A resolution to finding your Aloha

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Media & Blog | 0 comments

Sitting in a cozy coffee shop in Laguna Beach, I continued eating my chocolate croissant and sipping my espresso latte as I listened to my nephew Jordan recap his recent adventure to Hawaii. He had received a Dear John text from his now ex girlfriend on the plane ride over, he had been caught in a riptide and dragged out to sea, he hiked and fell down a mud bank, and he was confounded with the most treacherous surf break on the North Shore: Rockpiles. It tempts you to take a ride, yet will drop you into a volcanic rockpile if you fall.  I quite didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or just hug him and say, ”I am soooo sorry!” He concluded his tale with, “But you know what Aunt Lisa? It was the best trip I ever had. I found my Aloha.”  “What’s that?” “It’s finding your inner peace in the middle of chaos,” he said. “Of letting life happen around you, knowing that there is actually something bigger, more beautiful going on at the same time. Though you don’t see it, it is definitely there. If you just wait, it will unfold in its due time,” my nephew spoke like a wise old sage.  Banging my coffee mug on the wooden table, I declared, “I want that!”  Not realizing that I had opened the door to finding my Aloha, God heard my request and started designing a tailor-made course just for me. Had I had known that, my request would not have been so hastily blurted out.  And so my Aloha adventure began… My daughter, her friend, and I were planning to catch an early morning flight to Mammoth rendezvousing with Jordan later that day. As we awaited to board, with half opened eyes, I noticed the flight attendants – rather than boarding the plane, huddled together in discussion.  “Due to severe tailwinds, the flight to Mammoth is cancelled. There will be no other flights until Tuesday. Thank-you for your patience.”  “What? Flight cancelled? No! Thank you for my patience? I am not giving it to you!”  “But mom,” my daughter tearfully looked at me. “Can’t we go to Mammoth? Can’t we just drive?”  Drive? I snobbishly thought. That’s out of the question. Me drive? Seven hours… Oh no, no no. If I can’t fly I just won’t…  “Mom,” her plaintive voice interrupted my trance. “Can’t we just drive?”  The alarm clock woke me up like a slap in the face. Knowing that I had a seven hour trip ahead just made it all the more irritating. Pouring myself what seemed to be an unusually bitter cup of coffee, I headed in the dark to pick up Jordan.  “Good morning Aunt Lisa!” he cheerfully announced like another slap in the face.  “No, it’s not morning. It’s still dark. There’s nothing good about this,” I most definitely...

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Commentary: The Turkey Day challenge: liking the family

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Media & Blog | 0 comments

It’s that day again, Thanksgiving, the day we love to hate as we hate that we still love the people who drive us crazy. Rather than thinking about the pumpkin pie yet to be eaten, we are remembering who it is we will be eating with. Some of us are flat-out fed up before we even start chowing down. “She still has never apologized for that! What does she think I am, chopped liver?” And so with all this swirling in my head, I offer a Turkey Day challenge: To let go, laugh and sit next to the people who, frankly, you can’t stand. We can do this, like a secret pact. Here’s my recipe: * SUCK IT UP PIE 2 cups of suck it up 1 cup of amnesia 3 cups of memories of all the great times 3/4 cups bite your tongue 1 tablespoon of why not try this for one day 1 pound of forgiveness 2 pounds of laughter, (if not real, may substitute fake — no one will know the difference) * Mix ingredients in one big bowl. Beat fast and furiously until all the anger and resentment surface. Wait for one big sigh of relief, then stop. Sprinkle with I’m ready to let it go. Let the tears rise to the top, and skim off the disappointment that things did not turn out the way you imagined. Set it aside and detach from expectation. Now stir in hope for a better future. Add excitement that all things work for good in the end. And if it’s not good now, then it’s not the end. Spread forgiveness evenly over the past, in a non-stick pan so it won’t stick to the future when it’s taken it out. Bake at 450 degrees until golden brown. Take out of the oven, removing all the burned edges of the past, throwing parts in the trash when appropriate, and sprinkle with love. Cut into pieces and serve with a smile that feels or at least looks genuine. Again if not real, fake it until you make it. No one will ever know the difference. That alone is grin-worthy. * THINK ABOUT THE TURKEY OK, all kidding aside, I do think about the turkey, poor guy, who gave up his life so we could all be united around the table, thanking God for a free country, knowing we are free to worship with family in the land of opportunity. I think about the first Thanksgiving in the 1600s, and the Wampanoag Native Americans who opened their land to the new intruders, teaching them how to fish and grow corn to stay alive. What must it have taken to see a new people colonize the very land that was yours for 12,000 years after sharing and sacrificing for the strangers. One day before the feast, the Native Americans heard gunshots. Assuming...

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In the Throne Room

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Media & Blog | 0 comments

It was the night before my daughter was going to Washington D..C. on a field trip. Earlier that day she had seen a documentary preparing her for the trip. In the movie, it revealed the Unnamed Soldiers Grave, a grave cite dedicated to all the soldiers that died for our country, yet couldn’t be found. This touched her immensely, as every night for the past two years, at the end of our prayers, she prays for the soldiers. “Keep them warm and safe. Help their families not miss them. and bring them home.” I have always been amazed at her heartfelt compassion, as I never prodded any of her prayers. These prayers were straight from the heart. ‘Mom,” she said solemnly, “they are going to pick someone to lay a wreath on the soldier’s grave. I want them to pick me.” “Well honey, how many children are they choosing from?” I questioned, preparing her for the reality of the impossible. “Eighty eight.” She said confidently, not grasping what I was gently try to tell her. “If they pick me, I need to have my shirt ironed. There can’t be one wrinkle in it, because it shows honor and respect. So, can you do it for me?” “Of course, honey” I responded futilely ironing away. Doesn’t she get that one in eighty eight odds, is just not going to happen?? As a mother, I didn’t want to get her hopes up when they called another name. So, I had to prepare her for the truth. “Do you think that one in eighty eighty is a good chance/” Okay, this has to bring some reality into the picture. “Maybe mom, if we pray. So, let’s be sure my shirt is perfectly pressed.” I kissed her good-bye, in her perfectly pressed white shirt, feeling as proud as any mother could be. My little girl, so confident, so full of belief, off to Washington D.C. Okay, what do I do now? She still has hope, and I have none. I need to pray, not just an ordinary prayer, but a really big one for my little girl. I drug out two chairs, and placed each one side by side at the end of the hallway. One for Father God, and one for Jesus. I didn’t want to pray from my cozy chair on earth, I wanted to go directly to the Throne Room. And so I knelt before the chairs, and started my prayer. “Father God and Lord Jesus, I am coming to you in the Throne Room, and laying a request before you. My daughter loves the soldiers, she has been praying for them for two years straight. She wants to lay a wreath on their grave, and she believes that she will be chosen. I know this is beyond impossible. But I am coming to you, and asking, ‘Will you do...

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