to dive into this fruit without the juice exploding on the backsplash, window-sill, and my clothes!           

When you finally get to taste the beautifully sweet and slightly tart arils of goodness, however, it is all worth the effort.

This is much like our own spiritual walk where it can seem painstakingly arduous and messy at times.  Yet, as we discover the layers of hidden treasures of Christ, we savour His goodness.

The seeds remind me that I have to be intentional with what I plant and cultivate in my own interior castle, as well as what seeds I sow in the lives of those around me.
Besides being a current trendy superfood, this esteemed fruit also happens to have royal and Biblical renown.

The pomegranate is the fruit that the spies bring back from Canaan to show Moses the richness of the promised land (Numbers 13).  The regal pomegranate was also chosen as the design for the front pillars of the temple (Jeremiah 52:22) as well as around the hem of the priestly garments (Exodus 28:34).

I think it is safe to say that God is fairly fond of the pomegranate.

In an article by Nancy Haught, A Pomegranate For All Religions, (Religious News Service) she refers to the paintings of Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci where the revealed seeds of the open pomegranate are said to represent the death and resurrected life of Christ bursting forth.  

How incredible is that?

Just take that in for a moment of what it would mean to live each day with the fullness of Christ bursting forth from within us! 

Teresa of Ávila speaks to this in her spiritual classic, The Interior Castle. Teresa uses the various rooms of a castle to represent the place where the life of prayer, virtue, and beauty transform the soul and draw us nearer to God.  

It is my prayer that arils and castles will be a sacred, intentional space to savour God's goodness together and awaken our interior castles to experience the fullness of His Presence bursting forth.  

If you want to walk this Camino with me I would love to personally hear from you.   Leave a comment or enter your email for us to encourage one another along the way.

Please grab a cup of tea, stay a while and make this castle your home.

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  1. Love what you are startind and excited to journey through your blog with you ��

  2. Thanks Chrissie - I am grateful for friends like you where we can share our lives in Christ together. Thanks for being a blessing in my life!

  3. Wow....I never knew the significance of the pomegranate from a biblical perceptive. I've read all your articles so far and enjoying every bit of them. I'm excited to start this journey. Thanks for inviting me along

  4. I know ... don't you just love the pomegranate even more!!!

    Thank you Sarah for taking time here and I am honoured and so excited to have you join together on this journey in Him.


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