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 preference is simple white lights – framing a porch, maybe spiraling columns – wrapped in green garland. Wreaths with red bows on windows. If it’s a nice brick house or white colonial spotlights on the house add a wonderful touch!

    My favorite light experience growing up was when my family and I would drive around and always go by this one man’s house who went all out – colorful lights, lots of lawn ornaments, lighted candy canes lining his driveway. That stuff wasn’t as prevelant back then, so it was really special. There was also an electrician that would put lights EVERYWHERE. The whole yard was covered in them, the house was covered in them and then he also had a few lighted lawn ornaments as well.

  2. Well I have simple taste, small white bulbs, garland…but my husband would like to give Chevy Chase a run for his money. I cringe every year when my husband is done “decorating” the outside of our house. I think our neighbors have put up reinforced drapes.

  3. On the tree, I love the big, colored bulbs (C5s, maybe?) that I grew up with; outside, white lights are lovely. I also like the look of a single candle in each window.

  4. I love white lights with green garland and red bows. For the trees inside, I think it depends on where it is going. For my daughter’s tree, she loves color color color. LOL!

    It’s a good life!
    Terri E.

  5. I love white and colored lights on my tree. I love the way my ornaments look with all the lights. I love white icicle lights on houses and lights in the bushes. Basically, I like Chevy Chase’s Christmas lights!

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