About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Sweet Like Jasmine, Whispers of Rest, 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 at...

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  1. Your post is a timely word for my heart. I keep mulling this over: “God does it to release us from the burden of keeping things alive that really should be dying.” Thanks for letting Him speak through you!

  2. Yes there is a plate, more like a big turkey platter, that is spinning wildly out of control in my mind. And God is telling me rather boldly that it needs to drop. I need to drop it and trust Him to carry me through the effects of the shattering.

    Pray that today is the day I let that plate fall as I meet with my counselor again. If I can just open up the sealed box of emotions and memories that are sitting in the middle of the platter/my heart then maybe I will let this thing fall once and for all. Then maybe I will give God control and watch him piece me back together. I need to let this go, I need to move on, I really need to TRUST that I will be okay if I do this………….

  3. These words are balm for my soul, I will be back to reread them. Thanks for being God’s messenger. I pray that I will be able to absorb them, allowing God to work on my heart.

  4. This msg is in tune with what I faced last week. A commitment I made which was for 10 months I’m told now, will run into 18 months. This affects the other decisions I need to take. I felt God say to me that I needed to let go of ‘timelines’ in my life – what needed to fit in where and just at the right time. And the next day I happened to read Jon Gordon’s article ‘Your Big Life Plan’ in Guideposts, where he wrote – “Trust that there is a plan for you and let the possibilities unfold. In the process you will discover the great things you are born to do. You don’t have to push. Just trust and your destiny will meet you when the time is right.” I guess all my plates have come crashing down! Disappointed? Yes. But I’m learning to let go. :-))

  5. To live with a balanced understanding of the seasons of our life brings such freedom. When we understand this principle, we can freely say “no” to the things which don’t belong in our present season. Whatever He calls us to, He abundantly provides the resources for us to complete. Makes me think of Matthew 11: 28-30 in The Message:
    “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

  6. One plate I have been spinning for years now is a friendship that is clearly dead — what’s left of it is destructive. The signs were there for a long time and I know that I must stop submitting myself to someone else’s antics.

    But it is hard when you love them. And they don’t love you back. I am learning and letting it fall. Heartbreaking as it may be.

  7. Bonnie, I love how closely you listen to God’s heart and the way you share with all of us what you hear. Your words are manna, food for the soul, served up with a espresso shot of joy too. Thanks for sharing yourself, your journey, with us. Love ya, girly!

  8. I needed to read this so much… though I wonder when it is God saying “drop the plate” and when it’s just me feeling “I really want to drop this plate and hear the lovely smash”. 🙂

  9. These are sweet words to my heart today. I am learning that trying with all my might to hold something together is much harder than just letting it fall apart. Thank you!

  10. This message has spoken to my spirit and I am glad for it. With a history of trying to control people, circumstances, relationships or “endings” in my life, I can honestly say it has left me unfulfilled and frustrated in many ways. It has become clear to me that my need to control comes from fear of conflict, hurt, and trials. I am slowly realizing, though, that this is not how God wants our lives to be. To identify with or partake in the sufferings of Christ requires brokenness that comes through those things that I have tried to avoid. I want to let go so God can have His way. Thank you for this message.

  11. I was just talking to God about this this morning. Asking him to trust that he will get us through to the end of our adoption journey. We are in the 4-6 weeks of our journey to our daughter waiting in China. We are short on the funds needed to complete the adoption and I am stewing over what I should be doing. As I had a nearly sleepless night I kept thinking and talking to God about it. I am hearing him that I need to trust him to see us through. I am a take charge and make it happen kind of mom and it is hard for me to stop, stand back and let God handle it.

    Pray for me that I will let God handle it.

    • Mandie, I have two daughters adopted from China. The last adoption had so many obstacles. I still have the email from an official telling me that it would never work. At every step, I had to trust that God’s will, whatever it was, would prevail. It was really hard. I didn’t breathe for two months at the end. But here we are, years down the road, and the daughter people said would never be mine is a freshman in college. I know it’s hard. God’s blessings on you and your family. –Galen

    • Mandie, I am praying for you right now. May God give you the strength to wait this through and carry you through every step of the way. May He provide your every need!

  12. For this control type A personality just trying to slow down is something God has siad I must do. I need it very much right now…so I am on the path of learning exactly what that looks like.

    • You may be feeling like control Type A, but your words tell me He is changing you to be Type F, faithfully learning to depend on Him. Thank you, Tammy!

  13. This morning I have been struggling with anxiety regarding a decision to quit a program I am a part of. I click on the (in)courage bookmark thinking perhaps I could find a little something to encourage me. What a relief to read that not only is it okay to let one of my “plates” fall but sometimes God is actually calling me to do so. This spoke directly into my struggle this morning and allowed me to let go of my anxiety and allow the Holy Spirit to take control. Truly thank you, it was such needed blessing.

  14. Always! I spin many!
    My family has this thing they like to do….and it’s called rest!

    I know I’m pushing it when the whole gang shuts down and says NO!

  15. So there Bonnie…very timely post for me. I am surrendering taking one small step of faith until God opens up the next door for us. Scary, but very exciting…and hopeful. Also trying to give up the busyness of life, and let some things fall off, to keep the ones that are the most important in my life right now.

    Thanks.

  16. Losing my way … and finding my way back again. A time of transformation, changes, releasing, becoming. Holding on as life’s current pulls me away from the familiar, feeling my fingers slipping off. Straining to see what’s up ahead.

    A place of extreme discomfort. It’s very hard to stay, to tolerate the restlessness, to abide in the unknowing. My instinct is to escape, to choose something, anything, to get relief from the waiting, from the fear.

    But my spirit says to wait. To trust. To be willing, when the time comes. And to remember — This moment, this holy instant, is always perfect.

    So I wait. Willing, at least trying to be willing, to go to the places that scare me. Trusting, at least trying to trust, that angels surround me and that everything is exactly the way it should be. Perfect.

    Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. –Exodus 23:20

  17. Oh yes! For a long time I felt awful serving God and I felt so awkward feeling that way. I was told not to be a quitter, but my life was far too busy. I had to stop a few things. I feel much better now..I can breathe again. Letting go of something isn’t a bad thing..and we shouldn’t make people feel like it is..if people need a break we should support them in that. I dropped running Toys for Tots, left directing a woman’s recovery home, our family migrated to a smaller fellowship, and we are healthier in heart because of it.

    • “I was told not to be a quitter…” Sisterlisa! Good for you for listening to that Voice in your heart and kudos for the fruitfulness that is in your heart now! It’s beauty that God sees and values.

  18. This is beautiful Bonnie, as always. I do have a tendency to let worry cloud my thoughts but I try to remember what Jesus taught and take one day at a time (or one season of life) at a time.

  19. Bonnie,

    Thank you for this…I have a few plates that need to drop and I have been too scared to let go of them and just trust.

    You have spoken right to my heart today…thank you so very much.
    Julie

  20. Hi Bonnie!

    I know you were sitting there, writing, talking to me 🙂 Just kidding. But that is what is in my heart and it is so hard to let go. I spent my life being the fixer. My fixer doesn’t work any more. My children don’t need it. And still I cling to that way of life.

    Please pray that I can pry my fingers, heart, and head off of worries. Let go and let God.

    May God bless you. I love you!
    Grandma Patty Ann

  21. I have recently been thrown on the spinning platter – that has moved at a pace that doesn’t seem to want to stop – – going round and round. And I hold on – -not asking God, Why? but what? what do you want me to do with this? I currently hate my reality – – – wishing for an escape, but knowing God has allowed the heartache. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who reminds of God’s word — -(the other day I was driving home and crying, God what do you want me to do? and very clearly I heard “II Chronicles 20:12” . . .so, as soon as I got home, I opened up God’s word and it said: “we don’t know what to do, so we look to you for help.” WOW! so, I’m trying to see, trying to trust . . .today’s post and the things that others have shared have spoken to me. I don’t know what His plan is . . .so I’m trying to believe He does have a plan.

  22. Hi Bonnie

    Thanks for this post. I am totally guilty of letting too many plates spin. It’s time for me to drop them and trust that God has good plans for me.

  23. No…we can’t keep all the plates spinning all the time. We do need to let them fall. If we do not catch them to spin another day, He will. And…when we’re ready…if we’re ready to spin it into our lives again, He will have guarded it and nurturned it–kept it safe. He has our back and knows sometimes we try to do way too much and need to let things fall away making room for rest and quality of service. Thanks, again Bonnie…I know trying to do much more than I have wits or time to invest. Ciao!

  24. This post Is written for me today. I am so stressed my mind is always working overtime. I can’t stop stressing my heart is aching. I need to leave my life in Gods hands.

  25. Thank you for these words. I worry way too much as well. Once again, I have a financial worry. God has always taken care of me when situations like this arise, but yet whenever it rears it’s ugly head again, I seem to take that plate and try to juggle it on my own. It’s time for me to let it drop, shatter to pieces, and let God sweep it away.

  26. I busily finished dead-heading my MIL flowers, aerated the soil so it can absorb the moisture from the winter snow, wound up the hose so it can rest for the seasons in the basement. It is the ending of growth, but also the beginning. Leaves and blooms die so new one can grow. God is ending this season so He can begin the next. Letting God carry me through one ending, reminding me He is doing the carrying, He knows the path, and I, well, I just need the trust and faith to let Him lead-where it may be, because, it will be the best. I am good at organizing beginnings, but grasp too tightly to the product, the service platter, that it’s hard to let go when “meal ” is gone. Thanks, Bonnie, I can relax my grip and know God is there, and it’s OK.

  27. So what I needed to hear today Bonnie. I wrote about being still yesterday and how I’m learning I need to simply be still for him to work on my heart and spirit. Especially about trust lately. Thank you for sharing these words today.

  28. I so needed to hear this/read this ^_^. somewhere inside my heart, i have been troubled with not letting go of things that are already out of hand… I feel at ease, Thank You.

  29. Oh Bonnie, you have no idea just how much I needed this RIGHT NOW. As someone in ministry I am used to balancing and juggling many plates, wife, mom, ministry leader, Pastor’s wife, writer, partner…and on and on…but just this week He has been pressing this on my heart. So, when you wrote this: “There are necessary endings, Bonnie (Melissa). Let the plate fall. It needs to break. Let me take care of you.” you spoke right to ME! Thank you for sharing your heart! ~Melissa

  30. […] I need to do this, today I’m getting serious. I’m asking a simple question, based on a blog post by Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista at inCourage. (Ladies, this is one blog you should be […]

  31. After 20 years in ministry we recently took a “sabbatical.” At least that was what it was supposed to be. But rest didn’t come easy and in hindsight I realize it is because I was not willing to let the plates fall. Even when not physically present, I kept them spinning in my mind. Sigh.
    We’ve returned to ministry. It’s autumn. Lots of falling leaves. That is why this quote really stands out to me: “There comes a time when God brings us into a season of autumn. Where there was once fervor and activity, He calls us to let go and slow down. He doesn’t quiet our lives because we’ve done something bad. God does it to release us from the burden of keeping things alive that really should be dying.”
    It really is a burden to try to control the outcomes that are so far past us. In my spirit I hear the sound of breaking plates. Lord, let me accept the necessary endings and remain focused on You.
    Blessings, Bonnie!

  32. First of all, I LOVE that you used the spinning plate analogy! It is my go-to, more than “juggling”. And you are the first person outside myself I’ve seen use it.

    Secondly, you must be reading my mail. 🙂 I am myself in “Fall”- and am having a very difficult time with the idea of letting plates fall. Thank you for the fresh dose of perspective!!

  33. Bonnie,

    It is so hard to let go of the fear when it seems likea lot of your fears do come true! I am trying so hard to Live pleasing to God, especially during this transitional time. I pray that he is happy with my Efforts! May my Life Glorify him andmay he be proud to call me his child!

    Love in Christ
    Sis in Christ
    Tina