rhythm: seeking a slower pace to truly savour our lives

I’m sensing a change is due. For far too long I have had a discordant inner rhythm and a jangling outer one. With nerves frayed, patience shot and a desperate need to slow right down.

I know my life would hardly be considered busy (never mind frantic) to others. Living with M.E and chronic illness involves a necessary daily pacing and rest to avoid burnout and overwhelm. But do I heed the signs of being wearier than usual? Do I stop instead of pressing on? Not always.

We’re all able to push ourselves more than might be wise, especially when the things we are engaged with truly matter to us, like writing does to me. Yet when we ignore the warning signs, we risk adopting an imbalanced rhythm where rest barely gets a look in and busyness of some description becomes a default state that’s hard to break.

It is possible to slow and savour the ordinary before our eyes. In doing so, we might gain gratitude and a deeper appreciation of those who share our days. Maybe conversation could be less like itching to get our point across and more about listening to the other person? Just a thought.

I have experienced the inestimable value of pursuing times of quiet, prayerful solitude with God on a regular basis. It pays to have seasons of slow whenever we sense God calling us to do so.

A different life rhythm

I need a different life rhythm if I am to become more fully myself
with increasing awareness of the sacredness of ordinary life events
and moments, as I welcome in and embrace whatever might chime
like the hours in their ability to remind me of God’s loving presence

as it permeates the everyday, saturating everything we might take
for granted in our haste to move on from one activity to another
without savouring life with our senses alive to its holy resonance
as it meets with us in its unique thisness of vibrancy being offered

for we move too fast, especially in our thoughts, as we hurry and rush
to get to the new and the next, expecting each fresh encounter will
entertain and distract us better than those we have left behind or
rejected with our muddied minds, which do not value being stilled

because we’re blinded by busyness and slaves to change, fearing
most of all to be left behind, to miss out on something, which we
soon discover is not all it’s cracked up to be and only serves to drain
and deplete, to sap our vitality and leave us feeling weary and weak

our souls require breathing space, pockets of set-aside time, a quiet
deliberation to pursue the most excellent way that God designed us
to live and move and have our being in him, while we rest all we are
and all we can be, with gratitude for our days and thankful praise
© joylenton

Friend, I am heeding these whispers to my soul and resting my poetic thoughts for a while, though I hope to share snippets on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter when I am able. I’d love you to join me in those places.

Blessings, love and hugs to you until we meet again in a few weeks time. xo 😊💜🌸

chewed: having ragged edges when you want to be whole

 

I’m looking at our recently planted runner bean and strawberry plants, sighing over them being chewed, frayed around the edges, mirroring my own sorry soul state.

Although instead of pesky molluscs (and maybe an early caterpillar or two), my holey, chewed up state is a result of having bitten off more than I can easily chew, never mind swallow.

I’ve been running (in a tortoise-slow kind of way) on empty for far too long. My previous post here hinted at this depletion. And it’s got to the point where I’ve become more concerned at this slowing down and feeling of overwhelm, not keeping up well with anything. Maybe you can relate?

Usually I think of a tortoise to describe this slow burn way of crawling through my days. But as I sat and contemplated it, I thought of a snail instead and how they slither, glued to ground.

A snail’s progress may be slow, imperceptible to our eyes, but they can truly decimate a plant with their stealthy nibbles! As summer kicks in and we begin to plant hope for tomorrow, potential food to eat and flowers that please, we soon discover how much snail munch-stops have torn to shreds previously intact garden greenery.

Then we may marvel at their ability to cling on (carefully avoiding the snail pellets, of course), and manoeuvre their way around each plant in turn. A glistening trail, a slither of silver remains the most visible sign of their passing….

 

Mollusc Marvel

She carries the weight of a curled-up shell

upon her slippery frame, its fragile cusp

balancing on a body made for slithering

 

Movement may be slow but she traverses

stony ground with slimy thread of silver, trailing

her glory marker behind her like a gauzy

veil shimmering in the sunshine, laced

with hope on a journey fraught with danger

 

This fragile rope follows her from stem to stem

and back again, indulging in a spot of leaf munching

while her carapace crunches its welcoming shade

to protect the delicate vulnerability

residing deep within its darkening glade

©joylenton

 

How do we cope with our thready lives, ragged edges, chewed up days and lost energy? If you’re anything like me, you might try pressing on regardless for a while. Though, unlike snails, we’re not built to carry heavy weights on our own backs but to give them over to God instead.

The best thing to do is to take a break, take it to God, lean on Him and rest in every conceivable way. We cannot run on empty or we have nothing of any worth left over to offer others.

Therefore, I am having to pull back from blogging for a bit, seek wholeness, rest in God, and spend some quality time with those I love, because our glory markers can become ragged, spread thin, if we fail to spend sufficient time with Him.

I need to come aside, abide and be awed anew at all God can do with a weary woman’s frame when it’s given over to Him. Maybe a season of rest and refreshment also has your name on it?

I will be praying for you all while I am away. Meanwhile, feel free to dive into the archives here and over at Words of Joy. You can also catch a few poetic thoughts appearing on my Facebook page. God bless you, friend, until we gather here again. 🙂 xo

Advent invites us into the continual now of God’s presence

manger-nativity-pj

 

We sit with great expectations in this season—usually driven more by insistence from the media than by us fully reverencing the manger. Rarely are they met. More often than not, we emerge out the other side of Advent as a weary wreck. Maybe there’s a way to do things differently? 

As I rested upstairs, had a needful break to recharge this afternoon, breathed out slow and sat with the Lord for a while, these poetic thoughts emerged…

Advent invites us…

Advent invites us to savour the now, ever-present sense of God’s presence in this world, invisible yet still tangible somehow.

It reminds us of the manger being but a step to the cross, a way of remembering all that Jesus bought for us at such a great cost.

We’re invited to linger and marvel at Love come down. We’re welcomed to a stable, a baby fit for a shiny Royal crown.

Here, in swaddling clothes, manger-wrapped and ready for us to receive Him is a Gift to accept and unwrap the promises hidden deep within.

And the Advent now also suggests tension and stress, cards to write and send, folk to invite, parcelling of presents, our own gifts to share with family and friends.

There’s a drive to have the right kind of offering, forgetting how our love and our presence are always the best thing.

In all the rush and hurry, haste and paste, decorating and baking, we can lose sight of that starry night in Bethlehem. We can neglect to make space in the here and now for the One who this celebration is really about.

I’m guilty as charged, knowing I need to heed those soft whispers nudging my spirit more than before, because I’m in danger of forgetting my Saviour in the drive to do one thing more before collapsing with fatigue.

But when we stop, take a breath, a sacred pause? Why, we find God is here, in the moment, of course. Always patiently waiting for our attention, He reaches out across time and eternity to welcome us into the Now of His glorious presence.

There is peace here. There is calm. There is deep soul rest. We receive not only what’s better but what is best. We can ignore the clamour, the hassle, the shout, become replenished, renewed from the inside out.

Here is a whisper, a breath, an eternal song being sung, a melody being heard and received, a lullaby for our restless souls. And here we belong. No pressure, no pleading, just a realisation that this is what we truly need now—during Advent, Christmas and beyond.

©joylenton2016

I thought I was too tired to think straight, never mind write today, however God whispered these thoughts which enabled me to join in with this week’s five-minute-friday prompt of ‘Now’.  Come meet the writing crew gathering at Kate Motaung’s site, and check out the great posts being shared. Just click here to follow me there.

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