Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Thanksgiving is bittersweet this year. After getting back from an awesome trip to Hawaii, I had the responsibility of emptying and giving away the remainder of Freddie's possessions and apartment furnishings. He will never be going back. In this emotional process I learned that people who take gifts ( furniture, TV's, clothes, etc.) often don't appreciate them and even treat them as trash. Just because something is free doesn't negate its value. My feelings were hurt deeply as the special things I gave were scorned and abused. I felt angry. Then I remembered God's gift of His only Son Jesus. Given freely out of His love with the GREAT promise of enjoying eternal life with Him if accepted. What happened? Were the people overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness? Did they realize the priceless treasure being offered. NO. Instead Christ was scorned, ridiculed, abused and then killed as if He were worthless trash and not the Divine gift from God.
I believe I needed this object lesson to open by own selfish eyes and examine things that I truly need to be thankful for. The bruises my heart feels from my gifts being mistreated are nothing compared to God's sorrow and righteous anger over His Son being crucified. Today I want to pause and give thanks to the Lord for my salvation through faith in Christ. In addition, I want to acknowledge the blessings He has poured out into my life. The treasures of my family, friends, job, health, home, freedom to live in this great country and worship the Lord without fear.
This emotionally charged experience this month has given me insight and taught me the value of a "gift" and being thankful- two principles I hope continue to transform my heart.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sitting here in the quiet breathtaking beauty of Kauai, I thank the Lord for this day to myself. Mike and Johnny have gone to explore Pearl Harbor and I chose to remain in our condo, relax, spend time reflecting on God's goodness, and share a few thoughts and pictures.

Since it is difficult to coordinate the schedules of multiple people and time-share availability, this trip has been in the making for over a year. We had originally intended to come in June but November was what we were able to arrange. Hard to complain when it is paradise here year-round. With all the hard things Mike and I have been dealing with we weren't sure if we would enjoy ourselves so we arrived with mixed emotions. Glad to report that those changed immediately after stepping off the plane into the "heaven" of Hawaii.

Johnny, Mike's best friend, ski buddy, and great guy, joined us on this trip. He has never been to Hawaii before so we are able to act as tour guides sharing our "favorite things to do" with him.
The three of us arrived on Friday evening after dark so we awoke Saturday morning to the fresh beauty of northern Kauai. Because Mike and Johnny are non-stop activity lovers we have been doing something just about every moment. The days have opened with hikes to see the sunrise over the ocean and share our breakfasts with the abundant birds (including chickens---lots of them) on our deck. A chicken actually stole Mike's toast from his plate!

We have gone exploring the major areas of the island with the Waimea canyon being the most spectacular. It is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. A mini-version of the real thing. The weather was too beautiful on Monday to pass up the chance to do some hiking up there so we spent the day snapping pictures as we trudged along the rocky trails. Tuesday we hadn't had enough of the canyon views so we took a helicopter ride that gave us not only the view from above the canyon but the whole island. Breathtaking and scary !!

Last night we stuffed ourselves at a Hawaiian luau as we enjoyed the show featuring native dancing and music. Today I decided to chill out by myself as the boys explore Pearl Harbor and Waikiki beach on the island of Oahu. It is a picture perfect day outside (as usual) and I am basking in this time alone to read, stroll, nap, listen to my new Hawaiian CD's, and of course post these pictures !