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I Need Rest


Gwen Smith

December 26, 2014

Blog, Devotions, Prayer, Worship

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Prayer is a bridge

I spin plates. Not real plates. Metaphorical plates. I spin lots of plates at the same time and I multi-task. This is both a blessing and a curse in my life. Sometimes my attention is divided in too many directions, leaving me harried … while at other times, I’m energized by the amount of things I can get done in a small window of time.

Regardless, there just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get things done or enough hours in the night to give me complete rest.

Can I get a witness?

Being a plate-spinning mom is a challenge. When my kids want me, they don’t like to wait for me to spin three more plates before I answer them or give them my attention. When my daughter Kennedy was a toddler, she figured out a way to stop me mid-task, no matter what I was doing. She would place her chubby little hands on my cheeks, look me in the eye, and demand my full attention. Then she would tell me what was on her mind or ask me a question. I became her captive audience.

Just like Kennedy used to seek my attention, the Spirit of the Lord often speaks a similar message to my heart: Don’t forget about me, Gwen! I know you have a lot going on, but your attention should be mine. I love you. Come sit with me a while.

Life is busy.

Each day we have activities, tasks, relationships, and distractions that vie for our time and attention. If we aren’t careful and deliberate, our relationship with God can suffer. The Lord doesn’t want to be an after-thought and He doesn’t want to be penciled in to our schedules. He wants us to prioritize Him. Focus our hearts on Him. Worship Him. Be with Him. Be still before Him. Rest in Him.

What are your priorities? Where does God fit into your schedule? How vital is it to you that you spend one-on-one time with God each day? Are you experiencing the supernatural rest that’s found in His presence?

In Mark 6:30-32, we learn that Jesus and His apostles had been busy working for their heavenly Father. In fact, they had worked with such vigor that they hadn’t even gotten a decent meal in their belly. (Boy, do I know what that’s like… and I bet you do too!) In response, Jesus invited them to get away with Him so they could find some rest and rejuvenation in His presence. He said, Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. (Mark 6:31, NIV) (CLICK to TWEET)

That same invitation is extended to you and me.

God wants you to pause the plate spinning and be His captive audience in this very moment. Go with Him to a quiet place: to be still, to gaze into His eyes, to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, to be lost in His glory, and found by His grace – to find rest.

Close your eyes and imagine His strong yet gentle hands reaching for your cheeks, lifting your chin, and drawing your eyes to His. Fix your soul-gaze on His beautiful, blazing, mercy-filled eyes.

Give the Lord your full attention. 

He will be your rest.

Heavenly Father,
Please forgive me for all of the times I fail to give You my attention. I shake my head at the very thought that You want to lock gazes with someone like me, yet Scripture clearly tells me that You desire to be sought after and found by me.  I’m here.  You have my full attention, please speak to my heart and help me to be Your captive audience throughout today and everyday
In Jesus’ Name, Amen

I co-wrote a song called “Sacred Place” that is purposed to lead you to His presence. Click here to listen to “Sacred Place” and personally respond to Him.


Where does this find you today? Click here to leave a comment and give me scoop. I love scoop. Feel free to leave a prayer request, pray for the other posts, and encourage one another in the comments section!


Find a solitary place, grab your Bible and read Psalm 103.

Thanks for doing life with me!


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About Gwen Smith

Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/B.OMIDIJI.OLAJIDE Bukkie Precious-Jewl

    Thanks Gwen, for taking me back to throne of worship this morning. Going through ps 103, vs 17 touched me. It’s God mercy and grace that i received for all that I am today . Glory be to His Holy Name… Thanks

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      You are so welcome! Yes… glory be to HIS name!

  • http://www.facebook.com/marianne.hertel Marianne Hertel

    Thank you,Gwen for this timely word! I’ve been missing my alone time with the LORD! Time for me to stop and be still with Jesus!! May your day be blessed!! :)

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Awesome. :) Blessings to you too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sue.datesman Sue Datesman

    Thank you for this Gwen.I find it so hard to be still before The Lord.My mind goes all over the place. Please pray for me.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Girl… I’m so with you! Distraction is my middle name. A prayer journal helps me. Also writing out my prayers and Scripture. :) Lord, Please help Sue to experience Your rest, renwal and glory as she seeks You. Take her deeper into Your focused love and guide her in her choices and priorities according to Your Word. In Jesus’s name, amen.

  • Eileen

    I don’t get as much time to physically come away and rest as I’d like, but sometimes, fairly often, I can spiritually, mentally get away. If I am doing menial or repetitive work (and anyone who keeps house knows there is plenty of this!) I can let my mind go to Jesus. It can be just in listening to music as I work or in turning the music off for some silent meditation. Had a real blessed (and helpful and convicting) time with Him yesterday while doing spring cleaning. This was actually facilitated by a couple of lines from yesterday’s GiG by Mary Southerland. I can likewise see something on Facebook or something I am reading which sends me to my Bible or prayer for a really good time with the Lord. I also find letting Him speak to me personally when preparing a Sunday school lesson or Bible study is a great way to get in touch. Being sensitive and responsive to the touch of the Holy Spirit in the midst of all my work, being busy but willing to come right away when called, seems to work very well for me.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Love it! Thanks for sharing that, Eileen. :)

  • Michelle

    Here it is…8:43 in the morning. Just spent the night at the emergency room with my son after calling 911 for him. Life has been busy for me also and I know God is calling out to me. But as I sit here and write this….I look to God and beg that my son will continue breathing with ease. He has croup and it is the one thing that sends me into a massive panic as it really does affect his breathing. I look to God and beg that I feel His rest and peace as I have not felt it for so long. This tired, achy body just hurts….so does this weary heart. Right now I am too tired to even focus…I know God understands…

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Oh, friend. I’m sorry. I know that mama ache. Lord, Please give Michelle the rest and peace she’s longing for. Please place Your powerful hand of comfort, love and healing on her sweet son. Give wisdom to the doctors and nurses and help Michelle to be a display of Your hope in the midst of this hard time. In Jesus’s name, amen.

    • Nicole S.

      To my sister Michelle, my son had major respiratory issues when he was young. God is a mighty healer but His healing comes in His time. Stay faithful, stay strong…God has a plan for you and your precious son.

  • Wandee

    Beautiful!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith


  • Kia

    Love it! This is exactly what I needed this morning. Father God please forgive me for the times when I felt that I was too busy to read your word, or to spend time with you. I need you every second, every minute, every hour of the day. Gwen, may God continue to bless you and your ministry.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Thanks, Kia. :) Blessings to you too, friend!

  • Julie Wang Hawkins

    I’m trying to make more time to spend in quietness with God, especially with Easter right around the corner. But it is hard! I have to work on banishing thoughts like things I need to do today. Although I have found that time with God really helps me find peace. I don’t have to do everything or be everywhere, I can just be with God and He actually arranges for a lot of thing to be taken care of! So I’m going to practice this time of sitting at Jesus’ feet as much as I can this week and see the difference that it can make!

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Oh, Julie. You are surely in for some sacred blessings, sister!

  • Penny

    Thank You! Gwen , For your witness, your compassion, your voice and your boldness in sharing your faith! I LOVE GIG! Love and Hugs, Penny

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      It is my joy. :) Hugs right back to you, Penny!

  • Nicole S.

    Thank You Gwen! Absolute perfect timing for me. Psalm 103:1…”let all that I am praise the Lord….”. Let every movement I make, each word that leave my lips, every thought I have placed against the truth of the Almighty. He loves me and there is not a single moment in my life that has not been filtered thru His mighty hands! Praise God!

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Praise God, indeed!

  • Carlynn

    Your devotions are so on target!! I am a plate spinner too! Even though our children are adults now and have lives and families of their own, there are still things I think I must get done at home. And I teach 2nd grade. So lots of my plate spinning is done at school. It is so helpful to just stop during the day, even for a moment, and talk to God to bless my day with my students, co-workers, and school activities. He is always there!!

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Yes! He surely is always there. I’m with you in the gratitude. :)

  • Desiree

    “I’d like you to close your eyes and imagine His strong yet gentle hands reaching for your cheeks, lifting your chin, and drawing your eyes to His. Fix your soul-gaze on His beautiful, blazing, mercy-filled eyes.” Absolutely, absolutely terrifying. How do I not run?

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Great question. I suppose the answer is found in His mercy. Grace welcomes us.

  • Lisa

    Thank you, Gwen. Gazing into His eyes as He holds me in His lap in that big old rocker. Your thoughts always bring me back to focus on our Lord. right now I’m in waiting mode for what He has for me and this is the perfect place to be to praise Him.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      There’s no better place to wait than in His presence. :) Blessings!

  • Sarah Bridgewater

    Gwen, thank you for this GREAT message! God is doing amazing things in my life right now, but He was just speaking to my heart and spirit…don’t forsake Me to do a work for Me! No work for Him can be fruitful without really being intimately connected to Him. I’m thankful your passion is inspiring women of God–you are a great inspiration! ~

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      You got it! Intimate connection to Christ. That’s it. :)

  • Mariann

    He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. Thank you O my Lord. You are soo wonderful to us.

  • Zee

    Thank you so much for this blog post, in fact all of them speak to me daily and even beyond that. God is really using you through this. Single Christian woman in London.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.bohring Beverly Bohring

    I am in need of prayer in my life right now….it seems as if satan is into all things in my life. My mind is so scattered that I can’t focus on His word. I want to sit in His lap for rest and peace in that rocking chair.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Dear Father God, I lift up Beverly to You. I pray that she will know the truth of 1 John 4:4. I praise You that You are greater than the evil one. I pray that You would draw Beverly to Yourself through Your Word and through time in prayer and that she would be refreshed. Thank You that You hear and answer our prayers. In Jesus’ name. Amen

    • Lizzie

      I pray that God will give you peace and rest. Don’t let the devil win, I suggest you listen to Greater by Mercy me. That song helps remember that God+me= satan losing everytime he tries to attack me. Don’t give up, God has your back.

  • Brenda

    Thank you, it’s always evident that when you are hurt…let go and let God. Its not about me…”What should I do?” Be angry and do not sin…But to stop in His presence not worrying about what to do and to be reassured that my God, My Father did not intend for me to be treated with disrespect and painful intent either. I’m not better or bigger than the rest of humanity…if someone tried to hurt me most likely the task was accomplished. Coming into His presence is where I find peace AND He wants to heal the hurt. Thank you for the gentle reminder

  • Carolyn100

    Thank You for this email. Happy a Jesus filled Easter.

  • cj

    thanks for this time of worship this morning

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      You are more than welcome! Glad you stopped by, CJ. :)


  • Rebecca

    I opened my email this morning and saw the subject “I need Rest” and said a hearty amen. Last week, before the last minute stresses of Christmas, I ran myself into the ground and got sick, and things won’t slow down for me before they get back to normal next week. The reminder of the rest that God wants to give me was a reminder that I need sooo much. Thanks so much!

    • Deborah Mika

      God bless you and help you to regain your equilibrium and get well soon.

  • Hollybug

    This finds me at just the right time today. I’m a mom and a nurse a soon to be wife. I’m a daughter sister friend granddaughter. I need to prioritize Jesus in my life to spend that time with him he needs I need and we both deserve and desire! I need prayers to be reminded daily of that quiet time and how special and needed it is!

  • Julia

    Each morning before getting out of bed, I say Psalm 141:3 “LET THE MORNING BRING ME WORD OF YOUR UNFAILING LOVE, FOR I HAVE PUT MY TRUST IN YOU. SHOW ME THE WAY I SHOULD GO, FOR TO YOU I LIFT UP MY SOUL”. Just can’t start my day without talking to HIM. I have my devotional time while eating breakfast. Than I talk to HIM throughout the day. I want to be used by HIM, daily. Without HIM, I am nothing.

    • char

      Thank you for this very encouraging passage of Scripture.

    • Carolyn

      Thank you for this scripture! It’s beautiful and perfect to start focusing on at the beginning of each day!

  • http://maryellen-abundantblessings.blogspot.com/ Maryellen

    The Lord used you to change my life. I saw you last year in NJ and I have not been the same. I’ve walked with the Lord since 1987 ~ but I can’t say what it was but after that weekend I have completely understood abandonment and casting my cares on the Lord. I understand the freedom I have in Christ. Praying you have a blessed 2015 ~ keep on serving you are touching lives.

  • Carolyn

    I have really been struggling this holiday season. Struggling with changes within our family, changes within me, & and some unknown “thing” that’s keeping me from sleeping and feeling like myself. I’m distracted and just so tired all the time. I sit to pray and spend time with The Lord and end up doing a zillion other things in my head and the next thing I know it’s hours later and I’m all frazzled and wacky. I pray that God will pull me to him and hold me close. I pray. I will once again find His peace within my heart. Thank you, Gwen, for this reminder & opportunity to spend quiet time with Him.

    • Richele

      I know what you mean, Carolyn, i do that to when i try to pray. I prayed for you, that God will shine through more strongly so that you can’t focus on anything else. Keep trying, I’ll be praying for you.

      • Carolyn

        Thank you. Tomorrow is a new day and We just need to keep on keepin’ on.

    • Pam

      I will join you in prayer, because I am going thru something similar right now and I am trying to work my way out of it.

      • Carolyn

        Thank you and i will be praying for you also.

  • Richele

    Thank you. What a blessing this place is.

  • Charlene

    I’m in constant battle with this. My spiritual life, marriage are constant chaos. A pastors wife once told me to get rid of the chaos by giving it to God. I am not organized, I can’t multi task, because I can’t focus and I will forget to do something which in return causes fights with mu husband. I’m spinning out of control!!!! And time, ya right time seems to be not on my side either.
    I don’t prioritize , my husband says that I only think of myself. He says I’m selfish. Lol I guess that is the same thing. I’m in a sunday school class on prayer, and I get motivated every week but don’t do any thing about it. I’m spinning wheels not plates. I watch kids in my home for a living. I get nervous and worry about kids that are too hard to handle. Instead of giving the situation to God. My husband makes me mad cuz he says you don’t even pray about it first; when he doesn’t even pray, read or go to church anymore himself.
    My life is such a mess!
    We are not a marriage, just roommates coexisting. He is angry all the time. He can’t forget or forgive. Every time we argue, he says that it brings all of the past 8 years of hurts from me against him. He doesn’t trust anyone or wants anything to do with people, they just let you down. He is retired military and is going to the VA to find out if he has PTSD, and other issues.
    We fought last night before he went to work, and I told him that if we don’t get counseling after the holidays that we should pack it up and call it quits.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Charlene, please do not give up on your marriage. Use your strength to fight FOR your marriage and not against each other. Seek the power of God to restore your marriage to the picture of the Gospel as God intended. Read through Ephesians 5:21-33. Pray through this passage daily as a couple. Ask God to empower you to be the person He has called you to be.

      Dear Father God, Your word teaches us that our earthly marriages are a picture of Your love for us. I pray that Charlene and her husband will be drawn back to You and to each other. I ask that You would fill them with the power of Your Spirit and that they would seek to bring you honor and glory through their marriage. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • char

    Thank you Gwen for your ministry.

  • Jane

    I’d say this morning as I reflect on His goodness and forgiveness I am ashamed of how ungrateful I have been and I ask for His forgiveness so I may rejoice in Him alone!

  • Sandy

    I recently started getting your emails and they could not have started at a better time. I look forward to your words ea day. I have 2 living sisters and an elderly mother. They are all going thru some very tough times and I want to fix them but I know it is in Gods hands so I am reaching out for prayers for my mom, my brother in law diagnosed with cancer, me niece who is feeling unloved by her family, my other niece dealing with an alcoholic husband, my nephew who is dealing with trying to get his family back together. We all have struggled and these are mine so any prayers will be appreciated. God Bless

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Father God, I praise You for You are the God who knows all things and sees all our troubles. I pray for Sandy and her family, that You would meet them at their need. I pray that they would seek Your help and strength and come to know Your encompassing peace. I pray that through their hardship, their faith would be strengthened and that they would be drawn closer to You. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • Teresa

    The last two years have been an extreme struggle in my family. There’s been so much happening and I truly am exhausted. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. I can relate to needing rest. My brain just needs to stop thinking for a little while and feel at peace. Please pray that my family can just settle in to a more peaceful state and that I can renew my faith, hope and trust in God.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Father, I ask that You would draw Teresa and her family closer to Your heart. I pray that they would value their relationship with You above all else. Thank you Father for Your mercy and grace that you freely give to those who seek after You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • DK

    Gwen, thank you for this timely reminder to “rest” in Him! The line “Close your eyes and imagine His strong yet gentle hands reaching for your cheeks, lifting your chin, and drawing your eyes to His. Fix your soul-gaze on His beautiful, blazing, mercy-filled eyes.” reminded me of something God has recently spoken to my heart about being the “apple of His eye”. As I researched that phrase, I found that in Zechariah 2:8, the original Hebrew can be literally translated as “little man of the eye” and is a reference of the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in other people’s pupils of their eyes. When I discovered that, God gently asked me, “What position do you need to be in to see yourself in my eyes?” Gwen, it melted my heart when I realized that in order to see my reflection in God’s pupil, we would need to be looking intently into each other’s eyes. It was as if He were saying, ” In order to “see” yourself as I see you, your eyes (focus) must be on Me.” Such sweet words our Heavenly Father speaks into our souls!!

  • Rose Ann Ramones

    im so blessed with this song! just on perfect time for me to hear this song-my first time.:) God blessyou more Pastor Gwen Smith:) Blessed new year!

  • sonja

    what a beautiful song and a much needed devotion, i recently lost my dad and i am having a very hard time dealing with the void. i know he is in a better place but i miss him so much and my every thought is on him..