Hope sings a joyful song

hope sings PJ

In the midst of life’s pain and darkness there sounds a note of joy.

It is the call of Hope reminding us of its presence within our thorny circumstances.

And as we tune our hearts to listen, we find its melody is like music to our ears.

Souls seek solace in hope’s calm waters. Bathe in its warm glow.

We lift our heads above the waves, resist the winds blowing us sideways, and we drift slowly toward the pull of soothing streams.

We already have a Lifebelt around our waist to keep us afloat, holding us steady.

Now we see how Hope also companions our days and defends us against dark night’s covering.

So we surrender to its sound as our souls contribute their own harmony.

God is here. We are safe. Hope rises strong. We can face another day.

Grace and Hope join hands to lift us to a better place.

Hope sings

Hope sings out loud with joyful

sound like an uncaged bird perched

within a confident trusting soul

who sees life complete and whole

Another may quake and shake

and be all of a flutter

with an anxious heart prone to

quail, splutter and falter

Hope is like a light

burning on the inside

A flame often wavering, slim

we must tend to keep it alive

God doesn’t bow to our

indecent haste, our nervous

exhaustion when life is viewed

like a marathon race

His ways are ones of

unhurried, restful peace

with hope ascending high

as it’s lubricated by

the oil of Holy Spirit ease

And we can remain calm

when our Hope is secure

while we rest in God’s arms

and trust an unknown future

to a faithful, risen Saviour

©JoyLenton2015

This is day 28 of write-31-days with five-minute-free-writes. Today I’m linking up with fellow writing friends for ‘Tell His Story at Jennifer’s place and ‘Coffee for your Heart’ at Holley’s site.

And it’s also my last contribution to this writing challenge. Family will be staying over and I hope to unwind and spend some precious quality time with them. Thank you for reading.

I’ve taken part here on a weekly basis but most of  these #write31days posts can be found over at my other site ‘Words of Joy’ if you’d like to catch up with them while I take a break. Blessings and love to you as you rest in our eternal Hope of Christ for this life and beyond.  Joy 

hope sings light - PJ

Out of mist

december mist

Waking up to morning mist, I sense the otherworldliness of its obscurity.

Sight is dimmed. Senses dulled as dishwater.

Lost in fog. Muffled morphed outlines rising as shadows.

No compass points defining end from beginning.

December chill making body feel stilled as statue.

And here am I… frozen in poetic thought as the kettle boils hot…

As mist

Watching steam clouds billow reminds me
how our lives are but mist in lens of eternity
our deepest desires and dreams, hopes and schemes
in danger of being fizz, evanescence become
melting puddles of deliquescence
seeping into nothingness.


And all pleasures rise high as steam
then fall away as vapour dissipating
into darkness too dense for us to hold.
For all is fleeting, all is change, all is meeting place
where we surrender our goals and plans,
then taking up God’s gift of grace
we can sink restful, with trusting sigh,
leaving all to be rearranged by His loving hands.


He gathers every scattered act and thought
to make-over, remould good and true,
weaving them into a tapestry of His own design
where nought is wasted
only caught, drawn fine and new into
a lasting beauty to behold.
©JoyLenton

Misted wintry days remind me of how fleeting and changeable our dreams and schemes can be.

Though all desires surrendered to God become enlarged at His hands and so much more than we ever envisaged.

Happiness can vanish in an instant, ephemeral, lost in the ether.

Lasting, solid joy is found in relationship with God and following His ways for our lives.

He transforms everything by His grace. Makes us come alive on the inside.

Making beauty from brokenness, from the scattered ashes of our lives.

as mist poem pin image

Vestiges remain

lingering sadness PJ post file image

‘Vestiges remain’

Vestiges of summer linger in sun’s warm rays

before fading far away at close of day

Autumnal chill makes body and heart sink cold

and low before they find another warm glow

Each new sunrise brings hope of renewal and change

opportunity for life and love to become rearranged

We are born; we live; we die. And in-between

we welcome, embrace, and bid Goodbye

Every day has moments of goodness

and grace, sadness and sorrow, clinging on

today while we wait for tomorrow

Silver linings shine beneath all dirt and grime

and darkness hovers round us all the time

Light is always waiting at the door if we

have faith to let it in and believe for more

There are no wasted days or years

despite how bleak things may appear

God can redeem every one as we learn

to trust fully in Jesus, His Son

How do we live with this dichotomy?

By remembering the good, giving praise

and being as thankful as we can be

©JoyLenton2014 

door letting in light vestiges PJ file pin image

Equilibrium

equilibrium PJ post file image

‘Equilibrium’

To be both fully human

and fully alive

is to be in touch

with joy and pain

holding both

in balanced equilibrium

as though they

were the same,

to drink willingly

from each cup

without reserve

as we learn to thrive

within this world

And think no less

than they deserve

of one than another

esteeming all

as sister, brother,

revealing how

we can survive

our time on earth

firmly planted

in Kingdom reality

and shared humanity

©JoyLenton2014

equilibrium poem file image pin

Colour my world

There are days when all feels dark and dismal.

Clouds hang heavy and hearts sink low.

Drained of all energy or brightness.

We long for colour and vitality.

Signs of Life. Hope. Faith.

Sense the stirring as earth wakens to Spring.

Feel an inner awakening birthing joy and light.

Encouragement emerges  to lift weary spirits.

Seek goodness and grace as seen in our Saviour’s face

“I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; and their faces are never covered with shame” ~ Psalm 34:4-5

National Poetry month 2014 image

‘Colour my world’

Colour my world a rosy hue

with splashes of calming green and blue

Paint over each trace of gloomy grey

ashes be gone, erase sadness today

Mix in some vibrant purple-shaded hues

so spiritual power becomes renewed

Add fine threads of gold, glowing bright

glimmers of grace reveal Your light

Discard all dark, inky-black stains

reminders of any loss or pain

Orange to add life and energy

as You pour daily strength into me

Remember to leave some brilliant white

space on the canvas ~ just out of sight

©JoyLenton2014

colour my world image pin

What’s in a name?

Have you ever chafed against the name you’ve been given? Wondered why or how it was chosen.

Felt you couldn’t live up (or down) to it. I have.

As my years have spanned out, confusion set in about my name.

Yes, I knew it came as a diminutive of my mother’s, was given by my father in a split-second, finger-pointing decision (I’m one of twins) , has had great implications for how I live as a Christian and how others perceive me.

Yet I have worried and wondered in turn as I have sought to live under its shadow, feeling oh so unworthy in a life marked more by pain and problems, sickness and sorrow than joy.

So when I saw the prompt for this week’s #fiveminutefriday link up, these thoughts immediately bubbled to the surface.

And I found myself asking God, “Why was I called Joy?”

He reminded me that it was a wonderful thing indeed to be able to say with great conviction, “The joy of the Lord is my strength” ~ and that remains my testimony. 

I came empty to a life of faith. I remain empty unless God fills me. His love, light, grace, mercy,  joy and strength are my daily necessities. Maybe they are for you too?

My witness is a life circumscribed by God’s continual comforting presence in every possible circumstance.

He brings hope and healing, joy and praise out of the darkest of places and days.

So I paused… prayed, and this is what I wrote  with the free releasing of thought and words characteristic of Five Minute Friday.

START…

‘Joy’

Without sorrow, joy wouldn’t seem such a shining light

Without adversity, joy wouldn’t be so strong and bright

Through pain and problems My purposes are revealed

and in dark times joy lies hidden, concealed

Arising as bulbs to greet the Spring

joy sits silent and calm within

until the moment when it comes forth

to demonstrate its exceeding worth

I made no mistake when I named you Joy

It was no cruel trick or devious ploy

but a knowing that soon your life would show

how the joy of the Lord helped you to grow

Now you no longer rely on fickle feelings

as you scrabble around in life’s dirty dealings

for joy is found in darkness deep and it

seeps to the surface when you need it most

bubbling over like waves on the coast

Though feelings come and feelings go

joy can remain in a heart’s warm glow

from the embers of your burning pain

it brings hope of renewal time and again

©JoyLenton2014

 STOP.

cresting the waves joy poem pin image

Names matter because we matter. Regardless of our given name, we can learn to live free by faith in the saving name of Christ. 

We all have a name of meaning and worth:God calls us His ‘beloved child’; we are ‘honoured and precious in His sight’, the ‘apple of His eye’ and  so much more besides.

It can be hard to live a joyful life in the midst of adversity, but it’s in those very places that God draws extra close to us.

Happiness is fleeting as a butterfly alighting briefly on our shoulder then taking flight.

Joy is a deep-seated well of contentment ~ regardless of circumstances ~ where we rest internally in the saving grace of God.

And we can experience it in the midst of the most demanding of situations. It’s a supernatural gift and blessing. One to seek, treasure and pass on to others by way of sharing our experience of the Source of all Life, Joy and Peace Himself. 

My hope and prayer is that you may be filled with a greater measure of it in the week ahead. For, no matter how long the night may seem, “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning” ~ Psalm 30:5. Each day can be a fresh start.

Joining with  Lisa-Jo and Mel

You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.

Treasure mined in darkness

Christmas may be over for another year; food supplies begin to deplete along with our flagging energy and enthusiasm.

Yet hope, love and grace are evergreen ~ lingering eternally in our hearts even through the darkest days.

We may clear away the debris of celebrations but we hang on to memories we have made.

Think of Love come down to earth and how that impacts the everyday with awe and wonder.

Admire our gifts and consider the greatest Gift ever given to us ~ our Lord Jesus Christ.

And we may ponder the worth and value of the gifts we have been given by God over the last year and beyond.

For a gift may come wrapped in sadness and sorrow, problems and pain, suffering and shame.

It can take some searching to see the light shining through the darkness.

Appreciate grace glimmers in hard places.

Such a gift came to me and it took me many years to receive, unwrap and appreciate its worth.

‘Hidden Depths’

It can be really hard

to understand

how weakness and fragility

that render lives

dependent, still and slow

may be gifts

from God’s right hand

that He, in infinite mystery

has chosen to bestow

And yet there lingers

surprising nuggets of His grace

glinting bright in dark

circumstance and place

we deem rightly painful, sad;

though from His loving fingers

we can trace joy and hope

rising through all that seems

heavy weighted-down and bad

For those who cling

desperate closer toThe Vine

can find strength beyond measure

as they seek to bring

their lives as daily offering

found in their struggle,

pain and suffering, it can

yield unexpected treasure

of hidden depths to mine

©JoyLenton2013

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” ~ Isaiah 45:3

This poem links with the theme of the blog post ‘When a gift doesn’t look like one’ that I wrote as a guest post on my writer friend James Prescott’s site. You can click here to read it.

Grace notes

How do you picture grace or try to describe it?

I see grace like musical notes that play out in our lives as rich background sound to all our senses, bringing harmony and melody to our moments and a song of praise to our lips and hearts.

These grace notes are Holy whispers we need to train ourselves to listen and respond to.

We live, breathe and have our being in God’s grace.

We are enabled, equipped and encouraged by its anointing.

We have all the riches of God’s treasure store laid out for us by faith in Christ.

Where does one begin to suggest the source of all strength, the power, peace and purpose of knowing our Saviour?

As a weary M.E sufferer (who has very limited energy or inspiration today), I know I cannot do full justice to these things.

But I pray that my lowly offering here will still touch your heart with some small measure of mutuality, a flicker of recognition or understanding.

START…

‘Holy whispers’

Dew-dappled leaves

sunlight fronds filtering through the trees

with holy whispers calling on the breeze

suggestive of love, hope and laughter

kindled with knowledge of joy hereafter.

With friends to hold hands and heart

for whether we’re young or old

they are a rich part  of common grace

goodness God gives and deploys

to be acknowledged and enjoyed.

And as we trust in the promise of Your word

 believe and receive all we have heard,

as we behold Your face

seeing life through new eyes

with renewed and restored view

of delight and surprise in dealing

with the everyday, we become aware

of how it all comes back to You.

Everything looks better than we had thought

it could be as we have sought

to know and follow closely

being alert in seeing each and every day

is liberally laced

with Your love

 revealing a fresh way of living

with help from within

and support from above.

For such is life when

You bring our senses alive.

All is gift

All is grace

All is Christ seen

within and around.

His love surrounds

Everything

enabling the freeing

of all

that soils and despoils

©JoyLenton2013

STOP.

Like many before it, this poem had a life of its own.

I began with marvelling at creation.

And veered off into marvelling at the Creator Himself.

Which is no surprise when He is the Source of all grace, all goodness and life itself.

Linking here with Lisa-Jo Baker and all the brave and beautiful writers who participate in #fiveminutefriday. Today’s prompt is:‘Grace’.

You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.

PS:Grace is a topic I’ve written about many times before in Words of Joy and made into a series called ‘Grace Notes’. It all began here.