Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hawaii, Radar, and Rain

I should start at the beginning. But I'm not going to. I'm starting my posts about Hawaii with pictures taken toward the end of our trip. That's because a blog thought popped into my head at this time also - and all because of one word: Rain.

What do you do when what's on the radar is not on your radar?

When we were planning this trip, the thought that our planned activities might be interrupted by precipitation never entered my mind. Helloooo, Shelley. You vacationed in a lush, tropical climate. That kind of climate is made possible by abundant rain. When we started to experience this rain, we did read on the internet that if it was raining where you were on Oahu, just drive 10 minutes and you'll find the sun. Ok. No problem. Wasn't expecting this, but we'll just do a little extra driving - a little more time in the car than planned. But our car time, albeit crowded, was very good family time. Seeing the silver lining to this cloud.

But one night, more than just a little intermittent shower showed up. According to the Honolulu weather man, the big thunderstorm making noise above our heads was a the result of a very unusual weather pattern for Oahu. A couple of days after this, we visited with a couple who has lived on Oahu for 9 years. The woman explained that in those 9 years, they'd only experienced 5 thunderstorms. Electrical storms were incredibly rare for them.  Since we'd already had conversations about the unexpected rain showers prior to this, we just looked at each other and shook our heads. But then, God gave us eyes to see the beauty. This storm wasn't like the thunderstorms we have here. This was truly an electrical storm - and what a show it was putting on over the water in front of our house. Before the rain really started falling, the lights went out inside the house as the light show began outside the house. So everybody grabbed their camera and started throwing around words like aperture and shutter speed. In this picture, the electricity had just gone out. The lightening was illuminating the entire sky out the kitchen window.
Lou's Droid provided temporary light inside
Lou was able to capture the following strikes. As you can tell, there were a couple of trees and some wires in front of our house, but just past them - the Pacific.

These strikes were not just occurring every once in a while. We were "oohing and ahhing" every 5 seconds. Our guys couldn't take pictures fast enough. What a gift we were given, even though it wasn't the gift we would have chosen. God gave us eyes to see.

The rain came later that night, but I guess it cleaned the atmosphere of our weird weather pattern, because we saw improvement the next day.  After visiting Harbor Church in Honolulu, we hiked Diamond Head.
At the top of Diamond Head

We then headed to the beach and took a family picture.
Kailua Beach
And then a group picture with our dear friends, The Forristers, from Llano, Texas. It's tough to get a picture of 15 people with everybody looking just right. Sorry Heide.

Looking at these last couple of pictures, most would assume our trip was postcard perfect - that every expectation we I had of vacationing in Hawaii was met. There's that darn word again, "expectation." (See January 23 post, Young, Married, and Expecting, for more of my thoughts on expectations). It often kills the given, doesn't it?  Well, it tried to on this trip a couple of times. (Did I mention it rained some while we were in Hawaii?) But God helped me talk to myself about my expectations instead of listen to myself about them.

"Gratefully, take the given. See Me in the given. Joy is in the given."

No matter what's on the radar or our radar, God has our joy on his radar.

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