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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Friday 14th October 2016

The Five Questions We All Need to Ask Ourselves When Our Souls are Weary

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a home-decorating course. This is unusual for me, because I live in a state of what I call Decor Denial. I haven’t redecorated, repainted, or purchased major pieces of furniture since we moved into our new home in 2002. Because I don’t want to know what I’m missing, I generally avoid home-decorating blogs, Better Homes & Gardens, Parade of Home tours, and the like. In short, I live in blissful ignorance to the out-of-date nature of my surroundings.

To clarify, we’re not talking orange shag carpet and pink toilets here, but I know that at the very least, our living room could use a fresh coat of paint. So, I signed up for The Nester’s Cozy Minimalist course, partly because she assured us that we wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of new stuff to freshen up our homes, and partly because I adore The Nester.

Our first assignment: to select one room in our house and then “quiet the room.”

When you quiet a room, you take everything out of the room, except the essentials. The Nester says that “a quiet space exposes truth.” It helps you get rid of what makes your room feel overstuffed, loud, and jumbled. And then, after a time, you can return the pieces that you truly love to the quieted room.

It took me nearly a half hour to un-jumble my room. Here’s why:

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Pile of stuff from my living room.

I had collected 14 years worth of tchotchkes, knick-knacks, fake greenery and more. My room had become overrun with things I loved. Most of the things in that pile are actually good things, and many of them are meaningful things. But sometimes you can simply have too much of a good thing.  

After I finished quieting the room, I went back and admired the beautiful space that remained. Rather than feeling empty, the room felt calm, rested, at ease, and unburdened.

I could breathe.

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The Un-Quieted Rooms of My Soul

I snapped a few photos to share with the other Cozy Minimalists, and that’s when I felt a lump of emotion rise up in my throat.

In that moment, I saw the room as a metaphor for my tendency to live an overstuffed, jumbled, noisy life. “A quiet space exposes truth.” Isn’t that what the Nester had said?  

I so often fill my days with good things, meaningful things. I am a Doer, and I can generally handle a lot of tasks at once — until I can’t. 

This summer, I had reached the point of “can’t.” My soul’s interior rooms had become like my living room — jumbled, noisy, overstuffed. I had filled my life with many things, most of them good: writing books; speaking nationally; being a wife, a mother to two beautiful girls, and a friend; serving in my local church, volunteering in the community, and more.

Yet I was also living in a state of denial, putting one more thing on the table, one more item on the shelves of my heart, one more task on the mantel. It was too much.

The weekend before my latest book released, I had an awakening. I decided to bring life to a hard stop, which makes zero business sense when you’re about to launch the biggest project of your ministry thus far. But I instinctively knew that I needed to “quiet” my life. I needed to strip out everything, so I could hear God above the noise.

Instead of working the weekend before The Happiness Dare released, I sat all weekend long with an advance copy of a book written by my dear friend, Shelly Miller. It’s called Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World. 

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I didn’t realize how thirsty my soul was for a quieted life until I read her words. (Emily P. Freeman called the book “a relieved exhale for the weary, worn-out soul … for a generation fatigued by the abuse of hurry.”)

Reading Shelly’s words, I was often moved to tears. I felt the way I would later, while standing on the edge of my quieted room. I realized how addicted to hustle I had become. I realized how our culture uses busyness as a measure of worth. I confronted my inability to say no, my constant availability to anyone and everyone via text and Facebook Messenger, and the general overstuffing of my life.

After reading Shelly’s book, I felt the sense of calm that I had been missing. My soul had been quieted.

That’s the way I feel right now. If you were here, you’d find me today in my living room, in this quiet space where I still haven’t put anything back on the shelves. Some of my good things will return to their proper places eventually. I will know when it’s time.

The Five Questions We All Need to Ask Ourselves

Both the Nester and Shelly are causing me to look at all of my rooms in a new way – the rooms in my house, and the rooms in my heart.

These are the questions I’m asking myself, and maybe you can ask them of yourself too.

1 – What do I love?

2 – What is essential?

3 – What am I willing to give up?

4 – What deeply inspires me?

5  – What old way of doing things can I let go of?

Only when I answer those questions, with intentionality,
only when I can start saying no,
only when I can stop having to do it all,
will I be able to live a life quiet enough to hear the voice of God.

Blurred backgrounds captured by Dreamstale.

Rhythms of Rest Giveaway

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-11-32-20-am If you need to quiet your soul,
if you need to jump off the crazy train of busy,
if you need true Sabbath rest,
this is THE book for you. I don’t know the last time I read a book twice in one month. It was oxygen for my soul. I offer my hearty endorsement for Rhythms of Rest.

I loved this book so much, that I’m giving away three copies.

To enter, simply leave a comment. If you share on any social media channels, let me know where. Each share is worth an entry. I will draw randomly from all the entries on Monday, and will notify the three winners. (Email readers: click here to enter the giveaway.)

UPDATE: We have winners! Theresa Boedeker, Lauren DeVries, Jen Babcock. 

A final word from Shelly’s book, Rhythms of Rest:

“If we are created with intention by God for a specific purpose, and the way of discovering that purpose is through relationship with him, then the way of discovering what we are missing in life is through abiding with him on Sabbath. A lack of intentionality when it comes to how we rest leads to a depleted life defined by what the world dictates. When we are overtired and dreading the alarm clock, we miss out on the hints toward happiness God is leaving for us. ‘Wasting time’ is actually the most productive action you may take this week.” Page 44, Rhythms of Rest.

post includes affiliate links
  • This is something that I have been struggling with for a LONG time now. And it’s very hard to stop doing all the things. And then there’s all the obligatory things you can’t not do–like signing all the homework folders! 😛 When it comes to the kids’ stuff it sometimes seems I’m back in school myself.

    I’ve been trying to write out a whole bunch of stuff related to this topic but haven’t been able to work on it in a few weeks now (after getting a really good start!). I don’t know if it’ll end up being a series of blog posts or could turn into a book. I just don’t know yet.

    I shared the article on Twitter but it’s in my buffer so hasn’t posted yet. I’ll go add your twitter handle to it so you know when it goes out.

    • I relate so much to this, and especially to your comment about feeling like you’re a school kid again. But for some reason, I’m the school kid who can’t pass fifth grade math! Goodness. I don’t know how I ever understood this stuff.

      I’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts about this topic, and glad you’re addressing them in a blog series and/or book. Yay!

      • Luckily, my husband has a degree in math! But I don’t hate math, and did (barely) get through calculus.

        It’s hard to figure out *what* exactly I’m writing. There’s so much that has built up over the last year that is still affecting me and it all feels like a jumbled up mess.

  • Darcy

    This book sounds amazing! As a mama to 4 kiddos aged 11, 10, 8, and 6 life is anything but intentional at the moment. I’m either taking them to church activities, school, practices for karate, swim team and volleyball, games, making meals, a part time job, living on a farm helping my dairy and beef loving farmer keep afloat. With all the my marriage tends to come in last insetead of second to my personal relationship with Jesus.

    Thank you for a chance to win this book. I am adding it to my must read list.

    I shared the blog post link on my fb page. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your heart, Darcy, and for sharing this post. 🙂

      As a farm wife in Iowa, I can totally relate to your words here. Where are you from?

      • Darcy

        I live in Northern Lower Michigan near the Traverse City area. My husband’s family runs our own bottling production along with the farm. We low heat pasteurize our milk but do not homogenize and sell our milk in old fashioned glass bottles! Our business slogan is “Our cows aren’t on drugs but they are on grass.”

        I grew up a city girl near Flint so northern Michigan was quite the change 11 years ago. I now wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world. Farming sure does make having a relationship with the creator a must!

  • Janet Hayward

    I love the idea of quieting a room. I’m going to do this to my bedroom. I really want to get rid of the unnecessary but I didn’t know where to start. Now I do.

    • Check out the link to Nester’s post above about quieting a room. Or just google Nester and “quiet a room.” She’s written several really great pieces about it. Thanks for stopping by, Janet.

  • Annie

    What a timely blog. I have been forced to stop. I am in Iowa with my dad waiting for doctors appointments to be made. Meanwhile back home in North Carolina, my house still in disarray from moving there this summer and while there, I started filling my plate full again. Blogs that have crossed my path have been along these lines. Yes, God, I hear you and it is slowly sinking in. Thank you Jennifer for your inspiration.

    • Hey there, Annie! So glad that these words found their way to you today. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, and then trying to live life in two separate places. That can’t be easy! Praying for you to be able to “quiet the rooms” of your life in this season. Be blessed, dear one!

      • Annie

        Thank you Jennifer for your encouragement 😊

  • ahoogs

    Quiet, does that mean I should get rid of my trailer of stuff? Things in our shed, in my mother in laws shed, in boxes. Since we moved into our “temporary ” much smaller living quarters. We are over run with stuff. It’s exhausting.

    • Stuff is exhausting, isn’t it? After I “quieted” my living room, I have been discarding stuff in many other rooms, while also filling bags of stuff for the consignment store.

  • Sierra Pearson

    Thank you for sharing Jennifer. So what I needed to hear after a crazy week. The book looks like a great read. Shared on Facebook/

    • It truly is a terrific book! I was privileged to provide an endorsement for it.

  • Shannon S

    I so needed this today..I took the day off to just breath and enjoy the sunshine before it hides for the winter! The book sounds like a great read!

    • Oh, Shannon … that sounds great. Enjoy your day! It’s kinda windy here, otherwise I’d be outside in the sun, too.

  • Pam Chapman

    Loved this post. It was so timely. Shared on Facebook, & Pinterest on 2 different boards. Thank you.

    • How kind of you to share. I’m excited to get the word out about this book. Thanks for helping me do that … You are generous!

      Thank you.

      xo

  • Rachel

    Oh my, yes! This exactly. I’m working on this life decluttering. Rancher, wife, and mom to 4; I’m finding it hard that others don’t honor my honest ‘no’. Often the same folk who wholeheartedly agree that ‘children are a gift’ and ‘the most important work’ also chime ‘but you wouldn’t mind doing…..’ It’s a struggle to step back, thanks for the encouragement!

    • The struggle is REAL! And because I’m a Doer (maybe you are, too) people know that if they ask me to do something, it’s as good as done. It’s terribly hard for me to say no, because I don’t want to disappoint people.

      • Tiffany

        Oh, I get that. I’m described as responsible & dependable such often just means I get to be the one overworked.

  • karen

    I’ve been on this journey for a while now and the progress has been SO healthy! Still learning and choosing…..

    • That’s terrific, Karen! Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely “in process.”

  • Sue

    Wow. This is what I need to hear. I’m overwhelmed by stuff, by busyness, by expectations, by the outside world. I’m constantly trying to slow down and have space. I’m going to do this in my living room today and start making space to breathe. Really. I also had heard of the book but have not read it yet. This is another sign that I need to. Thanks!!

    • Post a picture here! I’d love to see it. See that picture option in the bottom lefthand corner of the comment box? You can post that way. 🙂

  • Oh Jennifer, I loved this. My life is full of hustle too, and I am so tired. I had to sit in traffic today due to construction and I could see everyone around me getting restless, and I was so relieved for the chance to just be. I rolled my window down and turned my praise music up and I just sat and rested. It was so nice. Thanks for sharing this, I needed to read it today too.

  • Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    Lovely reflections, Jennifer. We’ve moved often enough that I got tired of packing things to sit on a shelf and pause when I feel the urge to buy them, but with 4 kids our house is very cluttered anyway. It’s so helpful to think intentionally about our spiritual and physical spaces and become aware of the overlap between them.

  • janet heslop

    this is me….I exhale heavy….I felt empty and lonely and now there are many activities and studies and overstuffed closets and shelves and drawers and I’m suddenly seeing crowding and lack of space and oh I need to read this and get orderly and have peace and space to just b r e a t h e🙏🏻

  • Sue Gorman

    Thank you for this post. I tweeted it @sjgorman God bless you!

  • Laura

    I have added this book to my ‘To Read’ list!

  • Sharon Hendricks

    Wow, how timely was this post for me today. I know I’m a believer of Christ; I know I accepted Him many years ago. I also know I am His. But. Over the years He and I have drifted apart….I’m pretty sure He wasn’t the one making the move! But lately my bible study has been asking the questions that I can’t quite answer, and while I believe my place in Eternity is secure I know I’m not PRESENTLY living in the Kingdom. The rooms in my heart have been filled with too many tchotchkes for too long. It is time for some housecleaning. I need this book, I think. Thanks for this post, and thanks for the opportunity to win a book!

  • Sharon Hendricks

    Jennifer, I shared this on Facebook

  • katharine

    oh thank you for your post. i know i need to rest, but just can’t quite commit, physically or spiritually. i’m working on it though. thanks for the giveaway, i’ve had my eye on that book and it’s quickly moved up to the top of my reading list.

  • Kathy Dale

    What a great description comparing rest in our decor with our spiritual rest. Loved it! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve just recently heard of Shelly. Sounds like a great book for everyone!

  • Tiffany

    I think I need that! Rest sounds so good. I think I should ponder those 5 questions & see if there are changes to make.

  • Tiffany

    Shared!

  • Jane

    After an exhausting day and a frustrating week, rest sounds immeasurably good!

  • This is where I find myself lately. Cluttered inside and out and wondering how to be different. God is asking me to be more honest with others about some of the inner struggles I have and I just struggle to let anyone that close. So I’m looking at needing rest, inner quiet and opening up the wounds that never fully healed.

    • Will repost on Instagram when you share it. I’m not on other forms of social media. Oh and on Pinterest.

  • Connie McCord Bjorklund

    I need this book. I was just thinking today, that I’m so tired & need to take time to rest but I feel like I need to attend things, not to upset other people. I felt like God sent me this email to answer me.
    Thank you Jennifer!

  • Michelle Samples

    I love this! Busyness=worth is not a good mindset to have. When did rest become a bad thing?

  • Cecilia Bramhall

    I love the idea of quieting a room, whether it’s a physical room or a soul room. I find myself going in circles because I can’t focus on one thing because there’s just too much stuff! Thank you for a chance to win.

  • Audra Ford

    I just can feel the peace in the pictures. I have been going through my papers and clothes and stuff over and over and it feels like I am under such a heavy load. Rest is what my heart longs for. Thank you for your post. I am sharing on Facebook!

  • Having quieted my schedule a few months ago and finishing up Ruth Haley Barton’s Invitation to Solitude and Silence, this whole post resonates deeply. Rhythms of Rest sounds like the perfect next read in preparation for ‘returning things to their proper place.’

  • Tiffany

    This is what I have been coming to understand recently in my own life.

  • Oh I need those 5 questions you wrote!

  • janasnyder

    When we first moved into our house, we had a couple days lag time between when the movers brought the big stuff — bed, couches, big chairs — and the time we started filling in the rest of the stuff. It was a very zen-like feeling. I wouldn’t want to live that way 100% of the time, though. I want my house to exude my personality, and my personality isn’t “spartan”! That sounds like a super helpful exercise to do every few years, though!

  • Julie Burma

    Rest solitude silence quiet all sound so heavenly to me. I so need some and with little ones and work it seems so hard to find.

  • Sophia DeLonghi

    I so long to find that Sabbath rest! I too have a house full of “stuff” and it sometimes feels suffocating! I love your vulnerability. It helps me be real too! Thank you for sharing your space and thoughts! I also tweeted.

  • Donna K

    Wow. I am about at the point where I can do no more. This post brought me to tears.

  • lindalouise

    I haven’t visited in a long while Jennifer. Truthfully I haven’t visited nearly as often as I used to on any of the social media sites. I’m trying to do just what you’ve written about. I have felt that same weariness and so cut back on a couple of things recently. My soul is one that longs for rest stops – for times of quiet. I love this post. P.S. Don’t enter me in the drawing. I don’t want to feel as though I visited just because you’re giving a book away:) I just wanted to be here. xo

  • April

    Today, my soul was so weary from doing too much, for too long. I stopped. Everything. And I rested – I had to – but I felt guilty for resting. Thank you so much for this article, for giving me “permission” for the much-needed rest. Thank you, also, for the possibility of having such a timely book to read while I recuperate. God has been impressing on me the need for true Sabbath, but it is hard to know where to start. (Btw, I shared this article on Facebook.)

  • Sarah Shore Leonard

    Beautifully said . . . this post spoke into my heart about the weariness of my soul. I keep asking God to unrush me, yet I haven’t made the choices that allow me to slow down and connect to that life giving source.

  • The rooms in my heart could use this book! With two young kids, nothing feels quiet (literally) but I can let that affect my pace with the Lord, relationships, etc. would love to read this!

  • I have absolutely LOVED Shelly’s book. I so enjoyed this post because although I am not taking the same home decorating course as you, I began to “empty” some of our rooms of “stuff”. And I will tell you, I felt the same way as you. So I am going to continue to lessen our rooms so that He can fill each room with His peace. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Sally Wiedefeld

    I don’t know what I need right now, truth be told. I feel as though I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. I’ve made soooo many mistakes in the past. Taken the wrong jobs, wrong friends, wrong relationships. I think I’m afraid to try anything else. I buy books and the. I don’t read the, because I’m sure it won’t work for me. I pray for guidance and wisdom and my purpose in life, yet I feel as though I’m being ignored and that maybe God is mad at me. I keep trying and trying yet I feel so empty with no direction or enthusiasm. I look at the clutter and have no idea where to start.

    • ~Lynn

      Hi Sally,
      Remember, “His mercies are new every morning and His compassions fail not.”
      This verse always helps me when I feel like I’ve made another mistake, as you stated.

      Also, when I get overwhelmed in all the clutter… I ease my burden by going into whatever room I want to start in and I ignore all but one corner of that room. One nook, one corner or one side of the room. Start there and then focus on the next corner, etc. it’s much easier to focus on a small area until cleaned rather than looking at the whole mess. I hope this helps.

      Reading the Bible also helps when feeling lost. Quiet your space and read His Word. I guarantee you’ll start feeling better.

      God Bless You Sally!

    • Hollyko

      Sally, we so need to find that Sabbath rest. Start with God’s word everyday. I will pray for you.

  • ajawee83

    This was beautiful. Thanks.

  • Oh, how this world needs to learn true rest!

  • Laura Risser Moss

    Thanks for this post – and those five powerful questions, Jennifer. I had seen something about Shelly’s book recently then forgot it in the Middle Of Busy.

  • Stephanie Hinz

    I need to read this book!! I’ve lost rest in this season I’m in….

  • Karen Tindal

    Thank you for sharing this…it was beautiful and so needed!

  • Kathleen Radtke

    Wow…truly needed to read this today. I’ll be sharing on FB. Thank you!

  • Grace

    When I retired 6 years ago, I thought my life would slow down – it has only become busier. I know that I love everything I’m doing, but often question why I just can’t say ‘no’ when asked to help out with one project or another. Love your articles and perspective about life and your relationship with God!

  • Jamie D.

    Love the idea of both a quiet room and a quiet heart, although I think the heart will be harder for me to clear out all the stuff. Rhythms of Rest sounds like a much needed read!
    p.s. I shared on Facebook:)

  • Linda

    Thank you for the photo of all your lovely clutter :))
    Wow, really made me think of how sometimes the lovely and the good stuff crowd out the best !!
    It is so easy to accumulate both stuff and activities that crowd out whats really important and what we need the most……
    Sharing on Fb

  • Becky

    Sounds wonderful!

  • Joanna

    In this busy noisy world…. you bet I need a Sabath rest.

  • Kim Bedwell Garner

    Oxygen for my soul…yes, please!

  • Holly

    Cannot wait to read this book! We are painting our living room after 10 years. And we de-cluttered so I know exactly what you mean Jennifer! Thanks fir sharing these truths with us!

  • Dani Doe

    I lost my dad two weeks ago. The busyness of grief ran me into the arms of my Heavenly Father but I desperately need to find the rest you’re talking about. My life is a goer and a doer, and I need a change badly.

  • Mary

    I have been tracking this book through social media and know without a doubt what a beautiful blessing Shelly’s words would be for all of us. Any rhythm is good when you allow it to become part of you. It’s even better when you invite God to lead you in the rhythm of rest.

  • I am a doer and often don’t rest until I have my tasks done. My husband will stop in the middle of a chore and take a rest before finishing it, or horrors, waiting awhile to finish it. His attitude used to annoy me, especially when he wanted me to rest with him when we were doing a project together. Now I see the good in resting, and am becoming more like him. Thanks for the reminder that we need to rest spiritually too.

    Love your photos of your rooms. Please post your done photos. Would love to see what your room looks like when you choose what to put back in.

    • Hi Theresa! You are one of the winners! Email me with your mailing address by Wednesday afternoon. Yay! My email is jdukeslee @ gmail . com

  • Kim Blanchard

    I would love to read this book! I have found myself craving rest, true rest, for a couple years. Sometimes I find it for a short period, but I can’t seem to get into a rhythm where I let it define how I live. Hoping this book can help me move in that direction

  • ~Lynn

    Would love to read this book. I’ve often wondered why people are always rushing around. How can we get out of life the hidden jewels of truth waiting for us each new day, if we are rushing all the time? To me, that would be pure misery.

    Quieting yourself sounds sublime.

  • Jolita Rue

    Thank you for sharing this! I needed it today.

  • Jane Ryan

    I stuggle so much with the concept of rest-in my head I long for it but my body doesn’t want to cooperate and join in. I think we have been conditioned that “wasting” anything is bad so wasting time seems a dreadful thing to do yet if we don’t stop-how do we know where we should be going next! Shared on twitter/insta and Facebook

  • Anna Marie Gomez

    This post hit me right at the core of my being. I too am in minimalist mode, seeking to divest self of stuff. The plan is to downsize from a 3 bedroom townhouse to a one bedroom apartment, so that I can concentrate on the next phase of my life. I have entered a decade of change! God is leading me out into the world. I’ve lived in my current space for 28 years. It’s time to venture out to places as yet unknown, to take as little as possible, the bare minimum.
    To write that book, to commune with God and nature, to minister to whoever He puts in my path.
    Some things will remain, like my ministry as Chaplain, comforting and loving people.
    There’s a camper out there with my name on it, all I need do is follow the steps the Lord has ordained for me. Doors will open. Stress will be low. Energy to accomplish God’s plan will be ample. Just give me a book to soothe my soul, one so spot on that I too will read it twice in one month. Thank you for sharing your experience, the photos are remarkable. I want that! Peace, uncluttered, that I may abide in the vine without distraction. Sigh.

  • Louanne Riggle

    Most americans would benefit from this post and I’m sure this book. I look around at friends and family and wonder why they run themselves into the ground with worldly things? Then I look at my own life and see how it creeps up on you. You think “I have a free day” then by the end of the day you’re thinking “what happened to my free day?”

  • Wendy St John Scott

    This sounds intriguing. I’d love a copy.

  • Cassie

    Thank you for sharing this! I need to quiet a few areas in my life.

  • MaryBeth Matzek

    This post means a lot since I am so busy with family and work. (Plus I can never say no to anyone.) I look forward to finding and reading this book to see what kind of tips it can provide me.

  • Deborah

    The book sounds interesting!

    And I love your windows in your living room.

    Blessed and restful weekend!

  • Jill Colorfulheart

    I’ve been experiencing this quiet in my home recently…hadn’t figured out this also applies to my soul! Duh!

  • Jill Colorfulheart

    Ps…I shafted this post on fb…hope it makes my friends think as well!

  • Julie Lefebure

    I so needed this reminder to quiet my life today. Thank you. Sharing this on fb and twitter.

  • Conner

    I feel like this is exactly where I am. Looking for that quiet and rest in such a busy and noisy world.

  • Morgan Drechsel

    Reading this a dear friend kept running through my mind. This book is absolutely perfect for her. God is SO good. ❤️

  • Jayna

    This is a generous offer and a blessing to the winners. Rest is not something our “more is better” culture values and yet it is what our spirit craves

  • Teresa

    Rest is so needed by me personally and by our culture. The Lord is so good when I slow down, breathe and spend time with Him.

  • Marina s.

    Yes and amen.

  • Megan

    Would like to give this a read. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Christin

    The timing of me happening upon this post couldn’t be better! After spending the morning doing not much of anything and feeling guilty about it, I decided that today I need to rest and recharge. I tend to fill every day with a long list of to-dos that never ends. But today, I need to rest, breathe, think, pray, read. Thank you for the encouragement to do so. This book sounds like just the thing I need to read right now!

  • Laura S. Minnick

    There are times God drops a nugget in your life and this is one for me! Thank you 😊

  • Barb

    This is just what I need…between 5 kids & 2 part time jobs!

  • Crystal

    quiet exposes the truth … what a powerful statement. True with our home and true with ourselves. I would add the quiet also allows the truth to penetrate your heart. Thank you, Jennifer, for encouraging my heart. : )

  • Ellen

    Amen! I chose to honor the Sabbath as my New Year’s resolution several years ago. It made an enormous difference in my sense of well-being. It’s difficult to stick with it, though, in our world of busyness. Thank you for reminding me that it is worth the effort. I need to give my soul space to breathe again.

  • Charlene Hopkins Cason

    I’ve finally come to realize that I have a cluttered condo and life because I am lonely. But, the more stuff I have, the lonelier I am. I need to do a major declutter, but I don’t know where to start: inertia begets more inertia. ‘Hope I can soon get things under control.

  • I teach clutter clearing. I help fellow cancer survivors. I take care of my mom. My faith is a very important part of my life. This post really hit home with me. Thank you.

  • Felicia Stout

    Thats what I appreciate about staying home with my littles in this new season, the reflection time to figure out what is most important instead of just doing it all.

  • Virginia Smith

    Thank you! I enjoy reading your posts and have shared many of them. You have no idea how you have been a help to me, and to many others!! 🙂

  • tamara

    I love this… life.. can be SO BUSY… and I do it to myself. I long for peace, quiet and rest. I need to find the rhythm that will grant me this. With God all things are possible.

  • Amy Wheeler Bounds

    Thank you for sharing. I have heard this same message multiple times this last week.

  • Mary Beth

    Inside of me is the pile of stuff from your living room, and I am overwhelmed.

  • Susie

    Thank you for sharing your room pictures and your spiritual metaphor. Lately I have been trying so hard to learn how to detox my life of unhealthy things (nutritionally as well as cosmetically). There is so much to learn and I am bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information. I have felt oppressed and almost anxiety-ridden, certainly bewildered. I realize I crave a quieting of my mental “room,” a quieting from stress, and over-busyness, but I don’t know how to step back and what to press the delete button on. Lord, Help! is my morning prayer.

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  • This is a beautiful reminder. I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed with all the clutter in my surroundings, but also in my heart… Thank you!

  • I shared on Facebook too – thought my friends probably need to read it too!!

    • Lauren! You are one of the winners! Email me with your mailing address by Wednesday afternoon. Yay! My email is jdukeslee @ gmail . com

      • Oh my gosh! Seriously! (Those words literally came out of my mouth!) Thank you so much! I’ll email you 🙂 xo

  • Nancy Ruegg

    SO appreciate your five questions, Jennifer, for quieting the soul. I copied them on a slip of paper and tucked it into my journal. ‘Looking forward to processing them one by one on the page, with God as my Guide. Even in early retirement, a bit of sorting and prioritizing is needed!

  • Summer

    Love this! I’m moving towards quieting my life and now my house next! I would love to win a copy of this book!

  • Vicky Bates

    Thanks for this. I needed this today.

  • Sandy Frantom Edgar

    Reading your words has already calmed my soul and quieted the constant voices of clutter in my head that have me doing the same in my home. Now to find my on “Rhythms of Rest”.

  • Tracy

    I just stumbled across your blog and am loving your words already. I’m now subscribed! Thanks!

  • MamaYouWren

    First time visiter to your blog…

  • Jen Babcock

    How perfectly timed. Rest & sabbath have been replaying over and over the last few months….this will be a book to order for sure!!

    • Jen Babcock! You are one of the winners! Email me with your mailing address by Wednesday afternoon. Yay! My email is jdukeslee @ gmail . com

      • Jen Babcock

        Awesome!! Thank you

  • Lindy

    This season has felt so full… Would love encouragement to be more intentional in my rest…

  • Donna McCall

    I so needed to read this tonight. As a mom of 4 little ones I never stop. I have to practice pausing and being still seems so wrong…it’s something I need to let go of my worth isn’t measured in business but the souls I’m raising.

  • Tiffani

    The book and the challenge to empty a room sound great!

  • Heather

    Perfect timing. Thank you for this. Shared on Facebook too. So good!

  • Kim

    I need this book! Working to cultivate an attitude of He is enough! Shared on Facebook and Instagram

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Oh Jennifer. This is a special post, and your rooms look beautiful. You should see my kitchen table and computer table….filled with papers and books and scraps (and other scatterings here and there). Surely this scattering signifies a scattered soul, and shouts disorder. Quiet. Rest. Silence. Peace. I need that. My soul longs for it. You and Shelly are beautiful writers and liv-ers. Your example, alone, brings peace and hope. Love you both.
    Lynn

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Shared on FB & Twitter.

  • Serena Buckner

    Would love this & will share on Facebook

  • Teena Flowers Lykins

    Shared on Facebook and Pinterest.

  • Megan Willome

    What a wonderful tribute to Shelly’s book! I just finished mine last night (so don’t enter me in the drawing), and I’ve been journaling about it this morning.

    Love you, Jennifer.

    Signed,
    Also in Decor Denial

  • Samantha Wheatley Mosby

    This is amazing & something I need to do!! Shared on facebook & pinterest!!

  • This is so good, Jennifer! Sharing on my author FB page today. <3

  • Lisa Delp

    In my life group this year I chose the word, SIMPLIFY. Your article gave me pause as to where I am at in this process with your 5 questions! As the holidays approach, I will be rereading this article that I shared on Facebook.

    I love ❤️ how God used you to show me a path to proceed with in my quest for simple and quiet space in my home and my walk with Jesus! Blessings as you enjoy your quiet space!

  • Jeneva Lynn

    This hit me right where i am! I would love to read it

  • betty-wiseheartedwomen.blogspo

    Going to get this book…and right now going to share this on facebook…great read for anyone, man or women.

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  • Joy Dorrough

    This post really touched me because by reading it, I realized I was addicted to the busyness of life top. I love all the stuff I’m doing though and its so hard to give up some of it and slow down for awhile

  • ourstoriesgodsglory

    Oh no!! Even in the busyness of my life right now, God is breaking through with this message over and over again. No…say no! Oh Lord, I so need to make space in my life. I am waking up at night and then unable to get back to sleep as the To Dos roll around in my mind over and over again. Geesh…what’s it going to take? Thanks for your words today. I needed them!!

  • Melissa Pennington

    We recently purchased a home and it’s like your example of emptying the room. I haven’t decorated yet because I want to feel like a place of rest. I would love to read a book and embark on a finding a better rested rhythm.

Dear God, Thank YOU. Here's where I guide my gratitude this Thanksgiving Day -- straight to YOU. Without You, I would have to direct all of my thankfulness to fate or the universe or thin air or my "lucky stars." But it's You. It's all because of You. … ift.tt/2zyTE5h pic.twitter.com/bWjoMVLmcd