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Are you Living Abundantly?

Jan 13, 2023

The Integrated Catholic Woman Community welcomes Guest Blogger: Kalee Thomas 

We sat in our living room, our new little family of three, and my husband and I traded
tears. It was September 2006, our first son was two weeks old, and my husband, a Naval
Aviator, was days away from moving to Japan and immediately going on deployment. It was
our third deployment, but our first with a child, and we were miserable. We assigned everything
a numerical value: five days until his flight, ten days until deployment, nine days since our son
was born, four months until we’d see one another again, four and a half months until we all
moved to Japan. All we could see was how little time we had left, and the even more finite time
we’d had as a family of three. I remember our first phone call once my husband was settled in
Japan, our tears were dry, we had been given the grace of surrender and renewed resolve and
we made a promise to one another to never again countdown the days leading up to
deployment; to never again wallow in all the areas we saw lack.

Choosing gratitude and abundance

Sixteen years later my husband is still on Active Duty; we have navigated ten
deployments together, and with God’s grace we have mostly kept that promise to one another.
We approach deployments with anticipation and preparation for the work ahead, and excitement
for the family reunion at the end. What changed? Simply put, we began to look with gratitude
upon the abundance of blessings we have, instead of quantifying the time we are apart.
Our Integrated Catholic Woman community word of the year is “abundance”. My mind
recalls John 10:10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”.

God didn’t create us to live with an attitude of scarcity and lack. He desires a big, bold, abundant life for us! And I believe he desires that for you right now, in the current state of your home, work, family, amidst
circumstances that may look and feel quite different than what you desire. You see, the Lord didn’t remove the cross of family separation from us. In fact, He increased the time my husband has spent away from home. Deployments have gotten longer and closer together. Our sons are older, emotions have gotten bigger, moves have becomemmore frequent, and starting over in a new place without Dad home has become quite normal.

An integrated cycle of grace 

Yet somewhere along the way, our despair in 2006 (which let’s be honest - was really about our
lack of control and unwillingness to surrender) has been transformed. I believe our ability to see
abundance in our family - whether Dad is home or away - has been a gift of supernatural grace.
The hardship of separation has allowed us to savor the sweetness of the times we are all
together - and that savoring helps sustain us during the separations. It’s a beautiful integrated

I invite you to ask the Lord how He wants to show you His abundance this year. Invite
Him in, ask Him to bring about transformation in the areas you see scarcity and lack. He wants
you to have life and have it abundantly.

Kalee resides in California with her beautiful family and is currently working toward a more integrated life with Betsy in the 9-Month Integrated Catholic Woman personal coaching program. 

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