Presence

Presence

“All you have to do is show up.” Have you ever told anybody that?

presence

I have told my hubby that more than once. Somehow his presence changes my heart.

It happens with my children, too. Lately, my shorter one has been afraid at night and has not wanted to sleep in his room by himself. What makes a difference for him? Someone’s presence in the same room as him.

Presence. We don’t think it means much in the grand scheme of things, but our presence can make a huge difference in the day or even the life of someone else. This past weekend, I was reminded of that very thing.

We just finished our very first live event for the independent, nonprofit ministry Planting Roots. Only coming into existence about seven months ago, we have operated in the virtual world up to this point. Sitting in a pew surrounded by 70 other women, I listened to Brenda Pace talk about connection. She made a point that a big part of connection is actually showing up.

She is so right. In the Sanctuary of the church, I saw it in real life. We were a group of military women from many different parts of the country. Some of us had met before and some hadn’t. I had seen many of these faces float across facebook or twitter, but it is altogether different in person. Here I saw personalities. I looked in their eyes and saw them. They become more than pictures on a computer as they came to life.

They had come to this conference to hear biblical truth and enjoy worship together. They had come for the connection they already had with others, but what they ended up doing was so much more. Through their presence they began to breathe life, not only into me but into our Leadership Team at Planting Roots. We began to see in these ladies the vision God had placed in our hearts come to life.

They did the same thing for each other. They spoke words of life and hope, hugged each other’s necks, laughed over shared experienced, and made new friends. They poured into each other, not through virtual means, but through their presence.

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All they did was show up.

So did God.

His presence was there as well. I could feel Him speaking soft whispers and definitive words into my heart. He still had things for me to do in this life, and He also used those words to nurture and love on me. His presence makes all the difference.

Without Him in that place, we become a nice little social club. We need Him, through Him we change and grow, becoming more like Him every step of the way. Life is about Jesus and His presence is key to it all.

Presence. It seems so simple and yet the results are crazy.

Following this fabulous event, I did just what He had asked of me. I spent Monday being present in the world of my children. Without the distraction of computers and phones (except for talking to my hubby on the other side of the world), I became present, physically and mentally, in the lives of my children.

How often I miss this opportunity because I am distracted by other things. My presence in their world brings hope and life as well. I guess it’s just something about mommies.

So my challenge to you this week is the same one Brenda shared on Saturday – be present, show up.

When you are talking to Jesus, your hubby, your children, your best friend – show up, mind and body, in the place where you are. It’s a challenge I plan to take because it can truly change the world around me. You?

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