We’ve let the culture take the word abundance but I think we should take it back! Abundance is talked about all through the Bible. Our God is a God of abundance and blessings.  
Sometimes we forget this when we put a heavy focus on suffering and pain and hold those up as Christian virtues. They can be but ultimate, the greatest blessings are the ones God has designed perfectly for us.

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Hi, and Welcome to the Made for Greatness podcast. I’m your host Sterling Jaquith. And today on episode 67, I wanna talk about reclaiming the word abundance. I was sitting down in the living room and my husband and said, oh, what do you wanna do tonight? And I said, oh, I’d really love to record my podcast. And I knew he had wanted to record his podcast as well. And he said, oh great. He said, what are you gonna talk about? I said, I don’t know. I feel like the last few episodes have been kind of heavy and you know, we’ve been teaching them so many things and helping them get through are things like, you know, resentfulness and being judgmental and holding space. And those are such important things to us and to our work at made for greatness and in our master’s membership, you know, we really believe that our work is to share these life coaching tools with women in so that they can free themselves of these chains that are holding them down.

And so I say to him, oh, I just don’t know what I wanna tell them. And what I actually said, the actual phrase was, I don’t know what they need to hear. And my, my eight-year-old daughter, poppy was standing right there and she said they don’t need anything. They already have enough. And I thought that was so interesting coming from my eight-year-old, who I feel like I don’t talk about life coaching with her that much. I definitely talk with the newly minted 11- year- old, lots of life coaching things, but it was so interesting to me that she said they don’t need anything. They already have enough. And it got me thinking, yes, that’s exactly what I wanna talk about today. I wanna talk about the idea that you do have enough and that still wants to bless you so much more.

I think in the Catholic faith, we espouse the virtue of charity and of detachment and being humble and being willing to go without and to sacrifice. And I think those are such good things, but somehow we’ve gotten to the place where non-believers have stolen the term abundance. I see it in new ag places, all overabundance to the point where, when I see it, I usually am kind of turned off. If I saw a random podcast episode about abundance, I probably wouldn’t listen to it. I would think, oh no, that’s gonna be some law of attraction thing. That’s gonna be somebody talking about the secret and how we can just have whatever we want and whatever we visualize. And I really don’t like those things. I don’t like anything that’s steeped in Eastern practices or this idea that good things, powerful things, blessings come from anywhere except the Lord. And it got me thinking that abundance was a Christian idea.

It’s in the Bible over and over and over again. When I Googled abundance and the Bible, I found an article that said 50 powerful Bible scriptures about abundance. And it said, the word abundance occurs 71 times in the Bible. And so just like, I think we need to reclaim the rainbow, which is a topic for a totally different podcast. I think as Christians, I wanna see us reclaim the word abundance because God created us for that. And somehow in our search for simplicity or charity or offering the up in our pursuit of minimalism even, and our desire to not live from greed and our desire to not be too attached to things of this world, we’ve dropped this concept of abundance.

And I just wanna reclaim it for us. I wanna reclaim it for all Catholics and for all Christians. So I’m gonna share some of these Bible verses with you. And then I wanna tell you about how I think the saints were so open and willing to believe in the abundance of God. So I think one of the verses that we hear years so often is in John 10:10, and he says,” I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. And I’ve always loved this verse, but seek first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So it lists all these wonderful things of this world. And in Matthew, it says, seek first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Now, the way that the prosperity gospel people twist this up is they think that it’s causal. They think if you are good with the Lord, then the Lord will bless you with financial rewards.

And the Bible never promises that. And in fact, I think it is because we have a good father and he knows our hearts so deeply that he knows that that isn’t the deepest desire of all of our hearts. And when I think about so many of the great saints who lived lives of suffering, when you read about them, they often from a very young age, walked so closely with the Lord and had a desire to please him, to serve him, to love him. Some even desire to be martyred, some even chose to add more suffering to their lives because they wanted to unite themselves with the Lord’s suffering on the cross. And so for those people, God blessed them. So abundantly with the thing that they desired. So many of the stories of sainthood that we read involve a great deal of physical pain and loss. But I want you to see that for those people, if we got to interview them after they died, I think they would say, God blessed me so abundantly. And it was so perfect for them. Let us have a little more faith in our father that he knows what is so perfect for us, and that he will bless us so abundantly. We like to say that he will fulfill the desires of your heart.

And he knows the desires of your heart. He knows the ones that you are not even aware of yet because we go through phases in our lives phases, where we want things really badly when we’re in high school. And then we want different things really badly when we’re in our twenties and we want to get married and we want to have children. And then we want a house. There are all sorts of things that we think we want, but he sees our whole life. He knows our hearts and he knows what we really desire. And he will create a life that gives you that in second, Peter 1:2 it says, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus, our Lord”. And I think this is a great example of how God blesses us with such abundance.

He is a God who multiplies. He is a God of miracles. And if you just pause for a moment and you think about your life in the last 10 years, and you imagine speaking to yourself 10 years ago, to what that version of you wanted to the dreams that that version of you had, maybe how, how your life ended up is similar to what you dreamed for. Maybe it is very different, but I hope that you can turn back and look at those 10 years and see that God blessed you so abundantly. And maybe it’s with the literal and physical blessing of your marriage and your family and your home. Maybe it’s blessings of the people who love you and have supported you through some very difficult things.

And maybe it has even the difficult things that have been how God has blessed you. So abundantly. I was alone. I don’t remember why I was alone. And so I flipped open Amazon prime and I was like, oh, I’m gonna watch something. So I decided to watch the beginning of a needle in a time stack, which was a terrible movie name. And based on the trailer, I suspected that it was gonna be super woke and have things that I, I wouldn’t like in it and that I would turn it off. But in the beginning, it focuses on this man and this woman, and I believe it’s her second marriage. They look to be my age or a little bit older, let’s say mid-thirties to mid-forties. It’s hard to tell with actors. And they both had professional jobs and they went to their professional jobs and they came home to a beautiful home and they had this like romantic candlelit dinner. And, and the movie was about their timeless, love that all this stuff happens in the movie. And the question that the movie asks is, you know, could you always find your soulmate no matter what’s happening with like time travel and things like that, not important.

And I was watching the beginning of this movie. I believed the actors. I believed that they were playing people who were in love and that they were enjoying their lives. But their home looked so quiet. It looked so quiet. And so clean, and I remember thinking, oh man, if that were my story, and if I had gotten married later in life with no children, I would have been so much more selfish than I am now. Because when you grow up thinking that you’re poor, and I was like white people in the suburbs poor, right. Which is like, there are different levels of poor, but I think our electricity would be shut off that kind of poor, but I always had food to eat, but my brain thought it was very poor. And what’s funny is when you are growing up with like survival instincts and you’re trying to survive, you have to bet on yourself. You have to have, a puffed-up sense of who you are and you have to work really hard because you know that if you need money, you have to create it. If you wanna go to college, you have to figure it out. And so you try on this personality of being really excellent and accomplished, and you always feel like a fraud, cuz you’re hanging out with the kids that come from good families and are stable. And somewhere in this, this puffed-up version of myself, I would be really selfish.

Right. When you think, oh, I, I only have myself to count on you have a weird kind of, I’m only out for myself cuz I gotta take care of myself. So there’s like a root of truth in there, but it’s so easy to get twisted, to be really selfish and self-focused. Because as soon as you are successful enough to be out of survival mode, it’s hard to set down that kind of intensity, that kind of like I’ve gotta take all the scraps and save ’em cuz I don’t know when I’m gonna get ’em again.

And so you have to retrain your brain to be generous. And as I was watching this movie, I wasn’t having judgment about what was right for that couple or not. I do not think intrinsically having children or lots of children is a better life than not, which speaks to exactly what I’m talking about, which is that God picks out the perfect life for us. And for me, I would have remained a very selfish self-centered person if I did not have children and probably even more so if they had been spaced out more than they are and probably even more so if I did not have six of them, but the Lord knew that I was going to have such a heart for him and that I would want to be close to him and my selfishness and my self-centeredness was like prickles coming out of my body that made it harder for me to get close to him. And so he said, I’m gonna give you a life that grinds down those prickles so that I can be closer to you because Sterling, I know that that is what you really want.

And I’m not sure before being a life coach and understanding how to manage my mind that I could have seen that. I think I would’ve looked back at the last 11 years and thought my marriage was really hard. Having those kids was so hard. There’s so much noise. There’s so much messiness in the house. I can’t control anything. I’m drowning. I have no hope. I have nothing to look forward to. I’m stuck here. We can’t find babysitters. I have no family help. Those are the stories I was telling myself; the martyr stories and I was watering them. And I was not believing that Catholic Jesus was a God of abundance because I was wearing glasses. That was only looking for evidence of the opposite 

I wanna encourage you to Google Bible versus about abundance. I, I want you to take your Bible out and look up the ones that catch your eye. Certainly outta 50. You don’t need to look them up, but I want you to look up the ones that stand out to you and read the passages before and after, because we wanna understand things in the context of how they were written. You could even go and find the corresponding father, Mike Schmitt’s Bible in a year podcast a day that talks about that area of the Bible. Want you to repair your relationship with the Lord and this word abundance.

I want us to turn to him and have more faith in him than we have. I want us to believe that he is a God who is who he says he is and he never lies. And his promises are always good in James chapter one, verse 17. He says every good gift and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change every good gift and perfect gift comes from him. There is no shadow. He does not change. And I felt like I was in darkness so many times, you know, in that last 11 years, I’ve been reflecting on the last 11 years a lot since my oldest just turned 11 and there were so many times where I just could not make sense of it.

But now I see so many of those things as gifts, perfect gifts, they were so perfect for me at that time. And I was just sharing that with my husband. I said, you know, I, would’ve never had the courage to ask God for six kids in, in eight years. I would never have been brave enough to ask for that. But my goodness, I really love it. Now. I love it so much. I love this crazy circus that I have. I love the relationships that I see that are forming between them. I love that God knew I needed to be completely consumed by the fire, burnt up fast so that I could come out the other side a more virtuous me and I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know if we’re gonna have more kids or you know, I, how long that would take. But I do know that in this moment, right now, as I’m watching, made for greatness, grow and masters grow and made for business grow and I’m writing two books right now, I see that it was such a perfect gift for God to give me these children so fast and so hard. And for me to pop out the other side, a little less prickly, a little less selfish, a little less self fo focused.

And it really was the perfect plan for me. I have always loved this verse, even in the darkest of days, Jeremiah 29 11, where I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans for good and not evil to give you a future and a hope, God created us for a life of abundance. And if your life feels like the only thing he has given you in abundance is challenges and crosses. I want you to ask him why, Because he knows your heart and he is going to, to fill the deepest desires of your heart and he is going to bless you abundantly. And so if it looks right now like pain and challenges and you can’t come up for air and you don’t know why, just wonder

And wonder with the Lord, Lord, I wonder how I’m gonna look back on this time and view it with fondness because I hear it in Sterling’s voice. And it sounds true. Maybe you can go through something really hard and really dark and look back and say, that was really good. It was a perfect gift for me and knowing what I know now, I would choose it again. Let us take back this word of abundance. It is a Christian word. Abundance comes from nowhere else other than God. And he promises it to all of us and his promises are always good and they are always true.

So spend some time with the Lord, ask him to show you how he has blessed you bundantly. Thank him for blessing you abundantly in the future. Did you know, we can thank God for things that haven’t even come yet. I had a glimpse of that at mass this weekend, there was a couple in their fifties sitting next to a young couple who had a, a very little baby, like a six week old baby. And the new mom takes the baby out of her car seat. And I think she maybe breastfed the baby. I’m not sure, but at one point she burps the baby and she looks at her mom and just kind of gives her this look and the mom shakes her head and says, yes, and she hands this new baby to this mom. And in that moment, I just saw my future because probably one of my six kids will get married and have at least one baby, right. Can’t promise. But probably, and one day my house will be clean and I will go to mass with my husband and it will give me a deep sense of satisfaction to grab my grandbaby and snuggle that baby during mass.

So I thank God in advance for the ways that he will bless me abundantly. And I put my faith in him and my job is to continue to show up and to love him and to file down my prickliness so he can come closer. Me. And if upon coming closer to me, that also means I take on more pain and more suffering. I will know that that is the Lord’s way of blessing me abundantly. And ultimately we will die and we will get to look back at our life and it will make so much sense. So I just choose to talk to the Lord like that now. All right, Lord, I don’t know why we had to go through this, but I trust you. I trust you that like the other things that I’ve experienced, I’m gonna look back at this and I’m gonna see that it was a perfect gift for me. So I invite you into all of those questions, this sweet ladies. We love you so much. We are praying for you. We have been blessed so abundantly by the listeners of our podcasts, the women on our email list, the members of our membership, our one-on-one coaching clients, and all of the people who pray for us. We can feel that our ministry, this work that we’re doing is being held by so many hearts. We have been blessed so abundantly, so we will continue to pray for you. And remember you were made for greatness.