As an avid traveler, people always ask me how I manage to travel so much. “What do you do?” “How do you have so much time off from your job?” “How do you afford it?” All wonderful questions. If you know me, you know that I’m always looking for travel deals. My travel diva of choice is The Green Eyed Venuist. Now I know you opened this up thinking that I would have a full list of tips, tricks, and ways to travel cheap. The reality of the question, “How do you afford to travel the world on $30,000 a year?” is simply, OBEDIENCE.
God rewards faithfulness. He knows our deepest desires. When he asked me to step away from my job, making a comfortable amount of money in 2014, I hesitated. I ran the numbers. I calculated all that I would need to continue to live the lifestyle that I was accustomed to. $30K simply was not enough, but that was the offer that presented itself. After much prayer for guidance and direction, I took the leap of faith and took the job anyway. Best decision of my life. Who knew that the 30K a year job was a work-from-home opportunity with a flexible schedule? Who knew that the job offers 3 weeks paid vacation in addition to two weeks off for the Christmas holiday? So that answers the questions: “What do you do?” (I work) and “How do you have so much time off from your job?”
I realized the answer to the other question on my visit to London. I decided to go on a Study Abroad trip for the Social Work program I am in. When I signed up, I had NO idea how extremely expensive it would turn out to be. Adding up the numbers (or should I say subtracting the numbers) shortly before the trip, I thought to myself “I am not going to be able to do too much there.” At least I have a friend out there, I figured. I contacted him to see if he would be available to hang out, and he was.
The arrival and time in London was something so much greater than I ever could have imagined. From the time I arrived, everything was lined up – theater tickets, train pass, activities. He even treated myself and my classmates (2 of whom *I* had only met the previous day) to a full-expense paid day out exploring London. After thanking him profusely, his response was, “It’s good Karma. Everything I have ever done for people has come back to me.”
Now I’m no believer in “karma,” so to speak. But I do believe that one reaps what they sow (Galatians 6:7). How great a person he must be, I thought.
The next day, I began reading “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God,” by Lysa Terkeurst.
Oh, dear friend, the call to become a woman who says yes to God is the fresh invitation your soul is looking for. We all feel a tug at our heart and a stirring in our soul for more, but we are often afraid to venture past our comfort zone. Outside our comfort zone, though, is where we experience the true awesomeness of God.”
In that moment, the Spirit impressed on me that I have been given the desires of my heart because I said “Yes.” I said to God, “I don’t know how this is going to work, but I know this is what you are asking me to do, so I say yes.” Fear, doubt and uncertainty must be pushed aside with the reassuring belief that “God’s got this.” We have to KNOW, truly know that everything is in His hands. God can do more in an instant than we can do in a lifetime, but we have to step aside and let him work.
So how do I afford to travel? Obedience.
Obedience gets me a $5o flight to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Obedience gets me free room and meals in Lake Tahoe during ski season.
Obedience gets me a $280 flight to Spain for Christmas.
Obedience gives me a personal tour guide and financed tour through London.
I can’t remember who said it, but they said it best when they said,
You don’t need more money, you need more God.
On my last evening in London, I’d planned to turn in early. It was getting late, and I was tired. On a whim, I got back up and decided to go to a restaurant I’d seen online. I hopped on the tube and headed over. I arrived around 10 only to be told that they would not be taking any walk ins until 11:30. They invited me to sit by the bar and wait. I figured why not? I sat down and ordered a drink and appetizer from the limited bar menu. Before my appetizer could arrive, the hostess walked over to inform me that there had been a cancellation and my table was ready. I walked over to my seat, right by the window. As I sat down, I had an “IS THIS REALLY MY LIFE?!” moment. Here I am, in London, England, on the 40th floor of this magnificent restaurant with floor to floor windows gazing out over the city, eating duck confit on a waffle and drinking a butternut squash & clementine bellini. Won’t He do it? Won’t He do it?
So what is it that God has been asking you to say yes to? I talked about comfort zones in my previous blog, but let’s dig even deeper. What is God asking you to do that is not only out of your comfort zone, but completely ridiculous in the flesh? What is that thing that has been pulling on your heart strings that other people may think, “That is crazy to do! Why would you do something like that?!”
Your next level of promotion is going to require a deeper level of sacrifice.
Luke 16:10 tells us “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Maybe it’s a small step that God is calling you to take, or maybe it is something that God has been asking you to let go of? There are some things that are technically “no big deal,” but if God says to let it go, we have to let it go – a habit, a friend, a pastime. Many times it’s not the act, but the refusal to surrender the act when you are asked. In the refusal to say “yes” to God, we are saying to Him, “my way is better than your way.” As long as you feel that way, He is willing to let you find your way on your own.
But how much better could things be if you let God have His way with your life?
As I looked out over the Tower Bridge in London, I was awed at the beauty. Webster defines a bridge as “
Now I’m not saying that you should go quit your job, nor am I saying that saying yes to God will get you on trips around the world. What I am saying is that obedience opens up doors for God to release his blessings upon our lives. Blessings that we will not have room enough to receive (Malachi 3:10).