It’s been two weeks now since I returned home from an inpatient stay at the local psychiatric hospital. I can’t say I feel 100%, but my improvement is really quite remarkable. In fact, it may be best that I’m not 100% the way I was before going in because that 100% was about 100% too much. I wasn’t living well within my limits. I was trying to be everyone for everybody, including myself. In one 15 day stretch, I slept a total of 30 hours. Thank God I had so many people praying for me and ready to intervene when I was willing to ask for help.

Being on a psych unit at any time can be a bit unnerving. Being on one during a pandemic is downright frightening. At least it was for me. But the staff did a tremendous job allaying my fears. More than anything, they modeled as front-line workers the courage and commitment to promote good health in such a time as this. I am tremendously grateful for all the staff and even many of the patients who demonstrated empathy and compassion in action.

Now that I’m home, I’m doing my best to get in “holy sync” with my body, mind, and spirit. My schedule begins in the evening, as I take my medication at 10 pm (on the nose). Shortly thereafter I am in bed with a gentle fan, a soothing sound machine, a fragrant essential oil diffuser, and a special book light shining on the latest uplifting book I’m reading. With this hygiene, I’ve been able to get to sleep in about 10-15 minutes each night.

In the morning (after 8-10) hours of sleep, I take some medication and listen to a news podcast. I stick with Axios, BBC, PBS, or Wall Street Journal. Readings of the news that cover essential world affairs without sensationalizing them. I then take the rest of my morning meds and drink a Ginger Berry Tofu Smoothie. I start drinking coffee and when I become alert, I do a devotional reading and jot down notes to-do in a journal. Other things I do to enhance my health include walking on the treadmill, playing with Briley, and drinking plenty of water. Next week I want to explore a beginner’s/senior yoga I can do with the TV to improve my strength and flexibility.

My other main focus this week has been launching the audiobook for When Despair Meets Delight. I have a Facebook group of 82 promoters, and a group of 220 Delightful Prayers who receive emails like this one —


12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  (1 Kings 19:12-13)

One of my early literary heroes was Henry David Thoreau. While I was a top scholar athlete, the epitome of a preppy jock, I dreamed of letting my hair and beard grow ragged, running off to some wooded Walden Pond and taking up residence with my creaturely neighbors in the wild.
It never happened and I assure you that now it never will. Just brushing a little snow off my SUV wears me out. While the idea of living off the grid fascinates me, the fact is I am too faint of heart.
But ideas still speak even when dreams go unfulfilled. Thoreau still speaks to my heart as I write, 

“The mass of men and women now lead lives of noisy desolation. We busy ourselves with pointless, tedious tasks that fail to fill our troubled souls and instead cause chaos and create confusion about who we are and what we are designed to do.”

Do you feel desperately desolate these days?
Will you replace busyness with the Lord’s business? 

God’s prayer for you —
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am…
Be still and know…
Be still…