The Abundant Life, Part 2

You can overcome a scarcity mindset by focusing on God's abundance.

Last week, we began The Abundant Life series, about overcoming a scarcity mindset. Today, we will discuss how gratitude is a powerful weapon in this battle against the “not enough” thinking patterns.

How often have you felt the cloud of “not enough” hanging over your life?

Here is the way the “not enough” cloud has blocked out the abundant sunshine of God’s provision on me in the past:

Not enough…
  • Time to get it all done.
  • Money for all I need or want.
  • Clothing to look put-together.
  • Food to keep me full and healthy at the same time (hello again, college-age me).
  • Savings to cover the occasional life-storms.
  • Connections to get the job I really want.
  • Social power to have great influence.
  • Patience to be a good mother.
And secretly, not enough…
  • Faith to feel like God is on my side in this heavy-duty trial.
  • Prayers. If I’d prayed more, it wouldn’t have turned out this way.
  • Perseverance in long suffering.
  • Performance to please others.
  • Protection against mistreatment.
  • Love to fill up my heart with a leaky hole at the bottom.
But now I see the lies in each and every one of those “not enough” shadows.

Now that I’m decades into my relationship with God and more acquainted with His ways, I see the abundant sunshine breaking through the “not enough” clouds. Here are the rays of truth I found:

  • I see that God was always with me, even when I felt lonely.
  • He was always giving me the physical items I needed, even if I couldn’t afford them, because sometimes others shared their abundance with me.
  • God was, is now, and will always be available to meet my emotional needs.
  • My heavenly Father sees me as more than enough. I don’t have to do or be anything else to earn his acceptance, because Jesus welcomed me into the family just as I am.

In the days where the “not enough” scarcity mindset cloud hung heavy over me, I lacked trust in God. Over the years he showed me how to build trust in him. The key to overcoming my scarcity mindset was gratitude for my current situation.

The power of thanksgiving

When I was about 18 years old, the book of Philippians changed me. I was ready to shed the depression and social struggles of my high school years, and put on a new mindset that was healthy and pleasing to God. This passage helped transform my thinking (emphasis added):

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 

Philippians 4:4-13 NIV

The lessons in Philippians

I meditated on this passage again and again. I thought about the apostle Paul’s struggles–the riots, beatings, death threats, imprisonment, even suffering without a coat for the winter. Yet his attitude was exemplary. By controlling the attitude of his heart, Paul was able to live the abundant life. 

The golden thread running through this passage is thankfulness. Gratitude independent of circumstance. Gratitude for what is lovely, admirable, excellent. Even in a prison cell, Paul could be thankful for God’s grace to him. For saving him from a life of sin. God gave him the opportunity to spread the gospel to the Gentiles, and he was so grateful. Paul always found a reason to be thankful, even when his circumstances were tough.

Transform your scarcity mindset through thankfulness.

“In,” not “for”

I began thanking God in everything, not necessarily for everything. A few examples:

  • When I felt overwhelmed with chores as a mom of littles, I paused to thank God that I had clothes and dishes to wash and toys to pick up. The abundant mess pointed to an abundant family life.
  • I thanked God in my painful relationship struggles, because I knew he was using them to grow my character so I could live a life of abundant faith.
  • In our financial struggles, I thanked God for everything we did have, and he opened my eyes to our material abundance.

Now when I look over the “not enough” lists above, I see abundance instead of scarcity. God has helped me change my focus, and with practice, thankfulness has become a habit.

Transformed mindset

Recently my oldest son was complaining about something, and without really thinking, I pointed out a way he could show thanksgiving even in his trial. He said, “Mom, that’s easy for you. You are always finding something to be thankful for, even if it’s bad.”

His comment caused me to reflect. After decades inside a scarcity mindset, I had been transformed into a thankful person. So much so that my son said thankfulness is easy for me.

I thanked God in that moment for removing my scarcity mindset and replacing it with gratitude. The younger me wouldn’t have thought it possible. But everything is possible with God.

 

Join me in the coming weeks as we discuss powerful, practical ways to replace a scarcity mindset with God’s abundant truth.

Feeling like there's never enough? God's abundance can transform your thinking.
Questions for you:
  • Have you learned the secret of being content, as Paul describes?
  • What area of your life is hardest to be grateful for? How does the Philippians passage help you?
  • How has God changed your mindset to one of thankfulness?
If you liked this post, I would appreciate your shares on social media!

This post may be linked up at #momentsofhope, #dreamtogether, #glimpsesofhisbeauty, #lmmlinkup, #gritup, #tuestalk, #teaandwordtuesday, #raralinkup, #tellhisstory, #coffeeforyourheart, #coffeeandconversation, #sittingamongfriends, #encouragingwordwednesday, #messymarriage#porchstories, #livefreethursday#heartencouragement, #chasingcommunity, #tuneinthursday, #gracemoments, #saltandlight#thankfulandgrateful,  #dancewithjesus, #faithnfriends, #freshmarketfriday, #graceandtruth, and #faithonfire. I love the blogging community and consider these hosts my friends–please visit their sites and encourage them too!

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  • So true, Sarah, that for every “not enough” I’ve seen I’ve also seen God’s faithfulness. Even when it doesn’t seem like enough, it always work out. Not always how I would have planned but when I look back I can trace God’s hand. Thank you for the encouragement!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Crystal! You are a wonderful encourager, and I’m glad my post encouraged you! Blessings on you today.

  • Sarah, this feels like such an anointed post. So much wisdom, so well written. What a testament to God’s hand in your life, friend. <3 xoxo

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Brenda. Thank you for your kind words! Blessings to you this week!

  • Allie55

    Dear Sarah, thank you for such a powerful exhortation! Since beginning this paradigm shift, I have frequently been amazed at the peace it brings. I love your point to thank God IN the middle of the crazy. That ramps up trust, through gratitude, to a whole new level. Blessings for your weekend!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Allie. Yes, I am thanking God in the middle of these next two weeks which will be very busy. I am glad you are finding more peace!

  • Susan

    Hey neighbor at Susan Mead’s – always good to park next to you!

    • Sarah Geringer

      You too, friend!

  • Gratitude truly changes my attitude. I am always encouraged that contentment can be learned by focusing on the Truths shared in Philippians. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Debbie. I’m always glad to see you here! Thank you for stopping by. I’m headed off to visit your site now.

  • Awwhhh, Sarah … I love how your son saw that you are a thankful person! Good Mamma! I love the book of Philippians, too. Truly, it is a book at how we choose to view everything in our lives. Have a beautiful weekend!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Dianne! Thank you for stopping by…I always like seeing your sweet spirit when I visit your site!

  • The passage from Philippians is dear to me, too, Sarah! This point you make is especially helpful and memorable to me: “I began thanking God in everything, not necessarily for everything.” Amen! Thanks!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Bethany! I woke up early this morning…way too early, at 2:00 a.m. But I got up, worked on a project, and now I am thanking God for these wonderful, friendly comments on my blog even though I can hardly keep my eyes open. Going back to bed soon!

  • The in and for really makes a difference. I think praising and thanking regardless of how I “feel” will help lift me out of the rut I am in at the moment. It will set my feet to higher places. This is so timely, Sarah…I can’t believe how much of it has spoken to what I was asking about the other day.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Praying for you, sweet friend, in your rut. I understand you!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Sarah,
    Oh how I dealt with the feelings of “less than” and “not enough”. As I’ve gotten older and hopefully a little wiser, I realize they are truly schemes of the enemy to keep us from seeing ourselves as God sees us. Lies. Gratitude and thankfulness is something I continually need to work on cultivating. It’s easy to slip into the “grumbles”, but like the scripture says, be thankful “in” all things – for God’s goodness even amidst the trials. Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Bev. I’m sure the grief you’re experiencing today is testing your gratitude ability, but I still saw it shine through your recent post. Praying God’s comfort for you today.

  • Our enemy loves us to feel we are missing something and not enough. When like you said, God is there providing for us and taking care of us throughout all our days. Thanks for the reminder. I like your trick of thanking ‘in’ and not ‘for’. I know when I start down the road of what is wrong, my list quickly grows. But the same is also true when I start counting my blessings. And the last leaves me feeling confident and loved.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Theresa! Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad your practice of gratitude makes you feel more confident and loved!

  • I’ve been very intentional, especially this year, to find all of the little things (some big too) to be grateful for in my life. When our hearts are turned towards gratitude, we can’t help but embrace the beautiful life we’ve been given, messy as it can be. Blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I am inspired every week by your gratitude list, Barbie! Blessings to you, friend!

  • Lisa Morgan Moore

    What a great post! I have been struggling with panic attacks and I have realized that I had a poverty (same as scarcity) mindset about having enough time to do things. I am working on letting the truth replace this lie! Thanks for giving me another tool – gratitude – for overcoming!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Lisa! Praying God’s peace for you today in your struggles. I also want to thank you for subscribing to my list–the news made my day. Blessings to you!

      • Lisa Morgan Moore

        I’m also a blogger so I know how that can make your day! I also tweeted you and shared your graphic on my Facebook profile. Feel free to connect with me on Facebook if you’d like. There is a link there to my blog. I found you via Meg Gemelli’s link up.

        • Sarah

          Thank you so much for sharing, Lisa! I will check out your blog too!

  • “I began thanking God in everything, not for everything”…exactly!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Crystal! Blessings to you in your transition time, friend!

  • Meg Gemelli

    Gratitude changed my life. I remember the first time I read 1000 Gifts…it’s like the scales fell off my eyes. You’re a beautiful writer Sarah. I’m sharing this to the #GritUp Pinterest board and a few other places. Have a wonderful week dear friend.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Meg. I deeply appreciate your share too! I need to open up my copy of 1000 Gifts again-sounds like a perfect November read. Blessings to you!

  • I reflected on thinking God for the here and now just this morning. It is so easy to get caught up in worries. I love that you can turn your worries and doubts in to praise and gratitude. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this past week.

    • Sarah

      Thank you Mary! I appreciate you!

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