I absolutely love to get a good deal on something. I grew up with a mom who was (and still is) a professional when it came to finding a sale. Her philosophy was always, why pay full price for one when you can get three for the same price on sale? Who can argue with that logic?
A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to a store in Kentucky that sold items from large retail stores, such as Target, at a very discounted price. These items typically had a minor flaw or the packaging was damaged in some way. It was always fun to go into the store to “dig” and see what treasures I could walk away with each time.
One particular visit, I was searching for things to help my daughter set up her first college apartment. I was thrilled to get curtain panels and a shower curtain for a couple of dollars and a table lamp for $5. But by far, my biggest win of the day was an outdoor bistro set for her balcony. I was so excited to get the set for more than 80% off of the retail price and couldn’t wait to get it home to show her.
When I bought it, I realized that the box was damaged and open, but it seemed that all the parts were there despite the open packaging. What I didn’t realize was missing were the instructions to assemble the set. In fact, the box didn’t even have a picture of what it was supposed to look like. So, much to the dismay of my husband (who is an engineer and an Enneagram 1 by the way…instructions are his love language!) I presented him with a box full of parts and screws without any direction of how to turn them into a functional bistro set. (Because he is super technical and wise…he was able to find instructions through Google and successfully assembled the furniture, but it could have been a total bust!).
When I think about Living Abundantly, I wonder if many of us aren’t approaching life with the same confusion we felt as we looked at pieces and screws without any idea of how to turn them into something functional? We want everything to work out; however, we aren’t really keen on the idea of reading the instructions and being intentional about how to make that happen.
Living abundantly is something we would all likely agree that we hope to do, but have you ever given thought to what living abundantly even means to you? How would you define it? Would you just know it when you feel it? Is the “abundant life” described in scripture even what we might think it is?
During week one of my “Living an Abundant Life” course, I encourage my clients to do an activity around these ideas. We consider life the way it is during week one of the course and then what might be different with more focus and intentionality eight weeks later. If even the definition an abundant life seems elusive to you, I recommend that you spend some time in prayer and in Scripture considering what abundant living might be. Unlike our bistro set project, God has not only provided everything you need, but He is faithful to provide clear directions when we ask. And He’s way better than Google.
If you’re interested in more guidance towards Living an Abundant Life, I encourage you to check out my 8-week course linked from my website below. I’d love to help you in any way I can.
The creators of the bistro set never intended for its owner to be confused or to struggle with its purpose, but, when the guidance contained in the instructions were separated from the parts, the results could have been disastrous. Always remember, your creator wants the very best for you…but it’s not a good idea to neglect reading the instruction manual.
Through On Purpose Coaching I have created the tools you need to develop skills for more intentionality in your life. By providing opportunities for group or individual coaching, online courses, weekly blogs, podcasts, live events, team building seminars, Bible studies and more, I help minimize the anxiety, fear, insecurity, communication difficulties and overall lack of joy that many of us experience due to living without purpose. I hope this will become a community of support for you in the days ahead. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram and check out my website http://www.stephanicook.org. Let's connect. I'd love to hear from you!