Oh, I have a great life. Not saying I don’t. I am extremely content with my life and with all the Lord’s blessings. (Still motivated to work and improve, but nonetheless content.)
So how did I want my son’s life to be different? I wanted him to have an inheritance.
I’m not talking about spiritual inheritance here, although of course I do want that. We chose his name because it depicts the inheritance we want him to have. Wanting a spiritual inheritance for him wasn’t an epiphany; we had always wanted that. It was a no-brainer.
The epiphany was that I wanted our son to have a financial inheritance specifically.
I want him to work hard in his life, but I also want him to have a generational blessing. At some point in the future, I would love to surprise my son and his future wife, whoever she may be, with things like:
- A down payment on a house … or even a paid-for house! (Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding.)
- The wedding of their dreams.
- A surprise check for a LARGE amount of money for Christmas.
- Paid-for college for their children.
Wouldn’t that be awesome?
I don’t have that kind of money on the day I am writing this, but I know how to get it.
“How to get it” equals hard work and sacrifice. It means staying focused on a goal with laser-like precision over a long period of time. That’s how you get that kind of money, and anyone can do it.
We’ve been saving and paying off debt for years, living extremely frugally. We don’t have cable TV. We drive a 2000-model car with about 250,000 miles on it and a 2008 SUV with a whole lotta miles on it too. We only recently got rid of our old tube TV and got a flat-screen TV. You get the picture.
Because we’ve been working at it for years, we have made massive amounts of progress, and we’re grateful for that. We have paid off credit cards, student loans, cell phone financing plans, an unsecured personal loan, and more. It’s been really hard work, but God has blessed. As soon as we started trying to get out of debt, He helped us.
Now, we have zero debt except a mortgage on our house and a mortgage on our rental house—(real estate #fail, another story for another time). But, we’ve never had a plan in place that would allow us to build the kind of wealth that would allow us to pay for houses, weddings, and huge Christmas surprises.
But when my epiphany struck, I suddenly knew how we could save that kind of money: by paying off our house.
My husband has actually been wanting to make extra principal payments on our house for many years. However, I was never on board.
My theory was: if we have extra cash, we should keep it as cash because all the equity in the world won’t help in case of emergency. For example:
- You can’t use equity to pay your mortgage if a cash emergency happens.
- You can’t use equity to pay the light bill.
- Equity won’t help you a bit in case of job loss or unexpected medical bills (and we’ve had plenty of medical bills lately, that’s for sure).
And forget about a home equity line of credit (HELOC). I’ve been there and done that, and HELOCs stink in my opinion.
But that day, I suddenly didn’t care about my former arguments anymore …
… because I peeked into the future and saw that a paid-for house could unlock the world for us—and for our son.
A paid-off house would free up an entire mortgage payment’s worth of cash every month.
A paid-off house would mean we could save enough money to pay for things like our son’s wedding in the space of months, instead of years (or never).
A paid-off house would mean we could use that mortgage payment to save for our son’s college, so he can graduate without debt.
A paid-off house would mean we would have money available to increase our giving and get the Gospel out, and show our baby the blessings that come with generosity, year after year after year.
A paid-off house could even mean we could gift our children with those surprise Christmas checks. 🙂
And I want to pay off our house because I want those blessings for him.
I want him to know financial security, financial legacy, and the peace of mind that comes with not having to wonder where your groceries are going to come from this week.
I want him to put his energy toward things that he’s called to do, and not worry about whether his parents are going to have our house foreclosed on.
I want him to know that money is a walk in the park for us and for him, because it’s a walk in the park for God.
My God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). I want Him to SEE this truth in our lives, not just hear us quote it without ever actually living it. I want to model the abundance that I preach; the abundance Jesus died to give us.
We are blessed in all things. We really are. We have plenty and enough to spare. But that day, in that moment, I saw a whole new reality. I saw such a glimpse of what the future could be that it gripped my spirit and changed my behavior in one moment.
It’s not like I was wasting money before. I wasn’t. But I suddenly became willing to make whatever sacrifice I needed to make in order to pay off our house, and pay it off quickly.
So while my husband drove, I found an online calculator or two and began figuring out how fast we could pay off our house.
The numbers showed that we can pay it off about eight years earlier than the loan documents say … IF we are willing to make sacrifices, and if Papa provides a certain amount of money each month. It was money we had never planned on allocating toward this purpose, but we were suddenly willing to do it.
I was suddenly willing to do it.
And my husband, God bless him, was gracious and gentle. He didn’t berate me for not ever being willing before. He simply agreed that paying off the house would make a huge difference, and that it was the best possible thing we could do.
So we decided that, effective the first of the year, we would begin paying X amount in extra principal payments on our mortgage.
We knew we would have to sacrifice BIG. We also knew it would take a miracle. Papa would have to provide.
BUT … we also knew that our decision was pleasing to Him. After all, it lines up with His Word!
So we prayed! “Father, please provide and help us to pay this amount each month.” We wrote down our goal on our financial vision board, signed and dated it, and took communion over it. And we believed God.
Well, that was just last year, and the extra payments only began in January of this year.
So we’ve had two months of extra principal payments so far. In January, we didn’t have all the money we needed for our target amount at first. So we paid what we had in hand at the time.
But then, the rest of the money to meet our goal came in toward the end of the month. (Thank You, Lord!) Our mortgage company wouldn’t accept a principal-only payment; we had to wait until the next regular mortgage payment was due in order to add the extra principal. So we saved that money until February, and this month Papa provided what we needed to make this month’s goal as well. So when we paid our mortgage this month, we attached those extra payments to it.
We know that this will be a walk of faith. But here are the 3 things we’ve found that apply to any step of faith:
1. God will come up under you to help you, as soon as you take steps of obedience.
He does often wait for you to make the first move. When He does that, He’s testing you. He wants to see if you will obey Him for the sake of obedience–or if you require evidence your flesh can see before you’re willing to step out in faith.
2. God hears and answers our prayers; and the more specific the prayer, the more specific the answer.
We are praying for a specific amount to come in to apply to the mortgage each month. As I’m writing this, it occurred to me that we ought to ask for even more. Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever dare to ask, hope, or think. Why aren’t I asking for that?
But at any rate, we are asking Him to send a specific amount and He has. I believe He will continue to do so, and that amount can even increase as we pray more specifically.
3. Sometimes He helps by gripping our heart and spirit with the vision, so the sacrifice is easy.
Many of you may have experienced that when fasting. When you fast with supernatural grace, you care more about drawing close to God, and receiving the breakthroughs on your prayer list, than you care about eating.
Well, He has definitely gripped me with this vision of leaving a legacy for our son by paying off our house.
I can see that vision. I can feel it. I can taste it. And that vision means more to me than skipping dinners out or an evening at the movies.
And the takeaway for you is …
Do you want to change the generations of your family? Have you had a vision of what your legacy could be?
If not, I encourage you to dream with God about your financial future. Dream with Him about every aspect of your life and of your descendants’ lives. If you are willing to dream a little, He will open up His vision of your future to you. He will show you what could happen, if you want it badly enough.
And when He does, ask Holy Spirit to grip your spirit, soul, and body with such hunger for that vision that the sacrifice suddenly becomes worth it.
Pray this with me:
“Father God, in Jesus’ name, please help me to dream with You. Show me what Your plans are for my life. Show me what You have in store for me–and what I could receive if I get on board with Your vision.
Then, Papa God, please grip my spirit, soul, and body with this vision. Help me to desire Your highest and best will for me more than I desire fleshly extravagances and indulgences. Help me to take steps toward the future YOU have for me with joy and enthusiasm. Help me to write the vision down, pray specifically over it every day, and walk in faith every step of the way.
Thank You, Father God. I give You all the glory, and I thank You that all this is possible because Jesus died for me and brought me back to You. I love You, and I bless Your name.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
Does this word stir a dream in your heart? If so, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!