This year, I asked the Lord to give me a word or theme for 2018. I’ve heard of people doing this before, and while I’ve felt that certain words have truly captured seasons of my life, I’ve never done this at the start of a brand new year. I was expecting something pretty, like “hope” or “abide” or “rest.” Instead, I got “abounding.”

Dictionary.com defines this word by stating:

to occur or exist in great quantities or numbers

to be rich or well supplied
to be filled

“Really, Lord? What does that even mean? How can my word for 2018 be abounding? That would make a terrible tattoo!” 

While I didn’t understand where this word came from, the confirmation I felt in my heart made me certain it was something I needed to explore. It feels a bit ironic, however, because when I think back on 2017, so much of what I take away is this idea of abundance. Abundance in God’s faithfulness and power in bringing us here to New England. Abundance in His provision and all the incredible, generous gifts of people, money and memories that have marked this year for us. Didn’t He already teach me about His abounding love and provision?

Then, however, I turned to the Bible to see where this strange word might be found.

The New American Standard Bible translates 1 Corinthians 15:28 to say:

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

Oh, okay. Well, that one seems to make sense. I can see how this is relevant to where I am now.

Psalm 103:8 says that “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.”

Yep. I’m learning that one too.

While this word isn’t always utilized in every translation of the Bible, as I seek it I see how God knows what I need for 2018. Besides, I can always, always use more of Him to fill my heart, soul and life. I’m not sure what this year will bring yet, but I know that God is good, that He abounds in love and that He has called us to this holy work.

Do you have a word for 2018? How would you describe 2017?

As always, we love you and we are praying for you. Thank you all for your support and care in 2017. We are so excited to see what this next year will hold!

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