I was planning to be a tourist.

My people… I have come home to you.

I hesitate to say “had to go” because it really was a great gift… I took advantage of an opportunity to go to Hawaii for some work meetings.

Luckily enough I was able to fit in a couple extra days before the meetings started.

I was planning to be a tourist and walk miles of beaches filled with surfers / surfboards / and all those cute little beach huts that you see in the movies.  Meet some locals / eat some delicious seafood / sip on colorful drinks topped with pineapple and umbrellas.

Maybe I was on a different island.

Instead… I got a spiritual 2 x 4 upside the head.


By the time I finished my work at home so I could enjoy some stress-free days in the islands, I was all frazzled up in a tizzy… feeling a lot of pressure from all sides / all angles… basically I was a wreck.  In the few days leading up to my departure, I had at least once-a-day-meltdowns either over the phone or in person… and emotionally I was spent.

At 5:00 am on a Friday morning sitting at the airport gate, my fever broke.

I am the one making myself crazy!

What a profound moment… because then my inner hand smacked my outer face and said:  Snap out of it!

Things Hidden

My new book is Things Hidden by Fr. Richard Rohr.  I’m only on about page 10 but already I read about me.

His definition:  Suffering is when you are not in control.


I was suffering… making myself totally nuts… because I am not in control of any of this.

I literally felt the weight of the 10,000 things fall off my shoulders.

What a great way to start a trip… and I hadn’t even gotten on an airplane yet.

The rest of my retreat experience is a bit more private than I want to share online.  But I will say that I have returned to the mainland transformed.

I was expecting to be a tourist… to encounter a new place / culture / people on a purely superficial level.

But God catches us unaware…

… and uses all moments to change us from the inside out… essentially blowing up whatever it is we think we know and control.

{ Read Romans 8:28 }

Honestly… how can it work any other way.

Next up:  How the Honu Saved Me.


About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

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