Lord, thank You for growth. I just spent a few minutes reading this time of year from 15 years ago, and then 14 years ago. Fifteen years ago, I was still sick with pneumonia, gaining strength very slowly, and full of the same sorts of questions and drivenness I still sometimes am prey to. Fourteen years ago, Pete’s second sister, who had been ill for only a few weeks, died and that set off a whole storm of emotion, within and around us. What I realized, reading, is how my morning journaling times have changed. Now, I know to listen for Your Voice, Your input. Then, I craved it but I didn’t often stop long enough to hear You. But it was that practice, of taking that time in the morning, writing down everything I thought and felt for 30 minutes or so, that planted the seeds that eventually grew into the relationship I have with You now.

Yes, you were full then–full of grief, full of fatigue, full of fear about health in general, full of questions about your future. You needed to become emptier so that I could fill you with Myself.

I loved You then, as I love You now. But I think I had forgotten how much You love me, love us. And how personal Your Love is, how You really do enter into a relationship with us–if we will, with You. I had moved into focusing on social justice, on causes for peace in the human world and the natural world. I had zeal, and I had faith…but believing in something, even Someone, isn’t the same as nurturing a relationship with that person. 

You are a parent yourself. How do you feel when you hear from your son, or one of the grandkids, out of the blue, for no particular reason?

The feeling is joy, God. Big time joy.

You gladden My own heart with your attention, and with your commitment to staying open to My Presence. What would you say is your dominant emotion these days?

I guess I would have to say gratitude. Or maybe lovingkindness, although I can’t say I am always loving, especially when I am over-tired.

And what did you read as your dominant emotion in those journals from so long ago?

Gosh, God, sorrow, I guess. I was trying so hard to keep going, but there wasn’t any joy anywhere, really. I checked items off the must-get-done list, so there were flashes of satisfaction in tasks completed. There was genuine joy in the trip west to receive my college diploma, the degree Daddy’s life insurance paid for. His last gift.

So what do you think was the difference-maker?

I know gratitude as a practice helped, as I have shared over and over with folks. It really did change my life. But the real difference-maker, Lord, was You–this connection, like right now, knowing I can reach out with my mind, my thought, and You are here, right here. That changes everything in real time. Anytime I do get discouraged now, if I can just remember, I am not alone, You are here, God-with-us as a fact, it flips some switch in my consciousness. I mean, I can still be tired, or stiff and achy as I am tonight, or overloaded with more tasks than hours to do them, but I take just one breath thinking about You, about the immensity of the proposition that the God of the Universe is interested in us, in me, in this moment of what we call Time, and I smile, I can’t help it. It’s as if I am privy to the world’s greatest secret, only it is not a secret at all. It is hidden in plain sight, like the song says, Open the eyes of my heart. I just can’t get over all those pages from 2003 and 2004, and how different my journal reads now. Thank You.

I told you the other day, I want you to try to fast-forward in your thinking 20 or 25 years, as if you were as old as Pete is now, and what would be on your gratitude list from those years you have not lived yet. Why do you think I asked that?

I didn’t know–and I couldn’t come up with much. I mean, I couldn’t foresee anything in particular to add to a list. 

You just looked back at a snapshot of your life from 15 years ago. You are marveling most at your own growth in those years, your spiritual growth. Do you think your growing years are complete? What if I told you even more growth is coming, good growth, wonderful growth, and that you will look back at these conversations and marvel at how much closer You and I had grown during your 60’s and 70’s? What if you will look back with the same incredulity you are now experiencing, looking back, because our relationship will grow even stronger and deeper?

Lord, is that even possible? Is that what You are saying?

You are thinking of your life in Me now as a forest, in comparison with the tiny seedling it once was. I tell you, you will look back at these years and see a small grove in comparison to the mighty sequoias this connection, your connection with Me, your connection to this world you so love, will become. Mark My Words. So much growth awaits you. So rejoice in every day, every week, every month, and every year. Here is a little foretaste, a hint–this past summer, you were able to quit picking your fingers. No longer is that a stress response, after nearly 60 years. Now imagine no stress triggers, because you are essentially immune to them. Imagine no fear triggers, because they are no longer a part of your inner emotional or spiritual lexicon. You will grow into this life, just as you have grown into the woman you are now. And for every inch of growth, listen for Me saying, You are My daughter, I love You, and I Am so proud of you.


While Pete was in the shower, I laid in bed and said thank You for everything and everyone I could think of, a fabulous way to start a day, and start off a new year. 

You have not because you ask not. So much of your difficulty in receiving comes from your reluctance to ask. You fear being disappointed, and you still believe at your core that you can ask only for others, not for yourself.  You much more easily accept the idea of My favor on your friends, family, even strangers, than you accept that I want to richly bless you.

Even here, you seek to be profound and all I Am asking you to be is honest. Honest–and willing, willing to share our relationship in order to inspire others to seek Me out in ways that are deeper and more personal to them than they had imagined before.

This is why I keep insisting on you telling Me your dreams, your longings, and your wished-for hopes. I keep asking for lists of your loves so I can reveal Myself within the seemingly small details of your life, what you call your ordinary every-day life. You’ve said it yourself, if you can have this deep connection to Me, so can others. So can anyone, everyone. Your task is to go on living your everyday life from a position of Connectedness, to model in all circumstances what a daily relationship with Me looks like and feels like.

You already know this doesn’t mean you don’t experience loss and grief. You already deal with disappointment–but dealing with disappointment by bringing all your emotions to Me is far different than burying them inside, pretending you don’t hurt when you do, and allowing your hurts to fester and become infected. That way leads only to resentment and eventually to bitterness, a very lonely road indeed.

Nor Am I asking you to pretend all is well when it isn’t.

I ask you to be honest because, first, you can’t fool Me or hide from Me and you will only wear yourself out trying. I also ask you to be honest because I want to transform you–your character, your attitudes, your reactions, and responses–to reflect Me more and more. So it is essential that you tell Me when and where you hurt, so I can apply the Balm of My Healing. Tell Me what you regret so I can give new chances and choices. Tell Me what you think you lack so I can more fully be your Provider, the One Who gives opportunities and opened doors. Tell Me what puzzles you so I can give you wisdom, understanding and discernment. And tell Me what makes you afraid, so I can light your way.

Finally, tell Me what makes you glad, so we can rejoice together along with all the angels.

Tell Me everything, all the time, all day long. Pray without ceasing. How? By keeping Me, My Presence, in your mind and heart at all times, and by listening for My least whisper on the wind.

On the Page, off the Page–all the time. Tell Me Everything.

Embrace life

Lord, I have such a racehorse, driven personality. How can I function in this flow-timing-easy receptivity kind of way?

Change the channel. How did you morph from clumsy to graceful? Transformation is your answer. Metamorphosis. Your drivenness is based in a falsehood of having to do it all yourself, having to push, having to work so very hard…then you can feel proud—and exhausted—look what I did—as a way to keep yourself safe. To prove something. To feel worthy.

I want us to create something amazing together. Not just a book or a blog, but a life. Everything you struggle over, or with, or against, is from this striving. Straining at gnats.

I want you, I need you, to model relaxation without drugs. Peace and Love without being high. The world is trying to escape the pressure through drugs and alcohol. So many Christians have eschewed that, but they have bought in to thinking life is enduring the pressure and overcoming the hardships, the hard and bitter road. They endure. Others escape—or try to.

Yours is the third way—Embrace. Embrace Life as a joyous, loving partner. Embrace Me, My Life.

Embrace and Celebrate is your key to flow, to receptivity. See? That is why you always find hearts. They are My little love-notes, hidden in plain sight.

Be who you are, connected and celebratory. Don’t strive for anything, opportunity, success, a sustainable gallery income. Instead, receive. Receive each day. Say, thank You God for this day, every morning, and mean it! Feel it! Feel Me here with you now.

Receiving is the key to everything. You can live a deeply centered life—not by teetering on the verge of losing your balance every second, focusing on not-falling; by sitting in Calm, focusing on receiving all that I Am.

Imagine an operating system upgrade for your soul. Imagine deleting all malware. Imagine emptying your whole trash folder daily. That is all you have to do—simple as that.

Thank You, God, for this time and this quiet.

I will—I have said—expand Time for you, but I cannot do that while you strive against the clock. As I said to Paul, it is hard for you to kick against the goads. It is not that you won’t be passionate or intense, but your purpose will change. Imagine horseback riding without fear, that exhilaration. You will have an exhilarating life, in the flow.

Let Me show you, more than you’ve seen All I Am in your Now. In this home-place, on this planet, in this era. Living in this community, owning this business, part of this family. Let Me in, really in, and like the Cat in the Hat watch Me set all to rights with exuberance, with delight, with fun, with playfulness. Everything the world seeks, you shall have, in your relationship with Me.

I need someone with a big heart to say a big Yes so I can be a Big God. I Am choosing, asking, calling you to be My partner in this. What do you say?

Lord, I say yes.

You let Me take care of how. This is going to be fun.

I Who Am Your…

Lord, what would You say about any of this? About anything, period?


You are always looking for the least crack, the least opening, to share about this life you have found, hoping your words inspire others to find their life in Me.

It is true, Lord. I am—but carefully. Am I doing any good at all?

You are opening the skittish to love and your reward will be their love and loyalty to you. And that is enough. That is as much—more—than they would ever have received on their own, or from any other source. Your approach is just right. Just keep loving on them.

Ok, Lord, but I feel like I am failing, in so many areas. You name it.

I haven’t “Named it”—you have. When have I ever Named you a failure? Even in those years you regret, I named Myself over you: Protector, Forgiver, Healer—and it was so. Liberator, Deliverer, Repairer of the Breach—and it was so. Why don’t you let Me Name Myself over you now? Over your worries and fears? Over your doubt? Over your tendency to listen to voices that name you lacking, not enough, displeasing?

Why don’t you hear My Names:

I Who Am well-pleased with you.

I Who Am your strength.

I Who Am your…

Lord, what a time to be interrupted, yesterday! Yet coming to the page this morning, I am realizing, fill in the blank: I Who Am your everything, everything you need.

Open Doors

Thank You, sweet God. I needed to remember what I know. I needed to look ahead and look around with that perspective. Now what would You say?

Praise is a Key, a big Key to a Big Door. Not because I have a big ego that needs stoking like a fire with the fuel of your devotion, but because My whole heart is devoted to you. To all of My creation. I love nothing more than blessing those I love. Your praise, your trust, your recognition of Who I Am is what allows those blessings to flow. All the locks are on your side of the door. There are no locks whatsoever on My side. Your choices can create barriers, and those barriers sadden Me. Yes, just as with Jesus’ physical body, your earthly choices have the power to wound My Heart. A harsh word wounds My Heart. Lives devoted to destruction, theirs and others, wounds My Heart. My Great Work of Creation is ongoing, for I Am always creating new chances, new possibilities, new outcomes for everyone on the planet. Your steady choice to believe and receive has swung open the door for you and your life many times.

Now let’s take the next step. If you can commit to what you know of Me again this morning, we can take the door itself off its hinges. The door will transform into a bridge across to My Country. You don’t ever have to go back or even look back to that existence where you questioned or doubted My Love for you or My “plan for your life”—which is expanding blessing, just as the countryside opens up before you. Like Lazarus, like Jesus, you can experience a resurrection, but you still have to make the choice to come out of the Cave. I Am inviting you into yet a larger life.

How can this be? you ask. You can live without fear. You can live without anxiety. You can live without upset. All of those are cave-dweller mindsets. You can live without worry. You can live with confidence, live in assurance, and experience daily, hourly synchronicity. I will never withhold from you any true blessing. Trust My timing to be perfect. “Yes” to praise frees you. Begin again to see Beyond.

This is how time-travel works for you. See the future I promise as real in your now. See it for everything you care about, your business, your family, your friends. See it for anyone who struggles. You don’t have to tell Me what you see of the struggle, unless doing so helps you release it. Instead, let Me tell you and show you what I see so you can see with Me.

This is the point where you’ve always drawn back before. “What must I sacrifice?” you thought. “What must I give up?” “What must I suffer?” These are false questions and they lead back to false gods, not to Me.

Live a life so connected with Me, so overflowing with blessing, that it magnetizes others to good. Let your very presence cause them to open their door to Me, which is how healing happens. You will have to give up the world’s perspectives of fear and of anxiety in order to fully inhabit the life I have for you. You will have to give up an obsessive concern for what others think of you in order to wear well the mantle of what I think of you.

You are thinking, how do I begin. You’ve already begun. You’ve walked a long distance already. You can jog now. You can run now. You are not a beginner. You know this.

You have pictured your life lately like a finite water bucket that others dig down into a well, and draw from what you perceive as your small, leaky reserves of time and energy.

You are a river in Me, the Great River. Live connected and experience an unending flow.

Living in the flow rejuvenates you and it increases your capacity to flow. That is what we are doing this morning. We are excavating in the Spirit. Like a mighty Canyon River, we are carving new pathways of possibility—I Am, by My Power and Intention, and you are, by the power of your agreement. Alleluia, alleluia. I have waited long for this day. The last boulders are tumbling downstream and the floodgates are flung wide open. Alleluia, alleluia.

Impact and Connection

Lord, are my days with wildlife numbered? Over?

Why would you say that? Or think that?

Because You said not to do natural history.

Whoa, wait, stop. I asked you to choose what kind of impact you want your work to have, and you chose the most spiritual impact. What makes you think wildlife isn’t a huge part of that?

It is? I mean, is it? Can it be?

Why not?

I don’t know, I thought I just needed these dreamy landscapes.

Serenity is important. Calm, quiet, peaceful is important. But not as ends in themselves, as a condition in which Connection happens.

Everyone else does wildlife primarily for natural history. For life-list bird sightings. For documenting behavior, nesting, feeding, breeding, whatever. You started there but you’ve moved beyond natural history. Natural history became a bridge, to the New Country.

You mean Eve’s Eden, the way I envision, the way I imagine? How can the images I make be different enough?

They already are. They already are because you say “please”—you say, “thank you”—you say, “I love you”, and you mean it. You’ve taught others this, but increasingly your work will have a sensitivity and connection others lack. You can’t help it; it is who you are and it is your destiny.

So…I am not wrong to long for impact?

Is a candle wrong for wanting to blaze, for wanting someone to come and light its wick? You were made to embrace the natural world, and bridge to Me.

High-voltage Connection

My mind is in day-go mode. I need to center back down, right? What is most important today?


What is most important today is that you keep your peace. That you remember I AM with you. That you really remember what that means. That you choose. If you are going to walk down memory lane, walk those paths where My Promises came true in spades. If you are going to think about the future, remember I AM already present there, loving you, blessing you. Remember that your serenity is not dependent on circumstances, or on what anyone else says, does or experiences. Your serenity, the reality of your life, depends on Me.

Think of it this way: is your lamp that you are reading and writing by just now in any way dependent on whether somebody in the next town paid their electric bill? You each have your own connection. Yours happens to be a high-volt transmission line. Nobody else’s frayed wiring needs to affect you in the least.

Ha, that is funny, God. Somehow I am finding that funny. Ok, thank You.

 You’re welcome (with the hint of a chuckle).


Yesterday we talked about nourishment, about food that nourishes us versus food that doesn’t. What about stale? What about good food gone stale?

How does good food go stale? When you don’t eat it fresh. When you put it aside, when you don’t eat it all, or when you make other less-nourishing choices. Life goes stale the same way. The other reason food can go stale or spoil is when you have “too much on your plate,” when you can’t possibly take it all in. That is where you’ve been, with too much to absorb, too much to think about. The body has a way of adjusting to too much pressure and this is how your body is reacting now, wanting sleep and rest and quiet so that it can recover and regroup.  You’ve been trying to fix a long-term issue with a short-term solution–caffeine and sugar–that is actually making you feel worse. And those worse effects are cumulative. You ate healthy all day yesterday and you rested better last night. Try all that again today and assess how you feel tomorrow. That will help your body.

Now for your spirit and your soul. Your spirit has been managing by coming to the Page, by trying to keep fresh and real here, but your emotional self, that is another matter entirely. You haven’t really let yourself feel the pain of losing Mikey, or the upset of both getting and then letting go of the puppy, or the shock of hearing Pete say to you, I can’t get up. You need to let Me comfort you, and hear Me affirm your wisdom in the impulses you had and the choices you made about the puppy, and receive My strength for the days ahead with Pete.

God, don’t I do all that here? At the Page?

No, little one. You do all that outside. Here, you are very conscious of time, your allotment of minutes, and you are often interrupted, which means you can’t allow yourself to open emotionally at the depth you need to, right now. You are afraid of a flood of tears or a volcano of anger, erupting from within you. So you keep to the surface, trying hard to maintain both connection to Me and an outward composure in the world. Meanwhile, much festers and goes unhealed and unresolved deep inside you. So come, meet Me outside again. I know what your schedule is like, through the holidays. But very soon you will have a chance, and when you do, take it! And come prepared to receive.


Nurture your inner life

God, do You—You always do—have anything to say to me today?

Breathe. Being frantic or fretting won’t help you. It won’t help your body or your mind, and it won’t help you get more done. Consider the lilies. Consider the thought that I love you just as you are right now, even while drawing you on to greater growth. Every winter, underground, lilies multiply. The “more blooms” that appear above ground come from more bulbs underground. Nurture your inner life, your underground life.

How do you do that? Worship is one way, because you are focused on Me and all I Am in your life and in the universe. Not sermons, not fellowship—as good as they may be, they don’t multiply your bulbs. Random acts of kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness help multiply your outward fruit and influence. Intercession as long as it is not a disguised worry is a bulb-grower.

Notice the metaphors: bulb for flowers and growth; bulb for light; bulb for inspiration, for creative ideas, for epiphanies. Anticipate surprises. Live expectant as you used to, and let your expectation be filled with My Presence, for in My Presence, nothing is impossible, nothing is too hard. The only defeat in My Presence is defeat itself. Defeat is defeated, overcome by victory. Overtaken by Love. Begin to anticipate a healthy body, a healthy lifestyle, a healthy business season. Begin again to visualize thriving. Trust that in this winter, which you are seeing as time lost, trust that underground, within, beneath the surface, is tremendous growth, is a field of multiplied bulbs, all ready, all waiting for the signal to burst forth into glorious flower. “A crop so great you cannot contain it all” – that is My Promise to you, renewed. So much fruit you can easily share, easily Give-Away. Is any of this too hard for God? Am I not God for you? Focus on that.

Dancing Butterflies

Lord, I knew this new puppy would be exhausting. Thank You, by the way, for the extra hours of sleep last night. I am so grateful for some rest. What I did not anticipate and I don’t know how to handle is that the schedule is making it much harder to have my time in the morning with You. The past few days it has been impossible. Right now it is nearly 6 pm and I am snatching minutes before supper to sit, and think, and talk to You, and feel.

And what do you feel?

Honestly, it wasn’t a bad day. But You said to keep connected to You, and how am I supposed to do that, when I don’t have a regular, concentrated time to journal and to listen?

What did you do this afternoon?

Ran the errands I needed to run. Took Pete to the bank, we stopped at Yellowhouse, came home, put the puppy pen together outside.

Besides all that?

I took a few minutes and photographed the monarch butterflies on my lantana bush.

You noticed them. And you took some time to watch them and then to photograph them.


Do you remember the verse that says, whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me?

Yes, of course.

You treat yourself in your own thinking as less than the least of these. You contributed charitably, you helped your friend get his car, you finished up the long refi at the bank, you did business tasks at home before that and after that…and in the middle of all that, you gave your attention to honor these winged flights of beauty–and you felt guilty for those few minutes. Didn’t you? Isn’t that why you laid your camera down and moved on to another task? All those errands and chores you did to help anyone else, they count for something in your thinking, in your assessment of your day. But taking time to count butterflies? Not so much. Yet those few minutes were actually minutes of serenity and calm for you. And although you were not uttering prayers, you were actually praying the whole time. You were living moments in deliberate honor and gratitude and you were noticing the beauty of your world.

Lord, it was amazing! There were monarchs and painted ladies and I don’t know who all, on that one bush!

There is more than one way to set a bush ablaze. With Moses I chose fire. Today with you, I chose wings the color of flame. Drink beauty like water. That is one more way to stay connected to all that is, and to Me, as the Source and Creator of all that is. I Am glad you enjoyed the dance of the butterflies. You could not hear them, but angels were making the music they could hear and all to refresh you. Now, let me ask you one more question. How do you feel right now?

Relaxed. Refreshed. Grateful. And somehow leaning on You. And You are smiling.

Yes, yes I Am.