Hawaii Blues

There it was in my in-box this afternoon, a FareWatcher email from Travelocity. “Hurry! Act now! Air and four nights in Hawaii, only $598 pp.”

I love Hawaii. I’ve been there three times. Twice with my husband. All the trips were in my pre-mommie life. When I say I love it, I don’t mean in a it-was-nice-to-visit-but-I’m-glad-to-be-home-kind-of-way, but in a I-have-to-wear-my sunglasses-on-the-plane-when-it-takes-off from-the-Honolulu-airport-so-everyone-won’t-see-the-tears-welling-up-in-my-eyes kind of way. I miss the cool ocean breezes, the beautiful beaches, the fragrant flowers on the air, before our plane even begins to taxi down the runway. If we were less responsible and a little more free-spirited, we would have chucked it all, moved there, and lived off coconut milk under a Palm tree years ago.

It’s been so long since I been there. Oh my Hawaii, how I miss you.

If now were then, I’d be spending the afternoon checking our bank and credit card balances to see if we could take advantage of this great travel offer. I’d spend hours comparing our schedules against the blackout dates to find that window of opportunity when we could go. But then we had two incomes, and no one but ourselves to spend it on. Now we we have half as much money in the bank each month and two more feet to shoe.

We gave up a lot when we decided that I would become a stay-at-home mom when my son was born. We slashed our income in half when I quit my job, and our lifestyle quickly changed. Eating out is now a rare occasion, instead of a twice or thrice weekly event. We drive cars that weren’t manufactured in this decade. I have less new clothes in my closet. We don’t get to buy the latest electronic gadget, and we certainly don’t go on vacation to Hawaii.

I know that we gained more than we lost, however. We have this precious, beautiful little boy we get to spend the rest of our days getting to know. I get to stay home and take care of my family instead of wishing I was at home taking care of my family. Having material things isn’t so important anymore. It doesn’ t matter that we eat at home most of the time, as long as we are all together. We don’t have a new minivan with an on-board entertainment system, but we have vehicles that get us where we need to go – together. Our TV isn’t high definition, but we still enjoy watching movies on it – together.

We experience God’s provision and blessing more than ever. He always provides everything we need, and now and then he throws in a little extra. There’s nothing like giving up half your wages to make you live on faith. 

The world says you need a lot of stuff to be somebody. We all know better, but it’s still easy to fall into that trap of letting our self-worth be defined by what and how much we have. Our self-worth and everyone else’s is really defined by only one thing. God loved us enough to send his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have eternal life. If God thinks we are worth that, than we are all somebody. It doesn’t matter how big your house is or even is we have a home. In fact Jesus is the foremost example of someone who did not burden himself with material possessions, and really had nothing, not even a home. 

It hasn’t been easy. I won’t lie. There are days I start to feel sorry for myself. Oh poor me, why can’t I just jet off to Maui? Why can’t I buy those cute new shoes? Why can’t I drive the newest SUV like all the other moms at the park? But the Lord always reminds me of the son I have now. And he reminds me I have all I need. He tells me I will always be taken care of. He tells me there is a treasure stored up for me in Heaven.

I hope someday I’ll again gaze out across Waimea canyon, see the view from atop Diamond Head, watch the big surf roll in on the North Shore, feel the warm sands of Waikiki under my feet. But for now I’ll settle for the smaller surf and the cooler sands of Lake Michigan, as long my son is playing there along side me, and my husband is holding my hand.

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One Response to “Hawaii Blues”

  1. oceallaigh Says:

    Glad to see you counting your blessings, even though I understand that your state is about to close up shop. The cost of living here on O’ahu these days is enough to test your faith even with two incomes and no dependents. So many people have been living off coconut water under a palm tree on the beach (because rents have tripled so that these people have been tossed out of their homes), the police now sweep the beaches regularly. You’d go to bed under a palm frond and wake up on an army cot in a Quonset hut. The roads are perpetual gridlock, and it’s impossible to get a straight answer to any question unless your family has lived here for a sufficient number of generations that you know whom to ask, and he knows you well enough to give you a real response.

    May your son grow up to understand and respect your sacrifice.

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