Thanking my Husband, Even Though He Does Things “Wrong”

Thanking my Husband, Even Though He Does Things “Wrong”

Tracy Watts

Tracy Watts

Wife, mom, daughter, teacher, blogger, crafter, organizer - but most and best of all, I am a Christian. I am passionate about my family and my God. I am married to my best friend and am blessed with a one year old son who keeps me busy all the time staying at home with him. And I am glad to be in the service of our incredible and awesome God.
Tracy Watts

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My husband is a man.

And as such, he does manly things.

He likes sports and to grill out, and he enjoys wrestling, throwing, swinging, and other very physical activities with my son. He is a provider and he is a leader, albeit sometimes a quiet one.

My husband has always been happy to do things around the house–but here is where things get a little hairy.

You see, he doesn’t do household things like a woman. He does them–well, the way that a man would.

I realize this may come as a shock. My husband does not load the dishwasher like I do. He does not fold and put away the laundry like I do. He doesn’t even clean the bathroom like I do.

Is there a “right” way to chop an onion?

Well, even if it’s not the way I would cut it, it will still flavor the soup and still be able to be chewed once we eat it.

Is there a “right” way to load the dishwasher?

Well, perhaps if you didn’t put soap in it, but otherwise, the dishes will still get clean. And isn’t that the point of a dishwasher?

Is there a “right” way to fold the laundry?

Well, as long as all of us get clean underwear and towels, wasn’t that the point?

It’s easy to get into the slump of “he didn’t do it my way.” But–maybe I didn’t do it his way. And you know what? He probably didn’t complain about it. He just accepted it because it’s who I am.

Sometimes, I think we lose sight of the big picture.

Is it more important to get help around the house? To share the burden of budgeting and finances? To let someone else take a turn watching the baby?

Because I guarantee you–it won’t be done exactly how YOU would have done it. And yet, if we let go of that control, of that “need” to have things done a certain way, we may find that our lives are richly blessed. We may find it easier, in fact, to follow 1 Thessalonians 5:18:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Instead of, “Why did he load the dishes this way!” perhaps we can say, “Thank you, Lord, for giving me a husband who helps clean up supper!”

Instead of, “Why can’t he find a matching set of clothes to put on the baby!” perhaps we can say, “Thank you, Lord, for granting me time to rest while my husband made sure the baby is warm, clean, and dry.”

Instead of complaining, perhaps we can learn the not-so-easy-as-it-sounds task of saying “Thank you.” To God. To our families. To anyone around us.

And that may make all the difference.

 

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Marriage God’s Way {Book Review}

Marriage God’s Way {Book Review}

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

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I’ll never forget the first book I read about marriage. I’m sure this old book was actually wonderful. But as a newly engaged college girl, I cried through the entire thing. I felt the author described a woman I could never measure up to. I wasn’t sure I wanted to measure up to her, either.

When I was growing up, young women were encouraged to speak their minds and develop independence and leadership skills. This book told me that the only way to be a godly wife was to basically shut down every “natural instinct” I had. Suddenly my expressive personality was a sin. My independent spirit was insubordinate. What’s worse, I felt that I somehow wasn’t “womanly” enough because I didn’t fit the image of the tidy, quiet housewife. This was salt on the wounds of all my insecurities.

God Calls Women to be Submissive

Although I resisted the idea of being a submissive wife, I knew that God called women to be submissive to their husbands. Scripture gives this instruction multiple times (Ephesians 5:22-24), but I struggled to understand what that really meant.

ephesians-5_22-24

What did a verse like this mean for a girl like me? How would our marriage work with my personality more geared toward leadership, and my husband more content to go along? These verses were just because of cultural practices, right? After all, men and women are equal. The message of our culture was so ingrained in my mindset. It was very hard for me to accept and understand scriptures about what a Christian marriage should look like.

What Submission Is and Isn’t

In our culture, to submit means you are less than, weak, and taken advantage of. But perhaps we’ve mixed up “submission” with “enslavement.” Maybe submission doesn’t mean what the world thinks it means. Maybe God knew what he was doing when he designed marriage to be one loving husband leading his one submissive wife toward Christ. And, just maybe, our submission as wives isn’t an act of fear and reverence for our husband, but instead a beautiful way of honoring our God.

“A husband is to love and cherish his wife not because she is perfect, or because she treats him the way he wants to be treated. A husband loves and cherishes his wife because he loves Christ. Likewise, a wife submits to her husband not because he is a wonderful spiritual leader, or because he loves her the way she wants to be loved. A wife submits to her husband because she wants to submit to Christ.  A husband’s love and a wife’s submission is not a test of their obedience to their spouses. It is a test of their obedience to the Lord…

There will be times when a husband does not want to love his wife and a wife does not want to submit to her husband. In those moments husbands and wives can tell themselves: ‘I am doing this out of my love for Christ. I am submitting to the Lord, because of what He has done for me.’ ” – Scott LaPierre 

A New Understanding of Submission

Recently, I had the opportunity to read Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre. (I received a free copy of it in order to write this review and am sharing my unbiased thoughts about it.) I’m truly grateful the Lord brought this book into my hands. I have a much clearer understanding of what it means to be a submissive wife. I have also discovered the joy that comes in seeking God’s design. Can you believe that after hearing the mindset I was coming from? I can’t! Perhaps you’re like me, and you have wrestled with the scriptures instructing wives to be submissive. If so, I encourage you to take a look at Marriage God’s Way. Read what Scott has to say about marriage. I’ve only barely touched on the convictions that are now on my heart!

marriage-gods-way-book

In his book, LaPierre explains these scriptures very clearly. Throughout the text, he uses many examples to prove how great God’s design for marriage is. His book is packed full of scripture, explanations, and personal life experiences to show how a godly marriage should look. He takes the time to make a full circle around issues, looking at them from many perspectives. The book speaks directly to both wives and husbands, jumping back and forth so that both understand how scriptures apply.

obedience

Marriage God’s Way: A Foundational Book for Marriage

I’ve talked specifically about how this book changed my perspective of submission, but this book looks at so much more! It’s not the typical marriage book of date ideas and ways to communicate better. That type of book certainly has its place in a healthy marriage. However, those concepts can’t stand without a solid foundation. Marriage God’s Way is a foundational book for your marriage because it purely centers on what God’s word says about marriage.

Scott might step on and bruise your toes, and your spouse’s toes as well. He has a very direct way of bringing into the open a message very counter to what our culture preaches. And that is why this book is so important! Marriage God’s Way would make a great bible study tool for you and your spouse to use together. A companion workbook is also available to go through after you read the book. I’m looking forward to checking out that in the future with my husband!

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I hope you’ll consider reading Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre. You can find it on Amazon in paperback or marriage-pindigital format. Click here to watch the book’s trailer. 

 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Yay!  Back to school!  Some consider the kids’ return to school the most wonderful time of the year. If you are a homeschooling mom, you may not feel that way.  I am by no means a homeschooling expert, but I have completed over thirteen years of home educating my children.  My oldest child graduated and is off to college so I guess I am what is considered a home school veteran.  So here are some of my survival tips to get through the school year.

1.  Put God first.

I know this should go without saying, but sometimes we forget.  Start each morning by having a quiet time with the Lord.  I know it can be hard. After a sleep-deprived night, all I want to do is send my husband off to work and then crawl back into bed.  I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen asleep reading my Bible or praying in the morning.  At some point in the morning, have some time with God.  It will set the mood for the entire day.

2.  Pray without ceasing.

I do this a lot.  There are those times when one child just is not getting it and the baby is screaming and another child is literally climbing the walls (Yes, my children climbed the hallway walls).  All you want to do is run away.  That is when you need to pray.  God gives us what we need if we ask.  All we have to do is take a deep breath and give it over to Him.

3.  Get organized.

I’m not talking about daily routines.  I’m talking about taking time away from everything and spending that time planning the upcoming school year.  You can go over material and familiarize yourself with it.  I have previously done this with a group of friends for a weekend.  We shared ideas and discussed materials.  I also have friends who have gone to a hotel for the weekend. If you do not feel that you can do this, home school conventions are great for getting away just for a little while.  This is also a great way to recharge.

4.  Don’t get bogged down by schedules.

This does not mean throw everything that you planned out the window.  Life happens.  Many of us are in the “sandwich generation” where we take care of children and parents.  This can be the cause of many unexpected events.  If something happens or one of the children get behind, remember, we home school.  We can always “catch up” later.  Be flexible.

5.  Start the year off with something fun.

We always start the year off with baking cookies.  I know this may sound strange but I think I got the idea from a home school convention.  What we do is I pick out a recipe.  I do not help with making the cookies, but I sit in the kitchen and tell each child what to get and what to do.  They must follow directions and work together.  If anyone fails to follow directions or do their part, they do not get to eat the cookies.  This really encourages and helps with listening skills and cooperation.  This helps set the tone for the year.  If you need to do it later in the year to get them refocused (or you just want the kids to make you some cookies), then do it again.  Oh, I almost forgot the most important part–they have to clean up, too!

6.  Make time for your husband.

Sometimes we spend so much time being a mom and teacher that we forget to be a wife.  Our husbands are just that: husbands, not children.  Be there for them and support them.  Make them their favorite meal.  Listen, really listen, to what they say.  Be supportive.

7.  Take care of yourself.

As moms, we put everyone else ahead of ourselves.  It is hard for us to not take care of everything and everyone and take a moment for ourselves.  Take a bubble bath; go shopping; have lunch with a friend; read a book.  If we do not take care of ourselves, we will not be able to take care of our children.

8.  Have fun.

Spend time playing games, singing together, dancing silly, taking nature walks.  These can be fun and educational.  Education is not just working through books; it is also experience.  Anything can be educational.  Homeschooling is not school at home.  It is educating the entire child.

We must remember that we only have 18-19 years with our children and it will be gone before you know it.  Spend that time having fun.

Do you have any other tips to make back to school the most wonderful time of the year? 

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8 Reasons Not to Stress Over Dirty Dishes

8 Reasons Not to Stress Over Dirty Dishes

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

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There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heavenEcclesiastes 3_127

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

I know very few people who enjoy chores. It’s not often I hear someone say, “Cleaning toilets relaxes me,” or “I spend my ‘me time’ mopping the floors”! Every now and then I meet people who actually enjoy chores, and I admit for a short season in my life I didn’t mind them, but that season is long over! I’ve tried making chore charts time and time again. I try to hold myself accountable but I stick with them for about a week and then fall behind!

I constantly felt guilty about this until one day I realized that what kept me from my chores was usually more important than a spic-and-span home! Scripture tells us that there is a time and season for every activity under heaven. For me, the time for a clean home does not come as often as the times for other things!

So this is for all the women, wives and mommas out there who are feeling guilty for their less-than-spotless home! It’s OK!!! I give you permission to forgive yourself and be at peace.

 

8 REASONS NOT TO STRESS OVER DIRTY DISHES
1. You are having quiet time with the Lord.

Be it thoughtful meditation, time in your prayer journal, reading inspirational articles, or a full on bible story–this is more important. 

 

2. You are playing with your children.

Oh, the time to play with our kids is short. Don’t feel guilty about one single chore undone when you are playing with your kids. This is more important. 

 

3. You are serving others. 

Have you ever had someone drop everything they were doing to come and help you? It a beautiful way to show Christ’s love. Who cares if the breakfast skillet has to wait until the next day? This is more important.

 

4. You are going to church or a church activity. 

Hmm…chores or worshiping God?? If you need help with this one I encourage you to look up the story of Mary and Martha. Church gatherings are a wonderful blessing. This is more important. 

 

5. You are earning money for your family. 

I grew up with a hard-working mom and I know how difficult it can be to juggle work among all the other aspects of life. You are providing for your family–don’t feel guilty if the laundry is piling up. This is more important. 

 

6. You are staying home to take care of or homeschool your kids. 

This sort of goes with #2. Some might think that because you stay home all day it would be easy to keep a clean home. They are very wrong. Cleaning your home with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. It just doesn’t happen very easily. Not to worry though, you are doing important work. This is more important. 

 

7. You are having time with family or friends. 

When I’m ninety years old, I want my mind to be full of memories spent with the people I love. I honestly don’t think I’ll care if my house was kept perfectly. So chores can wait–go and make happy memories! This is more important. 

 

8. You are having personal time. 

Everyone needs time to decompress. If mopping the floor and doing the dishes relaxes you then go for it! But for the rest of us: don’t feel guilty for taking a moment to read, check Facebook, exercise, or hop in a long bubble bath. You will feel happier doing your chores if you are also making time for yourself. Now, I know it’s easier to relax in a clean house. So try to keep one area clear of clutter where you go to escape and the other chores can wait. This is more important! 

I constantly felt guilty until one day I realized that what kept me from my chores was usually more important than a spick and span home!

I know this isn’t for everyone, however, if you feel yourself stressed over chores I hope you will go over this list and find room for grace. I’ve found that it helps me to prioritize the chores that are most important to me. Focus on those and save the other stuff until it’s noticeably needed or company is coming. I spend my days caring for my toddler, finding time with Jesus, having fun with my husband, and serving my church family. I don’t mind if there are crumbs on my floor or if the dishes have piled up because I am living a happy and full life. There is a time for everything, my friends!

What are your favorite ways to spend your time? 

8 Reasons to Not Stress Over Dirty Dishes

 

 

The Dark Day and the Emerging Light: The Day I Found out about My Husband’s Porn Addiction

The Dark Day and the Emerging Light: The Day I Found out about My Husband’s Porn Addiction

We stood there on opposite sides of the garage staring each other down. Letting the question hang there. Knowing the next few words from his mouth could–no, would–change everything.

In that moment, I doubted why I had asked. He hadn’t given me reason to question him. Yet after conversations with two friends struggling through their own answers to this question, I felt like I had to ask.

I had fasted, and I had prayed.

I thought I was ready for whatever his answer would be.

After all, I loved and respected this man. For better or for worse, I had promised to love this man.

As the words came, I crumbled. I was a mess of a woman on that cold concrete floor. I wasn’t ready for this.

“I mean, if I can’t handle it, I’ll tell you,” he said. Then I knew–he hadn’t been faithful to me.

Some will say, “It’s just with his eyes.” To me it was everything. No one had ever hurt me so deeply. No one had ever betrayed me to that level. I had never let anyone in that close before him. It was out of nowhere. I was lost and broken, gasping for air.

He knew how much I hated pornography. My heart ached for sex-trafficked victims, and he knew that. He knew the broken woman I once was and how close I had been to becoming one of those women myself.

He had hurt me, yes, but he also made me sick.

This man was the father to my children. This man who had studied the Bible with me, who had prayed with me, who had loved me was, all the while, sinning against me and our vows. He had lusted after other women. He had done this in our home, on his phone, and on our television.

I hated him.

Now, I hated all of those things. Looking at them reminded me of his betrayal. He came to me, crumpled on the garage floor.

I cringed at his touch.

We sat there for what felt like forever.

Finally I asked, “Where do we go from here?”

Equipped through God’s Grace

That night, neither of us had any idea what the next two years would look like. By his grace, God equipped me to love my husband through this dark time in our marriage. God’s grace has given him strength to fight the desire of his flesh, seek accountability, and submit himself to boundaries that are at times frustrating.

We have both learned a lot in the past two years. I’ve learned a lot about grace, God, and walking in this gift of marriage.

Lessons Learned

Here are a few of my take-aways from this dark and painful time. I hope these lessons I’ve learned will bless any other woman walking through a similar battlefield.

1) Be in the Word.

When all this happened, I was just finishing Beth Moore’s study on James. I know without a doubt that had I not been deep in the Word of God for weeks leading up to this, my faith would have faltered even more.

I had memorized more scripture than I ever had before. Without it I was lost.

I’m not saying I never doubted God’s plan. I’m not saying I never questioned the purpose of this life we are living together.  I am saying knowing and relying on scripture is one of the few things that helped me get out of bed every morning.

These verses in particular, which I had memorized weeks before, anchored my storm-tossed mind and soul.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

 

James 1:2-4

Most days I did not find this trial to be pure joy, but God’s Word encouraged me to see the joy in the situation.

Another verse, which I often pray I will be able to say before the Lord one day, came back to me over and over.  

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. 

 

2 Timothy 4:7

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2) God is faithful.

I doubted He was there with me. I doubted where He had been as my husband walked down this road to destruction.

But He was there.

He was there, grieving with us. He was there, prompting my husband to walk away from the computer. On the days, weeks, and months that my husband did not betray me, God was there, giving him strength.

Again, the words of James were aptly timed for just this moment in my life. These words helped me to reconcile our sinful temptations with the Lord who walks with us by His Holy Spirit.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, not does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.

 

James 1:13-15

3) This wasn’t about me.

Let me say it again: this isn’t about me!

It hurt me, it broke me, it made me grow. It made me stronger, but in the end, it was about my husband, his experiences, and his personal struggle with sin. 

This was the most difficult lesson. One I still have to be reminded of regularly. This was my opportunity to be gracious, to be an example of mercy to my husband.

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.

 

James 2:12-13

Mercy triumphs over judgement! That brings me to my next lesson.

4) I can’t do this alone.

Jesus Christ didn’t come to earth and disciple one man. He discipled many, and established a church. We need the church in our brokenness. I’m not saying go out and shout your husband’s sin from the pulpit. I am saying wisely and prayerfully seek out one or two women to encourage you during this season. You will be amazed at the women God brings to you. These women will love you when you hurt and encourage you to be Christ-like when you don’t want to be Christ-like anymore. Women who will pray with you, cry with you, check in on you, and just be with you.

Is any of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise…and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

 

James 5:13, 15-16

5) Lastly, and most importantly, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, not my husband. 

I had him on a pedestal. His desire, love, and admiration fueled me. After almost ten years of marriage, I had forgotten that my value and purpose is from the Lord. None of us are perfect–not my husband, and definitely not me.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking it all.

 

James 2:10

My husband can’t save me and I can’t save him. Jesus Christ took care of that almost 2,000 years ago.

There are still days I fight to control the images and thoughts in my mind. There are days I just want to cry in my best friend’s arms, and I hate that the one who comforts me is also the one who hurt me.

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Satan Seeks to Destroy Marriages

Sin is gross. It hurts. Sin is dark.

Sexual sin destroys trust beyond comprehension.

Satan is prowling like a lion seeking to devour each and every one of our marriages. He is seeking to destroy the most intimate and grace-filled institution that represents Christ’s love for us. 

Be on guard. Stay in the Word. Devote yourself to prayer. And…

…put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

 

Ephesians 6:13 (emphasis added)

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Looking Forward in Marriage: Retirement

Looking Forward in Marriage: Retirement

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Together through Almost Everything

My husband and I have been married for almost twenty-six years.  During that time, we have been through so much.  We have been together through most everything listed in our wedding vows.  God has brought us through good and bad times.  At this point in our lives, our oldest child has completed his second year in college, and our middle child will be a senior in the fall.  Our youngest will be a high school sophomore.  So now we are looking to our future.  We recently started discussing what I would do after our children graduated.

I have been a stay at home/homeschooling mom for almost twenty years.  The thought of going back into corporate America does not exactly set well with me.  When I was in college, I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I changed my major numerous times, finally settling on one because if I changed again it would take me longer to graduate.

What Will I Be When I Grow Up?

Once I got my degree and started a career, I was never truly satisfied with my job situation.  (Now, I can see God’s hand in this.)  The position and money was never good enough.  I always felt like something was missing, and it was not until we had our first child that I finally knew what I wanted to be: a mom.  Now, I am looking back at square one. What do I want to be when I grow up? Or rather, what do I want to do when the kids are grown and gone?

My husband and I recently discussed this.  He asked me if I planned to go back to work when the kids graduated.  I had been thinking about it and really could not decide what I wanted to do, even with prayer.  I could not discern if it was God telling me or just my feelings of what I wanted.  The more we discussed it, the more I knew.  I decided that I want to retire!  I am serious!  My husband is six years older than I am.  By the time our youngest graduates, my husband will be just a few years from retirement.  He would like me to retire when he does, so for now that is our plan.

we-have-learned-through-the-years-to-always-listen-for-what-god-wants-us-to-do

Looking Forward to Retirement

We have been discussing what we want in our retirement, and we agreed we wanted to travel.  So for now, that seems to be our plan. Hopefully our plan will agree with God’s plan for our lives, too.  We have learned through the years to always listen for what God wants us to do. I am sure we will continue to discuss this, pray, and change our minds, but right now traveling sounds good and corporate America does not.

What are your plans for retirement?

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