In a prior post I asked about YOUR version of an abundant life.
Thank you so much to those who chose to share some of your thoughts with me! I am honoured that you would share your abundance, and your struggles toward it, with me, and pleased that my questions were of some use.
I figure that anyone who was going to take time to ponder their own version of abundance will have done so by now, so I’ll add some of my own thoughts on abundance. (If you are coming into this post cold, check out THIS ONE first, to avoid cluttering up your abundance with mine.)
I tend to be a little odd (those who know me are currently rolling on the floor laughing at the understatement there), but for me an abundant life has never been about the big house, the new car, granite counter tops, career advancement. By far the most important elements of an abundant life for me have always been TIME and PEACE.
Time has always been far more valuable to me than money, or things, or status. The richest I could ever be would be having no obligations on my time except those I choose. Time to linger over coffee and deep conversation, time to walk in the woods, time to read, to lend a hand; that is wealth beyond measure.
PEACE is the other critical ingredient in MY abundant life. I like for life to be low stress, quiet, calm. I love to move slowly through the days, finishing what I start and enjoying the process.
Aren’t I boring? I am. I know.
I would be even more boring if I could afford it.
I was enormously gratified though, when I first noticed 1 Thessalonians 4:11 and 1 Timothy 2:2. Mine is certainly not an ‘ambition’ I’d heard encouraged here in the US of A, but God, at least, seems to be cool with it. Who knew?!?
1) What does ‘an abundant life’ mean to me?
- Having an abundance of time! (Big shock there, right?) Not living for work, not filling my free time with a host of activities morning to night, but using it on the things I truly value.
- Living fairly frugally and simply, in a way that does as little harm as possible to the world around me, and preferably even improves the world a bit.
- Taking great pleasure in the decadence of simplicity – eating simple, delicious meals, walking in the woods, growing a garden, savouring a perfect cappuccino, talking far into the night with dear friends.
- Not being in pain every day. (If you’ve not lived it, that may sound like a given, but trust me, it’s a luxury of enormous value.)
- It’s not important to me to make a lot of money, but I do feel that handling it well, and making enough so that I am not stressing over how to pay the bills every month, are requisite to abundance.
- I want to buy a house again once I get settled somewhere. I miss feeling that my home is truly mine.
- Maintaining strong friendships, and contributing to community. I will never be a social butterfly, but I love that I have a strong group of friends (some of whom are family) from many different parts of my life, and I want to be part of building the kind of society I want to live in.
- Having a broad margin in all the critical areas of life, so that I am able to invest myself in what I value rather than wishing I could have, but being too broke, too busy, too ill, or whatever.
2) Am I living it?
Some pieces of it, yes, but I am far from the whole picture right now.
I hit a significant road block on the path toward my idea abundance and it’s taking me far more time to dig my way out of that than I’d have preferred. I imagine it will ultimately set me back 3-5 years. I am slowly getting back on track now though, and once again looking forward (mostly) hopefully toward buying a house in a place I truly enjoy, realigning my time to my values, hiking more, contributing to like minded community, and enjoying FAR more quiet than I do where I am at right now.
3) If so, what brought me to it?
SOMEDAY I’ll be able to fully fill this in! Hopefully soon!
For the little pieces that I have been able to achieve, God’s blessing is certainly a huge part of what has brought me here, and the other part is that I decided what I wanted most – what I wanted enough to sacrifice for.
If I succeed in this quest, I know it can only be because I sacrifice the many options for the one that matters most.
4) If not, what is the next thing that will inch me closer to it?
Well, this blog is one thing. I hope that if I keep at it I’ll eventually stumble across like-minded community here, maybe some mentors, maybe I’ll even help someone else reach whatever step I’ve gotten to on this path.
I’m getting ready to vote in my state’s primary.
And I am currently planning a trip of exploration to the area I really want to live. I don’t know if I can afford to live there, I fear that I simply can’t, but I’m going to at least go see. 🙂