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Life is a lot about perspective, isn't it? It may seem that the church down the road has it all together because their parking lot is full and your co-workers definitely have more vacation days than you do. Plus, all those other moms' kids appear well behaved and never show disrespect. It is often much easier to see what we don't have, rather than to be content with what we do have. 

As women, our lives are truly full of seasons. We set unwritten goals in our heads and when “this happens” or “that happens” we just know we'll find that peace and contentment we've been searching for all these years. Maybe it is a new house, the new job, or possibly even retirement. There is always something ahead that we tell ourselves is going to fulfill us and make us whole. We're convinced we'll be happy with our next phase of life. So, why can't we just be happy with what we've been given and find contentment in the current season? At some point, we've all fallen prey to this trick from our very own minds. And, I tend to beat myself up when I catch myself thinking everyone has it better than I do or that the next season is going to be that perfect place of contentment. After all, my life is currently full of many blessings and I'm guessing yours is too. 

However, I was reminded this week that contentment doesn't happen by accident. Contentment is a process and if we view it this way, it might be a little easier to grasp. Those longing for healing are sometimes told to keep a gratitude journal as a part of their recovery. Gratitude journals are gaining popularity and research even now suggests that keeping a list of things you're grateful for (basically counting your blessings) is good for your health. In her study, Namesake, Jessica LaGrone reminds us that "contentment doesn't come on like a light bulb when we flip a switch. It takes work and trust, and it is nurtured by worship, praise, and gratitude." Jessica reminds us that these nurturing actions can truly change our perspective on life.

Many of us are guilty of beating ourselves up over not being thankful and appreciative for our current stage of life. Instead of beating yourself up today, give yourself a break and begin with a moment of worship, praise, or gratitude. Maybe a gratitude list would help?  Try a favorite notebook or journal, log them in your computer, or try capturing images on your phone of the little moments in life you're grateful for today. 

Remain encouraged that you can nurture your desire for contentment through worship, praise, and ongoing gratitude! What a concept, contentment is a journey instead of a switch. Those moments of gratitude really do begin to add up if we slow down and pay attention to them. And remember that although this concept of contentment may not flip on like a switch, the journey toward contentment and peace is just that - a journey. You may not be where you want to be just yet, but you can be kind to yourself and take hold of this encouragement today:

"She wasn't where she had been. She wasn't where she was going...but she was on her way." - Jodi Hill

Friends, as your perspective adjusts, be kind to yourselves and may you be on your way toward a greater sense of contentment and peace. While you're here at the blog, will you let us know who or what you are grateful for today?  It might just be a great place to start.