"There’s nothing like it — to witness the raw beauty of a woman who really lives into the fullness of wild faith. There is no really living without really saying yes. Without really taking one step that is is actually a leap." - Ann Voskamp

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.

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I wrote Rhinestone Jesus because I want you to know the whole story.

It’s funny how easy it is to look at someone’s life and even their God-sized dream and think, “I could never do that, be that, have that sort of faith or courage or success  or fill in the blank.”

I’m pulling back the curtains, revealing the dirt under the rug, and I’m telling it all…the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the shattered and redeemed chapters of my life. I want you to meet the awkward teen who wore a sparkly Jesus pin to high school because I was too afraid to do the talking myself. I want you to understand I was a dreamer. But instead of chasing dreams, I mostly ran from them.

I want you to identify with me as a mother –weary and overwhelmed and not always realizing I was seeing the face of God every time I wiped a small smudged one. I want you to see just how damaged my marriage was and how we fought hell itself to love again. I want to show you the ugly places, the unwilling heart, the times I said no–you must see this to get a clear picture of who is really telling this story.

I want you to see past these gorgeous faces full of hope and a future and understand how against all odds, a broken girl with a broken past said yes to God in a most unlikely place. I want you to see that your small every day yes matters so much more than you think it does.

And most of all, when you read about my sometimes chaotic, troubled and imperfect life, I pray it inspires you to look at yours and instead of seeing a mess, you discover the perfect place for God’s glory.

I’ve spent the last year spilling my story onto the pages of this book. It’s not for “just moms” because there’s no such thing. It’s for everyone who has a yes inside them. It’s for women who would like to get their life just right before they feel like they can do something for God. It’s for those who are sick of stuff and the weight of the American Dream. It’s for those who wonder if Jesus is enough. It’s for those who have stopped dreaming. It’s for the broken.

But mostly, it’s for Jesus, not the sparkly one, but the one who rescued me, the Savior who urged me out of my comfort zone into wild obedience. I wrote it for His glory and for all those brave enough to say yes with me.

Meet Kristen Welch

Over the years, Kristen has grown a vast following of moms who identify with her real, often funny, and always inspiring writing.

In 2010, Kristen traveled with Compassion International to Kenya on a blogging trip to write about poverty in a huge slum. That experience turned her world upside down, and as a result, she and her family founded a non-profit called Mercy House Kenya. The organization funds a residential maternity center, operated by indigenous staff, that offers hope and a home to pregnant teens living in extreme poverty.

In 2011, Kristen wrote her first book, a devotional for moms called Don’t Make Me Come Up There! She is also one of Dayspring’s (in)Courage writers, a frequent speaker, and a regular contributor to Lifeway’s HomeLife magazine. She is a regular writer at HuffPost Parents and has a monthly column in ParentLife magazine.

Kristen’s blog following continues to grow, and many of the readers financially support the work of Mercy House. When she and her family aren’t traveling to Kenya, Kristen and her husband and their three children live in Magnolia, Texas, where they enjoy going to football games, flea markets, trying new restaurants and working with displaced refugees in Houston.

Endorsements for Rhinestone Jesus

Ann Voskamp, best-selling author of One Thousand Gifts
"Kristen and I have sat together several times. I’ve leaned forward to hear the heartbeat of Jesus in her quiet words. I’ve heard the tremble in her voice. I’ve listened to her honest laugh, her understated, brazen vulnerability. I’ve watched her face tell this story — this story of deciding that she didn’t want her life to be about just getting by, just getting through. That’s the thing: They say that life’s just about putting one step in front of the other. But the real truth is — sometimes there is no way through anymore, no more just one step in front of the other. Sometimes the only way through is to start taking wild leaps of faith."

Myquillyn Smith, The Nesting Place
"A delightfully honest read for anyone who ever wondered if their small yes matters. Kristen’s words will wake you up from the American Dream you never even knew you were sleeping through."

Deidra Riggs, Founder, Jumping Tandem; Managing Editor, The High Calling
"All of our excuses have met their match. Kristen tells the beautiful story of a God-sized dream called Mercy House; a story that began when Kristen and her family said, "Yes." Read this book and be inspired to stop second-guessing whether your God-sized dream can ever come true. It can. It absolutely can."

Arlene Pellicane, speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife
"Get ready to take a trip back to the time when you once dreamed big. Kristen Welch will introduce you to that girl once again. Her journey of faith and daily courage will inspire you. Who knows how this book will change the direction of your life! "


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#rhinestoneJesus Community

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Online Discussion Questions

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Media Inquiries

For press inquiries regarding Rhinestone Jesus, please contact Katie Dodillet at katiedodillet@tyndale.com