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“I Survived Iselle”

The storm passed, but not without causing some damage.  Our church ohana in Kona is safe and sound.  Puna, also on the Big Island, was hit the hardes,t and will be without power for up to 6 weeks.  This time of year is very hot and humid.  It makes not having air con or ice even more of a bummer.  Hopefully things will be restored quickly, and the outpouring of help with continue.

Last night we expected to be hunkered down another severe storm system.  The second hurricane heading our way, Julio, veered north and completely missed our lovely set of islands.  We were a little disappointed to not see more wind and rain, but we are so thankful to be safe.  Plus, the already saturated ground needs a little time to dry out.

Even though we didn’t experience a hurricane we wouldn’t change how we prepped for these last two storms.  It’s a very good thing to have what you need.  Being prepared gives one a lot of peace.  Knowing that we can care for our precious pod is a huge relief.

The saying goes “once and homschooler always a homeschooler.”  I learned a couple of new things about hurricanes and the Sandwich Islands.  Only four hurricanes have made landfall on the islands in the last 100 years.  The Big Island has a natural hurricane buster.  When the hurricane hits the Big Island the volcano is so big it breaks up the storm.  The doppler radar shows this amazing natural phenomena.  I also learned that wind shear, usually a bad thing with things like flying in an airplane, actually works to our advantage in a huge storm because it also breaks up the storm.  Kauai wasn’t so lucky 22 years ago when they were hit by Iniki.  It didn’t have that buffer.  We are praying for a very boring rest of the hurricane season.

 

Prepping For A Storm

Our latest adventure surrounds the buzz of the impending tropical storm.

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When the locals are loading up on bottled water and canned goods a person tends to pay attention. I was reminded that it takes the boat a while to arrive with supplies.

We’ve discussed how we feel about it. We are cautious. We don’t live right next to the ocean or an inlet, so a storm surge isn’t an issue. A power outrage is really on main concern. We have a disaster kit from our PAC NW days that we just replenish from time to time. I think we are pretty secure.

We just need to plan a storm watch party, hand crank up the emergency radio, tie down the kayak and BBQ, and pray for safety over our chain of islands.

The likely hood of making military friends while living on The Island is quite high, and we have already said good bye to two families over the past year.  I have decided the process of making new friends only to have them move a few months later absolutely stinks.  I have also decided that the fruit you receive from putting yourself out there is totally worth it.

Every few years these families pack up everything they own to start over in a new place.  Yes, they signed up for this, but no one understands the unique pressure this puts on a family.  Each of the families that we have gotten to know have endured multiple deployments to scary parts of the world.  The spouses of these soldiers are strong and caring, raising their children as single parents for months at a time.  They do admit to moments of weakness, wondering why they agreed to this life style, but they are deeply patriotic, deeply committed, deeply spiritual.  Their mobile life in the military seem to have given them a better understanding of gracious and inclusive living, and our transition to The Island would be not be as easy without them.

So, today we say “We’ll see ya when we see ya” to some special friends. The heart ache is deep, but we are better for having shared these past months of musicals, drama classes, youth group activities, camp, coffee dates, and fabulous text streams of laughter and tears.  God bless you McDees!  We’ll see ya when we see ya.

Random Thoughts

-I have one sick kiddo on the bed.  Even when they move out of their teens they still seem to like the care mom can give them.  I’m eating it up as much as I can because I know that one day I won’t be the one he calls out to when he feels this way.  I have to trust that she will do much better than I.  That’s the way it should be.  Until then, it’s a little ginger ale and crackers and a long snooze.  Hopefully we’ll be able to move him to his own bed so we can grab a wink or two of sleep.

-I got a great hair cut today.  I had her whack it off.  It’s now a short bob.  Niki did a great job.  It took me a while to find someone on the island to take care of this mop of mine.  I go through phases where I try to cut and color my own hair either because I am feeling hormonal and need to change it asap or I may not want to spend the money.  I’ve learned that hormonal rushes are a terrible time to choose a new hair cut.  The Mr. appreciates that I’ve learned that fact.

-I miss having a show to work on.  Les Mis was a lot of fun.  The music was a challenge.  Theater ohana is the next best thing to a real one.  I had the opportunity to audition for a very grown up show at a theater in town, but made the decision to take a pass.  I couldn’t reconcile the grown up themes of this particular show with being a worship leader.  Keeping my eyes out for another production.

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Mardi Savage took this shot of The Old Ladies during our run of Les Mis.  She is a very talented photographer.  Check out her site.  BTW, I’m the one in the gray wig.

-We only have a few weeks until The Youngest starts her online classes.  Before then some special friends are moving to another base on the other side of the Mainland, the Mr. takes another trip to the hometown for our church’s latest album premiere, and the Oldest starts classes heading towards his EMT certification at a local community college.  In between it all we hit the beach and paddle as much as possible.  Well, that last one is my hope.  I don’t think I’ve shared it with the fam.

-Trying to rid my body of all gluten, soy and corn.  I have to stick to it or I just feel yuck all the time.  The corn and soy are new ones to avoid.  I’ve been trying to find triggers to me feeling achy and tired.  It seems those are all part of the pain problem.  We’ll see how I feel over the next month.

 

 

Returning Home 2014

We just finished a month long trip back to the hometown.  It was delightful.  We had a lot of family time, took in a few plays at the Shakespeare Festival which is like Disneyland for theater nerds, and enjoyed the sites and smells of a very familiar setting.  In some ways it was difficult to come back to our new home.

People think that it’s crazy to think that we wouldn’t want to rush back to our island paradise.  The setting is gorgeous, we have a wonderful safe place to live, and we have some very special friends that have become our island ohana.  I think that it comes down to the fact that our hometown family is not here.  That support system that we’ve have come to rely on for decades is not easily accessible.  As our family grows older so does our realization that time is fleeting and is something that we cannot get back.  Modern technology makes it a little easier, but real Facetime is the best.

So how is our reentry going?  Pretty good. The first morning back started off with a long walk on the beach and ended with a great shrimp stirfry.  Both are great advantages of living in the middle of the ocean.  We are taking it one day at a time, and thanking God for every blessing of being here.

We are heading into the warmest time of the year.  Last year the youngest said, “The heat.  I can’t get away from the heat!”  The Mr. has put a lovely plan in place to help keep us cooler.  That is definitely making our reentry much easier.

Time to drop the youngest off with friends, and for another trip to the library to prep for my drama classes that start next week.

It’s Friday.  Ah, we made it.

I look out my window and there is a line of intermixed palm trees and monkey tail trees.  Beyond that line is a large cemetery.  It’s constantly busy.  If people aren’t having a service to bury a loved one, then they are sitting around a grave stone enjoying a picnic.  A few of the headstones are surrounded with solar lights, so at night it is very easy to see them from the road.

A few mornings a week my youngest and her pappy take a walk around the cemetery.  They go in search of life; ferrel cats and jungle fowl.  They have named certain ones, and are delighted when they see them.  They always come back with a great story, or a song that they made up as they were walking/running along.

We are still amazed at how the cats and chickens hang out together in the cemetery.  We almost didn’t believe the hubby the first time he came back from a walk across the street, but he has pictures!  Thank you smart phone.  There were clearly roosters strutting along side the cats, and momma hens leading lines of chicks right next to sleepy cats.  One day there was a bunny hopping along the path.  Wow, isn’t this what heaven is supposed to be like?  The lion sitting peacefully next to the lamb?

Two verses come to mind as I think on the seeming peace and tranquility of the cat and chicken hangout.

Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

At time these verses are challenging.  “Really?  Be at peace with EVERYONE?  ALL THE TIME?” or “Oy, Holy? That just takes too much effort,  I give up” may be the response that we want to give.  Ok, maybe it’s just me.  Look again at the first part of that verse.  “Make every effort” is what is says.  “Do your best” is how I read that.  Phew…I know that I’m not perfect, but so does God.  He wants me to try and do my best, knowing that I’m not going to be perfect until I see Him face to face.  Seriously, I feel like a weight it lifted off of my shoulders.

I will try my best to be at peace with everyone, and to strive to be holy.  I’m so thankful for the grace that God shows me when I fail and choose to pick up an offense that isn’t mine or just plain don’t want to forgive.  Thank you God for some silly cats and chickens that give us a fun reminder to live in peace.  Time for a walk across the street.

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The Go-To

Knowing what to share here on the blog is tricky. (I just took down a rather personal post.)  Some times I feel like it would be a really great place to pour my heart out; to see if anyone else feels the same way about things.  Being in ministry with a rather high-profile church makes that tricky.  I don’t want to put anyone’s reputation in jeopardy, and I certainly don’t want people to have any more fuel to add to the fire of the current climate if they take something that I say out of context.

Sometimes though, the burden that comes from being a pastor’s wife and worship leader (less of a worship leader these days) is heavy.  Recently I heard someone say, “Leadership is lonely.”  That is so true.  At times it’s difficult to not be offended by things people say about your husband or your ministry.  I hold on to offenses way longer than my husband.  That leads to isolation and discouragement.  It’s in those times that I know that I must spend time a deeper time with God.  For me that means extra time reading the bible, more time on my knees, and taking every thought captive.  I can easily follow a dark road if I don’t stay keep my thoughts account current.  It’s the only way to allow my Savior to carry the burden of ministry.

Today I grab a go-to verse to carry with me.  I know you’ve read it on my blog before.  It’s Philippians 4:4-9.  It’s in the NIV.  I appreciate how in verse 8 it addresses “brothers AND sisters.”

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”