Fight Back With Joy

I received this book to review from Worthy Publishing. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Sometimes a book just falls into your lap at just the right time and speaks right to what you are going through at that moment. That’s exactly what happened with Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg.

IMG_6626

As you might recall, I chose the word JOY as my word of the year for 2015. I chose it reluctantly, but can see countless reasons in these first five months of the year why God led me to that word. When I heard about Fight Back With Joy, I knew I needed to read this perspective on joy – and I was overwhelmed by what God taught me through Margaret’s words.

I should tell you first that we’ve had a somewhat turbulent first half of 2015. Plans were made and then turned upside down and we were just along for the bumpy ride. I believe this is why God chose JOY as my word of the year. And it’s also why He had me pick up Margaret’s book.

From the very first words, as Margaret also describes reluctantly choosing the word joy, I knew I would relate and learn from this book. I wrote about what joy really is in my post earlier this year, but I stand by her assertion in the intro:

“Many people live joyless lives because they don’t understand what joy is, what joy does, how to discover joy, and what to do with it once they find it.”

Margaret’s experience with joy was so relatable to me, but our battles have been very different. Fight Back With Joy walks us as readers through her battle with cancer and how she used joy as a weapon to fight off everything negative that came her way. It is extremely poignant, vulnerable, raw…all pointing back to God, the source of all joy.

“Joy emanates from the abiding sense of God’s fierce love for us.”

I think I have half the book underlined because Margaret’s words spoke to me SO much, but there was one chapter in particular that jumped out and grabbed hold of my heart.

Earlier this year, I shared our Bible verse of the year and why I thought God had spoken this verse to me. I was so wrong, not about the verse, but about the meaning. Our change in plans this spring means we won’t be moving to the small town by the river. I couldn’t understand what God meant for that verse in our life, hanging in our living room, until I read Chapter 8 in Fight Back With Joy.

If you weren’t with us at the beginning of the year, our verse of the year as a family was:

“They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.” -Isaiah 49:10

In Chapter 8, Margaret shares a story from the Bible I didn’t know very well about Caleb’s daughter, Achsah. There comes a point where she is newly married and living in a desert – an actual, physical desert. Instead of wallowing about her dry, awful living conditions, she boldly approaches her father and asks that he give them springs of water. And he grants her request.

When I read those three words – “springs of water” – a chill went through my body and I perked up to see where God was leading this train of thought. Turns out the train was going right where I needed it to go, to this statement…

“In the desert of despair, springs of water unlock reservoirs of joy.”

Our springs of water are usually not physical water. They weren’t for Margaret and they weren’t for me. The springs of water she experienced and the ones I have found are so much more life-giving.

“Achsah’s story serves as a reminder that we can petition God for sweet water when circumstances make us feel like we’re sucking sand. In those moments, we can ask for special favor and expect God to work in powerful ways.”

This chapter prompted me to ask and I fully received new blessings from God in the midst of our desert. Springs of water – and joy – were found in new opportunities, deepening friendships, moments celebrated together.

“A prayer for springs in the desert is a request to discover the fullness of life even when facing trouble and difficulty.”

That fullness of life, when found in Christ, is what joy is all about. God used this book in powerful way to lead me to those springs of water, and they have been filling me with joy ever since.

No matter where life has you right now – in a season of drought or abundance – you will find inspiration in Margaret’s words.

I really want to give every single one of you a copy of Fight Back With Joy. I can’t quite afford that, but I am giving away three copies thanks to Worthy Publishing!

To enter, tell me something that has brought you joy in the past week! For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway and come back to tell me you did in a separate comment! This giveaway is open until Monday, June 1st at 9PM CDT!

[Tweet “I entered to win 1 of 3 copies of Fight Back with Joy by @mafeinberg from @WorthyPub!”]

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

My Beautiful One Word Reminder {Giveaway}

I’m needing constant reminders to choose and cling to joy this year. I’ve added the word in various parts of our home decor. I left out a JOY pillow we usually only have out at Christmas time. And my friend Kashoan sent me this beautiful reminder to carry with me everywhere I go…

One Word 2015 Necklace

There really is a difference for me when that word is right there, all the time, reminding what God spoke into my heart when He gave me this word for 2015.

The necklace itself isn’t heavy, but it’s presence is. This necklace has a presence that reminds me of where my joy comes from – my ever-present God who never changes, never leaves me, never stops loving me, and never stops offering His joy for me to choose.

One Word 2015 Necklace 2

My joy necklace is even more special because I know it was made with love by a friend. Every piece I have ever received from KraftyKash has been perfection. I love this family business and their dedication to making unique pieces to bless people.

Have you picked your “one word” for 2015? Would you love to wear it around your neck? KraftyKash is having a sale on One Word dictionary necklaces through the end of January – they are just $22! And you can add a charm like the heart on mine for just $3!

Just for fun, let’s give away TWO One Word necklaces today! Just tell me in the comments what your word is to be entered! I will choose two random winners Sunday night, January 25th, at 9PM CST and notify them by email!

Thank you to KraftyKash for this wonderful giveaway and my gorgeous necklace! You are a gift!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

My “Joy” Book List for 2015

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

In an effort to fully embrace my word of the year for 2015, I’ve been thinking of ways to keep my mind focused on joy. Smiling more, laughing more, singing + dancing more, praising more, and reading more.

Yes, reading brings me joy, but I wanted to be even more intentional about reading books that make me smile. Coincidentally, I received a couple of memoirs written by funny ladies for Christmas and that was the start of my “joy” book list for 2015! And since joy comes in all shapes and sizes, this list will be very eclectic!

These books aren’t the only books I’m reading this year, but I’ll always have one of these books going throughout the year. And if you have books that would fit well on this list for me to add, please tell me in the comments!

JOY

My “Joy” Book List for 2015

Bossypants by Tina Fey – I’ve already started on this one and laughed until I cried several times. It is Tina Fey humor in print and I’m greatly enjoying it. {just a warning: if language bothers you, you might want to pass on this one}

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler – As soon as I’m done with Bossypants, I’m going to devour this. I’ve heard great things, and, well, Amy Poehler is just awesome.

In This House, We Will Giggle by Courtney DeFeo – This “joy” word is not just for me this year. I want joy to be what our whole family is about and I think Courtney’s book is just the inspiration I need! Also, I love the word giggle.

The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle – Melanie’s first book, Sparkly Green Earrings, had me laughing out loud while pondering motherhood’s joys and struggles. This one is about marriage and I can’t wait to dive in!

Moment Maker by Carlos Whittaker – Carlos is a riot on social media and I love this idea of really living your life. Joy comes in those moments where we really live, doesn’t it? This book is waiting patiently on my Kindle and I hope to get to it very soon.

Love, Skip, Jump by Shelene Bryan – That title just screams JOY! I started this book with the Influence Network last year but got sidetracked with the holidays, so I’ll be picking it back up this year.

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones {with the kids} – Sally Lloyd-Jones is just my favorite. We adore the Jesus Storybook Bible and How to Get a Job…by Me, the Boss has us in tears of laughter every time. I know this book won’t disappoint!

And that is not the end because I’ll keep adding your suggestions and other joyful books I discover throughout the year! So share away…

What books have made your smile and laugh recently?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

My Word of the Year for 2015!

Vitality. Celebrate. Simplify. Follow-Through. Priorities.

These were my last five choices for “word of the year” and I’m still loving each one of them. Focusing on one word per year really lets it sink in, you know?

The funny thing about my choice for this year is that this word has come up in my mind every other year but has ultimately been replaced by another word. It’s something that used to come a lot more naturally to me. I shouldn’t have to work for it, but it had lost its place of importance in my life over the last few years. And I really missed it.

My word of the year for 2015 is…

ErinMWordImageLarge

Thank you to Traci for this awesome graphic!

Joy. I’ve always loved the word, but it didn’t really mean anything until I knew what it meant through the eyes of faith.

Joy and happiness are not the same thing. The world may define them in a similar way, but joy is set apart in the Bible as completely different. Happiness is dependent on circumstances and feelings. Joy comes only from the Lord. And since the Lord is constant, our joy can be as well.

I want to be so consistently in the presence of my Savior in 2015 that I can’t help but feel joy no matter what comes my way. I want His joy to fill me up and spill out in to my home, on to my family, in my words and actions, in everything.

Living in constant joy doesn’t come easily, especially when you’ve become accustomed to wallowing and complaining. The first day of 2015 found me slipping back in to my old ways when kids were complaining and there was more cleaning than I would have preferred. But my word came back to me and, over the whining of one small child, I started singing at the top of my lungs…

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…

My husband joined in with an echo and we both laughed and the moment became lighter. Joy was there. It has always been there. It was just waiting for me to find it again.

In 2015, I will sing and laugh and praise and do whatever it takes to remain in the joy of the Lord that is always there! I waited to choose this word and God waited patiently for me to choose joy again. My heart is bursting as I think about living this year in joy!

Tell me about your word of the year! I would love to pray for you + what God will do with that word for you this year!

 

I’ve also chosen a Bible verse for 2015, but it has nothing to do with this word. I’ll be posting about it separately, but you can get a sneak peek of it over at Naptime Diaries because it is part of her Verse of the Year collection! Can you guess which one? Oh, and use code NEWYEAR2015 to get 20% off your order right now!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook