I am happy to announce that the Andriese family is officially DEBT FREE… and this is my Debt Free Scream. For those of you who are not familiar with Dave Ramsey or Financial Peace University, it is okay if what you just read makes no sense. For those of you who are familiar with Dave, I am virtually high five-ing you all with a cheesy grin on my face.
Dave Ramsey is a highly recommended resource for anyone. We all deal with money and we all need to spend time learning how to manage it. Dave’s principles and ideas are conservative and taken straight from God’s word. Through that study, my husband and I after almost ten years of marriage developed a plan to make our money work for us instead of our past passive approach of working for money and hoping we had enough each month.One of the main points that Dave makes is to avoid debt at all costs. It is a non-negotiable principle for him which my husband and I applied to our own family. He emphasizes this by using the scripture from Proverbs 6:1-5 which says,
Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
You’re in that man’s clutches!
Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
fly like a bird from the trapper!
I choose to quote the Message Bible for this post because the language is so easily adaptable. The comparison is simple, we should do everything possible in life to avoid debt like a deer avoids a hunter.
Because my hubby and I were in debt from a student loan, when we heard this message we put a plan in place to pay off our debt (Run like a deer) as soon as possible. We mutually decided to sacrifice from March 2016 to March 2017 as much time, energy, dates, and extras to pursue the goal of becoming debt free.
When I say we mutually decided to sacrifice, I mean it; however, I think for the first four months I would pray every day for there to be a check in the mail or an inheritance we could cash in on. I scanned our house over and over to appraise our furniture hoping we owned something worth selling. We live simply and didn’t have anything to sell. No checks came in the mail, instead, I got a job. And there was no mysterious inheritance to cash in on. We choose to slim down on Christmas and birthdays like we planned. We had to view the process of sacrifice just as life-giving from the Lord as if we were to have a generous benefactor come alongside us and hand us the money.
So, here is what I learned last year as we embraced adulting and sacrifice:
- It is an honor to engage in a life where my kids will experience liberty because of what we were willing to sacrifice.
- Focus equals power, whatever you focus on you give power to in your life, this includes, complaining, whining, comparing, exhaustion, and hope. I am in control of what I empower.
- It’s a team effort. My friends, kids, and family all yoked up alongside us as we toiled with our head down last year to accomplish this dream to pay off our debt. Life is better in community (even when you can’t afford to take anyone out to lunch).
- The greatest privilege of all was partnering with my husband and this dream of his. I had no idea how joining forces with him, in his passion, would affect his heart and hope level. I also learned the best parts of you come alive when you serve other people’s dreams. I am a better person, friend, wife, daughter, mom, and servant because I can yield to the favor and opportunities that God has for someone else without feeling resentful or left out. No check in the mail can teach you that.
It’s been a long year. I can’t wait to celebrate with my family. If you ask my daughter the lowest point of our year, as we paid off our debt, was a free adventure of ice skating on plastic sheets in an outlet mall. We will eventually forget the things we had to say no to but, I hope we never forget the treasures that we gained as we worked together to, “Live like no one today so we could live like no one else tomorrow.” -Dave Ramsey
When you take the time to serve someone’s dream it gives you a place in time, so when your turn comes,
you will have full faith and confidence for yourself to pursue your dreams!- Shawn Bolz
Redefined by Grace,