Choose Joy: Book Review

Getting to know Sara through her blog changed my life. We were both bloggers in our 30s when we met in 2009. I was captivated by her bouncy red curls and her infectious spirit. Faith was another thread that wove us together. At the time, Sara was living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory disease that attacks the spine and joints, and I was being tested for it. She was gracious to reach out to me during that time. 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 knew this book would 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.
Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver releases next week, Tuesday, January 5, 2016 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers. You can pre-order the Hardcover or Kindle versions on Amazon now here.

For more information on the book, you can go to the
Choose Joy Book site.



I've been silent for far too long on this blog. 2014 was a year of crisis for our family. It's a very long story, and I don't have the heart to tell it at this time, but we are well now, and spending 2015 rebuilding and becoming Stronger (my word for 2015). 

I'm learning to live my best life with a couple of new diagnoses. But I am being completely honest when I tell you I'm doing better than I've been in years. And I'm so grateful. I've been wanting to write again and I have some really exciting things to share, but first I had to construct a little bridge from where I left my blog in early 2014 (before the bottom dropped out of my life) to now. If you're still subscribed after all this time, thank you for sticking around.

I'll be back soon with new content that reflects my Stronger, joy-filled, artistic adventures of late. 

If you're in a dark place right now, I'd love to encourage you that this is just one chapter of your life. Things can look so dark and bleak and you may think that your life is ending. Please hang on and know that a new chapter is coming. And it may just be the best one yet. The one you will look back and remember as a favorite. You're writing your story, and it's not over. Adventures await! 
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