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Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest Paperback – June 3, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 198 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Move beyond Surviving to a Rejuvenating Place of Soul Rest

How many of us find ourselves running on empty with no time for rest, no time for ourselves, no time for God? 

Bonnie Gray knows what that's like. On the brink of fulfilling a lifelong dream, she saw her plans shatter into a journey through painful memories and anxiety. In her search for answers, she made an important discovery: we all need spiritual whitespace.

 It's the space on a page left unmarked. Untouched. Whitespace makes art beautiful. It gives the eye a place to rest. Just like beautiful art, our souls need balance and beauty.      

With heartbreaking honesty, Bonnie guides you to discover a better story for yourself, one that feeds your soul and makes room for rest. Infused with biblical encouragement and thought-provoking prompts, this book shows us how to create space in the everyday for God, refreshment, and faith--right in the midst of our stress-frayed lives.

"Whitespace is soul grace. Bonnie Gray ushers weary women into the real possibility."--Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts

"Women need this message. If you want to hear Jesus speak more tenderly to your soul than ever before, this is the book for you."--Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author of Unglued

"We live in a culture that brags and boasts about being busy. Into that reality steps Bonnie with a new idea."--from the foreword by Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Start

Bonnie Gray is the soulful writer behind faithbarista.com, serving up shots of faith for the daily grind. Her work is featured on DaySpring (in)courage and nationally syndicated on Crosswalk.com. After graduating from UCLA, Bonnie served as a missionary, ministry entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Eric, and their two sons.


Named by Crosswalk as one of the Best Books for Christian Women in 2014

"This is a soul-stirring book that takes you on a journey to make space in life to nurture your heart with God and dream dreams in new ways. This book will give women permission to say yes to God, practical ways to say yes to rest and find the spark in their hearts again."--Kelly Givens, editor of iBelieve

"Gray, a popular blogger at Faith Barista, set out to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing a book. When she began, however, repressed memories resurfaced and the book turned into a reluctant account of her journey through unrecognized post-traumatic stress. The author relates the heartbreaking childhood experiences that led to severe panic attacks, insomnia, and fear. Helping her through her confrontation with her own past are a supportive husband, a good therapist, and whitespace--places in her life like the blank areas of an artist's canvas--where she can rest and tend her soul. She offers intriguing insights into Scripture and on how God views his flawed but beloved creations. At each chapter's end, journaling prompts help readers identify areas where they need to create white space. More than just a memoir, this is an invitation to walk the difficult road to self-discovery and healing with a fellow traveler who understands. Learning how to identify stressors and eliminate emotional clutter will benefit anyone, not just those suffering from PTSD."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the founder of Faith Barista, a contributor to Crosswalk.com, and a featured writer for DaySpring's popular (in)courage blog. Her writing is nationally syndicated and has been spotlighted in Christianity Today and McClatchy-Tribune News Ser
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800721799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721794
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I grew up in a home where we did things--cleaned our rooms, swept the floors, did the dishes, worked in the garden, did our homework, practiced music lessons. Sometimes, I felt that if I wasn't doing something all of the time, I was "lazy." Except at night--then we could watch TV or play board games. . . . Rest was what we did when the work was finished, and sometimes, it wasn't finished until we went to bed.

Yes, I am one of those people pleasers who measures her worth by how much she has accomplished, and I never measure up.

When I accepted the invitation to join Bonnie Gray's launch team for "Finding Spiritual Whitespace," I didn't know what to expect from her book and from her story. While I'm supposed to be giving Bonnie the gift of reading and reviewing her book, she has given me a greater gift--the gift to rest, the gift to be who God created me to be, and even more than than that, the gift to figure out who that person is.

Like Bonnie, I have PTSD as a result of losing my home in a house fire and from the resulting burns from that fire; I get panic attacks, too, when I'm in situations that are beyond my control, often triggered by the presence of fire and flame. I am slowly learning how to deal with these situations. Bonnie has given us permission to live with those conditions, to accept them as part of who we are now because of who we were then.

I found that even though Bonnie has given journaling prompts at the end of every chapter, I did not want to stop reading to do the writing. I was caught up in her story of childhood trauma and recovery. I wanted to hold the little girl Bonnie and tell her that she was so very loved all the way to the end of the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had a hard time getting into this book, "Finding Spiritual Whitespace" by Bonnie Gray. I liked the writing; she has a beautiful, laid-back style. I just couldn't relate. Gray has come from a hard childhood - parents divorced when she was young, her dad left and never tried to communicate with her or her sister, her mom was verbally abusive and seems like a really tough woman.

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"Finding Spiritual Whitespace" is kind of set up like a study. There are questions at the end of each chapter and usually they pertain to your past. Examples: When have you felt cut up? What is your earliest memory of being happy? Sad? What kind of music did you enjoy listening to as a child?

Oh goodness, I just don't have that many memories. Honestly. Gray found that she had memories stored in her that were causing post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks. I just don't remember much. It's kind of a joke in my family. And especially vivid memories - those are lost on me.

What I really appreciated about this book was the Whitespace Challenge. Throughout the telling of her coming through PTSD and those challenges, Gray shared with us a sort of new way to spend time with God. Not a scheduled, sit down with a Bible, journal, and some nice calming music quiet time. But learning to invite God into the "whitespace" of your day.

I love this idea. I stress a lot about doing things "right" - prayer, meditation, memorization, Bible study. A lot of things that are good things but things I don't believe God wants us to stress over! But there are a million voices telling me the "right" way to do things. And I'm so Type A people pleaser that I hate to disappoint or do it "wrong.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are times when you sit down to read a book and it completely grips you. Bonnie's book did that for me. Her story of childhood trauma stirs the emotions. Her battle with panic attacks demonstrates her bravery. Bonnie doesn't leave the story there. She goes on to talk of her journey to find rest or "spiritual whitespace". How can we make time to rest? To take care of ourselves? To spend time with God so that He can renew us? Through spiritual whitespace. By leaving some of our time blank for God to fill.

Not only is her story gripping, her book is practical. She lays out how to rest. The book contains journaling prompts and suggestions for activities to find whitespace in your life. There is quite a creative collection of ideas. I found the prompts to be healing when I sat down to write. I haven't done all of them, but the one that I did do were eye-opening. The suggested activities range from enjoying the outdoors to creating a memory journal to spending time with an old friend.

I read a ton of books each year. You could say I devour them, but Bonnie's book now holds a special place on my shelf. It helped me to go through some healing and learn how to take time to rest. I would have to say that so far this year it has been the top read for me. If you are struggling with healing or finding peace or experiencing stress, Bonnie's book is not to be missed!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading Bonnie Gray’s book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: awakening your soul to rest, a book about choosing to let God in, a book about choosing to let Him guide our time, our memories, our choices throughout the day. It’s a book about surrendering, in all the possible ways. It’s a book about a little girl’s heart that was broken and healed again when she let herself be guided into moments with her Father, especially moments in her past that He longed to heal and rewrite.

Bonnie’s story is stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking and glorious. All of this. She is raw and vulnerable and so amazingly brave in how she shares the details of her life that brought such wounding to her heart, as a little girl–this wounding that she carried with her until less than two years ago, when the weight of her wounds led to her experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

God doesn’t want to leave us in the same place. He comes for the brokenhearted, resurrecting the hearts of His daughters who, as little girls, suffered. He knows His daughters, while even grown, still suffer: He knows when the wounds of the past are too great. He knows when the memories have been pushed down, tucked away, not surrendered to and rewritten by Jesus.
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