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by Mrs. Smith on December 23, 2018

A favorite moment from this week:

Our mechanic/friend dropped our car off at the new house Friday. We’ve known him for years, and he’s from this new-to-us town.

With a great big Samoan hug, he smiled and said, “Welcome to the other side of heaven!”

Ha! So true! It IS the other side of heaven, what a perfect thing to say. Laie is heaven, true, with its nice, wide streets and its hefty share of byuh employees —

But this new-to-me town melts my heart every time I drive through it now. It’s almost like I’ve never really looked at these mountains before. Still haven’t caught a picture good enough to do them justice, but wow. And the beaches are rocky but beautiful. Oh, man. This town is like the best kept secret ever.

The view greeting me at the bottom of our street in the morning…

I have a feeling I’m not going to mind the drive to school all that much next semester.

It’s funny how much I feel like NOW we really live here in Hawaii. It borders ridiculous. Mr Smith always asks, “The last 7 years don’t count because…?”

Well, they do count. Of course they count.

Somewhere underneath, though, all this time, I felt like maybe I didn’t really belong. Like it was just a really, really, really great dream, that we get to be here. Like the island was going to kick us off once we learned this beautiful aloha thing well enough to take it with us on our next adventure, whatever that may be.

But it didn’t happen like that. Or at least, not yet.

It’s like the island said, “Oh? So u *really* wanna get dis “beautiful aloha thing,” eh? Well sit down, honey, u goin be here a while…”

For whatever reason, this house picked us (truly, it did) – and now when I drive around the island, it feels different. Our housing isn’t tied to my husband’s employer any more. (Hallelujah for that!!!) We have a tiny little corner of heaven, and I am regularly moved to tears by the awe and wonder of being where we are.

From the bottom of my heart, I am completely overcome with gratitude. It renders me basically speechless.

Before the move, it was all kinds of fun, public rejoicing because I just couldn’t contain the excitement. Now that the move has officially happened… whoa. Everything has quieted down inside me. This place is even better than I thought it would be. It’s moved to a level of sacred that makes it almost hard to talk about, actually. How is this possible? Who are we, to actually own something here, and to have it be this nice?! I want everyone to get to have this experience. Really. It’s been so incredible to move in to a place that’s obviously prepared for us. And TRULY. If heaven can arrange something as minor and cosmic-ly inconsequential as the perfect house for us, then you know that really, truly, things will work out in a beautiful way for the things that matter most. They will.

For the moment, though, I’m just in some kind of awe about all these little things. The walls in our bedroom match our bedspread. The neighbors have kids that match our kids’ ages. The trees are perfect. The house still has enough painting left partially-done to give us happy little projects to work on for a good long while, which makes me happy. In a lot of ways, it’s a lot like me. A “luxury-fixer-upper.” LOL.

There are strawberry pots to fill in the back, a plumeria tree to smell in the front, and branches for rope swings on the trees to the side…


I mean, geeze, you guys. I’ve wanted a safe place to put this vase ever since we got married.

And, bam. It’s even got a spotlight, are you freaking kidding me???

So, here we are. Unpacking. Recalibrating. Getting upset at ourselves when our little DIY handiman efforts to fix things go askew. Trying to help the kids both adjust to the new place and get over the colds they picked up through all this topsy-turvy-hurried move. (Sick kids + moving really isn’t ideal, just for the record! Sick daddy + moving, even less so.) More unpacking. Learning the ropes in our new digs. Getting ready for Christmas, on the side.

I’m so very grateful for every little part of the journey that brought us here – even the hard, ugly parts. So very determined to do what we can from here to make the world a little better, a little brighter, a little stronger, and its load a little lighter.

God bless us, every one.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Josh Tolley December 24, 2018 at 12:32 am

Congrats, friends! Moving into a place you like, from day one, sounds like quite the experience. 🙂


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