This Year, Choose Joy!

"This year, choose joy!" by Michele Faehnle (

Via St. Gabriel Media, LLC, Used with permission. All rights reserved.

“What I can do, you cannot. What you can do, I cannot. But together, we can do something beautiful for God.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta, UN Women’s Conference in Beijing.

I love this quote by St. Teresa of Calcutta. I have seen firsthand in my work with The Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference and also my writing and speaking ministry with Emily Jaminet that working together with other women can bring out each others gifts and create something truly beautiful for God.

This fall, I was asked again to do something beautiful for God for my friend Brooke Taylor and collaborate in her new devotional journal called Choose Joy.

I met Brook a few years ago when I went to a blogging conference. The ink was still wet on the contract to write Divine Mercy for Moms and I was still a “baby blogger” and author. However, that weekend brought forth new and fabulous faith-filled friendships that would grow over the years to become important to the fabric of my life, including my friendship with Brooke. As our friendship grew over the years, we both were able to help each other with our respective women’s ministries.

When she asked me to participate in this new devotional, I was delighted. Although I played just a very small part in this devotional, sharing my great love of Christ, the Bread of Life, I am so honored to be part of something that gives such great glory to God.

Her website describes the journal perfectly:

When the Holy Spirit assembles a group of people to deliver a message to our modern culture, it looks like this interdenominational tapestry: stay at home moms, working moms, a beloved pastor, an adventuresome Catholic monk, a Catholic podcaster, the single, the married, the widowed, worship leaders, homeschoolers, converts, reverts, introverts, and extroverts. Truly a Pentecost, the Choose Joy devotional speaks with many different voices and hearts. Choose Joy is a journey through the liturgical year, guided by women and men whose narratives and insights inspire the reader to receive the gift of true joy from our loving Father.
“It takes each one of us, going the opposite direction of the world…. traveling to Bethlehem over Best Buy, and calling out, like John, to the One who knows our deepest needs. And to not only find Him ourselves, but to give Him to our family, and a world that is bloated by superfluous stuff.”

The Choose Joy devotional is a collection of thought-provoking reflections on the weekly Liturgy of the Word for the liturgical year beginning with Advent 2017. It includes journaling questions to prompt the reader to consider the Word as it applies to the daily choice to live joyfully. While using the Catholic liturgical calendar as a guide, this devotional is appropriate for all Christians who wish to develop a deeper appreciation for the gifts the Father lavishes upon us.

Here is a sneak peak of my reflection on John 6:

At the ripe old age of 17, I went to college. Living seven hours away from my family and friends, I quickly found myself in a place of deep loneliness. Even though people living in my dorm surrounded me, I missed the close relationships that had filled my life up to that point. I busied myself with schoolwork and a heavy dose of the party life to fill the void, but only found myself more and more unsatisfied. One night, sitting alone in my dorm room, I felt completely empty. Not knowing what to do or where to turn, I wandered outside the dorm and began walking the campus. A short walk later, I found myself in front of the Eucharistic Adoration chapel and I felt drawn to enter. I walked in the silent room filled with students in prayer, sunk down in a pew facing the gleaming gold monstrance and began to pour out my heart to Jesus. In that moment I was filled with a warm consolation; a pervading peace that I knew was the hand of God. It was in that moment I experienced Christ in the Eucharist like I never had before and my life was changed forever. Now I run to the Eucharist and can’t wait to attend mass and spend quiet moments sharing my life with Jesus exposed the adoration chapel. It is there that I find my strength and my meaning. Now, I no longer hunger and thirst, for I know where I can be filled to overflowing.

This would be the perfect gift for any woman in your life this Christmas, to help her Choose Joy this year and grow closer to God though the scriptures.

To order, visit St. Gabriel Media, LLC.

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Copyright 2017 Michele Faehnle


About Author

Michele Faehnle is a wife, mother of 4 and a school nurse. In her free time she enjoys volunteering for the church and is the co-chair of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference. She is also the co-author of The Friendship Project and Divine Mercy For Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina through Ave Maria Press. She blogs at and The Friendship Project Book.

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