What makes an abundant life?

The things that spring to mind first are probably the good things in life. Family, love, friendship, the birth of a child, a good job, financial security, peace, rest, a place to pursue the things we love.

But I believe a truly abundant life has to include the hard things as well. Work, struggle, failure, broken dreams, seasons of want,  sorrow, even loss. It is one of the great paradoxes of life that the times my heart has felt the most full have been the times something was taken away. A miscarriage. The death of a loved one. The illness of a child.

That's because these are the things that show us what really matters. These are the things that force us to grit our teeth and prove our strength , they stretch the boundaries of our hearts and teach us how to love. Instead of running from them we should approach them with open arms, for they are the rains that bring about the sweetest flowers.

Finally, an abundant life must also include the mundane. A sink full of dirty dishes, an unfinished to-do list, a living room floor that's littered with children's toys.

At first these little, everyday things don’t seem to matter at all. But even they are signs of abundance. The sink full of dishes tells me that we've enjoyed a meal together, and that we've had enough to eat. The unfinished to-do list reminds me that I get another chance to pursue my goals tomorrow. The toys scattered all over my living room are evidence that children live here, my children, my little boy and girl. And that I’m a mother - their mother. And they have been entrusted to me to love, care for, and shape. All of sudden my life is very full.

My everyday is abundant.