I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by CelebrateLit. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.Pockets of Joy by Roxane Battle
Published by Whitaker House on September 5th 2017
Genres: Christian Life, Family & Relationships, Inspirational, Parenting, Religion, Single Parent, Women's Issues
“No matter your situation, you have a choice. I chose joy.”
Roxane Battle was on television for much of her adult life. As a news reporter and anchor, she traveled the world and met notable people from Jay Leno to Mariah Carey to Prince. But shortly after landing her dream job in her hometown of Minneapolis, Roxane’s marriage fell apart. Every day was a battle to keep it together on camera while piecing her life back together at home as the single mom of eleven-month-old Jarod. At one point, broke and alone, dinner was a single chicken McNugget.
With wit, dignity, and gripping detail, Roxane shares her story of intentionally looking for joy during this challenging chapter of her life. Her faith was the guiding force as she searched for moments of gratitude and found a lifetime of grace. Alongside Roxane's practical tips for spiritual, professional, and personal wholeness for today's woman, Pockets of Joy reveals the incredible secret to a joy-filled life.
Picture it, Sicily 1922 … I so frequently think that as I sit down to write a review of a memoir or biography. It’s not Sicily, it’s the Twin Cities. It’s not 1922 however it is 19-something. A woman with a goal, ambition and a family that finds itself shrinking in ways that the woman never anticipated. No one starts life and a family anticipating divorce. Roxane didn’t either. She still had a goal and ambition to go with her new life as a single mother of an infant son. Like the rest of us, she made hard choices, many times putting her small family before her goals and ambitions. She made hard choices to give up promotions. She made hard choices that made her viewing public (did I forget to mention she was in TV broadcasting?) question her dedication to her chosen field. She gave up so much along the way. However, she gained so much more.
This book comes in two parts. The first part tells the author’s story. Her story of goals and ambition and family and choices and finding joy in all the things along the way. She calls them pockets of joy. I really struggled to wrap my head around the idea of this. Not the joy part, that I totally get. Especially the finding joy in the little things. I just didn’t get the pockets thing. I kept trying to picture it in a myriad of different ways and each time came back wanting. My mind was trying to wrap this huge idea into a tiny little box. Like pockets of a shoe organizer? Like pockets in my jeans? Face it women’s jeans have tiny almost worthless pockets Like the pockets of Grandma’s apron? Like pockets of air? Like a pocketbook? Every time I was whirling into spin-off thought processes which, looking back, was probably more a distraction to keep me from truly finding the joy. I always zoned back in but man, the pockets were killing me. I was trying to view joy as store-able instead of experience-able. Hence, the literal pockets visuals. The rest of it…got it!
The second part of this book is a step in a different direction. The author identified 7 different steps or areas that we can all learn from and work with to help with creating our own joy, no matter how we store or characterize it. She’s put a lot of thought and research and soul into these 7 steps. They aren’t the be all end all but if you are really working on finding more joy out of life and truly choosing to experience it, they are definitely a great starting point. Authenticity, Service and Generosity, Positive Connections, Gratitude, Self-Care, Yielding, and Forgiveness. From a words standpoint they may not seem like much, heck they make not even make sense in relationship to joy with just a word. The difference is, much like joy, each word has deeper roots into deeper ideas that can help a person experience deeper joy.
I struggled at times with this book as I was trying to figure out how the author was storing joy but also that so much of her life I couldn’t relate to with mine. I wrapped myself up in this book because the never ending search for joy (not to be mistaken for happiness mind you) is something that we can all relate too. Joy is all around you, you just have to be willing to feel it.