–by Joy Lenton, 
from her book,  Seeking Solace
In the quiet morning hour
I press my ear to earth
And listen with intent,
Because in the stillness
I can hear soft breath
Of Holy Spirit sighs
Awakening all around
And as the world stirs
It heeds the call to arise,
As sun’s slanting rays are
Beckoning us forth
With silent sounds

To surrender our lives
To Love’s gentle power
Poured out for these days.

I awoke early this morning with the words of this poem echoing in my heart. I had fallen to sleep with these same words resting in my heart. So I hobbled down the stairs before my feet were ready to tackle the steps, and took my camera out into the sunshine. Would the sunrise still be glowing over the new garden? I had to know.


It was this “Garden of Remnants” that drew me out, because the word “Remnant” has become a sort of theme for me. Last year, a dear friend gave me a journal for my Birthday and wrote this note in the flyleaf, “Maybe the Lord will allow you to journal about His Remnant from end to beginning,” with this Scripture reference added:

I have reserved for myself … a remnant chosen by grace.”  Romans 11:4-5

So when the Lord touched my heart with a poem about “Awakening” I knew that He was speaking something important that needed my listening:


He is awakening the Remnants of Himself in my heart that have lain covered up beneath my service.


Last week the Landscapers came and stripped away the old Butterfly Garden that I wrote about here: “The Garden That Was”  Then this past weekend, the time was urgent for rescuing the remnants saved from the old.  But I was in no condition for the gardening marathon that was required, as I limped around with the bruising and pain of yet another steroid shot given into the locked-up tendons in my foot. So my husband, who is definitely NOT a gardener, gave me the gift of transplanting, and cleaning, and carting, and making this new Garden of Remnants from the strippings of the old.

As I soaked in the warmth of the sun’s rising over this humble little plot, there was a beating in my heart for the new that is really very old.  A remnant from long ago.  As a child, my heart was stirred to be with Jesus and soak in HIS warmth at a very young age.  But as with all of us, life moves on, and duties begin to shape the way that we process our days. I learned early on to be the caregiver before the care became too heavy–that meant I was always on alert, ready to jump and take care of things at a moment’s notice.  My Mom required much care as she herself suffered with various sicknesses, some very real, but all of them overburdened by anxiety. There were many years that I thought she demanded more of me than was fair. But actually, she taught me how to give a good gift: I gave her the gift of serving, and in turn learned how to bless others with that same gift.  In the process I laid aside my own heart.  …  Or so I thought ….

 “But I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him.”  
2 Timothy 1:12

Nothing is ever really lost when we belong to Jesus.  He is the perfect gatekeeper, and He watches over those childlike places in our hearts, just waiting for the right time to awaken and stir the embers of a passionate love.  Those remnants that I thought were long gone, have been in HIS care, as He has shaped and transformed them into beautiful reflections of HIS loving.

I cannot see how my loving is meant to take shape and form in this new place.  But one thing I do know:  Jesus awakens the remnants of His Love when He calls the Garden of our hearts ready.  Ready for the new, that is actually very old.

Thank you, Joy Lenton, for permitting me to copy your beautiful poem here!

I am linking with #TellHisStory  this week.  Won’t you check out the wonderful bloggers who are also sharing there?


11 thoughts on “Remnants

  1. Bettie, this was so lovely! Thank you for sharing Joy's heautiful poem with us and for reminding us that God is always cultivating our hearts. Blessings


  2. Hi Bettie,
    I love it that your photo caught the morning light at just the perfect angle! Your thoughts about your garden and caring for you mom are all woven into your words that God wastes nothing and redeems all that we go through, if we give him access. Enjoyed reading Joy's poem – so glad you shared it! xo


  3. Hi Lyli, Thank you for stopping by today! I am glad you were blessed by Joy's poem! I just read your post today about seeing God in gardens (and rain) all around us! I am so thankful that our Lord speaks to us so often in garden-terms. –Blessings to you today!


  4. Hi Valerie,
    Thank you for enjoying my humble picture! That means a lot to me, as I am so often touched by the beauty you capture in your everyday photos! Isn't God so good to redeem all the moments of our lives? And, yes, I have been so thankful to have found Joy's book of poetry! –Blessings and *Hugs* to you, my friend.


  5. “Those remnants that I thought were long gone, have been in HIS care, as He has shaped and transformed them into beautiful reflections of HIS loving.” This line awes me, Bettie. So beautiful and hope-filled. I love your photo, too. You captured the sun's power in the corner shining over your remnant. It reminds me also of “Love's gentle power poured out” as in Joy's poem. I have Joy's book, too. Her poems are wonderful, aren't they? Blessings and hugs to you!


  6. Bettie, your words breathe such sweet encouragement as you reflect on the remnants of grace concealed in our days. I love how God woke you up to see the sunrise and capture it so beautifully. These words are especially meaningful to me: “Nothing is ever really lost when we belong to Jesus. He is the perfect gatekeeper, and He watches over those childlike places in our hearts, just waiting for the right time to awaken and stir the embers of a passionate love.”
    I sense those embers being stirred as I reflect more on God's amazing love and generous gift of grace. These days my awakenings are pretty late and slow, and most of the morning has disappeared before I feel conscious of the day.
    Thankfully, whenever we stop to pause and listen, God is ever-present to respond to us. May you enjoy His presence in your quiet garden space and sense His rays radiating through each day, pulsating with love and life. Thank you so much for sharing how the poem has impacted you. Bless you, friend! Xx ❤


  7. Trudy, Thank you for that comparison of the sun's power with “Love's gentle power poured out.” I had not put those two together yet! I want to meditate on that this afternoon, as I continue to ask the Lord to see more of His Love in my life! Blessings to you, and your encouraging heart! *Hugs*


  8. Joy, I am so thankful that He woke me up to see that beautiful sunrise also. I have to confess tho, that as my medicated-self awoke early again today, I wasn't so thankful! Late nights followed by early mornings are not my favorites. But, yes, HE is so good to be ever-present with His Grace for us. Thank you for sharing some of that Grace with all of us, as you've passed along His Gifts of poetry! Blessings to you friend! *Hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Remnants reserved!not something we are reminded of often. I am so glad you tackled it through the loving is a privilege to be reserved of the Lord.
    An amazing Grace surely.
    Thank you for serving up.this devotional Betty.
    Blessings to you


  10. Thank you for that precious reminder that it is indeed “a privilege to be reserved of the Lord.” May we continue to let Him help us tackle the lessons that He wants to teach us! –Blessings to you today!


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