We believe that our story has happened the way it has because we honor God with our tithes and offerings, no matter how much or little we made.
The summer of my Senior year at VCU, Jen was frustrated with work and really wanted to quit–at that time I was only working part time and taking 12 credit hours. How were we going to make what little ends meet if we both weren’t working? Eventually savings would run out. So we sowed and prayed for increase.
That Thanksgiving, Jen just couldn’t take it anymore and she left the job working as a nanny. I was only working 20 hours a week, so Jen did need to start working again, however she took off the month of December to detox from that nanny position. After some unfortunate circumstances between that Thanksgiving and New Years, 2 people at the office I was interning no longer worked there. There was a back office administration position, and the front desk receptionist/administration position open now. January 31st they hired Jen, full time, as their receptionist for almost double what she was making as a nanny!
Because I was still in school, I had classes in the middle of the day, but some days we could commute together. Life was good, Jen and I were both working at the same office, saving money, but the spring semester was underway, and graduation was fast approaching. My internship was ending soon, and I didn’t have any job offerings that I appealed to me. God pulled through as he always has and another advisor in the office was looking to expand his practice and hire a paraplanner. I interned with that advisor over the summer of 2011 and September 1st he hired me full time. How many people in the finance related job market in a 8-10% unemployment environment get hired right out of school?
One thing that Jen and I did all along this time was prayer with a purpose. Most people scribble a check before the offering basket comes by, but when we wrote our tithe checks, we both physically laid hands on our check before we went to church and prayed blessing over it. Our prayer was to be the Joseph’s of the world, where because we as Kingdom children work in the market place, that our employers would, “have no concern about anything but the food they eat” because God is with us (Exodus 39:1-6).
The practice that Jen worked for was so successful that Jen got the top end bonuses every quarter in 2011.
When we filed taxes in 2011 (for 2010 tax year), Jen’s old employer from the nanny position did some funny business with how taxes were reported to the IRS. So, when we filed we had to pay $1800 in taxes. My accountant recommended that we get the return in before the deadline, and after tax season we’d re-file. We physically laid hands on our amended tax return and prayed for favor, sent it to the IRS in May. In September, we got a check in the mail from the IRS with a refund of $2,800.
I bought a black 1999 Ford GT mustang convertible 5-speed with 91,000 miles free of car payments. We prayed and sowed a financial seed that we had received a car within those parameters. In the back of my mind, I didn’t want to buy this car from someone who had abused it; I wanted to buy from some old lady who babied it. Wouldn’t you know it–I got the car from a senior citizen school teacher from Manikin-Sabot who was the original owner from the dealer.
May 2008 I bought Jen a ’95 Miata M-Edition with 100,000 miles for $700 when we were still dating. Hurricane Irene took the car away from us at the end of 2011, which was really a blessing in disguise, because USAA gave us $4,200 for the car NET of the deductible–that’s a 500% return on investment! We had considered selling it, but as a car guy I knew we weren’t going to get more than $2,800 for it in the open market in the condition it was in. We took the money from the insurance company and put it aside to pay for the rest of Jen’s tuition for her bachelors. It is possible to be a student without student loans.
Our next goal is to buy a home free and clear of mortgage payments–we are praying for the opportunity to catch the gold coin in the fish’s mouth so to speak–stay tuned.