Thursday, September 19, 2013

At the heart of all

Simply struck by the chord where the heart is purest, I snapped a photo to capture the awesomeness of hope and love.
Sealed moments of love's expression are ingrained in our minds.  They invite us to want more, for ourselves, our loved ones, and ultimately for the world.
The fairy tale lives in our hearts as it does at the heart of God's creation, and regardless of the ease with which we enter and stay in a relationship, the dance takes work and practice.
Between Princess Kate and Prince William, I see a heart, and within it, ours.
Love stories never really end as relationships sometimes do.  Why?
Well, once love is felt, love continues to live, not even just as a memory that engraves our hearts, but in the very spirit that embraces its own reality.
The soul encases a glimpse of God's Holy Spirit as an ever source of pure love.  While a representative of our very being, it carries the legacy we provide back to our Maker.  The soul within us is the life and light of God; it's as if we borrow the possibility to live on earth as it is in heaven, and though all our conditions are unique, our free will is given to us with a purpose to  fulfill our best possible gift to the world.  I believe we are free to choose but the lessons we learn and teach have been assigned.
I encourage you to exercise true silence.
Journal your mind's observations.
Write your heart's mirrored emotions in phrases, sentences, or one word at a time.
We know far more than we realize.  Our subconscious gathers a fountain of observations and nudges us to recognize the obvious.  If we can practice being alert to our breadth, we can feel relieved, and slowly let go of what keeps us from grasping better, wiser opportunities.
Resolving conflicts begins with a splash of silence.  Take the moment to write it all down.
Search for observations and call them known facts, write them down.
Scoop, and dust all emotions on a page and call them feelings.
Embrace yourself, close your eyes, and ask for pointers as you breathe in and out.
At the heart of all is a reason.
At the heart of all is an emotion.
At the heart of all, our Holy Spirit never leaves us.
On April 29, 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, at the balcony with onlookers below, glanced heavenward.
I am so happy to have captured the moment as I stayed awake all night to view the ceremony, and embraced a book entitled, DIANA.
I share this with love for all that is good and pure at the heart of all in life.

April 29, 2011Add caption



Victor Hugo

Friday, July 26, 2013


The essence of preparing for a tea is a celebration of sorts.  Tea is a pleasure acquired by choice. It is a way to indulge in harmony because it beckons sincere conversation.  A lot of understanding is steepened over tea.
My dearest friend, Jeannette, and Tea Pots...
Two proper tea cups will do, four or more invite added conversation, and the outpour of black or green tea from the pot, serves sensible sips to be savored along subjects of the heart that really matter.  Ladies and gentlemen gathered to share a designed moment for tea time, recall them privately.  That is the point of joining with others for the ceremony of tea.

And, when we take sitting down seriously to partake in tea, I like to quote Charles Dickens : "To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature.  I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart."  This is precisely how I feel about tea time with friends or family.  In general, we converse of happy things to lift all hearts though  I have heard heavy burdens sipping tea with tears.   It is indiscreet to be offended by a friend's discreet confession of a sorrow.  The mere gift of time to chat over tea gives way to a comfort not forgotten.  It is more than something to do.  It is something to think about when it is happening.
Setting a table is a welcome sign of love...
So, how did my dream of having a tea room where quiet chatter laced with whimsical laughter begin?  I think it was like the steeple I overlooked since childhood as I scurried until the need to give what I could knocked at my door.
Tea time is an exercise I wish I had started with my four sons at an early age, back when I could have fluttered their magic imaginations with smiles and kisses.  I simply did not consider it for boys.
Fortunately, however, soon after we moved to Maui in 1992, God granted our two "kiddles in the middle" a friend whose Mom, Mrs. Thomas, sweetly scheduled time for tea in the mid of their play, mid afternoon.  Well, not the kind in tea rooms, but nonetheless a break from the trampoline romp for a revitalization of spirits with water and treats.  She called it "tea time".  One of their happiest childhood memories will always be treasured in the company of a friend whose Mom called them in for tea.  This is a priceless gift for you to share with others as well.
And so, soon thereafter, when the school our oldest son attended, asked parents to volunteer for their annual fund raiser or donate money towards its success, I offered a High Tea in our home.  The mere idea surprised me.  That was the beginning of the tea room  dream: My Friend's Tea Room.  I can assure you dreams evolve with careful planning, but the ground had been also tilled in my own upbringing and then seeded by the parent of a boy my sons called their best friend.
My Mom's wood-burned table laden with sweets

I began to create favors called Prayer Pockets.  With a sheet of paper folded twice so open it had three sections, I positioned a picture of an angel pointing upwards towards where my dear friend Jeannette labeled "Everything will be All Right,"in the center fold.   After printing as many as were needed, I taped the back and bottom to form the Prayer Pockets.  Inside each one, I tucked two index cards, one with a favorite quote, and a blank one for the receiver to use privately at a later date to write a prayer, a wish or a dream.  As the guests chose their seats, I suggested they read the quote in the Prayer Pocket to themselves, and be prepared to either share it during tea time or tell how it relates to their lives.  It was a satisfying endeavor as everyone searched to discover their assignment.
Let me reassure you of this: hearts open like the floodgates of heaven in the cozy of trust.  The stories poured.  Cream for some.  A sugar cube, or nude (as a Russian lady surprisingly said once), or a dab of honey, reflected personal preferences in taste and that without judgement.   I served homemade scones and mini sandwiches... Each prepared with love was, and still is, my ultimate gift for friends and family.  I noticed eyes of all ages dance from cup to cup, and lips lick savory tea treats.  I witnessed words appear as if freshly written on wet sand.  The company of two, four or more was and still is an inspiration for "hospitali-tea".
With her dearest Marguerite...their treat for me
My dearest friend, Susan...on Oahu...

   The mere preparation for sharing tea time with another evokes presence.

...I was invited to tea on Oahu while visiting son#3, as he introduces himself...    

Doesn't awareness have a whisper of divinity?  It's as free as the air we breathe....
I chime with Chaim Potok who so tenderly said,"Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things"...

Monday, July 15, 2013

As Dusk Shades Appear

It is the beginning of the evening. Some cooing and chirps call for feathered tweeters to settle on branches and are slowly more sparsely heard from afar; nearby, some flutters ruffle the monkey pod tree leaves good night.  The palms barely sway to wave the breeze gone by.

Shoulder to shoulder at rest...
 Upcountry the island is quiet and tonight I feel the ache of an imminent goodbye. Gazing down the mountain, I whisper: farewell Aloha State. Makena's sandy beach captured my heart with a feast of its daily blue, turquoise buffet of colors majestically present in a God given portrait.
Dear second cousin, Nick... 
 I say farewell greenery splashed with peach,pink, purple, yellow, red, white, and blue blooms.

 In Hawaii lives a favored paradise on earth where people like you and me, imperfect humans, strive like all others, all over the world, to survive.  To have missed a day of its splendor is by choice.  No matter what troubles fall upon us, God cuddles us with intricately designed flowers, fruits and herbs.  Even the weeds appear too pretty to pluck from the rich soil.  When the sun glimmers on these, unnamed hues appear, and heaven is nearer than I thought, I think.
 Here days and months feel like reflective moments in time when we come to know much of what we wished to have known from birth. The island overflows with love. However, its devilishness slithers because it is after all a place on earth inhabited by us, humans. To weigh the good against the bad upon God's scale, no doubt lifts us as better than bad because to live Aloha is more than a greeting. Aloha becomes us. As I feel we may be leaving, I pray Maui,in the shape of a woman's profile, be kept serene, be safe from thievery, corruption, and misguided beliefs. May its people wake each morning grateful for its pristine land, the aina, that bears fruits and vegetables fit for all its royal folks. May its people remember to thank God. It seems obvious that living here is a blessing bestowed by our Almighty. Whether born here or not, being a part of this community invites cooperation to serve our best character. Friends,family, and acquaintances are always excited to meet in a store. The reunion is cause for chit chat and laughter. I regard the meetings heart handshakes. I pray all lessons learned can appease us and others. As dusk shades appear to blanket the parade of foliage and flowers in our garden, I pray the stars that light the sky so brightly tonight, remain in my heart as the light of God I saw in the people of Maui. Mahalo means Thank you... Aloha means love, welcome, hello, and good bye... Maui No Ka Oi...Maui, we are the best...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friendships and Freckles

I must have been six years old when Muema, my sitter in Brazil, sat with me on the front steps to our modest little house in Rio de Janeiro. Her brown, wavy hair was bleached by the sun with streaks of red and her skin shone bronze; I said I wished to be so beautiful,when she pointed to a good sized freckle on my left wrist. She said that was pretty to her, "muitu lindo", very pretty she said twice. It was like a speck of hope. I was sure soon my arms and legs and face would turn that fine shade of brown. It was a moment. We giggled and sat across from the majestic mango tree. How long does it take to firm up a memory that continuously brings joy? We bond in conversation or through an experience of being there, fully aware of one another. Togetherness is like being tucked by marshmallows in a heartfelt hug.
One by one we gather friends with memories and wear them with a smile. They are like in a string of pearls and they become us. True friends infuse a glow in our lives; we look forward to the next chat about this and that. Friends lift and sift our tales with an unconditional wish for a better outlook and outcome in our lives.
If you care to know the yearning in another's soul as a limb holds its leaves and blossoms, you are a friend. About fifty-four years ago I learned how it feels to have one like that. She read my youthful yearning and showed me how to count my blessings with the one freckle I named Muema. And now I have so many more. Yes, friendships and freckles go hand in hand for me. Can you remember that one point in time with someone who defines friendship 'till this day?

May the Peace of God be with you

All secrets are known to Him whose light beams from within us.  I know that to be true because there is no greater wealth or peace on earth than a clear conscience.  The gnawing of all wrongdoing manifests itself regardless of denial.  God's kindness is in his correction, and no one gets away with harm, ever.  I rest and lean on Him to provide the peace we can all achieve by simply living in the truth.
In memory of dearest Ethel...

God grants us free will and forgiveness.  However,we reap what we sow.  We are the farmers of our life, living in the land of our bodies, attended by the warmth of our hearts, and guided by the light of our souls.  We depend on one another for sustenance, and the brightest among us have created an enormously comfortable way of life in the United States of America.  Despite political differences, and the present government run wild to take away from people who rose in material possessions, Americans at large have embraced every man and woman from all walks of life, creed, and race, to the near point of freedom extinction.  The naivete is evident.  The givers and the receivers have been duped.  Common sense has been forgotten with God in the back burner.
The insanity of shouting, accusing, attacking, and disguising the problem of corruption at the core of our being for not taking full responsibility to do the very best we can by serving without abusing he very great majority that gives hard earned money in earnest.  Many have gotten used to riding on the wings of a state that provides and the state has accumulated voters by overlooking abuse, just as the abusers accept the corruption at the top.  This is a pathetic spin whirling us into a crash.
God knows all.  Those of us who pray in churches or at home, on a walk, or while driving, know in our gut evil has flung to smear, confuse, and destroy the very essence of what is honorable, noble, and good.
Orthodox Church in Bayard, Nebraska
Religion has been bashed because believers have erred, made mistakes, committed crimes, sinned, knowingly or unknowingly, as all humans do, even atheists.
We hold clergy to a higher standard, as we should all professionals, and in a perfect world, no one would err.  Face we must the image in the mirror, and decide to live a more godly life.  C. S. Lewis said, "What saves a man is to take a step.  Then another step."
I rest in God's cradle of the ancient church.  I pray for me too these days, and for all whom I have met in my entire life.  One night I crossed myself to sleep remembering each departed soul I once met in this journey called life.   My heart really feels like a cup of gold when I seek our Lord.
Labyrinth at Kaanapali
However, it is a huge disappointment to be living at a time when lies are openly spoken, the truth shamefully denied, and our trust is tarnished by unclear messages circulating literally everywhere.  Our moral compass is cracked.
 I pray my sons are better men than those who successfully achieve status immersed in deceptive garb.  The wolves wear sheep's clothing.  It breaks my heart to see the crowds cheering on misleading speeches about the greatest cover up of Benghazi.
Evil recruits evil doers; the enemy, entices every human being into a little more sin.  We are witnesses to a tug of war.
Consider Denis Waitley who said, " A life lived with integrity--even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shinning star in whose light others may follow in the years to come."  Atheism, Communism, Sharia Law, and Socialism have proven to be oppressive forces denying the light given to every human being to shine as no other.  Those who support the views of Atheists, Communists, Sharia Law, and Socialism are intruders in our America.  They are either truly ignorant or have been bought off by the group that rides with the Federal Reserve to destroy the only country on earth where freedom does still exist.  We have politicians who lack integrity, and they are misleading our nation for personal gain.  It is wrong to join their One World Order cause even though it looks like they are close to collapsing the dream of our forefathers.
The two greatest sources of wealth on earth are available at once.  Live a life of integrity to know the peace of God.  Albert Einstein wrote, " The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth."
As you plan and schedule happiness, God inevitably pours out joy.  Happiness is not achieved at the expense of another's unhappiness.
A candle in my kitchen 
Humility needs to be cultivated and that's easy too.  Once again I quote C.S. Lewis," Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."  We must always consider the other children of God, Atheists included.
This is not a perfect world, but if we must join forces, let it be in step with our Lord.  We may be called to join a church for a greater sense of community, and we trust that we are on the road to fulfilling our best possible purpose on earth.  No one escapes the hour of departure from this life, and to disbelieve our trespasses matter, is certainly foolish.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best," All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."  String these words as pearls and feel them.

Truth cannot be distorted. Reality cannot be disguised. Both can be misunderstood by humans, neither by our God.
Hula at Hope Chapel in Kihei

We are on stage for heaven to see our actions and hear our words. I wouldn't put it past God to have our lives on a reel so all can watch how we mustered up among ourselves. We will all have fallen short of perfect.
 Nevertheless, the pivot point is in all of us who realize our mistakes.  God's Son, Jesus, lends grandeur to those who humbly and honestly ask to be forgiven.
Strive to serve mankind with goodness.
War is not the answer, love is. However, our freedom in this greatest country on earth, has been upheld by young, agile men and women who have been in the battlefields to protect it. I pray for their strength to leave home determined to gain and maintain the Republic of our founding fathers. I pray their hearts and minds can withstand the unthinkable meeting with opposition and possible harm.
Our calling is always to be constructive, not destructive.  We have to dig for the passion to do good. We can begin by honoring our divine nature.
Let us all pray for world peace.
May His peace with us.

Be the light....

Almost thirty years ago, I was faced with the task of writing a short article encouraging a group of ladies to become involved in certain community projects.  As the daughter of a faithfully prayerful couple, I turned to God to ask for help, and with pen in hand, I wrote : "The sky can never have too many stars; there is room for everyone to shine, including you."  I blush to think of the enthusiasm these words stirred in me.
God knows our hearts and bestows blessings that arrive even when we are unaware.  I had something best known as an inferiority complex, and that lovely phrase lit my heart to ignite the courage to write.  Back then, I used the phrase in a newsletter and it was intended to encourage others to share their best talent.  I was on the right track, and I hope it made a difference for others as time passed by, and now can be a gift for you.
I would like to invite you to reflect.  Chew the thoughts that come to your mind, write them down, and let the flavors of emotions speak for themselves.
What can we do to shine in our lives?  Can we merge with others in their light to serve our best to our family, friends, community, country, and world ?
Can you see what I see?

To shine, to be the light, means to be consciously aware of doing what is right in the same way we dutifully wash our hands throughout the day as we move from task to task. It is essential that we be responsibly clean in every way.  Why?  Integrity matters.

To shine means to open our hearts to serve with true candor in a field that excites us, in which we can be immersed for hours on end and not feel exhausted.  Dr Depak Chopra calls it being in "dharma".
Our uniqueness is called forth to serve our best to everyone we encounter.  Our uniqueness is our niche in the universe designed to accomplish extraordinary things needed by others who have an equally important service to share.  If, in everything we do, we give needed attention, order unfolds surprisingly integral.  Say from the clean dishes at hand to the sound of our satisfaction when we speak to anyone.  Discovering our niche leads to a state of happiness that is very likely contagious.
Attention to detail beckons wholesomeness.  I dare suggest that just the same, apart from this earthly plane, our God grants a part of His illuminance in view of the sun, the moon, and the stars.  His attention to His creation is lucidly displayed to be felt by all the people around the world.

At a glance our eyes impart the light...

I trust we learn and teach from the moment of conception. Each one of us enters life with a significant purpose in vastly different, unique circumstances.
Our free will challenges us to make choices, and the most important one is to recognize our relationship with the Almighty God, Creator of all.  If we disregard the importance of acknowledging His grandness, we take for granted our skin, our veins, our muscles, our bones, our brain, our heart, and our soul.
Our capacity "to be" is packaged to fulfill a divine lesson to be learned and to be taught almost instantaneously.  Emily Dickenson said it best: "To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else."...We can dwell in that possibility :-)...

Father an son...
God's amazing grace pours through us.  We feel good.  We can
choose to feel better.  We can ask God to give us a sign...and I know without a doubt we are never alone.
When I choose to be still and sincerely ask for His favor,
I am filled with completeness.
Schedule a half hour to be still...and quietly ask at your will...
God is pure joy.  I know you'll know because you will feel naturally joyful, contagiously free to be you.
His divine love manifests as a wholesome inner peace we feel within our being and with others.  When we feel harmonious, we are filled with His Holy Spirit.  Our soul contains a ray of His light.
Therefore, just as He is present for the asking, we too can be there for our family, friends, and fellow human beings.

Brotherly flightiness...
We can correct paths of greed, corruption, and deception.
We can change.
We can choose our attire.
We can choose to model what we wish we could have known prior to making mistakes.  No one is perfect as our Lord Jesus Christ who came to reconcile us to God, our Father.
It is to the benefit of the world at large to choose to know, and to keep the Ten Commandments.  No one can boast of never having broken one.  The tablets simply gift a path of inner light, peace, and joy.
Humans err.  Our trials can be reduced by knowing and obeying the commandments given to Moses by God.  Unbelievers too can read them to assess their value in every day life.  They pose no threat.  They are a guide of respect, of the acknowledgement that every human being has a manual that can keep us healthier, safer, and lovelier.
 We are imperfect human beings, but all of us can, should, or even must, at some point in time, repent.                
 We all fall short of perfection, but we are here together and have a right, perhaps a duty, to help improve, to spread the light of life and love.  It is the only way we can be friends.
Charles Hanson Towne said, "Indeed, we do not really live unless we have friends surrounding us like a firm wall against the winds of the world."...I don't know about you, but I hope more and more of us choose to shine so brightly, the choice for the rest will be to live as friends, in harmony where peace can abide.  May all of us together be the wall against evil forces.  I can think of no greater gift to our Creator.
A dear friend taught his daughters to strive to "be better, smarter, stronger, wiser" than before.  That in itself is a good goal.
Mai and Douglas 

So much of what we say and do depends upon what we learn, and God bless Ayn Rand for writing in Atlas Shrugged that the mind is the tool for our survival.  The knowledge we absorb directs the world we live in.

I have placed these thoughts as if on a platter.  Take them in your possession and nourish your relationships step by step, day to day.  The path we walk is eternally ours.
From a mixture of immaturity and ignorance, I hurt myself as I hurt others, and I am so sorry for all the wrongs.  Paul Boese wrote, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."  The forgiver is as blessed as the forgiven.  We need to forgive ourselves as we forgive others, and as we ask God to forgive us.
Words can be delicious to our ears, like when we hear, "I love you."
Nancy Reagan never heard her husband use profanity.  That is a clear legacy mankind can respect and become determined to follow.  I wish I were in his ranks, but I can remember to be better, wiser than before.
Maya Angelou wrote," When you know better you do better."
Elizabeth facing a shark...
Ultimately, I wish we could all strive to eradicate lies with a swat.
The misconstruction of truth is readily overlooked to the extent that people betray laws to support corruption.
The users use the used to achieve control over them as puppets.  This sort of wrongdoing is as ramped as swearing.  Recognize and reject waddling in a gutter full of mud.
The lies, the foul language, the manipulation of facts are tributes of disrespect to the God in heaven Who knows the truth.
It is hard being human with distractions, temptations, and addictions but it is absolutely freeing to navigate away from the danger of lacking integrity.   Seize the opportunity to self-reliant.
Unethical people cannot be trusted.
I wish you discernment to shift gears to travel safely on the road of life.  Regrets are a sorry sight to observe plus dishonesty wraps a false cape of pride that is shameful.
God's wisdom nugget came to me in a thought : there is room for you to shine.
Walk and talk like a star.
Let all who see you and hear you feel the light of your presence.
Exercise your God given talent, and do it honorably.