From the title I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but Tracie Miles takes the reader on a great journey to discover how to live life joyfully irrespective of the situation and I really enjoyed it. I have been through hard times (as most of us have) and I think this book is a great encouragement and road map to finding a place of loving life.

I found it an easy read and one with a sense of authenticity, I just zoomed through the book feeling connected to Tracie Miles and experiences she shared.

The chapters themselves are 13 practical ways to live a life you love and at the end of each are the live life challenges which are in four sections: reflect, act, pray, smile. Some of my favourite thoughts are tucked into one of these such as:

“Smile: Spend some time outside enjoying nature. Let the sunshine warm your skin…”

“Act: …If you need to forgive yourself…do the following…”

Tracie makes sure to give the reader something to do differently today!

It is structured to encourage the reader to strive for more than survival which becomes a goal when one is through the initial crisis. I really enjoyed it, though I haven’t had a recent crisis, as I reflected where I could continue to stretch myself but would have loved it at other points in my life when I searched for a guide on how to find that joy.

Tracie states intellectual statistics and biblical wisdom to support each of her 13 practices and breaks down each of those practices into four steps the reader can do today. The accompanying narratives inspire and encourage. Tracie’s own journey, which is great, is supported with other women’s journeys so the reader is shown the way forward and the success of the journey.

I was inspired by lines like the following:

“When was the last time you felt joyful about your life? Regardless of what may be breaking your heart and stealing your ability to feel happy and joyful, God’s desire is for you to delight in the life He is allowing you to live, starting today.”

These two were such simple, practical ways to shift my mindset:

“I began to do my best to maintain this attitude of expectant faith, and it became a determining factor in my ability to stress less about the present and the future and to trust God with all of it. My faith and attitude drastically changed simply because I began expectantly and excitedly waiting to see how God would protect and provide not if He would.”

“Ask God to help you see through love-coloured glasses so that your eyes will see what He sees and your heart will break for what breaks His”

Other favourite lines include:

“Some days I even spoke out loud when I started thinking sad, discouraged, hopeless, and critical thoughts about myself.”

“None of us is perfect, but every one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made, created on purpose with purpose and for purpose”

“Peace and joy cannot reside where shame, regret and guilt are living. Fortunately, we get to choose which of these feelings lives in our heart.

“My gratitude changed from being gift-centered gratitude to God-centered gratitude.”

“Helping others is a privilege, not just a responsibility and with privilege comes great joy”

Tracie has taken a topic often spoken about and sought after and broken it down into liveable steps, inspiring stories and created a book to change lives. Her insights are sharp and biblically based. The book is a swift and easy read with the conversational tone carrying the reader through tough topics. I really enjoyed it, five out of five and highly recommended!

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