Find the Space to Breathe and Hear the Whispers of God

“Whitespace is not blank—it breathes beauty and gives our souls a place to rest.”
Bonnie Gray, Finding Spiritual Whitespace

'Whitespace is not blank—it breathes beauty and gives our souls a place to rest.' Bonnie Gray, Finding Spiritual Whitespace Click To Tweet

space to rest

The work suited me, but it was the setting that marked the job as a perfect fit. Three summers I spent working for the county in a nature preserve/park. The tasks were far from glamorous—hand weed whipping along trails, picking up trash, painting. But I loved the job … and the area. 

Many late afternoons, long after the day’s work had ended, my mother would find me roaming the trails of the preserve. I couldn’t get enough of the woods, streams, and interspersed prairie/meadows. I was happiest outside.

Even before this job, I spent many hours roaming the hills and valleys of my parent’s farm. I felt connected to the stark rock outcroppings, the quick-flowing trout stream, the cool moistness of the valley flats. Something in the natural rhythms of creation stirred me.

I’m still drawn to the rugged beauty God created in nature. Our periodic family trips to the primitive Boundary Waters Canoe Area rejuvenate my soul like little else. The rugged desert canyons of Arizona urge me to explore. The remote mountain ranges beg me to discover their hidden secrets.

I didn’t make the connection in those younger years of county work, but I feel God’s presence more acutely in natural settings than anywhere else. Time seems to stand still, and heaven is nearly touchable. My soul breathes and the deep wilderness “quiet” brings God’s whispers on the wind.

Space to Breathe

Bonnie Gray, founder of the blog Faith Barista and author of the soon-to-be released book Finding Spiritual Whitespace, calls this whitespace. A place to rest and be. A time to meet God without the distractions of a crazy busy life.

We all need moments to let our spirits soar, space to breathe deep and have our souls filled.

We all need moments to let our spirits soar, space to breathe deep and have our souls filled. Click To Tweet

However, we often think of this as optional. Perhaps even as a waste of time. We fill our every crevice of the day with “to dos” and wonder why we feel depleted and deflated.

We fill our every crevice of the day with 'to dos' and wonder why we feel depleted and deflated. Click To Tweet

Yet, in the midst of His own difficult earthly journey, Jesus sought out a place to meet His Father. To find momentary release from His burdens. To receive strength and encouragement for the next step. (see Matthew 14:13, 23) 

For me, this space is on a bench in my special prairie plot, in the midst of an apple orchard in full bloom, in a canoe in the middle of a wilderness, in the woods surrounded by singing birds and vibrant wildflowers.

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I find room to breathe and be filled when I slow down enough to hear the buzz of the pollen-gathering bees. When I take time to notice the light rays bouncing off the shimmering lake. When I stop and smell the roses (lilacs in my case).

Draw Near to God

This place of reconnection and rejuvenation, it

  • assures us of God’s presence.
  • allows us the room to listen and stretch and be touched deep inside.
  • gives us uninterrupted communion with God.

When each day’s events weigh you down, bend you over with the burden of the tasks and the heaviness of uncertain decisions and inevitable failures…

When you find yourself wound tight, uncertain if you’ll unwind or just break …

That’s when you need to find that space to be. To release and reconnect. To breathe deep and let God refill your soul.

Soul space/soul rest is an important tool in embracing this life as a grace-filled child of God. For it’s then we hear His whispers of love and promise. 

When we give our soul space to rest, we are able to hear God's whispers of love and promise. Click To Tweet

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

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Reflections: Is there a special place you’ve found that gives your soul rest, that offers you room to breathe, that allows you to hear the whispers of God? I’d love to hear where you find soul rest. Drop a note in the comments. 

Don’t miss the release of Bonnie’s book on June 3 and my review of it on this site.

And if you live in Northern California check out this Book Launch Party: Finding Spiritual Whitespace: 

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Linking with

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By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

6 comments on “Find the Space to Breathe and Hear the Whispers of God
  1. Aliyah says:

    Hi Julie, I am visiting from Bonnie’s site and loved your post, I was drawn to it from the link up list. You share some of my heart as well, I love being outside. I love the birds and the rest that comes form hearing Gods voice int he wind and His song as the flowers dance, we were created for creation – to love it! May we find a moment to connect with God in our own space. Thank you for sharing and blessings on your journey.. Aliyah http://www.setapartwarrior.blogspot.com

    • Julie Sunne says:

      I’m so glad you stopped by, Aliyah. God restores my soul as the kaleidoscope of sights and sounds and scents of nature swirl around. Blessings to you as well.

  2. debbieinak says:

    Stopping by from Bonnie’s site. I love the outdoors too! These days being in my garden is my whitespace.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      I love gardening, Debbie, but I find it to be both restorative and draining, depending on how I approach it in that moment. Restorative when I make it about being the loveliness of creation and new life and provision. Draining when it becomes merely about the chore and what I will get out of it. Have you ever found that to be the case? It’s wonderful when we can identify a space for soul rest. Thank you for stopping.

  3. Tammy says:

    Stopping by from Bonnie’s. Lovely post. I loved the picture with the bench in tall grass. My spot is the back porch with my cup of tea and just watching the sunset. Breathing room for me. Haven’t been there in a while. Thanks for blessing my day.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      Thank you for blessing my day by gracing my site, Tammy! Love your breathing room scene. Give yourself permission to head there soon. 🙂

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