1st Day of Christmas Giveaway….with Amy Carroll

NOTE: Announcing the winner of this past weekend’s Thanksgiving Giveaway- (a Fear-less and Thank-ful CD by Lysa TerKeurst and some Pecan Passion Bath & Body Works Lotion)……… It is:

mommieakin; timestamp: November 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Congrats and please email me your home address at karen@proverbs31.org so I can get your prize to you right away!

jippieOkay everyone……I could barely sleep last night.

Not only was I coming off of a great weekend with the sweet ladies I met during two nights of a gorgeous Advent by Candlelight event at St. Lorenz Church (In the most Christmas-sy town ever I might add– beautiful Frankenmuth, Michigan ) but today…..we kick off the second annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!!!!

I can hardly sit still.

This giveaway began as an idea for introducing you to the other members of the Proverbs 31 Speaking Team. They are my sisters in ministry, some of my most fervent prayer companions, and sometimes, even my partners in crime! I usually see most of them only once a year at our annual team time in July so featuring them here at Christmas is such a blast for me!

There are 23 of us on the team. Last year, I featured 12 of the gals. That leaves 10 more (not counting me) to feature this year. Hmmmmm….two spots left. Not to fear, these will be filled with the wonderful and capable Holly and Leah, personal assistants to two of the team, our President Lysa Terkeurst and her P31 radio-co-host Renee Swope.

Well enough chit-chat already…here is how this giveaway series works:

  • Starting today through December 11th, you’ll be introduced to a different P31 gal each day by way of a short interview.
  • Each of these ladies will be offering a giveaway. Leave a comment on their particular post if you want to be entered to win their prize.
  • The winners will not be chosen until all 12 posts are up. So that means you have nearly two weeks to read and comment on all of the posts. Of course if you read one each day and leave your comment then, it is way more fun–kind of like s-l-o-w-l-y opening your gifts on Christmas morning rather than ripping them all open in a hurried frenzy. However, I know you are slammed with a lot of things at this time of year. I’d hate for you to ignore your family or miss out on that low-price deal at the department store just to read this blog! So, you will have until midnight EST on Sunday, December 13th to leave a comment on any of the 12 posts and thus, be entered. That means you not only have these next 12 days, but the Saturday and Sunday immediately following to get all caught up and entered. The winners will be announced  Monday, December 14th.
  • Have fun and read on!

For our first day of Christmas…..meet a lovely, warm, genuine and totally Jesus-lovin’ gal; my sweet southern bell of a friend, Amy Carroll!

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Amy  is a completely an ordinary woman. The goofiest things make her laugh. Her brother’s dry sense of humor, British comedy, her boys’ corny jokes and her husband’s play on words all crack her up. Amy’s scared of bouncing a check, closed in places and pictures that show her double chin. Just about anything makes her cry. She cries when she’s happy, sad, moved (even by Hallmark commercials) or in awe of something God has done.

Amy’s married to Barry, the man that she still loves madly after 19 years.  Her two boys, Anson and Nolan, are her delight. Boredom is a non-issue in this male-dominated household, so she adopted a little girl—her miniature dachshund, Hilde. They reside in North Carolina.

Here’s a little something that Amy says about herself, “There’s only one thing that may set me apart from any woman that you pick off the street. I have an extraordinary desire to know God and to apply His word in my everyday life. Isn’t it funny that my one extraordinary trait has nothing to do with me?! On my journey down the path, I often falter and fumble around, but I’m in love with a God who is faithful to pick me up, dust me off and set me moving forward in the right direction.”

Now for our interview:

Amy, fill us in on what life is like at the Carroll household this Christmas season.

Our life is very full with school, work and church, even under normal circumstances.  December can tend to get out of control!  In the past few years, our family has tried to become very intentional about the Christmas season.  We want to work to preserve “white space” on our calendar where we can focus on the meaning of Christmas and time with our family.  It’s tough to know when to say “no”, but we’re trying to say “yes” to the important things.

Can you share a tradition your family has enjoyed over the years?

One of our favorite traditions centers around our book basket.  I taught elementary school before the kids were born, and I LOVE children’s books.  I started collecting Christmas books years ago, and we try to add one or two every year.  The book basket has actually become a book tub!  It contains everything from children’s versions of the story of Jesus’ birth to “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” (we’ve got a fun hillbilly version and a Cajun version of that famous poem, too!)

My boys are 15 and 12, but they still love picking out Christmas stories and reading them beside the light of the Christmas tree at night.  Last year, the first book that they picked was Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia!  I just loved that my big ‘ole boys still have the heart of a child about the season.

What is your favorite Christmas memory from your childhood?

When I was in elementary school, my craft-loving mom made a gorgeous advent calendar out of felt.  Each tiny piece is hand-cut, and she did some embroidery, too.  My brother and I would get so excited about that calendar every year, and every year we’d argue about who got to take the baby Jesus out of His pocket on Christmas morning to tuck into His felt manger.  Real sweet, right?!

When my brother and I had our children, she made a copy for each of our homes.  Our kids love this tradition as much as we did, and I still hold my breath every morning to see what comes out of the pocket—the train, the gingerbread man, the lamb….

Is there a Christmas song that holds a special memory for you? Why?

Music is really important at my house.  Barry, my husband, plays the sax, Anson plays the French horn and Nolan plays the trombone.  I appreciate all the beautiful sounds!

I have a current favorite Christmas song that I have listened to all year this year.  It’s Casting Crown’s version of “God is With Us”.  Every time I contemplate Emmanuel, God with us, it awes and stills my heart.  I rejoice at the words, “God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel.”

You are offering a great giveaway today to one of our cyber sisters. Can you tell us about it?

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas shopping, and I’ll bet many of you do, too.  So....I’m giving away a $10 gift certificate for a coffee break at Starbucks when your feet get sore. I’ll also include a copy of my Christmas message “With” as a reminder of God’s tremendous love and sacrifice in coming to be with us. I wish all my cyber friends Merry Christmas and pray that you are embraced by His presence in this joyful season!

Thanks Amy!!!

Okay ladies…leave us a comment today answering any of the questions that Amy was asked in the above interview. Or, if time is short or your brain is already drained (even though December doesn’t start until tomorrow!) just say “I’m in!” You’ll be entered to win Day One’s prize!

Christmas Blessings,

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116 Comments

  1. A tradition for us is reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve and making sure everyone is snug in their bed for a good night of rest so we can enjoy Christmas Day.

  2. Since Amy mentioned the advent calendar she and her brother had growing up it made me think back to the advent calendars my grandmother would get me and my sisters each year. We’d get so excited about opening each window because we knew there was a piece of chocolate.

  3. my absolute favorite Christmas song is “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant. i can listen to it all year long. it expresses Mary’s desire to be obedient & her willingness to be God’s servant while recognizing her desperate need for God’s help to accomplish his purpose. recently during a Women’s Bible Study we were encouraged to memorize Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” i wanted that to be my response to what God asks of me! so that has become a verse i live by knowing God wants what is best for me & it is my choice to yield my will to his in order to become transformed into his likeness!

  4. When I was little, our family had 2 Christmas trees-one in the den (Santa’s tree) and one in the living room (fancy – family tree). My parents always videoed us and we had Christmas outfits. We discovered that my zipper was broken at the last minute. I was instructed NOT to turn around during the “taping”. What was the first thing I did??? TURN AROUND!!! We laughed and laughed. Great childhood memories!

  5. Our favorite family tradition is baking hundreds of cookies and giving them to friends and neighbors. The time we spend together baking is so fun, and the lesson in generosity for my daughter is invaluable.

  6. My favorite Christmas memory as a child is putting the cookies out for Santa, and I was always worried about the reindeer getting something to eat as well. I had a pony those days, and I would put out hay for the reindeer to eat. It was always so much fun to see the cookie crumbs, and the hay was mostly gone. Oh, what our parents do to make special memories!!

  7. My favorite memory from childhood is driving to my grandparents house for Christmas. From Texas to Illinois – and hoping for snow! :)

  8. The song I can’t get enough of this season is Casting Crowns “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. The whole album in general I find wonderful.

  9. We have a Christmas book basket, too! I try to add a book or two each year to it. My 8 year old son has just as much fun looking through and reading the ones from years past as he does the new ones he receives!

  10. I love the Christmas ornaments that my mom makes the kids every year. I also love Christmas music and purchased the Casting Crowns Christmas CD this year.

  11. Since my early teen years I have loved “O Holy Night”. It was not the typical song we sung at church as I grew up. Knowing how much I like that song, one year my Mom bought me a music globe of the nativity scene that plays “O Holy Night’.! I can still remember the excited look on her face as I opened that box. Mom has been home with Jesus for 10 years now and I still miss her. What a treasure of memories opens up each Christmas when I pull that music globe out of the box, wind it up, and place it on my mantle!

  12. Karen,
    I love St Lorenz Lutheran Church. I have been there a few times when visiting Frankenmuth. My favorite Christmas carol is Silent Night. I love to sing it especially on Christmas Eve in church at a candlelight service.

  13. The best Christmas tradition is just getting together with extended family..it has been that way for as long as I can remember.

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