Watch our highlight video above, and read about our trip below!
“What was happening was happening to us both. I belive it is always so, mutual and, at least at first, equally intense, if it is genuine inloveness. The actual thing – inloveness – requires something like a spark leaping back and forth from one to the other becoming more intense every moment, love building up like voltage in a cool. Here there is no sound of clapping. Unreciprocated love is something else, not genuine inloveness, I think: perhaps it is infatuation and passion or, perhaps, potential inloveness. I belive that genuine inloveness is rather less common than the romantic novelists suggest. One who has never been in love might mistake either infatuation or a mixture of affection and sexual attraction for being in love. But when the ‘real thing’ happens, there is no doubt. A man in a jungle at night, as someone said, may suppose a hyena’s growl to be lion’s; but when he hears the lion’s growl, he knows damn well it’s a lion. So it is with genuine inloveness. A sudden glory.” – A Severe Mercy
Jer and I decided on – our honeymoon – that we would aim to do two things every year.
Jeremy has read A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanuaken, every year for the past 5 years (since he began pursuing me). When we were dating, he read it out loud to me when I went on vacation with his family. It easily became my favorite book as well, and I have read it every year since then. To put it simply, I fell in love with their love. A Severe Mercy is a biographical love story about Sheldon and Davy that inspires everyone who reads it to have a love like theirs. In the book (and real life) Sheldon writes letters to C.S. Lewis. These brilliantly written letters inspire never seize to inspire and challenge my faith. It is the perfect combination of inspiring, motivating convicting, beautiful, and real. If you haven’t read it, HIGHLY RECCOMEND!! We have adopted some of the principles that we discovered through this book, in our own marriage. Our “Navigator’s Council” (Our 6 Questions for Marriage blog post), was derived from this book!
A Severe Mercy is a biographical love story about Sheldon and Davy that inspires everyone who reads it to have a love like theirs. In the book (and real life) Sheldon writes letters to C.S. Lewis. These brilliantly written letters inspire never seize to inspire and challenge my faith. It is the perfect combination of inspiring, motivating convicting, beautiful, and real. If you haven’t read it, HIGHLY RECCOMEND!! Our “Navigator’s Council” (Our 6 Questions for Marriage blog post), was derived from this book!
In the book, Sheldon and Davy have a passion for sailing and being out on the salty seas. In all our years of reading this book, there was no better place than in the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS on a Catamaran boat for a week. We literally felt like we were living their story as we turned each page.
Obviously, there will be years when money is tight, circumstances are tough, and many things demand our attention.. but we hope to prioritize our finances and our time to allow for a week away with each other to just be. To click refresh. To assess where we’ve been and where we’re going. And to, as Sheldon puts it, “stop and stare as the sheep and cows can do.
“Often we talked of the sad and somehow outrageous fact that in most lives, perhaps our own before long, there isn’t time for long walks and sitting on walls. We quoted a poem by W.H. Davis to the effect that it is a poor life if we have no time to ‘stop and stare’ as the sheep and cows can do. How were we to contrive a life full of time – a timed up life – where we could be quiet and leisurely, where we could stop and stare.” – A Severe Mercy
So here are some photos from our sailing trip around the British Virgin Islands!
All my suits and sunnies are linked at the bottom of the post!
Traveling to the BVI’s was quite the trek… We flew from PDX to Dallas, Dallas to San Juan Puerto Rico, stayed the night at a sketch hotel at the San Juan airport, then flew out in the morning to Tortola-Beef Island, and finally… drove from Tortola airport to the other side of the island where we got on our boat!
***Confession… I just felt the need to be honest… Jer and I actually got in a fight on the first day of our trip. He did/didn’t do something I expected him to do (the classic misunderstood expectations) and then, of course, I got more mad at the fact that we were fighting on our first day in paradise (or as we later called it “tropadise)! Just wanted to be real before you scroll through all the smiling photos. We had our moments;) But thankful we got our “tift” out of the way early on, the rest of the trip was an absolute blast!
We lived on 46-foot Moorings Catamaran boat for a week! I described it as RV camping on the water ha! There were 6 of us on the boat in total, including Jer’s dad, the captain and his wife (both family friends, and the captain’s son. We each had our own cabin (sleeping quarters).
This is where we hung out most of the time when we were sailing to our next beach spot! I learned rather quickly that you DO NOT want to be in the cabin or saloon area when the boat is moving…. (vomit).
The net on the bow of the boat was also where we hung out late into the night playing chess, talking, dreaming, contemplating, and reminiscing. And holy cow… talk about stars…
Ummmm… can we just take a second to appreciate that hair?! I mean come on… really… no guy has hair like that! Obviously, I was infatuated with it, so a snapped a few close ups;) Praying our children get the curly hair gene!!!
This was our favorite beach – White Bay Beach at Soggy Dollar and Hendo’s Hideout. The photos honestly don’t do this place justice for our stunning the water and sand is. SO white and SO clear!!! We could practically swim from where we anchored our boat to shore because the beach was so shallow.
I have never in my life been in water so warm…. Seriously, it’s literally aqua blue bath water. (right after this I saw a school of baby Baracuda…. yikes!!)
It actually stormed in the afternoon a couple of the days we were there!! One of the times that it stormed we were at a restaurant on shore getting lunch, so Jer and I had to race back to the boat on our dingy to close all the hatches! The boat was already pretty soaked when we got there, but thankfully our cabin hatches were closed so we didn’t have to sleep in a wet bed!
Most nights the water was calm, and weather was good, but one night we had a bit of a traumatic experience (well, for me it was traumatic, for everyone else it was “exciting”). I hardly slept most nights because I had never slept on a boat before and the rocking, the wind, and the rain, would wake me up thinking “crap… are we sinking?!” So silly I know.. but one night for darn good reason!!! I woke up cause it was super stormy and I just wanted to go up on the deck to see what was going on… everything looked fine (so I went back down to bed), but I must have woken up the captain and his wife (or they were already awake too) because within minutes of me crawling back into our bunk, the captain was banging on our hatch yelling at Jer to get in the dingy!
The boat next to us didn’t properly set their anchor, and they were dragging it… NOT GOOD. Soon enough everyone was up on deck yelling at the boat to wake up before they crashed into us! Jer got in the dingy to go bang on their cabin window and wake them up (it was 2 a.m.), while we all yelled, “Wild Wind Wild Wind! You’re dragging anchor! Hello… Wake up you’re dragging anchor!!”
Their catamaran was about 4 feet from the bow of our boat when the captain woke up – frazzled and discombobulated – and begun motoring away from us. Within minutes, the rest of their crew was awake frantically pulling up their anchor and trying to reset it in rough waters and pitch black… WHEW! They could have put a whole in us! I’m not so silly after all for waking up to “check on things.” Ha, not that I was gonna be able to actually do anything with my gimp arm (from dislocating my shoulder a week before our trip on a motercycle accident).
*Fun fact: We actually radioed Richard Branson’s boat at Necker Island to see if he would be there and let us come by… but he had JUST left the island the day before!
This photo was taken at The Baths. Apparently these granite boulders are not native to the island…. So no one knows how they got there!!! Sometimes I think God creates stuff like this to keep us marveling at His mysteries.
It was a little hard for me to get around through this caves and pools of water with my arm, but I HADDD to do it because everyone said it’s one of the most incredible and beautiful landmarks of in the BVI’s. And it was.
Norman Island and “The Indians”
So basically the entire time Jer was 50 feet under water in a cave… I was on my knees praying. I have absolutely zero desire to ever scuba dive… If you watched the video, you’ll see the footage of one of their dive to find an old plane wreck!
British Virgin Island’s
“If it’s half as good as the half we’ve known, here’s Hail! To the rest of the road.”
– A Severe Mercy
“We raised the Shining Barrier against creeping separateness, which was, in the last analysis, self. We also raised it against a world of indecencies and decaying standards, the decline of courtesy, the whispering mockers of love. Above all, we would be us-centered, not self-centered. Against creeping spears renews we would oppose the great principle of sharing. We saw self as the ultimate danger to love, which it is.” – A Severe Mercy
Throughout the week, we caught ourselves instinctively saying, “This is paradise…” But then we realized, for us, Oregon and the farm is a paradise… So we coined the #bvis “tropadise.” I am so thankful to love where I live just as much as the places I visit.
Oh! the beauty… I have such a deep craving to explore and see the world. Being in the BVI’s only intensified that craving… But ultimately, I want to see love abound and the work of God unfold. “But the only place we need to see before we die is the place of seeing God. Here and now.” Ann Voskamp thank you for that reminder.