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.
- 4 cups sweet corn cut from the cob (approx. 5 corn on the cobs)
- 2 cups fresh green beans (cut into 1/2 in. pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced radishes
- 1 1/2 cups sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup diced cilantro
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- 4 tbs lime juice (approx. 2 limes)
- 8 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs. honey
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of pepper
- Slice, dice, and cut green beans, radishes, cucumbers, cilantro, and red onion.
- Cut corn off cobs.
- Blanch corn for about 2 minutes; cool immediately in ice bath.
- Blanch green beans for about 3 minutes; cool immediately in ice bath.
- 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.
- Mix all vegetables and dressing together.
- Season further with salt and pepper as needed.