Things we could all learn from Hawaii

As we are packing up the last few boxes and parting with the little bit of our remaining furniture, I have been thinking a lot about all I will miss here in Hawaii. So, I am writing this post more for myself than for you, about all the things I don’t want to forget, about the things that make Hawaii so special.

  1. When someone greets you or parts from your company, they will hug you and kiss you on the cheek. This is probably my favorite thing, except when I accidentally moved my head to the wrong side and kissed a lady in my bible study on the lips. People, when you give other people actual full hugs and kiss them, you can’t help but make friends. You are up in their space, their up in yours. It breaks barriers, forces you to be more present with people in a conversation because at any moment they could leave and come in for the kiss. You must be alert! Very little, if ever, do we actually touch each other. I think when we touch each other we sort of acknowledge them as a person and their presence. Anyways, hug someone.
  2. Potlucks. In Hawaii, you very rarely go to a meal at someone’s house without bringing a dish. Though some people might not like that they are always needing to bring something, I love it. Everyone pitches in, you eat some of the craziest combinations of food and their is such a sense of community when your eating it. It starts conversations about peoples favorite dishes, their nationality, their culture, their families. Plus, it is insane how expensive it is to live here so everyone acknowledges that they need everyone else around them to make it.. which leads me to my next point
  3. Everyone is just trying to make it. There is no pretending, no keeping up with the jones. Everyone here needs their friends, family and church community to stay afloat. You need the potlucks because you cant afford to have all your friends over and provide all the food. You need everyone to help watch your kids, so you can work. There is no pressure to have this killer house and nice clothes and pretty things. One, we live on an island so you are limited where you can shop and two, everyone is broke. It is so much easier to accept life. I’m less stressed about having my house a certain way or my kids dressed a certain way. Hawaii is all about people actually DOING life together.
  4. You address your elders by calling them Auntie or Uncle. First, I love the respect it teaches everyone for those older than themselves. Second, it creates a sense of family and community. The people you meet here actually, in fact, become family. You are either from here and everyone you see is really your family or you’re a transplant, have no family here so you are creating a new one. It never ceases to amaze me when I run into people I know here. Random but in Colorado I thought I knew a decent amount of people, I frequented a lot of the same places and I never really saw anyone I knew. I ran into the one person I know from the North Shore, halfway up a mountain the other day. I have ran into at least 1 if not 3 people every time I have gone to Waikiki. People, this is the tourist hub, you have no idea how many people are squished in their and I have somehow found people I know there. You become instant friends with most people here and you help each other out. We acknowledge that we need each other to survive here and want to be apart of other peoples lives.
  5. Driving with aloha. Ok, there are some things that drive me bonkers about driving here but for the most part it is glorious. Around our whole town, including the highway the speed limit is like 35. Everyone goes a bit faster but it is NOT a speedway here. Driving in California is like competing in the Indy 500. You can’t even blink or someone will cut you off and then possibly trying and flip you off for it. Here, if someone turns by you or gets over in front of you or sometimes even looks at you, you get a shaka. It is funny because some people just  drive however they want and use the shaka as a way to get out of obeying traffic laws though. People here actually stop and let other cars pull out of the grocery store parking lot or back out of their drive way. You just slow down here, there is no need to drive 90 to the library.

There is a lot more I could say but I must get back to life. All this is to say, I love Hawaii. I love the people here. I love that we (my Hawaiian family) acknowledge that life is just better when we do it together. When we help each other out not because we get something in return but simply because they are human. We take care of each other out here. We, as a family are going to have to work so hard to bring this style of life to California. Not all of it will work, probably the kissing people on the cheek part but Im going to try and bring some Aloha to California.

Course Correction

“God does not tell you what He is going to do— He reveals to you who He is.” Oswald Chambers

Sorry it has been so long since our last update, we have been busy to say the least.  We have been plugging away in our voluntary position with overseeing the Onelove windward satellite campus and In January I (Erik) started on the ground floor for a brand new Green Energy company focusing on LED retrofits for small businesses which gave me the availability to volunteer at the satellite church and also provide then earning potential enough to cover our bills. It May not seem like much in one long run on sentence but it has been all encompassing.

We received word about the last week of March that the lawsuit that chased us to Hawaii was finally over and that I had been acquitted of all charges which remains great news however the financial debt accrued for the necessary legal representation only further increased our monthly financial responsibilities.

On the heels of this great news proceeded the difficult reality that although the Green Energy gig should eventually produce revenue, I have at this point spent more time, gas, and $ than I have earned. Although a staff position was offered from our church in an effort to assist us financially we did not have peace about accepting the position nor would it be enough to be my only source of income to cover our monthly commitments. And although I passed the pre-qualification testing for an operator position with the Chevron refinery on Island, the position would consist of a rotational 12 hour tower (2 weeks of days then 2 weeks of nights) plus an hour commute each direction AND they were not hiring until June, We were faced with the fact that we are broke and we no longer have the financial means to keep searching for a job. We prayerfully came to the conclusion that our time here in Hawaii has come to an end.

This decision has not been an easy one to make as it has been wrought with second guessing, some doubt, some confusion, some fear, some guilt, but no despair as we ultimately rest in the fact that the Lord is large and in charge, He still sits upon His throne, the Sun has continued to rise and fall, and we are not the same people that we were when we began this journey towards Hawaii nearly 2 years ago. Truly the quote above sings true for us, and for once (being the naturally control freaks we are) we can rest in not knowing how or what or when or why but Simply WHO our God is – and that is enough for us to rejoice and take courage for whatever, wherever, He has in store for us.

The council and support from our church and the leadership upon hearing the news has been so graciously received and everyone has been quick to dispel any guilt, fear, worry, or doubts that we have in any way failed them or God in choosing/needing/having to move on from Hawaii and for that we are thankful!

We do not know what the Lord has in store for this satellite campus but we know He is a loving Father and ultimately is more concerned for it and its welfare than we could even imagine.

Throughout our time in Hawaii we have experientially learned the Lord’s daily provision, the sweetness of contentment in Him and His provision, His faithfulness, and that He is our end all says all. Not a church, not a location, not a ministry, not a job. The single most important thing in our lives is that we would know Him, know His faithfulness, and Trust Him wholly for He is trustworthy.

So, we are flying back to Folsom, CA on April 30th where the initial plan is to move in with Sarah’s mom and give it a go in the Sacramento area to spend some much needed time with Sarah’s side of the family. We stayed in Folsom for a month on our way out to Hawaii and really liked the area.

I have been applying to Green Energy (LED sales) jobs as well as any Business Development/sales jobs in the Sacramento area and we are honestly excited about finding out what He has in store for us. We are not foolish enough to think that all will be well in returning to the mainland or “Home” as so many are quick to quip for we have no house, job, nor golden goose egg to return to. We are simply continuing this journey of faith in a new state.

We thank you all for your prayer, support, friendship and we would love any and all prayer as we tie things up here and break new ground in Folsom May 1st.

Lastly, the truth also remains and resounds ever true in the verse the Lord specifically gave us when we began this Hawaii adventure:

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those that are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

You will be missed OneLove friends & family. Look out, Folsom – here we come.

~ The Jonsgaard’s