Happy 90th Grandma!

My grandma celebrated her 90th birthday this weekend.

She’s an amazing woman and our family is blessed by her legacy of love.

Here’s a post written in honor of her:


At just under five feet (4’ 10” but please don’t tell her) she stands taller than nearly anyone I know.

She is the matriarch of our big, fun-loving Catholic family.

Olive Alzera Morte was born in the little town of Paia on Maui on October 8, 1926. She was the ninth of nine children; she was raised in paradise before it was truly recognized.

Sadly, her father the hard working sugar plantation manager died when she was only eight years old.
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I’ll Be Praying for You

Not long ago I received a text message from a man who’s been attending our church for as long as I can remember.

In it, he described how his wife had been hospitalized and was awaiting surgery. He wanted to get a care plan in place so when she was released everything would be running as smooth as possible.

I called him and talked through the plan. He updated me in the following days with her status. Information was exchanged over a week or so until I saw him at the church that Sunday.

He talked me through everything. All of it. What led to the hospital visit, what they did for her there, the plan afterwards, literally every detail.

I stood there with him and finally something clicked…
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I can’t. He can. Let Him.

I’m a big fan of summaries.

Sometimes (okay, okay often) when Hailey gets home from school with a really long, drawn-out and dramatic story I just want her to give me the highlights.

In high school I loved Cliffs Notes. Whatever book we were supposed to read in class was summarized beautifully in a few pages. They provided just enough detail to convince the teacher you’d read the assigned chapters.

At the weekly men’s recovery group I attend a man recently summarized the first three principles of recovery as far as he understood them.
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We Kin

When others label and write them off,
We see a family member. We See Kin.

While some see them as an enemy,
We choose to see them as friend.

Some see trouble, an unnecessary risk,
We see one whose life is a precious gift.

mama baptism






We See Kin.

Some call them stranger, an unwelcome alien,
We welcome and make space. We Be Kin.

When others heap judgment, guilt and shame,
We look them in the eyes and call them by name.

Some build a wall to divide, separate and disgrace,
We build bridges, we unite, with a welcome embrace.









We Be Kin.

It’s not us versus them, they or those, it’s just us.
Why? Because. We Kin.

When society screams, “You’ve done enough! Get out!”
We gently and decidedly whisper, “Come back in.”

When others are demonized, demoralized and ostracized,
We search and gather. We make room, we restore and reenergize.






We Kin.

We don’t hate, we love.
We don’t harm, wound or kill, we heal.
We don’t exclude, bar or banish, we welcome.

We See Kin. We Are Kin. We Be Kin.

We Kin.