Sunday, October 28, 2018


Fall is brilliant in the coming.
A chill dances on the breeze
Cooling and stealing away summer’s heat
Trees begin their painting
Golds, oranges, reds
Pumpkin entices
With its deep autumn aroma
Boots walk us
Scarves warm us
Fall festivals keep us busy
As the slow boil of Fall turns to Winter freeze
I look longingly at the bathing suit in my drawer
And whisper
Goodbye summer.

~Alisa Laska 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

You Had Me At Kayak

I met my husband in South Carolina.  We spent most of our courtship dodging alligators and ducking snakes falling out of trees. 

Let me explain...

I won't go into how exactly we met.  (I'll leave that for another memoir blog!)  But, I will say that about a month after we met, my husband bought me a kayak.  I have to say that I freaked out a little bit at first.  I mean, this was a huge gift for someone whom he had really just met and had only been talking to for about two months or so.  I wondered what I should do?  I finally decided to accept the kayak and then if we happened to break up, as many relationships do, I would simply give him back the kayak.  Sounds good, right?  Well, we never broke up.

Turns out, he had me at kayak.  (Or so he likes to brag!)  Here is a picture of our two kayaks.  Mine is the blue one at the top.  South Carolina was a gorgeous place to live.  The winters were a little boring, but we were lucky to have met in the springtime when the world was at our fingertips as far as outdoor activities go.  We could walk the boardwalk, hang out at the beach, go for a motorcycle ride or do what we liked best at the time, go kayaking on one of the rivers. 

It turned out that kayaking was the most relaxing things I had ever done.  Amidst the exhausting demands of ministry (I was a full-time youth director at the time), I needed an outlet to unwind.  We would paddle around, exploring the low country of the Carolinas.  We would time the tides just right so we'd never have to paddle upstream against the tide.  (Smart hubby!) 

It was beautiful!  The trees in the background with Spanish Moss hanging low, the old Southern plantation homes along the river to gaze at as we paddled.  My blood pressure dropped a few points each time we pushed off. 

We did have our fair share of  funny incidents.  Including the times when we'd see a small alligator pop up out of the water, or just see his eyes gazing at us.  (Supposedly, according to hubby, they are scared of kayaks due to the Native American boating traditions.  I don't know if he made that up to make me feel better or not!)  A time or two, we also had to dodge a snake falling out of a tree.  Needless to say, I never got out to do some swimming in the water!  I also dropped hubby's sunglasses into the creek at one point, which I thought were a cheap pair.  He told me later that they were his new designer-brand glasses.  (Oh, young love!) 

Kayaking turned out to be what I liked to call my "Three Hour Vacation."  I have always wanted to have that inscribed on the side of my kayak.  It's the most relaxing three hours I can think of.  The inscription reminds me of one of my favorite things to do near water--check out the boat names.  I've seen some funny ones over the years, including a gigantic boat in Annapolis named the "Minerella" with a literal helicopter on the top, aptly named the "Glass Slipper."  I've seen many named after women or places or funny sayings.  Doing a Google search, I found these beauties: 

She Got The House
Seas The Day
Reel Therapy
Unsinkable II
Taco The Town
My Other Boat Is Also A Boat
Bacon In The Sun
Knot For Sail
Liquid Asset
Row Vs. Wade
Missing Peace
One More Toy
Grounds 4 Divorce
Sails Call

Many of these could tell their own story if we let them.  My favorite that I saw recently is below.  Life's A Journey.  Whether we're courting our future husband or just on a three-hour vacation, it's important to take time out from life to rest, relax and enjoy someone's company on a sea-battical.  Just bacon in the sun...

Monday, October 15, 2018

In need of editing for your project, proposal, paper or grant?

Photo by Freddy Castro
Do you have a project, proposal, document or college paper in need of editing?  Need a little help writing content for your blog, website, or business social media account?

Ever thought of searching for a grant to grow your business or finance your dreams?

I can help!

As a freelance writer, I have written and published articles and chapters in a book, as well as ministry curriculum.  I am currently a content editor for the Deeply Rooted curriculum series by I have a passion for writing and editing and a goal to expand my freelance writing and help others to improve their pieces of writing and grow their businesses.  See below for details:

Need help editing or proof-reading your papers, proposals, documents or college papers?  Need a lesson written for youth or preteen ministry?  Help with content for a retreat or youth group lesson?

Research/writing/and follow-up on Grants for you or your business:

Contact Alisa Laska,

I look forward to partnering with you to make your writing the best it can be,

Alisa Laska

Thursday, October 11, 2018


This Summer I was a reader for Jonathan's new book, and I wanted to pass along the information about it because it is an excellent book on the topic.  He uses his own experiences as well as his many years ministering to youth and parents to craft a well-written book that speaks to so many hurting teens and children and those who seek to help them.  Check out the rest of the blog for info on the book and how to order it.  Let's do our part to stop bullying in its tracks.

Parents and teachers would love to help hurting kids, but the truth is they don’t know how.

Why? The reason is quite simple: bullying has completely transformed in less than a decade.

Today bullying has no boundaries. When the bell rings, kids might leave their school campus, but they can never escape the other world, a world where mockers and intimidators thrive. Ironically, they carry a gateway to that world right in their pockets, because they see that world as an avenue of escape… but in reality, it’s putting them in bondage.

In The Bullying Breakthrough (Shiloh Run Press, November 2018) author and youth culture expert Jonathan McKee provides real-world help for parents, teachers, and youth leaders who often feel ill-equipped to deal with today’s bullying culture.

Check out his book on Amazon

Dr. Jim Burns describes Jonathan’s new book as “both disturbing and incredibly helpful.”

Author Josh McDowell calls it "Jonathan's most vulnerable and insightful book yet! An eye-opening peek into the world of bullying today and what we can actually do to prevent it."

Social researcher Shaunti Feldhahn claims this is “Jonathan’s most important book so far,” describing it as “an essential guide to preventing and stopping bullying behaviors.”

With chapters including, Digital Hurt, The Escape Key, Meet the Principal, Real-World Solutions, and more, McKee shares his personal story of pain and offers a sobering glimpse into the rapidly changing world of the bullied. With more than 20 years of experience working with teens and studying youth culture, McKee provides helpful ways to connect with kids, open doors of dialogue, and give kids the encouragement they need and the validation they’re searching for. . .too often in all the wrong places. Parents and youth leaders—anyone who interacts with kids—truly need this book.

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; The Guy's Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone in Your Pocket, and the new fiction book, Bystander about a school shooting on a high school campus. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for parents on his website  And for youth workers on his other website along with his wife, Lori, and their three kids live in California.   

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Coffee Person

Photo by: Alisa Laska
A friend of mine said one day recently, "I don't know how parents of toddlers can get through the day without multiple cups of coffee."  I wholeheartedly agreed.

For most of my life, I would have smiled and went on with the day, not really agreeing but wishing I did.  You see, I never used to like coffee. Shocking, right?  The tase of it made me think of sour beans and the caffeine made me shake and kept me up at night.  Coffee was just not my friend.  However, I always wished that I liked it, since coffee is such a part of our culture.  Everyone drinks it, everyone talks about it, there are so many flavors and coffee shops and special cups and, well, you get the picture.

And then I had kids.

It wasn't until my second child had turned two that coffee turned around for me.  She still doesn't really like to sleep through the night.  She'll have nightmares or random cries or make noise or whatever it is that wakes me in the middle of the night.  Sometimes multiple times.  Don't even get me started on the nights she is sick or getting sick and she wakes up literally six or more times...

Another contribution to my newly-found interest in coffee is this place:  The Lobby Coffee Bar
I love it.  I've spent many days here writing, editing, emailing or just hanging out with the hubby.  Located at Chesapeake Church, The Lobby supports local mission work to end hunger and also mission work in Honduras.  Who wouldn't love to go somewhere where the profits help others?

Coffee snuck up on me, but now it's a full-blown thing.  I can't get through my work days without it and other days I'm just tired.  Also, it's Autumn and the Pumpkin Spice and Brown Sugar Lattes are out, so, there is that.

Coffee, you have corrupted me, what can I say?  Anyone want to meet up for a cup?