Published by Zondervan on October 8, 2019
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Devotional
Buy on Amazon
From the heart and mind of YouTube sensation BeautyLiciousInsider Chelsea Crockett comes this topical devotional about friendship, relationships, family, self-esteem, and living out your faith. Honest, personal, and filled with hope, this devotional just might be what young women need to hear most in their lives right now.
Chelsea speaks to young women, whether they are experiencing their brightest or darkest moments, inspiring readers to overcome challenges, celebrate the beauty of life, and pursue God above all else.
But this isn’t just another devotional. Chelsea is an inspiring role model and a leading voice for millions of young adults around the globe. Encouraging young women post by post on Instagram and YouTube, Chelsea inspires readers page by page in Above All Else.
Whether it’s body image issues or bullying, beauty and fashion or family and friendship, Chelsea’s got your back to help you put your best self forward.
I must begin this review with a confession that the existence of this books makes me a bit jealous. Here I am, a thirty-year-old seminary trained pastor with exactly zero devotionals published and yet here’s a twenty-one-old Youtuber parlaying her makeup tutorial fame into a sixty day devotional geared toward teen girls.
What credentials does BeautyLiciousInsider have that makes writing a devotional a good idea? It almost turned me off from accepting the request that I review this book. But almost immediately as I had these thoughts, I heard God answering me: She has this platform and she has me. That is enough.
It was humbling, really. Here is someone who, through the marvel of the Internet, has harnessed a fame based on her personality and presence. And what better way to use that platform than to teach others about Jesus? With YouTube producing so much negative content and famous for being famous celebrities, it’s refreshing to see a YouTube star reach out and try to bring something of substance to their audience.
And since it’s written by a young women to those just a few years younger than her, there comes across this sense of camraderie and confidence of “I’ve just been there and done that” that’s missing from most content pitched toward young teens. There’s not a lot that’s novel or distinct in concept or execution, but – like her YouTube channel – it’s Chelsea’s voice that shines through and makes this a unique project.
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of topical organization in the book. I kind of like that because you never know what topic you’re going to be on next. You never feel bogged down from day to day. Many of the devotionals hit upon relational issues that are especially relevant to teen girls.
Each devotional fits in about three pages. First page carries the title and the selected Scripture. The second in the bulk of the devotional content, usually in three to four paragraphs. The third finishes the devotional thoughts with a takeaway summary, a call to action, and a space to write your thoughts. It could easily be completed in fifteen minutes, the perfect amount of time for a morning devotion, or during a free period at school, or just before bed.
Crockett doesn’t get very deep. That’s fine. It’s not her intention or purpose. Because of that there were times when I – in Pastor mode – wanted more to have been said or a salient point to have been made. But Above All Else isn’t meant to be an exhaustive study. It’s a launching point, a starting point, a simple way to get others thinking about God and the life he’s called us to live.
When that fourteen year old girl uploaded her first YouTube tutorial, there’s no way she could have known that seven years later, God would ask her to speak spiritual truth into the lives of young girls with this devotional. I’m so thankful for Chelsea’s careful ear to listen to the call of Christ to see where she has a voice and use it to proclaim his kingdom.