My husband and I have a goal to finish paying off our debt by our 10th wedding anniversary this August.
Do you know what we want to do once we’re out of debt?
We want to move into a tiny home in the country. We wish for tons of space to roam around in our own backyard. We want to get a dog for our energetic animal-loving four year old and a porch swing for our avid-reading eight year old.
We want campfires in the summertime and picturesque snowy nights in the wintertime. We long to see the vibrant stars in a way that is only possible without city lights. We hope to grow old there together.
Do you see what we’re doing? We’re dreaming with each-other about our future.
It hasn’t always been that way.
For years, we made painfully slow progress on debt payments. We didn’t like sacrificing to pay off debt, but we also knew that we don’t want to live in debt forever. Getting on the same page was difficult.
We had a goal to be debt free but no real plan for what we’d do next. Now, we have a plan. We’ve made a chart. We’re selling stuff online. We’re pulling some extra work hours.
We know what our next step is.
I love this dreaming together. To make it even better, while I was simply dreaming, Nathan was busy doing. He looked around online and found a tiny house that’s for sale in the country, complete with a pond, a garage, and lots and lots of land. To top it all off, this home is in our (future) price range and it’s just about our ideal location.
I chose the latter. So one Sunday morning, I got up a little early and made a very simple lunch, then wrapped everything up and put it in an insulated lunch tote.
After church, I told everyone I had a surprise and I handed out the food in the car. We drove to the property Nathan had found. It was vacant so we walked around the outside together. We talked. We planned. We dreamed. Grace (4) asked if we could please finish paying off debt this week so we can move into that house the next day. Lily (8) found the perfect reading spot.
It was glorious. While we were exploring the area, I realized that we do so many things together: we work, learn, grow, serve, play, worship, and travel. But this whole time, we’ve been missing something: the dreaming together.
Dreaming is so good. Will we ever move out to the country? I certainly hope so, but I don’t know what tomorrow holds. Will we get that house? Maybe, maybe not. By the time we’re ready to buy, it may be sold. All of us know that.
But now our dream feels more like a future reality, something much more tangible than various different abstract ideas swirling around in our heads. Now when we talk about “the country” we all have the same picture in our minds. We have a similar dream, and a common goal.
Paying off debt is no longer a burden – it’s exciting because we have a plan for what to do next.
If you don’t have a current dream with your spouse, and your kids if they’re still living at home, go ahead and give it a try. It can be something as small as planning a Saturday just to have fun together or taking a family walk after dinner one evening. It may be getting out of debt so you can afford to take an overseas mission trip.
Maybe you think you and your spouse only have different dreams right now. It’s perfectly okay to dream about different things (trust me, my husband does not dream of having a book in print one day, and I definitely don’t dream about fixing more computers!). Be willing to listen to the heart behind each-others dreams and find something in common. Then work towards that.
Only God knows the future, but in the meantime, dreaming together is so good.
“…I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done…” Isaiah 46:9-10 (NKJV)