About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Sweet Like Jasmine, Whispers of Rest, wife, and mom to two boys. An inspirational speaker featured by Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today, she’s guided thousands to detox stress and experience God’s love through soul care, encouragement, and prayer. She loves refreshing your soul at...

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  1. Like you, I learned mothering by the seat of my pants, the prayers of my heart, and with my own idealism as a harsh task master. So thankful we’ve learned the rhythms of grace so that we can speak words of kindness to our children and to ourselves.

    • Thanks for sharing, Michele! Bless you for the heart and prayers you’ve poured out in your loving on your children. May you feel God’s pleasure in all you are and hear His gentle whispers of love for you! Love the phrases you use: “mothering by the seat of our pants” with “prayers in our hearts”, as we learn the “rhythms of grace”.

  2. Beautiful things to remember. As women, we somehow feel responsible for everyone’s happiness. That is a tough roll to fill. I too, lacked a roll model and tend to be critical and second guess myself. God’s grace is sufficient.

    • “we somehow feel responsible for everyone’s happiness.” Esp for those who have kind and sensitive hearts. So true, Carol. It’s wonderful to hear these whispers feel beautiful to your soul. Thank you for sharing, Carol. May you feel His loving and tender gaze on you and the touch of his gentle hand in yours today.

  3. Perfect post that spoke directly to my heart and mind this morning. Being a single parent has been a blessing in many ways but at this time of the year and graduation upon us in 2 weeks, my emotions are all over the place. I am exhausted emotionally, physically, and financially and find myself holding on by a thread. All three whispers of encouragement are exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for writing this for me :-).

    Blessed and grateful,

    Diana

    • I have a special place in my heart for single moms, because I loved my mom so very deeply and saw how very hard it was for her to carry the burden alone. Thank you for sharing, Diana. May you feel His loving arms wrap around you and the gentle touch of his gentle hand in yours today. Be sure to be very kind and gentle with yourself as you go through this season of change, as memories of all the love you’ve poured out on your child surface. God cares for you. Your heart and well-being are worth all the love, taking care of and nurturing.

  4. All of them. I needed someone else to say she is figuring out mothering as she goes along, by God’s grace. I too have an unsafe mother, who I am still learning to draw boundaries with. Reading this today I’m realizing I’ve used an ideal as a standard more than I was aware. Today I’m asking God to show me how to be gentle with myself, give myself grace, and speak kindly to myself. And I’m asking Him, what does this look like in my day-to-day life? Lord, please teach me and silence my inner critic.
    Thank you for posting about mothering from scratch!

    • Yes, I am – and we are all figuring out mothering as we go along – and we’ve got each other to encourage each other! 🙂 It’s so powerful when we can share our heart an stories and encourage each other. Thank you for putting into words so beautiful what you feel God is stirring in your heart as you read. It’s beautiful how it’s led you to a prayer that’s so vulnerable and I can imagine Jesus tenderly drawing you close to him to whisper, “I’m here. I love you. I will help you.” I wrote a book called “Whispers of Rest” that has 40 different ways that you can be gentle with yourself, give yourself grace and hear God’s loving words to you. It’s the same way I learned a new way of of self care and soul care. I hope you can enjoy it. Drop me a line if you read it and let me know how it encourages you! “Dear Jesus, thank you for Annie and how your gently touching her heart with you love and understanding. Put ideas, information, a desire to explore what this might look like her in her life – to speak kindly to herself and let you love on her, as she gives herself grace. Bring someone on her path who is loving and kind, like you to share with her and encourage her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

  5. Bonnie,
    Thank-you for putting such an uplifting post together. We are not in control as Mother’s, of how things will work out. We can only try our best, and by the Grace, and love of God, we will get through it.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  6. All of these ring with me, but especially number 3… I tend to think and say bad things about myself. Thank you for this post

    • Thanks for sharing, Joy. It’s so encouraging when we can share our hearts. May you feel God’s loving arms wrap around you and the gentle touch of his hand in yours today.

  7. While I have been blessed with a wonderful and Godly Mother, your words today are still something we all need to hear and take to heart. I still struggle with being too critical of myself (it is self imposed). I need to give it all to Him.
    Blessings to you and thank you for the gentle reminders of His Grace!!!

    • Yes, these are beautiful whispers for all women, for God loves on his daughters! And how wonderful that you’ve been blessed by a godly and wonderful mother! Thanks for sharing Joan! May you feel God’s loving arms wrap around you and the gentle touch of his hand in yours today!

  8. As a foster mom of more than 25 years this post really resonated with me and what I see in the beautiful teen girls I’ve been privileged to parent over the years. Many times their precious faces come before me and I lift them up before the throne of grace asking God to give each one an abundant measure of His perfect love, tender mercies and immeasurable grace as they learn and yearn to do/be better than their predecessors.
    Thank you for sharing.
    I plan to forward this post on to some of ‘my’ girls. Blessings to you in your continuing journey with parenting.

    • Wow, bless you, Hattie!! I have a special place in my heart for foster parents – they are pouring so much love and being God’s hearts and hands – and your voice is God’s tender voice loving them and renewing their hearts with new memories of kindness and grace. May you feel as beloved and beautiful as you are this moment! Happy Mother’s Day week, friend!

  9. Thank you Bonnie and bless you for these very encouraging words today. I needed them in many more ways than I can possibly communicate. As I was reading I took a deep breath and felt the anxiety begin to lessen as I relaxed, like a drink of cool water to a very tired and thirsty soul. I am going to look for your book Whispers of Rest. The Lord bless you!!!

    • I can’t wait to hear how God will be whispering words of love and peace as you read Whispers of Rest! Drop me a line and let me know how it touches your heart when you begin reading. You can get free prayer podcasts and books study videos for Whispers of Rest at whispersofrest.com. How wonderful it is to breathe in a moment of peace, Donna! Thanks for sharing! May you feel God’s loving arms wrap around you and the gentle touch of his hand in yours today!

  10. I think they all do. And I had an image of what a mother should be. Mine, without her childhood baggage. I was rough on myself, and at times with her, trying to get her to believe better of herself. But we all have to receive and see for ourselves His grace and rest, and then we step into His peace. I hope you Had a Happy Mother’s Day Bonnie.

  11. Thank you for this, Bonnie. God is kind and merciful and we are often not that way with ourselves. You make such a good point about bringing our childhood mindset into adulthood. Praise God He gently can pry us from such a mindset. 🙂

  12. The second whisper, “Give yourself grace” resonates with me. I so appreciate the scripture and the particular translation you chose to accompany that “whisper.” To think that God “will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support” is incredibly uplifting. Praise him for his ever-present attentiveness. Your words, Bonnie, also provide great encouragement: “You don’t have to do it all perfectly. He is not impatient as you learn, grow, and make mistakes. You are cherished by Jesus who is willing and eager to help you, love you, and delight in you.” Such glorious truths! They’re worth copying and posting, perhaps on the bathroom mirror–that last sentence especially. A powerful battle cry to start the day. Thank you, Bonnie!

  13. Thanks for this encouragement today, Bonnie. I too have spent my motherhood trying to learn how to be a mother in the absence of a true model of motherhood. God’s love is definitely a place where a ‘soul can relax.’ Amazing how quickly we humans defer to restlessness instead of basking in His loving-kindness, isn’t it? We make it harder than it needs to be! Lovely reminder; thank you. xoxo

  14. Thank you for this. I am very hard on myself as a parent, but God has shown me time and time again His grace and mercy.

  15. Bonnie I appreciate your transparency in all your writing. My daughter will become a Mother in the next month and I am trying to give her encouragement to embrace the Joy, but my words fail at the enormity of the journey. She is one of three that I was blessed to parent with her Daddy and our Dear Savior….prayers prayers and more prayers.

  16. Bonnie,

    These are wise & comforting words. I don’t have children, but am very hard on myself all the time. Been working a part-time job for 1.5 years & still learning “the ropes”. Each mistake I make has me cringe. I hear “stupid you know better.” Then the devil says “stupid, dumb, not smart”. All my life choices come crashing down on me & I feel down. I almost feel like I’ve let God down-not followed the path He had for me. Feel that He was the one who gave me this part-time job to still be available for my aging dad. Your book Whispers of Rest has helped me to give myself soul care. The best one is breath prayers. I can stop, breathe & pray for help in my job. We are all hard on ourselves & you have given us three ways to do soul care.

    Blessings 🙂

  17. I think I need every single one! 😉
    I loved this Bonnie.
    Thank you for always being the voice with the soft, sweet spirit we all need to hear.
    Blessings to you!

  18. I, too, share a maternal history with all of you. I do love my mother dearly, however,I can never do enough for her. She is now battling the onset of Alzheimers dementia and her expectations from me are overwhelming. I have a family of my own but in her mind her needs and expectations come first, as always. I am literally exhausted on many levels.! The old saying, “A mother can take care of her 10 children, but her 10 children cannot take care of their mother,” exemplifies my life right now. Reading the things you all share gives me a momentary respite from the demands of my current circumstances. Blessings to you all.