Giving the Gift of Presence

A Moment of Calm Amidst the Hustle And Bustle This Holiday Season

One of my favorite ways to start my morning is to indulge in the stillness and read a few passages in my NIV, Mom’s Devotional Bible.  Ever since I was old enough to read, I’ve been a self-help junkie.  It’s a bit ironic to me that it took me until my mid-thirties to pick up the best self-help book of all.  As I read through it, I never fail to find answers I’ve been looking for in my life through the stories and passages.

The story that stopped me in my tracks.

Amidst the holiday frenzy and stress and joy of the season, it was Luke 10:38-42 that hit home with me.  In this verse, Jesus and his disciples were traveling through a small town where he paid Martha and Mary a visit.  Martha was so busy making sure that every little detail was covered for their special guest.  After all, the best way to make someone feel loved and appreciated was by waiting on them hand and foot to make them feel at home, right? (Hint:wrong.) In the process, she got really, really stressed out.

Martha ran herself ragged, totally oblivious to the amazing company she had in her home.  Making matters worse, her sister Mary wasn’t helping at all.  She just sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he had to say. This made Martha really mad.  Didn’t she care about making this a PERFECT visit for Jesus?!

Beside herself, she asked Jesus “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  His reply?

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things.  But few things are needed-or indeed, only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Perhaps this is where the saying “the Devil is in the details” comes from?

How many of us spend our time making sure every little detail of life is perfect, only to miss out on the important little ones right in front of us?  For as long as I’ve been entertaining,

I have committed the same offenses as well-intentioned Martha.  Placing way too much importance on making sure that ever spec of dust has been removed, everyone’s drinks are full, seats are comfortable, and the temperature in the room is perfect.  But all this time, I’ve been missing the most  important detail.  And that’s the one that allowed me to sit with my company and just enjoy that time with them.  Returning the gift of their physical presence with every ounce of my mental presence.

The same goes with the day-to-day with children.  How often are we wrapped up in the details of cleaning up messes, cooking dinner, doing laundry, keeping in touch with people on social media, etc. that we forget to stop and take that time to just be present with our children?

Starting today

I’ll be making a conscious effort to be more like Mary.  We allow ourselves to be closer to God when we let go of  controlling the tiny details, just a bit, in order to enjoy the here-and-now with the loved ones around us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. And, if you used to be more like Martha, but are now more like Mary, I’d love to hear secrets to your success.


  1. Chelsae | 15th Dec 17

    The idea of being present is something I was just talking about with a fellow mom. That is my goal not only this holiday season but also in 2018.

    • Kristal | 15th Dec 17

      With everything going on these days, it takes a conscious effort! Such a great goal to focus on for the new year. ?

  2. Tasheena | 15th Dec 17

    Such an important lesson. I’m so glad you’ve pointed this out! I, too, am guilty of being so consumed with the superficial details that I haven’t allowed myself to be present. Definitely something that I’ll be working on!

  3. Yoly | 15th Dec 17

    Presence is so important, yet so easily overlooked sometimes. What an amazing read.

  4. Sarah | 16th Dec 17

    I was working 2 jobs 40-70 hours a week ( as a caregiver ) until I finally emotionally couldn’t do it. I was missing out on my son ( even though I homeschool ) and husband. Being present and paying attention is so much better. I am becoming reconnected with my family and loving it.

    • Kristal | 16th Dec 17

      Wow, Sarah. That must have been mentally and physically exhausting! Did you leave one or both of your jobs? It sounds like it was a great decision. I felt the same way when I left my full-time job to stay home with my daughter full-time. It’s not always easy, but SO worth it.

  5. EscapeWriters | 16th Dec 17

    We mostly focus on what we don’t have, there we get negative thoughts. As we see goodness around as we become more happy. Thats new year goal see what we have and focus on the thing we want to achieve.

    • Kristal | 16th Dec 17

      Hi there! I was JUST thinking about that this morning. There is so much good around us. Just like you said, it’s up to us to decide what we focus on. And those thoughts make up our day-to-day. I’m with you on choosing more positivity this year! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kim | 18th Dec 17

    This is a great reminder of its importance, being present. Setting a good example for our kids and being sure to be present with them. That’s what they truely love and pay attention to. My sons called me out ok it before lol

  7. Chelsea - TheCrazySAHM | 21st Dec 17

    I love this! I have found myself being way to caught up in the details recently as well. The other day I spent the entire morning getting down on the same level as my 3 almost 4 year old, and I was amazed at how much he is growing and I am missing it, even being right here at home with him! I made a commitment at that time to start spending more time one on one with my kids. Thank you for the reminder!

  8. Candice | 12th May 18

    So very true and a good reminder for us mums! Great story! 🙂 x

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