Cultivating Abundance

I was paying bills a few weeks ago when I felt an uncanny sense of joy overcome me, a feeling I’d not experienced before while completing such a task. Often when I pay bills I get grumpy and disgruntled to be lessening the reserves in our bank account. However, instead of recognizing the loss, I felt overwhelming gratitude for the resources.

I’m still blinking my eyes as I write this.

When Chris and I first got married money and bills were a topic that caused a lot of stress between us, and still does. Often we clash based off our own upbringings in relationship with money. However, in the recent year, we’ve started to see beyond the daily dividend, flipping our thoughts from living on scarcity, waiting on reserves to run out, to living on abundance, trusting we will have all we need and more.

In the conservative christian culture, it’s acceptable for ministry workers to live on the edge of poverty, in fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s favorable. Starting Restore One within our first year of marriage we unconsciously bought into the notion of ministry beggary. If we bought something of worth or took a trip, we felt it must be hidden. If we took time off, we felt that we had to explain the means by which we paid for it or the deal we received to be able to travel. Despite our best efforts, we still felt criticized.

Chris and I realized that no matter how we paint the picture, someone will always have a problem with how we spend our time and our resources. While I wish we took our realization into deeper consideration, our contempt and shame surrounding rest and delight slowly grew. Only in recent years have we been able to break away and truly enjoy the blessing of money.

I’ve realized, if we live out of scarcity our relationship with income is characterized by the fear that there will never be enough to supply our needs and wants.

Scarcity is not generous nor joyful, it hoards and hides all residue of assets. Its partners are shame and greed. Living in scarcity generates pride for the shortage of reserve and shames those who live in abundance.

I’m reminded of John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Scarcity is a stealer of life and killer of freedom. I’ve learned in various seasons of life that one can live with minimal assets, trump scarcity and choose abundance.

Abundance does not imply wealth, rather it’s embodying a spirit of open resource. Recently I was writing a poem to read in my yoga classes surrounding this concept of abundance, and the opening line stated, “abundance wraps me in a golden cloak, drowning the scarlet letter on my chest.” This statement is redemptive. As I read it back to myself I feel a physical lightening, my heart opening up to goodness and joy. As I exhale breath, the shame of scarcity lifts and I am drawn to greater faith.

I’m learning to cultivate a life of abundance by celebrating and sharing the time and resource that is mine. I’m desiring to live like the widow in Mark 12 giving away her last two copper coins and embodying the lavish tale of Jesus feeding the five thousand in Matthew 14. These examples invite us into the miraculous expansion of the Kingdom in the face of the impossible. They provoke our hearts to delight and wonder, urging us to know more of the goodness of God and drawing our spirits to live in abundance.

Anna SmithAnna is passionate, a lover of God and sunrises. She is a wanna be poet and pour over coffee connoisseur. And in her garden she grows Drift Roses (of all things). She is a Master Level Social Worker and a 200 Registered Yoga Teacher. In 2012, along with her husband Chris, she co-founded Restore One, an anti-trafficking ministry that serves men and boys. Journeying through her own recovery process, she understands that healing is a painful yet beautiful path we must take to receive freedom. Anna believes healing is possible for everyone. Anna enjoys throwing pottery, writing and teaching yoga and spending time with Chris.