Coming Home… One year in Hawaii

We stood in anticipation in the days ahead. Ready to end in the same way we started. The waiting, like shivering barefoot and dripping wet in line for the high dive jump. We just knew it would be something to see, something big. Ideas of grandeur.

We set tired, swollen feet on this island soil one year ago. We tore off in quivering adventure, uncertain of every step we took, yet confident we were headed in the direction He chose for us. It was all new territory here. Each new step, a step in a foreign land of sorts. We planned to mark our one year anniversary of island life in island style of course. Adventurous or breezy, but something to commemorate the day. Something to be remembered.

Coming Home

If you haven’t read about our move from Ohio to Hawaii, click here, to read about the crazy adventure where we sold nearly everything and moved our big family to the big island.

The light crept brightly in through the floor to ceiling windows far too early, blinding the view of the clock and the ocean. A pillow thrown back over my head would shout that I was not even close to the fragile state I lay in a year before. I hit the snooze and ignored the baby babble for a few extra minutes of darkness from a night that proved to be too late for my early morning regimen.

We had no plans. No plans to run that 5k we had spoken about or to parasail over the turquoise ocean. No plans for anything to mark this day…the anniversary to the day we actually stepped out of comfortable. Today was just another day of homeschooling, of work, of laundry and life.

Showers and talk of a beach visit for dinner, then goodbyes and days in motion. The day was peaceful, yet fast moving. Morning school lessons met with bouts of glimmering backyard sun. It was a beautiful day and I stopped to admire it for moments here and there. But, mostly, I admired the children whom played and laughed and did timely work this day.

Our time moved forward to meet afternoon lessons learned under a tin roof shower. Oh, how we love the rain. We love the darkness and the breeze, the curl up under a blanket and hold each other close kind of weather. The kind of weather, if only for a moment, that screams football and chili and all things pumpkin. We had a moment of fall here in Hawaii, our backyard oasis turned to a cool downpour. Clouds moved in, the puddles brimmed and our hearts joined them. A bit of Ohio familiarity comforted us on this day to be remembered.

Going to the beach didn’t seem the best plan anymore. Jim’s day ran long and our school spread out into the afternoon hours. Naps lasted a little longer under the rain and pumpkin bread was made to order. Life happened here under this tin roof, and we no longer felt the need to leave, to run, to explore.

We ate burgers and Jo Jo potatoes and talked about the year that had passed. We talked about adventures and of where God showed up to each of us along the way. It has been quite a year, a year of growth and discovery. We discovered far off places and places deep within ourselves.

We jumped from a catamaran and dove deep to snorkel with brilliant fish that would otherwise be left unseen. We swam with sea turtles as large as us, stood atop a burning volcano, and broke bread at the most southern part of the U.S. We navigated the lush trails of the rain forest and the dark black of the lava tubes. We stood in awe as whales breached before us, dolphin joined us for a dip, and dinner was caught in the deep sea. We slipped into the dark, night ocean to glide with manta rays more than twice our size. We’ve lived in a new culture and found fresh ways to serve Him. Our adventures have been abundant and a reminder of God’s abundant grace. Each one leading us closer to an understanding of the journey. Our loneliness still lingers, but these encounters have aided in seeing His hand. For brief moments that isolation sinks below us with those isolated awe inspiring fish and only beauty remains.

But, right there, at that table, in those moments of authentic conversation our hearts leaned into one another, effortlessly. We weren’t leaning because of the stress of a big move or a new baby. Not because of welcoming guests and hard goodbyes. Not because of new experiences. This was just because we were who He designed us to be, sitting amongst our people.

We played cards and chess, read books and rolled around giddy on the floor together. We had stirringly sweet, yet ordinary family moments. Those moments melded our hearts to one another and steadied the shaky emotions that had been crashing over us for over a year. Crashing over us like the enormous waves not far from our home. Now, like waves breaking farther out at sea, our emotions were as the water gently meets the sand to become one.

The Lord gave us what we needed. When we were too comfortable, He gave us the adventure that our souls craved. He took us from uncomplicated complacency to wide eyed experiences across the globe. When we were ready to end a year of adventure with yet one more, He called us to be still. To be still in the blessings before us. To regroup and pull close. He reminded us of how this year had changed us. How He had changed the very fabric of our family and who we each were.

Today, in these moments, we were us and we were home.

**The photo above was taken by Robert Malovic at

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  1. Loved this post, Brandy! There’s a gentleness to it that refreshed my spirit tonight. Thank-you for blessing us with such a beautiful testimony of the Father’s love towards your family.

    • BrandyHynes says:

      Thank you Wendy! I know you are familiar with entering unfamiliar territory too. I have loved reading about your journey as well. It has given me hope on the lonely days. I so appreciate your encouragement!

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