Cynthia's Thoughts

I’ll be the Weakness, You be the Staying Strong

Listening to: High Valley – I Be U Be
(One of my favourite running songs.)

I’ve been watching a lot of The Bucket List Family recently, completely devouring their weekly vlogs. I’m on Week 65, which means I’m a little more than halfway done. (It was hard to admit that, since I only started watching a couple weeks ago.)

One of the things I really admire about them is their ability to meet their goals. I’ve never really been a person who sets high goals for myself and takes steps to achieve them. I enjoy thinking about the goals, dreaming about what it would be like to reach those goals, but ultimately I never actually start to work on achieving the goals because I overwhelm myself with all of the challenges I might encounter.

We’ve hopped to our last island on this Hawaiian adventure of ours and the Big Island is our longest stay which naturally lends itself to dreaming of a normal schedule. One of the things I’m dreaming about is getting back into exercising. Garret and Jessica Gee of The Bucket List Family have made healthy lifestyles a priority, and have inspired me with motivation to get active again.

BUT! (That single word paralyzes me into never doing anything.)

Can I really sustain waking up at 6am to exercise every morning before everyone wakes up? Why can’t I just move my exercise to another time? What if something comes up during that new time? What if I get cramps because my stomach is full at that new time? What if the kids are too distracting? What about when we get back home, does this new routine make sense? What about showering after sweating through a workout with such limited water in the trailer? What about my sweaty hair? What if I can’t get to bed at a decent hour? Is the running path near our Airbnb safe? Will I be safe running with my phone? Maybe I should change up the days that I run so I’m not predictable? Should we just buy the Apple watch and wireless headphones so I’m less of a target for theft? Does it even make sense to drive a car to a running path? Will the car be stinky after driving back home? How hot will it be at 6am? Where will I run once we’re on the road again? Is it weird to run laps around a Walmart parking lot?

See!? Total paralysis.

I remember how good I used to feel when I was exercising, when I was strengthening my body and using my muscles the way they were meant to be used. I loved not being able to walk down stairs because my quads were too sore, or really enjoying an afternoon siesta because my morning run was hardcore. I loved how strong I felt when I exercised, and I want to get that feeling back.

Lately, there have been many things going on that not many people know about, none of which involve the four loved ones with me… But they’re things I won’t share (this ain’t no gossip blog y’all, and I ain’t no celebrity). The culmination of those things have really worn me out and have increased my lack of self-esteem. I’ve started to feel awful about everything from my parenting and marriage, to my eating habits and facial cleansing routine. I’ve basically nit-picked my life apart, to come to the completely illogical conclusion that everything has to change.

Deep down, I know I’m doing a few things well… And in time, I know that the clouds will clear and those few things will be revealed in God’s good timing. For now, I just have to fall back in love with the endorphin rush, and remember that nothing has to change overnight.

And wake up tomorrow at 6am.

Luke's Thoughts

“I Have a Right To Go to Work…”

My last personal post was an evaluation of the changes I did or did not go through in the past few years. It was a reflection of my spiritual growth as I flipped through the pages of my journal, exposing the truths I held and my effectiveness in following them.

That was back in October and I’ve been trying to grab hold of what was revealed to me since then. Shortly after we left for Hawaii to spend our 6 months US-stay here instead of the mainland. This was to be a time “off the road”, allowing my mind to be clear of the challenges and distractions of everyday trailer-travel. To be honest, I was hoping to get some clarity regarding the future here as well, as if the change in location would reveal it.

A part of me thinks that God will reveal to me that there is a purpose for us to stay and work in Hawaii, although I am painfully aware that this is dangerous territory for my mind to explore. I know that His will and mine are currently not as aligned as I would hope. Any desire to fit my favourite place in the world (Hawaii) with the will of the Lord for my life is terribly wishful thinking. More than that, it could be sinful. Still, the Lord has been known to graciously grant us our desires when they point to Him, even if they seem selfish to us. On that note I will move from the subject to avoid thinking and dreaming about it too much, since my primary desire is to be useful to Him no matter where I dwell, and that is more than likely not Hawaii.

Speaking of Hawaii and working, one cannot help but notice the “help wanted” signs on virtually every business window. Its not that they don’t have the population to fill those jobs, or that the wages are too low; quite the contrary: Hawaii pays well and has plenty of youth and adults alike who are unemployed. I learned from the residence here that the youth are supported by their parents and don’t find the need to work and that the adults benefit more from the massive social assistance programs that fill their pockets almost as much as a job would. I don’t know how true this is but it made me a little envious of being able to live and work in Hawaii – actually it made me envious of those who work in general.

It has been almost 2 years since I walked away from my biggest client and about 8 months since I fully closed up shop on my personal media business. My remaining client was not very lucrative so to clear my head of this career, which I had been in for almost 2 decades, my colleague took over that account.

Being without paid work for this long has had some interesting affects.
When I returned back to my home town of Brooklin last spring, I was thoroughly occupied for several months with some pro bono renovation work at our church. This opportunity came just in the nick of time as I was already feeling very useless and lazy coming up from our leg in the American south.
That feeling, although pacified by the work in the church, didn’t stay back long. By the time we had arrived in Hawaii and the dust and excitement had settled, I had thoughts meandering their way around my head about my “purpose” once again.
It’s no secret that the primary objective of this journey for me was to know God’s will for my life; specifically my vocation. Maybe it’s in the mission field, maybe it’s a new business, maybe it’s something that hasn’t been revealed yet – no matter what it is, my hope was to grow in the Spirit that would guild me in wisdom to this revelation.

When you are a kid the last thing you want to do is work. An allowance is fine but you feel quite sorry for your parents who have to head off to work in the early morning and return home in time to make your dinner, working tirelessly in between. They do this till they retire or die. Summers are not real summers for them either. There is nothing appealing about working to a child. I remember hearing a song by Dire Straits mentioning the “right to go to work, but they shut it down (the work plant)”. This one lyric stuck with me because it sounded like people wanted to work. That is absurd! Absurd to a child. But I’m not a child anymore, and my desire to be useful overcomes me sometimes.
To be fair, I enjoy working as much as I enjoy not working, and after a variable period of time I find myself tired of most work. This is just my personality and it makes finding that right career very difficult. This “perfect” job has to offer many specific benefits and fulfill a handful of personal and spiritual requirements in order to satisfy me long term, it seems.
I can see myself being so afraid of stepping into the wrong job that I don’t end up doing anything in fear of it not being God’s will for my life, not to mention that no job is perfectly fulfilling but the one that you do whole heartedly and with honour.

All of this to say that I miss work. I hear stories of success and progress from friends back home, while I’m on some beach, useless as a lump of sand. Talk about “greener grass” syndrome.
But in all seriousness, I believe any reasonable human being wants to feel useful and be filled with purpose, and I’ve had the opportunity lately to feel the lack.

In recent weeks Cynthia and I have revisited an idea we had at the beginning of this journey. The idea was to make video logs or “vlogs” of our experiences. We already vlog, as you know, and we keep a photographic account of our travels active on Instagram, so the idea of making weekly videos seemed the natural next step.
We did not chose to make them at the beginning of our journey because of the time we thought it would take (we originally wanted to make daily logs), and because we believed it would change us. We watched a few of vloggers on Youtube like: Mike & Drea, Sam & Nia, Vet Ranch, and the Bucket List Family. Their lives were so well documented that a camera was on for every little event they experienced. This seemed daunting and distracting from our journey so we abandoned the idea.
Now, in this relentless pursuit of purpose and usefulness, we are thinking that it can give us something to do. Documenting on a weekly basis seems more doable. We can talk about our week on camera and show cut aways of what footage we have from that event. If we don’t have any footage then we won’t show anything but us talking. Seems simple enough.

In order to prepare for this I made a Youtube cannel (Makerlight Family) and populated it with some of our old trips and adventures. Now that we have 20 or so videos up there from the past, we will condense the last year and a half into 6 months video segments to get all caught up. I have already been logging videos from our Hawaii trip to make into a separate videos after that.
This will be a lot of work but we will have time on the big island of Hawaii to get it done.
My hope is that documenting our journey will give us something to do in the interim. It may lead to greater things, who knows?

Me, enjoying a surf completion on Oahu last month. Maybe I could be a professional surfer for my career? Nah.
General Posts

Much Needed Housekeeping…

If you root around the blog, you might notice a few new things.

The most important addition, one that was mentioned over a year ago, is a fully functional subscribe form! Scroll down to the bottom of this page and you’ll see where you can subscribe to be emailed whenever a new post has been published.

If you click on the menu tab on the top left corner, you’ll see that we’ve added Instagram and YouTube links to their respective accounts. We’ve also added those links to the top menu, easily viewed on a desktop and on a mobile device, click where it says “NAVIGATION”. We’ve also added those links to the very bottom of the site, just in case the other two locations were missed. No, my last job was not at the Department of Redundancy Department.

We also have a “Contact Us” form in the top left menu, although I’m sure most of you won’t need it since only some friends and family read this and  y’all have our personal emails already.

If you could do me a favour, I would absolutely love if you could test out the various new “features”. Click on the links and fill out the forms so that we can better test our work and smooth out any issues. Email, text or call me to let me know if you find something that doesn’t work.

As Luke previously mentioned, we’re hoping to start adding a YouTube element to our travels in hopes of keeping everyone better up to date and allowing everyone to see the three little monkeys more often. All these new features are being put in place now, so that just in case we attract a couple new friends through YouTube, we won’t have to scramble to keep in touch with them.

A hui hou!

General Posts

Oahu, Hawaii: The Second Leg is Complete

We’ve have spent Christmas and New Year on the most popular and most populated island of Hawaii called Oahu. You know the one with Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel?
In the way Kauai was the island for us to re-familiarize ourselves with Hawaii and a place for us to rekindle our love for our favourite isle, Oahu was to be the island of activities.

General Posts

Kauai, Hawaii: The First Leg is Complete

On our last update we were getting ready to depart for Hawaii for the winter months.
We made our way from our temporary parking spot at our friends, the Batty’s in Bellville, to parking at our home town church parking lot, while staying at our pastor’s families home.
About 10 days later we moved the truck and trailer (Charlie and Jacob “the Ark”) to a car lot near the Airport, then took a taxi to a hotel and then made our way to the airport the following morning.