about calling, priorities and sensitivity to Holy Spirit

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Like a flock of noisy seagulls, voices come at us from all directions, urging activity, challenge and change. What (or who) are we listening to? How do we sift the gold from the detritus, make choices we can live with and trust? In a world vying to be heard, how do we make sure we only take in what we need to?

It’s not easy to avoid all that is clamouring for our attention, or discern the times and tides, especially when so many fresh opportunities are coming our way.  A new year is rife with resolution, full of possibility, potential and hope.

As I try to recover from the festive season, my body is signalling a need to rest but my mind is inclined to pursue the enticement of the Now and the New. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a real issue for many—me, too, sometimes. We can become stalled by indecision, paralysed by too much choice and derailed by the very real possibility of disappointment.

At the risk of lagging behind, disappointing or letting people down, it’s better for us to be true to how we’re currently situated and what we’re capable of without jeopardising our physical or mental health.

My spirit longs to listen to what God is saying to me first and foremost , knowing His ways—though seemingly counter-intuitive at times—are always the best. It pays to heed holy whispers. If He is whispering caution, waiting and rest, then I hesitate to press ahead with the next big thing, because in the end it will fail or I will falter, crash and collapse if I ignore the warning signs.

I love to write and in order to do so I have to prioritise, make creative space, rest, pace and avoid doing anything else for the day that’s an exhausting activity for me. It’s all about calling, priorities and sensitivity to Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding, and giving ourselves permission to rest and recover when we need to.

It won’t wash with me

Political spin

won’t wash with me; I’m resting

in God’s plans, you see

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No spin

Life’s waves wash over

my still frame—caught fast by pain

I refuse to spin

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Wash me radiant

Wash me radiant

Let your love spin in my heart

Warm from dawn to dark

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Today’s haiku have been inspired by the prompt of ‘Spin&Water’ —(which my tired brain somehow interpreted as ‘Spin&Wash’ instead… oops… so that’s what I’ve based these poems on!)—from our poet master, Ronovan, of ronavonwrites.  Just click here to see the rest of the posts and join in if you’d like to.

How are you sifting the wheat from the chaff as you make plans for 2017?

What new thing (or word) has God given you for the days ahead?

Burning bright and clear

The lights are going out everywhere.

Decorations put away for another year.

Brightness losing to grey and gloom.

But what if we deliberately make room for it?

With ‘listen’ being my #oneword365, I aim to use all of my senses more fully.

And as a personal writing challenge this year, I am starting with 31 days of being more mindful.

Notice normal.

Find ordinary extraordinary.

Turn away from doom and drear.

Let my interest in life burn bright and clear.

See God’s goodness and grace all over the place.

Savour the flavour of life ‘As Is’ in a way I may not have done before.

It began on January 1st with this #smallstone offering:

And it has continued since as I’ve shared them on social media. Not aiming for perfection ~ just attention to detail ~ I will share some of them here with you too.

Today’s poem came from reflecting on the change of season and end of Christmas/New Year celebrations.

Maybe I can encourage and inspire you to actively listen to your life and find greater joy and discovery in the everyday? I hope so.

‘Evergreen’

Embracing a new year

means that Christmas decorations

tend to disappear

and all its celebrations

are at an end

Though God’s Light

is not suspended

but shining bright and clear

it remains to comfort and to cheer

Burning evergreen in our souls

perfect for every season

it is the very reason

we are healed, restored, made whole

throughout the year

as it leads, guides and directs

our pathways here

©JoyLenton2014

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!

On the cusp

Here we stand. On the cusp of uncertainty. Hovering at the edge.

On the brink of possibilities, potential or pitfalls.

Where hope and fear meet. Expectation rises.

Here lies a blank sheet waiting to be inscribed like the pages of a new journal.

Our stories wait to be written.

Our lives stretching out before us in minutes, hours, days yet to be lived.

Our disappointments ready to be consigned to The Past.

For this is a new year approaching ~ opportunity beckons to do things differently.

Are you ready?

‘Anew’

Celebrated arrival cloaked

in virginal innocence

A blank sheet

clean slate

rose-kissed dawn

pregnant with possibility

Viewed with eyes

of wonder

intrigue

suspicion

awe

breath-held fear

and great curiosity

What if?

What if THIS ~

is the time

promises are kept

dreams come true

lessons are learnt

goals are met?

Will problems rule

and reign again?

Will love flourish

or die?

Will we rush

with open-armed embrace

or turn aside?

No easy answers

rise to our lips

This takes

steely determination

raw courage

blind optimism

great faith

As we plunge

into The Unknown ~

unfamiliar territory

enclosed by memory

of past victories

of battles won,

we too

will overcome

©JoyLenton2012

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” ~ Isaiah 46:18 – 19