“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
Rick and I were both doing so, seeking God and his will, as I finished my last semester of dental hygiene school. Our spiritual brother/sister relationship blossomed into friendship, then courtship, engagement, and then marriage in July, 1985.
We were promoted to parenthood 18mo later with our first-born son, Stephen in 86′. Andrew joined him in 88′, Courtney in 90′, Marilee in 92′, David in 94′, Emily in 96′, Richard in 99′, Katherine in 01′ and our caboose, Jonathan, in 06. What a blessed 20 years of bearing, loving, nurturing, training, and homeschooling our 9 disciples…our 9 children.
2012- 3 weddings
2014- Graduation for #6 was coming up and we knew that we would be in our HUGE house with our last 3 children. Time to downsize…but to what? where? Our love for the water eventually led us to the opportunity to not just have water in our backyard, but in our front and side yards as well…Life on the Water. Thus, the name of our boat, Vivens Aqua ~ Latin for “Living Water” has a dual meaning….living on the water, and Living Water, the essence of what Jesus Christ and His Word is to us.
“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10
We sold the house, stored the furniture, and moved aboard our 55′ Novatech Coastal Cruiser with our last 4 children. Left Nashville for good in November, traveled south via the Tennessee River, the Tenn-Tom, and the Tom Bigbee to Mobile, AL. Followed the west coast of FL to the Keys for scuba certification of all and then to the Bahamas and back to Florida.
We are on a voyage, not a vacation. We wake, eat, clean, school, hike, swim, snorkel, scuba, wash, and sleep aboard the boat, upon the water, held safely in the hands of our God. This life is an “EDventure” (educational adventure) for the kids (presently #6 rolled off and is a dive instructor/college student in the Keys) and #5 has come aboard finding an amazing gift God has given him that he did not find in college.
Life is school and school is life! More important than grades to us in our children is a love for Christ & others, a life of character, a good work ethic, a love of learning, a teachable heart, and for God’s will to be accomplished in and through them.
I love my LORD! I love my family! I love my life!