Week 1 Day 4: Purpose

Question: What daily practice sparks joy in you?

Write your Answer – click here

Share: #ssjetime #purpose

Transcript of Video:

Many of the people who we are talking to have jobs, families at home that require attending to – people who are optimally busy at the prime of their life. But the message that we have about time applies to people who maybe have moved into a different phase of life. (And certainly I’m sure many of you know retirement of the end of a career certainly doesn’t tend to make one any less busy.) I think the common enemy in all of this, in our relationship with time, is always distraction: mindless activity that we engage in. I think no matter what we have been talking about in relationship to time it is about intention. It’s about doing something on purpose. You can be at the height of your career or perhaps you have no responsibilities whatsoever and you can still waste time.

-Br. John Braught


  1. Denise Drane on January 1, 2021 at 13:36

    Going on Thanksgiving walks where I walk and really try to pay attention to the beauty in my surroundings and to thank God for the beauty and all that he has given me. So my focus is on taking in beauty rather than just on exercise…though I enjoy that too.

  2. Sylvia Tospann on November 3, 2020 at 12:45

    This is a very good question. Joy I feel when I am at rest, when I can read a good book. Non fiction or fiction; when I am working in the garden; when I can walk along water, in nature, enjoy a beautiful view, go swimming…..do The NY Times cross word or a Sudoku puzzle….be with my family and my friends, having a meal together and good conversation. Certain travel would bring me joy, learning about new places and get to know different people.

  3. Dennis on February 29, 2020 at 07:52

    I’ve just made a big change in my life – retirement. I’m trying to let the days organize themselves and live blissfully without any kind of driving schedule. So everything is new. I don’t have a daily practice that is habitual yet. What gives me joy? Driving through the mountains and enjoying their beauty. Discovering – or in some cases re-discovering things I knew as a child growing up here. The beauty of where I am is astounding.

  4. Jaan Sass on March 11, 2019 at 21:54

    Daily Prayer, Linux, reading (currently the Cadfael series) talking with Friends, Men’s group at Church, Prayer devotions, and music.

  5. Carney Ivy on March 8, 2019 at 06:55

    Flat out joy in my life – watching the birds outside my window, my precious dog, conversing with my husband when he will truly listen, listening to my children as they mature, working with children in the clinic, hiking with my girlfriends. Reading, gardening, symphonic or classical music. These are just a few. Joy is such a treasure! Thank you for asking me to examine it!

  6. Gwedhen Nicholas on March 6, 2019 at 14:02

    Communication with God sparks joy in me. I love learning new things about God, and about myself, and, as a result, becoming more myself; more fully human so I can be more fully the image of God I was created to be.

    • Tricia on March 7, 2019 at 09:15

      My morning walk. I love to be moving, listening to the birds, looking at nature. All around me I see God’s Hand and I know that I am blest. A rich way to start my day.

  7. Michael Shook on March 6, 2019 at 13:51

    When I am working or walking in the garden, or tending my pets, or cooking, or listening to music, or conversing with my spouse – when I can do these things and pay attention to just them, to really see, to really listen – I experience a humbling gratitude and joy. In such moments, I feel a space for God.

  8. Wendy Walker on March 6, 2019 at 11:14

    Morning Pray in community on line at Daily Office.

  9. Brenda on March 6, 2019 at 10:41

    Waking up in the morning and praying the morning prayers on my knees at my bedside. Writing in the 5 year gratitude journal my daughter gave me each night and reflecting on what I wrote 4 years ago and in between.

  10. Bryan Cook on March 6, 2019 at 09:33

    Writing my daily haiku, playing with a piece of wood and pickin’ my banjo

  11. Bella Englebach on March 6, 2019 at 07:52

    Walking the dogs early in the morning, meeting neighbors, seeing the daily changes as the seasons turn.

  12. Joan Mower on March 17, 2015 at 17:42

    Early mornings, coffee, working out and evening with my husband

  13. Joan on March 6, 2015 at 11:36

    I do things all day – some are o get me out of the house (volunteer work), some are necessary daily requirements – (take the dog out for her needed walks), some are just lazy things like lying around and reading, reading, reading – and sometimes I do housework when I really just have to, but is it sad or good that my one regular time of joy is when I first retire for the evening and give up my prayers and thanks and needs to God?

    • Katie on March 6, 2019 at 08:19

      Simply giving thanks every morning is what sparks deep and overflowing joy.

  14. Kimber on March 2, 2015 at 15:53

    Each day I try to notice of things of nature around me…. a bird’s song or twittering in the morning, the sight of a hawk sitting on a streetlamp post in our suburban community, the blossoming of the scrub brush in our so-far undeveloped “Central Park”, a butterfly fluttering by, the rare view of snow on our mountain… these are the daily things that spark joy in me. Also reading a poem, coloring a mandala, or praying with a finger-rosary while I’m waiting somewhere. And recently, since we adopted a shelter kitty, I’ve been blessed by her jumping on the bed and wanting attention first thing in the morning.

  15. Abby on February 27, 2015 at 17:02

    Finding a quiet moment for me, just me, and catch my breath.

  16. shawn on February 27, 2015 at 11:29

    Prayer, meditation, pets, playing Lenten Madness, EFM class at my church, studying the scriptures and history, making food for the homeless, swimming, being in the moment with my Creator.

  17. Barbara Wiederaenders on February 24, 2015 at 19:20

    Reading these comments from the heart gives me joy as I imagine God receiving all these moments of joy from us and millions of others over the millennia. Just imagine! So many, many sitting alone in prayer and meditation, as I do, yet we are all in the company of saints, of other ordinary folks loving God.

  18. Amy on February 24, 2015 at 16:15

    Taking the time to have a “sit down” breakfast with my children before we hit the day running at full speed. Family breakfast has become a surprisingly better opportunity for spontaneous sharing and conversation than dinner!

  19. Nancy Minchew on February 24, 2015 at 10:48

    I truly enjoy my quiet time in the morning. I read my daily devotions, check emails and social media. A time without TV or other people to distract me.

  20. Muriel on February 24, 2015 at 04:34

    Just thinking of my grandchildren brings a smile to my face and joy in all that they do- even when they are mischevious or’naughty’ like forgetting to do homework.
    Personally, I experience joy in writing my journal, doing something creative, my daily walk, prayer, comtemplating God’s creations, listening to music and religous programmes like the ‘Daily Service’ on the BBC.

  21. Victor on February 23, 2015 at 23:55

    Evening time with my wife and two sons. Bedtime stories and talking to my wife about the day.

  22. Terri on February 23, 2015 at 20:51

    As a morning person, I wake up looking forward to sitting in the dark in the living room with a strong cup of coffee. It centers me and calms me. I know there’s a huge day of work ahead of me, both professionally and with my family, and I’m ready for it, but those first quiet minutes in the morning set up my whole day. I’m not sure it brings me joy, but it makes finding joy throughout the day much easier.

  23. Paul on February 23, 2015 at 20:13

    Doing something creative. In retirement, I am developing my musical abilities: playing the piano and the organ, and composing. I believe that God is calling me to this path and I find joy in responding because I know I can serve as a conduit into the world of God’s love as expressed in the music I make.

  24. Clare Keller on February 23, 2015 at 16:20

    Joy! Some physical exercise out of doors. I miss my three mile walks since the snow hit a month ago, but I’ve found that shovelling snow and throwing it as high as I can reach can also bring joy. So does some gardening in the summertime. And there are many other occasions for joy in my life – most often being thankful for time to spend with my husband, including just being quiet in one another’s company. As I answer this question I realise how very blessed I am.

  25. Helen Chandler on February 23, 2015 at 11:46

    What daily practice sparks joy in me? I couldn’t answer this at first and then I saw an article entitled “Why you should start saying grace with your children (even if you don’t believe in God)” and immediately realised that the daily practice that gives me joy is saying grace. Even if I don’t feel like it in the moment, once I begin I enter into a space of gratitude.

  26. Linda on February 23, 2015 at 11:30

    There are two things that start my day into a joyful mode … the first is laying in bed (getting up early enough to not have to jump up and get my day going) and talk to God and lift up my day and my prayer concerns … I love that and the 2nd thing is to go to the gym and work out .. sometimes including God with prayer as I bike or use the elliptiocal. If those two things are accomplished it will be a mentally and physically joyful day for me.

  27. Tom on February 23, 2015 at 10:20

    Bible study, first thing in the morning.
    Feeding the dogs, second thing in the morning.
    Getting breakfast and morning tea for my wife before she leaves for work, third thing in the morning.
    Chores, listening to classical music and naps, rest of the day
    Spending time with my wife in the evening.

  28. Pati on February 23, 2015 at 09:51

    “… I just want to celebrate another day of living..”

  29. Terri on February 23, 2015 at 09:04

    Leading Children’s Chapel and watching the children grow into solid, kind, patient, young adults.

  30. Vicki on February 23, 2015 at 08:56

    Coming home after a hard day at work to my fiance Andrew and our dog Sollie. There’s no place like home!

  31. Sister Teresa Irene on February 23, 2015 at 07:17

    My first cup of coffee in the morning.

  32. Craig sugden on February 22, 2015 at 20:06

    Joy comes when i get to kiss my children. Car rides with my daughter. Laughing when my son says something humorous and intelligent. The first sip of tea. Exercise. Performing a kata well. The first bike ride in a long time. Snuggling down to a book at bedtime with big band music playing on the radio. The genuine laughter that comes from an unsaid joke.

  33. Lynn Adams on February 22, 2015 at 19:11

    Cooking dinner for my sweetie and me. I chose to be the chief cook because I love “theme and variations.” It’s an accessible art form.

  34. Kim on February 22, 2015 at 18:08

    Cuddling with my husband and dog.

  35. Janet on February 22, 2015 at 15:51

    My time in the morning that I set aside to pray, read, journal and meditate sparks joy so often because I truly feel God’s presence and guidance in my life.

  36. Joseph on February 22, 2015 at 15:46

    Coming home. Cooking, trying a new recipe.

  37. Martha on February 22, 2015 at 14:53

    Sheesh, another one that I can’t think of but that seems like a really good thing to do. I try to meditate every day for at least 5 or 10 minutes. I do okay with this but don’t feel it really sparks joy, though it’s great in other ways. This is slightly embarrassing but I really love watching TV for a little while in the morning with my coffee. But again—joy? Not really. Don’t think I have one. Now there’s something to think about.

    • Johannas Jordan on March 6, 2019 at 11:29

      I’m with you. I doubt that there is joy in my life and I wonder if there ever has been. Even on medication I have low level depression. There are lots of things I do and I guess I like most of them. This is very sad I think.

  38. Merrian on February 22, 2015 at 14:47

    Greeting my husband in the morning when he comes to the kitchen and looks like he is feeling well.
    Walking my friend’s dog, or with my friend when she is walking him in the evening. Both these things give me hope and a sense of joy.

  39. Maureen on February 22, 2015 at 11:56

    The things that bring me true joy — spending time with my parents’ dog NALA, losing myself in a wonderfully written book — are all too occasional. They aren’t things I experience on a daily basis. This question is a reminder to me that I need to intentionally make room for SOMETHING that gives me joy every single day. And I’m sure it’ll be something that won’t cost a dime!

  40. Karen on February 22, 2015 at 10:38

    Greeting my dogs when I come home.

  41. Ruth on February 22, 2015 at 08:42

    Someone else said it well, joy is in the moment, being in the moment, wherever you are, with whoever you are with, doing whatever you are doing. This lenten study brings me daily joy.

  42. Michelle Hart on February 22, 2015 at 07:00

    My daughter

    • Patty on March 6, 2019 at 12:53

      My yoga practice. Sometimes I even dance with joy between poses. And then I am filled with a different kind of joy after the meditation and prayer that follows.

  43. Christopher Engle Barnhart on February 22, 2015 at 06:55

    Watching the deer come down out of the forest to go to the creek for water and returning to feed on the grass in the pasture before returning to the forest for a nights rest.

  44. Susan Dredge on February 22, 2015 at 05:58

    I have so much to be thankful for and not least being able to do and to take time. To talk to my family and friends, to be able to take a walk to admire God’s creation, daily to go and feed the birds in our garden and then watch their antics. To be able to do volunteer work and meet some wonderful people. To meet up with friends for a coffee. The list is endless but I daily thank God that I have the opportunities to do all these things. We have a disabled friend who is reliant upon help to do anything, she can never do anything alone or spontaneously and it makes me thankful and blessed that I live in a country where I can do what I want and when I want but also am able to have the ability to do all these things.

  45. mspepper on February 22, 2015 at 01:22

    Waking up each morning and thinking that this will be the best day of my life. And thanking God that I am still in good health and able to enjoy all the moments in my life.___ I find such joy in watching my two cats going thru their morning rituals. The birds at the bird feeder. The bunny rabbits coming in the flower beds to eat their breakfast that I put out for them, Apples, carrots and spinach……..
    “Thank you God for such a joyous day…..”

  46. Mary on February 22, 2015 at 00:48

    Waking naturally with time to have a cup of coffee (or several!) while praying and reading inspirational spiritual material. Another spark is sharing a gratitude list with select, close friends at the end of the day to recount the many blessing in my life and God’s abundant grace, even during the most trying times. Although I am unable to do SoulCollage on a daily basis, the time that I do spend engaged in this creative, insightful work is truly transformative.

  47. Elizabeth S. on February 22, 2015 at 00:29

    Bedtime ritual with my children. Time spent reading, telling stories, laughing, being piled in together on the big bed. And I wouldn’t say it’s currently a daily practice, but when I do it (it has been regular in the past) having a run outdoors in the early morning brings me much joy.

  48. Carolyn on February 22, 2015 at 00:22

    I start my day by opening the curtains covering my bay window and looking at the array of rainbows on the floor, walls and ceiling from the prisms hanging there. This gives me joy each day. I laugh when the cat is laying on the sofa and he has rainbows in his fur. What a great day to “see” God’s promise in my home.

  49. Jakie on February 21, 2015 at 23:49

    Singing brings me joy. I sing as a hobby (Women’s Barbershop Chorus), as a church choir member, and to myself during the day. Many years ago a therapist told me that I needed to find something to do for MYSELF. I chose singing, and it has been my therapy ever since.

  50. Karen Fast on February 21, 2015 at 23:04

    My morning exercise time brings me joy. If it is a walk and I get out when it is barely light enough to see ahead, it is as if the world is just for God and me. With the sun up by the time I am home again, I am at peace and ready for the day before me, which continues with a very appreciated fresh orange and Irish breakfast tea with milk. I can’t run or jog anymore, but I continue to enjoy moving and am grateful that I can.

  51. Sara on February 21, 2015 at 22:50

    The stumbling block is “daily”. I love weekend coffee with my spouse, that however, is not daily. Thoughts of my sons give me joy. Daily thoughts of them, and daily joy they bring me.

  52. David Cranmer on February 21, 2015 at 22:47

    Spending time each morning in Bible devotions and prayer, and when weather allows spending time with God as I walk for physical exercise.

  53. Kathy B on February 21, 2015 at 22:02

    On school days – saying my prayers as I drive to work.
    entering my quiet, sunlight-filled classroom very early before school and seeing all the possibilities of the day.
    At home – watching the morning lighten the sky and fill the house with light.
    Anywhere – catching that perfect moment of evening dusk when the sky is indigo in the east and pink-gold in the west.

  54. Kim Wendelin on February 21, 2015 at 21:18

    I do not have anything in particular that I do daily, but I find joy in many things in my daily life. Usually it has to do with creative outlets, whether it is painting, drawing, sewing, building, knitting, gardening, or even computer coding at my job. Any of these can inspire joy combined with the feeling of “flow”, or being “in the zone”, an effortless concentration and being completely present in the moment.

    The other thing that brings me joy daily is snuggling with my dog as I fall asleep at night. My mind relaxes and calm bliss takes over as I drift off feeling her settle in as closely as possible and her breathing slows. Even if I have had a difficult day, her calming presence eases me.

  55. Juliana on February 21, 2015 at 21:00

    My yoga practice (I practice it as a prayer discipline unto God), talking to my husband, and hanging out with my two cats!

  56. Mary on February 21, 2015 at 20:51

    Really noticing the beauty around me. Sharing time with friends or my husband when we are really focused and present to each other. Being aware of the wind through the trees, the stars, the snow falling. Creating something and seeing it come together as I hoped it would.

    All those things have in common attending. Attending to what is important to me, and being aware of how blessed I am.

    I don’t attend regularly enough.

  57. Gail on February 21, 2015 at 20:22

    Meditation sparks joy on a daily basis.

  58. Tony H on February 21, 2015 at 20:19

    Reading the Bible. I read it once before a couple of years ago and am now reading both the the King James and the Geneva versions, using the Bible Challenge as a guide…I had almost forgotten the joy from having read The Message…

  59. Lauren on February 21, 2015 at 19:31

    Hanging out with my family, spending time with my pets and reading are all joyful for me. Prayer and worship can be as well, so long as I don’t come to them from a sense of obligation. For me, though, the constant challenge is to carve out time for the things that give me joy, rather than surrendering to the hypercritical inner voice that demands that I work continually to the exclusion of everything else. Whole days can go by when I don’t even notice the beauty around me. To me, that’s a failure of gratitude to God.

  60. Mark on February 21, 2015 at 18:47

    Awaking from a few hours sleep thankful to see another day

  61. Christine white on February 21, 2015 at 17:26

    I am very lucky to live on an Island. I drive by a horse farm with a rolling open field. I look up to the sky everyday and just thank the Lord. It brings me much joy to see our beautiful earth, sky and be able to converse with our Lord. I also find so much joy in my daughter.

  62. Daniel on February 21, 2015 at 16:11

    Like many of the musicians posting here, I find a certain joy in practicing. It derives from a feeling of having connected, however briefly, either with the intention of the composer, or with one’s own creative self.

    There is also the joy which comes from being able to see, even for an instant, the dance of light on dust motes or on fresh snow; these moments remind me that the world was always meant to be seen as beautiful. So I make a practice of recognizing and honouring these occasions.

  63. gwedhen nicholas on February 21, 2015 at 15:53

    The things which bring me joy are reading, journaling, learning Italian, and being silent and still.

  64. Trent Batson on February 21, 2015 at 15:42

    Each day, I start the day making coffee and then drinking a cool glass of water: that water is God entering me, revivifying me, a memory of baptism, the greatest physical gift, the womb of life. I look at the eastern sky as I drink the water and see light springing from the tree line across the pond. There is no “time” in this practice.

  65. Tina Bodiak on February 21, 2015 at 15:36

    My family and my pet dog bring me much joy. So does helping others, scripture reading, church attendance, prayer, and consciously being present in the moment.

  66. Athena on February 21, 2015 at 14:57

    Centering prayer daily and hopefully twice daily brings me joy.

    Spending each morning over a week last Christmas with my then 16-month old grandson brought me great joy continuing now in my memory.

  67. Carol on February 21, 2015 at 14:53

    Those moments of anticipatory presence …… Which always seem to exist outside the confines of either time or space …… Pure undeserved Grace…..pure awareness….. Pure silent communion.

  68. deb on February 21, 2015 at 14:47


  69. Randy Ruffin on February 21, 2015 at 14:26

    Two things – my morning quiet time with a mug of tea, some spiritual reading, reflection & prayer – and a daily 20 minute walk with my dog through the woods – seeing his enthusiastic sniffing along the way, hearing and sometimes seeing birds, and watching the seasons and weather bring change.

  70. AnnL on February 21, 2015 at 14:03

    I most fully experience joy when I am doing what God wants me to do. The trick is to recognize what my purpose is for that period of time, because the joy comes while I’m doing it – not when I’m deciding what to do m

  71. Ralph on February 21, 2015 at 14:01

    Not sure the question follows the blog… Reading the blog reminded me of something I’ve held on to over the years… God has given me all the time I need, but no time to waste. This helps a lot when the pressures of a busy life close in.

    Joy is flying through the air in my paraglider, watching a hawk or another pilot catch a thermal, and then hitching a ride in the same thermal as I ascend up into the heavens…. Inexpressible joy..

  72. Alison Vogel on February 21, 2015 at 13:57

    Daily joy, eh? Daily prayer/meditation isn’t always joy, though I crave it. I would have to say that 1) eating a very chocolatey chocolate chip cookie and 2) putting up my feet and picking up my knitting in the evening bring a homey, quiet joy every day. Creating quilt art and letting myself dance bring bursts of joy. Just being with my husband is another quiet, steady joy. God is in all of it.

  73. Nancy on February 21, 2015 at 13:48

    That first cup of coffee and reconnecting with family and friends through social media.

  74. Lissa Davis on February 21, 2015 at 12:45

    This is a tough one. Joy is not spontaneous in my life. As a matter of fact, it takes great effort to find something. But when I do, it’s joy in the fact the my God loves me unconditionally and no matter how bad it is here, I have eternity to look forward to.

  75. Sue Anonymous on February 21, 2015 at 12:23

    Cooking and my 12 step meetings. And conversations, whether with old friends or complete strangers. These things bring me into the moment and they feed my soul.

  76. Carol Anderson on February 21, 2015 at 12:21

    I get great joy each day when I look on Facebook and find messages and greetings from friends. Some I have not seen for years, and some I have only recently met, but the spark of whatever made us friends, is still present. I respect and honor that. The love and support we offer each other now is a reflection of God’s love for us all. When a friend asks for prayers, I pray and lift them up. My joy is feeling connected through our love for God and each other, even on Facebook.

  77. Sharon on February 21, 2015 at 12:14

    Bringing a smile to another’s face brings me joy; simply making others smile :0)

  78. Rev Tom Calhoun on February 21, 2015 at 12:02

    I awake, open the blinds in my front window, and look at the bluffs around my home. This puts me in a good place. If I have the chance to assist others, and later meditate and reflect on it, brings great joy.

  79. Jane on February 21, 2015 at 12:00

    My daily joy comes from giving thanks for my beautiful new apartment here in New Mexico. I think that the previous residents of the apartment may have had anger/domestic violence issues because of some of the damage that is visible: dents in the metal door that look like they’ve been made by knuckles, patches in the walls in unusual places, a patio screen door that was badly damaged and needed replacing, etc. When I moved in, I “promised” the apartment that I would love it and take care of it. And I have been slowly choosing furniture and accessories that have created a beautiful home. This includes a collection of plants, from ivy to cacti. The plants immediately started growing!! They are all obviously doing well in the positive energy that now fills the apartment. Watching their growth gives me daily joy!! My family also recently told me that there is such a difference in the apartment now than when I first moved in–it radiates love and welcome. That gives me joy as well!

  80. Agatha Nolen on February 21, 2015 at 12:00

    I don’t know how much time I have left. It is not because of the breast cancer in 2006 of which I am cured, but because none of us know how much time we have left. Is it one more breath or another decade? I experience joy each day as I look around and see God’s kingdom in the birds, trees, humans, and the relationships that He has given to us, free of charge.

  81. Mino Sullivan on February 21, 2015 at 11:56

    As a retired person, I am able to spend several hours in the morning in spiritual reading, contemplation and 20 minutes of centering prayer. This is my favorite time of the day. It inspires me to begin the day with a sense of gratitude and joy in my heart. I’ve been in some very rough places in my life, but my morning conversations with God remind me of who I am, a beloved child of God, and encourage me to think about how I want to express that love each day.

  82. Donna on February 21, 2015 at 11:51

    touching the lives of others through my work. seeing how meaningful the tiny touch I have is to them.

  83. MIke on February 21, 2015 at 11:38

    I take great comfort in reminiding myself I am forgiven- sometimes daily others time minute by minute. Forgiven for trying and failing, forgiven for not being perfect, forgiven for simply being human and having all the flaws and foibles that go along with our humaness

  84. Phillip Brock on February 21, 2015 at 11:33

    I don’t currently have anything I do daily, consciously, to bring joy to my life. The closest would be going over to my ex wife’s house every morning and waking up my son and getting him to school.

  85. sandy on February 21, 2015 at 11:21

    Practicing and then playing the piano

  86. Linda Wood on February 21, 2015 at 11:20

    “What daily practice sparks joy in you?” That’s a hard question because my days vary, but I’d say it’s in relationships. At school it’s the students & certain co-workers, at home it’s Woodie & our pets (sweet creatures – that includes Woodie!), at church it’s singing & playing bells (so much fun!) & all the church family. The big JOY comes when somehow I become aware that God is right there in the middle of what I’m doing, whether it’s alone time or time full of people. I like the word “intention” that was used in the video today because I need to be more intentional about being aware of God’s presence in the NOW as well as being intentional about making time away w/God.

  87. Cush on February 21, 2015 at 11:17

    Beautiful and one I need to ponder a bit.

  88. Sharon on February 21, 2015 at 11:15

    The quiet time I work to have each morning. During this time I read or study scripture, meditate and pray. I want to have this quiet time more frequently throughout the day and it is part of my Lenten practice in the hopes it will stick and I’ll continue it for the rest of my life.

  89. Beth Wang on February 21, 2015 at 11:08

    Early in the morning while still in bed, looking out across an aged orchard of apricots at the hills behind my house, a little piece of wild still remaining in the middle of Silicon Valley, and just contemplating the day ahead. But each day I can’t stay focused on the day because I realize I am so caught up with the changing light, sound and mood of the morning. This beginning always consumes me; used to think I was being lazy, now I realize I’m just being alive. All of this enhanced of course with my daily check in from the brothers at SSJE!

  90. Winifred on February 21, 2015 at 11:05

    Watching the sky, treetops and bird sat dawn, with a smile of gratitude; feeding the chickens; a hike or yoga; reading a daily book of Tao; a quick morning check in to business and personal email; checking my garden – all daily practices that bring joy.

  91. Suzanne on February 21, 2015 at 10:58

    Joy is in cooking, lighting candles, praying and breathing, just being. And of course, writing! Being with my family and talking with friends, where we can commune in our hearts and be truthful, be the truth for each other. Letting the Spirit guide the words I write, which is what I am doing now …

  92. Verlinda on February 21, 2015 at 10:47

    Joy comes from the small things in my life–the morning welcome purrs and headbutts from my cats, the beauty of my yard and home, enjoying the changing skies throughout the day, baking a yummy treat to share, sending notes or cards to others “just because”–all of these give me true joy, because they get me out of myself and in relationship to God and others.

  93. Sandi on February 21, 2015 at 10:47

    At the beginning of each day, savoring that first cup of coffee in bed with my husband while we both sneak in some reading and a few minutes meditation. At the end of most days it is knitting in the living room while surrounded by family chatting about our day (3 generations at home right now – all adults) and all of us trying to be the first to shout out the (correct) answer to Jeopardy. Doesn’t sound like much but both are daily rituals that being me joy.

  94. Beth Hewson on February 21, 2015 at 10:46

    1. Daily devotions and reciting Morning Prayer. It sparks joy however; it is really my anchor for the day
    2. Doing something physical where I exert myself nearly every day …going to the gym, walk in new snow, hiking in the woods, riding my bicycle.
    3. Good coffee.

  95. Mary on February 21, 2015 at 10:43

    Sitting each morning watching the birds at the feeder with my cat and coffee. I thank God for each moment.

  96. KB on February 21, 2015 at 10:37

    I love encouraging others on their life path.

  97. Melinda on February 21, 2015 at 10:34

    An excerpt from Rick Warren’s ‘The Definition of Joy’

    “My problem was my definition of joy. I thought joy meant feeling good all the time. That’s impossible! Even for those who are naturally upbeat and optimistic, that’s impossible. We have to start somewhere more realistic — and close to Scripture.

    So here’s the definition I’ve come up with from studying Scripture:

    Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.

    You’ll find nothing in that definition about happy feelings, because, as we all know, happiness is fleeting and temporary.”

    I relate to his statements. I do enjoy many happy feeling moments during the day but my peaceful abiding joy is to be found in Rick’s definition above 🙂

    • David Cranmer on February 21, 2015 at 22:42

      Your observations resonate with what Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians that we should always rejoice, no matter what our circumstances are.

  98. Woodie on February 21, 2015 at 10:26

    It took a book written by a psychologist, entitled “The Happiness Advantage”, to get me started on the Christian practice of “counting my blessings”. So, most mornings during my quiet time, I list 2 or 3 things for which I am thankful. It is pretty effective in setting my mindset for the day. Today is my daughter’s birthday, so it’s pretty easy to focus on the great blessing of her life.

  99. Pam on February 21, 2015 at 10:25

    Happiness happens a lot, but I think of joy as something a little different. Joy happens when I feel God’s presence in my life in a very immediate and real way. That doesn’t happen every day, but it happens fairly frequently and always unexpectedly. When I do sense God’s presence in that way, I always cry tears of joy. And I think I cry because the experience is so filled with meaning. At that moment I feel unequivocally that all will be well, and that brings a strong sense of peace and love, not just for God, but for everyone and everything.

    • james on February 21, 2015 at 18:25

      From your post, I think you might appreciate this line from a prayer (poem) written by James Finley when he was a Trappist monk : ” May each of us be so fortunate as to be overtaken by God in the midst of little things. . . .” The complete prayer is considerably longer and none the less beautiful, but this line, in particular, seemed to me to resonate with your post.

  100. Julie on February 21, 2015 at 10:25

    Daily morning prayer is like a springboard for my day – not to say I inevitably feel sparks of joy but rather morning and evening prayer shapes my days to see the sparks even in the darkest places.

  101. JGlow on February 21, 2015 at 10:18

    I amazed every morning at the riches that I have access to when I pick up my Bible. What a pleasure and what a joy! And if it is spring and I am on my patio I can sing the morning chorus with the birds. “Let everything in every field in jubilation join.” This is the best part of the day!

  102. Susan Zimmerman on February 21, 2015 at 10:13

    …’Move Around Hard Prayer’ brings finite selected Love, Choices, Stuff, work, Learning, to present time knowing they’re grounded in ‘Eternal’ endless activity…that’s why we’re all a little crazy

  103. Sophfronia on February 21, 2015 at 10:10

    At the end of a yoga session it is customary to go into Savasana, a final pose where you lie flat on your back and take time to integrate the energy generated by the yoga practice. I often take Savasana after a regular workout as well because I can feel the energy flowing through my body and I want to take hold of it and acknowledge it.

    I mention this because feeling such energy is what joy feels like to me. Outside of exercise, I feel that joy most when I’m interacting positively with another person. That person is usually a loved one, but I’ve learned such an interaction can happen anywhere–at the grocery store, at the gas station, in church, or in an airport. My favorite is waving to children on my son’s bus after he boards each morning. I love the look of pleasure and surprise when a child realizes I’m waving at him/her, not just my son. They wave back and smile. After such an interaction I try to pause a moment to appreciate the feeling and acknowledge the joy. Then I try to carry that feeling into whatever else I’m doing that day.

  104. Jenny on February 21, 2015 at 10:10

    Early morning sitting at my bay windows with great view of sky reading the daily devotion from Forward Day by Day, the prayers and readings from the Book of Common Prayer. There is quiet peace and joy in communing with God with the sky. the sunrise,the coop across the street as my backdrop.

  105. Mary Ann on February 21, 2015 at 10:07

    My early morning walk.
    It has evolved from being something done after everyone else was off to school and work into a treasured time to commune with my God and this incredible world which He has given to us. Sometimes it includes others, sometimes not, but it is always a time when I feel God’s presence, guidance and love.

  106. Nellie on February 21, 2015 at 10:06

    Immediate answer to “What brings joy?” – Walking in the park or on a trail, listening to the birds, feeling the wind, the sunshine, the mist, the snow; feeling the parts of my body awakening to awareness and flow, releasing tension. It opens my whole being to the breath of the Spirit.

  107. Didi on February 21, 2015 at 10:06

    Daily Gratitude brings me joy as I can see all the gifts God has given me. Morning prayer and meditation (which is combined with my cat flinging himself backwards into my lap and purring his joy). Helping others in my 12-step program achieve serenity. Serving and volunteering. Being nice to strangers. All these bring me joy and are gifts from God.

  108. John on February 21, 2015 at 10:05

    Seeing a new day when I awake…and enjoying the sights of river and woods around us…that is a daily practice that sparks joy and gratefulness in me…

  109. Kenneth Knapp on February 21, 2015 at 10:00

    Having just retired, I find that the time to read slowly without having to attempt to extract as much information as possible in as short a period of time as is available brings joy.

  110. Sue on February 21, 2015 at 09:59

    Walking and talking with God!

    • David Cranmer on February 21, 2015 at 22:39

      I also find more joy in walking and talking with God than I do while sitting and praying.

  111. Marilyn on February 21, 2015 at 09:52

    Rembering and recording the night’s dreams, remembering they are messages from God, brings me joy. So often it is within the dream and its images that I find purpose, the direction in which I am being led.

  112. Wendy on February 21, 2015 at 09:51

    Early morning praying and praising

  113. james on February 21, 2015 at 09:47

    What is it about an association with dogs that contributes to feelings of “JOY”? Perhaps it is because dogs appear to love unconditionally–judgement doesn’t enter in to their economy of “love.” Perhaps it is the giving and/or receiving of unconditional love that brings us “joy.”

    • JGlow on February 21, 2015 at 10:21

      it is wonderful that God gives us relationships with animals. I love my little dog and find great joy in nature!

    • Sandi on February 21, 2015 at 10:53

      I wish there was a “like” button to push on comments. I agree completely! If we could only love the way dogs love (unconditionally, joyously, wholeheartedly, unabashedly) we would be that much closer to being what God calls us to be.

  114. Greg on February 21, 2015 at 09:34

    For many years I have practiced the Transcendental Meditation techniqe, more commonly known as TM. Twice a day it allows me to some degree to contact that ocean of silence and peace within. This is joy that I experience pretty much daily.
    Also each day I appreciate our three incredible daughters. This brings joy as I see them as holy, each in her unique way.
    I might add that these sessions so far have each created a wave of joy.

  115. Norah Bolton on February 21, 2015 at 09:30

    Reading something inspirational with a cup of coffee by my side

  116. Dr Norman S Steward on February 21, 2015 at 09:26

    A few of the things that bring me joy are caring for my two English Setters and their routine. I also enjoy reading the daily offices (a great way to get into the correct frame of mind to begin my work day )

  117. Leslie on February 21, 2015 at 09:22

    Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the video and the question don’t go with each other. I expected a question about distractions – what is the biggest distraction that uses most of your time (since we are talking about time after all)?

    But instead there is this question of the one daily practice that sparks joy in you. I guess I have to admit that the things that spark joy in me don’t necessarily happen every day – as a practice. We like to travel – that sparks great joy. We like to try new restaurants – that sparks joy. I like to get together with friends and family – that sparks joy. I love walking my dog outside and seeing the sky and how she reacts to smells and gets so excited. That is probably the one DAILY thing that sparks the most joy in me at this stage in my life. But I don’t walk the dog every single day: it’s either too cold or raining, etc.

    Which brings me to the point I have come to in my own heart. With the exception of brushing my teeth and washing my face and putting on clean clothes, I don’t do well with regular DAILY practices, as it relates to anything else: spiritual or otherwise. As someone who is adhd, I am finding this to be a great hurdle to overcome – doing something daily. And perhaps that should be my point of prayer with God. Help me to have a daily practice that brings me joy.

    • Bill Sier on February 21, 2015 at 11:23

      The video is about distractions. What distracts you from that which produces joy in your life? Having ADHD and having raised a son with Asperger’s Syndrome, I am aware at how easily,… SQUIRREL!!!
      As I as saying, how easily one may be distracted, and usually by the most inane things. Then one tends to focus in on these activities at the cost of your true enjoyment.
      Walking the dog is a perfeect analogy. They may be on the trail of something interesting, but let a bicyclist go by of a rabbit dain to make an appearance, and all eslse is forgotten- and they may never find that for which they initilly sought.

  118. Pam on February 21, 2015 at 09:21

    My daily joy for today was reading all the comments from everyone and finding they were my joys – a bubbling up of joy . A Lenten community of Joy …. lovely!

    • JGlow on February 21, 2015 at 10:21


  119. Dean on February 21, 2015 at 09:14

    Early morning quiet time with God and playing music (whether practicing or performing).

  120. Valerie Gaines on February 21, 2015 at 09:14

    I am blessed to have a prayer partner. We call each other every morning and pray together for 15 minutes. Using the book Prayer Partners by August Gold and Joel Fotinos we each say a prayer that we selected for our 90 day commitment and pray for each other. We also say a scripture reading and a psalm from the daily office. Starting my day in this way I feel grounded in God’s love and in the connection to my prayer partner who has positively influenced my life. On some days I then journal and priorities come to the surface.

  121. Sally Baynton on February 21, 2015 at 09:09

    So many things give me joy! I know my attitude is the result of taking back my emotions and determining that God really wants me to be happy all time and in all places. So, I don’t honk at the person who cuts me off, I pray for him/her; I don’t get annoyed when someone ignores me, I pray for him/her. I have found that choosing joy has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. Personally, I cannot be fully present with God if I am not happy.

  122. Patricia on February 21, 2015 at 09:07

    I feel deep joy every morning when we wake up and it still is every morning) my husband remembers my name!

  123. Diana on February 21, 2015 at 09:04

    God’s creation and the laughter of children

  124. Jane on February 21, 2015 at 09:04

    I feel like this might be a trick question. These days, as a mom and grad student, if I let it, my world can feel like an endless stream of boxes to check and deadlines to meet (not to mention dinners to cook, laundry to fold, homework to help with…the list goes on! Know the feeling?) Always looking to what’s next can be overwhelming and anything but joyful.
    Though sometimes I wish there was a magic joy capsule I could insert into my day, I’m not sure that there’s a specific daily practice—a thing I can do— that consistently brings me joy.
    My wise friend Jametta talks about being open to moments of grace in the midst of it all, and for me, that’s where I find joy. In the conversations with my kids while we’re making dinner; in the ah-ha moments that emerge from tears during homework help; in sharing stories with folks at church, or in the coffee shop, or at the gas station, or on the streets; in holding the hand of a dying man as he smiles through his favorite hymn.
    That’s where the joy is. It’s in the moment—kindled by the folks I’m with right now, wherever right now happens to be—if I’m open to noticing that the world is infused with grace.

    • Jennifer on February 21, 2015 at 10:02

      Beautifully said!

      • Melinda on February 21, 2015 at 10:39


        • Elaine on February 21, 2015 at 11:52


    • Ruth on February 22, 2015 at 08:40

      Yes, exactly.

  125. George on February 21, 2015 at 09:03

    Joy, or maybe discpline, carries me down the street for Morning Prayer at our Church. The walk is a seasonal adventure which brings thoughts of thanksgiving, especially in winter after a snowfall and the sidewalks have already been cleared by the very efficient and dedicated folks at the Department of Public Works. There is joy in the doing of dealing with distance. There is joy in being daily in the intentional presence of God for communal Prayer.

  126. Norm Anderson on February 21, 2015 at 08:59

    Dialogue. Bring in wood to feed the wood stoves. Going to get the mail with our Maine Coon cat waiting on the front porch for me. Reading. Praying. Falling backwards into the arms of our Lord.

  127. Carol G on February 21, 2015 at 08:59

    Starting the day in quiet with a cup of coffee, soft lighting and a gradual move into reading scripture and spirit inspiring writings gets me on to the right path for the day. The most joy though comes when I look outside myself and see the world God has created. Hearing the sound of birds, watching them take flight, taking care of our dogs, looking into the faces of the children where I teach, are places and times that I truly encounter joy.

  128. Annette on February 21, 2015 at 08:56

    So many small things give me joy: watching the sky fill with light; a visiting woodpecker; a lovely cup of coffee; time with a book, or to write, or to play in the kitchen…. Key for me is to be present with all those small daily joys.

  129. Jeff Lowry on February 21, 2015 at 08:51

    How true the statement is about God having other plans for your day. That has happened for me during my marriage and now taking care of my mother. In terms of things daily: having a cup of coffee and being alone with God. Taking a walk. Not that many years ago doing things with my step daughter (who I helped raise from an early teen). Now she is grown with step-kids of her own. Fade to Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle”.

  130. Mandy on February 21, 2015 at 08:46

    I spend a bit of quiet time each morning reading Scripture or engaging in some sort of spiritual study. That brings me a quiet inner joy.
    There are small moments in my work that bring me great joy.

  131. Bob on February 21, 2015 at 08:45

    Snuggling up with children before they fall asleep & taking the dog for her morning walk (evening ones are often just too tired to be joyful)

  132. Pamela Smith on February 21, 2015 at 08:44

    Early morning with coffee and my writing and reading.

  133. laura on February 21, 2015 at 08:42

    I find joy thanking the Creator for another day while watching birds at the feeder. Somehow, to me, joy is other centered. I can choose happiness with any given situation, but joy seems to be directed outward. This reminds me that I am not the center of the universe, and also that I am connected to all beings.

  134. Jana Everett on February 21, 2015 at 08:42

    Exercise classes because I stop doing the internal chattering and just focus on what I’m doing.
    Finding a new video or picture on instantagram of my grandsons, 3 and 5. Or talking to them on facetime.

  135. Linda B on February 21, 2015 at 08:41

    Petting my dogs and feeling their unconditional love. I see God in them and I never leave them without feeling joyful.

  136. Lori on February 21, 2015 at 08:27

    The early morning darkness as it breaks toward light, and purr of a contented cat, the clarity of a bird’s song, the speed of a field rabbit, the bubble of soup on the stove, the opening music to Downton Abbey, to click of the knitting needles, the sigh of a sleepy dog. Joy fills my heart.

    • Sally Baynton on February 21, 2015 at 09:00

      I thought I was the only one who loved the music at the beginning of Downton Abbey!?:)

      • Brenda on February 22, 2015 at 18:20

        Just wanted you to know you can actually purchase the soundtrack from Downton Abbey and it is wonderful.

  137. Christopher Epting on February 21, 2015 at 08:26

    Interesting how many of us named “walking with our dogs” as one of our routine practices which brings daily joy! I would have to add myself to that list. As for more clearly “spiritual” practices, for the last several years I have been accepting “the Bible Challenge” to read the Bible through in a year. I have very much enjoyed hearing each book speak with its own voice rather than the “mix and match” snippets from the Daily Office lectionary.

    • Sally Baynton on February 21, 2015 at 08:59

      I was JUST thinking the same thing about how so many of us find joy walking our dogs. Yes, I am one of those. But, I find the same joy grooming my horse, watching the birds at the feeder, seeing the deer come to the pan for water, and knowing that God is in all of this.

  138. Pat D'Anna on February 21, 2015 at 08:26

    In my workshop, building my boat…or building and repairing anything for that matter. When I’m creating!

  139. Karen on February 21, 2015 at 08:24

    I find joy daily when I walk my dog and have time with God. My morning walks are often about praying for people/activities/perceived difficulties and pleasures for the day ahead; my evening walks are about giving thanks for the day that has passed.

  140. Patti powell on February 21, 2015 at 08:21

    Early morning. Sitting with my husband, clutching a cup of coffee to my breast and reading the newspaper. Sometimes we read aloud to each other and have the most wonderful wide-ranging conversations.

  141. Sandy on February 21, 2015 at 08:20

    Rising early – a cup of hot coffee in one hand and reading God’s word in the other. Being up before everyone else – being in that quiet space to be reflective or simply watching the light change as the day dawns – new promises, more joy to experience in the moment. For later in the day- my dog always at my side. Working from home. Being in the kitchen – cooking. Our children have just about grown – being witness to them finding their way brings joy – a deeper, more dimensional joy than the daily activities. Anticipating more time with my husband (just the two of us in our daily activities) brings another kind of joy.

  142. Jackie on February 21, 2015 at 08:15

    Two things come to mind; my quiet drive time to and from work when I can think, listen to the thoughts in my head, and talk to God. The other is seeing my Husband come through the door at the end of a long and busy day of work. With his recent serious illness and months in the hospital, I am looking forward to his homecoming next week and the return of the latter joy!

  143. Nicki on February 21, 2015 at 08:14

    Serving a meal I’ve created out of organic vegetables and meat or eggs. I’m fortunate to be able to get these good things and joy does come from cooking them into something delicious and healthy for us to eat.

  144. Kat on February 21, 2015 at 08:11

    My husband and I carpool 4 days a week to our jobs. I find enjoyment in this because we have precious time together sharing, talking. I would truly miss it if it went away.

  145. Alice on February 21, 2015 at 07:48


  146. Kathy Johnson on February 21, 2015 at 07:48

    Walking and wondering

  147. Gretchen R Naugle on February 21, 2015 at 07:42

    One of my many joys in life is staying connected with friends from over the years–and e-mail makes that so much easier.

  148. Jeanne on February 21, 2015 at 07:35

    My children (now 32, 30 and 27), bring me joy. My friends bring me joy. My dreadful labs (!) sometimes bring me joy, but more often a soggy chewed up toy. But something that brings me joy on a daily basis I need to look for. I like my early morning time here, but it’s not exactly joy. It’s more space, and quiet (until the dogs come in).

  149. Carole on February 21, 2015 at 07:34

    grandkids, reading, walking

  150. Peggy Hodgkins on February 21, 2015 at 07:26

    Walking at sunrise with my beagle Rachel

  151. Ann Brackin on February 21, 2015 at 07:25


  152. Dana Werts on February 21, 2015 at 07:16

    Reading scripture, times of silence, and passionate worship feed my soul. I also grow in faith as I hear faith stories from those I encounter each day. Active listening is a spiritual discipline for me- listening to others, to the rhythms of life and to my own soul.

  153. Roderic Brawn on February 21, 2015 at 07:14

    I have played the trumpet since I was seven or eight years old. To sit and to practise my trumpet gives me joy. When I have practised I can make music. I enjoy making music, and other enjoy hearing me.

  154. Beth on February 21, 2015 at 07:13

    My kids are my daily joy.

  155. N on February 21, 2015 at 07:11

    I often feel joy after my morning prayer. I like what the Brother said about intentionality – I regularly experience joy from a sense of something well done – it could be the completion of a simple task at work or it could come from making a meal with my wife at the end of the work day. Our household animals regularly bring me joy. I have often felt that art brings joy although I wonder if here I am confusing ‘pleasure’ with ‘joy’?

  156. Barbara Cauble on February 21, 2015 at 07:11

    When I feel scattered and rushed, I go sit at my weaving loom or my rug hooking frame, or I pick up the prayer shawl I am knitting. These creative and quiet times are restorative, and I can hear God again in the silence.

    • Elizabeth Tener on March 3, 2015 at 09:21

      Wow! Someone else who likes to work with fiber and color! I find knitting so meditative! I often work on a new sweater, scarf, or prayer shawl as I pray, think a problem through, or wool-gather. My mom taught me to knit when I was 5, and was endlessly patient when I brought all my messes to her to fix. Needlework is a way of reliving that bond.

  157. Jim on February 21, 2015 at 07:06

    Morning prayer while watching the birds at the window feeder.

    • Jill on February 21, 2015 at 13:56

      I say Amen to that.

    • Ginetta on February 23, 2015 at 14:51

      I also find joy in watching my birds first thing each morning. Looking at my three bluebirds in the cold and snow of Virginia. makes me wonder how anyone cannot believe in God.

  158. Becky on February 21, 2015 at 07:00

    Early morning quiet time to pray and think and read. Doing the crossword puzzle in the paper also brings me joy, believe it or not, because it assures me that my brain is still working. The older I get, the more important this becomes for me.

  159. Nancy W. Del Borgo on February 21, 2015 at 06:58

    Beginning with the day’s readings, followed by Baroque music, gives me peace and serenity with which to face the rest of the day. The practice grounds my purpose that day.

  160. Deborah McCarter-Spaulding on February 21, 2015 at 06:50

    That is a hard question. The joy seems to be in the little things…having a cup of coffee before everyone gets up, and looking out my window to the beautiful NH landscape. I feel that I should say that it is my prayer time, but often even that is rushed, and I feel as though I need to “get something out of it” rather than just being in the presence of God. I struggle with the need to always be productive.

  161. Tracy on February 21, 2015 at 06:27

    JOY in the everyday for me is sensing God’s presence – that sounds cliche or idyllic – but it’s so easy to be distracted & realise that joy has diminished.

    I love being with & helping other people in things I like doing (may I add!) – I am a people person, who also loves animals. I also love art, reading, playing my piano & being online.

    I have recently found joy in changing my thinking & protecting my senses – becoming more positive, receiving healing from things that trouble me. Learning to change things I’m not at peace with – take risks – exercise faith – trust God in the things I reach for – He promises to guide & protect us – so therefore nothing should hold us back. That is Joy fir me scythe moment.

    • NA on February 22, 2015 at 10:45

      Amen to joy in the erveryday and through creativity!

    • Barbara Wiederaenders on February 24, 2015 at 19:06

      Thank you. You’ve given my answer. I am an introvert who has found new joy in visiting the shut-ins of our congregation and old acquaintances. I always leave full of joy, joy in discovering what it is to be a “people person.” Seems that’s the joy envisioned by Jesus’ “Love one another.”

  162. Vicki on February 21, 2015 at 06:25

    This is exactly what I desire with God to discover this Lent: to be ever more grateful and for joy. Thank you for the question. It helps with my intention. I am expectant today therefore!

  163. Beverly Cone on February 21, 2015 at 06:19

    Joy in regular daily activities?? Wow! That is so easy to overlook! I love the “special” times when my granddaughter comes to visit, but let’s see – DAILY, everyday things? I love waking up after a good, long sleep, with two dogs snuggled up in my bed, and a new day before me – and I am well now (after being quite ill). And I love our nice, long, leisurely walks outside, enjoying my beautiful surroundings by a pretty lake……..that’s “Joy in the Mornings”! Thank you, God.

  164. Christi on February 21, 2015 at 06:18

    I strive to rise daily before my family to get in an hour of prayer, spiritual study and journalling. one part of the process that brings me great joy is holding a warm mug of coffee and slowly sipping it while i savor God’s peace and presence.

    • Bobbi on February 21, 2015 at 08:26

      Kristi, We are kindred spirits. And yes, that warm cup of coffee.

  165. Mary Frost on February 21, 2015 at 06:10

    Early morning quiet, prayer and reading..some days before daybreak. Later, walking with my dog and sometimes walking and talking or with a like minded friend! Also, serving in some way.

  166. NA on February 21, 2015 at 05:37

    The sound of the bells that starts each video offering is comforting and brings me into a place of quiet joy and expectation. It is like virtually walking through a stone archway into a space reserved for me in peace. Since I work from home, my daily life used to consist of my dogs, cat, and me. Then in 2008, my husband lost his job and we started two new businesses. A couple years ago, my parents moved in with us. Now, someone is around almost all of the time, which has been a big adjustment. Although everyone is healthy and gets along (aside from a little cabin fever this winter!!), space and quiet have been more of a precious commodity. I have found I need to carve out time for quiet, so I often get up at about 5am each day, which I do naturally most of the time, in order to enjoy this peace before anyone wakes up. Being able to Be in this space alone to read, pray, listen, and rest my spirit helps center me and connect me to the inner quiet I need each day, and that helps me to be able to more readily experience joy.

    • Helen Chandler on February 23, 2015 at 11:41

      I so resonate with your comment about the bells. To begin with I was reading the transcript instead of listening to the video, but once I had heard the bells, I changed my approach! I love what the brothers said about their ordered life and being called to prayer five times a day. Even though I am ordained and am meant to lead an ordered life, without the community to hold me to account, it is not easy!

  167. Deborah on February 21, 2015 at 05:19

    I feel bad admitting this to myself but although I have daily practices, my quiet time in the morning, taking the dogs out, reading Richard Rohr’s meditation in the evening, nothing really gives me ‘daily’ joy.
    That’s not to say I don’t find joy in all those things and also in others that might not be daily. I can find a deep and wonderful joy in my prayer time, on retreat, in nature, with my family, especially with grandchildren, but nothing I do every day gives me ‘daily’ joy and yet I find joy daily but in differnt things….does that matter?
    Maybe I need to work out why that is, but maybe I kind of know already. TIME, I always feel I’m against the clock. I’ve cut back my working hours and somehow I’ve filled the days I now have with more things which make me keep clock watching.
    The idea of ‘sabbath’ comes to mind again, I think I must build sabbath into my life and look more deeply for the ‘daily’ joys.

    • Sarah Acland on February 21, 2015 at 07:52

      I really agree with you Deborah. It’s hard to find joy with the pressure of time always chasing your heels. I think I need to pause and look around more, to watch the snowflakes rather than lamenting the difficulties of getting around

    • MIke on February 21, 2015 at 10:09

      I love the fact that you do not have a daily joy, but instead find a different joy each day

    • Louise on March 4, 2015 at 08:03

      Deborah, your feedback gave me the needed inspiration to answer this question because I too, don’t have a single daily practice that gives me joy.

      I still find joy each and every day though.

      It could be in seeing a smile, seeing a beautiful sunrise or sunset, hearing a piece of beautiful music, hearing good news from someone else, a hug, exercising, playing, and doing training routines with my service dog, and the list goes on. All these things bring me joy.

  168. margaret nunn on February 21, 2015 at 04:31

    It is my joy to spend time with God, meditating on his word each morning and enjoying his gifts and mercies to me throughout the day. He is my friend, companion and Lord and ‘the joy of the Lord is my strength’.

    • Bobbi on February 21, 2015 at 08:22

      Margaret, I resonate with your comment. I feel called to intercessory prayer and so my joy is to spend an hour first thing in the morning being with God–giving thanks, praying for others and asking God what God wants of me on this day.

    • Eileen on February 21, 2015 at 08:50

      Well said. I feel the same as you. I receive joy and confidence from pray, knowing God is by my side supporting me as I go through each day.

  169. Ann on February 21, 2015 at 01:42

    playing with pets

    • NA on February 21, 2015 at 05:40

      Unconditional love and the ability to take such pleasure in the moment is a lovely gift animals give us. You can experience a whole lot of love for under $5 by giving a Labrador a squeaky toy. 🙂

      • Pam on February 21, 2015 at 10:17

        I, too, have a dog, a very active PWD. When I take her to the park for a run, it brings me great joy to see her frolicking and running with such obvious gusto. I see her as a sort of living parable: She is just filled with a joy for life and a delight in being a dog. She doesn’t want to become anything else. She’s thrilled with what God made her to be and she celebrates that every day.

    • Jordan on March 4, 2015 at 15:19

      When I get home and my puppy is so excited to see me and I’m so excited to see her, that is my joy.

  170. Chelle on February 21, 2015 at 00:32

    What an interesting question. I do so many things in a day – sleep, eat, clean, care for my little ones, homework, read, crafts. I think on those rare occasions where I can be fully in the moment with my 3 and 5 year old, I find a sense of joy. Yesterday it was doing an art project. Today it was helping my 5 year old with her letters. And yet being in the moment is so difficult. It’s easy to stick my head in the sand and ignore the now.

    • NA on February 21, 2015 at 05:48

      One day when I was lamenting how little I felt like I had gotten done that day, a friend of mine with three kiddos under 5 responded that she does sometimes, too, but she reminds herself that God might have had a different agenda for her day than she had. I get the impression kids can do that to you pretty regularly. 😉 Her kids are amazing, happy little ones, eager to share their joy of life. Their oldest made me some artwork, all purple and gold glitter glue with impressionistic smiley faces. I keep it on my fridge as a reminder of joy.

  171. Stephen on February 21, 2015 at 00:27

    My Grandchildren!

    • Ralph on February 21, 2015 at 13:53

      So true, we have just the one but every time he comes over …there is joy.

    • David Bowring on February 21, 2015 at 14:30

      Daily joy? A good supper.

    • Gregory on February 21, 2015 at 23:43

      My daily prayer time and journal writing and receiving Our Lord Jesus in Holy Communion.

    • Lori on February 23, 2015 at 15:31

      Playing with and petting my dog brings me joy. It also brings me joy when I can just relax and hang out with my 15 year old daughter. So often, I’m just barking commands at her so that we can get everything done. But I’ve been making time to just be with her and enjoy her company. Not easy with a special needs teen, but worth it.

    • Elizabeth Tener on March 3, 2015 at 08:57

      I love waking in the morning. I have a beautiful window by my bed, and the sun rises right outside. I have hung shiny, reflective crystals in the window. When I wake, I often have left a troubling or intense dream to find myself in the morning light, looking at lacy tree branches and roofs beyond the window pane. I am in my seventies, and I take that time to welcome the day, express gratitude, and just enjoy the warmth of my bed, and my little spaniel curled up beside me.

    • Kathryn on March 8, 2015 at 20:55

      I enjoy playing with my cat in the morning. Checking to see where he is the moment I wake up.
      When I came home from work I look for my ca so I can give him a great big hug.

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