growing: on flourishing in life and faith

“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” — Psalm 92:12-14 NIV

Growing

 I want to grow
 slowly, like moss. Spread out
 with lively verdancy, 
 stay bright and fresh,

 remain green-leaved.
 May I carpet
 my mind, my interior
 castle, my spirit 

 with holy wisdom,
 with resiliency
 I can confidently 
 walk upon with ease.

 Let me be rooted
 like a sturdy oak tree
 which freely spreads itself—its bark, 
 branches, trunk and leaves

 across the forest floor 
 because sunlight invites
 it to, and it knows
 how to grow and mature.

 May I stay 
 strong and stable, secure
 during life’s fiercest storms, 
 unshaken, unmoved,

 unbroken, unbowed,
 bravely holding on.
 Because I know
 that I am girdled around

 with supernatural strength
 that is not my own, 
 but generously given 
 to me as a pure gift

 of grace, one which stems 
 from a surrendered 
 dependency, while I stretch 
 and remain rooted in faith.
 © joylenton 

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into light.” ― Helen Keller

Whatever we might face, God will give us help and strength. While we wait, God grows our hope and faith. Whenever we feel weak, He enables us to soar above our challenging circumstances and depend on His grace. We’re covered, my friend, even though it might not feel like it sometimes.

Spiritual growth, whereby we develop wisdom, patience, maturity, resilience, and faith, is a slow process. I’m needing to remember that and give myself grace because we have an opportunity to move house this summer—gulp!—and will need those characteristics in abundance. We have a few short months in which to decide, downsize, declutter, and discard enough to make the move achievable for us.

I’m trusting that the months ahead of being more deeply rooted in faith will be rewarded by being fully equipped for all that lies ahead, because God is faithful to support and lift us up when we feel weak. Consequently, my words here will be sporadic while my limited energy, focus and strength are needed elsewhere. I welcome your prayers and look forward to reconnecting with you whenever I can. Blessings and love. xo 🙂 ❤

10 thoughts on “growing: on flourishing in life and faith

  1. Oh Dear Joy, your poetry brings me to tears so often, with the beauty and the touch of the Spirit. These words are meeting me so deeply:

    “May I stay
    strong and stable, secure
    during life’s fiercest storms,
    unshaken, unmoved,

    unbroken, unbowed,
    bravely holding on.
    Because I know
    that I am girdled around

    with supernatural strength
    that is not my own,”

    It is my prayer as well today. HIS strength when mine is all gone. Thank you so much dear friend. May you feel His grace pouring over you through each task set before you. Sending so much love and blessings and hugs for you. xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I thought of you when this poem came to me, and I dearly hoped it would bless you in some way. So I am humbly grateful that it has, and it’s stirred your heart to renewed faith and prayer. We so need God’s strengthening, don’t we?

      Our weakness is a constant reminder of our need of Him and our reliance on His grace and power. We don’t have to wait until our strength is gone before asking for a refill because God delights to prepare us for the tasks we face. May you sense that same outpouring equipping you for all that lies ahead medically. Much love, blessings and hugs for you, too, dear friend. xoxo 💜

    • Oh, yes, it takes both acts to live by faith, doesn’t it? This new home opportunity is also a receiving thing because there are benefits to be gained, some losses to sustain, admittedly, as well as changes to be made.

      Thank you so much for your prayers, Laurie. With the amount of stuff we’ve collected over the years, downsizing is going to be difficult! The decision-making will be hard because we’re both sentimental hoarders but the new place cannot accommodate all we have here in an already overflowing home. Upwards and onwards… xo 😉💟

  2. “Let me be rooted
    like a sturdy oak tree
    which freely spreads itself—its bark,
    branches, trunk and leaves

    across the forest floor
    because sunlight invites
    it to, and it knows
    how to grow and mature.” Thank for the rootedness I find in your words, which always speak with grace.

    • Shirley, “rooted” was my given word for the year a couple of years ago and I think that God is still working it out in me as a concept to understand and live by. Though I didn’t connect it with this poem until you pointed it out. Thank you for your insight, perception and gracious words. Bless you, my friend. x ❤️

    • Michael, I’m thankful that this post is timely for you. Our spiritual roots need nurturing more than we might realise sometimes. May your Sabbath be the soul soothing, restful break you require, dear Brother. ❤️

  3. Your poetry was beautiful calm, grace-filled trust – and it made me want to slow my heart beat to God’s rhythm! You write: unbroken, unbowed,
    bravely holding on.
    Because I know
    that I am girdled around

    with supernatural strength
    that is not my own, ”

    But the moss – the calm at the moss, the quiet growing!

    Praying for you in this move, that God cradles those heart roots in your move and plants them in a soil that is nourishing home!

    • Maryleigh, your encouragement is a beautiful gift, thank you! I’m grateful that these words have blessed you by speaking calm and trust to your heart. And I’m so thankful for your prayers in what is an exciting next chapter of our lives yet a huge undertaking for my husband and I as we both struggle in different ways with fatigue, pain and chronic illness. We very much need to be strengthened and helped every step of the way, though the support is mostly prayerful at the moment because of us being in lockdown still. Bless you, sweet friend. x ❤️

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