Let the travels (and “new life”) begin…

Today marks the first day of “voluntary unemployment”. For the first time since I was 13 years old, I am not working….and I’m terrified, antsy, but mostly elated. I’ve spent my entire adult life obsessing over “the corporate ladder climb” and I’ve been given the obvious opportunity (slap in the face) to realize that I was missing out on life’s biggest treasures = My faith, my family, my health, and quality of life..

xmas card upside down xmas card

Last Fall my division at work was closed and I lost my job as a Regional Director of Marketing at one of the largest proprietary college companies in the World. The very next day, my wife Tara, (beautiful “sunny smile” below…)

Tara and Tully Lale at their pool in St. Johns, Florida
Tara and Tully Lale at their pool in St. Johns, Florida

was diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. The next week we moved away from our dream home in sunny, St. Johns, Florida to live in Oklahoma to start Tara’s chemotherapy, and live apart from one another through the Midwestern winter season.

Ellie 6, Me, Logan, 5 at the beach near our "Florida dream home"
Ellie 6, Me, Logan, 5 at the beach near our “Florida dream home”

fish camp water park

For the next 8 months Tara had the fight of her life vs. a cancer that spread through her body. She endured approx. 30 sessions of chemo for 8-hours-a-day, three major surgeries where her ovaries, uterus, appendix, kidney, 3 feet of small intestines and lymphnodes were all removed. We had countless visits (and extended stays) at hospitals and the uncertain living conditions of living without your own home. Most of those nights were spent on hands and knees with tear-filled eyes not just praying but begging for healing! We had support from family, from friends and a growth in our spiritual relationship with God that would never have been possible when we were living our “comfortable life” in Florida.

tough bald beauty logan 5 birthday

That is why we’re making a BOLD MOVE! I’ve given up the high salaried job, we’ve sold our home and possessions, and we’re going to spend the next year traveling the country in a mobile RV-Camper. Life is too short to wait until “someday” and when the Lord speaks, it is foolish not to listen. We are jumping in with both feet – eyes wide open – and smiles across our faces. This next chapter of life will be filled with family time, beautiful new scenery every week and a continued commitment to hard work, but this time the beneficiaries will be the needy, the youth and the church – instead of corporate profits.

float

This next chapter of our life begins today and we are excited to see where the road takes us…..

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34 thoughts on “Let the travels (and “new life”) begin…

  1. I have the BEST and coolest boss Tully Lale YOU are MY hero……. blessings to your and your family on this journey….

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    1. Simone, “Chiiii Boo”!

      bahahahaaa! It gave me goosebumps to read your words of encouragement today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart my friend.

      Given the nature of this change: It’s very touching to me to see the support from former colleagues – not just personal friends/family. Thank YOU!

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  2. i can’t wait to hear about your travels. Many people will be touched by your story and sacrificial lives. Much love and safe travels. sue

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    1. Thanks Sue. We’ll keep the updates coming which was one of the main purposes of this blog.

      In regards to “touching others with our story”: that was the other purpose of this blog…
      We want to continue to add stories of joy, peace and happiness on our journey this year and provide a place for anyone who is going through a BATTLE IN LIFE (either with cancer or otherwise) some inspiration to read and we hope to put smiles on their faces and courage in their hearts!

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    1. Thank you so much Lisa. I’m not gonna lie – I had an allergy attack that brought on some tears when I saw the response and comments from former colleagues from the JAX Campus days after you shared this on FB. – – – Ok so I did just lie a little bit. Maybe it wasn’t the allergies. 😉

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  3. I am so inspired by your bold move of faith. We have been praying for you and will continue to do so. God Bless you!!!

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  4. i love love love you guys!!! Can’t wait to live through you this year. Thankful for the healing so you can enjoy this time as a family!!

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    1. Catrina, there aren’t enough emoticons or emojis on a keyboard for internet conversations with you!!! You’re like another sister to Tara and we are so truly grateful for you and Andy’s friendship and support.

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  5. We look forward to following you and seeing where the Lord leads you in your mission. So proud of you all! We will be praying for your sweet family as you travel.

    Suzanne & Dennis

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    1. Tara and I have ALWAYS and will continue to appreciate your prayers Suzanne and Dennis! We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support through all of this, and don’t worry, Tara is her “old self” again and ready for some competitive games of TELESTRATIONS hopefully one night again soon. 😉

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  6. Wow, you have inspired me to make the most out of each day God blesses me with!. Be safe, content and have the best time ever!

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  7. I just read your blog after it was shared on FB by your friend Catrina Embree Steinmann. I wanted to take a moment to wish you well and to say that I am so moved by your leap in faith and your journey. My husband and I have talked on numerous occasions over the years about making a similar ‘crazy’ life change…away from the rat race to enjoy a little more of life…to live fully! Enjoy taking “the one less traveled by.” My favorite poem as a child, by the way! Looking forward to following your journey. Blessings.

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    1. Thank you very much Melissa. Sometimes “someday” is today. If a change has weighed that heavily on you and your husband’s hearts for a longtime now, just remember that there are many varying degrees of “crazy life changes”.

      Ours may be extreme (but so was our scare this previous year)….find YOUR CHANGE!

      You don’t have to sell all possessions, quit your job and travel the country – but maybe find a new job that offers hours that allow family dinner every night or more time with the kids. Maybe sit down together and change your budget or your schedules to mandate a weekly date night or mini-vacation one weekend per month.

      If you loved Frost as a child then I’m sure you can appreciate HDT’s advice when he said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau

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  8. Tully & Tara!!! My heart is SO happy that this is becoming a reality! Obviously I wish the circumstances could have been different, but either way- here you guys are, on the other side of this, healed & whole- enjoying this blessed life! I know God will bless every step your family takes & there will be no regrets with this experience!
    You know, it used to make me sad when I knew you worked so much, like so many do, and maybe just not really able to LIVE life as much as make a living. There’s so much more- as you guys know & are now getting to experience. I can’t wait to follow you guys on this journey. We just love your family!!

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    1. Awesome perspective Stacey! I appreciate your thoughts since you all were such a close part of our “church family” as we both grew our families at the same time. You also could really relate (empathize) about the Tulsa life in relation to Florida. 🙂
      All the best to you, Mark and the kiddos.

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  9. Over three years ago, our then family of eight set out on a similar adventure. On the day our oldest left for the Marines, the rest of our clan traveled with daddy in our RV. We knew God was calling us to something very big. (After having a sister pass at 18 from cancer–I’ve been more attentive to living every day as if it’s my last.) Our travels allowed us to rest, connect with God’s church, bless, host and adopt three children from Latvia, and eventually settle in a new state. God is so good, may He bless you with the peace that passes understanding, reveal Himself in new and exciting ways, and allow you to live without one regret! May God be with you all! 😀

    Love, Kelly McManus

    http://www.splashingingrace.com

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    1. I love the connection and understanding Kelly. Thank you.

      I already feel a closeness to the Lord that I’ve never felt (or really even believed was possible) before. I feel like our eyes and HEARTS are more open then ever – and I’m excited about the future!

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  10. I’m so glad we had the chance to get to know you through our nursery & VBS times. You impressed me then with your energy & joy for life & most of all your love for God. Then, what a comfort to have Tara as MRI tech during my breast cancer scare. God has answered prayers & set you on this grand adventure! Thank you for sharing it with us. You are an amazing blessing. Love & hugs!

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  11. my Lale man, You are missed more than you can imagine. you touched a lot of lives here in Tulsa . I pray for you and the family daily. May God guide you with his loving hand and keep you safe. I am crying now —so good bye

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  12. I have a few comments:
    1) Awesome truck, and that trailer is MUCH bigger than I expected. it’s HUGE!! I bet Ellie and Logan LOVE it.
    2) I hope you have good internet and phone so we don’t have to worry TOO much
    3) Come stay with us on your “southeast US tour” drive when you pass through Atlanta
    4) You guys have been through a lot, but it is the trials that shape our character. Despite the hard parts, I know there is a reason for everything. If the only “reason” we can realize during this lifetime is that life needs to be LIVED, it is enough. It takes a lot o faith to embark on what you are now doing, but without the trials, there is no strengthening of faith. You guys will do good work out there, especially for being “unemployed”! ha ha
    5) Please STAY SAFE. No chasing butterflies when cars are moving nearby Ellie and no peaking over the edge at the Grand Canyon Logan!!
    6) You will inspire many people and already have. You inspire us.

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    1. We love you Tyler!!! We plan on spending lots of time in the Smokey Mountains this September-October and seeing lots of our new nephew Levi in Atlanta!

      I fully expect more organized/numeric “Uncle advice” for Ellie and Logan when we get there. Lookin forward to (pretending to enjoy) a “new baby cigar” with you soon brother!

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  13. As I read your blog telling of your decision to leave it all behind, I sit in awe of your courage and tremendous faith. May the Lord bless your family as you become – what so many wish they had the courage to do – be His hands and feet, serving others full time. We will be anticipating updates on your journey, so please don’t leave us hangin’ ! I only knew you for a short time at Creekside Christian Church in St. Johns, but, Tara made a big impact on me/us there and her recovery has been a beautiful work of the Lord. He is going to get so much glory as your share your story and how you’re allowing Him to use you. God bless and keep you safe !

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    1. Thank you so much Donna!

      We will do our very best to keep the updates coming regularly – though I’ll admit it’s already challenging as we’re without wifi most of the time. Hold us accountable to a minimum of once-per-week update but we’ll do our best to update our travels and “friends from the road” every few day.

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  14. Tully, I applaud you and Tara as you begin this new season of your lives. You guys are are living examples of God’s faithfulness. I truly believe what you are embarking on will not only change your lives but will change others along the way. Enjoy the journey and may God’s blessing and favor overshadow the Lale family!!!

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  15. Tully and Tara, your faith and strength are amazing!! You are an inspiration to all!!! Safe travels. I look for to reading about each adventure you experience!!!!

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  16. Tully and Tara,

    You truly have blessed Jesus Right Hand with your story of healing and promises of Hope in God for your journey. Thank you for your obedience and coming to our little town of New Virginia, Iowa. Just one step and one stop in the big picture of what God has planned for you. You have encouraged our hearts to believe ….for with God all things are possible. Mark 10:27. We will pray for you!

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