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...

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  1. Bonnie,
    Admittedly, I am feeling a bit like your wilted hydrangeas right now. To complicate matters, the “guilt” tape has been looping around in my mind – playing the reminder of my limitations over and over again. Often I wish that I wasn’t a “HSP” (highly sensitive person) and that I didn’t struggle with anxiety and depression, because, frankly, it would be a whole lot easier to do life. God, however, in His awesome wisdom has used these traits to help me realize that we ALL have limitations of some sort and it’s these very limitations He will use to usher us into His strengthening presence if we let Him. It is only when I am weak that God is able to make me strong. When I stop running in circles and collapse into His comforting arms of rest and restoration, then He is able to fill me up. Any branch removed from the “vine” will eventually wither and die. I need to be grafted into Him and allow His lifeblood to flow through me. Much like the plants, I also desperately need seasons of rest and being still. Thank you for this beautiful invitation to let God love me deeply. Enable me to let go of “me” and draw into “Him.” Masterful and much needed post for today!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev,
      Your reply to this article really resonated with me. I also struggle with anxiety and can get caught up in, “life would be so much easier without it.” I actually never realized until just now that it’s my limitations (most of which come from just being human and not being able to control everything) that are the root cause of my anxiety. This article was just what I needed. Usually when I am run down and mentally exhausted I tend to want to do more in hopes that whatever I do will “fix me”. That there is some secret formula that will bring me peace. But now I see that it is in these times that God actually wants us to do less. I had this image today of Jesus laying back on my couch with his arms folded as I am running around trying to do all sorts of self-help things in order to find joy and peace. It isn’t until I stop striving that Jesus looks up and says “Are you done? I have been waiting to heal you but you seemed pretty certain that you could do it on your own.” 🙂

      • Heather,
        I LOVE this….I can just see Jesus reclining and asking, oh so patiently, “Are you done?” He never chides or condemns, but waits for us to collapse into His loving arms to just be loved…just as we are! Giving up having to try to be “in control” has brought me the deepest sense of peace. Praying for His peace that passes understanding for you, Heather.
        Blessings,
        Bev xx

    • Rest Bev, Hod does use you and your limitations of anxiety and depression to inspire and help others as you have me when I really needed it at a time I was steeped in uncontrollable anxiety….you gave words as did others here that helped me out from the pit. Life did get better, medicine helped too but you had a hand in that. God used you for me I know deep down in my soul to be true.

      • Jas,
        I have always said that if God can use what I’ve gone through to help someone else, then it will have all been worth it. I know you will be able to help someone else climb out of the pit as well…and we keep passing it forward. Continuing to pray for your job situation. I know I’ve been waiting for a long time for reconciliation with my kids. God’s timing is not my timing. Joining with you in trying to wait patiently together and keep trusting that He always has our best in mind.
        Blessings sweet friend,
        Bev xo

  2. Beloved is so preferable to Busy, but I’ve been tricked more than once into settling for busy.
    And I love the image of your wilted flowers. How wonderful that our roots are sunk deep into the aquifer of God’s great love, and he will rejuvenate us, too!

  3. Absolutely needed to hear this message. Yes I am weary and most of it is due to my own doing. I have created this busyness to assure myself and those around me that I am a normal mom, wife, woman of this society who can be a supermom. When in fact I honestly don’t care about doing it all. I rather just be my authentic self as there are days that are exhausting as is. I find myself time and time again reverting to what I think I should be instead of embracing who God already knows and loves me for. Thank you reminding me of this Bonnie.

  4. Bonnie,

    Resting sometimes is easier said than done. Would be nice to have a couple days to just do “fun things”. Instead hubby works (3) 12 hrs shifts at busy hospital & now works an additional 8 hr. shift. On two of his 3 days off he goes over to his dad’s to chop wood & bring it to the porch. Then sits & talks with him. We are “on call” all the time with his parents. Resting isn’t easy for him. He feels weary & tired all the time. His dad has stage III bladder cancer, 2-3 weeks ago he had a bilateral ischemic attack & is weak on left side plus he is dealing with bladder infection. His step mom fell about 6 weeks ago & broke her left hand. It is healing, but she is in a splint. This weekend her ex-DIL & son went on a birthday trip so I took over & helped them with what I can. I try to help cook for them & run errands if necessary. When you are constantly on call you never feel rested. To feel rested he takes one day & just vegetates on his computer by himself. We don’t call or check on anyone. It is his “sanity day”.

    Blessings 🙂

    • You are a blessing Beth to your in-laws but don’t forget to take pickets of rest as a Bonnie said for yourself. Even if those pockets are prayer time with God and early nights!
      Jas

    • Oh Beth. This was me two years ago as my mother’s dementia suddenly took a tailspin for the worse after the death of her long estranged sister in law. Mom had hoped for reconciliation and it wasn’t to be; even my oldest daughter’s impending wedding wasn’t enough to help her hold on. I felt horrible as her health deteriorated and I wasn’t able to care for her at home. Instead we had to place her in a nursing home (long term care facility, don’t care what name you give them, they are all the same.) And yet even then I never felt rested because of decisions that had to be made and tasks to be done. It takes a toll. You HAVE to find rest in the small moments and renew yourself daily in small ways. Take care. Prayers for you and your husband’s journey.

  5. Bonnie, I feel like this post for just for me! I am really, really hard on myself. This morning as I find myself with a little extra time this week my mind is crushed with what to do with it. So many things on my to do list…cleaning, clutter, craft projects with deadlines and holidays looming…Ack! First I’m thanking my gracious Father for the time and opportunity He’s given me, then I’ll prioritize AND I will take some time to smell the crisp fall air.

    Blessings to you and thanks!

  6. “Don’t feel guilty about your limitations”. So true. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, including self-condemnation. Thanks for this great reminder!

  7. Thank you Bonnie for this message today. It’s perfect to pass along to a friend /neighbor with so much on her plate right now. Her husband continues to be unwell. I ran into her after church yesterday. I could just tell she needed more than just a hug. Your words of God’s love and gentleness will be just what God’s doctor ordered…and His florist!
    Have a wonderful blessed day sisters!

  8. I am going to be honest here. There are days I find it hard to Pray read my Bible. Spend time with God. Then I feel guilty I have not that. I beat myself up over that. I get annoyed. I say God must be annoyed with me again. I messed up. I do find being a Christian very hard at times. But I am so glad Jesus is my Saviour. I would not for all the world have my life any other way. Yes there are times I do and say things I know I should not. I know I have messed up. I go to God say. Here I am again. I messed up. Why I do I don’t know. But I do Love you Lord with all my heart. Yes I do love the Lord with all my heart. Sometimes I feel like that flower in todays reading without water I wither up if I don’t push myself to spend time with the Lord in word the Bible and Prayer I will wither up like that flower looking for and thirsting for that spiritual drink of water that I can only get from the Lord. From his word the Bible and Prayer. If I don’t push myself to stay close to the Lord. I be like the flowers in todays reading before they got water. I will wither up and have nothing spiritual inside of me of the Lord. I will continue to feel is weary all the time and unwatered. Feel I am letting the Lord down. I am not letting the Lord down. But I am letting myself down and letting Satan the Old Devil have the last laugh. By saying I have you now. You are not a pretty spiritual flower well watered for Jesus for all the world to see. Your Spiritual life as flower for Jesus is all withered and dried up. So now I have you where I want you. So dried up. That no one can see Jesus shinning from you as beautiful shinning flower. That has beautiful fragrance coming of it. That they want what you have and that is Jesus as their saviour. So I have wone. You are all dried up. So when you feel weary keep close and well watered to Jesus. Let him water your spiritual life. So as you keep beautiful fragments like the flowers and your spirit shines and smells beautiful for Jesus. That people want what you have and that is too know Jesus as their Saviour if not saved. Excellent reading today. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

    • The song is just beautiful it bring you so close to Jesus. It reminds me of one of Jesus disciples who ask Jesus could he walk on the water with him. The minute he took his eyes of Jesus. We as Christian are the same he began to sink. Only for Jesus reaching out his hand to catch him he would have sank. Just like us. If Jesus does not reach out his hand to us when we are sinking we would sink and never get up again. That song so beautiful reminded me of that. Thank you for posting that. So as I could hear it. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little

  9. As I sit here waiting to start the week, I’m listening to Leeland worship music. Choosing to rest and asking God to refresh my soul, which already feels frantic. This message is timely and much needed today. May God’s restful presence soak in all our weary hearts. Thank you, Bonnie. So grateful to read these inviting words.

  10. Hi Bonnie,

    Great message. You are so right that it is vital for us to slowdown, stop, rest and rejuvenate when we are weary, worried and stressed. Life can really zap our energy and Spirit. But, when we let God be God in our world, we can give Him our burdens and cares, which allows us to enter into His loving care. Appreciate that reminder. Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10 NIV).

    Thanks, Charisse 🙂

  11. This was so timely for me. I am just starting to Believe in God’s unconditional love. I have had too many years of performance oriented behavior and it is easy to fall into. Thank you for the truth!!

  12. Bonnie, perfect word. Perfect timing. I tend to hold myself to a higher standard, and often compare myself to what others are able to do. I can get easily overwhelmed by life, and tend to judge myself. In fact, this was the case today. In the midst of it all, I could hear God’s whisper, “release yourself from this sense of false responsibility. Stop looking at and comparing yourself to others. You are enough. Rest and rejoice in me, my child!” Reading this brought confirmation and peace to my weary soul! Thank you soul sister!

  13. Hi Bonnie – Thank you for sharing this story with us. Beautifully vivid imagery!:) I will think about your hydrangeas next time I feel weary. I will remember to be gentle with myself and to “let God love me deeper.”

    Thank you Bonnie for sharing. May God’s peace and presence dwell richly with you today and always:). AMEN.