Moments with God Giveaway with Thais VanGinHoven; A Cancer Survivor

Here I am in Michigan–snowed in again!

A perfect day to make a big pot of hot soup, some crusty, hearty bread and curl up with a good book.

In the pot?

Hamburger Soup; a veggie-laden savory contribution from my friend Pam that was published in my latest book.

On the bread board?

Homemade honey-whole-wheat. Hot out of the oven with a tad bit of butter.

In my hands?

A wonderful book by a cancer-survivor and lover of God, my sister-in-love, Thais VanGinHoven.

Thais VanGinhoven is a breast cancer survivor. She is also a mother, dental hygienist, writer, speaker, artist, and friend.

Her pursuit is to bring glory to the name of God through her daily life and the telling of her story. She believes that as long as she is alive God must not be finished with her yet. Thais lives in southwest Michigan.

Okay…that was her professional bio. Now for the real scoop!

Thais (pronounced Ty-ese as in Thai food) is the oldest sister of my husband Todd. The “funnest” Aunt around, as my kids say, she can often be found on some wacky adventure, quietly riding her horse or encouraging a hurting soul.

Quite the cook, like all three of Todd’s sisters, she makes the absolute BEST appetizers—usually laden with some fancy cheese (an Ehman trademark) and bakes one killer white-chocolate raspberry cheese cake (also in my latest book). She has a knack for decorating, for making you feel as if you’ve known her all your life and for turning tragedy and adversity into opportunites for growth.

Perhaps this amazing lady ‘s life philosophy can be best summed up by the sign that hangs in her quaint 1880’s farmhouse (the former Heinz Pickle Farm’s overseer’s residence):

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-pressed body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, ‘Whoo-hoo! what a ride’ “ :-)

Thais recently published her first book Moments With God; Diaries of a Cancer Survivor.

I’ll never forget the day we got the call.

Thais had breast cancer, but it didn’t have her. Not for one moment!

Fast forward 8 years. She has lived through not only the cancer, but also an unwanted divorce that cost her the dream house she lived in and her comfortable, county-club lifestyle.

Soon after she found herself alone, she suffered a severe brain injury from a fall and had both her adult children move states away just as her divorce was final.

Thais was forced to start her life over again, finding and adjusting to a new “normal”.

Through it all, she kept a journal. That journal is now her book!

To be entered to win a signed copy of this encouraging volume along with a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card (to buy your own journal or to use at their coffee house) simply leave a comment here today.

Tell us, if YOU could write a book, what would it be? Fiction? A memoir? A self-help book?

I FIRMLY believe everyone has a story within them. What would yours be? Or what would you write about if you could? If time is tight, simply say “I’m in!”

And would you please hop over to Thais’ site too and leave a comment on her blog?

I would so love that!

But be sure to leave your comment here too for the giveaway!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday!

Cancer-kicking Blessings,


  1. Sounds like Thais is living Is. 61:2-3 as a shining example of our LORD’s favor…bringing comfort and provision, exchanging ashes for beauty, mourning for gladness, dispair for praise, and allowing Him to display His splendor in her life.
    I can’t wait to read it! I’m in!!!!!!!!!!

  2. What an inspiration Thais is! She will speak to so many. Reading new books is one of my passions. Especially when I can learn new ways to help those who are hurting.
    I don’t consider myself a writer, but what a book about my life. From only child, to married, 2 children, divorce, father who doesn’t want to support his children, finding a job in the mid 70’s without any work experience, getting married a second time, 2 more childred, living in different states, husband retires from USMC and then decides the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Left with no income, a house, truck and everything else to pay with a 16 and 19 year old girls. That is just a short history. There is so much more.
    But the greatest thing–Though everything–God has been right there with me, held me up, showed me the way. I’ve never been alone even when I’ve felt alone.

    Thanks so much for sharing Your Story, Thais.

  3. I’ve often thought about writing a book – sometimes I think memoir, sometimes fiction, sometimes devotional. Reading the stories of the people who have posted makes me think their stories should all be told. Karen – you are absolutely right, everyone has a story; and every story can be used by God for His glory and to help others. I’m reading the book right now called “Doing Well at Being Sick,” by Wendy Wallace. It talks about chronic and acute illness and how to get through it – definitely a book for those who already have a basic faith in God.

  4. I am new to your blog and enjoying every minute of it! Thanks for the chance to win this book and to learn more about you and your faith.

  5. I would love to read this memoir – what a powerful story it must be. I like the reminder, that if we are blessed by God to awake each morning He must not be done with us yet!

  6. I would love to write a book of any kind, but was JUST thinking as I was reading back through my journal of the last few months, that it is such a testimony of God’s presence in the little details of our lives. I was contemplating what it would be like to just give it to a friend and say “read it” and trust you heart and your innermost thoughts with soemone you know loves you. And how different that would be to “publish” it for all to see. I’d love to read this book. Thanks for sharing the story.

  7. I would want to write a wonderful fiction series. I’ve also thought about a collection of stories of our life in rural Alaska with no plumbing. The northern lights on my way to the outhouse at night are breathtaking and moments to savor with my Saviour! Thank you Thais for being such a blessing to others and worthy role model for me and my daughter. Thank you Karen for posting and your ever-encouraging words! Blessings,

  8. Thais, I’m so thankful that you took the broken pieces of your life and turned them into a beautiful offering for our sweet Savior who is making all things new in you. I know so many will be blessed by your faith journey captured in your book. Sweet blessings,

  9. ‘Cut, Color and Conversation’ would be the name of my book. As a hairdresser I have had the honor to know so many wonderful people (and be part of their stories) in a very raw and personal way. I have shaved too many heads to beat the chemo to the hairloss. Some of those amazing people survived, some are waiting for us in heaven-but all kicked some serious cancer hiney through it all. I would give Moments with God, Diaries of a Cancer Survivor (I’d underline Surviver) to my client, Sandy, who is fighting melanoma as she travels to another state for experimental cancer treatment. She has her good days of peace mixed in with her days of panic. And now she knows that the cure for the panic is spending time with God. Ahe is an amazing women and I am blessed to have her in my life.

  10. I have a book rattling around inside of me, a story of the joy and hope that can spring from pain and tragedy, a story about the path I have walked with God either leading me or hovering over me as I insisted on going my own way. I hope it would be a book of encouragement. One day God will give me the go ahead and the book will come flooding out of me.

  11. If I wrote a book, it would be of my childhood. Growing up in a home where there was drug abuse, incest, almost dying from a late term abortion, being disown by my father, only to be born-again and seeing my mother get saved, my father telling me how sorry he was for the wrongs that done again me, and God’s unending love and grace for me.

    I love what Thais’s sign over her door says. And I agree with that whole heartily! After all, we are just diamonds in the rough, till we are called home.

  12. I would welcome being entered to win Thais’ book. I so wish to tell my story too, to help others in whatever struggles they may be experiencing. Most importantly, to share the love of Jesus and the glory of God in the process.

    17 years ago I met and fell in love with my now husband of 14 years. I struggle from self worth issues and depression, as well as other health issues. In a ‘brief’ time-line (lol! No such thing, why I need to write a book!)that can’t even begin to tell our story’s every detail from God: We went through infertility, a high risk pregnancy, husband’s kidney failure, a double organ transplant, my being born again, our daughter (she was 6) diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, marital problems, issues and more!, my raised a Lutheran life-time Christian husband being born again, his job loss, a new job and a move out of state for the first time ever in our lives, home foreclosure, both children diagnosed with Celiac Disease (they can’t eat anything with wheat! rye! barley! oats! That’s in everything we learned!)husband’s prison sentence back in previous state, my children and I remaining out of state and living with another family from our church (whom I didn’t even know prior to moving in!)whom have – Celiac Disease! I went from being a suburban ‘she has it all'(and is miserable!) stay at home mom in an affluent community, to working 2 to 3 jobs on food stamps and Medicaid. My husband’s early prison release with new lease on life and a culinary certificate in hand and a recent move half way across the country to be with his family. Which is where we are now. Content. Together as a family, with nothing but each other. We have not a penny to our name. But we have found that through out it all – God provides and we need nothing more than each other and to put God first in our lives.

    We have lived like Paul. We “…know what it is to be in need, and know what it is to have plenty. We have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. We can do all this through Him who gives us strength.” Every step of our journey was a part of His plan. Though we really don’t understand it, we diligently walk in His way. We are living our lives FOR HIM. It’s not about US anymore. We would not change a single thing. That’s right, we would not change a single thing!

    I aspire to some day be a P31 Ministries gal someday and speak about our story and write our book. It’s all for Him (! For now, I’d love to read Thais’ story to help me along my way… because even though I have a story to tell, my story is still being written!

    Thank you for your consideration…


  13. Thais I love your name it is so beautiful but your story with our Saviour is even more beautiful. He truly will turn ashes to beauty and he just needs Jesus filled girls to pass the story along. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your philosophy to the end of life….skating in sideways with chocolate and a Latte and loving the ride. God Bless you…..I would try to write my story so it might help others the way yours will. Love and prayers Kathy in Illinois

  14. Wow, she has been through so much! I would love to read her book. If I could write a book, I would probably write fiction for young teens. It’s hard to find good books for them that have a strong, Christian message.

  15. If I ever write a book it will be a story of my sister and her life of survival out of the midst of difficult and hard life, then out of hospice and back. It would be the story of sisters.

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