This orchid plant keeps giving and giving. It shows up bold, sprays over ti leaves dancing in the wind and hovers above the moss covered hapu’u bark. A vibrant beauty seen from afar.💜
Before having dinner in Volcano, we made a quick trip to Bird Park to take a short hike. The native birds chirped peacefully as the overcast gray sky opened up and turned into a beautiful shade of blue while the moon shown through what was once healthy ‘ohi’a trees that flourished with dark green leaves and bloomed with delicate lehua.
We recently trimmed our marungay plant because it was getting too tall for us to reach the leaves. The leaves that we use to cook and consume provide important vitamins A, B, C and more. It is rich in iron and also increases lactation in breastfeeding women. The raw leaf is bitter with a bark like earthy flavor. However, when pulverized in a blender, the raw flavor is masked by smoothie ingredients like almond milk, yogurt, citrus and or banana and honey. When it is cooked, it adds a nice delicate leafy texture to my favorite Filipino soupy dish. It’s a super superfood. The best thing about it is how comforting it is to know that I can still have a connection with my dad through the food that he cooked and put on the table when I was a child.
March 3 Where I Am
I am at a place in my life where I’ve accepted who I am as a mother of four and a wife to my best friend. I have many a dreams to uncover and fulfill but my ultimate goal is to take care of this dream that already came true for me.
From a very young age and being a part of a dysfunctional family, I asked for mercy and hoped for a family like the ones I saw on TV like Growing Pains, Family Ties, and The Cosby Show. I was oblivious to a higher power but noticed the Jesus tapestries and cross on the walls of my childhood home and even had a short season of Religious Education in elementary school. It was like I kept wishing on a star or sometimes Santa Claus came into mind! But I was in need of a Savior whom I succumbed to in the perilous postpartum battle after the birth of the twins.
My dream came true when I had my first child and I married my husband. That was the start of my family. Five years later we had a son and five years later we had twin girls who are pictured above. Now it took me a while to realize that I was granted this as I let the hardships of marriage and motherhood get to me. There was an enlightening feeling when I finally realized that this family that I was entrusted to was in fact my prayer being answered in my moments of despair as a young child.
Now it does sound like a fairy tale that I just made up but it is far from it when life is real and circumstances pop out out of nowhere. My husband and I bicker and we disagree. I sometimes yell at my children when the message that I am trying to get across isn’t heard clear from the same people who are able to hear a chip bag open from another room and my impatience can get the best of me like a whiny 2 year old waiting to be fed. Sometimes I feel the need to let everyone in my house know how I truly feel during our morning rush to school, dinner dilemmas, or unfinished chores.
Doesn’t sound pretty but it is all worth it as I take a moment to notice how quickly my teenager has grown as she is now physically looking eye to eye to me and my preteen son’s pants are ‘high waters’ (pidgeon slang for pants that are too small that it exposes the ankles). I have conquered the first five years with the twins in which the first 3 years was almost unbearable and driving me to the point of insanity. As my husband and I approach our 16th year of marriage and 19th year together, I can only express gratitude for meeting this wonderful fellow and through the years we have learned a lot about each other and, believe it or not, even after so many years, we learn new things about each other. Sometimes it can be scary or surprising as time changes us both but that is something that married couples must be open to.
So where I am now is a good place. I am thankful that I have overcome the worse. Now I observe and I see and I take advantage of the moments and time where it is possible to pick flowers, to smell the roses, to appreciate this place where I call home, to take each breath with gratitude, to wake up in awe of the rising sun, to marvel at the blessings of a passing storm. All my gratitude and praise I give to my Savior: Jesus Christ. He was with me all along even when I didn’t know of Him. I thank God for each and every moment that I am given. This is where I am.
“I am with you wherever, where you go is where I am.”-Matthew West’s ‘More’
Love and Blessings~
March 1: Light
Light. I’ve found that light is very important in photos. I need to be mindful of where the sun is, what time of day it is, and how to control the light in the settings of my camera. Still learning~still learning. Sometimes light can be the culprit of a bad photo and sometimes it is the prime essence of it.
It’s interesting that this machine is able to control light settings.
I am always drawn to a sunny morning. I love to sit on a chair in my patio and soak in the warmth while the inside of the house is chilly from the dark and early morning hours. The tiles in the kitchen nip at my toes and I can sun them as the sun rises in front of me. My doggy is chasing the neighbor’s cat and the birds are waking up to the orange circle peeking through the forest trees. It is a peaceful time to gather my thoughts and pray in devotion to the Lord before the day begins.
The shot above is one of my favorite ways of capturing the sun. I love photos with the sun rays branching out of its core. Rather than facing my lens straight into the sun, I found that looking through foliage or trees and through the little square window of my camera was key to achieving this effect. The light is blocked but some light escapes through causing rays of sunlight in front of a natural backdrop.
Light is very strong and powerful. It is persistent and it will find a way to get through even the most smallest crack in a wall. If your curtain is not tacked to the wall, the morning sun still forces its way through the little sliver opening between window and curtain well into into a dark room.
What about light in a human being? Are you able to tell when someone is filled with light? Can you see behind the light in their eyes? Is it just light upon the surface or is it light coming from within? Is the light in a person so powerful that you cannot tell that there is darkness beneath or that there was darkness? Sometimes one needs to let the light control the darkness. The light is powerful enough to smother the darkness. Choose to let light in and the darkness shall flee.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”-John 1:5
There is color all around me. The people around me, the places I’ve been, and the events in my life add color to the darkness within my heart. The laughter, fellowship and warmth of a caring friend or family member adds depth to my loneliness and routine filled days. I see the rich hues of the rainbow polarized boldly through the eyes that God has blessed me with. My eyesight is important to me as is my heart sight as well. What the heart feels is what I see. When my heart is not right then I do not see right. The colors sometimes can be smothered up in pains and sorrow by life’s unexpected events and daily challenges. Reach out from the abyss and take hold of the colors that give me life. The life giving colors: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control with a compliment of gratitude.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”-Proverbs 4:23
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”-Galations 5:22,23
What are your life giving colors? And can you spot my favorite color?
Love and Blessings Always…
There is a different feeling in me this time around on New Years Eve. I am usually anxious and rushing around trying to get things done and organized before tomorrow. Or before 12am. But there is none of that…it is a feeling of peace. Is this the peace that I’ve longed for and prayed for? I have no unsettling or uncertain feelings. Is it because the bills are finally being paid off and I’m finally getting my finances organized? That’s still in the works. Is my laundry all caught up? No. The laundry is as constant as Lily’s shedding fur finding the corners and edges of the hallway. Did I go to the rubbish dump today? No. I can do that on Thursday.
My worries and priorities constantly change every year. Healing is evident as we make changes and let go of past hurts and sorrows. Forgiveness is the key to letting go. If forgiveness is not made in the heart, then all sorts of ungodly traits can take root and become overgrown, which in turn may block the view of obvious blessings from nature, from the people that are in my life, or from unexpected moments and encounters. I guess I’ve learned to accept the good and the bad with a grace that I can’t really explain. I refuse to be moved by things that attempt to take root in my heart in an unhealthy way. Let not my thoughts be entertained by self pity and wasteful drama. My overly dramatic traits have taken the back seat as I reflect on why my heart feels so calm and collected at the moment. As I write this, I am on my bed and the twins are using the back board as a jungle gym singing Lorde’s Royal. I just had to put in a slight glare as Hulali’s heels whap at the small of my lower back. Am I numb? Or am I well rested from being on Christmas vacation? No. No. Am I aging? Yes. Gracefully? Hopefully lol.
I’ve seen my children change and mature in ways that made my heart skip and sink at the same time. I’m so happy that they are growing and achieving milestones but at the same time I am sad that time has no patience for any human being.
The people I’ve known and the people I’ve just met do add flavor to my life. How can I learn new things when I’m around the same kind of people? Each person in my life has contributed to who I am today whether it was a good or a bad encounter. We can learn from each other in many different ways. And yet in some way, it can totally change my direction to my future.
My happiness thrives on the many unexpected moments that I encounter every single day. I love those moments. I love the moments that God has intricately planned for me that all I can really say is nothing but, “Thank You Lord.” Or “God, I love you.” Or “Praise God!” Or even: “Forgive me Lord.” Or “Lord help meeee!” God uses each and every moment of my life to seek Him and to use His grace in it. He doesn’t even need any words. God wants me to be in constant awe of Him.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write these down for these words are trustworthy and true.”
As each year brings new joys and sorrows, my heart shall be set on God’s promises. In everything that we encounter, God has the power to make everything new. Love every moment you have with each person. If you look for good things, you’ll find it. If you look for bad things, you’ll probably find that too. It’s a person’s choice to choose which one to magnify. Enjoy the time given to you with each person. You never know when it’s someone’s last hour and you never know when someone’s gonna change. You just don’t know.
Time with people continues to be important to me. People I know, people in my family, and people whom I meet through people I know. I guess I’m a people person. But as much as I am a people person, my alone time is just as important to me as well. Achieving balance continues to be something I want to achieve as well. I’m NOT even gonna label that as my New Years Resolution!!! But it is something I long to obtain.
Here’s to a new year. Aloha 2013. Thank you for being good to me. Thank you Lord for the memories. Welcome 2014!!!
Love and Blessings always…
December Memories 2013
Behind the Scenes at the Craft Fair
Lily and Me
Happy 27th Cassie!!!
Happy 83rd to My Aunty
Taking a Break at the Playground
Hula Ministry Christmas Party
Mehana’s Soccer Games Rain or Shine
Antipasto with the Coleman’s
My How Urban Has Grown!
Good Times with the Kloningers
Cleaning Up For the New Year-Rainy Town