As Christmas nears and I rush to get things done, I hear that quiet whisper, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a) Remembering those words ushers in another reminder of the importance of giving and receiving “presence” this Christmas.
You see, lately I’ve been struggling with distraction.
– I need to cook dinner and can’t find the noodles because I forgot to buy them when I shopped for lasagna ingredients.
– My children talk and my mind slowly wanders to my to-do list.
– My husband reminds me about his work related Christmas dinner. Did we even talk about that?! Apparently we did.
I’m reminded that it’s important to be fully present in each moment. I’m a thinker and sometimes have to consciously redirect and turn down the volume of my thoughts to be fully present whether it’s with my family, when doing tasks, or even in my very personal quiet times with God.
It’s a word that is rich with meaning for me. (Especially lately- as my schedule fills even more.) I’m utterly humbled and rather laid bare at the knowledge that the Creator of the world is also a lover of my soul. And because He loves me, His desire is to be present with me and have me be present with Him.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has give them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
It’s a funny thing, this Christian walk. We are present with Him, because He holds us and is in us, but yet we have room to draw even nearer.
Yes, I am present with Him, held still in His strong hand. What an undeserved gift to this distracted, fretful little busybee!
And there is room to mature. His example reminds me that as His presence is a gift to me, so my presence is a gift to others. We are the body of Christ, called to give generously of ourselves with our presence – whether it be physical or spiritual.
The Gift of Presence
As we know, gifts involve two parts: the giving and the receiving.
With that in mind, this Christmas, I challenge us all to be more present. To be physically, spiritually and mentally more present and available to God and to others (our families, friends, and communities) with our prayers, our serving, and our loving, and also being more aware of the knowledge of His presence within us.
All this month here on the blog, we’ll be focusing on this topic. Maybe this whole series is just for me. With all humility, I’ll accept it. But I pray that you’ll learn and grow from it, too.
I’m here…being present with you. Waiting to see what God will have me learn. I’m thankful for the presence of my sisters in Christ gleaning alongside me!
Here are some printables that you can print now and keep beside you as you go through this series with us. Use them to journal your thoughts on each topic, write out verses, make plans, or even write out prayers. Three pages are included (we’ve included a pic of one). Two pages have topics we thought might be useful to you and the third has a blank space so that you can create your own topics.
Is God calling you to be more present? …To enjoy His presence more?