A New Journey; cognizance

I have never realized how wrong I can be about myself. One would think I’d know myself better than anyone else, but the reality is, I am continuing to learn about who I am just as much as I am continuing to learn my husband.

My spiritual awakening happened during the Jewish New Year. It was September and my skin had a flare up that was lasting longer than a month… I hadn’t been able to wear my wedding ring for three weeks because my finger was swelling in red, atopic dermatitis, agony. I wanted to talk to my trusted friend who has similar outlooks as I do, but she is far more learned in life itself and has experienced more healing than my eyes have seen. So, I asked if she could meet me and help me talk through some things. I had a feeling it was deeper than just a nutritional issue.

I guess to back up my story (since its been so long in my blog posting) I had atopic dermatitis horribly for a year and a half, but through nutritional guidance I found I had a candida overgrowth in my digestive tract–and nowhere else on my body. So between the bloating, the bleh feeling of my stomach and the worn out tiredness I experienced daily, I began to cut out all sources of sugars (processed or not). Goodbye fruit, goodbye carrots and root veggies, adios sweets and even hidden sugars in salad dressings, sauces, and soups.

I basically ate salads sprinkled with juiced citrus and spices. Plain, no sugar added, yogurt topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts. Dinner usually was filled with other raw veggies and occasionally fish. –VERY BASIC, VERY SIMPLE.

My skin was CLEAR in two months of hard work and thanks to my husband, dedication.

So after a year of being dermatitis-free, not eating gluten and watching my sugar consumption, my ankles were breaking out in atopic dermatitis again. It didn’t make sense, I was stumped. I had just finished my certification in Nutritional Counseling. I thought to myself, “If I had a client going through this, I would analyze their diet, adjust the sugar consumption and see improvement” But then, if I was only eating fruit as my glucose source, why would that cause a flare up?

–back to the beginning, I contacted my friend.

I met with her on the porch of her home, and she asked me “what’s going on?”

So, I showed her my ankles, and asked “what chakra does this represent?”

In my experience, too many Christians are closed minded about having a holistic mindset of their bodies. I believe God created us in a triune way, just like Himself; since we are in His likeness. Mind, Body, Spirit.

Therefore, asking my friend who loves the Lord but has a balanced perspective of our holistic spiritual bodies, I felt like I was going to get some answers.

She asked me if I felt I knew who I was, because that reflected my grounding. I paused, thought, and responded that I never felt I didn’t know who I was, but since having to take my wedding ring off for the last three weeks it was hard for me to know that no one would know that I was ‘taken’, that I was treasured, cared for, and chosen.

My friend then noted that I hadn’t said anything about my hand, only saying that my ankles were the issue. She then stated, ‘Sarah, do you realize that you’re body is telling you that your grounding is off, that you’re putting your marriage first, so now, of ALL the places your body breaks out, it chooses your wedding ring finger, forcing you to take it off…”
As a believer, God is supposed to by what is first in our life; our grounding. My marriage was so easy to pour into and love, serve, and enjoy, that it was taking the forefront.

I welled up. I was in unbelief of how it was possible for my body  to speak in this way. But, I didn’t doubt it. I knew this was the issue, for the first time, it was clear…

We then went into a deeper disussion about my personality type–if you don’t already know about the Enneagram test, you need to go check it out. I am a 2, a helper. My unbalanced self is giving and serving those around me, neglecting myself and sweeping my needs/desires/wants under the rug.

So, Mi Amor and I had a big discussion on how I was unbalanced and I asked for help, for the first time in I don’t know how long…

This was the beginning of my realization that I don’t know myself very well, that I have been neglecting my spiritual needs, my physical needs, and my emotional needs. I know how to love God and serve Him for other people, with other people, but not alone. I know how to help others get fit and how to eat properly, how to heal from physical ailments. I certainly don’t cry enough or give my true mindset of how I am feeling.
My first reaction is to do things for others; and I have neglected the foundation of being able to that properly; caring for myself.

SO now, I am on a journey of finding more about who I am. Its kinda horrifying and freeing at the same time. We all have pockets of our lives we don’t wish to uncover, but the reality is, that if we can’t be translucent, then we aren’t fully healing.

I am starting this new season in hopes that I can help someone else along the way, but mainly, by healing and pulling out the weeds in my life, I’ll have better soil that will have flowers in the place of those weeds, and in that regard, I can give them away.

Check out this link to learn more about the Enneagram and find your personality type. Learn to be aware of your unhealth as well as aiming for your full health.


We can eat healthy, but that doesn’t mean we are spiritually healthy.
We can praise God, but that doesn’t mean we are emotionally healthy.
We can release our emotions daily, but that doesn’t mean we are physically healthy.

All three need to be in balance, and I am learninig to take this for myself. A month of yoga truly helped open my eyes to three of these; my mind, body, and spirit.



Wake Up And Smell The Pineapple

Day 4, Sunday, started with French toast for breakfast, relaxation with books, and family games. We then headed to a small church in Haleiwa {ha-lay-ee-vah} where they ended the church service singing Praise and Doxology in English and then Hawaiian. An experience to remember for sure!

We then headed to Honolulu and Waikiki for a city day, where we saw the only palace in the United States, Iolani {ee-oh-lahn-ee} Palace.

As well, we spent some good time at the USS Arizona on Pearl Harbor.

After eating at a hole in the wall food truck {which was awesome} we walked down to Waikiki Beach and saw the sunset. We celebrated life with two cartons of different ice cream (key like pie frozen yogurt and chocolate fudge brownie) back at the townhouse.

Day 5, monday, our last full day. A morning of touring the cacao process and coffee production as well as soap making and the Dole pineapple factory, we learned a lot.

We spent hours snorkeling at Sharks Cove and Sunset beach where we saw 7 sea turtles and a ton of tropical fish!!!  I felt like I was on a movie!

We ended the day with chocolate Haupia {coconut Hawaiian specialty} and macadamia nut pies! We played games and us women wore pearl necklaces that my mom gave us that were her mom’s.

What full and fun days we had. Our time management was pretty on par, but relaxation and restoration were apart of each day. Whether we swam in the pool at the end of the long day or watching a movie, we ended the nights in peace. 

At the airport now, I look back and see that as I write the last couple of days, it HAD to be packed because I haven’t blogged every day. I think that’s a good sign. 

All these blogs are very cut and dry with hardly any thought, but it’ll be nice to look back at the play by play and remember moments along with the pictures. 

Aloha, Hawaii—you’ve given our family a new starting point, a refresher on marriage, and a washing of our souls. 

Patience, kindness, and a whole lotta faithfulness.

Day three, Saturday, came with another early start as I made breakfast for us all and we all sat down by 7a.m. to partake. Today was the day Mi Amor and I set off for a day of surfing. So at breakfast we all planned our day. 

Mom and dad drove into Haleiwa {ha-lay-ee-vah} and explored the marketplace and a soap factory {which we all are going back to on Monday}. 

My brother and his wife stayed at the townhouse and relaxed by reading and letting sunburns have a break. 

Mi Amor and I set out for the surf shack here on the resort at Turtle Bay. On our way we were talking about the surprise we would do for mom and dad; a really nice dinner alone would be a great treat since they definitely didn’t have to bring us here with them.

We got our surfboards and hit up the west side of the peak. There were about five times where I just body boarded cause I couldn’t stand up. It was fun, but it’s been five years since I surfed in Panama. I stood up then, certainly I’m stronger now! 

After two hours of trying to catch a wave, we went in to catch an early lunch at the townhouse and report back to my bro and sis what we had found for mom and dad. On our way back my sister in law called and said mom and dad got back from town, so it was a perfect time to come back. 

We ate taco salad with kale and the homemade salsa they bought at the market. 

We then drove the van to get the surfboards to take them to another beach that was recommended. While Mi Amor was loading the boards, my sis and I made the surprise arrangements at the restaurant. It was going to be perfect. 

Off to the beach we went. All piled in our van with two surfboards straight through the middle. At this beach there was a section where all the surfers were and it’s hard to not get in the way. We tried going to another part but it just wasn’t good. After two more hours we still hadn’t stood up. It was a beautiful beach though. There was a dad with his five year old daughter who went out with her on piggy back and was teaching her to stand up. It was amazing. Mom said “that’s you and dad if you grew up here!” Just think about how awesome it would be, I liked that idea. 

After about a half hour of us sitting on the shore after our paddling on the water and wave jumping, and seeing a turtle, we all headed back to Turtle Bay. We had two more hours to use our boards before we had to give them back. We set off once again in the hopes we could stand up. After an hour and a half I was exhausted, my entire body hurt. I could tell I got way too much sun and worked my arms more than my shoulder socket could handle. 

I headed in to return my board and go see if mom and sis were done snorkeling. They actually came over right as I was coming out. {good, we are on schedule to take them to their restaurant} I got some pictures of Mi Amor on his board from shore and told him I was leaving for the townhouse. 

We told mom she could take a shower first, since dad already had–things were lining up. I then proceeded after mom got changed to say “be ready to leave at 5:20” and so at that time I took them out to the van and they were like, “what about the others?” “Are you grilling for us ?” I responded, “don’t worry about us and maybe we are maybe we arent”. “Is there a surprise in the van or are you taking us somewhere?” I shrugged my shoulders.

Off we went and I proceeded to tell them, “you two mean a lot to us and you have shown us that life stays adventurous even after 35 years of marriage. A big part of this is you two spending time together, alone” 

My parents invest in each other, know how each gives and receives love, as well as being kind and merciful. 

They followed me to the front where the hostess was and I said “reservation for two for _____name here_____”

She looks up and says, “ah yes, Happy Anniversary” 

My mom got all giddy as I said, “enjoy” and walked away. 

It was a huge Blessing to be a blessing to them who have blessed us beyond what we deserve.

Palms to the wind

Waking up at 6a.m. In Hawaii was perfectly natural and relaxing. The sunrise is then and the island comes alive with birds and palms in the wind. 

I love to be here, surrounded by everything so great it humbles one’s self. I feel put in my place–eyes looking beyond me and hands lifted–a reflection of all creation to it’s Creator: palms to the wind..

We have had so much family time I haven’t even blogged about our days!!

Day 1: 

We woke up at 6a.m. and ate breakfast and headed out to see our walking distance beach just north of us. We walked out onto the lava stones, saw a seal, and enjoyed the morning sunshine. 

We then headed out for a day of beach hopping going west! We hit up two different beaches (sunset and pipeline) before getting to our lunch place and visiting some shops. After going to another beach (Waimea Bay) we made it back to the townhouse for dinner, mom and I headed the kithen, my sister in law got the dishes washed, Mi Amor set the table and my brother and dad conversed with us. Being a family on an island like this is just so enchantingly peaceful. This is the first trip we have had as just the six of us. What a HUGE blessing this is.

Mom, my sister/in/law, and I ended the day by watching the sunset.

Day 2: I wake up at 5a.m. And wake Mi Amor up, we fill the water bottle and grab two apple-bananas (our favorite type of banana) an head to watch the sunrise. 

The morning light brings such awe as the darkness is overcome. 

We walked back and found our family eating breakfast. We all put on our swimsuits for a day of adventuring and snorkeling!! We headed east. Going to several beaches, (I can’t even name them all we went to so many!!!) stopping at lookouts, the Byodo In Temple, and walking up to Makapu’u Lighthouse. We ended the southern route with Hanauma Bay for the last free hour and a half, then we hit up china mans hat island, across from the Jurtasic Park filming location.  A very enjoyable day where we all laughed and joked, swam and snorkeled, and are authentic Hawaiian cuisine from a very hole in the wall place Mi Amor found with GREAT reviews. It was a fantastic experience for us all to share a meal and talk story. 

“Talk story” is an expression often used in Hawaii which basically means sharing experiences and listening to other lives; learning from each other. 

My family is more blessed than I ever realized. I praise The Lord for how He has been faithful to my family. 

I can learn a lot from these people, when’s the last time you talked story with your family?

Are we there yet?

I feel as though we are chasing the sun. Our trip ended up taking four hours longer. After arriving in LA, we had approximately a 4 hour layover but then it got pushed back to a total of 8 hours. Sad part is, we didn’t find this out until they announced it a half hour before our original boarding time. So, instead of taking off into LA for 6 hours, we ended up going out for 2.

Thanks to mom, who stayed at the airport and watched all our luggage, we were able to not worry about that. Dad, Mi Amor, and I walked to Trader Joe’s to get cheap healthy food to bring back. {And it was dad’s first time to California!} 

After meeting a very sweet British couple who have lived in Hawaii for the last two years, we played trivia with them in the terminal. Boy am I glad I brought the little trivia tin along! We connected with them and they were a very interesting couple!  

Restless, sore, and tummy feeling odd, the flight seemed longer than it was. BUT-WE MADE IT TO OAHU!

Hawaii 2.0

Stars shine with an orange moon as we drive to the airport at 4a.m. My wrinkly eyes squint after only three hours of sleep.

Sunrise brings light over Chicago as our plane lands for a quick layover. My stomach has always had problems when traveling, cause I tend to eat things like granola bars and trailmix and dried fruit…my mom saved my morning by having a fresh apple to pair with the other snacks.

Note to the travelers: bring fresh fruit or carrots with lemon water to help keep you refreshed and not weighed down and bloated.

But for real now, back to the trip.

The backstory: Mi Amor and I went on a trip the end of February (2 months ago) to Hawaii Kai (south east Oahu) via ticket vouchers through Delta Airlines and helpx.net allowed us to work on an organic farm in the mornings in exchange for food and stay. In other words: we went to hawaii with all our needs met and only spent money when we wanted to. We went on an adventure.

The weekend we bought our tickets online in early January, my mom sent a confirmation email “GET THESE DATES OFF WORK!”

We are being spoiled by my parents; they are taking my brother and I, along with our spouses to the North Shore of Oahu for one week. ITS ALL IN HONOR OF THEIR MARRIAGE!!! They have been married for 35 years and have saved and dreamed of this trip for a long while…

And it’s finally here.

Keep up with our travels as I blog each day about the adventures and relaxing times.

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Oh and we crossed over The Grand Canyon.