I stand in the shower and let the hot water soak into my hair and run over my ears. The rest of the world gets muffled, and I find the quiet and space I long for there. No one is climbing me, touching me, needing me, calling me over and over again. I inhale the steam and exhale the weight off my shoulders, and I will the 5 minutes of peace to slow down before I get to shampooing my hair.

Those 5 minutes feel like manna in the desert.

I get out of the shower and send a text to my sister, “Are you wearing makeup? Wondering how chill I should go?” We’re meeting at her house to grill some steaks, and I’m crossing my fingers she replies with a no.

“Nope. Super chill,” she texts back.

A tiny bit of pressure flits away, and that nope feels like manna in the desert too.

When the ordinary routines of life and mothering overwhelm me, and depression lays like a fog in my soul, I’m desperate for mercy, for supernatural provision as I journey through a wilderness season. Those moments of manna in the desert whisper remember, remember and Shelly Miller’s words come again to me:

Sabbath reminds us that we belong because we are already accepted. Rest requires that we be who we are and nothing else.

My sister’s text sets the tone for our time together and gives me permission to be who I am and nothing else. I feel lighter and grateful to know that rest will be enjoyed soon.

We arrive at her house carrying my husband’s Perfect Summer Corn Salad and a box of La Croix, and we settle into the groove we’ve formed at our family gatherings. The kids head straight to the toys to play, fight, and repeat. My husband and I prepare the vegetables to be grilled and start roasting the broccoli in olive oil and butter. My brother gets the steaks on the grill, and all the scents meld into the fragrance of welcome and home and rest.

Even as I breathe it in, I long for more. I sift through my wanting and seeking, and it’s not the smell of charcoal burning or the butter sizzling or the delicious food we’ll be relishing I need more of. I’m frantic for rest. I’m starved of it. I want to gather it up and hoard it away. But like manna, rest can’t be stored for later; it’s given when it’s needed the most, over and over again.

Every day I come to the end of myself, sometimes as early as 8 in the morning, and I beg God to take me away to a place of peace and quiet. I imagine it’s near the ocean where the breeze is cool and it feels as though I can breathe again. Perhaps that time will come one day, but for now He’s giving me rest and mercy in small pieces throughout the day. I gather the pieces of manna He sends, and they remind me He’s present and able to help me when I am desperate.

We sit at the table and say a prayer of thanks for the food and the family, and my shoulders relax. I’ve come as I am- no makeup and all- and I am accepted, loved, and rested.

Perfect Summer Corn Salad
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  1. 4 cups sweet corn cut from the cob (approx. 5 corn on the cobs)
  2. 2 cups fresh green beans (cut into 1/2 in. pieces)
  3. 1 1/2 cups sliced radishes
  4. 1 1/2 cups sliced cucumbers
  5. 1 cup diced cilantro
  6. 1 cup diced red onion
  1. 1 tbs dijon mustard
  2. 4 tbs lime juice (approx. 2 limes)
  3. 8 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tbs. honey
  5. A pinch of salt
  6. A pinch of pepper
  1. Slice, dice, and cut green beans, radishes, cucumbers, cilantro, and red onion.
  2. Cut corn off cobs.
  3. Blanch corn for about 2 minutes; cool immediately in ice bath.
  4. Blanch green beans for about 3 minutes; cool immediately in ice bath.
  5. For the dressing, juice the limes into a bowl and slowly add the olive oil as you whisk. Add dijon mustard and honey and whisk until it emulsifies. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Mix all vegetables and dressing together.
  7. Season further with salt and pepper as needed.
Grace Table http://gracetable.org/
Grace P. Cho
Grace P. Cho / Posts / Blog
Grace P. Cho is a writer, wife, and mama to two littles. She writes and is the managing editor for The Mudroom and GraceTable as well as a contributor for Inheritance Magazine and A Moment to Breathe. Her favorites include walking alongside others, speaking truth through story, coffee of any kind, and desert landscapes. You can follow her on her blog at www.gracepcho.com and on Instagram.
  • Mary

    This is beautiful, Grace. A breath of fresh air that I needed to breath this morning.

    July 7th, 2017 10:29
  • Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

    I love how we can be ourselves, no expectations, no need for show around loved ones. I relate and love your story. Thank you so much for sharing and I would love to try that salad recipe. It looks so fresh. xx

    July 7th, 2017 10:45
    • Grace P. Cho
      Grace P. Cho

      It IS so fresh! Also, your blog is gorgeous. <3

      July 7th, 2017 13:05
  • kimmie

    We were on vaction with my mom and sister last week. There were so many moments I wish I could’ve bottled up for home.

    July 7th, 2017 13:38
    • Grace P. Cho
      Grace P. Cho

      Write them down if you can with as much detail as you can! They will be tokens from your time together!

      July 7th, 2017 14:58
  • Paula Trotter

    Grace, that was very well written ~ and actually lifted weight from my own shoulders just reading your lovely words. Even though I’m retired I had to go back part time. I so want to get back to my own writing and pray for God’s direction in my life, to give me not only the spark again, but to make a way so that I can ~ and be a writer in my retirement!
    Thank you for your words.

    July 7th, 2017 22:38
    • Grace P. Cho
      Grace P. Cho

      Thank you for sharing, Paula. I hope you can still get down some words each day. A little everyday will pile up to be more than you thought you could write!

      July 7th, 2017 22:57
  • Theresa Boedeker

    You are so right. God doesn’t give us peace and rest to store up, but when we need it, and in small doses. As a momma, I can so relate to this.

    July 7th, 2017 23:13
    • Grace P. Cho
      Grace P. Cho

      Yes! I’m finding this the truest in mothering.

      July 7th, 2017 23:21

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