Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rhinestone Jesus – Because the Small Yes Matters (A book review and giveaway!)

This is my coming back. My stepping in. My return. A one-month blog sabbatical that began as a question;
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.

Yes.


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

23 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Yay! So glad that you were obedient in taking the sabbatical and in returning to the writing. I've missed you and your words. Can't wait to read this book and appreciate the opportunity to enter to win! I believe He is asking me to keep saying yes to this place He has brought me, to engage with this local community and to serve the women here.

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    1. Holly - I can remember our first Google Hangout one night before you found out - I think the idea was out there, but you hadn't heard yet. What a blessing to share that with you. I'm so glad your yes is in this place!

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  3. I am soooooo glad you are back. I know that your sabbatical was refreshing and a blessing to you but I missed your words here. This is one more book to add to my 'to read' list and I may have to move it up towards the top. I appreciate the opportunity to enter to win! I feel God is asking me to say yes to boldly stepping out to look for deep community. To move into the uncomortable and seek others there instead of being comfortable waiting on someone to reach me.

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    1. It's good to be back Amy, but in some ways, even harder. I feel like I must be more diligent with my words! There are so many books in my pile - I need a plateau on top (you know what I mean!). I can't wait to hear more about your steps in to deeper community.

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  4. Yay - glad you're back from a blogging break, and glad to have found your blog! <3

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    1. Sarah - I'm so glad we've connected. I can't wait to get to know you more as we say our own yes and take the next step as part of these (in)courage groups. It's going to be such a neat adventure!

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    1. Thank you - it's good to be back! ((hugs))

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  6. Welcome back. :) I pray that all the Lord did during your time away continues to resonate in your soul and impact your future. May you be blessed in abundance for saying yes, in all the ways you have. Thank you for this contest too!

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    1. Thank you Jolene - it's good to be back in the fold, such as it was. Glad to see all the smiling faces of the women I've missed. Can't wait to share more about the time away.

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  7. I've heard a lot about this book lately. Found your blog through Twitter. I look forward to reading more from you.

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    1. Welcome Vinae - I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm happy to have you here!

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  8. Welcome back! I'm actually saying YES to saying NO more. #itfeelsawesome

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    1. NJ - that it sometimes the very best thing to do. We can all use more white space in our lives, right? Room to breathe. Room to grow. Room to let the words run out into the margins. I can't wait to see what your focus will bring!

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  9. I think to minister to woman in my church who need to be told they are loved and treasured by God! He doesn't want any of His people to feel their on the sidelines!

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    1. Laura, this is a beautiful yes. Thank you for taking the time to share it here! Hope you'll come visit again.

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  10. He told me that I could be His hands and feet in the Congo and I am simply waiting on Him to work out the details in the ways that only He can.

    Glad to see that you are back. :)

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    1. Deanna - that is an amazing, bold, God-sized dream. Praying that His details will unfold in the most visible ways for you and that you will have this dream to share as part of your story. Thank you for the welcome back!

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  11. Welcome back! God is calling me to say yes to laying down my life's pursuits to pursue Him more diligently. I've been holding on, for dear life, and now I must let go. Not sure what it all looks like. Trusting He will show me. Hugs!

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    1. Barbie - I know all too well about holding on so tightly. I pray that as you release and make (even) more space for Him that He will fill you abundantly with the very best of His kingdom. And that your life and your art will continue to be a reflection of His glory. You inspire me, friend!

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  12. Posting for Sarah (because my blog ate her comment): "I'm saying yes to God by living in what He's given me now. To appreciate each day with all its' messes and blessings."

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  13. Glad you're back and a very Happy Birthday! I think He's telling me to say "yes" to real life- being present and engaged and following His lead each day instead of my own.

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Thank you for the kindess of your comment. I pray your patience with the word verification. I've had such troubles with spammers lately. Thank you for grace. I look forward to reading all the comments and responding. I appreciate you!