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I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith. Philippians 1:25b NRSV

 Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today.

Start with Scripture. Today, read Philippians 1:21–26 from your favorite translation of the Bible or from the epigraph printed at the top of the chapter, page 35.

What is the key word do you need to hear today—life, death or joy? Why does that speak to you?

Ella titled Chapter 6 “Joy” in her book. Why do you suppose she titled today’s meditation “Choose Life” instead of “Claim Joy”?

Read Chapter 6 of Reclaiming Joy. What parts of Ella’s story, if any, do you identify with?

What is your reaction to the statistics about widowhood at the bottom of page 35 and top of page 36? Did you know that the median age of becoming a widow is 59.4 and that 80 percent of women will be widowed? Yesterday’s meditation was about expectations. Do these statistics alter your expectations in any way? How?

If you are single, how do you cope with your responsibilities? What are the most challenging aspects of being alone?

If you are married, are you fully informed about your family’s financial and legal affairs? Do you feel prepared to take over with little or no warning?

On page 37 Ella segues from her financial struggles to the importance of family relationships. On the next page she writes, “It is more important to be rightly related than to be right.” What is your reaction to that? Are your relationships all that you want them to be?

What is the lesson that you have learned today?

What can you do now to move toward joy? What do you need to let go of?

What three things are you thankful for today? What moments of joy have you experienced in the last 24 hours? Take time to say, Thank you, God, for…

For an introduction to these 28 meditations leading to Easter, please read The Journey to Easter Joy: Daily Meditations, Letting Scripture Speak.

© Ella Wall Prichard, 2019