Joy Beyond_Book Review

Joy Beyond
By Brenda McGraw

Practical. Welcoming.  Conversational.  Intentional.  These are the words I would use to describe Brenda McGraw’s style of writing as she leads the reader into a relationship with God though a friendship with herself.

It was my honor to meet Brenda McGraw by a mutual friend at Allume, a writers conference in Greenville SC.  I was immediately welcomed by her inviting and open personality that truly expresses JOY. Brenda and I met for lunch and at once she was a best friend I had been missing.  You will find that Brenda has the same approachable style of writing in her book JOY BEYOND and you, too, will be a new friend.

Brenda writes from a perspective of a woman who has gone through some of life’s biggest challenges.  Divorce, cancer, the adventures in raising children who become teenagers, blending a family…She knows what she is talking about when she speaks of moving beyond the feelings of present life-circumstances into joy that is found deep within. 

To my delight, Brenda wrote on Day 8 “God’s Face Shines Upon You!” I love the way the sun filters through the clouds and trees and warms my face at just the right moment to remind me of God’s love for me.  In this chapter, Brenda uses two scriptures to interweave the concept of God’s Love and Faithfulness.

Psalm 67:1(NIV) “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us…” Proverbs3: 3-4 (NIV) “Let love and faithful ness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Brenda, using the example of the addiction of a loved one and the toil it took on the lives of those involved, explains that we can move through these challenges knowing that not only does God work all things together for the good of those who love him, but he will use them to reveal himself to others.  We must daily “put on” love and faithfulness to the Lord, remind ourselves that He is faithful and loves without limits and we can literally “wear” these gifts of Love and Faithfulness. 


I am grateful to have met Brenda in person, then to get to know her through the pages of her book have been inspiring.  We have become Lunch –Buddies and I couldn’t be happier!


*It is my privilege to write a review for my friend Brenda.  I have in no way been endorsed or received payment for this review.