Sometimes it’s tempting for us to hide and stay small rather than risk getting hurt and stepping out to be the beautiful person God created you to be. It may feel easier to stay small and hide, but what is it that God put on your heart for this year? Do you notice what beautiful things He is growing in you?
Whatever it is, you can nurture it with rest. When you take the time to rest in who God created you to be, you can feel the peace and joy of being the true you because what makes you beautiful is the way you uniquely see, notice, feel, and experience the things that light you up.
Rest isn’t the absence of movement. It’s blossoming in the love God has for you and boldly moving in the direction God’s gentle love compels you to enjoy and do. Rather than trying to fit into someone else’s idea of beautiful, rest and be the beautiful true you!
It’s easier to get pulled away by busyness and stress, but busyness takes a toll on us. We rush from one thing to the next, and the checklists never end. Yet with every checklist we complete, there is a cost. Unless we step away and rest, unless we allow God to restore and revitalize us, we become dangerously busy. We become depleted and diminished in our capacity to feel our emotions, to hear God’s whispers, to be present with others, to be who we were created to be: simply beloved.
We need time to be refreshed, even if it initially appears barren or feels wasteful. The truth is we may feel guilty to believe we are worth the rest and nourishment. It’s easier to believe we can fix or change ourselves, but living one restful moment at a time, receiving just one word of love from Jesus every day, can lead us to a completely different, life-giving destination.
What if God’s plan for us is not to be more busy but to be more loved?
Listen to Jesus’ invitation to you now, the one He offered to His disciples:
Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.
Mark 6:31 (NASB)
That day was so busy, the Scriptures tell us, that they didn’t have time to eat. The crowds were following them. There were so many people in need, so many things to do, so many things left unsaid. Yet Jesus invites His disciples to step away — no more doing or meeting needs. They even had to escape by boat to get away.
In the same way, Jesus says to us, Come away by yourselves and rest.
We need to unplug and get rejuvenated — how? Create small pockets of rest in your schedule. Stop pouring out. Enjoy what fills you up.
See God use those moments to bring beauty into your day, like waves washing over the sand. God wants to fill your calendar with peace and joy. He wants to refill you. Perhaps Jesus is giving you permission to step away by “boat,” by some radical, unexpected way, to leave the “crowds” in your world and unplug from busyness.
Hear Him whisper to you,
You are beautiful to Me.
Come away with Me, rest awhile.
Nurture the true you,
With Me today.
God is growing something beautiful in your life. Do you see it? Rest and nurture who God has created you to be. Be kind to yourself and rest between His shoulders, shielded by God’s deep, irrevocable love for you.
A Prayer for Today
Give me courage to choose beauty that comes from nurturing the true me.
Like waves returning the sand, have Your way in me.
Help me step away. I choose to be beloved, not busy, today.
How is God inviting you to rest and nurture the true you?
For more encouragement to rest beautiful in God’s love, join Bonnie’s FREE soul care webinar, blog and podcast series, Be Loved: Nurture The Beautiful True You Series! Sign up here and invite a friend! Sign up and download 24 Rest Ideas today!
What if God’s plan for us is not to be more busy but to be more loved? - @thebonniegray: Click To Tweet
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Amen Bonnie. We all need rest and reminders NOT to fill our time and days do FUZlL that we forget to look after ourselves and recharge through time with God.
Blessings to you.
Bonnie Gray says
thanks, Jas! I love how you use the word “recharge”as time with God – and looking after ourselves is part of that soul care! Have a beautiful rest of this day – and week. May this message of rest and God’s love carry you through the week, friend!
Michele Morin says
Such good words for the day when we all gather, blessing one another with acts of service rendered first to God. With so much to do on a Sunday morning, I forget sometimes that God wants my presence more than He wants my busy-ness. It will be a great gift this morning to remember these words as I settle into my seat and let the Word of God wash over me in all its power and beauty.
Bonnie Gray says
Yes, I love how you’re always such a soulful listener to his voice. And you are a poet at heart as you shared how these words spoke to you – “God wants my presence more than He wants my busy-ness…It will be a great gift this morning to remember these words as I settle into my seat and let the Word of God wash over me in all its power and beauty.” Thanks, Michele!
Jane Devine says
I just loved this post!!! My word for the year is “nurture” and this spoke right to the meaning behind why I chose that word. Thank you!!
Bonnie Gray says
What a beautiful, beautiful word for the year, Jane! It’s just rich with invitation to rest and enjoy everything God has for you -just for you! i hope you can join the “Be Loved” series I’ll be starting soon on my blog at thebonniegray.com – just sign up and you’ll get access to my free webinar… 😉
Beth Williams says
Needed words today!! Women are guilty of believing that we must “strive” to earn God’s goodness/grace. The world says do & achieve more. Keep on keeping on. Lysa Terkerurst in her book “The Best Yes” says: “saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman. It will make me a worn out woman.” She states we need to make our choices with eternity in mind. Worn out women don’t have anything to give to their loved ones. God doesn’t need us to do everything all time. He desperately wants us to be slow down & listen for His still small voice. God wants to shower His love on us, but can’t if we’re moving & doing all the time. We need to drop our to do lists & learn to say no more often. Think on this: if Jesus needed to get away for some quiet time with God then how much more do we need it? This world is so noisy & divisive. We need to sit quietly & let God fill us up. We need to soak up God’s love & enjoy the beauty around us.
Bonnie Gray says
yes, it’s so true, Beth. That’s why I love how God is always gentle with His continual reminders to rest and refresh!
Before I knew it was you I wondered if it was…..Thank-you so much for your beautiful words and for including such a peaceful offering from the Lord. “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place to rest awhile.” Mark 6:31
Have a blessed day all,
Bonnie Gray says
We’re good friends, across the miles – kindred spirits. Love how you recognize my heart, before you read it was written by me! love to you friend! may this day be a blessing to you, Penny!
Oh yeah.. I love that I can rest between His shoulders, shielded by His love! And fill my calendar with peace & joy? I’m on it Bonnie:)
Happy and a blessed Sunday as you rest in Jesus \0/
Bonnie Gray says
Hi Sadie!! yes, let’s do this! my special series will start soon on my blog and I cannot wait to do the webinar and special podcasts and blog posts!! So loved this speaks to you heart too!
This spoke to my heart today. “Rest isn’t the absence of movement. It’s blossoming in the love God has for you and boldly moving in the direction God’s gentle love compels you to enjoy and do. Rather than trying to fit into someone else’s idea of beautiful, rest and be the beautiful true you!” God is growing self confidence in me so much this past year. He gave me the confidence to go out and play ice hockey for the first time in my life. I had always wanted to play when I was younger but my parents didn’t want me to get hurt. Only my brothers could play. So now I am a substitute on a women’s team when they need someone to fill in. He also gave me the confidence to take over my son’s saxophone lessons (he didn’t want to play anymore). I once again always wanted to learn how to play when I was younger. God knew what would light me up and fill me with joy. I thank Him daily for all the blessings He has been giving me. I am also listening to Him and will be helping to lead a Moms In Prayer group in our area so Moms can pray for their child, other children and our schools. He is so good…
Bonnie Gray says
oh, my goodness, Amy!! YES!! I love, love, love that you are playing ice hockey for the first time in your life!! That is so beloved and BIG step of faith to BE YOU!! I am the same way – so many things I couldn’t do when I was a little girl because of the way I was brought up (I wrote about this in my books Finding Spiritual Whitespace and Whispers of Rest) but now we can create new memories and experience God by doing the things He puts on your heart!! I can’t love this post enough!! Are you on my mailing list for my blog? i hope you can join the “Be Loved” series I’ll be starting soon on my blog at thebonniegray.com – and it would be so special to have you a part of it!! just sign up or if you’re already there, yay!!
Ron Careless says
to Bonnie and all the ladies who replied to this message. My wife has shared these messages with me from time to time and my word for this year is HOPE. We have been struggling in our fifty-two year marriage for the past decade and your messages and blogs have lifted my spirit so I now have HOPE that this year there will be a major improvement and blessings in our life together. Thank you for your inspiration and care . Ron from Australia.
Donna Waldrop says
I rescued this email from my junk folder. I never even open that up. Today I did and I clicked on your email. Words can not express how timely your words are today. After a weekend of interrupted plans and a resentful heart, feeling selfish because I did not want to spend time with grandkids or have overnight company. I love them but I had plans. Not important plans but my plans. I love my kids and grands but I also like my empty nest. I feel so threaten because I can’t say “no”. I feel selfish because my daughter in law needs friends, a church family and she will not seek them out herself. She depends on me so much. Anyway, to make a long story short. I rested this morning in reading God’s words, your words, journaling and praying…feeling beloved. Thank you for the reminder. I have rescued your emails and hope to read more in the future. May God bless you!
Pearl Allard says
Bonnie,I really appreciate your writing. I didn’t have time to read this the day it came out, but when I saw you were the author I saved it to read later. Just really resonate with what you share. Thank you.
Gina Quintanilla says
Bonnie, thank you so much for this! I have been struggling with this for so long. I feel as though I have no time for myself to talk to God even in the morning while I am getting ready for work. My husband and daughter do not do things to help me around the house and to help get things done. My daughter is 28 and has Epilepsy and I am now her caregiver since she is separated from her husband as of a year ago. My husband is an alcoholic who would rather drink as soon as he gets home from work everyday. On the weekend he may help me some, but I do a bulk of the work while he sometimes lays on the bed and watches tv. By the time I go to bed at night I am exhausted. I am struggling with how to hear God tell me I’m beautiful and there have been a lot of times where I hide just so I won’t get hurt. Because I have been hurt so many times. I don’t know how to let go and let God! I struggle with so many things and I don’t know to listen for God when he is speaking to me. Especially when He is speaking good to me.
Gina, Jesus is with you!
Cling to God’s Word; hide with it! Make some moments to spend in it even when work is pressing; God will take care of your time and work if you make sure to spend some time with Him.
Find a truth or promise that speaks to you where you are at, and walk in that truth all day! Think on it, speak it, sing it, pray it – and preach it to the lies that your circumstances, relationships, and mind whisper to you. You ARE loved (Jeremiah 31:3), God DOES care (1Peter 5:7), He WILL carry your burdens, (Psalm 55:22), and He WANTS you to rest in Him (Matthew 11:28-30)! And He IS listening to your prayers (1Peter 3:12, 1John 5:14,15, Isaiah 65:24).
Find a Christian mentor (pastor, teacher, friend, mature Christian) to walk with you in prayer and counsel! God does not plan for you to be alone; ask Him to lead you to a friend.
Praying for you!
Hugs from a sister in Christ,
I am in desperate need of rest. Just retired after 25 years of ministry. What I am finding hard is to say “no” to people that I’ve been working with all of these years. Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean that their needs have retired. I feel guilty saying no. I know that guilt is not from God. I am happy to be retired, happy to be Christ’s beloved. How do I tell people that I care, but I can’t do what I did before? There were weeks, months, when I was putting in 60 hours/week. I’m tired….and the needs are still great. Thanks for listening.
Joan Munro says
Your post really resonated with my heart’s cry and desire. In this season of my life, I have learned to Rest in the Lord. It’s easier said than done for an A+ personality, but it has been my best year just spending time with God, listening to Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort me. “Be Still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Thank you for the reminders of Jesus resting, going away to pray and spending time alone in the quiet, with His
(and our) Loving Father! God created the Sabbath for Rest, as even our Creator “rested on the 7th day”. Our whole being is designed for rest….time for quiet, stillness, and the absence of stress. Thank you for encouraging us to be more like Mary and sit quietly at the feet of Jesus.