Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

Got this idea from Katie over at Loves of Life, so I'm taking the opportunity to be thankful today. Here we go!

I am thankful...

...that Chris and I are able to email almost every day. I can't describe the excitement I get when I sit down to my computer and see his address in my inbox!

...that he emailed me some pictures the other day! I love seeing his handsome face. Ooh, I love him!

...for friends that call, text, send me a message on Facebook just to see how my day is going.

...for Dark Chocolate Klondike bars! Just the sort of pick-me-up I need sometimes. Crunchy chocolatey goodness on the outside, creamy cold goodness on the inside. Yum. 

...that my little sister will be here in Hawaii in 9 days!! I'm looking forward to laying on the beach, cooking together, jumping on the bed and celebrating her 18th birthday!

...that God loves me and even when I feel completely alone, the truth is, I am not. 

...that Chris agreed to get a television and cable for me while he's gone and so now I have "company" in the evenings. 

Things have been good here this week--for the most part. I miss Chris a ton and I've had a few rough afternoons here and there. Today I started crying while at the counter at the Post Office. That was fun. But having things to look forward to (like little sis coming to visit!) and setting small goals for myself (ooh, I should work on painting this afternoon..) is really helping to keep my head (and heart) up. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Peace that Passes Understanding

If you had asked me two months ago how I thought the first week of deployment would go, I would have guessed that I'd be crying for most of it, and feeling sad even when I'm out with friends. This week has been far from that. I have to say Thank you Thank you Thank you to all of you who have been praying for me this week. I have felt those prayers in an inexplicable way.

Yes, this week has been hard. I have cried alot and I miss Chris terribly. It hurts to be away from him and to think of the long months ahead without him by my side. BUT, man, I have had such a peace this week. The Lord has given me joy, he's given me peace, he's provided me with amazing friends and supportive family. The joy and peace I have felt is certainly not anything I have conjured up inside of me. It's all Him. And I am so thankful.

Please keep up with the prayers! Also continue praying for Chris. He's been feeling under the weather this week, so please pray for him to get better so he can do his job 100%.

Continue to pray for peace for me. There are certainly times when I feel overwhelmed and lonely.

Again, thanks to all who have been praying and for your encouraging words via Facebook, the blog, texting, emailing or calling me. You are so very much appreciated!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Love Notes

Chris left me notes around the house before he left. I found this one in my cheese drawer this morning. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010


This is a basic sum-up of my day. Except that this child actually looks kind of cute while bawling and I... do not.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Um, Who's the Artist in this Family??

Disclaimer: I'm probably going to bore you with all this art talk, but I'm sure you can deal with it. Come back in a few days and you'll get some deployment talk. Then we'll get back to art again. {Hey, it's my blog! and those two things are kind of taking over my life right now.}

A few weeks after we started going to our church here in Hawaii, we walked into the sanctuary  (on Aloha time, of course, so praise and worship had already started) and I noticed a young guy painting a huge canvas on stage. I was intrigued and had a hard time focusing on singing as I watched this painting develop before my eyes. Twenty minutes later, a beautiful landscape had emerged and Del (the painter) began to share an encouraging word with the congregation, using his painting as a visual. This is the first time I heard about "Prophetic Art" and though I was a little taken aback by the term, I was also drawn in.

Fast forward six months. We've been living here for a while and I have now seen Del paint his prophetic art on stage many times. I've also gotten to know him a little bit and found out that he is an encouraging, inspirational artist. I see in the church bulletin an announcement for "Prophetic Art Classes with Del!" Wow, what a neat opportunity to learn more about this revolutionary (in my world, anyway) form of worship. And so, I signed up.

I've gone to the art class a few times now. What an encouraging time! The first week, Del spoke a bit about how he began and what it really is and I realized that it is not as scary as it seems (especially coming from a PCA "Frozen Chosen" background). He explained that he was hesitant when he began doing prophetic art last year, but it has touched so many people since he began.

The idea behind prophetic art is that you are listening to God throughout the week, asking Him to share an image, a word of encouragement and putting that onto canvas. It's not 'prophetic' in the sense that one is predicting the end of the world, but simply that the artist is communicating a 'revelation', a word of encouragement through the means of art. {I'm obviously not an expert on it, but this is what I've taken from my discussions with Del}

I love that it is a form of worship we don't normally see and I really love that Chris and I are attending a church where things like this (and hula at worship services--I love that!) are accepted and welcomed.

I share all of that with you so that I can share this with you. {This is where the title comes in!}

This last week, Chris went with me to my class and I must confess that I have greatly underestimated my amazing husband up until this point. He is allowing me to share the painting he created on Sunday with you. I think it is beautiful and powerful and it really speaks to me. Here it is:

The wild, raging waves really reflect my heart this week. Chris said that the Navy Hymn "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" was in his head as he painted. The hymn's lyrics speak of the might of the ocean and how even the deepest waters answer to God.

"Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep"

My God is the Ruler of the deep, wild ocean and there is nothing out of his realm. That was so encouraging to me this week and I hope that it brings encouragement to you too. 

A Geriatric Painting Class

I brought home a treasure trove of supplies from a wholesale art store this weekend. I'm excited to transform those blank canvases into creative expressions of my soul (how's that for artsy-fartsy lingo??).

I had my first class today (Advanced Painting). I'm probably in over my head as the rest of my classmates are seasoned (ie. over 50 years old) artists with decades of experience painting. They have paintings that are older than I am. Even though I've been painting for a long time, I completely stand out as the baby in the class. Yikes. 

Over the course of the class (14 weeks), we have to create a series of cohesive paintings centered around a 'concept'. Some people shared concepts that have been done before (most of my 'elder' classmates have taken this class several times) such as "Circles" or "Abstract Flowers". There is a lot of abstract art going on it that class and I'm totally intimidated by it. I have no idea (well, plenty of ideas, but none that are good!) what my concept will be. I have a week to come up with a meaningful concept that I won't get bored with over the next 14 weeks. Double Yikes. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Setting Goals

Sometimes I find myself looking back over my day and I realize that I have spent the entire day doing nothing. I am an expert time waster and could spend hours just being a couch potato. I do not want this deployment to be like that. In order to fight against this laziness of mine, I've been thinking about goals. I've got some that I'd like to keep over the next few months and I'd like to share a few with you.

  • I want to spend more time in prayer with God, seeking His will and sharing my heart. Usually I tend to do this more during lonely times, but I want to be deliberate with it. 
  • I am going to read my Bible each day. I am so very un-disciplined in this. It's so bad that as I write this, I am realizing that I need to find my Bible before I can start on this one. 
  • Paint, paint, paint. I think this will be an easy one since I am taking two painting classes (!!) and my dining 'nook' is full of art supplies just waiting to be used. I am excited to have the time, supplies and room to devote to art! 
  • I want to take a class or two at the base gym (Zumba, belly dancing, hula?? The possibilities are endless!) Right now, the only exercise I get is surfing a few times a week and I think this will be a great opportunity to meet new people, stay fit and stay busy! 
  • Cook a real meal at least twice a week. When Chris is away, I tend to eat really poorly and just snack. It's really not fun cooking for one. I have to admit that sometimes I forget to eat all day. Sad, I know. So, whether I have friends over to share a meal or just make something yummy and eat the leftovers the rest of the week, I'm going to make myself eat real meals!
They're not earth-shaking goals, but I think having them will help me to be deliberate about the time I spend and I'll have less time sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself. Chris and I both really desire that this will be a great time of growth for both of us and though we're not looking forward to being apart, we are excited to see how God grows us!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thoughts on Deployment (the novel)

"D-Day" (deployment day) is just around the corner. Chris and I have been busy getting our lives ready for this big change. We have been crossing things off our to-do list each day and while it always feels good to cross those errands off, it means the big day is getting even closer. I thought I would share with you some thoughts I have as the day nears. 

I actually am feeling pretty optimistic about the deployment as a whole. Here are a few reasons why:

- I am signed up for two painting classes at Honolulu Academy of Arts. They start next week and I can't wait to dive into painting again. I told Chris that our home is going to transition into a studio while he's gone. He is just as excited about it as I am! (So thankful to have a husband who supports and encourages me in the things I love most!)

-Another reason I feel optimistic is that I have some goals set for my "single" months. (Oh, I know I'm not really single. Don't worry, I'm not going to start going out to Waikiki trying to pick up hot surfer dudes.) I'll share these goals in another post but I am excited to set some challenges for myself, both big and small!

-Though this is our first deployment, Chris and I actually have some experience being apart (unfortunately!). Merely one month after we started dating, I headed off to Spain for the semester while he stayed in Annapolis. The next year, I found myself leaving again as I started my missions internship in Acapulco, Mexico. Both of those times, our relationship grew as we communicated through emails, letters and whatever phone calls we could make. While we were engaged,  Chris also spent a month trekking through Alaska and the only communication we had was three letters I received. I had to make some big decisions while he was gone and it all worked out okay. I know deployment will throw some more curve balls at us, but I think we've had good training. 

- I'm not completely alone. God is with me every step of the way. And He won't give me more to bear than I can handle. Thank You Lord!

So, those are some optimistic outlooks I have about the next 4.5-7.5 months (yeah, the length of time is a little up in the air). But, I'm going to share some not so optimistic outlooks too, because, hey, this is real life and being without your best friend and husband for any amount of time just sucks. 

-We've had a lot of time together since we tied the knot more than 7 months ago. (That's a good thing) We've gotten really close and I'm more in love with Chris than ever. So, naturally, when I think about being without him for months at a time, my heart sinks, my stomach flips and I feel like I'm going to puke. It sucks and though I have lots of wonderful friends here on Oahu and supportive family members across the globe, I am going to terribly miss my best friend and it's not going to be easy. 

-I'm nervous about being really alone for the first time. I've never lived completely alone and I've never been completely in charge of a household. Though we have bill paying down to a pretty fool-proof system, I'm sure I'm going to screw things up and spend alot of dark nights curled up in my bed, irrationally convinced that my house is being broken into.

-Sometimes I just hate being in the military. There, I said it. And I'm jealous of women whose husbands are always home and they never have to say goodbye for 6 months and it's guaranteed that they will be together for their first baby's birth or their anniversary. Sometimes I am just really angry at the whole situation. That being said, I absolutely support Chris and I'm so proud of him. We make these decisions together and so I signed on with the Navy right along with him. Most of the time I really enjoy being the wife of a Naval officer. 

Thanks for reading my novel. Just a few thoughts on the whole thing. I have more, but do you really have all day to sit down and read the deluge of thoughts from my brain? The truth is, I know that it is not by my strength (or Chris') that we will get through this, but by God's. Though it feels like it sometimes, it is not the end of the world

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13

Monday, January 4, 2010

Some R & R in Kauai

So, I promised to write a Kauai post. As I've told you, the month or so leading up to Christmas was stressful. Due to a major inspection on his ship in December, Chris had to go in 7 days a week for about 5 weeks in a row. Ugh. It was painful. But, we got through it and I'm so proud of my hubster's positive attitude through the whole thing.

His inspection finished up on December 18th and the next morning, we hopped on a plane to Kauai. On the agenda--spend 3 nights/4 days backpacking the Na Pali coast, then 2 nights at a relaxing B & B. It. was. amazing. Here are some highlights. 

Hitch-hiking! Oh yes, we did! It was fun (once we actually got picked up!) and safe and we got to meet all sorts of interesting characters and helpful people. 

We bought a new camera the day before we left for Kauai. I had a blast playing with it and taking detail shots with it along the trail. 

Blistery feet. Not a highlight per se, but I thought it was pretty funny when Chris patched my footsies with duct tape!
We were graced with amazing views like this around every bend of the trail. We felt so blessed to be able to witness God's stunning creation like this. 

This is where I almost died. The washed out trail is on the left side of the photo and though there are metal stakes sticking out of the cliff, there really was nothing to stop me from sliding 400 feet into crashing waves below. Yes, I slipped and Chris had to take his pack off and come back to get me. There were alot of tears and vomit (hey! I almost died!) on my part afterwards.

Lots of hubby/wifey time. After seeing each other only briefly for over a month, we so enjoyed spending every hour together, talking about everything and nothing or just hiking together in contented silence. 

Aah, after 4 full days of hiking over 22 miles, it was so nice to rest our tired muscles and peel duct tape off our... *my* feet. We enjoyed delicious, fresh tropical fruit each morning and conversation with some really quirky B & B owners! 

So, there's a little glimpse into our holiday getaway! This week in the Wilkins household, we are gearing up for deployment which is just around the corner. Not such a fun task, but we have resolved to seek the JOY in the midst of it all! Prayers are needed and appreciated!