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I’m Exhausted!


Gwen Smith

November 17, 2015


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  coffee friend

I had just arrived at my favorite coffee shop. As I opened the door, the smell of freshly brewed java greeted me and filled my creative mind with possibilities. I was eager to get to work and excited that my warm, happy coffee-friend would come along with me for the ride. As I grabbed a cup from the counter and paid, I asked the barista how she was doing.

“I’m exhausted!” She lamented with a sigh.

I knew exactly how she felt. I feel that way a lot! I’m famous for trying to put ten pounds of living into a five-pound sack. She was tired. Stressed. Drained. Over-committed. Under-rested. Exhausted.

Yep. I totally know that feeling.

stressed woman

Have you been there? Ha! Of course you have! It’s so easy for us to rush into our days and get busy with life stuff, attempting to accomplish mountains of tasks and emotional situations in our own strength. We are constantly pulled in a million directions. Trying to juggle the slow, steady drain of complicated relationships, crazy schedules, and weighty challenges.

The simple truth is, our exhaustion problems can’t be solved without God. I find it comforting to realize that we aren’t the first people to struggle with feelings like this. All throughout Scripture people got worn-out and lamented about their tired souls. David wrote countless Psalms about being weary, and Elijah was so exhausted at one point that he sank into a deep depression and lost his God-courage. Jesus spoke to a crowd of people in Galilee one day about the only sure-fire solution to our exhaustion problem.

He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

The MESSAGE paraphrase of those same verses reads this way, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)

When you keep company with Jesus you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Does that sound appealing to you? If so, then it’s time to respond to His invitation. Whether you have thirty seconds or thirty minutes, pause now to turn to Him. Grab your prayer journal if you have one. Center your heart on His splendor and approach Him with reverence. While you are in His presence, empty your exhaustion out before Him. Tell Him the concerns on your heart and take a soul rest.

That day in the coffee shop, as I filled my cup I gave my exhausted, coffee-serving friend a smile and a knowing look. Then I spoke a word of hope to her heart and encouraged her to refuel in the secret place, the presence of God. She smiled back and thanked me for the reminder. She loves the Lord, but – like all of us – she sometimes forgets that soul rest is available.

Keep company with Him today. All day. When you do, you’ll experience His strength for each moment and His hope in each challenge.

Live freely and lightly in Jesus, girlfriend.

Woman Bible Ocean


Heavenly Father, You are mighty to save and all I need. Thank You for reminding me that I can always come to you and trade in my exhaustion for Your rejuvenation. I come to You today and ask that You would restore rest to my soul. In Jesus’ name, amen.

FOR YOUR REFLECTION: Read and meditate on the words that Jesus spoke to His apostles when they were tired and weary one day, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31b, NIV) Now read it again and add your name to it.

Allow the music and lyrics of Sacred Place to lead you into God’s presence right now. Turn up the speakers on your computer and listen to the song as you center your heart, mind, and soul on the Holy One.


FOR YOUR RESPONSE: Make a statement! Leave a comment below telling me, “I’m ready to live freely and lightly!” Need prayer? Post a prayer need as a comment below. Then pause to pray for the three prayer needs posted prior to yours.


GIVEAWAY: Journal a one-sentence summary that encapsulates the truth of God’s love for you. Then tell me your one sentence summary! Leave it as a comment on my blog wall or Facebook page! I will be picking 3 random one-sentence-summaries to receive a FREE digital download of my latest music {My Strength, My Song}.

Can’t wait to read what you come up with! :)

Blessings and love,


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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.

  • Elaine Cooper

    I am SO ready to live freely and lightly and it is a day to day journey :-)

  • saved by grace

    Pray Lord You find me, here amongst my confusion. please Lord take this from me? I just cannot take another step carrying the load I bear, I lay it at Your precious feet Lord and wait on You, Amen.

    • Faith in Him

      Lifting you up in prayers. Burdens are very heavy when carried on our own. He will provide.

  • Faith in Him

    I too Lord am caring a heavy burden. Many around me are. We tend to keep all to ourselves and try to make life look perfect. Lord, I surrender my burden to you, all of it. I will not try to take control of it back. Please be with me and the others you know need Your presence in their lives. Help me to be still and listen for Your voice in my life and not fill me life with so much that i can not hear You. Thanks be to You my God! Amen.

    • Veronica Gubbs

      May you feel God moving in your life and may He give you the strength to step back from your busy schedule so you may hear Him speak to you. May He cover you with His love and grace.

  • Runner4life

    Remove the shackles that have bound me for a major portion of my life. Help me to realize I don’t need to “numb” myself in order to deal with the pain and hurts in my past. Teach me to love myself as you love me, Lord. Help me to live freely and lightly, trusting in Your word, will, timing and way.

    • Veronica Gubbs

      I stand in prayer with you❤️

  • Book Fairy

    This devotional means so much to me and I wrote down several notes on now to trade in my exhaustion for rejuvenation. I really hurt a dear friend of mine with careless and hurtful words on a day that I was emotionally, mentally, and physically spent. Now, she is having so much trouble forgiving me. A lesson learned on my part I guess.

    • Mary Holland Traynor

      Accepting the consequences of our actions is very difficult. I pray that He gives you peace. When you reach out and apologize and if the apology is not accepted we can only wait. True friendship will never be broken, even if it takes quite some time before they respond. Im with you in prayer right now


    we are struggling at this miment .my daughter is a single mom with 2 children she has not been responsible with her life right now we have to make a tough decision please pray for my family and especially the children
    thank you your devotions are what keeps me going each day i am so encouraged
    god bless (grandma0

    • Veronica Gubbs

      I pray for God’s intervention and will be done for all of you. May you be covered by His grace. I pray for your daughter to develop a personal relationship with God. His love is mighty, may your daughter feel Him moving in her life.

    • Mary Holland Traynor

      I am with you in prayer

  • L.

    I am exhausted too. I have two young asthmatic children and caring for them and getting others : their dad and step-mom to help out and get on board is trying. My whole family exhausts me.Please pray for my children and their health to be great!! A healing ! They need it, I want them to just be healthy they are more ill than not. Also for people to just cut me some slack- I am not a bad person GOD BLESS YOU ALL MAY HE HEAR AND ANSWER ALL YOU PRAYERS QUICKLY !!!!

  • mojoy

    My family is under such burden right now. I am experiencing great difficulty with my health. my lung disease, diagnosed @ infancy, was in remission for a decade, but returned this year. my 6 year old son doesn’t understand why mommy can’t play anymore and my husband is under so much strain trying to take care of both our responsibilities, as I am practically bedridden. it seems more doors are closed than open. I am not even 30 and feel life is slipping away. God, carry my burden, carry my family. rejuvenate my heart in spite of my health and help me lean on you as I struggle through each day. amen.

    please pray for my family, that even if we don’t find answers to my health, we will trust God’s will no mtter what and lean on Him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeanne.green.73 Jeanne Green

    Your message spoke to me and encouraged me. I work full time and care for my Dad and special needs adult son. Both great callings but often tires me. We are also living with my Dad while waiting to sell our Maine home. We are in Minnesota now where I grew up. All taking a very long time but can’t help but feel all part of God’s plan. Need patience and an abundance of steadfast faith that will work out. So grateful to have this time with my Dad age 89. Been away for 35 years. Thanks for your message.

  • yuma granny

    Thanks for this reminder. I lead a Bible study each Tuesday and we have over 100women who attend. Sometimes that many women can exhaust a person. But oh how I love each on e. -As a long time Christian I have found that giving your exhaustion to God is a Good thing. It is not taking it back that is the temptation. Cast all your cares upon me for I care for you. WHAT A PROMISE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/carindajoy Carinda Claassen

    Thank you! This reminder was just what I needed today! I have found my soul rest in God and have remembered that He is in charge, He has it under control and He will give me the strength and rest that I need. God bless you, Gwen and thank you for allowing God to work through you to minister to so many people!

  • spec

    I was widowed at age 51 just 1 month ago after 32 yrs of marriage. My whole world is now turned upside down and I do not truly know much more than that.

    My job-I stopped 6 mo ago to care for my hubby=If I can go back the job will not do anything other than pay for insurance. We have-I Have =a 22 yr old college daughter that is a heart patient and must have insurance. This new life is truly overwhelming. I ask prayer for God’s grace, blessings, love, peace, and direction as we 2 girls are undergoing changes in many areas of our lives

  • alanda smith

    my prayer is to be emotionally free, I know we all have days but with me its constant, I want to trust God continually and know he has my back, my walk with him is new and I want to stay grounded

  • Mrs.B

    Thank you for your words and for Gods guidance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.lampron Kimberly Lampron Troisi

    Oh My God, I am so Grateful for this message and for a place to come share with you and other Girlfriends. I am in a living situation that is totally unbearable, I know that God will not give me more than I can handle, but it sure doesn’t seem that way right now. I am in awe at the fact that I can rest in him:)
    Thank you Kimberly

    • Susan F

      The wonderful thing about our Lord is He does give us more than “we” can handle so we will surrender to Him who can handle it all … Matthew 11:28❤️

  • http://www.facebook.com/natalie.s.sellens1 Natalie Sheree Sellens

    A full time job with shifts sometimes not finishing til half past 10 at night, moving to a different part of the country in 2 and 1/2 months, looking for a new job in that part of the country, looking after a husband who has so much work to do for his university course that it is getting him tired, stressed and sometimes just unapproachable. Yes I know the feeling of being absolutely spent. Feeling like if
    I were to be stretched any further, I would snap like a rubber band loosing its elasticity. This devotional has really spoken to me and reminded me of my Lord, who is always going to listen, help and be there when I need Him. He always will be there, always has been and always will be. Thank you Oh Gracious Saviour!

  • Yvonne

    I know much time has passed since you first wrote this but I am praying this morning that the relationship has been restored. And if not, that God will act in a mighty way today towards full healing between you both.

  • Diane

    My java each day, God loves me so much that he shows me the way to go and I lift up my soul to him.

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

      Love that He shows us the way to go! :)

  • Jacquie Sedor

    No matter how exhausted or spent I feel, my God is faithful and He carries me through!

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

      Yes. Yes. Yes. :)

  • Rhonda Davis

    I can’t , God can, I think I will let him!

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

      A great idea!! #thatswherethepoweris


  • Susan F

    Wow … One sentence on how God loves me huuuuum … He has set me free from the bondage of sin and has shown me true forgiveness with others and myself … Lord You ARE faithful ❤️

  • Nancy

    I have a hope that will never fade away, a strong tower to run to in uncertain times.

    psalm 91:14 NLT “The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love. I will protect those who trust in my name.'”

  • Cindy Hoch

    Heavenly Father thank You that when I am weary, worn out, and exhausted from life and every days issues I can come to You for strength and rejuvenation. So today I come and am ready to begin living freely and lightly. My main concern is my eyesight Lord. Ever since the cataract surgery on my right eye nothing is better, but only worse. I pray that You oh Lord would heal my vision to make it clear and remove this floater, in Jesus’ Name, I Pray, Amen. Cindy

  • Sherri J

    Unconditional attention and love is what I would say reflects God’ love for me and all my imperfections!

  • https://www.growingpam.com Pam Osborne

    One sentence summary – Great is the faithfulness of my Father, whose new mercies and provisions abound daily.

  • Shannon Funkhouser

    Without God, I am not a wife, mom, sister daughter or a student, I am nothing without the love of God!

  • Carolyn

    My prayer is that I would be able to hear the Lord’s leading, especially in regards to my marriage these days. I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and at a loss as to how to go on from here. I have been praying and reading and working so hard to be respectful and loving and feel like no matter what I do my husband doesn’t even notice and I’ve just become a body/convenience to him. He talks to me but doesn’t listen, he always comes home straight from work but jumps on the computer for the rest of the night, he says he wants me to talk to him and be honest and when I get brave enough to try again he either tells me I shouldn’t feel the way I do or he gets upset because “he can’t do anything right”. I know The Truth and I know I can’t live by my feelings but I’m so tired and sad. I just wan to be loved and respected in a way that honors God and me and am beginning to feel like that’s just never going to happen. Thank you for all you devotionals and encouragement Gwen. They always make me feel less alone and more hopeful.

  • Lisa

    “I’m ready to live freely and lightly!” thank you for sharing your heart and helping others to grow in their relationship with God! I long to know Him more!

  • Teresa

    “I’m ready to live freely and lightly!”

  • Veronica Gubbs

    I am so ready to live freely and lightly<3 I cherish my alone time with our Sweet Lord<3 Thank you for reminding me how much He cherishes our quiet time together as well<3 My prayer request is that I am reminded daily that "with God, ALL things are possible" and that "His plans are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a future and hope"<3 Thank you so much for your beautiful music and devotions<3

  • Kisha

    He die so that I might live, no love could ever measure up to His, I’m a mother of 6 children 21, 19, 15 & 14 I have two sets of twins (the twins are 14 & 15) and my love for them is powerful yet it will never compare to God’s love for me.

  • Tammy Z

    Thank you Lord for your unconditional love and amazing grace. To take away my worries and fear. He is truely worthy of it all.