About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace, 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...

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. He is encouraging me by giving me a feeling of calmness and peace! I’ve not felt these two things consistently for many years. Once I made it through the holidays and realized I was still above water, that I hadn’t drown in my miseries, it feels as if I’ve got this thing beat. I know that my anxieties, worries, frets, panic, sadness and loneliness are just beneath the surface just waiting to find a small opening in my heart and mind so they can pull be back down. But my encouragement is that I lived through some of the worst years here recently and the last 12 months I think were the worst of the worst. But I’m on the other side of it now, I’m not going back into that ‘wilderness’. I can read about the Isrealites coming out of the wilderness and trying to get to their promised land, and I can relate. I was just like them. A slave, to fear, anxiety, depression. God sent someone to help me find my way through it. Someone who taught me a lot along the way. I didn’t really step into the river, I fell very hard and fought the whole time because I thought ‘I could do it’. I was wrong! I gave in, I submitted to God. I rolled onto my back and floated downstream a bit and caught my breath before swimming again towards the opposite side. God didn’t part the waters for me, I had to do a lot of work down in the strong current but I stopped fighting it. I am now on the other side standing on the shore. I’ve looked back, seen what has happened, where I have been but the best view I’ve seen so far is when I put my back to all the things behind me and look forward. He is giving me a life with hope and a future, I believe he has the plan for me in his hands and is helping me find my way into these plans. I’ve detoured for many many years but I’m ready now to move forward again. I’m looking forward to this next year. I have no idea what is on the horizon but I’m pretty sure its a better view than what I’ve just gone through!

  2. Bonnie
    This really spoke to me, especially since I have been homebound almost a year. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Going out in public with all the air polution, perfumes, colognes, dryer sheet smells causes seizures. Reading your blog gives me hope and a chance to belong to a community again. Thank you so much! Brenda

  3. I want to come over for fried rice, coffee and a long heart chat! Until then, thanks for being such a JOY and courage giver to so many (especially me).

  4. You are a wonderful writer and I love how you creatively relate the happenings of daily life to humankind’s walk in life. The title of this message captures exactly what I am experiencing at the beginning of this New Year. I feel more optimistic but I still struggle mightly with the insecurities. I often do not feel good enough. I think have made too many mistakes publicly to recover. How can I recover and hold my head up high? However, I am (in)couraged by your words and reminded of the following scripture. Paul said, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3:13-14
    I am on my way to new opportunities but I definitely do not have these insecurities uncontrol. However, I am glad Christ is reaching out to me. I thank you, too, for reaching out to me, to the world. Thank you for the opportunity to reflect on God’s goodness within me. Thank you for this website and Faith Barista. It is just one more way God’s Will is being done on earth as it is in heaven. Sincerely, A Newcomer to (in)courage and Faith Barista.

    • Dear Mel, reach for those new opportunities because you have a really good lawyer in your defense. Jesus always wins. It’s takes courage to step out on God’s goodness. Thanks for adding your voice, here.

  5. … mmm … a bowl of fried rice sounds very yummy right about now on this frigid winter morning …

    Thanks for reminding us that God doesn’t waste a hurt. That He is able to take the odds and ends of our lives, the things that we wish would go away or wish had never happened and put them all together to teach us lessons, to allow us to offer others hope, to grow and change … to be more like His dear Son.

  6. Bonnie,
    This really touched me today. I have lots of broken pieces. I had a nervous breakdown last year, a lot of it due to living with pride. God has brought me to a place of healing, but also to a place of sharing. Sharing my story on my blog so that in my brokenness I can help others. I don’t feel worthy or ready to do this yet, but I need to just give Him the pieces and let Him decide when the time is right.
    Thank you so much!
    Oh, and now I would LOVE some fried rice, lol!
    Bernice
    Assess your life for stress

  7. Bonnie,

    Your writing–so personal and real–always touches me and finds a way to help me see things in a new perspective. Thank you for that! And thank you for the reminder that God isn’t looking for perfect people. He’s looking for people who lean on him for strength and help…

    As I look to 2011, I’ve been really thinking about my goals, the path of my life, the challenges, the times of victory… and God’s hand in it all. He is with me and has always been, even when I didn’t know it. I want to live a life that tells that story, that reflects His love, and that pours out the grace I’ve gotten from Him. Thank you, my friend for this post that makes me reflect on all of this even more, and open up my heart to what He might have ahead of me.

    Hugs,
    Genny

  8. Oh dear. Now I’m hungry for fried rice.

    And I think you’ve made my heart hungry for more of Jesus… The One who knows exactly what to do with this mismatched patchwork of brokenness that I keep bringing back to Him. The One who prepares a table for us.

    I look forward to the day we sit together at the feast.

  9. So I get it, God makes Asian pasta with my leftover stuff. And fried rice is a scrumptious use of leftovers, which, if the leaving over were to continue, would get moldy and gross.

    And this is so good, my leftovers will need seasoning – so throw in God’s promises.

    I get it. I’ll us it this day.

    Thank you for this today Bonnie, and God Bless and Keep you and yours.

  10. 1) If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were writing this as a love letter to me :). (Thank you.)

    2) I love how you’ve made parallels to loaves and fishes and rice and pasta and broken pieces and abundance. Your words are so accessible and effective. And encouraging. And challenging. And more….

    3) I love fried rice; I think I’d like your fried rice better than mine. I sure would love to find out!

    🙂

    • I wish I could just call you up and have you do a drive by.. I’d put a hug around you and hand you some warm fried rice for you to take home (I’ll tuck some chocolate in there for dessert too). Thanks for making a stop here today, Robin.

  11. FatherGod is encouraging me through your words, Bonnie. Thanks for writing them down, sharing them, putting off the fear, and trusting in Him!

  12. Wow. How did you know? Thanks for these words, and I will be meditating on them today……….
    karen 🙂

  13. I am on a journey of self discovery, where ever i go i hold on to my mustard seed of faith. I pray for enlightment and God’s never ending love xxx

  14. What a wonderful post. I totally feel like I entered 2011 with a bunch of broken pieces. I know the Lord wants to do something amazing with them. Thank you for this great reminder to lay them in his hands so he can do an amazing work.

  15. Bonnie,

    I love this! God encourages me to keep going so many times by just reading what you have to share with us of your heart. So far I have been encouraged to keep going by reading God’s word. I don’t quite get to it daily, but so far I am reading it more regularly than before. I am seeing broken pieces that have healed and some that are still working on getting cleansed by Jesus and healing up.

  16. I love fried rice too Bonnie 🙂 As usual your words point us to our loving God. Blessings to you always!

  17. God is encouraging me to keep faith that he is continuing my story. As I began to change spiritually the past year I had a feeling it was God preparing me. I have no idea for what or whether good or bad but my cry is that no matter what it is I will be able to give thanks in all. Eucharisteo as I have learned from Ann Voskamp. He keeps reminding me that he is preparing me so I am doing my best to discipline myself to count the gifts praying that no matter what I can give thanks.

  18. Oh, how I love, Love, LOVE it when God gives me the same message via many messengers!!
    I’ve not been writing much, and am out of town this week (and part of next) taking a class called Kairos (check it out at: http://storage.cloversites.com/teamexpansion1/documents/Kairos%20Brochure.pdf or learn more about Team Expansion at: http://teamexpansion.org )
    Each lesson we’ve done with the Kairos course gives us a little worksheet to fill out with the required reading for that chapter, and at the bottom of each worksheet is a little box – where we are supposed to write our area of what we’ve learned new, something that has impacted us, or a personal application for this one aspect we’ve learned about. For me, many of these little boxes come back to prayer, but there is also another resounding theme – BOLDNESS.
    Somehow, I’ve allowed my ideas, my ministry, my ministry needs, to become a back seat to other people’s ministry. I’m all about keeping peace, and preferring others, but I’m starting to learn in big church ministry that the squeaky wheel rule applies, and a few things that have meant a lot to me have been passed on to others simply because I didn’t speak up!
    Now, don’t think I’m going to go and start pushing my way to the front of the line anytime soon, but I am going to be more INTENTIONAL in prayer, and speak (or email) with BOLDNESS when it comes to the needs in my area of ministry. After all, there’s nothing wrong with going to bat for these people (missionaries) that are laying their lives on the line for the sake of the gospel. I want them to have the best that we can give them…
    So now, that’s my Fried Rice Dish – full of essential prayer, with a flair of boldness, and a lot of intentionality. : )
    Thanks for reminding me that I had this recipe in my book… ; )

  19. Hi Bonnie, a few weeks ago I rummaged through the refrigerator and came up with leftovers that were transformed into a delicious fried rice dish – best I have ever made! So, reading your post caught my attention from the title. I appreciate the truth you shared.
    This year, the Lord is encouraging me that transformation is an ongoing process; He will completed what He has begun in my life. Such grace and hope – food for this hungry soul still becoming!

    Thank you for sharing what you hear.

  20. this is a beuatiful post. I love that you remind us that God is not looking for perfect people.
    when I go through my fridge to get out the leftovers I find that I can’t use everything that’s there – some of the food I’ve usually kept maybe a day or 2 too long.
    When I’m thinking about your post – I find myself learning that somethings I just got to let go off. To stop looking at my shortcomings and failures and using them as excuses to not step forward to God with confidence.
    Courage is my word for this year. And I’m prayng that I will have the courage to step out and not hold back, in Christ.
    thanks for your encouragment and your words.

  21. Bonnie, I just love this. I mean I love it more than fried rice (I’m a big fan of that, too)! You remind me to give Him my utmost (my one word!) in broken leftovers as well as the new, good looking stuff.

    Beautiful…and tasty!

  22. I never before thought of the beautiful correlation between broken bits of life and the broken loaves and two fish…This was so wonderful to read. It spoke to my heart and applied to my life. You are beautiful.