place: when you’re seeking a soul sanctuary

place - #FMF - when you're seeking a soul sanctuary @poetryjoy.com

Do you have a place where you feel completely at home, relaxed, loved and secure? It’s a gift to have such a soul sanctuary, isn’t it? Though many of us struggle to find it and some miss out altogether, maybe due to the unkindness of others or their own limited ability to seek out a safe place for themselves.

Our homes are meant to be soul sanctuary havens. They’re supposed to represent the loving parental way God cares for us. But often they don’t. If you, like me, grew up feeling confined, insecure, unloved and unwanted because your family of origin didn’t provide the stability you needed to grow strong on the inside, then all is not lost.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” — Psalm 18:19 NIV

I found my safe place in God. He alone can provide the complete soul solace we need in life. Other people and things might try to plug the gap, and succeed to some extent, but God gives us the means to rest all that we are: our fear, pain and shame, our identity and name, our past, present and future, our weariness, brokenness, wounds and mess in Him.

place - tree - girl - birds - sunset #FMF - resting ourselves in God quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, a lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest. You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you.” — Psalm 61:4 The Message

I am seeking

I am seeking
a quiet stream underneath
life’s detritus
beyond the fluctuating
a place that welcomes waiting

I am seeking
a still point in my life
to anchor me
when tides rise higher still
and I lose my heart, my will

I am seeking
somewhere secure and safe
a refuge
so I can reach out again
with courage, hope, confidence

I am seeking
signs of life when all looks dead
to survive
days of darkness and drear
times I want to disappear

I am seeking
more than this world contains
holy rain
deep connectivity
a place to sit, grow and breathe
© joylenton

place #FMF EH #9 I am seeking poem (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Adversity hits us universally but our ways of coping are as individual as we are. I’m learning to rest myself more in God instead of wearying myself out worrying about everything. Faith and trust, coupled with experience, have shown me it’s the wisest course of action, especially when I cannot help myself.

One place I always feel comfortable sharing my words is with the fabulous five-minute-friday crew as we write on this week’s prompt of “place.” You are welcome to join us here and read the great variety of posts being shared. 🙂

By the way, dear reader, you might like to know that the poem above has been taken from my forthcoming new book, Embracing Hope: Soul Food to Help Chase Away the Blues, which is an eclectic mix of poetry, reflections and blessings and is due to be published soon! I chose it because I’m way too fatigued to think straight, and it’s about a place where my soul feels secure, loved and safe.

Coming aside

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As Spring begins to segue into Summer I seem to still be rooted to wintry hibernation.

Huddled indoors most days. Too weary and depleted to do much at all.

This has been a long season of withdrawal from all unnecessary busyness, a stilling of the soul, making room for deeper rest.

And I thought I may have been coming out of my self and Spirit-imposed soul sanctuary cocoon by now.

Words are still flowing; I’m keeping communication lines open and staying available to those things which feed my soul.

Yet the vital sap and lasting spark of energy I so desperately long to receive is  missing. I wilt easily.

God is signalling that my highest priority remains to rest in Him, let my mind cease meandering, remember to recharge, pace and sleep.

Because we cannot be fully refuelled, refreshed and restored body and soul without connecting with Him and also disconnecting from those things which steal our soul’s peace.

It may look different for each one of us. Priorities are personal. Some soul-weights sit so heavy and only God can help shift them over time.

So I’m slowly learning to be OK with not being physically active, visible, or crazy-busy in my thoughts – that’s the hardest one to change!

Maybe we can all learn to lean harder on God and become less concerned about doing it all ourselves. It’s worth a try, yes?

I’m joining some soul sisters (and brothers?) over at Kate’s Motaung’s place by sharing a few #FiveMinuteFriday thoughts here today on the word: ‘Meet’. 

It’s a great community of writers who aim to let loose their without-worry words within 5 minutes flat and enjoy reading what arises in the process. You’re very welcome to join in.

START….

‘Come aside’

Come aside, draw back,

pull away from the crowd

You won’t find Me

in busyness and loud

Surrender to silence

Sense My Presence within

Meet with Me in this moment

Let your day now begin

Rest your weary head

on My tender breast

before you fall apart

from sheer emptiness

Seek the soothing calm

of My Father-heart

Here I am present

Here I can be found

Here I meet with those

who are unafraid

to turn off the sounds

upon which their soul clings

©JoyLenton2015 

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Intentional awareness

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There are days that slip by without me being fully aware of their passing or intentional about how I spend my time.

Some get lost in a fog of fatigue. Others are pervaded by pulsating pain.

Many are victims of inner restlessness and inability to settle to anything much.

But those in-between? Times when some energy and mental clarity are present?

They lend themselves to a little more structure and goal setting.

I’ve recently been trying to deliberately add some routine to a life which is far from routine.

And what I’ve noticed is that nothing goes right for long without making space for sacred moments, prayer pauses and soul-sanctuary seeking.

We need intimate moments alone with God.

Without them we become dry, drained and depleted.

We need to spend time in His Presence to rest and receive, be refuelled, refreshed and restored.

Because it is better to live mindfully than mindlessly meandering through our days. Each one is a gift of grace, even the hard ones.

This morning as I flipped through my prayer journal I came across words God imprinted on my heart a while back.

I’m sharing them with you today in the hope that they will bless and encourage you too.

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‘Intentional resting’ ~ Prayer Whisper

Take time each day to commune with Me. Set apart moments to lift your heart heavenwards. For in stillness, rest and quiet lies your strength. In seeking Me, you set the tone of your day as one of surrender to My will and ways. I do not hide Myself. I can always be found by hungry hearts who deliberately draw close to My side.

Be intentional about guarding your schedule to include soul-sanctuary seeking. Devise your days with My guidance. Together, we will accomplish so much more. Dependency isn’t weakness; it’s a sign of faithfulness and trust. The world will overwhelm you soon enough.

Come to Me for inner cleansing, for deep peace and for wisdom to know how to proceed. Lean on Me and learn from Me. I am humble and gentle of heart.

Let Me whisper words you need to hear. An instructed mind and tongue will become a blessing to others. Try not to rush into My Presence or hurry away without pausing to listen. I know your every need before you ask Me for anything, and My greatest desire is to have an intimate, loving relationship with you.

Come close, My child. There is no fear here. Perfect Love casts out fear. I am Holy and I am also tender, rich in mercy and grace. Bring Me your brokenness, your emptiness, your hopes and fears; I will heal, restore, fill to overflowing and provide for you beyond your wildest dreams. Trust Me to take very good care of you with My infinite goodness, patience and love.” 

As part of my soul-sanctuary seeking I have been revisiting ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ by Brother Lawrence, as well as continuing with ‘Finding Spiritual Whitespace’ by Bonnie Gray, and reading books which reveal how to blend contemplation with creativity. I hope to share more as I delve deeper into these things.

And if you’d like to see more ‘Prayer Whispers’ here, then please let me know in the comments below. Your thoughts matter. Thank you! 🙂

prayer whsiper - intentional resting PJ file pin