The way of discipleship

as petals fall to ground file image

When I came to faith in Christ I was already a damaged, broken-by-the-world girl who viewed life with wary, shy and cautious eyes.

So my heart yearned and burned for Jesus, the only One who has ever loved me unconditionally and sets me free from guilt and shame.

He alone restores my soul and is continually healing and making me whole.

I began as an ardent follower and fan in my naming and proclaiming ‘Jesus Loves You’ sticker days.

Now, in maturity, I see how sitting at His feet is the best thing for me; spending time quietly listening while I contemplate His beauty, seeking to know Him more fully as I learn to rest in His finished work on the cross and my new identity in Him.

And aiming more and more to be an imitator of my Teacher, a messenger for the Master, a grateful grace-dweller and Truth-revealer.

I want to lean in close like John and Mary did, believe and live as though I am His beloved.

The way I’ve travelled has been full of pain and pitfalls to fight through as much as it has been gifted with grace, but my years of yearning after Jesus will never end.

He is my everything, all the more as time passes and my deep dependency grows stronger in weakness.

As I prayed this morning, the words I sensed on my heart made their way into the poem below.

It may have taken longer than the allotted five minutes to write but it has become my contribution to the word “Follow” as I join Kate and fellow five-minute friday writers who spill out their heart-words for us to read and share. Come join us?

‘Pilgrim path’

Follow hard after God’s heart

Follow through dark valleys, rocky paths

Keep your mind aligned to Mine

Keep going though the Way seems blind

Yield yourself willingly

Surrender each day to Me

Watch where I am leading you

No matter where others are going to

My path is hard; My path is long

But I keep you steady and make you strong

Listen above all to My gentle voice

Quieten yourself away from life’s noise

Be an example; be a shining light

Show My love, My power and might

Reveal the world’s great need of Me

and how it’s seen in dependency

Come, My pilgrim child, take My hand

As you follow Me your life will expand

©JoyLenton2015

Coming aside

beautiful in Christ WoJ file image

As Spring begins to segue into Summer I seem to still be rooted to wintry hibernation.

Huddled indoors most days. Too weary and depleted to do much at all.

This has been a long season of withdrawal from all unnecessary busyness, a stilling of the soul, making room for deeper rest.

And I thought I may have been coming out of my self and Spirit-imposed soul sanctuary cocoon by now.

Words are still flowing; I’m keeping communication lines open and staying available to those things which feed my soul.

Yet the vital sap and lasting spark of energy I so desperately long to receive is  missing. I wilt easily.

God is signalling that my highest priority remains to rest in Him, let my mind cease meandering, remember to recharge, pace and sleep.

Because we cannot be fully refuelled, refreshed and restored body and soul without connecting with Him and also disconnecting from those things which steal our soul’s peace.

It may look different for each one of us. Priorities are personal. Some soul-weights sit so heavy and only God can help shift them over time.

So I’m slowly learning to be OK with not being physically active, visible, or crazy-busy in my thoughts – that’s the hardest one to change!

Maybe we can all learn to lean harder on God and become less concerned about doing it all ourselves. It’s worth a try, yes?

I’m joining some soul sisters (and brothers?) over at Kate’s Motaung’s place by sharing a few #FiveMinuteFriday thoughts here today on the word: ‘Meet’. 

It’s a great community of writers who aim to let loose their without-worry words within 5 minutes flat and enjoy reading what arises in the process. You’re very welcome to join in.

START….

‘Come aside’

Come aside, draw back,

pull away from the crowd

You won’t find Me

in busyness and loud

Surrender to silence

Sense My Presence within

Meet with Me in this moment

Let your day now begin

Rest your weary head

on My tender breast

before you fall apart

from sheer emptiness

Seek the soothing calm

of My Father-heart

Here I am present

Here I can be found

Here I meet with those

who are unafraid

to turn off the sounds

upon which their soul clings

©JoyLenton2015 

coming aside PJ FMF pin

Being broken

being broken PJ file image

‘Being broken’

Your voice whispered urgent, imploring

Calling me to come away

Take a break

Stay close to Your side a while

Abide in restful invisibility

close to Your heart

before I break and come

apart on the inside

Little did I know how my soul

longed for less exposure

Less busyness

Less stress

Little did I know how it would

reveal my deepest needs

Become a breaking

and a making of me

Peel back layers of sensitivity

Unloose the woman of God

You desire me to be

Now, broken by Your grace,

I seek solace, and I find

Rest for my spirit and mind

within Your inviting embrace

©JoyLenton2015

Friends, it looks like the poet in me is ready for release with a breaking of a God-inspired, self-imposed silence over the last month.

It feels good to be back sharing my words again with the wonderful community of #fiveminutefriday writers!

Thank you for your kind comments, thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. They have blessed and sustained me more than you know. 🙂

I’m still taking things easy, resting and pacing and only writing as God gives me inspiration and anointing. But I’m so thankful for this opportunity to join in and share here today.

Show and tell

show and tell file image PJ

As writers and poets we aim to show rather than tell.

Describe and entice. Provide and hold back.

To reveal something and conceal another.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass” ~ Anton Chekhov

To stir emotions. Leave a lingering essence to savour.

Draw the reader in and leave them wanting more.

Make space for senses to fill in the gaps.

For imagination to take over and inspiration to remain.

Yet in living out our faith in Christ we need both ‘show and tell’.

Demonstrate His hand at work in our lives.

Reveal His character and our need of Him.

Make as clear as we can those things which we know and understand.

Admit to a cloud of unknowing where we give way for mystery. What is now concealed will one day be revealed.

Share our testimony and share His story ~ the best news of all cries out for voices to declare it.

Such thoughts were in my mind as I wrote the poem below.

‘Show and tell’

Let your life reveal your faith in Me

Show forth My goodness and grace

in your character and face

Tell your healing testimony

to encourage others, bring Me glory

Tell My people I love them dearly

and ache for them to see it clearly

No matter what sorrows they go through

I have power to make all things new

Tell out My greatness among the nations

Reveal My kindness, proclaim My worth

Offering salvation with new birth

Give them hope of making a brand new start

as I transform their mind and heart

My arms reach out, My hand is ready

to save, protect, restore and steady

Urge them now to yield and to Come

to listen and trust in Jesus, My Son

©JoyLenton2014

show and tell poem pin file image PJ

Linking here with Kate  and other brave souls for #fiveminutefriday as we all write bold and free, share our stories and encourage one another. You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in. 

Come empty

come empty welcome file image PJ

We all long to have our love tanks filled. Be affirmed. Be welcomed. Be accepted.

But so often our desire to be seen and heard drives us into places where we shine bright as fire-flies briefly dancing bold in the darkness before it swallows us up and consumes us.

There is another way to satiate our thirsty souls. To discover all we are looking for.

There is a place where we come empty and become filled to overflowing.

Arrive with burdens too heavy to bear, with songs dying on our lips, with eyes full of tears.

Sink low with our sorrows, sickness and shame.

But there.. we are loved,  embraced, held and comforted beyond measure.

You don’t have to dress up or pretend. You can be real. Be yourself. Breathe easy.

In God’s presence we find hope, healing, help, strength, forgiveness and grace.

And so much more besides.

So come to Him now. Lay aside your fears. He won’t reject or ignore you.

Come empty. Come  weary. Come thirsty. Come hungry. Come Just. As. You. Are.

He is waiting,  and will never turn you away.

‘Being filled’

With arms yawning empty, wide,

I arrive at your feet

hardly daring to lift my weary head

with a body yearning only for bed

When a dawning peace

envelops my soul

as you come and abide

ready to make me whole

rest in my heart, take ease and wait

while I sob, breathe deep and hesitate..

Finally, some strength seeps

through as I stay and weep

How could so much time

have taken wings, flown by

How could I have allowed

my soul to become so dry?

You smile and reach out

in reminder, with goodness and grace

There’s always a look of love on your face

You tilt my head toward your own and spill

everything given, overflowing to fill

And I realise, deep down,

it has always been there

if I’d only stopped, searched around

instead of drowning in despair

For all you long to provide, impart,

has already been sealed within my heart

©JoyLenton2014

being filled poem PJ FMF file pin image

Linking here with Kate Motaung for her first time hosting #fiveminutefriday Do come over, join with other brave and bold five minute writers, and give her a warm welcome! Also linking with Jennifer for #tellhisstory and with Mel for #essentialfridays 

It’s time to start again

begin PJ FMF file image

A blank space. Yawning gap. Untrod pathway. Virgin page.

How to fill it.

How to begin.

How to create again.

A mind can seize,  thoughts stall and falter at the first hurdle.

A break has been taken and getting back on the horse feels scary.

What if…

I fall flat on my face?

Slide into mud and slink away ashamed?

Only…

Here there is grace.

Here I can breathe soft and easy,  inhale deep of Holy Spirit inspiration and pour it out, exhale slow.

We canter into this race against the clock but we leave our reservations behind.

This isn’t about coming first or even putting on a good show. No perfectionist preening allowed. No ribbons, medals or honours given.

This is about being available. Showing up. Being ready to participate.

And I know the audience will be kind. Will cheer any effort to join in, even if I’ve been out of action for a while and limbs are stiff.

So here goes, five minutes of unedited, as it comes, straight from the heart to the page writing.

Are you ready for this slow runner, this outsider to start, to begin again?

‘Begin’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leave your yesterdays behind

rise bold into a dawning day

As sun tips its filtering rays

over the horizon and grace

drips long and slow into

every crack and crevice

this is opportunity…

To begin again

To be set free

Forgiveness covers all our sin

and hope and joy are found in Him

We’re slowed down, stalled,

stuck fast, sidetracked,

but will never claw

our yesteryears back

Let dreams be birthed

Let sighs escape

Let creativity be worth

the effort it may take

Scrap and crumple

scrimp and save

but get those words

down on a page

For they are barren

inside your head

and what’s been dreamt

should now be said

Give them life

ignore the pain

It’s time to write

Begin again…

©JoyLenton2014

Linking here with Lisa-Jo and all the other brave and beautiful writers for #fiveminutefriday You are very welcome to join in. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lost and found

busyness ~ lost and found PJ

Something has got lost in our increasingly busy, frantic lives.

We’ve forgotten how to detach from activity.

Neglected to resist the lure of the urgent over the important.

Taking time out just to ‘be’, to pause and breathe slow is rare.

Hours spent hunched over screens is making us more concerned with what’s in front of us than what’s going on in our hearts.

How can we see the way ahead when eyes are glued downwards?

Maybe we need a break, to lose ourselves in the inner life instead of outer activity.

Read a book, rest, relax, pray perhaps.

Perhaps we’d hear echoes in our hearts, reminders of our need for God.

Listening could take the place of continual noise.

In the silence we encounter ourselves as we truly are.

And that can be alarming.

But we also allow space for God to enter in.

We find what our souls have always been looking and longing for.

And that can be life changing.

‘Lost and found’

Lost in busyness

occupation, activity,

endless toil, never at ease

Lost in despair

hopelessness, gloom, misery,

failing to see God can set us free

Lost in dreams

hopes, schemes and plans,

missing the best from His hands

Lost in sorrow

sadness, grief and pain,

He comes close to us again

Lost in ourselves

our lives, our world,

waiting for future to be unfurled

Lost and alone

in the midst of a crowd

voices sounding harsh and loud

Lost and found

when we release our cares

let go the burden of years

Lost in Love

when He calms our soul

comforts, cleanses, makes us whole

Lost in peace

we cease from anxiety, worry,

relax in His Presence

no rush, no hurry

©JoyLenton2014

Linking here with Lisa-Jo, Laura and Mel

lost and found ~ PJ MS image pin