Just-Right Abundance…



This month we are talking about living abundantly. We live in a time of plenty, a land of plenty. Most of us have more than we need. We have First World Problems…like trying to figure out how to limit screen time, like having more clothes than coat hangers, or like—did I get a full fat (instead of a skinny) vanilla latte ~ I mean, how can I really be sure?? It tastes so rich! 

Often my troubles don’t come from lack, but from overabundance.  Too many calories.  Too much time on social media. Too much Amazon Prime. Too much self-indulgence. Left to my own devices, I fill up on the wrong things.  But I want to get filled up with the right things. 

I want to love the right things,
and if I don’t love the right things,
I want to learn to love the right things.

matthew 22:37-40, Greatest Commandment, love God, love people

Everything starts with loving God. If we want to fill up on the right things, we have to start by filling up on God, because He is the best thing of all.  Our Heavenly Father, His self-sacrificing Son, and His indwelling Spirit are Worthy, with or without our love, He is Worthy…but c’mon…what’s NOT to love?

Out of the overflow of God’s love for us, and ours for Him, we are enabled to love people. Some people are easy to love. Most days, my kids are cuddly like little bunnies (easy to love). My mom and dad make me laugh, support me, only give advice when asked, and regularly travel over 1520 miles to see me (easy to love).  My husband makes me cold brew coffee for the fridge, hot lemon water for my mornings, and tells me to be a writer (easy to love). But all of them have let me down before, like people do.  Sometimes, I haven’t felt loved by those I love. But we aren’t told to love people because they love us. We are told to love people because God loves us.

When hearts are in line with God’s Word (by loving Him and loving people), we are able to love the life that Christ died to give us.  Jesus died to bring peace to us, to shower our lives and relationships with grace and forgiveness. But, for many years I wasn’t really living a peace-filled life. I was just surviving, just eking it out. At times, I’ve felt like a hit and run victim, rolled over by life, and people, and time.

I realized now, that I withdrew emotionally. But I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to embrace this life that God has provided for me.  I want to love life, because it sure is fleeting.

Where do you need the greatest improvement? Loving God? Loving people? Loving life?


Inseparable: Lesson 7 – In Christ, We Are Part of a Family

Romans 15.5 Write31Days

But to all who did receive him,
who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become
children of God

John 1:12

In Christ, You are…
Part of a Family


If you are new to this study, Welcome! If you have missed anything (previous videos, challenges and printables), you can find them on the Come Study with Us, Inseparable page.

Inseparable: Lesson 7

Watch the Lesson 7 video: If the video doesn’t load immediately, please refresh your browser and, if you are reading this from an email, you will have to click through to the website to watch the video:

The Three W’s

  • God’s WORD for the week. I pray that our God, who calls you and gives you perseverance and encouragement, will join all of you together to share one mind according to Jesus the Anointed (Rom 15:5, VOICE).  I hope you enjoy this week’s printable download (click here). This week, I added another bonus pic for the #Write31Days Challenge. :)

John 1.12 Inseparable

  • Ashley’s WRITING (from page 106, 107 & 108):

“We all need community. Not a place to go on Sundays, but true community with other followers of Christ. We need other believers in our lives who will take an active part in our well-being. We need them to take notice when we’re in need and do something about it. We need them to approach them when they’re worried about us. We need them to invite us to their children’s birthday parties, to bring us food when we’re sick or studying for finals, to be with us when we’ve had a death in the family.”

“Being in Christ means every one of us is a vital part of the body of Christ…You are meant to be a part of a smaller unit of the body and your role is crucial.”

  • See God’s Word at WORK in your world (this week’s challenge):
  1. List 3 concrete ways you would like to be blessed by family/church/friends
  2. Pray that the Lord will meet your needs and ask Him to show you where to start. Reach out this week to initiate connections with other believers—the Body of Christ is meant to care for its members.
  3. Pray over your own needs list, now go and do those 3 things for somone else!

BONUS: This week we are all about family. Just for fun, I thought you might enjoy this video. It’s an oldie, but a goodie!



Sunday Soundtrack – October 11

Sunday Soundtrack #write31

Hymns to Bless You

Keith and Kristyn Getty write “modern day hymns.” We sing them at my church.  For the first time in many years, my family attends a church with a traditional service that follows a more formal liturgy. I love it! Especially the hymns.  The songs here, written by the Gettys, are so lovely and deep. Some of my favorites are In Christ Alone (my kiddos have played this song in church, on piano and guitar) and See What a Morning (I have written about this amazing song before, in this post).

Music to Remind You—You’re God’s Child

This week, we are focusing on living as part of God’s family. We are talking about what is means to be part of the Body of Christ and adopted by the Father—what this life, in the family of God, looks like. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. More than You’ll Ever Know (Watermark) – this is an old song. I remember listening to it on the way to dental hygiene school (circa 1994). If you’ve never heard it, you have really missed out. It is all about what it means to be friends, and sisters in Christ.
  2. Prodigal Song (Laura Story) – this song is a stone cold tear jerker. It reprises the Parable of the Prodigal Son as a modern story. Get your Kleenex!
  3. If We are the Body (Casting Crowns) – “If we are the Body, why aren’t His arms reaching?” This song convicts me every time. It reminds us what it means to be part of the Body of Christ.
  4. Speak Life (Toby Mac) – this song has nothing to do with family or the Body, except that it reminds us how we are to treat other people. And that is pretty important.
  5. Bless the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts) – this song reminds me of how God puts everyone in our lives for a reason…the good, the bad, the ugly…they’re all meant to be loved by us.

Sunday Soundtrack Week 2
If you have Spotify, you can follow me and my growing playlist called A #MoreAbundantLife. I’ll be adding to it each week. Or you can listen to it right here. If you don’t see the window with the list below, try refreshing your browser.

These are some of my favorite songs—how about you? Tell me, what you are listening to lately?


Speaking Truth with Love

Speaking Truth with Love

Jesus said to the people who believed in him,
“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
John 8:31-32

Yesterday, we talked about the connection between confession and reconciliation—that in rightfully humbling ourselves, via confession, we speak truth, which brings freedom.  A #MoreAbundantLife is a freedom-filled life, and Truth is at the center of this freedom.

There is a beautiful connection to be found
between truth, love, and words.

Where love is lacking, the truth that is spoken gets lost. An important message can be undermined by a poor delivery.  In speaking truth, we are free to say hard things, if they are said with kindness.

We must be careful with our word choice, our tone…but even these can’t mask what is in our hearts. Jesus said, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil” (Matt 12:34-35, ESV).

I have brought forth from my evil treasure more often than I would care to admit. When I struggle to speak kindly, it always starts with pride and my pride is often provoked by some kind of hurt. Gratitude for God’s grace to me—because it humbles me—is the only way to move past hurt:

“We love because he first loved us.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar;
for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
And this commandment we have from him:
whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
1 John 4:19-21

Where truth is not spoken, love is not being shown.  Sometimes truth-telling feels unkind. And yet, if Jesus resides within us, we must speak truth because He is Truth (John 14:6).  Speaking truth requires a bit of bravery for some of us who like to avoid confrontation. We might prefer to hint around, make cutting remarks, or joke to convey our meaning, but watering down the truth is an ineffective way to communicate. Doing this makes your point as clear as mud.

And our words, they matter, because He is The Word. This is a great clarifier:  “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17).


We might feel less vulnerable by saying difficult truths in a harsh tone. They say the best defense is a good offense and, if we know something might cause conflict, sometimes we feel safer in landing the first blow…but this isn’t loving.

We might feel less vulnerable if we avoid truths that might offend, thinking that people might like us better, if they like what we say to them…but this isn’t loving.

Vulnerability is intricately tied to intimacy. When you share truth, hearts are brought together. Relationships will be broken and bent if they are not overflowing with truth. Jesus is truth…so how can we live a #MoreAbundantLife without Him?

To be ministers of reconciliation, we must be loving Truth-tellers. Which is harder for you—to be loving? Or truthful?