Monday, June 23, 2014

Book review: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

The Princess has now finished the book: Finding Spiritual Whitespace, so here comes her overall review:

The main points about this beautiful book is that it gave the Princess permission to rest, it eased the pressure to perform in her spiritual life and it gave her ideas on how to accept the little girl princess inside.

When you have lived a life of anxiety like the Princess has, it is hard to find guilt free down time.  There is always something else that she should be doing.  She learned that 'shoulds' ought to be banned from her internal vocabulary when she discovered that she had lived a life of anxiety and hadn't known it!  The (very annoying) voice in her head, is quick to tell her she is lazy and quick to tell her all the productive things she should be doing that she really doesn't want to do.  The Princess doesn't obey the voice so often anymore, she likes to rebel and blow it a raspberry but not obeying hasn't made it go away.

There must be a new voice in her head, if the annoying one is to be drowned out.  Princess Morag has tried to cultivate a more kindly, gentle internal voice and has borrowed from encouraging people in her life in order to do that.  Bonnie Gray's voice has now been added to that choir.  Her gentle and encouraging words in her softly spoken voice, have registered in the Princess's brain.  Instead of the accusations, she wants to listen to Bonnie's beautiful invitation to rest.  And if Bonnie is inviting her, then she must be giving the little princess inside permission to rest and respond.

Many of the other Christian public voices have not given the Princess permission to rest, they have given her a new checklist to perform.  Quiet times, prayer, bible study, verse memorisation - she's done them all.  And they helped her a bit.  But they also compounded the guilt and continued the lie that there is something wrong with her when they didn't completely ease the pain or provide the peace she was looking for.

Christianity is based on a person, not a checklist.  The Princess finds the elusive peace when she whispers the name of Jesus, and when she reflects with gratitude on the little moments of whitespace where he leaves her gifts of love.  For Bonnie to say that these fleeting moments count - that they are not spiritual frosting, that they are the spiritual manna that Princess Morag had thought they were, was a great confirmation that her hope was in the right place after all.

"God uses everything living to speak into our lives.  He knows what's on your heart and the everyday life you are living.  God leaves us love notes in that everyday life to let us know: he is a part of our living story." (p169/170)

Princess Morag knows she will come back to this book in which she has underlined passages and written notes at the side.  It was so rich in help and healing and wisdom.  She entered into Bonnie's story and found so many echoes of her own.  But she wasn't left abandoned at the side of the road like the wounded Samaritan, she was found and taken to the healer who will bind her wounds and let her rest till she has recovered.

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful, Princess. I, too, find Bonnie's book life-changing. There is so much to process that I had to read it slowly, but I'd like to go back and read it again as I'm sure there is much I missed the first time around. I love your statement that "Christianity is based on a person, not a checklist." Amen. It's sad that even "Christians" put so much pressure on us to perform. I'm trying to just "be" who God created me to be instead of "doing" what is expected of me. Blessings to you, Princess, on this journey!