Chapter 12: Our Maiden Voyage

Working in the repair yard for three months, Ryan and I quickly made friends with the staff. How encouraging they have been to us throughout this process! It has been a delight to show and tell our new friends the progress we were making! We told everyone we met our story.  We were building our live aboard home for our family of six.

Our plan was to stay on the public guest docks at Everett for fourteen days, then leave for one night each bi-week. That would be in compliance with Everett’s guest rules. So, to “reset” the guest clock, we began our maiden voyage across Possession Sound to the quiet and quaint town of Langley in South Whidbey Island.

How fun it was to cross Possession Sound for the first time in our home! The ring of that statement still tickles my ears.  We don’t have steering yet, so Ryan is mastering the use of throttles and shifter to maneuver us through wind and currents.  Throttles and shifters are using our two motors separately, one in forward one in reverse, to make us turn port or starboard.  It’s about 8 nautical miles to Langley, which takes almost an hour going 10 knots.


Trying to get back into our normal school routine while still allowing the novelty of our situation to flourish, the great outdoors became our classroom. The kids and I combed Langley’s sandy beach while watching bald eagles and blue herons fish for a meal. We discussed the classification of snails and what sort of invertebrate it was. Joy and Arianna engineered their own fishing poles from sticks and eel grass. Catching muscles, they would “feed” the fish. After dinner we walked up the steep bluff to devour scrumptious ice cream. Meandering our way back home, we spotted whales spouting in the distance. What an amazing classroom in our own backyard!!

Cruising in our boat, we obviously don’t have our car with us when we get to our destination.  Embracing the exercise, we are forced to slow down and enjoy the journey as we walk together wherever we go.  So many little treasures we normally zoom past as we zip from here to there!

Ryan and I have been reading a short 19 day Bible study on our iPhones from Pastor Rick Warren.  The study is about Living God’s Dream for your Life.  Giving all credit to Pastor Rick Warren as the author, this study really encouraged us to keep walking faithfully, trusting God with our future.

How do you get God’s dream for your life?

            You’ve got to be willing to dedicate your life to God, committing in advance to do whatever he tells you to do. “Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him…Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God, what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Most people miss God’s dream because they’re not looking at God; they’re watching what everybody else does. If you’re trying to imitate somebody else, you’re going to be a carbon copy instead of who God made you to be. You need to be more concerned with God’s dream for your life than the American dream. The American dream used to be pretty affordable and pretty simple. Today, the American dream is all-consuming. It usually takes both the husband and the wife to even try to keep up. This rat race becomes your total focus.

If you want to get serious about discovering God’s dream for your life, you have to decide not to settle for the American dream. Will you choose the good life or God’s life? Materialism or ministry? The rat race or God’s race?

“Let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back…and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) Commit yourself to God’s dream for your life, and don’t worry about being like everybody else!

~Pastor Rick Warren from God’s Dream For Your Life Bible App Devotional

Honestly, walking in obedience is a tenacious journey.  As adventurous as this life stretching out before us is, I struggle sometimes. Not with comparison or jealousy that we no longer live in a house, but with a feeling of being ashamed that we no longer live in a house. How subtle is the battlefield of doubt in my mind.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Than you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 29:11-13.

Compassionately, in His loving kindness as we continue walking in faith, we are warmly greeted and encouraged by countless strangers walking along the docks and paths of the marina. They cheerfully recount their endless childhood boating adventures with fondness and assure Ryan and I, we are among the best parents in the world to give our kids such a life and education.

All your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

We are determined to have faith and courage, step by step, one day at a time, exchanging the American dream for God’s dream.

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