Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

An Introduction to the Grace-Paced Life (Refresh, Intro & Ch.1)

An Introduction to the Grace-Paced Life (Refresh, Intro & Ch.1)

We’re one week into our 10 week Refresh book study and I wanted to recap the Introduction and Chapter 1.

In the introduction to the book, the frantic life and the grace-paced life are contrasted and placed before us as two opposing options. We all know what the frantic, burn-out life looks like, so that needs no definition. The road less traveled, the grace-paced life, is defined as a person who drinks deeply of five “wells” of divine grace.

  1. The motivating well, in which we are motivated by the love of God rather than driven by the pursuit of money, perfection, or self-exhautation.
  2. The moderating well, where we adjust our expectations of ourselves and others and remember that, though unperfected, we are accepted and beloved.
  3. The multiplying well, where we realize that everything doesn’t depend on us. That God can take our small loaves and fishes and multiply them to accomplish His work.
  4. The releasing well, where we trust God’s sovereignty in our lives and hand over control to Him.
  5. The receiving well, where we accept God’s good gifts of a weekly Sabbath, sleep, physical exercise, family and friends, fellowship, etc.

The result of drinking from these wells is the right balance of grace motivation and grace moderation.


In Chapter 1, we meet Shona Murray, a pastor’s wife and doctor/counselor who chronicles her unraveling. She shares how, though she’s counseled women with depression, she was now the one with the symptoms and was unable to diagnose her own road out. Panic attacks, lack of appetite, profound sadness for no apparent reason, obsessional thoughts, guilt, despair that God had turned away form her were just some of her experience with depression. She attributes this dark season of her life to an unhealthy pace, lack of rest, prolonged stress (vocational and relational) and unrealistic thoughts like “only the weak get overwhelmed and burnt out,” which resulted in mental and physical problems with spiritual consequences.

She encourages people to do a “reality check” and gives a list of physical, mental, emotional, relational, vocational, moral, and spiritual warning signs.

This chapter is a great way to assess your own life. How many of these symptoms do you have? How bad are they? How often are you having them? And more importantly, what will you do with this information? What changes have to happen?

She goes on to give a way out of the frantic and a path towards the peaceful in the following chapters.

In my own experience, saying no to one thing is saying yes to another. It’s imperative that we pray before we jam-pack our calendar with good things  but things that might keep us from really living the life God intended for us. Busyness does not equate to meaningful and we should be careful to realize the difference. We want to be busy about the business that our Father intends for us, just like Jesus who only did the will of His Father. Nothing less, nothing more.

I highly recommend you read this book. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’d like to jump into the book study, you can go to the private FB group and join about 70 of us reading together. It has already been a blessing to me!


Additional resources you might enjoy: 

My talk on Weariness and Burnout on Sermon Audio.

Sally Clarkson’s podcast on Finding Real Rest

Shopping For Time by Carolyn Mahaney

How to Guard Sabbath for Your Children by Jen Wilkin

Refresh Recap Part 2

Refresh Recap Part 3

Rethinking Self-Care. Is it Biblical?

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