Whispers of Rest - Not Your Typical Devotional Book

“Quiet isn’t the absence of movement.  Quiet is a movement to trust you were meant for more than striving.  You were meant to be fully alive.  When you give yourself permission to just breathe, you can just be.” 
- Bonnie Gray

I can’t remember the last time I chose to bring my laptop outside. 
The sounds are different.
The breeze is refreshing.
The birds sing, fly, and observe their surroundings… all trying to figure out why there’s a girl in a lawn chair... 
Even the chickens are out today… unusually calming, since on most days they’re locked inside their coop.

One of the few things I know with certainty about myself is that God speaks through me through His Word and through His creation.  But more often than not, I forget to get outside and experience His creation, even after making time with Scripture on a daily.  I still need to see Him through nature, a walk outside, His breath between the leaves and branches of our trees.  The chirping of birds.  The Creator interacting with the created.  I am sure of this…  


Soul rest.

And the reality that without rest, my soul cannot breathe or give.  Or love.

Everyday during the past 3 weeks, I’ve been on a daily journey with my friend Bonnie Gray.  Her newest book Whispers Of Rest has been guiding me through a 40-day journey of revitalizing my soul.  A soul detox. 

Bonnie knows how to speak my language.  I can’t think of anyone else who knows exactly how to guide people into a lifestyle of rhythmic rest.  She inspires me to take every opportunity to connect with God.  Through Scripture reading.  Journaling.  Reflecting.  Taking walks outside.  Having coffee with a good friend.  Or buying flowers for myself! 

A little over three years ago, my faith journey was shaken and transformed after reading Bonnie’s debut book Finding Spiritual Whitespace.  If you’re a close friend, you KNOW how much I raved about that book!!!  I have learned that taking moments in my everyday to connect with Jesus doesn’t need to look the same everyday.  Actually, He yearns to spend time with me during those small moments… when I acknowledge his presence and experience true joy.  Driving to my favorite bakery for my very favorite scone.  Treating myself to a coffee date with a friend.  Sitting in front of my favorite piece of art, or at a park with my children. 

So I’m choosing to intentionally detox my soul again.  Being creative and finding those free flowing spaces where the Lord can whisper His truth into my soul.  That I’m His beloved.  That I am loved and accepted and free to breathe.  That no task, no list, no chore, and no to-do list can own my soul or an ounce of my attention without my consent and choosing. 

And it’s only when my soul craves the peace, the quiet, and the rest that God offers, that I can FULLY experience communion with Him.  Intimacy.  Forgiveness.  Comfort.  Joy unending. 

As I wrestle with the Lord about this busy season of life, about different ministry opportunities, friendships and demands of motherhood, I read this: “Am I moving by God’s invitation or by my striving?...If we turned back to only what we know, we would miss out on the beautiful journey God has for us now.  It’s easier to get pulled away by busyness and stress.  But busyness takes a toll on us.  We rush from one thing to the next.  Yet, with every checklist we complete, there is a cost.  Checklists never end… What if God’s plan for us is not to be more busy, but to be more loved?"  

So, rather you’re exhausted and sleepless, or restless and yearning for something different.  I’m here to invite you to give Whsipers of Rest a GO!  It’s more than a devotional book.  I don’t even usually use devotional books because I believe in letting God speak to me directly through His Word.  But you know I’m an avid reader and this book has once again challenged and transformed the way I’m pursuing Jesus daily.  So, do your soul a favor and choose to make time for rest.  Bonnie has a special way of inspiring her readers to practice rest, in small and creative steps.  She prompts us to reflect.  She prays with and for us.  She teaches us how to pray.  And she challenges us to take some fun and practical steps to experience soul renewal, like taking a 10-minute walk outside, writing a self-affirmation sticky note, buying flowers to ourselves, scheduling coffee with a friend, and on and on… small challenges that make a HUGE difference!  And for every challenge, she shares about studies that show how these small steps make a difference in our overall soul health.  Isn’t that so refreshing? 

Last night was a tough one.  I was short-tempered, impatient, and very tired.  I could’ve blamed my health but to be honest, I had no reason to complain.  But I did.  And my attitude stunk!  Bad!  So, at bedtime, as I was steaming with frustration, we gathered the kids out in the living room, as we always do before bed, and I remembered to “Pray the Psalms”.  I opened to Psalm 103 and wouldn’t you know?  God spoke loudly to my soul.  Hmmm… I wonder how that happens… how He knows what I needed to read and hear.  And I kid you not!  My soul was revitalized.  My ridiculous anger left me, and I was able to hug and kiss my children without resentments. 

And THAT, my friends, is how the Lord uses a book prompt to direct me back to His Word.

Psalm 103
Let all that I am praise the LORD;
With my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the LORD;
May I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins; 
He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
He remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
Like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here.
But the Love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
Of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
The LORD has made the heavens his throne;
From there he rules over everything.
Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!
Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the LORD!

As part of Bonnie Gray's Whispers of Rest Launch Team, I was sent this book for review.  
You can find her book at www.whispersofrest.com or anywhere where books are sold!

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  1. Helen, this is such BEAUTIFUL story of how you heard and listened to God's #whispersofrest - as He lit a quiet idea to Pray the Psalms - God can take a simple moment - even in the midst of feeling frayed and stressed and voila - an AMAZING POWERFUL moment happened, blessings poured out from your heart flowing to your beuatiful children and family!! WOW! thank you for sharing - I can't wait to hear more of these God-moments show up as His word intersects in everyday life in the most amazing unexpected moments! :) i loved imagining this scene unfolding! so true and real and something we all relate too!