Whispers of Rest: A Book Review

“Then Jesus said, “Come to Me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 NLT

I sat down at my desk to reply to comments from last week’s post. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t write. Anxiety and worry churned and thrashed within my spirit like stormy waves crashing against the shore. Knocking the wind out of my sails. Triggers of past abuse and pain for abused souls weighted me down and overwhelmed me.  I gotta get out of here!

I left my computer, grabbed my camera, and drove to one of my favorite walks along a bike trail.

Voices in my head added to the storm inside. So loud and persistent. Voices of inadequacy, worthlessness, and condemnation. God, I can’t take this anymore!

As I started out on the path, a butterfly circled me, flew further away, then returned to my side. I couldn’t get a clear picture, so I just stood and soaked in the refreshing sight of a beautiful swallowtail fluttering God’s peace into my heart.

Only a few feet away were Canadian Geese with their little ones.

Wow, God! Thank You! I just started walking, and He already showed me His love. Birds remind me of His faithful and loving care over us. And butterflies remind me of being freed to fly in Christ Jesus. Freed from the cocoon of abuse that so tightly held my wings together. Peace filled my heart, and the negative voices and heavy burdens of my heart slid away.

As I walked to a bridge over the river, I scanned the woods carefully, looking for deer. Nothing. As I returned, I felt disappointed. God, I really wanted to see a deer today… At the same time, I had to thank Him for already showing me so much and speaking peace to my heart.

Then suddenly, there they were. Three of them! Thank You, God! 

In Bonnie Gray’s new book – Whispers of Rest – she encourages us to take time for what brings us joy. Walking in nature is mine. I can’t begin to count how many times God’s creation has refreshed my soul. It always reminds me that God is still in control in all the messiness of life.

Whispers of Rest is a 40-Day spiritual journey that guides us to a place of rest where we can more deeply experience the Savior’s presence in our everyday life, invites us to come away to a quiet place and surrender our hearts to Him, and encourages us to embrace our identity in Christ Jesus and live as His beloved.

“God’s whispers of rest guide us to
a beautiful destination of hope,
an anchor for the soul in a stress-filled world.
Our destination for this journey isn’t something, but Someone.”
– Bonnie Gray

 Each day includes God’s Story, God’s Whispers to Us, a Prayer, questions to prompt us to reflect on and journal our stories, tips to practice, a challenge, and soul care tips.

One of my favorite practice tips is the One Word Prayer, a suggestion Timothy Keller shares in his book Prayer. This practice is used throughout the book. It’s to reflect on a word or phrase that draws our attention, and then to use it as a prayer prompt to spark a conversation with God. As we think of the word, we ask ourselves what feelings, questions, or thoughts emerge. Then share them with Jesus.

Already on Day 1, I knew this book was for me. The first quote that connected with my heart was:

“Don’t listen to those voices.
Step closer to the One Voice who knows you.”
– Bonnie Gray

I struggle a lot with those negative voices, and I long to let them go and follow that One Voice. This book nurtures my soul as it points to Jesus and His unfailing love for us. He loves us so much that He wants us to nurture ourselves. And He doesn’t want us to condemn ourselves or feel selfish about it. (That’s really a tough one for me.)

I believe you will not be disappointed when you read this book. In this busy world, we can so easily push aside the necessary soul care we need each day. But we need vitamins for our spirits even more than for our bodies.

“Come away with Me by yourselves
to a quiet place and rest awhile.”
Mark 6:31

“Here”
by Kari Jobe

“Come, and rest here
Come, and lay your burdens down
Come, and rest here
There is refuge for you now…”

35 thoughts on “Whispers of Rest: A Book Review

  1. Since yours is the second review of this book I’ve read this morning, I’m certain God is speaking to my heart, prompting me to get this book, and inviting me into His rest. Thank you, Trudy, for your touching reflection, lovely photos, and for your recommendation.
    Blessings!

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    1. Yes, there are more reviews out there today for the launch day, Martha. I’m looking forward to reading more of them. I’m certain you will enjoy this book. We all need some soul care, resting in the arms of Jesus. It provides us that needed fuel to keep going, right? I hope things are going well with Danny now. Did he receive another pacemaker yet? Blessings to you, too! May we be still and open our ears and hearts to the whispers of God to our souls!

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  2. Trudy,
    I LOVE this! I love how you asked for deer and God answered your sweet prayer! And those baby ducks — too cute! I walk in my neighborhood every evening and whenever I see a few deer (they’re quite tame) and get close to them I consider it as brushing up close to God’s love for me. I think there’s just something special about nature and God’s creatures that shows us glimpses of him — if we’re looking for them. Much love to you friend! xoxo

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    1. God is so good, isn’t He, Valerie? I love that you get to see deer sometimes. I only get to see them on this certain trail, and not every time. It’s always a rare treat. When you say you consider it as “brushing up close to God’s love for me,” tears pool in my eyes. That’s exactly like it feels to me, too. Those glimpses of Him are so special. Much love back to you! May we keep our eyes and our hearts open to those glimpses of God’s beauty and His love for us!

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  3. Dear Trudy,
    This book has been such a special blessing hasn’t it? I loved how those prayer prompts touched you, as I’ve also been touched by Bonnie’s prompts so much! And those special glimpses of God through His creation are always resting places for me too. While I have read through Bonnie’s book this spring, I have become so much more aware of the beauty of nature so close to enjoy right here, even when I am unable to go out for the long walks that I used to take. He does find ways to bring us closer to hear His whispers, doesn’t He? Thank you for sharing your open heart with us here!! Blessings, Love, and Hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo

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    1. I so agree that Bonnie’s new book is a special blessing, Bettie. Yes, God truly does bring us closer to hear His whispers in various ways. I knew God gives you His special glimpses of Himself through His creation, too. I’m learning, too, to open my eyes and heart to God’s beauty in nature even if it’s right outside my office window. Blessings, love, and hugs to you, too! May we keep opening our hearts to the beauty and love God gives us in His creation!

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  4. I loved reading your thoughts on the book, Trudy, and I especially love how God sent the butterfly and the deer at just the right moment to assure you of his love and his presence. I love walking in nature too and reading this book has helped me slow down and notice the beauty around me more when I do. The quote about ignoring the negative voices and tuning into God’s Voice was one that stood out to me too.

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    1. Thank you, Lesley. God always knows exactly what we need, doesn’t He? He always gives us more than we can ever ask for or think of. His precious gifts helped me to let go of the burdens into His hands and to continue on in His strength. I know you struggle with those negative voices, too. May we together tune them out and step closer to the One Voice that knows us!

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  5. Trudy, isn’t it just like God to bring such comfort across your path exactly when you needed it the most? I love that! I’m also intrigued by the idea of one-word prayers … I will have to try that. What a blessing for you to be reading this encouraging book during such an overwhelming time. Keep taking those walks, my friend!

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    1. Yes, God certainly is like that, Lois. He is so gracious to send us comfort when we need it the most. I do love the one-word-prayers. I’m trying to get more into the practice of it. Yes, this book is a blessing. May we lean into and rest in Jesus on this difficult path of life!

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  6. Hi Trudy! – This is so great and encouraging to hear how God spoke to you on your walk and encouraged your heart when you were feeling so down. I love your pictures and your story. I can really relate to your feelings and battle those things myself. Some days it is so hard. I love your review of the book too! and the Kari Jobe song is perfect-! one of my favorites! Thanks for listing my spirits !
    sending much love to you tonight!! xoxox

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    1. I’m so grateful your spirits are lifted, Susie. That song is so soothing, isn’t it? I’m sorry you have to battle so many hard things yourself, too. We need Jesus so much, don’t we? It’s just so amazing how tender and affectionate He is toward us. Sending much love back to you! May we lay our burdens down and find refuge in our Savior’s loving arms!

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  7. I feel the same way Trudy, when you write on how the book has been pointing you toward nurturing your soul. God wants to nurture us, take care of us, and always know He’s near often shown through His beautiful creation of nature! What gorgeous deer he showed you that day!

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    1. Yes, His beautiful creation certainly tell us He’s near, Lynn. I’m always excited the few times I get to see deer. I always feel like God gives me a special insight into His beauty and grace when I am gifted with a sight of them. May we always open our hearts to God’s nurturing love and live as His beloved!

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  8. Dear Trudy … I love how you heard God’s invitation in the midst of the anxiety to close up the computer and head outdoors to revel in His creation. Oh how He uses those kind of choices to enable us to hear His voice, to breathe deep, to get recalibrated again.

    Thanks for taking us on your walk, for sharing Bonnie’s book, for reminding us how much we yearn for freedom from all that assails us. He whispers peace …

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    1. You are so right about our need to get recalibrated, Linda. I know I need to listen to God’s invitation more often instead of driving myself to keep pushing on. He often gives me that freedom and peace we yearn for when I take the time to step back from busyness and to revel in His creation. We all need to find what gives us joy, don’t we? And take time for it in the midst of the busyness and sorrows of life. It’s amazing how God gently whispers peace into our hearts, isn’t it? I know this is a very difficult season for you, and I pray God enfolds you with His peace. May we find refuge from all that assails us in His precious heart of love and compassion!

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  9. Hi Trudy! This has to be the fifth post I’ve read about this book. I think God is trying to tell me something! Your thoughts really do matter, and I’m very impressed that you liked this book so well. When you speak of rest and needing to take a break, I always listen hard. You know yourself so well Trudy.
    Thank you for recommending this book, I think I’ll have to get it!
    Ceil

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    1. You won’t regret getting this book, Ceil. Isn’t it interesting to read the various insights bloggers give about this book? I’m afraid I don’t always listen to God’s voice to rest, but I’m learning…. When we feel driven to get things done, it’s hard to take a break, isn’t it? Unanswered emails or unread blogs bug me so much. I pressure myself to get to them. But I’m trying to learn I don’t need to read the blogs immediately, it’s ok if I don’t always get to all of them, it’s ok not to leave a comment at every single one, and I don’t need an empty email box. I guess that’s the perfectionist bug in me? 🙂 May we open our hearts to listen to God’s voice that tells us to “Come and Rest!”

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  10. Trudy, I LOVE how God called you to stop and step outside for a while, then showed up for you in creation’s breathtaking beauty. It’s like He mused about you wanting to see a deer and went overboard to give you three! Your prompt obedience was definitely rewarded. What a beautiful gift of grace God gave you, and continues to do so through the words you share here each week. They matter. YOU matter, much more than you may know. You were wise to take a breath, have a walk and feed your soul with creation’s goodness.
    Like Bettie, I’m having to look closer to home for nature’s beauty, yet God still finds small ways in which to make His loving presence known to me. I’m delighted to hear how Bonnie’s book spoke to you right from the start as it did for me too. May you continue to be blessed in remembering you are God’s Beloved one, precious and worthy in His eyes. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xo ❤

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Joy. I truly am grateful there are still days that I am able to take walks in nature, at least in the summer time. When it’s cold out, I have to hibernate inside. I get short of breath if I walk too fast, so sometimes I have to putt-putt along, but at least I can walk. 🙂 When my hubby walks with me, he tells me that I go slower and slower that he wonders if he’ll have to pick me up and carry me the rest of the way home. I tell him it’s not THAT bad, but he disagrees… I’m always impressed by the nature photos you and Bettie share even though you have to stay closer to home. They brighten my days. Yes, He truly does find ways to make His loving presence known to you, and I have often been encouraged by your sharing them. God is so loving and tender with us in giving us His beautiful gift of grace no matter what situation we’re in or where we’re at, isn’t He? Blessings, love, and hugs to you, too! YOU matter, too, much more than you know or those negative voices tell you sometimes. May we together travel this journey opening our hearts to how God sees us and living as His beloved!

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  11. Trudy, I LOVE how God met you on that day. How fun that He showed you all those wonderful animals. My son saw the baby geese and his face lit up. When my spirit needs uplifting, I love taking my camera and catching photos where the light shines through flowers, animals, or trees. Or silhouettes. Or animals.

    Bonnie’s book sounds really good. Thank you for sharing the quotes that mean the most to you. Hugs, sweet friend!

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    1. That makes me so happy that your son’s face lit up at the sight of the baby geese, Jeanne. How old is he? There’s something about taking photos of the beauty of God’s creation that refreshes our souls, isn’t there? I always love your photos. They always brighten my day! God is so good to meet us in His creation! Bonnie’s book is soul nurturing, something I need to do more intentionally. Hugs back to you! May we keep opening our eyes and our hearts to God’s beauty and love in His creation!

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  12. You and I both adore nature and how it feeds our souls. Thank you or the beautiful pictures. I also have read several reviews of Bonnie’s new book. It sounds like a a journey to soul rest. Blessings sweet friend!

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    1. I love that we both adore nature and how it feeds our souls, Mary. I always love your pictures, too! Yes, Bonnie’s book is a journey to soul rest. Very much needed in our lives. I finally ordered your devotional journey of Brave Faith. It has been on my Amazon wish list for so long. I’m not yet finished with Bonnie’s book, but then I hope to use yours. Blessings to you, too! May we travel this journey of soul rest, brave faith, and perseverance together, glorifying God each day!

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  13. This definitely seems like a great book to read, especially in and after going through a season that has left us weary or full of anxiety. And how sweet are God’s answers to your prayers! Thank you for sharing this. God bless you, dear friend!

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    1. Yes, it truly is a great book, Ronja. I just read your post about that iron-fisted fear, and I can so relate to it. You have a lot of changes and decisions to make, and I can understand your anxiety. I pray God gives you guidance and peace. I wish you well in your internship as a speech therapist. Yes, God’s answers to my prayers definitely were sweet! He always knows exactly what we need, doesn’t He? I love that He is so tender and patient with us. God bless you, too! May we cling to God who is our Strength forever and grip His offered hand to guide us in His way each day!

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  14. I haven’t read this book by Bonnie, but I have read one of her other books so I know what a blessing you must have gotten by reading it! I’m glad God gave you those graces along your walk. I need to do things like that more often. Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us, Trudy!

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    1. The graces of God are so amazing, aren’t they, Lisa? I’m realizing I need to do things like that more often, too. Too often I don’t listen to those whispers of God that tell me to pull back and find nurturing in Him by doing things that give me joy. Too often I feel guilty about doing these things, but I’m learning He loves us so much that He wants us to be nurtured and cared for. And we need to be replenished in order to better nurture others. May we daily open our hearts to God’s whispers of love and caring for us!

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    1. Yes, being in nature and seeing deer truly is a grace gift, Dolly! When reading Bonnie’s book, I am sometimes reminded of your 7 Days of Soul Care. 🙂 Much love and hugs to you, too! May we let go of what hinders us and rest in the arms of Jesus!

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  15. Dear Trudy. I loved your post…..I’m going through some tough stuff physically, and stepping out into Gods creation helps clarify my thinking. This is the One who loves me. amazing. Loved reading the comments too! This sounds like a great book!

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    1. It clarifies my thinking, too, Anita. I love your thought here – “This is the One who loves me.” Amen! That brings tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry for all the struggles you have. Did Mayo come up with any helpful treatments? May we cling to hope in the One who loves us!

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  16. “In this busy world, we can so easily push aside the necessary soul care we need each day. But we need vitamins for our spirits even more than for our bodies.” YES! Love this Trudy, and the pictures you take are amazing. Thank you for sharing them with us!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I’m so glad your heart loves this. We so need that soul care, don’t we? I don’t know what I would do without Jesus and His tender love, care, and understanding. I know you feel that way, too. May we cling to Him and His love and trust the truth of our identity in Him!

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