"The late November sunshine was thin and tepid, but a welcome interruption to the gray skies and constant drizzle that usually hung over the small Washington town of Riverview for the better part of eight or nine months each year. Josie Meyers shivered as she stood in line behind her two children, waiting their turn for a free Thanksgiving meal.
Tears bit her eyes at the memory of past Thanksgiving celebrations, particularly the most recent one the previous year. Though they had all been grieving the passing of Josie's mother, they still managed to turn the day into a festive occasion, as the four of them gathered around the table to give thanks for the spread that awaited them.
Sam, she thought. You stood there that day, offering a brief prayer of thanksgiving to a God I'm not sure you even believed in, and never let on for a moment that you hadn't a clue where our next meal would come from or how we'd make the mortgage payment that month. How in the world were you able to carry it off for so long? If you hadn't gotten sick, would you finally have found a way out of the mess we were in - or would you be standing here with the three of us now, begging for a hot meal and wondering where we'd sleep tonight?" (pg 9).
So now Josie is forced to take things one day at a time as she tries to find enough food and a place that is warm enough each night for herself and her young children Jacob and Susanna. There is a waiting list for government assisted housing so for now she kills time at the local library and mall until the shelters open each night. Occasionally she can save enough through food vouchers and her monthly checks to stay in a modest motel but more often than not, she's on the streets trying to stay warm and try til something better comes along.
In Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias, we find out what it's like to live through the eyes of Josie Meyers who had everything until her husband Sam died from cancer and left her owing more money then she could ever imagine. When their home was repossessed, there was no family members who would take her in and her pride kept her from calling on her friends to ask for help. She had hoped that some how, some way, that she could figure out a way to secure them all permanent housing but never realized that it would turn out like this. Now when she meets a homeless Vietnam Veteran by the name of Rick who offers her son Jacob the last piece of his pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, her life will be changed in unseen ways by the God she has abandoned in her search for hope.
I received Unexpected Christmas by Kathi Macias compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and New Hope Publishers for my honest review. Even though this is a Christmas story I can see the message that it contains being shared throughout the year. After reading this one, I felt like I had just witnessed a true Hallmark moment, like the movies that come out this time of the year. What an ideal movie this one would make and the impact to people seeing it would really spread the message of hope and faith in God no matter how dire the situations are in your life. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 Christmas Stars and have now added this one to my permanent shelf to read every single year. This is soon to be a classic in my opinion.
Author Kathi Macias wrote about a subject we won't quickly forget. She brings to our attention a story that happens to people each and every day. We don't often think about this subject because we are comfortable in our nice heated homes and we have plenty of food to eat. This story will touch your heart in a way you've never been touched before.
The story is about Josie Meyers and her two children living on the streets, homeless and constantly seeking shelter and food to eat. While she looses faith in God to supply her needs she relies on herself to take care of her children. After all why should she trust God? He hasn't answered her prayers.
Rick is a homeless man who befriends first her children and then Josie. The children soon look forward to seeing Rick, Josie does too.
Josie doesn't see the big picture of all the people God sends to help her along her journey. Will she ever resort to praying and trusting God again?
I was touched by this book and couldn't put it down. I cried over how God not only protected Josie and her children but how he made a way for her each and every day. I cried about how simple and easy it is for us to put our faith and trust in God but yet I am guilty of trying to solve my own problems.
This story had an awesome ending. Yes, I sobbed. How could I not? I hope everyone reads this heart warming book.
A strange thing happened to me after I finished reading this book. A name and face of a woman in my church popped into my mind. I felt God urging me to pass this book along to her. I saw her at Bible study this morning and I told her, boy do I have a book for you to read. I promised to give her my copy at church on Sunday. I told her the author was Kathi Macias and I told her when she finished this book to pass it along to some one else.
Thank you Kathi for allowing this book to tug at our heart strings. Thank you for helping us open our hearts to those in need this Christmas season. Thank you for another powerful book that speaks to our heart.
Unexpected Christmas Hero is a heartwarming novel about a woman named Josie and her two children. They were living the typical suburban life until Josie's husband suddenly died and left them destitute. The book shows the difficulties that the homeless experience by living on the streets and in shelters. Most of us can't even imagine what it would be like to sleep in parks or behind buildings, to be cold and hungry, and not to know where to turn next for food and shelter. Josie finds friendship in a local church, in the local library, and in shelters for the homeless. Through her difficult circumstances her faith is once again confirmed and restored, and she receives a precious gift from a most unlikely source, the homeless war veteran Rick, who truly becomes her unexpected Christmas hero. Although this story is a tearjerker, it is also an inspirational story of friendship, love, and enduring faith.
I think this novel has to be the most soul-grabbing one I have read this year--even among Kathi's others, of which there are a bu-unch of dynamic, breath-holding books.
Josie finds herself homeless after her husband dies, leaving her too deep in debt to hang onto anything but her pride. He hadn't told her he'd lost his job, taken them to the edge of bankruptcy, and wouldn't even tell her he was sick--until it was too late even to save his life.
On the street with two children, she goes from one shelter to the next or sleeps behind the cleaners. She wonders if she'll ever feel safe again, if her children will be able to go to school, or what she can do to get out of these unbelievable circumstances.
And then Rick shows up. He wins her children's confidence and affection, but Josie worries about everyone they meet on the street. And she has her pride. She doesn't want to be beholden to anyone, or cause anyone any trouble.
Admirable traits--but not even God can break through that much armor. Or can He?
Unexpected Christmas Hero could be the best Christmas gift you buy anyone, including yourself.
This story just grabbed hold of me from the start and wouldn't let go. It has given me a whole new view of the homeless and made me determined to find a way to help.
Josie's story, her fall from the life she had always known, to the depths of being homeless with two young children, is heartbreaking. And Rick shows more kindness and generosity out of his poverty than many who have more - kind of reminiscent of "the widow's mite".
I loved this story. It made me laugh and cry...and hope. Ms. Macias does a wonderful job of making it all real and bringing the truth home. I pray this story touches many hearts!