around the world

aloha! back from Hawaii ... and of course missing it. hubby and I had a fun trip; we opted to play the way we wanted, instead the way kids would want. we did mostly touristy stuff, but it was still fun. we are the type of people to visit somewhere and do what they do, more to learn the culture then to just do stuff we can do at home. we tried to not be the typical tourist anyway, but it's hard not to take lots of pictures when you've never been there before.
I highly recommend every couple take a trip without kids! it did feel like we were dating again, going to do whatever, whenever. it was great.
our youngest is close to 2 years, so he was good to hang with gramma for the week. actually they both did great; I don't think the boys missed us too much.

if you know my husband, you know he's always thinking. before we got on the plane to come home, he's thinking and researching the cost of living in Hawaii, what he would do for work, where we would live ... "hypothetically" of course. :)

but let me just say how funny life works out the way it does, or rather, how God sets you up. let me explain - as it is here in CO, this business is somewhat fizzling out. not a complete failure (as past endevors have been) there are still some options, but nothing concrete. of course we need money to live, so something has to work out, right? he's doing what he does because it's a job, not because he loves it and is making it his life. being the entrepenuer he is, he always has ideas and there is never one that stands out.
as it sits, we cannot stay where we are. it was a mistake. to me, a big mistake because I seriously hate to move. I don't take it lightly at all, and I lose sleep over it. you'd think the amount of times we've moved, that I would be used to it, or not mind it at all, but on the contrary. I hate it. I hate it more now that we have kids. I don't know what it's suppose to be like for them; I moved only once as a kid when I was 9. but on the other hand I know that as long as we're together, focused on what God has for us, then the rest doesn't matter.
Since we've been married -
we started out in Mission Viejo, CA where we met
moved to San Clemente, CA because it was cheaper
moved to Newport Beach, CA because it was closer to his work at the car dealership and closer to my school for interior design
moved to NorCal in Portola, CA for a ministry his parents were starting
ministry fell through and since we were attending college in Reno, NV, we moved there
being full time students, we moved again to be much closer to the university in Reno, NV
I became pregnant with Samuel and out of the blue, we were contacted from a long-lost family member on Matt's side. his mother was heir to a piece of property back in Oroville, CA. she has been dead for sometime, so Matt was the next heir to it. it was free, and with a new baby coming, we couldn't say no.
here is where we starting having major marital problems. he stayed in Oroville, CA and I moved to Chico, CA. then he moved to Chico and we got back together. didn't work, so I moved out again in Chico. then we got back together for good, and so I moved into his Chico place.
are you following me? I'm not done yet.
real estate market crashed, so no more work. an opportunity presented itself back in SoCal with a friend, so off we went to Corona, CA. by this time, I was pregnant with Elliott.
this opportunity also crashed and burned, so with no money we had to lean on his parents and that means off to Colorado Springs, CO. lived with them until we got set up, finally got our own place, work fell through again, so back to his parents basement. his parents moved back to NorCal themselves, so we had to find something. God made a way and we moved to this house in Divide, CO. and here we are now, having to do it again.

we have been talking and researching areas to go to be "off the grid." we (when I say we, I mean Matthew. me too, but it doesn't bother me near as much.) do not want to be governed as much as the world has to be today. so many rules & regulations. so many stupid covenants. everywhere you turn there is something, so we want out. ideally we'd like to be more self sustaining, which means living more off the land. living in a home we've built, possibly an earthship. not being dependent on the government for anything, using solar energy for our electricity, having a well for water, having animals & gardens for food. a modern farm, if you will.
we were originally thinking Montana or Wyoming, but after visiting Hawaii we realize how much easier it would be to do what we want there. going north will have harsh winters, which we're discovering we aren't in love with the cold, plus the growing season is SO much shorter. we are not skiers or snowboarders, so winter is a hibernation period for us. boredom hits quickly, not to mention, it's so easy to gain weight since we're not doing much.
Oahu is the #1 tourist spot, as well as, 80% of Hawaii's residents live there. so if just the remaining 20% is spread throughout the other islands, that is much more suitable for us. Oahu was just like SoCal, traffic and all. we have a friend living on Kauai; he tells us Kauai is more for farming, more isolated and rural. for us, the Big Island would probably be best. there are still plenty of jobs but also remote areas for farming. lots of research yet to do.

we are realizing that work is just work, it's a way to make money. we're still waiting on God to really show us what we are to do, not just with this move, but overall in this life. yes we are a walking ministry, but we both seem to know that a focus is yet to come, like help feed the homeless, get heavily involved with a church, or whatever. waiting on God, just waiting. :) easier said than done.

I'm convinced that we need some kind of confirmation before doing this. a word from God in some way, shape, or form. I don't to get stuck in "the grass is always greener" mentality. we have to have more of a reason to do this than just wanting to do this.
of course I love the idea living there. to go snorkeling everyday with the kids, swimming with the fish & sea turtles ... which by the way I saw one while we were there; sooooo cool! if I'm doing homeschooling, then who cares where we're at. what an experience for us all, right?!

long post, sorry, I had to get this off my chest. pics to come soon.
leave me a comment and tell me what you think.
what you REALLY think, because considering our track record, we appear a bit crazy. but I also know, that to the world believers are crazy, so I can't rely on that aspect so much.
I am a big believer that actions speak louder than words and for whatever reason, we are in a season of discovering where we want to be, but more importantly, trying to discover where God wants us. with all our moves, there was always a good reason. this time we need God's reason. please pray for us, we need some clarity on this one!!


Anonymous said...

Interesting read.

I definitely have conflicting perspectives on this.

On on hand, I envy your life. You are free to do whatever you want, and you don't let details like kids and families prevent you from pursuing your dreams (or Matt's dreams, as the case may be.) The ability to take risks is something not to be taken for granted. Yet this lifestyle, as appealing as it sounds, is probably not very glamorous in practice.

On the other hand, Matt frankly has "special needs" and his opinions reflect an improper balance of priorities - what should he be more concerned with - reliably providing for his family, or living off the grid? Yet I admire his desire to practice what he preaches and not have a duplicitous attitude towards the issues he cares about.

Hawaii. Again, I find myself with conflicting thoughts. It's hard for me to think about it in a completely positive or negative way. Something gave him and idea, and, not deterred by past failures, he might pursue it. I admire his persistence. But I don't admire his selfishness. Every time he decides to completely change the direction of his life, he also changes the direction of three others - with what sounds like little regard to what effect it will have on them. Stability is more important than prosperity.

Laura said...

Okay, what do I REALLY think? I think it sounds wonderful, but it brings up a lot of questions. Mainly..isn't Hawaii insanely expensive? Wouldn't there be huge start up expenses, even if you're off the grid? Whenever something sounds as amazing as living off the grid in Hawaii, I ask myself "What is stopping everyone else from doing this?"
That aside, Mark's parents had the same dream you do. They wanted to build their house in British Columbia and live basically off the grid. They were even ex loggers and milled their own lumber. Mark and his brother were born there and the family ended moving back to CA when Mark was two.
From what I've been told it was...hard. Extremely hard. It is a completely different life. I love to vacation there, but personally it's not a lifestyle for me. Even though it is gorgeous and outside an amazing little town.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that being off the grid might not make things simple or easy. Quite the opposite, I think. Quieter, more beautiful, yes. It's up to you to decide if you handle it.
On a sidenote- if you move to Hawaii, I am so coming to visit you! :)