I tagged along with my sister Jill and her friend Janet to Hawaii last week, and after a few vodka slushies one afternoon, I told them that Duchess, the psychic I’d seen recently, said I was good at attracting money, just not keeping it. 

It struck a funny chord with my sister – that Duchess had been so spot on about me and money.  She laughed and told Janet, “Amy visits tarot card readers all the time; she’s into that sort of thing.”  It does have its quirk factor, the world of psychics, and those of us who visit them.  Even so, I was a surprised when Janet replied, "Well, that's not very Christ-like." 

On the surface it’s seems the three of us don’t have a lot in common.  As a lawyer and athlete my sister Jill is driven to do things in such a high-octane way that I’m inspired and exhausted just thinking about her.

Janet is a happy, full-time mother of six kids – six! – who thinks nothing of loading them all into an RV and driving from California to Alaska for a week of summertime fun. I’m sure the Duchess would tell me not to do this, but this must be where Janet’s strong faith kicks in.  

J + J also share a passion for competition, and this trip was mostly about training. Which meant running, swimming and biking every day and doing a Half Ironman.    I don’t do any of that – ever.

It’s probably no surprise we found ourselves on the Big Island, famous for its micro-climates and its diversity.  Jet-black lava fields collide with lush tropical landscapes. Billy goats graze under gardenia trees.  Green sea turtles nest on black sand beaches.  Contrasts so unexpected and dramatic they jolt your senses and wake you up.

Was it island-living, a good night sleep, Mai Tais at the local beach shack? I don’t know, but the three of us quickly found a rhythm.    J + J would leap out of bed at the crack of dawn for a run, and with encouragement I’d trot behind – far, far behind.  On a whim one morning I joined Janet for a local church service, the first I've been to in a while. It seemed a little divine to me that the sermon should be about accepting differences in one another. I grew up listening to my Grandfather’s church sermons, and that morning I was reminded how they inspire personal reflection. When I wanted to drive 15 miles to drink cappuccinos at a dreamy seaside resort, J + J hopped in the car without hesitation.  And so it went all week, breezing in and out of one another's worlds.

Dramatic differences can be uncomfortable, but they can also be refreshing and inspiring if you let them.  Our versions of life and faith, of exercise and leisure are different, but last week we created a climate of our own - one that was open to new things and open to each other.  We clicked.