The fall is my favorite time of year! There's just something about the leaves changing colors, the temperatures dropping, the smell of a good bonfire and the cozy outfits that makes me happy. I'm also a pretty big fan of Thanksgiving. The idea of family getting together, laughing at your crazy relatives, story telling and eating too much comfort food until all you can do is nap, is perfect to me.

Every year, around this time, I seem to find myself reflecting on the year. How fast it seemed to go by and how ready I am for the next one to get here. I begin to remember all the good, bad and ugly from the last ten months. It's easy to point out the highlights, as well as, the tough spots, but the more I think about the events that led me to this moment, the more I see growth.
Is every year filled with roses and puppies and happy things? No. Does my life look exactly like I thought it should? No. But there is a deep sense of understanding that through it all, Christ has been with me, and no matter what else comes my way, He will still be there. It's a feeling of contentment.

This year in particular, I've seen the faithfulness of God displayed in my life like I never knew it could be. I've learned so much about ministry, and relationships, but more than anything I've learned about me. It's been a year of deep introspection and struggle. I've come to understand a little better about who I am and what my purpose is. It's gotten me to a place of contentment that I've never been before. I still don't have it all figured out and yes, I still have dreams and goals for my life that are unrealized. But the overarching theme of my life this year has been about blooming where I am planted. Being content in every season I go through. In this, I've become thankful for the struggle.

Finding true contentment is hard; and I believe a constant battle. When all around you see the success of others, their "highlights" and all we see in our lives is the tough spots, it's easy to feel like you don't have enough or you'll never be enough. "If I could just get married," or "If I could preach or sing like her," or "If only I looked like that," if only...

Christ didn't design us to live out someone else's life. You and I have been given life to live to the full. When we allow this attitude of comparison and the feeling of not being or having enough to creep into our lives, we miss out on the life we have been given.

Contentment can only come when you know who you are and in whom you trust. This realization usually comes in the toughest times. Like a tree in a drought is forced to let its roots go deep, you have to dig deep to the roots of your foundation. When everything is good, you don't do much soul searching, but when the opposite is true, you find out what you're made of. Do you really trust God to bring you through? Do you trust Him to provide? If you never see your dream turn to reality, will He be enough? When He is enough you are able to see much clearer. And realize that, while life isn't perfect and it's nothing like you planned, Christ is enough, He has made you enough, and He will sustain you.

This attitude has a way of changing our perspective to one of thankfulness. Because even in difficult seasons, we are able to see the value and grace in the smallest, seemingly insignificant moments. Our perspective shifts to focus on what matters most and the struggle or insecurity begins to slowly fade into the background.

No, you might not be rich, have the perfect job, look like a supermodel, or be the next Beth Moore or Kari Jobe, but you can begin to appreciate everything Christ has blessed you with. You can start to understand that He values you, is leading you, and has created you for this moment. He sees you as perfect. When you and I are content with where we are in life, I believe, we will live the most fulfilling lives possible.

So, if you're anything like me, and find yourself reflecting on the past year, try and look through the lens of thankfulness and contentment. It just may change your perspective.

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