rosepetals

“I’ve been wandering through this world
Looking for an anchor to hold me…
Looking for a love that might free me…
I am looking to you, I am holding on to you.”
~ Gungor, Wandering

I don’t know when it was when I took my first steps.

Away.

But, I somehow left.

That beautiful place.

Where I once dreamed.

Of a little home for me.

Where I could feel the sunlight quietly rest on the floors touching my toes as I walk barefoot past the dining room.

Where I could peer out into the world through big, wide windows standing arms open in the living room.

Where I could see the grass lay down its carpet on the hills and turn shadows as morning rises out of the dawn.

I could make a turn into the bathroom and see white fluffy towels relaxed and still.  Where later that night I could wrap around me to keep the steam warm on my skin.

I could walk into the one room where my bed would be made, with a bowl of roses set on a nightstand, whose petals are softening to kiss the water.

A Home

There, I could turn some pages.  I would read.

There, I could sit at my desk.  Pick up a pen.  Open my journal and write.  Maybe even sing.

I would lie down, look up at the ceiling and see the shimmer of a breeze blow through the leaves of a tall tree framing my bedroom view.

And if I got hungry, I know I could make my way to the kitchen. And there would be something sweet to eat like strawberries.  Or soft like bread for my tummy.

And later, if I wanted to feel the wind and hear my breath out in the open air, I could put on some socks, find my shoes, open the screen door and walk outside.

This isn’t a home I could give you the address to.

But, it’s a home nonetheless.

It’s one we all carry resting inside each of us.  Still.  Warm.

Traced His Fingers

It’s where we go when we find ourselves most alive.  Most intimate and real.

Where we laugh. Cry. Dream. Move.  Create.  And have our being.

This is where we go to find rest.

It’s the space God architected gently, quietly — with great care and attention to detail — where He traced his fingers in the dust and made your handprint.

Maybe, like me, you thought no one saw you as you were being made.

Maybe, like me, you wonder what God was thinking when He was looking at you — holding you — as you lay eyes closed in His hands before He breathed in your first breath.

Handmade.  With thoughtful intention.  Designed to be lived in.  To breathe and rest in.

It’s your soul.

My soul too.

Spiritual Whitespace

I’ve traveled a long and winding journey.  Through the valley and trials of childhood memories.  That are hard.  Painful.  Confusing. Lonely.

And yet, wrapped in each troubling unraveling, a path has been opening wide — deeper — straight into the heart of where God’s hand has reached out touch me.

My healing has come — and is coming — each time I step back into this beautiful, quiet space.

I call it spiritual whitespace.

It’s the place where our soul rests.

Where we connect with God.

To find our voice.

To hear God’s voice.

Where we can feed our souls.

Where I Return

Here, in spiritual whitespace, I return to who God made me.

And I enter into this whitespace whenever I take steps to feed my soul.

What feeds your soul?

What brings you back home?

Where you can dream dreams.

Let beauty remind you.

Spend the time to feed your souls –

We all need comfort.

We all long for peace.

We all long to just “be me”.

So you can hear God whisper to you –

You were made to be loved.

You were made to be held.

You were made to find rest.

You were made as the {Beloved}.

{His Beloved}

Be.  Loved.

Take the time to {be Beloved}.

Feed your soul.

Take time to rest.

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”
~Deuteronomy 33:12

~~~~~

What feeds your soul — what gives you rest?

How is God prompting you in the new year as #theBeloved?

Pull up a chair.  Savor this moment.  Let your heart speak.   Click to comment.

~~~~~

By Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith in everyday life.

Today’s post is part of Bonnie’s {Beloved} series, where becoming #thebeloved and #soulrest is the conversation.  For more soulful encouragement on the journey of faith, join Bonnie at on her blog at FaithBarista.

lettersFaithShots ** If you enjoyed today’s blog post, I want to share some news. ** Revell will be publishing my memoir-driven book this summer June 2014.  My book chronicles my one year journey through childhood trauma to find God’s rest and celebrates the beauty of faith.  The title and book cover are not officially announced yet, but you can receive updates about the book and my heart-vulnerable journey to publication. Just sign up by clicking here for an informal newsletter called Faith Shots. Think of it as a letter from me to you every now and then.

{photo by manisha}

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  1. 1

    Expressed beautifully, thank you.
    ‘What feeds my soul?’ What a great question: What gives me life? What nourishes me?
    So many things, but I think just now I’m especially thankful for:
    • walking in the park
    • ‘dates’ with the Lord
    • worship CDs
    • reading back through my journal
    • cold Winter skies
    • small signs of Spring coming
    • the angry, stormy sea

    As ‘the beloved’ I feel prompted to:
    • tell Him of my love for Him
    • sunbathe in His love for me
    • go deeper with Him, Ezekiel 47 style (bit scary)
    • crave Him above all else

    Looks like it might just be an exciting year.
    Bless you x

  2. 2

    Forgot to mention INCOURAGE as an amazing resource to give me little tasters that encourage me to want to feed more.
    THANK YOU :-)

    • 3

      I look forward to getting my e-mails from Incourage because they are so uplifting to me and they are the encouragement that I need for the day. THANK YOU

  3. 4

    Finding rest is in the quiet moments of morning when the world is still asleep and I feel it is only God and myself. His words awaken my soul with a gentle kiss from the promise “I will never leave you or forsake you”. Nature is the also where my soul finds rest. Each season is a symbol of our life with Christ, winter reminds us we must die to ourselves and let his blanket of forgiveness fall on us just as the first snow. Spring reminds us that God is growing in is and with the water and food we grow into beautiful fields of flowers. Summer reminds is that even when life it tough and we sometimes sweat His cool drink of His word soothes us. Finally Fall, the beauty of leaves changing reminds us that even through death God brings beauty. He is all we need everyday and every hour. Rest in His beauty and find it each day!

  4. 6

    Your journey gets me every time. So similar and yet different. Keep writing because you are encouraging so many when you do.

  5. 7

    “What feeds my soul?” My time in the morning with Jesus & His word….feeds my soul. Just to know He’s here and that I can pour out everything I have to Him without feeling like He would condemn me for saying it…feeds my soul. To know I can trust every word He speaks into my heart…feeds my soul. And His creation ~~ a beautiful sunrise or sunset or watching what He spoke into existence work quietly at His command…feeds my soul.
    And because of all this, I feel prompted to trust Him more than ever this year in everything, especially when He prompts me to speak up or move in an uncomfortable direction.
    Thanks for lovingly sharing what God has so graciously fed to you, His beloved.

  6. 8
    MaryJo Shelton says:

    How absolutely beautiful are your words as they express thoughts so deep that I can only bask in the emotions they create. Perhaps you will have publications that contain your writings, such a treasure for relaxation and the opportunity to remember that although there is nothing new under the sun so many of the old things have been forgotten and you have such talent for the remembering. Please keep reminding us.

  7. 9

    This is how writing is supposed to be. With each word, I feel what you are saying, not just reading it. So beautifully expressed – I too have had a vision of “home” – one which has no address, but nonetheless, exists. We all have one, it’s just at times when I need it most, it’s on a different path, one with detour signs, making it all the more restful when at last I’m there once again.
    God bless you for these much needed words this morning. Seek and ye shall find.

  8. 10

    Oh Bonnie! Yes! I needed this reminder today! Because of unpleasant family surprises, I’ve not been here; and because I’ve let others’ words advise me, I’ve not felt beloved.

    I’m home now, and my heart and mind is settled to rest in this spot, the sunny one on the carpet (despite the cloudy and bitterly cold on the outside of my physical home).

    Napping, meditating on His Words, worship; these will fill my day.

    Thank you.

  9. 11
    Lisa Mac says:

    As the {Beloved) I am hearing in my soul, Gods whispered word, again.
    I am learning to listen to His whispers. And to let the fears be blown away in the winds outside the window.
    “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34 MSG)
    Pain will come. It is the nature of life. But if I don’t rejoice in the joy, beauty, love and peace He sends, then I see nothing but pain and loose the beauty of the gift.
    God sends this joy, beauty, joy, and peace because He loves me and wants me to recieve and glory in it!

  10. 12

    How I forget to go to that quiet place. Between all the obligations. I forget me. This year I will stop and remember that he loves me and will give me peace and rest. He actually listens to me. Thank you for reminding me

  11. 13

    I think your pink leaves are absolutely beautiful. So like us, cos we are so delicate and weak. Not like JESUS, so strong. Our lives are just so delicate and I wonder how the hands of God can fashion us so pretty and beautiful and bendable and yet, it’s only by HIS strength and not of our own. Wonder of wonders.

    The study of God’s WORD and HIS ever Presence.
    I find rest in Christ alone.
    To be in a far more intimate place than I’ve ever been with HIM and HIM alone.

    I just love JESUS so much. This is a lovely devotional.

    :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. 14

    As always, Bonnie, your words apply balm to my weary soul. Thank you.

    When I get up in the morning, I pause to reflect on and rest in God’s promises (try to anyway). I don’t always feel “rest,” but I know God feeds the emptiness in my soul. In this new year, God is prompting me to trust Him more – to believe with all my heart that I am His beloved, His cherished one, and that He is so worthy to be trusted to healing the deep places of broken trust in my soul.

    I can’t remember how I found InCourage this past year, but it was a God-thing. Because of this site, I have found blog posts (& comments), books and sites that nourish resting in Jesus and embracing our true worth in Him. Your courage to risk vulnerability, Bonnie, has opened my heart to being more “real.” So often I hold back part of me out of fear of rejection or disapproval, but God is blessing me through you and many others in this fellowship of women. Thank you all so much.

  13. 15
    Shirley says:

    Bonnie, I enjoyed reading and appreciate what you wrote and took it to heart and soul). I thought that you would like to know that the scripture reference is in chapter 33 rather than 3. Thanks.

  14. 16

    Oh…this sounds like the home by the ocean I have longed for…a place were sea breezes blow through and the sound of the waves fill with delight. I hear sea birds calling and see them above me and around me. Pelicans, sandpipers, egrets…what wonders God has made. I feel my feet sink into the soft sand as I walk to the water and drink in the beauty that surrounds me. I go there when I’m torn by things of this earthly journey and Abba meets me there and we sit together not talking at first. Then the words come…one then another as I pour it all out to Him. His presence and His touch peel away the hurts and struggles. The miracle evolves again and I am light and filled with wonder of His mercy and grace. Your words touch the deep, broken chords in me. What a wonderful gift you have given me. Have a blessed day my friend. Sante!

  15. 17
    Christine says:

    Hi Bonnie,
    I love the house and it definitely speaks to me as a sanctuary where we could meet God. I would add a porch with flowers spilling over hanging planters and beautiful big trees swaying in the breeze. You can hear the rustle of the leaves. There would be a garden all around the house with lush roses and other flowers all in bloom. I can see the interior in my mind, all awash with the rays of the morning sun. The windows are open and the scent of flowers from the garden waft in. the curtains move slightly in the breeze. There is perfect peace. Perfect tranquility. Yes, its a wonderful place.
    Go out onto the porch and you will see two rocking chairs and a little table between them. There are two cups of tea on the table and in one of the chairs Jesus sits and smiles and beckons you to sit by him in the other chair. You sit and sip the tea. He’s made the tea from flowers and herbs and it is so delicious. You have never tasted anything so good. You sit surrounded in perfect Love.
    Yeah I could just stay there the rest of my life.

  16. 18

    Wow! The pictures in my mind are on over load as I envision such a tantalizing place that both feeds and soothes my spirit. I envision a place that brings incredible peace and joy. Your word pictures conjure an image to meet the needs of the heart and fulfills the longings of my soul. Thank you for sharing your sanctuary with me and giving an vision of resting in such a welcoming place.

  17. 19

    Rarely do I find a writer who can read my soul like this. Truly rare. Truly lovely.

  18. 20

    You have described so beautifully the place where the LORD has been leading me. Thank you for such a gorgeous post, it affirms exactly what I got from HIM this morning.
    God Bless You.

  19. 21

    Bonnie, your words are so beautiful! I so enjoyed walking with you, as I read…. My soul finds rest in my writing. I journal to the Lord, pouring-out my soul on paper. Please, continue to write for us. Your words are a sweet anointing for all who read them. Take care!

  20. 22

    What gives my soul rest is permission to be at rest, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I’m going through a season of loneliness after my roommate got married, some of my closest friends moved away, and my boyfriend and i broke up. On top of that, I’ve had some health issues, probably compounded by the stress i allowed these circumstances to put on me. Now I’m learning to give myself permission. To take a nap even if the dishes aren’t done. To cry if i need to, even if it hurts. To let God in and let him bring me to that spiritual whitespace. To let him be my best friend. To write when inspiration strikes. To be me and be unafraid to be me, no matter what others think. Thank you, bonnie, for this space to write and share my heart, for the chance it gives me to be reminded of what makes me come alive.

  21. 23
    Victoria says:

    This isn’t a home I could give you the address to.

    But, it’s a home nonetheless.

    It’s one we all carry resting inside each of us. Still. Warm.

    Loved this….love how your words brought me to a place that I just realized that I have needed and longed for all my life. I’m trying to understand daily that this place is only a prayer away. My soul needs the “anchor to hold me” and the the “spiritual white space” to have the rest only He can give. Thank you for gently reminding me that He is the only Home and Anchor I will ever need. Bless you!

  22. 24

    This is beautiful! Just beautiful!

  23. 25
    Cellina says:

    Thank you Bonnie. Beautiful words from a beautiful heart. When I am down and out, I will myself to start praising and worshipping God. A song, sung wordless sometimes, is the first step into that restful and restorative place.

    BTW, Just a little point, it is Deut 33:12

    God Bless You Beautiful Bonnie

  24. 26

    thank you for this. It touches my heart. I have been in a dark place where I have a hard time feeling like the beloved – that God delights in me. I know this is not the place i will always be, but it has been hard. and i needed to read this. thank you. I will head over to your blog and read some more.

  25. 27

    Love your metaphor. Takes me to that place, the kingdom within. As a writer I also appreciate a well-written article. Thank you.

  26. 28

    Oh thanks Bonnie!
    Your words touched my heart and they will be on my mind for the next time!
    You wrote such a truth and I’m glad that it is published here. Needed those encouraging words today!
    Be blessed and don’t stop writing!
    Rosie

  27. 29
    Brooke Burger says:

    Interesting question to ponder. What feeds my soul? Hmmmm.

  28. 30
    Debra Caltagirone says:

    First I must say, Bonnie I so miss your sweet..tender..anointed expression and insight to our beloved, The Gift you possess is more precious then diamonds, I don’t know if your aware, but your needed so much in the body of Christ, we are hungry and thirsty for hearts likes yours…Which is Jesus! Thank you for sharing..I cried with tears of joy. Don’t stop writing..sister in Christ. Debb

  29. 31

    Lovely and thought-provoking. Just one thing — the verse quoted is actually Deut. 33:12, not 3:12. :)

  30. 32
    Beth WIlliams says:

    Bonnie,

    So very eloquently written. God has truly gifted you with writing!

    What feeds my soul? Mountains, quiet walks w/hubby, Christian music,
    walks along beach, scented candles

    As ‘the beloved’
    I tell Him daily how much I love Him, pray fervently, spend quiet time with Him.

  31. 33

    Bonnie, I discovered your Blog during my own season of distress when I was struggling with words for my pain and could not write for months. I learned He was calling me to Him for rest, refreshing and restoration. Sometimes He has to “make” us lie down.

    My soul finds rest in Him in the quiet moments of early morning–even before the birds begin their singing. He speaks to my spirit and reminds me of whose I am–that I am His–that I am loved and beloved–that I am Home.

    Thank you Bonnie for sharing–we are kindred spirits.

  32. 34

    Thank you for allowing me to walk the path and share your dream. It was breathtakingly amazing…