Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fight Back With Joy. Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears.

As this is a personal review I didn't feel obligated to stay within the 200-300 word count. LOL

"What if joy is better than you imagined? The cherished virtue has been wrapped in clichés, stamped on coffee mugs, and sewn onto decorative pillows. Fight Back With Joy declares that joy is more than whimsy but a weapon we can use to fight life's greatest battles."

I saw FightBack With Joy by Margaret Feinberg recommended for one who is battling breast cancer. I ordered the book with the intent to give it to a friend.  It arrived this week. I randomly flipped the pages and read this quote, "Practicing defiant joy is the declaration that the darkness does not and will not win. When we fight back with joy, we embrace a reality that is more real than what we're enduring and we awake to the deepest reality of our identity as beloved, joyful children of God."  This quote resonated with me on several levels, in regards to several situations (and yes, I understand some of you think it is poor word choice. ::wink:: but for ME - it resonates).
God has persistently written the word "joy" on my heart for the past 10 years....He's used joy to transform me. I have learned much and have much more to learn. I couldn't put this book down and have read it cover to cover.  I loved the insights Margaret gained about joy as she battled cancer. Joy was her "word" for the year and then she received the diagnosis of breast cancer....and began to learn that joy is much deeper than she expected and can be a weapon. Excellent truths to explore.
Margaret mentions those who "leave" when you are in the middle of a battle and those who "stay."  Of those who "stay," some wreak havoc. She shared four categories of those who stayed and wreaked havoc: projectors (attempt to turn every crisis into their crisis), pretenders (looking for the latest scoop), predators (harvest others hardship for their gain) and pain inflictors (hurt with cruel or cold comments). Whew....may we always be ones who stay and bless and not fall into these  often well-intentioned categories.
Included in the book are lists of "5 Things to Say When You Don't Know What to Say,"  "8 Things Those Facing Crisis Can't Tell You,"6 Lessons I Learned from Crisis," and a letter from Leif, Margaret's husband about walking through these sorts of crisis' with a spouse.  There is also a "play list" to accompany each chapter. Very helpful info.
Margaret is real about her journey.  I learned more about chemo than I really wanted to know. I really am not SURE if this is a book to give to all who struggle with cancer. I know it's a great book for all to read who are facing various trials.  There were times I thought this would be a great gift for my friend and times I wanted to throw the book across the room as it made me ache and fear for my friend. In the end, I'm giving the book to her mom to read and decide what SHE thinks.
The only other criticism I had for this book is Margaret continues the recently trendy practice of quoting Scripture without providing a Scriptural reference.  Yes, this bugs me. I saw years ago the trend moved to quoting and  leaving a footnote to the reference. I've read several books recently by trendy authors who no longer even foot note. Sure I can look up references with a concordance, but I think the practice is a bad one as many won't look up references...I find this a slippery slope....but this book is good enough I'd still recommend it. LOL
I did NOT receive this book free from the publishers. ::wink::