Do Not Bow To The Gender Idol

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Somewhere along the way it has become a crime to say there are inherent differences between a man and a woman.

And it has happened in my lifetime.

Another evidence of this just recently cropped up in the news. A senior engineer from Google wrote a company memo suggesting, among other things, “that men and women biologically differ in many ways.” He went on to suggest that these biological differences, though small, contribute to different strengths and weaknesses in men and women.

He said that “women on average, have more openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things…These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas.”

This man ended up being fired by Google for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

What a sad world we live in.

For centuries it was a given that there are clear differences between men and women that contribute to clear differences in their strengths and weaknesses. Now it’s considered shameful to acknowledge this. Now everyone must bow before the altar of gender equality. This man refused (or forgot?) to and it cost him his job, maybe his career.

So there are real and present consequences for asserting that there are substantive differences between men and women. Does that mean we have to go along with it? Absolutely not.

To be sure, there’s a fiery furnace of sorts that awaits those who openly maintain a clear distinction between sexes (and the furnace grows hotter when you say that this distinction was purposefully designed by God). The good news is that just as this same God supported Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego for not bowing before the idol of their day, so he is willing to support those who refuse to bow before the idol of gender equality. This is not to say that we will not endure ridicule, or the loss of our job, or worse, but as long as we remain faithful, especially in the midst of the fire, God will be faithful to help us in all our troubles.

What’s the alternative? Should we begin to pretend that, generally speaking, men and women don’t look, act, or think different than one another? Should I treat everyone I meet like a man? Or a women? Actually, if gender distinctions don’t exist, what are we all supposed to be? Have the powers that be decided that yet?

I really don’t care if they have or if they ever do. I am a woman and I feel privileged to be so. I will raise my daughters to cultivate the virtues of womanhood. I will raise my sons to cultivate the virtues of manhood; and I will raise both of them to embrace the differences between men and women and to rejoice in the God that made them. It should not be a shameful thing to acknowledge the peculiar strengths and weaknesses which men or a women possess respectively; God ordained it so and we should not try to pretend otherwise.

What if we acknowledged that men generally (please, I beg of you, don’t forget I just said generally) are stronger than women, and there are certain jobs they just are better suited for. When you drive by construction jobs, why on average do you see more men out there working then women?

Why can’t we accept that women can be (on average, generally speaking!), much more relationship minded, which makes them more suited for certain jobs? We women love connecting with people, and we are good at talking through what we feel.

These are not signs of weaknesses. They are not something to hide away and feel ashamed of.

When the world begins to lose site of who created them, which is God, the perspective of what God created men and women to be gradually disappears.

Stand strong, Christian families. Look to the godly examples we have been given and teach your children to strive after those godly traits. Encourage your boys to be men, teaching them about Moses, David, Joshua, and Noah, how these men stood strong at times, and how they gave into temptations and what happened. Teach your girls about Eve, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, the Proverbs 31 woman, and help them learn from the lives of these women.

Each of these men and women had very important, but very different, roles to play in the kingdom of God. Notice also that these roles were not interchangeable. Moses clearly could not have filled the role of Mary, nor could Mary have filled the role of Moses. They each had unique calling that were suited to their unique abilities as men and women.

The world is quickly changing, but that doesn’t mean the ways of God are changing. His truths are unchangeable, unshakeable, and they endure to the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Our Cover Letter Helped Us Buy Our House!

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I know it depends on the area that you live in, but here in Missouri the housing market is really crazy right now. A house can be put on the market and go under contract within 24 hours! Obviously this makes purchasing a house pretty stressful. You have to look at a house and decide right away if you like it enough to put an offer on it.

How Our Cover Letter Helped Us Buy Our House

 

When we looked at the house that we ended up buying, it was the same day that it had been put on the market. We went over that evening, and ended up being there with another couple and their realtor the whole evening. We stayed over an hour, looking, talking, thinking, and talking with our realtor some more. We could tell the other couple was going to put an offer on the house, but we told our realtor we needed to go home and sleep on it, and pray. We ended up calling him first thing the next morning and said we wanted to put an offer on it. Because of the interest in the house, he suggested we write a cover letter that would be submitted along with our offer, for the owner of the house to read.

That cover letter ended up being a huge part of how we got the house!

My husband wrote the cover letter, and here is what he said:

Hello!

My family has been looking for a house to buy for several years now and we’re very excited to be putting an offer on this particular house!

(We then put this photo in the letter so they could see our family)

We’ve been living in a rental home with less than 1000 square feet of living space and one tiny bathroom for 4 years now. This might now be so bad, but we’re a young family with 6 children ages 13-2. As you can imagine, we’ve been a little cramped. We have looked and looked for a home with the combination of space inside and outside that our growing family needs. We’ve found a lot of large houses with small cars, or small, poorly kept houses on large properties. Then there’s the issue of the neighborhood the house is in.

Imagine how amazed we were by how quite and peaceful it was as we walked in and around your home! It has more than enough room for our family, and our children immediately fell in love with the yard (they loved the long driveway in the back! Bike riding!). What’s more, when we looked at the house online, we discovered that it’s just adjacent to some very dear friends of ours; in fact the yards nearly touch! Our children quickly discovered this and were running around with their friends. It was a wonderful scene.

There are so many reasons why we would love to be able to purchase your home, but these are a few of the most important ones. In short, my family has patiently endured a cramped living space while I returned to college to finish up my degree. My wife and I have looked high and low for the property that would meet our needs and be a blessing to our growing family. Not only would your home do this, but it would serve as just the sort of ‘thank you’ I was hoping to offer my family in exchange for their patience and sacrifice over the past 4 years. Thank you for considering our offer!

Sincerely,

Sean Allen

As you can see, the letter contained personal information. We have a large family, we’ve been in a super small space for 4 years, my husband was in college which explained why we were in a rental house….and then it also touched on why we loved the house we wanted to buy.

There ended up being around 5 offers put on this house, but we won the bid and the realtor said it was because of our cover letter! The lady that was selling this house wanted a large family to buy the house and we definitely fit that description! We ended up meeting her and she even mentioned our cover letter and how much she liked it. Obviously our offer had to be comparable with the other offers given, though we have no way of knowing that for sure.

If you have your heart set on purchasing a house, take a little extra time to write up a cover letter to submit with your offer! It might just be the tipping point to guarantee that you win the bid!

Here are five tips to consider when writing your cover letter.

  1. Make it personal. Introduce your family and give some sort of personal information. Help the home owner visualize your family and how you could fit into their home. Even though they will be selling their home and moving on, many people are concerned with who will next be living in “their house” and if they will take care of it. Give the owner assurance that you are not buying this house just to flip it, you are a real family who wants to move in and love this house.
  2. Inclue a photo of your family! This is super helpful for the homeowner to visualize what your family looks like. If you have little children, they might just fall in love with home. 🙂
  3. Tell them what stands out about the actual house. Why do you like it, and why would it be perfect for your family?
  4. Talk about the location of this house. If you are buying a house it has to be in the right location for your job, church, school, etc. Let the sellers know why you need to buy a house in this exact area.
  5. Finally, be as respectful and considerate as you can be! You are not demanding to purchase this house, you are letting the seller get to know your family. You can’t demand someone to be friends with you, nor can you demand someone sells their house to you. Write your letter, pray, send it off, and pray some more!

Like I said above, this is just one step in the whole complicated process of buying a house, but it’s a step I’m so glad we didn’t overlook!

 

 

How we removed Wallpaper In 8 Rooms In Our New House!

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I knew it was going to be difficult to remove wallpaper from the house we bought. I just had no idea it would be quite so difficult. I also didn’t realize towards the end that I would start seriously doubting if we even made the right decision on purchasing this house. Thankfully I’m past all of that and I’m in love with the house all over again, but removing wallpaper is not for the faint at heart!

How we removed wallpaper from 8 rooms!

The house we bought is from 1972. One of the bedrooms had original wallpaper and one of them we stripped through enough that we found the original nursery wallpaper! It was a little sad to see that! The only wallpaper that come off easily was the dining room border. That was it.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what we were up against.

wallpaper in bathroom

The half bath off the laundry room. This had a border on the top.

The laundry room that is right off the kitchen. I’m seriously so excited about all the cabinet space I have, and that I’ll have a main floor laundry room! But the vines had to go. It looked like it was from the 1990’s.

Here is the kitchen with more of the same wallpaper! It went through the hallway as well. As a side note, I still don’t have a firm idea of what I’m doing with the extra space by those windows. We are not eating in here as a family, the formal dining room is right off the kitchen and we will use that for our table. But I might get a smaller table to put in here and use for homeschooling. Another thought was a small love seat that the children could read at or hang out in the kitchen while I make meals.

One of the bedrooms. Notice even the guitar on the wall has the same border wallpaper behind it?!

This large floral wallpaper seemed to be a popular choice in several rooms!

Ok, you probably have an idea at this point. There was a lot of wallpaper. How did we get it all down?

Going into this project I received lots and lots of advice. Some said use blue dish soap and water. Others said to use fabric softener and water. Then I heard white vinegar. And of course, getting a steamer was always an option.

I tried almost all of those option, and really decided that it almost varies room by room what works. It depends on how old your wallpaper is, if the wallpaper is a thinner type or if it’s thick and comes off nicely. Most of our wallpaper was thin (of course!).

While we used several different things, what by far worked the best was buying a steamer from Lowe’s. You can also get it on Amazon here. This steamer was amazing and I highly recommend it! I was told that you can rent a steamer for $50 a day, so it definitely was worth purchasing since we used it for over 2 weeks.

Our oldest son helping to steam and scrape.

It was a slow process, it took over 2 weeks to get it all done.  We were working 6 days a week with friends helping and it felt like it would never get done!

Just another day of wallpaper removal. I was getting tired at this point.

We also used the Paper Tiger for scoring the walls. You have to be careful that you don’t press super hard or the wall will be damaged, but you need to press hard enough for it to work. It really just takes practice.

Finally, we did spray the walls before we steamed in certain rooms. When the wallpaper was being really stubborn we would spray and steam, and then spray and steam some more.

We used the Piranha Wallpaper removal spray, and it seemed to work better than the homemade solutions.

This is the room that I felt like giving up on. It took us 3 ½ days to get all the wallpaper off this one room, with friends helping! We had to go through three layers of wallpaper, and paint in-between those layers! The final layer was the nursery paper. We managed to mess the drywall up pretty bad, but the guy we hired to come in and mud and sand all the walls made it look new again!

If you want the walls to look new again, hire someone to come and mud them and sand them for you. Seriously, don’t try to do this yourself. It took a professional 6 days to do this, and it would have taken us weeks and it would have looked horrible! This picture you can see the difference of where he had just applied mud to the wall, and the top part still needs it.

And the finished wall ends up looking like this!! All smooth and new looking. This is the gray color I’m painting throughout a lot of the house!

If you want to take down wallpaper, you need lots of patience, time, and a vision of what the end result will look like! Once I saw the kitchen wall painted those weeks of scraping wallpaper was worth it!

I’ll go through the steps we did one last time below.

  1. Score the walls using the Paper Tiger.
  2. Spray walls using a wallpaper removal solution.
  3. Using a wallpaper steamer, hold the steamer on the wall for up to 30 seconds. The length depends on how good your wallpaper is stuck on the wall!
  4. Use a wallpaper scraper tool or a putty knife to scrape it off the wall.
  5. Repeat a thousand and one times. 🙂

And here are the items we used! I hope this helps if you want to tackle a room that has wallpaper.

 

 

Finally – A Home to Call Our Own!

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I have dreamed of this day for years now. I’ve thought through how I would share this news with you. I’m just going to come out and say it.

We bought a house!

I can still hardly believe it!

If you are a long time reader, you know that we sold our house 4 years ago so Sean could go back to college and finish his graphic design degree. We moved into a small rental house, and even though we were maxed out moving in here, we had another baby at this house.

We have made businesses, homeschooling, and life with six children work in our small house (the main level is around 900 square feet, and the downstairs is for business). But it’s not been easy.

I’ll admit, I’ve been obsessed with looking on the realtor app. Every day. Every night. First thing in the morning. For several years now. We have driven by so many houses and never felt peace about any of them.

I had about given up hope, and then we found one in a part of town that we really were not looking in. The quiet neighborhood won us over though, and the large yard with over a half an acre.

But get this.

Our new house has 5100 square feet (including garages).

Seriously.

I never dreamed we would get a house this big! It’s all because we waited on God to send us the right house for our family.

So here are some more fun details. Because Sean doesn’t want me to share a picture of the front of the house for privacy reasons, you will have to use your imagination. 🙂 It’s a huge ranch home though. It’s an older house, from the 1970’s. We said we were not going to buy a fixer upper, because we didn’t have time to fix it up with running businesses. However we changed our minds. Ha!

We love watching the Fixer Upper show together on Amazon Prime, but after our offer was accepted the children and I started watching it every day at lunch time for new inspiration!

The house has 4 bedrooms on the main level, and get this, 3 bathrooms! After just writing the post on how we have survived with 1 bathroom for 4 years now, it’s going to be lovely to have 3 bathrooms. Sean and I are especially excited to have a master bathroom again!

It also has a large formal dining room, when you walk into the house. Sean is planning on building us a table, and we will buy chairs from IKEA to go with that. We will also split that room up and finally get my grand piano back from my mother in law’s house! So part of the room will be a music room, for piano, cello and violin practice each day!

The kitchen is huge! It felt like every house we looked at that was good size, had a tiny kitchen! I was giving up hope of getting the large kitchen that I dreamed of, until we saw this house. You can see pictures of my current small kitchen in this post.

The kitchen was a huge job to take down the wallpaper, but we are almost done!

I also have main floor laundry, right off the kitchen which is nice.

Plus, we have a large screened in porch off the living room that the children already love to play in!

Downstairs is huge and a little overwhelming as it needs work. We will have plenty of space for our businesses and much more!

We closed on the house this past Monday, but we will not be moving in until the end of July. We are currently taking off lots and lots of wallpaper, we have to paint the whole main level, and then pull up the carpet because we have unfinished hardwood floors under the whole main level!

I will be sharing lots and lots of before and after pictures inside the house, which will be so exciting! I’ve been getting paint samples and I can’t wait to narrow down my selection.

One other thing I have to tell you. This house backs up to some really good friends of ours, and some other really good friends live about 3 blocks away! You can’t get much better than that! Our children will grow up surrounded by their friends!

You know what is really exciting about all of this? We have you dear reader to thank. Every single Flexi Clip you have purchased, every person who has joined my Lilla Rose team, and every person who has been a loyal customer to Deborah & Co.

And it doesn’t stop there (because we are crazy enough to have more businesses!). Every family who has felt the desire to work on their children’s character, and purchased a Character Badges set.

Finally, all of you who have purchased our digital products, like our Well Ordered Kitchen planner, and our Homeschool Planner!

We just have to stop and say a huge Thank You for helping us grow our businesses to where we could finally purchase a home! When you support small businesses you really have no clue the blessing it is for that family!

To show our appreciation, we wanted to offer some great sales for you!

Save 20% off your purchase at Deborah & Co. through Friday, June 23 with the code: NEWHOME at the checkout!

Save 20% off any Character Badge order of Complete Sets through this Friday with the code: BLESSHOME at the checkout!

Finally, grab our amazing Premium version of The Well Ordered Kitchen planner for just $14.99 normally $29.99 through this Friday!

Again, I have to say thank you, thank you! I can’t wait to welcome you into my new home through pictures!

Praise God for His blessings!

 

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