Strong Roots

Grass under my feet and wind in my hair

Reminding me God, that Your love is there

You are my rock through the chaos on earth

And I know there’s a purpose and loving has worth

When fire and affliction burns hot on your heart

Meaningless madness will tear you apart

Take hold of the moment, stand strong and aware

That darkness will cower to God’s love affair

His power will crush the arrows that fly

The taunts of the enemy become known for their lies

The world spins unknowing the battles to fight

So I war on my knees to replace darkness with light

With each breath in my lungs I vow to live well

And let God use my life as His story to tell

Pages keep turning as days turn to years

I stop to reflect how He’s used all my tears

Seeds of grace and forgiveness flourish and grow

In each burning affliction I’m pushed closer to know

True joy and love when I dig deeper to find

Strong roots reach the Giver of your life and mine.

 

 

Victory in the Middle

8_24_15

I am struck by the truth of how easily our strength fades in the middle. We all have those moments of clarity, inspired by God’s word, spoken deep within us, and we know what we are to do! We step out in faith, we begin the work of rebuilding, or loving in action, or we forgive what seems unforgiveable. And then the sun rises one morning, the once beautiful rays of light have been darkened by clouds. Thunder rolls in the distance and you wonder. Discouragement sets in, doubts fog up our minds. How easy it would be to just give up, give in, go out, and live like your neighbor who seems to be doing just fine. But, we are the women who know our God. We have studied and we have prayed. Our hearts have been guarded well, and so the attacks of our enemies, the Enemy, cannot breach our souls. God will fight for us. He who wants to destroy us cannot have a victory in us. It is time to get back to work. It is time to get back to Love. Take up the weapons, put on the full armor, and this time do not lay them down until the work is complete. Beginnings are full of fresh ambition, building seems worthy, but just as a lavish dinner with friends is wonderful, the time of enjoyment must turn to cleaning up. This is part of the process. Memories planted in our hearts are not erased by taking out the garbage. Part of the building includes removing the rubbish. Making room for the firm foundations to be set, an integral piece of the larger goal. Remember why you started. Remember your people, remember the love, and remember what Jesus did for you. For us. So much love through pain. The victory is not always found at the end, but right in the middle where you did not give up.

(We Are The Women)

Smack dab in the messy

We show our selves real

We take what we’re given

The cards in the deal

We are given one life

One great story line

That one is yours

And this one is mine

We are the women

Who live from the heart

Brave and courageous

For every new start

When life tosses toughness

We catch it with strength

Turn it and mold it

Stretch love with new length

I’m not saying easy

Not giving a shrug

Just one step, then two

With a God given hug

We treasure our friendships

Hold close to a few

Makes mornings more lovely

Like freshly formed dew

And so retreat daily

Into God’s loving hands

Fill empty places for

New mornings, new lands.

(Nehemiah 4:10-23)

Beauty from Pain

Moments of joy and life full of love

Drift and depart through my days

Washing over and receding in spin

Like the waves of the billowing sea

Departing and loss is painful and yet

The promise of life still returns

Surprised by joy with bloom in hand

Like a gentleman courting his bride

Riding the tide and awaiting return

Learning to breathe once again

Push into the freedom of letting it go

Knowing Your love will sustain

Lord help me and keep me

And use me for good

Turn ashes to beauty from pain.

Healed Heart Gleams

What stirs in heart at depths it seems

The whole of quiet, nature beams

Take a look and longer gaze

At what you pass in hurried days

Find the rest, your soul that thirsts

Remember love, remember firsts

Once wild desire, taken for granted

Trace back and see what seeds you planted

The tree that grows needs time to flare

Slow down, stop running, reaching for air

Hold to that which firmly rooted

Anchors soul, press play, now muted

Let beauty’s music guide your heart

Hope revealed, seen now in part

Gather treasures growing where

Your passion planted life once bare

Remember promise sown with vision

God graced you with a worthy mission

Humble down and let love rise

Cherish treasures, choices wise

Cease in searching empty dreams

Once cold and broken, healed heart gleams.

Words and Photo by Jennifer JLS

1/23/15

Happy New Year!

In my final reflections of 2014 I have chosen “simplify” as my life theme for 2015. Simplify is defined as: “To make simpler, either by reducing in complexity, reducing to component parts, or making easier to understand. To become simpler.” And so this is my prayer for my life and yours: May our lives be made simpler, less complex, ushering in more peace, letting love rule in our hearts. No matter what circumstances arise, I pray you know down in the depths of your being that true love holds you, our Creator loves you, and Jesus will walk with you through the toughest days as well as the gladdest days of your life. All you have to do is reach for His hand. May you make room in your days for quiet moments to refresh your heart and soul. Beautifully simple. Amen. Happy New Year!

Shake Open Hands

IMG_2556

Let go, loosen grip, and untighten the hold

Fists clenched in clinging, turns inward, heart cold

Cinched in, and cramped reeling, aching for peace

If only, hold tighter, squeeze life, no release

Step back, breathe in, forced air into lungs

Envision your hands, letting go of the rungs

This ladder you climb, is taking you where?

Are you headed toward freedom, or hell unaware?

Heavy load burdens, drags closely behind

Collected and carried, for life hoped to find

Fall to your knees, hands and face slam in dust

Tripped by your pride, presumption you must

And yet as you finally, force in the still

Stay in place for a moment, pause quiet until

Hazy view, clearing slowly, glimpse blurry at first

Sudden eyes have new vision, cease thinking the worst

Light gleams before you, hands reach from above

A Savior reminds you, of unfailing Love

Stand and release, tight grip holding your heart

Let His grace revive you, heavy load, ripped apart.

Shake open hands, stretch fingers out wide

Walk into new freedom, where God will provide

Peace will cover, like new fallen snow

Renewing soul weary, new strength as you go.

You’re Not Alone

Another step, another day

Hope in thoughts you’ve learned to pray

Walk in freedom, selfless love

Impulsive smiles come from above

At times you think your effort is wasted

Only to find sweet passions tasted.

Keep your eyes fixed on the truth

Love your way to unfounded proof

Break the glass of image shown

Reveal the truth to those unknown

Painful honesty passes fear

When life’s true hold catches you here

Extend your heart in selfless grace

Friendship grows within the space.

Wounded places find a home

In souls to rest, you’re not alone.

words by JLS

Photo by Cross My Heart Photography

Love to Love

Sometimes eternity, reaches to me

Jolts me awake, and my eyes really see

I drink in the soulful, heart wrenched melody

Notes play out pain, free rest gives to beauty

And therein lies life, right in front of me

 

Life loves to live

And love lives to love

Give me a love where life gives all in love

 

Warm washes coldness, chips away steel

Bringing forth mystery, heart songs I can feel

Love sparks courageous, seeks layers to peel

Give in to hear music, unfolding to real

Reciprocal joy, follows steps on the heel

 

Life loves to live

And love lives to love

Give me a love where life gives all in love

 

Another day dawns, birds singing in flight

Returning the favor, of God’s morning light

Echo the singing soul, battle songs for the fight

Beautiful balance, of wrongs blended right

Step forth a new chapter, new songs for new might

 

I love to live

And my life loves to love

God gave me a life to show love loving love

By JLS
10/1/2014

We are the Women

Smack dab in the messy

We show our selves real

We take what we’re given

The cards in the deal

We are given one life

One great story line

That one is yours

And this one is mine

We are the women

Who live from the heart

Brave and courageous

For every new start

When life tosses toughness

We catch it with strength

Turn it and mold it

Stretch love with new length

I’m not saying easy

Not giving a shrug

Just one step, then two

With a God given hug

We treasure our friendships

Hold close to a few

Makes mornings more lovely

Like freshly formed dew

And so retreat daily

Into God’s loving hands

Fill empty places for

New mornings, new lands.