This past summer all of that financial strain caught up to us. It seemed no matter how much overtime he worked, we could not keep up. We got dangerously behind on our mortgage, and didn't know how to climb our way out of that hole. Thanks to a gracious family member, we were able to borrow the money to catch up on our mortgage, which Dustin is now working off.
Man, that hurts the pride. Nobody wants to admit defeat and have to borrow money. It was honestly the lowest of lows for us financially. I am thankful now looking back that we are out of that phase and moving into the next WAY better one, which is what I am excited to write about.
I look around at a lot of people our age with kids, and see that there are a lot of similar problems with finances. Everyone seems to be struggling. This should not be the case, especially for those of us who are believers! The word says,
"And my God will supply all your need according to His riches in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19
"Well I am a believer and my needs are not met, so what is going on?"
Every situation is different, but I think our story will help you write yours. Every promise in the bible is done only according to faith. We spent all this time stressing and worrying and working way harder than we should, only to stay behind. That is not faith! I would have said I believed the word, but my ACTIONS were proving otherwise. Not only that, but we were expecting a harvest that we hadn't planted.
The first thing we started doing was get consistent in our giving.
It has brought us out of our comfort zone for sure, but you can't expect a harvest when you don't CONSISTENTLY plant seeds.
"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running overwill be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
The very first day that we "planted some seeds", we had our AC guy come out to fix our AC and he didn't charge us a penny. We knew from that point on that there was no turning back.
Next, we made a plan!
Our goal is to be completely debt free (including our house) in 10 years or less. Part of that plan is that we will NEVER borrow money again. No credit cards, no family members, nothing. We will be the lender, not the borrower. We are using a debt snowball plan, and lowered as many of our bills as we possibly could, and got rid of the stuff we could live without. Through a literal miracle, my husband traded in his boat (which was broken down) for a brand new one that is being custom built, with a warranty, for a way less interest rate than the last one, without being upside down, and significantly cheaper monthly payments! That was God's favor and blessing in an inexplicable way, that stuff doesn't just happen to people!
God has blessed me in my work. I am able to spend very few hours away from my kids, doing something I absolutely LOVE, with more students than I can even take, really! My dance classes have waiting lists! There is not another job on the planet that could be more perfect for me in this season of life. I am soooo thankful for God's favor.
I realize now that other than giving, and making a plan that you will stick with, the third and most important key to all of this is trusting.
Trusting that God meant what He said when he promised to take care of our needs, it is that simple. Just this past month, we had money come to us that we were not expecting, that put food on our table and gas in our car. We have done all that we can, in our power, and we know that God already promised to do the rest. There has been so much freedom in letting go of the worry, and watching how God provides. There is a reason that the bible says "fear not" 365 times, one for every day of the year!
I encourage you to take these steps with us. Give consistently, make a plan (and stick with it) and most importantly, let go so that God can do the rest!!