This Year in Hawaii

As I staff this year’s School of Writing at Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Kona, Hawaii, I reflect.

Last year in Hawaii:

AChouse sunsetI lived in a nice house with a view of the ocean.

I had only one roommate who came in late quietly and didn’t get up at 5 a.m.

I had a wide screen TV

I lived in a quiet neighborhood.

I could have guests over to my neat, tidy house.

The biggest noise outside our classroom was the trash truck going by.                             

The school office was my own little hideaway that others seldom, if ever, utilized.        

This year in Hawaii:

I live in a dorm with a view of unfinished buildings.

I have four roommates and one of them gets up habitually at 5 a. m. . . .to her alarm.

I only have my computer to watch movies.

FGoutside of dormMy neighborhood consists of more than one hundred people.

I can’t have any guests in my dorm if they are guys. And besides, the kitchen looks like a hurricane hit it.

The office is gone and I share a classroom with eight other people and noisy traffic ten feet from the windows.

Always having everything our way is not healthy or conducive to true joy and happiness. God has different purposes at different times and uses certain situations to do a work in our hearts.

What might he want to do in my heart this year in Hawaii?  Perhaps he’s dealing with my control issues and teaching me to not “sweat the small stuff.” Or maybe he’s asking me to develop an attitude of gratitude and contentment or to practice humility about not always have things as I want them.

I can guess, but I can’t be sure. Sometimes stuff just happens. This year is not worse than last year, only different and God wants me to focus on the good in every circumstance and trust him.


I can be frustrated by the noise of the traffic outside our classroom, the mess in the common area, or the roommate who is a chronic early riser. I can get irritated

with the student who rattles her markers and jiggles the squeaky table in the prayer room as she writes or I can accept and expect the imperfections of  life and the

people who populate my world—including myself.

And when circumstances need to be confronted and changed, God will show me and give me the courage to obey if I make myself available. Until then, I long to live in the moment with him, being loved by him and loving him in return, undisturbed over what might come tomorrow.

This gift is of far greater value than ten million dollars in the bank.

I want it. You want it. We can have it by God’s grace.