2020 The Year of SIMPLE

Prophetic words are buzzing for this New Year and the New Decade. The most common is that this will be the decade of Declaration of VISION and CLARITY based upon the Hebrew Year 5780 and the year 2020 according to the Gregorian calendar.

But, I wanted a word from God. Not something that the masses were getting excited about even though, I believe it and will watch for that prophecy to come to fruition in my life. I wanted a word specifically for me and perhaps a word that many like me can be encouraged with. So, in the days leading up to this year, I asked and in my heart I felt the word “Simple.” When I asked God what that meant, He reminded me of the kind of Christmas we just had. It was even simpler than last year yet, my heart was full. This is the second year that there were no holiday gatherings held at our home. Not even a wreath lay upon our table. I missed the decor and being inspired by the lights, fragrances and things of the season but, not having it only made me be more thoughtful to find Christ in everything. Indeed, it was a simple, meaningful and a lovely Christmastime.

On the Eve of 2020, we declined an invitation to a dear friends house and stayed home instead. Just us and our dog. I’d normally prepare a lovely feast even if it’s just for two but this year, we decided on chips with a heavy Mexican style dip and carrot cake for dessert. Turns out, this simple meal was perfect. The fireworks display over the ocean made our celebration complete! We found much to be grateful for.

New Years Day was beautiful and perfect for a morning hike. We returned home to paint the trim of our Prayer House. A fresh coat for the New Year seemed appropriate and a project we could enjoy together was good. As a fresh layer of paint was laid down, all I could think about was how He makes all things new…even us!

REVELATION 21:5 NKJV Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

I kept pursuing Him for a word throughout the day and all I kept getting was “Simple.” Later in the afternoon on this New Years Day, we had two unexpected but delightful visits. We invited all into our holiday disheveled home that was clearly unprepared for visitors, without apology. Both visits unplanned, unrehearsed, carefree, love inspired and joy filled. Simple. The whole day was simple yet everything we did and everyone we shared it with was so lovingly meaningful.

This morning in my quiet time with God I hear the word “Simple” again but this time, it was followed by: “WISDOM COMES TO THE SIMPLE.” Finally! I understand! God gave me wisdom in my “Simple.” In a place where my spiritual discernment was heightened because there were no distractions. Where there was nothing between me and my God. In the simplest of moments, when I’m not hurried, expected to do something or expect myself to do something. A place where there’s no interference of pride, my own intentions and my self proclaimed reputation at stake. When it’s simple. When I come to understand, accept and marvel in this place, so different than what I am accustomed to. I realize that my thoughts are indeed in order, unhindered, free to find and receive truth. Not as a victim of unpreparedness or not having it all together, no apology or justification needed. But as a Daughter of the Most High God who is enough because she knows the Heart of her Father and she seeks to feast on His Wisdom. Truly desiring to walk in His ways.

Then of course as God Always proves Himself, I stumble upon this scripture:

PSALM 19:7 AMP The law of the Lord is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul; The statutes of the Lord are reliable and trustworthy, making wise the simple.

For me, the word “Simple” was exemplified over this holiday season. It’s different to be simple in these ways. I’m very accustomed to the planning, preparation and the hosting of things here at home. Last year, I couldn’t socialize because I didn’t have a voice and doctors orders kept me quiet. This year, it just happened this way and I’m gratefully humbled. Please know that I’m not saying that decorating, planning preparing and hosting is bad. I’m just sharing “my Simple.” God knew I needed such a lesson to understand. He showed me that being set in my ways and being unwilling to change for whatever reason can keep me from living in a way that God intended. In this experience, while in simplicity where there’s nothing between me and my God can I feel, hear, see, respond and Declare His Glory with a pure heart. Responding to His Love in this way, I can see the things that matter most are the things of His Agenda and not mine. It’s Simple and so much better! We all have busy lifestyles, in one way or another. Maybe even complicated ones. Could it be that our busyness, expectations, obligations, reputation standards, desire to remain the same, even ignorance can indeed interfere with our intimacy with God The Father, His Desire for us and even who we are intended to be In Him? I know I definitely have room for improvement. I look forward to more of this “Way of Simple” incorporated in my life this year especially the intimacy with My Father that comes in this place. This exercise has surely gotten my year off to a good start. Glory Be To God!

Moved With Compassion

MARK 1:41-42  AMP
   41 Moved with compassion [for his suffering], Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, and said to him “I am willing; be cleansed.”
   42 The leprosy left him immediately and he was cleansed [completely healed and restored to health].
MATTHEW 14:14  NKJV
   14  And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.

The Word of God tells me of the miracles that happened, when Jesus walked this earth.  For me, it’s sometimes hard to imagine the instantaneous healings that happened, according to those who walked with Jesus and witnessed these miracles first hand.  Today, the words “Jesus was moved with compassion” captivates me.    In these two scriptures, those seeking to be healed “believed” without a doubt that Jesus could heal them or someone they loved.  What I marvel at is, although it doesn’t say “Jesus was moved with compassion” with every recorded healing, I know He was.  

Do you ever wonder if Jesus still heals as He did in the Bible?  I’m convinced that He does and when He does, it’s impossible for anyone to take the credit. I’d like to share my most recent experience with you, to encourage you in Him.  Rest assured, Dear One, that He Still Moves With Compassion.  He still heals as He did in the Bible and sometimes, we are blessed to witness a miracle.  And when we do, it is too great to keep to ourselves.  Marvel with me.

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April 3, 2019.  Flight time Tokyo to Honolulu, unusually quick at just a little over 6 hours.  Visitors filled with excitement to experience Hawai’i and residents ready to come home, with memories to last a lifetime.  Being a “red eye” flight, most, plan to rest before their arrival and a full day ahead of them.  Today seemed no different, it’s been a lovely flight.  At the start of decent and final preparations for landing, a young man made his way to the galley where we were, he was desperate for help.  Expressing that, one of his daughters was experiencing severe pain.  He further explained she was sick for their entire vacation and was in pain for the last 7 hours with an ear infection.  As crew members we  weren’t  advised of this earlier nor did we notice any child in pain before or during the flight.  On decent, cabin pressure increases and can cause severe pain especially to those sensitive with sinus and ear conditions.  Hearing of this, we knew this child should not have been on flight.  At this point however, there was no avoiding the excruciating pain this child had to endure. 

Minutes from landing and absolutely nothing that we could do to comfort her.  I became desperate too.  Helpless to help.  Making my way through the cabin to see her, I knelt in the aisle near her mom who cradled her while this little one held her ears in pain.  She must’ve been maybe 7-8 years old.  Her eyes were so swollen, I could tell she was crying for a very long time and exhausted.  I asked if I could pray for her.  Her mom nodded in approval.  I reached my left hand to her and just held her little leg while I prayed.  It was a simple prayer,  a desperate request for my Fathers Mercy, asking Him to comfort her, heal her, take the pain from her, bring her peace, thanking Him profusely with every plea.  It wasn’t long before this little girl sat up from the cradle of her moms arms.   At first, and in the moment, I didn’t quite understand.  I asked if she was thirsty and she nodded.  Quickly, I made my way back to the galley to get water for her.  While there, one of my crew members asked if there was anything she could do.  I said “pray” as I grabbed a bottle of water and hurried back.

She took just a little sip, no longer holding her ears she seemed a little dazed but was responding to her mom’s soft and loving voice.  The pain stopped.  All the while, I could still feel my ears equalizing with the cabins pressure.  I knew I just experienced an instant miracle.  God’s Sweet Mercy, He moved with Compassion for this child.  Now 3 minutes to landing, the pilot announces to take our seats, I leave their side.   Landing and now in my seat, two crew members near me asked how she was…I told them “the pain is gone”.  I’m moved to tears as they are astonished and quiet.  I shared with them about our God, His Mercy and Compassion for this child and for all of us.  At the gate, everyone shuffling to deplane, the father of the little girl pushes through the crowd toward me, he asked while in the presence of my 2 crew members “What did you do?  It’s a miracle, my daughter is without pain, she has been in pain for our entire vacation, nothing helped her.”  He begins to thank me.  But I stop him and told him it has nothing to do with me, “But God who loves him, his little girl and his family.  It is God who heals, comforts and loves all of us.  Praise be to Him”.  This young man, is floating in amazement, relieved and happy for his daughter.  I am moved to tears again in gratefulness, astonished at what just happened.  

HEBREWS 13:8 NKJV

8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever

By His Grace alone, we are encouraged.  Though I will probably never see them again, I continue to pray for this young family that, they will desire to know and love our Lord.  Especially that, they will remember this day when He was moved with Compassion for them.  Glory Be To God~!

To Everything There Is a Season

We all know that God has a good plan for our lives.  As Christians, we stand in faith of His Faithfulness to see us through every detail.  Between prayers and in wisdom, we seek help, and guidance, “actively” doing in faith.  But what happens when, the trials we face don’t quite fit into any particular category?   When there are no support groups or help lines to call and even Google searches come up empty?  When no one you know has experienced what you are going through nor do they know anyone who has?  What happens when we hurt and struggle with something that seems so trivial when compared to others’ challenges?  We must lean in to God.  He knows our heart and knows that, what we are going though, “is” hard.  How we feel matters to Him, regardless of what the world may see.   We need to come to a place of unshakable trust, firmly believing that He will provide all that we need to persevere, overcome and be victorious.  We are not to loose faith, we are not to worry, we are to believe and trust with all our heart.    It’s not easy.

Before this season, I found that blessing others while in a struggle myself was the best way for me to step out of pits. Pits of discouragement, sadness, grief and depression.  Just helping someone, to be a blessing for others in their time of need and despair or just because.  It was as easy as a phone call or a visit.  Doing so, would somehow put my challenges in perspective and the Joy of this exercise would heap a great shovelful of earth into the pit in which I stood and allow me to take a step up.  It wouldn’t be long until I actually stepped out of that pit now covered over in goodness, a clear perspective and His Omnipotent Love.   But this season was different.  These things were not possible.  Not in the way that I knew how.

I am led to share my story and process to peace, unashamed of my weakness.  My true intent is to encourage you to know that God is with you, wherever you are, whatever you may be walking through.  I pray that you will know the great measure of good, the great measure of opportunities presented with every trial.  The purpose, even through the process, though painful and difficult, are indeed good and beyond ourselves.  That when we stop fighting and surrender to His way, there is peace.   He will orchestrate the perfect people, sermon, scripture, signs and wonders to come at precisely, the right time.  Through these divine set ups, confirmations,  encouragement and His Love becomes you, beautifully.  You will know without a doubt that all Is well and all will Be well.  Remember that no one but Jesus is perfect, everyone struggles and stumbles and make mistakes, everyone.  What matters most, is  your response, when hard things happen.  In humility and surrender, we recognize His Grace and move in His Immeasurable Love.

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Truth be told, I have a hard time being faith filled for myself.  It’s discouraging when healing and restoration doesn’t manifest as I desire and worse, gets complicated.   What happens when what you’re hoping for appears not to be in the Will of God?  How do I accept and take the cup that is given, with grace?  As I write, I hear Jesus on the Mount of Olives praying: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.”  and I remember, nothing can compare to that.  And so, I pray:  Nevertheless Father, not my will but Yours be done.  Amen.

Perhaps this is a “New Normal”.  No more prayers that may not be in the Will of my Father. He knows the desires of my heart and He doesn’t need reminding. He knows what’s best for me and the purpose for which I am here.  Today, I accept the possibility that the voice I once had may never be restored to the way I remember.  That simply being audible, is good.  I’m no longer fighting against the currents of His Love for me.  I’ve truly surrendered and re dedicated myself back into The Hands of my God, fully.  Trusting Him with His Good Plan for me.  Not just saying it but believing, trusting and surrendering to His plans.  In doing this, I find myself in peace, deep gratitude and joy.

ISAIAH 55:8-9 NIV

  1. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
  2. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

It took the orchestration of a loving, empathetic one, divinely placed in the path of my day, to speak life into a heart hardened by 5 months of discouragement.  She, like countless others encouraged me to have faith, be hope filled, to keep my eyes fixed on Him, to know that He has a good plan for all of this and that all will be well.  But it was different coming from her.  She didn’t speak into healing and restoration of my voice as I and everyone else hope for.  She spoke into the now, the reality of today,  the choices I have and how to navigate through it.  Stressing  that miracles are possible with Him.  She assured me that it’s ok to have meltdowns, but  to rise from them stronger than before knowing that God is indeed on my side.  The words she spoke resonated deeply into my heart, breaking down the layers of discouragement until all that was left was tender, vulnerable and pure again.  Her empathy came from experience of a very similar kind of loss.  She too is in her “New Normal” and has been in this place for a long time.   The strength she spoke with, was God in her weakness. Through her, I have found  a new perspective.  I too have found His strength in my weakness. 

JEREMIAH 29:11 NIV  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

The Holidays, my favorite time of year, were quiet.  No gatherings were celebrated in our home that usually bustles with activity, socializing was minimized, even participating in Christmas Caroling was not possible.  A simple wreath adorned our dining table, no tree nor other decor.  All was well though, just different.  Having occasional meltdowns between stretches of faith seemed to encourage optimism as it compelled me to look for and appreciate so many blessings in spite of it all.  

It’s now March 2019.  6 months since I’ve lost my voice.  The good news is that it isn’t life threatening, just life altering.  Oddly, even my doctors aren’t sure what’s going on but I suppose God does!  After the last 3 months of speech and voice therapy, I am now audible for the most part and learning to speak again.  The next assignment is projection and consistency.  Accomplishing this will warrant my doctors clearance to return to work.  

With God, it’s possible that my voice can indeed be restored to “normal” one day or,  like Paul of Tarsus, this could be the very “thorn in my side” needed for me to truly understand that “His grace is sufficient for me, His power is made perfect in my weakness.”   In this particular (quiet) season, attempts to be a stellar Christian, full of faith, awe inspiring, truthfully, has been quite the opposite for this matter.  Occasionally, in the quiet times, my longing gets the best of me.  How could someone so blessed still desire more?  How could all the blessings still not be enough to keep my heart in want for nothing?  Something as trivial as a normal voice?  How selfish of me.  Others have worst things going on.  My life is simple, fulfilling and beautiful.  I am blessed.  Everything that truly matters in my life, I have in abundance.  I am in need of nothing!  Efforts to renew my mind, think positive, count my blessings, short of self brainwashing all to overcome this pity party failed me. The truth is I am weak.  Regarding my voice, I’ve been as a child in tantrum.   The drama of self pity, an embarrassment to say the least.  Shared only with those closest to me until now.  I am humbled in sharing this truth.  See me.

The most agonizing slip of this season  happened 2 months ago.  It brought big realizations and the biggest meltdown.  In my weariness, I remembered, that my voice once read aloud and recorded books for the blind, brought expression to a written word,  spoke in boardrooms, taught in classrooms and dance floors, was used in commercial voice overs, was heard at public events as a spokes person, guest speaker, emcee.  Chatted with strangers, sang joyously, shared God’s love in prayer even softly singing words of comfort into the ears of babes.  Being months now and desperate to hear not just an “audible” voice but the one I once had, I dug up recorded dictations on my smartphone.  As I listened , for the first time, I heard beauty.  The realization of something taken for granted was now mournfully understood. Our voices are beautiful and an expression of who we are.  Oh how I long to share the “love” once conveyed through the sound my voice. I know now, more than ever that it should be treasured as precious.  A vehicle of Love.  Our voices should be kept pure and used only for the best intentions of Life, Truth and Love.

PROVERBS 18:21  NKJV

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

I confess, not everything I vocalized was good.  I admit that this voice has cursed, said strong, sometimes harsh and regrettable things and unless kept from temptations and delivered from evil I am still capable of this sin!  Just as we all are.  But this season has definitely taught me of its’ value.  How literally perpetual are the sounds that shape the words we speak.  I pray that you will come to know the beautiful and precious a gift you have.

JEREMIAH 6:16 NIV

This is what the LORD says:  “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.  

But you said, ‘We will not walk in it’

If we look closely enough at  the different seasons that we’ve walked through, we can probably pinpoint the times we stood at the crossroads.  Where the way to peace couldn’t  be done on our own power.  Times when we are so desperate for things to go our way, as we plan, according to what we know, for the outcome that we feel is the best.  Refusing to trust Him, we spend precious time going around and around the mountain in hopelessness, instead of ascending straight to the top where, “the good way” will take us.

Standing here at the crossroads of this season, I’ve asked The Lord “where the good way is” for this concern and I am walking in it.  Believing indeed that He has a good plan for all of this and perhaps His good plan embraces this as a “New” me.  Not the same but different, maybe better.  I’m reminded that He wastes nothing.  Even the painful remembrances, the things I mourn for has purpose.   All gifts.  6 months away from work, He has sustained us.   Time on my island, at home on our land, with my husband, my dogs, in The Word, these are my favorite things!  Revelations have come multi faceted, more than eye’s can see, more than I can imagine, everyone of them, beyond  me.  I consider the silence and how He has elevated my spiritual  senses.   Would I have experienced these heightened levels of intimacy with my God any other way?  Perhaps, but I think not. Not to this level.  I’m so grateful.  Should my voice be restored to what it used to be or should it not, whatever the sound that flows forth will be intentionally, life giving.  I will honor my God in this way.  I am not the same nor is the road ahead of me familiar but He is with me.  I Trust Him.  He is using this particular season of weakness to reveal much.  Too wonderful to keep for myself, I must share.  Welcome to my Blog “Kaunaloa” …to persevere

PSALM 34:8  NKJV

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 

2 CORINTHIANS 12:9-10  NKJV

9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power     of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

ECCLESIATES 3:1-8  NKJV

1 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

7 A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.