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Book Review: “Choosing Joy: A 52 Week Devotional for Discovering True Happiness” by Angela T. Pharr

I know it’s only November but it’s not too early to think about what devotional you want to journey through next year and this one is definitely a great option. When I originally chose this at the end of 2022, I was not feeling the most joyful. Actually, I was feeling pretty miserable… physically, emotionally and even spiritually, if I’m honest. I was facing unknown health challenges that left me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I was having challenges at work, in several relationships and even with practical strangers. Truthfully, I felt disappointed in the way my prayers were being answered and a bit confused on if I had “heard the Lord” correctly. Joy was not on my radar which is exactly why this book fell in my lap.

In the midst of one of the worst weeks of 2022, maybe the worst, I had a women’s ministry event that included Angela Thomas Pharr. Her story encouraged my heart in a most needed way that weekend and led me to do a deep dive into her books, many of which I read and reviewed here. It was in my searching that I found this devotional but didn’t really consider it because honestly, I didn’t want to read about joy when I felt so sad and overwhelmed… I surely didn’t want to CHOOSE joy…

However, as the fall turned into winter I realized that the Lord had very firmly chosen “expectation” as my word of the year and that expectation was for the future, His promises and yes, joy, so back to my Amazon list I went with a bit of skepticism but a clear directive. My 2023 was going to be filled with expectation from the Father and the intentional choice of joy. (Let’s not even get into the irony of my 2022 word of the year being intentional. Of course this was all coming together in the midst of my crisis.)

Let me tell you, I have loved every week with this book. It is written for the heart of a busy woman from the heart of a busy woman. She understands that joy isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. She understands that joy is often pushed aside for the emotions we feel and she doesn’t chastise you for that failure. The book focuses on a different joy topic each week with a short little devotional for each day. This isn’t some mushy, gushy life is great book, either. She talks about grief, obedience, sorrow, serving, bitterness, waiting, storms and more.

Overall, this has been a blessed reminder of the hope and joy we all have access to, even on those days when it doesn’t feel like truth.

***Please Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn commission from qualifying purchases. ***


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