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Being Present

Have you ever stopped to think about how you interact with the world around you? Tonight, I was eating out with my mom and a friend. When we got to the restaurant, I finished sending a text to someone I was having a conversation with to let them know that I was about to eat with family. I put my phone on silent and put it away so that I couldn’t see it. While spending some time fellowshipping with my companions, I couldn’t help but notice that there were so many people on their phones, looking at a screen instead of paying attention to the person speaking to them. I’ve been guilty of this. This has become the new normal… we have lost the beauty of communication. Earlier this month, after watching our cast video and seeing how many times we were on our phones instead of fully present in the moment, I silently vowed to break up with my phone addiction. I don’t want to look back on my life and think, “Man, I missed out on so much trying to stay connected on social media instead of connecting with the human sitting right beside me”. I don’t want another person to say to me, “I’ve told you all of this before… You were on your phone and not paying attention”, or, “Could you please put your phone down and pay attention to me?’.

Along the lines of communicating in the present, how many times have you been in a store, had your blinders on, and missed seeing someone you know until they called out your name? I am so guilty of this. We tend to rush through life missing out on the little things that make each day special. Which is sad. We think about sending a text or a card to someone we’re thinking of but, suddenly it’s a week, month, year later. God has created so many beautiful things for us to enjoy. We just have to take the time to stop for a moment and see it. Here’s a challenge, and I’ll do it too: Take one moment, no matter how small, just to breathe and express gratitude for simply being alive and well today. Thank God for whatever you may doing in the moment. Life can get stressful, but out of stress comes growth and, eventually, peace. Take the time to send that message to someone who has been on your heart. Take time to notice the world around you.

Billy Graham, beloved by many and someone I’ve looked up to for years, passed away this morning. As I sat watching videos of his preaching, I started thinking about his example. He is someone as close to Christ-like as I’ve seen. The love he showed to everyone around him and the fire behind his preaching are what made the world fall in love with him. He led by example. That’s an example I want to follow. I fail daily. I know that there are things that I need to change in order to live the life Jesus expects of me. And, I’m trying. I try to work on something every day. Today, it was being present. Tomorrow, cleanliness (Y’all, my room is a mess… unpacking after a contract and trying to downsize is messy business haha). The next day, whatever comes to mind during my quiet time. Oh yeah, quiet time. That’s something I haven’t done in a while. I can’t wait to get back to chatting with God in the mornings over eggs and coffee. I want God to show me my faults so that I can fix them. I want to be a role model for others. I want people to see Jesus when they see me. In a society where it’s no longer “cool” to be a Christian and people get made fun of for saying that Jesus speaks to them, I want to stand firm and be proud of my faith. And, side note, I speak to Jesus and He speaks back. I’m not crazy for talking to my Savior. I am loved and fearfully made by a both Loving and Jealous God. I believe in the Resurrection. I believe that Jesus died for my sin so that I may know the Grace of God and, one day, dwell with Christ in Heaven. And what a day of rejoicing that will be!

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and for loving me just as I am. Each of you have touched my life and I thank God for you. I pray that you’ll find time to enjoy the little things, be present, and stand firm in your beliefs. You matter. You are important. You are loved.

God Bless,

Hollie <3

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