Whispers of Rest

“It’s about finding your spark again. To be the beloved. Just as you are.” ~ Bonnie Gray 

I was bone-tired and that one phrase “finding your spark again” jumped off of the page.

Everything felt heavy, and anxiety was rearing it’s ugly head. Again.

What happened?

I lost my spark.

And then, I started reading Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray.

“Whispers of Rest is a life-giving, forty-day devotional detox for your soul, far from the noise and demands of everyday life – refreshing your spirit with simple, powerful affirmations of God’s love, paired with intimate reflection questions and easy-to-enjoy practical challenges and tips.” ~ Bonnie Gray

Each day, I am able to spend a few minutes focusing on being still, and being loved. The challenges are fun and allow me to look for His beauty and experience His peace.

Here’s just one example:

After an already stressful day, we were in between soccer practices and decided to stop at a park. I sat in the car waiting, zoning out on social media. It did not refresh me or bring me peace. It rarely does.

I happened to look up and spotted a rose garden.  I jumped out of the car with my phone and headed towards the beautiful display of color.  I walked around quietly taking pictures of the flowers and watching the light paint the blooms bright. The sun started to set just as I was leaving. The challenge that day was to spend ten minutes in nature and by the time we left the park, I was smiling. Joy returned.

That was just one day.

This book is filled with 40 beautiful days of refreshment. It has helped me to be intentional to pause and experience His love. I’m paying attention to His beauty and His comfort. I’m being filled.

I’m getting my spark back! 

Maybe like me, you’ve hit a wall of sorts and you’ve lost your spark?  Are you longing to hear His whispers of rest? Maybe you need something that helps you to get quiet and still enough to listen? Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray is just what you need.  Join us?

Visit www.whispersofrest.com for more information and be sure to check out the Book Club starting June 5th!

It’s time to get your spark back!

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  James 4:8

30 Days of Truth: The Lord will surely comfort

Truth 25:  The Lord will surely comfort

The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Isaiah 51:3 NIV

Boom!

So hard and lonely

At times

Feels so alone

Like bombs are exploding

Missiles falling everywhere

Tornados spinning out of control

Hail pounding down

causing damage

Walking through land mines

of a lifetime

And everyone else is oblivious

Snap out of it they say

What is wrong with you?

They just don’t know this war.

They have no idea.

I wrote this on a very fun and relaxing vacation in May 2013.  It wanted to describe what it felt like to walk through the zoo trying to enjoy time with my kids while awful flashbacks and images kept popping in my mind.

I was surprised at how I would see, hear, or smell something and it would take me back. One minute I was laughing and the next minute I was looking off remembering. Sometimes my heart would beat fast, and other times tears would fill my eyes and spill over.

Past, Present, Future. The elevator with three floors, and sometimes when the door opened I never knew which floor I was walking on.

I felt so alone and disconnected. I would stare off and my eyes would glaze over, and then I would snap back and try to engage again.

Stay present. Stay focused.

It was effort, and it was hard. I couldn’t stop in the middle of watching the giraffes and talk about it with anyone. When I felt like I was all alone in the rubble, this promise in Isaiah 51:3 gave me hope. I took the name Zion out and replaced it with my name.

The Lord will surely comfort Michelle and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

I was not alone.  

He was holding my hand in every explosion (past, present and future). He was with me all along…all this time.  He never let go, and He never will.

The Eternal One will relieve the troubles and worries of Zion and bring comfort to the rubble of its destruction. God will turn deserted places into a flourishing garden like Eden of old; happy voices will ring out in the Eternal’s garden; Buoyant music and thanksgiving will fill the air. Isaiah 51:3 VOICE

To start at the beginning and read the first post click here —> 30 Days of Truth – I am a Masterpiece

30 Days of Truth: Those who hope in the Lord will soar.

Truth #24:  Those who hope in the Lord will soar.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV 

Four years ago today, I took an incredibly hard step and faced the reality of my abuse.

At first I felt relief.

But then, I felt pain like I had never experienced before in the depth of my heart, soul and being. It all hurt. Everything.

There were moments of intense emotion. Anger, sadness, grief and pure rage.

I had a break between my individual counseling session and my final group therapy session so I made my way to a nearby shopping center and just walked the aisles because that typically helps.

Only this time, I was a mess and I could not shake it. I was sobbing as I processed it all while trying to get grounded by smelling candles, touching towels, and browsing framed art.

I thought,  “I am so wounded… So incredibly wounded!”

On the way to my car, I saw a bird sitting in the middle of the parking lot.  I stood there staring at this completely still bird. At first, I thought maybe it was dead but then I saw the eyes move. I moved a little closer and took pictures. I thought, “God what are you saying???  Pink Skies, Birds – you have my attention! What are you trying to say to me?”

This poor, wounded bird was freaking me out and it wouldn’t move. It just sat there, frozen.

Then it started to chirp,  and I started to video. Here is  the 49 second clip of what happened next …

It started chirping, hopping around and stretching its wings.  It was awkward, but that bird was trying hard to move.

I was crying again and I called a friend before going into the group session to say, “I am so wounded… But eventually I will fly!  I just need to start chirping and spreading my wings … Taking steps that may come out awkward or look different at first, but eventually … I WILL FLY!!!”

I believe the Lord used that bird to give me the courage to speak up in that last group session… the courage to say hard things. We were given a sheet of paper to draw or write on and then share with the group.

I wrote the words Childhood Sexual Abuse in the middle of the page. I made it blurry because it was hard to say.

Then in green I wrote the lies and how it made me feel.

In pink, I wrote the truth.

I read every word out loud.

I felt shame, but I also felt hope.

I wanted to soar.

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.  Isaiah 40:31 AMP

30 Days of Truth: My heart trusts in Him.

Truth 23: My heart trusts in Him.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7 NIV 

Notes from my journal:

January 19, 2013: God is in Control.

I literally freeze with absolute fear when I think of things that could cause all kinds of Domino effects and feel complete and absolute responsibility over where, when, and how each domino falls.  For example, but if I say_____ then she will ______ which will make them________ who will then destroy_____________, and then… Well, I better just shut up and smile because now I am scared to death!

The last paragraph is where I found myself this week.  Paralyzed with fear.  Consumed with “What if’s” and “But then’s”.  My counselor gently brought to my attention that God is BIG enough to fill in all those blanks. The truth is I am not capable of working any of it out, but I realized I am also afraid to let Him or believe that He can.

All of the things that I do to protect me, to protect my world leaves very little room for HIM to do His thing. 

He can and will work everything out for good…IF I LET HIM which will require me to let go of fear and trust Him.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

I like how it says MY HEART trusts in Him.  I can tell you my head trusts in Him, but I see now how my heart is learning to trust… even in Him.

If I believe in His unfailing love, then I am also called to believe and know that He is God and I can trust Him with the big details and the small details of my life.

Giving Him control frees me up to be used by Him, knowing He will be with me. He will protect me. He is in charge. I don’t have to juggle and manage so much when I am tapped into His strength and follow His direction,  His leading, and His prompting.

Let the Domino’s fall where they may. He is a Big God. He is in control. I am His beloved daughter and I am simply called to OBEY and TRUST Him… with all of my heart.

The Eternal is the source of my strength and the shield that guards me. When I learn to rest and truly trust Him, He sends His help. This is why my heart is singing! I open my mouth to praise Him, and thankfulness rises as song. Psalm 28:7 VOICE