Pursuing The Content Life

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.
— Philippians 4:11-12

You know, it seems like when God is trying to speak to me, He keeps allowing the message He wants to get across to me show up in different ways at different times.  I remember at the beginning of this year when the word "intentional" kept showing up in conversations, others' social media posts, books, and wherever it seemed my eyes and ears would land.

This time is no different.

The other day, I was having a conversation with my husband, Aaron, about life.  As the conversation carried on, I came to the conclusion that I want to seek contentment in my life.  I shared with him that one of my life's goals is to simply be content.

If I've learned nothing else in this past couple of years of life transitions, I've certainly learned that happiness is fleeting and contentment is truly "where it's at".  Happiness can't handle the transitions that life seems to bring, but contentment has a way of staring the ups, downs, good, and bad of life in the face with an unmovable peace.  And that is where I strive to be.

Today's society teaches us to go go go.  Attain one degree.  Get another.  Reach one milestone.  Go for another.  Get rich.  Get richer.  Get more.  Do more.  Be more. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about climbing the ladder of success, but what if more never comes?  What if God never allows me to reach certain goals I've set for myself that are not in His will?  Or what if He delays those goals?  Does life still go on?  YES!

So, I've discovered in my pursuit of contentment, five ideas I must wrap my mind around as I desire to live a content life...

1.)  Contentment is a choice.

-I've realized that in order to find myself content in "whatever the circumstances, in need or with plenty, well fed or hungry, living in plenty or living in want",  I must choose to be.  In order for me to choose contentment, I must also choose an attitude of gratitude.  It's much easier to be content in life when you focus on more things to be grateful for as opposed to things to complain about.  Content people make an effort to see the glass as half full and not half empty.  

2.)  Contentment does not equate to complacency.

-Let's not get it twisted.  Choosing contentment does not mean choosing complacency.  Living a content life still allows for goal reaching, determination, and success.  However, it also allows for peace, serenity, and fulfillment with wherever we find ourselves in life and with whatever we may or may not be blessed to accomplish.

3.)  Contentment quiets envy.

-I have a hard time believing that contentment and envy can happily co-exist within the same person.  To be truly content is to have great satisfaction with who you are and what you have with little to no desire to be someone else or to covet another's possessions.  There's no need to look to the left or to the right because you have everything you need right in front of you.  Contentment helps you to be a single as a pringle bridesmaid for the 27th time with a happy heart as if it were your first and not have a bad attitude because it's still not your turn.

4.)  Contentment is true wealth.

-Contentment makes poor men rich.  Having a content heart is so precious and so rare that not even the biggest check can cover its expense.  A rich man may have an abundance of money, but the truly wealthy are those that possess contentment. 

5.)  True contentment is found in God.

-If God is the only one that can make the sun shine during the day and the moon light up the night's sky, then only He can control the happenings of our lives from day to day.  Possessing a content heart says to God, "I trust you in whatever you choose to do in my life".  There is no true contentment apart from our loving God who seeks to work all things out for the good of those that love Him.  

Getting to a place of contentment in life is a journey that I desire to embark upon.  Prayerfully, one day I'll have the level of contentment Paul possesses in Philippians 4:11-12 where he wrote from PRISON that he has learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.  May we all seek to strive for this level of contentment.  I pray you all will join me on this journey to living a content life.

Love, peace, and sole!