I know it’s a few days late for a New Year post but better late than never right?
Truly one thing this past year has taught us is to live in each moment and be open to every opportunity God places in front of us, so sometimes that means other things (like really cool, amazing blog posts 😉 ) get set to the side for a time. It’s a very freeing realization when I think about just how far our little ohana has come since the beginning of 2016.
DJ and Rebecca joined us a year ago this week. It was so exciting to finally have someone we knew and loved around all the time, but as we all discovered, living with other people is not always easy. From meal planning, to cleaning preferences, to finding alone time there were a lot of adjustments that needed to be made and I can honestly say I don’t know if we could live like this with any other couple we know. And those were just the logistics! We had to learn how to operate as a family of God and a group of people who want to learn and grow from one another. We are still working on that but the progress we’ve made is undeniable and I am so thankful for all of them. God has done great things in and through each of us because we have each other.
And we’ve gotten to do so many cool things together! We’ve explored more inches of this island than many people who are from here do in a lifetime. We’ve seen sights we’ve never seen in our lives, jumped off things we’d never dare to in the past, climbed on, crawled under, and swam through things we’d have been too scared to try before, and learned how to be patient with one another through it all. We’ve gotten to share our island with many of you reading this and lots of people we never expected to share it with. We’ve learned to live with dirty feet and dirty floors because that means we’ve really LIVED and we’ve learned to enjoy unexpected meals with friends and strangers alike and not worry about calories when it means loving on others.
Although nothing beats our family being a church body, some of the most amazing things that happened this year involved people outside of our family. During 2016 we picked up 63 sets of hitchhikers, some multiple times. We met people from all over the globe giving away literally hundreds (okay, probably thousands) of star fruit and we prayed over dozens of people in ministry and all those who visited our home. It has been the most other-focused year any of us have experienced and it’s been incredible!
The most important thing about all those ministries and service opportunities last year is that they were and are done without expectation. We do what we do for others without expecting something in return and I don’t just mean them doing something for us. We’ve picked up hitchhikers and brought them home for the weekend, we’ve gone on hikes and found new friends, or given away fruit and spent the week with the people we’ve met. These are the best parts of our lives BUT, although they are all great, they’re not the reason we do what we do. We do things because we want to be a light to the world us around and we want to love on people in any way we can, but it’s not a “success” if we bring someone home with us after meeting them on one of our adventures. And it’s not a “failure” if we don’t. People are not projects and we can’t give away fruit and push our own agenda of finding people to spend time with. We do it for the glory of God and if the Holy Spirit presents other opportunities then we are thrilled to make the most of them, but we don’t want to make it about us. We are not all that great, but He definitely is.
In 2017 we want to continue to grow in all the areas we’ve been growing this past year. We want to explore more, love more, and give more than we’ve ever done before. We are so excited to see what God is going to do here on Kauai and anywhere else He takes us and we’re thankful we can take all of you along for the ride. Happy New Year!
“He must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30