Friday, January 30, 2015

Rhinestone Jesus: A Book Review

About This Book:

In high school, Kristen Welch wore a big, sparkly rhinestone “Jesus” pin to school every day and carried her Bible wherever she went. (Yes, she wasthat girl.) But she didn’t realize her faith, though sincere, was shallow; much like her artificial accessory, it would one day tarnish, no longer a true fit for who she was. As real life catapulted Kristen into places and situations she’d never imagined, there came a day when she stood shocked in the slums of Africa and realized in one desperate moment that Jesus wasn’t enough for her. At least . . . she wasn’t living like He was. On the brink of a risk bigger than any she’d ever taken, Kristen knew she didn’t stand a chance—unless she was willing to put aside the rhinestones and get branded by the real thing. Rhinestone Jesus is the story of one woman’s journey from comfortably living a safe, “good-girl” faith that didn’t cost much, to realizing that God was daring her to say yes to a bolder, more authentic, more dangerous way. This story of spiritual adventure throws the doors wide open for any woman who’s ever thought of herself as “just a mom.” Kristen will inspire and empower you to say yes to God right where you are—and stand amazed at how your life will shine.

You can read an excerpt of Rhinestone Jesus, here, in PDF format.

About The Author:

Kristen Welch grew up in a suburb of Houston, Texas. In the 1990s she attended a small Bible college, where she met her husband and graduated with degrees in Christian education and English.

For the first ten years of marriage, she worked alongside her pastor-husband in youth and children's ministry in Arkansas, New Mexico, and Florida, often writing her own curriculum and resources. During this decade, she endured the ups and downs of life. It wasn't until she became a busy mother of three that she began to blog about her life on wearethatfamily.com. Over the years, Kristen has grown a vast following of moms who identify with her real, often funny, and always inspiring writing.

In 2010, Kristen traveled with Compassion International to Kenya on a blogging trip to write about poverty in a huge slum. That experience turned her world upside down, and as a result, she and her family founded a non-profit called Mercy House Kenya. The organization funds a residential maternity center, operated by indigenous staff, that offers hope and a home to pregnant teens living in extreme poverty.

In 2011, Kristen wrote her first book, a devotional for moms called Don't Make Me Come Up There! She is also one of Dayspring's (in)Courage writers, a frequent speaker, and a regular contributor to Lifeway's HomeLifeand ParentLife magazines.

Kristen's blog following continues to grow, and many of the readers financially support the work of Mercy House. When she and her family aren't traveling to Kenya, Kristen and her husband and their three children live in Texas, where they enjoy going to football games and flea markets and trying new restaurants.

My Review:

Last year I had the pleasure of being part of our church's MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, and the theme was A Beautiful Mess. Basically, how to thrive in your role as a mom despite the messes you may have endured along the way. We all hard our journey's, each with life lessons that will carry us as women and moms forever. Since that year in MOPS it has been utterly a God thing that almost all the "mom books" I have read since have had to do embracing our journey's, however messy they seem. Rhinestone Jesus was one of those books. 

Kristen Welch met me exactly where I needed to be met in her beautiful, inspiring and ultimately challenging read. It was so encouraging to read about her journey and see that I really am not along in this road of motherhood. That I am not the only one with a messy journey. There is hope in the mess and it is Jesus. Just as Kristen Welch's journey is unfinished, and raw so is mine and so is yours. That is the way it should be. It's not perfect, clean and just so.  Saying Yes to God and what He wants to accomplish through us is not going to be easy, clean, but rather hard, sometimes dirty and almost always heart wrenching in many ways. Welch and her family know that all too well as she relates her story to following Him in the mess with great prose. You will laugh, cry and ultimately be inspired. This was BY FAR one of my top 10 favorite reads from 2014! Trust me when I say, you need to go out right now and get this book for you and all your mom friends! 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Rhinestone Jesus online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite local Christian book retailer, from Tyndale House Publishers.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of the author and Tyndale House, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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