Dawn to dusk

dawn-212133_1920

From dawn to dusk the skies proclaim God’s glory.

Reveal His majesty and unfolding story.

We watch in awe each morn, eve and afternoon.

And maybe with some dismay on dismal days that end too soon.

Yet we live with the hope of God pouring out speech day by day.

Enlivening us with His word. Gifting us with His Presence.

Sharing His ways in all created things. Making us aware of His grace.

If we would only learn to listen, pay heed and receive.

‘Dusk’

I feel the fade

to grey

on cold

November days

An inconsiderate

gathering gloom

of darkness

falls too soon

Something in me

squeezes tight

And I want to rage

against the

dying shafts

of light

Unless my heart

makes room

And trusts

grace is shining still

in the dusk

of these afternoons

©JoyLenton2014

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world”  ~ Psalm 19:1-4

Joining Janis and friends for #SundayStillness as we make sacred space to reflect on God’s ways

dusk in November PJ file pin image

Being thankful

gratitude thanksgiving PJ file image

As I type these words I imagine some of you are celebrating Thanksgiving, hearts heavy with thankfulness, faces glowing with candle-light and closeness, enjoying family, friendship and fine food.

Or maybe the meal is over and you’re sitting sharing more intimate conversation, listening and laughter. Maybe squabbling (amicably, of course, we are just imagining the best scenario) over who does the dishes and who gets to choose the TV programmes, and will you pass the chocolates, please?

All good gifts. All grace. All manifestations of the myriad ways we are given holy moments in the everyday. Touches of mercy to warm our hearths and hearts.

For it’s in the simple things of life, eating, drinking, breaking bread together that we become connected, members of God’s big family.

United in His love, and by His provision for us, joined by joy in giving and receiving, in encouraging and sharing.

In the daily grind there is always space for blessing, for gratitude, for being kind, recognising grace and giving it to others.

We may just need to ask God to help us to see it and pass it on.

‘Gratitude’

God’s golden-glimmer gifts of grace

discovered in the commonplace

Rest and sleep, deep peace and ease,

soft wind of Holy Spirit breeze

All our hearts desire and need,

awareness of our pride and greed

Trust and faith will light the way

on discouraging, darker days

Invitation, inspiration ignite

the fire to come up higher

Truth seen, received, believed and heard,

witnessed in Jesus as The Word

Understanding of all our faults and flaws,

underpinning of God’s righteous laws

Divine encounters opening heaven’s door

as death is defeated for ever more

Embraced by Love, encouraged

and comforted by God above

©JoyLenton2014

gratitude poem pin file image

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is greatly helped by deliberately noticing and counting blessings. One of the best resources I know for this is Ann Voskamp’s lovely book, ‘One Thousand Gifts’.

In fact, because this book has had such a beneficial effect on my life, I have a free copy to give away, chosen at random from those leaving a comment below.

I’ll kick things off with my own grace gifts for today:

1) As I pulled the curtains back after a wakeful, pain-filled night, I saw a blaze of heart-shaped light filtering through the gloomy grey outside, edging the clouds like a living thing. It felt like God was saying it’s OK, My love-light can seep through the most challenging nights and days and bring hope back to you.

2) The poem above falling into my head as I pondered on God’s goodness and grace. 

3) Having a husband who holds me close even (yes, especially) on my tear-filled, over-tired, angsty days when I feel so unworthy of his love. He is a living reminder of the love of God continually poured out, always giving, faithful and unconditional.

Now over to you:What 3 things are you thankful for today? (you can add more if you wish) 

Just leave a comment below to be in with a chance to win a free copy of ‘One Thousand Gifts’. (Offer limited to UK residents only due to postal charges – sorry) But please do leave a comment anyway so that we can share in praising God together for His gifts of grace. PS: I am so thankful for all of you who read and follow this blog. Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day! 🙂

Vestiges remain

lingering sadness PJ post file image

‘Vestiges remain’

Vestiges of summer linger in sun’s warm rays

before fading far away at close of day

Autumnal chill makes body and heart sink cold

and low before they find another warm glow

Each new sunrise brings hope of renewal and change

opportunity for life and love to become rearranged

We are born; we live; we die. And in-between

we welcome, embrace, and bid Goodbye

Every day has moments of goodness

and grace, sadness and sorrow, clinging on

today while we wait for tomorrow

Silver linings shine beneath all dirt and grime

and darkness hovers round us all the time

Light is always waiting at the door if we

have faith to let it in and believe for more

There are no wasted days or years

despite how bleak things may appear

God can redeem every one as we learn

to trust fully in Jesus, His Son

How do we live with this dichotomy?

By remembering the good, giving praise

and being as thankful as we can be

©JoyLenton2014 

door letting in light vestiges PJ file pin image

Getting off the treadmill

Pausing PJ file image

‘Pausing’

In a frantic 24/7

treadmill life, it’s no heaven

to have stress, strain and strife

Because we gradually learn

how it makes us crash and burn

In order to still our body and mind

we may have to be cruel to be kind

Discover what helps or hinders us

as we step off the ‘always busy’ bus

And as we try to do our part

we’ll find the calm of the Father’s heart

is found in silence and in rest

In listening, pausing, seeking His best

Placing ourselves into His hands

Yielding our motives, goals and plans

Reading the wisdom in God’s word

Absorbing its truth seen and heard

Finding peace-pauses in each day

to simply be, breathe, and pray

Then stillness will soothe, fill and flood

our hearts with God’s peace and love

©JoyLenton2014

On a weary, M.E symptom-heavy day when I’ve spent several hours in bed, I’ve wished I could press ‘pause’ on the thoughts in my head. A body can be experiencing a degree of rest and ease while a mind spins like a hamster on a wheel. However, some thoughts are welcome ones and I am grateful to God for the unexpected gift of words to write and share on such a day as this.

Joining here with Kate and other ‘feel the fear and do it afraid, brave and bold, no worries about perfection’ writer friends for #fiveminutefriday You are very welcome and warmly encouraged to join in. This week’s prompt is:’Still’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Walk of faith

file image PJ walk of faith

‘Walking’

Sometimes I want to walk

away from myself

turn my back and flee

But there’s no getting

away from it

I can’t get away from me

Although I feel a place

of cold emptiness

echoing through my heart

When I try listening close

I sense Jesus is

walking through every part

He pushes away the

darkness shelved deep inside

so that it has nowhere else

to trouble, disturb or hide

And He fills and floods

every crevice and space

with His wonderful love

and amazing grace

©JoyLenton2014

For the first time in several weeks, I am delighted to be joining here again today(a little later than planned) with Kate and friends for #fiveminutefriday and with Mel for #essentialfridays

grace file pin image PJ walk of faith

A wintry perspective

Perspective file image

As one in the autumnal season of her life, I feel the cool approach of winter as something of a reproach.

The harvest season is over for another year. All fruitfulness is vanishing.

Time slides inexorably onwards and the hour-glass gets bottom-heavy.

Minds seize and freeze over and opportunities seem to have died on the vine.

But what if we looked at it differently?

See winter season (physical and otherwise) as one of taking a pregnant pause.

Ground may feel unyielding and hard but much activity goes on beneath the surface.

Dormancy paves the way to expectancy. Spring will come again.

Sometimes we fail to see the wood for the trees. Sap will rise anew.

Each stripping bare, dying back and lying fallow are ways to seek soul sanctuary in God alone.

A season of rest and retreat may be called for. A season to press ‘pause’ on the pursuit of busyness.

A gathering of words and ideas ready to share at Just The Right Moment. I’m heavy with some.

I have a book (or three) I long to give birth to.

A poetry anthology has been a while in the making, compiling and sorting. A devotional book of Prayer Whispers. A memoir.

But nothing is quite ready yet. My physical and mental energy are low, many other demands are being made on me, and God seems to be saying He’s in no rush.

So I wait and lean and learn as my seed sits in the ground growing slow and steady.

Because the best part of a wintry season is the hope is produces in stilled hearts and minds. It holds purpose in the pauses. God is still at work on our behalf. There is beauty in every season of life.

‘A wintry view’

You sit with an autumnal life

surrounded by abundance bright

as you wait for a gradual dying-back

harvest to fall into your thankful lap

Yet hopes can wither over time

unless they’re rooted in The Vine

From my perspective of a wintry view

life takes on a slower, softer, mellow hue

You’re grateful for these lengthening days

as further opportunity to praise

Friends and family remain the greater part

of all you hold dear within your heart

Though there is a Friend, just like a brother,

who sticks closer than any other

He is the One who lights your days

with His constant love and grace

You’ve grown calmer, more serene,

with wisdom visible within

because you’ve learnt it all from Him

Pain and fatigue still pervade your days

You’re grateful when good sleep comes your way

Insecurity stalks you less and less

as do impatience, strain and stress

For you have learnt to relax, yield your life,

found peace is better than struggle and strife

Your dreams, hopes, goals and plans

became a reality in God’s hands

So rest easy, dear fretful, younger version of me,

getting older is not as bad as it seems to be

©JoyLenton2014

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him” ~ Psalm 92:12-15

A wintry view poem pin PJ file image

My wintry perspective is a poetic twist inspired by the challenge set here by my writer friend, James Prescott. Do take a look at his amazing post and be inspired!

I have imagined myself as a more senior woman (around 20 years older than my current age) writing a letter to myself as I am now.

It’s lent itself to a great deal of reflection and may also morph into a post on ‘Words of Joy’ in time to come.