My word from last year was illuminate. I was working on a 2016 wrap-up post, but I’ll continue exploring this theme for some time. I love the way each word I’ve chosen has stuck with me.
My word for 2017 is abundance. I’m beyond excited that one of my dear friends and I have the same word this year!
I have a chronic condition called saving things for special occasions: When I receive a box of chocolates, I save my favourite piece of chocolate for last. I have an unused Ariel pencil from a Disney Trip in 3rd grade. I have special pens that I’ve “saved” since high school. I’ve saved art supplies to use “once I’m a better artist.”
After Konmari-ing my apartment last year, I faced a lot of my saving over the years. My saving was rooted in frugality. Imagine my disappointment when I found my cherished pens dried out, art supplies too old and yucky to use, and some used up tubes of my favourite paint colour with just a little more left in them. I’d intended to cut the tubes open and get out every last bit of paint that I could.
I looked at these old tubes of paint and remembered what my old painting teacher said, “Some people save their old tubes and cut them open to get every bit of paint. But how much is in there? Maybe a few brush strokes. You can’t be scared about resources. You have to use the paint to get better.“I threw every single old tube away.
For too long, I’ve operated out of scarcity mentality, hanging onto these metaphorical old paint tubes. I fear there may not be enough, so I need to preserve what I can in case something happens. This is an exhausting way to live. I want to operate open-handed, focusing on what I do have and what I can do now. I’m ready to move forward in my life instead of being paralyzed by the fear of messing up, choosing poorly, or running out, trusting that God has my back and that he will be with me in my successes and failures. I want to throw away the old paint tubes and live a life of abundance.
Here are some ways I want to embody abundance this year:
-Experience abundance instead of scarcity in my growth. I’m realizing that a lot of my envy and competitive nature comes from a scarcity mentality. I’m changing the way I see these sins: formerly, I saw them as a state of guilt and “trying harder”. Now, I see them pointing me towards new ways that God wants me to grow (like transferring a plant to a more suitable pot). It’s still painful, but life-changing.
-If I can see the abundance in my own life, I’ll soon be able to help others note abundance and strengths in their lives. I have a knack for speaking to the heart of things, and I want to trust myself to do this more often for others, even when I’m not prepared.
-I want to see the abundance in my opportunities and abilities, which encompasses both myself and others. For too long, I’ve been selling myself short, and the fear of failure has paralyzed me. While my resume is erratic (people like me are the reason skills-based resumes exist), and I’m definitely not a perfect person, I have a lot going for me. I’ve done well with the cards I’ve been dealt. It’s time to see what I can do. *cue Elsa*
-I want to see abundance in my time. I’m a firm believer in busyness being a choice, but I’m also guilty of mismanaging time. I’m young and have many plans before I die, and I must see my time differently to move forward. I’m ready to make the time. I’m making some significant changes in my time this year so that I might pursue what God is calling me to pursue.
-I also want to explore the abundance of God’s grace and presence. Growing up fundamentalist, I experienced God being a judge and far away. I’m beginning to understand that God really is with me each step, and that rather than me knowing enough about him or doing enough for him…he simply wants me to be with him. This compassionate nature of God floors me, and I’m excited to explore the abundance he has for me (both present and future). My 20th spiritual birthday is this year, and I’m very excited about not being a Spiritual teenager anymore. 😉
I have tangible goals like exercising more, painting with watercolours, Finishing The Novel Of Doom, and some career goals. In my successes and failures, I hope to experience the abundant life I already have, and the abundant grace our Savior continues to pour on all of us.