April 8, 2013

A Hawaiian Perspective - Thoughts From Kaua'i

You know your life has completely changed when you have a free moment to reflect and you realize that you see the world with different lenses then you have ever worn before.
I've been to Hawaii on a few occasions and I've stayed in Princeville for at least portions of three different trips. 15, 17, and now 20 years old. The first trip over to Kauai came right before a dramatic move and some major life changes in our family. The second trip came as I wrapped up my shortened senior year of high school and left home early to pursue my Disney internship. The third trip to the garden isle comes as one last "just us 4" family vacation before I have a permanent plus one. Three different trips and three very different lenses on life. Naive and excited turned to jaded and guarded...and now, jaded has turned into something new for me. The current lens that my eyes wear is softer in general, allowing people to make mistakes, allowing the healing grace of restoration, a lens that accepts imperfections and chooses to love regardless of the messiness of love.
As we drive around beautiful kauai, my thoughts are so clearly able to compare who I was with who I am now. Having someone in my life who has chosen to love me despite my imperfections, despite my impulsiveness, despite my silence when I am mad...having someone who is not family, not "required" to show grace, someone who has chosen to make a commitment to me for selfless reasons, it's changed my whole view on the world. Three or five years ago I had no idea that I would ever get to experience love like this. Young, yes, new, yes, lacking the experience of years upon years, well sure, but love nonetheless. A choice. A new perspective. A lens that I never thought that I would wear.
Where once I saw my future as a nomad lifestyle where the only thing I had to care about was myself, now I see that making selfless choices for someone else is so much more fulfilling.
Where I used to imagine a life with no strings to tie me down, now I understand my dad's statement to me years ago, "home is wherever your mom is." I didn't "get it" at the time. Only now, I understand. Home is where Blake is, wherever that may be. I used to drive around this island imagining all the adventures yet to come...now I get to imagine all the adventures that I'll never have to experience alone.
Life is so much more fun with Blake on it... And life has always been pretty fun anyways!
My lens is so different then it ever had been before. I am beginning to understand how easy it is to be selfish when you are alone and how worthwhile it is to be selfless. I am beginning to see that there is so much more to life then pursuing what I want to do instead of pursing what God wants me to do. It's easy for me to draw back into myself, into my wants and my needs...it's so easy to be selfish. Yet, somehow, as I wear this new lens and look at the world a little differently, I am so desiring to be selfless. To love as selflessly as I have been loved. To give grace with abandon. To spread joy in every moment. In the tricky, sticky, icky moments of life...to say without hesitation, "God is good." I am seeing it more and more every day. All it took was a little perspective, some inspiration, and a familiar drive through the Garden Isle.