On the 5th Day of CHRISTmas…Giveaway with Glynnis Whitwer

Congrats! Today we have TWO giveaways. My gift for Lysa TerKeurst’s Cool Christmas Give Away and our regularly scheduled 5th day of Christmas Give Away with a fellow Proverbs 31 speaker! So, if you are new to this site, hop on today (and get caught up on the other days) There is still lots of time to win one of the 12 awesome prizes. And, if you are one of my regular bloggy friends, head over to my friend (and our president at P31) Lysa’s site. She is offering a cool give away linking contest today.

Now for my prize for Lysa’a giveaway: since there is a lot of entertaining and company that accompanies the holidays, I will give away a signed copy of my book A Life that Says Welcome; Simple Way to Open Your Heart and Home to Others along with a box of Decaf Green Christmas Tea–Candy Cane mint flavored! Mmmmmm. You can sip something hot while you curl up with the book and a cozy blanket in front of a fire. (Cozy blanket and fire not included) :-) I will simply pick a another winner from all of the comments left this weekend. That prize will be announced Monday.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog give-away………..

Welcome to day fifth of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas giveaway!!! There are holiday ideas, easy recipes and both practical and pampering prizes to win. Best of all, each day you meet one of my fellow “sistas” from the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaking team. Get to know them and their wonderful resources including books and teaching cd’s. Why, you might even discover the speaker you have been looking for to appear at your next event.

So get in the holiday spirit. Tune in each day. Hop on and leave a comment. The more you leave, the better your chances of winning. The 12 daily winners won’t be announced until the 13th day of December so comment on all 12 posts if you can! 

Today you get to meet one of the first Proverbs 31 gals that I was honored to get to know via the P 31 Woman magazine, Glynnis Whitwer. She is a fantastic writer, a sought-after speaker and a fellow organizing junkie like myself. (Hint, hint: Her give-away today has to do with getting organized with style) Well, I couldn’t help but love this sweet sister from the first time I submitted an article to her several years ago. 

 So, on this fifth day of CHRISTmas give-away, enjoy meeting my friend Glynnis!!!

Glynnis is on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries as the Senior Editor of the P31 Woman magazine.   She is also on the Proverbs 31 Speakers Team and speaks at women’s conferences, retreats and special events around the country.  She is one of the writers of Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 e-mail devotions, with over 190,000 daily readers.


She is the author of work@home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home (New Hope, 2007), and co-author of a Bible studies series entitled Kingdom Living (Ampelon, 2007).  Glynnis is also a contributing author to Leading Women to the Heart of God (Focus on the Family), Building Your Women’s Ministry (Harvest House), and God’s Purpose for Every Woman (Harvest House).    Her next book will be released in 2009 by Harvest House and is titled When Your Child Hurts.


Glynnis, her husband Tod, and their five children live in Glendale, Arizona where they are active in their church, Vineyard Church, North Phoenix.  Together they run three home-based businesses, an Internet retailer (www.roselanecottage.com), an environmental consulting firm and a construction company.  You can keep up with Glynnis on her blog at www.glynniswhitwer.com.

 Now for our interview:

·      Glynnis, you are a busy mom of both biological and adoptive children, any tips for how to get your act together when it comes to the holidays?


Karen, you are so kind to believe that I ever get my act together.  The past two years since our daughters have joined our family have been very rough.  Last year I never even got the tree completely decorated.  All I got on were the lights.  This was very difficult especially since I consider myself an organized person.  My tip is to give yourself grace when you are in a demanding stage of life.  Even the most organized and detail-oriented person can get drained at times – even when those times last for years.  After all, Christmas really is about grace.


·      What aspects of the Christmas season tend to most stress you out?


That’s easy.  I stress out over sending Christmas cards.  I always wish I could do something really cute and creative, with ribbons and a stylish photo of my kids.  Yet I end up most years sending out a letter copied on white paper and tucked in a card bought in a rush at a grocery.  While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, I stress out because I always have more elaborate plans that I can’t seem to manage.  You see, I’ll let you in on a secret.  I’m not the most crafty person.


·      On the flip side, what parts of the holidays do you most love and why?


I love listening to Christmas music.  I especially love when a contemporary artist or band writes a beautiful new Christmas song.  One of my all time favorites is “A Strange Way to Save the World” by 4Him.  I also love driving around and looking at Christmas lights.  Although my husband and teenage sons have lost interest in this tradition, my mom, daughters and I will make some hot chocolate and visit some of the most beautifully decorated homes in our town.

“This photo is what Glynnis plans on sending out with her Christmas cards this year … if she manages.  These are her five kids at Yellowstone this past summer.”

·      Any special recipe or gift idea you want to share?


One of my favorite gifts to give my father was a personalize calendar.  My sister and I would collect photos from the past year of ourselves and our children.  Then we would assign each photo or group of photos to a month, and get a calendar made at a copy center.  My dad passed away a few years ago, and was mostly housebound before he died.  The calendar was in front of his favorite chair, and he loved to look at his daughters and grandchildren every day.  This is a great gift for long-distance family.


What a great idea! Thanks Glynnis for taking a break from your busy life to chat with us!

You are welcome. Merry Christmas!!!!

Okay gals, now for today’s  holiday idea, comment question and organizing give-away……Glynnis mentioned driving around to look at Christmas lights. Our family has a tradition of doing just that every Christmas Eve with my mother. First we order barbecued chicken pizza and enjoy it on Christmas paper plates at my mom’s apartment. Then we hop in the car, tour the capital city of Lansing, Michigan and then head back to her place for coffee and some peppermint stick ice cream. My kids say this is one of their favorite happenings of the season and my mom looks forward to it as well. Her mother’s birthday was Christmas Eve and let me tell you, my Grandma Elsie LOVED Christmas. We remember her each year as we again practice this tradition.

One fun way to teach younger children a lesson while looking at lights is to do the following. Plan one evening where you use no lights at all in the house. None! You’ll have to eat by candlelight. Clear the table and wash the dishes by candlelight. Then try baths and getting the kid’s jammies on by candlelight. Finally, grab a Bible and gather in the living room. There you will read (by candlelight, of course) the verse I John 1:5:

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

Then, talk to your children about what it would be like if you had no light in your home every night. How would life be more difficult in the dark? Then talk about how hard life would be if we didn’t have the light of Christ in our lives. How does His light make us see more clearly?

Next, hop in the family vehicle and take a tour of the lights in your hometown. For fun, bring along some hot cocoa or spiced cider (in sippy cups, if necessary) and enjoy your time together! This is a simple way to illustrate an important truth about life with God!

Now for the give-away: Glynnis said the following: “My gift will be for the winner to select one set of decorative file folders from our home business Rose Lane Cottage to get themselves organized in style.  They can visit my website at www.roselanecottage.com and view the wide assortment of file folders we have.  Click on “Cottage Office” and go from there. 

Oh ladies……it doesn’t get any better than this when organizing for the New Year! File folders that look fabulous too! Let me tell you….just catching a glimpse of those folders on the Rose Lane Cottage website makes me get excited about sorting my tax info for 2008 already……Okay…..well…. maybe not! (Hey, do you think anyone would notice if I made up a fictitious name, left a clever comment and then chose myself? I, know, I know….that wouldn’t be very Christian!!!) 

So gals, here is the scoop. To be entered to win some of these cool get-it-together tools, leave a comment letting us know your Christmas light preference….small, white and blinking? Big, bold and colored? Bubble lights? Your trusty lighted manger scene? Why, my daughter even found tie-dyed twinkle lights for her room last year!!! 

I’ll go first…..I love simple spot lights shining on a brick house that has been adorned with old fashioned colonial wreaths of fruit, complete with a pineapple in the middle. Yes, ma’am, that is my ABSOLUTE favorite!!! (and since our new home has brick, I tried for that exact look this year!!!)

Your turn—-What lights up your smile when you think of Christmas lights?

Sweet Twinkling Blessings,



  1. My favorite has to be small white lights on a tree with hand-made ornaments. I like the look of an old-time Christmas and so that is what my tree looks like. It is beautiful at night when there are no other lights on in the house.

  2. We always had the big big big colorful lights growing up, and I have fond memories of that. However, we have the small white on our (pre-lit) tree.

    I love P31, and enjoyed meeting Glynnis at She Speaks this year.

    Be sure and stop by my blog to enter my contest. Blessings to you.

  3. Margaret—

    We purchased the tie dyed lights at Walmart about two years agao. I think they still have them. They are fun and funky–one set is pink and purple, one is blue and lime green

  4. I like small, simple, white lights on our Christmas tree. And I’m so extremely “type A” that I stand back about 10 feet, squint my eyes until the lights blur, and make sure that they are evenly placed on the tree :)

    Thanks for letting me join you ladies!

  5. I’m with Kim up above. I’m new to the blogging as well. It is fun and thanks so much for this fun contest.

    My favorite lights are red and white. We do our house completely red and white. My husband is going to add a new “Santa Land Here” strip with an elf that will have a blue runway, otherwise everything is red and white for the outside.

    The inside however, is just white lights. No blinking. The banisters with garland and white lights and the tree just has the white lights.

    Again thank you for all of this. It’s wonderful!

  6. I do not have a blog and if you can believe it, I am just recently becoming familiar with the whole “blogging” thing. :) This is the first time I have ever responded to one, too. I have received the Encouragement of Today and Girlfriends in God emails for a few years now, and have just recently subscribed to the P31 magazine (love them all, by the way) but have never really looked at the blog information. I am really enjoying them and love getting to know the writers some!

    I love the multi-colored lights. The more the merrier! My husband says you can’t have lights on the tree unless they are blinking, flashing, chasing, or in some way moving. :-) The lights are our tree have a dial with about 10 different options to change their movement.

    Thanks so much for your ministry

  7. My favorite lights are plain white lights. I don’t care for colored, I don’t care for big. I just like the little white ones. If they are outside, a slow twinkle can be pretty. But I’m really just very simple, and like the plain simple ones.

  8. On the Christmas tree – we have to have the large color lights. They make the room so cozy! On the house – white lights are my favorite.

    Fun giveaway – I love the 12 days of Christmas idea!!

  9. Karen,
    Do not have a blog, and do not often comment, but I do follow the P31 blogs.
    My 16 year old daughter would love the tie-dyed lights! Where did you find them? We strung white lights in her room and she has her own little tree. My favorite are white lights, the small ones. I just love a tree absolutely smothered in lots and lots of white lights! My favorite family tradition is on Sunday evening when we sit together to light our Advent candle and each take turns each week doing a devotion and getting to light the candles. We also still read Twas the Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve although my kids are 20, 18, 16 and put milk and cookies out for Santa.
    Merry Christmas,

  10. When I was a child, we had those big colored lights with the metal (kind of like muffin tin) things behind them on our tree. I do still like colored lights but the small white lights are my favorite now. I like how they make the tree sparkle!

  11. My favorite lights are the bubble lights. My grandparents always put them on their tree which had been cut from their pasture. Love them.

  12. Oh, I like small, clear lights..no blinking..no colors! I love the fruit decorations, like from Williamsburg..but I can’t afford that now. We place candles in our windows and swags..and spot light the house. I love Christmas!

  13. First, thank you for stopping by my blog and for the kind words. It meant a lot.

    Next. I love Glynnis. I have had the opportunity to get to know her over the past six months and she is truly a blessing.

    As far as lights? I love white lights. Love them. However, I never get to use them. My family opts for colors and when they want to bug me they make them twinkle. :-) There is a neighborhood near us where every house drapes hundreds of strands of lights out of the old oak tree limbs. It makes you feel as thought you’re driving through twinkling snow. We love it.

  14. My favorit is small, white lights – not blinking! There are some “twinkling” ones that I like that would be good mixed in, but PLEASE don’t make them blink. Oh, and if they are all blinking at different rates… MY EYES! MY EYES!

  15. I love multi-colored, old fashioned, big bulb lights on houses! Ours looks like a little gingerbread house an I love it. Our tree has multi-colored lights…we have little ones and I want it to be fun! I adore seeing all the different nativity houses in others home. It is fun to see the difference in style. I wounder if that says something about your personality?

    Have a blessed day?

    Tricia in Ky

  16. I have fond memories of growing up and watching the reflection of the blinking colored lights in the hallway as I lay in bed–we made my mom leave the tree on “all night” (she unplugged it after we were asleep, and rose before us and plugged it in again).

  17. I love the multicolored lights the best. We have a neighbor that goes all out and puts fabulous lights EVERYWHERE on his property. It is the most magical looking home!! We love to go past and take it all in. We marvel at how we never see him put them up and it must be a monumental task :) The lights fill us with child-like wonder and remind us that this season is miracle- filled. From the virgin birth, the fact that the news spread all over the world even before the internet! and we are still celebrating it 2000 years later. We have to believe in miracles.

  18. My preference for Christmas lights is small and colorful! I use to like blinky ones too, but haven’t found the right place for them in this house. I’ll have to keep searching. :-) We’re also trying the new LED lights on our outside bushes this year. We’ll see how we like them.

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