Way back when I started blogging in 2006 (seriously the ancient days of blogging), I participated in a very popular weekly link up called Works For Me Wednesday. At the time it was hosted at Rocks in My Dryer (which is sadly no more). Shannon always posted her link up around the same time and so on Tuesday nights I would stay up late hitting refresh over and over trying to be the first person on the link up (because that usually meant more blog traffic). Clearly I had a very exciting life.
After awhile, it became clear. Weekly, it was going to be a battle between me and Kristen from We Are That Family to get that first spot. Even though she was my “competition” (lol, as if), I quickly fell in love with her writing and her stories about her family and have been a fan of hers ever since.
One year at Blissdom, a slightly uncomfortable and introverted Kristen walked into her first Blissdom blog conference. I recognized her immediately and my loud, extroverted self invited her over to my table, most likely completely freaking her out. We hung out a bit and she was as lovely in person as she is on her blog.
It was at that Blissdom that Shannon asked Kristen to take over Works For Me Wednesday.
I often think of that moment and how Kristen’s already well read blog grew so much from hosting that link up. Instead of blogger jealousy, I totally felt like the hand of God was at work and big things were coming. Little did I know that God was going to completely turn Kristen’s world upside down and that her blog audience was going to get a front row seat. It is so awesome to look back and see His hand putting things in place for Kristen to be able to share her story with a bigger and bigger audience.
Well that audience just got even bigger. Today Kristen releases her first book, Rhinestone Jesus. I am so honored to be one of the people who got to read an early copy of this book. I rarely accept book reviews, because I just stink at getting books read in time. But being such a long time fan of Kristen the blogger, I knew I would be a big fan of Kristen the author.
You guys. YOU GUYS. This is a powerful read. The story of Kristen’s growth from a safe faith to one where she says yes to God in ways that terrify her was so inspiring. Kristen traveled to Africa with Compassion in 2010 and was broken by God. No longer was her middle class life chasing middle class dreams satisfying for her. She came back wanting to do something with what she saw and in 2011 she and her family founded Mercy House, a home for pregnant girls in Kenya.
Here is how Kristen describes Rhinestone Jesus.
I still haven’t completely processed through this book and honestly it will probably need another read. And then maybe another. I too am growing more and more unsatisfied with the American dream and safe and comfortable Christianity. Foster care was part of me struggling through what that means, but now that we seem to be done for a while, I am trying to figure out what is next. The glorious thing is that I don’t have to know. I just have to say yes when He calls.
I have a copy of Rhinestone Jesus to giveaway today. Simply tell me why you want to read the book in the comments and you will be entered to win!
You can find Rhinestone Jesus at your local bookstore or on Amazon. (affiliate link)