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. Thank you, once again, Bonnie, for a refreshing post. In a world of hurry, pressures and unbiblical (yet church promoted) lifestyles and demands to always be involved and doing, believers NEED to stop and refresh themselves and return to the simplicity of the Gospel and the way our Father meant for us to live. Life is never about what we do or achieve, but how our hearts are before God. Like many, I had to be brought very low to realize that to BE for God is more important than to DO for Him. Thank you, Bonnie!! I will take time today – as I have been challenged and have learned since reading your two books – to be, to refresh, and to give thanks to God Almighty for His amazing love and grace and to share that love and grace to others. Life has many overwhelming and wearying trials, but to rest in God is so beautiful when we can let go and let Him guide, direct and refresh us.
    With love and thanks,
    Ruth

    • Dear Ruth, I feel so close to you as a friend knowing you’ve journeyed with me through reading Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace, for I shared my heart and what fed my soul through this books. And so, this morning, as I sit here in California beginning my day, I whisper a prayer for you and lift you up. Dear Jesus, may you touch Ruth with your gentle peace and quiet way of letting her know that you are thinking of her and reassure her of your complete understanding. Refresh her in a way that she would know the idea comes from you, as she stops to rest and refresh today. Thank you for Ruth and how you speak to her and how she listens and notices you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  2. Bonnie,
    When I see your pretty face as the author of the day, my soul, almost as if on cue, heaves a heavy sigh of relief. I know that your words will offer rest and refreshment. After two months, my eye has finally stopped twitching. This signal, not unlike the lighted dashboard reminders on our cars, tells me that something is wrong. My system is over-stressed. After a very damaging water leak, my house has been torn apart since Memorial Day. We lived with roaring fans, continual workmen, and were confined to a “cozy” efficiency together for two weeks. Throw in some family drama and aging parent concerns and a perfect storm was brewing. Having anxiety and depression didn’t help either. But, God…This weekend we moved back in to our “new” home. Boxes are still stacked all around me, but I have felt God’s inescapable call to rest. Three days in a row, I haven’t been able to keep my eyes open in the afternoon. Instead of fighting it, I’ve listened to my body and have taken a nap. I am blessed to be able to do this since I work from home. I know I need TLC and God wants to provide it, so instead of run back into the whirlwind, I have given myself room to rest and simply breathe. Yesterday was a day without a call to/from a project manager. I celebrated by cupping a mug of hot coffee in my hands and watched the birds at the feeder that I had missed. I sat and petted my dog and felt stress recede from my body. In God’s grace, I had crossed yet another finish line and it was time to raise my Ebenezer to His faithfulness. There are no “extra points” for stoicism or martyrdom. God calls us to be the helpless, tired, and frail lamb in His strong and sufficient arms. I picture myself there…just being held and loved. Oh that we all would just rest…pause…breathe…and let ourselves be loved. A perfect post at the perfect time!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Dear Bev, I love your listening spirit and observant heart, always sharing with us how Jesus is guiding you. How wonderful you have opportunity to work from home! And as your home is getting a remodel (yay! on the non-project manager call day!), it’s guided you to a season of listening to your body. You are worth taking care of!

    • Bev,

      Praying for you as you deal with aging parents. That is never easy. I have been there done that & still am in the trenches with my in-laws. I know how stressful that can be. Prayers for guidance to know what next steps to take. May God bring about a peace in this situation.

      Blessings 🙂

      • Beth,
        Thanks for your prayers. You are the queen of caring for others!! You truly have a servant’s heart! My mom has always been used to being on the go so for her to have to sit still or rest just isn’t in her DNA. I pray that she will not become too disabled because I know she would be completely miserable. Can you put parents in timeout??
        Blessings sweet friend,
        Bev xx

    • Bev, what a “true” post, life is hard then throw in anxiety/depression it becomes overwhelming FAST I m in a life storm since it started ive grown to accept god’s will in the situation. That’s not to say I don’t try to pray for my way every now & again. I love in-courage. The stories are real and that is inviting to the readers. I’m learning through this storm everyone has a storm some you can see others you can’t. Also if i keep looking in the rear view mirror i will never move forward, this sounds easy enough , but hard to live out daily. My life verse from the Bible is 1 peter 5:7 this was the first verse I memorized from the Bible. I believe god put the verse in my heart. If we listen god does speak .

  3. Thanks, Bonnie, for leaning into the basics. Elijah needed fuel, and so do we.
    “He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust.”
    Why do I forget this?

  4. Dear Bonnie, So lovely to see your post. I too when I see your name and face in my email, I exhale, knowing that your words will give me solace and a sense of being understood. Next week I fly home to bury my father. Our relationship the last few years after my mom passed away was not great(his choosing) and throughout my childhood it was complicated. But I loved him and just, not his choices. However, the thought of going back to where I grew up, where my daughter spent a lot of her early years, without either of my parents there, is something I dread. I know it will cause great pain emotionally and physically. So I’m taking your post with me, and reminding myself during that stay up north, to recognize when my body and soul need to rest. I will allow myself to have that time in prayer. Thank you. I’m keeping you in my prayers and sending you a gentle hug. Have a Blessed day. <3

    • Dear Kathleen, we are like pen pals through the words here and I want to say how sorry I am for the loss of your father. That is a deep grief and this is a season, especially when you need to return to a place of painful memories next week, it is such an important time for you to take action to give yourself EXTRA TLC for your soul before you leave for the trip and ALSO to plan for TLC for your soul when you return. This way, you are preparing for the soul work you will need to do as you grieve and bury your father. That way, you can have your emotional tank filled with some comforting resources. What would that TLC for your soul be? You can take a look at the soul care trail tips in Whispers of Rest for inspiration: ideas can be: spend time in nature – go to a special outdoor place for you (beautiful for you. Studies show 10 minutes of nature detoxes anxiety), get a favorite bath gel (studies show taking a bath releases relaxing hormones), or get a massage or facial at the spa (if you usually don’t go to the spa, this may be a good time to do something nurturing, as studies show touch and quietness also help release stress), set up a dinner or breakfast or lunch with with a friend (choose a meal that you would enjoy most. Studies show that relationships, having people to talk to will help your resilience, so you can feel comfort and not alone), get some of your peaceful,favorite worship songs on a playlist on your phone and have ready you can use before bedtime when you go to the funeral next week (studies show music will help you process tramatic moments and also is wonderful way to pray, get a small journal you can use to capture what God will be showing you next week and capture your thoughts as you enter into this season (to confide in God. studies show journaling helps relieve stress and powerful way to pray), search for meaning Bible Verses that have been special to you in your life and print them out or have them ready on your phone (God’s word can carry you through). I hope these ideas are helpful and I hope you can allow God’s TLC to enter your life, as you take steps to prepare for this trip. Dear Lord, help Kathleen this week and next week by carrying her through. You are with her and we thank you for your faithfulness. Bring ideas to her mind, for ways she can receive your TLC. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

      • Dear Bonnie,
        Thank you for your kind,inspiring,and comforting words. I do appreciate you taking time to give me these suggestions. I already had WHISPERS OF REST ready to be packed,your studying was so helpful during Lent I don’t always think of self care, and I am so grateful for your reminder. Thank you for your prayers,and sharing your heart and faith with us ❤

  5. So much needed to hear this. And so true, we live in this society that tells us that if we are not running on dry, we are not good enough or that if our kids’ days are not full to the brim, we will cause them to feel left out. We forget that solitude is needed and to find rest so we can nourish our soul, so that we can rekindle relationships, so that we may hear God’s voice. Today I know I need rest. I need rest from work, from all the obligations I feel from my family and most of all, I need rest from the busyness of these daily tasks that I allegedly tell myself it is important. May all of us who are weary take some time today to hear His voice and know He will carry us through. Let us slow down and be reminded that this life is not a race. Let us see the beauty that surrounds us and embrace it fully. Thank you Bonnie for sharing this needed message…

    • Dear Maylee, I can tell you express your soul in words. Thank you for so beautifully expressing how today’s words have touched yourheart – and we get a glimpse into your journey and the thoughts that are on your mind. You are worth letting go of obligations – and many times, just letting that soak in – that you are worth loving. You are worth rest. You are worth taking care of. God says you are worth loving. That phrase, may it continue to echo on your heart. For it is true of you. For you. Thank you for such beautiful words sharing here with us – your heart.

  6. Well this is appropriate for me as I am on total bed rest. I cannot put weight on my leg; various tests were done and the conclusion is a muscle/nerve issue. I feel guilty praying to God for relief from the pain (though I do, who wants to be in pain?!) I have tried to be a better person and prayed to Him thanking Him for the people who took care of me and for my husband. And for now I rest.

    • Dear Nan, I’m sorry you are having to go through this intense time of pain and being unable to do the things that you have always been able to do. Lord Jesus, reassure Nan that you understand her completely, and your heart is touched by her suffering and pain. Refresh her with the thought of you loving her, during this time of healing and recovery. Thank you for the people who are helping her and encourage both Nan and the people in her life, as they all go through this season together – with You by their side. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  7. Dear Bonnie.

    Y’see, I’m disabled. And God don’t like disabled people much, I’d feel a lot better about life if he DID (To read what I mean, have a look at Leviticus 21. And that’s just the start.

    It always amazes me how many times this God orders the killing of innocent people even after the Ten Commandments said Thou shall not kill. For example, God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21).

    God also orders the destruction of 60 cities so that the Israelites can live there. He orders the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of value (Deuteronomy 3). He orders another attack and the killing of all the living creatures of the city: men and women, young, and old, as well as oxen sheep, and asses (Joshua 6). In Judges 21 He orders the murder of all the people of Jabesh-gilead, except for the virgin girls who were taken to be forcibly raped and married. When they wanted more virgins, God told them to hide alongside the road and when they saw a girl they liked, kidnap her and forcibly rape her and make her your wife!

    That is also just the start, there are many more passages in the Old Testament where people are raped, tortured and murdered by God’s order.

    Then we hit the common misconception, that Jesus rules in Heaven Above and the Devil rules in Hell Below. Don’t work like, that, do it. Because when Satan fell from Heaven, so the Bible says, he fell to Earth. So as he’s on Earth, THIS is Hell. And Jesus allows him to reign here and torture us – why? Because he has a logic problem.

    Y’see, if he made it so we just obeyed God’s word without hesitation, we wouldn’t have freedom of choice. But he wants us to blindly follow God, so he makes the alternative (the Devil) SOOO bad that we won’t want to follow him, which amounts to much the same thing, us not having freedom of choice. So who has the keys to Hell? Would you believe – Jesus does? Yup – in the Book of Revelations it shows that Heaven and Hell are in fact the same place. The ‘fire and brimstone’ bit preachers love is actually just about one little bit of the Heaven/Hell complex which happens to have lava in it. And not run by the Devil at all, because he’s here on Earth. Run by Jesus, when he isn’t too busy chucking the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on us.

    Yup, this Christ guy, who’s supposed to love us so much, is also the guy responsible for unleashing the Horsemen of War, Famine, Plague and Conquest on us. So next time there’s a ritual murder-fest somewhere don’t blame the Devil, it’s none of his doing. Blame Jesus. He’s the Blessed warmonger, believer in murder, in sickness and in annexing others’ possessions and lands. The Devil’s just a scapegoat. The Bible says so.

    The God of the Bible also allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 & Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9). What a wonderful God to believe in!! And he’s a great believer in burnt offerings.

    The first seven chapters of Leviticus have extensive rules regarding animal and food sacrifices. These offerings are supposed to be burnt so that God can smell them. He even gets Abraham to burn his only son, to prove his loyalty. True at the end (in Genesis) he doesn’t quite go through with it – but what kind of God would ask that of one of his followers?

    Please, don’t be fooled by the ‘Bible Message’ of Jesus being killed that we may all be free. That’s cooked up by priests who’ve never properly read the book they pretend they know so well. The real Bible story is one of rapine, pillage, ritualized murder, hatred of disabled people (such as myself!) and waves of destruction cast by the guy we’re supposed to worship (Jesus) against all of us (Yup – the Horsemen again!) And remember Hell is here – NOT in some fiery pit below the world. The Bible says so.

    Of the two – not that I DO – I think I’d rather give the Devil a chance. At least you know where you stand with him. Wit this Jesus, you’re living a total, priest-fabricated lie from start to finish!

    Chris.

    • To Bonnie – this is such a timely word! I am adjusting to new meds for anxiety and depression, which seem to have come with the side effect of nightmares. I am *not* feeling rested, but have alternated between crying and lashing out at people for 3 years; I don’t think dropping the meds is the answer. Today’s call to rest reminded me that I have not leaned into Jesus, but have placed all my faith in what man/medicine has to offer.

      To Chris – It is interesting to met that most of your view of Jesus is based on Old Testament laws and man-made choices. Darkness is only the absence of light; sin and evil in this world are the darkness of people who have not allowed the light of Jesus’ love to penetrate their hearts. The New Testament/come-to-Earth, born-in-a-manger Jesus proceeded to heal, to encourage, to give women a place of honor in a culture that considered women largely irrelevant. This Jesus is the one I love and serve, as I reach toward those still in darkness. Please consider listening to Ann Voskamp’s interview with Focus On The Family; you can find it on YouTube. This lady has a grasp of grace and goodness like I have never seen, and her view of why God allows suffering and evils in the world will give you pause from your own reasonings. Blessings to you; I pray that you find His love in a single moment of your day today – it will change everything.

      Vicki

  8. Well call me Elijah because I’m just tired. No need to go into why, but I am face down in the mud with no strength to pull myself out.

    “These are the words Jesus longs to whisper to us as well today: the journey is too great for you. God invites us to stop and find rest that can truly sustain us for the journey.” Ok, but how? What does that look like? I’ve prayed and pleaded for answers and rest but maybe I’m not listening correctly.

    • Dear Tired Soul, I love how honest you are, expressing where you are on the journey right now. I felt the same way you do – and I went on a journey to investigate and find some answers, as I was both in emotional and physical pain. And I found a whole new way of hearing God’s loving whispers of rest to me in Scripture and also soul care tips, based on scientific research on things I can to experience rest and not just understand it in my mind. God knew I needed both His word and practical steps I can take experience the truth in my heart, emotions and my body. So, I wrote a book about what I learned about soul care: “Whispers of Rest: 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul” and “Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest”. I think you’ll really be blessed by the encoruagement I received that I shared in these books.

      Here are three blogs posts that will encourage you:
      1) Three Simple Soul Care Tips to Refresh You https://aws.incourage.me/2018/04/three-simple-soul-care-tips-refresh.html
      2) What I learned about healing from emotional wounds “Being Depressed or Anxious Doesn’t Mean Your Faith is Flawed” https://aws.incourage.me/?p=188251
      3) How to Pray When You’re Too Stressed to Know How: https://aws.incourage.me/2017/08/5-ways-pray-youre-stressed-know.html

      Lastly, sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/duKMl9 — I share soul care tips and encouragement and you can download FREE 24 Rest Ideas and an excerpt of my book! Hope all this helps encourage you, friend! I’ll also be starting a book club later this year about rest, that you would really be encouraged!

      • Thank you for the encouragement! I’ll try anything at this point, but I have no time or energy to waste…just read the three blog posts, ordered both books, already subscribe to your emails, and look forward to the book club. Please just let me find some peace, of any kind and in any measure! I’ll take whatever can be spared.

        • Bonnie’s books and encouraging words helped me so much that often go back to them when I am worn out tired and broken. Let God love on you friend. He wants to.

  9. I left an abusive relationship and we have been in and out of court over the past year. It’s coming to a head this September as we head to trial. My daughter’s father continues to abuse me throughout the process by lying on court documents and saying just awful things about me. I’m growing so weary.

    • Dear Elizabeth, I am so, so sorry that you are not being loved the way God meant for you to be loved – which you *deserve* to be loved. It will be very important – and IS important that you prepare for this hard journey by reinforcing your soul, body and emotions with soul care, so you can have the emotional and physical resources God wants to give you, to step through this trial. I hope today’s devotional brings comfort and reassurance to your heart, giving you permission to do things to fill up your soul resources, and do things that will nurture you as you go through this. Dear Lord Jesus, bring Elizabeth the reassurance she needs right now, wherever she is, to know that you will not leave her or forsake her. Place your gentle loving hand into hers and help her feel you bringing her close to you, allowing her to fall into your embrace and completely give herself to your embrace. you feel her tears and you feel her fears. You will help her. Give her ideas to receive the TLC you long to give her. Give her courage to do what it is she needs to receive rest, comfort and bring someone to be a friend. Help her find strength to fight for her daughter and most important to love and comfort her daughter, as she herself first receives the comfort you long to give her. For she is your beloved. Protect mother and daughter. Help bring someone to help them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

      I hope this blog I wrote “Seven Ways to Heal From a Toxic Mom” will also bring encouragement to you, because the encouragement applies to any toxic relationship: https://aws.incourage.me/?p=201200

      And if you are looking for a gentle, loving devotional to nourish your soul, I recommend my book “Whispers of Rest: 40 Days of Revitalizing Your Soul with God’s Love.” and also my memoir driven book on how I healed form a toxic family relationship, that included my father when he left when I was seven: “Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest”.

      I know you will love it because eveyrthing that helped me get through tough times, I poured into these books.

      Here are three blogs posts that will encourage you:
      1) Three Simple Soul Care Tips to Refresh You https://aws.incourage.me/2018/04/three-simple-soul-care-tips-refresh.html
      2) What I learned about healing from emotional wounds “Being Depressed or Anxious Doesn’t Mean Your Faith is Flawed” https://aws.incourage.me/?p=188251
      3) How to Pray When You’re Too Stressed to Know How: https://aws.incourage.me/2017/08/5-ways-pray-youre-stressed-know.html

      Lastly, sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/duKMl9 — I share soul care tips and encouragement and you can download FREE 24 Rest Ideas and an excerpt of my book! Hope all this helps encourage you, friend! I’ll also be starting a book club later this year about rest, that you would really be encouraged!

    • Thank you for sharing your heart, Diane! It encourages me as I share. I am thinking of you. Lord Jesus, refresh Diane with the thought of you loving her. which you are doing right now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  10. yes ! in faith the Sabbath is taught over and over. we honestly can’t get thru each busy week without resting IN God on the Sabbath. it’s a command for a reason. we pull away from the world on that day and relax..read his word and rest. if God rested on the 7th day why aren’t we ??
    I really feel resting in God also requires us to stop with the social media that day too. we aren’t resting when we are looking on Facebook to see who is doing what..
    let’s open our bibles and read a new part we haven’t before. rest & be filled.

    • yes, I agree Krissy. I’ve been off social media for a social media break and it has been so good for my soul. It’s refilled me and I can’t wait to share what I’ve received in the fall when the kids retunr to school. And my writing time has returned. 😉 thank you for sharing your heart. I love how you write straight from the heart. love, bonnie

  11. Your words express God’s peace, comfort, and care always, Bonnie! Thank you. God teaches us to have peace and rest in Him, but that does not mean our lives will be easy. It’s the rest in the chaos, hurt, and pain He longs us to have too, isn’t it? All is well with my soul kind of rest.

    • Dear beautiful Lynn, I love hearing your voice, through the words you share, like notes to my heart. I am thinking of you and smiling for the kinship throughout the years. Dear Lord Jesus, this morning as I sit here in the quiet morning with my cup of coffee, I think you for Lynn and how you’ve guided her on her journey – and today, wherever she is, I ask that you touch her heart with the thought of you loving her, for you truly are, right now, beside her. I pray whatever she needs today, to experience your peace, comfort and care – that you will do that for her – place it on her path, bring it to her mind, put a song on her heart, provide for a need, or simply touch her with your gentle presence. Thank you for Lynn. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  12. IT’S LIKE YOU WROTE MY STORY INSTEAD OF YOURS. IT’S COMFORTING TO KNOW THAT MY SISTERS IN CHRIST KNOW HOW I FEEL AS THEY ARE EXPERIENCING THE SAME THING AND THAT THERE’S NO CONDEMNATION.

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE REMINDER TO REST.

  13. Bonnie, thanks for this reminder that God sees, He cares, and He is always near. xx

  14. Bonnie,

    This world clamors for us to go do always wanting more from us. We keep on doing thinking that we are helping God. Actually we are just wearing ourselves out. Lysa Terkeurst said in her book “The Best Yes” that “saying yes to everyone & everything doesn’t make you wonder woman. It makes you a worn out woman.” Worn out women have nothing left to give family, friends, church, or themselves. God commands us to rest. He says to be still & know. Most don’t know how to do that. Their to do lists are longs. We desperately need to put margin in our lives. Mark some time on your calendar each day for simple rest. Go for a quick walk, drink a cup of tea whatever. Just stop doing for a few minutes. Let your body & soul rest. Mexicans & others have it right. They take a siesta (nap) each day around noon. After that they are ready & re energized for the challenges ahead. We would do well to follow their examples. What do we gain by going & doing? We’re frustrated, tired & act unkindly to those we love. There is no peace in our souls. Just a few minutes daily would give us that peace. If Jesus took time to rest each day then how much more do we need it?

    Blessings 🙂

  15. This is a beautiful reminder of what is important…God’s presence. Thank you my sister for your obedience to our God and so eloquently reminding His people!

  16. Hi Bonnie, it’s so great to have you pop up on my email! As I was reading the other women’s comments, and how their words expressed their appreciation of encouragement from you. It’s so true how you have in the past, and even now, to share with us women in how to set still and rest before our God and allow our Lord Jesus to love us so tenderly. From the very first time in your book club “WhispersofRest I’ve learned how to rest in the Lord, and allow Jesus to whisper His gentle voice into my heart…..I know this journey called life is hard, because it involves relationships, but when we get our relationship right with God, and seek Him first above all, we will find that missing puzzle that will fall right in place where it should be….God is only preparing us for what’s ahead, even before that storm comes, He’s given us the tools and resources for it. “The BIBLE” And also He places people in our paths to help us, just like God has placed you Bonnie in the lives of these women! Thank you again Bonnie for allowing God to use you in so many ways to reach out to this hurting world who desperately needs JESUS! In His love Connie