Presence Not Presents

At Christmas time we celebrate the gift of God’s presence when He came that first Christmas day born as a baby.  The gift of God’s mind blowing plan to send His one and only son to the world to be present with us, to live life and give His life for ours so that we can live together forever is so amazing!

Presence matters to God because relationship matters to God.  As we celebrate at Christmas the amazing love that came down from heaven for us, I want to talk about the gift of your presence as well.

1 John 4:10-11.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

Our #1 mission in life as Christ followers is to show the love of God to those around us and one of the best ways we can do that is by simply being present.

What might look different about the next few weeks of “hustle and bustle” if we cared less about the to do list, about the shopping, about making everything just right and fitting everything in and concerned ourselves more with being present with those around us?  As you seek to find the perfect gifts for those you love, consider that what they might want from you are not presents, but Presence. Continue reading “Presence Not Presents”

The Gift of Presence

At Christmas time we talk a lot about presents, what people want, maybe what they want Santa to bring and we add these wanted items to our shopping list, but God has been chatting with me about a different kind of present, P-R-E-S-E-N-C-E.

If there was no Jesus, there would be no Christmas.  His presence in this world, Him coming to the scene, being born so He could die for us means everything.

“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name, Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14

Jesus’s presence and arrival on this earth is the very reason why we celebrate Christmas. His name Immanuel, means God With Us!  God with you and God With Me!  God gets the importance of presence!! Continue reading “The Gift of Presence”

In ALL Circumstances

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

All circumstances?  I mean, many of us aren’t thankful in favorable circumstances, let alone ALL.  All includes, the messy circumstances, the frustrating circumstances, the painful circumstances, the trying circumstances and yet as you can see God’s word states that it is His will for you & me to be thankful in ALL circumstances.

We may not be thankful for the circumstance, but we can be thankful in it.   We would not choose difficult circumstances for ourselves or for those we love, but there is so much to be thankful for right in the middle of the mess. Continue reading “In ALL Circumstances”

Tender and Grateful

As I begin to write this, I’m not sure you will ever see it.  Honestly, sometimes I refrain from writing because what I think is likely to come pouring out of me is so raw and real that I’m not sure if I’m ready to look at it let alone willing to fling it into the “universe”.

I’ve had a rough week.  Sometimes I am at a loss to express what I’m going through, maybe because I’m not quite sure myself and I feel that if I do share, no one is going to understand the battle I’m facing, so why waste my breath trying to explain when I’m already exhausted to begin with?  So, I sigh and say it’s fine and keep it moving; which leads me to my next train of thought that may be responsible for derailing me.  No matter how trying it is, I’ll just try more, try harder, longer, faster, smarter and guess what?  It’s never enough and well, that’s a real bummer. Continue reading “Tender and Grateful”

Feedback

FeedbackHow are you at handling criticism?  I wish I was great, but I’m not. I tend to take it personal.  Doing things well matters to me so when I get the feeling I’m not meeting expectations, it can be a tough day for this girl.

Recently, at work I decided to ask for some feedback from those that I lead.  The questions centered around my leadership ability, problem solving skills, communication, interpersonal skills, etc…I made sure this survey was set up anonymously so staff would feel free to share honest feedback with me. Continue reading “Feedback”

I Just Wanted You To Know

Thinking about youAs I sit down to write, I think about you.  I think about each one who will read.  I think about what you might be facing, about your unique personality, about what your journey is like and somehow I figure that despite what may be different about us, there are likely many things that are the same.

If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve likely known failure, me too.  If you are breathing, then I’m certain you’ve experienced heartache, me too.  Your years have undoubtedly brought some joys and moments worthy of big time celebration.  I bet you’ve cried and laughed and lost and won.  I’m sure you’ve had doubts and fears and that you’re holding on to some hopes and dreams.

As I think about you today, I just wanted you to know.  I wanted you to know that you are not the only one.  Continue reading “I Just Wanted You To Know”

Perspective

PerspectiveI know it’s not most people’s favorite thing to think about or talk about, but do you ever think about when you die?  I don’t mean how you’ll die or when, but after you are gone from this life, what do you want your legacy to be?  What do you want people to be confident in when you are gone?

Now, I hope to live a long life and I hope you do too, but I’ll tell you I think about this every now again. You know why, because nothing brings proper perspective like the finality of death.

She made the most of what was given to her.  She loved well.  She was generous.  She was a servant.  She made me feel special.  She encouraged me.  Those would all be wonderful impacts to make on those around me. Continue reading “Perspective”