Hope sings a joyful song

hope sings PJ

In the midst of life’s pain and darkness there sounds a note of joy.

It is the call of Hope reminding us of its presence within our thorny circumstances.

And as we tune our hearts to listen, we find its melody is like music to our ears.

Souls seek solace in hope’s calm waters. Bathe in its warm glow.

We lift our heads above the waves, resist the winds blowing us sideways, and we drift slowly toward the pull of soothing streams.

We already have a Lifebelt around our waist to keep us afloat, holding us steady.

Now we see how Hope also companions our days and defends us against dark night’s covering.

So we surrender to its sound as our souls contribute their own harmony.

God is here. We are safe. Hope rises strong. We can face another day.

Grace and Hope join hands to lift us to a better place.

Hope sings

Hope sings out loud with joyful

sound like an uncaged bird perched

within a confident trusting soul

who sees life complete and whole

Another may quake and shake

and be all of a flutter

with an anxious heart prone to

quail, splutter and falter

Hope is like a light

burning on the inside

A flame often wavering, slim

we must tend to keep it alive

God doesn’t bow to our

indecent haste, our nervous

exhaustion when life is viewed

like a marathon race

His ways are ones of

unhurried, restful peace

with hope ascending high

as it’s lubricated by

the oil of Holy Spirit ease

And we can remain calm

when our Hope is secure

while we rest in God’s arms

and trust an unknown future

to a faithful, risen Saviour

©JoyLenton2015

This is day 28 of write-31-days with five-minute-free-writes. Today I’m linking up with fellow writing friends for ‘Tell His Story at Jennifer’s place and ‘Coffee for your Heart’ at Holley’s site.

And it’s also my last contribution to this writing challenge. Family will be staying over and I hope to unwind and spend some precious quality time with them. Thank you for reading.

I’ve taken part here on a weekly basis but most of  these #write31days posts can be found over at my other site ‘Words of Joy’ if you’d like to catch up with them while I take a break. Blessings and love to you as you rest in our eternal Hope of Christ for this life and beyond.  Joy 

hope sings light - PJ

Seeking and finding

seeking and finding PJ

As I’ve sought to relax into relationship recently by spending quality time with my family, it has been a period of great pleasure,  joy and excitement mingled with adjustment and adaptation.

Because we’re all works-in-progress who change with life’s circumstances, alter with the different seasons we are in.

I have also discovered how easy it is to lose sight of God when our lives are full of other people and other things.

We can forget that God is a relentless Lover of our souls. He craves our company, relishes relationship.

He is continually knocking at the door of our heart to seek admittance, hoping we will allow Him in.

Being with other people is exhilarating and exhausting, often both at the same time.

People are unpredictable, driven by their own inner needs, emotions and desires.

We all have the capacity to disappoint and let one another down, or cause worry and concern.

We need to withdraw sometimes to rest, recover and refuel. Being with God in the silence is a great way to unwind.

Communing with Him is beneficial to body, soul and mind. God is consistent, true to His word.

He will never leave us feeling weary or depleted; on the contrary, God will renew and revitalise us by His presence.

His grace is sufficient for our every need; He restores and remakes us.

I know I cannot do life alone. I depend on God for all the energy, strength and wisdom I need to see me through each day.

My life is all the poorer if I neglect to seek Him during the mundane moments, look for Him in everyone and everything.

We can relax into relationship with Him because He is faithful, loves us unconditionally and always has our best interests at heart.

I’m joining in with fellow wordsmith friends for five-minute-friday as we write from the heart without worrying about perfection. Today’s prompt is:‘Find’.  Do come on over and read the great posts at Kate Motaung’s place. You’re warmly invited to join in with this wonderful writing community.

START…

Finding you

You are in cuckoo’s early morning cry

Breathed out in birdsong from on high

Filtering through the fingers of a new day

Soft streaming light with dawn’s bright rays

Inviting me to pull back the curtain

Arise now, let go and unfurl,

let you into my inner world

I hear you in swish-bend of trees

Sense Holy Spirit whispers on the breeze

Feel your footsteps tender tread

on the stairs of my hollow heart

Hear your voice echoing everywhere

as I begin to make a fresh start

You are the soul solace I seek

You are seeping joy

found in darkness deep

You are treasure mined on earth

You are Life, creativity,

energy, wholeness, new birth

Lord, let me find you here today

Make me receptive in every way

Waken my senses

Alert me to presence

Because you always long to be found

and your radiance shines all around

And when I finally

find myself in you

I see Love threaded through

because you offer only the best

So I exhale my deep-bone weariness

reach out thankful to receive

soul refreshment, grace and rest

©JoyLenton2015

STOP.

“But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you truly seek Him with all your heart (and mind) and soul and life” ~ Deuteronomy 4:29

When you feel small

when you feel small PJ

There are days where we feel so insignificant, invisible even.

It seems as if we blend into the air around, lost in the ether.

Our voices feel weak as tiny bird. Our words fall flat on ears deaf to their sound.

Our place in the here and now looks insubstantial, shaky and small.

It feels like we’re hardly here at all.

Do you have days like that? I do. 

They are red flags to what’s going on inside of us. Warning signs to heed.

They are white flags of surrender. Cries for help beyond ourselves.

Because God becomes our only safe shelter in a world where we feel less than all He made us to be.

He knows the vagaries of the human heart. He listens to every beat it makes. Hears the inner laments and anguish of a soul in torment.

And His Father-heart cries over the cruelty of a world that scorns His Son and tears His children apart.

Because He knows how wearied we can become and how we are made for far more than this world offers.

I’m thankful for those who see, who hear, who listen, who respond and make me feel I have a voice, a tiny place of worth in the scheme of things.

But I’m grateful most of all for the unending, unconditional love of God who helps me to become all that I can be by His grace.

There are no losers, no left out people, no invisible or discarded ones in God’s Kingdom. We are people of great worth and value in His eyes.

We are the grace dwellers, the truth tellers, the anointed, redeemed, blood-bought children He loves beyond measure.

Yes, here.. and now, living in this upside-down kingdom, topsy-turvy world we’re in, we are very significant to Him.

Here

We live in a world addicted to gain

to ascending the summit of success

to amassing, collecting largesse

And yet you call me to dwell here

abide in quiet shadows of surrender

where I sense the humiliation

of my life so small against

the largeness of your love

Here I am nothing, yet remain

everything to you; my emptiness

the reason for your pouring,

filling, overflowing measure

of grace into every dark

and empty space inside my heart

Because your love leads me into

encounter, renewal, fresh start

©JoyLenton2015

When you feel small in the eyes of the world, remember Whose you are, my friend. Such thoughts stirred the  5 minute poem above.

I’m blessed to be joining in with the wonderful writing community that comprises Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is:‘Here’. Kate Motaung is our gracious hostess.

You’re very welcome to come and join us at her place as we celebrate the first anniversary of her time hosting this link up.

Also adding to the soul refreshment being served over at Bonnie Gray’s place for Beloved Brews. Do come over and take a fuel stop there.. 🙂

encounter PJ pin

 

Being set free

being set free PJ pin

Life has a way of wrapping tentacles around our hearts. Finding a weak spot and pressing painful.

Tormenting our thoughts, suffocating our spirits. It sucks life, drains energy, depletes and discourages if we let it.

It doesn’t take much for me to feel tipped sideways sometimes and wonder how in the world it happened.

Those are times when feelings overwhelm, fear sneaks in, comparison captivates our souls and we become weighed down by earthly concerns.

Feel the pressures mounting and feel ourselves drowning.

And we will sink unless we remember we have a Lord who walks on water, lives lightly and freely, calmly and peacefully, and wants us to do the same.

Impossible? It sounds like it if we see things only from a human perspective.

But when we reach the end of our fraying rope we find God is already waiting to lift us up, to heal and set us free.

Because rescuing lost and lonely souls, restoring and healing broken, bleeding, damaged and drained people is what He does best.

Because grace is new every morning and so are His forgiveness and mercy. A fresh start is available today to you and me.

When surrendered to God, our hearts, minds and lives are continually being set free from all that enslaves and entraps us, even if we fail to fully see or appreciate it.

Such thoughts were already in my mind today as I reeled from a restless night where fear and anxiety had sought to get the better of me.

And so I couldn’t help but smile when I saw today’s Five Minute Friday prompt was:‘Free’. 

How could I resist?…

START…

Set free

Some days I don’t feel free at all

ensnared as I am, entrapped

by my thoughts and caught

in the permanent tug of worldly

concerns with their tempting thrall

Some days I forget I’ve been

released by grace, set free by

mercy to become more fully me

given a new heart, redeemed

life and new identity in Christ

Today I feel like wounded bird

held tender in Your hands

cradled soft and comforted

as I shiver and shake my wings

afraid to leave Your fingers

Now I sense them unfurling

yet still curling warm into

my feeble frame, and I hear

Your voice whisper my name

as You remain ever near

I don’t feel ready for letting go

There’s so much pain I still

don’t understand how to embrace

But You breathe out Your love

say “I am enough” as You release

me into Your current of grace

©JoyLenton2015

STOP.

I’m connecting today with the wonderful wordsmith community over at Kate Motaung’s place where we write bold and free on a weekly theme. Come join us?

bird being set free PJ

Reflections of grace

sunset reflection

Even as we live out our unexceptional, hum-drum, wondrous lives we are reflections of God’s grace, mirrors of His glory.

It’s an awesome calling for every blood-bought son and daughter.

And an amazing privilege.

Most of the time we’re oblivious to the impact we have on others, unaware of  how much God may be using us to be light and salt in a needy world.

Perhaps that’s just as well.

Pride lurks close to our hearts and would have a field day if it saw the quiet, unseen influence we are having.

But the wonder of it all is how our dim light still reflects God’s glory, seen best in our faulty and flawed brokenness, our wounded lives.

He pours out of whatever crack or crevice we provide.

The more we feel unworthy, the more we are prospective channels of grace.

A willing, receptive heart is all He asks for.

A surrendered spirit.

A set apart soul.

And in all the 40 years I’ve been married to my beloved, I have seen him mirror God’s love to me time without number.

Because he loves as openly and unconditionally as any man can.

He always believes for the best, hopes for better, forgives me over and over again.

Sees portent of promise and potential in me long before it creeps into my consciousness or actions.

He makes allowances for all I am and breathing space for all I’m still becoming.

I still struggle to see myself as he sees me, rather as I so often fail to see myself as I fully am In Christ.

But I’m learning – to accept his love, believe in his (somewhat biased) perspective and relax into its promise.

The poem below appears in the anniversary card I’ll be giving to him this Sunday morning.

Reflections

In your eyes I see

reflections of all

I truly long to be

A woman of wisdom

A thing of joy and beauty

A person of great worth

And in our marriage unity

we reflect the complexity

of the 3 strand cord

A blessed trinity

A depth of love

A mirroring of God

Earth stands in awe

of holy intimacy

©JoyLenton2015

reflections poem pin PJ

Aim at heaven

Aim at heaven - CS Lewis pin

Reality and truth are hard to define. We all live with shifting perspectives, objectives and definitions.

Circumstances cloud our judgement. Pain makes us doubt what we thought we knew before.

Life constantly remoulds our thinking, stretches our boundaries.

We sense we are born for more than earthly striving. Our gaze begins to rise heavenwards.

Where can we turn for wisdom? Who will guide us into Truth?

What if we really believed what the Bible says, about how Truth is a person and not an idea?

Jesus came that we might have life in abundance as we place our faith and trust in Him.

He alone can fully answer the questioning soul’s concerns because He brings truth and reality as seen from God’s perspective.

Here, we see in part, understand but a little, comprehend only a fraction of what is taught and revealed, given and received.

We aim at heaven and get earth thrown in, but we still live with mystery into eternity.

So we grow in faith, life and maturity and learn to live into the answers to come.

And we finally become satisfied in the not knowing of all our heart desires to understand.

Because this we do know… we are deeply, unconditionally loved, here for a purpose beyond the present, brought into relationship with God, and able to trust Him in the silence and the dark as well as in the light.

‘Reality’

The greatest reality is seen in divinity

The essence of all that is and exists

Expressions in every place

providing glimpses of grace

A revealing and concealing combined

An unfurling in hearts over time

Whispered sounds down corridors

of years, and roar of waterfalls

echoing in our ears

We see and sense Him all around

Because God is eager to be found

Dark valley-life with heaviness of cloud

acts like a muffler and a shroud

Each storm sends us to our knees

where we offer up our earnest pleas

Our reality too rocky to bear

until we sense Him drawing near

Offering faith-filled walk on water

to every drowning son and daughter

©JoyLenton2015 

Linking here with Barbie at The Weekend Brew where soul refreshment is being served. Come and join us?

reality poem pin

Gifts of grace

file000984750292

Day by day we are writing out our story, a living tale of all that takes place and a living testimony of God’s sustaining grace.

A birthing can occur at any moment in hearts receptive to the new and the next and the in-between.

What seems dead can be enlivened and resurrected by His power – brokenness made whole, beauty brought forth from ashes.

Although many days are shrouded and clouded by painful circumstances, God is still writing out His good and greater narrative into the margins of our lives.

Yes, even as we hover crazy-busy on this edge of space, time and eternity and so often fail to see or sense His continual presence.

We need to remember how we live and breathe and have our being in Him and He lives and breathes in us by His Spirit.

Nothing is incidental, or irredeemable. Nothing is forever lost or wasted.

All is gift and all is grace, but we need eyes to see the sacred in the secular and appreciate its daily nuances.

As we listen closer to our lives we begin to piece together the story they are telling us.

Such thoughts are shaping my daily living and making their way into today’s Five Minute Friday poem.

Grace gifts

Each day we are alive is a gift,

an unfurling, unfolding kernel

mirrored in tender bud and leaf,

so our hearts remain hopeful

of seeing a good ending

I long above all to recapture

a sense of child-like wonder,

become captivated, entranced

by delight seeded within

as this daily sacred dance begins

Each moment we linger longer

to appreciate The Moment

will help peel back layers

to reveal a gift of grace,

open our eyes, blinded by

cultural excess, dulled by stress

and wearied by naysayers

For we are the revealers

unwrapping the Gift of God,

the Truth-sayers, the Way-sharers,

keepers of Light and Love who

employ a deeper discerning

as we dive expectant into the true,

hopeful, bright-blue waters of each day

©JoyLenton2015

I’m blessed to be joining in with the wonderful writing-free-from-the-heart community of ‘Five Minute Friday’ writers over at Kate Motaung’s place as we give our best on the topic of ‘Gift’. You’re very welcome to join in. Do hop on over and check out the other posts there. It’s amazing what a rich variety of thought is stirred by a one word prompt!

grace gifts PJ file image