Maybe I'm the only person who needs to hear this, but just in case: if you're experiencing a time of abundance, it's okay to enjoy it. And by enjoy it, I mean, soak it in, embrace the certainty and blessing you feel and do not feel ashamed that you have abundance. I think it's my ministry baggage talking that makes it hard for me to enjoy myself too much. Like, if I have much, much is required of me. And of course, that's true. If you have a shit ton of stuff and you're not willing to share any of it, even the excess, you're an ass and karma's gonna get you. I totally get that. And that is all around us and it's gross, truly.
But maybe that's not you. Maybe you've had some lean years and this year is actually okay. You have what you need to buy gifts and donate to charity and you're not panicking about the next bill going through and that's something to celebrate! And celebration doesn't mean feel terrible that you're not homeless or give so much and out of shame that you end up having a hard time making your bills after all. It's okay to sit in the warmth and feel good. It's okay to buy people gifts because you enjoy it. It's okay to not be moderate with your giving. Don't rein in your joy!
I've spent some time in my adulthood, hell, my whole life with a niggling feeling in the back of my head. This idea of waiting for the other "shoe to drop." And I've written about that before. Like, if you prepare yourself that shit is coming, it won't hurt so much when it happens. Not only is that fundamentally untrue, I'm realizing that it also diminishes your joy in the moment when things are actually great. I'm taking time this year to savor the splendor that is stability. I feel more stable in my marriage than I've ever been, more confident in the growth projection of my business, more comfortable with my children's safety and development outside of our home (and within it) and more at peace in my spirit than I have in a long time. Isn't that great?!?!
I love holidays. This should come as no surprise to anyone. So I'm going to concerts and I'm exposing my children to beauty and wonder and faith. And I'm giving. I'm finding ways to contribute to my community. And in those moments, I'm acknowledging that it's not hard and in the past, sometimes it has been really hard. When things are lean and you feel compelled to give, sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it means you go without. And that's okay. But this year, I'm going with and I'm not ashamed. I'm grateful and kinda in wonder, to be honest.
I've tended to be judgemental of wealth and we are by no means wealthy. But in the grand scheme of the world and in the ways that truly matter, my soul is crying out in joy, radiating this sense of abundance. I feel safe. I feel loved. I feel proud and confident. And I'm happy! Maybe you're in a season of deprivation and things are tight and scary and dark. That was us 2 years ago. Know that your light and your deliverance are coming. Hold on tight and live in hope that things will get better. Give how you can, ask for help when you need to and try to find something to be grateful for. Maybe you think your life isn't abundant because you're comparing yourself to everyone else, what they have, how they look, how they perform, how they celebrate or live in their version of abundance that somehow still looks better than yours. Take the comparisons away. Take the guilt and the perfectionism out. Are you safe? Are you loved? Do you have food and shelter? If so, REJOICE! It's okay to give thanks, not out of fear but from a place of solidarity.
Yes, the shoe can and will drop. Need can be very cyclical. And when we are in abundance, of course, extend a hand to those who are not in that position. But don't squander the gift. Don't feel embarrassed and don't feel ashamed. Savor the gift. Smile. Laugh. Dance. What is the value of a gift if it isn't opened?