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!


Leave a Comment!!

  • This is my first year to choose a word for the year. Much like you, I read a verse and a certain word really stuck with me. In Habakkuk 3:18 it says “yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” I could not stop thinking about the word REJOICE so I thought that was probably a good indication that was my word for 2017. I am so excited to enter in 2017 with that mindset of joy, that no matter what may come my way I can rejoice that the Lord is with me and the Lord is good.

    • Oh yay!! It’s crazy how my word for the year has created this thread through my year. Prayers for lots of rejoicing in 2017! 🙂

  • I love your word for the coming year! The part where you said, “I want to leave behind “survival mode attitude”, the one that tells me I can do whatever will help me get by” reminded me of my mom because that’s exactly how we’ve lived our lives for years. I am definitely sending this post her way!

    • Yes! My husband put it another way. We have been living “reactionary” just taking in whatever was happening and not being intentional ourself! Hope your mom finds the post helpful!

  • Last year my word was ROOTED. It has been amazing to see how the Lord threaded it through the months of the year. I felt strongly in utilizing it as the foundation of my newly-launched business and blog. And during our Christmas Eve service, our pastor closed out with a scripture that brought my word home. Only God could’ve orchestrated that! The word FREEDOM has been revealed to me for 2017. I have held tight reigns of control in many areas of my life, and feel a strong tug on my heart to surrender, to lift my hands freely and admit, I cannot do things alone, or on my own strength. I’m also praying this word over my family and extended family this year. Praying God would open hearts to receive him this year and release chains of addiction, pride and generational silence. Thanks for your inspiring post!!!

    • It’s crazy huh?? Now every mention of the word ABUNDANT gets my attention! How cool you heard your word at the Christmas Eve service!

  • Hi, Val! 🙂

    I love this so much!

    The word I chose for 2017 is FULLY, and I love how reading your post brought even more excitement and encouragement and clarity around my word. The scripture selections you shared relate so well to the reasons I feel called to FULLY this year. FULLY seeking HIM, FULLY living for HIM…and desiring to know Him even more FULLY by the end of 2017.

    I’m excited to do a blog post about my word and will definitely link to your post, since it was such an encouragement to me! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Oh yes!! That is awesome!! Such the same sentiment. Just enjoying all God has for us and not settling for what the world offers!