It Takes Faith and Faith is an Action Word

As I write this, I am sitting on an upstairs Lanai in Laie, Hawaii where we are swapping houses for 1 month. I can look out over the treetops here: the tall palms, trees filled with bread fruit, and best of all, trees filled with flowers, like I would picture in the Garden of Eden. I can’t see the ocean from here but it is only a few blocks away and we have played there almost every day. I can feel the ocean breeze and hear the water running in the quoi pond below.
This, our Hawaii house swap, is a dream come true. I want to tell you how it happened so that you can do it too, or, so that you can manifest a seemingly impossible dream of your own.
I want to preface this story with a disclaimer explainer: we are not rich and famous. We are not even Rich, OR Famous. I can’t even say it’s a pleasure trip but it is the experience of a lifetime. We are a regular middle class family and this dream seemed completely impossible to us. Here’s how the idea was born and how we made it happen.
At the beginning of January 2015, I was worried about a family member. In order to respect their privacy, I won’t go into detail. The important part is that I went to a quiet place of worship and took the problem to God (our Heavenly Father). Besides feeling the strength, hope, and peace that comes from seeking God’s help, the most unbelievable idea came to my mind. “Take them to Hawaii.”
What? Did God just tell me that? It certainly wasn’t my idea. My mind started to think about this. I knew to have the right effect, it couldn’t be just a short trip and we certainly didn’t have the funds to move there. I started to think of all resources we could tap into, but it honestly seemed impossible.
A few days later, on a Sunday, I awoke early before everyone else and headed downstairs for a Sacred Time. I knelt to pray expressing my gratitude to the Lord for blessings and asking for help for different issues and people. Suddenly the Hawaii idea again inserted itself into my prayer. I tried to push it out because I was not currently praying about that, but the thought persisted and I gave way to it. Then a clear sentence came to my mind, “Surely there is a family in Laie, HI who would like a Utah adventure for the summer, swap houses.” In response I thought, “Shut the front door!” which translated means, “Oh my heck! Seriously? That just might work.” I knew that BYU Hawaii was in Laie and many professors are off for the summer and many of those have connections in Utah.
Normally I would tell you to take your dream to God first, because with God NOTHING is impossible, but in this case, God put the dream in me and then I asked Him to help us make it happen. The 2nd step is to Take Action. What were 3 steps I could take to get the ball rolling? 1. Facebook post asking for ideas of connections on how to house swap, 2. Talk to a friend who lived in Laie, HI for 22 and 3. Start to get our home ready (although this seemed impossible too),
The Facebook post got people talking and trying to make connections for me but the simplest most important comment simply said, “Google House Swap.” I did that and Walla!!! There are many companies that help you house swap all over the world!!! I was also able to read about house swapping and eventually built profiles on 3 companies where I saw a home or homes in Laie and did it on free trials. I eventually paid for a premium membership on one of them, and although this would be the normal way to find a swap, after two months, we had not found one in the small city of Laie.
I finally had a fast and prayer asking God to help us find a home by the end of the week. If He told me to do this, He would have to help us. I explained that the plane tickets were going up and up as we neared summer and we needed to set plans.
The second action step I had chosen was to enlist my friend Laurel who had lived in Laie for 22 years. Her inquiries had not netted anything but she had helped me keep the vision alive. The week of my special fast she dropped by to deliver something and asked how it was going. I told her that the first home we found and felt great about the location was already contracted. I told her that I had found two others in Laie but could not get the families to respond to our inquiries through the site and had no way of personally contacting them.
Although she had not planned to stay, she sat down, looked up the families with me and called BYU Hawaii finding and speaking to one in person and enlisting the help of others. We didn’t actually find a home this way, but it brought me hope and the realization that if we didn’t enlist the help of real people, and quick, THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN! I followed through with an idea I had at the beginning which was to contact leaders of my church in Laie and ask if they knew a family that would like to swap. I would have saved a lot of time, headache and profile money if I had done this in the beginning. I ask myself why I didn’t and I think the answer was fear. Stupid but true. Calling up a bunch of complete strangers and asking them a ridiculous request was frightening to me.
The Saturday after my friend helped me, I looked up all the congregations in Laie from a church website. On Sunday before calling, I knelt down to pray. I told God that we needed to find a family who wanted to come to where we lived because they had family here and they would need to have the funds to purchase tickets for their family at this late date. Then I started calling.
Later that evening I received a call from a Bishop in my church asking if I had found a swap. I told him no and to my surprise, he said it might work for HIS FAMILY! It turns out they were already coming to Utah for the whole month of July to visit family and they already had tickets. I described where we live and it turns out that he grew up in the same city very close to our home. I couldn’t believe it!!! But, he said, we have 7 children, and I said, but we have 6 bedrooms!!!
Long story short, we are here (in their Hawaii home) and they are there in our Utah home and with God, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
Speaking of impossible, our home had to be prepared for another family to live in. It is one thing to keep your front room clean for quests and QUITE ANOTHER to have someone LIVING in your space, using your cupboards and closets!! You can’t throw everything under your bed or in a closet because “THEY WILL BE USING IT!” I can’t say that our home was terrible, but it was definitely not at the level we needed. We have lived there for almost 20 years with a large family. In the past, I have not been a great organizer and not even great at regular maintenance, deep cleaning, or cleaning out junk. I had many of what I will call CATASTOPHE CLOSETS!!!
As soon as the Hawaii House Swap dream was born, I began to prepare my home and I enlisted the help of skilled professionals as well. I have a friend who is a professional organizer and WoW! There is no way, I could have done it without her! In fact, I can hardly wait to live in my NEWLY ORGANIZED HOUSE. We also hired a handi-man who fixed up all kinds of things (6 doors, a few holes in the walls, railings, broken drawers, new calking in bathrooms, a little paint, etc.). Honestly we didn’t spend that much to have him come, but It made an incredible difference! I also hired a friend who does house cleaning to help with the deep cleaning and even come in the day we left the house to finish anything we had missed, put up clean towel, soaps, sheets etc.
Other people came forward to help too. Some sweet kids tended my “little ones” while I did some final packing and work and some neighbor youth who helped with last minute cleaning. These two families did this as a free service too.
As I enlisted my Heavenly Father’s help and acted in faith, the people, money, and resources did come through to help make it happen.
You can have the righteous desires of your heart too! God cares about YOU and your dreams! So do I! Here are some tips for YOU to make YOUR dreams come true too:

1. Take it to God. He knows everything you don’t (like the family in Hawaii who could swap with us and where healing could take place for my family member). God helps you to have Faith, Vision, and Inspiration. He knows you and the desires of your heart and even what you need to learn and contribute in your earth journey. And, just like any good Father, He wants to give you the best gifts!

Dare to Dream with Him: I recommend choosing dream/s that you can complete in the next 3-6 months. It’s not that huge dreams can’t be obtained; it’s just that if they’re too much bigger than you, you can’t wrap your brain around it and move forward. Smaller dreams can be stepping stones to the big ones.

2. Take Action. After choosing your dream/s (and I recommend only concentrating on 1-3 dreams at a time), choose 3 priority action step/s to start toward each dream and ACT on them.

3. Have Faith that the people, money and resources needed, will come.

a) People: In our experience, as I took action people did come: people who helped me to keep my vision alive, prepare my home, find a home, etc.

b) Money: After we started toward this dream, my husband received an unexpected opportunity to work extra hours and we began to save, adding our tax return to the pool as well. In the last few weeks before the trip, we decided to add another family member to the trip for important reasons, and taking this to God (because we had no more of our own resources), we received the money in the mail to do that (No I’m not kidding!)

Since we are swapping houses, there is no cost for housing and we are even using their old beach car. I was able to trade some of the work for the organizer, housekeeper, and even a lady who altered some dresses for essential oils from my business, saving me even more money.

c) Resources: Many of these are listed under people and money but some other resources were home exchange companies, articles about house swapping, extra opportunities to earn money, generosity of others, (such as the people that sent the unexpected check in the mail), the church website connecting me to leaders of my church in Laie, encouraging friends, and even my new business credit card with a 0 interest charge for 1 year.
You can have the righteous desires of your heart too! God cares about YOU and your dreams! So do I.

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