Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed About God’s Abundance

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Though Broke is a book about money–or, our time of living without much of it at all–of course, it’s not really a book about money. But instead, about the wild and wooly ways I sensed God through some wild and wooly wanderings through spiritual and financial deserts. It’s about being broke–not just in a financial sense–and being rebuilt, being remade. It’s about going broke, giving into doubt, hitting spiritual rock bottom, but crawling back up through the twists and turns and intrigues of faith and ending up dripping in God’s goodness (how many metaphors did I manage to mix?).

Broke isn’t just for those on the verge of financial disaster. Even my distinctly unbroke (*cough* rich) friends have found themselves in these pages, have related to the my “safari.” Because we’re all broke somehow, someway. Or, at least I hope we are or that one day you will be. Because there’s no doubt that God blessed me by breaking me.

Hope you check it out (click here for a sample chapter!) and enjoy it. Here’s what others are saying about Broke:

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.”

Relevant Magazine

“In the vein of Ann Voskamp and Sarah Young, Rivadeneira (Known and Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms) 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.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“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.”

Margot Starbuck

“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.”

Karen Swallow Prior 

“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.”

Carolyn Weber

“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.”

Christianity Today


Exciting News!

Here’s what some people have said about Grumble:

“Reading Grumble Hallelujah is like having coffee with a wise, warm, honest friend when you’re having a horrible day. I felt both understood and challenged in just the right combination.”

Shauna Niequist, author of Cold Tangerines

Grumble Hallelujah is an authentic book about what it means to thrive in the daily-ness of life. Through its pages you’ll be inspired to live with an expectant, open heart.”

Mary DeMuth, author of Thin Places

“Genuine humility, refreshing honesty, and a tremendous sense of humor: a trifecta of qualities as powerful as it is rare in the communion of saints. Blessedly, Caryn possesses this magical combination and expresses it with well-earned gravitas in Grumble Hallelujah.”

Cathleen Falsani, author of The Dude Abides and Belieber

Grumble Hallelujah will challenge you to love the life God has for you, not with trite cliches or easy answers, but from a woman who displays the grace and mercy of one who is desperately seeking to live like Jesus…even in the grumbling.”

Jenni Catron, executive director, Cross Point Church, Nashville

“Rivadeneira tells it like it is…on life and the struggles to make sense of heartbreak. Whether relating a recent (or past) event (or season) of life fueled with fear, desire for control, grief, or discouragement, she hits the heartstrings with deadly (life altering) precision.”

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What Others Are Saying:

  • “Caryn Rivideniera is a real mom. With refreshing honesty, she casts vision and shares a perspective that every mom needs. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve lost yourself in the midst of raising a family, this book will help you find yourself again!”
    Jill Savage, mother of five, founder and CEO of Hearts at Home
  • “Caryn writes with humble and heartfelt authenticity, understanding the mixed emotions of motherhood. She unfolds a new and deep perspective for what it means to understand our real identity in Christ and why this is imperative to our lives as we navigate our passions and the potential to imprint our communities with God’s hand.”
    Dr. Liz Selzer, director of leadership development and events for MOPS International and executive editor of FullFill magazine
  • “Finally, a book to shatter stereotypes that shackle moms! Caryn honors motherhood while challenging moms not to lose their unique personhood in this overwhelming stage of life. As a woman who has experienced this identity crisis myself, I’m grateful to Caryn for creating an insightful and much-needed book with the potential to empower moms to become all God designed them to be.”
    –Dr. Sue Edwards, assistant professor of Christian education at Dallas Theological Seminary
  • “I’ve met many moms who passionately love their kids, yet struggle with feeling marginalized. Does being a good mom really require them to surrender the goals and gifts that make them all God created them to be? The good news is, it doesn’t. With wit and wisdom, Caryn guides women who love being a mom through the process of rediscovering and reclaiming their full identity in Christ.”
    Jane Johnson Struck, executive editor of MomSense magazine; former executive editor of Christian Parenting Today
  • “While moms love their kids more than life itself, there is more to every mother than the title ‘mom’. God wants mothers to live their fullest lives, and Caryn reminds us that in the throes of motherhood we can still continue to find our true identities in God.”
    – Tracey Bianchi, coordinator of women’s ministries at Christ Church of Oak Brook and speaker for MOPS International and other organizations
  • “I’ve heard mothers say that sacrificing their identity is part and parcel of being a good mom. Caryn shows us that the exact opposite is true. With humor and delightful insight, Caryn reveals that Jesus is thrilled to help every mom discover her unique identity. This is not a selfish side project but an essential way to worship God.”
    – Jonalyn Grace Fincher, apologist and author of
  • Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home
  • “Caryn speaks for a lot of moms by openly discussing the difficulties of reducing a woman’s identity to one label and a single season of her life. This book will be a refreshing read for moms who share that struggle. This book gives startling evidence that we need to reclaim God’s richly multi-dimensional calling on His daughters’ lives.”
    –Carolyn Custis James, author of The Gospel of Ruth
  • With a fresh mix of humor and understanding, Caryn speaks to the women I’ve heard from through the years: the women who feel invisible beyond their roles as moms. Caryn gives moms who struggle with their ‘fake I.D.s’ a voice and a way to find their true selves.”
    – Ginger Kolbaba, editor of Today’s Christian Woman magazine
  • “Caryn has given us back those little pieces of ourselves we thought were gone for good. With a clear, biblical reminder that we are first and foremost the daughters of God, Caryn gently nudges us out from behind the false faces of maternal perfection and shows us how to reveal the women God created us to be, women of strength and vision and creativity and depth.”
    – Carla Barnhill, author of The Myth of the Perfect Mother and former editor of Christian Parenting Today
  • “This is a great read: humorous, straightforward, deeply theological, encouraging, and challenging. It will change the way you see yourself, other moms, and God himself. Once you start reading, you’ll be changed and you’ll discover new ways you can change the world.”
    –Amy Simpson, vice president of the Leadership Media Group of Christianity Today International and author of Diving Deep: Experiencing Jesus Through Spiritual Discipline.
  • “This is a conversation long overdue. Are there outside pressures to fit in? Yes. Is there just as much pressure in the faith world to fit in or conform? Sure. Thank goodness for an honest dialogue that takes women deeper as we celebrate the roles in our lives while exploring who God made us to be.”
    – T. Suzanne Eller, author of The Woman I Am Becoming: Embrace the Chase for Identity, Faith, and Destiny
  • Caryn’s fresh and practical perspective captured my attention–so much so that I let dinner burn as I tore through pages that reflected myself. This work is invaluable not just to mothers, but also to churches and families desiring to respect and appreciate moms for who we really are. I am grateful to Caryn for finally providing moms with such a soul-affirming resource.”
    –Julie Clawson, author of Everyday Justice
  • “This delightful book is written for women like me. We are like Cinderella’s stepsisters, who tried on the glass slipper of mommyhood and discovered a less-than-perfect fit. With humor, grace, and candid self-disclosure, Caryn encourages moms to embrace their God-inspired identity–never ‘just a mom’ but ‘a mom and _______.’ Find out how you might best fill in the blank.”
    – Eileen Button, columnist for The Flint (Mich.) Journal
  • “Did the picket-fence, ‘I’m just a mom’ role lose its paint in the fifties, and you’ve been waiting for someone–anyone–to point that out? Wait no longer. Caryn Rivadeneira and a whole new generation of Christian moms are trading paintbrushes for backhoes. Rebellious and deeply affirming, Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. will help you explore the life-giving, Christ-empowering world after the picket fence comes down.”
    –Sally Morgenthaler, author of The Emergent Manifesto of Hope