Perseverance. That’s what March and April required of us. Sheer determination to not give up and to persevere until our boat was livable for our family. Why were we in such a hurry? The month of March ended winter monthly rates for the repair yard. April began the yard’s daily rate, which almost tripled the monthly rate. We simply didn’t want to throw money away by being lazy. We needed every penny to purchase materials to put our boat back together.
So, that required us to get up before dawn, kiss our kids goodbye, and work past dusk on as many days as we possibly could. Returning to my in-laws after the kids were asleep in bed, I would do a load of laundry and Ryan would check emails and edit engagement sessions and weddings until we couldn’t will our eyes open any longer.
I clung songs from Casting Crowns, Mercy Me and Mikeschair, who sang about having faith like Peter to walk on the water, declaring God I trust you despite the raging waves in front of me! Those songs became my constant prayer and declaration to keep going.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Trying to have pure joy, when absolutely, to the end of myself, I was utterly exhausted, is where perseverance began for me. I felt like a marathon runner who doesn’t have the finish line in sight, but knows it’s there and by sheer determination, chooses to keep going and finish strong.
Our four children learned perseverance through this time as well. On a few different occasions, after a long day working on the boat, Ryan and I came back to my in-laws to sweet notes like these, from our daughters.
Dear Mom and dad,
Thank you so much for building our boat so we can have a place to live. Thank you for letting me babysit my siblings. I’m so excited to live on our boat, together as a family, having so much fun just being a family, always. Sleep well tonight! Love you!! Joy
One of the girls drew a picture of our puppy, Trusty. 🙂 Arianna wrote:
I love you to Mom so much. I know how much you need the time. I am also over joyed to live on the boat and be together again! Love, Arianna
And Joy wrote:
Thank you so much for the sweet note. All of us are so excited to live on the boat. Sorry for erasing the note. Felicity didn’t mean to, but thankfully all of us read it before it was erased. Thank you for spending time working on the boat. Love you! Joy
Ryan and I are so proud of our four children ages 10, 8, 6 and 3! During this transition time in our lives, our kids have really matured and have accepted so much responsibility, without whining, grumbling, or complaining. They act this way because they also are walking in faith, being obedient to the calling we feel has been placed upon our lives. We know this transition time will soon come to an end. Then we’ll figure out what our new “normal” will look like once we’re aboard the boat. Until then, we persevered.
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