Faith · One Word 2015 · Reviews

Choose Joy {Review}

Joy can be an elusive thing in this world. Can I get an amen?

It’s something fleeting, too often, dashing into our life and our again. And far too often, finding joy feels like a battle. One that’s hard-fought and ever-present. But fully worth it.

I recently read the book Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, and can I just say “wow”?

I suppose I should elaborate.


choose joy book

The last two years have been a trying time in my life, full of upheaval and unexpected struggles, and at times joy has been scarce. 2015 started out on uncertain footing, and I chose “hope” as my word for 2015, dedicated to seeking out hope despite my current circumstances. I didn’t know how it would turn out, but I knew I needed a little more hope in my world.

And it was a transformative year.

Finishing out the year by reading Choose Joy was a fitting way to end a year of hope, since the two go hand-in-hand. Seeking out hope…choosing to find joy…has incredible power.

This book is a beautiful mix of Sara Frankl’s writings and blog posts and Mary Carver’s beautiful commentaries. Sara lived the tagline, “finding hope and purpose when life hurts”, as she declined and eventually passed away from an autoimmune disease. Despite a long battle and facing more and more restrictions, Sara chose joy, which is evident in her writing.

Mary met Sara while she was battling her disease, and became a close friend during the most difficult parts of Sara’s journey through sickness. And she has cultivated the many posts written by Sara and crafted a beautiful story of Sara’s life and choice to cling to joy.


Choosing joy meant that no matter how difficult life became, it wouldn’t diminish Sara’s enthusiasm for life. And Sara shows that choosing joy means serving, gratitude, surrender, and always waking up and deciding to live the day well. While it isn’t always easy, joy is always the best choice.

We all need a reminder to choose joy, and so I recommend this book to you…because I’m sure you need help finding more joy too. Take these words of Sara and Mary and treasure them, letting them open your heart to finding joy, no matter what life brings.

Joy doesn’t necessarily diminish our pain and magically make things better. Yet it plants seeds of hope and centers our hearts, letting us dwell in a place of goodness, rather than a place of darkness and pain. Read Choose Joy, because our hearts can’t afford to choose anything else and make it through life whole.

And reading this book? It’s how you’ll start 2016 off on the right foot.



I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links were used in this post.


One thought on “Choose Joy {Review}

  1. Thanks for sharing this inspiring review, Jen! I’ve heard so many good things about this book. So glad it blessed and encouraged you! May 2016 be a joy-filled year for you, friend.

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