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Rosemary Bogdan reviews Tama Fortner's upcoming devotional, Everyday Joys: 40 Days of Reflecting on the Intersection of Ordinary and Divine.

Busy moms are limited in how much time they have available for prayer and devotions. That’s how books like Tama Fortner’s soon to be released (January 30, 2024) Everyday Joys: 40 Days of Reflecting on the Intersection of Ordinary and Divine can be very helpful. 




Tama Fortner is an award-winning Christian author of inspirational books. While divided into meditations of 40 days, Everyday Joys is not a Lenten meditation, although it could certainly be used during Lent. Any 40-day interval would do.  

Each day opens with a Scripture quote followed by a short real-life meditation. By real-life I mean the kind of meditation that can make a mom smile. For example, in the entry where Tama Fortner discusses days that may be short on joy, she talks of creating her own joy by blowing bubbles. Yes, children’s bubbles.   

Why bubbles? Because they never fail to make me smile. And because they never fail to make me ponder once again the questions of childhood. Why are bubbles round? How do they float? Where do all the colors come from? The questions remind me that, while I may be the one sitting here blowing bubbles, it’s God who made the physics, or chemistry, or whatever it is that makes bubbles possible.


I can feel the moms smiling. Have we not all had days like that? 

After the meditation comes a prayer followed by a sentence to reflect on. Then there are two or three journaling questions with ample lines for answering. After the journaling there is a challenge for the day. For example, on the bubble day the challenge is, “Indulge in something that brings you delight. Create a bit of joy and thank God for the reason to smile.” I love it.  

Tama Fortner writes with humility and gentle self-deprecation. With her easy, conversational style, she seems like the kind of woman you’d like to sit down with and have a cup of coffee. She writes:  

I realize that the bulk of our lives was not in those big moments. It was in all the million little moments that happened in between. Like dancing in the kitchen and singing silly songs off-key. It was in the backyard games and movie nights snuggled up under blankets. It was even in the seemingly endless drives to and from school.”


The journaling question follows: “Why is it important to see God—to seek and share Him—in all the moments of life?” My answer would be because that’s where He is.   

Each day opens with a floral printed page on backgrounds of soft, muted colors. Like the words that follow, they are visually soothing and calming.

When the ground is muddy with tears or frozen with frustrations, when the storm clouds roll in, when God is hard to see ... these are the times when the place I’m standing doesn’t feel like holy ground.  

And yet it is.


And the question on which to reflect: “God always fixes. Sometimes He fixes the situation, but more often He fixes us.” Yes, we find the divine in the ordinary.   

This devotional is not written from a Catholic perspective. But nothing in Everyday Joys contradicts the beliefs Catholics hold. There may be some differences in vocabulary and phraseology but that’s all.  

The final section of this comforting book includes a page for prayers offered and a page for prayers answered, each with 15 or so blank lines. These are followed by two pages of “MY OWN EVERYDAY JOYS.”  

Not overwhelming in its assignments, Everyday Joys by Tama Fortner could benefit any Christian by helping us turn our hearts and minds to God’s presence and purpose in every aspect of our lives. I recommend it, especially for those with busy schedules. We all need to be reminded that God cares about the number of hairs on our heads and every other seemingly little thing. He is present in all that we do. Blessed be God. 



Copyright 2024 Rosemary Bogdan
Images: Canva