While part of me hates to admit this, I often do judge a book by the cover. If it “looks” boring, or “looks” strange, or “looks” bad in any way, I don’t want to read it. But with this book, I thought the cover was not only really fun, but it made me want to see what was inside. I recognize that covers are the work of many people, and not just the author, but they do reflect on the author… if this author could have a cover like this, I really thought she was going to be well worth checking out! I definitely was not disappointed.
The foreword to this book was written by Francis Chan, who didn’t mince words. At all. He was up front about the fact that years ago, he never would have seen himself writing anything to support something Shelene wrote. But he also told us that she had changed, and he’s excited about those changes. Isn’t that something we’d all like to have said about us? That someone else can see how God is working in our lives, to change us for the better? That’s what the Christian walk is all about! (Clearly, I was enjoying this book well before I even read anything that the author wrote.)
The author started by telling us about how someone had seen a couple pictures on her fridge, of two kids they sponsored in Uganda, and asked a great question – how do you know they’re real kids? She felt like that was a crazy question and really just brushed it off, but it kept coming to mind for her, and she decided that she wanted to go meet these kids. That decision radically changed the trajectory of her life, in ways she never could have foreseen. The book was impossible to put down, because you really had to see what would happen next. She didn’t just go meet her kids (both of whom were definitely real!), but she bought things for those children, for the local pastor and church (a dock, for one!), she was the catalyst for other financial donations that came in later, and ultimately, she started her own nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping in areas of need. Shelene was very real in this book, very honest about her struggles, and very much the kind of person that I think a whole lot of us can relate to. I really appreciated that, because nothing she shared seemed to be something that I wouldn’t be able to do myself. Clearly, I don’t have the kind of disposable income that she does, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give out of what I do have!
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone, but I will just say that if you’re going to read this delightful book, you need to be prepared to make changes in your life as a result of what you read. I don’t know how you could read it and feel like you can keep going with the way things have been. I definitely couldn’t.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way required to write anything positive – the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.