The Plan: Sell Everything. Live in an RV. Give Every Day.

The Plan: Sell Everything. Live in an RV. Give Every Day. 1

Our 3-year-old was talking to one of her friends on the phone this week: "Our plan is to sell our house, live in an RV, and help lots of people and all of the kids who don't have food."

She said it so confidently, so excitedly. She said it with sparkling eyes, with adventure in her voice, with faith in her heart.

Tim and I looked at each other, smiling, scared, "Are we really going to do this?"

The answer practically leapt from our hearts, "We can't NOT do this."

As it stands right now, we have the American Dream - a comfortable house in a suburban neighborhood, two cars, two kids, two masters degrees, good jobs, close friends.

Yet, every night for the past two years, Tim and I stay up late and talk about how the world is hurting - how people are poor, sick, lonely, uncertain, hungry, helpless, and hopeless.

We know - without a shadow of a doubt - that we can't just sit here. We won't.

This week, we jumped off of a the unknown.

Our house is officially "For Sale."

You heard the plan already. Sell everything. Buy an RV. Travel the country. Give - every day. (And learn every day).

We'll be chronicling our journey here on the blog - as we sell our things, figure out full-time RVing (Health insurance! Permanent mailing addresses! Laundromats! Oh my!), and - eventually - hit the road.

We hope you'll subscribe to our feed or sign up to receive new blog posts via e-mail. We hope you'll tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter and in real life about the crazy family who is giving up everything to gain something bigger than everything. The more people that know, the more people we can help - together.

We look forward to getting to know you better. Perhaps in the not-so-distant-future, we'll be stopping in at your town.

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Please leave us a comment. Wish us luck. Tell us we're crazy. Give us ideas. We want to hear from you!

134 comments on “The Plan: Sell Everything. Live in an RV. Give Every Day.”

  1. You guys are crazy...and completely amazing! I can't wait to hear details. I'm so awed by this giant leap of faith you are taking. I know you will be blessed!

  2. Wow! That is scarily amazing! Will be praying for you all :)

    Look forward to hearing more about this plan!

  3. Stephanie, this is making me cry, seriously. My heart is just bursting for you and your family. What a radical leap! It makes me feel a bit silly about mourning our move from 2,000 square feet to 1,200 square feet. But thank you, because it has also just completely shifted the way I'm thinking about our upcoming move. Now I'm thinking, "Look at what Metropolitan Mama is doing! Surely I can do this!"

    I'm inspired, I'm excited and I'm overjoyed for you guys. You ARE crazy, but the very best kind of crazy.

    As you journey around, please put Chattanooga on your itinerary. I can't wait to hear all the great ways you give back, and to learn all the ways that I can help in some small way!

  4. I'm so glad that you are finally to the point where you, as a family, can begin to realize your shared dream - to give back, to help others. I don't think you're crazy at all - you're just reaching for the stars instead of continuing to sit around and talk about reaching for the stars.

    Now... all those practical things: health insurance? oh my... we looked into buying private health insurance once and it was scary, I hope it's better now and you find a good plan. Permanent mailing address? set up a PO Box in the same town you are in now - or where you have a close trusted family member who will check it for you regularly. And living in an RV? buy a big one, with slides and a kitchen that isn't a walk-through kitchen, make sure you're truck is 4WD and be prepared to trip over each other a lot :)

  5. Wow! I am so excited to be following your journey! What an awesome way to put your faith into action...I know God will bless beyond measure and I can't wait to see it happen! Blessings!

  6. Crazy? Absolutely. Incredibly amazing gift to so many others? Definitely! Congratulations, but OH MAN will you ever be missed! Best of luck!

  7. This brought tears to my eyes. be so obedient to the needs of others. You guys are such an inspiration and an amazing story. I can't wait to read all about each step of this journey.

    To give up everything to gain it all in a totally different way is such a leap, but to see faith so strong is so encouraging. And although, right now we won't be doing anything that dramatic you really have got me thinking about what I can do to give more!!

    You guys are awesome!

  8. WOW!! I have always enjoyed reading MM, but I am completely inspired now!! I look forward to supporting you guys through prayer (and any other way I can) as you face this awesome challenge..... so exciting! When you make it down to GA I hope we'll be able to meet and work together for the good of others somehow.

  9. Wow. Amazing and inpiring...not to mention how liberating it all sounds! I'm looking forward to watching your journey unfold. Best wishes!

  10. You are truly inspiring. What an amazing thing you are planning.

    I cannot wait to see what the world holds for you and yours as you attain this dream.

    You are truly a beautiful person inside and out. God Bless you!

  11. Um...A-MAZING!! What an incredible journey you guys will be on!! I will be praying! This is exciting and a little bit crazy...which makes it all the more amazing and so inspiring. I CANNOT wait to see how God uses you guys in this! Thank you for being brave and taking this leap! And...they make some pretty great RV's. Did I mention that there is an RV park right down the street from my house...that is on the ocean. Our town could use lots of help! ;-)

  12. This is something we have talked about doing too. Selling everything, buying an rv and hitting the road and learning along the way. For now...feel free to stop in Goshen, IN for a home cooked meal, hot shower and place to play and sleep. You are welcome any time!!

  13. Congrats on your decision you guys! It sounds perfect for your family and I can't wait to hear about all your adventures. I'm also crossing my fingers that your adventures take you to Minnesota so that we can finally meet and I can get my hands dirty helping out your cause. Keeping you in my prayers.

  14. I can't come up with a word to describe you and your family. Amazing is the one that stands out most to me, but I see the case is the same with everyone else. I wish you lots of luck and can't wait to hear more about your plans and your adventure!

  15. You guys are awe-inspiring, graciously giving and incredibly intentional!! Our family is so excited for you guys! Gary and I think that this is a perfect journey for you and your family to take! I am honestly lost for words. This is a CRAZY idea....Crazy amazing! We need to get together before you leave....I would love to hear all the exciting plans you have and see the twinkle in your eyes as you tell me!!

    *We will be praying and watching your journey unfold through this super cool, light a fire under my bum, inspiring blog*

  16. Now I'm positive I want to come live with you! I'm so excited to watch you and your family on this adventure. If you ever end up in my neck of the woods, do let me know. I'd love to meet you and help you help the needy in my hometown.


  17. this is SO awesome! it was easy for just andy and I to sell everything and travel...but to travel with kids and with the purpose you have is a call from God. I'm so excited to follow your journey...we might meet up on the road!

  18. This is so exciting! I have been following the Janssen family for a long time. They are a christian family that's traveling the country, living in an RV. I have always loved the idea but want more about the "how" of things.

    I can't wait to follow along on your journey with you. You and Tim are so inspiring. I hope your family passes through Maryland one day!

    Love the site design, it really looks fabulous! Congratulations on your big leap of faith!

    (You may already read them but if not here is the Jansens website: )

    1. Thanks for the Janssen's website. I hadn't been there before. They look like they are having a great time! :)

    2. Tim's not one to brag, but I just have to say that he's the mastermind and designer behind the site. I totally love the way it turned out. We still have resources to add and things to tweak (not to mention the fact that our server is going crazy-slow), but it's definitely getting there. :)

      P.S. Thanks for the link to the Janssen's website. I just started following Sara on Twitter because of you.

  19. It is so obvious that God is central in your families lives - you are beautiful examples of giving and you do so even when it's not convenient (two little ones in an RV?!?) I am inspired and in awe of you- and I hope you are in Los Angeles or North Dakota soon so I can meet this superstar family in person! If you ever need a place to stay - we'd be honored to have you :) GOD BLESS YOU GUYS!

    1. We won't have much space (it's true!), but we'll have the world as our backyard. I'm sure there will be stressful moments, but - actually - I think we'll love living close like that. :)

      Do you spend part of the year in L.A. and part of the year in South Dakota? We hope to meet up w/ you on our journey...

  20. It's funny but this morning I was up way early and thought of you and the fact that your house was for sale. Then the question of why and what will they do came up, and then the thought flew into my head that you are selling everything to live in an RV and travel. But this, this is more than just traveling, this is helping others. I for one, can't wait to see the journey unfold!! :)

  21. Love it!!! I pray that I could trust God so deeply if God asked such a leap of faith of me. You know, Savannah, GA is a great place to visit...

  22. I hope I can talk you into an overnighter in Tiny Town, Kansas. ;) No laundromat here, but I'll reserve our machines for you! Can't wait to follow along!

  23. You guys are the definition of inspiring. I pray that God will use you guys beyond anything you could have imagined through this exciting journey! Can't wait to hear about all of your adventures! :)

  24. how completely amazing and selfless of your family!! i can't wait to follow every step of your journey! your children are so blessed to be raised by parents who love not only them deeply but others as well!!

  25. Your website was brought to my attention by my wife Heidi. You're very brave. I know we don't even know each other but I'm very excited for you guys!

    To say this is going to be life-changing for you guys is almost redundant. What's even more important though, is the lives of the people who you'll be helping.

    We will certainly keep you in our prayers and pray for more people like to to do the same. Who knows, maybe you'll even start a movement. You've certainly got me thinking.... :)

    PS - if you're ever in Southern California and need a place to wash your clothes, just let us know!

    1. We are so excited about the near future it is hard to sleep at night. Thanks for your enthusiasm!

      Since you are "thinking," don't hesitate to send your thoughts our way. :)

  26. This is such an amazing idea and adventure you guys are taking on! God will bless you all and many others through this I know. If you don't mind my asking, I have some logistics questions because I think this is such a great idea and I want to know more about how it will work out. I am wondering what you will do for income? Are you planning on living off selling everything, or are you going to approach this as a mission field and try and get help from individuals/churches so you can give even more to other people? How will you guys pick the places you travel to? Do you already have particular locations that you feel are in need? So curious!!

  27. Life is such a journey...why not live in an RV and embrace it! God is with you wherever you go so enjoy living your dream! When you reach MN, you can use my washer and the kids can play here.

  28. That is crazy awesome!!!! I'm so excited to see where all of this takes y'all. If you happen to be wandering through Central Mississippi shoot me an email! :)

  29. Oh my gosh, I am an uncontrollable mess of tears right now. I have goosebumps and I'm so proud of you guys, so humbled by your sacrifice. SO excited for your adventure, so blessed that we can read along and share.

    It's like seeing Jesus IN ACTION.

    On a side note- I'm wondering if you had any crazy things happen on your wedding day- like Satan trying to sabotage it, because your Union, the two of you together with God, are POWERFUL.

    Love you,


  30. Now we know! I've been asking Eric if he knew what was up with you two! That is so awesome! My dream is to live in an RV too! Maybe not the same as yours, but similar! Wouldn't it be funny if we met up somewhere in an RV camp ground?! LOL! But then again, your girls would be teens by then! That would be a long time to live in an RV! But how exciting! I'm assuming you've seen the movie with Robin Williams called "RV"? Hope you have an awesome family bonding time. Through thick and thin, it will be great growing experience! If you ever roll into Ukraine, make sure you let us know! Praying for your whole family as you step out in faith!

    1. We will have to check out that movie. I don't remember ever seeing it.

      Thank you for praying for us. We are praying for you too.

  31. Yay!! This is so exciting and I cannot wait to see your journey! I will be praying for you and following your blog!

    1. Thanks for the invitation, Melissa. We may take you up on it! :)

      Also - we're discovering that there are quite a few other families living full-time on the road. I look forward to getting to know some of them better in the coming months. We have so many questions!

    1. Steph, I was telling them about the Janssen family in my comment and just saw yours! I've been reading and loving Sara's blog for a long time. It's fun to find out bloggers I enjoy are reading her too!

  32. Oh my wow.

    My first thought went something like this: what on earth are they thinking?!

    My second thought was suspiciously similar to my first.

    And, if I'm being honest, same goes for my third and fourth and fifth thoughts.


    But I know that your hearts have been stirring for quite some time. And little old me cannot fathom the courage it takes to do something this, well, world-changing. Something tells me that yours is going to be the very first blog I check each see where in the world you are and what in the world you're doing.

    If each and every one of us could manage even an ounce of the faith you're driven by...oh my wow can you imagine how much better a place the world would be?

    Godspeed, friends.

    PS. This doesn't mean we have to cancel our upcoming family date night does it? ;)

    1. Thanks for being honest.

      Thanks for being encouraging.

      And...Thanks for inviting us to dinner (I look forward to observing your pizza-making skills).

      P.S. Are you camping this weekend at Mt. Lemmon?

  33. WOW! I'm so impressed with you guys! I absolutely wish you the best of luck, and we'll be following your journey from So AZ!

  34. We are so excited for you! My family has considered a similar course of action in the I don't think of it so much as "crazy" as "fun"! And you guys will have so much fun. I love that you are choosing to put your intentions and goals into action in this form. Can't wait to follow you all on your journey.

  35. Of course I will follow you every single day. When you decide to come through Gunnison, Colorado on Highway 50 - let me know! With your blog I am sure you will have houses all across the country where you can get a homecooked meal (not made in a RV) and a place to wash your clothes! I was thinking you were going to become missionaries in a foreign country but I was little wrong because you are becoming missionaries in your own country. Good luck and have fun!

  36. This is amazing, I'm so proud of you guys and so excited for you! I could totally see our family doing this, that restlessness inside our soul will never be quieted unless we follow His path for us, unafraid.

    Prayers for you all, and so much love.



  37. INSPIRING. You MUST come to Alaska and visit us...come for dinner, we'd love to get to know your family! On the way, you can see this beautiful state. That is an open blogger to blogger invitation.

  38. Hi there! WOW oh WOW so this is the big plan! I am enthralled, excited, and I'll admit a little envious at your drive and initiative... and derring-do! :) I pray for you and your family that all is blessed and meets with GREAT SUCCESS (as God measures success, that is!)... and of course, we would LOVE to extend a welcome for dinner at our place should you be swinging through the capital city of Connecticut! :) Can't WAIT to read more...

  39. SO EXCITING!! What an amazing, scary, fun, crazy journey. I'm looking forward to reading more on your new blog!

  40. This is awesome! I love that you thought, dreamed, planned, and did it! And I have no doubt that you will be successful. I look forward to following along, and if you have something planned for Phoenix, I'll be there for support.

  41. This is really cool! I'm so proud of you guys for taking such a huge leap of faith, what an amazing adventure you will have. Anything I can do, let me know! We'll be praying for you!

  42. INCREDIBLE Stephanie & Tim!

    I just told my husband all about your story and your idea and we both wish you and your girls the absolute best of luck with this adventure of a lifetime. YOU are going to make a HUGE difference in so many lives, and if you are in NJ, PLEASE count on us for support and help. This is right up our alley!!

  43. Yup, officially crazy! But that's not a bad thing now is it? :) My aunt and uncle lived in an RV for 10 years driving cross country every year. They didn't have kids, but it definitely can be done!

    Permanent mailing address... ya gotta have some good friends or family for that one! ;)

    And whenever you come through Washington we'd love to see you. Heck you can use our laundry room! (and shower, etc. :)

  44. Beautiful, you guys!
    I'm sure you'll be coming through our way at some point. Who can resist The Pacific Coast Highway?!

    About Health Insurance - have you heard of
    Christian Medi Share?
    We used to be members, prior to company health insurance.
    There is another similar group called Samaritan's Ministries -

    I am praying for your journey. How exciting!!!

    1. We still need to determine our best option for health insurance. Thanks for the two suggestions. So many new things to learn. Very exciting!

      1. I was actually going to suggest Christian Care Medi-share, too. My parents have used it for years. We haven't done a ton of research into it, but it looks like a really great option. We would do it, but... we are required by our organization to sign on with Aetna. Sigh.

  45. You are not crazy. That is the most sane, awesomest thing I've heard all year. You're following your bliss, and that means you'll not only help a lot of people, but you'll be surprised how your life will expand in all different directions to support you. Kind of a coincidence you talked about jumping off a cliff. I just did the same in my last post. A big, gentle hand is giving you a push, and you'll fly I'm sure. I hope you inspire others (including me! Because I am already trying to talk my husband into doing this), to do the same. If everyone did this, this world would be a much better place. I'll tweet out and FB out about it tomorrow when more people are online. You should SOOOO write a book about this, btw. I'd buy it.

  46. When are you having your yard sale? I have some things to sell too. Plus our kids can play at the same time! If I end up selling most of my stuff on Craigslist, I will still come over and help run your sale, or play with your kiddos for you. :0) whatever helps. :0)

    1. We had one last Saturday...currently debating if it was worthwhile enough to have another one. CraigsList seems to be so much more effective.

      We'll keep you posted.

  47. I love your foursome!

    What a beautiful example you are for your children... and mine.

    Please... come to Colorado one day, I'll show you those that need help, the parts of the city where children have to claw up from, if they can.

    I'll take you to a beautiful place where homeless children get a meal and homework help after school, and a meal with their folks during the holidays.

    I'd love to sit on the back porch with you and the kids, look over the Colorado Mountains and roast marshmallows.

    Good luck on your journey, call out for help wherever you are and I'm certain one of us will come running!

    My daughter will out grow her 2T clothing soon and I'd love to save them for you!

    Warm Blessings.

    1. You are so generous, Suzanne! I was actually just thinking about Colorado today...perhaps our paths will cross in the coming year.

  48. You guys are brilliant. This of course makes it easier for us to meet now! Let me know if you need anything - donations etc!

  49. Not crazy at all! Kev and I have actually talked about selling off everything and moving to Jamaica but of course that won't happen for some time yet. I could actually sell the house and do the RV thing for sure. I'm looking forward to keeping up with your adventures.

  50. WOW, you are crazy... I love it! I wish I was as crazy as you! I'm SO excited for you guys, I can't wait to see how God uses you! And I know everyone else is offering already, but if/when you come to Tacoma, WA (and PLEASE do!!), our doors (including laundry room) are open. We would love to be a part of your journey, even if only for a day or two! I can't wait to read your updates!

  51. SWEET!! I'm soo excited for you guys! I love your hearts and your faith...I am sure you will bless others and be blessed like crazy along the way. And, your girls are going to really experience life! We have some friends who have lived on the road (or on their bikes) with 4 young kids for the past few years. The mom, Jenn, is a writer for Location Independent Parents ( which has a lot of great tips for living with little ones on the road. Their website is if you want to contact them with questions...they are wonderful people...who may just want to join in on your fun. :)

    1. Thanks for your positivity...and for sharing those resources. I just bookmarked both sites and will likely be contacting Jenn in the near future.

  52. Good for you guys! I have been really convenient lately about thinking about others over my self. I am going to be praying for you every day and if you make it to North Idaho, we would love to meet you! :)

  53. Wow...I'm speechless! What an amazing, gutsy, generous choice! You, and your family, are incredibly inspiring. I'm looking forward to reading more about your journey, and will be including you in my prayers!

  54. I was contemplating just marking everything in my reader as read after my BlogHer trip but I am so glad I decided to go through it first and saw your post! Wow. What an amazing journey you are about to undertake. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help and certainly give me a call if you're coming through Kansas.

  55. Wow! You are so inspiring! We will be praying for you! If you get to Little Rock, AR give us a shout! We would love to help you out! We have friends all over the U.S. so we will be keeping up with you and hook you up if we can! God bless!

  56. Stephanie,

    Your plans reminded me of a blog my husband discovered and has been fascinated by. A family of six that traveled the world for a year. I think they stayed several weeks in a couple of the places to give service in a leprosy colony in India, and maybe other places as well. If you haven't already heard of them, you may want to check out their blog.

    I'm so excited to follow your adventure!


  57. Oh, and if you make it to northern Colorado, I will gladly do your laundry for you. I'm not a great housekeeper, but I rock at laundry.


  58. WOW! I'm speechless - but not surprised. This is something very characteristic of you and your husband. You can't just sit still without doing something for someone. I can't wait to hear/read about your adventures! God bless!

  59. Ever since I read this, I've been amazed. I NEVER would have imagined this to be your big announcement but WOW WOW WOW! We are amazed and inspired, blessed and hopeful. We are honoured to be praying for you and journeying with you as you go. Can't wait to read more about it. Blessings, friend!

  60. Stephanie!! WOW!! I can't believe all that's happened since I've been gone....WOW! Did I say that?? If anyone...any family could do's you. Your heart is so big....How can I support you? Jason and I will keep all four of you in our prayers....and please call us if you're in So Cal. I can't wait to follow along with you as you live out your dream.



  61. Stephanie! You have always been such an inspiring mother and woman. I can not wait to hear as your adventure begins! You are so bold to really be taking this step. I have to say, I'm not the least surprised that your are the one doing it, really living out this dream. I am waiting on pins and needles.

  62. Wow. How awesome is that?! This will be such a great learning experience for your girls (and for you!). I hope this doesn't sound cheesy or condescending, but, I'm proud of you for taking the leap. That takes courage. I can't wait to read all about your adventures. If you'll be in San Diego, please give me a holler so we can get together! And, I'd absolutely LOVE if you would write a guest post form Travel Mamas sometime about your trip. Just say the word!

    1. Thanks for your kind words and your vote of confidence. We'll post our route as soon as we can so you (and others) can follow along with us as we travel. If we end up in San Diego, I'd love to meet up with you.

      P.S. I appreciate the "guest post" offer. I may take you up on it down the road when I'm not buried in busyness. ;)

  63. Wow! Are you going to get one of those combination washer / dryers? I've always wanted one but have to wait for my current appliances to bite the dust before I can justify another one!

    I see you now have passports too - maybe you'll make it up to Canada someday. In which case, you should come to Ottawa. We have lots of hiking around here...

    I'm glad your eldest is excited about her adventure. If you stay on the road for an extended time, I'd recommend reading about third culture kids (if you haven't already). I especially recommend Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds by David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken. I wouldn't trade my experience as a TCK for anything, but I really, really wish my parents had known and planned for some of the challenges of this kind of upbringing, especially when we returned from overseas.

    1. We're hoping that we can purchase an RV w/ a washer/dryer inside...but we may end up at laundromats across the country (what an adventure that will be in and of itself!). Not sure yet.

      We got the passports precisely because we may end up venturing up to Canada or down to Mexico. We'll be sure to announce our specific travel plans as soon as they are solidified.

      Also - thank you for the book recommendations.

  64. Stephanie,

    HOW DID I MISS THIS?! Wow... I am so inspired by you. Would love to feature this/you/your family on an upcoming Mom-Monday if you are willing. Just let me know.

    Big hugs to you, and just let me know how I can help spread the word... even though I'm a little late!

  65. This is crazy...right up my ally! :0) Good job guys! My family is just now learning how to live a crazy life. We just got back from Ethiopia in May - adopted twin 6 year old boys. Now we have three 6 year old boys and an almost 3 year old little girl! Yea! I'm a stay at home mom and we LOVE OUR LIFE! We would adore having you all over for dinner if you come through central Missouri. We're from a very small, but quaint community. Email me if you're interested in stopping by...

    [email protected]

    1. Thanks for the invitation, Ashley! It's always wonderful to "meet" other people who are as "crazy" as we are. ;)

      Did you go to Ethiopia on a mission trip? I'd love to hear more about that.

  66. How exciting! I see you're getting way more invitations than you could possibly accept, but you are certainly welcome to my washer & dryer if I end up on your route :)
    We only have two chairs though so food might be limited to pizza sitting on the couch &

  67. This is crazy amazing, but I found your blog because we are planning to do the same and I was looking for others who did this to get advice or encouragement, my husband was medically retired from the Military due to injuries sustained in Iraq, and we are ready to leave the place we have been for the last 6 years, sort of part of the grieving process for us. Our house is officially on the market here we go!!! :)

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