About the Author

Grace P. Cho is a Korean American writer, poet, speaker, and the editorial manager at (in)courage. She believes telling our stories can change the world and desires to elevate women of color’s voices in the publishing industry. Learn more at @gracepcho and gracepcho.com.

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  1. Grace,
    I think you just described 99% of the women on this planet. We push ourselves to the brink and then wonder why we hit the wall and collapse. I’m there right not….back spasms have forced me to lie down and rest. Sad, that God has to go to such extremes to get me to slow down. I do get up early to have my quiet time and time in His Word. It just starts my day off on the right footing. Greeting God before I greet the day is a necessity for me. I love stopping by here for a breath of encouragement and community. Setting boundaries is STILL something I’m working on even in my 50’s. NO is not a four letter word. Learning to ask others for help when I need it has been helpful and humbling. Lately, I take a break from my work to water my plants….just get outside and I take photographs that encourage me to really look closely and capture God’s beauty and imagination. Putting on praise music when I’m making dinner makes it a more enjoyable task. Writing in a gratitude journal helps me focus on what I DO have vs. what I don’t. I’ve also been really trying to make a concerted effort to keep the Sabbath holy and truly rest from doing. God is very serious about the Sabbath….not optional in His book. These are just a few things that help me find rest, peace, and strength. Thanks for the great nudge!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I am right there with you friend!! Boundaries are such a challenge! I’m gonna try music while making dinner and the journal idea. Thank you!!

      • Boundaries is probably one of the hardest and best things I’ve learned to do recently and with the help of counseling. Drawing the line and saying no can cause guilt, but when we follow through, there is freedom on the other side!

    • Rest is a good reminder in any season, and I love that you’re taking time to go outside and to write in a gratitude journal. Nature allows us to remember, and being thankful reminds us of the blessings and ways God has shown up. Even now as I write back to you, my heart feels at peace thinking about the things I’m grateful for!

  2. This is such wise counsel, Grace. Isn’t ironic that we have to “work” at doing a better job of resting, but it seems to be true. I’m finding that I really need to just unplug from the internet, from my blog, and from writing for a few days at a time, and when I first had this urging, I pushed it aside. (A very bad idea.) When I finally did act in obedience, I was amazed at how energizing the empty space was. I’m planning another break next month, and I am already looking forward to it!

    • So ironic! I’m glad you were able to obey. Unplugging from social media has been the hardest for me, but I think a day away from it would be so helpful.

  3. So, so good, Grace. This in particular, arrested me as I read it,

    “I become fretful, looking for worth in what I can build with my own hands only to have it crush me with its never-satisfied demands.“

    Dang. That’s a good word. A painful, true word. Ever grateful for you, for your voice and for your willingness to share.

    Xxo

  4. Thank You Grace. Feeling overwhelmed by a new job ,financial woes and pressures, marriage struggles,and children with needs etc… Casting all of these on Jesus today who cares for me!! You described most of my child rearing days and now into the last 3 of 6 childrens teen years. I really needed your additional reminder today to REST!! I am not great with words on paper but you really hit the mark!! It is so easy to be drawn to the idol of “perfection”… ideal looking home, ideal relationships with husband and children and their behavior. Life is messy and I’m learning to be ok with the mess and let it draw me to my savior….My healer of all messes and brokenness.

  5. As a Mum of two small children, reading this I felt like you had been reading my mind! This is where I’m at right now Thank you for speaking such TRUTH and reminding us that rest is available today if we’ll run into Him and receive it.

  6. ‘Choose to expect less .. so our posture is grateful and not entitled’ – WOW! this should be on a bumper sticker! You have some amazing writing talents- thank you for letting the Spirit speak through your words!!

  7. Loving to see the words, take them in, into my heart. I am not alone, and in concert, let us celebrate and have the Sabbath, it is for us! What a healer Christ is!!

  8. Your words reflect my soul’s greatest desire. Instead of scrolling and waiting for “one day” to happen, this week I am following my intuition and jump starting my campaign of nothingness! My dog will get a bath from ME, not the groomer, and weeds will be pulled by my own hands instead of scorned at on my way to do “more important “ things to keep me busy/inattentive.

  9. One of the things that has been a gift to me is the practice of yoga – It gives me some structure for stopping and breathing and being present in the moment.

    I teach a Christian yoga class at 9pm CT (yes, at night) on Wednesdays on the FITTEVER app and would love for you to join me and enjoy a little break before bed in the middle of your week.

  10. Thank you for this great word. I want to learn to rest because He knows what we need, not because I am forced to rest. Rest is such a beautiful gift from God. The enemy wants us to detour from rest because it takes our focus away from what the Lord has for us. I needed this reminder—timely.

  11. I hear ya, Grace. ((Hug)) I’ve starting having a built-in summer sabbath each year. This is only my 2nd year, but I’ve noticed that—more than a physical slowing, it’s a mental slowing for me. It’s still an exercise, that muscle isn’t fully built yet, but I try to embrace the opportunity to lessen the expectations I place on myself. And, interesting how much more productive I feel when I free myself of expectations. Feels counter-intuitive, yet somehow right. 🙂 Thanks for these vulnerable words today.

    • Yes! Exactly! It’s a mental slowing down, and it’s definitely something we need to practice because we’re so bent toward being productive all the time.

  12. This wasn’t the post I was expecting but God knew. This morning, before reading my email, I read in Jeremiah about God’s reminder/warning to keep the sabbath rest.
    God knew I would read this post next and put the 2 together. Learning to follow his leading….

  13. Thank you God for speaking to me through Grace today! God has had this topic on the back burner of my mind for a few months now. So good to confront it! Beautiful true words for me. I am going to sit for 10 minutes and meditate and pray (forced rest, yes) right now. Thank you!

  14. Thank you for sharing. This is deep in the vein of what God has been speaking to me over and over lately. It is time to own this idea of rest and make it a reality for my life.
    Blessings to you!

    • I love it when God is speaking the same message to us! Choose one simple thing to do to rest – start small and then try to carve more time for it.

  15. Grace, you got me!

    “My heart like coal, dead and dark,” is a familiar place, a desperate space.
    Wow, thank you for these powerful words today, a reminder of something my heart longs for.

  16. Oh, friend. I feel convicted and hopeful and seen all in one beautifully written, hard to read fell swoop. Yes. I am with you.

    It’s such a gift to see YOUR words on (in)courage today, Grace!! We are the richer for your honesty and invitation to press into the Rest who is waiting for us. xx

  17. this is exactly what i needed to read this morning. i feel God speaking to me to Be Still abd Breathe. i am a mumma of 2 small children just returned to work and they r constantly sick and its stressing me out. i am constantly on my feet and dont get enough sleep and rely too much on caffeine. oh how i long for rest. perhaps dwelling with the Lord and his word will help me find peace in my messy life!

    • Oh Julie, it’s so, so hard when the kids are constantly sick and you have to work! I’m running on caffeine too and remembering that it’s not just caffeine that will help me get through the day. I need Jesus first and foremost with coffee being second. 🙂

  18. Grace,

    Sabbath rest is so important in today’s world. I did a Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer “Breathe”. It focused on Sabbath rest. God freed us from the slavery of sin. We feel the need to continue working, striving, doing & not enjoying the freedom He gave us. Life can get busy at times with deadlines, work, cooking, etc. We must learn to say no & set deadlines for ourselves. God made the Sabbath for us to enjoy. He knows we need to stop & take a break from life. It will be good for our mental & physical health. Taking a break from life & social media doesn’t equate to being lazy. It means we value time with God & family over the world’s rushing & doing. I read Bonnie Gray’s “Whispers of Rest 40 Days of God’s Love to revitalize your soul. ” One thing that resonated with me is breath prayers. Just inhale & say Jesus then exhale & say help me or what ever. It is a simple way to talk to God anytime of day or night. It is very calming. I also love listening to Christian Music while working. It energizes my soul, keeps me praising & focused on God. Hubby & I watch Dr. David Jeremiah on TV together. He has such great sermons. I feel it grounds us spiritually!

    Blessings 🙂

  19. I’m trying to make Friday afternoons a time of rest in my life. Fridays are often slower work days for me since I work in ministry and we often have events on the weekends. So I’m trying to make a habit of spending those afternoons reading, napping, going outside – anything that’s truly life-giving (rather than laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning – things I normally do when I have a break from work).

    • I love that distinction between things that are life-giving that things that you would normally do when you have a break from work. I hope you had some of that life-giving goodness yesterday and blessings to you as you work this weekend!

      • Thank you, but I can’t take credit for that! If you haven’t already listened/read I highly recommend Annie F. Downs’ That Sounds Fun podcast episode from earlier this year on Sabbath with John Mark Comer and/or his book Garden City.

  20. I’m disturbed by our political climate today within our churches. It’s even difficult to attend on Sunday because one is treated differently if one does not agree with the others views. I think the word that comes to mind is shunned. I am not welcomed at church functions. I am hungry for Christian fellowship that’s non judgmental. I live in a small town so options for church attendance is limited. I feel guilty not attending church on Sunday. I do worship by keeping the Sabbath holy by worshiping with a television sermon and reading my Bible and keeping other media interactions limited and praying. I try to follow the What Would Jesus Do statement in all my actions. Help

    • Hey April, I’m so sorry things have been difficult with church. I was praying this morning about the climate of our nation, the way things are so broken, the children separated from their families, the injustices that continue to happen, and I know the Lord sees our tears and hears our cries. It’s so tricky to attend church when we don’t see eye to eye so along with reading your Bible and praying, I suggest you try to find community online with whom you’ll resonate and that you look outside of your current church to see if there are people in your local area still with whom you can connect and pray together over the state of this world. I still highly recommend you stick with a local church because in any broken body, Christ is still doing His redeeming work, and we are given the power to love beyond opposing views and values. We are to call out what’s wrong and unjust, but we are also to do it with wisdom and grace… it’s a HARD HARD thing to do, and sometimes, it won’t be possible. We pray with broken hearts, and we pray with hope. <3

    • I’m so sorry that this has been your experience with the local church! The church can be wonderful but it’s also so very full of flawed people. Please know that I am praying that God will provide true Christian fellowship for you soon and that He will bring reconciliation where it is needed.

  21. This is the majority of us women, women who are mothers. We are weary and exhausted but yes like you say, we definitely have more than enough time for Pinterest. LOL This is my downfall. Longing for rest while dreaming up what my house should look like, what I should wear to work if I only resort to capsule wear, what I could cook up for my family, etc.. It is truly insane to think that just two decades ago, we had the same amount of time yet we were able to truly enjoy being with our family. With this onset of social media, our days are becoming less and less it seems and we are supposed to be connected to those we claim to love with the reality of this being the complete opposite. Come to the fountain, those of you who are weary, Jesus said. Let us draw back to the well of life for nourishment. Just a reminder that this life is temporary and we have so little time with our children. Let us embrace every single moment with them while they still want us to be near them. Thank you for sharing…

  22. Resting is hard for me, too–even in retirement!! I do begin most days with a restful quiet time and enjoy a long break at lunchtime. Sundays I take a Sabbath rest from social media. A truly restful habit is sitting on our deck, Bible and journal in hand, to sit in God’s living room (a Michael Hyatt phrase which I love!), bask in his presence, praise him for his creative genius, and listen for his voice. But I must admit, those hours are not as frequent as they should be. Thank you, Grace, for your inspiration and encouragement. Rest IS within our reach if we’re willing to choose it!

  23. Well said! Thanks for sharing. I am right there with you. I recently published a book (No Ordinary Invitation: Called to Live a Life of Eternal Purpose) which addresses this topic and how to invite God’s presence and experience rest in the midst of this life while we await our eternal rest. This book led me to introspection and action. When we are still and deliberate, we will hear amazing things from His heart. Each day can be abundant, even when it is dark. Each day can be peace-filled, even when it is chaotic. I do exposition of Matthew 11:28-30. He is the source of rest. Focusing on Him during Sabbath and every other day, as well, is incomparable! Happy resting!

    • Yes! My favorite version of Matt. 11:28-30 is The Message version – “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace…” May we know that and live that this weekend!