that led to a wondering; that brought me into a space of new ideas, new thoughts, and new traditions. I wavered at first, stepping small; wondering if it was worth it – could I really step away? Would I be missed – was there any significance to my writing existence enough that the white space (however temporary) would be noticed? Was there anything worth discovering in the absence of words and retreat from social media – anything I could harvest and bring back? Stepping away was a small yes. To be honest, so is stepping back in.
My sabbatical time has been bathed and washed in the words of wise women I look up to. I will share some of them soon, but I’m so excited to tell you about one wise woman in particular who has a book launching today.
Kristen Welch shares her life and her story in Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith is No Longer Enough. Kristen is the founder of Mercy House Kenya – the beautiful organization I discovered last fall, when I had the privilege of linking arms and efforts together with other writers to help raise money for the young women and their babies who live there. We spilled our words and their stories out and invited the world to join us in giving them an early Christmas present. A multitude of small yeses coming together to birth a miracle. And what a miracle it was. Fully funded. Early. Full measure. Pressed and shaken down. Running over.
This is what Kristen’s book has too. Her story of small yeses in high school, in marriage, in parenting, in writing, in living her life as God has called her to. These yeses – and the story of these yeses – have become the foundation of a life lived fully and fearlessly for a God who opens doors and flings wide the gates of heaven to those who call on His name and who work in accordance with His purposes. I loved it when Kristen wrote:
Deep down, I knew God was calling me to something radical. And even though radical terrified me, I was more afraid of not following God.
Her transparency and authenticity ring like the clearest bell in a quiet chapel throughout the pages of her book. One of the hashtags we've followed as part of the launch team has been #YesInMyMess.
And here’s where the ringing of the bell resonates.
Most days, I feel like I’m pretty much all mess. Whether it’s my temper flaring over the little things; frustrations with what I've managed to not do; my opportunities for grace that are passed by; by nightfall, I look around me and see the scattered, tattered remains of the day and wonder what happened. Kristen’s words reminded me that I don’t have to organize, clean, or fix this mess before I attempt to do something for God or even come before Him. #YesInMyMess is about answering the call on our lives in spite of the mire, in spite of the disappointments, and in spite of the brokenness. It’s these very things, tied together with the small yeses, which allow God’s grace and mercy to work the miracles that showcase His glory. It’s not safe. And it’s not easy. But it’s worthy.
When you pick up Kristen’s book, you will feel the call sounding. I can’t tell you what it will be – but I think you will know. The dream you've been holding on to? The hope that you've been nurturing in your heart? The idea that you've been longing for and have begun to wonder if it’s at all possible? These things become possible with the God of yes – small or large. He’s not asking you to supply all the elements. He’s just asking you to step out in faith. Rhinestone Jesus will encourage you in those God-given dreams and hopes and show you in the most tangible of ways how small yeses can lead to the largest miracles.
I’m so very grateful to Tyndale House Publishing for providing two copies of Rhinestone Jesus for me to give away on the blog. Click on the options in the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter. I’ll be announcing the two winners on Monday, May 5th. For my birthday. Because I shouldn't be the only one getting presents that day!
You can also order the book here at Barnes and Noble (my favorite) or from Amazon (my other favorite). Some profits from the book will go to support Mercy House Kenya.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!
a Rafflecopter giveaway