hope: listening for the sound of hope in your soul

hope - blackbird singing on a tree - listening for the sound of hope in your soul @poetryjoy.com

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words — And never stops at all.” — Emily Dickinson

Notes of hope

A blackbird’s throaty warble
rises above the voices
on the street, making conversation

because we’re all hungry
for company, for solace,
even at two metres apart.

But I’m listening more
to the notes of hope and joy,
bringing a reminder
that this too shall pass,

time will move on as it
always does, and we will return
to a new normality at last.

My solitary blackbird
friend has no soul companions
but it doesn’t deter him

from belting out his song,
from shrugging off the sadness
because he’s on his own.

He is staying put—for now,
to bring cheer to our hearts,
hope for the housebound
and isolated, while he sings

of spring, of life and birth, burgeoning
earth, of newness, of growth and hope
continuing beyond this moment.
© joylenton

hope - blackbird on a garden fence - notes of hope poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” — Corrie Ten Boom

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.


faith, hope, charity

a life can be built on these

rooted strong as trees


Mighty to save

When we feel able and capable, it is all too easy to think we can handle whatever comes our way.

We neglect to depend on God. We act like we can manage alone.

Sometimes He literally has to throw us to our knees to reveal our neediness.

Lately, my M.E symptoms have magnified and been accompanied by a persistent viral infection.

All of which has shown me how frail I can be and how much I lean on the Lord for strength each day.

There is great Hope in our helplessness.

There is reason to rejoice when we allow God to be strong and mighty on our behalf.

I sink grateful before Him, knowing all inspiration and ability to write, all energy and strength, all ability to live and love are God-given gifts.

He encourages us to abide in Him, rest in His loving provision, be upheld by His word and comforted by His Presence.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,” says the Lord ~ Zechariah 4:6


Mighty oaks spring forth from tiny acorns

and each lake begins with a few drops

A swelling tide seethes from sprinkles

and you so easily forget such humble origins

or how My power is made perfect in weakness

as you despise your humanity, frailty

My hand will lift you out

of any quaking pit of fear

My arm will reach down

and hold you ever near

Standing strong in My strength alone

you are warrior-brave, courageous,

full of valour, confident, bold

Allow Me access to all vulnerable places

give Me the key to your heart

I see its quavering mustard-seed faith

and how it needs My power

to grow resilient,

unwavering ~ in every part

Let go your worries, anxieties, cares

and rest in My mighty cover of Love

shelter of protective prayer

equipping of grace from above

I will be strong in all the weak spaces

invading long-devastated places

to make you mighty ~ and to set you free


“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” ~ Zephaniah 3:17

Mighty FMF poem pin

Five minute friday image

Linking with Lisa-Jo, Mel and Lyli

Green shoots appearing

Look around you, be still, breathe deep and sense a holy movement.

Bleak and barren are making way for a stirring of life, hope and renewal.

Things may still look dead. Ground hard and unyielding.

Temperature cool and frosty. But new shoots are rising from dark soil.

Fruit will appear.

Reaping will follow. A harvest is on its way.

Sad echoes of loss and emptiness will give way to the brimming vibrancy of God’s Life and Love.

Aslan is on the move and we need to be ready…


Something stirs

‘neath the soil

in our winter

of discontent

Pressing through

with persistence

pushing aside

discouragement, resistance

Breaking surface asunder

yielding ~ gasp for air

something new appears

Hope rising


from the ashes

of our lives

And we gaze

longing as of old

with awe and wonder

at this intruder

into our darkest days



The words below offer us encouragement, hope and reassurance as we wait to become all we can be. God whispered them close to me and I share in the hope of making you feel less alone with the sowing, waiting, yielding, watering season that precedes new growth.

Stay in faith. Green shoots are there if you look for them. Ask God to open your eyes to His work in your lifeAnd continue to lean heavy on Him as you reach for the skies.

‘Prayer Whisper’:’Green shoots’

“All plants must wither and die. But, rooted to earth as they are, they receive of My life-giving power. Death precedes new birth. A grain of wheat must fall to the earth and die before it produces much fruit.

All the dry, arid places in your life, all the bleak and barren wilderness spaces will be watered again. Green shoots indicate Spring, new life, birth, and hope rising. Look for the green shoots I place on your pathway. They are portents of promise.

Take heart from their appearing. Mighty oaks grow strong from tiny acorns. Do not despise small beginnings. They are a sign of further life to come.

Yield to the season; observe the signs. Watch and see the harvest I am about to bring forth in your life. Water it daily with affirmation from My word, with faith, trust and praise for the promises waiting to be fulfilled.”


You may be in transition, waiting to birth the promises God has given you and see the harvest you so desperately hope for. Keep on trusting and believing, my friend; God knows what He’s doing. Look for the green shoots of potential stirring and believe for more to come.


Linking here with encouraging friends Holley


and Jennifer

In transition

We’re in a season of change.

Air stirs with sound familiar yet different. It’s like our ears remember the refrain but it doesn’t quite sound the same.

We’ve been laying fallow. Now we sense it is time to move forward.

Stretch limbs to sun, welcome warmth on upturned face, breathe easy.

New life springs forth from dead and dying. Darkness gives way to Light.

We see it in plant life. Sap surges and vitality rises from decay.

It is mirrored in our souls.

Each day is opportunity to start again.

Embrace change; embrace life, hope, healing, growth to come.

Yet.. while we waken, stir inwardly; while we make space for new, there is a growing pain.

Skin  cracks under the weight of it. Joints protest. Habits die hard and dig deeper.

Hope can fail us and discouragement sit heavy when we focus more on where we are now rather than where we can be.

We’re in transition from moth to butterfly and our souls ache to fly free.

In time, we will.

Hang in there, friend. There’s a hand waiting, reaching for yours, holding you safe as you wobble.

God has got you. And He’ll see you through every painful process of becoming all He intends you to be.


You feel as if

you stand on the edge

of the abyss

tottering forward

on the precipice

I see you

as seed fallen

to the ground

ready to yield

its abounding harvest

Those things

which root you

to the earth

those pains

are pangs of new birth

You’re in a state

of transition

where you wait in position

as I ready to bring forth

hope of seeing Spring

I am training

you in love

before the raining

of my gifting

pours from heaven above


While we wait God is working on our behalf. We are being prepared for a destiny with an eternal perspective.

Keep trusting and believing. You are precious to Him . And though it may not look or feel like it yet ~ His timing is perfect.

*Bird photo credit:Image used courtesy of Kathy Snow


Joining here with Holley and other encouraging friends as we seek to offer #coffeeforyourheart

Also with Jennifer for #tellhisstory and with Lyli for #thoughtprovokingthursday


In the hands of an expert potter, clay is something altogether marvellous in the way it can be transformed into objects of beauty.

If we dig our boots or hands deep into clay we get soiled with mire clinging fast to clothes and skin. Unlovely. Hard to shake off. Needing a good scrub.

Our natural clay selves cannot be easily washed clean either.

While we live, breathe and have our being in God, we also remain rooted in earth, dwellers in soil and dirt.

Our fallen earthly nature clings tenaciously to frames bent low by burdens we were never built to carry as knees buckle under the weight of them.


We are indigenous

earth dwellers

rooted long

in soil

hard graft

sweat of brow

aching muscle

tillers of ground

planting seeds

of life

and hope

in dark places

with expectation

one day

we will see

some fruit

in harvest

to come


God remembers that we are dust.

And it’s His Holy whispered breath that enlivens, connects sinews to joints and muscles together as a body to receive His glorious presence.

Surrendering to His promise, we are raised anew with strength, and vigour, lifted out of any pit we may have fallen into, out of the mud and mire. Shaken down, dust-free and cleaned again, with feet set firmly on the Rock.

Dried in the refining fire of God’s Love, purified in the furnace of affliction where scorching flames burn off any dross or detritus gathered from soil-dwelling.

Emerging from its fiery heat bleached clean, fragile pure, awaiting the Potter’s hand to reshape and refashion these earthen vessels into containers fit for His Light to filter through.

Our many cracks, flaws and holes are no impediment.  The leaky spaces and places only allow His Light to shine through all the brighter.

And as we dig deep into the fertile soil of His word, its rich nutrients are a holding place for dormant seed to grow, bursting forth with an abundant harvest at just the right time.


Dear Father,

Our earthly nature clings to us like resistant soil. We need to come to You for cleansing and purifying. You are the Potter, we are the clay. Help us to be willing to let You have Your way and not resist Your loving hand upon our lives. And even when we may protest at the way it make us feel when You are stretching  and calling us to come up higher, enable us to surrender to Your will and ways.

May we have a growing awareness that full, lasting change and transformation cannot come about, nor fruit be evident in our lives, unless we are renewed, remade, restored and refashioned as You see fit, into the image of Your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Linking here with Nacole for #concretewords., where we write out spirit from a one word concrete prompt. This week’s prompt was:‘Soil’. You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.

** Day 2  of the 31 day challenge to write #poetryforthesoul