Behind the scenes of our tour – 3 of 4

Time to really go behind the scenes of the 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks tour! If I heard of a family doing what we did this year, I would also be a bit skeptical and wonder how in the world it worked out. I’ve been working on my own for 4-5 years now. We don’t have a retirement account that is piling up. But with working from home, we also don’t have a limit to vacation time (sort of). Since there’s not much money coming in when I’m not at home working, we hadn’t taken many family vacations the past few years. Marla’s books definitely help out a bit here and there, but not (not yet) in ways that really impact our monthly budget. I wouldn’t say we were in a position (according to culture) to actually attempt all of these trips.

You hear our culture screaming at you all of the time like I do. Work from home doing simple things online and make millions! Go to college and get this job so you can retire early! You can’t be happy living a life from paycheck to paycheck! God’s given me many reasons to believe the world is also full of lies. He’s shown me that a life with more money doesn’t make me happy. He’s given me examples of people that bust their tails to retire, but pass away before even getting to the point of actually reaping all that they’ve piled up. He’s also shown me that He can provide money at the needed time. One rule that our family has lived by the past few years is no credit cards. This tour sure would have been easier if we set that rule aside for 52 weeks, that’s for sure!

So when Marla brought up the idea of doing this, all of these God-lessons from the past were enough to make it seem like there’s was a small chance of it working out. Isn’t that how God works? In order for us to REALLY rely on Him for the large things, He gives us just enough to have the faith we need. And that’s what happened. I worked my tail off for 2-3 weeks, then we jumped in the van for a week, met new friends, and completed a certain amount of zoos in a row. There were moments where we didn’t have enough money to get in the van the next day, and God worked things out hours before we left.

Lots of people have heard about this, knowing that I work from home, and think……”Oh – you’ve got one of those jobs where you have the freedom to work on the road”. Honestly, the only reason I brought my laptop with me was to transfer pictures and videos. I might have fixed one or two things for clients while on the road the entire year, but didn’t actually work or make any money. I enjoyed being responsible for every one of the 22,000 miles of driving, and when we weren’t at a zoo we were either getting to know the nice folks that hosted us at their house or getting some sleep, LOL.

The reason for all of that insanity? To join with my family in believing that God is adventurous and could pull something off that nobody else was capable of. Our lives have been changed as a result, and we pray that those that hear about this might be as well! After hitting the publish button for this entry, I am moving onto my first minute of being back to a normal work schedule here at the desk in quite a while!

PRAYING for our energy to build back up quickly so that we can move forward with God’s work. PRAISING God alone for managing our time and money.

  1. Have you heard of Francis Chan? He’s a Pastor and Author – I’m a big fan. Anyway, he makes an amazing point saying,

    “why is my life more valuable than this baby’s? Someone asked me recently why I don’t save money for emergencies, or retirement. My answer was how can I justify saving for myself ‘just in case’ something happens to me when something IS happening to so many already. 29,000 kids will die today of preventable causes. If I’m to love my neighbor AS myself, why spend so much time worrying about me?”

    This quote has really helped me to rethink the things that I stress about (mainly financial things) – it’s an amazing mentality that he has adopted but one that is SO not the message we receive from our society.

  2. I love, love, love these posts!! Please extend the series!! 😉

    Ali–I LOVE what you wrote! I’ve been meaning to watch/listen to/read Francis Chan. That is SO awesome and EXACTLY how I feel!!

  3. Hey Gabe!

    It’s Sarah from NJ here 🙂 Great post! You guys are such an incredible family and it was such a blessing getting to spend some time with you all on your east coast whirlwind tour. I’ve really enjoyed seeing how God has provided throughout your adventure. Just read about the Early Show on Saturday. HOW AWESOME IS THAT! Take care and God Bless friend!

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