About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. I struggle with this on two levels: I tend to feel as if I’m intruding rather than helping; and, if I manage to overcome that and actually get “involved,” I forget that I’m not supposed to try to solve the person’s problem, necessarily. The gift is to be there and to listen and to attend to the person’s words and the feelings they carry.

    Thanks for this wisdom in living out Jesus’ “my-life-for-yours” kind of love.

  2. Anna,
    When I think of being present, I immediately think of Jesus just being present with his friends when He hears about the death of Lazarus. He didn’t launch into a sermon, give advice, offer cliche phrases or pat answers, no, He was just there and He wept. I believe that sharing others feelings – whether it’s joy or deep, deep sorrow is one of the best offerings we can make. In order to do that we need to stop, be still, and be present in the moment. It’s saying that for that point in time, “Your life is more important than mine.” Oh, that I would be better at sacrificing my own self-interests to be present for someone in need of a listening ear. Love Mr. Rogers (I knew he was a good guy when I watched him as a kid) and loved this post, Anna. Thank you.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. Anna,

    God sends interruptions into our lives. We might call them inconveniences. I think it is His way of getting us to slow down and look at the world around us. There is so much crazy, madness in this world today. A lot of people are hurting and just need someone to listen to them. We need to start thinking like Jesus did and make time for others. Job’s three friends came and sat with him for seven days without saying a word. More often than not that is just what people need/want. Someone to say “I care about you-you matter.” Let’s all take time to slow down some and really hear people and share in their pain or joy. It will make the world a little brighter.

    Blessings 🙂

  4. Wherever we are someone needs a kind or simple gesture.Thank-you for this gentle reminder Anna, and your touching post.

    Have a blessed day all,

    Penny

  5. Thank you! The presence shared when a life laid down for others without a thought for oneself. The reminder of Jesus helps us refocus on others. What a good reminder. Also what a good way to share on this memorial day weekend, so many had laid their lives down for us so that we can live another day.

  6. I too am becoming disheartened with the news and like you, am turning it off more and more. Think of how our grandparents had relationships with their neighbors and rushed to help when needed. More of that please. Let’s try and pay more attention. I try exposing a little something about myself and often that opens the door for the person I am with to do the same. It works. We have just opened the door for Jesus to come in and be a part of the conversation.

  7. Well said, Anna. “Maybe we can’t do earthshaking good. Maybe we’re ‘just a mom’ or ‘just one person’, overcome by doubt before we even start. But…we can lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters…because sometimes it’s as simple as showing up.” This. So much, this. Thank you.

  8. I love this. So often I find the news dark and scary too. Love this reminder of Jesus shows up in the darkness.

  9. I’ve never really thought about “laying down one’s life” in quite this way before. Thank you, Anna. God bless you and yours!

  10. One of the first people I heard of laying down there life for someone years ago. He had run in front of a car to save a child, the child live but he was struck, As a young woman I wondered if I could do that. Today, knowing that I have His presence, as you say the ministry of presence, I know I do it all the time. Maybe not to that extreme but still making a difference.