I shared in my last post that my theme / word for this year is ABUNDANCE. As I’ve been preparing myself for the coming year – my goals, hopes, dreams – and what embracing abundance looks like in each area of my life (faith-life, marriage, health, career, hobbies, etc.), it’s been important for me to really understand what abundance means; so today I’m exploring this, and I invite you to join me!
The Random House dictionary defines “abundance” as:
2) overflowing fullness, and
3) affluence; wealth.
The first and third definitions listed are what “the world” often attribute to abundance. There’s a philosophy out there that promotes the idea of giving more to get more, and that prescribes our value and worth on this planet to the amount of wealth or material possessions we have. To be clear, this is NOT the kind of abundance I am after.
The second definition is more in line with what I’m going for; abundance, or rather the “overflowing fullness” of God, is the desire of my heart in the new year. I’m talking about being FULL of God’s Spirit, being consumed by His goodness and faithfulness; walking in His freedom and light, and living in His love and grace, peace and joy every single day. I’m also talking about knowing He supplies all that I need and already calls me “good” just the way that I am. This, friends, is my prayer not only for myself, but for all of you too.
I’ve read some great books over the course of the past year that, in part, inspired my focus on abundance in 2017. One of those books was Falling Free by Shannan Martin. In it, she flips the world’s idea of abundance upside down and challenges us to take hold of the abundant life God came to give us. Here are a few gems I picked up along the way:
“Embracing our smallness is the skeleton key for living the abundant life. … Living small is not about having less, but being less – less respected in the eyes of the world, less successful, less wealthy, less esteemed, less you. Less me. And more Jesus. Here, in this abundance of less, where more of us is stripped away, we’ll uncover the person we were made to be, the one created in the image of a God who sank holy feet into our holy mess.” (pg. 92)
“In order to live an abundant life, we will lose before we gain. We will be last so he can be first, but no worries, he won’t forget in the end.” (pg. 101)
“He invites us into smallness and less, so that when he swoops in and steals the show, when we see for ourselves that there is always plenty in his economy of abundance, when we take seriously our bit role in the rescue of his people, all the glory belongs to him.” (pg. 196)
“He offers the opportunity to experience a richness we’d never know if we remained locked in the prison of our false security and maximized agendas. Here, in our everyday, he invites us in to the abundant life.” (pg. 203)
This concept totally speaks my language. For a large part of my life, I have felt a pull toward a different life, a life marked by Him. But being a natural type-A, the majority of my life has been marked by achievement, control, hustling, pushing, striving, and doing/being more, more, and more in general. But now, in my early-30’s, I find myself in a new place – a place where I’m okay with being less because I have found the “more” my soul has been craving for years – Jesus. And He has made ALL the difference.
I don’t know where this new year finds all of you, friends, but I would like to challenge all of us with going after a life that really matters – the abundant life – a life that lets Him take the wheel and get all the glory, allowing us to experience His goodness and grace along the way. Let’s do this!
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