Sunset in Tahiti

Sunset in Tahiti

I took this photo over two weeks ago during my honeymoon in Tahiti. When one is in the South Pacific for the first time, it is crucial to capture such a scene. I stood on the deck of our overwater bungelow suite on the island atoll called Tikehau. I’m so glad that I took this picture. Who knows when my wife and I will ever be able to return to French Polynesia.

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A Newly Married Man

I am sixteen days into marriage.  It might be way too early to write something meaningful.  For whatever the reason, something goads me to set my fingers typing away on my wireless keyboard attached to my iPad mini.  Gone are the days of wedding preparations, anxious nights about the wedding day itself, and the heightened sense of urgency to check things off of the proverbial list.

In many ways, things began to settle down over the honeymoon.  Now, I must confess that the first half of my honeymoon still had some leftover energy from the wedding and its associated emotions.  On some level, this surprised my wife and me as we had hoped to catch up on sleep.  Things did not work out that way.  Part of that had to with the weather on Tikehau in French Polynesia.

My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Tahiti, but specifically, on the islands of Tikehau and Moorea.  We had five nights in the former and three in the latter.  Tikehau is an island atoll in the shape of a ring with a lagoon in the center.  It lacks mountains to absorb the wind and rain.  For thirty-six hours, Tikehau experienced heavy rain and wind.  We stayed in a gorgeous, overwater bungelow, but that meant we heard the wind and the waves.

Needless to say, sound sleep alluded us for a bit.  We took afternoon naps and did absolutely nothing in the way of adventure.  That being said, the sea remained a little rough shortly after the weather passed, so taking a boat tour wouldn’t work.  My wife and I had plenty of time together reading, talking, napping, and enjoying the amazing South Pacific island.  Tikehau really is a quiet  place for solitude and relaxation.

There were a few moments where my wife asked me to pray for her.  She had been hoping to catch up on sleep while in Tikehau.  Instead, her sleep pattern was way off, which caused more anxiousness in her.  During our five nights on Tikehau, the Lord answered each prayer that I lifted up to him for my wife and us.  Part of me should not be shocked or surprised by this display of grace and goodness from God.  He loves his children like a father.  Each time God answered a prayer, it caused me to stop and reflect on his nature.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I am newly married.  I have a lifetime to develop into more of the man and husband that God has called me to be with my wife.  The following scripture verse has been swirling around my mind and heart over the last week:        

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, ESV).

It is my hope and prayer to continue living out this passage.  I want the Lord to answer my prayers for my wife and family.  She is my partner in building a home and our future family.  We both know and love the our Father in heaven.  She has been a recipient of God’s extravagant grace in Christ, which is my testimony, too.  Through the verse in 1 Peter 3:7, I hear the voice of the Good Shepherd calling me to embrace the truth contained in it.  I must follow my shepherd wherever he leads me.

Moorea Beach Cafe

Moorea Beach Cafe

Last Sunday, my wife and I ate dinner at the Moorea Beach Cafe (www.mooreabeachcafe.com) during our honeymoon in Tahiti. The owner of the restaurant is a Frenchman by the name Bruno Jamais. He is a jovial fellow who knows how to run a restaurant. Prior to ordering our entrees, Bruno came over to our table to chat for several minutes. We were one of his many stops that night.

Bruno is a fascinating man. He walked away from a successful restaurant business in Manhattan back in 2010. Many of the rich and famous dined at his New York place over the last two decades. Bruno still has connections in the Big Apple. He makes the trip back East from time to time; however, Bruno has closed the door on New York and the corresponding lifestyle associated with the rich and famous.

Before Bruno opened the Moorea Beach Cafe on the island of Moorea, he traveled the world for about twelve months in search of a different life. New York’s fast pace and rat race lifestyle became objectionable to Bruno on all fronts. He no longer wanted to chase after the dollar, the latest hip trend, or finegle the latest celebrity. He wanted a simpler life, which he found in Tahiti on the island of Moorea.

Bruno told my wife and me to beware of chasing after material things. He encouraged us to pursue the abundant life in so many words. In no way am I suggesting that our conversation turned toward leading Bruno to Christ; however, I did sense that our Savior might be doing a work in this famous restaurant owner from France. He certainly made it clear to my wife and me that going after what is real and from the heart reigns supreme.

If any of my readers and followers make it to Tahiti, and Moorea to be exact, check out Bruno’s tantalizing beach front restaurant. It exudes a Hollywood/New York feel with a European flair wrapped in South Pacific beauty. Order the braised lamb shank, but split it. After the meal, chat with Bruno for some wisdom about life and what it means to go after it with all your heart.