Kay Warren’s New Book Inspires with Message to Choose Joy
By Alanna Klapp
If you feel like things are well in your life, do you wonder with fear when it will change? In Kay Warren’s new book, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, she shows you why you’re meant for deep joy that satisfies and lasts as a way of life. Warren, the wife of Pastor Rick Warren and cofounder of Saddleback Church in California, says there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is about outside events, such as a new job, a new boyfriend, or a new baby. “But those external events are temporary,” Warren says. “They can disappear as quickly as they came.” Or your hopes for joy are crushed when the hard times come, for example, when you lose your job or a loved one.
By contrast, joy is internal and not dependent on fragile hopes in people, places, possessions, position, or personality. “Joy is about God,” Warren says. “It’s about something and someone who cannot be taken from us. He’s not temporary, and He cannot be shaken.”
The theme statement of the book is an affirmation to carry in your heart for those painful hard times: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.” In her warm, friendly style, Kay shares practical actions and steps you can take to change your outlook and choose a life of joy, even if you’re not a happy, peppy person by nature.
One way to change your viewpoint is to embrace the fact that joy and sorrow are part of your daily life, rather than thinking of it as hills and valleys or high and low points. The analogy Warren uses throughout the book is to compare life to a parallel set of train tracks. One track is sorrow, the other is joy, and they run together. “There’s no way to just live on the joy track or just live on the sorrow track,” Warren says. “Even in joy there’s sorrow, and even in sorrow there’s joy.” When you recognize that, it gives you a different perspective on life.
Warren weaves ways to learn how to choose joy in your daily life with examples from her own struggles as a breast and skin cancer survivor and as someone with low-level depression. Honest, engaging, and inspiring, Choose Joy is a book you’ll want to highlight, bookmark, and use as a resource when you need some reassurance in the dark.
Alanna Klapp is a freelance writer and regular contributor for Hope for Women Magazine. Her articles have been published in Profiles in Diversity Journal, The Suburbanite, and the Cuyahoga Falls Patch. She blogs at The Chipper Writer (www.alannaklapp.com) and contributes to the Cleveland Browns blog Bitter Orange and Brown (www.bitterorangeandbrown.com).