practice: managing the art of life and faith

It takes determination and dedication to practice until we become masters of an art. I lacked the ability to do it well with the violin when I was a child. Or maybe the pained and irritated expression on my parents’ faces was a deterrent.

And I have never overcome my fear of water or been able to swim with any confidence or ease. Sadly, my life is littered with the taking up and laying aside of numerous activities I felt insufficient at.

Somehow, the thought of not being good enough (or perfect) meant I was unwilling to persevere with gaining proficiency. My insecure soul was easily crushed and deterred. Except in my career as a nurse, in being a mother and in one creative area alone.

I’ve never lost the desire to wrangle with words and write out the poetic. I am content to practice because I love it. Writing makes me come alive on the inside and it’s also where I feel reasonably adept. Though I’m as prone to bouts of insecurity, doubt and comparisonitis as anyone else.

practice - baby with tambourine - God gifts each one of us with talents quote (C) joylenton

God gifts each one of us with talents, and He also instructs us in the art of living itself. God’s grace means we are forgiven when we mess up, and we can learn to forgive ourselves and move on. Our progress in the spiritual life is far from linear but it is progress, nevertheless.

We’re often not aware we are practising becoming Christ-like but that’s exactly what is happening every day of our lives. As we yield and yield over again to God, we submit our souls to His authority and supreme love. And allow Holy Spirit to do a transforming work in our hearts.

Though perfection is overrated, it’s also an unattainable goal for imperfect people to reach. Maybe if we spent most of our time and energy on being faithful followers of Jesus Christ, then the rest would fall into its rightful place. We could accept being imperfectly perfect in God’s sight, and those who are daily practising the art of a surrendered life.

Let’s seek to practice the art of life, the art of loving others, as we hone the music in our souls and release our gifts freely into the world. Don’t worry about being perfect. Simply rest in being perfectly loved by God.

practice - child playing piano - Let’s seek to practice the art of life, the art of loving others quote (C) joylenton


Practice makes perfect
or so they say
but I’ve been practising
the art of living
for six decades
without perfection
in any way.

As I reflect, look back
down the long, dark corridor
of time, what has saved
my soul has been
life’s poetry, metre,
rhythm and rhyme.

It’s revealed in holy script
in my very breath
in wonder and awe
in remembrance
of the One who holds
it all—with great reverence
in the palm of his hands.

And he releases tiny glimmers
of grace into our hearts
and minds, our everyday lives
so we can receive, believe,
think and pray, live out
our lives with gratitude
and hope and joy.
© joylenton

I’m grateful for the weekly practice of flexing my poetic muscles by writing for the fabulous five-minute-friday community. This week’s prompt is “practice”, and you are welcome to join us here as I link my poem with the great variety of posts being shared.

practice poem excerpt (C) joylenton

18 thoughts on “practice: managing the art of life and faith

  1. Good morning Joy, thank you for your words on perfection. Love your last line. I want expecting your poem. It was a true delight to read. May God bless the work of your hands today Joy. Visiting from FMF. In Christ, Julie

    • Good evening, Julie. It’s lovely to see you here. I smiled at yours words. My tendency is to frame my five-minute-friday poem with some introductory thoughts, and sometimes I get a bit carried away, as you can see here! Hence the surprise of a poem attached to a piece of prose. But I am glad you continued reading on and loved what you saw. Do drop by again, my friend! Blessings on your weekend. 😊🌼

      • Welcome back, Julie! I hope to pop over and read your thoughts as well. Sometimes we need a break from our usual writing/sharing places, then they are all the sweeter for our return. Hope to see you again! 💟🌷

      • Julie, having just visited your site I wondered if you chose poetry sometimes for your #FMF posts. And I noticed you also have two blogs, one predominantly for poetry and the other for prose. I write poetry and shorter reflections here, whereas I write longer, more in depth, mostly prose posts at my website. You’re the first person I have come across who has a similar system in place! 😊

      • Thanks, Julie! Indeed it isn’t. Though I feel I know you already in the blogosphere, especially on Bettie Gilbert’s site, where you leave such lovely comments. 😊

  2. Oh, yes. I want to practice the art of life, the art of loving others. Thank you for your post. Blessings to you!

  3. Ah. Pursue the art of living. And loving. Just the nudges I needed today.

    And the photos are outstanding! Yours, yes? A delight to the eyes and imagination.

    • Me, too, Laurie! God always preaches to me from the words He inspires me to write. I’m glad you love the images here. Sadly, they are not my own but they serve their purpose well. It’s a joy to see you here, sweet friend. I hope you are feeling better than you were. I’m a bit behind with your blog posts, I’m afraid, and I rarely catch Facebook news either. So forgive my ignorance. You can always send me a catch up email if you prefer. Sending blessings, love, hugs and prayers. xo 💜

    • Deborah, it doesn’t surprise me that you love the idea. As a deeply perceptive artist and a spiritually aware, creative soul, I believe you already do live this way. At least that’s what comes across to me whenever I peruse your lovely site. May we continue to make “our life and our faith an art we practice with passion and devotion.” Blessings on your weekend, my friend! xo 💜

  4. Dear Joy,
    Oh these are such precious thoughts today. Especially this:
    “Let’s seek to practice the art of life, the art of loving others, as we hone the music in our souls and release our gifts freely into the world. Don’t worry about being perfect. Simply rest in being perfectly loved by God.” Oh, amen. I continue to learn how deeply He is speaking that to me. My practice tends to fall so easily into striving, and He whispers to let that striving go as He has already done all that was necessary for me. I love how you describe your passion for writing, and how the practice of it flows from that place so deep in your soul. It shows, dear sister! Your words carry that passion and then it overflows and touches each one of us who come here. Thank you for sharing your heart of love! Blessings and hugs and love to you! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, our journey seems to be in tandem in many ways as we experience similar things in life and faith. I can fully identify with the striving you describe. And I also see the same passion and desire to release the God-thoughts in your heart. They’ve impacted me every single time I read them. More than that, you wear your heart of love and compassion so transparently that it cannot help but touch the lives of those who come into contact with you. I’m blessed to know you and call you friend. Blessings, love and hugs returned to you. Have a lovely Mothers Day weekend! xoxo 💜

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