Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Choose Joy and a giveaway!


It might be my favorite gift of the holiday season.  Sara's book is being released January 5th-today!  I was lucky enough to be a part of the "launch team." Since we had a  PDF file of the book sent to us, imagine my utter delight in opening a package with Sara's and Mary's book inside!  



Sara blogged at Gitzen Girl starting 2008.  We were blogging buds from the start- and soul sisters shortly thereafter.  As my friend Robin, at All Things Heart and Home, so succinctly says in her post...

"Sara, a beautiful vibrant young woman, developed a rare autoimmune disease in her twenty’s and suffered with ever increasing and debilitating pain for nearly 20 years...  But something else was increasing throughout those years…Sara’s trust in God which resulted in Sara exuding this fantastically beautiful spirit of joy."  So well said, Robin!  If you want another beautiful perspective and a chance to win a copy of the book you should visit Robin today! 

It was months after my stage iv breast cancer diagnosis that our sweet Gitz went to her heavenly home, in 2011.  But first she took the time to breathe as much life into me, through her faith and joy filled words, on a "virtual couch," on facebook, she made for Robin and I too "sit" and talk with each other.

I brought the book to chemo and dove right in.  But it wasn't until this weekend that I truly squirreled myself away in quiet and found myself dog-earring pages.  Then underlining in pink.  Then writing notes in the margins.  Soaking it in, cherishing her words, embracing her keen insight and shedding fresh tears for how close her words make her feel to me.  That urge is ever present to fling out a text,  pound out an email, or pick up the phone and call.  Yet a part of me knows, shes here, close by, with the flush of her wings stirring the air every now and again.

As I sat thinking about her life, her lessons, and how she mentored me to live with a terminal diagnosis, long before I knew I would need it, I had also been looking for my new word for the year 2016.  



As I sat re-reading the passages I had underlined, I saw a theme keep showing up.  Two words.  And choose was always a part of them.  And while joy was often the second one, many other words were used as well.  Trust, hope, faith, gratitude, purpose, God, etc.

Then on page 27 she talks about the last time she went outside.  She'd gone to visit her doctor for what would be the last time.  And knowing her body would react in a harsh way to the air and allergens outside, she came back to the condo and relished a few minutes with her mom and dad on the patio.  

"A lot of things aren't going right because I left the house on Thursday.  But I choose the joy.  I choose the conversation, the relationships, the breeze and the sunshine.  And I especially choose the French fries."

That's our Sara!  And that's why I am choosing the word "choose," in honor of her.  I pray that "joy" is my go to word.  As she so wisely says "I choose the joy. When something is going badly and I'm dwelling on it, I think instead of something for which I am grateful for.  I swear to you, it's as simple as that.  You just have to decide today, and again tomorrow.  And before you know it, you'll have an attitude of joy more than any other attitude you have at your disposal."





I hope all of you will get a chance to choose Sara's book= Choose Joy.  You may even find a few words in it from a friend of Sara's named, *cough* Vicky!  I knew of one of the parts, but to turn the page and suddenly see my name and one of the many, many questions I posed to her... humbled and honored to say the least.

So just in case you can't get your copy just now- In honor of our sweet Sara, I'd like to give one copy away!  
Please leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner at 5 pm on Thursday night through random.org with winner announced at a later date!  

I'm off to see Dr. Panwalkar today with results from my PET scan.  Then off to chemo infusion for the afternoon, hopefully wrapping up in time for Nolan's hockey games tonight.  

Its a blessed day- I pray you all decide to "choose," to live it to its fullest today! 












35 comments:

  1. "Choosing" YOU for my best friend...the best choice I have ever made or likely will ever make....I choose you each and every day to be my bestie, and that brings me joy! Thinking about you every day...but especially right now at this moment...wishing I was there and knowing you know I am with you....:-)

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  2. Great post - great words and the book looks wonderful!

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  3. Oh Vicky so glad to see this. I was praying for you yesterday. You are quite amazing! God is faithful!

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  4. Oh, how I miss her and her rich way of keeping us focused and positive in spite of anything and everything. Thank you for posting this, friend. What a treasure she was and Heaven is richer.

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  5. Beautiful Vicky! I love the take away with the word: Choose! It's to the point and hits home...I. Can. Choose. (giving me something to think about my friend xo) sending love and saying prayers xo

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  6. God blesses all of us through you and the thoughts you share with us. He says ask and we shall receive. Choosing is asking... because it is faith that the thing we choose will be made manifest. Because we believe, we are assured He will answer. We are not alone.

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  7. It was Gitz' blog that brought me to your blog. From there, I learned so much through both of you. "Choose joy," it makes me smile just to type it. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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  8. Oh, I love this.... What an amazing day! So thankful for this book birthed into the world. Absolutely life changing. <3 One of the amazing gifts Sara gave so many of us was friendships with each other. She brought people together. You're one of my gifts that I received from Sara. Much love to you today, Vicky!

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  9. What a perfect word. Mine is HOPE. I am struggling with the violence and anger in this world and am "choosing" to be hopeful.
    Best wishes and prayers to you.

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  10. Hi my dear friend!
    Oh... just to see a picture of Sara and her handwriting! A true rush of memories. I LOVED reading her blog and her constant inspiration in finding JOY in very hard, hard places. I miss her so. Loved her wisdom, her magnificent calligraphy, her attitude, her spirit of perseverance and most of all how her life pointed to her heavenly Father. I remember so well when, as a surprise, her family did a makeover at her apartment.

    LOVE your word of the year, sweet Vicky. "Choose"... so PERFECT!
    I've been keeping you in my prayers for your meeting with Dr. P and the PET scan results. You are dearly loved!

    Always...To the moon and back!
    Linda

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  11. I think we should all remember to choose Joy. This book sounds like a good one to read.

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  12. I've read every word of Sara's blog, and can't wait to read this book!

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  13. Blessings to you Vicky. When you and I found each others blogs way back when, I remember Gitz's blog and how it impacted your life. I'm so excited for this book. I'm thinking of you Vicky.

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  14. First of all I LOVE the wallpaper on your blog. Amazing and wonderful. Also I pray for you often, even had nights when I woke up and 'your doctor's name' would come to my mind. Hope you are feeling better and hope this year will be a good year for you.

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  15. So excited for this book. Love your word for 2016!

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  16. This sounds like an absolutely amazing book; I really do want to read it.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  17. How I miss our Gitzen Girl and her words of joy. I actually think that is how I found your blog Vicky. I am so excited for this book.
    Praying for a healthy 2016 for you!

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  18. It looks like a great book with a beautiful message. Hope you are feeling well.

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  19. Beautiful. Wonderful. Life gives us a terminal diagnosis from the start, but what you and your friends have done with this is a renewable lesson. Love. Love. Love to you all!

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  20. Hope you are having a better day.Praying for you, and choosing to trust things will work out.

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  21. I'm not sure which one of you I found first, but I know both of you have added much richness to my life.

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  22. Choosing "YES." Choosing "Gratitude." Choosing "Feel the fear and do it anyway." Choosing "JOY." And always love. Love to you, Vicki!

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  23. Sweet Vicky—I too found you through Gitz’s blog. I was always amazed at how much her posts could encourage ME when she was dealing with so much, and had been for so long. Amazing faith and spirit she had. I only found her shortly before she passed. I didn’t know how close you all were and for how long. Wow.
    You, dear Vicky, also encourage me with your amazing faith and spirit as you deal with so much too. It was also neat to see Lysa TerKeurst’s review on the front of Gitz’s book. Our Ladies Bible study group did one of her Bible studies and it was so good. Small world in so many ways—so many good ways. It’s amazing how God connects people—He is ever speaking to us in many ways.

    You have been in my prayers, as always, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip to NY and how the Lord blessed you there and you in turn were a blessing to many. I’d love to win a copy of this book, but will be purchasing one anyway, and probably several to give away.
    Love and ((hugs))

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  24. You have it just right.....choose joy today, and again tomorrow, and then again the day after that. It's the only way. Hugs, Vicky.

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  25. That is such fun news! I've been waiting for that book to come out!!! Yesterday was oral surgery and today was a hospital visit to plan a biopsy that will be happening in a few weeks. Someone told me yesterday morning that my theme this year seemed to be courage. I think I like "choose courage" even better. When we put "choose" with another word, it's amazing what beauty and power comes out of it! Thank you for this post. You've got me thinking and planning all the things I get to choose. =) (And you also have me grinning, which is actually a bad thing since my mouth still hurts. But thanks for making my heart want to grin anyway!)

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  26. I honestly can't remember how I found your blog. I love reading your posts. JOY!
    Lynda in Michigan

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  27. Oh my heavens Vicky, I'm so glad I came to your blog today! It's 4:28 as I'm typing this. I hope I'm not too late. I know how much Sara meant to you and how much this books means to you. I would absolutely love to win that copy. But if not, I will find a way to get one into my hands somehow. It's a beautiful cover. I know she gave you much strength and will continue to change lives. Beautiful! XOXO By the way, I love CHOOSE. It's very determined and active and moving and confident.

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  28. I am glad Sara was able to speak to you throughout your treatment. I have been following her too all those years. What a gift (to her family) that she is still making a difference here on earth, truly alive!!

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  29. I pray for you and your family often! Rejoicing with you, as you (and I) choose joy. :-)

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  30. I found your blog because of Sara having mentioned it and asking for prayer for you. Her book is on my list of books to read this year. :)

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  31. I have been a part of many different fabulous giveaways, and this one is not different. Sara's book looks to be a fabulous read and I would love to get my hands on a copy of this book. This book looks to be inspirational for anyone going through tough times in their lives, which we all do from time to time.

    Lucius Cambell @ Skild

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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