stilling: learning to love your ordinary life

stilling - choose joy - learning to love your ordinary life @poetryjoy.com

“This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” — Maya Angelou

So often fear of change nibbles at our souls like a restless rat. It makes us fail to appreciate what we already have before us, right here, right now. I find myself falling into a dissatisfaction trap whenever I forget to live with mindful awareness and a joyful and grateful heart.

We can get so caught up in the challenges, fears and frustrating minutiae of life that we neglect to lift up our heads and appreciate where and how we are really situated. God is the giver of all good gifts, and He strews gifts of grace along each person’s daily pathway—but we need receptive eyes, stilled minds, and open hearts to see, sense and be thankful for them. 

Because each day presents us with an opportunity to taste joy, sense the marvellous in the mundane, express our gratitude, and give God praise for who He is and how He takes such great care of us. 

stilling - forest - trees - God is the giver of all good gifts quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“So much has been given to me; I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied.” — Helen Keller

Stilling

I hold my breath—as if I could
still the clock, hold back
the swinging seasons, perhaps,

call time on winter’s
cold, dark, muffled cloak,
the icy grip of SAD that sends
me to my inner knees.

Can I not simply
still time on this moment’s
pendulum, which I prefer

to those that have gone
before? Those lockdown
days, weeks and months
of great adaptation and change.

My mind (helpfully) reminds
me that nothing stays
the same. Each dull routine

still has to yield
to the unexpected,
the suddenness of the new
or the long neglected.

Yet something in me
feels as if I want
to remain rooted in Now,

to savour summer
before it segues into autumn,
get my fill of light, of warmth,
of hope, and snatches of joy.

Then another thing
comes to my remembrance,
and I muse on the way

each day has opportunity
to receive such gifts
if I remain receptive enough

to notice, and still
my heart to not reject them.
© joylenton

stilling - dandelion clock - stilling poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?” — Anne Frank

Although I frequently want to press pause on the moments I enjoy because they seem so fleeting, it isn’t a life of busy eventfulness I crave but a stilled, peaceful soul saturated in holy satisfaction, love and grace.  Keeping a daily gratitude journal helps us stay calm and content. Here are 3 things I’m grateful for:

  • having energy and focus enough to write this post
  • our tomatoes are greening at last, if not reddening yet
  • I prepared this before a scorching heatwave hit to fog my thoughts

What are you thankful for today, my friend? 🙂 ❤

6 thoughts on “stilling: learning to love your ordinary life

  1. Dear Joy,
    Oh thank you for sharing thoughts that strike so deeply in my own soul:

    “I hold my breath—as if I could
    still the clock, hold back
    the swinging seasons, perhaps,”

    Truly, those changes that lie ahead of us can become such a looming wall. But I appreciate your precious encouragement here so much:

    “each day has opportunity
    to receive such gifts
    if I remain receptive enough

    to notice, and still
    my heart to not reject them.”

    Oh, amen, yes Lord. I pray that I will let HIS encouragement flow through my seasons too. Sending you so much grateful love and hugs across the ocean, dear heart-sister! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, oh yes to this: “those changes that lie ahead of us can become such a looming wall.” That’s exactly how it feels! Yet God gently draws our attention to the wallflowers growing in those tough spots, and encourages us to see the beauty He always provides for us. How we need HIS encouragement to flow through every season we go through! Each one has lessons to teach us and is threaded with the hope that He intends to reach us. I’m so glad you can relate, and so grateful for your sweet companionship as we face these challenges together by faith, prayer and sisterly sharing. Much love and hugs to you across the pond, dear heart-sister and precious friend! xoxo 💜

  2. Beautiful poem and reflections, Joy. Yes, with you I want to be receptive to God’s gifts and and to still my heart not to reject them. So needed when that “icy grip of SAD” weighs us down. Thank you so much for all your encouragement and prayers! Love and blessings of sufficient grace for each day, hour, minute!

    • Trudy, I’m glad this post has resonated with you and blessed you. I’m happier still that you share the desire to be “receptive to God’s gifts” especially when we’re in SAD’s heavy grip. It certainly does weigh a soul down so we have to remain vigilant about staying encouraged, if we can. You’re always welcomes to my encouragement and prayers! I also gratefully accept and return your love and beautiful grace blessing as well. Thank you! xo 😊💜

  3. Today I am grateful for: This post, Your comforting and inspiring thoughts; for the magical music of Pat Methany wafting through the room; for a reprieve from the daily news; for the stillness I feel, right here, right now; for knowing, whether I truly believe it or not, that my loved ones are safe in God’s keeping always.

    • And I am grateful for your encouraging presence here, Deborah, as well as the thoughtful thankfulness items you have shared. Stillness is a beautiful gift to appreciate, as is knowing that our loved ones are safe in God’s keeping. May that reassurance and hope remain with you as you adjust to life without your granddaughter living in your home, but with the knowledge that she is being well looked after elsewhere for now. Blessings of rest, peace and contentment to you, my friend. 😊💜

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