Forgetting and remembering

Evening rails

In taking a step back we often see the way to move forward.

Perspective and hindsight combine to reveal what lay concealed.

Sitting too close to something can make it overly familiar, a thing of dependency and routine.

And we forget what lies on the other side.

So it was for me with social media a few weeks ago. I became burnt-out, exhausted and yet afraid to loose the hold.

It took time (and increasing health and life challenges) to make me see that in desiring to be in the thick of things I was missing the most important thing of all ~ time to simply ‘be’.

In the drawing back I gradually regained a sense of the ‘normality’ that used to be there for me when I wasn’t so caught up in the being out there, heard and seen aspects of life.

It began with restlessness, then as I relaxed more there was profound fatigue and deep bone weariness to contend with, as if I was finally giving my body permission to let go instead of running on continual adrenaline.

Then the silence was filled with a greater measure of hearing from God as He held me in my weakness and pain, helping me see my worth and value are nothing to do with my productivity or the lack thereof.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, being ‘busy’ for me looks like another person’s chilling-out time; but it was a huge change for me to stop those activities and drop all concern about blogging and having some kind of online presence.

Freed from all expectations or demands, writing became pure joy. Poetry and prayer whispers proliferated. Snippets sank into my mind when I was resting, and God encouraged me to release it all to Him without worry or fear.

And I discovered that it’s only in the letting go of all we hold tight to that we are free to fully enjoy it in the way God intends us to.

So I have been delving deeper into His word, praying longer, reading more books and poetry than before, spending quality time with loved ones and ‘in real life’ friends, and realising how shallow my life had become.

Now I want to remember what it’s like to touch reality rather than living a large part of my life in a ‘virtual’ world.

I want to remember how God’s opinion of me is the only one that really matters and I write primarily for an audience of One.

And I want to continue to forget about people-approval issues, performance, perfectionism or pressure, and just concentrate on resting in God’s Presence where I am already beloved, accepted and pre-approved ~ just as I am.

‘Forgetting’

I’d forgotten what it’s like

to lose myself completely

within pages of a book

where time ceases to exist

and eyes are deeply fixed

on drinking in the words

upon which my soul is hooked

I’d forgotten what it’s like

to pray with no clock-watching

allowing time to listen

wait patient for God to speak

within this hour, day and week

seeking nothing more or less

than drawing closer to Him

I’d forgotten what it’s like

to heed Holy Spirit’s voice

so close in the minutiae

or to savour the rhythmic flow

as each moment comes and goes

and He whispers soft and low

to inform and guide my day

©JoyLenton2014

Gift and grace as social media and blogging are to me, it has been good to learn there is life beyond the laptop.

You can read more about how this experience has affected me in this post on ‘Words of Joy’.

How about you? Have you considered unplugging or experienced relief from doing so, even for a short while?

Feel free to share your story in the comments below.

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

book reader ~ Forgetting  poem PJ file image pin

Sensing His Presence

Come away for a while. Sink into a comfortable seat. Resist all rush and hurry. Rest your weary body. Ready yourself to receive from the Lord.

Breathe deep ~ be calm ~ find a place of stillness and peace.

God is with us ~ we are on holy ground.

Seeking the supernatural in the natural.

Experiencing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Each time we make space for God’s glorious Presence, He enlarges our appetite for it ~ a holy hunger develops.

The new year could be a time ~ of deliberate listening ~ to those Holy echoes in mind and heart ~ whispers on the wind ~ as God imparts His life to us ~ in a journey without end.

In the awareness, attention is required, a stilling of the soul, a watching and waiting, every sense attuned and alert.

I have heard prayer whispers intermittently throughout this year, and they are speaking to me more as I re-read them.

Now I sense a call, not just to ‘Come’ and approach His throne of grace but to linger, lean hard, and listen… the word He has given me for 2014.

And the first thing to heed is how God makes Himself known to us in myriad ways as the poem below describes.

‘I AM’

I AM

earthquake and volcano’s fiery outpour

waves lapping gently on the shore

wind ripping leaves straight off the trees

the soft caress of a mid-summer breeze

Grey fog and mist obscuring the view

an irredescent-coloured rainbow hue

a wake-up trumpet’s strident sound

peace and stillness in the air around

I AM

The One who has tasted salty tears

brought joy and comfort to your years

stamped upon all your enemies and foes

walked Earth with sand beneath my toes

Who felt forsaken on the cross

as I defeated sin, death and loss

cried out in nail-pierced agony

to secure your forgiveness and set you free

I AM

The Lion of Judah’s victory roar

as I keep you safe for evermore

blood and water, Spirit and Life

to heal, restore and deliver from strife

Songs of praise without an end

your beloved and closest Friend

echoes throughout human history

whispers on the wind ~ Holy mystery

©JoyLenton2013

I would be honoured if you would join me in learning how to listen better to God in 2014 as I aim to keep a prayer journal, share ‘Prayer Whispers’ and poetic inspirations here and write longer blog posts about my discoveries on Words of Joy.

May you be filled with a sense of awe and wonder and be greatly blessed in seeking and sensing His Presence in the year ahead. You can also join in with #oneword365 here.

Happy New Year to you!

Prayer Whisper:Hearing

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God has many ways He chooses to speak to us.

‘Prayer Whispers’ are some of the messages God has laid upon my heart this year and inspired me to share to bless others with.

This one is about hearing God’s voice:

“Slowing down in order to hear My voice is so important. Your mind has a tendency to be distracted by many things. As you still your soul and learn to filter out the other voices that call for your attention and begin to recognise My voice, then you will hear Me speaking to you. I am never silent. My voice goes out over all the earth. Only those who quiet themselves to tune in to it will hear My voice of affirmation and instruction.

I have spoken words of love, forgiveness, mercy and grace to all through My beloved Son. I speak words of My glory and majesty in the heavens and on the earth through their bounty and splendour. So no-one is without the ability to know that I am God. Those who come to Me through My Son have My written word and the voice of My Spirit to guide them as they journey in life. I have not left you without help, guidance or support”.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world” ~ Psalm 19:1 – 4

Lord,

Help us to still ourselves before You and listen for your voice speaking directly to our spirits. Speak as we read Your word, wait quietly before You and learn to tune out other distractions. May we seek and find You as we carve out time and space in the busyness of our lives, and become more aware of Your presence as we go about our daily tasks. Give us ears to hear, a heart to respond and the ability to live out the truth we read in Your word. Amen.