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Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Discovering Joye" (Jim Stovall)

TITLE: Discovering Joye: Uncovering the Treasures Inside Ordinary People
AUTHOR: Jim Stovall
PUBLISHER:  Shippensberg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2013, (176 pages).

This book looks back at the life of Joye Kanelakos, the mother of one of the author's colleagues. While the author writes books, Joye writes poems about life. These poems are part of the treasure left behind when Kanelakos passed away. The title of the book essentially is a series of 17 reflections on the works of Joye.

Stovall is a well-known author, especially his bestselling book, The Ultimate Gift, which has since been made into a movie. Being blind himself, he depends on hearing the poems read aloud so that he can visualize the moving poetry. Wisdom abounds as he allows himself to be transported back to when he was a young boy at 10, just before he lost his sight. At 10, he remembers a French masterpiece of art. As he lets the poetry he hears and the French art he remembers, to inform each other, he puts down words of wisdom that readers will find very meaningful and applicable for life.

Some snippets of Wisdom

When looking for treasure, one needs to be willing to dig a little deeper beyond the superficial layers of people. Like the unveiling of a masterpiece, quiet discovery will lead to deeper insights of life. All of us have gifts to be discovered, and the discovery of these gifts add to the meaning of life. Knowing that life is short, we need to make the most use of time to spend with the most important people in our lives. While life can be hard, without laughter, life will be even harder. Time is a gift, so we need to spend them wisely. Any career must be rooted in our passion to do things well. Life is more than just making a living. It is making a life. On money, it is good to remember that it can enslave us. True wealth is not in terms of how much we have but on the quality of friendships. Problems are opportunities to better ourselves. Learning must be ongoing. Do not look for perfection in any family, otherwise, we ourselves will be excluded. Dreams are not a product of our imagination, but we are a product of our dreams.

I like the part about giving, where in any giving and receiving, there are two beneficiaries. The one who receives something is blessed by generosity. The one who gives is blessed by the blessing of seeing others blessed. Gratitude is big because it shapes our perspective of life. All of us have today, and so we ought to make the best of the present. Love when in its fullest form makes one fully satisfied. We make our holidays special every time because, while holidays will always be there, our loved ones may not be. Inspiration can be found in the most ordinary, if only we learn to notice. Calling is ultimately the key to recognizing our purpose in life.

What Stovall does well is the way he is able to notice the treasures of life with simple observations. Far too often, those of us with regular sight and hearing tend to take such senses for granted. We breeze past life. We rush from place to place. We hurry ourselves and in the process hurry others too. In trying to accomplish everything, the tragedy is we may very well accomplish very little, even nothing. Poetry is a great device to helm our noticing skills. Do not let the simplicity of this book deceive you. Stay with the poetry. Reflect on the observations. Ponder about the discovery at the end of each chapter. You will find yourselves amazed at another treasure written by a blind author.

Rating:5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Destiny Image Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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