#Firstwords Review: Choose Joy by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver

{I had the pleasure of receiving this book for the purposes of reading and review. All opinions expressed are my own..enjoy:)}

When I was offered the opportunity to this book, I really had no idea what I was saying yes to. Choose Joy is a perspective and heart changer indeed.

Choose Joy (as described at FaithWords.com):

A young woman who knows she is dying of a terminal disease shares a summation of everything she comes to believe about life and death. 

What would you do if you were going to die soon? What wisdom would you impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance? Sara Frankl’s eventual death was indeed tragic, but the vignettes she presents are unforgettable. CHOOSE JOY is a must-have for those searching for meaning and beauty in a world full of tragedy. Her words breathe with vitality and life, and her stories will inspire smiles, tears, and the desire to “choose joy.” Readers will find themselves contemplating what really matters and move to reassess their day-to-day perspective on life.

I can’t (and won’t try) to describe it any better than that. Choose Joy is an exquisite quilt of Sara’s life in her own words, stitched together by her good friend Mary Carver. I/we get glimpses and snapshots of who Sara is as a person and how she loved those around her so deeply and in profound ways. She loved Jesus, and knew with absolute assurance that His love for her was great.

I was struck by the by Sara’s determination to be others-minded, even from the foreword and introduction. It could have been about her and the intense suffering that she dealt with daily, but instead she chose to be grateful for her life, the rich company of family and friends that she had, and to God, who walked with her through it all.

I had the honor of being on a Google Hangout with Mary Carver before I read the book. I knew immediately as I listened that she and Sara shared a deep friendship, borne out of the early days of being bloggers on the internet together.  I also thought that Choose Joy would be a difficult read because it does deal intimately with suffering and ultimately the loss of Sara. However, while the book is authentic and doesn’t hide what Sara went through, it is uplifting and encouraging as well. You can see the joys that she experienced side by side with the pain, and you feel the impact that she had (and still has on others). I love that Mary includes a section of color photos of Sara and her friends and family in the middle of the book…I connected with her life even more because of them. This was a woman who was warm and caring and who CHOSE  to see her life through a different lens and give God praise for what she did have.

I do encourage you to grab a copy of Choose Joy and read it for yourself..it will bless your life. In summary, I leave you with this quote from the book:

Sara continued to live well. To love deeply. To trust God unswervingly. She continued to choose joy. To love Jesus passionately. And to run her race well…all the way to the end.

May we choose joy, live well and trust God also,





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