Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch

Book description:

In high school, Kristen Welch wore a big, sparkly rhinestone “Jesus” pin to school every day and carried her Bible wherever she went. (Yes, she was that girl.) But she didn’t realize her faith, though sincere, was shallow; much like her artificial accessory, it would one day tarnish, no longer a true fit for who she was. As real life catapulted Kristen into places and situations she’d never imagined, there came a day when she stood shocked in the slums of Africa and realized in one desperate moment that Jesus wasn’t enough for her. At least . . . she wasn’t living like He was. On the brink of a risk bigger than any she’d ever taken, Kristen knew she didn’t stand a chance—unless she was willing to put aside the rhinestones and get branded by the real thing. Rhinestone Jesus is the story of one woman’s journey from comfortably living a safe, “good-girl” faith that didn’t cost much, to realizing that God was daring her to say yes to a bolder, more authentic, more dangerous way. This story of spiritual adventure throws the doors wide open for any woman who’s ever thought of herself as “just a mom.” Kristen will inspire and empower you to say yes to God right where you are—and stand amazed at how your life will shine.

My review:

This is a very powerful book!  It is part blog, part devotional, part true life story of following Jesus.  Kristen shares her struggles with juggling life – her life as a mom and wife, and also as someone who wants to make a difference in the world.  Her description of visiting Kenya was so real that I could imagine it.

I always love reading books where the author addresses the things I struggle with as a woman, wife, and mother, things such as guilt, authenticity, and balance.  I think it is refreshing and wish that we could all be so honest with each other about the things we struggle with.  I really enjoyed reading about the reality of starting up a charitable organization in Kenya and how the author and her family struggled to stay the course.  It is the first book I’ve read that really gives the backstory of how difficult it is for family life when they undertake the challenge.

I also think that the questions at the end of each chapter are excellent in encouraging readers how to make service to others a bigger part of their lives, and also in internalizing the lessons the author shares from her own life.  It elevates the book from simply a story to a devotion-type book.

The only small criticism I have of this book is the description of Americans as the wealthiest in the world.  I do agree that in comparison, most Americans are better off than in other parts of the world.  However, there are many, many people in American who do not have enough to eat and are living in terrible conditions, such as homes without electricity and without running water.  We also have a massive homeless population that continues to increase.

If you are looking for a book to challenge you to a more authentic life, this is it.  It will challenge you to make changes in the way you view your life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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