about calling, priorities and sensitivity to Holy Spirit

about-calling-priorities-holy-spirit-pj

 

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

haiku-it-wont-wash-with-me-pj

 

No spin

Life’s waves wash over

my still frame—caught fast by pain

I refuse to spin

haiku-no-spin-pj

 

Wash me radiant

Wash me radiant

Let your love spin in my heart

Warm from dawn to dark

haiku-wash-me-radiant-pj

 

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?

Relaxing into relationship

lavender relaxing PJ

There are days of summer living when heat is high and energy low and it’s all we can do to muster a clear thought.

Even in coolish UK we’ve been having a few sultry humid days where I wilt like a dry and dying flower.

This is becoming a busier family season for me too.

We spent time away at our son’s home recently and they’re on their way to visit us soon.

Being with family and friends is a precious gift indeed. And one I value more with every passing year.

It’s a time to take a pause from deep pondering and begin relaxing into relationship instead.

There’ll be slow days, a BBQ or two, a celebration meal out for the adults, and moments to make memories with my toddler grandson.

And there’ll be a bit of a gap on the blog because I anticipate being too weary for words for a while, unless God gifts some to me.

But I don’t know if that will happen in a few days or a week or so.

Much depends on my body’s ability to recover and recoup after expending more energy than usual.

Living with M.E is a see-saw ride where we creep backwards and inch forward.. (as I write about here).

It’s a balance of alternating periods and days of activity with adequate pacing and rest to avoid burnout or relapse.

So this week’s offering is small as we prepare for family to arrive.

Just a couple of little haiku poems for you to enjoy as I wind down my laptop and unwind my mind.

Until God suggests otherwise, I’ll be resting my pen and relaxing into closer relationship with Him for a while.

Aiming to enjoy some necessary down-time for soul refreshment and spiritual whitespace.

Meanwhile, you are very welcome to dip into the archives here or over at my Words of Joy site.

May you enjoy rest and relaxation into relationship too in the days ahead. Looking forward to catching up with you soon!

Blessings and love, Joy 🙂 ❤

blotting paper haiku PJ

tucked into haiku PJ pin

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

Being broken

being broken PJ file image

‘Being broken’

Your voice whispered urgent, imploring

Calling me to come away

Take a break

Stay close to Your side a while

Abide in restful invisibility

close to Your heart

before I break and come

apart on the inside

Little did I know how my soul

longed for less exposure

Less busyness

Less stress

Little did I know how it would

reveal my deepest needs

Become a breaking

and a making of me

Peel back layers of sensitivity

Unloose the woman of God

You desire me to be

Now, broken by Your grace,

I seek solace, and I find

Rest for my spirit and mind

within Your inviting embrace

©JoyLenton2015

Friends, it looks like the poet in me is ready for release with a breaking of a God-inspired, self-imposed silence over the last month.

It feels good to be back sharing my words again with the wonderful community of #fiveminutefriday writers!

Thank you for your kind comments, thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. They have blessed and sustained me more than you know. 🙂

I’m still taking things easy, resting and pacing and only writing as God gives me inspiration and anointing. But I’m so thankful for this opportunity to join in and share here today.

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

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

In His Presence

There are days when prayer seems as simple as breathing sweet and easy.

On others it feels like laboured heavy-breathing after a long climb.

No matter how it feels to us, we can rest assured that God delights to hear our prayers.

And we are always welcome to come into His Presence.

This poetic prayer came about when sleep-deprived and weary.

I wanted to stay and pray in the quiet place where my soul communes with God.

But my mind and body had other ideas.

Lord,

I wish that I could linger longer in Your Presence

to sense the touch of Your fingers on my life,

and really catch the essence of what it means

to rest from strain and strife as I learn

to distinguish the better from the best,

to resist the tug of urgent, rush and hurry

calling attention to all I need to do

causing needless anxiety and worry

while pulling me away from You.

And I know it’s more important to turn aside

from things that drain and steal my energy

when I hear Your Voice calling

“Come and abide with Me”.

You are the only One who can give me

lasting hope, joy and peace

and I live and function best

with Holy Spirit grace and ease.

So I come, willing now and able

to stay a while and feast

at Your abundant table,

stay in Your Presence

gaze at Your Face,

feels arms of Love surround me

in a safe and warm embrace,

soak in Your Love-light

pure, holy and true

and emerge refreshed, restored

strengthened and renewed

©JoyLenton2013

**Note** – This post is one of the ‘here’s one I made earlier’ variety that waits for such a time as this. I am still taking a break from my usual writing schedule and needing as much rest as possible while away visiting family for a few days. But I hope to be back in the swing of things again soon!