alive: the potential fullness of life imagined

alive - the potential fullness of life imagined @poetryjoy.com

In a season of increasing darkness within and without, as SAD and diminishing daylight hours adversely affect my feelings and thoughts, I tend to question what being fully alive might really mean. Because it seems to be defined for me spiritually far more than physically.

The answer to what it means to be fully alive will vary enormously from person to person, of course, but for me a wave of wistfulness sets in. I know I only feel half alive at times. Especially if liveliness means having an active body as well as an active mind!

Most of my life is relatively experience poor in terms of travelling, meeting up with people, seeing and trying new things. However, my inner life has become richer over the years, due to the sedentary nature of my existence making me more aware of life’s small mercies and graces.

In the poem below I am looking at life from a more whimsical perspective, instead of dwelling on my living reality of excessive fatigue, limited mobility, persistent pain and chronic illness. I am imagining a life where anything is possible and joy is expressed in a physically exuberant way, quite unlike my usual experience.

It suggests a foretaste of heaven, where tears, sickness, problems and pain will be no more, and we will experience a fullness of life and a deep joy beyond anything we might know now as we live in a fallen world.

“He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” – Revelation 21:4 GNT

 Being alive

I want to play
dance in the firmament
bend and sway
like a loose-limbed cloud
chased by a breath of wind

I want to rise
glide over rooftops and trees
a lunar ride
shining like quicksilver
growing lighter by degrees

I want to gambol
frisky as lambs in springtime
giddy with joy
inebriated inside
I’m poem, rhythm and rhyme

I want to hold
more than arms can contain
be brave and bold
expansive as wild waves
and never feel ashamed

I want to live
with stars in my eyes all day
drunk on love
happier than I’ve ever been
pulsating eternally
© joylenton

One thing we can count on is having God with us in our daily lives, in the mess and brokenness, in the fire of adversity and pain. God gives us His strength and helps us rise again. We are made alive in Him.

alive - being alive poem excerpt (C)joylenton @poetryjoy.com

I want to fly free

fly free web PJ

Do you ever get days when the world seems to crush you with the weight of their collective opinion?

The internet can be a great place to hang out but it can also leave us feeling invisible in the stream of news and views, likes and shares or the lack thereof.

Maybe you feel caught in a comparison trap where you appear to be less favourably situated than others are? Me too, sometimes.

If so, today’s poem (written a while back when energy was more available) may speak to your insecure soul and lead you to seek your worth and value primarily in how God views you.

Because we are infinitely precious, dearly beloved and deeply special to Him.

Yes, you too. You really are. Just As You Are. He knows and notices everything about you.

You can fly free of people-approval because you’re already pre-approved by God.

You can let go the need to impress because you’re special to Him.

You can rest in His grace for every circumstance and His peace for every problem.

You can be reassured of God’s great faithfulness to take good care of you all the days of your life.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~ Lamentations 3:22 – 23

Fly free

I’m stuck fast like a wasp

in a honey-pot, caught like

a fly in a web of deceit

because I’ve bought into

the lie that I’m incomplete

without fame and acclaim

tasting oh so sweet

It spins soft as sugar

as it wraps round our thoughts

and persuades us we’re not

quite as good as we ought

to be, not adequate or

enough for the likes of

Them who decide if

we’re out or in, you see

And I soon sicken of

the sugary smiles and

false acclaim offered

to us if we’ve made

our name, or the pain

we feel of being ‘less than’

in another’s eyes due to

their flawed opinion

I just want to fly free

of it all, and spread my

wings onto purer

and sweeter and better things

My soul seeks the solace

of being grounded in grace

where I can be my true self

in God’s accepting embrace

©JoyLenton2015

 “Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. ..Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you.” ~ Isaiah 43:1, 4

This is day 14 of 31 days of #fiveminutefreewrites taking place with these prompts over at Kate Motaung’s place. I’m joining in as often as I can, even if my posts are not necessarily written on the day itself, because there’s grace to participate in your own way.

If you’d like to see the rest of my posts in this series, the majority can be found at my‘Words of Joy’ blog. I’d love to see you there! 🙂

I’m also linking with Jennifer for #TellHisStory and Holley for #coffeeforyourheart

fly free PJ poem pin

Learning to release

balloon ~ i will rise file image

Days go by and we feel strangely heavy, our souls saturated, weighed down to ground.

Sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on why we are so lethargic and laden.

Sometimes we fail to see what burdens we are carrying, accustomed as we are to their presence.

Sometimes it takes a final filling, a last straw load to tip us over.

And a whispered reminder from Holy Spirit.

He calls soft across the shadows of our mind, His voice gaining urgency to alert our attention.

He warns us we are already full to overflowing in the way we so often try to live life unaided by His grace.

And He speaks wisdom to our spirit. A voice we know yet seldom heed in our pursuit of more, of enough, of extra stuff.

We receive a gentle reminder of Who is our Burden-bearer and how He stands ready to catch us when we falter and fall.

A call to relinquish, let go, release, relax our tight grip on it all.

Stop… Pause… Breathe… Pray.

A call to pursue God, yield to grace, be filled with Holy Spirit gifts rather than heavy with worldly worries and cares.

Because living lightly and freely is God’s plan for you and me.

Releasing

You surround me like ocean undertow

But I don’t see Your sacred sea

when my eyes are fixed to ground

picking up problem-pebbles in my hand

I examine each and every one

Note each mark, each line and scar

Reluctant to release them

even though my hands overflow

Then I hear a whisper on the wind

calling across the ripples

of my troubled mind

An invitation to let go

Focus my gaze on You alone

instead of holding on to sharp

stones biting into skin

My fingers slowly uncurl

Feeling strangely vacant, light

Watching mesmerised

as each pebble thuds hard

into the sand, until I am

left with empty, open hands

reaching out to You ~ unfurled

©JoyLenton2015

“Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

pebbles release poem pin

A sea change season

bird at blakeney quay - PJ file

The bird sitting proud on its perch looked down loftily, maybe wondering at the peculiarity of human beings.

I leant on my stick and breathed in sea air. Gulped greedily as if I was drowning, starved of oxygen.

And maybe I was. Drowning for a difference, starving for more than the life I’d been living, desperate for change.

Needing to exhale out the old and breathe deep of the new.

Too many days spent captive in the house. Bound by weakness, sickness and weariness for months on end.

I was starving for the light outside. Feeling freedom calling in my veins. My soul ached for ocean but I’d settle for sea or even a riverside view.

I wanted to wend my way to water, feel sea breeze and feel alive again. Do you ever get that feeling?

It isn’t necessary to have chronic illness to experience moments of feeling confined and constrained by circumstances.

To have a longing to break free from our normality. Live life with deeper awareness and passion.

And I’m discovering the best sort of freedom is sensed inwardly, when we know we are loved by God and can live and love freely ourselves because He lives within.

Now, a healing of sorts had enabled me to tread into new territory. A gift of grace equipping me to step outside the house at last.

So I was able to sample the delights of Blakeney Quay on my beloved’s birthday last month. I hope the photographs I took will offer a taste of the quay for you too if you also yearn for water.

‘By still waters’

blakeney quay sea - PJ file

If you go down to the quay today

and lift your eyes a while,

you may slowly gaze at snake of sea

threading its fine ribbon of blue

through swathes of soft shoreline

where its held fast at bay

And if you linger long enough,

you’ll hear a siren-song

of gulls wheeling their way clear of land

and sea as they lift free

with a hue and cry, barreling high

toward vast stretch of sky

But boats lie idling, still as statues

on the sand, apart from

a brave few out on far horizon

Bobbing with will of wind

Resisting lure of land and going

wherever love sends them

©JoyLenton2015

boats beached at blakeney quay - PJ file

beauty of blakeney collage - PJ

Courage to break free

Brave PJ poem file image

‘Brave’

She doesn’t feel brave at all.

It started with a tentative unpicking

Loosing a thread

Dropping a stitch

that spooled and pooled out

all the dirt, debris and detritus

of a life lived edged by despair

and heavy with deceit

Let it out, my friend.

Let it pour as tears

cascading as rivers down your face

Allow that searing wound to be pierced,

lanced with laser-light of Truth;

be exposed, raw, oozing its badness,

ready for cleansing and healing.

Let God’s healing balm bind up the pain

as more threads are snipped

and a life laid bare.

Unravelling of mind and heart

Whispers in the dark

Furtive fumbling

leaving muddy footprints

of fear, guilt and shame.

Be bold

Be brave, sweet sister.

Only in the letting go

can we be free

as chrysalis to butterfly,

become all He created us to be.

Become new

Washed in Blood

Washed in Light

Washed in Grace

Washed in Love.

You are brave

You are bold

You are beautiful

And you are being

set free

to be fully functioning

as you are intended to be.

©JoyLenton2015

Brave poem PJ file image pin

Time to be ready

autumnal trees

A new season starts and we wonder if we are ready for all it may entail.

The wind of change blows strong and all that we knew before is carried on its current into the Past.

Like the ever-changing seasons of life,  we too have seasons of the soul.

Maybe you’re in a preparation period, time to till the ground, turn over the soil and ensure it is in a receptive state to welcome and receive.

Maybe you’re readying yourself to sow some faith seeds in anticipation of a harvest to come.

Or could this be the period when God’s promises to you will finally be fulfilled?

Sometimes it feels like we spend forever in a waiting season, getting colder, battening down the hatches and hibernating.

We need reminders that there are cycles of change, life will bloom again and hopes will be met.

Aslan is stirring and Spring is coming to a land long-starved of joy and light.

Faith and hope will be brought to life again, and all that we have hung onto which doesn’t fit who we are in Christ will die a slow death as we co-operate and co-labour with God in the process.

I’m in a new season in many senses of the word and these things hang heavy in my soul.

And as I’ve thought and prayed I sensed God asking us, His church, the Bride of Christ, to make herself ready for His return.

To keep the flame alive, hold on to the hope that is in us.  He is at the door of our hearts.

We are the Light-bearers and Good News sharers to a dark and needy world.

We are the ones who live ever-hopeful of seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

We are destined to be united in heart, mind and purpose  (in all the things that truly matter) as His children and His body on the earth.

Are we ready, friends?

‘Be ready’

Try to remain steady

as I’m making you ready

Preparation is a key part

of a transformed mind, life and heart

My best work cannot be rushed

and your soul must be hushed

to be receptive to My voice

Listen, sow,then you’ll rejoice

All of your life is open, laid bare

I see those things you willingly share

and others you try to hide away

will be brought forth in the light of day

No stone will be left unturned

in a heart that has yearned

to be touched and healed by Me

that longs above all to fly free

Before I can give you wings to fly

you may have unreleased tears to cry

as I seek to uncover and unearth

all that’s tethering you to earth

My will is for you to rise and shine

to reveal grace, to be wholly Mine

Come, My child, take My hand

This is time to be ready, here I stand

©JoyLenton2014

Linking my poem here with  Kate and other bold and brave writers  for #FMF as we go with the flow on the topic of ‘Ready’.

Also  joining with Jennifer as we #tellhisstory , with Mel for #essentialfridays and  with fellow writer friends, grace dwellers and sisters in Christ as we seek to live for Him and make Him known.

Ibis in Flight

I will rise

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

‘I will rise’

Some days..

part of me longs to break free

become unshackled from the earth

shake off dust, soil and toil

relinquish all but new birth

Maybe..

I will gather galaxies, bathe

in a sparkling sea of stars

or journey to other planets

visit Venus, Jupiter or Mars

stride unhindered over mountain peaks

sneak a view in a volcano or two

dive into indigo oceans deep

and climb pathways high and steep

One day..

these limbs will move and lift with ease

and pain will be a mystery

I will rise sky-high, out of sight,

as a balloon flies swift and

bright, then disappears from view

I may..

begin floating near eternal Light

my eyes watching years unravelling

like string, to pull me back

or draw me in, while I’m

travelling closer to You

©JoyLenton2014

“We know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents.. they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven.. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move ~ and so we cry out in frustration… The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 4-5 (The Message)

Linking here with  Beth,  Holley and Jennifer. You are very welcome to join in.

balloon ~ i will rise file image pin