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 are the ones on our tree now. they have a variety of different things they do. they blink, they move slowly, they move fast, they flow one by one and many more. they’re little white lights. i like watching them when everyone is in bed and there is silence in the house.

  2. Okay – while I don’t think I would ever decorate my own house like this, I love the tacky, gawdy light displays where people totally decorate their houses with a million lights. We have a neighbor a couple of streets over who has been featured on one of the cable channels each year – his house is even brighter than the one Chevy Chase did in Christmas Vacation. I love to hear my daughter say, “Wow!” when she sees it (she’s three years old). But I will say I am happy to *not* be his next door neighbor but I am pretty sure he shuts off all of the lights by 10pm for the neighbors.


  3. I love white lights on my tree. I have garland and a wreath that has color lights mixed in them though.

    I am new to the P31 and just want to say thank you for all you ladies do, finding this has really been a blessing for me!

  4. My favorites are the white non- blinking ones. I think they are so elegant and beautiful. I love them.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. WHITE LIGHTS! I’ve never been a fan of the colored lights- too much clutter on the tree with all the ornaments. I love the warm glow that a strand of white lights can give a room. I usually have a strand up in my bedroom (in my curtain swag) that I plug in throughout the year to give the bedroom a cozy glow!!

  6. First of all…..how’d you know I can’t have caffeine? Great tea choice.
    Second…..Hello to Glynnis (beautiful family).
    Third….lights? I am a certified light-a-holic! I am so crazy about WHITE lights….I use them all year round. All over my house. Right now…I can look out in my front yard and down to my kids tree house—and it’s all lit up with white lights.
    Looks so beautiful!
    Great blog and post.

  7. I love multi-colored lights. I used my grandmother’s ancient ones on my tree until they became a fire hazard. I was sad to retire them and settled for the small white lights. They call it progress…

    Thanks for entering me in the drawing! (s)

  8. I love white lights and lots of them! This year we have built a manger and cross in our front yard and filled the manger with lights to reflect onto the cross.

    This sounds like a fun giveaway!! I’d love to read your book!! (and look forward to candy cane tea, yumm!!)

  9. I love small multi cloured light who are “dancing” if possible in different ritmes ( sequences)those for the tree
    For the windows i love bright ones like candles…..

    I love the give-aways
    look forward to the drawing at the 13th day…..
    Blessing for the weekend

  10. I love ouing and ahing over the Christmas lights as we drive around at night all Christmas season! I think I prefer the small colored lights to the white lights but there are lots of really cool variations out there.

  11. WOW – I would absolutely love either of these give-aways!

    My favourite lights, and the ones that make me smile, are two different styles. My favourite are the white lights – something just so pure about those. They speak peace to me. The ones that make me smile however, are those crazy, coloured, flashing, almost dancing lights! The make me feel like a kid again!

    Enjoying every part of the Christmas season,

  12. Oh I definately like the small white lights. Though as kids we always had the big colorful lights on our tree.

    I love your giveaways Karen!!!

  13. A combination of the small, multi-colorfed ones (for glow) and the larger, old fashioned kind (for nostalgia).

    I am NOT a fan of “blinking” lights, but submit to the wishes of my husband (and kids) on that one…

    But it cannot be a garish display with one half of the tree going dark, followed by another huge chunk.

    No, is has to be tastefully and subtly done.

    NOT that I have given this any thought…

    I am IN on the contest. Pretty please come by my blog and enter mine!

    :-) Helen

  14. Please enter my name in your contest. I love all different kinds of Christmas lights. I like the small while lights a lot, at times though I like the small colored lights thrown in. And when I want to be really fun and festive I like the big colored lights. Just depends on the location of the lights and the look/feel I’m trying to achieve. Thanks for the giveaways and Merry Christmas.

  15. Outside I like blue lights – and if they are on a house, they absolutely must be straight! Inside, white non-twinkling lights are the best. I love the way they look in greenery. It’s so peacful to sit by the tree with only Christmas lights on.

  16. For years I have only liked the small white lights, inside and out. I have totally changed – I want the big multi-colored lights everywhere!!
    Sadly, my tree is pre-wired with the small white lights and I will be keeping that tree for a while. It is still beautiful. I will satisfy my new whimsical feelings with some multi lights outside!

  17. I am not picky. I love all lights and most decorations. The only thing I don’t like is he inflatables. :) I have been thinking about trying the lights that you can set on different settings- not sure if I will like them but would like to try. Simple goes a long way too.

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