waiting: when desire gives way to deeper surrender

waiting - girl sitting by the roadside - when desire gives way to deeper surrender @poetryjoy.com

I’m feeling fried and frazzled in a scorching August heatwave. As I’m waiting to cool down, I’m reminded that the earth itself is incrementally heating up. We sense the stirrings of earth’s birth pangs, the longing it has for deliverance, and considered attention from its custodians.

Our own hearts (never mind our bothered bodies) can feel unsettled by a yearning for change. Because waiting is hard, isn’t it? Our society and world at large are like life on speed, with a drivenness that doesn’t sit easily with being rested, calm and at peace.

We all sit with unfulfilled desires. One of  mine is to write more books before I get too ill, too old or lose my poetic touch. I long to unleash all the creativity that lies within me, rather than sitting on dusty files which remind me that those books are not going to write themselves… get a move on, girl! Only impatience isn’t conducive to getting a good result. 😉

“In the drivenness of our society, it’s hard to make time to relax our efforts and find transforming energy. That’s why we need this particular posture of waiting so much. When we sit in this way we’re relaxing the bow; we’re coming to rest in a very deep way in God, allowing ourselves to be cradled in the sighing mystery of Christ’s prayer.”— When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions by Sue Monk Kidd

waiting - pocket watch - hourglass - rose - Our society and world at large are like life on speed quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Desire

desire at rest
cultivated by God’s grace
in the waiting room
where we learn to still our hearts
quiet the rush, quell our thoughts

the divine promise
gets birthed and earthed in us
in God’s timing
we will finally receive
an abundance of good things

in this posture
where submissiveness counts
where trust is formed
here we mature, learn and grow
develop patience in our souls

soul detachment
enables us to let go
of our wanting
and expectancy follows
when we embrace faith and hope

freedom of desire
might feel alien to us
it’s a holy thing
where our desires and will line up
with what the Father wants for us
© joylenton

waiting - desire poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy” — Romans 8:24–25 The Message

May I pray for you, my friend?

Dear Father God,

Thank you for your loving and protective care of us. Our days are an open book to you because you hold past, present and future in your hands. Help us to wait with patient expectation and confident trust when we desire to forge ahead with this project or that. If we’re in a season of being slowed, grant us the ability to stay encouraged and calm, and believe for better days to come. May we learn to go with the natural rhythm and flow of our days and remain sensitive to Holy Spirit’s gentle leading and guiding.

Amen

May we remember that however far we might stray, get impatient or fail to sense His presence, God is always eagerly waiting for us to turn to Him. 😊❤️

Waiting in the wings

daffodils ~ PJ waiting file image

‘Waiting in the wings’

She hovered uncertain, waiting in the wings

for rise of curtain and all it would bring

She wondered how to captivate, inspire,

when the one before her was ice and fire

His command of the crowd was hard and strong

though some said he lingered for far too long

A weight of expectation sat around

as they ached for her melodious sound

The air hung heavy with discontent

Stale and fetid, all enjoyment was spent

Restless stirrings like a pot on the boil

made him falter at last and then recoil

Sensing her moment to quieten the rage,

she danced her way blithely onto the stage

He glanced at her with dark hostility

but she ignored it, twirling light and free

Some thought her a goddess, or nymph at least,

as her season ushered in joy and peace

Arms touching the sun, then bent down to earth,

she knew she was harbinger of new birth

©JoyLenton2015

“See! The winter is past; 

the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;

the season of singing has come”

(Song of Songs 2:11-12)

Leaning toward Lent PJ file image pin

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” ~ Isaiah 43:19

daffodils in Spring PJ file pin image

A wintry perspective

Perspective file image

As one in the autumnal season of her life, I feel the cool approach of winter as something of a reproach.

The harvest season is over for another year. All fruitfulness is vanishing.

Time slides inexorably onwards and the hour-glass gets bottom-heavy.

Minds seize and freeze over and opportunities seem to have died on the vine.

But what if we looked at it differently?

See winter season (physical and otherwise) as one of taking a pregnant pause.

Ground may feel unyielding and hard but much activity goes on beneath the surface.

Dormancy paves the way to expectancy. Spring will come again.

Sometimes we fail to see the wood for the trees. Sap will rise anew.

Each stripping bare, dying back and lying fallow are ways to seek soul sanctuary in God alone.

A season of rest and retreat may be called for. A season to press ‘pause’ on the pursuit of busyness.

A gathering of words and ideas ready to share at Just The Right Moment. I’m heavy with some.

I have a book (or three) I long to give birth to.

A poetry anthology has been a while in the making, compiling and sorting. A devotional book of Prayer Whispers. A memoir.

But nothing is quite ready yet. My physical and mental energy are low, many other demands are being made on me, and God seems to be saying He’s in no rush.

So I wait and lean and learn as my seed sits in the ground growing slow and steady.

Because the best part of a wintry season is the hope is produces in stilled hearts and minds. It holds purpose in the pauses. God is still at work on our behalf. There is beauty in every season of life.

‘A wintry view’

You sit with an autumnal life

surrounded by abundance bright

as you wait for a gradual dying-back

harvest to fall into your thankful lap

Yet hopes can wither over time

unless they’re rooted in The Vine

From my perspective of a wintry view

life takes on a slower, softer, mellow hue

You’re grateful for these lengthening days

as further opportunity to praise

Friends and family remain the greater part

of all you hold dear within your heart

Though there is a Friend, just like a brother,

who sticks closer than any other

He is the One who lights your days

with His constant love and grace

You’ve grown calmer, more serene,

with wisdom visible within

because you’ve learnt it all from Him

Pain and fatigue still pervade your days

You’re grateful when good sleep comes your way

Insecurity stalks you less and less

as do impatience, strain and stress

For you have learnt to relax, yield your life,

found peace is better than struggle and strife

Your dreams, hopes, goals and plans

became a reality in God’s hands

So rest easy, dear fretful, younger version of me,

getting older is not as bad as it seems to be

©JoyLenton2014

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him” ~ Psalm 92:12-15

A wintry view poem pin PJ file image

My wintry perspective is a poetic twist inspired by the challenge set here by my writer friend, James Prescott. Do take a look at his amazing post and be inspired!

I have imagined myself as a more senior woman (around 20 years older than my current age) writing a letter to myself as I am now.

It’s lent itself to a great deal of reflection and may also morph into a post on ‘Words of Joy’ in time to come. 

While we are waiting

savour the moment waiting post file image PJ

Life offers us scope to savour the moment. Pauses abound with potential and promise, breathing places where we can exhale the cares of the day.

There are those who deliberately seek sacred spaces and long for snatched time to enjoy them.

Though in a continually busy 24/7 society where instant gratification reigns, and express delivery is the order of the day, we find ourselves easily upset at any delays to our schedules.

Waiting for anything or anyone can feel like a monumental waste of time.

Our fingers tap impatiently when the PC/mobile/tablet etc fail to perform as they should.

Deep sighs accompany delays of every kind. We want to access this and we want it NOW.

Isn’t the latest technology meant to shorten the time we spend doing things? It only seems to further our impatience when it fails to work aright.

But what if we tried to view things differently? Could we find ways to enjoy and appreciate the stop-gaps in our lives?

I was inspired to write the poem below during a recent stint in a hospital waiting-room.

Rather than keep my eyes glued to a screen I prefer to ponder all I am seeing. It has the added benefit of reducing anxiety.

People-watching is a great interest of mine and I indulged discretely, not in a nosy sense but simply because people are fascinating.

We all share a common humanity and many common experiences, even if our reactions to them may differ greatly.

If we allow our souls to quieten we can see and hear far more than usual in the secular and sacred realms.

This is the result of a few minutes watching while I waited…

‘Waiting’

They stride

bold, with daunting efficiency

heels clip-clopping hard

down corridors long

hiding their frail humanity

beneath a veneer of

swift strong competency

While we

hold ourselves submissive

Seek to hide

our strain and stress, pain,

weakness and duress behind

a meek subordination

to their authority

But inside

we quake and tremble

pretending to be

patient patients

while in the thrall

of medical disinterest

or rapt attention

We abide

in whispering gloom

furtive glances

checking of watches

time slowed to a crawl

anxious for the call

in this waiting-room

©JoyLenton2014

hospital waiting room PJ poem file pin image

I have written more about the challenge of seeking the sacred in the in-between seconds of life in ‘Minding the gap’ over at ‘Words of Joy’. It was inspired by reading Jeff Goins’ book, ‘The In-between:Embracing the Tension Between Now and The Next Big Thing’.  I can highly recommend it as a great  source of insightful thoughts on this topic.