Sometimes you run out of words.
You don’t know what to say and God feels far away.
Even though you know you ought to, praying feels like another check box that leaves you feeling guilty.
Life is complicated.
In an age of information a Google search away, with friends on Facebook full of photos and updates, we can feel small.
We look at our everyday lives, overwhelmed with dilemmas, conflicting desires and needs, and we feel discouraged.
Ironically, when we’re most stressed, we often deprive ourselves of what we need most: God’s goodness.
Somehow, we’ve learned we deserve to rest only after we solve our problems.
It’s the opposite.
We need God’s TLC (his tender, loving care). We need to give ourselves permission to receive and enjoy it.
TLC is what God gave to Elijah to resuscitate his soul after Elijah’s spirit had been broken.
Elijah had done everything he knew to do—even defeating the prophets of Baal—and yet, his problems did not go away.
Stress broke Elijah’s spirit.
“It is enough; now, Lord, take my life,
for I am not better than my fathers”
In that place of despair, Elijah woke up to find fresh bread baking on hot stones and water—left just for him.
Warm bread. Water poured into a jar.
Beautiful care, expressed through hand-made touches.
Not only that. God sent an angel — to touch him.
The Journey Is Too Great
Elijah was so exhausted, God sent the angel a second time, to touch him. Again.
When we take time out to receive TLC, we give God the chance to touch our heart.
To eat warm bread. To drink. To sip without hurrying. To sit beneath a tree and allow ourself to feel tired.
When we give our body the break it longs for, we hear God’s whispers to us.
The angel said to Elijah that day —
“Arise and eat.
For the journey is too great for you.”
God was softly saying, I understand.
Elijah needed to hear these words in order for his soul to start mending.
Stop and Find Rest
These are the words Jesus longs to whisper to us as well today. His complete understanding.
The journey is too great for you.
God invites us to stop and find rest that can truly sustain us for the journey.
From there, Elijah went on to crawl into a cave. There, far from life as he knew it, Elijah heard God whispering to Him through the kiss of a gentle breeze.
God knew Elijah needed physical rejuvenation first — in order to hear the soft voice of God.
God’s TLC opens up the path to our souls, so we can feel His nearness again.
It’s time to give ourselves permission to receive the TLC we need.
You’re worth it.
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart…
but the Lord was not in the wind.
…After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 19:11-12
The journey is too great.
I need your touch.
Help me to receive your TLC.
Help me be brave enough to rest.
Have you felt physically overwhelmed by the demands of a stressful season of change?
What feels most restful for you right now?
Give yourself permission to say yes by withdrawing and saying no to others.
Receive the rest God longs to give you.
Click to comment. This is a quiet space for you and me.
I need the rest and reflection you are speaking of today. My son will graduate from high school on Friday. We are joyful but also a bit sad that this stage of parenting is over. He turns 18 this summer and heads off to college. My momma heart breaks when I think of him leaving but I know that means we have done our job. I pray for this weekend to be sweet with memories and time to celebrate him.
God whispers to me through you, Bonnie. Thank you.
I so need to rest and receive. I was so excited when I received your book in the mail. I’m reading it and even though I’m just up to chapter 4, I’m already being blessed by your words and story. I cried when I read your introduction!
I have been burning the candle from both ends lately. Wrapping up the school year and saying goodbye to my co-worker of four years has been emotional. She is not returning next school year. And many of the children will be off to new schools so it is hard to say goodbye. I’m also in charge of our school’s summer camp so I’ve been having video chat meetings online to get prepared early before work. And on top of that my dad flew in to town for a visit. That was such fun to spend time with him but …I’m exhausted. I took yesterday off work because my body hurt and I needed rest. I normally don’t do that but I knew I needed one day. I’m back to work today though.
Making time each morning to spend with the Lord is a must for me. He fills me and then I get to overflow His love to others. For me, that’s key.
Blessings and love,
You are so right, Bonnie: “Somehow, we’ve learned we deserve to rest only after we solve our problems.” What we really need is rest NOW, so we have strength to solve our problems. Thank you for your prayer, asking God to help us be brave enough to rest. Such a meaningful post, Bonnie!
Thank you for this! I am crossing the starting line and beginning on the path God has laid before me; starting my own bakery. God has blessed me with a gift of creating desserts that please the palate and allows those who partake to breathe. But in doing this, the fears and self doubt I hold deep inside coming rushing to the surface. When they do, I get stressed. I can’t do this on my own. This journey is too great. But……. there’s God. I know I’m not alone and I’m not the one doing any of this. Without Him, I wouldn’t be able to create those dishes I do. I’ve marked this particular blog to remind me it’s okay to rest. To take that moment to give myself the physical rest so I can hear God whispering to me.
Yes, I need it, but I don’t know how to anymore. I am struggling to find rest and quiet with God right now. I am overwhelmed, hurting, anxious, depressed. Crying quiet tears right now as I read your blog today. I said no for the first time at work and did not stay late. I already had overtime in the bakery and last Friday I was so tired and overwhelmed I left at the end of my shift even though they needed more help. I did it on Saturday also. I felt so guilty not staying, came home both days to tears and falling asleep in my husbands arms as he held me when I was crying.
Yes! At one point I was so sleep-deprived that any quiet brought on an immediate nap. Now that I’m a bit more caught up on sleep, I’m able to take quiet time to refresh my soul. Thanks for these reminders, Bonnie. You’ve helped on my road to recovery.
Thank you on this, I’m facing some big challenges that comes with a big storm to deal, yesterday as I felt worn out all I could ask our Lord is for Him to hug me and tell me everything was gonna be ok, which I knew for a fact He does. As I lay myself to sleep after working pretty much, I decided to leave unto Him my worries, anxieties and even the pain people make I guess not to be mean, but because without Christ they don’t know other way to express themself. Today I woke up reading my emails when I found yours, such a blessing to realize I was not alone in my despair, God has put me serenity and Ive decided not to stop praying and praising God not even when bad things happened. I may face difficult and mean situations at work, but God is now in control of everything, for He is good I know now that Ill be ok. Praise Go!
I just finished Finding Spiritual Whitespace yesterday. It is exceptionally well written, and I plan to go through it again and again and use the suggestions therein. The only problem I had after reading your history included in the pages is that I found no mention of forgiveness toward the persons who injured you. Although your response to your situation shouldn’t concern me, I have found in my 78 years that coming to terms with injury is not truly cleansing runless there is forgiveness to seal up the hurt and resentment. I do hope that not mentioning this was an oversight, and that whether or not they know it, you have done so. For me, it would have been the most satisfying close to your book.
Hi Geraldine, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s true. Forgiveness is key and there are many wonderful books about forgiveness. I have forgiven my mother. But, it’s important to encourage those who are healing that even with forgiveness, God wants to heal us of the wounds and the pain of the memories. This book was written to share the comfort I received from God. “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Cor.1:4
I have just gone through an incredible season of change. The death of my father. Settling his estate which meant selling my childhood home and my grandparents home. Having to move out of my grandparents home where my children grew up and where I lived for twenty years. Moving to another city. Retiring from my job so I could handle all the details involved. Details involving much more than packing, sorting, selling or donating, and giving or throwing things away. It involved coming in contact with grief and loss, secrets and skeletons, memories that came scurrying out of dark places like black widow spiders. I am finding it hard to rest and be still… To enjoy this spacious gift of time to rest and allow God to “whisper” into my life. To meet me in my exhaustion…to accept His love and understanding…to give myself “permission to enjoy” His TLC. This has been eye-opening. I am going to spend some time in repentance and prayer…
God’s been calling me to a season of rest in Him after 3 years of constant change. I’m learning what this means and really looks like. Looking forward to “resting” while reading your book.
I needed this message today. You name the obstacles to receiving God’s love and care that we don’t even have names for. You name the unpleasant truth that life is continuously lined with difficulty, complexity, and depletion; and that we need help…all the time. Crying as I receive the rest you gave me through your words.
This brings me to tears, Bonnie. It’s like God knows exactly what I need right now. Yesterday, your email touched my heart – that I need to give myself “permission” to rest. This speaks to me – “God knew Elijah needed physical rejuvenation first — in order to hear the soft voice of God.” Thank you, Bonnie, for all your support and understanding. I need to learn it’s ok if I withdraw from things that put too much pressure on me in this overwhelmed condition. When my body is sick, I feel useless because I can’t get things done as I want to, and I don’t allow myself to rest enough physically. That makes it all the harder to rest mentally and spiritually.
Thank you so much. This is beautful and really speaks to my heart right now. You have described me so thoroughly. Thank you for the encouragement. And the prompting to turn to Jesus. I know that I will only find it through Him.
Oh Bonnie, your words are like salve to my weary heart. I have several chronic illnesses and deep restorative rest always escapes me. I have a hard time focusing in my prayer time, so often , because of the fatigue and fogginess. Oh how I need to just rest into Jesus instead of feeling like I am failing. I have heard the Holy Spirit whisper to just rest, but there is always something that draws me away. Thank you for your encouraging word today and I can’t wait to read your book.
Thanks as always Bonnie! I just visited my Mom in another province who has Alzheimer’s and has just moved into a home….I have no answers and much pain but you understand. I think HE understands that I just don’t know what to say right now…God bless you and all the best with the book launch and with your family :).
This morning was truly insane… I just looked at the clock and saw 2:25pm… where did time go? Preschooler to and from school, toddler and infant to the doctor’s office (which took us a whole 90 minutes to be seen… even with a scheduled appointment!!!), fussy baby after shots, hungry kids, hungry mama, missed phone calls, meal planning group, bills, etc… wow! I need God’s TLC! As I look at my kitchen sink with the mounts of dishes to do, as I hear the laundry calling out “I’m done over here!”, and as baby cries himself to nap, I am realizing that without taking time for myself, to rest, to exhale, I can-NOT thrive in my role as a mother and wife. Thank you for the reminder that God is longing to CARE for me, even (and especially) through my busy days.
In the sweeping aftermath of my father’s passing, and the subsequent necessity of settling his affairs and taking care of my mother, I have often felt overwhelmed lately. I am easily stressed (a natural worry-wart, though not proud of it!), and my soul often feels a terribly discouraging and fretful upheaval. It’s very hard sometimes to find quiet within myself.
It’s at these times that I often send an *arrow prayer* to God. Sometimes the only words I can muster are, “Lord, You know. Please help me.”
Not eloquent, not pious, not lengthy – yet these prayers come from my very soul. And I know that it is at these times that the Holy Spirit “fills in the blanks” with His groanings.
And God hears…
Beautiful post, Bonnie. I’ve been going through a difficult time and trying to rely on Him. This was just what I needed to read. Thank you.
Bonnie, praying that prayer today! Thank you for the beautiful reminder.
sweet Margaret. it’s soul special when our hearts can be on the journey together… i so appreciate you. your prayers lifted me before and now, we’re kindreds. soul to soul as sisters, spirit to spirit with Him.
Thank you, Bonnie, and praise the LORD for His TLC. Our God is Kind. It is right and good to give Him all thanks and praise in Jesus’ Name. I checked this post out on the High Calling site, and was happy to see it connected with another timely article on thriving through stress. Your book couldn’t have come at a better time. In this technological age, there are so many stressed out people, including Christians, myself included, doing more and more, even good things for Christ, that we are not always sure how to rest properly anymore. I am enjoying your book, dear Bonnie, and how it is slowing me down and promoting more soothing quiet time/rest in Christ. The fellowship and whitespace sure helps. I love this quote and the LORD’s Response:
“We beat ourselves up for not trusting God.
But, God offers us a different response. Instead of being harder on us, Jesus whispers, “Come to me, all those who are weary laden and I will give you rest.”
Just as beautiful art needs whites space—space on a page left unmarked—our souls need spiritual white space. We need rest.
We are not project plans for God. We are not God’s stock investments, where our value rises and falls with performance.
We are God’s work of art.”
Despite what some people may say, I was reminded today through a couple other Christian women that the LORD just wants our hearts for His Art, not necessarily performance art on our part. We do our best and God does the rest. Praise the LORD in Jesus’ Name, the Vine. We are the branches. May we abide in Him forever.
Dear Soul Sister,
Once again your writing has touched my heart, “for such a time as this”. I also have recieved your book and am looking forward to reading it once school is out. Like many of the comments here it is a time of change and its not easy to rest. It’s always Gods timing but letting go of the need to know how its going to all turn out is energy sapping. I so need the whitespace and will probably gobble up the pages of the book. As always “Blessings to you
Thank you so much!!
Sometimes I don’t give myself permission to rest. I watched your story. I’m 76 and I’m almost finished writing my story.
I need more “white space”. God bless you young lady!!! Darlene
I think as women, we need to give ourselves permission to rest. BUT we fight it, even when the opportunity arises because it feels so foreign to us
I can identify with many of the women here. All in different seasons of life & all going thru different journeys. I can relate to so many posts.
I’ve always been a caretaker, HE created me that way. At the age of 7, Iwas hospitalized for a simple appendectomy., my desire to become a nurse hit me then & came to fruition. I went to nursing school & nursed everyone but myself for 37 years. I’m 63 now……. I loved what I did, but it took a lot out of me. Little did I realize the most heart wrenching patient I would ever have was my 25 year old son, thru testicular cancer, surgery, radiation, a recurrence a year later, chemo, and more surgery requiring removing one of his kidneys not due to cancer but because scar tissue from radiation & chemo ended up making one kidney not functional. I was strong. SUPERMOM/SUPER NURSE, & 6 months later when things looked good & there was no evidence of disease I started w/ panic attacks leading to agoraphobia. It took me 6 months to realize I needed help & by that time I was clinically depressed. My shrink (who I finally realized I needed to see due to the agoraphobia finally explained to me that there are many forms of PTSD, & that’s what was happening to me). I should mention I am a cancer survivor myself & my own cancer @ the age of 38 didn’t phase me at all. My sons mortality is what just about did me in. Finally feeling better, w/ my shrink & my church family’s care….. I graduated to taking care of my mom, diagnosed w/ lung cancer w/ brain metastasis , buried her only to have my dad diagnosed w/ cancer the day after her funeral. This “caretaker” kept on keeping on thru Gods grace and my mantra of Isaiah 41:10, (fear not, I am with you, I will strengthen you & withhold you w/ MY righteous right hand). Two years of caring for my dad. Helping both my parents make hospice decisions & being “their person” & their caretakers, with no qualms. I knew why God made that little 7 year old make a decision to become a nurse & it culminated with that, & the honor was MINE, to be with each of my parents laying next to them as they left this world taking their last breath. I felt orphaned though., as I think any child of any age does at the loss of both parents.
I still struggle w/ depression and not so much agoraphobia but more of a social anxiety.
It’s a daily struggle.
I’ve reached a time now, retired @ 63 w/ my husband to a lakefront area. My son is well & married, my daughter & her husband have given us 4 beautiful grandchildren, 10 months, 6 years, 13 & 16.
Life is quieter & good. (I have learned thru life’s chaos that one should never complain about the mundane, because mundane IS the good stuff). 🙂
But guess what????? I do not know how to cope with the quiet& the white noise/white space.
It’s thru your blogs that I’ve been following for the past couple of years that have actually made me start thinking that God in his infinite wisdom has me out here on this beautiful lake to FIND MY SPIRITUAL WHITESPACE!!!! And then, miracle of miracles you write THE BOOK!!!! It’s in my hand now 🙂 ::::::happy dancing::::: my quiet Memorial Day weekend plan is to read the whole thing, highlighter in hand, bible @ my side & my own journal @ my side for my own notes. I have this theory that God put me where I am right now, because HE KNOWS I needed this, & that in every wave I see, or sunrise or full moon, or beautiful creature I see here in Northern Michigan, HE knows I can see HIM, feel HIM more clearly than in the chaotic days of my life, as if HE’S given me permission to “BE STILL & KNOW THAT I AM”…..I believe your book is going to be the icing on the proverbial cake. Ladies, let’s all come back here to support each other thru our life seasons. I am praying for all of you & am humbly grateful to you Bonny for all it took for your book to be published. We are stronger than we know & it helps to have friends to whom we can share our hearts without being judged
I would absolutely love to set on my back deck and swing. No phone calls to answer no texts to receive. Just me and God.
Thank you for the great words of inspiration, I am going through a very stressful time, it is good for me to know that I am not alone and that God is right there ready to provide the T L C I need to find rest how reassuring to know all I have to do is let go and give God control. God Bless.
My name is anne, I just lost my husband on mothers day morning of this year 2014. Only a little over a week ago. I feel alone and devastated, and lost, but I will try to stop and rest and give my heart a chance to heal because that is what God would want and so would my husband. I will buy your book just as soon as I can. Thank you for the words I have read. annie
Yesterday, I went to Richmond Hill for a Silence Retreat. Richmond Hill is an old monastery converted into a place of prayer and spiritual guidance and learning in my city. It was a warm, breezy day; and I spent the whole day with God’s word and in prayer and meditation. This is the first time I’ve participated in this. I found it is exactly what I need, and I can go each month to do this for a mere $20, which includes a delicious lunch. What a gift! As you say, in the busyness of our days, it is good to take time to rest in Him. I will look forward to this each month–a whole day of prayer and silence. Jubilation! Bless you Bonnie! Your words are so healing!
what feels most restful is – having my nails done regularly; soothing music on; a comfy space; eating/ drinking nutrients; a treat each week; and good books that help me see Jesus; also just sitting/laying even and being – i really like that quote about To sit beneath a tree and allow ourself to feel tired. Im so tired. This post gave me a jolt in the right direction – thanks Bonnie – God bless you.
I read this after a great struggle this morning. I was tired of the fight that I was fighting at work. I was physically tired from 3 months of 65-70 hr weeks, and constant resistance from others to cooperate. I spent time with Abba this morning. I read how he provided for Elijah at the brook and the widows house, and how he faced the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 17-18). I heard Him gentle speak to me the morning that what I had asked for was according to His will (strength, ,closeness to Him, His strong Spirit), and since I asked for things according to His will, I would have them (Gal 2:20). I then went through my daily journal where the Lord had spoken to me before. Each time was about His strength, faithfulness and love.
Then I read your blog from May 22, 2014. It confirmed exactly what the Lord had been telling me. I now need to put into practice the word from the Lord from my journal and your blog, and rest in Him and trust in Him.
Thank you faith for hearing Him and providing this inspiration. The Lord has blessed and used you today.
I am amazed at how God answered when we needles expect!!! I got up this morning and decided to take a walk because I was feeling overwhelmed, feeling discourage, lonely with no one to talk to, not even my husband even as I am going through this. However I went walking for about a mile, while I was walking, I felt the need to cry and scream out, but I started to pray and cry, I couldn’t fine words to expressed how I want to pray, but I just pray and cry, [ I live in the country] reflecting on the beauty of the green trees, I saw God’s goodness and feel my strength begin to renewed. when I got home, something move me to the computer, I opened my inbox I found this Faith Barista email in my in box for the first time! Upon reading it, I felt like God himself reminding me his word! [ I did told god to answered me somehow] And indeed!!! He answered my prayer, by healing me with this beautiful encouragement. THANKS SO MUCH WOMAN OF GOD!!! I am feeling blessed!
some days i feel so stress with having to take so much medicine and sometimes i just want to stop taking it and see what happens. i feel God doesnot have time for me so I don’t want to bother him. l feel he is busy with others more important then me. As i read this i see maybe i am wrong and i need to rest and hear what my Savior has to say.
Thank you for the wonderful devotional today. This whole past year has been a roller coaster of stress some good and some bad.
I always need to remind myself that God is in control.
Blessings to you today!
I really liked what you wrote about God being there, even when I’m so stressed that i can’t find any words to say. About 10 years ago, i became disabled, and i have had over a dozen operations, and spent a horrible amount of time in various hospitals since then. So from going to a person who was able to walk, hold down a full time job, had a car, and was independent, I have gone to living in a wheelchair and living off of disability. It’s not that I’m too busy, it’s that I have so much pain, and my life feels so worthless, and I feel so stressed living in this small rural area, where there is very little I can do, and I feel so much anger, that I don’t know how to pray anymore. Can you help me?
Wow, i can relate to so many of the posts here, but my main issue is how to rest, how not to worry. I feel like I am so worn out I can’t pray, and if I am being totally honest I feel like God is holding it against me and so will not answer my prayers so I have to look elsewhere for help and comfort which puts me in even worse situations. How do i leave everything to God and not worry? How do I rest without thinking about the challenges I am faced with?
what makes me feel restful now is spending more more quiet/rest time with God. helps me relax and feel at peace. also reading your blog post Bonnie that has full of God given wisdom is so great! it really guides & encourages me that I’m not alone and that I am cherish and loved by God unconditionaly and that being with Him there is no broken relationships. :’)
Really Happy how God use through you to speak to me, you helped my weary heart turn smoothly happy as each days goes by. keep encouraging bonnie, I pray & thank God so much for the God given gift he gave you.
Blessings to you. 🙂
I needed this today. We are moving across country this week and I don’t want to. I’ve been struggling with God over this. I said yes because I felt that’s what God wanted but while I said yes, I’m going kicking and screaming.
I’ve been crying all week. I’m exhausted and angry. I’m so angry with God over this. I can’t find anything to look forward to. People don’t get it, my husband doesn’t get it. I leave behind everything for nothing. (This isn’t the first time I’ve moved across country, I’ve done it a few times and none have been this hard for me.)
Thank you for sharing his today, it’s my prayer.
I feel alone! I know God loves me but my life, my family, my grandchildren are suffering horribly. We are doing all we know to do but it isn’t enough. Every turn we take we are being shot down, every positive we find to hold onto is jerked out of our grasp. It is destroying us individually and as a family. We don’t know what we have done to cause the pain we are suffering. We have always tried to do good for others and live by faith and belief but we are losing our hold on it and need God to step in and help us defeat the enemy we are fighting. He has the power to fix this with one wave of his hand but the devil feels that we deserve to suffer. PLEASE GOD REACH DOWN PROTECT MY FAMILY, HELP MY DAUGHTER AND BRING MY GRANDCHILDREN HOME WHERE THEY ARE LOVED AND MISSED WITH ALL WE HAVE. i BELIEVE YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN! AMEN
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. ( I feel God whisper this with a period not shouting with an exclamation mark.) I thought after the ovarian cancer and treatment were completed surely I would begin to feel ‘peace’—- instead there is a struggle to let it all out! Yes I believe, yes I pray, yes I go to church: I even sing in the choir. Still I feel like I am not enough, I have nothing to offer. I pray that your writings will begin to allow a leeching out of all that is encased behind my oh so human exterior…
I’ve been in a season of rest, with my writing, but my life is still very much lived in the fast lane. I do look forward to reading your book one day. I hear so much goodness about it.
I’m currently on a roller coaster of financial stress – some of it my own doing and some of it not. I find myself losing sleep, having stomach pain. I have a good job, but there is no opportunity for overtime and I just am not sure how I’ll make it through this season. I found your website this morning and related immediately to the need for whitespace in my life. Thank you for the encouragement and I would appreciate the prayers of anyone who feels so led.
This is how I feel a lot of the time. I am a Grandma who watches 2 little ones during the week.
I am also being challenged with some health issues that leave me extra tired. Many times I feel it hard to pray and God seems far away. Sometimes I connect with Him and it is great. I want to stay in His presence, but I find it hard to stay focused on Him with taking care of the grandkids and how I feel physically. Thank you for listening.
Thank you Bonnie & thank you to my sweet husband for sending me this link. Thanking God for blessing me with hope.