Off Duty

So, Lord, I think this new cloak of mine is going to take a lot of getting used to. I was just sitting here thinking I felt pretty good, had a decent day, because (drum roll) I got so much done! Sheesh. 

It’s not about doing versus not-doing. It is about with what attitude are you doing. How did you feel today, running your errands, doing your paperwork?

I felt fairly relaxed for the most part, except once or twice, when I looked at the clock and felt that sense of being rushed, or rather, not moving fast enough myself. I did try to think all day long about what You said yesterday. I wasn’t sure how to switch gears exactly, but now that I think back, for the most part I wasn’t revved up. I made a list so I wouldn’t forget anything, and actually did all but one thing–I would have done that too but it was raining too hard at that point for that particular errand.

So you can actually balance your life with your work and your chores. You see? You were able to reach out briefly to friends today. You did your errands. You made real progress preparing for your upcoming buying trip. And you did it all with much less anxiety. You even got a little extra sleep this morning! You tried to remember to drink more water and you took bathroom breaks. I would say, for your first day, you were a great success wearing your new cloak!

Thanks, God. I do feel good tonight. I do. I even noodled around with a new lyric, sort of, in the car. And Kaylee was more affectionate, more playful, than she has been in a while. I could almost believe she sensed the change too.

Almost? You know how sensitive animals are. If such a change makes such a difference in her behavior in just one day, imagine the benefits that await you long-term.

You know, God, at one point this morning, I caught myself slipping into those old familiar thought patterns and I literally interrupted myself to say, no, today is going to be an incredible day!

And was it?

I am sitting here right now, feeling–and I do mean that word, feeling, I can feel Quiet, I can feel Calm. Peaceful. I am feeling at peace. I am feeling at peace with myself. That’s huge. And yes, I would have to label that as pretty incredible.

And what is happening to the earth?

Ha, God, You are so funny. It is spinning, spinning on its axis, revolving around the sun, keeping its place in the Universe. And all without me having to worry about it, ha! 

I Am not making fun of you. But it is helpful for you to see for yourself how playful and joyous this life can once again be, as long as you are focused on Being, on Being your best self. Sure, go, do–but from a center of being. And what did I promise you? That you will be even more productive, accomplish even more, and operate from a position of even more energy. So how do you feel physically?

I know bedtime is coming and I think I will sleep, but I don’t feel that same overarching fatigue I have been having. AND…this is incredible…although I planned to drink coffee in the afternoon, I didn’t. Somehow I didn’t need it. I got along just fine without it.

And you are not feeling exhausted now?

No. I’m not. I am actually feeling pretty good. Guess that will go down on my gratitude list tonight. Thank You, Lord.

Yes, I guess it will. Thank you–for receiving My peace. You know, I have called you to be a peacemaker, and a peacekeeper. And that begins with days like today, days when you are at peace first with yourself.

Cloak of Responsibility

Here is the best–and worst– part about old journals, Lord–busted, I’m busted. So a few days ago I was rejoicing over the growth I saw, looking back at pages from 15 years ago. Well I read a little further and I stumbled on an entry from mid-May that could have been written yesterday. Sure, the circumstances were different then–I was finishing up a later-in-life undergrad degree, studying for exams and preparing papers, but the stress responses, the fatigue, and my desperate, articulated on the page need for some time outside was identical. So writing that down, i think I see two things: this is not a new issue, a new problem and I think it dates all the way back to my school years; and second, the outdoors has been my safe soothing place for a long, long time.

So I really want to copy down here what I wrote there and then. Because I need to talk to You about this. I wish it could be once and for all. But maybe it can at least be for now. “In one sense I have no business doing anything but run this marathon called spring quarter (substitute, get open for season) but…I have a ton of buts. But I’m so tired. But I’m said. But my head is in a vice. But…but I want a break, not a big break–but some small break, some outside, outdoors break. Change focus. I deliberately am not going to write three pages, takes too long. Instead I’m going to shower and leave and go somewhere. Sounds rebellious just to write that down. Why should a morning beach walk or the Ridge be rebellious? Because duty has tons of tasks right here. When is a break ok? When I’m breaking? I don’t know.” WHEW! Yikes. May, 2003. 

I have a flood of memory. Being on call for work, in an era before cell phones, so that I didn’t dare even go to the beach for more than an hour even on the weekend “in case” I was called, called in to work or to answer a question or attend some meeting. Good grief. I remember unplugging the phone for a solid weekend and my roommate and I binge watching wonderful movies, Ghandi and Biko and I can’t recall what else. Something Native American but I don’t remember the title. I remember how I felt good and bad, doing that. I remember talking to the personnel director at the time, about all the extra work I was being expected to do after hours, but because my bosses were committee volunteers, I was told there was nothing I could do about it–and stay employed. Of course I did what I do. I stayed employed! It was seven years later and it took my mom’s illness before I finally left that job. But obviously I didn’t leave the mindset.

God, Great Creator, Your own Name is I Am. Not I Do. How can You help me?

SO much in your culture, your schooling, your family, your past employment, and even the example set by your husband extols and rewards work, effort, productivity. You have been well trained, trained to perform. But life is not a circus, and you are not a trick pony. Nor are you a racehorse. Nor are you destined to plod, plod along pulling a plow. When you picture a horse, what image comes to mind first?

Running free. Running over the plains. Running by the sea. 

Freedom to Be, that is what comes first. Essence of Horse, yes? So what is Essence of Eve? That is what I want you to ask yourself, tonight and in the morning and in the days ahead. I will give you a hint–it is not what you think. It is not what first comes to mind. Your gifts, your talents, and yes your working life, these are outpourings in particular channels of an inner life. I want you to think less about the channels and more about the spring, more about the river. I want you to think more about the Essence. More about Being. Not about Being Efficient. Not about Being Organized. Not about Being Productive or Being Successful. Not even about Being Faithful, which you translate into productivity and effort, into doing and away from merely being.

Eve means Life. “Mother of all Living” — which you have chuckled over, adopting stray cats, calling yourself Mama. You have chuckled and donned a mantle of great and grave responsibility. Once before I asked you for a cloak, to give Me the cloak you were wearing. Do you remember?

Lord, how can I forget? Of course I remember. “I clutched my grief to my body like a robe/said it is all that is mine I have left/but I threw it down at Your feet and turned to go/cold, alone, bereft”

And what happened next, in your vision, in your lyric?

You led me to the beach. You wrapped a new warm something around my shoulders. You began to heal that broken place inside.

Somewhere along the way, you abandoned the cloak I gave you, and you wove for yourself a new one–this mantle of responsibility. It is neither keeping you warm nor keeping you dry. And I want you to do what I asked you to do years ago. Give Me your mantle. Give Me your sense of weighty responsibility, that feeling you have that so much depends on you and your effort, from your family’s health and safety to the health and safety of friends, to the success of your business and every artist whose work you so lovingly steward. Can you do that? Can you trust Me with your mantle, one more time?

Gosh God, there is blood and sweat and tears on this shawl. I don’t mean to be dramatic but there are a lot of years woven into these threads. Does this mean all that work, all that effort did not count?

No, little one. What it means is that you are trying to fit into a garment that was never meant for you. What I have for you to wear is a mystical, magical coat. It will grow as you grow. Its threads shimmer and gleam in moonlight and sunlight. It is soft and gentle to the touch yet the sharpest arrows of accusation cannot penetrate its weave. This is My Weaving, and I have spent all your life preparing it for you, for this moment. For the moment you are willing to let go, and begin to Be. Live into your name, live into your loves, live into your life. Give Me your heavy mantle. Slip on your new coat. Here is its first secret: see its color change as you tap deeply into the Essence of who you are, who I have made and called you to be.

One more thing. You can’t easily hide in this coat. This is not a camouflage garment. You will be both more conspicuous and more free, wearing it. You want to see how you look? Your reflection pool will be found first in the eyes of those closest to you, from animals to people you love who love you back.

Lord, what are You going to do with my old cloak, the one I just took off?

Give that cloak no more thought. I Am going to light a fire, to warm your winter and help light your way. This is not the sort of garment to hand down to anyone else, you know. And it had gotten way too heavy to wear in warmer weather, and your busier season. You would have fallen, trying to bear it.  How does your new coat feel?

It, it feels lightweight. And oh my goodness, I just moved my neck and it is moving more freely, less stiff, less pain.

The lightness in your spirit will translate directly into lightness for your bones, and energy for your body and mind. And paradoxically, into more restful sleep as well. So sleep tight, little one. Snuggle into your coat. Let Me teach you about restful labor, and energizing rest.


Lord, I don’t have very much time.

Actually, you do. You have all the time you need. And you are joined, right now, in conversation, with Eternity, with an eternal perspective, with One Who is Timeless. Who Was and Is and Is To Come. So why do you feel you don’t have very much time?

Because I need a message.

No. Not really. What you really need, what your world really needs, is not a message. It has lots of messages, some truer than others.

So what do we need? What do I need?

Say you’re hungry, or you think you are hungry. You have many choices, some nutritious, some not so. You could eat a snack filled with protein or one filled with sugar. But what if you are actually not hungry at all? What if you are really just thirsty? Your world’s need, your need, is more based in thirst than in hunger right now.

Okay, I understand the difference from a body’s point of view. But You are talking about our souls, our spirits. What is the difference between soul or spirit thirst, and soul or spirit hunger? I don’t understand.

Your great thirst is to be healed and to be free. Hunger is a signal that your growth needs nourishment, perhaps deeper understanding or clarification. But thirst…thirst is a signal that your soul needs refreshing. You can live longer in the natural without food than you can without water. The same is true in the spirit.

So how do I go about quenching my thirst, then? How do I play a role in quenching anyone else’s?

By experience. You can for a season nourish yourself or others with words, yours, other people’s, even Mine. But to quench the soul’s thirst, you need experience. Music can help refresh a weary, parched spirit. So can beauty, which is why art can be healing as well as merely decorative. You find personal renewal outside in nature, a great source of spiritual water for you. And you have had direct experiences of what you have come to call My Manifest Presence, that extra sense that I Am Here. I Am always Here, always Present, but you are not always aware of My Presence even though you acknowledge it mentally as a spiritual fact. Acknowledging something and experiencing it are vastly different. You need to experience My Presence again. In fact, the more tired you are, the more thirsty you are, you tend to push yourself harder, not easier. You tend to chide yourself for not having more stamina when I have designed both your body and your spirit to send you powerful signals of thirst —not so I can scold you, so I can refresh you.

Lord, I am going to say what I started out saying—I don’t have very much time.

 Yes, your days are very scheduled, and will only become more so. I know. That is why it is a very good thing I Am Timeless. So I will let you in on a secret. There is more to the verse, He gives to His Beloved even in his sleep, than you know.

Turn out your light, lay down your pen, walk away from the computer, and fall asleep in the deep knowledge that I Am infusing you once again as you rest. See if you don’t wake more refreshed in the morning than you have in a while. Let go all that troubles you, even for these few hours, and relax into My Presence.



Dreaming Awake

I would like to ask for better dreams. Relaxing nighttime scenarios would go a long way to waking refreshed, I would think. I feel like I’m thrown into these movie plots, all of which are exhausting either emotionally or physically or both. I don’t know how to shift the landscape of my dreaming.

What sort of landscape would you like?

Oh well, I am picturing a field, a kind of open field–and there’s a little streamlet, sort of like the stream in Montana–and Aslan is suddenly there, Your Golden Lion Self.

And what am I-As-Aslan saying and doing, in this dreamscape of yours?

Well, You are looking at me, our eyes are meeting, and I am not afraid. There is obviously Power here but great Love. I feel as if You are telling me Something Important, giving me an assignment or task. There’s a tree, I am under a tree. Like one of the apple trees of my childhood, that shape.

How fitting that Aslan should meet Eve under an apple tree!

Oh! But You aren’t scolding; You are saying, I make all things new.

Yes, I Am calling you, calling all humanity, to renewal, not as a church movement, as a lifestyle in Me. What was the fruit for, in Narnia?

It was for healing, for Digory’s mother.

The fruit you have asked for, the fruit of renewal and reconciliation, heals so much of your world’s ills.

God, I’m sorry–Kaylee barked, the propane gas guy is here filling our tank, I’ve lost what You were saying.

I’m saying take and eat. I’m saying what I said to Digory–take this with you, feed those around you. The fruit you share reaches beyond these words; it’s your life, your loving life.

Lord, I get impatient, I get distracted, I get discouraged…

Shhh, shhh. Here is what I see. You catch yourself in those moments, over and over. You don’t let them overtake or overwhelm you. Now what do you see in your imaginary field?

Animals, all sorts of critters, trotting and running up to me. I’m being mobbed by all these happy animals, happy with each other, happy I’m here, like a little kid’s movie.


Yeah, I miss Eden, the thought of it. Bittersweet, poignant. What could have been.

What shall be. Remember, part of your calling is to live with one foot in Eden, so to speak, in your world. Look for evidence in the same way you look for gratitudes. You are already very aware of your planetary disconnects, just as you once were hyper aware of your grief. Begin to be alert for evidence of the way I Am restoring Eden through your life and experience. As you see that more and more in your waking life, your sleeping life will be more refreshing and your dream-life will mirror and augment your waking experiences. They will feed each other. Just keep feeding on My Promises to you, and let them nourish your soul.




I know I’ve been pushing lately, rather than flowing. I can feel the difference. I’ve been trying to work, to “make it work.” So I’m going around to spots where magic has happened before, longing for it to happen again. Lord, I need to stop doing that. I need to instead move back into the current, where I sense, and then go. I have so much to say thank You for. I feel that as well as know that. So, what’s my problem?


Your problem is, you live in a body. Your body can tire and ache. So can your mind, and so can your spirit. Sometimes one carries the other: your body is tired, but your mind/thoughts or your spirit/feelings are buoyant, and they help carry your body. Sometimes physically you feel that sense of energy, and that helps energize your thoughts in a positive way. And sometimes all three aspects of your life need refreshing all at once. That is where you are now. Rather than trying to figure out why, which only tires your mind and spirit further, just bring your whole self to Me. It’s okay to say, “Daddy, Abba, I am so tired.” Crawl up into My lap and rest awhile. Sometimes “work” energizes you. Lately, it drains you.

This was supposed to be your rest, relaxation, restoration, rejuvenation time. Ssshhh. No “buts.” Just hear what I said. I planned this as a rest, relaxation, restoration, rejuvenation time for you. That doesn’t mean you lay around doing nothing, or that you become irresponsible. Write out things that mean rest and relaxation to you. List some.

Lord, I just re-read this old entry. It is several years old, and it could have been written for now. Well, not today, exactly, but certainly for the past few weeks, for the end of the year. Now a New Year is beginning. And You just talked to me over the past two days, again, about Flow. About sensitivity. And about rest and play balancing work.

So the first image that came to mind when I re-read those words was a hammock. It is 25 degrees outside. Even if I owned a hammock, I wouldn’t get in it now!

But you can picture yourself there. You use your mind all the time to picture an uncertain future, or to pre-plan the next day’s tasks. Why don’t you use your mind to imagine restful pursuits instead of working ones? Relax your thoughts and imaginations first, and watch your body follow. Try it now. What is your earliest hammock memory?

I was a kid. We had a fabric hammock in the yard under the big tree, oak or maple. Oak, I think. Out the kitchen window.


I felt safe there. And cool. I think I even napped in that hammock.

I need the part of you who is a writer to relax, to stretch out, to close your eyes, to remember, to imagine and to dream. With some people, I have to energize work and effort. With you, I have to inspire you to slow down and relax. That is part of the transformation I seek for you in this new year—allowing yourself to really pause, and let the creative, playful aspects of your imagination have more space while you give your analytical, planning self a break, and a rest. This will be metamorphosis for you. You have always worked hard, studied hard, tried hard to do your best. I want you to give yourself the same permission to relax and to play as you do to work. I want to transform your nature, not into irresponsibility, as you fear. If you can trust Me with your working, responsible self, I can help you birth more creativity and more ministry than your reasoning mind can arrange. For it is your imaginative mind that is most sensitive to inspiration by My Spirit.

So come, rest. Hear Me say to your still troubled sense of duty, you’ve earned this. Receive. Rest is a gift of My Grace, your first gift of the new year.



Life Movies

Lord, we started talking last night as I was falling asleep, and I really need to re-start that conversation.

I was telling you not to close your heart off, but to stay open, and vulnerable.

Lord, someone gave me that same advice years ago. I heard it then as a command to endure.

That may have been that person’s meaning, but it is not Mine. I never condone or excuse abuse or mistreatment. But when you are hurting inside, for yourself or for others, you tend to wall yourself in and work harder as if that will help. It won’t. It will only add more physical fatigue to your emotional weariness.

The truth is, I didn’t create humanity—or the planet itself—for sorrow, sickness, loss or death. I created for life, for I Am the Giver of Life. I created for Love, for I Am Love. My entire nature and being is Love. Out of Life and Love flow joy and peace and kindness and goodness—which you call the fruits of My Spirit.

So when humans encounter the elements of life they were not made for, they react. Some become stoic, so nothing affects them. Some become narcissistic so everything affects them or revolves around them. Some become addicted to pastimes or to substances to numb or distract them from which is too hard, too painful, to bear alone. But you humans were not made to bear such suffering, not in the beginning, and certainly not alone.

You said recently when a situation troubles me, to surround it, to picture it surrounded, like effervescent life, I can’t remember exactly what You said, and I don’t know how to do that. And I need to. Right now.

Imagine you are a movie director. You can film the scene any way you wish. You have an unlimited budget and any props or costumes you need. You have the world as your set. And you have Angels as part of your extras in your casting of characters. How would you film the next scene? What kind of movie would you produce and direct? Set that as your intention and prayer for them.

Lord, aren’t You the Producer and Director?

Sadly, no. People assume so, and that assumption has led to much additional sorrow and misunderstanding. Each of you is your own director. I direct only where and when I Am invited to do so. Oh, I try to interject into the plot, to give warning about where the storyline is going, or to give encouragement in character development. But the human power of choice is always in your hands. That is why I ask you to pray My Will Be Done. It is not a given, in this world—only in the next.

So take a few minutes. Imagine the scene re-written. Then offer that, as prayer. I Am the God of Reconciliation. Picture a peaceful resolution to all that troubles you.

When The Tide Turns

Lord, it’s as if I have been hearing You say, “When the tide turns.” There’s a moment, right? When it changes? And it might not seem obvious at first but soon, very soon, you can tell it has turned? Are You saying this is it?

I AM saying the tide has turned. You are now in the phase where you are beginning to notice, to see the evidence of the shift. You were thinking just of the challenges of this year, the challenges of a couple years back. I’m saying, this has been a much longer period, financially, emotionally, spiritually. This period of difficulty really began six years, six long years ago, with Patrick moving in that December, with Pete’s fatigue not yet correctly diagnosed, with all that happened in 2011, with having to relocate Yellowhouse, with Pete’s other health challenges.

Here is what I saw, what I know, what I want you to know: in all of that, your heart stayed true and strong, and pure. Did you worry? Yes. Did you fret and fear? Yes. Did you mourn and cry? Oh, yes. Did you turn from Me, or Pete? Did you turn from Patrick? Did you turn from anyone who really needed you? Never. Not once. In fact, your light shone even brighter. Did you have some occasional grumpy days? Yes, but your overall nature stayed sunny and sweet. You did it! You came through the worst drought and low tide period you’ve been through since your early 20’s. Yes, there were blessings, which you received because you were determined to stay in gratitude and be as alert as possible for them.

So if you could receive all those gifts in drought–Meditation and Freddi’s kits, and Moonrise, and Currituck, and your sales increases, and trips west and to Florida and to Maine and to Connecticut, imagine what awaits you on a flood tide!! Think about everything you have received, everything, on an ebb tide. As the tide was going out, flowing away, look at what you received: Pete’s miracle. You reunited with family you thought lost to you. So look for amazing bonds and connectedness on the flood.

Part of flood for you will be the publishing piece. for now, create the body of work. Just create it. Write the stories, lay out the books. The music will flow in this era too.



Lord, I’m here at the page to hear. Nothing really to say. Time is flowing and I’m just here. I have been working in the house, sorting clothes for Kings Daughters, and that sort of task, tackling a messy closet, always discourages me for some reason. I make progress but never quite finish, and every job done just spotlights how much remains. I told someone recently, I need fresh. There is something in my personality that likes fresh. Is that ok?

How is it you are asking again after all these weeks and months and years if your personality is ok? No, it is not ok. It is magnificent! You laugh—but I mean it. Fresh is My Great Idea. Fresh Manna. “Behold I will do a new thing.” “Behold, I make all things new.” It’s the Imaginer in you. Every poem, every song, every story is an attempt to say something fresh, or say something familiar in a fresh way. The opposite of that trait in you is not contentment as you suppose. It is lethargy. It is a sign, not of laziness, but of not feeling well, a sign of fatigue.

Ok, I can see that actually. Gosh, I am just remembering an old scripture, Record the vision, write it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. I always thought that was for me the writer, but I didn’t know what the vision was.

Peace for Pangaea is the vision. Connection is the Vision. Effervescent Bubbles, that’s the vision. My Sweet Life—that’s the vision. All of these—paintings, photographs, songs—are fresh ways to express My Great Idea: God With You. And what that means. Not, God-Far Who needs to be Invoked, or Pleased, or Appeased. God-Near Who Loves You.

I look up and out into the most glorious light! Dark slate blue western sky and the sun must have found a hole, a path, and the entire backyard was awash for a few seconds with that light I associate with angels, with angels singing. Are they co-creators with You too? Like You’ve called us to be?

Everything I have created is creative. My Nature is within all I have made and am making. Absolutely angels are creative. You never thought of this before? Ah, a fresh idea! See? You’ve thought of angels like yourself, as a messenger, as a secretary taking dictation. I don’t need to read an exact copy of My Words. I Am more like a teacher Who is giving out prompts. Writing prompts, loving prompts, prompts to go here or there, to come and see. I Am the One always asking, What If? How About?

Lord, what do angels create, then? I mean, I can look around at nature, say, and see You. I can look at art or listen to music or read something, say, and see the outflow of people’s creativity or my own, even, and sometimes, when it is so beautiful, I can see the partnership, You and the artist. What do angels do, or make?

Angels make connections. Angels bring Point A to meet Point 7. Angels help engineer what you call coincidence. And angels sing. There are frequencies your ears don’t hear that angels sing. There are colors your eyes can’t see—like infrared and way beyond—that angels use to enhance your world. It’s what you feel when you step into a special place; you feel the beauty underlying and overglazing that My angels have put there, in My Name and for My purpose.

Gosh, I never thought of that.

There is a lot you never thought of, dear heart. A lot I have to reveal to you. Why you? Because you will share. Gently, gently, these magnificent ideas will leak and seep into your world.


Lord, why is this such a struggle? Every day I struggle to remember who I am, in You; who You are, in me and in the world. I just want to get it! Like breathing.

You do get it like breathing. You breathe out and release what you know to be false, and you draw in what you know to be true. You see your struggle as a failing and I see it as a triumph. Over and over you release and you draw in. You commit, over and over. You renew your life with Me, over and over. Right now, you are dehydrated; you are thirsty. Your spirit craves My Spirit like your body craves water during exercise. Work is outflow—you do love it but it is outflow. You need some inflow. Sleep by itself is not enough. You need refreshment for your soul as well as rest for your body. It is okay to admit to Me how thirsty you are. Let Me quench your thirst first. Then you will have fresh water to share with others.


God, if I could sit down and have a conversation with You, one thing I would ask You about is renewal. That whole church time. And what You think about all that.

What did renewal mean to you? What did that time do for you? Never mind anyone else’s experience. What was your experience?

Well, You talked to me. That was the huge thing. I’d be there, and we’d talk. I loved that—and before those services, I longed for that connection, to hear You in my heart. It didn’t happen often before that, the whole meditative prayer thing.

And I began with my friend our ministry to the Blackfoot right before that, but we definitely felt led and empowered to go. That was huge. I received physical and emotional strength to care for Mom and Dad in their illness. Over and over I felt, well, renewed. I had new energy to continue in a difficult situation. That was huge.

 And You healed so much earlier emotional brokenness, and that healing opened the possibility of my allowing myself to love someone again—Pete—and to remarry. That was Huge, huge, huge.

So you received healing, and strength, and encouragement, and joy. You connected more deeply with Me, and you were guided by that connection in all sorts of decisions. You felt empowered to speak about Me, and especially to speak about reconciliation, peace, and unity.


What makes you think you are not living in renewal right now? You connect with Me here, and in your heart, everyday. You received supernatural strength and miracles when Pete was sick before. Your connection with family up north is a renewal miracle. You speak about Me in a way that encourages reconciliation, peace, and unity, all the time. You are walking, living, breathing a renewed life every day, all the time!

Oh, wow! Thank You, Lord! Wow, that’s great! I can feel You smiling, giving me a hug. I love You, Lord.