Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finding Spiritual Whitespace, the book review that led me to rest

Finding Spiritual Whitespace
This post is part of the  “Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour” which I am a part of, along with a group of soulful, journeying kindreds. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  

I was first introduced to Bonnie Gray's writing through a MOPS blog challenge. I immediately fell in love with her writing which I found to be both beautiful and real. I began following her over at Faith Barista and even linked up with a few of her blog prompts from Faith Jam (now Whitespace Linkup). During the winter months when anxiety was once again overwhelming me, I treasured her voice that spoke out about how Jesus met her as is, where she was, in the middle of anxiety attacks. It is a perspective often lost in the Christian community and one that I desperately needed.

When Bonnie sent an email to her blog followers offering a copy of her book Finding Spiritual Whitespace to those who would review it on their blog I was all in. Sweet, free book only for the cost of doing what I love, writing about it. I planned on flying through the book and putting my fingers to the keyboard in record time. Bonnie writes in an easy laid back style that breathes beauty from every word, getting through her book and writing about it was going to be a piece of cake and gave me a goal to work toward.

I did not however expect that the story she told would cause me to pause to reflect time and time again. I didn't expect to be underlining passage after passage. I didn't expect that I would spend time reflecting my own journey to healing. I didn't expect anything that I actually encountered with reading this book.

This book is not a book to bring to the beach for brainless entertainment, it isn't the book to bring to the salon while waiting for your highlights to cure. This is a book to curl up with after everyone else is asleep. This is a book to make sure you have a pen and a journal handy. Bonnie told her painful story but never left a single chapter without hope. She asked us to walk alongside her as she found rest in the midst of pain and throughout each chapter I found myself seeing my own story.

Although my story is different from Bonnie's, I felt as though she were telling my story through the pages of her book. The rejection I experienced came from a different source than the rejection she experienced, and yet I knew that we both shared that part of our stories. The PTSD that I have suffered has come from a different avenue that the PTSD that she has suffered, but yet in the pages of this book we were soul sisters.

Bonnie never once projected her pain onto the reader but yet beautifully expressed her story in a way that helped me to embrace my own story. Each chapter ministered to a place in my soul in a way that words seem to fail to express. As I wandered through the pages of this book I encountered soul rest in a completely new way. I took time to seek beauty. I took time to daydream. I took time to journal again.

One of the many concepts that I loved in this book is that God didn't create me for rest but rather created rest for me. God brought rest at the end of creation because He knew that through rest we would find strength, inspiration, and beauty. God created me to long for beauty and through these pages I allowed myself to crave beauty in a way that I had previously thought to be selfish and extravagant.

This book has made my list of life changing books. Few books in my collection are as underlined and dog-eared as this one has become.I say it is a must read (You can get a copy HERE.and I also say read it with the knowledge that while the reading is easy the thinking is deep. The chapters are short and easy to read but the best part of reading this book was sipping it slowly rather than gulping to the finish.


Thoughts for the day said...

Beautifully written and shared. I agree this is not a book you take to the doctor's office while you wait for someone. This is a book you read in silence, through a posture of prayer with an open mind, and pen and paper along with kleenex. It is a soul searching, challenging book. Beautiful and full of hope. (I wrote my own 'blog' about it too)

Dawn said...

thank you. I have loved reading the other posts about this book and setting how it has met each of us exactly where we are, even though we are all at different places in our journey to rest.