What does contentment look like to you? Does it mean you're happy all the time? Does it mean you never long for a new job, newer car or replacement living room furniture?
Or is it more about having an attitude of abundance rather than of scarcity? Of knowing that what you have truly is enough—and that you are enough to handle what comes your way?
I heard a definition of joy that still resonates: "In times of sorrow, joy is a seed of hope. In times of loneliness, joy is a single ray of light. In times of success, joy is an avalanche of flowers, giggles, songs and hugs. Its value is the same on the mountaintop or at the depth of the canyon."
I think contentment must be similar. Sometimes it's the size of a seed or as narrow as a single ray of light. But it's still there. Other times it's an avalanche. Either way, its value is the same.
I see contentment as having a sense of abundance no matter what my income level and the size of my home. I see it as gratitude for all the blessings I do have. Having a feeling of contentment allows me to say, "I have enough." Would I have wished for more? Perhaps. Could I do with less? Certainly. Do I enjoy many blessings? Definitely.
Contentment doesn't mean I'm thankful for the tough times—the losses and hurts I've experienced. It does mean, however, that I can be thankful in the tough times as well as the good ones. And it surely doesn't mean I'm a perky and bubbly version of happy all the time. I can be grateful, content and at peace even when my life doesn't go the way I'd planned. That means I can enjoy the life I have rather than always longing for the one I thought I'd have!