Believing God to pay off our mortgage in five years
God has challenged me to write about how He will supernaturally pay off our mortgage in 5 years. I am a homemaker, my husband is a teacher, and we have three children. Our mortgage balance at the start of this blog is $97,802.62 with a projected payoff date of May 11, 2035.
Sounds foolish, huh? The Bible says that, "...God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;..." So I am choosing to be foolish and trust Him. He's never let me down before.
Our local Craigslist had an advertisement for free wood pallets and wood scraps at a construction dump site. It was pretty much self-serve as you can see.
So with my 15-month old cheering me on from his rear-facing car seat, I got busy. Not only were there wood scraps in the dumpster, there were also used soda cups, cigarette butts, and other varieties of assorted trash. Oh happy day!
For my valor, I was rewarded with the spoils you see here.
These materials meant for waste yielded two square foot gardens for growing vegetables and one pallet garden for growing herbs. Trash to treasure!
The past few months have been a whirlwind for me. Our family of six has had the following activities in progress:
High school baseball (now into an extended season due to making the playoffs--whoo-hoo!)
Little league baseball
Track and field
Bookkeeper for high school baseball
Planning for two large-scale events
Along with the motoring around to and from these activities, there is the added responsibility and preparation that comes along with each. The Holy Spirit has been instrumental in helping me keep my attitude in check during this busy season of life. But boy I could use a good chiropractor to help me with my neck and shoulders as well!
After my walk this morning, I was doing my best to try and stretch my neck to get some relief. I let my head drift backwards as far as it would go on its fulcrum (i.e. my neck--hubby the physics teacher would be proud) and couldn't help but look heavenward. This is what I saw.
Exactly as you are seeing this picture on your screen is how I saw it in the sky. As long as my gaze was skyward, I could only see this beautiful blue expanse. Everything else was blocked from my view. It was surreal to know that I was on the ground and yet feel like I was in the sky.
In this busy season it would be easy to lose perspective. The hours, the days zoom by so quickly that it can feel like I am just part of time and nothing more. But having a Savior has helped me to focus on those things that are eternal. At the end of a crazy day when the realization sets in that tomorrow is going to be equally crazy, I find relief in looking past the schedule and looking to the Scheduler.
Our two oldest children have standardized testing beginning today. Because they had taken the tests previously and scored well, they both had the pleasure of going to school two hours later.
My son slept in for a while, then eventually got up and prepared for the day. He was dressed and about to leave out the door when we heard it--the familiar sound of a bus engine revving through our cul-de-sac.
"Is that your bus?" I ask him, already knowing the answer to my question.
"Yeah," he responds.
I had just put our youngest son down for his morning nap and was anxiously awaiting a quiet house where I could do some writing.
"It's 9:15. Why weren't you out there?"
"Because the clock says 9:13 and it's actually not supposed to come until 22 after even though it usually comes at 17 after-"
I interrupt his argument, "Okay, get your brother out of his crib and put on his shoes and coat." I just wanted to get going so I could get back home. "And you will be paying two dollars for a ride." This is the logical consequence that we have assigned whenever our kids miss the bus by a fault of their own. They pay us gas money. The amount changes based on current gas prices. Lately they have been blessed to only have to pay $2 a ride.
As he comes down the stairs with his brother in tow, I wonder about his sister who was up the street walking the neighbor's dog. Her plan was to stay out to catch the bus after she had finished up. Should I text her to see if she needed a ride as well? Nah! She had probably caught the bus or she would have been back home by now asking for a ride, too.
No sooner had the thought crossed my mind when I see her figure coming toward the front porch. As she opens the door I say, "Hey, you're just in time! Your brother needs a ride, too, and the good news is you guys can split your gas fee."
"Cool," she responds.
We get loaded into the van and drive down the street. On the way out of our neighborhood we spot one of the kids' classmates waiting at their bus stop.
"Does he ride your bus?" I ask. They responded that he does.
I do a u-turn in the road and head back to where he is standing. Winding down the window I say, "The bus already came. Would you like a ride?" to which he responds, "Yes, please."
"I'll move in the back," our daughter graciously offers. He gets in and takes the seat next to our 18 month old.
The ride to school is pretty quiet as it tends to be with teenagers in the morning. I initiate some conversation with the young man about his weekend, but that was other than that everyone was silent.
We arrive at school and the boys say their good-byes and thank yous as they get out. My daughter, the last to get out due to being in the rear seat, tells me good-bye and then remarks, "Hey, now we can split our gas fee three ways!"
Today I did some early morning shopping with Story after Blaise left for school. Once we finished and got home, I laid him down for his nap, and put groceries away. When I went upstairs to grab a sweatshirt, there he was in his crib sound asleep.
Seeing this made me pause and say, "Thank you God that he is asleep. Thank you for everyday that he reliably takes his nap. I am so grateful that You've given him a daily routine that I can count on just like I can count on You."
After people read my book Personal Finances Personal Freedom, this question is often the big take-away. Rather than spending on auto-pilot, they recognize the benefit of pausing long enough to answer this question and then make a sober decision.
In my quest to work on building up my business, I am looking at businesses in the Bible. Today I looked at the "Wife of Noble Character" in Proverbs 31. She is often looked at as the prototype of a godly wife, but she was also a successful businesswoman.
One of the verses that gave me pause was, "She considers a field and buys it;..." Considers. The woman did not rush her decision, but was thoughtful, contemplative.
The next sentence says, "...out of her earnings she plants a vineyard." So this verse tells me two things. First, the field was an investment. She put money into it to make money. Second, she saved up her money to make another investment.
In the end, scripture declares the Wife of Noble Character as a woman who "fears the Lord" and "is to be praised." My take-away from her is that wisdom waits on the Lord.
"At the end of the day I am more tired now than when I was pregnant!"
I was speaking to a friend in her 40s like me who is enchanted with the thought of having another baby. Her two kids are school age.
It was about two years ago that we discovered we were pregnant--unintentionally. Initially, I struggled to accept that I was going to have to care for another kid rather than celebrating that I get to raise another child. God spoke a message of encouragement directly to me and immediately the Holy Spirit changed me from the inside out. I was a happy pregnant woman!
But that little bundle of boy wears me out! My five senses are perpetually piqued to anticipate his every move. Regularly my arms are given a workout toting his 28-pound frame. Mentally I toil in preparation for excursions away from our home trying not to miss anything needed for him, inevitably forgetting something needed for me.
Even still I would not change one thing. I love seeing the world through his eyes. I love seeing our older kids loving seeing the world through his eyes. God made Story so that he fits right in with the Webbs. He gets us. He knows he's one of us. He belongs.
2016 will be the five-year anniversary of "My Mortgage Miracle". Anniversaries are occasions for celebration, right?
Well, I hesitate to celebrate because this year also marks the deadline for the miracle that I am expecting God to perform--paying off our now $78, 822.74 mortgage. Quite honestly, I'm getting nervous.
Why? Because did I hear Him right? Am I sure this is what He spoke to me? Yes, our mortgage has gone down significantly, but that's just from our regular monthly payments. We haven't had any windfalls that we could add to the principal balance. It's like when we had credit card bills and could only afford the minimum payment. That's just where we're at.
As I was thinking worrying about this recently, trying to figure out how we could tighten our belts even more to make this miracle happen, God interrupted. I cannot quote God verbatim, but what follows is something like what might have been his end of our conversation.
"I never said that I was going to pay off your mortgage the same way I paid off your consumer debt. My ways and my thoughts are not like yours. Stop trying to figure me out and trust me. Trust me based on everything I've been through with you. Trust me because I am God."
He showed me scripture that spoke of his promise to give Abram a land of his own. It reads, "Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you." Genesis 13:17 Next to that scripture I had previously written, "our debt" and "being debt-free".
Understand that I am not completely doubt-free. Still there are times when I dwell on what I don't see rather than having faith in what is unseen (Hebrews 11). But I am comforted by how God takes the time to meet me where I am in my weakness.