candle: love burns in our hearts with faith and hope #thedailyhaiku 18

 

It’s all too easy to take each other for granted in relationships, isn’t it? Become like comfortable furniture to one another. Dependable and reliable, or so we hope. Desire, mingled with love, flickers like a faltering candle, setting chilly hearts aflame once more.

Our task is to nurture each tiny spark, watch to see that the candle doesn’t die out, remain vigilant in not taking one another for granted, whether we’re a long married couple, just setting out together, bringing up a family or going solo for a while.

Love and relationships need to be given priority, so that the candle flame of love doesn’t blow out with every breeze that blows, get snuffed out by an open window to the world (whereby extraneous people get invited in) caught in the crossfire of communication failure, lashed by harsh winds of confrontation, stubbed out in anger or left to die a slow death of neglect instead.

How is that achieved? Not with our fickle hearts or in our own limited strength alone. It takes heavenly resources to stoke the fires of love in our wayward hearts and maintain its heat through years of trouble and toil. It takes grace and guts, grit and sheer determination to rise above the emotional pain we are in and that which we unwittingly inflict on one another.

It takes faith and patience, perseverance, endurance and an ability to forgive again and again and again. It takes a willingness to admit we are wrong and an ability to talk things through, rather than pretend everything is fine. Honesty is a top priority. Only God can grant us these graces to love one another well, plant His pure, unconditional Love in our hearts and keep it alive to the end of time.

heat-sealed

it’s scabby with wax
this candle burning brightly
heat-sealed in our hearts
©joylenton

**Hi, if you’re new around here, welcome to my #write31days series of the daily haiku. To catch up you can access the rest of the posts here. A big grateful hug to all who have been following so far. This weary woman applauds you. We’re on the home straight, friends!** 🙂 

rooted: building a strong foundation with God #thedaikyhaiku 16

 

What we are rooted in has a hold on us, especially if our roots go deep. It pays to choose good soil to become our heart’s home. And to take care of it. Or we might be led astray by garden envy, thinking things look greener over the other side of the fence.

Though our neighbour’s seemingly lush vegetation could be concealing a venomous snake, deadly insects or poisonous plants for all we know. Thankfully, God only calls us to tend to our own plot, plough the furrow before us and stay true to His desires for our life.

Recently, on reading Matthew 13:1-9, I was made aware that if my roots don’t go deep in Christ then I am subject to being scorched and withered from the heat and fire of adversity in life.

Without a healthy and sufficient root system in our lives, we can wither and perish. We may bloom freely and easily for a while but our budding faith is not sustainable when challenges come, or enough to keep us strong and flourishing for more than one short season at the most.

“Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was not deep. But when the sun came up, they were scorched, and because they did not have sufficient root, they withered.” – Matthew 13:5-6

To live the life Jesus promises us will require tending well to the garden of our hearts. It might look something like this:

  • discover where weeds appear to be strangling emerging plants and uproot them straight away
  • sow seeds that will produce the right kind of fruit and harvest we want to grow there
  • water and feed it with the best nutrients we can access, namely God’s Word, our hope and faith and His love, mercy and grace.

rooted

faith, hope, charity

a life can be built on these

rooted strong as trees

©joylenton

tweed: being immersed in memory #thedailyhaiku 15

 

I was immersed in Tweed. Not as a visitor to Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland, or with my skin spritzed with the same named fragrance that was my mother’s signature scent. Rather, I wore a tweed sea-green coat as a child, little knowing how years would turn full circle and render it fashionable again.

I loved it because it fit better than most of my clothes, usually bought with acres of growing room! This enveloped me well, not too short or long. It swirled as I turned to admire myself, enjoying the soft swish it made.

I was usually garbed in an eclectic mix of styles and fabric, depending on what was for sale or going cheap. Most of my clothing was made of synthetic fabric that literally rubbed me up the wrong way.

Consequently, I preferred to wear natural fibres when I was in a position to choose for myself. Though I certainly loved the textured wool feel of my old green coat, which wouldn’t look out-of-place these days.

turned full circle

do clothes maketh man?

tweed is fabric, fragrance, place

history for me

 

our past weaves itself

with ties that bind and cling tight

touching our today



wearing a tweed coat

I felt good, strangely grown-up

turned full circle now
©joylenton

 

Tweed is a fabric I still savour. We’ve chosen it for our new sofa and chair, loving the unique individuality of Harris Tweed, where the fabric can alter with each batch, as each weaver threads through their signature colour blending touch.

Do you have any distinct memories of clothes you wore as a child? 

Or maybe a favourite fabric? I also love the look and feel of velvet.

transcendence: getting to know God for ourselves #thedailyhaiku 14

 

Transcendence is one of the characteristics of God. He transcends time, the universe itself, all human knowledge, experience and ability. God is beyond our comprehension yet He has comprehensively made Himself known in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

God’s presence is sensed rather than seen, felt deep in our hearts, perceived and accepted by faith, though some receive a tangible sign of Him being with them. God’s transcendence isn’t a barrier to being in relationship with Him.

We can take comfort in God’s faithfulness and His existing forever (eternal), living forever (immortal), all knowing (omniscient), present in all places at all times (omnipresent) and all powerful (omnipotent) nature, because we can totally trust and depend on Him.

What our eyes or minds cannot see or sense paves the way for Holy Mystery, for faith and trust, for awakening an inner knowing beyond the ordinary, even as God makes Himself known to us in the everyday experiences of our lives.

It’s often by receiving unexpected peace in our hearts, especially when we are going through trials and tribulations, that God’s constant nearness to us is made known. He is the Prince of Peace who gives rest to our restless souls, as we pray and spend time in His presence.

Our limitations no longer trouble us so much when we depend more on God’s resources than our own, bringing His unlimited help, grace and support to aid us in our time of need.

transcendence

luminous presence

transcends my limitations

with deep touch of peace

©joylenton

What we can sense and experience  is the life transforming power of God’s love for us when we open ourselves to Him, as described in the video below…

 

aspects: seeing God’s hand at work best in community #thedailyhaiku 17

 

As the Body of Christ, we each have aspects of God’s work in us to testify to, an offering to bring to the table, a unique perspective to share, an individual voice which carries more weight than we know.

You or I might discount ourselves as unworthy, insignificant, with nothing much to contribute. But that’s just not true. We need YOU, my friend, and you need us. Because together we are so much stronger than when attempting to walk alone.

Faith walking is a tough journey, requiring grit and determination, persistence and endurance to run the race to the end. When we are weak and wounded, our brothers and sisters come alongside us, lifting us up in prayer, being soul companions and giving practical help where applicable. And we do the same thing for them.

God intended it that way, even if we rarely see true harmony or compassion in action in the world around. Flawed and foolish as we are and usually know ourselves to be, we can still be wisdom, salt and light for one another, revealing aspects of Christ’s loving, servant-heart at work in us.

aspects

in community

each person reflects aspects

of the face of God

©joylenton

splash: your creativity is waiting to be released #thedailyhaiku 13

 

Inspiration strikes us in numerous ways. For me, it’s more of a gentle, mellow listening to my life and the things I read than having striking eureka moments. Suddenly, a situation, word, line or sentence will create a response, often drip by drip or with a welcome splash.

Creativity is latent in us all, waiting to be ignited, fired up and ready to go. Though the triggers may vary, the process usually excites, stirs something recognisable in us, makes us feel alive and energised.

That brief spark, immersion or gentle splash are all welcome. All play their part in encouraging us to create, unleash the God-given abilities deep within. On the inside, I’ve always been a scribbler, storyteller and poet. But there were many years when you wouldn’t have known it. My abilities lay dormant.

I doused the flame of creative enjoyment and enthusiasm with my own insecurities. Life’s trials and tribulations (later providing great creative fodder) were like a huge boulder pressing down on me, squashing any faith I had in being able to create.

What changed? I did. On the inside. Or rather, God changed me and transformed my thinking, gave me courage, confidence and strength to share my words publicly. Yes, the negativity still shrieks at me on my worst days. I feel inadequate for the task. But even a small splash of grace can set me back on my feet again. And He will do it for you too, my friend! 🙂

splash of words

there’s a splash of words

ready to be harvested

in my consciousness

©joylenton

humbling: on striving, falling and humbling #thedailyhaiku 12

 

Falling from ladders or anything else can be humbling. As a permanently weak, weary and clumsy (ish) person I often trip over things or just lose my balance when walking around a bit. It’s something I’ve got used to but embarrassment can still affect me when it happens in a public place.

I have also fallen for situations and belief systems that have hurt me more than taking a tumble. I’ve fallen for the trappings of our materialist society and its success stories, bought into consumerism’s lies, been unnecessarily humbled by my background and perceived lack of this and that.

And even if I feel like I’ve fallen out of grace time and again, it is not a possibility because God’s grace is wilder and wider than the ocean, deeper than the deepest sea. We can never fall far enough to be out of the reach of our Saviour’s arms. No pit we end up in is too much of a problem for Him.

Nowadays I’m a bit older and wiser and less likely to seek after success. I’m more inclined to pursue peace, long for a quiet life and rest content with having less. The only ladder I want to climb is one going straight to heaven. Beam me up when I’m ready!  😏🌈

humbling

we strive for success

unsteady ladder topples

crestfallen, we rest

©joylenton

Life offers us numerous opportunities to be humbled. It’s how we learn and grow. It’s how gratitude takes root in us and pride gets defeated, or shown the door for a while at least.

How has climbing ladders, experiencing humiliation or being humbled affected your life?

How has your faith shaped your attitude to these things? Feel free to share in the comments below. There’s no judgement here, my friend. 😊