rhythm: seeking a slower pace to truly savour our lives

I’m sensing a change is due. For far too long I have had a discordant inner rhythm and a jangling outer one. With nerves frayed, patience shot and a desperate need to slow right down.

I know my life would hardly be considered busy (never mind frantic) to others. Living with M.E and chronic illness involves a necessary daily pacing and rest to avoid burnout and overwhelm. But do I heed the signs of being wearier than usual? Do I stop instead of pressing on? Not always.

We’re all able to push ourselves more than might be wise, especially when the things we are engaged with truly matter to us, like writing does to me. Yet when we ignore the warning signs, we risk adopting an imbalanced rhythm where rest barely gets a look in and busyness of some description becomes a default state that’s hard to break.

It is possible to slow and savour the ordinary before our eyes. In doing so, we might gain gratitude and a deeper appreciation of those who share our days. Maybe conversation could be less like itching to get our point across and more about listening to the other person? Just a thought.

I have experienced the inestimable value of pursuing times of quiet, prayerful solitude with God on a regular basis. It pays to have seasons of slow whenever we sense God calling us to do so.

A different life rhythm

I need a different life rhythm if I am to become more fully myself
with increasing awareness of the sacredness of ordinary life events
and moments, as I welcome in and embrace whatever might chime
like the hours in their ability to remind me of God’s loving presence

as it permeates the everyday, saturating everything we might take
for granted in our haste to move on from one activity to another
without savouring life with our senses alive to its holy resonance
as it meets with us in its unique thisness of vibrancy being offered

for we move too fast, especially in our thoughts, as we hurry and rush
to get to the new and the next, expecting each fresh encounter will
entertain and distract us better than those we have left behind or
rejected with our muddied minds, which do not value being stilled

because we’re blinded by busyness and slaves to change, fearing
most of all to be left behind, to miss out on something, which we
soon discover is not all it’s cracked up to be and only serves to drain
and deplete, to sap our vitality and leave us feeling weary and weak

our souls require breathing space, pockets of set-aside time, a quiet
deliberation to pursue the most excellent way that God designed us
to live and move and have our being in him, while we rest all we are
and all we can be, with gratitude for our days and thankful praise
© joylenton

Friend, I am heeding these whispers to my soul and resting my poetic thoughts for a while, though I hope to share snippets on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter when I am able. I’d love you to join me in those places.

Blessings, love and hugs to you until we meet again in a few weeks time. xo 😊💜🌸

16 thoughts on “rhythm: seeking a slower pace to truly savour our lives

  1. “embrace whatever might chime
    like the hours in their ability to remind me of God’s loving presence …”
    “… the gem at the core of the familiar.”
    How tenderly you redirect my gaze this morning. Much needed, thank you, dear Joy!
    Wishing you healing rest and refreshment. xo

    • My pleasure, dear Laurie! I am grateful to have been given words that chimed in your soul. Thank you for your kind blessing. It’s just what I need! May it be so for you, too, my friend. xo 😊💜

    • Oh good! Thanks for letting me know, Michael, and for generously sharing this post with your readers. I will miss your encouraging presence here and your own beautiful prayers, but my break from blogging must also include a rest from reading the posts I usually do. Only then can I create that necessary quiet space and encounter the Divine in a more wholehearted way. Bless you, dear Brother. May God provide you and your lovely wife with pockets of needful rest and refreshing in Him over the summer months, if not a proper holiday break. 💜

  2. “…our souls require breathing space, pockets of set-aside time, a quiet
    deliberation to pursue the most excellent way that God designed…”
    Joy, your whole post invites us to slow down, to savor God’s goodness and love in each moment rather than continually rush from one thing to another. I am determined to sit outside today and just listen to the sound and enjoy the beauty and find rest for my soul.
    Blessings to you, dear poet/sister/friend! Love and hugs! xoxo

    • Dear Gayl, please forgive my slowness in responding to your comment. I’m still playing catch up with so much right now. It warms my heart to think I might have inspired you to enjoy the beauty on your porch. I hope the weather held and you got to relax and unwind a bit! Finding rest for our souls in a hectic world, especially during times when we cannot slow ourselves much, is more of a private, inner retreat, I think, whereby we seek to commune with God during the daily grind. Rather like Brother Lawrence writes about in ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’. Eventually, such a practice could become as natural as breathing to us. At least that is the hope! Have a blessed weekend, sweet friend. Love and hugs to you! xoxo 💜

  3. Such beautiful words of truth, Joy. Thank you for this encouragement. I am slowly discovering “our souls require breathing space” too. Tonight that meant going for a long bike ride to the beach, soaking in the evening sun, the lapping sea and beautiful old hymns God gifted me to hum quietly as I headed home. You are so right that our hearts and souls need this. So much so. Praying for you as you choose to draw back and rest this coming month.

    • Dear Anna, oh what a delightful vision of life, vitality and inner rest your description gave to me! How lovely to be able to savour those things. I love the thought of it all. When busyness, chronic illness or the aging process constrains our days or limits our bodies, we can still visit those long-remembered places in our heads. I’m blessed in just thinking about what you did. And I am truly thankful for your prayers. Love and hugs! xo 💜

  4. Dear Joy,
    Oh this describes our world so well: “because we’re blinded by busyness and slaves to change.” It seems to be a constant struggle for everyone now-a-days. How desperately we each need to come away for that time to rest and be restored. Truly we need to change our perspectives, to be willing to see that: “our souls require breathing space, pockets of set-aside time, a quiet
    deliberation to pursue the most excellent way that God designed ”
    How I pray that I will let Him shape my heart to be more willing to listen to His call for that time with Him to breathe more deeply. Thank you for the beautiful ways that you share your heart with us. May the Lord replenish you as you obey His call to slow down. Love, Hugs, and Blessings to you dear friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, having my own words repeated back to me in the comments here has been a kind of therapy of sorts and a great reminder of what I am aiming for during this season of slowing down. I think it’s the “quiet deliberation” that holds the key to success in pursuing peace and developing a habit of soul rest, as well as better physical care habits. I am joining you in your heartfelt plea to be drawn with cords of holy love, have our hearts shaped by God and be willing participants in the hearing, listening and responding processes. I love the beautiful way you share your heart thoughts here, my friend! May the replenishing effects extend to you and yours, as you face extra demands on your strength, energy and time. Blessings, love and hugs to you! xoxo 😊💜

    • Hello June, I’m always thankful to see you, my friend! Your generous thoughts and prayers are truly welcome. I will miss this space and the opportunity to engage with friends as often as I do now, but once we are home after visiting family this week, then I look forward to a period of pulling back and being able to fully rest and relax. Bless you for caring. I hope and pray you are keeping as well as possible yourself. Love and hugs! xo 💜

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