Big sudden changes are happening! We’re moving to
Kauai! The crucial bits are that we leave the first week of
January. We’ll drive to my parent’s
house in Texas ,
pulling our belongings in trailers behind our two vehicles. Jon and his van will go to California Kauai
ahead of the rest of us to secure work and a place to live. The kids and I will stay with my parents,
helping them to pack up their belongings because they are also moving to Kauai! My parents
and I will share a moving container that we’ll have dropped off to their house
and picked up to be taken to the ship.
Then, when Jon gives me the okay, we’ll ship our family car and all go
join him in Kauai! We’ll be taking our dog, which complicates
the process. has a lot of hoops to jump through to
get an animal through their many regulations.
We’re very excited and have so much to get accomplished in the meantime. Hawaii
I’m convinced that this move is completely the hand of the Lord. It is perfectly in his timing for us. Before moving to
, God told me that we would only be
here for 3-5 years. I felt that God’s
purpose for our time in Texas was to teach Jon to “live and live fully,” to not
just live in survival mode and missing the many blessings in his life while he
had his head ducked down trudging through life while working hard. I felt that God was teaching Jon how to learn
what he wanted in life and to learn how to pursue that. Jon was not good at wanting things in life;
he was not good at valuing himself, his wants, or his needs. I felt that God was going to help us get out
of all the debt we incurred from being self-employed in Texas .
Sometime after we had been in California Texas
awhile, I felt that God was also going to complete our family during our time
in . Texas
Sitting in a booth at the local wine bar on a date night, soon after arriving in
, Jon said to me
that he didn’t want to go back to school.
He didn’t want to go through the traditional college path, which was a
key piece of our plan to move to Texas . A light went off for me and I was so happy to
tell him how big of a deal it was for him to realize he didn’t want something,
which is the same as wanting something!
I felt the rightness of this in my bones. Within the next few days, God gave me a
vision of a switchback trail. Each bend
in the trail was Jon meeting someone, putting him on the next leg of the
trail. I felt like the trail overall
represented Jon’s career path and journey to living fully. I knew that Jon would have an unusual journey. Texas
One afternoon, shortly after our move to
I was sitting at home babysitting my neighbor’s four children. These children were going through the
emotional aftermath of their mother walking out of their lives. They needed a hawk eye on them at all times
in those days or you could pretty much guarantee that something would end up
broken or someone would end up hurt and crying.
Two women walked up to my door, complete strangers. I stepped out onto the porch. They said they had been walking our street
praying and were leaving when they felt like God wanted them to come back and
talk with me. They wondered if that
would be okay. I looked back inside at
all the kids in the living room and felt God tell me that He would watch
them. I accepted God’s offer and sat on
the porch with the ladies. One of the
women did a majority of the talking. She
told me many things the Lord was showing her.
Most of these things were things the Lord had already shown me. I sat there completely quiet. For some unknown reason, I didn’t want this
lady to know she was dead on. I was
laughing hysterically on the inside, but kept a very serious poker face on the
outside. The lady wrapped up with
telling me about a picture she saw of a switchback trail and how it was for my
husband. She went on to describe the
same gist of what God had already shown me.
How about that! At the end I
thanked her and let her know a little about me, my story, and how right on she
was. Bonus, the kids were perfectly
behaved while I sat on the porch for close to an hour. God came through in so many ways! Moments like that are so rare and special and
I felt so loved by God! Texas
Fast forward 4 years: Sometime after I was recovered from the c-section from Ella’s birth, I got the feeling that we were nearing the end of our time in
. We completed our family, we got out of debt,
Jon and I matured so much individually and in our marriage, and I didn’t feel
that Jon had started the first leg of his switchback trail yet. I saw that switchback trail as leading us to
thriving and I was ready for that to start!
We finished the agenda God had told me about, for our time in Texas , and it was right
at the 4 year mark! It’s time! I prayed and prayed, but didn’t get a clear
indication of where we were supposed to move.
I totally panicked for a couple weeks on the inside. Jon and I had big discussions about what our
priorities were and where we’d like to live if we could live anywhere. My ideal was to live near the people I love
and have meaningful relationships with.
Most of my closest relationships and my family are in Texas .
Jon wanted to live near his family in California Kauai. He so regrets missing out on his niece’s and
nephew’s childhoods. The more we talked,
the more we realized that if we lived in either California or Kauai, we would
likely both have to work to be able to make it financially, as both states are
very costly to live in and we don’t want to get into debt again. If I worked, then I couldn’t homeschool, and
we didn’t want to give that up. This
has excellent resources for homeschooling that I knew I wouldn’t find so
prolifically anywhere else. Giving Caleb
his best chance to be successful with his high school, college, and future
career rated as a very top priority for me.
This area is prime for having exceptional science and engineering
opportunities for Caleb. All of this is
almost beside the point we knew, because we have zero dollars to move and
moving is expensive. We really couldn’t
see how we could save enough money with our current circumstances to move
anytime soon. I felt like God was
telling me to “Be Ready.” So I tried to
adjust my expectations, accept that we wouldn’t be moving, and make my peace with
my perceived discrepancy of what I believed God had told me about only being in
Texas for 3-5 years not actually happening.
We began to make plans to put more roots down in Texas .
My parents began their plans to move to Texas to live near us. It was all in motion. However, I still had a savings envelope labeled
“Moving” to “Be Ready” like God told me to be. It was empty, but it was there. Texas
Jon flew out for a quick trip to
Kauai to help his
brother build the interior of his new music school storefront. In the process Jon talked to a few people who
work in the building industry out there.
We’ve never had a doubt that Jon could get plenty of work on the
island. We knew there was a good market
for him there for work possibilities, but we anticipated that he would have to
really hustle and work more hours than we preferred to make a livable wage in
Kauai, and that I would also have to work to help keep us afloat. We were leery of putting ourselves in a
tenuous financial position. Once Jon got
home, it opened up the dialogue again for moving. We again began thinking about our priorities
and God completely flipped them around on me!
God had been strongly putting it on my heart for the previous few months that we really needed to find some other people to come alongside us to be spiritual mentors for Caleb. He is hitting the teen years and we don’t feel like we’re enough. I want my kids to know the Lord. I want them to have an active relationship with Him. I want that so much for Caleb. He knows what we believe as a family, he sees what we model, he participates, but it’s not completely his own yet. We have really struggled to find a church community here in
. We’ve been doing another round of trying to
find our church home and we realized that what we see here in church is not
what we want to teach our kids. I felt
like God was pulling my heart to Texas Kauai and the
church community there. I don’t know
anything about it, but I feel like God is telling me that those mentors for
Caleb will be there. I’m jumping out to
trust God on this. My new top priority,
in regards to where we live, is for my kids to know God. I’m trusting that obeying God by following
the path I feel He is laying out for us will help us accomplish that. If Caleb can gain a relationship with God,
then I don’t need to fear the lack of schooling resources in Kauai. If Caleb knows God, then I’ve been a
successful parent and have done the best for him that I can; then his home
schooling, college, and future career will be entrusted to the one who can help
What really made this move possible is that both of our parents are going to help fund our move! We are so thankful to them for that aid! I again see the Lord’s timing in even this, because neither of our parents have been in the position to help us financially before and they both suddenly are and they both volunteered to help us!
We know we’re taking a big financial risk by moving. We believe that Kauai has greater earning potential down the road for Jon than
has. This was substantiated by a website
we found created by MIT listing the bare minimum livable wages, typical living
expenses, and typical income per industry for each county in Texas . It reinforced that Kauai values the
construction trade more than America Texas does and
the deficit between the livable wage and the typical construction income is
vastly narrower in Kauai than in . I have to say that I felt much better after
finding that website. We found it after
the decision was made, but it really helped validate our decision and calm my
nerves. We anticipate the first few
years to be very tight while Jon is building his reputation in Texas Kauai, but we expect that his craftsman skill level and
reliability will quickly earn him a great reputation on the island and that
eventually we’ll be doing well financially.
I plan to pick up a little bookkeeping work to help make ends meet, but
not so much as to interfere with time for home schooling.
The wonderful flip side to the financial risk of moving is that we’ll be living near both sides of our family!!!! Our kids will get to grow up with their cousins! They’ll get both sides of their grandparents loving on them! And their Auntie Julie, Uncle Jeremy, Tia Val, Uncle Pete, and Great Grandma Jean! Plus we’ll only be an island away from cousin Anna & her new husband! We’re sooooo excited to be close to family! It was very difficult to spend the last four years without much family in our lives. We are thankful to
for the time we did get with our Swinky cousins: Andrew, Aaron, Aaron’s new wife Kara, my Missouri family: Kara, Jude, Aunt Dar, and Uncle Darrel, and my
We’ll really miss Caleb’s birthday celebrations adventuring in the
area with the Swinky cousins and our 4th
of July tradition celebrating by the pond with Kara, Jude, and our
friends. We’ll miss camping in some of
the amazing places Austin
has to offer with our friends. We’ll
miss the beautiful rural land we live on.
We’ll miss our cat Susie Q who is staying behind, the Rusches, the
Goycos, the Hamiters, the Ericksons, the Grants, our park day friends, our Texas One Day Academy friends, and our newly arrived California friends who just moved to ! Please
pray for us to all make close and meaningful friendships in Waco Kauai. The boys are both sad to leave their friends,
especially Caleb. It’s really just been
in the last year that Caleb has finally made some close friends and he is
really saddened to leave them behind.
Ben’s excitement about our move is trumping his sadness about leaving
his friends for now, but I know it will hit him at some point. He has lots of neighborhood friends that he
really loves and plays with everyday.
This is always the most difficult part about moving. I’m really having a hard time with leaving my
cat behind. I love her so much. I know she’ll be happier staying in the woods
she loves, with our neighbor to care for her, than she would be dragged to Texas California and then on to Kauai. It’s really hard on me though.
Overall, Jon and I feel like we’re coming home even though we’ve never lived in
. The general atmosphere feels similar to our Hawaii life. This is the first leg of Jon’s switchback
trail! We’re so excited! Blessings on you and yours and cheers to our
new adventure! California