June 14, 2013

This is Not My Home

Living in Hawaii during this temporary season has been quite interesting and quite the adventure.  We have loved learning a new place, but we live very differently here than we did back home.  When we moved here, we brought very little with us; and, as I do things like grocery shop, I typically buy just what we need for the week so that we will not have extra food items leftover when we leave.  In other words, we really don’t stock up on many things because we know our season here is short. 

A lot of the time, we stick out like a sore thumb.  It is very evident to most people here that we are not ‘local.’  Between our skin color (and its propensity to sunburn) and our inability to pronounce the Hawaiian street names, it’s quite clear that we’re not from around here.

Even after being here for a month, it still does not quite feel like home.  Oftentimes, I catch myself thinking about my family “back home,” wondering what the weather is like, thinking about our new nephews, longing for the fellowship of our church family…  Our living situation here is great – ideal, in fact; but most days I find myself dreaming about our future house where we will live when we are finally settled, done with this transitory year.  I picture it filled with guests for a dinner party; or I imagine what the garden might look like in the late spring. Some days it is difficult to be fully present here while my heart is longing for there.

While I was reading this morning, it occurred to me that this is precisely how I should feel about life on Earth.  I should feel like a temporary citizen, like I don’t quite belong.  Just because I live in Hawaii right now, does not give me Hawaiian residency. My driver's license still says, "Oregon."  I do not walk through the door of our apartment and feel enveloped by that familiar comforting sense of home.  It's great, don't get me wrong, but it's not home.

I want to long for our future Glory the way I long to be home now.  I know my heart, and my heart is desperately tied to the things of this world. I find great comfort in familiarity and great security in what I can see. I want to gain a more eternal perspective of our time here on Earth.  What a blessing to spend this temporary season in such a beautiful place, but what greater Beauty awaits!  Hold on, heart, we're not Home yet.

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." - Phil. 3:20-21 

June 7, 2013

Wave After Wave

This morning, we awoke to gray skies and threatening, dark clouds.  Today has been a day of slate-wiping, dust-clearing, blustery, totally cleansing rain.  And it's only 8am.  After days of hot, humid weather, this rainstorm is complete relief.  I always drink my coffee hot, but it's nice to actually want it hot on a morning like this.  Even in this cleansing rainstorm, this place maintains its own unique sense of beauty.  But, enough about today.  Yesterday is the real reason we're all here.
Yesterday was pretty incredible.  Not because of the weather and not because of the beaches.... but because we had the joy of becoming an aunt and uncle for the second and third time.  My incredible sister-in-law gave birth to our two handsome nephews bright and early yesterday morning.  Yes, we are loving it here in Hawaii, but I can honestly say, I've never wanted to be back in Washington more than I do right now.
So, after living on my phone watching for updated information and pictures of the boys, I figured it was time to do something productive with my day. (Not that following your nephews' births is not productive, I had just barely left our apartment all day)  So, I decided to put together a little picnic for Cole and drive him up to the North Shore after work for a surprise sunset dinner.  It was worth the drive.
After we'd finished eating, we just sat there watching the *huge* waves roll in.  I really don't know what it is, but waves can be so mesmerizing.  There were a few kids playing in the surf a bit down the beach and the waves were so strong that, even if they had wanted to resist, the kids were continually bowled over by the power of the waves.  Driving, overwhelming waves.  

And, all I could think about was God's grace.  Wave upon wave of driving, overwhelming, completely undeserved Grace.  Two brand, new, healthy lives back home.  Grace.  A safe delivery.  Grace.  Living in this beautiful place. Grace. A great local church. Grace. Nearly 3 years of marriage to this incredible, forgiving, loving man.  Grace.  The cleansing morning rain. Grace.  Bowling me over day after day after day.

Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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