Sabbath: space to rest, breathe and be still #thedailyhaiku 28

 

Today, I invite you to come aside from busyness for a while, slump easy on the settee, crash out in a chair (or grab a log) and join me in finding a few moments of rest for our restless souls. We don’t have to wait for a special day to have a Sabbath mindset and heart. Because God is always available to us.

Being holy isn’t about trying hard to achieve a state of perfection or keeping to a set of rules. It’s a way of life and a relationship of knowing Holy Love. Recognising we are set apart for God’s glory, while we live in a fallen world. It means having a surrendered soul and a disposition of faith and trust, knowing God abides within by His Spirit and is willing to work in and though us, despite our weakness and brokenness.

We come aside to spend time in God’s presence because we can. It’s a Holy privilege given to us. God longs for us to meet with Him. We don’t have to wait for Sabbath to arrive or a gilt-edged invitation to come in the post, because Jesus is the ever-open Door into the Father’s presence. 

And when we do see ourselves as God’s Beloved ones, realise just how much our Father desires to be with us, then we approach Him with due reverence and awe, coupled with a grateful, childlike heart that eagerly runs to the throne and delights to be in her Abba’s arms again.

keeping Sabbath

time to be holy

set apart for God’s glory

space to breathe and Be

©joylenton

Let’s listen to the hope filled words of the song below, still our souls, breathe freely, simply Be and rest in knowing we are loved Just As We Are and blessed beyond measure by God…

 

 

equilibrium: where our best soul peace comes from #thedailyhaiku 25

 

It doesn’t take much to rock our world or spoil our day, does it? With 24 hour news reports, lives that are increasingly fractured and eminently distracted by pinging phones and tablets, we can quickly sway from delight to despair, from joy to sadness, from feeling carefree to being consumed with fear.

And that doesn’t include our own internal make up and body chemistry, plus our propensity for self-preoccupation and concern, which can play havoc with our feelings on the best of days.

So how do we find and maintain a state of measured calm in all of this? How do we avoid being at the mercy of our feelings and subject to change because of shifts in the world around? Where is the equilibrium we all seek?

What works may vary from person to person, but the major stabilising thing in my life is my faith in Christ. Not that my faith doesn’t shake or falter at times. The vital part is what and who we place our faith in, not how great our faith might be in and of itself.

Trusting in Christ is how I achieve a measure of balance, composure and calm, despite what might be happening in my life. It’s not a state of switched off bliss, ignoring the things that disturb my soul while I meditate or something. It starts with a conscious awareness of my need.

It’s a willing surrender to God as loving Father. He cares deeply about what hurts us, and has the ability to keep us stable instead of falling apart, to give us wisdom, equilibrium and strength whenever we need it, and remind us that He is in charge of everything.

Though I may come to God in a state of turmoil to begin with, once I have stilled and rested myself in His presence, prayed and handed over my worries and concerns, He fills me with His supernatural peace, calm and contentment.

It’s a gift. Pure grace, in fact. Freely available to us all. And the best thing? We have access to it as often as we need. There are no limits to God’s willingness to meet with us and calm our fretful hearts.

equilibrium

equilibrium

we become happy and calm

focusing on God

©joylenton

When you need rescuing

by still waters PJ rescue file image

When a season of turmoil, trial, testing and tribulations pull us into a deep pit, we long for rescue, for God’s quiet waters, stillness and calm to soothe us.

The freeing breath of peace seems elusive until we seek it in Him and not in our circumstances.

And find how faith in Christ becomes the stabilising anchor for our wandering, wilful souls thrown about in life’s stormy seas.

His grace is the means by which we endure and stay calm in the midst of chaos in our circumstances, mind and heart.

Adversity and affliction sift and refine us, make us come forth (eventually) as gold from the fiery furnace.

And they are made bearable by the recognition God is right here with us, in the heat of it all, ready to rescue and save as necessary.

Sometimes a holy agitation occurs which makes us sit up and sense His presence.

What I mean by ‘holy agitation’ is a gentle stirring on the inside, a Holy Spirit nudge, if you like, that grows stronger over time to alert our sleepy souls to His deeper reality and purpose for us.

‘Rescue’

My life feels stuck and stagnant,

mired in mud soul-deep

And as I stretch yearning arms

toward empty skies, I reach

a place where soft breeze

wrinkles water where I lie

An angel has passed by

to offer holy agitation

to set me free from

stagnation, from still pools,

with soft spools of Spirit sighs

An arm reaches down to mine

Across galaxies, across all time,

eternity of stars so bright

Ready to lift me up, rescue

from dark pit of night

My eyes raised high

from gloom and dim,

I feel the breath of Life

filling lungs with Light

and I cling hard to Him

©JoyLenton2015

Dear Reader and Friend,

You know something? Clinging hard to the Lord is where I’m at right now after a prolonged season of increasing sickness since Christmas. Being stubborn old me, I rested up as much as possible after having the flu, but also drove myself as hard as possible to appear relatively ‘normal’ again afterwards.

Apparently, a lot of folk with M.E are like that. Who knew? So I kept up my writing schedules and pulled back from all avoidable social media interaction for a while.

And now? I am deep bone-weary and weak. In need of further rest and sleep, restoration and recovery. In need of not only leaning into Lent but laying down for much of it. In need of putting first things first ~ God, family, health and so on.

Maybe you can relate? You don’t have to be suffering from M.E and chronic illness to feel drained and burnt out.

I’m sensing God saying this is a good time to take a break from blogging for a while, to stay under the protective shadow of His wings as He pours His love, refreshing rest and peace into body and soul.

So I am finally listening and doing just that ~ thinking I can hear a heavenly sigh of ‘At last’ as I do so! It means I will be missing here and on ‘Words of Joy’ for a bit, though I will be honouring my writing commitments elsewhere.

And you can catch up with me on my Facebook page because I could be posting there sometimes as God inspires, enables and indicates it’s fine to do so.

You can also stay in touch with me on my Words of Joy’ Facebook page or connect with me on Twitter, Google + or Pinterest as I dip in and out of those places too.

Meanwhile, do feel free to dive into the archives and find something to bless and encourage you. And if you find something you like, please consider leaving a comment or sharing. Your thoughts and words matter. Thank you! May God bless you and keep you until we meet again. With love, Joy 🙂 ❤

prayer of rest PJ pin file image

Invitation to rest

snowdrops PJ file image

A new year unfurls slow, reluctant as snowdrops to show itself before due time.

Patience is required to see its full potential, the beauty it will bring forth arising from seeming deadness.

Life throbs beneath the surface; its urgent beat calling us to rise. There’s no time to lose. Let’s seize the day! Not a moment to waste.

Only… so many of us are just plain weary, worn-out and unwell or just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

We can barely get out of bed, never mind leave our mark on the day.

We sense sand slipping through our fingers and want to claw it back, halt the progress until we can face things again.

Or you may be fired up, all systems go, running on an adrenaline-fuelled rush. An eager-beaver racing against the clock.

However this day finds you, would you pause a while and let God refill and refuel you?

Will you come empty, with hands wide open, into His loving arms?

He is waiting to offer you rest, pour His peace into heart and mind as He shares His plans for you this year.

Come linger; come listen, draw near; come hear and be strengthened.

The invitation is always open. Are you ready?

butterfly welcome PJ and WoJ file image

‘Welcome’

When I am busy and burdened,

You welcome me into Your rest

When I am cold, indifferent,

You welcome me into Your Love

When I am lost and lonely,

You welcome me into Your embrace

When I am poor and needy,

You welcome me into Your best

At all times

In all ways

You offer me a Home

A place of refuge

A safe haven

An oasis of peace

A covering of mercy

A hymn of praise

A way to be free

A mantle of grace

©JoyLenton2015

green water -rest PJ pin file image

I aim to make more space for resting in God because He has invited me to take ‘Rest’ as the defining #oneword365 for 2015. And it’s never been more needful as I try to recover from a bout of flu.

I hope you will be able to join me on the journey here and over at ‘Words of Joy’. as I explore the depths of rest. Your company is greatly appreciated.

Do you struggle with switching off, relaxing or resting as much as you need to?

Please feel free to share what helps or hinders your progress. I love to hear from you.

Getting off the treadmill

Pausing PJ file image

‘Pausing’

In a frantic 24/7

treadmill life, it’s no heaven

to have stress, strain and strife

Because we gradually learn

how it makes us crash and burn

In order to still our body and mind

we may have to be cruel to be kind

Discover what helps or hinders us

as we step off the ‘always busy’ bus

And as we try to do our part

we’ll find the calm of the Father’s heart

is found in silence and in rest

In listening, pausing, seeking His best

Placing ourselves into His hands

Yielding our motives, goals and plans

Reading the wisdom in God’s word

Absorbing its truth seen and heard

Finding peace-pauses in each day

to simply be, breathe, and pray

Then stillness will soothe, fill and flood

our hearts with God’s peace and love

©JoyLenton2014

On a weary, M.E symptom-heavy day when I’ve spent several hours in bed, I’ve wished I could press ‘pause’ on the thoughts in my head. A body can be experiencing a degree of rest and ease while a mind spins like a hamster on a wheel. However, some thoughts are welcome ones and I am grateful to God for the unexpected gift of words to write and share on such a day as this.

Joining here with Kate and other ‘feel the fear and do it afraid, brave and bold, no worries about perfection’ writer friends for #fiveminutefriday You are very welcome and warmly encouraged to join in. This week’s prompt is:’Still’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

By quiet waters

 ‘By quiet waters’

Father,

Lead me by quiet waters

help me to be still

to follow in Your ways

instead of my own will.

Let me abide peaceful

resting by the stream

where Your grace flows freely

as on Your strength I lean.

May I heed Your word

and the truth which it imparts

bringing wisdom to my mind

and peace within my heart.

©JoyLenton2013

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” ~ Psalm 23:1-3