This past Tuesday, my husband surprised me again! Did I mention that I am difficult to surprise? I am a very curious person. I like to know things. As a Mama I am a planner…I like to make sure everyone is cared for, fed, etc. I like to be in the know.
Anyway, on my birthday my husband woke me with tender kisses early in the morning, as it was still dark outside and I could hear the first rooster begin to crow somewhere in the distance. I cannot say that I was a gracious recipient of his love this morning. I had stayed up far too late the night before. You see, I was pumped up from having a surprise party and I had the brilliant idea of responding to people on Facebook. After all, I had been fasting media for the past month and I had missed a lot in the lives of friends. Besides, I had no idea I was not going to be able to sleep in on my birthday, so I stayed up until my eyes were heavy with sleep and all the excitement of the night had worn off.
As my husband urges me to get up, I stumble from my bed, huff and puff a bit. Complain with heaving sighs and decide I need a shower. Ben encourages me to wait and shower later, but I am determined. After my shower I am combing out my tangled mess of hair, and he is sweetly rushing me, as gently as one can rush a grouchy woman in the morning.
I want coffee, but there is no time. My mom, with her grin that is nearly as big as she is, tells me to relax and have fun. My stomach is in knots as I cannot imagine where I am going in the dark and I wonder if I am dressed appropriately. I like to plan…will I need anything? A book? My journal? My husband assures me that he has everything I will need for the day.
We begin our drive up Puainako Pass, and a trek that takes us up to Kaumana City. I wonder if we are stopping at Terree and Brad’s? They do have kayaks and I mentioned to my husband that I would love to go ocean kayaking…Hmmm…nope. We drove past their home. That’s it! Heather told me she won a gift certificate at a silent auction for a guided ocean kayak adventure. I bet we are headed to Kona to meet the guide. Heather said we could have this as a birthday gift. My husbands birthday is two weeks after mine. I will try to wait patiently. I am bored and my mind is wandering. I feel sick to my stomach from the drive and the fact that I am being surprised with no real information only the clues I am grasping for. My husband gets great pleasure from these moments and he is telling me to quit fishing, as he pretends to throw out an imaginary fishing line and reel it back in.
My mom calls. She is a little more helpful. She says “Honey, you are going to love the plans Ben has made for the two of you today. Your husband is a wonderful man. He has something great in store for you because he loves you and really wanted your 40th to be special.” “Thanks Mom. I know. I am trying to relax past the heartburn and the twisted gut. I am just not prepared to spend the night (I sent the line back out, soaring this time).” She took the bait and reassured me that it was just a day trip! BINGO!! My husband is in stitches as he sees the wheels of my mind turning. He loves the suspense he has created. I still have no real answers and he likes that.
We arrive in Kona…a different route than our normal He snickers glancing at me in his peripheral. I try to post a couple of silly sentences on Facebook throughout our two-hour drive in an effort to keep myself distracted. It works….mostly. He asks if I would like to get a coffee…”Yes, but should we eat?” He throws out his imaginary pole again. We get coffee and get back on the road.
Here we are at Keaouhou Bay. We pull in and I am ready for the reveal. Ben shares with me that he has been holding this secret since December when he won a raffle at work. He is taking me on a premier snorkel adventure! Yes!!!! This was such a special surprise and to know that they kids are safe and sound at home with my mom, I can relax and enjoy! We boarded a beautiful boat where we were served a light breakfast buffet, as we headed out to Kealakekua Bay. Such beauty! We saw humpback whales, and beautiful landscape….and soon we were under water. What a creation! Amazing heaps of coral in various shapes…brain coral, mound coral, coral that looked like fragile branches and others that looked deceptively dangerous. The color of the water was brilliant blue beauty.
Ben and I snorkeled together for hours. Free from every care and worry in the world. Finances did not matter, commitments, home education, employment, selling our home…nothing mattered. Instead, we lost ourselves in the awe of the wonders of this beautiful island…the wonders of God’s creativity, His majesty. We pointed and grunted for one another’s attention underwater as we saw eels, coral formations, sea cucumbers, vana, pencil urchin, and edible urchin. The waters were filled with angel fish, parrot fish, hundreds of bright yellow tang, trumpet fish, and humuhumunukunukuapua’a….wow! What a display. When the shore line below us was no longer visible because the depth of the water had increased drastically, my husband and I both hoped to see a whale shark or some other huge creature enter the bay. Not today…but we gazed in wonder as we wished we could see something of the sort.
I love the ocean. I love to swim and snorkel. The feeling I have while floating is so surreal. To float in the crystal clear water of the Pacific, listening to the delicate crackling underwater, watching colorful fish swim past me and seeing the graceful flight of a giant green sea turtle – what an amazing experience! It is almost like visiting a different world. A world in which we are allowed to take a peek into God’s immense vault of creative wonders.
We relaxed and enjoyed one another as we swam together. We finished our six hour cruise by eating a great lunch overlooking the blue water. Taking in the beauty of the moment, without any distractions – no phones, computers, people, ministry, children. Just us. We relished the time spent in making a major investment in our relationship. Thank you Ben for treating me to such a special day! Thank you to my parents for taking care of things here at home so we could get away. Thank you children for being such a delight to your grandparents. I am so proud of you all!
“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Revelation 4:11