I've returned from my vacation in Maui. It was a true treat. I didn't touch a computer for a whole week. No emails, blogging, or even any youtubes. It was great. (Even though one day I caught a TV show while working out in the gym and they talked about a clip with David Letterman that I made sure to watch right when I got home). I felt disconnected from the world, but it was good because I truly had time to connect with God and my family.
Isella was so fun on this trip. Lots of laughing and smiling. One challenge we had was (besides lugging a million things like portable cribs, strollers, and beach toys everywhere) Maui's time difference is three hours behind us. So Isella's internal clock was way off. She'd wake up at 4:30am because it was really 7:30 am Cali time.
This is obviously not an ideal time to get up on vacation. The first day I sucked it up and took the morning shift, since Wendy takes EVERY other shift, it was the least I could do for my beautiful hard-working wife. The cool thing is that getting up so early gave me some great advantages. I got great daddy daughter time with isella, we got to walk in the fresh Hawaiian air every morning, we got to hang out at a great little coffee shop. And every morning I would get to have some Chai Tea or a White Mocha while I read God's word and journaled. Ah, if life were always that simple. AND we also met Abigail.
Abigail was sweeping the parking lot of a little strip mall with a bar, nail salon, and Internet cafe (which I only drank coffee from and never hit the keypad!). We became friends at 5am the first morning we strolled down the sidewalk as the day awakened. We saw each other every day after. She would work sweeping 5 days a week from 4:30am to 7:30am as an extra side job to provide for her family. She actually lived in San Francisco for awhile. English was her second language and Spanish her first so we bantered a little in Spanish, too. Even though I was "on vacation" from my "job"--so weird that I need a vacation from being a pastor--But I wasn't on vacation from my role as God's son, his servant, and instrument of his love. So I saw Abigail as one of God's loved ones that both Isella and I could be Jesus to with love and friendliness.
I think God used isella more than me. All she has to do is smile and people seem to respond. I loved being able to share that time with her. It excited me to think that God had given me this beautiful daughter to train up in his ways and help shape her identity and purpose in God's kingdom. I hope she grows up with a strong sense of her calling and giftedness and I am praying for that almost daily. I keep a journal for Isella, too, so that day we met Abigail I wrote an entry to Isella about the importance of knowing, loving, and serving all of those God has put us around. Abigail was one of those and we will now never forget her.
So, although I could have stayed in Maui a lot longer it was time to come home. And man, it's like the season changed in one week of us being away. All of a sudden it is a little frosty and pumpkin patches and orange string lights have popped up all around.
This awesome Church building (below) was in Lahaina. Just looking at it stirred excitement for me. Especially the day when a rainbow appeared behind it. I wondered if some saw this proclamation of Jesus' return as scary or maddening. "Quick everyone look busy," as one bumper sticker put it. My prayer will be that this TRUTH of Jesus' return will bring HOPE for all people because they know who He truly is and how much he loves the world.
SEE YOU ALL FRIDAY FOR THE DEEP AT THE FALLON HOUSE.
LA TARTINE WAS AWESOME LAST NIGHT.