A little more than a year ago, we became very burdened in our debts and our desire to move towards being debt-free was bigger than ever. All our bills were paid, and we were making it –
but we felt called to be more than just making it.
Surviving on one income is a tough deal, but it can be done. You just prioritize and say “no” to the things that are unnecessary. It took us a while, and we made a lot of mistakes along the way – but we learned through them, and I think we finally learned how to be excellent in our finances. We just do the best we can with what we have.
There was a time when we weren’t even able to pay our bills with our income. We cut back, got down the basics, and slowly but surely (as our stewardship increased, I believe), our finances increased as well.
Then, God put this desire in our hearts to do more… but we felt stuck in our financial situation.
We were past the point of throwing pity parties, but we still didn’t see a way out. Our efforts of doing all the right things would be considered failures in anyone’s eyes… (living on half your income, debt snowball, saving 3-6 months’ expenses, sinking funds, etc.). We really weren’t able to do any of those well. We thought about selling our house, but that idea didn’t make sense. We would have to pay more than we’re paying now to rent a place for us, and it was pretty unlikely to find a home for sale for less than what we paid for ours. But still, God kept prompting us with that idea.
When we talked to family about it, the idea God inspired us with all came together. We had a place we could live for a while so that we could save money and get ahead.
We posted our house for sale, and the very next month we found out we were expecting baby #4. Suddenly, the whole idea of moving and leaving our home felt ridiculous. But God’s timing is perfect. Baby #4 was born in December.
In January, I got an email from Zillow that said I needed to update our listing or they would remove it because they want all of their listings to be up-to-date. I asked Justin what he thought we should do, and he said, “Don’t even worry about updating it. I feel like if we’re supposed to sell our house, we’ll know. It’ll just happen somehow.” I kid you not – the very day after our listing was removed, someone asked us about our house. We set up a showing for them to come see it. They took some time, made us an offer, and we just closed on it!
I love it when we just take our hands off, and God does his thing!
So now, we are back to the original plan of moving in with family, and we will be moving soon. Actually, they have moved out and have been fixing their place up for us by building a loft so our kids can have their own space, adding a second bathroom, etc. Their generosity exceeds what we would have ever expected or asked for. We thank God for them, and we just love how he always provides for us.
I’m excited about this change for us, and I am up for the challenge of making a metal building feel homey. Pinterest calls it a “Barndominium”! Planning, organizing, and designing are some of my favorite things, after all. It’s going to be great!
I’m also really excited about our financial situation, right now. We are mortgage-free, which feels amazing… but we aren’t totally debt-free yet! We still have our student loans to pay off, and I’m really hoping we can pay more down on those over the next several months.
Of course, we also want to be very smart financially in this time and not put all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak. We’re going to meet with a financial adviser just to make sure we’re making the best possible decisions financially since this is all fairly new to us. We are planning for the future now, and we know that one day we’ll want to buy a house again so it will be nice to have a down payment for that.
But why stop there??
I have a little dream of paying cash for our next house. Of course, I don’t know what all God has in store, but I’m just “imagining” over here, because that’s my word of the year. I’m dreaming big, and praying big.
I just wanted to give you all a little update, and I want you to also know that none of this is of our doing. Our house didn’t sell until God wanted it to sell. We’ve tried to do all the smart financial things that people say to do (live on half your income, debt snowball, save 3-6 months’ expenses, sinking funds, etc.) but none of these things were working for us. We’ve tried selling things to help us get ahead financially, and that has never worked for us either. If you look at “our efforts”, you would just see failed attempts.
But God – in his timing…
He has, and He is bringing things all together. In addition to the sale of our house, we’ve had random checks in the mail in the form of reimbursements from bills we already paid, or random deposits in our account from blog work I did months ago, and money I realized I had in an account that just needed to be transferred over. It’s more than we could ever “make happen” on our own. It just had to be God’s doing. We prayed. We waited. And He did.