A Look Back on 2017

If someone would have told me this year would hold all it did, I wouldn't have believed them.  I had no idea what my phrase at the beginning of this year would really mean.  My phrase was, "Let It Go and Embrace the New!"  It is amazing to re-read the post I wrote at the beginning of the year that I received in prayer and look at how well it fits the past year.

There were so many things that my family and I let go of and so many new things we embraced as new.  We truly experienced a powerful newness to our life.

God told my husband to go a different route with our life and we did and God really has been showing us we have a future doing a work for Him.  There is no longer a ceiling above us saying we can't do anything, if anything, God is finally unlimited in what He can do.  Do whatever God tells you to do, follow His Voice and you will find He opens doors, provides and does all manner of miracles as you walk in faith!

We also had some challenges this year, one was my husband losing his job due to company cuts.  However, my husband said, that is ok, God will open another door and put applications in and was going to a lot of interviews.  Then, he finds out management at his job, along with other top people that knew him, said they can't let him go.  They got a lawyer involved and found a workaround with the union to keep my husband's job.  Not only that but he got moved to a new position and making more.

At the beginning of this year, I was finally able to face my fear and sing in front of people thanks to our previous Pastor here.  He helped me in more ways than any Pastor I ever had by putting confidence in me.  I'm forever grateful for what he did for me.  The first song that I sang was, "I'm no Longer a Slave to Fear."  It was powerful and I wasn't even nervous!  It was a major victory for me to break through my insecurities and just be who I am.

We also traveled a lot, putting about 20K miles on our car this year.  We made new friends, went to revivals, youth events for our daughter and visited family.

We have experienced a lot of growth this year in our faith in God, standing in God and becoming aware of our destiny in God.  It was truly a year of letting go and embracing the new.  What a year!

I will leave you with the song that started my freedom in January, I sang this version of it:

Marriage 101 - Divorce and Remarriage

I'm not going to get into a war of the scriptures on this topic, as I believe, as with all things, there are some things that are the exception to the rule.  I also believe that God can allow whatever He will when He sees fit for each circumstance.  No one knows what goes on in a marriage, save the ones in it and God.  You have to be VERY careful when you make blanket judgements in this area.  I for one, believe it is solely between the individuals involved (husband and wife) and GOD - no one else.

Some possible exceptions:

  • Abuse from spouse - if the women (or man in rare cases) is being abused by the husband, I do not believe God would force this women to stay married to such a man, nor do I think she is doomed to a life of singleness if she leaves him.
  • Abuse of children - if the spouse is abusing the children, the other spouse should take the children away and protect them.  You can't tell me that God would make a woman stay with a man that is molesting his/her child!  You have to be pretty sick to believe that.
  • Arranged Marriages - this isn't common in our country but I do know people who were coerced into marrying someone they didn't want to.  I personally don't feel that the marriage is valid.  Things like this can happen in religious cults of all kinds or certain cultures.  I definitely do not feel that a child being "married" to an older man against her will (or even because she isn't old enough to understand what she is doing) is valid either.  These type of marriages are made out of control, manipulation or force.  How can they be valid?
  • Desertion - this is where a spouse leaves you or abandons you.  This could possibly include other things as well that indicate a spouse has deserted you.  There are those that you can not live peaceably with and it can cause you to even die emotionally, spiritually and shows up in the physical body.  I've heard from some Pastors that you can be "deserted" in these ways by a spouse.
  • Fornication/Adultery - most people believe you are free from your vow of marriage if the other commits sexual sin against you.  However, this also includes the mere thoughts as well, as Jesus Himself let the self-righteous Pharisees realize that lustful thoughts are also adultery. (Matt. 5:28)  Pornography is adultery (as well as covetousness and idolatry), as is lusting after someone who isn't your spouse.  There wouldn't be so many condemners of adultery and divorce if the self-righteous Pharisees realized their "private" adulterous thoughts are also guilty of the same.  I've found the men most vehement about those who commit adultery, are the very ones guilty of it in their minds.  Jesus realized that as well!  Who can really cast the stone!? (John 8:7)

What it all comes down to is that if it is a "sin" to divorce or even a "sin" to remarry - it is a good thing that God is in the business of forgiving sin!  There is only one sin that is unforgivable and that is the blaspheming of the Holy Ghost.  (Mark 3:29)

Why is it ok and "better to marry than to burn" when you are single but if you are divorced, you must burn away till you die?  No wonder people commit fornication. (1 Cor. 7:9)

YOU must stand before God and give account for YOUR life
.  Your marriage, divorce and/or remarriage is between you and God, and you and God only.

Don't take other's condemnation to be the judge of your life and also don't even take other's acceptance to be the judge - judge yourself.

* Each spouse has a duty to the other and gross neglect could be considered a break in the vow. Love and forgiveness can keep couples together but when the other spouse isn't willing to change after knowing what they are doing is abusive or not fulfilling their duty, we enter new territory which the Bible doesn't include - that, along with numerous other exceptions to other topics, are not included in the Bible because if it was, it would be over 10,000 pages long!

Marriage 101 - Loving Your Husband - Emotional Needs

We have discussed in Part 1 - Sexual Needs and in Part 2 - Psychological Needs.  We will now move to the last of the three biggest needs men have - Emotional Needs.

Emotional Needs

Believe it or not, men have emotions!  Now, they may not be as evident as women because we truly received more of God's nature in the emotional department, while men received more of the stability.  However, men still need their emotional needs met and it is crucial that they be met.

Let's list a few of the major emotional needs:

  • Affection
  • Encouragement
  • Companionship
  • Respect
  • Intimacy

Men need affection and touch.  Some grew up in homes where affection was not given and they may not even know they need it but they will soon realize how much they needed it, once they start receiving it.  Wives be affectionate towards your husband!  Don't push him away when he comes to you for affection.  Rejection hurts but it really hurts when it comes from someone that should love you more than anyone.  There are many ways you can be affectionate to your husband besides the obvious touching, of which can be found by simply Googling.

Men need encouragement.  Life is hard and working on a job can be even harder and one that wives forget about when they have been homemakers.  When your husband comes home from work, offer him encouragement.  He will, more than likely, need it, as he has been around the ungodly all day in most cases.  My husband has remarked many times in the past of how he loves to come home to a Godly household, one that is a refuge from the world.  If you are constantly discouraging your husband, you could be destroying his spirit and emotions even further than what he already faces.

Men need companionship.  He married you, not just for sex, but also for companionship.  It isn't fun to be alone and it is better when you have two!  Be that companion for him.  Join in activities with him.  Go out with him and enjoy things together.  Stay home and be his companion just enjoying time together hanging out on the couch.

Men need respect.  This is probably the one he feels he needs the most.  A lot of feminists will not respect men at all and if they ever do, they will demand that he "earn" the respect.  God has quite a different take on this:

Ephesians 5:33
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Barnes commentary on reverencing the husband:

The word rendered “reverence,” is that which usually denotes “fear” - φοβῆται  phobētai. She is to fear; i. e., to honor, respect, obey the will of her husband. It is, of course, not implied that it is not also her duty to love her husband, but that there should be no usurping of authority; no disregard of the arrangement which God has made; and that order and peace should be secured in a family by regarding the husband as the source of law.

A woman that disrespects her husband on a normal basis will wound her husband.  With respect, he can do so much that he was made by God to do, without it, he will find it difficult.

Men need intimacy.  Most people just think intimacy is sex but it isn't, it is a feeling of being connected to one another.  Men want their wives to know them, who they are and be in to them.  Think of being very close to one another in an emotional sense.  You can feel his very soul and you know who he really is deep, down inside.

A quote from Focus on the Family:

Real intimacy makes us feel alive like we've been found, as if someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there. Until then, until we experience true intimacy, we will feel passed over and ignored, like someone is looking right through us.

I think you can get a good picture of what a man needs emotionally based upon the above description of some of his needs.  This isn't all the needs of men of course but I chose the ones I thought most important for wives to make sure they meet.

I think Barnes' commentary sums it all up nicely:

A wife may easily alienate the affections of her partner in life. If she is irritable and fault-finding; if none of his ways please her; if she takes no interest in his plans, and in what he does; if she forsakes her home when she should he there, and seeks happiness abroad; or if, at home, she never greets him with a smile; if she is wasteful of his earnings, and extravagant in her habits, it will be impossible to prevent the effects of such a course of life on his mind.

Marriage 101 - Loving Your Husband - Psychological Needs

You can read, Part 1 Sexual Needs here.  Now, I'm going to move on to the second need a man has and needs from his wife; Psychological Needs.

Psychological Needs

Men need admiration from their wives.  They need moral support.  They need you to be their biggest cheerleader.  They need to know you are in THEIR corner.  They need to know you are on THEIR side.  They need what God said they needed - a help meet.

Genesis 2:18
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

A lot of women will gossip about their husbands to other women.  They will also ridicule him or put him down in public.  They are his biggest enemy, if truth be told.  They are not in his corner and definitely not on his side.  I've known women that are only proud of their husbands when it makes them look good.  They are selfish and not a help-meet at all.

If everyone is against him and he can't count on you either, then you are not being a help meet, much less a wife

Men need that companionship, as God Himself said it wasn't good that man be alone, he needs you!  You should constantly be looking and praying for ways that you can be a better help meet to your husband.  You should constantly be looking for ways to serve him and help him be able to conquer the world.

Proverbs 31:12
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 

Your ultimate goal in marriage should be to fulfill your duty as a loving wife and be that help meet that he so desperately needs, so that he can be what he should be.  Make it a point to never ridicule him in public or gossip about him to others.  Guard his name and his reputation with honor from your lips.  Take an interest in what he does and admire him for it and who he is.  Praise him for his manhood because men love this.  I always made a big deal when my husband kills a bug in the house acting like a damsel in distress and he puffs out his chest and says, "Move away my fair maiden, I've got this."  It is hilarious but in all seriousness, men need to be complimented on their manliness!  Men need their ego boosted by their wives and it is a healthy form of pride in themselves.  You should make them feel like they are truly your hero.

Part 3 - Emotional Needs

Marriage 101 - Loving Your Husband - Sexual Needs

I'm embarking on a new series concerning marriage.  It is much needed, and most especially in the Christian church today.  Men and women have forgotten what marriage is, how it should operate, what is needed and how to keep it.  I will be covering the husband, the wife and divorce and remarriage.  This has been on my mind since earlier this year and I pray it will be a blessing to you.

Loving Your Husband

This is comprised partly, of my opinion, based on my experience(s), combined with the Bible and psychological studies over the years.  I believe there are 3 extremely important areas of a man that must be met by his wife:

  1. Sexual needs
  2. Psychological needs
  3. Emotional needs

Sexual Needs

I put this number one because it truly is men's number one need.  There are feminists out there that want to deny this.  There are Christian "experts" who want to say it isn't a "need".  However, I will step out and say it is NUMERO UNO to most normal men.  A man by nature has been given a sexual drive that far surpasses the female in most (not all) cases.  It is something that can only be suppressed for so long. 

The wife does not own her body, the husband does.  I hear some of you wagging your finger in the air saying that ain't so, but lets see what God said:

1 Corinthians 7:4
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband:...

Your husband should be able to enjoy you when he wants.  He shouldn't have to beg for it.  He shouldn't be denied it.  He shouldn't be put off to another time.  You should freely meet his sexual needs as often as he would like.  I know that I just upset a whole lot of women but this is really how it should be.  Our society is made up of feminists who think men have to beg for it, be denied it, earn it, work for it, etc.  That is cruel knowing that your husband's greatest need as a man is his need to be fulfilled sexually.  There are times that you can both agree to abstain for a time due to extraordinary circumstances.  I would think this would be things like surgery, sickness, moving, etc.  However, if you have a headache every time he wants it, you need to rethink your true motives toward these "illnesses" that put him off.

1 Corinthians 7:5

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 

If you defraud your husband - you will reap the consequences!  You can't deprive him of affection and expect him to feel good towards you.  I knew many women in recent years, yes Christian women, who would brag about not letting their husbands have it unless he did this or that.  I remember being disgusted at hearing them talk to one another and laugh as if it was some sort of a game.  I was thinking of their husbands and how horrible it was probably for them to endure deprivation in such a manner and also to remain pure before God and resist temptation.  These wives put their husbands in a situation that made him weak to fight off temptation.  I personally believe that they are partly, if not more so, responsible for the husband's infidelity, if he did get to that point due to his wife's defraudment.

I know this flies in the face of society and our culture but it should be the normal teaching in the Christian world.  If you truly LOVE your husband, it will not be an issue to meet his greatest need.  To not meet it, is to not love him.  You are his partner in life and you should be the one that does all you can to help him resist all that is around him.  Everywhere men turn there are women showing themselves off.  He already fights this daily and if you neglect your duty, you make it even harder for him to resist lust.  He has a hard enough time and you are supposed to be his cherished love - act like it!  If you don't love him, believe me, someone else will.

Being a Christian is a life of self-denial, being a sinner is a life of selfishness.  Wives, you have to deny yourself sometimes when your husband needs it and you don't feel like it.  Feminists want to be selfish and hold it over their husband's heads, as if they have the power.  This should not be so among Christian wives.

My husband has said he has never lusted after another woman than me in our entire marriage of almost 18 years.  He hasn't even entertained the thought.  There is a reason for that, besides simply being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and a man of high character, - his wife meets his needs.

Disclaimer: I know there are even Christian men, who will have wives that meet their needs and still lust, view pornography (which is adultery) and commit acts of infidelity.  These men have become unbridled somewhere along the way and allowed their thoughts to be uncontrolled.  That is not the wife's fault!  I also believe if a man wants it 5 times a day, he needs to gain control of himself.  You can't expect the wife to fulfill her duty past the point of physical harm in such cases.  This would be something one should seek a medical solution to, to lower the sex drive.

Part 2 - Psychological Needs

Why We Bought a Home - Without Seeing It

After we became debt-free in 2011, our goal was to not buy a home until we had a good amount to put down and we had a fully-funded 6 month emergency fund.  Well, you long-time readers know my story, it was medical situation after medical situation for several years.  By 2016, we had rented for 16 years and we had nothing to show for it.  Thankfully we had good landlords who liked us and they kept our rent very cheap the whole 9 years we lived in our last place; a mobile home.  There just wasn't a time we could save up money for this elusive down-payment.  I even called Dave Ramsey and you know what he said - No way, keep renting till you get there.

Sorry Dave, but we decided to go forward and buy a home after much prayer.  The rent in the area we were moving to in Ohio for a 3 bedroom in a decent area, was just too much and would have put us in a situation of no savings.  We needed something that was 25% of our income for all that the housing entailed and housing prices were very affordable compared to rent.  We got a very low-interest rate and no down-payment thanks to being veterans.  I'm glad we did buy because now we have our mortgage locked in for 30 years and we are only using 25% of our income for housing costs (including taxes/insurance) and we can build everything else around that.  I think was the smartest thing we ever did!  I wish we hadn't waited so long to do so and just took the plunge.

We are fixing up all the regular maintenance issues that come up and it is still proving to be better than renting for us.  One thing I highly recommend to any homeowner is American Home Shield home warranty.  They have been awesome and fixed whatever came up with our older appliances.  We have the full plan that covers just about everything (HVAC, plumbing, appliances, electrical, etc.) and it is something that a home inspector we knew in WA, that was a pro, even has for his home.  Other than that, we are paying an extermination company to come 4 times a year, as we live across from a lake and have a few more insects than we care for.  We are learning to DIY with a lot of things that have come up.

You have to have a place to live and God will provide!  You either owe the landlord or you owe the bank.  With the landlord, you have nothing left to show after your years of payments.  With the bank, you will eventually own the home yourself or at least be able to sell it for the equity you have in it.

We actually bought our home without even seeing it!  The first time we saw it was when we pulled up before we went to sign the papers.  It was everything I had hoped for and more actually.  God just knows how to pick 'em!  My husband decided to heed the Holy Spirit and go to this city that God gave him in prayer 3 years prior one night.  It was the next morning after that, that this house was listed for sale.  It was in the area I got in prayer from the Lord and it had everything on my "wish" list.  It was in a perfect neighborhood too.  There was no need to go check it out.  When you go on faith - you BELIEVE and God delivers!

We didn't even have all the money to move and take care of what we needed to but FAITH got us there.  And just like that - God gave us all the money we spent for our move back.  I sit back and look over this past year and think - HOW!?  Then, I hear God say - according to YOUR FAITH!

Garage - Home Tour Photos

This is our first time ever having a garage and I'm amazed how much stuff we have accumulated.  A friend said God touched his heart to build us shelves in our garage when we first moved here.  It was a blessing and all we had to pay for was the materials.  I don't know where everything would have went without these shelves!  He also built in some areas to hang the weed-eater, shovel, ladder, etc.

Here they are when they were first built:

Then, what our garage looked like with what was left to store:

I did the best I could with what I had.  One of the white cabinets is food storage and the other is art/craft/school supplies.  We have a lot of board games and they got their own bookcase.  Then, we have food storage and other items we stock up on as we can.  I also have bins full of my "skinny" clothes that hopefully I will be back in this coming year.  Then, the outside toys, yard tools, etc.  My son likes to play in the garage a lot and it is nice and cool because the garage doors are insulated, which was a bonus that was included with our home.  Then there is all the homeschool-related stuff - and it is a LOT!  We have been saving everything for our son and I'm so glad I did.

A lot of this still out with no where to go, is to sell or throw away.  I haven't finished everything but here is what we have so far.  The shelves are full as you can see.  You can see the garage floor! 

My Kitchen - Home Tour Photos

I haven't really showed many pictures of our new house and it has almost been a year (in 2 weeks) since we bought it.  This is the first house we have bought, as we had rented for 16 years.  It truly is a blessing!  I kept waiting to get my kitchen just right for photos but I gave up on that, this is good enough.

I've always wanted white cabinets but most houses we had seen, had brown or pine cabinets.  I thought I would have to settle but then we found this house and the cabinets were white!  They were originally pine but the previous owner painted them white.  I also love the gray counter-tops and the white sink that is deep and I think it is ceramic.  I also love being at the sink and being able to see outside or into the living area.

There was nothing on this wall and we needed a pantry of some kind in the kitchen, so we put a white cabinet with doors and then a microwave cart that we are using for other things since our microwave is built-in over the stove.  One day, I want something built-in here for food.  We keep our long-term food storage in the garage. 

The fridge is a big one and I love how the freezer is on the bottom and it has a lot of room and a pull-out drawer. 

One of my favorite things is the cabinets and drawers.  The cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling and I can store a lot of things.  I actually have a few cabinets empty because of all the space.  Then, the drawers - oh my!!  These are some of the biggest drawers I've ever had or seen and they roll out and in very smoothly, not sure if there is a special kind of drawer but different than any I've had.

We had our water tested before we bought the house and found that it was hard water but also very high in copper.  I did my research and decided it wasn't something I wanted to drink without filtering out.  We got a Berkey and it has been great and the water tastes SO good from it!  Even friends comment on how good the water tastes.  Definitely worth the purchase.

Our Perceptions vs. God's Omniscience

I've prayed in earnest over the years in various situations with various people for what I (or they) perceived that they needed.  However, in many of those situations, I learned that my perceptions are not always right as I saw what happened when God answered my prayers.  I learned that God's omniscience surpasses our human capacity of perception.

Let me give you some examples of what I'm talking about.  One situation was where I prayed and asked God to bless someone monetarily for the years they went without for the cause of the gospel.  I really sorrowed over this person's financial state of extreme debt and I thought money was the answer.  However, upon God answering my prayer and this person coming into large sums of money (more than once!), they didn't use it to pay off their debt, they spent it and then went on vacations, etc.  I was so mad!  I was thinking how could they just ignore God's blessings like that (and more than once!) and not free themselves from their debt?  Then it hit me - God knew that money wasn't the answer to their problem.  Their problem wasn't a lack of money.  Their problem was a spirit of debt, greed, etc.  God showed me that I should have prayed for them to be free from the spirit of debt and greed instead.

Be careful when you pray for others.  Be careful what you perceive to be the answer for them.  Really stop and pray and wait on God to give you the wisdom on what to pray.  I've had people ask me to pray for something specific but I felt the Holy Spirit letting me know that wasn't what they needed or what they needed to be praying.  I try not to agree to their demands of specific prayer but rather tell them I will pray what God leads me to pray.  Here are some examples to help guide you in this process:

  1. Praying for money for someone - be sure money is the solution!  Do they have a spirit of greed or debt?  If so, pray for their deliverance of these spirits.  Do they have a problem handling their finances?  Pray God gives them the ability and wisdom to handle their finances.  Are their money problems because they have a bag of holes because they are seeking after money more than God?  Pray they return to their first love and put God first.
  2. Praying for a bodily or physical need - will healing truly heal them?  If they are wanting healing of structural or muscular issues, do they have a problem with laziness or not moving much that will still be there after healing?  If so, pray for the spirit of laziness to be removed and for God to give them the ability and desire to get up and move around more AND for them to be healed.  That way, when they are healed, they will also not continue in the same mindset as before that got them there.  A lot of our bodily and physical issues are from our own making.  We can pray for healing and God WILL heal us (He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities) but if we want long-lasting deliverance, we must pray for what caused it in the first place.  This is but one example.
  3. Praying for someone to get a specific job/position - Be very careful with this one!  Is this the job or position that is right for this individual?  Is this truly what God's will for them is?  Seek God in how to pray for this situation.  I've known situations that if the person had gotten the job that they sought after, it would have ruined them.  I've also known those who did so and got the job or position, and it did, indeed, ruin them - sometimes in God and sometimes in other ways as well.  So many men are led away by this and it is combined with the spirit of the pride of life and even greed in some cases.  I liked what my husband prayed this year when he got laid off due to company cutbacks.  He prayed for God to close every door of the other companies he was applying for, if it wasn't what God wanted for him.  Not only did God close the doors but He busted open the closed door at my husband's job and (long story) after a lawyer got involved with a workaround with the union, they saved my husband's job and he is still there today.  Thank God for a man that knows how to pray correctly!
  4. Praying for someone to get away from someone else - this is quite common believe it or not.  I hear it a lot: "Pray for me that I can get a different desk at work to get away from this person that is making me angry and/or causing me problems."  Is it truly the other person that is the problem?  If it was, then you moving away should solve it.  However, that is not the case a lot of the times, you just find another person that bothers you just as much, if not more.  Rather, let us pray that this person be delivered from their irritableness, lack of long-suffering, anger and/or becomes easily intreated, but in most cases the deliverance prayer needs to be that of - from pride.  There are some cases where it is best to get away from someone when the above things are not a problem with the person involved.
  5. Praying for someone's child and their behavior issues - Most, if not all, behavior issues from children are because of the parent.  Behavior issues in children sometimes stem from a lack of attention from the parents, especially and most importantly, from the mother.  Many adults are walking around with mother-hunger because their mothers were not there for them - physically, emotionally or psychologically.  It is a need that MUST be met in all of us and if not, we will be prone to addictions in adult life, seeking after what only our mothers could have given us.  So - check yourself as a mother.  When I get asked this from women, I usually pray for the mother unless I'm impressioned by the Holy Ghost to pray for the child.  Another cause of behavior issues in children is not enough sleep.  Other causes of behavior issues in children could be abuse, demonic spirits or medical issues.

I could go on and on but I think you can begin to see the pattern and understanding with these examples.  The smarter we pray, the more we can help others and ourselves!  Don't let your perceptions get in the way of someone that you love and their deliverance.  Seek God and allow His omniscience to guide you into how to pray for others.

Update: Life in Ohio

We are one month away from having lived in Ohio for a year.  I have to say that the newness has not worn off, I still love it here!  This is by far my favorite place that I have lived in my life.  God has really blessed us here.

Even though our pay was substantially lower, we are finding that the quality of life here is far more superior than in Washington state.  The income taxes are horrible here but it may be worth it because it is so beautiful here and full of life.  Did I just say that? LOL!  At least the sales tax is low and there is no tax on food.  We were able to purchase our first home before we moved here and have our first brand-new car.  I believe the time was right for us to enter into these "luxuries" and keep our debt-free lifestyle.

The kids love it here too, they are happy all the time and we never run out of things to do.  If anything, there is SO much to do in our area alone that it is overwhelming and even after a year, we haven't even touched the whole of it.  Then, there is all that is out to do just 90 minutes from here and then on - there is nothing like living in the eastern part of the US!  I was on the west coast for 18 years (Alaska and WA) and though I loved Alaska's scenery, it was horribly lonely there.  Washington was probably the worst place we have lived in my opinion, although my husband loved it but he is loving it here now possibly more than WA.

God led us in a new direction as He is showing us just what He called us to this city for, it is becoming very clear we have a purpose.  Many amazing things have happened as God opened doors to show us He is not limited in how He can use us in the future.  Our church is wonderful and the people are very loving and our oldest daughter is really growing in her walk with the Lord.  I also experienced something that I never thought I would experience in my life.  I thought that because of my past traumas in life that I would never feel like I "belong."  However, I finally feel like I belong!  It had nothing to do with my past traumas, it just had to do with being where God wants us.  I hope to blog on this very topic in the future about heeding God's voice above all and really having faith in Him.

The weather here is better than I expected.  I was thinking it would be horrible with the humidity but I've found after now living here through every season, it is not bad at all!  The humidity is hardly noticeable to me and I've only felt it "muggy" on a few days this summer.  I'm loving every season here and it is wonderful to have fall and see the leaves change - we missed that for 10 years in WA.

I think that about sums it up so far - thanking God for this city and our new life here.

Satan's Directives for Christians

  • Make sure you only post sweet, nice things on the internet, make people feel good all the time.
  • Never tell anyone what they must do or be to go to Heaven.
  • Tell everyone they are good enough as they are - no need for following those "laws" in the Bible.
  • Never take a stand for anything or you will hurt other people's feelings.
  • Don't dress modest because you may offend someone with your holier than though attire.
  • Make sure you fit in as much as possible with unbelievers or they will think you are weird and you will never reach them for Christ that way.
  • Keep your friends after you are a Christian, continue to do the same activities with them and you will win them to God.
  • Get on social media and rant and rave about how bad the left is.
  • Talk bad about other Christians who are keeping God's commandments and call them Pharisees and mock them as legalists.
  • Make sure the music you listen to is hip so you can reach others in sin.
  • Don't worry about praying to God, just let your priest tell you what to do.
  • Make sure you follow popular Christian bloggers because they have so many followers they can't be wrong.
  • Pornography doesn't count as adultery.
  • Expose your flesh with minimal clothing, you are not at fault if men lust after you.
  • Watching sin on TV is not the same as doing it, so enjoy.
  • Movies are just entertainment and have no effect on you or your children's minds.
  • Spend your time fighting for statues, flags and political issues.
  • Refuse to bake homosexuals a cake, that will teach them.
  • Give your children access to the internet at all times, better yet, give them a phone with internet and make sure they have SnapChat.
  • Ask non-Christians for advice for your life, marriage and raising your children.
  • Wear the other gender's garments, it is acceptable now because everyone is doing it and God no longer views it as an abomination - trust me, He told me so.
  • God made a mistake in your gender, so you get to pick or even be genderless. 
  • Marriage is whatever you want it to be, have at it or don't and with whoever you want.
  • Prevent children at all costs and if one gets through, just have an abortion.
  • Focus on success - career, houses, lands, cars, wealth, etc.
  • Remember - you only need to say a prayer and you can toss your Bible away because there is nothing in there that you need to do - your good to go.

Homemade Laminate Floor Cleaner

Our new home has laminate floors downstairs and I wasn't sure how to clean them.  I did a lot of research and found that you do NOT want them to get too wet and then you don't want to use certain cleaners that leave a film and create a 'haze'.  I love how this cleaner cleans and makes the floors look.  It removes all the footprints and smears and makes them shine.

1/3 of each:

Rubbing alcohol
White vinegar
Hot water

Pour into your spray bottle and turn upside down a few times to mix.  Then spray and wipe as you go.  If you don't like the smell, you can add in a drop or two of your favorite scent.

I found that using a microfiber mop works really well.  I use Rubbermaid's Reveal mop and I found it is so wide that it covers more area with one swipe than other brands.  Not only that but it has a spray bottle attached and you just pump the handle and spray and then wipe.  It also has removable cloths that easily go in the wash (I have 3).  My daughter loves cleaning the floors too because it really is easy, fun and rewarding to see the results!

Mop image from Amazon