Monday, November 19, 2018

How You Can Be Content In Your Season

This week, in America, we'll be celebrating a holiday known as Thanksgiving. This holiday causes many of us to begin the reflection of our past year or on our lives and list things we are grateful for. For some this reflection brings pride and joy. However, for others this reflection brings hurt and sorrow. The quest for gratefulness is difficult to find.

There was a season of my life when gratitude was very difficult to find. I was walking in what seemed like a never ending hall of mirrors that reflected the pain and sorrow of my heart for several years. But as a mom, I still had to put on my happy face and celebrate the holidays...sigh...it was draining.

I knew as a believer I needed to think on good things (Phil 4:8) but good things were hard to think of. I was in a bad place but I needed to pull out a little for my family. I decided to make a list of things I was content with. 

Why content and not grateful? After a long discussion with my husband we determined that being grateful is an outward expression of thankfulness but contentment is inward. Being content is being centered and looking around yourself and saying, yeah I'm good. 

My dad was my greatest earthly example of contentment. It didn't matter what his circumstance was, he was always smiling. Although he was a teamster for over 30 years, he always said that he never worked a day in his life. At the end of his life, he lived in a room in my house and his prized possessions were contained in a tote. Yet, he still smiled through his pain and found joy in just being alive.

Back to my list. This list helped me to see my way out of my funk for my family. It helped me to see that although my circumstances looked grave, my heart could still find joy in my "tote box of prized possession".

Here are 3 things you can implement today to find contentment in your season. 

1. Find joy in the simple things.
The world could be falling apart but cuddling on the couch, watching the same movie for the 100th time while your little quotes the lines, is something to smile at no matter how you're feeling.

2. Live in the present.
Looking to the past will often only bring regret and not let you move forward. Live where you are and look around you. Although things maybe aren't the way you'd like them to look, there is one thing in your present that's good.

3. Don't compare yourself.
Comparison is the thief of contentment. When we spend time and energy wishing we had someone else's life we're not able to find contentment in where we are. Shut off social media if you need to, but don't look at someone else's filtered posts or credit card purchases and wish for it. 

As we enter this holiday season and you reflect on this year, look inward to see what's inside your "tote box of prized possessions". 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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