Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On Freedom

Since we are Americans, we should know what freedom looks like. We didn't. We didn't appreciate it. We jeopardized it and we spent years trying to reclaim it. We made bad decisions and we were slaves to our first world requirements. We let it happen to us, yeah, we did it to ourselves. We believed in the American Dream by putting our hope in a corrupt government and lifestyle, and it became our nightmare. We were on a financial merry go round ride that seemed to never end. We wanted off and we wanted out. We were in deep and it took years to release ourselves from all that bondage. Am I being dramatic? a little... but honestly we were choking and drowning and couldn't breathe. We had it all in a worldly painful distorted way, and we paid for it in monthly installments. 
Our path to financial freedom took years and it didn't come easy at all. Becoming debt free was by far the hardest thing we ever accomplished while raising 6 kids. Today it feels so good and it's far better than we ever imagined. Once we committed to our debt free living plan, we named it "operation freedom"...we worked it, we sacrificed for it and it was hard. We became weirdos when it came to saving money. We enjoyed family get togethers, games, thrift store shopping, and opted for inexpensive gifts. We gave our kids what they needed most, our time, shelter, food, and education. We didn't take big vacations or buy cars either...we never owned a car that seated all 8 of us. We camped, went on picnics, enjoyed zoos, parks and museums. These were good days and we made good memories. We conditioned ourselves not to respond to life with money, usually this meant going without. The more we cut back and lived simply the better it felt and the faster we saw success in our Operation Freedom. However, we had to take a break from it at times, sometimes even putting it on the back burner for a season.
We always remained hopeful for the day we would become debt free. The planning and sacrifice took about 7 years and today I can say it was worth it!! I've told this story over and over, but there may be someone waiting for a sign so here it is... Do it now! Start today. Come up with a plan and work it everyday til you are debt free. Yes, it will take time, but it will be worth it in the end. We would have never been able to experience this temporary travel life with the weight of debt on our shoulders. Operation Freedom eventually released us from our old dream and launched us into our new travel dream, Plan A. We flip flop back and forth between Plan A and Plan A.1, and Plan A.2. Yes, we named our dream, too! We planned it, we prayed over it, and we worked it. We didn't call people up and ask them what they thought about our dream. Harsh, I know, but our dream was big and some people were not ready for our dream, so we kept it close to our heart. We committed our plans to the Lord and trusted our future to God's ultimate plan, which is so much better than anything we could have ever imagined. When we were weak and hopeless, God sent confirmation to us in the most unlikely scenarios. To this day, many people will never know what they did to help make our dream a reality, but you spoke truth to us, you loved us, you let us go and in that we found peace as we prepared for this journey....
The sacrifice of Operation Freedom was worth it.
Today we stay committed and trust God's plan for us.    
Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

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