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3 Things: Present and Presence

Thought: Presents. This time of year, we can get lost in the allure of many things. Presents. Bows. Wrapping paper. Clothes and gadgets. Stockings, Santa Clause, candy canes and reindeers. It’s all beautiful to celebrate the season, don’t get me wrong. But what if we were a little more intentional about the most important present – the precious present? Being with loved ones and celebrating the moments we have. Life is fragile.

My mother-in-law, Darlene, has lived an amazing, Godly life. She’s close to having her last breath on earth and will soon be in heaven. Dementia has wreaked havoc in recent years. A gut-wrenching disease too many families face. I’ve watched my wife, Michelle, and father-in-law, Lynn, faithfully serve her and be present on a daily basis over the last year. And just the last week, by her side, holding her hand, tears streaming down both of their faces. They’re awaiting that final breath. It’s both hard to witness and wildly inspirational. A paradox of sorts.

I see Love. I see Presence.

It will be a different Christmas this year in our family. We’re preparing to lose Darlene any day. It’s a fitting time of year for her to make her way to Heaven. The birth of Jesus on Christmas day over 2000 years ago changed everything for the world. Darlene was the first person I’d hear talk about Jesus as a friend. She was present with him – that was obvious. And I’m confident she’ll be dancing with him soon : )

My good friend, Shep, likes to say that being alive is a miracle. You were created unique and with your own fingerprint. Out of 7.8 billion people alive, you’re the only one with that exact fingerprint. You are uniquely and wonderfully made. So are your loved ones. Don’t be shy about letting them know how much you care about them this holiday season. Give an extra hug, speak a word of encouragement, love a little bit more than usual.

Quote:  “The most precious gift you can give someone is the gift of your time and attention.” – Nicky Gumbel, Creator of Alpha

Call to Action: Give the gift of being more present this Christmas and holiday season.

All the best to you!

Jon

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