The Fruitful Lifestyle: How To Live Abundantly
How Do You Feel About Life?
When you wake up each day, what is the first thought that pops into your mind (okay maybe the one after, "I wonder how much has happened on Facebook since I went to bed.")? Are you happy to have another day to experience life, or sad that you get to go through the same routine another day? Are you grateful for the chance to let your light shine throughout your world or upset that you couldn't just die while you were sleeping and end the miserable existence that has become your life? More people are becoming part of the latter group as unemployment runs out, jobs require more hours, and families become unhinged. BUT THERE IS HOPE! It doesn't have to be this way.
How To Live Abundantly
The Bible is clear that we have the option to live a FULL life. In John 10:10, Jesus tell us:
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
What does that mean? It means we are able to live abundantly - to live a life that is full of love, hope, restoration, grace, truth, patience, peace, and kindness. It means we are able to act out dreams and set goals that bring us closer to the life we dream of living. It is about living a life that provides enough to get by and enough to give away. (NOTE: Please don't confuse living abundantly with being wealthy or living a life of selfish ambition and materialism. That isn't what this hub is about. Mother Theresa lived in poverty most of her life yet lived a life more full than many millionaires.) Living abundantly is about living a FULL life that promotes better living for those around you as well.
How do you get from where you are now to living a life that is truly full and joyous? Keep reading!
Steps Toward Living Abundantly
To live abundantly, you have to know your life's purpose. You have to understand why you are here and what you are want to do with your life. To do this, you must be connected with God. You have to talk with Him, pray and worship, and listen to that still soft voice with you. This will look differently for each person - as worship and prayer are PERSONAL experiences. Whatever you do, bring a notebook to write down the thoughts that come to mind as you go through this process, as some of those thoughts will begin to form the foundation upon which your life forms.
Once you know your life's purpose, you will want to write it out. Create a mission statement for your life. This mission statement can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like it to be. The point is to write down the mission for your life and post it where you can see it daily. This will be the foundation from which you build your goals.
Your mission is different from your vision. Your vision is the overarching goal toward which you will walk each day of your life. Your mission is how you will live it out. If your vision is to open a home for unwed mothers, your mission might include a empowering single mothers to make positive changes in their lives. If your vision is to be create a nonprofit that reaches out to men who have been involved in extramarital affairs, your mission might include helping men understand their place as head of the family and how to communicate their needs.
After creating your mission statement, you will want to connect with like-minded individuals. Find them through your local churches, Bible Studies, community organizations, etc. Most of my connections came from Toastmasters, Bible Study groups, and seeking out individuals within the community who I felt were living lives like the one I wanted to live. I went to organizations and businesses that were reaching out to the community, started volunteering, and prayed for God to put people in my path. Now I am surrounded with individuals who are living out their dreams daily, who are serving their purpose, and who are encouraging. They hold me accountable for living out my purpose as I do the same for them.
Connect with people who are like-minded not clones of you! This is key! You want to network and befriend people who are strong where you are weak, who have interests different from yours. Don't limit yourself to artists just because you are a writer or singer; businessmen can teach you a lot about marketing and gaining an audience. Like-minded doesn't mean "just like you" it means people who also are dreamers, visionaries, and go-givers!
After connecting with like-minded individuals, you want to set goals for yourself so you know your plan. Proverbs 16:9 says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps." We plan, we pray, and then we listen to God and follow His prompts. Remember, we are humans not robots. God wants our loves not for us to be mindless beings. As we fall in love with Him, we will want to listen to that still soft voice that tell us how to get to our divine purpose that He designed us to serve when He breathed life into our lungs. Write out your goals. Dream big during this process. This isn't about SMART goal setting. Some may seem unattainable. But if you are writing the goals based upon what you think your purpose is, you will receive revelation as to which are going to be realistic and which are not.
One of my life goals will take nearly $33M to achieve. I don't make anything near what it would take to even see that in my lifetime! However, I know the vision is from God, so I set goals that help me get to a place where I am connected with the right people. I pray daily for God to send people into my path who have resources to make it happen and for Him to give me the skills it takes to earn the money that will help fund it. I have NO DOUBT I will one day be a multimillionaire who will give away 90 percent of my income and live on 10 percent because I know that my life's purpose is to serve others, help people change their lives, and promote reconciliation between broken families. I know some of this will come through writing and some of it will come through coaching and my daily interactions with others through my day job. The point is to KNOW what you are born to do and set the goals to get there, whether you think they are realistic or not!
Finally, but definitely not least importantly, is for you to pray, worship, and serve! That's right, continue to define your life through prayers, worship, and service to others. By giving to others, you increase your satisfaction in life. You fulfill a greater need that helps society become a better place.
Oswald Chambers stated, "Let God be as unique with others as He is with you." Keep this quote close at heart. Don't try to force others to be like you; and don't you try to be like others! Pray as you feel led. Worship as you see fit. Serve as you are gifted. For some prayer and worship can last hours and for others it is a few moments of the day. Start where you are comfortable and God will bring the rest. Your service may be volunteering at a local shelter or sharing your story with a group of local teens. It may be acting as counsel when needed for a local organization or serving as a receptionist for a local church. Whatever it is, however big or small, remember that there are no small roles only small people.
Living abundantly means stepping outside your comfort zone and going for the gold. It means giving to others in ways you never thought was possible, and not just financially. It means staying connected to God and listening for that still soft voice within you.
People Living Abundantly
- Michael Hyatt | Intentional Leadership
Michael Hyatt’s thoughts on leading with purpose, personal productivity, book publishing, and social media.
- Beautiful Things
Married for 9 years to my best friend, I am the proud mama of three beautiful little girls that God has richly blessed us with. I may sound a bit melancholy, but that's just me working back to the joy. I used to try so hard to keep it all together...
- Tyler Perry
As a Christian man, Tyler Perry has shown that when you put God first true miracles and blessings will follow!
- A Holy Experience
Ann Voskamp. Farmer's wife. Home-educating mama to 6. Author of the NYT bestseller One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. DaySpring writer. Women of Faith speaker. Library book Loser.
- 50 Women You Should Know | Christianity Today
We asked key leaders which Christian women are most profoundly shaping the evangelical church and North American society. This is who they picked.
The Fruitful LifeStyle: A Movement Changing The Way People Connect
In January of 2013, a new movement began in New London County, CT. This movement, known as The Fruitful LifeStyle, empowers men and women to live their lives out loud. The following is the text from the movement's webpage noting what it emcompasses:
The Fruitful LifeStyle is a movement devoted to empowering and mobilizing men and women (of all generations), to live and breathe a FULL life, filled with dreams, purpose, and passion.
This lifestyle movement has been inspired by Scripture (John 15:5), which reminds us that to be fruitful and able to produce everlasting seeds, one must remain connected to the Vine (God).
We believe that living a Fruitful LifeStyle is to: LIVE-GROW-BEAR-SHARE one’s dreams and purpose to this God-given gift called LIFE. This movement is committed to offering various programs, events, and resources that will serve the WHOLE-person (mind, body, and spirit), for we believe that living a Fruitful LifeStyle is to live a FULL-life.
This movement is connecting men and women of all backgrounds, social statuses, and beliefs together as they learn what it means to truly connect with God and those around them. Through a series of "Empowerment lunches" (two of which have already occurred and another coming up in August), The Fruitful LifeStyle teaches men and women how to get in touch with their life's purpose and step into their destinies. The lunches provide an opportunity for individuals to network, talk with one another about hopes and dreams, and reach out beyond the walls of the church.
Many people have left the church but still possess a deep faith in God and want to reconnect. The Fruitful LifeStyle helps these individuals do just that. They meet others from the community who are doing great things, find out about events and services throughout the country, and gather together outside of the lunches to get to know each other.
The movement is spreading rapidly throughout the United States as people start to understand they can have a fruitful life that includes living out their dreams, serving in their passions, and becoming all they were designed to be. Get connected today to learn more about the movement and how you can become a part of changing your community through Bible Studies, Book Clubs, Sports Groups, etc. and encourage others to live a Fruitful LifeStyle!
Are You Ready to Create Your Future?
Don't let another day go by with you feeling anything but excited about your life. Grab some of the resources I shared, follow some of the people I noted are living full lives, and start connecting with individuals in your area who also want to live a full life. Don't know where to find them? Pray - I am a living testimony that it works! Visit your local Christian bookstore or coffee house, ask your pastor, check out some charities. Send me a message and I will pray for you and stay in touch to ensure you are living out your purpose!
Here's to living abundantly!
© 2013 Shell Vera