Have we lost our minds?

Actually, we have finally found them! We are a family of five embarking on a great adventure. It is May 2007. We are in the process of selling our house & worldly goods in order to purchase a large sailboat to sail the seven seas. John and I have talked about doing this since we have been married, almost 22 years now. Starting careers after college, having babies…it just never seemed like the right time. Our desire for this year long, seven seas adventure is that our children will have an experience of a life-time. To be able to give them the gift of seeing the world is the most wonderful blessing we can think of. There are not many people that are as uniquely equipped to do something like this. I feel confident in John’s ability to guide us through this. This quote by Saint Irenaeus is one of the many things that have inspired us to go for it: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”

Why now?

Why not? Truthfully, we have no idea except that in our spirits, it feels right. We believe that God leads us and guides us. Strange as it may sound to some, the time is now because God said so. That’s all the reason we need! We feel that God is orchestrating this whole adventure as part of an even greater adventure. We only partially understand what we’re doing, and are mostly operating on faith in God. These are a few of the verses that build our faith:

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” says the Lord. “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.”

Who are we?
Some of you know us all too well, but for those who do not, let me introduce you to the Votaw family. We are: John, Shirley, Travis, Garrett, and Kimberly. John and I have been married for 21.5 years. It is May, 2007, and at this moment Travis is 15, Garrett is 13, and Kimi is 10. We currently reside in Oklahoma City and have lived here for almost 5 years. John is currently an associate pastor at his sister and brother-in-law’s church: Victory Church. We came to Oklahoma from Victoria, Texas where he was an associate pastor at Faith Family Church.

It has been said on more than one occasion that we are an “interesting” family. John has had several different jobs, and in just 10 years we have bought, lived in, and sold 6 houses. Prior to becoming a pastor, John worked at a chemical plant in Point Comfort, Texas in the marine traffic department. During his time at Formosa Plastics, we purchased a house that was built in 1908 with a mission to restore it. The only thing I will comment on about that is, watch the movie “The Money Pit”. The old house “adventure” provided a plethora of mini-adventures, many of which I plan to write about while we’re on our ocean adventure—so stay tuned! Prior to that, and before we had any children, John worked on ships and was at sea 3-6 months at a time. He has traveled to over 30 countries!

You can read additional information in our first post: The Adventure Begins!

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