Pursue the Intentional Life Found Poem

found poem is a poem using the words from another source. This poem is made up of words from Jean Fleming’s book, Pursue the Intentional Life which I read to participate inn the (in) courage book club, Bloom. It was an incredible experience, and I hope this poem expresses how much Mrs. Flemings words, my online conversations, and own reflections impacted my life.

I prayed about what kind of old woman I would become
and how I should think about my remaining years
knowing that, all things unchanged, the woman I am
at fifty-eight will be the woman I am at
seventy
eighty
ninety
only distilled

I prayed,
Father, dear Father,
only You know how many days
I have left
I give myself to You again
I want my remaining days to be days of
ascent
learning You
knowing You better
Please don’t leave me to myself.

As I think about my remaining years
about possible challenges and opportunities
I desire to face what comes in Jesus’ strength
to His glory.
And so I make mind and spirit preparations
I trust God that my advance-work will give me
a body of content to return to in challenging times
content to draw me closer to God
His promises
His purposes.

Guide me by Your Spirit, God, to make wise preparations.
By Your grace and mercy, lead me that I might finish
my life on earth trusting and growing in You.
Whatever the future holds, please
keep me from terror
and bless me to live for Your glory
and the advancement of Your kingdom.
When hard times come
confusing times
faltering times
encircle me with
Your protecting, sustaining care.
You prefer me weak and trusting
so your grace might be unfettered.
Praise upon praise to Your Holy Name.

May I examine my days
not to increase my pace
but to examine my route
not to increase my efficiency,
but to see where I must
make course corrections in
heart
character
actions.

Father, as I number my days
may I, by Your grace,
peel away deceptions that cloud reality
Grow my understanding of Your purposes and
desires for my time on earth
enable me to live whatever days left to me
for Your glory.

Help me remember
I am a jar of clay with a treasure inside
May I live wide open
to the Spirit’s influence in my life
day after day
listening
responding
repenting
surrendering
listening
learning
changing my mind
changing my plans
changing my actions
listening

I yearn for your approving look, God
Your warm acceptance and fellowship
the light of Your countenance
contains so many blessings
favor
restoration
salvation
victory
deliverance
Your approving look is undeserved
I cannot earn it
But I cannot live a beautiful life apart from it
It is so hard to be adorable all the time
but because I am in Christ
I have a great sense of security knowing
God smiles on me.

Basking in the light of Your countenance
changes me
As I linger
As I look at The Lord,
His beauty shines on me and in me
Because I know God
and have been saved from destruction and
eternal lostness
I carry around in my body the
treasure of knowing the gospel and
the Holy Spirit Himself
Let my countenance radiate the wonder of that gift
and minister to others the
love
compassion, and interest of God
Turn my stony face
into an organ of blessings

The generations following me
are watching and listening
Father, let my countenance communicate
confidence in Your goodness
satisfaction in Your presence, promise, and provision
Let Your light shine in me.

I desire to live as a kingdom-child
all my days
to learn Jesus
He who is humble in His essential nature
I am not
I must be converted again and again
For me, humility must grow
in mind and heart with
careful feeding and
resolute weeding
Humility is a fruit of the Spirit’s activity
in my life,
growing in the soil of surrender
trust
obedience
Lord, please heighten my awareness
and appreciation
make me more alert and
receptive to the ways the Spirit
might illumine the Truth about the world around me

Grace me to learn
in good times and
hard times
in times of clarity and
confusion
in times of gain and
in times of loss
Deliver me from “Why me?”
to a spirit of
“What do You want me to learn
about You
from You
and with You.

As long as I live connected to Him
abiding in Him
remaining in Him
living attached
drawing on His life
bending to His will
allowing His life to flow through me
to overflow in fruit
my requests will be what
Jesus would ask
I will remind myself that fruitfulness is God’s will for me
even when I am at my lowest
I can glorify God
and I can be more fruitful
than I ever dared to dream

God, You call me not only to store up treasure in heaven
but also to leave some treasure behind
the treasure of people being made complete in Christ
The redeemed are the treasure that populates heaven
to Your glory.
Please use me
Make gospel connections between me and others
so that I may add to that glorious honey in the hive of heaven.

As I grow older, God, help me reframe
keeping what is important
but wisely reconfiguring as necessary
maintaining my core values and motivations
as circumstances change
continuing in God’s call
even if it must take a shape I hardly recognize
For me the irreducible core
is to live in union with The Lord Jesus Christ
trusting Him and responding to His call on my life
Lord, capture my mind
Make me mindful of You
Make me vigilant
a burning bush person, like Paul
someone standing in flames
but not consumed
resisting soul-withering resentment and bitterness
resolving to be kind
mild
affable
because it is Christlike
and a way to know Christ more deeply.

Make my attitudes those that choose
to keep my mind and spirit tethered to Christ
living in hope-
hope that nourishes
and renews
Make the rest of my life my funeral sermon
a box ready with
riches to return to
to unpack
to handle
to enlarge
to deepen
Gather me up, Lord,
in Your tender care,
in Your very great and precious promises
in Your oversight of my life and death
and glorious future

And so I sing the last verse of the great hymn
“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,”
Be near me when I’m dying
O, show thy cross to me;
And to my succor flying
Come, Lord, and set me free!
These eyes new faith receiving,
From Jesus will not move;
For he who dies believing
Dies safely through thy love.

Thank you, Jean Fleming, for a beautiful book
full of thought-provoking
action-calling
joy in living now
as I prepare for whatever future
God has planned for me.

Thank you for joining me on my journey with God in uncharted water. Please let me know how He is working in your life.