GROW

This little mushy is growing out of the side of our church’s truck. This resilient fungi showed up the day after a week long rain here in Hawaii. It honestly took me back, I laughed and was also blown away. I mean, of all the grass and open yard it could grow, it landed in this little crack on the side of an old rusty metal truck.

I’ve heard people say grow where you are planted but I’ve never liked it. Mainly because I would like to believe that we have the free will and power to choose where we plant ourselves. But in reality we don’t always. Often times we are in a tough job, living a small apartment with our kids, serving in a foreign country, or fighting cancer we clearly didn’t ask for.

These are the places we grow. We think we need the ideal setting, full banks accounts, the perfect job, to be married, or a beautiful big house to have the room to grow and change. It’s just not so.

God has you exactly where you need to be. In the waiting, in the pain, and in the long suffering to GROW despite your surroundings and circumstance. We often do not have the power to chose, and that’s the beauty of surviving adversity. The beauty of flourishing in submission to Gods will.

Grow little mushrooms, God can do anything, in any type of space and surroundings, with tight and seemingly not ideal conditions and circumstances. It will not always be this way, but be faithful where you are. 🍄

Ole

Last Friday I had the privilege of meeting this sweet lady, Auntie Bobbee. She arrived late in her wheelchair and was placed at a back table by staff as my fellows church members and I circled the room to meet these wonderful kupuna. There was an open seat next to her that had my name all over it! If you know me at all, I enjoy going from zero to “where were you born” and everything in between in a matter of minutes. History has always fascinated me, and so do people, so I was in my zone. A happy place, if you will.img_3575-e1554141282606.jpg

So, back to Bobbee, who was born a Barbara, and thought there were way too many of those and she changed her name to Bobbee. Originally from Boston, she made her way to Colorado, married a Hawaiian and eventually settled in Honolulu with him. I thought, “What a sweet feisty lady, I like her”. Guys, it turns out auntie is small kine BIG deal. She pointed to the woman’s shirt next to us and said, “oh yes, I created the Hawaiian Moon Calendar in the 60’s”. img_3564.jpg

To which I took to a quick Google search to familiarize myself with the new conversation topic change. She made this calendar by doing a lot of research and drawing it in a circular form. I asked my fellow blue-eyed ha’ole why she developed this. She said that there was a good friend of her husband that was a fisherman would often say, “Ole from the ocean, these are ole days, ole fish”. Ole means zero, or nothing, in Hawaiian. The ole days were a time when the fisherman would repair their nets, sharpen fish hooks, and clean their boats. They knew these days, according to the moon, did not produce fish. 3-4 days of ole kept the fisherman off the waters and the farmers away from planting the fields.

Do you have ole days? When no matter how much you fish, no matter how hard you try, the nets come up empty?

We have had a rough go in the last few weeks. Or maybe a few months. My purse was stolen, car repairs, doctors, dentist. The latest urgent care stop (there’s been too manyyy), my husband smashed his finger at church yesterday.

I feel like I’m coming up ole. On all the levels. Life’s disappoints and stresses But through this precious kapuna wahine I’m reminded that these are the days to repair the nets and sharpen the hooks. To get prepared to go fishing again. In John 21 the disciples had been fishing all night and caught no fish. Nothing, ole. As morning came the resurrected Jesus stood on the shore.

“Then at dawn, Jesus was standing there on the shore, but the disciples didn’t realize that it was him! He called out to them, saying, “Hey guys! Did you catch any fish?” “Not a thing,” they replied. Jesus shouted to them, “Throw your net over the starboard side, and you’ll catch some!” And so they did as he said, and they caught so many fish they couldn’t even pull in the net!”‭‭ John‬ ‭21:4-6‬

There is value in the ole, there is rest, there is refocus, and that’s when God speaks to tell us what to do next. He instructed the disciples to try a new side of the boat, in doing so they so much fish they feared the nets would break! I’m thankful that my portion is not zero, that God promises me. “Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance. You are my prize and my portion. I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.” Psalm 16:5

I’m forever grateful for this interaction with Auntie Bobbee, that I took the time to ask and to listen in the ole.

 

Broken​

Last week my daughter hurt her foot. It wasn’t a big traumatic event, just a fall on the playground while she was running. I told her stay off of it and not run at school in order to let it heal. She didn’t. The pain got worse. A week later unable to walk, it turns out my mom instinct was off on this one. It was fractured. The doc put her in a walking boot, but told her to take it easy.  If you know this child of mine at all, you know she is VERY active. She walked at 7.5 months old, is the alpha twin, and the one who attempted to chase down a felon after he stole my purse. Yeah, her. This isn’t her first broken bone.

Last night she was aimlessly doing laps around the couch in her boot and crutches…why?  Who knows…she’s 9, so crutches are fun? Before bed she was in tears, her foot really hurt. After praying for healing and a dose of ibuprofen I reminded her that she has to be a part of this healing process. She wants to be better and pain-free but she is not resting. After the doctor said a cast wasn’t necessary, she proceeded to jump over a puddle in the parking lot this afternoon…. LANDING ON HER BOOTED FOOT. Why does the grocery store parking lot seem to be a common place we moms lose our cool?

This past week, by no coincidence whatsoever (that’s how God works), I’ve had multiple conversations with multiple people who are doing the same thing as my daughter. In the areas of health, the heart, debt, or relationship healing. We are broken people. All of us in need of healing. We have to be active participants in our healing. We cannot run and jump on an unhealed broken foot. We cannot pray for healthy bodies and sit on the couch eating chips and ice cream every night. We can’t pray for restored marriages and harbor anger in our hearts for our spouses for what they did and didn’t do. We can’t ask God for physical healing and not trust Him as the Healer.

Until we participate in seeking counseling, or walk through forgiveness, or letting go of the past, or putting down the junk food, or trusting that God is WILLING and ABLE to heal, we aren’t participating.

Sometimes we don’t know where to even start the healing process. In John 5:6 it says, “A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?”. I will let you read the rest of this passage of you don’t know how it ends.

Is God asking you, “do you want to get well?”

Something I will definitely be asking a certain little 9-year-old a lot the next few weeks!

Warrior Women

The word warrior is my word of the week. It pops into my head when I feel anxious about my purse getting stolen last week in my garage out of my childs lap. I’ve been thinking about what warrior really means to me as most of the time I dont feel like a warrior at all. There are most definitely things I am “fighting” for in my life. Yet, the words warrior and fight dont seem to go together to me right now. Theres a more quiet and daily battle going on.

There were many years when I felt so defeated as a mom. I remember raising babies and feeling like I was not contributig a thing to society. I litterly tended to everyones needs and yet longed to make a difference in the world. What I didnt see was that I was doing a holy work in the small things. Being a warrior doesnt always mean agressive action and a fight. Sometimes it means contending through connection, obedience, and consistancy.

As a mother I am contending for my kids daily when I show them how to pray for our enemies that hurt us, when I walk into the garage that scares the poop out of me now, and when I choose to eat a chicken salad instead of french fries. THIS is being a warrior. Moving through our emotions, as slow as that may be somedays, but continuing to press forward.

 In the last week alone I have spoken with a mom who warred for her daughter by taking her to the urgent care on a Saturday to battle a virus. Another who had to celebrate her sons birthday a day early becuase she had to hand him over to his dad and step-mom for his real day of birth, despite the 9 months plus labor and delivery she endurred to give him life. One more strong mama who is sleep training her twins…enough said. And a warrior mom who didnt have a car so she loaded up her 5 kids on the freaking city bus to show up to our church on Sunday to recieve a word from God and show her kids that life can be tough but she is tougher.

THOSE women are warriors. YOU are a warrior. They are all around us doing simple things day in and day out.

Every sippy cup filled with water. Every diaper changed. Every kiss after school. Every phone call to the school for on going bully issues. Those are our battle grounds and THOSE are our hard and holy choices daily we make to contend for our familes and their hearts. Being obedient to where God has you or where He is asking you to go next his powerful. Loving and caring for your kids is a heavenly love.

Security​

I lost it yesterday. I cried to a poor unsuspecting officer in the security office of the downtown Honolulu Police Department. It was my 3rd day in a row going there to try to retrieve a few random cards found in the stolen vehicle that was used in a series of crimes Sunday. My daughters and I had our security and peace violated by a punk kid on a crime spree.

Finally on my 4th attempt, after detective signatures needed on the felony file, a contact person in the evidence room, and then an escort to said room (that smelled strongly of drugs) I received a tiny envelope filled with our library and zoo cards, a debit card, and my Sams Club card. Still missing, so much. It feels like so much. MY ID, credit cards, insurance cards, and all my valuables.

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But here’s the thing, I sat staring at this security sign, with swollen red eyes and frizzy hair (resembling the torture albino from Princess Bride) and knew I was somehow secure. With everything taken, I still felt peace beyond my understanding.

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This process is not easy. A friend asked, “HOW do you have peace?” Let me explain.

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This past year it seems every comfort and past security blanket has been stripped from me. While it may seem like a cruel and un-Godlike process, I KNOW that this process is where I actually find God and His security.

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Grace abounds in deepest waters. As I moved from a place I called home all my life to an island in the middle of the Pacific, God has continually asked me if He is enough. Yes, He always will be. Will I practice what I preach? Two years ago I was a short drive from my parents, my best friend, my sisters, and all the other places and people I used to draw my security from.

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We live in a world full of certainty and security. When we need groceries we have a debit card to go get them. When there is no money in the bank we can use a credit card. When we are tired and needing rest we have the safety of our homes. We are secure behind locked doors and fenced yards with motion lights. When we need support our friends and family are a text message away. Lifting us up and supporting our frail emotions.

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Don’t misunderstand me, there are places for these support systems. God has given me great ones. Yet, the challenge to forgo past security and reach for God in what feels like a foreign country has been a challenging and beautiful process. I have never felt more secure with so little “support”.

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Job 11:18 says this, “and you will feel secure because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.”

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The joy of surrender is that nothing is mine. So when someone steals my purse, they actually stole it from the Lord. When they assault my kids that actually belong to the Lord. The criminal gets to deal with God and not me. Good luck, pal. God is my defender and I will take hope, rest, and security in that. He carries me through the valley, through the fire, in the deep waters and roughest storms.  AMEN.

PEACE

Today my purse was stolen. I loaded up the girls in the car before church and ran back inside for something. I heard screams from our girls like I have never heard before. I ran back out and Bella was yelling “a guy just stole your purse” while pointing up the street. Lili was already halfway down the street screaming in the direction he went. She’s my warrior princess. They all are! They are so brave and FIGHTERS.

A man had entered our carport, approached the passenger side where Bella sat, said “hi” and snatched my purse from her, then he drove off in his car.

He stole my Micheal Kors purse that I got on sale with a gift card, Lulu’s sippy cup, my brand new AirPods, credit cards, debit cards, insurance cards, my Colorado ID (😭guess it’s time I commit to the state of Hawaii), my brand new nice lip gloss, sunglasses, I could go on and keep listing items…but my kids are ok, and that’s all that matters.

What he didn’t steal was my peace. I am rooted in something, SOMEONE, that provides endless love and peace.

Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I have no understanding for this Peace, for this Calm I feel. I am shook, my kids are too, to say the least, but I am not going to live in fear. That is no way to live.

I will do it so different next time. I will be more cautious and careful. I will look at people a bit different, my trust in humans is not the same today as it was yesterday. This picture I just took as I sit in a parking lot next to a park of homeless people. I usually take a picture of our gorgeous ocean views, but like this post, I want to show you a different view of this paradise island. It’s filled with concrete, crime, drugs, and human trafficking, just like any other place.

Many people don’t understand why we came here. They joke about “missionaries in paradise” and laugh. It does sound crazy. So let me be VERY clear…

THIS is why we came here. We came here to spread LIGHT and HOPE in the name of Jesus. We came here because we were commissioned by the King to do His work on earth. We live in a lost and broken place. With lost and broken people. The whole world needs hope, where we used to live needs hope, your town needs it, but this is the place God called us to for now to spread it.

We constantly have opportunities to show grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, and peace. This painful event is an even greater opportunity to do just that.

What happened today shows us exactly what we believe in the spiritual world…There is a Thief that wants to come INTO our homes, to use our kids as innocent easy targets, to ruin marriages, create addiction, to distract us, and sway us from the Truth. We can choose to let him win OR take back what is ours. We must pray for our kids, marriages, minds, and seek truth.

God reassured me today that He would replace what was stolen from me and then more. He wants you to know the same. What the enemy has stolen from you He will replace and give you more.

“God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered.” Deuteronomy 30:3

No abusive relationship, sour ending at a job, bad news from the doctor, or financial woes will ever be too much for Him to restore. The battle is not ours, it’s His.

Don’t be discouraged. Its ok to be sad and angry, I am. But hold on to peace. We know Who wins in the end. Peace and love, and keep spreading light friends! I love ya ✌🏼❤️

Identity

We can cast our own identity when we come into agreement with lies. -Sam Cabra

I’ve never wanted a “career” by definition. When asked in high school which career I would be choosing for the “career” essay I answered that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I was then told that is not a career. I couldn’t write about that, I had to choose something else.

Though this may sound primitive to some, it was the one thing I was sure of most my life. In college, upon picking a major I chose elementary education. While passionate about kids, I was not passionate about teaching. I settled and never followed my heart.

After teaching for 2 years I had my first baby and chose to be an at home mom, my heart’s passion!

Two weeks after having her I was asked multiple times when I would return to work. I received many confused comments by people, “You can’t help make any money at home”, “what about when your kids grow up”, “how can you stand to be at home, aren’t you going to go stir crazy?”.

I feel like there are many negative words I have accepted in my life over the years. This being only one area in my life I allowed others to speak into. Things people said about me and my desire to stay at home then felt like I failed. Doing this often looked lazy or unambitious to others.

So while most of my friends are demanding equal pay and respect in the workplace, I have been fighting the same battle for my position at home.

I wish I could go back and talk to that teacher of mine (who is a woman) and explain why I wanted to stay home. To tell her that my heart knew the importance of this calling even if I didn’t fully understand it yet. Her questions and comments caused all kinds of self-doubt. In her well-intentioned talk with me, all I heard was “your heart’s desire is not valid”. It began the “oh maybe this isn’t a real job” echo in my head for years.

I’ve fought hard this last year to stay at home with my kids because it is my passion. I said yes to my health which unlocked so many years I believed I was going to be fat forever and that’s just the way it was going to be. I finally came into agreement that I was made for more, worthy of more, capable of more. Health coaching is a gift that allows me to stay at home and speak into others who want more freedom to do what they were created to do.

Stop limiting yourself and picking up the lies people say about you, YOU were created for more. Also, be careful what you say about yourself! Speak life into yourself and into others around you!