After talking to several friends, I was inspired to write about Abundant Living. During this time of the year, we get caught up in activities and meeting the expectations of others. We forget sometimes to do those things that spark joy in our heart. Part of living abundantly is doing those things in life that give us joy. These are usually very simple things for me, but I find that they are pushed to the side when I feel like I have to do something to meet someone else’s expectations. Sometimes a well placed two-letter word is the best response to activities that do not spark joy — in case you need to hear me say it, it’s the word NO. Of course, I know that we all have things we must do that do not always spark joy, but if we start those projects with the attitude that it will bless someone, it makes it easier to do. When I wake up each morning, I purpose in my heart to have a joyful attitude. This helps me when I encounter situations that do not automatically spark joy.
Another hindrance to living an abundant life is to avoid unrealistic expectations. These can be your own expectations or the expectations of others. Many of you reading this are faced with meeting high expectations of parents, in-laws, grandparents, and other family members. This is usually more apparent at holiday time when you have family gatherings. Before you go to any of these gatherings, work on your attitude first. Realize that you are not going to be around them for long and seek to have so much joy that it spills over on them. If you are around family who does not share your beliefs and says or does things that you do not want your children around, take them out of the room as gracefully as you can. I have had to do that in the past. I decided that my children were more important than the other person. It is a hard reality, and I know some of you will face this over the Holidays.
Avoid over-commitment this month. A sure-fire way to lose your joyful spirit is to over-commit yourself and your family. Say YES to those things that bring you joy, and say NO to those things that stress you out. Keep in mind that you are building family memories for yourself, your husband, and your children. If you are stressing about getting to a lot of activities, cooking, shopping, and baking, you will find yourself tired at the end of the Holidays. I want you to find yourself peaceful and restful for the New Year.
Be content with what you have. Buying a lot of stuff will not bring contentment and abundant living. Giving your children a lot of stuff will not bring them contentment either. Look for gifts with meaning. Look for gifts that do not add clutter to your home. Look for gifts that you can give that will bless others.
Living abundantly with love. Live joyfully.
Zone Mission – Kitchen: Get out your Christmas china and serving pieces. Wash them if needed and start using them.
Holiday Mission – Work on your Christmas menu. Add items to your shopping list after you check the pantry and freezer.
- Make Your Bed (Do this as soon as you get up.)
- Get Dressed Down to Your Shoes
- Swish and Swipe
- Start Your Laundry
- Decide on Dinner
- Check Your Calendar
- Start the Day off with a Shiny Sink. Don’t leave the breakfast dishes sitting.
School: Is your paperwork caught up? Do you need to update lesson plans or attendance sheets?
- Eat Lunch
- Clear off One Hot Spot
- Reboot the Laundry
- Declutter for 15 Minutes (Be sure to have your children declutter, too.)
- Drink Your Water
- Errand day: Make your plan for grocery shopping and errands. Pack water bottles and snacks for everyone. Pack up your library books that need to be turned in.
- Check the Calendar for Tomorrow
- Lay out Your Clothes for Tomorrow (Have your children lay their clothes out, too.)
- Put things at the Launch Pad that you will need first thing in the morning
- Shine Your Sink
- Clean Off a Hot Spot
- Go to Bed at Decent Hour