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My Word for 2017: Abundant


I’m continuing my goal-setting series today with my word for they year! And boy, was I nervous to pick one after seeing how my 2016 word small impacted my year. As I prayed about my word for the year, a verse actually came to mind instead.

“I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.” – John 10:10B

The AMP version says “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”

As I mulled over the meaning of this passage, the word ABUNDANT had flashers and runway lights pointing right to it. It sounded almost too simple at first, but I’ve sat on it for the last month and the meaning keeps wowing me. 

Let’s get nerdy, shall we?? Here are the definitions of ABUNDANT:

  • in great quantity; more than adequate; oversufficient
  • well supplied with something; abounding
  • richly supplied, as with resources

My Word for 2017 | Val Marie PaperI am convicted by the life I try to live that I think will satisfy me. The God of the universe offers me abundance. Not just adequate or sufficient as the definitions mentioned, but abundant. And here I am grabbing at scraps that the world tells me will satisfy and ignore what actually is fulfilling. This year, I have learned a ton about grace and how loving a God we serve. It sounds simple and kind of newbie of a lesson to learn, but God is revealing His love to me on a deeper level than I have ever known. It is calling me toward a desire for holiness because I simply want to love well the God who loved me first so well. 

And I want to enjoy life. Not because it’s perfect and everything is in place, but because Christ gives that sort of life. 

These are a few more verses that are giving extra meaning to my word of the year.

  • 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. -Psalm 31:19
  • You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11
  • For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. –  John 1:16 
  • “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” – Roman 8:15 MSG

So what does abundant life look like: 

1. Not abundance in things, activities, etc. 

2. Not even a fullness of the good things God gives, but a realization that any life with Christ IS full. The more time I get to spend in the presence of God IS abundant. This is what Paul understood in prison. It gets lost on me that the books I read from Paul were written when he had nothing.

3. There’s self-control, discipline and tough decisions that bring actual freedom and abundant life. This is a BIG part of my goals for next year: to see the role wise choices, limits and self-control play in a life pursuing God. Not out of obligation to receive salvation, but out of devotion. 

4. Recognizing that I am richly supplied with resources even when I don’t feel like it. I read this incredible quote by Bill Hybels: “The apostle Paul unpacks the key to contentment in Philippians 4. To paraphrase he says, ‘I make adjustments as needed and live beneath God’s provision level – whatever it may be. I build some margin between my spending and God’s provision, and that margin leads to contentment, which leads to peace.” This idea of God’s provision level has revolutionized the way I see my circumstances! For so long I had been praying that God would provide instead of realizing that what He had provided already was His provision. It was just a different amount than I expected. Instead of asking for more and not seeing God’s provision, I needed to adjust my own definition of provision. 

A few more thoughts I had: I want to leave behind “survival mode attitude”, the one that tells me I can do whatever will help me get by. The attitude that eventually causes me more stress and instead remember that these things I choose for momentary ease cause more work later. (Example: Eating crap because I can’t stop for a real meal and then feeling sluggish later and eventually spending an extra 30 minutes in the gym to remove said crap from my hips or having to work extra time to afford more (er…bigger) jeans. 😉 

As I thought about what I envisioned for 2017, it was abundant and full and even a little messy. Shocking words from this minimalist. 

I don’t want the life the world has to offer. I want the life God offers. And I can’t think of a better word to describe that life than abundant. I am curious to see what God will do with this idea because when he called me to the word small last year, I had an idea of what that meant but it held a much bigger meaning. 

Have you picked a word for the year? I’d love to hear! I’d also love to hear how your word for the year impacted you! 

Goal-setting series:

  • What I Read in 2016
  • My Word for 2017
  • My Goals for 2017
  • Books to Read in 2017
  • What’s coming up in 2017

For more encouragement, check out Natalie’s series and Lara Casey’s goal-setting series this week too!


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