I first heard of Margaret Feinberg when I was living in Beijing. A friend brought back Scouting the Divine  from the U.S. and gushed about it so much it was my very next book purchase. (In it Margaret gets to know a shepherdess, bee keeper, and vintner to understand Biblical passages involving sheep, honey, and wine. If you haven’t read it, you must. Spectacular.)

Yes, Margaret’s writing touched and impressed me, but want to know what bowled me over? She’s from Morrison, Colorado!!

I know, right! Wait, you might not have heard of Morrison? It’s a not s0-well-known town near my hometown. Being a world away, it was like hearing from home.

And now she’s come out with a new book: Fight Back With Joy. I pre-ordered it and when I received it a few days after Christmas it was my first read in the new year (even before several excellent Christmas gifts). I would have read it regardless of the title, but you know Joy holds a special corner of my soul.

I’ve written before about when my joy was gone. Even now several years out, my declaration was memorable, as I recently found out reminiscing with friends. Several years ago during team prayer requests, through tears and a few sobs, I asked for my joy to be returned. I said I was losing myself and my joy was gone. I wasn’t depressed in the clinical sense, I was depressed in the spiritual sense and I wanted me back. This happened a few weeks after they had joined the team, and it turns out when they got home that night they wondered what was wrong with our team if cheerful Amy was falling apart :).

Turns out even cheerful people can experience joy crises too.

In preparation for this book, Margaret participated in several joy experiments. Only problem was they turned out to be gimmicky (my description), which was not her goal. “God had to interrupt my joy experiment to take me on a joy expedition.”

She was diagnosed with breast cancer.

This book chronicles receiving (or living) unwanted news and the ways you can “fight back with joy.” The subtitle says it all: celebrate more, regret less, stare down your greatest fears.

“We rarely choose what is subtracted from our lives, but we can choose how we respond. How we reorganize our lives in order to move forward.” Rings true on a deep level, doesn’t it?

In her own words, Margaret wrote this book:

My prayer is that this book will be beacon for anyone searching for HOW to fight darkness.
My prayer is that this book will be a beacon for anyone ABOUT to face a battle.
My prayer is that this book will be a beacon for anyone IN the fight of their lives.
My prayer is that this book will be a beacon for anyone who has crawled THROUGH the trenches.

Sooner or later, we all find ourselves on the battlefield. But we can fight back with joy and help others do the same.

I wanted to read this book because I’m drawn to stories of folks who live in the messy middle of life and reach for God and each other in the midst of it. You know my journey with choosing a word for the year started with renewed joy, the deepest longing of my heart in that season and this is my year to practice celebration.

What better way to celebrate returned joy than by offering Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg for you to share with someone  who needs it?

Leave a comment on you’ll be entered to win a copy (you can keep or give as a gift). Winner announced on Thursday :)! Who do you know who could use this book?


You can order the book on AmazonBarnes & Noble:, or Margaret’s website (best place) and Margaret has created a 6-Session Bible Study Kit to accompany the book. This book will be an asset to those of us who live messy lives and long for the messes to be infused with JOY! Enjoy a video about the book.

Leave A Comment

  1. Morielle January 12, 2015 at 6:47 am - Reply

    My mom and grandma could really use a book like this, fighting the tough battles they are fighting. I would love to read it too!

  2. Christine Miller January 12, 2015 at 6:57 am - Reply

    My mother used to tell the story of waiting for me to be born. ..
    after several failed attempts to carry full term, they were excited as she went to the hospital with false labor. They had picked out a name but finally I came into their lives… Daddy said thank you Jesus, she will be named Christine and she will be a Joy to behold. Yes, Christine Joy!

  3. Sharon January 12, 2015 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Have reconnected with a dear friend after many years. She is going through a trying physical battle. A return to joy is needed.

  4. Sarah S January 12, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I’m reading this now. It’s better than I expected. I started it last week. Friday I met with my rheumatologist for the first time to try to figure out a plan for treating some very scary symptoms I experienced before Christmas. Her book encouraged me to keep the mood lighthearted with my husband and enjoy the time we had together making the hour and a half drive to and from the clinic as well as the long wait at the Dr.s office. She helped me get started with the right frame of mind.

    I don’t really need to win the book since I have a kindle copy, but, I wanted to encourage those who haven’t read it that it is indeed helpful in a time of crisis.

    It doesn’t come across like trying to put a band aid on a severed artery. Instead, her writing is real and sincere.
    God bless! And Happy New Year!

    • Margaret Feinberg January 13, 2015 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the kind words, Sarah. Lifting you up in prayer today as you fight back with joy!

  5. Rosalie January 12, 2015 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for sharing Amy. I’m rereading “Abba’s Child” by Brennan Manning. He quotes a blessing by Larry Hein. “May all your expectations be frustrated, may all your plans be thwarted, may all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit.” As someone who has lived though cancer, His joy for us is far beyond what we try to conjure up.

  6. Melinda O January 12, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Thank you for the recommendation–I will put it on my list. It also might be a good book for me to share with Heather. It has been a very difficult year and a half for all of us and I am finally on the journey out of the darkness that seemed to consume our lives.

    Love you and miss you my friend!!

    • Margaret Feinberg January 13, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Melinda, lifting you up in prayer today. Praying that the Lord would deliver you from your darkness and that you will be able to live fully in his joy!

  7. Christine Miller January 12, 2015 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I started my post earlier about my Dad naming me… I have always liked the word Joy and figure we can live in a joyous state bt choice, its decision. I have lost both parents, brother and sister in law, but it wasn’t until I lost my best friend suddenly that the Joy was sucked out! It’s taken a while, I believe and talk to God, lots of support and finally, the sun came out and Joy returned. It is a process, different for everyone, different time lines. One book that I have shared with others on the subject is Final Gifts.

  8. Amy L. January 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    As always, thanks, Amy. I’m sure this will be a book to share!

  9. Suzanne O. January 12, 2015 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a good one, Amy. I’m really enjoying your blog!

  10. Jen January 12, 2015 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    I’m the battle of post partum Blues. Would love to learn to fight back with joy. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Margaret Feinberg January 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Jen, lifting you up in prayer today. Know that you are loved and cared for!

  11. Michelle January 12, 2015 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    I am battle with some health issues and would love to read this book to be joyful in a time of frustration.

  12. Elaine January 12, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I enjoy reading your book recommendations! Please keep them coming!

  13. Nita Kulesau January 12, 2015 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Hmmmmm! I think I’m seeing a text-to-world connection between Fight Back with Joy and Practice Celebration! You’ve once again given me something to ponder, Amy!

  14. Isabella Meyer January 13, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

    The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy. A third of the Kingdom is Joy and the second fruit of the Spirit is Joy. Amazing how we could have missed it for so long in our churches…. Would love to read the book, if I qualify if I am not living in the US.

  15. Margaret Feinberg January 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Amy, beyond grateful for you! So thrilled you enjoyed Fight Back With Joy and praying for your joy in the upcoming year!

  16. Nancy January 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Sounds like what I need right now. Although my issue is Hope, I am sure that Joy would help.

  17. Jenny January 14, 2015 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    I’d be glad to read any book recomended by you…and if it’s free all the better!

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