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Fridays Bless Me Every Week

Today is the day I post my blessings, and how I look forward to this. Some weeks are harder than others, since it’s a choice to have the peace of God’s love and thankfulness in His blessings, and some weeks just blow me away.

Those that read me know I’ve just come back from a huge blessing in my vacation. I hadn’t been home in 12 long years to Oahu, and hadn’t visited Maui since I was 5. The fact that my son is now five and I took him and my husband to my home was HUGE for me. The obvious blessing was being in a tropical low key, laid back, beautiful environment. Who couldn’t see the blessing in that and thank God for His creation? The not so obvious blessing and the main one for me was to experience it all again as a 5 year old through my son, which really took me home ten-fold. The fact that my auntis, uncles, and cousins got to meet my family is a huge blessing.

Today as I look toward this past week my heart is somewhat heavy as I know I’ve not treated my husband as well as I should have this week. The phrase, submit to your husband keeps going through my mind. This is often a inflammatory biblical instruction for a lot of female liberals. What does it mean…submit? To me, it’s not letting a man walk all over me, as some people like to twist it. To me, it’s having compassion for the man God has chosen for me…letting go of some of my own control and giving my husband his way more than I choose my own.

I’ve been very controlling this week and I don’t feel good about it. What is the blessing in this? That I have a wonderful husband!! He puts up with me and loves me…frustrated or not. I know I need to make it up to him and I’m blessed that he sticks around so I can.

I’ve had no job this whole month…I’m unemployed! HA! How cool is it that this is NOT stressing me out. <—-(blessings right there) This whole month is the only month, before my son starts Kindergarten that I’ll have had all this time with him. I had no one calling me for work…well not for most of the month….so my time was truly “MY” time with my family with no interruptions. I’ve never experienced that freedom before, so this has been a huge blessing.

Now that it’s back to reality and the bills need two incomes…what am I going to do?? I’ve been wondering how I’m going to supplement our household income since I quit my sales career. I have my photography business that I started last October, but that’s not going to take off overnight.

This week my son’s school hired me as a substitute teacher. I turned my new hire packet in this week. I was told that it my be pretty infrequent for the first couple of months, but after that get ready for it to get crazy. I’m not sure how it’s going to pay, but I know God will provide. I’ve also run across a couple of jobs to pay the bills for the next couple of months until teaching kicks in. I’m not sure if they’d be something I’d be interested in, but it’s what they provide that counts. This is the first time in my life that I didn’t have to have something ‘professional’ working that went along with my degree. I finally realize….MY JOB DOESN’T DEFINE ME! I do…being a Christian mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, grand-daughter, and friend defines me. This has been a blessing to get this.

Today would have been my Grandfather’s 100th birthday. If you’ve not read about him, you should…because he was and is still, to me, an amazing human being. He died in my arms, and I saw him see the Lord first hand. Seeing his pupils dialate, his breathe quicken, and his head pop up after being in a coma scared me at first. Hearing the monitors scream at me that his heart rate was bottoming out freaked me out. BUT seeing the look on his face when he saw angels come for him…there’s no way I could doubt that he saw the face of Jesus. And even though terrifying for me at the age of 19 or 20, I know this is a blessing now. For one because they say, those that have come back from the dead, that they see their surroundings when they leave their bodies…so this means my papa knew I was with him too.

You see I got there too late to see him before he went into his coma. He went into his comatose state asking for Kimmy and wanted me. I was selfishly on Spring Break in Texas…but took the first flight out as soon as I heard he went into the hospital. I was just too late in saying my goodbye. I have the peace and blessing of today, his 100th birthday, of that lovely man and his love for me. He was my role model growing up, in what to look for in a man. He was truly one of a kind. Please honor his memory today and go read this post about him and my wonderful grandmother, as she too, was truly one amazing lady. For those that don’t know, he was a photographer and the reason the love of photography is in my blood and heart. I hope he’d be proud that I’m trying to make a living at it.

Lastly the fact that we all came home from a long strenuous trip unharmed and well is a huge blessing. Other than my husband’s small fall, which we think he cracked something…we’re all fared well. My son is an amazing traveler! And no one got sick. Praise God for that!

Thank you for tuning in to my little corner of the web world. Next week is the last week of this contest. You can view the video at the post below to see who’s almost winning. If it stays this close in the running, I may have to extend this by another week to get a clear defined winner. I pray you’ll consider counting your blessings…it truly IS life changing. Just ask Terri…you can read why it’s changed her outlook, here.

I think I’ll leave you with a pic I took of my husband and son, on Maui. Have a great weekend all!

blessings, faith, faithful fridays, Hawaii

Blessings for Friday (maybe Saturday)

Okay I’m on Hawaiian time now, so it’s Friday for me but maybe Saturday for some fo you!

I have a great list of thankfuls to the Lord this week.  Blessings to me are not just things to be thankful for but thankful TO God.

First and foremost, a huge blessing in that my son did extremely well in our travels today.  Total of 11-12 hours of flight and layover time, and he was a doll.  He only got grouchy once.  I wish I could say the same thing for my husband!

Second blessing…we upgraded to a convertible car here for next to nothing, and will split a very cheap rental car once we go to Maui on Monday with our inlaws.  This will save us so much money.

Tonight, as we crash at my aunti and unlce’s home on Oahu, I over hear my aunti on the phone calling the whole crew to come over for potluck in celebration of my family’s visit back to the island.  I am blown away at how many people are coming over.  What a great blessing indeed!

Lastly, I got a check from my former employer which was very very unexpected.  So we were able to go on this trip with more peace without the burden we’d have had without it.

Thank you for all of you checking in each day.  If I’m not on here very much in the next 10 days.  Please know I am having a very overdue family vacation and I will post when and if I can.

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In a few days…

I will be home…in a few days.
I will feel the island breeze…in a few days.
I will taste my favorite foods…in a few days.
I will see my favorite people from my past…in a few days.

My Aunti and Uncle, although not by blood, by heart are letting my stay with them for the weekend in Kaneohe. They’re throwing me a potluck dinner party for all of my family to come celebrate.

When first moving to Oahu, we were in awe of it’s beauty. We were in awe of it’s weather. We were in awe that we really lived there! I was 5 and life at that age is wonderous any where you live, let alone on a tropical island with mountains at every corner and beaches at every turn.

Living near the ocean is home to me, on so many different levels. Every fiber in my being is pulled to the lull of the waves. To walk the beach, looking for sea shells and chasing hermit crabs, was my ideal day as a child. To find Japanese glass balls floating to the shore, and learn of their origin, was a blessed gift. Digging my toes in the sand, feeling it’s damp heaviness surround my foot right before the sea would rush in and drain the sand away is a sweet memory. Doing cartwheels and leaving hand and footprints down the shore was my signature, leaving my stamp of love for the island I lived on.

I dream of those days most nights. To know I’ve chosen a life away from them is not ideal, but I know I always have a home to come home to in my family away from family, on the island of Oahu. We were the first Hoale family to don the door of the Nazarene Church in Kaneohe, and our O’hana opened their eyes wide and soon their hearts to us.

We learned their dialect, and their culture as if it were our own. I spoke pidgin before I learned proper English. In fact when I moved back stateside, the education board made me take a test before starting school, because they thought I wasn’t smart enough to be in the 4th grade. They assumed my broken dialect was a sign of my intelligence.

I still have that test. It showed my intellectual age being 23, when I was only 10. I blew their tests out of the water. Then they wanted to put me in accelerated classes….I said no thanks. I would do fine in the normal classes with normal kids.

Back on point…I grew to love, breathe, and sleep my island life. Knowing that I will be home in a few days means more to me than anyone could ever know. It will be a short 3 day trip to Oahu, before leaving for Maui for a family wedding. But those short 3 days will be amazing! I will visit the place I went to school, and some of my other favorite spots like here, here, and here.

Sunday, we’ll attend church where I did as a kid. I hope my son and husband can appreciate how unique and special this place is. Not only because of the love for Christ they have in their heart, but also because of where it sits. It’s at the base of a mountain with slat windows, which allow the island breeze to stream through from side to side. You get to see God’s great creation in all it’s beauty, smell the wonderful flowers on the breeze, and worship in His goodness.

Afterwards we’ll go to Pearl Harbor so that my family can visit the Arizona, where I can point out my other house we lived in at the east lock of Pearl Harbor. We lived 20 feet from the Naval Intelligence Building, and it was a house that was pre-WWII, with vegetation that should be in a jungle. I had a closet that overlooked the harbor, with an amazing view.

Needless to say it’s going to be hard to tear myself away from my family and home, but I’ll be going to other family (in-laws) waiting for us on Maui. We’re staying at a beach house a block from the ocean, with the rest of the family to see my brother in law and future sister in law get married. This will be near and dear to my heart as well, knowing we’re making new memories to last a life time not only for me–but my five year old, who will taking it all in with wonder…just as I did 30 years ago.

I wish I could scan some of the old pics of me at 5 to post here, but my scanner is broken. I’ll post some new ones I get from this weeks adventures. Stay tuned!!!

PS….here’s the house in Maui we’ll all stay at:

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Just another Manic Day

Saturday was one of the busiest days I think I’ve had since I was in college, when I was rushing from a full day of classes to my part time job. Saturday’s schedule wasn’t just busy, but quite active. Lots of running with no sitting—practically all day.

Starting bright and early I drove out with my son and sister to a race track about an hour away to shoot a couple of kids at their motor cross races.
This was taken while it was raining, so it was a little overcast. For 5 hours I ran from place to place getting the right angles to shoot, for three different kids. Who needs the gym right? It was a mix of showers, with hot sun and humidity that felt about 110 degrees. By the time I was finished, I was muddy, sweaty and in desperate need of a shower.

My son was in awe of all these kids, and their bikes. It was so cute to watch him take it all in.

Afterwards we drove the hour back home, stopped briefly to get a present, and kept on moving 45 minutes in another direction for a birthday party. It was a full day of driving to say the least. The party was held at one of those outdoor race tracks, with indoor arcade games. I think we had our share of racing for the day too!

Since we got to the party a little late…like an hours worth, we missed the cake and presents, but still had time to jump in a race car on their little track.

My anxious five year old strapped in tight next to me, because he knew I’d take the turns tight. I drove like a bat out of ‘you know where’ for the second time that day. I love racing and it was fun to go as fast as I could, while still maintaining a safe drive. After all my son was with me. He was screaming, “Whoo Hoooo Mommy!” the whole time. I think I actually beat my husband’s record.

We spent an hour there… mostly indoors, playing the arcade games, to beat the heat. My son is an amazingly lucky little dude who always gets tickets streaming out of every game he plays. In one hour he racked up 170 tickets, which was enough to bring home 5 toys.

Then we drove home so that I could get ready for my future sister in law’s bachelorette party, which I was already behind the curve ball on. I’d been planning it for weeks and was not going to let myself stop even for a minute to rest. All I had time for was a quick shower, and makeup and hair. Was I ready to sit, eat, and have a relaxing evening or what?

We started out at The Mantle, on the patio, for appetizers. The only down side was the very very loud speakers, which was blaring folk music. From there we went to two other places for a night full of fun and dancing.

I invited my token platonic guy, Walter, who’s been a friend for close to 15 years, to keep an eye on all us ladies. I always have a standby guy at bachelorette parties, just incase it’s needed.

Plus that way we all have a platonic, never gonna think of anything more than friends, dance partner for the night. Walter was like a bouncer, baby-sitter, dancing dude all rolled into one. Who wouldn’t love that?

PLUS he’s about 7 foot tall, so no one would mess with him. Did I mention he’s usually the life of any party too? It was a great bonus. Not too long into the evening, my Cousin, Ross, also stopped by. So we had two male body guards…it was great!

I think Mindy, my future sis, had a great time and I am so happy to be welcoming her into the family! It was a huge blessing to have my own sister, my future sister in law, my mother in law, and some of our friends and extended family join us out. We had the best time. Some of us had too much fun! 🙂

My sister and I designed T-shirts for the night, which were a hit. I will post a picture of them later. They were very cute and we all got comments on them all night. Now that’s it’s Monday, I’m ready for the weekend. I leave for their wedding, in Maui, in 4 days!

Ahhhh! Now I have to get crazy busy packing and preparing for a fun filled trip! I’ll keep you updated while I’m there!

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Fridays are full of Blessings 6-6-08

Well anyone who read my latest post knows how well my week has gone. God is so good!

*My grandmother has been praying for 3 years that my book would get published. She faithfully and tirelessly would get on her knees every night, and pray for multiple things…my book being one of them. How wonderful was it for me to get to call her this week with the good news? She started crying and rushed off to church Wednesday night to tell everyone about her grand-daughter, the author. She lives in a small town, and I’m sure reveled in the moment. To me that was a huge blessing.

*My son got to be on stage with my husband, in introducing KC and the Sunshine band. My son got to turn to the crowd of about 1,000 and shake his booty to warm up the crowd in hopes of KC coming out to start the show. My little guy was a hit! The crowd roared in laughter as my husband then introduced the band, before joining the rest of us in the crowd for the show. IT was a blast. It was my son’s first concert and he had so much fun.

*My son asked me why it was special to get published. I gave him an analogy that he could understand a little better:
“You know when I teach your Sunday school class and I ask questions, that all your classmates raise their hands to answer?”
“Yes.”
“Well everyone wants me to pick them, right?” (head nod)
“I can’t pick everyone. I can only pick one person at a time to answer, and when I do pick that person it makes them feel pretty special…right?”
“Yah.”
“Well a publishing house is like me, the teacher, picking one person, like the student, to feel pretty special. LOTS of people want their books published, and they can only pick one.”
“WOW! Mom, that makes you special! I’m so happy for you!”
—This was a special moment for me because he got the big picture. He even answered the phone within minutes of our conversation and told my sister excitedly how his mommy was getting published!

*I put my notice in at work, in plans to focus on my photography/writing. Two days later I got another photography job, for July.

*Today is one month till my birthday! Yay! I told my son I’d be 36 years young. He responded with, “Yah, you are young…but I’m younger! AND your skin is getting thinner every year!” Okay now I’m imagining my veins showing through my skin when I’m 70, and wrinkles everywhere, but I’m still blessed.

*This week we bought our tickets to Oahu/Maui for my brother in law’s wedding, in July. We couldn’t afford to buy them until now, so we were blessed that our finances finally fell into place PLUS we found some tickets at a rate we were happy with considering how late we were buying them.

*My future sister in law, whom I adore, asked my son to be their ring bearer. So not only do we get to stand on a beach and watch them take their vows, but I get to watch my baby be a part of it. I’m so happy.

*I confirmed that I can stay with my aunti and uncle on Oahu, on our 3 day trip, before heading to Maui. That will save us a lot of money with room and meals. They’ve not met my husband yet so not only do I get to introduce my son to them, but my sweet husband. It’s going to be a huge blessing to show them where I went to school, lived in which houses, and attend church on Sunday at my church home. This church sits down in the valley, where the breeze flows through the slatted windows from the mountains above. I’m blessed to think of how peaceful that will be.

*My husband used his academy sports gift certificate and came home with a big 40″ X 12 ft pool for our back yard. It will give our son the practice he needs swimming for our trip next month. The mere fact that he’s home at 5:20 at night, from his new job, is a huge blessing….but that now he’s home to take care of the back yard and now put in a pool is bonus!

*Lastly I took my first Zumba class with my sister at the gym, we recently joined. I loved it and lasted the whole class. I got to shake my booty and have fun with my sis!

I hope you all have had a great week!

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7 things that you may or may not want to know…about me

Chicken Fried Therapy tagged me with a meme that lists 7 things about me. I’ve done this one before, so I won’t bore you with repeat info or a long and drawn out list of what I’ve done or who I’ve been. I’m going to switch it up and list 7 things I still have to accomplish or 7 things I have on my ‘to do before I die’ list.

1) I intent on taking guitar lessons to learn a new craft, and use the new guitar sitting in my guest room. It was a birthday present 5 years ago from my husband, before we knew we were pregnant. Baby days took priority over anything just for me. I will start lessons before the end of the year…that’s a promise to me.

2) I have 1/2 a chapter left in my manuscript, and I WILL get it finalized this month. I WILL submit query letters starting next week and will revel in each rejection letter, until I get my acceptance letter.

3) I want to show my son where I grew up in Oahu. I want to show him my favorite places on earth so that he may come to understand the magic of the islands, and why I love them so much.

4) I want to come to a conclusion this year on whether or not to have another child. It’s now or never, and my husband & I need to sit in quiet prayer to ask God for guidance on this question.

5) I plan on doubling my revenue/income from my career in the next two years. This will allow me to save enough back to afford us financial peace. We’ve stopped using plastic, and only utilize cash. With the plan we’re on, if I’m able to increase my income…we can be debt free in 2 years. This will allow us enough freedom to move to a better neighborhood. A neighborhood without pesky vandalists messing up our streets.

6) I want to reach out in God’s name. I want to do something worthy of being called His child. Each day I want to be in place to truly listen to His call for me, so that I may follow. This will increase my quality of life, knowing I’m giving back in His name to someone else.

7) I will get in shape physically. Although a tall slender frame, I need to firm up and eat healthy. This will be a good example for my son and husband, who works hard at doing the same. With my support, it will make it easier for him to keep in constant shape rather than on again — off again. This will help my mental, physical, and emotional health to strive for balance.

Okay 7 things I want for me…they may have struck a chord with you…or they may not have. Either way, it’s important to write them down so that I’m accountable to me and to all of you. I hope you’ll do the same thing today. Write down your 7 things you need or want to do for you. I think it’s important to learn 7 things about people and their past, but I think it’s so much more important to learn who they’re striving to be…how they’re going to make their world a better place.

Let’s try to leave the past where it is, and focus on taking today one step at a time…or 7 steps at a time. 😉

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A Bit Of Paradise

There are many things I miss about my island home. The first and most obvious things would be my family and friends from Oahu. These people, though not blood related, were as close to my heart as family could get. My aunties, uncles, and cousins were my O’hana and I dream often of being surrounded by my loved ones in our lovely church. A church with mesmerizing island Christian music flowing from the stage, while the ukulele and the drums played. A church with open glass slats, lining both walls, letting the island breeze flow in while you could see the mountains and beautiful greenery surrounding you. In this church, you felt closer to God than any other I’ve been in. Not just because we were in the middle of paradise, but because my family all held the Lord in their hearts like no other people I’ve known.

There are many other obvious reasons to miss Hawaii like the ocean and the flowers. The aesthetic offerings there are bar none the best of any other place I’ve lived. But there are a few simple things I miss too, like manapua, Black Bean Manju, Kings Hawaiian Bread, Hawaiian Sun products, or Li Hing Mui. Thankfully now there are a lot of web sites for me to order from. I crave certain things that no one could even fathom let alone just pick up a the local store here in the heartland.

My local grocery store does carry King’s bread, but with my husband’s food allergies I can’t buy a whole loaf because it would just be me eating it. And I wouldn’t want it to go bad before I could finish it. That’s one thing I would never waste. Imagine my surprise when at the store yesterday, when I saw a little tiny package of 4 dinner rolls for sale! I almost screamed in delight in the middle of the deli! I am so excited to see them offering a little bit of paradise for people like me, who aren’t the ones who could buy a whole package!

Thank you Lord for small blessings.