"Broke was not in the cards for me. . . . Girls—then women—like us stay strong through it all. A little (or big) financial setback doesn't break us. Or our connection to God."
And yet, God let Caryn Rivadeneira and her family go dead broke.
In the midst of this financial and spiritual desert, Caryn questioned God's goodness, wondering how he could feel so far away. Doesn't God promise blessing to those who serve him? Doesn't he hear his faithful followers' cries for provision and help? Join in Caryn's journey as she pursues God even when bruised, battered and broken by life. You'll laugh and cry with her as she experiences spiritual blessing and discovers God's goodness in ways she never expected.
"We survived. I kept breathing. I kept stepping. And somewhere in the cracks, along the ragged edges of my marriage, in the desperate gasps of sudden poverty and all the questions that came with it, there was God. Big and glittering, soft and warm, smiling and beckoning. Somehow in the shimmers of all that, I began to taste and see, and feel and know, and hear and smell that God is good, and he was there in the broke bits."
"In this time of longing to know what God was up to and to experience his goodness and presence, God worked me over by showing me where and how I could find him. Which is all over the place. In every last thing. He satisfied my wonderlust—my unquenchable desire to feel his presence and to experience his glory. And I found him. And I found him good."
"With a wonderful mix of humor and depth, Caryn offers a needed perspective on the ways God blesses us with his riches. This is a wonderful book for anyone going through any kind of crisis--or who needs to know that God's goodness abounds even in what's broke."
"I loved this book! A great read for those of us who need reminding that God doesn't ever leave us out to dry. God is present in all of life, and Caryn brings that peace to light in this great read."
"If you like your Jesus sugary sweet, don't read Broke. If you don't think irreverent humor is next to godliness, don't read Broke. If you hope that being broken by God involves superficial tinkering not soul-deep wrenching, don't read Broke. If you don't want a faith strong enough to wrestle with agonizing questions and hard stories, don't read Broke. But if you like gritty and funny, honest and faithful, go for Broke."
"Only Caryn Rivadeneira could weave a tale of financial desperation into a page-turner. I didn't want to put it down at night. You will discover life and light in these beautifully written pages."
"Broke is a supremely engaging, honest and funny glimpse into the mystical ways God is present in our lives. If Rivadeneira can see God's presence in the beautiful oak doors that open into her son's fifth-grade classroom, hear God in the crunching of snow under her feet or taste the divine presence in a piece of bread offered to her by a stranger at a fundraising banquet, maybe--just maybe--you and I can also become more aware of God's goodness all around us, even when we feel broken and burned out."
"Caryn Rivadeneira may be broke, but she's also brave. For some reason, it takes guts to admit you're in real financial trouble, and she shares her story boldly and without shame. So many others will relate to her. But the real beauty is that this is not essentially a story of losing money. It's about gaining a new sense for God's redemptive presence in her disappointment, hardship, fear and frustration. Her story may help you recognize him in your places of pain too."
"Reading Rivadeneira's Broke brings the beatitudes to life. With in-your-face honesty riddled with mirthful profundity, she takes her reader around blind corners smack into the glory and goodness of God. Rivadeneira reminds us that the abundant life is quite a ride, and that our ticket has been paid in full. All we have to pay is our attention."
"In an open, chatty style, [Rivadeneira] shares her spiritual journey and her family's simultaneous financial free fall. Her conclusion is that God's abundance flourishes even when bank-account balances dwindle. A timely addition to any church library."
"[M]y hat's off to Caryn Rivadeneira for gamely giving this genre a shot. . . . Because the spiritual lessons found in Broke, while often simple, are still profound—particularly when they challenge us to shift our perception of what counts as 'abundance.' As a devotional or small-group reading, to be chewed over in bits and pieces, Broke can challenge us to re-center our perspective. It's a reminder that no matter how small our struggles, God's abundance is great."
"Though money is merely the backdrop for this book's bigger-picture theme of God's abundance, this profoundly insightful, refreshingly honest title would be an excellent addition to your 'personal finances' section."
"In the vein of Ann Voskamp and Sarah Young, Rivadeneira offers a devotional perspective on financial desperation in the suburbs. Balancing between mystical mirth and spiritualized snark, she reflects on her skepticism about God's trustworthiness and interweaves life stories of misfortune and small miracles to help readers find God and also 'find him good.' A sterling storyteller, Rivadeneira spins a narrative of finding benediction and a benevolent God amidst economic trial that will speak to fellow suburbanites. . . . She addresses what she understands to be a 'First-World' dilemma with depth and heart, and her message is a timely and virtuous one, fortified with Scripture and apt analogies that speak to many a weary soul."
"Broke is [Rivadeneira's] story of how God used loss as a way of drawing her into deeper relationship with him. At times both hilarious and heartbreaking, it is an important book for anyone who ever mistook making a good living for God's abundant life."
Preface: Going for Broke
4. Big Fish
6. The Goods
Appendix: Ways to Practice Finding God?s Abundance