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. Anna,
    I used to be really good at what my dad called, “the lost art of letter writing,” but I admit my letters have become more like “notes”. A good friend recently sent me a “thinking of you” card and she filled it with several pages of handwritten news and encouragement. What a joy to sit with my coffee and read, and re-read her letter. I felt blessed that she had the presence of mind and took the time to pen the cursive words on each page (I’m realizing that cursive is a “lost art” as well). Our ministry of presence is awesome in the up-close-and-personal version, but I am convicted by your post that I need to get back to writing some notes and letters of my own. Jesus just showed up. He didn’t preach, or lecture, or quote scripture. He simply was present. Thanks for a wake up call this am, Anna!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Those lost arts are still so valuable! Love that you practice them. Also love that a letter doesn’t have to be long to be meaningful — to both the writer and recipient. Such a gift!

  2. As believers, we know we are called to a poured out life, but I forget that the calling is lived out one drop at a time. Thanks for the push to put aside the daily do-list now and then to be part of an unscheduled blessing.

  3. This sooooo resonates with me, Anna!

    I can’t watch the news. My husband is a counselor. I hear about so many sad and dark things… but then we see the Mr. Rogers of this life, going around changing the world just by being present. Thank you for these beautiful words. 🙂

    We may not think we are making a HUGE difference to people, but just by loving them like Jesus and showing up, we are making a bigger impact than we know.

    So so good Sister,
    Becky

  4. THANKYOU for this .God is confirming to me that I am doing His will.
    I had coffee with a long time Christian friend the other day . I had my first bible study at her house 40 years ago but hadn’t seen her in ages. I was sharing that my husband and I have agreed to be on the support transplant team for a friend. It will require 24/7 care. She said..” Why would you even consider that . It is too stressful and time consuming.” I replied that God asked us to do this if we loved as He wants us to love. She said “where in the bible does it say that?”
    Well I looked at her in surprise and gave her the exact verse… 1John3:16 .
    Yes , it may well be too hard on us at age 70 but God owns my life and He will decided my future and direct my path.
    This is exactly what the world needs… Presence and love . Bless you for sharing ..and walking the talk.

    • Wow Cheryl, what a gift you will be (and have been) to your friend. Prayers as you begin this journey with them, and thank you for sharing your story here. You gave me a gift in it!

  5. Anna.

    Years ago I gave my parents the gift of presence. Mom had dementia & was bedridden for two years. Each Monday after work I would go & visit them. Check on their needs & see how they were doing. After mom died I continued that with dad even when he went into assisted living. For a short while I went twice a week & took him shopping. After I quit my job I went three times a week just to sit with him, feed him or do whatever needed. I have a good friend who lives alone. I can tell when she needs company. Easter Sunday I went to her house after church before we headed to lunch together. I went back afterwards for a while. Now she is in rehab for shoulder surgery & I have seen her 3 times. With ex-co workers I send texts & emails to keep in touch. Once a month we try to get together & have a meal to catch up. As Lisa Jo Baker says I’m the super glue that holds the group together. Often times I try to send cards to people letting them know I’m thinking of them. At church I find the “older” women & go over to give them hugs & say Hi. I find that the older generation (70s-90s) are the ones who need our presence most. I do my best to sit, talk or just say hello. I’m never to busy to give someone the gift of presence if even for a short time.

    Blessings 🙂

  6. I too cannot bring myself to watch the news. I am too empathetic. I feel the hurt of the women who have lost everything, or their child has passed away, and it distresses me too deeply. I now pray for the women (and men) of the world for peace. Yesterday, I was able to join with a group who went to help a lady who had to move at 2 days notice. We didn’t get reasons, we just packed, and wiped out cupboards, and hugged her, and chatted while we worked. There was lots of laughter in her place yesterday, and she was smiling by the time we left with God’s blessings and a prayer. This group is organised by a church which I am not involved with, but they moved me because I didn’t have the funds to move, and they are God’s hands and feet. We are truly present.