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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Quick Note

It’s been too long, dear Reader.  I’ve missed you.  I’ve been off the grid for quite some time now, and unfortunately, I’m here to inform you that that will remain so for at least another month.  My apologies.

You see, I have obsessive tendencies.  When my mind latches on to something, it’s all I think about.  Day and night.  There will be times when I struggle to sleep because my brain is whirling out ideas.  For the majority of this year, Cromulent Thoughts has been my obsession.  I devoured information so that I could use it here.  Partially for you, partially for me.  As I’ve said numerous times, I am learning at the same time as I write each post.  Roughly five or six weeks ago, a new obsession began.

On August 3, Steph and I celebrated our tenth anniversary.  To celebrate, we had been saving for two years so that we could go to Hawaii.  We’ve never had a lot of money—there was no honeymoon ten years ago, and we’ve only been able to go on one real vacation throughout the duration of our marriage—so this was more than a big deal for us.

Our trip was actually in the middle of July, but about a month before that…around the time I stopped posting on this blog…it was time to start preparing.  For me, it became an obsession.  I had to make sure everything was purchased that needed to be purchased.  I had to make sure we maximized our time on the Big Island, so I planned out our week…including where/what we would eat each day.  Because I had read that cell phones, iPads, GPS, etc didn’t always work the best in Hawaii, I had to find directions to and from everywhere we were wanting to go.  This is just the tip of the crazy iceberg…are you beginning to see the obsessive patterns yet?

When I get like this, it’s all I can think about.  I tried to write, I really did.  As I would be working on something Hawaii-related, thoughts and outlines of posts would enter my mind.  Yet when I would sit down to write, my mind instantly lost those thoughts, and everything returned to Hawaii.  I was too distracted to write anything of substance, and that didn’t sit well with me.  When I began this blog, I made a promise to God and myself that this was His work…not mine.  The posts would be His words, His message…not mine.  I would be nothing more than a messenger.

Had I tried to write during the month prior to leaving for Hawaii, I would have broken that promise.

It’s not that God left me, or that His words weren’t there…it’s that I stopped listening.  I was so consumed with our trip, that I tuned Him out.  This is not something I’m proud of…in fact, it terrifies me because this is the hot/cold/lukewarm streak that I’ve experienced my entire life.  The streak I so desperately want to break.  Planning our trip wasn’t wrong.  Being so involved with it that I sacrificed my time with God was.

I practically ignored God for the month leading up to Hawaii, and it would have been so easy for Him to return the favor once we were there.  But that’s not how He works.  After a long first day where United Airlines seemed determined to not let us start our vacation, God gave us arguably the best seven consecutive days of our marriage.  If you ever see any photos of us on the trip, those smiles are the most genuine, easiest smiles ever caught of us on film.  Since we’ve returned, the most common question I have been asked is what was my favorite part.  That’s honestly impossible to answer considering that every day I did something or saw something that’s never happened to me before.  I saw things that literally caused me to walk away on my own to praise God verbally for MAKING all of this.  Meanwhile, Steph and I returned to that giddy kind of love you experience at the beginning of a relationship.

I ignored God for a month, and this is how He responded.  Maybe He was blessing me for working so hard for Him up until that point.  Maybe He was blessing us for sticking with each other and with Him through all of our ups and downs these last ten years.  Maybe He was just reminding me that He was (and will always be) still here.  Regardless, I noticed, and we have both thanked Him repeatedly for that experience.

With all of that said, why am I going to still be absent for at least another month?  Because for me, school begins to two weeks.  My mind is now working obsessively to prepare for the upcoming year.  Once Labor Day comes around, I have generally fallen into a routine, and will be ready (mentally) to continue with my posts on prayer.

Does this mean that I haven’t learned my lesson?  I’m still obsessing and taking away from God.  No…it just means I’m human.  I recognize that this is a problem.  I am trying (and will continue to try) to amend this.  But I also know that it will take time for me to fix this.  It’s not something that will be fixed in the next two weeks.  So for right now…I must prepare for school.  I ask that you be patient with me, dear Reader, and in about a month, we’ll get back to some fun stuff…because I still have SO MUCH to share with you.

In the meantime, before I share a few pictures that Steph took (these all come from her camera…some may look like postcards, but they are not), I must ask for your prayers in two areas:
1)    I began this blog with the written speech I gave to a youth group called Wyldlife that a friend of mine leads.  A few months ago, he asked if I would help him lead this group moving forward.  We are actually meeting on Friday to discuss this decision and what to do planning-wise.  Right now, after much prayer, I am leaning towards accepting his invitation.  Please pray for a clear and easy decision—and if this is where He wants me, pray for His strength, wisdom, and guidance to enter me as I work with these kids.
2)    A few months ago, I wrote about why Steph and I do not have children.  Barring a miracle, if we want children, we are going to have to go the adoption/foster care route.  For years, we have flip-flopped on whether or not we want to do this or just accept a childless life.  While in Hawaii, we came to an agreement: It’s time to stop flip-flopping.  We’re not getting any younger, and it’s time to move forward—regardless of the decision.  So…we have deemed 2012 as the “Year of the Decision.”  Our goal: By the end of this year, we will make a definitive decision about the route we want to go so that 2013 can be the “Year of Moving Forward.”  Obviously, much prayer is needed towards this decision.  Please pray for clear guidance and understanding so we know without a doubt what direction He wants us to take.

Thanks for your patience while I’ve been away.  Thank you for your continued patience as I re-organize my life heading into another school year.  I’ll see you in September.

Four samples from our trip:
                                         Akaka Falls

                       Sunset from our hotel (Fairmont Orchid)

                       View from the Fairmont Orchid lobby

                        Sunset from Mauna Kea mountain summit