Being Fully Present Is A Gift


A rough start to the holidays.


My holiday season has gotten off to a rough start. I’d planned to serve Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30. At noon, the turkey still pasty white. Not even close to done, I tell you!

Mashed potatoes and stuffing crusted, sweet potato and green bean casseroles shriveled, gravy coagulated while waiting impatiently in warming ovens.


At 3:30pm that bird finally surrendered enough breast meat to give each person a sliver.


Girls, it was the ugliest looking plate of food I’ve ever served on Thanksgiving. 

Interestingly, holding dinner hostage gave us all time to really catch up and interact. To connect. It was relaxed and fun for everyone. (Everyone but me!)

I should all over myself.

I should have had more snacks. I should have double checked the cooking time. I should have made the turkey the day before. I should never host a big party like this again. I felt like a complete failure as a hostess. 

Funny thing, though. The next day I got texts and calls from all our guests telling us what a wonderful time they had. The fact that we served shriveled veggies and crusty potatoes didn’t matter.

Apparently, the fact that I miscalculated the cooking time by three hours escaped their attention or the diversion of actual interaction was so appreciated they’d forgotten about their rumbling tummies.

We need connection!

It was a great reminder that we need connection with each other as much as we need food.

2000 years ago, Jesus came to the earth to be with us. Immanuel – God with us! “…She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14

What a difference He makes in our lives! His present to us was, and still is, His presence. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Give the best present – your presence! 

This season, let’s not get so carried away with the cooking and cleaning and decorating, and gift buying that we don’t have time to be present. Present with God and present with friends and family. 

This holiday, take time to be present. Really present. Protect your quiet time with the Lord. Oh, Girlfriend, it’s so worth waking up 10 minutes earlier, or going to bed a few minutes later or spending a little bit of your lunch break with God to be refreshed and revived to face the busyness of this season. 

Be present with your people this season. Be the best present by giving your presence. Put your phone down or better yet, leave it in your pocket. Look at people when they talk. Initiate conversations and stay engaged. 

Who’s in? Leave me a comment to let me know! 

Verse for today: “… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 

Prayer: Lord, as we celebrate your glorious birth this season, be with us. Urge us to come out of our own busyness and get past our own stuff to be present with people who need to see you in us. Make me a great representative of who you are in my life so that others would want more of you, too. Thank you Jesus, amen. 


  1. Teresa Groce on December 1, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    Such an enjoyable read. Good reminders so we can connect better with the heart of the Father.

    • Robyn Dykstra on December 1, 2021 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks Teresa!

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