When you were little, what did you dream of becoming? What did you want your life to look like?
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. I didn’t want to put it down. 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.
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 didn’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 her dear friend Mary Carver 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 for the things that truly matter. It’s a book that sheds light on 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
As you can tell by the photos below, this book had many golden nuggets…a sign of a good book in my world.
Sara’s Keys to Joy:
“But the reason I am happy is that I choose to look at my blessings more than my burdens.”-Sara Frankl
“Joy is the unwavering trust that God knows that He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it-not despite what’s happening in my life, but because of it.”-Sara Frankl
“Sometimes we get lucky and joy just knocks us upside the head. It’s cozy and comforting and we sometimes take for granted that it will always be available and waiting for us at the end of a hard day. But more often than not, joy is hidden in the cracks, in the unforeseen places God builds into our hardest times.”-Sara Frankl
I made a decision a long time ago that I was going to choose joy. I even painted a big rectangle on my wall and printed it in big letters so I wouldn’t forget to make that choice every day. The major word in that rectangle isn’t joy; it’s CHOOSE. It’s looking around me when life is difficult and trading every complaint I have for something beautiful in my life that far outweighs it. I know, it’s that Pollyanna thing again, but living joyful beats cynical any day of the week.-Sara Frankl
Why Worry is a Waste of Time:
“Because, like it or not, we have no control over most things in life. Most things are going to happen whether we worry about them or not. Most things can’t be handled ahead of time, but are only able to be dealt with in the moment. Most of our free time is wasted trying to make something happen that can’t, or trying to avoid something happening that’s inevitable.”-Sara Frankl
Faith. Hope. Love.
Emotionally, a hole can be dug inside us so deep that it seems everything good has been excavated from our lives. We all have different ways that happens. /…./You may have lost someone you’ve loved or found yourself in situations you never dreamed of facing. A pit is dug-and despair is the first visitor that wants to knock at your door.
It’s in those moments that I pray for God to get me out of His way. It’s in those moments that I stop praying for what I want and start praying for Him to change my heart for what He wants. I trust Him completely. That doesn’t change my physical pain. It doesn’t change the loss. It doesn’t improve my earthly situation. But it does change the suffering.-Sara Frankl
I’m learning how to fully live right in the middle of the hard, in the here and known, because if this is my life, if this is where I am-then this is where God is, too. And if I’m wasting all of my time and energy trying to control the unknown of the future rather than fulfilling what He may need from me right now, then I’m wasting God’s time as well. It all boils down to this: none of it is unknown to Him.-Sara Frankl