In 2013, I chose the word, “Content” as my word of the year.
A friend advised me in choosing a word to choose what I thought I needed. In that case, “chocolate” felt like a good word. It felt like it would carry me through a lot.
But I was in the throes of transition, and my needs were great. Greater than chocolate. God’s invitation was, “What if, by the end of the year, those needs aren’t met? Will you still be content?” So content it was.
Nearly two months into the year, I wondered if “chocolate” was a better word. I would have done it well. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t, though, because then my word for the year in 2014 would have been “detox” which doesn’t look very pretty embroidered on a pillow.
No, my word was “content.” By definition, it means, “in a state of peaceful happiness; satisfied with a certain level of achievement, good fortune, etc. and not wishing for more; to accept as adequate despite wanting more or better.”
Many words jump to mind as synonyms for “content” after reading this definition: satisfied, accepting, peaceful, patience, submission, enough.
It’s a lack of striving, of trying to make life a certain way. Receiving with gratitude and a quiet heart. Freedom from being in control. Taking a deep breath and saying, “This is ok.”
In other words, the antithesis of my mode of operation. Maybe yours too.
Most of the first two months of 2013 revealed where I was NOT content and why (“the first step is admitting you have a problem”). I saw discontentment in who I was, what I had, and what I did.
And so began a choice: where will I focus my attention?
I chose not to watch the red carpet for the Oscars because it bred discontentment with my body and my lack of fame. My Pinterest time dwindled because after I looked there, I felt unsettled and uneasy about the lack of awesome DIY projects that could make my house look like a magazine ad. Facebook and Instagram I took in smaller doses.
I learned to ask questions like, “When you look at your own body, will you choose to be content? Will you say yes to what God has given you?” or, “When you look at the mess of things undone, can you smile and say, ‘It’s ok’?” and maybe hardest of all, “Will you be content to let God choose His own way of working your life and not demand your own ways?”
So am I more content now? I don’t know about that. I would say I’m more and more convinced that it is the key for me to live well here right now.