Find Joy in All Things

Slow down your breathing, until it is gentle, smooth, and soft. Let go of any tension in your body by relaxing your jaw, your shoulders, your fingertips, even your toes. Continue until you feel light, fresh, and free.

Read the following Scripture verse slowly, savoring each word: 

"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.” (Philippians 4:4-5, The Message)

Refect on your day. When did you make someone smile or laugh? This can be a close friend, a family member, an acquaintance, or a random encounter. What did you do to make this person smile? What did you notice in this person's smile? How did you experience God in this encounter?

Reflect on your day again. When did you become angry, frustrated, or upset? Try to recognize the source of you anger and frustration within yourself. Were you angry or frustrated because an expectation wasn't met? As you replay this moment of anger and frustration, pay attention to your body. Are your fists clenched? Is your brow furrowed? Relax the part of the body where your anger and frustration are felt most strongly. Take in a few deep breaths as you allow these emotions to pass.

Reflect on your day a third time and identify those things that made you happy. Imagine that thing was taken away from you. Where would you have found happiness then? What if that thing was taken away from you? Keep whittling away until you find the one, basic thing that made you truly happy. Where do you see God in that thing?

Review your day a final time and give thanks for whatever blessings you may have received, no matter how great or small. Why are you grateful for these things? How do they lead you toward God? Take a moment to offer these things back to God with this prayer or one of your own: Lord, thank you for . . . .You have given everything to me. I return it to you; do with it whatever you will. I ask only for your love and grace; that is all that I desire.

Close with the following prayer or one of your own: Lord, you alone are the joy of my spirit. Amen.