“What was your warm fuzzy today?” my wife asked our young children as we tucked them into bed.
“I liked it when Tommy shared his stuffed animal with me at recess.” My son yawned.
My daughter pulled her leg out from under the covers. “When you kissed my scraped knee and put a band-aid on it after I fell off my bike.” She gently touched the band-aid and smiled up at my wife. “It made the ouch go away.”
The bedtime question invited our children to reflect on what was good about their day—where they experienced the warm fuzzy of happiness.
As our children grew older, my wife re-framed the warm fuzzy reflection into a more adult-like question: “Where did you experience God’s love today?” became our dinner-time discussion.
“When I struck out at the game today and coach hugged me. Told me it’s okay.” A blush flushed over my teenage son’s cheeks. “I felt like God was hugging me.”
My daughter took in a deep breath. “When Sandra called me a meanie and my other friends told me it wasn’t true, it made me feel good.”
Whether they knew it or not, our children were learning a form of St. Ignatius’ Daily Examen.
According to IgnatianSpirituality.com, “The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice that helps us see God’s hand at work in our lives in real and tangible ways.” St. Ignatius required his monks to do it every day.
It has many versions, including this one:
•Ask God for Divine Insight.
•Review your day.
•Face your shortcomings.
•Ask God to send his grace for the day to come.
(Discover more variations of the Examen by clicking this link: IgnatianSpirituality).
While many like a structured approach to the Examen, others find it confining. It throws them back into their heads and kicks them out of their hearts.
I’ve stuck with my wife’s simple question for my nightly check-in: “Where did I experience God’s love today?”
That question touches my emotions. It opens my heart. It fills me with gratitude. It’s become the evening warm fuzzy I need to recall how we’re surrounded by the Divine Embrace in so many ways.
How about trying a similar practice at the end of your day? Before you go to sleep, find your warm fuzzy by asking yourself, “Where did I experience God’s love today?”
—brian j plachta