On the bookshelf: Choose Joy by Kay Warren

Joy doesn’t come naturally to most people. If left to our own devices, we whine, complain and deem it necessary to share our misery with others.

Joy, then, is a choice.

This is the theme Kay Warren explores in Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough. Weaving Biblical examples with personal stories, Kay reminds us that choosing joy comes long before the trials begin. It begins with recognizing that Jesus himself was a man who knew joy and continues with adopting a way of thinking that drinks deeply from the living water God himself offers. Finally, with this foundation firmly in place, joy is nurtured through our actions from internal actions to our interactions with others.

Written in a highly personal style, each chapter reads like a conversation over coffee with an old friend. It is encouraging to read about her journey to choosing joy. Too often, we think that joy comes easily to women like Kay. She’s married to a well-known, popular pastor of a megachurch. She’s a published author. She advocates for those suffering with AIDS and HIV. And, she has a loving family.

Yet, this self-described Eeyore reminds us that choosing joy is a journey framed by the choices we make every day. In a strange sense, it helps to know that even this role model would be annoyed and frustrated by something as simple as parking spaces.

Available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for providing me with a copy of the book to review!

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