Word of the Week: Abundance


abundance  – noun \ə-ˈbən-dən(t)s\ – noun

: a large amount of something
: affluence, wealth

“Abundance is the process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” ~ attributed to Bryant H. McGill




I still have too much stuff.

Trash Bags R Us.

It’s the easiest way to clean and declutter. Of course, not all bags are destined for the garbage. I’ve set some aside for Goodwill. And I’ve labeled some Two Men and a Truck boxes for a church-wide garage sale.

How many sets of dishes do two people (with occasional guests) need anyway? How many outfits does one person need? Do I really need all these needlework pieces created 180 supermoons ago? And chickens. Where did I get this chicken obsession? Oh yeah. Now I remember. It all started when I visited a friend who had them. Then I went crazy at Cracker Barrel.

I’ve even been looking at tiny homes. Maybe we could hide one at the edge of a hidden lake. As long as I didn’t have to climb up to and down from a loft bed. But where would I put my books? (These are kind of nice, too, but I’m distracted again.)

I’ve even been eyeing this Boyd’s Charming Angel Collection, all eight of them that my son gifted me. Maybe I could sell these sweet girls to help fund my December trip to Haiti.

(On second thought, I just looked them over to see who was who. They include Aurora, the guardian angel of dreams; Alessandra, the guardian angel of hope; and–get this–Della Robia, the guardian angel of abundance. So maybe not.)

But really, who needs abundant collections of trinkets when God is collecting an abundance of tears?

Most of the time I’m grateful for my abundance, content in this place God’s placed me.

Some of the time I feel guilty over my over-abundance because I’ve seen poverty–and realize I’m the one who is poor.

Some of the time I’m discontented because of my perceived lack of abundance.

I think I want more stuff. Stuff I don’t need on a planet peppered with so many needs.

More and more of the time, my stuff smothers me. Its power paralyzes me with its demands, holds me hostage at dust point. It taunts me at the keyboard, assaults me with reminders to care for it, and I end up caring for nothing while I sit frozen in Facebook or tied to Twitter or crushed in Candy.

I need to let more stuff go so I can let more words loose.

Because people are crying and dying.

The abundance of pain and evil in this world overwhelms me.

But abundance does not insulate us.

So I pray that out of the abundance of drivel I’m able to spill on this screen at least one well-chosen syllable or phrase might hit its mark. Not as a bullet of death but as an arrow of hope. That somehow I can be a stretcher-bearer, a friend with a word-woven mat. And sometimes I can even touch a hand here or stroke a cheek there.

And so I fill a bag here and a box there.

But I still have too much stuff.

What would be the hardest thing for you to give up if you chose to downsize?

Word Count: 516

In the stillness,



In Your Own Words

thought provoking thursday


  1. says

    Your post sounds like my week! For some reason my response to all the horrific things going on in the world is to pray and then to get rid of my excess stuff because of some weird guilt connection of my overabundance in comparison to their suffering. (I’m not even making sense to myself with that sentence, but I hope you can decipher what I’m trying to say.)
    Elizabeth Stewart recently posted..On my nightstand…

  2. says

    Sandy – What a wonderful word to consider. I, like you, find myself on all sides of abundance. I have too much. I have too little. I am wealthier than most people in the world. I feel so poor. Steve and I were just talking last night about how much stuff can accumulate when we have places to put it. We are getting ready to move to a smaller house, and as such, we will need to divest ourselves of some of this marvelous stuff we thought we couldn’t live without. I think we’re going to be just fine.

    Thanks for joining me!
    Charity Singleton Craig recently posted..Word Work: Pronoun Agreement

    • says

      For years I bought more stuff in which to organize my stuff. How crazy is that? I KNOW you’re going to be just fine. There’s freedom in the shedding… and room to breathe.

      I love this word challenge you’ve offered, Charity.

  3. says

    I love how you can turn a phrase that turns a heart toward truth… (i.e. describing the way stuff “holds me hostage at dust point”)

    I get how you feel, and I feel it too. I want to get rid of the clutter in my life so God can fill it up with the stuff that matters.

    Needless to say, your arrow found it’s mark with me today. Thank you.
    Angel @ Finding The Inspiring recently posted..Why I Dig The Duggars – Daring To Be Different

  4. says

    If I’ve never said it before, I must say it now that I really appreciate your heart and the way that you think. The way you think and feel affects the way I think and feel and works to keep my feet on the right path again and again. Having just come back from 3 weeks in Africa, this particular word speaks to me but not in the “typical” American sense… there is a multiplied Kingdom abundance in my soul that makes everything else feel like “clutter”.. know what I mean? I think you do. Thanks!
    Lorretta recently posted..burdens worth bearing

  5. says

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic myself lately, Sandy. God gives to us abundantly so we can share with others, not so we can keep it to ourselves. I have a friend in need that I want to give to, but I don’t think she’ll want to take it. I’m praying I can bless her with the gift in a way that doesn’t offend her pride. (And I wonder if God ever has to work around OUR pride when he wants to give us things!) Thanks for sharing this.
    Lisa notes recently posted..God’s good china–it’s you

    • says

      I’m praying your friend will be willing to receive. Sometimes that’s so much harder than the giving. And I’m thinking yes, it’s often pride that gets in the way.

  6. says

    I can relate to what you have written about. I often walk in the tension of feeling like we are lacking because we don’t have the things the world says we should and feeling guilty for what I do have when so many others don’t even have basic necessities. I’m not sure that there is a solution, but just thinking about these issues is a good place to start. Thanks for the post!
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted..5 Reasons Why I Pray Before I Shop

    • says

      I don’t know if there’s a solution, either, Heather. Except maybe to keep counting our gifts and holding them lightly? Learning to be content in times of poverty and plenty?

    • says

      I don’t think downsizing is happening any time in the near future. Just dreaming. And always sifting and sorting. Hoping something doesn’t happen that others have to come in and do it for me.

  7. says

    I need to let more stuff go so I can let more words loose.

    Because people are crying and dying.

    The abundance of pain and evil in this world overwhelms me.

    But abundance does not insulate us

    Gonna post this little gem. Powerful post…one of the things living in two third world countries has taught me is not to be own by stuff. It will smother me, has smothered me before and I have to be determined and focus not to let it happen. There is a huge gap between needs and wants and any of God’s children have what they need for He has promised to supply our need which can be put into one word, Jesus. Again powerful post.

    • says

      Thanks so much, Betty. On my first trip to Haiti, I remember one of our team members saying she had to come to Haiti to find Jesus. Haiti taught me often there can be way more joy in poverty than in plenty–fewer distractions.

  8. says

    Thanks for linking up this post at Thought-Provoking Thursday. I pinned this to the Thought-Provoking Thursday Pinterest board… I loved the verse you picked, the word you chose, and the wisdom you shared. So thankful for you! xo
    Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life recently posted..Meteoric