Are You Willing to Keep Showing Up?

by | #TellHisStory, Encouragement, Faith, Friendship | 29 comments

This morning, I flipped through my notebook skimming over my to-do lists for the past week.

So. Much. Juggling.

But that’s normal due to the different hats I wear—wife/mom/daughter/sister/aunt/writer/teacher—to name a few.

But juggling isn’t uncommon, especially for a writer. With my new book releasing next Tuesday, I’m doing some marketing prep. In addition, I have final edits due to my editor on Monday for my book that releases in January 2022. In my in-between time, I’m working on two separate book proposals to submit to my editor by the end of the month.

Oh, and that doesn’t include my day job, managing our household, family obligations, and church responsibilities.

So, yeah, my to-do list exhausted me just by looking at it. Even though it sounds like it, I’m not complaining. Each one of those is a blessing—something I’ve prayed for in some way, and having a long to-do list reminds me how God has answered my prayers.

Last Saturday morning, my husband woke me up with breakfast in bed. I’d been up several times in the night with our aging dog and I slept in until 7:30 a.m., so his act of service warmed my heart. While we ate, we talked about our day and I wrote out a fresh to-do list, carrying over many items from last week that hadn’t gotten done yet. After breakfast, we ran errands, which completed more tasks on my to-do list.

A Created Pause

But then I got an unexpected text that created a pause in my goal of completing my list. A very close friend is going through an extremely difficult time with her aging parents. She lives ninety minutes away and texted our friendship group (there are five of us) to say she’d be in town that afternoon and checked to see if any of us wanted to meet for lunch.

Of course, we all said yes. We knew she needed our support and friendship. Despite the last-minute invitation and my desire to complete my to-do list, my husband and I changed our plans so we could meet our friends for lunch.

Keep Showing Up

While doing my workout yesterday, the trainer said, “keep showing up and do the work even when it’s hard.”

As I finished my workout and headed to the shower, that thought stayed with me. Yes, she was referring to the importance of daily exercise and a healthy lifestyle, which is hard. But I believe that same comment can be applied to other areas of our lives—parenting, caring for sick loved ones, job challenges, book deadlines, etc.

My husband bought me a vinyl wall decal that reads, “You can do hard things.”

And it’s true—I can do hard things. Some of it comes from a place of not having a choice, but other times, doing the hard things has been a choice to reach for my goals and dreams.

But what about just showing up?

Sometimes just showing up is hard. When we have conflicting values or we allow our fears to snuff out any glints of courage.

Sometimes just showing up is hard. When we have conflicting values or we allow our fears to snuff out any glints of courage. #tellhisstory #relationships #compassion #apositiveperspective Click To Tweet

I thought back to lunch with my friends on Saturday and how each one of them is going through hard things—aging/dying parents, estranged children, moving an hour away, long-distance children, job challenges. Yet, each one of them continues to show up. Even if they don’t feel brave or strong or fearless, they show up and do the hard things.

What does it mean to show up?

What does it mean to show up? #tellhisstory #relationships #compassion #apositiveperspective Click To Tweet

Be present. Simply put, it means being present. If you have a family member or friend going through a difficult time, give them a call and ask what they need. Send a card. Fix a meal. Run errands for them.

Be compassionate. Compassion is one of the greatest gifts you can give a person. Compassion shows others not only does someone care about them and what they are going through, but also they want to help in any way they can. Compassion offers the opportunity to help reduce the pain.

Be a listener. It’s so easy to dispense advice or share what you may have gone through in a similar situation. But sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone is to be a listener. Let them feel valued and heard. My friend Beth Vogt wrote a beautiful blog post called Choosing to Value Others by Listening to Them.

Be intentional. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives, our own busyness. When we are intentional and show up for someone, it shows our willingness to be a part of their pain, to want to help them in some way, to communicate our empathy or sympathy for their situation. Being intentional deepens the relationship and puts others’ needs ahead of our own.

Showing up and doing the hard things offers hope, especially when you’re showing up for someone else. When others see us showing up and doing hard things, it can empower them to do the same. Imagine the ripple effect that has.

By showing up, we let others know they matter. They are valued. They are seen. They are not alone.

After all, isn’t that what Jesus does for us? He shows up. Every single day.

Your Turn: Do you feel you’re able to do the hard things? What does showing up look like to you?

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leave your own encouragement. Click over here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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  1. Barbara Harper

    Truly setting aside everything else to listen is hard but necessary. And having plans interrupted and changed, when I thought those plans were of the Lord is especially hard. But I know He’s in charge of interruptions as well.

    • Lisa Jordan

      So true, Barbara–the Lord is in those interruptions. And He will allow them to happen to direct us where He wants us to go. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tea With Jennifer

      Yes, in Jesus we can!
      Thank you for hosting this week Lisa,

      • Lisa Jordan

        You’re welcome, Jennifer. Thank you for being a part of the link-up.

  2. Joanne Viola

    We must be intentional if we are going to be willing to show up. It will require us to be less self-focused and more other-focused; a setting aside of our own desires and will call us to be more like Jesus.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Exactly, Joanne. When we are focusing on others, we’re allowing God to work within us to be more like Him…and to show others His character. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lisa notes

    “Just show up” has been one of the most important mantras I’ve used with myself the past few years. It keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. It reminds me that if I’ll just show up, God will show up too. And that’s really what I need. Thanks for encouraging us with this. And thanks for hosting us in your space!

    • Lisa Jordan

      Lisa, such a perfect reminder–“if I’ll just show up, God will show up too.” By our willingness to take that first step to show up, God will meet us and equip us with what we need. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Michele Morin

    You are writing words here that resonate for my own crazy summer. Let’s persevere in turning our faces toward the Father of lights in whom there is no shadow or uncertainty!

    • Lisa Jordan

      Such beautiful words, Michele. So thankful for no uncertainty when we are in the Father’s light. Thanks for sharing.

    • Donna B Reidland

      “Just show up.” I hadn’t thought about it that way but that describes my life right now with an aging parent and a 19-month old (and his momma) living with us. I like what Lisa said, when we show up God shows up, too. Actually, I know He’s always here but I’m more acutely aware of just how much I need Him. Blessings and thanks for hosting.

  5. Maryleigh

    Showing up is so important – it doesn’t require answers. Sometimes it just requires sitting and saying nothing at all! Even being uncomfortable! Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Love Take Me Over” helped me so much when my beloved aunt who was like a mom had dementia so that the love I felt flowed from my heart to my hands – my actions and what was needed!

    • Lisa Jordan

      You’re so right, Maryleigh. Being present matters more than empty words. Someone else knowing they are heard and loved helps with the pain. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Debbie Wilson

    Congratulations on your upcoming book release! What a sweet treasure to have a friendship group like that. Relationships are what makes life meaningful.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Thank you, Debbie! I’m so blessed by my circles of friends. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

  7. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Showing up is getting rough;
    ten steps, and I’m out of breath,
    and I think it’s quite enough
    to make a person long for death,
    but I don’t think so, no sirree;
    cancer’s bad, but could be worse,
    and it would dishonour me
    to look on these days as a curse.
    So I will stay in the game
    with bad jokes and real good cheer,
    for one should act quite the same
    if one’s end is far or near,
    and let heart and soul shine bright
    even ‘gainst the fall of night.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Andrew, you show up with each blog replay, saying the right thing always. Blessings to you for using your words to share what you’re going through and still encouraging others.

  8. Donna

    Lisa, such a great post! I learned a long time ago “just showing up” is both the easiest and hardest thing I can do. Working for hospice and bereavement, I must be intentional about showing up, but I need to be just as intentional in the hard places of my life too! Thank you for the encouragement I received today!

    • Lisa Jordan

      Donna, bless you for your work. When my family dealt with hospice, they were so kind and caring. Thank you for the way your intentional presence helps those going through difficult times.

  9. Amy Jung

    Loved this post! I will consider all the ways I need to keep showing up even though I’m weary and sometimes let things fall through the cracks. By God’s help, I can continue to show up.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Amy, it’s tough when we’re weary already and still need to show up. But you’re right–with God’s help, we can do it.

  10. Lauren Renee Sparks

    The ministry of interruptions I call it. And it’s important. Congrats on your new book and good luck on your proposals.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Oh, I like that–the ministry of interruptions. Thank you, Lauren. 🙂

  11. Beth K Vogt

    Lisa, Just seeing your blog post today, but finding it so encouraging. Some days just showing up is the bravest thing we do. And then, enlarging our “showing up” to be caring and kind to others? That is grace at work — reflecting God to the world in a tangible way.

    • Lisa Jordan

      You’re right about it being the bravest thing we can do, Beth. The more we do it, the more lives we can touch. 🙂

  12. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, in the last few years, I’ve found that doing hard things I haven’t had a choice about has enabled me to do hard things I DO have a choice about, if that makes any sense. I’ve been in the position of your friend with the aging parents, so I know what a blessing it must have been for her to be able to meet up with your friend group. Thank you for this encouraging post!

    • Lisa Jordan

      Lois, I like the perspective you offer about when we haven’t had a choice and how that helps when we do. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Karen Friday

    Lisa, I not only like how you note the importance of showing up, but also all the “be” points. I’m trying to be intentional to be present. I like to say, “Be present in the present.” Our digital age of devices has people in the room engaging more with someone on the other side of the screen instead of someone on the other side of the room or table.

    Congratulations on the book launch.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Thank you, Karen. And you’re exactly right–be present in the present. When I’m with family or friends, I’m trying harder to keep my phone tucked away. It takes effort, but it’s worth it so others feel seen and heard.