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Flip-Flops-Combat-Boots-and-Stuff...2

I love flip-flops. I can honestly say that I feel so comfortable in a nice pair for walking or just lounging around. I love to just slip them on my feet and run errands and run in and out of the house.

My husband usually is in combat boots as a Soldier.  He also wears a lot of boots when he is not in uniform. I think that his feet are so used to the boots that they have just become his comfort.

When we married, I remember my husband’s Grandpa coming to my house to help us move my stuff to where my husband was living.  Since he was already there the Army would not move us, because we were not on his original orders.  His Grandpa about died when he saw all the stuff I had. It really didn’t seem like THAT much stuff to me LOL.  So the next day my husband, Dad, and hubby’s Grandpa loaded stuff up to move to our first place.  I was so excited!!! They moved all day and still didn’t get it all loaded or moved.  My husband’s Grandpa still couldn’t get over how much stuff I had or where was I going to put it ( I was going from a 2 story 3 bedroom house with garage to a tiny townhouse).  Somehow I knew I would make it work.  My mom came up to help unpack and I did what every sensible girl would do…. I rented a garage right there at the complex to put all the stuff that wouldn’t fit into LOL.  In 4 days I had made our house a home.  The source of “stuff” in the garage or what my husband would call “junk” was a sore spot.  I “needed” it all!!! I couldn’t part with any of it.

My husband was/is a minimalist.I'm Not.He wears combat boots.I wear flip flops. #ArmyWife #ArmyLifeClick To Tweet

When he packs to go anywhere he can roll his clothes and fit a months worth of stuff into one suitcase. I need a suitcase just for my flip-flops :).  Over the years I have learned many things and married to a Soldier is a life lesson that I truly appreciate.  We are different as night and day sometimes but God still brought us together.  Why?  To complete each other and to fill in the gaps.  After that first townhouse 14 months later we moved again and we did a DITY (do it yourself) move and my husband drug all that “stuff” to the next place and the next garage.  I would go out there and try to sort stuff out and feel so overwhelmed that I would just walk out and close the door. After all if the door is closed it does not exist,  does it? EXCEPT when my husband would bring up the fact that I needed to get rid of the “junk”.  Then I “needed” that “stuff” LOL.  The 3rd move we made we moved to a bigger house with a garage attached…..I could store my “stuff” in an attached garage and not have to leave the house to get anything I “needed”.

By the time we were in our 3rd house we had 2 kids and one on the way.  Little did we know some events that would happen after my youngest birth and it would land my husband with orders for Germany…alone.  We could not go as they could not meet our sons’ needs at that particular place. So we decided to go to our hometown during the 3 long years he would be gone.  My husband refused to move all that “stuff” again.  It was finally time I HAD to go through some of it. We had a yard sale and took BAGS and BAGS to the church to give away and we still had a lot of stuff left.  Little did we know the Lord would work a miracle and orders would be changed for the whole family to Fort Bliss, TX instead of Germany!!! I was so happy!!! When we found out that we had housing, it was for a 1300 sq foot house.  That was small, and as they say, you should never go down in size, BUT we didn’t care. I would have lived in a cardboard box if it meant we were together.  So now the new issue was where do we put all this “stuff” lol. Also, I failed to mention that we found out right after signing for our house that hubby would be deploying again….in 3 weeks.  WE worked night and day getting the house ready for him to leave. Getting pictures hung and downsizing and somehow we made it work.  God showed me in that moment after seeing my husband nearly have to leave for Germany for 3 years without his wife or his kids, seeing how God loved us so much and showed us He IS the God of miracles and He cares about our wants and desires.  He showed me that what I needed was NOT stuff; was not a garage full of things I might someday need or use. What is important, first and foremost, is a relationship with our Lord and Savior.  Next it is my husband and my children.  The size of the house did not matter and the stuff in the garage did not matter.  My family is what mattered.  That began a cleansing in me.  The Bible tells us to lay up our treasures in Heaven and not on Earth…where was my treasures?

I have realized over the years that our house will change many times and it has. #ArmyWife #ArmyLifeClick To Tweet

Our treasure is not in the house we have. God provides that to us as a shelter just as He promised us that He would.  Our treasure is not in our furniture.  We have scratches marking many moves in our furniture.  It is not in the stuff we have as the Army seems to think that less is more and gives only a certain weight allotment to each family :).  I have learned that I CAN part with things, as they are just things…they are not eternal treasures and they are not my family.  I have learned to downsize (I am still a work in progress as I still have a lot of stuff but I don’t have a garage full of unused stuff)! :).  I have learned that when I honor my husband and do something that he truly desires that he is not asking me to do it because he wants to torture me, he is asking me to do it because he feels lead that way.  I have also learned that God uses many things to teach us and I am still learning at 35 years of age. God gives us life lessons all the time and we just have to open our hearts to Him. My heart’s desire is to show my husband respect. I fall short many times. How can I respect my husband you may ask? Where do I even begin?

Flip-Flops-Graphic

Here are just a few things that I have learned along the way.

1. The most important thing you can do for your husband is to pray for him. Pray for him daily. Pray about his success. well-being, spiritual walk, strength in wisdom and the list goes on and on.  Basically pray for him in everything!

2. Remember that God has put our husbands in a position in leadership.  Did you know that God will lead us through our husbands?

3.  Focus on the positives by making a list of your husband’s qualities that you love and really appreciate.  Focus on those qualities instead of any that may “bother you” and praise him for the good qualities that he does have. Remember that we ALL have failures and to think we do not makes us above Christ.  There is good in everyone, we just have to find it and focus on it. It is our job as a wife to build our husbands up, not tear them down.

4. Ladies, do NOT criticize your husband to others. I repeat DO NOT criticize your husband to others.  Turn over your cares to your Father in heaven, not Facebook, your mother, your sister, and your friends. Always build your husband up to others.  Ladies also remember that those little eyes that live in your house are watching your every move.  Treat your husband as Christ would have you to treat Him…with respect. I know this to be difficult, and believe me, it is hard. Find good things about your husband to say to your children.

5.  Be positive …they say it takes 21 days to make a habit.  Make a new habit of being positive around your husband. Trust me, a good attitude will reap wonderful rewards!!!

6. Make sure you tell your husband how much you love and appreciate him.  Men truly need praise ladies and it is our job to build them up.  If you are struggling, find one thing (just ONE) and focus on that.  Trust me, before you know it blessings will abound because of your praise to your beloved.

7. Respect his likes and dislikes.  For example, if he hates onions don’t make him onions and potatoes…I did this once and it wasn’t pretty LOL.  My husband loves onions now but he didn’t at one time and I was set on making him “learn” to like them. When I stopped trying he started liking them on his own.  It is God’s place to change our husbands and not ours. We should make our house his sanctuary and it should be a place that he loves to come home to.  Ask your husband what he wants for dinner during the week and try to add a few of his ideas into the menu.

8. Memorize Philippians 4:8.  That honestly was a changing point in our marriage because when I had a negative thought I said that verse and it helped me SO much!!! How can you be negative when God says to find the good in everyone and everything and focus on that?  It makes it really hard….. trust me LOL.

9.  Make sure you show great faith in your husband’s decisions and ability to do things. One thing I have learned is my husband may not do things the way I do them or want them done, but he will do them. One of the best things I learned about my husband is if I make a list he will do pretty much anything on that list without me nagging him or even really asking.  Yep! He is a keeper!!!

10.  Remember that our calling of love and respect is NOT conditional  Meaning that no matter what your husband’s actions are ladies, we are still responsible for OUR 100 percent.  WE have a duty to our husbands and most important to God to follow His plan for marriage regardless of any actions on our husband’s part.  If we do our part, leave the rest to God.

This flip flop loving girl is madly in love with her Combat boot wearing Soldier. #ArmyWife #ArmyLifeClick To Tweet

Somehow through God, we have both grown together and God has molded us.  My husband doesn’t say as much now when carrying books up and down the stairs as he did many years ago, but I have also learned to love my kindle and that saying good-bye to some material things out of respect for my husband helps make the house a happy one.  Thank you God for lessons that you place in our life daily to help us grow in you and to trust in your ways.

In Christ,

Laura

Laura Prater is a long time Army wife, her husband just retired after 20 years Active Duty this past July. She, her husband, and family are still very active in the military community. Laura is an area volunteer for National Military Family Association and also contributes occasionally to MilitaryOneClick as part of their Blogger Brigade. In addition to all this Laura is a homeschool mom to their three boys. You can find Laura sharing her favorite recipes and chatting about faith, family, all things homemaking, and homeschool over at her other website www.awefilledhomemaker.com

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