The Road Home to You Podcast

Lessons on the Road to Waimea Canyon

Originialy aired on October 23, 2018

All Rights Reserved.

Brandy Goebel 00:19

Hi. Welcome to The Road Home to You. I'm Brandy Goebel joined by my husband, Matt. We'd like to invite you to join us as we have real conversations about truth, grace and living out our Christian faith. If you have a messy past, struggle with the idea of being the perfect Christian, or are simply curious about just what Christianity is, you're at the right place. Listen, we don't claim to have all the answers. But we're excited to have real conversations that deal with topics that matter. So grab a drink, buckle up, and let's head on down that long road home.

You ready to start?

Matt Goebel 01:07


Brandy Goebel 01:08

Okay. Alo-ha, Matt!

Matt Goebel

Aloha, Brandy.

Brandy Goebel

How are you today?

Matt Goebel

You know, I'm doing pretty good. It's a beautiful day outside. We've got some good drinks and a nice snack. And yeah, this is our first time in the booth in a long time.

Brandy Goebel

This is our first time. Yeah, it's been a long time since we've been together.

Matt Goebel 01:16

I called it a booth thinking recording booth. It's not a recording booth.

Brandy Goebel

I mean, it's a closet, technically. You can call it whatever you want. It's the place we record.

Brandy Goebel 01:21

So yes, we have a very special episode today. Because we're going to talk about a very special thing that we just got to experience.

Matt Goebel 02:00


Brandy Goebel 02:01

Which was...

Matt Goebel 02:02


Brandy Goebel 02:03


Matt Goebel 02:05

Vacation in Hawaii.

Brandy Goebel 02:06

Vacation in Hawaii, which means that today, while we're recording, we have...first of all, I have a plumeria on the left side of my headphones.

Matt Goebel 02:18

Yes, to indicate that you're spoken for.

Brandy Goebel 02:23

I am a taken woman. And we have fresh pineapple to snack on.

Matt Goebel 02:29

Absolutely. Which is so tasty.

Brandy Goebel 02:31

So tasty, but not quite as good as the Hawaiian pineapple, I have to say.

Matt Goebel 02:35

No, nothing compares to having it at the source. It's just so much fresher and sweeter. And it just tastes like Hawaii.

Brandy Goebel 02:47

It really does. And then we have some yummy drink that is Hawaiian based, but we'll not go into that. But it's yummy. And we are celebrating Hawaii today because we had such a delightful trip. So we wanted to share it with you guys because truth be told, like my plan over vacation was I was going to get caught up on podcasting transcripts. I was gonna get caught up in my show notes. I was gonna get so much accomplished over vacation.

Matt Goebel 03:26

That's what you were gonna do over vacation?

Brandy Goebel 03:27

Right? I know.

Matt Goebel 03:29

Wow. All right.

Brandy Goebel 03:31

Because I was thinking it's good, it gives me time to get stuff done. That's what I was thinking. And Molly, our beautiful 16 year old girl said, "Mom, don't you dare work on vacation!" And I said, "Well, we'll just see. Because sometimes reality calls." And do you know what I did on vacation?

Matt Goebel 03:53

You did not get all the work done that you were planning on.

Brandy Goebel 03:56

I didn't get anything done at all.

Matt Goebel 03:58

Which was lovely.

Brandy Goebel 03:59

It was lovely. But it means that when we came back, all of a sudden, we had no episodes. So we had to come up with a plan for what we're going to talk about. And it's been really hard for me this week to get back into the mindset of reality. Cuz I'm still in Hawaii land. And Hawaii land was beautiful, but not productive. So here it is. Sunday afternoon. And we're recording.

Matt Goebel 04:32

Yeah. And it's a lovely thing.

Brandy Goebel 04:34

And we're going to talk about vacation because I didn't know what else to talk about this week. But I have to take a bite of this delicious pineapple. So do you want to say something?

Matt Goebel 04:44

Yeah. Well, I just, wanted to say thanks again to my parents who made the vacation possible.

Brandy Goebel 04:53

Yes, yes, indeed.

Matt Goebel 04:56

It was such an incredible blessing. Because there's no way that we could have managed that without their help. And they just made it all possible. And it was a beautiful thing that will continue to be a blessing to us for a long time. We're so thankful.

Brandy Goebel 05:18

Yeah, for sure. So we got to go to Kauai. And you mentioned I think, in our very, very first episode, you talked about the fact that you lived in Hawaii for a brief period of time when you were about five.

Matt Goebel 05:31

Did I mention that in our first episode?

Brandy Goebel 05:34

At some point I think you did. But you haven't been back to Hawaii since. So that's 40 years.

Matt Goebel 05:42

Yeah, I had these snapshot memories. And even the few memories that I did have were just haunting me. And so to have the opportunity to go back and re-experience some of those things and really.... Because your memories when you're young, they're all kind of hazy and you look back on them and you kind of wonder, 'yeah, but was it really like that?' And so to go back and experience now, in my adult way of thinking, some of those things and confirm some of those things...Yes, shave ice is that amazing.

Brandy Goebel 06:30

You've talked about shave ice, you and your whole family have talked about shave ice, and I'm like, come on. It's just it's like a glorified snow cone. It is a glorified snow cone. But there is a reason it's a glorified snow cone. Because it's so much better than a snow cone.

Matt Goebel 06:44

You wouldn't think a different presentation of the same substance would make such a huge difference. But having those thin shavings of ice as opposed to crushed ice, it's a world of difference.

Brandy Goebel 06:59

And then when you get that little bit of ice cream at the bottom, and then you've got the cream up on top. And when your flavor is pina colada.

Matt Goebel 07:06

Oh, stop it, already!

Brandy Goebel 07:09

So that was a delightful treat that we had.

Matt Goebel 07:13

It was, It was just amazing.

Brandy Goebel 07:13

So we were in Kauai. Let's go back. Let's go back to "Remember When." Remember when we were in Kauai?

Matt Goebel 07:19

A week ago. Yeah, I remember that.

Brandy Goebel 07:25

So we were staying down on the southern coast down on Poipu Beach. But we got to travel really kind of all over the island as much as you can. There are places you just can't go. And there were places that we couldn't go past Hanalei because of the flooding, so there was only so far we could go there. But we really kind of got to experience just sort of that whole coast of Kauai which was just breathtaking. I remember at one point, telling your parents and I think you were in the room too, like thinking about, if this is Kauai like, this is paradise on earth. But what in the world is the new world going to be like, when God creates a new world? You know what I mean?

Matt Goebel 08:13

Yeah, if this is the broken, tainted world we live in and there's places that are this nice, how amazing is it going to be?

Brandy Goebel 08:22

And...oh, man, it was impossible to look at creation in Kauai, and not marvel at God's creativity, and humor, and beauty and all those things. Because, I mean, there were like, five-gajillion different types of trees. That was one of the things that you and I were kind of most impressed with was just the variety and depth of the trees. There were so many different trees. And, you know, we're from the Pacific Northwest, we know trees. We have a lot of trees where we live. And we have a lot of variety of trees. But there was something different about these trees on the island. And it was so beautiful. It was just, it was impossible not to just be in awe of God during that trip. And then to see the fish and the turtles, and...

Matt Goebel 09:19

Yep, it was.

Brandy Goebel 09:22

Pineapple is so good.

Matt Goebel 09:27

But we're not here just to sit here and brag about how we were blessed and what an amazing place it was. There's a reason we're talking about this vacation. It was interesting in talking about it, because we talk about things a little bit before we actually come in to record, we try not to do too much of that because then it'll be stale when we come in and record but we talked about a little bit ahead of time. And it became clear pretty quickly that you and I experienced it through a different framework, we went into it with a different mindset. And so we pulled different things out of the experience. And that's mostly what we wanted to get to today. We both experienced the same place at the same time, and yet, it impacted us differently and go into, you know, kind of why that island what it was that you experienced and that I experienced.

Brandy Goebel 10:35

Yeah, so, for me, so, this trip has been planned for a while. And so I knew it was coming. But it felt like it had kind of been sprung on me where it was like, "This is what's happening, this is what we're doing. We're going to Hawaii in October. This is what's happening." And for me, it immediately raised trepidation because we had a new dog who was destroying our home. We had a daughter who was going back into the public school system for the first time in two years in high school. We were starting this show, and there are deadlines and responsibilities for this.

Matt Goebel 11:24

And we were leaving our soon-to-be 19 year old son in charge of the house and the animals,

Brandy Goebel 11:32

Right. And so there was a lot of just kind of half-terror on my part. Plus, we were going to a place that I've heard so many people talk about how wonderful Hawaii is, and Kauai in particular. And I'm thinking, Okay, great. But I have no frame of reference. I've seen pictures, but you just don't know until you've been to a place what it's going to be like.

Matt Goebel 11:53

The experience of a thing is so much different. And so oftentimes, you'll see pictures of a place and it's like, 'Okay, this is the best possible angle, the best possible viewpoint, it can't really be like that everywhere.'

Brandy Goebel 12:08

Right. And, you know, I've been on an island. I've been to Australia. Australia, and Kauai are very different islands. Very different islands, though, I think similarly shaped.

Matt Goebel 12:23

Maybe a little

Brandy Goebel 12:24

Interesting. But Kauai is completely unlike anything I've ever personally experienced before. And so it felt kind of like going to another country even though we weren't because we're going to be flying over open sea. And that's not something I'm super comfortable with. And there was just a lot of a lot of fear. Because, you know, here you and I are leaving. And I kept envisioning, okay, something terrible is going to happen. Like we're going to fall off the Waimea Canyon, our plane's gonna crash and we're going to die. You know, something bad's going to happening. We're going to leave our children parentless and the dog's going to destroy the house. And like who knows what's going to happen. And sure enough, the very first night that we're in Kauai, I got a text from Evan at midnight saying that Milo had eaten a pillowcase. And the cat had peed somewhere in his room. And he couldn't find where. And I thought, 'Oh, great.''

Matt Goebel 13:23

'This is not helping me relax.'

Brandy Goebel 13:24

Day one and already our house is being destroyed. And from there, I just I couldn't let go. And I knew that I had deadlines and responsibilities for the show. And some other work projects and I left the house messy and all those things. And it was so hard to decompress. Plus, it was humid as possible the first few days. And there were no Trade Winds blowing in. So I was super hot in jeans and T shirts because I had no Hawaii appropriate clothing.

And the first few days I wanted to cry. I enjoyed when we would go out and do something fun, I would enjoy it. But the minute I had time to stop and think I just wanted to cry. And I wanted to be home so bad. And that's a terrible feeling when you're in the middle of Paradise with your spouse and his parents who have graciously blessed you with this trip and all you can feel is not the sense of gratitude that you know you should feel. And so it was really hard. It was really hard to just let go.

So for me, I think the lesson was, and it really came, I think when we went up to Waimea Canyon and we had made a stop the second to the last stop that we made at one of the lookouts and there was a native there who was giving a little lesson on Hawaii.

Matt Goebel 14:59

Yeah and the culture and a little bit of the language.

Brandy Goebel 15:02

Yeah, so will you share with our audience the meaning of Hawaii?

Matt Goebel 15:08 Well, it's made up of several words in the Hawaiian language. And I may not get all of these, right but you've got the HA and VI and E at the end: Hawaii.

And the HA is like the breath of life. And he related the story from you know the Hawaiian myths about the beginning of humanity and about how man was given a breath of life and that changed mankind. Also, you know, being on an island surrounded by salt water, you can imagine the importance of fresh water and that's the VI in Hawaii. Then the last one, the last Hawaiian word in there is just E and that would be their Creator God - being in the presence of Creator God. And so Hawaii is all of the things that they felt were necessary for life.

Brandy Goebel 16:21

Is breath, fresh water, and God.

Matt Goebel 16:23

Yep, there you go.

Brandy Goebel 16:25

And then he went on to talk about what "aloha" means. And he was talking about if Ha means breath then "aloha" is being face-to-face present with somebody and sharing breath.

And for me that was because you know, you go into Hawaii and and you see aloha on everything. And everybody you know, you start a little hula presentation or anything like that and everybody starts with "Alo-ha!" and it just kind of had this kind of cutesy kitschy feel to it until he said "aloha is being the face to face sharing breath, being together." And that, to me, was so rich. And that was - we went to Waimea Canyon - we heard him talk one of our last days. It was pretty close to the end of our trip. But that was when I finally was like, I get it now. Like this is, this is what I'm feeling while I'm here. And this is what's so important about this trip.

And so then today, it was really interesting. I'm going to share this little story because today is Sunday, and so our pastor started a new series, and we're talking about habits of a disciple. So he's talking about the habit of prayer. And he was talking about how prayer is like, how did he describe it?

Matt Goebel 18:00

It was like giving the breath of life that God gave to us back to God. You know, it was a sharing of God's gift to us back with him.

Brandy Goebel 18:14

Right. So it was again, it was that breath and that face-to-face presence sharing intimacy. And so all of a sudden, I turned to Matt and I'd written down on my notes, "prayer is aloha with God." And it just, it kind of wrapped up this whole trip for me in this beautiful package of Aloha. It takes on such new meaning, and such new depth.

And I know that probably that sounds kind of cheesy, but I think that's what I'd been missing prior to vacation. I've been so caught up in the busyness and deadlines and schedules and getting Molly to dance, and taking care of this, that and the other thing, and our house is a mess and the dishes are stacked 10 feet high, and, you know, all that stuff. And I've missed that connection. And I've been trying to be present and in the moment, but that aloha spirit really made me realize that I just don't do a good job of being present and face to face and sharing that breath. And I need to do better with that. I need to do better with that in my relationships with you, and the kids and my friends and extended family. And I need to do better with that in my relationship with God, I need that aloha. I need that time. So that was for me, that was the big lesson.

Matt Goebel 19:50

Yeah, and I think I think for me, well, let me back up just a little bit and say that my work the work that I do, it's not always hugely engaging for my brain. And in a way that is one of the things that I like the most about it because it allows my brain to kind of wander and I get to think about whatever I want to think about while I'm doing my job. And that's a useful thing.

On the other hand, it lets my brain wander where it wants to go. And, and I can pretty easily start to spiral and really get discouraged, get down on myself and my life and you know, how bad things are going and things like that.

Brandy Goebel 20:41

You turn into Eeyore.

Matt Goebel 20:42

Yeah, pretty much. It's easy for me to do that. I'd kind of been in that place prior to vacation, and just really kind of feeling down and discouraged and sort of hopeless. And I think for me, the impact of this trip was to remember that God can make a way where there is no way even in a situation that looks hopeless to us.

Nothing is hopeless with God. God can do anything and accomplish anything in our lives that he sets his mind to.

And the reason for that is, I had been kind of wanting to get back to Hawaii ever since I was little. But that was just never going to happen. With the budget that we've got, the job that I've got, there's no way - no way - that we would ever be able to do that. We're just kind of barely scraping by a good chunk of the time. We live in a pretty expensive part of the world and just to live and make it on a day to day basis around here costs quite a bit. So we're doing pretty good just to manage that. And so to think okay, we're gonna somehow scrape together the money to get Brandy and I these really expensive plane tickets and stay at really expensive places and eat on a really expensive Island... yeah, there is just no way.

And yet, with God, anything is possible. And he made it possible. And he brought hope to a situation where there was no hope, even though this was not like a huge need in our life. I could have lived the rest of my life without going to Hawaii and been okay. So t it wasn't like something that I was crying out to God about and saying, this needs to happen, because it didn't.

Brandy Goebel 22:56

It wasn't necessary for survival.

Matt Goebel 22:59

Well, no. And it might not have even been necessary to accomplish the things that God wanted to accomplish in us. But he blessed us with that, with something that we never could have done on our own.

So just to experience that and experience God's grace and blessing to us on that week of vacation was just fantastic. And also just the amount of time that we were able to be gone. We've never had a vacation as long as this one. This is the longest vacation we've ever had.

Brandy Goebel 23:39

Yeah, I think the longest we've ever been away from our kids is like, two nights.

Matt Goebel 23:44

Yeah, maybe three. But yeah, probably two, possibly three nights. And even before kids the longest you and I had ever been in a vacation setting by ourselves was our week-long honeymoon. And that was it. I mean, that's the longest we'd ever had as a vacation. It was just an incredible blessing.

Brandy Goebel 24:13

Yeah, it really was. And, and again, we're not trying to share this like in a braggy, show-off, "look what we got to do" kind of way because this was this was such a....

Matt Goebel 24:25

It was not our doing.

Brandy Goebel 24:26

It was not our doing. It was such a generous gift that was given to us because God has equipped Matt's parents in such a way that they were able to extend that gift to us. And it was such a blessing and humbling to receive such a gift.

And we're just... what I think what we want to do in this conversation is just, you know, it all goes back to God. Everything points back to God. And because it's all about God, and his gift of grace, and his gift of love, and his sacrifice, and his creation. And everything about this trip pointed back to God in some way, shape, or form, you know?

And I don't know where our listeners are in life. I know some of them are probably doing pretty good and feeling pretty victorious and things and I know others are probably feeling pretty down and struggling and maybe are listening to this going, "Yeah, that's great for you, but that's not how God shows up in my life." And it might not be how God shows up in your life. And that's okay. Trust me. We've been married for 1000 years and this is the first time God's shown up like this in our life with a trip to Hawaii. You know what I mean? That was never something that we would have foreseen, expected or really, I think even hoped for.

But God shows up and has generous gifts for all of us in different packages. I mean, sometimes the best gift you can get is having somebody just smile and say a kind word to you. Like, that's the gift that you needed that day. And that's God's generosity being poured out on you. And I think it's important for us to remember to look for God in the details of our lives. Because I think it's easy to kind of forget.

Matt Goebel 26:35

Yeah, and he shows up in unexpected ways. You might be thinking, as you were saying that, okay, that's, that's great for you, but God doesn't do that sort of stuff in my life. But there's times when God decides to do something new and God's going to show up in a new way, he's going to do something different in your life that he's never done before, and you've never experienced before. So just because things haven't happened that way in the past, does not mean that that's going to continue to be the case. You just don't know.

Brandy Goebel 27:15

Yeah. I think there's hope and there's encouragement. And there's - I don't know - I wish that we could take all of our listeners to Kauai with us, if we ever get to go again. Which, you know, who knows, that may or may not ever happen again.

I know that both you and I really tried to savor every single moment that we had there, so that on those days, when life is hard and discouraging, and it feels like God isn't showing up, we can look back and go, you know, God has shown up. And if God is as creative, and as generous as he is to sea turtles and gives them longevity and sustenance and the ability to survive in a really dangerous world, then, by golly, he's probably watching out for me, too. That's the kind of thing that I hope that we can encourage our listeners with.

Matt Goebel 28:28

You know, thinking about sea turtles, it's kind of like our life here on earth is a little bit like the sea turtles journey out of the egg to the sea. You know, they don't really belong there. They don't move well, it's uncomfortable, they're vulnerable. It's a dangerous, scary world. And then all of a sudden, everything changes. And they find the world that they were meant for and all of a sudden, they have wings. And they can soar in ways that they never thought possible. And it's a whole new experience.

Brandy Goebel 29:12

But I think it's that they have fins and they can swim.

Matt Goebel 29:14

Yeah, but, you know, it's like wings just in the water.

Brandy Goebel 29:19

They have water wings.

Matt Goebel 29:19

You can call them fins if you want, but when you're in the water, those are wings and they can fly.

Brandy Goebel 29:26

That's fair.

Matt Goebel 29:28

And they're graceful, but on on land there, ungainly and awkward and it's not where they want to be. Yeah, it's a little bit like us, you know, ungainly, awkward. We're not where we want to be.

Brandy Goebel 29:46

But we're on the road. We're gonna get there.

Matt Goebel 29:49


Brandy Goebel 29:51

Cool. Well, I don't have anything else.

Matt Goebel 29:53

Yeah, I think I've covered the bulk of what I wanted to share with it. Just hang on to hope. Whatever God has said he wants to do in your life, whatever promise he's given to you, it will be fulfilled. It might not be in the timing that you would like, it might not be in the way that you expect, but God's gonna show up. He's gonna do something new in your life. something new and unexpected and wonderful. Just hang on.

Brandy Goebel 30:26

In the meantime, I think I've eaten too much pineapple because my tongue feels really tingly and weird. A little bit painful. And... I think that's it.

Matt Goebel 30:38

I think so.

Brandy Goebel 30:38

All right. Hey, you guys. Love God. Love people. Pray hard and live aloha. See you next time. Bye.

Matt Goebel 30:48


Brandy Goebel 30:51


Matt Goebel 30:55

That's a taste of vacation right there.

Brandy Goebel 30:56

Vacation in a glass. I really did eat too much pineapple. My tongue feels...raw.

(Musical Interlude) 31:08  

Brandy Goebel 31:22

I was looking through pictures last night, I think it was, when I saw it because I took a picture of that shave ice place in Koloa and I was like, 'aw... I just wanna be back. I want to be eating shave ice with chickens. I love those little rascally chickens. They're so great.