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. You had me at the first paragraph (“How did she know?), and as much as I love summer, the lack of routine derails me, as I run from minute to minute, task to task facilitating everyone else’s priorities. Thank you for saying out loud here that whitespace is something we need in every season.

  2. Grace,
    Oh how the enemy loves when we’re “busy”!! Why? Because we are not taking time to be with our life source….God and His Son. This was never so clear to me as when I was sidelined with multiple surgeries. I was forced to BE STILL. When you literally can’t walk, or drive, or move about freely for 6 weeks at a time, you are forced into God’s presence. I hate to admit that, but it’s true. There’s only so much Netflix binge watching you can do until God says, “How about you come spend time with me?” What a gift that time was. I was able to read His Word – really dwell and meditate on it. I had time to pray and just be in God’ presence. It was really a blessing in disguise. I got in touch with my creative writing juices again. I was actually an asset to His Kingdom building team. Thanks for the reminder, now that I’m doing better, to make some room for white space. God needs it. I need it.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Connecting to our life source- yes!! We are truly nothing without Him, and life isn’t quite fully life without Him no matter how full we make it. I hope as you continue to heal, Bev, that He meets you in the whitespace you create!

  3. I love watching everyday answers online at JMM. Walks on the beach or meditation with the headspace app and going to the gym. These are all things that bring me calm, make me feel good and I talk to God. White space is definitely a necessity! Thank you for writing about what we all face busyness it’s not good to be perpetually running from one thing to the next. It’s life with kids, work commitments, study, family – we all wear so many different hats. If we don’t connect (as Bev put it) connect to our life source that’s when troubles start. Lies and self doubt remain unchecked, direction is lost and we end up exhausted and not really fulfilled. Thank you for this most important reminder!
    Jas

  4. Oh Grace, I needed your words today. I received hard news for a writer this morning. I’m compelled to write even more, but need space to process and sit with God. Today, I’ll be using my heart and soul care sheets to help me process and listen. Part of the process is 3-5 minutes of quiet to hear from God.

    But, I need more. I may carve out quiet by finding somewhere to sit outdoors in the shade. No tunes in my head. No phone in my hand. Only the noise around me and my God beside me.

    Thank you for this, today. Miss you!

    • Oh Jolene, I’m sorry for the hard news you received today. I hope that some processing in quiet has helped bring you back to your center- Jesus. Loved seeing your face here!

  5. Grace, thank you for this post. I have a chronic,progressive pain disease and a lot of times when I’m looking for the whitespace, I only see red.It’s hard to get past the physical pain,but sometimes it’s the emotional pain of wondering what am I good for now when the disease abruptly ended what I used to define myself? But I like Bev, became reacquainted with writing again. But a recent health issue has cropped up and I find myself grasping for a glimpse of whitespace. But I found a glimmer of it reading your inspiring,empathetic post. Thank you.

    • Kathleen, I’m so sorry for all the pain you’re going through and for the lack of whitespace the pain creates. Praying for relief and for God to help you, meet you, hold you, and for you to know His comfort and His presence with you. I pray you also know deep in your heart and gut that He is not done with you yet. <3

  6. Grace,

    This shows great wisdom and insight, to understand margin is NECESSARY in our lives; if not, we’ll explode. I’m not in that busy season with children anymore, but busy is a greedy idol and she still finds a way to creep in subtly if you aren’t on guard–and she’ll rob you blind! Thank you for such a lovely encouragement to be intentional about whitespace, to allow the room to be filled with His presence, and in so doing, expand space for creativity <3.

    • I love what you say about not being in a busy season with children anymore but how busyness is such a greedy idol. Yes!! I hope you can speak more into that — people are needing and wanting to hear more from where you’re at!

  7. Thank you for helping me identify and clarify exactly what happened to me recently. I had to leave my house, get in the car and drive to the library, where I know it’s quiet and I could just be me. I opened my writing notebook I took along so I could pour out all my thoughts and feelings on a page. Turned out to cover six. After 45 minutes I felt refreshed, as if grace itself had washed over me as a gentle breeze, a cooling rain, a gentle calming whisper.
    By the time I returned home, peace had calmed my heart and mind. I am so grateful for His faithful ways that restore, by comfort and love. What’s more is that this was such an important lesson to learn from, and I am more excited to witness the changes I will be practicing from it. By the way, please never doubt your gift of writing, as a writer myself, I know when I witness the holy spirit’s lead in yours. Blessings to you.

  8. Would love to see articles for older Seniors who are not rushed and not overly busy. Just need some assurance and advice for filling our hours after retirement with kids living far away.

  9. Ohh Grace, you definitely caught my attention this morning !
    Your words speak truth and so great to get that reminder..

    My morning devotional time seems to be my quiet time, also when no one is home and it’s nice out, I go outside and float in my pool as I look up and see the beauty that God made for us. The sounds of nature, the wind, the sun…( even taking a drive to look at the lake ) that’s my white space….

    Phyllis,
    I am not a senior but I’m disabled due to several med al illnesses and my one and only Daughter lives in her own apartment, so I can relate. Although, I tend to find things that keep me busy daily, but often I find I haven’t accomplished anything , it’s definitely tough as empty nesters. I think we need to volunteer, make coffee or lunch dates with friends, etc.
    our fur baby likes naps, lol

    • The pool and the lake sound lovely as well as the sounds that come with them.

      The empty nester season is one I can’t speak into, but I do hope more people will talk about it!

  10. I love the concept of white space, and I identified with so many of the sentiments in today’s selection! I find that I sometimes rush in to fill temporary voids with other activities and end up creating an artificial state of “busy-ness” when I need to use that white space and focus myself on developing and using those gifts from God that I sometimes treat as frivolous. Thanks for this reminder about prioritizing!

  11. Thanks for sharing. Your phrase “long-term issue” really struck me. I have one.

    I published a book last year where I share about my overwhelmed perfectionism and busyness and how God calls us to rest (No Ordinary Invitation: Called to Live a Life of Eternal Purpose). I completely hear your heart today. And it is telling my heart to pay attention. My neglect (and even refusal) to withdraw and refresh costs me my health, relationships, peace, joy, productivity, and more. God has a purpose for us, and just now I am getting the analogy that it is not to blacken all the white space on the calendar. I know these things, but my brain thinks I can’t stop to think about it…I have stuff to do.

    My whitespace comes in birdwatching and recently photography to share natural beauty with others. While I am in this space, my heart is in awe of God, and it forms words and songs of worship.

    As you have set aside writing, the thing I have set aside is piano. I am going to wrap up this letter and take my fingers from this keyboard to a musical one. ☺

    Happy writing!

    Francee

  12. Oh, Grace, I have so been in the place — often times find myself dipping dangerously back in it. Spending time in nature is definitely a primary way my soul breathes. I’ve been hiking in the early morning a couple times a week and even though my body is tired when my alarm goes off, my spirit feels stronger afterward. Whitespace = Creationspace for me. xx

  13. My whitespace wore me out today, I was enjoying a morning walk too much because the morning was just so beautiful, and I kept walking and walking farther and farther from home. But then I had to walk all the way back home. But it was worth it. I love the wide open spaces of the walking trail near our home, but at home, it is on the couch by the window looking out into the back yard flower garden that rests my soul.

  14. THIS! All of it! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing Grace. And thank you for reminding this girl’s heart that not only it is a desire to have white space… it’s a need!

    Blessings to you,
    Becky

  15. Grace,

    Priscilla Shirer in her Bible study “Breathe” states that we have been freed. Freed from the slavery of sin & busyness is a sin. Oh, we’re doing good things. Just not spending time with God. Jesus created Sabbath for us. He wants us to take a Sabbath rest weekly. Give one day completely to Him. Your soul will be calm & the anxious thoughts will be abated. Bonnie Gray wrote a book “Spiritual Whitespace.” She mentions busyness & the need for quiet reflection time. Also the need for margin in your calendars. In Bonnie’s book “Whispers of Rest” she mentions soul care. Things one can do to care for yourself so your more able to be there for others. Busyness is a tool the devil uses to keep us away from God. He laughingly says you’re doing all these great things for God. Yes that may be true. Are we spending time in conversation, worship of Him? Jesus often went away alone for “spiritual whitespace”. If He needed it then how much more do we? Great insights!

    Blessings 🙂

  16. I was beginning to feel that I had lost the name “writer” among my titles of mom, farm wife, friend, leader, daughter…every single time I sit down to “work” I, too, am called away. Lost shoes. Cows out of their pens. An unexpected hysterectomy. Where are His words that used to flow from my pen? I must first seek Him and then the writing will come. The peace will come. I will pray and ask for time. I will become mindful of the emptiness I feel when I do not create. Maybe we are missing His Creation? His Sabbath?

  17. Grace, I needed to read this today! Thank you for beautifully expressing this and for pointing out that our white space with God is intricately connected to creating! I often fall for the lie that it’s a luxury I can’t afford. You argue it’s vital. Really appreciate this and you!