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Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts Hardcover – January 5, 2016
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Sara never stopped choosing joy--and her life never stops inspiring me to do the same.
―Ann Voskamp, author of New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts
Sara was one of the kindest, most generous souls I've ever known...This book [is] chock-full of her spunk, zest, and grace-filled wisdom.―Lysa TerKeurst, author of New York Times best seller, Made to Crave
[Sara's] story only grew louder, bolder, braver with her death. It's a story that we all need to keep hearing.―Lisa-Jo Baker, bestselling author of Surprised by Motherhood
[Sara's] words, faith, and joy still echo in my heart...All of us need Sara's message of resilience and hope in a hard world.―Holley Gerth, bestselling author of You're Going to Be Okay
This isn't a story about dying. It's a story about living.―Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
SARA FRANKL entered into the arms of Jesus on September 24, 2011, but her legacy of Choosing Joy lives on. Sara's writing tells about her commitment to embracing the life God had planned. Her illness stripped her of the potential for a job and family, but that didn't stop Sara from chasing down community. You can read Sara's story on her blog, www.gitzengirl.blogspot.com. To assist in continuing Sara's discipleship, visit www.choosejoyfoundation.com.
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Over the following couple of years, I was diagnosed and both of us experienced worsening pain and quality of life. There were many nights of severe pain, when I would lie awake in bed and re-read her blog posts. Sara was one of two bloggers living with severe health problems and pain that inspired me to adopt an attitude of joy, gratitude and positivity. I credit Sara with showing me how to live life with a debilitating, painful health condition with no cure. Joy has been as much a part of my toolkit as any treatment program. I firmly believe that without knowing Sara and reading her blog, my life with AS wouldn’t have been as manageable as it has been.
Sara passed away from complications in 2011 and I grieved along with so many others who knew her. A light went out when she died, but her candle of joy had lit so many others’ that her legacy has created a glow that burns brightly still.
That’s why I was so thrilled when I heard that Mary Carver, another of Sara’s blogging friends, was working with Sara’s family to put together a book of Sara’s writings. It was titled in tribute to Sara’s motto: Choose Joy! I know this book will help continue to spread Sara’s remarkable legacy of choosing joy.
I have no words to express how thankful I am to Mary for putting this book together. Putting Sara’s blog posts into book form, while not taking over the spotlight, must have been no easy task, but Mary masterfully pieced her own thoughts, explanations, and transitions together with Sara’s words in a way that only highlights Sara’s writing voice.
I was privileged to be part of the Choose Joy Book Launch Team and receive a copy of Choose Joy to read in advance.
Faith was a big part of Sara’s life and outlook, and as such, references to Heaven, God, and an eternal perspective are woven throughout Sara’s book. Whether you are religious or not, I think reading Choose Joy can be a deeply life-altering experience that will leave the reader thoughtful for some time to come.
Although Sara’s circumstances were extreme, I believe anyone going through challenging things (be it illness, pain, isolation, loneliness, or loss) will benefit from Sara’s words.
You may very well find your perspective changed for the better from reading this book.
Throughout that time, every "normal" aspect of her life was slowly stripped away as her body grew weaker and the pain increased. But something else was increasing throughout those years...Sara's trust in God which resulted in Sara exuding this fantastically beautiful spirit of joy.
Through her blog, when she was still with us, and now through this book, she gently takes us by the hand and shows us how to find the "joy (that )is hidden in the cracks, in the unforeseen places God builds into our hardest times".
I can not come close to explaining the impact of Sara's life- her words. I can only tell you that I've ordered (pre-ordered) books for all my reading family members and friends. (For the non-readers, I'm going to suggest the Audible version)And I wish I could send every single one of you a copy.
Here's to learning from Sara's beautiful life, how better to live our own~
(I was given this book before the release date for review...but I've since ordered 3 more and I'm about to send another 3 to friends-)
As you grew older, did those dreams of yours change or did they remain the same?
What expectations did you/do you have for your life? Your relationships? Your career? Your health? Your future?
But what if those dreams never happen? Then what?
“I have no career, no husband and kids, no financial security, and no potential to change any of those things. And I’ve never been more at peace in my entire life. I’ve discovered that when everything is taken away, when nothing is left but the core of who you are, that’s when you have to make a choice.”-Sara Frankl
I read a lot of books and every so often, I come across one that truly amazes me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a lot of great books but most recently, I read one that I believe EVERY ONE should read at some point (hopefully sooner than later). It’s THAT good, THAT inspiring, THAT impactful. And it’s by someone you’ve probably never heard of before.
If you’re a student wondering what’s next, please read this book.
If you’ve just entered the working world, please read this book.
If you’re at a cross roads in your life, please read this book.
If you’re single, please read this book.
If you’re married, please read this book.
If you don’t have kids, please read this book.
If you do have kids, please read this book.
If you no dreams for your life, please read this book.
If you have BIG dreams for your life, please read this book.
If you feel like life’s been really sucky lately, please read this book.
If you feel like life can’t get any better, please read this book.
If you are a big wig with a fancy title, fancy car, and nice fat bank account, please read this book.
If you have no title, no car, and very little in your bank account, please read this book.
By now you might be wondering what book exactly am I talking about.
Title: Choose Joy-Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts
Authors: Sara Frankl & Mary Carver
Sara Frankl had every reason to have a daily pity party. She had big dreams for her life and many of the things she dreamed of didn’t happen. Diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, she lived with chronic pain for almost two decades before taking her first breath in heaven at the age of thirty-eight. While her physical body was wasting away, her spirit remained strong. It doesn’t mean she didn’t have bad days. There were indeed tough moments and it would have been so easy for Sara to focus on everything that she couldn’t do, didn’t have, and would never be able to experience. But she chose a different way. She chose joy. She chose joy in the tough moments, in the seemingly unfair moments, and in the moments that appeared ordinary to every one else.
“Choose Joy” is a collection of life lessons Sara learned through her journey. It’s a beautiful life letter to you and I with introductions of each topic by Mary followed by Sara’s thoughts, reflections, and insight. If you think this book is just for chicks, you are most certainly mistaken. This book is for every one and I mean EVERY ONE (with the exception of children). It’s a book that will feed your soul and light a fire in your spirit. It’s a book that sheds light to the dark things in life (like pain, suffering, and unfair situations). It’s a book that invites and challenges you and I to CHOOSE Joy every day. No Matter What. And it’s an invite from a girl who lived, loved, and lead…by example.
"I have always believed that once you know better, you can't pretend to be ignorant anymore."-Sara Frankl