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I can hardly believe I’m typing these words…

We bought a house!

This has been a long time coming. We have been praying about moving for over a year now, we came very close to buying two other houses that fell through along the way (with lots of heartache and disappointment), and we are convinced that God was holding out the very best for us throughout this journey. Goodness it feels SO GOOD to finally share this news! We are absolutely in LOVE with our new home!! (I promise Milly is happy about it, in spite of her face below, ha!)

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For the last 8.5 years, we have lived in our beloved townhome. When we moved in, it felt massive compared to our first apartment. A 3 bedroom, 3 story townhome was the perfect fit for our life, as the first floor accommodated our garage and the NRP studio space, the 2nd floor is our kitchen / living / dining area, and our 3rd floor are our 3 bedrooms. We had room to spare!

Fast forward to 2018: we are busting at the seams! Our 3 bedroom townhouse now hosts so many wonderful people: Me, Will, our two precious little girls who share a room, our great dane Winston, my team: Callie, Olivia, Jen, our intern, our wonderful nanny, and often times brides and potential clients. Will and I both work from home (his office doubles as our pop up guest room), so on days we are all here… it gets quite fun ;).

Our journey has been so unique. We paid off our townhome back in 2012, and we believe strongly in living debt free. It has been incredible to live 100% debt free for 5 years now, and we have been saving all along the way.

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And even so, we’ve had a lot of life changes along the way. 2 new babies. 2 job changes for Will. 2 maternity leaves for me.

Enter: a lot of grace that I’ve had to heap on myself. Because in all of that saving and planning, LIFE happened. And while it was my greatest dream to pay for our next house in cash, we didn’t meet the savings goals we needed to do so.

I’m going to be honest: I struggled with this a LOT. I felt immense shame and guilt for carrying that debt free banner and now going back into debt for this new house. It’s been something I’ve been wrestling with over and over. (You can listen more about that here.) But two significant things happened that confirmed this was the right step for us:

1. A godly friend of ours called me out on my pride, and how too much of my identity was swept up in debt freedom. He looked at us and said the best thing for us would be to go back into debt, to make sure our identity is in Jesus and not our accomplishments. #ouch. But man, I needed to hear that.

2. I re-learned, for the thousandth time, that contentment is never in a finish line. Contentment doesn’t ever arrive because of an accomplishment or goal. Contentment is something I get to choose: whether I’m debt free or not. Whether I’m where I want to be or not. So this next chapter of contentment is not one I would have written myself, but in laying down my pride, I’m choosing to be content yet again.

So, with ALL of that said, I’m incredibly grateful. This house is already such a blessing! And we still have plans to pay it off in 3 years or less, God willing, realizing that lots more life will happen along the way.

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So here’s the story in a nutshell:

October: We began looking
November: House #1 falls through
December: More looking
January: House #2 falls through
February: More looking
March: Found a foreclosure house + put an offer on it!
May: Closed on our house, Renovations began
June: MOVE!

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(I took this selfie after we looked at 6 houses in 1 day, knowing we had just found THE house.)

Here are some things I’m MOST excited about:

• A yard!! We will be living on over an acre. Winston will be BESIDE himself.
• A giant driveway to accommodate parking (instead of our current tiny shared guest lot)
• A completely separate NRP studio building – on the same property!
• A bonus room for the kiddos
• A kitchen with a farmhouse sink
• So many garages.
• Linen closets (I’ve never had one!) and extra storage closets
• It’s out in the country
• A freestanding tub (I just can’t)
• Real hardwoods

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The freezing cold day we went to check out the house and get quotes for renovations

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Closing day Chick-fil-a picnic!

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The new NRP Studio Space!

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Me inside the new NRP studio!

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The Kitchen “before” : that wall is coming down to open up an island

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The Bathroom “before” : it’s already demolished

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Me, being a total dork. I texted this selfie to my mom and sister when we decided to make any offer on it.

So there you have it. I’m a little in awe this is happening, and just so incredibly thankful. You can follow along with our renovations and move here on the blog and on Instagram @nancyray!

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COMMENTS

Huge congratulations Ray family! This is wonderful. I can’t wait to see photos after the renovations. This is a dream come true! You are such an inspiration, and whether or not you have a mortgage doesn’t change that!

May God continue to bless you and your family!!

you’ve been asking what us readers want to see more of on the blog and this post, for me, is IT! i love the honesty, authenticity, and relatability! thanks for sharing and congratulations!!

Congratulations! How exciting for yall! We are on baby step 6 and your #1&2 hit me like a ton of bricks today (exactly when i needed it #overachiever). I still listened to your debtfreescream and squeeled in excitement but remembered what we want our legacy to be after all the baby steps -pointing to Jesus. Im excited for our journey and yours too. I cant wait to see your renovation photos. Enjoy!

Gretchen Saffles

SO incredibly excited for you all Nancy! It is going to be such a great adventure and I can’t wait to see the home you create for your family and friends!

Lindsay Corrigan

Nancy, I am so overjoyed for y’all! I just love this so much. I love your heart and how transparent you are. God loves when we enjoy his blessings – even when those blessings hurt a little bit or put us beside ourselves! I love your #1& #2! We constantly need to examine our hearts to make sure our identity is truly in Jesus – thank you for that reminder! And what a great friend! Enjoy this sweet time! Home renovations are hard… but y’all are gonna rock it. I can’t wait to see what you do with this awesome house to make it a home!

I’m so happy for y’all! What an amazing journey! Thank you for sharing about the debt free identity part. I’ve been struggling with that too! We love being debt free, but we have dreams some that would mean a lot of debt or a little debt. It’s a battle I didnt see coming.

So, so happy for you all!! Can’t wait to see it in person! :)

Congrats!!! Thank you for sharing your journey and your heart. I love the way God flips our expectations – centering focus back on Him.

COBGRATULATIONS!!!

I love this Nancy!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! So so happy for you all! Can’t wair to see the renovations! ❤️

Congratulations! It looks amazing. Thank you for sharing the part about your friend calling you out on being prideful and wrapping up too much of your identity in being debt free. I am currently doing the debt snowball and keep putting my hope in the finish line. What a great reminder of our true identities regardless of our circumstances. Thank you again!

Congratulations Ray family! God is so faithful to provide! :)

YAYYYYY NANCY!!!! So so so exciting.

That is so exciting! Congrats! We bought a foreclosure that we have been renovating for the last two years! It’s so rewarding to watch the transformation and have it be yours!! Enjoy!!

So happy for your family Nancy and praying that God will bless your new home abundantly!

I wept reading this. I love a happy ending. And btw… your godly friend’s message totally checked me. We have been living debt free for quite some time. As I was reading the beginning of this post, I started feeling guilt as we are doing the same thing you are….going into debt over a house. Your friend’s words set me straight. God has seasons for us. If we won’t let go of one, we can’t move into the next. Thank you for sharing this. And all the YAYness in the world for you and yours!!

🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼Yes!!!

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