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KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong’s mo‘opuna Naiwiola and Pāmaikealohamauloa serve as inspiration for this week’s devotional. Kahu reflects on their growth and maturity while challenging us to do the same with ourselves as we reflect on the unprecedented year of 2020.

Weekly devotional: E hoʻomau i ka ulu ‘ana – Continue to grow

Jan. 4, 2021

  • Alohi Bikle

Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.

Heluhelu Baibala
Scripture reading

A nui aʻela ua keiki lā, a ikaika aʻela hoʻi kona manaʻo, a piha i ka naʻauao, a ma luna ona ke aloha o ke Akua. – Luka 2:40

Now the Child continued to grow and to become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him. – Luke 2:40

He manaʻo o ke kahu
KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong KSK’74

Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year! I hope you had a refreshing break. I know I did. My wife and I spent the two weeks in Honolulu with two of our moʻopuna (grandchildren), Naiwiola and Pāmaikealohamauloa. We hadn’t been with them since the Independence Day weekend and are amazed at their growth.

Yes, we had FaceTimed with them often but being there in person, over an extended period, you begin to see how much they had matured. We arrived in time to celebrate Naiwiola’s fourth birthday. He was jabbering away excitedly.

“It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday!” Over the last five months, his speech has become clearer and more distinct. His mental ability has grown as he was able to look at the plans for a Lego set and see what steps needed to be done. I don’t know how many times I was corrected with, “No PAPA not that one, THIS one,” and, “It goes here.”

Pāmaikealohamauloa, who turns seven, three and a half weeks after Naiwiola turned four, has grown so much during this time of distance and hybrid learning. As an independent learner, her mental processing developed, enabling her to move forward at her own pace. I watched her run through the design thinking steps of empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing to create “products.” A large cardboard box that a Christmas gift came in, quickly turned into a house with windows, a skylight, a mailbox, a door with a lock and a doorbell.

We don’t really notice growth until we intentionally look back to see where we were then and where we are now. The year 2020 was a year of challenge, of retooling and adjusting; of learning new skills and ways of doing things. There has been growth and maturity. Even if you failed along the way and may not have found the exact answer you were looking for, you at least found one more way to not do something. You are not the same person you were nine months ago, and that’s a good thing. You have grown.

As you look forward to the new opportunities that 2021 has for you, remember that, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (II Timothy 1:7) The difficulties of the past serve as a foundation for growth in the future. So continue to grow and step forth boldly knowing that ke Akua has given you ka ‘uhane Hemolele (holy spirit) to guide you and strengthen you.

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