Waiting Is a Wilderness: An Excerpt

Somewhere in the midst of my reeling with God, doubting  his goodness and questioning his role as provider, my friend Marlena Graves offered me these words: “God did not lead you to ...


I Am One of Them

Years ago, an Emergent Christian radio host teased me about my Reformed-ness on his radio show. The conversation left both of us confused. Him, I’m sure by my claiming Reformed ...

Caryn Broke 6

Introducing: Broke

**Exciting News: The FREE Six-Part Group Discussion Guide for Broke is now available! This is perfect for book clubs, church groups, or neighborhood studies. Available here. Though Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed about God’s ...




Recent Books:

Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed about God’s Abundance (InterVarsity Press, 2014)

Shades of Mercy: A Maine Chronicle, with Anita Lustrea (RiverNorth, 2013)

Known and Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, 2013)

Recent Articles:

If you wanna read what I’ve written of late, click on through.



Breakfast Reading

Fam from HHS

Quick Bio

I have a lot of jobs. I write, speak, edit, raise kids, and plan worship. I’ve written five books, including Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed About God’s Abundance (IVP, 2014) and Known and Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, 2013).

I’m a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.Meneutics blog and the “Wonderlust” columnist for Re:Frame Media’s ThinkChristian.

My husband, three kids, one pit bull and I live outside of Chicago. For more information, check out my full bio.

Me at MOPS Walking

Speaking Calendar


February 7&8: Day Apart Retreat, Glen Ellyn, IL

March 8: Private Women’s Retreat, MI

April 10-12: Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, Grand Rapids, MI

April 25: MOPS, Sugar Grove, IL

May 2: IVP Women’s Event, Westmont, IL

May 20: MOPS, Fort Atkinson, WI

October 24-25: ECLA Conference, Wheaton, IL

November 21: Advent by Candlelight Service, Lombard, IL

December 11: Crossroads Church Christmas Event, Aurora, IL

For speaking inquiries, email caryn@carynrivadeneira.com. Thanks!

Latest News

Creepy Library

De-Creeping Mysticism

Last week, a friend sent me this quote: “We are all mystics. The trouble is, we usually miss the significance of the moment because we are not present. Mystics are those who notice–and then live their lives in the light of the glimpses of Oneness that, if we are attentive, are there for us all.” […]

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BW Sierra

The Sudden Intrusion: A Bit of Ecstasy

On Monday, in my Reformed defense of mysticism, I write that to Reformed is to be mystic. That is, if we actually notice God in every “square inch” of his world. If we call God drawing us to him with his irresistible grace what it is: ecstasy itself. Today, I offer an excerpt from Broke, […]

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Doors with Light

T.U.L.I.P Fueled Ecstasies & Other Reformed Defenses of Mysticism

I had hoped  by now I’d be over my annoyance toward Tim Challies’ unfortunate post in which he calls St. Teresa of Avila a “false teacher.” Certainly it helped ease my frustration when my friend Ellen Painter Dollar wrote such a stellar response. But alas, the annoyance remains. As troubled as I was over Challies’ brutal […]

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“What I Learned About Being Wealthy By Going Broke”

Once upon a time I was wealthy. Not just American-style wealthy. Wealthy wealthy. Maybe not the top of the 1%, but still: the sort where a brand-new car awaits you on your 16th birthday, a gold watch congratulates your high school graduation, and a long, creamy strand of pearls commemorate your college. The sort of wealthy with weddings […]

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Remember Well

“Remember well.” So reads the inscription in my copy of Everything That Makes You Mom, a lovely little book of vignettes and memory-prompts about mothers. Remember well is good instruction when it comes to our moms, of course. It’s important that we remember the acts of love, the reasons for discipline, the sounds of laughter, the endless […]

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“Searching for the Sound of Silence”

This article appears in full at Her.meneutics: A recent Thought Catalog article dished out some research about writers. They’re depressed people, awful lovers, overly thinky, and largely unhappy. As a writer, I should recoil at these words. I should get nervous about statements like: Writers think a lot and people who think a lot tend to be […]

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Holy Week Confessions

Saturday Today’s the day of grief, of waiting. The day of losing faith and hope in what was believed to be true. Forgive me for my rage in times of grief, for impatience in times of waiting. Forgive me for the times I lose faith–entirely–and let go of hope. Forgive me for not believing your […]

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My Lenten Confessional: Day 33-34

So God: I missed yesterday. If this were a command–not a practice–I’d confess it. But wagons are made to be fallen off of. And today, I’ve got about 5 seconds to do this. And I’m feeling super grateful right now–for so much. For this moment of quiet I’ve snuck in at the Festival of Faith […]

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Lenten Graphic 2

My Lenten Confessional: Day 32 (Pride)

So God, today’s sin is Pride. And feel pretty good about this. Was just thinking about “good” I am at revealing my foibles and indiscretions, for the most part. Not afraid to take a fall for the sake of a good story or for the sake of people not feeling “alone.” It’s why I’m excited […]

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My Lenten Confessional: Day 31

So, today’s Deadly Sin is Envy. God, I’ve spent so much time confessing this one in my life already. And here too. As I’ve confessed it–really–on my Lust and Do Not Covet days. Of course, some folks (you know the one, God) think I’ve got lusting and covetousness mixed up. And maybe they’re right. At […]

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