When we first boarded our houseboat on Monday May 24, 2021 I was really excited. It did not take long for me to become agitated with the houseboat itself.
I must confess in certain ways I can be Princess Mandy. I have a standard of clean which I expect of myself and others. This boat did not meet that standard or any level of tolerance. I chose to rent this boat because of its top deck; however, I do not think they have ever cleaned my much wanted deck!
Nathan and I have been married for 3.5 years and this was our first vacation. I was either in Seminary or we were moving so this is the first time we have done something like this. Nathan in his love and kindness for me knew that I was unhappy and he started cleaning while I was sulking.
Pride is a vicious beast! I wanted a beautiful boat to see God’s Beautiful Creation and I am SO thankful that God humbled me to see His Beauty, to see Nathan’s love and to get over myself so that I could see God and to see Nathan as God wants me to see Nathan.
Nathan, PQ and I experienced many adventures on this trip. From docking/anchoring the boat to trees, to fog, to a severe thunderstorm with 70 mph winds.
We knew there would be storms on Wednesday May 26, 2021 we just didn’t know how severe. When we saw the clouds forming we tied the boat down on an island that we thought was safe. Well, the first big gust of wind ripped the metal cleat right off the boat. Nathan had to quick jump off and untie the other side and we were just spinning and spinning. I remembered seeing that the upstairs deck furniture was unstacked and untied down. I quick went up to stack it and Nathan started screaming at me to get down. I had never seen Nathan so shaken and upset, he said I could have really been hurt and if the stuff blows over oh well, your life is worth more than some deck furniture. Nathan also said he was concerned the wind was going to turn the boat on its side.
I had been joking earlier in the day maybe we have our own Jesus calms the sea/storm/winds/waves moment; however, I never anticipated it would look like that!
What we didn’t know until returning the boat yesterday May 28, 2021 was that when Nathan went to the marina to buy live bait on Wednesday (May 26) before the storm. The marina requires houseboats to be docked by their employees. Well, the employee who worked for the marina when docking the boat, hitting the side of the boat against the dock, putting a hole in the side of the boat that Nathan and I never saw. After it was pointed out to Nathan yesterday he said had he known he wouldn’t have taken the boat back out again. Thank God the marina has their employees dock the boat so this wasn’t on Nathan and I and even greater thank God for this hole not being an issue in the storm!!!!!
We fished for many, many hours each day. In 4 days we caught zero fish. From what we could tell no one else was really catching fish either. Tuesday May 25, 2021 was a full moon and that may have had an effect on the fish. Fishing is a great analogy for the Christian life. Jesus tells Peter, Andrew, James and John that He will teach them how to fish for people. The call is to discipleship, but fishing is also an appropriate analogy of evangelism as well. Both take time and diligence. As Nathan says, “if you don’t have a line [or net] in the water you’re guaranteed to not catch any fish.” I have a greater appreciation for seeking out where the fish are!
I know that every blogger, podcaster, vlogger says they have “the best followers.” Precious readers, I am SO thankful for your love and support and prayers on this journey. I do NOT view any of y’all as followers but friends who I am doing and sharing life with.
I know that most of my blogs lately have been more biblical theology based than personal life application. This adventure has restored to me a sense of being personal and vulnerable with y’all as well as to share what I am learning from the Lord and His Word. Again, I cannot thank y’all enough for your love, support and encouragement.
The Lord has restored my love for taking pictures of His creation and I want to share more of what I see when I am out and about with y’all.
Maybe dear reader you have wanted to go on your own adventure but don’t know where to go or can’t at this moment. I would love to encourage you to read or listen to an audio Bible version of your choosing on Acts. The Book of Acts is an epic adventure. There’s the ascension of Jesus, the start of the church, conversions, missionary journeys, snakes, shipwrecks, imprisonments, stoning etc.
Life in Christ is an adventure. There are NO days off in the Christian life. While this post 2020 covid world may seem more like a nightmare than an adventure; life in Christ is life to the fullest if we are willing to follow Him. This life is not easy. But it wasn’t easy for any of the real life people in Acts either.
I am thankful that God continues to remove me from my comfort zone. It is not pleasant at first but it always leads me to growing closer to Him and to others in the process. I am not the same person today, May 29, 2021 that I was on Monday May 24. Praise God for His Work in our lives and meeting us right where we are. May you dear reader, grow closer to our Savior today!
Lord God, thank You for the gifts of adventure, wonder, awe, humility and transparency. Lord God, help us to not fear what is next but to cling to You, holding to You, journeying with You and with others. Lord God, thank You for the heart that You have given these readers for me and I pray they know that my heart is with them. Lord God, I do not know what favor and blessing looks like for this reader but I ask that You will bless them for the love and support they have shown me. Lord God, thank You that when we actively seek You that You will transform us more in Your Image. May Your people seek to glorify You! In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Here are more pictures if you’re interested (all photos taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn).