Faith Doesn’t Have to be Perfect


Here’s what I found out this past week: faith doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t even have to feel good while the Universe is working for you. You can feel bad. You can feel doubt, and even a little fear. You don’t have to know what’s going on. Most of the time we don’t anyway. This past week showed me that.

On Monday morning, my house (which has been on the market for three years – for those who don’t regularly follow this blog) was inspected. On Monday afternoon, I got a copy of the inspector’s report. Things looked great. Except for two items. He suggested that I needed safety electrical receptacles in the kitchen and…OMG…there was mold on some of the joists under the house. I freaked. I had the house treated for mold 3 years ago. Guess what?  It comes back. I’ve since learned that just about every house in my county has mold. We’ve been living in dampness and rain for as long as I can remember. Still. This freaks buyers out. That’s when I went into the tunnel. The buyer had five days to respond. She could ask me to make the repairs or walk out on the contract. That’s what happened after my last two inspections. I had extensive repairs to make, and I made them, but the buyers left me. And I still had that nagging fear in the back of my head. Would my house ever be acceptable to a buyer? Since I bought it fourteen years ago, I had almost rebuilt it. I just didn’t think I had anything left to put into it, physically or mentally.

So, I did what I always do when confronted with fear. I went to my spiritual readings. I prayed. I meditated. And – this was the hard part – I refused to entertain any thought outside of going to Sedona, the place to which I am called, the place I have been trying to get to for more than three years. For four interminable days, I heard nothing. I was living in a silent limbo. The worst part was the silence. The longer it went on, the more I was tempted to think the worst. My friends had already started to be happy for me. What in the world would I say to them if the third buyer walked away? I was in and out of a low-grade panic, but I stuck to my guns, put it aside every time, and thought only of finding my perfect house in Sedona. Kept it all positive, scared but positive.

I had believed for some time that I only had to know the what. The Universe would take care of the how.  And so, when I was at my best, I was chanting the Universe will take care of the how.

I didn’t start out wanting to embrace a spiritual life. I believed in my childhood God, but a Universe (or God, if you like) that was benevolent and loving in all things and in all times was something that I just didn’t think about.  Until my world turned upside down. My son Eddie died, and I was thrust into a maelstrom of grief and despair.

The people I know today who are on a spiritual path did not get there because they thought it was a good idea. They got there through the terrible doors of tragedy and trauma. There may be no free entry to this world of the spirit. But one needn’t worry. Life will eventually give everybody a mountain to climb. And at the foot of that mountain, we will climb toward the light or we will lie down and die.

On Friday, day four of the silence, I got a phone call from the Arlington Metaphysical Chapel. A few days prior, I had called, hoping against hope that I could get a reading from Rev. Reed Brown, and was told he had no openings until September. If you’ve read my book, you’ll know who he is – very likely the most gifted psychic medium on the planet. The man who, after Eddie’s death, saved my life.

I asked the chapel secretary to put me on the waiting list, in case somebody cancelled (which they never do). This might very well be the last time I would get to see him, and I really needed some encouragement from Spirit. On Friday morning, the secretary told me that somebody had cancelled and that I could see him on Tuesday. My flight out to Sedona to look for a place to live is on Wednesday.

Later that day, my stepdaughter Laura drove (two hours!) down to see me and brought her five-year-old twins, Fiona and Ella. Even knowing I was going to see Rev. Brown, knowing I would get encouragement from Spirit and perhaps some good news, I was nearly at the end of my positive streak, ready to cry or give up hope of ever selling my house, or of answering the call to Sedona. But Laura brought new, sweet energy into my house and into the day which had threatened to turn dark. We made lunch and took the girls down to the river. On the beach, there were other children with shovels and pails, and an adorable dog. Laura and I sat in the shade of a tree and watched them play, full of life and joy. Large striped bass played further out in the river, their tail fins sparkling in the sun. The weather was perfect. A soft breeze cooled the air. I knew then that the Universe had sent love to get me through that last day. For the first time in four days, I didn’t check my messages every five minutes for news from the buyer. When it was time to go, I hugged the girls goodbye, and almost absent-mindedly checked my phone for a text. And there it was. It came as we were on the beach. The buyer has asked me if I will make the renovations suggested by the inspector. I will, and we are ready to move on to the next step: appraisal. It can’t be as nerve-wracking and dangerous as this part was, that’s for sure. We’re on the way home, so to speak.

My faith is not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. I waver and return to the center. I doubt and return to faith. I am afraid and return to peace. And that is how it works when you’re human.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney is available at and at

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Sometimes You Just Need a Few Cookies

I have said it many times. Following the spiritual path is not easy. It involves direct encounters with the righteous/ego mind, the Enemy of Peace.

Today, I had yet another encounter with The Enemy.  It began with an email from my real estate agent. She forwarded a message from a couple who is supposedly very interested in my house (the one that’s been on the market for almost three years). They’ve seen it twice; they’ve asked reasonable questions, which I’ve answered. All good signs, I was told. Today, it was different. The email said, “Please see below. This is making buyer nervous…anything you can add or correct”….etc. etc. etc. Scrolling down, I see this from the buyer’s agent: “My client is questioning why the floor joists needed to be replaced 3 times in 10 years…She’s concerned that the house may be sinking.”

My righteous/ego mind swung into gear. Je-sus Christ! It yelled. In the interest of full disclosure, and as a selling point for my house, and on the advice of my agent, I have provided interested buyers with a list of renovations I’ve made over the past ten years.

Back to the righteous/ego mind, which is now having a ball because I’m pissed off.  It really enjoys chaos.

Can’t they read? My list doesn’t say I’ve had joists replaced 3 times. Do they want this house or don’t they? Buyers today are such crybabies. If I’d been like that, I’d never have owned a house. And on, and on, and on.

I could have stopped there, and indignantly refused to respond, but as you know, the Universe likes me. (It likes all of us – even while it is sending us …opportunities to progress.) As it happened, I meditated this morning, and its good effects were still present in my other mind. The peaceful, rational one. Meditation is my way of connecting with the Universe’s Loving Power. It stopped me mid-rant and said something like: Emotions don’t belong here. Do your job and respond like a cool, collected grownup.

So I began to research. I am trained to do that, you know. I didn’t last in Washington for forty-two years by blowing smoke out of my…smokestack.  In that town, if you don’t do your homework, everyone will know it. And that’s bad.  

With my righteous/ego mind put in its place, I emptied my box (I have a box by now) labeled “Selling the House” on the floor and went through the pile of papers until I had reconstructed (no pun intended) the whys and wherefores of work that was done in the last 10 years. In the process, I remembered (or was I told?) that repairs, additions, and renovations were made to the undercarriage because we wanted to prepare the house for additional weight when we were anticipating developing the second floor. That was when Bill was alive. It was his decision (which I couldn’t remember at first). Thank you, Billy. Later, I had more work done because of a bathroom leak that had damaged floors. It had nothing to do with the house “sinking.” I also promised documentation for everything. It was a good, accurate report.

Just as I was ready to celebrate and send it off, I couldn’t find the last bit of documentation. It’s never easy, is it?

I went through every file folder three or four times. I went through every email since August of last year, the month in question. I knew I’d saved the papers. I would never have thrown them away. But where were they? At this point, even as tired as I was, something interesting had taken hold. Faith. I had looked through every possible place they could have been, or so I thought, and I couldn’t find them. And I wasn’t worried. Just then, I noticed the small pile of papers on my desk, the first papers I pulled out of the box. Why I put them on my desk instead of on the floor like the others, I do not know. Well, yes I do. I put them there unconsciously because they were reports of the last repair, the one that needed the most documentation. But I didn’t even remember seeing them.  Or…LP had helped me without my noticing – put them right out there. Once again, it occurred to me that I was looked after, loved, taken care of, down to the smallest details of my life. Every time we notice that we are loved and taken care of is an important event. The details don’t matter.

Why do I have to go through this exercise of losing my balance and regaining it, losing it and regaining it, losing and regaining it? The obvious answer is because I’m human, and in that humanness I am limited and forgetful, but perhaps the most important reason is that I need the exercise. Like physical exercise, spiritual exercise produces strength, flexibility, and an increase in serotonin-like faith. Whether my report satisfies the buyers or not is not important. Whether they are my buyers or not is not important. What is important is that I got the exercise I needed.

Oh, did I forget to mention something? During my frustrating search for the documents that were right under my nose, I ate four chocolate chip cookies.  Faith doesn’t have to be perfect. And a little chocolate-produced serotonin may be just what it takes to get you through to the finish line.

chocolate chip cookies


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. It can be found at

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Something Wonderful is Happening

I don’t know why, but today, for some reason, I thought of an old joke:

A scientist walks up to God and says, “Well, God, our technology is so great, we can make most anything. We can even clone people. We probably don’t need you anymore.” And God says, “Oh, really? Can you make a man from scratch?” “Sure,” replies the scientist. Reaching down to the earth, he scoops up a little dirt. “This is probably all I need.” “Well, you’re right, of course,” says God. “But that’s my dirt. You’ll have to get your own dirt.”

The story in my book, The Messenger, was given to me. It unfolded behind my eyes, beneath my thoughts. It came from a time and space as real as the one in which I am living now. The story existed before I wrote it down. I didn’t create it. I did have to work hard to bring it all together into a physical book, but when I was writing it, I never knew where it was going. I never knew what was going to happen. I knew I wasn’t in control. And because something wonderful was happening, it was all right.

You’d think I would remember that, and apply it to my own day-to-day life story. you’d think that by now, I’d know that something wonderful is happening, and that it’s all right if I don’t know where my story is going, or what is going to happen. It’s funny, isn’t it – as long as the unknown is happening to somebody else, it’s all right, but when the unknown is where we must abide  – as we must – we choose to suffer. Wanting to know the why and when of everything is like thinking that you have to find your own dirt.

But I want to know when somebody is going to buy my house, because I want to move to Sedona. Dealing with this unknown is my current assignment from the Universe. Every day, I must wake up and find a way to understand that, as my daughter says, God’s got this. Every day, now that the weather is lovely (I like the heat), I have my first cup of coffee on my back porch. In that first, lovely hour, before I can question the why of anything, it is the most beautiful place on earth. It is alive with the songs of birds, and sometimes, the sound of the wind. The trees and flowers are all growing out of the dirt, which I did not create. Something wonderful is happening. Creation is unfolding as it should, and everything is all right.

* * *

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Look for The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney on

Sometimes I Just Forget


For two years, I have lived in a fishbowl. Strangers have walked through every room in my house, poked around in my cabinets and closets. I’ve lost my privacy, I’ve had my hopes raised and dashed more times than I can count. I’ve had to keep my house looking as if I don’t live in it, as if it never rains mud on my porch, as if birds never poop on my deck, as if my grass never grows, weeds never pop up in my flower beds, and as if twenty pine trees don’t throw needles all over everything every time the wind blows. This is what it’s been like since I put my house up for sale.

This morning seemed to top it all off. It was cold, damp, and gloomy. Spring had just…disappeared. I’d found out the day before that somebody I love may be very sick. And then, my real estate agent called to say that I’d be getting an offer on my house at 1:00 p.m.

You’d think that last bit of news would lift me out of the doldrums, but it didn’t. I actually felt worse, because I expected to be disappointed. Again. So I did something I don’t usually do. I forgot something very important, and began to play out a scenario in my head: The offer will probably be so low I won’t be able to accept it. The market is so depressed here, more than the state at large, more than the country at large. Maybe I’ll never get to Sedona. I can’t imagine another winter here. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Now, I am a person of faith in the Universe. I know that I am where I am supposed to be. I know the person who is facing surgery and an uncertain prognosis is surrounded by love. I know the sun will come out. Eventually. I even know that I am supposed to live in Sedona. I am called there. (That’s another story.) I know all of this. But I forgot. I forgot that there is a Divine Order to things. I forgot that, as my daughter Michaela says, God’s got this. I forgot until I remembered.

And there it was. The miracle I talk about all the time, the miracle of help that comes exactly when I need it: I remembered to meditate. In the middle of my tortuous and frantic interference in the process, I remembered to meditate.

I often use the Prayer of Saint Francis when I meditate: Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace...When I opened my eyes some thirty minutes later, all was well. I only asked to be a channel, but what I received was peace, as if I had been wise enough to ask for it for myself. That’s how it works with me. I always get something better than the thing I ask for, even if I don’t recognize it as such. But today, I did. I felt the peace and knew what it was. I went about my business and forgot about the rain, the cold, and the offer.

At 2:30 p.m., my real estate agent called. For one split second, I faltered. “Just tell me what the number is,” I said to her, “so I can decide whether or not to come into the office.” But I felt the peace again, even before she could answer. She gave me a figure. It was too low, but in the ball park. I went into the office, and made a counter offer. A small reduction in my asking price. My agent looked uncomfortable, but I felt fine. We finished the paperwork, and I went grocery shopping. Half way down the cat food aisle, my cell phone rang. “Are you sitting down?” my real estate agent said. “She accepted it, right?” I said. To make a long story short, I will be going to settlement on the 19th of June. All is contingent on a home inspection, of course. But it’s okay. I’m no longer in charge. I’ve got to remember that when I start to look for a house in Sedona. And tomorrow? I am not going to make my bed.


Update on The Messenger: The cover is finished, and it is gorgeous. I will receive a final proof copy in a couple of days. A few more short steps to publication, and I’ll be able to announce its release.