seeking a quiet space in which to breathe #thedailyhaiku 7

 

I know that when I take on too much, feel overtired and overwhelmed, nothing else quite helps me to get back on my feet again like setting aside time to be still and quiet before God.

As I lay my burdens at God’s feet, stay in His presence long enough to relax and breathe more freely, I’m in a prime position to rest and receive. A quiet space in our days can become a sacred space in which to ponder and pray.

God pours out His love like a warm holy hug, wraps me in a welcome that never ends and comforts my fretful soul with sweet encouragement and insight enough to see the way ahead.

No longer frazzled and fraught, anxious and upset, I can calmly face what comes next or choose to have a longer rest instead, as I finally recognise I am too drained and depleted to carry on.

It needn’t take long or be complicated to become restored and refreshed on a daily basis. It simply takes a willing turning of our hearts to God and a desire to spend a few moments lingering with Him in quiet contemplation and stillness, enjoying the close companionship relationship He longs to have with all of us.

a quiet space

we learn to embrace

a quiet space in our days

relax, breathe easy

©joylenton

And here’s a little breathing space exercise for you to try. As you listen to the music below, may it relax you and gently usher you into God’s presence, our greatest place of refuge, comfort and rest. May you become strengthened and refreshed for what lies ahead. 

 

breathe: when it’s time to breathe freely again

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Is it just me, or do you also find that the more outwardly busy you become, the more your thoughts tend to spiral out of control? It’s as if we try to get a handle on our lives by mentally processing and digesting  stuff, so that we can sort and sift what to retain or ditch.

And in doing this we also hope to wrestle with our worries, and maybe even banish them, forgetting how giving our concerns a lot of head space usually achieves the opposite effect, making them multiply instead.

Finding (and maintaining) a calm core to our days in the midst of life’s busyness, storms and demands, calls for awareness, deliberation and decisiveness.  It requires us to still ourselves body and soul and to pause long enough to listen to what our life, and God, is saying to us.

I find that prayer, especially of the centering kind, is a marvellous and needful pause during life’s busyness. It helps me to remember to breathe… and yield my cares to God, leading to a deeper soul peace. Though it can often get sidelined when I’m  feeling overwhelmed by extra demands being made of me, as the five-minute-friday poem below suggests.

Time to breathe

I wonder, is there time to breathe?

Yes says the flourishing flower stretching

her growing beauty out of tiny seed

The race is not to the swift, nor

battle to the strong, but to those who

learn to wait patiently—enduring long

 

Yet I take such small, sharp, shallow breaths

and I sense a tight constriction

within my chest. For it seems that I

have somehow forgotten how to breathe

in synchrony with life’s rhythms

or go gently into each season

 

Instead, I mentally rush headlong

into each day, barely pausing to breathe

or pray, pushing a body so fatigued

and sore to do Just One Thing More

And it’s no wonder I feel all out of

sorts, stressed and harassed, of course

 

Because I’ve forgotten to stop and sit

with stillness, or simply stay in tune

with Holy Spirit—and calmly rest myself

in Him, rather than in my easily

exhaustible, all too human limits

©joylenton2017

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I think I should have heeded the words I wrote here last week about feeling out of control and needing to breathe!  :/

But I’m glad I listened to inspiration coming, so I could share my thoughts with the fabulous #FMF writing crew gathering over at Kate Motaung’s site to write about this week’s prompt of ‘breathe’. Come join us?

rest: seeking to enjoy the stillness and savour holy conversation

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Misty fog-haze lends an ethereal air to these wintry days. This is a season where deep calls to deep in the realm of rest and sleep, a hibernation time when words are deliberately stilled and distilled in the stillness, able to ferment and brew in contemplative silence.

During a needful rest and slowing down time we learn to listen better to body, soul and Holy Spirit. And we begin to hear murmurs we may have missed in our busyness, words which lend themselves well to poetic expression. We hear whispers of encouragement, discern glimmers of mercy and grace surrounding us.

Rest invites us into recovery, restoration, a deeper faith-walk journey, a call to intimate prayer, maybe a suggestion of sharing thoughts in a journal, writing out holy conversation to look back on and possibly share—ways of recording God’s work in us and connecting closer to the core of who we are. It’s a period of sitting with patience and letting it have its way with us, learning to wait for the right moment to unleash and release.

I wrote the poems below in a free-flow-as-it-comes way, with a willingness to savour holy conversation, an openness to God’s loving presence within this present moment and a desire to appreciate seasons yet to come.

My hope and prayer is that you will read them with an open mind and open heart, and hear what you need to hear within the lines. May they connect to your soul and find a resonance within.

Come rest

Come rest like moist

forest moss so green

beneath warm summer sun

listen to full river song

bird murmuring spring

follow blue breeze harmony

see between dark mountain path

earth’s soft fertile wandering

©joylenton2017

magnetic-poetry-come-rest-pj-image

 

Velvet eternity

Come and listen to me

linger long as my words

melt as steam breath and

air makes soft ghost-like

smile blush over my lips

let broken night cloud

be our dark universe

and life’s warm embrace haunt

this velvet eternity

©joylenton2017

magnetic-poetry-velvet-eternity-pj-image

 

Welcome to #magneticmonday where I share my latest offerings of magnetic poetry writing. ‘Come rest’ was composed using the Nature set and ‘Velvet eternity’ with the Poet set. You can discover more here and have a go yourself if you feel inspired!

What is God suggesting to you this season? 

How are you able to rest best in a world hardwired for busyness?

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’

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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