spring issues us with a reminder to come alive on the inside

 

Springtime makes our souls come alive on the inside, unfurling like flowers to sun’s warmth. It helps to fuel the creative, poetic flame and encourages us to look for the light at the edges of everything.

We’re more willing to believe in resurrection when we witness it in earth’s cycles, in new life springing up before us. Somehow, such visible signs help to point us in a more positive direction, nudge us out of our former complacency and ready us for change.

These weeks of walking toward Easter can feel long, lifeless, depleted and dark, if we focus most on our loss, the giving up and denial inherent in this season, and as  we anticipate Christ’s needful work on the cross.

We can tend to forget to rejoice in the small signs of wonder unfolding before us, those seemingly tiny glimpses of grace we experience each day. Yet they lead to the greatest rejoicing of all on Resurrection Sunday, and are intended to bring us joy in the here and now.

Inspiration can come from many quarters, including enjoying a world waking up from winter dormancy and God breathing new life into us each day. I am so thankful for words to write, friends to connect with, people to love and family to cherish. These things, alongside God’s continual love and care, help to restore hope and strengthen my heart. They have also shaped my poetic thoughts today… I pray they will speak to you as you read them.

Refreshes like dew

God’s mercy springs whole

watering our souls, like dew

refreshes, makes new

©joylenton2017

 

Light as lambs

Hope is springing—light

as lambs dance on grass—making

the day feel fresh, bright

©joylenton2017

 

An eternal spring

An eternal spring

rises afresh in our hearts

as God imparts love

©joylenton2017

 

Joining in at the eleventh hour with Poet Master Ronovan’s weekly haiku challenge. Just click here to join me there and read the great posts being shared on the theme of ‘Spring&Fresh’.

Having an autumnal heart

autumnal bench

Leaves are singing their swansong, a drifting dance of death as they fall to ground.

Some float freely, still retaining some buoyancy and remnants of yellowing life.

Others scatter on the wind as crisped golden-russet confetti flakes.

Fit only to be trodden on, while we wait for bridal snow to appear as winter hovers on the threshold.

And my soul sits heavy some days, a slow dying on the inside whenever M.E fatigue droops me to bed, reddens these eyes and forces a body to lean into rest.

Oh how I need enlivening on days when the spark seems missing! Maybe you do too, my friend? Let’s pray…

Dear Lord,

I feel autumnal dry, parched on the inside.

Begin with my heart. Set it on fire with your enlivening spark.

Let it take root there, at the centre of all things, deep in my soul where you make me whole.

Fan into flame my feeble frame. Stir this dust into something more than ashes.

Give a kiss of life to my lethargic mind.

Sweep out the cobwebs. Make room for a shift in perspective.

Teach my soul to sing a new song. Ready me to receive renewed joy of my salvation.

And whisper close. Hold me as I muse on these muddy, maladroit days.

Remind me that Love is always with me; I only need to see and open my heart to receive it.

Then let me be seated, at rest in Love’s embrace.

Wait to be filled to overflowing until I am ready to be poured out again.

Thank you.

Amen.

A vessel to be filled

Lord Jesus come,

to my autumnal heart

I need your Love

Without it I wither,

curl up small and die

on the inside

crumble, fall apart

My light and life weaken

without the infilling and

spilling – I desperately need

restoration by radiance

Flood my being with

searing heat of grace

the fierce warm fire

of your Love’s embrace

Here I stand with

aching, empty hands

ready and willing

to accept and receive

A vessel to be filled

then give out freely and

help others to believe

©JoyLenton2015

Linking here with Holley at Coffee for Your Heart and Jennifer at Tell His Story

autumnal heart prayer pin

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

 

Love came

rose-83955_1280

‘Love came’

Love does not shout its name

Though the cross is a megaphone

to rouse a deaf world

Love is likened to a rose

as it gradually unfurls

Releasing its scent into the air

fragrancing the atmosphere

Lightening the hearts of all

who inhale its heart

and are in its thrall

Love whispers soft in dreams

Causing a swift awakening

It seems ethereal as mist

and lingers long

like a wanton kiss

Betrayal may bring it out

when deep feelings inside

emerging as anger, surge

from one to another

Love came and gave its all

to a world still sleeping

With a hammering and a bleeding

seal stamped on wood

Nailing itself to those unheeding

who could turn a blind eye

to a tearing in their sky

Love may have seemed to disappear

But it stayed in all hearts

who welcomed it here

©JoyLenton2015

Love came PJ file image

A bittersweet life

Life can feel as topsy-turvy as a rollercoaster ride.

One moment we are cresting the waves, reaching for the sky ~ the next we sink deep and plummet to earth with a bang.

Our emotions as changeable as the weather and just as unpredictable.

It doesn’t take much. Just check your phone, tablet or i-pad. See how many notifications, likes, comments, follows and positive responses there are ~ or not as the case may be.

Where’s the stability in a life lived by the varying opinions of others?

We are hardwired for love, security and approval. God put it into our DNA.

He expects us to receive the full approval we need from Him alone. Yet we go chasing empty cisterns when His well never runs dry.

How we hunger for validation. Look for any means to satisfy our appetites. Though, if we look in the wrong places,  it soon leaves us emptier than before.

‘Bittersweet’

Approval, compliments and favour

flow sweet as liquid honey

and we savour their soothing flavour

find ourselves craving so much more

to satisfy a desire inside where we

hide small ~ afraid we’re not enough

Disapproval, criticism and derision

sting brutal, sharp as lemon sour

and we shrink further back

into our shells, craven cowards

who lack a shred of self-worth

in our shrivelled disposition

So we swing ~ from pain to bliss

depending on our mood

and how much, or how little,

we feel loved, cherished and approved

Walls cracked as toffee brittle,

defences crumbling, gaping, split

©JoyLenton2014

“We can be sealed for eternity, Christ-bought and heaven-bound but still live like cowards, locked down by the chains of what people might think of us” ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee ‘Love Idol’

The approval monster is an insatiable beast. Offer him tidbits and he will lick his lips appreciatively for a while, but it won’t be long before he’s demanding a full-blown meal or a veritable feast to satisfy his appetite.

As an insecure child at heart, I have been greatly tempted to seek my worth and value in other people and other things.

Our best and most lasting way to find satisfaction is to see ourselves as we are in Christ. Look in the mirror of God’s word instead of sighing over the reflection in the glass.

When the world says:You’re a failure by our standards; you’re ‘less than’ until we say you’re ‘enough’; you’re rejected, unless you come up higher; you’re unworthy, just because we say so ~ how should we respond?

How would it look to live, love, work and write for an audience of One?

How would we feel if we could truly believe and receive how God perceives us?

I’m not sure as yet. I’m feeling stuck, stalled by situations and problems looming large. Sidelined by sickness. Derailed by doubt.

Yet despite these setbacks, I am choosing to study God’s word, relinquish and demolish my ‘love idols’, apply the biblical precepts, draw help from Jennifer’s book see how to grow into a deeper awareness of how much God loves and pre-approves of me, and discover who I already am in Christ.

And that’s the best way to start ~ with a hungry, open heart toward Him. God is a rewarder of all who earnestly and diligently seek Him.

I’d love you to join me as I chart my stumbling journey into wholeness. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

There’s a growing community here  seeking to live pre-approved. Would you join us? I hope so. We don’t have to live stalled lives, stuck in the people-approval trap. 

We can learn to release all that’s holding us back from living fully, freely and joyfully committed to God’s ways.

“He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon” ~ Psalm 37:6 ‘The Message’

Joining with friends Ruth Jennifer and Lyli