Similar to many people, I enjoy choosing a word at the beginning of the new year to help me set my intentions and goals for the year to come. I started doing this just within the past few year, and it truly has been something that I love doing now. I enjoy watching how the meaning of the word I chose can begin to have different meanings throughout the year and grow me in ways that I did not see coming.
The word that I chose last year was “horizon”. I ended up writing a blog post about the meaning of that word later in the spring of this past year when I was starting to notice more and more of God’s wisdom and knowledge behind that one word for me.
For the new year, the word that I have decided on is “abundant”. For the past few days, I have been reflecting over various words, going back and forth, and finally deciding on this word for a few different reasons. After reflecting over this past year, I feel that I made a lot of progress in some aspects of my life, such as my career, education, communication with friends, and willingness to go where I was being led. However, there were areas of my life that needed improvement on, such has having a negative mindset, overthinking, being too focused on my “bubble” of life, and not having enough energy, time, or headspace to give to other people around me.
The word “abundant” means “more than enough” (Cambridge Dictionary). Whenever we hear the word abundant, we might first think about the quantity of something or how something is measured. However, I personally want to focus my attention more on the quality of my life.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
Jesus tells us that through Him, we can have life and have it abundantly. He offers us eternal life, but He also has gone before us to show us what a life with Jesus can look like. By looking through the story of Jesus’ life, we can understand that having an abundant life is focused on continually moving closer to God, obeying God’s will for our lives, and pouring out love, wisdom, and life into others.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6
Since we are all sinners, we will have difficult times and trials where we fall short. But that is also what our abundant life is full of as well. It is not just the times were we are in a season of growth and progress. It is this consistent process of learning, enduring, trying, failing, and persevering through life and this broken world, with our eyes fixed on Jesus. We want to aim for this wholeness that Jesus embodies because he truly is our answer for an abundant life.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” – John 6:35
I believe that to live abundantly, you must be filled to where you are not only able to care for your needs, but also the needs of others. In my daily life, there can be many times where I am spreading myself too thin or not having enough energy, motivation, or headspace to focus on anything other than my surroundings, current life situations, and circumstances. One of my goals for the new year is to give more of my time and energy to people in my close circle and the people around me. However, I know that I must be filled and have “more than enough” energy, time, and focus for not only myself but for other people too, where I can be a generous and helpful friend to others.
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” – Ephesians 3:17-20
I’ve also noticed within my own mindset, I can tend to focus much more of my time and energy on the negative daily situations that are not going “my way” instead of the moments of peace, joy, and gratitude within life. This also occurs with focusing more on what I do not have in my life instead of focusing on what I do. I am hoping in this everyday intention of abundance that I can stay present in noticing how I do have more than enough of what I truly need at the current time in my life.
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
Honestly, I feel like the desire for an abundant mindset in life requires a lot of self-control and discipline, which can look a little intimidating. However, I am thankful for learning recently that the small daily habits that we do in our lives can help in preparation for certain life-giving and life-changing desires, such as this one. I am praying that by filling myself up in ways physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I can truly start mindfully living a more abundant life and noticing little changes in the quality of my life.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13
I am not sure what this previous year has looked life for you. Maybe, it has flown by or felt like 5 years to you. You might have experienced a lot of changes, loss, or heartbreak. You might have tried many new things this year, such as a new hobby or started a new job. You also may be really excited for the new year or very fearful of what disastrous events might come soon.
No matter what you may be feeling towards the new year, I am praying that God will give you the eyes and ears to notice some extraordinary work that He is doing in your life. I pray that He will speak to you, guide you, and grow you all in His perfect timing. I pray that this new year with bring you many great memories, no matter how big or small they might be. Lastly, I pray that God will fill you with joy, peace, and hope as we go into the next day, the next week, and the next year.