Refrigerators and AbundanceMar 17, 2023
In each of our lives, we go through times of growth, stagnancy, joys, and difficulties. Many of us are also in different seasons of life than each other. Some of us are married, some single, some mothers of young children or grown. Some of us are living the best days of our life, and others the most difficult. Our lives will each look different from each other from one day to the next. One constant through it all is the abundance of Christ’s love for us and His attention to even the smallest of details in our lives, sometimes when we do not even see it or expect it.
In my life as a young wife, mother, daughter, and friend, in my journey of faith and now wellness, Christ’s abundance has shown up in many forms. Some moments I do not have to think twice or ponder what His hand is doing in my life, and other moments I have had to do some deep digging and evaluating. My life is interwoven with abundance, visible in moments of love, in the everyday routine of motherhood, during times of personal growth, and even in moments of overwhelming challenge.
Abundance of Love
One of the most visible ways God has shown His abundance is in the love and joy He has filled my life with. I am blessed with a wonderful family, husband, and five children. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness at the abundance of His love for me, giving me the gifts of my marriage to my best friend and the honor of being a mama to our five children, giving me the opportunity to love them. We are healthy, live in a very safe, comfortable, and beautiful home, and enjoy making memories together, creating this beautiful life. It is a constant, daily, visible way to see His abundance.
Abundance of the Daily Duties of Motherhood
Along with those wonderful gifts of joy and love, come many responsibilities. As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to five, my life is filled with the abundance of daily tasks. For the most part, my days all look the same, and this is where I can really struggle to see Him. Days can become gray and frustrating at times when it is the same mundaneness each day. I am slowly learning though, that in this, in these daily tasks and struggles, are my greatest opportunities for growth, which is an incredible gift of His abundant love for me.
Abundance of Growth
When I first contacted Betsy, some of my struggles were not taking care of myself well enough; my nutrition, my body, mind, and even my soul. Growing in virtue to withstand these “storms” of my life, has been a gift I didn’t quite expect. I expected weight loss and a tweak here and there. Instead, I have found growth in new skills and newly made habits, to perform my duties as God intended in a more fulfilling way. He shows up in ways we might not even realize in our growth journey. He uses the crosses, the joys, and even people to help us grow. He might use a friend, spouse, or loved one, or in my case, Betsy, to show us how He is working, molding, and transforming our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. Just as our muscles grow stronger through movement and exercise, our faith, our virtues, our mindsets, can grow stronger during these times of growth. As we face trials and make new habits, we have the opportunity to grow into the person, the life, that Christ has intended for us. This will bring about so many gifts that will flourish in our lives in ways we could have never expected.
Abundance of Challenges
I am learning that it is in those moments of overwhelm and the little crosses God is allowing me to carry in my life, that He is present. And even in those deepest, darkest, hardest of times, some lasting years of suffering, He is there. He is there to teach me and show me the way, His way. To show me the abundance of His love and endless grace. As I reflect on the abundance of His love and endless grace, I can't help but notice a common struggle that plagues my own life and the lives of women today - the tendency to compare ourselves to others. When we are going through a difficult time, we may feel like we are the only one carrying a cross. Each of our lives comes with chapters written at different times. We have to remember to set focus on Him because even in those moments when we feel we might be the only one, He is always there, writing our story according to His plan. He will bring out the fruit and goodness even from our hardest days. We may not see it in that present moment, but it will come.
The Refrigerator of Life
Imagine a fully-stocked refrigerator, packed to the brim with an abundance of choices. When you swing open the doors, you feel overwhelmed by the options before you. But upon closer inspection, you discover that some items have expired, the produce is rotten, and there are leftovers that are days too old. What once seemed like an endless array of good options has dwindled to a few healthy and fresh choices. Once you clear out the old, there's space for new, nutritious fruit.
Now, take that into your own life, our souls, hearts, minds, and bodies. Are your days truly abundantly filled? Or are they just filled with too much "busy"? Is our time truly too filled up that we do not have time for daily prayer, or are we letting too many unnecessary and unhealthy choices come first? Are we stressed, taking on too many things, speaking unnecessarily, and not taking care of our bodies because we are saying yes to too many things that we shouldn't be? Are we filling our days abundantly with what is good, ordered, and necessary?
When I first started working with Betsy a few months ago, I wouldn't say my life was completely upside down, but I certainly could have used some good cleaning out of my own refrigerator of life. I have been blessed with a beautiful and healthy family and life, with wonderful days, but through it all, God has allowed many crosses and challenges to be placed throughout. And I had a plan. I had my reasoning for wanting to start working with her. It wasn't until a few weeks or even months into it that I really realized that it was not my plan that was rolling out, but His, one even greater than I could have hoped for.
By trusting in Him and the process He has set out before us, we will see the abundance of His love, grace, and goodness towards us in the ways we need it most.
Mary Anne Federle is a wife and a mother of 5 beautiful children (including one set of twins!) she and her family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. Mary Anne is a homeschooling "Hockey Mom" and in her spare time she enjoys decorating her home -- all while striving daily to live a healthier and integrated life on her way to heaven!
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