We have officially said “Good-bye” to city life and “Hello!” to country life and soon-to-be farm life! We are well aware that this requires a lot of work, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. But, that’s okay. About a month ago, we began planting our seedlings for our future small farm. We couldn’t be more excited!
Needless to say, this excitement started the first week of January when we stepped foot into our [future] home, viewing it in-person for the first time. It was exactly what we imagined, and so much more.
Now, let’s back up a few more months – October 2015. Ernie found the home online and sent me the recurring text message of “Check this one out.” Knowing we could not buy a home until March, what’s the point of looking now? We were no where near ready, but we did do some “window shopping” for homes for fun. So, as usual, I was waiting to open the link and see a home that would be out of reach.
But, this time was different.
I liked it. I liked it a lot. More than liked it, I think I knew this could be our home. But, God would have to intervene. I tried not to get emotionally attached because, my goodness, it was almost six months away before we could buy! I knew the high chance of it selling before we could even make an offer on it. Besides, according to the online ad, it was posted in August!
I would say over and over, “If that house is still there when we’re ready, then maybe it’s meant to be.”
It included a well-kept home with over 7.5 unrestricted acres already fenced for a cow, and it was exactly where we wanted to live. Not a bad price either. More so, I knew it had to come down in price in order for us to buy. If you live in our area, you know this type of property is hard to come by at a decent price. The more we looked at the pictures of the home, the more we felt like this was our future home.
Wait, this is our dream home!
This is the one we have talked about for years. But in the recent past, we also knew that the reality of affording what we really dreamed of, in the town we wanted, would not be possible only by our own doing. The more we looked at the photos, the more we sensed that this was the one.
Then, we would take a ride by the house and pull into the driveway to see that no one lived there. We can’t be the only ones looking like stalkers at a stranger’s house, right?
As December approached, the home was still for sale! This was weird. Is this for real? Why hasn’t it sold yet? My mother-in-law said it’s because it’s our house. I’m totally cool with that!
That was when I started to pray about the home, and my words were something like, “Lord, I’m pretty sure this could be the one, and if it is, I trust you to make it happen for us.”
We had spent the last five years clawing our way out of debt, and became completely debt-free on September 25, 2015. Don’t forget to read our inspiring debt-free journey and how we (and God) did it! So, our next step afterwards was to build our emergency fund and save for a home down payment at the same time, with only six months to do it! By the way, we will never go into debt again, except for this house (which is totally cool with Dave’s suggested guidelines), and plan to pay it off as quickly as possible so that we can be even more of a blessing to others. Read our debt-free story to find out why and how!
So, our choices were to either stay in the rental home we’re in for another year to be able to save an even bigger down payment, or save like crazy people to possibly buy our dream home and be out of the rental by March 20. In November, a couple months after paying off our last debt, my sweet husband finally had a buyer for his car. This would give us a jump start on our savings. We continued to sacrifice and worked hard to keep saving as much as we could. Even with my calculations, we still needed intervention in order to meet the suggested guidelines.
Through this whole time period, I can honestly say that I never sweated the power of our Almighty God. I had no worry and no doubt that He would make this happen for us, but I was just anxious to know how. At the same time, we also tried to be wise about our choices and didn’t choose to eat out 3+ times a week, and then say, “Oh, God please help us get this house, even though we’re so irresponsible with our money!”
First of all, we knew we weren’t in over our heads too much because we were somewhat in a position to make a move on the house. But, at the same time, I knew God was going to need to move on our behalf. I woke up one mid-December morning and had an inkling that I should call the mortgage company suggested by Dave Ramsey to find out some information on what would be our next steps if we wanted to try to purchase this house.
By the first week of January, we were pre-approved (with conditions) and able to go for our first showing with our favorite realtor. Walking into the home was precisely what I expected. As we walked around, it seemed to be a little more than expected. When I stepped into the backyard, with a tear in my eye I said, “This is home.”
This was it! We knew it. We were standing in the land of grace and blessing. It was what we had dreamed of… but more. Then I was reminded, God’s plans are bigger than mine.
Though, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean physically “bigger” or “more.” When it comes to God’s plans, it just means better. His plans are better than mine. He knows our needs more than we do.
This may not be the typical “dream home” for some people, but it was for us. It’s not an extravagant HGTV showcase home that would hardly need updating. That’s not the type of dream home we talked about anyway.
Our dream home was a country home on country land where we could enjoy a simple life, living off the land as much as we could. It was a place where our boys wouldn’t kick the soccer ball over the fence into the neighbor’s yard 26 times a day. It was a place where we could practice baseball with the kids. It was a place where we could freely enjoy our outdoor lifestyle, have picnics, entertain guests, raise chickens and cows, and have a little bit of backwoods to play around in. In addition, my husband needed a little workshop area to work on rebuilding his classic truck, and it needed to be enough land to build a small house for my mother-in-law.
That’s not too much to ask right? [Laughter]. Where would we find THAT, in our budget, you ask? No clue. It’s really not possible on our terms – all that, in our budget.
But obviously, God had it all planned out. This house was quietly waiting for us.
So, we made an offer. Then, the miracle began. The seller came down $17k right away. We counter offered again, and then we settled at $22k off the sticker price! I knew it! I knew it before we offered, that we weren’t going to pay the asking price. Not only did he come down $22k, but the seller agreed to pay for a 13-month home warranty! God is going to bless that man – I prayed that He would.
A year ago, when we first moved into our rental home after selling our nice and huge manufactured home, many people thought we were crazy and weird. That’s okay. We don’t want to be normal. Normal is impulsive, stressed, and broke! We put an end to that this past year when we tackled our debt with a vengeance! People would ask, “What are y’all going to do? Why are y’all renting? Why don’t y’all just buy a house instead? Aren’t you throwing money away?”
And I would calmly say, “Whenever we are ready, God will have something for us.” I wasn’t just saying that; I really believed it. This would be our third home purchase, and we wanted to do it right this time – without impulse and by totally relying on God. We could have found a home to buy immediately after selling our last home, but we wanted to get rid of all our other debt before buying another home. Sure, we could have still bought a home, even with other debt. People do it all the time, but we weren’t doing that again. We’ve learned better now. We knew that by doing the right thing and by waiting for the right time, we would be truly blessed with the home that was really meant for us.
But to say that this was easy by any means, is absolutely ridiculous. Every single step of this was difficult. Everyone wants easy. But with every difficult step, came more strength from the Lord. Before we knew it, all those steep climbs had built up some really strong faith muscles! I’ve heard it said many times, “Making the right choice and making the difficult choice are usually the same thing.”
All those years and years of right choices have led up to something that has completely taken our breath away. Everything we have consistently done for the past six years has paid off, and God has always filled in the gaps.
As we sat down to sign the papers on our dream home, I was beside myself with overwhelming thankfulness and I was reminded about all the little things with which we have been so diligent: all the late nights and early mornings I’ve spent budgeting every dollar and planning couponing trips, all the tired days I had to put myself together to cook meals for my family so that we don’t have to spend money eating out, all the days and nights I’ve spent cleaning and taking care of and being grateful for what I already have, all the sacrifices we’ve made in the past few years to pay off all that other debt because no where in the Bible does it say debt is a good thing, all the extra hours my husband has spent away from home to do what it took to make more hours at work.
Yes, we have worked hard. Yes, we have sacrificed. But God saw us. He saw every bit of it. He saw that our dreams were not only dreams for us, but dreams for others as well – dreams that allowed His glory to shine. We just want to lead a lifestyle that enables us to be able to serve others. For we know it is not done in vain, and I imagine more blessing being harvested for sowing good stewardship. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reads, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” He answered back with faithfulness, as promised. He has protected our family time and time again, and even through tough times, we have only grown stronger. This house is nothing less than a total BLESSING from the Father, and there is no other explanation.
Don’t ever forget: He has the master plan all laid out. All He requires is obedience, and He will show you that His plans are bigger than yours. You can make all the “plans” you want, but it all boils down to what He has planned for you and your obedience to Him. Nothing in our life has ever gone the exact way we “planned” it. But I DO know one thing is for sure: things have gone the BEST way when we have been diligent and obedient to His Word during the process.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. ~Eph 3:20-21
Here’s a few photos from the listing…
…and here’s some really neat stuff in the kitchen!
Drawers in every bottom cabinet