I decided to pick a word for 2012. I did this a couple of years ago and didn't really find much success in my word. I think I honestly just forgot about my word and wasn't sure how to 'live it out.' So I took a year off and am going to try again. This year (as with last time) I put a lot of thought into my word. I used this guide to help me choose a word and finally settled on Abundant.
My goal is to post once a month about what this word means to me throughout the year.
Although 2011 on the surface was a very good year for us, I ended the year feeling very spiritually dry. God has blessed me in so many ways yet I still feel discontent, unsatisfied and unfulfilled. I have an great job, I live near my wonderful family, I have the most dear friends and we are not struggling to make ends meet every month. Yet something is missing.
I have been a Christian since I can remember, and I have been a 'good girl' my whole life. Never rebellious, never struggling and questioning God, never straying from the Church. Some looking in on my life would say I have it good, which I do. But sometimes looking out from this blessed life, it is hard to feel God's abundant grace and joy. I know it is a bit ironic to say that, but it is true. Sometimes when your life is so blessed it is hard to remember who is blessing you. It is hard to remember all that He has done for me. Sometimes I honestly envy those who are faced with hardships, when I see their lives and how joyful and abundant they live despite the hardship I want that, and then God throws one little hardship in my path and I freak-out and forget to ask Him for help. I feel like I have a lot to learn still.
So I have been thinking about this lately.
I sat down and made a list of things I went to feel and be. I want to be content, free, joyful and authentic. Now this is not to say I don't ever feel these things, because I do. I often feel one if not all of these things, but I also often don't. I want to not just feel these things but abundantly live these things. God promises abundance and I want to revel and bask in his promise; I want to truly grasp and live his promise.
I did a word search on Abundant and here are some of the promises I found:
How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.
So this year I set out to live a life abundant.
Abundantly free to live for God
Abundantly free to love
Abundantly content in this life
I have started this journey by beginning to read the book Grace for the Good Girl. I believe that the first step in my journey to live abundantly is to uncover the hiding places of my life, where I feel the most discontent and dissatisfied and to stop trying hard to do what is right and learn to live in the fullness of God's grace. To stop hiding behind a smile and truly feel joy in who God is, despite the circumstances of my life. (Side note, if you relate at all to being a 'good girl' I highly recommend looking into this book, I honestly just started but I LOVE it already).
I am looking forward to what I will learn from God in 2012 and I know that his mercy and grace will be abundant as I stumble and fall this year.
What are you hoping God will teach you this year? Where do you want to be or accomplish at the end of 2012?