Being cloistered

cloistered file image PJ

‘Cloistered’

Impatient, busy feet

cross the street from sunlight

to shade, preferring dark

in the shadowed cloisters

of their barren heart

They do not see You, still

and patient in their midst

Nor catch the uttered cry

light as butterfly wings

that sings into the air

already thick with Your words

Blind eyes and stone insides

remain mute to their touch

What will it take to make

a world awaken to

the wonder and glory of You?

©JoyLenton2015

Dear Father,

As the storms of life arise,

may we be cloistered within

your heart, kept safe and

sheltered within the calm blue

sea of your grace, held fast and

secure by the anchor of your

love and tethered to you by

faith and trust in Jesus

Christ our Lord

Amen

Friends, I’ve been cloistered inside for a few weeks, needing a time set aside for necessary recuperation and rest. And I want to say how much I appreciate your kind thoughts, comments and prayers as I’ve been recovering some energy.

I’m slowly discovering there’s no safer place to be than in the shadow of God’s wings. May you also find the help, support and comfort you need during your own seasons of withdrawing unto Him.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (Whose power no foe can withstand). I will say of the Lord, He is my God; on Him I lean and rely and in Him I (confidently) trust!” ~ Psalm 91:1-2 (Amplified) 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Walk of faith

file image PJ walk of faith

‘Walking’

Sometimes I want to walk

away from myself

turn my back and flee

But there’s no getting

away from it

I can’t get away from me

Although I feel a place

of cold emptiness

echoing through my heart

When I try listening close

I sense Jesus is

walking through every part

He pushes away the

darkness shelved deep inside

so that it has nowhere else

to trouble, disturb or hide

And He fills and floods

every crevice and space

with His wonderful love

and amazing grace

©JoyLenton2014

For the first time in several weeks, I am delighted to be joining here again today(a little later than planned) with Kate and friends for #fiveminutefriday and with Mel for #essentialfridays

grace file pin image PJ walk of faith

A heart unfurls

as petals fall to ground file image

Grace grows strong in a heart full of gratitude.

As we sow thankfulness seeds we are rewarded with a deeper appreciation of life.

Yet our hearts can be so cold, shrivelled by worry, anxiety, fears.

Casting our cares seems to send them into orbit for nanoseconds before they return multiplied and heavier than before.

How can we learn to live fully and freely? Is there a way to have lasting peace, joy and contentment?

I’m slowly discovering that joy seeps in when my heart turns heavenward.

When I lean heavy on God’s grace and less on my own understanding.

Hope replaces discouragement the more I trust God to take care of things.

Feeding on His word nourishes my inner being.

Daily reflection on and remembering His #1000gifts is an exercise in maintaining a grateful heart.

There are days when He feels far away and I forget to pray. Try to do things in my own limited strength. Neglect to seek His guidance and wisdom.

Yet He stands patient, ready and willing to step in as soon as I allow Him entry.

An open heart is a place He desires to inhabit and fill to overflowing.

Our task is to see our emptiness and be willing to ask God to fill it. And as He fills us with His love, joy and peace they will overflow out to others.

Joining here with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday and with Mel for Essential Fridays. You are very welcome and warmly invited to take part.

‘A heart unfurls’

Circle of thorns

surround a heart curled small

self-protective, bud-tight

against assailing light

Alabaster jar breaks

releasing its sweet perfume

of death, burial, rising free

into the waiting room

Piercing cruel, sharp,

upon the brow so deep

scarlet-red begins to seep

Dripping soft and slow

new life from old

flames bright and grows

The heart unfurls

as gently, one by one,

its folds embrace the Son

Warmed by Love

its fragrance fills

scent of gratitude spills

as petals fall to ground

©JoyLenton2014

gratitude poem heart unfurls file pin image ~ FMF

Wall around the heart

Books have always spoken into my life, but some of them are literally life-changing and transforming.

The Bible stands out as the main means by which God brings His restoration and healing into our lives.

For the words within its pages are Life and Truth itself, messages from God’s heart to my own and to all mankind.

All other books I read pale into insignificance by way of comparison.

Though they still have a great deal to enlighten, inform and teach me.

One such book is a pre-launch copy of Mary de Muth’s latest book, ‘The Wall Around Your Heart’, which I’ve been privileged to read.

It soon presented a personal challenge as I began to see the walls I’d erected around my heart without knowing it.

They had been there so long it that I’d grown accustomed to them, seeing them as normal for who I was at times or missing them altogether.

And as I kept reading, it was clear God was asking me to face the fact of their existence and work with Him in bringing them down.

It hurt. Everything inside me protested. This was way too hard.

Thankfully, God deals with each one of us individually,  gently yet thoroughly.

As I made a decision to co-operate (when it became abundantly clear it was essential to do so), God began that deep excavation work He excels at….one small brick at a time….and walls have begun to wobble and shake.

They’re not down yet –  but we’re getting there.

The poem below was written a few weeks ago in response to this awakening.

Maybe you can relate to some of it.

If so, I would like to encourage you to consider how to overcome the walls you may have erected around your own heart.

Left unattended, they are prisons holding us back from living free and uncaged lives.

We are designed for so much more than this. Jesus died to set us free in every way possible.

Let’s aim to have a foretaste of heaven on earth as we learn to live as overcomers by God’s power, grace and strength.

‘Wall around my heart’

There is a wall

around my heart

hardening from hurt and pain

stony through suffering and shame

growing taller, thicker by the year

until I feel

I could disappear

beneath its weight

enclosed

entombed

suffocating shadow

looming over all my days

It’s a covering

a carapace, concealing

raw, soft vulnerability

within, a tender place

of wounding through words

and deeds of others

whose target struck and

stuck fast as shield impenetrable

stiff, unyielding rock

sheer cliff

to topple and destroy

all who may

approach this land

where I dwell

with drawbridge up, castle

fortified, defended, safe

as houses, built on sand

©JoyLenton2013

Today is the official launch day for ‘The Wall Around Your Heart’.

To find out more about the book and why it was written, click here.

To order/buy your own copy you can click here.

I will be blogging about its impact on my life in more detail over at Words of Joy later this week.

Linking here with Kate and Mari-Anna