Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Invitation for "Whispers of Rest"




In exchange for my review, The Hachette Book Group, publisher, provided this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





Today is the day! I have been awaiting this day for several months now.  Shortly after I entered into this year of 2017 sensing that my #Oneword365 would be "Stillness," I was in awe to find that Bonnie Gray was publishing a new Devotional,  Whispers of Rest, with practical daily prayer prompts and Scriptures to help find Soul Rest with God.  So, when the opportunity was given to become part of her Pre-launch Team, I jumped at the chance.  And for the past 21 days I have not been disappointed, as I joined with a great group of other readers who took up challenges to listen more closely for the sweet call of Jesus to daily become His Beloved. 



In fact, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably seen many posts with the hashtag #Whispersofrest, or #soulrest.  There have been so many beautiful offerings posted from all those who have been part of the Pre-Launch team!




As I read and listened to the prayer prompts, as I opened my eyes and heart to see touches of God's Love for me scattered throughout the moments of my days, I have been overwhelmed at God's timing.  When I entered this challenge, I had just visited my Rheumatologist and heard encouraging words.  He was pleased with the low activity of my Rheumatoid Arthritis.   But only days into this study, I was hit with a sudden flare-up of old symptoms and weakness. 



I was desperate to hear those words
of Soul-Rest
And I was overcome by a shaking
of my own abilities.

How could I join in a study
How could I be an encourager
When I felt so weak myself?


And that is the point of this book.  None of us is strong enough on our own.  Jesus is the ONE who carries all the strength. And Jesus is calling each one of us, to find our place next to His heart, resting as HIS BELOVED.


Through a series of personal stories, questions, poems, and Scriptures, Bonnie Gray gradually finds us in our deepest heart longings.  Her words have a way of cutting through the surface layers and touching the true heart without striving or pushing.  Each chapter addresses specific prayer prompts, but then goes further and invites us to participate in active ways that engage minds and bodies along with spiritual growth.


  


  

 

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

Psalm 121:5-6 NIV 

 

 

 

 




During the chapter titled "Shelter" Bonnie talks about a willow tree that was her comfort as a child:

"During sweltering summers, I'd rest under the willow, when the steel slides were too hot to touch. . . . When it rained lightly in autumn, I'd sit and listen to raindrops pelt against the pavement, staying dry under its canopy. Then, I'd pour out my heart and confide in God. I found shelter under its shade."

I too had a willow tree sheltering place when I was a child, in the backyard of my best friend. We'd spend hours up in that tree, singing songs, planning our futures, sharing our dreams.  . . .  I knew there was a connection from God for me in this particular chapter, especially as I read further and saw that the prayer prompt was to join in for a silent time of resting or contemplative prayer. If you've been following my blog, you may remember my post here, where I heard God's nudges to follow Him into a time of learning to be quiet in His presence.  


Come away with ME
my Lord whispers.
Find a stillness
in MY heart
to satisfy every aching
your own heart
has felt.

Find ME as your shelter
He calls out to my heart.

The swaying brances
of a willow tree
to cover every aching
to stir up every dreaming
to fill up every singing.


And when I came to the end of the chapter, the active challenge was to find a beautiful tree and "Rest under its shade . . . Return to a peaceful place with the One who shelters you."  In these days of walking through a trial that makes no sense to me, there is a shelter being offered from the heart of my Lord.  For every day, and every struggle, He wants to bring a peaceful shelter and a beautiful call to rest with Him.


If your heart has stirred
with a longing to find REST
in the middle of your hard,
join me in listening to the 
only ONE
who truly can bring Soul Rest.

And, I would highly encourage you to visit Bonnie Gray's Website at www.whispersofrest.com where you can find more information about ordering her book for yourself.  Your faith will be built up as you read and participate in ways to find "Whispers of Rest" for yourself.  For ordering info click here.