Cease Striving - A Guest Post by Nan Jones

Today I'd like to introduce guest blogger Nan Jones. Nan and I met at the Writers Advance Boot Camp conference in 2014, but I knew a lot about her before we met. I'd even been privy to the private details of her life as a pastor's wife.

Are you curious?

As faculty at Writers Advance Boot Camp 2014, I had the privilege of serving as a judge in the conference's annual writers' contest. Nan had entered her book proposal, Perils of a Pastor's Wife. Of all the proposals I read that year, I gave Nan's the highest score. Her ability to paint vivid word pictures, her transparency about the struggles pastors and their families face, and her faith-filled encouragement to her sisters in the ministry had produced a manuscript I felt deserved the top prize--a publishing contract.

But I was only one of several judges. Would the other judges be equally impressed? 

As you can see in the photo, I wasn't surprised at all when the conference director announced the winner, but Nan sure was.

It's my pleasure to share one of Nan's devotions and tell you a little bit about her book. It's been quite a journey to get to this place, and I'm delighted to be part of its launch.

Cease Striving

I came in from work frazzled and weary with my insides running a million miles an hour like a gerbil on its wheel. Frustrated tears trickled down my cheeks, releasing the pressure of a busy and emotional day. I prayed. I sighed. I prayed. I cried.

I closed my eyes and spoke the name of Jesus.

Jesus ... softer still ... Jesus.

He began to quiet me with His love. In my spirit I felt the Lord nudging me to seek solace on my porch "sanctuary". I live in the mountains of North Carolina far away from city lights and traffic. Countless hours of communion with the Lord have occurred while aimlessly rocking on my beloved porch.

I snuggled into the corner of the porch swing. With my toe, I gently moved the swing back and forth … back and forth … the simple rhythm soothing my spirit, refreshing my tired body. I closed my eyes and thought about the Lord.

You are wonderful, Lord. Your love embraces me with a comforting warmth. I'm so thankful for You.

I sat quietly, closed my eyes, and steadied my heart. A sweet breeze kicked up, rustling the wind chimes, sending them into song. A celestial melody filled the air. The cardinal chirping in a wild cherry across the way joined in. Out back a woodpecker drummed on our apple tree, adding percussion to the symphony. I'm certain the strings section buzzed in and out of my irises. Oh my! What a heavenly chorus of praise to the Creator. 

I could sense his lovely presence surrounding me.

Because of Jesus, we can know our God. We can know his voice and his love. Isn't that amazing? What love is this that we can walk with the Creator of the Universe? What love, indeed!

I kept my eyes closed and listened to nature's song of praise. In the quiet of the moment I heard him whisper, Be still and know that I am God.

I relaxed in the arms of Jesus. My restless spirit ceased its striving. The constant motion of my thoughts submitted to his peace, his calm, even to his authority. For it is in the stillness that our spirit recognizes his supreme authority over all things that concern us and suddenly we realize that it's not who we are or what we are up against. No. It's all about Who is with us and Who has inscribed us on the palm of his hand.

But we must learn to be still. Cease striving. Rest in his lovely presence.

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah" ~ Psalm 46:10-11 

If you hear the Lord's whisper today beckoning you to come and sit with him awhile, will you heed his call? Will you leave the dishes in the sink, dry off your hands and run to him? Will you turn of Facebook and your phone and focus on Jesus? He will meet you right where you are and he will turn your mourning into dancing, your ashes into beauty and your crazy, busy life into a calm refreshing pool of Living Water.

Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in his Presence. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

When Nan is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. You may visit Nan at her website or her blog, Morning Glory

Nan has also created a facebook community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil, to provide a place for folks to go and get away from the chaos for a few moments and focus on Jesus through scripture, worship, testimony, and inspirational quotes. For personal communication you may email Nan at

 The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. Lori, thank you so much for honoring me as a guest. I'm so glad you used that crazy picture of me. I think it's hysterical. Mercy, what a moment that was! I'll be praying for your readers today. Bless you, Nan

  2. Great blog. I love how real Nan is!

    1. Carol, thanks for stopping by. You're so precious.