What Abundant Life, part 2

Amish fiction, Christian living Comments: 29

2013-10-11 08.05.50Part 2 of What Abundant Life

Last week we began addressing this issue of “WHAT abundant life?” If you missed that post, you can read it here. There are many good comments there and suggestions for ways to deal with adversity.

Adversity does come for all of us. Often my life is much like the picture of this covered bridge–in need of repair! But God promises us more. We’re focusing on this verse from John 10:10 which read

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Life doesn’t always feel abundant, and as much as we want to believe that promise–often it’s difficult to do so. As I admitted last week, I do not have all the answers to this topic. I would like to tell you that my life is rosy-perfect and I don’t struggle with these sorts of trials. That would be a lie. So all I can do is point you toward scripture (which never lies) and tell you a few things that work for me. 

  • I keep a simple journal – one page each day. At the top of the page, I put 5 things I’m grateful for THAT day. If and when my day heads downhill, I can look at that list and remember that God does care for me. (I also put how much I’ve slept on this page – so I can see any patterns that might indicate I need more rest.)
  • I surround myself with positive people. This doesn’t mean that I ignore or am rude to negative people. But in my free time? In my rest time? I surround myself with people who remind me of our hope and joy in the Lord. If someone is persistently negative, I pray for them – but I might also “unfollow” on Facebook.
  • I do things that bring me joy. On that journal page, below my gratitude list, I put my to-do’s, which are often quite long. Below that, I put some rewards–things I love to do that make me happy. Play the piano, read a book, go for a walk, crochet. Then I allow myself time to do these things. I allow my soul to rest.
  • I stay in God’s word. We need to hear it, read it, sing it, and be comforted by it.
  • I focus on helping others. Even when something in my life is breaking my heart, I try to find a way to help someone in our community. Helping others will ease your burden.
  • I’m honest with friends. For instance, I had a terrible week–trying to work something out with the insurance company. It BREAKS my heart that this problem is occurring, and I spent over 6 hours on hold. I started crying on hold, which frustrates me even more, as I’m not a person who cries easily. Yesterday evening, I told 2 of my friends about my terrible week. I didn’t dwell on it, but it helped me to share.

These are all things I do to help myself when life does not feel at all abundant. Some may work for you. Some may not. But at the heart of them is a question that my mother asked me long ago, “Do you believe in God or not? Do you believe he cares for you?” My answer for that was, “Of course.” Her answer was, “Then act like it.” My mom is tough and brutally honest at times, but those words of wisdom have seen me through the last 25 years and some very, very difficult times.

Which brings me back to writing. By nature, the books we write are somewhat idealic. Yes, our characters have problems. Yes, they struggle to overcome, but in the end things always come together nicely. The boy gets the girl. The family lives together happily ever after. The friendships remain strong and true. Of course what we’re writing is FICTION and on top of that, my books are ROMANTIC FICTION. They’re meant to encourage and offer you a few hours of escape. Unfortunately, we all know that life is rarely so simple. My hope and prayer is that the moments of truth you find within my fiction will encourage you, remind you of our Father’s promises, and bring you hope. Maybe they’ll even restore your belief in the abundant life we’re promised.





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29 thoughts on “What Abundant Life, part 2

  1. Nancee Marchinowski

    Bless you heart, Vannetta. I’m praying that the situation with the insurance company is resolved. I can relate to your mom’s comment. Tom asks me that very question occasionally when I’m overwhelmed with worry and concern about the tough issues in my life. I’m going to begin a journal to give me hope when things are falling down around me. I have much to be grateful for, and my life is abundant with blessings. Thank you for the reminders!

    1. vannettachapman Post author

      Thank you, Nancee. Isn’t it interesting that we all feel overwhelmed at times? And when we do, we usually feel like we’re the only ones. so glad you have Tom to help you through those moments.

  2. Melissa L.

    Your Mom is a wise lady with that question. It is one that I had asked to me just a couple of years back. I was told the same. Act like you know God cares. So when life gets me down, I picture Jesus picking me up and carrying me. I love the poem “Footprints”. It helps me to remember that I am not on this journey alone. God will not forsake me. Many times through your books and other authors books, the passages and how the characters face certain issues has helped me through or helped me to look within. Thank you for your books and for caring for your readers.

  3. Alice Breeding in Georgetown TX

    Thank you for sharing. Altho’ I presently have good insurance, I am so sad and upset that our country is being changed as it is. Sometimes I wonder if it does any good to pray or vote.

    1. vannettachapman Post author

      It ALWAYS does good to pray, Alice. 🙂 And how cool that you are in Georgetown. We go through there fairly often! I adore your library.

  4. Patricia T

    Thanks, Vannetta, you have a way of saying things we can all appreciate. My Mom could put so much in perspective, with one comment..sounds like yours can, too! 🙂

  5. Judy B

    Thank you for your post Vannetta. My goodness you brought back memories sharing with us about the insurance company. I tried battling with the government when my husband was dying from a brain tumor. I needed help but my husband wasn’t old enough or young enough for me to get that help. After all, I was told, if they broke the rules for me they would have to do so for others. I sobbed like a baby because of the frustration I was going through at the time. All I heard on the other end of the line was click. Where was my abundant life during that time? God had plans of His own to help me get through this time of my life. Oh my, He came through more abundantly than I ever could have imagined.

    I wrote in a prayer journal during that time of my husband’s journey to God. When I read back through it I see God’s hands all over it. Journaling is a wonderful way of putting down our thoughts. Through it I see gratitude, praise, and an abundance of Blessings!

    Our pastor during Wednesday morning Bible study spoke to us on how we need to serve others without grumbling. That was a big eye opener. He shared a recent experience with us about his grumbling. (Yes, Pastor’s are human too!) God gives us so much more when we serve with a cheerful spirit. Obeying God’s Word leads to a life filled with amazing abundances!

    Judy B

    1. vannettachapman Post author

      I’m sorry you had to go through that, Judy.
      So glad that journaling works for you too. I keep it simple, but it sure does help.

  6. Donita Corman

    I loved this blog. I’ve been dealing with adversity on my mother’s side of the family. So much meanness and self centeredness.I just chose to turn it over to God because everything I did just made matters worse. I’m thankful for authors such as you who offer us escape from the harsh realities of life. It’s helped me

  7. nana62552dy

    I stay in God’s word. We need to hear it, read it, sing it, and be comforted by it.

    Did all of this one today as I received news that my cousin was about to be taken off machines as the family was told she could never recover and have quality of life. I am so saddened in my heart at my earthly loss, but I have assurance that she is going to a Heavenly home where there will be no pain nor suffering. She was one of God’s Angels here on earth, and will be one there. She was a home health/hospice nurse–one of the best.

  8. Donna Stucky

    I found one of your books at a used bookstore and LOVED it! I shared it with my sister and she loved it too! Would love to win a bundle of books!

    1. vannettachapman Post author

      Hi Donna. Well, that is COOL that you found my book in a used bookstore. I haven’t seen them there yet. 🙂 Be sure that you post under the giveaway blog post so your name will be entered. Just click back to the page with the pictures of books (or click HOME above) and then leave your comment there. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Joyce Eddy

    I haven’t read any of your books, but I love Christian fiction, especially those that include scripture, and am excited to now have a larger list of authors to choose from. Thank you for having this contest!

  10. Katrina Shepherd

    Your books are the only type of book I read. On these cold evenings I enjoy curling up with a soft blanket near the wood burner and reading until all hours of the night. I enjoy going to the Library,but I would much rather have my very own books to pass on to my granddaughter!! I would love to win a giveaway. Thank You