There has been one word that has gone with me through life from childhood and that still has a special meaning to me even now and it is DETERMINATION!

Growing up it was a word that drove me to reach higher heights in my studies in school and to make something of myself. I was determined to make good grades and determined to get my diploma after I had some setbacks. It got me that diploma and it helped me reach many goals over the years.

My dad had always remembered the word also. He preached a few times about determination and when I went to leave for basic training in the Air Force, he told me I would make it.......just keep my determination!

It was also a word he used when I would call him throughout the years for encouragement. He would tell me.......remember your determination! I would say YES!!!! I have determination!! =)

When I was sick in March, my dad encouraged me over the phone and told me that I could make it because I have determination. When they came to visit me just a few weeks ago, he once again mentioned to me that my determination has pushed me through hard times in my life and to not forget it and not let it go!

Every time I hear the word, something swells up inside and tears come to my eyes. I remember low crawling through mud and rocks in basic training and thinking I couldn't make it but pushing through regardless and being determined and I made it through.

Just what does the word determination mean? Well, Webster's defines it as:

a : the act of deciding definitely and firmly; also : the result of such an act of decision
b : firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end

It isn't just used for life's goals. It is even greater in its context with our spiritual lives as well! We GOT to be determined to make it to Heaven! To be determined to fight and not give up! Our determination to stay right and live holy before God will ensure our destination; Heaven, to be with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Oh what a reward for determination we shall receive!! Will there be any greater thing in life to reap the rewards of? NO! The ultimate destination of determination can be Heaven IF we stay right and holdfast to the faith......never give up.......keep going on, stay DETERMINED!!!!

Save Your Money

Why buy cleaners such as Fantastic, 409, Windex, etc?? When you can make your own cleaners and get it just as clean (if not cleaner, cheaper AND safer) than buying the store cleaners. There are so many different variations of cleaner recipes but you basically just need the following items:

White vinegar
Lemon Juice
Lemon Oil (for real wood)
Baking Soda
Castile Soap (or some cheap dish soap)
Tea Tree Oil
Washing Soda
Basic soap

White vinegar and baking soda are the top items you will need to clean with. White vinegar cuts through soap scum and dirt. It is a natural deodorizer also, so while you are cleaning you are making it smell good too! ; ) You can take equal parts of vinegar and water and combine them in a spray bottle for a great everyday cleaner. Spray the counters with it and wipe surfaces.

Baking soda is also a deodorizer and a great tool for jobs that need some scouring. It is a mild abrasive, so it will clean but it won't be too harsh on surfaces. For deodorizing, sprinkle 1 cup in the bottom of your trash can! It will keep it smelling a whole lot better than before. Also keep baking soda in your fridge and freezer.......this is no secret to others I'm sure, as you can now buy the fridge/freezer boxes of baking soda in the grocery store.

Lemon juice, along with vinegar, is good for hard water deposits and soap scum. They are both acidic and that is what helps them work great!

You can really mix and match with all the products above. Most cleaning recipes can be interchanged with the different items above. Borax is like baking soda, in that it is a mild abrasive and deodorizes. With will want to use that on surfaces that can stand a hard scrubbing! Don't use it on surfaces that it will scratch!!

Take 1 tablespoon of Tea Tree Oil and pour it in 16+ oz of warm water for a disinfectant spray. The Lemon Oil would be used on real wood products to "feed" them.

Then you have the soap products.....washing soda, castile soap and basic soap. Use these in places you are going to rinse with water after you have cleaned. are probably saying.......what is the toothpaste for?? Basic, white toothpaste (not the gel kind) can do a lot! You can shine silver with it, remove crayon from walls........treat a pimple and there is MORE here.

So the next time you pick up that bottle of 409 at the store and get ready to whip out your 3 or 4 dollars a about mixing up your own batch of homemade cleaners and saving some money!!