Friday, April 25, 2014

Rhinestone Jesus-A Giveaway



And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony 
                                                                                                                                                                             ~Revelation 12:11

Walking through a slum in Kenya, tears streaming down her face, Kristen asked God "How can you allow so much suffering?" He answered her, "Kristen, How can you allow this?" Kristen told this story on her blog We Are THAT Family and those words have stuck with me. They always linger in the back of my mind when I am faced with injustice in the world.

Kristen and her family founded The Mercy House a few years ago after she traveled to Kenya with Compassion International to visit her sponsored children and learned about the reality that young unwed mothers face in Kenya. This book, Rhinestone Jesus, is the story of her (and her family's) "Yes" to God after she returned from Africa.

She starts at the beginning and tells of wearing her sparkly rhinestone JESUS pin all throughout high school as a statement of her faith. She honestly tells about the struggles in her marriage and as a parent as well. Kristen and her family are regular people, just like you and me. They just chose to say "YES" in the middle of their mess. When that small YES was given God took them right out of sparkly, safe faith and led them into an amazing adventure.

One of Kristen's main themes is saying "Yes in your mess". So many of us are waiting for the "right time" to do God's work, for the finances to be right, for our kids to be grown, for the timing to right, to be "better" Christians, or maybe for God to send us a written invitation with explicit instructions (or maybe that's just me!?!)

But, you see, all that waiting for the "right" time and perfect conditions, that isn't faith. That isn't a real yes.

A real Yes is scary, it is following Jesus into the unknown and trusting He has the best for you. A real Yes is believing that God is in control and that He will finish the work He calls us to. A real Yes is hard. It is demanding, but it is so worth it. Just ask Kristen.

I really cannot recommend this book enough! Rhinestone Jesus is an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness. It is a heartfelt, honest, real life story of one family's "Yes" to God. It will certainly bring tears and some belly laughs too. There is at least a part of Kristen's story that we can all identify with. You cannot read this book and NOT be inspired!

I am so excited to be giving away 2 copies of Rhinestone Jesus!!! Enter on the form below and  I will choose the winners on Friday May 2nd. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A portion of the proceeds of Rhinestone Jesus benefit The Mercy House Kenya.

If you would like to learn more or donate to The Mercy House Kenya click here.

{I was given a copy of this book to review but all opinions are my own.}

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rhinestone Jesus


In her new book, Rhinestone Jesus, Kristen Welch of We Are THAT Family tells her story of moving from artificial "sparkly" faith to the real thing.

If you feel a longing for more, if you feel deep inside that there is more to life, then this is the book for you!

It will inspire you to say YES to God, right in the middle of your mess! 

I am honored and excited to be hosting my very first giveaway on Friday! I will be giving away 2 copies of Rhinestone Jesus!

(The official release date is May 1st, but some retailers are shipping it out now!)


Come back on Friday for my review and your chance to win your own copy!


Friday, April 4, 2014

FMF-Writer

Five Minute Friday

Today I'm linking up with LisaJo Baker for Five Minute Friday. We all writer for 5 minutes on the same prompt. No editing, no fixing, no fear! Then go back and encourage the writer before you! 
Come, join in and be blessed!

This weeks prompt is Writer:

The first time I remember words really moving me was in the 4th grade.

We had a student teacher reading us Where the Red Fern Grows. Thankfully, her assignment with us was done before she finished the book. (Crying in class isn't cool when you are 10.) I had to know how the story ended though so I checked the book out from the library and I didn't put it down until I finished. And I cried and I cried.

That was the beginning for me of a love affair with words that has never ended.

It also was the beginnings of a dream deep inside of me to be a writer.

When I was younger, I wrote short stories, poetry and filled journal pages. I never showed them to anyone and eventually tucked that dream away somewhere under some fear.

It's been rising in me again lately, that long ago dream. It's funny how when God plants a dream in our heart He doesn't let it fade away.

This time I won't hide under fear. I will dare to dream my dream. I love words and I have a story to tell.

I am a writer.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hello again (aka "Oh yeah...I have a blog")


Hello again!

I have missed this place.

I write posts in my head all of the time, usually on my drive home, but by the time dinner is served, homework is done, showers and bedtime are (finally!) done, those ideas have long escaped my mind and I feel blessed if I can get a few minutes of reading in before I fall into bed.

But, I've been dreaming some dreams and some of them involve writing. So, I figured I should probably get back to writing again. Seems like a good place to start. :)

It seems like this winter has been never-ending here in Minnesota, but it is raining outside now and that is a sure sign of spring! (I'm pretending I don't know about the snow coming later tonight.)

Spring is my favorite of all my favorites! This spring has some especially big things happening! For one, my birthday, but not just any birthday, my 40th birthday!! I'm not sure where all the time went, but I'm looking forward to even better things to come in the next decade!  I am also really looking forward to the InRL life event at the end of April! What a blessing this group of ladies and this community has been to me!

In other big news, my son has decided he likes to read books. (Can you hear the angels singing their Hallelujah chorus?)  This has been something I have dreamed of happening! He loved "reading" books when he was little but then after struggles with school and such he decided reading wasn't for him. But in the last couple of weeks he has been asking to read together, carrying books around with him....and actually reading them!!!!

The other night I caught him trying to sneak books into bed!!! Joy, unspeakable joy!!!

Well, there you go, it's not much, but it's a start! It is good to be back here!!

Blessings to you and so much love!

I am looking forward to seeing you here again soon!








Thursday, September 5, 2013

Red



It was your favorite color when you were a tiny boy. You loved all things red. Your favorite shirt was red shirt with a ball on it, you wanted to wear it every. single. day. until it was way too small.

You always wanted the red balloon and the red hot wheel car and the red candy and the red kool-aid and the red everything.

Then you found out your dad's favorite color was blue. Your love and admiration for him changed your mind about your favorite color. Now it's all about the blue, just like daddy.

You have blue walls in your room and you always choose the blue shirts and even the blue candy. It's like a tribute. It helps you feel close to him and not forget him.

It makes me smile and helps me remember too.

The blue always compliments your eyes., just like it did his eyes.





Joining in with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Fridays! 5 minutes of unedited writing! Join in and be blessed!
To find out more, click HERE!

Friday, August 16, 2013

On Friendship {FMF-Small}


When God Answers Prayers 
You Didn't Know You Were Praying


I am reflecting on the past six months and realizing the joy that has come to my life through some new friendships.

Sometimes you don't know what you were missing until it is right in front of you.

Sometimes you meet someone and instantly you know that they belong in your life. 

Sometimes you meet them online first!!!!

Then you meet them in real life at inRL and your life is changed for the better.

Sometimes God knows what and who you need before you do. (OK, so he knows ALL the time.)

It is no small thing to step out of your comfort zone and into someone else's life or to let them into yours.
And the impact is anything but small.

I am so thankful for friendships that are developing in my life.

God knew what I needed and His timing is perfect.





Joining in with Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker and friends for five minutes of unedited writing fun! Join in and be blessed! To learn more or to join the fun, click HERE.






Friday, August 2, 2013

Story


 


Joining LisaJo for 5 Minute Friday! This weeks word is STORY. Click HERE to learn more and join the fun!

STORY

The Story of my life. We all have one. I've spent a lot of time trying to write my own. I wanted it to look a certain way, I only wanted people to see the good parts, the happy parts. The beautiful.

But that isn't true life, that is a story. 

I want to share my life with people, all of my life, not just the pretty parts. You don't truly get to know someone, to trust them, to have relationship and community until you share your whole life, even the ugly parts.

So now, I am writing a new story for myself, one where there are no hidden chapters, where fear isn't hidden behind a smile, where grief has its place. No edits and re-writes. 

I want my life to be an open book.

There is life and love in our stories and I want to share mine with you. 

(And I want to be a part of yours!)