When I first heard that Kristen Welch was writing a book, I was in. I really didn't know much about her, but my heart was already All In because I fell in love with the Mercy House a year or so ago. While we're not friends 'inrl' - I have prayed for her, and this ministry, and have popped over to her little corner of the Interwebs at We Are THAT Family often, so hearing that Rhinestone Jesus was coming soon stirred me up something fierce.
I appreciate Kristen and her honesty... her realness and her ability to say it like it is. I know, this 'gift' usually comes hard fought and battle worn and this book? This is the story of the power of saying Yes to God - not when you have your life figured out and all your ducks in a row, but right in the middle of your Mess. As the tagline suggests, it's a book about waking up, about taking a risk and saying yes to God, 'when sparkly, safe faith is no longer enough.' (I know... you want it already, right?)
Ya'll... you don't even know. Well - maybe you do. But go to Africa? No... that was what, as a new Christian, I feared He would call me to do. However in the last couple of years, between bloggers and books and God simply stirring my heart and waking me up... my No is less emphatic. So... that's a start, yes? But, here's the thing - at the heart of this book, of her heart for this book - is the assurance that we all have our own "Sweet Spot"... our own "one thing" and yours (and mine) may not be Kenya, most likely it may just be around the corner of where you live. But we are all invited in to say Yes... to do both small and big things, starting right where we are!
Kristen writes about real life... about how she set out to change the world and then life happened, and it drained, and it left her a little disillusioned. She is achingly honest about marriage and parenting and how God redeemed and healed and began stirring her up towards being authentic and real and saying, as she puts it, #YesinmyMess. All of that back story sets the stage for the miracle of Mercy House.
Mercy House captured my heart long ago, around the same time I was leaning in to the reality that as a Mama to an Only, my mothering years were coming to a close. (Ha... I know. Well, I know now!) So last year, I was honored to join in with a group of bloggers to help raise funds for The Mercy House. Maureen, and Kristen and her family, and these teen girls and their babies and the real need pulled at my Mama heartstrings and I couldn't not do something... some small thing... to join in and make a difference; to make a dent. So I took my small Yes and joined it with many others and all of our offerings added up fast! In the book Kristen writes, "We are ordinary. God is anything but." A group of ordinary strangers bonded together with a God Who is anything but and we watched Him bring each Phase to a close, early, fully-funded! "Fully Funded" became my new favorite phrase and with the release of Rhinestone Jesus officially set for tomorrow, in His divine timing, on the same day a reality of 'fully funded' is getting the keys to the second home purchased for The Mercy House so we can reach more girls... change more lives... one (or two) at a time!
I loved this book and highly recommend it! Some of the proceeds from Rhinestone Jesus will go to The Mercy House, and as much as I love that ministry, I love the message within this book: That you can change the world! That your Yes matters. That God has a plan and a purpose and when you step in and step up and find your 'one thing', your 'sweet spot' - God partners with you and takes your ordinary, and makes it Extraordinary!
I love how Kristen honors marriage and parenting and knows that those are priorities... how she encourages family prayer and devotion time while keeping it real and actually doable, how she encourages us to write out a family mission statement, serve together, and find out what our own sweet spot is! This book will stir you up and give you courage to say Yes in the middle of your Mess... knowing that God works with us and through us; in us and for us.
One of my favorite quotes from the book, talking about your Sweet Spot, is:
"Your sweet spot isn't some elusive mystery that God dangles over your head just beyond your grasp. It's the collision of believing in who you are and acting on it because of whom you belong to."She goes on to say:
"I believe we are all called to do something, just not everything. Focusing on our one thing and doing it well to His glory is both liberating and life changing."At the end of each chapter, Kristen offers sections titled "Unpinned Faith" where she encourages some deeper reflections. Digging deeper, along with reading her own story, just may show you what your one thing is and give you the boldness to say Yes to changing the world!
Rhinestone Jesus is available May 1st at these locations:
BARNES AND NOBLE
Tyndale has been kind enough to provide two books for me to Giveaway! I hosted a Giveaway last week (congrats to Kim from One Rebel Heart!) but I wanted to save one for this post, after I'd actually - you know - read the whole book! I finished it this morning and I want ALL of my friends and readers to get their hearts and hands around this book -around this message!
So - if you would like to win the second copy provided by Tyndale, Comment Below and let me know WHAT HAVE YOU SAID YES TO recently, or - if you know - I'd love to hear WHAT YOUR SWEET SPOT, YOUR 'ONE THNG' IS?
(The Winner will be picked on Monday, May 5th!)
Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory
and of course, with Kristen Welch for #RhinestoneJesus