20140304-Bonnie

once felt lost and tired.

Even though no one could tell.  By looking at my life from the outside.

But, deep inside, in my secret heart of hearts, I’ve always wanted something I could never quite keep a hold of — not long enough to make it my everyday home.  For my soul and for the me that wanted to be free.

I’ve always wanted to know who I really could be — if I was free to rest.

Did you ever wish life could be different?

That somehow you could just rest?

Underneath all the stress, the expectations we put on ourselves and the ones others put on us, we all long for space.

Space to breathe.

Space to just be me.

Where we can be real.

To take care of our hearts, with the grace and kindness we often pour out to others.

Hungering

We don’t want to be numb anymore.

Just doing.  Coping.  Surviving.

All the while, there is a part of us that longs to come alive.

The part of us who longs for beauty, even though the daily road feels rough.  Or even broken.

The part of us who remembers what it’s like to have desires is hungering for quiet.  For rest.

Who wants to feel more intimately connected with God.

To our dreams.

To our stories.

To who we really are deep inside.

Who doesn’t want to hide.

Who longs to be known.

With others.

A Deeper Part

There’s a deeper part of us who longs to uncover the stories we’re living in our everyday lives — hidden — so that they can be shared.

We don’t want to journey alone.

We don’t have to.

What we all long for is deeper rest.

Refreshment.

Comfort.

Real conversation.

Encouragement.

Peace.

Beauty.

As is.

What we all long for is soul rest.

An Invitation

Soul rest is a kind of rest we can savor — not as we should be. Nor as we ought to be.

We can enjoy rest for our souls — as we are.

This ache for soul rest is something Jesus longs to touch.

It is an ache that Jesus himself must have also felt as He journeyed in-the-the-skin through the realities of daily life.

Jesus invites us to experience this rest — by offering us an invitation.

If we dare to take the journey.

“Are you tired? Worn out?
Come to me,
all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads,
and I will give you rest.
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
~
 Jesus’s invitation, Matthew 11:28-30

Dare to rest.

Dare to be real.

To whisper —

I am tired.

But, I still carry dreams. Desires. A story.

I want to be happy.

I miss the quiet.

I want to feel.

I want to let go of who I’ve been — so I can discover who I can be — when I take the time to rest.

I want to be present.

I want to love. And be loved.

A New Journey

Jesus invites us on a new journey.  To pause.  To draw close.

To come into an intimate special space.

The rest we all long for really can be found.

Dare to take a new journey.

Create space in your life.

Feed your soul.

So you can care for what’s tender.

Because behind your most tired moments lie the deepest parts of who God made you — longing to be known and restored.

You’re worth it.

The real you.

~~~~~

If you dared to rest — to uncover the real you God made — what would you want more of?

What would you want less of?

What can feed your soul today?

Pull up a chair. Click to comment.

~~~~~

A Book For You.  An Intimate Journey to Rest.

Bonnie+Edited-62-2807988626-O Psst… I told you I once felt lost and tired. I’ve been good at taking care of everything and everyone else, but I was running on empty — and didn’t even know it.

Until one day, at the cusp of fulfilling a lifelong dream, my plans shattered into an unexpected journey through painful memories and anxiety.  In my search for answers, I made an important discovery: we need to make room in our lives to breathe — time for rest, time for ourselves,and time for God.

I’ve taken a heartbreaking two-year journey to find those answers.  And I want to share what I’ve discovered.

I have an intimate story to tell — a book that will take you on your own intimate journey — to uncover your own stories and create space in your life for God and the real you.

Dare to take this beautiful, soulful journey to find rest with me.  

I’ve written a book for you — from brokenness to beauty — that releases in June this year. I’ll be announcing the title soon.

If you’d like hear more about my upcoming book as news unfolds, click here to sign up for the book’s mailing list.  Join me on the journey to find rest and feed your soul this year. Let’s discover something new and real together.  Let’s keep each other company.

Written by Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith for everyday life.

 {Photo by  LaurenElizabeth_014 via Photobucket}
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  • http://moreatforty.wordpress.com Sue

    So needed this tonight. Thanks…

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      You’re not alone. Thanks, Sue.

  • http://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    Bonnie,
    If I dared to rest, I would want more of God’s peace…to just savor resting in his love. When I rest and allow myself to just “be” in His presence, I picture myself as the little tiny and scared lamb being cradled in Jesus’ strong and caring arms. That image brings me a sense of peace. When I do get soul rest, I notice that I want more of my dreams…I get in tune with God’s purpose for my life, Thanks Bonnie for inviting me to take a breather and rest in Him. It’s amazing what we find when we do…
    Blessings and best wishes on your soon to be released book,
    Bev

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      What a beautiful, intimate image you’ve shared with us, Bev. A glimpse of the soul…

  • http://www.acookiebeforedinner.com NJ Rongner

    Right now, I’m in the season of early motherhood with a preschooler and a six month old. My to do list is never done and for awhile I really struggled with the whole idea of rest. Time just doesn’t afford me much of it. It took me finding that verse via The Message to get me to step off of the hamster wheel and seek Him more.

    Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn how to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

    That verse has become my mantra. I’ve got it written and hung up above my kitchen sink (because the dishes are NEVER done). It has changed my focus back to Him and really changed my entire focus throughout my day. Instead of seeking something to check off of my to do list, I am seeking Jesus. And somehow, things still get done!

    Thank you for this today. What an encouragement and a blessing you are!

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      NJ, so good to hear your voice here. Thanks for sharing a part of your day with us… and what feeds your soul. Congrats on your recent addition… your six-month old… we’re standing right there with you over the kitchen sink… with our preschoolers… with an image of you resting in the words Matt11:38-30.

  • Janet

    Good morning, Bonnie.
    Looking forward to that book of yours.

    I am tired of all “religion.” And want less of that.
    I want more of sitting at His feet.
    I choose to worship through wonderful songs, reading His word, and listening to Him.

    The world will say it is laziness. I say it is the smartest thing we could ever do.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      beautiful, soul feeding smarts… your words… let’s keep each other company on this restful journey. thanks for giving us glimpse into your soul rest, Janet.

    • Katherine

      ditto!
      I want more of Him and less of everything else!

  • http://motheringfromscratch.com Mothering From Scratch

    {Kathy} Being “burned out on religion” is not what God intended. I agree that we have to view His grace and mercy through different eyes. Our duty to Him is to continue to seek, through whatever manner suits our souls — which sometimes means following religious leaders.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks for sharing, Kathy… love your blog moniker… mother from scratch… a baby with a baker’s hat. happy “baking”, friend… ;) so adorable.

  • Kathi

    Am dealing with cancer. I need to talk about it, unload some of the burden but friends and family don’t want to hear about my fears . They just assure me everything will be fine. Yet the burden is so heavy. I kept asking Jesus to take sr of it but He doesn’t. Sometimes I feel He had deserted me when I need Him most. Thanks for your post . It brought me peace.

    • http://itsallbananas.wordpress.com Anna

      Kathi,
      I’m praying for you today. My mom has battled Parkinsons disease for 20 years and I know it’s scary to people…including even me sometimes.

      Jesus…I pray right now for Kathi-that you will put someone in her life who she can lean on. Someone who can be there and listen…who doesn’t just say the right words. Give her tangible peace and rest, Abba. Carry her burden, today.

    • http://www.acookiebeforedinner.com NJ Rongner

      Kathi, if you want someone who will listen please email me. I’d love to listen and pray.

      acookiebeforedinner@gmail.com

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Sweet Kathi, I feel so honored you’d share your heart with us this morning. Some people find it hard to journey so deep with us where God is taking us… but as you can see from comments here and those unspoken, you are not alone. Dear Jesus, we can’t be there in person right now to hug Kathi and sit across from her, to listen with our eyes, but we see her in our hearts and we know you see her and hear her every tear. Hold her, whisper your words to her and give what she needs right now in this moment. Bring her body healing as she journeys through cancer. And bring someone who can be you to here in the skin. In your name we pray, Amen.

    • Frances

      Kathi, I understand where you are coming from as I had a nightmare journey with chemo & radiation all last year. My cancer doc started his practice in 1979 and he told me he had never had any patient with so many complications; BUT GOD pulled me through moment by moment..sometimes I put on praise music & tried to sing along. I am not out of the journey yet; but doing so much better. Hang in there..If you need to, tie a knot on a rope & hang on tighter.. PRAYING FOR YOU.

    • Beth Williams

      Kathi,

      Prayers for complete healing from the master Healer! May God bring a friend who will listen and not say much! Someone you can lean on. Know that I’m praying for you and working with ACS Relay for Life to help fight all cancers.

      Father,

      Please please bring a good friend for Kathi. Someone she can lean on and talk to about her cancer and her feelings. Also please help us to bring an end to all cancers.

      AMEN! :)

  • Mel

    “If we dare to take the journey … ”

    Yes, if we dare to journey to wonderful places and stay in the boat in the storm, knowing that Jesus is with us wherever we go …….

    Beautiful writing as always, Bonnie – so look forward to your book :)

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks for being together on this journey, Mel. May you have a day touched by beautiful, restful moments, friend!

  • http://www.kimberlyanncoyle.com Kimberly

    Your book sounds like it will breathe new life into the weary. Congratulations:) I look forward to hearing more about it!

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Sweet Kimberly, you are a wonderful writer and I hope you have an inspired day touched with beauty in that heart of words in you. Thanks…

  • http://itsallbananas.wordpress.com Anna

    I spent a lot of my life being Southern…being polite, slapping on a smile.
    God used a potty mouthed theatre professor in college to open my eyes…to the fact that no one knew me…really. Still, its a risk to be real, a battle..but I’m learning every day of its worth. It still utterly blows me away that Jesus loves me just as I am…and he gives me rest if I let him. Thanks for this read today.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      ahh… you are a creative, huh? :) I love watching theatre… and being brought into a moment… people stepping all out on the stage. thanks for being here today, Anna, and giving us a glimpse into the real theatre-inspired heart of yours!

  • http://www.agirlonthedoorstep.com Jennifer Kostick

    I just spoke to a group of women last night about transparency and how encouraging one another in Christ leads to rest. I love your thoughts on this topic today!

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      That is so awesome. It’s not talked enough, don’t you think? Was it hard preparing? How did it go, Jennifer?

      • http://www.agirlonthedoorstep.com Jennifer

        I agree that it isn’t talked about enough. I find the Lord works through me and in me much deeper when I am completely real and transparent with the women I minister to as well as my blogging community as a whole.
        Lately I’ve been dealing with issues of feeling inadequate in the places God has called me to go. So, I decided to share it with a group of women last night.
        At first, I wasn’t sure where I would go in the scriptures to begin preparing. Whenever I feel like that I usually open my Bible to Acts. I find great encouragement in reading about the Holy Spirit.
        I came to Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled, And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
        God lit that verse up for me so bright. It was exactly what i had been struggling with so fiercely – feeling uneducated and untrained in certain areas.
        It caused me to remember that God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
        I then went back and set up the entire story beginning with chapter 3 highlighting that scripture and the importance of being transparent in areas we feel weak. After all, that is when He shows His strength in our lives and through our gifts the most.
        The women really seemed to enjoy the topic.
        I was so happy to read your perspective today.

  • Dee

    I’d want more of love and less of rules–rules that keep love out…I guess I’m thinking of God’s grace. Cultural rules keep love out sometimes. These seem to call for exclusiveness, and I find in my ripe old age that this is damaging in so many ways. God loves everyone, so I begin to let down my barriers where exclusiveness built them and see with new eyes life and the inhabitants thereof. It is much more colorful and filled with music, so here is where I want to reside–in love with life and all its many expressions. What joy fills my heart! Thanks again dear Bonnie for leading us here. May blessings and healing wash across your beautiful life!

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks for being here, Dee. and for your encouraging words…

  • http://theruthexperience.blogspot.com Kristin Demery

    Love the idea of “soul rest.” Thanks for your words today.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks for being here, Kristin — and connecting on “soul rest”. I love the name of your blog “The Ruth Experience”… Just shared about Ruth last Sunday on soul rest…. you’re a writer, alongside foster mom Kendra and Julie… may God give you girls special moments of soul rest as you care for others through your words and through all that you do from your heart.

  • http://freedtofly.wordpress.com Trudy

    “Because behind your most tired moments lie the deepest parts of who God made you — longing to be known and restored.” Thank you, Bonnie, for knowing the deepest longings of my heart. I’m looking forward to your book.

  • http://www.youaremygirls.com Jennifer Camp

    Your words offer such hope and encouragement, Bonnie. Thank you for the journey you’ve said yes to, with Jesus, even in all the heartache of looking at the past. Your healing ushers in His spirit here. So grateful for the message He has put on your heart to share.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Jennifer! I love your writing for His girls… always hearing God’s voice through yours. I’m feeling better now… maybe we can have that cup of coffee one of these days…

  • http://www.athankfullyimperfectwoman.com Patty O

    Bonnie,

    We seem to be kindred souls, although our journeys have different timelines, God is definitely working through your experiences to help me.

    I am in the heart of my journey to rest and peace. In therapy for past hurts, anxiety, and shame, I know this will take some time. At the same time I’m experiencing many new health issues that the doctors are trying to unravel.

    I so appreciate your posts, and would like to be on the mailing list for your book. Can you please add me? I tried to click on the link and it didn’t seem to work.

    Thank you, and once again, God Bless you as He uses you to help others.

    Patty O

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Hi Patty! The journey to feed our soul takes time. And yes, the journey of our souls are connected to our bodies, so know you’re not alone. We’re on this journey together. Thanks so much for sharing here with us… As for the link not working… hmm… would you mind cutting & pasting this link and see if this works? (thanks!) http://eepurl.com/flYj-/

  • Laura Goral

    If you dared to rest — to uncover the real you God made — what would you want more of?…Hearing his voice – like Samuel did when he laid before the ark in the temple (actually rested in the presence of God!) – over all other “voices” that demand my attention, and in hearing His Voice, know better what His Will is in every situation and what my response should be to bring Him Glory.
    What would you want less of?
    Less of ME…me feeling like I am wasting time not DOING SOMETHING, which makes me distracted and not in tune with guidance from the Holy Spirit.
    What can feed your soul today?
    Abiding in His Presence through listening to and participating in musical worship as I do the “mundane everyday tasks” that we all have to do.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks for sharing a soulful part of yourself here, Laura. His voice is always quiet and calling us to just be. It’s hard because like you said all the other voices say, “Be somebody”. ;) When we already are. (hugs)

  • http://hopehearthome.com Susan Shipe

    Two things. I will be ordering the book. But, in the meantime, I am printing this post and mailing it to my 40-something daughter who is hurting – please pray she allows the words to be a soothing balm of Gilead for her soul.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Susan! You’re so sweet! I’d love to meet with you between the pages of the book. I’m 40-something too, so I pray a prayer right now for her. Jesus, you know Susan’s daughter and you know how she’s hurting. Please hold her and help her to feel your presence and know she is not alone on this journey. Take care of Susan too as she comes alongside her daughter and carry the burden with and for her. In your name, amen.

  • http://www.passionateperseverance.blogspot.com mary

    wonderful news Bonnie. I cannot wait to read your book. I love your posts here at (in)courage. so filled with hope.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      THanks so much Mary. I’d love to meet with you between the pages of the book. You’re so kind.

  • Patty

    If I could have more rest it would be that I have a closer relationship with God, that I would treat people differently in my family and friends than I have, that I would have more patients with people. That I could find inter peace with myself and just live the way God would intend us to live.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks for sharing a soulful part of yourself, Patty. (hugs)

  • Nancy

    I pray for Kathi and her need to talk to someone who will listen to her and will encourage her to let go. Contact NJ and let her listen to your fears and hear your story.
    Yesterday I had my reconstruction surgery for a double mastectomy from breast cancer. Today after I read Bonnie’s blog I cried with relief realizing what I need – Soul Rest – for today no more being brave and strong and invincible. I need Jesus to carry my burden and to feel His love for me.
    Thank you Bonnie for sharing.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      oh, Nancy! What you’ve been through! Tears of relief — take care during this time of recovery. We need to take care of us and let God love us through us. We don’t have to be strong or invincible. We can be loved as is. Thanks for sharing a real story you’re living through right now. in the moment. I feel so honored. You’re soul beautiful, friend.

  • https://stonetoheart.blogspot.com Tonya

    Oh man… I needed this. Right now in this moment. Not 10 minutes ago I cried out to God in my quiet time saying… I am so tired God, just so tired and so lonely and they I read these words… I need to dare, dare to rest in Him… my soul is just longing for this today. What an answer to prayer your words are this morning.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      What a beautiful, beautiful prayer… thanks for sharing such a soul-sacred moment with us, Tonya. We feel close to you and Jesus in your words. May your day be touched with restful comfort.

  • Barb

    My prayer was exactly this, this morning, that I could find rest in my soul, freeing me to have all the energy I need, to do the things that give me so much Joy. I am a doer, and everyone thinks I have it “made in the shade”, always cheerful and up, willing to do anything to help others, but lately I have wanted to crawl into a corner and just be still, but can’t take the loneliness and sense of being unloved. (Lies straight from Satan himself) I have so many precious people in my life who do love me, I know that! My conclusion was that ” Godliness with contentment is great gain”.!
    Thank you for this blog and giving me hope to seek this peace and stillness in my soul. Looking forward now to the journey of wholeness, instead of being afraid. It’s more of “Christ in me” that I seek after. Bless you! Barb

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks for sharing, Barb. It sounds like you’re experiencing what I had journeyed through — and continuing to experience — we need soul rest. To feed our soul and nurture our hearts. Do something just for yourself today and let God love us the way through us. ;) (hugs)

  • http://rest-for-the-weary.blogspot.com LIsa

    God has asked me to rest in HIm, to trust Him, especially with my children. I had to let go of trying to control everything for my children especially their influences and education. I have sent 4 out of 5 children to school after a long run with homeschooling. The last will go probably in the fall. He wants me to rest. I am scared to discover what that brings.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Sweet Lisa, so beautiful how you’re hearing that still small voice, even though it’s scary. Letting go is hard but you’re beautifully resting in God’s heart and He’ll carry you — and each of your children. I have my two boys in public school.. and it’s a wonderful opportunity to mentor and disciple our children — they’re ambassadors! I think of Jesus as he sent the disciples out two by two into the world. They come back to Jesus sharing the ups and downs and Jesus loves on them. Our children have the Holy Spirit… and when mine come home, we enjoy snacks together & they tell me stories and we journey together. They’re just little missionaries in training, our children, bringing the gifts of love, grace and light into the world. You’ve done good, momma. As you feel more rested, find other moms at school and you might find it fun to get to know some other moms. You’re a missionary too and friendship is your gift. You’re still “homeschooling” — in a different way. You’re homeschooling in matters of the heart and spirit. We’re discipling! :)

  • http://temperedbygrace.blogspot.com Dottie Lord

    Thanks for the invite to pull up a chair. :)

    I’m learning that rest doesn’t mean inactivity. It stems from a place of peace. During the times when Jesus reclined with his disciples, and communed with them, there was physical rest. But, He walked in rest, even though his ministry was a whirlwind. What an example to learn from. For me…

    I would want more understanding of who He really is in me, and a full expression of the peace He gives.
    I would want less superficial relationships, because there isn’t time to be fake, or guarded, or afraid to be me.
    What would feed my soul? Feeling Him smile on me as I choose (today) to just breathe (and create that space), live in His wonder, and experience the life He has purposed for me – no matter what that looks like.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Such wise words, Dottie! I love how we can be real with each other.

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    Beautiful words and beautiful reminder that we should remember to find rest in Him.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      Thanks, Lisa.

  • karyn

    I would choose more quiet time and study of God’s WORD with JESUS, my FAther and the Holy Spirit.
    I would want less, so much less less less of this world that is evil and getting worse.
    I would want more of the Holy Spirit.
    I would want less of anything to do with this world though I’m still of the world. I do not want to be a part of this world as man is evil continually.
    I would just want JESUS JESUS JESUS.
    I would feel my heart and mind and spirit with God’s WORD. Eat and slowly digest it and savour it and enjoy it and keep the taste of the WORD as it satisfies my heart and mind and spirit.
    :)
    Good devotional.
    :)

  • Wanda

    Bonnie, thank you for this post. I have been struggling with something for 7 years now, and I haven’t been able to get to the root of it…to disover what is holding me back – keeping me a prisoner. Reading this post opened something up for me, and I had a quick glimpse of something…a ray of light…an image of the problem. I can’t explain it. Ican’t quite get my thoughts centerd on it. But…there was an opening! Thank you so much! I am praying for more understanding and for a solution!

  • http://seetheshinebetheshine.com Kristin

    Hi Bonnie,
    Wow! Such beautiful and necessary prose. I have been there and am slowly crawling out. I think I have finally opened my heart to absorb the promises of Jesus. It’s taken a long a windy journey to get here, but my heart is finally open and welcoming of His rest. Forever a journey, but it feels so good to lay my insecurities, resentments and shoulda-coulda-wouldas down. And I can do it at any time, that’s what makes your words so powerful and encouraging! My want from this is to create a small space and take the daily quiet time and fully listen to Him. Thank you for your words today ♡

  • Nicole

    This is absolutely wonderful!! I also am in a season of “resting” and seeking The LORD as I pray for healing & restoration.

  • http://www.amandaconquers.com amandaconquers

    I too have been on a 2 year journey of discovering this God that “leads me beside the still waters… who restores my soul.” It never ceases to amaze me that He didn’t make me to do big important things, to be busy… He made me to know Him. And He is deeply concerned with the contents and condition of my heart. I am so looking forward to this book! :)

  • Kathy R.

    I have dared to rest…I have physical limitations which require it. Why did I resist something so good for my soul? For it was there I found HIM waiting for me and He communicated His love, direction, comfort, care for me. I want MORE of THIS! I have always embraced His taps on my shoulder in the night to awaken me to His wisdom and grace…I get up, read, and journal. Things which were confused, become untangled. Things for which I await an answer, there it is. I have especially embraced this since I have retired. I do think that with age, comes some settled issues I have struggled with in the past…perhaps that is perspective? BUT now, I have found Him in unexpected places as I face fears, rest, and try new things. I have been so blessed to find HIM in in these places and experiences…sometimes even in the things I feared the most. I want less of WASTING TIME in STUCK or PROCRASTINATION or MINDLESSNESS. I want to know HIM more fully, completely, deeply each day. What feeds my soul today? HIS WORD and HIS WILL for me…OBEDIENCE. I have the most joy when I know I am in the center of HIS WILL for me.

  • http://www.jonesmama.blogspot.com Amanda Jones

    Bonnie, every post you write meets me right where I am. SO much of this spoke to me today. I’m tired of existing, fighting anxiety, and waiting to breathe. Thank you for this. I signed up for your mailing list too…looking forward to reading your book!

  • Katherine

    Thank you for these words, they express my own heart right now…. I need God’s rest in the midst of all the unknowns, the caos, and trials of life these days. It’s tough (when you’re a refuge after a house fire) to find a place of comfort, let alone rest. But this is God’s desire….. for me…… to draw near, come close……. to rest ……. in HIs embrace.

  • http://www.jenniferfrisbie.com Jennifer Frisbie

    I began writing a post this morning for my blog to talk about the upsetting day I had yesterday and how I truly lacked that rest. You can imagine my delight when I saw your post. I hope you don’t mind the linkback. :)

    Beautiful words!

  • http://maddychristinehope.com Hope

    I so connect with what you write. I always long for rest. My day seems busy. I have a lot of stress. And in that I try to serve: serve my husband, serve my friends, serve my desires to write, to take photos, serve church, serve work. I need a breather. How to combine all this? Serving my husband is my best task ever. Serving friends is what you do… and I love it. Serving my desires, I want to stay close to my heart and the things God created me for. Serve church, it’s all of our responsibility, mine also. Serve work, we need the income. And in that God reminds me to be still and just be. Because it isn’t about the doing. If I would do none of the above God still loves me. He loves me not because I do. He created me to be and from that things could possible flow. Not the other way around. And so I long to just be… but how do I get there? It feels I put too much on my plate…

  • http://hopeingodforever.wordpress.com Katie

    REST is what I need more of… time to just be and be me, the real me, not a mask, not what someone else wants me to be. I can not wait until your book comes out friend!!!! I am so excited and have been praying for you and your journey. Love you.

  • http://bmetswife.wordpress.com Shauna

    “Alone But Not Alone”…The words of the song that Joni Erickson Tada sang recently keep echoing through my mind and heart as I read these words. So looking forward to your book. Praying that those who read your words here or there may truly find rest and inspiration for what God is doing in their lives-healing emotional and spiritual wounds as well as physical ailments.

  • Laurie

    God please help me. Please God.

  • Marinalva Sickler

    You met me sitting on the sofa and crying the pain of solitude. Worn out and empty as I listen the coming to me, the invitation to rest. Is there space for me at this quiet place, a broken heart?

  • http://sherriesthilaire.blogspot.com Sherrie

    Thanks for sharing…here’s a little honesty I didn’t have the guts to publish on my blog today.

    ___________

    I’ve been getting quiet now for a couple of months; trying to settle into this season of rest God clearly called me to. This place of simply being is a daily challenge. I am slipping back into the worn and futile rut of trying harder.

    I am learning how tied to productivity my value and purpose are. I’m recognizing the source of my weariness. My burden? I’ve been trying to redeem my own life. Trying to make all that has been suffered and lost translate into something that gives it all meaning and purpose; the proverbial good out of evil.

    So, I thought, while I’m waiting on God, and resting, that maybe I could work on my writing. I mean, there’s a lot out there right now about how significant our stories are–that our stories and ourselves are one in the same; that there is healing in telling our story.

    One of the books I have laying beside my chair is When a Woman Finds Her Voice–Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. And as I read this book I come to understand (again) that we need community so I decide I need to work on my relationships.

    As it happens, that book plugs another book: The Character Makeover–Forty Days with a Life Coach, and I decide that while I am resting and waiting on God and working on my writing that I could do a little work on my relationships and that effort would be enhanced by a little work on my character. These lovely authors aspire the purpose driven life model–our life has meaning in our purpose. (I agree–to a degree.)

    And while I was online purchasing that book, other titles called my name: Becoming Myself–Embracing God’s Dream of You. So I bought the book, the study and the 8 week video series. (That’s where I got the quote for the above picture and why more conflict in my head. Which is true: Purpose driven or Identity driven?) Essentially, the message of this book is: if we don’t love and accept ourselves, nothing will work with our lives and relationships. Our identity is the critical piece in giving life meaning.

    Around this time my pastor texted and told me about a Christian neuroscientist who has unlocked a deep and powerful truth, that she would be speaking at church and I should come if I can pull my agoraphobic self out of the house. So I jumped online and started investigating Dr. Caroline Leaf. I learned that, indeed, we can rewire our negative brain, attack the toxic dendrites and live a healthier, more joyful life. So I watched hours of YouTube videos, bought her books and purchased her 21 Day Brain Detox program–all online without ever having to leave the house or show my face in public.

    So, while I’m resting and laying down my burden I start piling on the recipes for the new and improved me. I lay out the plan (again) for my upgrade and begin the new regimen. But, as life would have it, external things start flying at me–hurtful things, hard things, huge things.

    But since I have no reserve or stamina to handle them, I collapse further into my despair and negativity and self-pity and exhaustion.

    And then Mount Vesuvius erupts.

    I empty the contents of my guts–molten frustration bubbles to the top and I hear the hiss of my anger–rage actually. I grit my teeth against the urge to demolish every pretty little lie that surrounds me. The beautiful room that belies my ugliness stands as a mockery to my pain and I want to destroy it all–to pulverize it like I wish I could pulverize the lie of my life.

    My tooth chips with the gritting. The ugliness of my words scare me. I let God have the hellish thoughts and words I have tried to conceal from Him. I come to believe I am demon possessed and I realize that if anyone could see me now…I’d never live down the judgment.

    And then I reach for my bible and hurl it across the room, feeling every bit in that moment that it too is a lie…at least where I am concerned. It’s life for others but I’m disqualified from it because I grew up so dirty and discarded and despicable. Feeling that it is a false help I have futilely clung to…a deferred hope that has fed my sick heart and mind. I grabbed the Wounded Heart book off the table and ripped it to shreds. Then I went back to the bible that lay on the floor, picked it up and tossed it again–this time taking pages with it: Psalm 17-22.

    And then I screamed at God and said, “‘F’ off. Send me to hell and finish me off because I can’t take this any more.”

    There is no recipe or program or book or meeting or prayer line or counselor or anointing oil or treatment center 0r medication or video series or hobby or toy or person or purpose that can get to the broken place inside that deprives me of feeling connected and loved or that can rid me of this terminal self-loathing.

    There is only One who can deal with this and apparently He’s doesn’t want to.

    Yes. I know this rant is full of self-pity, impulse, emotion and carnality. I know what death smells like. I know that I’ll push the Publish button on this post and regret it. But I don’t care. I feel driven to help you write me off so I don’t have to pretend for you anymore.

    This is what “undone” looks like. This is what “bankrupt” looks like. This is anguish born in hell…

    …And I can’t gratitude-journal my way out of this…there isn’t enough Pandora worship music to drown out the sound of this…So thanks, to you, for the brilliant suggestion that I turn on a little worship music.

    If I were an alcoholic, this would be the equivalent of me being found face down in a gutter of my own vomit. Is that too much truth for our pretty Christian sensibilities?

    • Mary-Ann Winslow

      Hi Sherrie,
      Thanks for your honesty! You have no idea how much I relate to where you are at!!! I woke up at 6am this morning March 5, 2014 and had a VERY similar conversation with God that ended with “I hate my life” and I am also full of Rage! Talk about undone and bankrupt I think I AM an alcoholic and I smoke and choke my guts out from a sore throat and my Dad died of throat cancer last year!
      I am reading the SAME self- help books and devotionals that you are and never mind the worship songs. I am so sick of religion I can’t even listen to Christian music! I sing songs off the radio as worship songs when, I can bring myself to worship at all!
      I believe that God told me to write my story about 10 years ago. He then confirmed that I was hearing Him correctly over and over again right up to this present time. My story is a vary bazaar tale of demonic and supernatural exploits that I barely survived about 14 years ago that amounted to a major paradigm shift in my spiritual journey. I went from having a nice little Christian environment with a leadership position in my church and community as a kind of poster girl for evangelical Christianity to a grace- dependant failure and outcast struggling with addiction on my journey out of religion.
      The problem I have with writing my story is that I lived through it the first time in a blur of shock and horror at my own betrayal of all I stood for. So, I certainly do not want to relive it all over again considering I barely survived the first time.
      My position is that I feel like I need God to restore my life and I think he is saying that writing my story is what it will take and I’m saying I’m too sick emotionally, spiritually and physically for that matter, to do it. Therefore, God and I are at a stalemate; I’m too sick to write and have to write to get well. I’m in desperate need of a Savior and the only Savior that can help me is not willing to do so or at least that’s what it feels like.
      So, I just want to say thank you again, Sherrie, for sharing how you feel and I want to tell you that you are certainly not alone! I, for one, needed to hear what you had to say today! In a weird kind of way it helps me to keep going.
      PS I don’t think that being raw, broken and honest with God and each other makes us carnal, full of self-pity or beyond help. I think it makes us real and God already knows our hearts way better then we do.
      My <3 goes out to you today!
      Mary-Ann
      PS I just noticed that the title of Bonnie Greys' post is dare to be real! Guess we did a good job of that! LOL ;)

      • http://sherriesthilaire.blogspot.com Sherrie

        Hi Mary-Ann,

        Thank you, dear sister. Thank you for taking the time and spending the energy to comment and reveal your honest words. It’s always helpful to know (and we always do know it) that we’re not alone in our struggles and wrestlings with ourselves and God.

        Your story sounds extraordinary and your stalemate sounds painfully familiar.

        I want to set my own wrestlings aside, reach out through cyberspace and hug some Jesus Love into you, comb some Jesus Grace through your hair and rub some Jesus Hope into your aching soul.

        Please don’t give up HOPE…instead, let’s just offer up our pain and ask for a little bit of willingness to trust again.

        Your “grace dependent” sister,

        Sherrie

        • Mary-Ann Winslow

          Hi Again Sherrie,
          I don’t even know what to say except Thank You for your love and kind words! Made me cry (a good kind of cry) and Your words DO give me hope. I am motivated to make another attempt today to do what I feel called to do. I too wish we could actually sit down together over a cup of tea and share our hearts face to face but if you could pray for me to have the courage to write my story I would be very grateful. I will also do the same for you! I will ask Abba to do a quick work in your waiting because I really do understand the agonizing in it all. I wish you peace and a special blessing on this day!
          <3 Mary-Ann

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray | Faith Barista

      Sherrie – you are a brave and beautiful writer. Brave words. Love the name of your blog. Your sacred space of words and voice. Thank you for the honor of trusting us with your voice. You are loved and accepted. In the honesty of all our most intimate moments, we hear echoes of ourselves in your experience. In the darkest moments, Jesus is there. He will be faithful. He will not leave us or forsake us. And He loves us. Completely.

      • http://sherriesthilaire.blogspot.com Sherrie

        Thank you…your words are balm!

    • http://lacibburton.blogspot.com Laci

      Sherri, I’m not sure how this works. If you will get a notification of this reply or if you will even come back to your comment to see if someone replied to it, anyway I wanted to reply.

      Thank you for your honesty, the transparency of your words. Did you feel any sense of freedom in putting them out there? I hope you did, before the avalanche of condemning thoughts and confirming spirits took to the battlefield of your mind.

      I don’t know your story but this war sounds a little familiar, maybe a lot familiar but I don’t wish to presume. Either way your words resonate with me and have drawn me in. I’m sorry for the hurt and the pain that you carry.

      The Jesus in me would love to hug your neck, hold you close and say there is one that doesn’t require or want for you to remain an arms length away.

      You may take this to be flippant but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t know you but I love you.

      Laci
      lacibburton@gmail.com (you may consider it a hand, a hug or a piece of my heart extended, as a start.)

      • http://sherriesthilaire.blogspot.com Sherrie

        Oh my…tears flow now, Lacy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll email you!

        With love, gratitude (Thanks, sweet Ann) and a BIG Hug in return,
        Sherrie

  • Shamara

    Hi Bonnie,

    This blog today truly touches my heart. Because for the past few days my heart has been heavy, burdened by life circumstances. I feel as if God is punishing me for all the mistakes I have made, my poor decisions which has left me in this place of..How did I get here…at this point. Anxiety sometimes gets the best of me and I feel that God has forsaken me, then apart of me still try to hold on to my faith and try to trust God with whatever it is he is doing in my life. I can say that it is not easy and I do feel at times like giving up and perhaps crawl underneath a rock and everything will be alright in the world. But then reality hits and I have to ask God for his strength. for when I am weak he is strong. Strong enough to battle whatever it is in this season i am going through and that he will walk with me along the way. If I dare to rest I can feel his presence and I would want more of God his peace which passeth all understanding….and less of my worries and doubts and what i can feed my soul is to be reminded that God is in control and that all things will work out for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

  • Denise

    Thank you for this. I often feel these things that you wrote about today – this was good for my heart. And now I am really looking forward to your book!

    God Bless,
    Denise

  • http://www.dawninginspiration.com Stacey Dawn

    Thank you for sharing…. your sharing your story is helping me to share mine. I haven’t been able to get the gumption up just yet – but I think it’s coming. I want that soul rest. I need that soul rest. I’m thankful I have Jesus and that He’ll be with me when the right time to reveal my story comes.

  • http://www.elfingames.com/index.php?task=profile&id=13382 pou cheat

    This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something
    which helped me. Thanks a lot!

  • http://www.heartchoices.com Debbie

    I remember memorizing Matthew 11:28-30 while lying in the dentist chair for a prolonged time. I had to stay still so I spent my time meditating on these verses. What a joy to rest in Him!

    I have loved coming alongside of you on this journey. Even though we’ve not met in person, I love reading your blog and praying for you. I think I’m already signed up on your book list as I do want to read it as soon as it is published. We are not alone and I thank God for that.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  • Angella

    I feel like you are expressing me with your words. I have been here and am still a bit there too. But I have found a connection with God that grows deeper everyday. I can feel his roots take hold of my heart. He is my shield, protector, healer and deep love. Thank you for your words. I love reading your blog. It was suggested by my counselar and he knew exactly what I needed to guide me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Bonnie. You are an ispiration. Bless you :o)

  • Beth Williams

    Bonnie,

    Congratulations on your new book! I know it will be an uplifting read!!! :) :)

    Everyone needs rest, but most of us don’t understand soul rest. We need to stop all the noise and distractions of the world and just sit listening to Sweet Jesus! I often find myself listening to Christian music and working on a Bible Study or just relaxing after a stressful week. That helps me focus more on Him and less on myself!

    Blessings as you journey on! :)

  • http://www.launchyourcreativity.com Sharon

    Looking forward to your book release. The link to be notified above doesnt work but I signed up from your page.

    • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

      HI Sharon, sorry about the link not working… hmm… would you mind trying this link directly to see if it works? (thanks!) http://eepurl.com/flYj-/

      (btw, thanks for subscribing to the blog. love the name of your blog… launch your creativity. ;) soul-feeding…

  • http://lisanne3015.wordpress.com lisa

    Lately, I am so conflicted. I have a meaningful career that allows me to serve others and to demonstrate my faith. I am constantly told how valuable I am in my work role. But, I have such a sense of dread every morning, not that I hate to wi rnail, I just want to rest.

    I have been seeking God’s purpose/meaning for this state of lethargy. Could it be as simple as needing to not just Draw near, but Stay near?

  • http://forever31mama.blogspot.com Krista

    Underneath all the stress, the expectations we put on ourselves and the ones others put on us, we all long for space.

    Space to breathe.

    Space to just be me.

    Where we can be real.

    YES! You hit the nail on the head once again Bonnie :)

    I’m so excited for your book that is coming soon! I pray that God would bless you from the top of your head to the souls of your feet for taking that step of faith to write your story. I pray many people would be drawn to read your book and the words on each page would speak to their hearts. In Jesus mighty name, Amen!

  • http://www.liveintheround.com Kim Kintner

    So fitting for me this evening. Thank you for sharing. -Kim via http://www.liveintheround.com

  • Jen

    I cannot wait for your book!!!! My word for this year is rest and God has been finding so many ways to teach me all about His rest. Thank you for this post!

  • http://www.predatory-lies.com Abby

    I needed this today, actually a lot recently. I live a transient life married to a solider. I’m also married to the quintessential soldier–pretty unemotional, opposed to romance and other signs of “weakness”. As I come and go in and out of churches, small groups, women’s Bible studies, neighborhoods I have wondered why I’m so achy, tired and lonely. You pegged it. I want to BE KNOWN! And there’s just not enough time in 10 months (this duty station) to really feel known. I have friends, friendly faces really, but my heart has not been really, really seen in a while. Thank you.

  • http://searchingforpure@wordpress.com Kathy

    Yes, I want more time, more space, more room to just THINK! But I’m a Mama homeschooling 2 and caring for one new baby born so extremely premature that I tremble, still, to think and see where we’ve come and the blessings we’ve been giving. Having said all that, there’s hardly been a non-feeding, non-pumping, non-medicating, non-dish scrubbing moment. And in those moments, it’s the heavy lidded me that just. shuts. down. The weariness is engulfing. But, again, I love this little family. And the scary, hard journey we’ve pulled through is A-Mazing! And I want to be here, all here, for them……and I am…..but I still feel swallowed. At least in this weak moment. I beg your pardon. I’m forgetful and still learning how to seek this thing called grace.