Ana Lisa de Jong is a poet, mother to Natasha and Lewis, and wife to Richard, and Chaplains Administrator to the NZDF. Not always in that order. Ana Lisa rediscovered the joy of writing in her 40’s, her first published piece appearing in ‘Refresh Journal of Contemplative Spirituality’. Ana Lisa has since published two inspirational poetry books in two years, with Lang Book Publishing. To keep up her one book a year challenge, her third addition to the ‘Poetry for the Soul Series’, ‘Seeking the Light’, which follows on from ‘Songs in the Night’ and ‘Hope Springs’, will be published in late 2016. She is also a regular contributor to Godspace-msa.com. Glynn Young, Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry says of Ana Lisa’s writing, “These are poems to be read in the quiet of the early morning, or in the quiet of the darkness of the late evening. They are psalms and meditations for the heart and soul, and reading them, over and over, is an investment in the centering of one’s spirit.” Ana Lisa writes at livingtreepoetry.com and lives in the beautiful North West Region of Auckland.
As a young university student I enrolled in a creative writing course for extra credit. My lecturer, who was generally incredibly encouraging of my work, noted that if my poems were ballets then the ballerinas would probably knock over the scenery or fall off the stage. This collection of poems is nothing like that. These heartfelt poems are rich and meaningful. The ballet that is this collection dances with abandon and leaps with the joy of the Creator. They are, quite simply, magnificent. Thank you Lisa for producing a wonderful ballet of words and images that will stir the soul and make the heart soar. This book will be a welcome addition to any collection of inspirational Christian poetry.
Principal Defence Chaplain, Chaplain Lance Lukin OStJ, QHC.
“These entries reveal such depth and beauty, richness and insight. A fresh awareness of the presence of God in every season. Take your time to reflect, and be drawn closer to your Creator”
Sharee Harkness, Worship Director, Music Specialist teacher
“Songs in the night exposes the heart of a woman world weary from wrestling with God and with herself – yet one who also knows the joy and peace that come from collapsing in surrender in God’s arms breathless and exhausted.
Through her poetry, Ana Lisa explores betrayal of self and others created in the image of God. Her poem Brother Sister speaks not only of families but of the Church.
‘A house of glass can’t stand too many hits.
We forget whose house we claim to be.
Peacemakers, promised to the precious cornerstone…
but who would blindly bring the building to its knees.’
By naming and embracing the growth that takes place in the dark, Ana Lisa de Jong has created a portfolio of spiritual strength for others.
I believe many will find solace and strength because Ana Lisa has answered God’s call write. In my estimation it is her true vocation.”
Rev Diane Gilliam-Weeks, editor Refresh Journal of Contemplative Spirituality
In a world that often seems disordered and frenetic, Ana Lisa de Jong gives us the gift of a contemplative space in which God can speak with us, and we with Him. We have the holy privilege of joining in on a conversation with God, via poems that are honest and succinct arrow-prayers. In reading them we, too, are brought to our own honest places, and there, refreshed – by rivers, oceans, aquifers.
As Ana Lisa puts it in her poem, ‘Inside’: ‘…beauty is always present, and love is running through,
our lives like a river runs, constant and true.’
Katherine Barker, Author of Due to Foreseen Circumstances