• Susan Koehler

Spiritual Journey Thursday, May 2022

“…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Welcome to Spiritual Journey Thursday. Our focus today is ABUNDANCE. As I tried to settle on OLW for the year, this word kept presenting itself to me, and I kept pushing it aside. It didn’t seem to fit. Finally, I gave in and accepted the word so it would stop pestering me. And my journey with abundance began.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a very large quantity of something.” This is where I balked at the word. I strive to simplify. The thought of a very large quantity of anything overwhelms me.

But then there is the spiritual definition of abundance: appreciation of life in its fullness; joy and strength of mind, body and soul. And this is where my journey of abundance began.

My first big realization came in understanding that abundance is the opposite of scarcity. Therefore, in striving to find my abundance, I needed to extinguish the scarcity mindset that was such a regular fallback for me.

And then I came upon this poem, and for me, it opened my eyes to abundant living.


in memory of Mary Oliver

It’s impossible to be lonely

when you’re zesting an orange.

Scrape the soft rind once

and the whole room

fills with fruit.

Look around: you have

more than enough.

Always have.

You just didn’t notice

until now.

-Amy Schmidt, 2019

Living abundantly means experiencing the fullness of what is right before you without experiencing a sense of want or lack. It’s a perspective shift away from thinking about the pain in my back or stressing over time management or worrying about the budget. Instead, my focus is on my abundant health, the abundant time I have been given, and my abundant wealth (which while modest by American terms is definitely abundant by global comparison).

And guess what? Focusing on abundance has gifted me with appreciation of life in its fullness; joy and strength of mind, body and soul. By eschewing a scarcity mindset and truly seeing what is set before me, my abundance has grown! I have watched growth in friendships, opportunities, food, fun, ideas, creativity, energy, time, beauty, faith, love…abundance manifests abundance.

And so I modeled my own abundance poem after Amy Schmidt’s pattern. As we approach Mother’s Day, my heart is filled with gratitude for my former students, my own children, and my precious grandchildren. And so, the abundance I see begins there.


inspired by Amy Schmidt

It’s impossible to feel small

when you stand before a child.

Eyes wide with wonder,

Heart open to wild possibilities,

This life trusts you to be both

ship and lighthouse.

Breathe in the fullness

that surrounds you and

know that you are being given

all you need…

and then some.

-Susan Koehler, 2022

I encourage you today, this week, this month, to see your abundance. Live in fullness. Dismiss the scarcity mindset. And as you breathe in the fullness, write your own recognition that you have life, and you have it abundantly.

We journey in community, so feel free to post a link to your response in the comments. I look forward to learning of your abundance.

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