Christmas Love Letters from God Blog Hop…and Eight Giveaways!

Here we go friends…. beginning this week I’m embarking on a virtual tour with my newest book, Christmas Love Letters from God.

glenys-with-christmas-ll-bookEach week leading up to Christmas, I’ll be featured on eight different blogs where I’ll be taking part in author interviews, sharing ideas for creating Christmas traditions, and hosting a book giveaway at every stop.

There’ll be book reviews, a chance for you to download your own DIY nativity cutout scene, and ideas for using Christmas Love Letters from God as an Advent or Christmas devotional.

I hope you’ll join us at our first stop today with Vanessa Myers, a United Methodist Children’s Ministry Director, who shares some surprising thoughts about the book.

Here’s the entire blog hop schedule:


17th: Vanessa MyersChildren’s Ministry Director

24th: Denette FretzChildren’s Book Author

31st:  Christina Embree: Children and Family Ministries Director


7th:   Kelly AnnMom Blogger

14th: Laura SassiChildren’s Book Author

21st:  Jenn PorscheHomeschooling Mom

28th:  Traci Smith: Pastor


5th: Noelle KirchnerPastor

Now head on over to Vanessa Myers…. you don’t want to miss reading what her young daughter wrote in her love letter to Jesus.. it is so precious! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway there too!

That Utterly, Amazing Thing We Call Grace

So he was there again this morning, that gorgeous kingfisher with the long beak and the beady eye, perched quietly atop our pontoon boat.


We’ve watched him as he dives deep into the lake and emerges a few moments later dangling a poor, flapping fish from his beak. We really should stop watching at that point….but we’re unable to put the binoculars down. It’s too fascinating, seeing this grisly glimpse into nature, this devouring… it really is.

Our kingfisher is in that same spot every. single. morning. Because he knows it’s simply the best place to be. It’s where he gets fed.

Then there’s me.

My family and all my friends think I’m a wonderful Christian. And I try, I really do. But somehow, I don’t quite measure up. I KNOW where I should be every single morning. I know the best place to get fed. But I fail so miserably.

In my defense, my Bible does have a prominent spot right at the side of my bed… but my phone sits on top of it. And therefore takes precedence.

But I NEED God… I really do, especially on gray, cloudy days like this one, when the sun won’t shine. And my heart is troubled.

On days like this I so need to know and remember that God is the one who can heal all hurts and right all wrongs, who can mend broken hearts and hold us when we cry.

God is the one who catches every tear, who fixes our failures and whispers hope into our hearts; the one who makes a way when there seems no way.

God is the one who tells me I am loved no matter what I do, or don’t do, no matter how many miserable times I fail or how many times I fall. God will lift me up.

It’s that utterly amazing grace that John Newton knew so well.

I stepped out onto the sodden grass this morning, trying to get a better picture of that kingfisher as he sat atop our pontoon boat. I wanted a close-up. The grass was long and wet with rain. My socks were soaked. But I’d only taken a few steps when he flew away.

God is not like that.

Because I know that the minute I start running to God, God will run to me.

I know God is the one waiting for me to turn and take those steps, and before I’ve even put my foot down, God is running, running right towards me, holding out those great big arms that will scoop me up and hold me tight and never let me go.

Healing all the hurt. Righting all the wrongs.

I’m running, God. I’m running.

The Church in the Middle of the Cornfield

It’s Sunday. l’m in the car early on this October morning. I leave the city and all the traffic behind and pretty soon I’m by myself on country roads, heading to this little church where I’ve been invited to share in a special Children’s Sunday. I’m happy to do it… children’s ministry is my passion.

I don’t really know what to expect when I get there, but I’m thinking that that this place won’t be packed. There probably won’t be many kids. But that’s okay, I remind myself. After all, some of Jesus’ most powerful conversations that would result in transformed lives were shared one on one, rather than in the crowd.

I keep driving, and driving, past peach farms and fruit trees, and nothing else, until I arrive at the railway tracks that have no lights. I obediently stop and as I do, I see a faithful little sign beyond, trying its best to stick up importantly out of the grass. It bears a cross and flame. I know that logo.


Chapel Hill United Methodist Church 1/4 Mile that faithful sign announces, with a little arrow to guide me just in case I get lost. After all, the road I’m on does seem to stretch into nowhere.

But I’m on the right path. And exactly one-quarter of a mile down that road, I get my first glimpse of the church. It’s little. And cute. It looks welcoming. It’s in the middle of a cornfield.

As I pull into the parking lot, I note that there’s even parking spaces ‘reserved for visitors.’ I try not to think about just how many visitors might come here. But the point is, this church is prepared.

It’s just that I’m not… I’m not quite prepared for what I experience that morning…

because inside those doors, something is happening, fueled by the undeniable and inextinguishable presence of the Holy Spirit.

Every pew is full. And there are children… lots of them. The worship is high energy as we gather to celebrate the launch of the re-envisioned Kidz Konnection. And I have to admit this is just not what I was expecting.

So much work, and thought, and planning, and prayer, and preparation has gone into this that I am overwhelmed… and so proud of this little church and all it is achieving.


And when we make our way up to the altar rail for communion, I get the biggest piece of bread I have ever seen, because, as the pastor says: who wants a little bit of Jesus? Don’t we all want a big hunk of Jesus?

Yes, yes, yes! This little church in the middle of the cornfield is offering a big hunk of Jesus to all who step though its doors. And that is a wonderful thing.

And I guess it doesn’t matter what size our church, whether we’re in the city or the country, as long as we’re preaching the Gospel and welcoming children as Jesus did.

As long as little children return from the communion rail grinning from ear to ear clutching a piece of bread so sodden in juice that it has turned pink, while others kneel at the communion rail, their eyes closed and their hands held high in prayer.

And when I leave that morning, I look out, beyond the cross, over to the cornfield and I watch the giant stalks blowing in the wind.


I think about that huge field of corn, and all the work and preparation that went into it. Of how a farmer must have planted those seeds, and nurtured them, and fed them, and proudly watched them grow, all the while anticipating a harvest.

And that’s just what this little village church is doing… planting seeds, and nurturing them, and faithfully fulfilling its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

There will be a harvest.

Christmas Love Letters Announcement!

Here’s Mary, jumping out of the pages of Christmas Love Letters from God to help me announce the two lucky winners of the giveaway! Do you see how excited she is?


Out of the 43 people who entered, the winners are: Elizabeth Campbell, who said:

I think my favorite story will be Jesus Joy.

And Kate Robbins, who said:

I think Mary’s Song is going to be my favorite too!! I could listen to you read stories all day long!!

Thank you, Kate, for your kind words, and for everyone who entered.

If you didn’t win, don’t despair! Beginning October 17th, there’ll be eight chances to win the book.

Each week leading up to Christmas, I’ll be featured on eight different blogs as I hop on board a virtual tour. I’ll be taking part in author interviews, sharing ideas for creating Christmas traditions, offering a cute Nativity cut out scene, and hosting… giveaways!

And if you would like a signed, personalized copy as a special Christmas gift, please come and see me at one of my upcoming:


Happy Christmas! (After all, it’s only 80 days away!)

Christmas Love Letters from God Giveaway!

I know you’ve only just put your shorts and summer tops away; I know the trees are only just starting to turn orange; I know your Christmas tree is still tucked away in that big box in the attic… but the publication date of Christmas Love Letters from God is almost here! Six short days from now, in fact!

So, to celebrate, we’re giving away two brand-new, hot-off-the-press copies. It’s your chance to cross a gift off your Christmas shopping list.

If you live in the USA and don’t have a PO box, you can enter. Just fill in the contact form below and tell me which of these seven stories contained in the book might be your favorite.


My favorite is the one you’ll hear me read, right here…..

Pre-order Here

Enter the giveaway by completing the form below. (And if you want your name to be entered twice, share this post on Facebook or email to a friend, and just let me know in your comment.) I hope you win!

5 Not-to-Miss Tips to Make Your Writers’ Conference Worthwhile

Congratulations! So you took the plunge, as I did, and registered for a great Writers’ Conference, like Maranatha.

Now what?

Now you prepare, as thoroughly as you can. Here’s my top five tips to help make your Writers’ Conference worthwhile:

  1. Pray. Prayer should be the foundation of everything you do, as a writer, and a Christian. From the first words on your page, to the last step inside that conference door, PRAY. I love what Mark Batterson says about the role prayer played in the journey to publication of his first book:

I don’t just write books; I circle them in prayer. To me, writing is praying with a keyboard….I didn’t write that book; I prayed that book.

Pray: about the right conference to attend; the right people to see; the right words to say.

2. Research. Once you have chosen the right conference, do your research thoroughly. Research the faculty and staff in attendance. What publishers or agents might be interested in your genre? If they are offering one-on-one consultations (as Maranatha does), make sure you are booked in with them. If you can only attend for one day, choose the day when they will be there. Research the workshops offered. Sign up for all that interest you.

3. Prepare. If you have paid to attend a conference, you need to be wise about your investment. The last thing you want is to return from that conference saying, I wish I’d taken this, or, if only I’d done that…

Carefully prepare your book proposal to share with publishers and agents. For my book, I used a template from Michael Hyatt:

Write a Book Proposal That Leaves Publishers Begging to Publish You

This free nonfiction book proposal template by Karen Porter is also very useful. Once you’ve written your proposal, consider having it edited by a professional. Children’s book author Crystal Bowman  edited my proposal and offers a great editing service to children’s writers.

Once you’re satisfied that your proposal is the very best it can be, print off several copies on good quality paper and be sure to attach your business card, preferably one containing your photograph. (Publishers and agents are meeting with many people. You want yours to be the face they remember).

Finally, practice, practice, practice your pitch to the professionals. You don’t want to be stumbling over your words. You only get one chance to make a first impression… make it a good one.

4. Network. Once you’re at the conference, take advantage of every opportunity to network with other attendees and professionals. Swap business cards. Learn from others. Mix and mingle. Make connections. These folks will become invaluable contacts who will support and encourage you in your publishing journey, as you do the same for them.

5. Take Notes. You are a writer…. write everything down, whether on your phone, iPad, or whatever works best for you. I personally am one of those old-fashioned writers who use those two ancient tools beginning with p. Whatever you use, take notes on what you hear. You will quickly forget all that information once you return home.

And one final piece of advice… if you do manage to get your proposal in the hands of someone who’s interested, be sure to enquire (politely) when and how you can expect to hear from them. If they tell you to contact them after a certain period of time, make sure you have their contact details. ( I didn’t do that…and it was an agonizing wait).

I just registered for Maranatha. It’s not too late… perhaps I’ll see you there! And you never know, that one book offer might just turn into five, because after all, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.  Ephesians 3:20


What other advice would you give to aspiring authors? What tips have worked well for you? 

The Best Piece of Advice I Could Give to Aspiring Authors..

I’m often asked, by aspiring authors:

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer as we try to break into the publishing world?

I’m usually tempted to say, learn to speak in a British accent, (since it’s done wonders for me). But instead, my singular piece of advice for those who don’t have an agent is:

Attend a Writers’ Conference.

I personally never wanted to.

I’d heard about writers’ conferences before, but I didn’t need to go to one. I decided I could do this myself. The thought of attending a writers’ conference intimidated and overwhelmed me. I’d seen the photographs of packed stadiums, brimming with people and bustling with activity. I was shy. I didn’t need, or want, to network with lots of agents, publishers, or other writers.

But it didn’t take long for me to figure out that there were only two ways to get my manuscript into the hands of Zondervan ( which was my goal). I either needed an agent, or I had to attend a conference.

That’s when I felt God nudging me to look at the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference, taking place in Muskegon, on the picturesque shore of Lake Michigan.

Not only was this conference in a beautiful setting, but it appealed to me because of its size. Although described as the largest writers’ conference in West Michigan, it was ‘small enough to be personable,’ promised excellent faculty in attendance, and was able to offer individual attention to writers through consultations with agents and editors. I plucked up courage, prayed, and registered. It was a decision I would never, ever regret.

Maranatha really did have an impressive faculty list. As I prepared for the conference, I scanned through the names, and saw that a well-known children’s author would be attending, to offer workshops, and meet one on one with writers.

I checked out her website and noticed she also offered editing and critique services. So I contacted her and before we’d even met at Maranatha, she had critiqued and edited both my proposal and the entire manuscript. I signed up to attend her workshops, registered for individual consultations with several faculty, and printed off my newly edited proposal. God had been with me every step of the way.

I was ready to attend my first writers’ conference.

My experience at Maranatha was everything it promised to be. Not once did I feel intimidated or overwhelmed. I was welcomed with genuine warmth; found fellowship with new friends; attended life-changing, informative workshops; heard inspirational testimonies; walked barefoot on the beach; and prayed with a small group of writers on a wooden balcony overlooking Lake Michigan, as God’s voice whispered through the wind and the waves.

The children’s author who had edited my work agreed to endorse my book, and most importantly, I was able to meet one on one with an editor from Zonderkidz- a ten minute consultation that would forever change my life.

She went back to Zondervan carrying my proposal. I went back home carrying my dream—a dream that was about to become reality.


Little did I know that on a beautiful fall day, in that quiet, friendly, charming atmosphere of the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference, a new chapter of my life would begin. Little did I know….but God knows it all.

God – the giver of the writing gift; the creator of dreams; the planter of seeds; God knows it all. Writers… pick up your pens, open yourselves to the creative power of the Holy Spirit, and register.

Next week on the blog: 5 Not-to-Miss Tips To Make Your Writers’ Conference Worthwhile.

Where’s God?

So my husband said something from the pulpit that bothered me. Don’t get me wrong…. his sermons are great (okay, I’m a little biased).

He was talking about where we find God and how, with the advent of Facebook, we’re able to share our precious God-given moments with the world.

Our sweet granddaughter in Portland, Oregon, just started walking. He said. She’s adorable! Her parents post pictures all the time, and when I look at her, I think I see the face of God.

Of course he does. So do I. Just look at her….who couldn’t see God in those blue eyes and that big, toothy smile?


But last week on Facebook, I saw another child’s face.  I didn’t want to see it. (That’s the trouble with Facebook…you end up seeing things you never wanted to).

It wasn’t my sweet smiling granddaughter. It was the boy everyone’s talking about, the boy everyone’s writing blog posts about, the Syrian boy covered in dust and blood, sitting motionless with haunting eyes. The boy who didn’t look like a boy at all.

When I first saw that image as I scrolled through my news feed, I just quickly zoomed right along. What on earth was that? I thought, in shock. Was that a doll? That couldn’t possibly have been real. I pushed it to the back of my mind. I didn’t want my thoughts filled with horror like that, I didn’t want my mind seeing those images. I didn’t want my nice, joy-filled day interrupted like that. So I didn’t even read the headline.

His name is Omran. The image of him, bloodied and covered with dust, sitting silently in an ambulance awaiting help, is another stark reminder of the toll of the war in Syria.

Whatever that was, it must be someone’s idea of a sick joke. I thought, and continued scrolling until I came to my smiling granddaughter again.

But it wasn’t a joke was it? It was real. This little boy is real! His name is Omran Daqneesh. He was pulled out from under the rubble of his home in Syria. He is five years old, the same age as my eldest grandson, the one who just moved to a beautiful new neighborhood surrounded by trees where he rides his bike with his brother.

Omran’s brother died yesterday from his injuries.

And even though I’m a strong believer I just can’t help asking….. where’s God in all of that?

Why do some children die and some children live?

Why is it that my grandchildren can ride their bikes in safety while other children are blown to bits in Syria?

It’s so easy for me to see God in the happy, smiling face of my granddaughter, but where’s God in the haunted face of Omran?

If I believe that God is in every child, (which I do), then God can’t just be in the face of the happy – God has to be in the face of the hopeless, and the haunted, and the hurt. God IS there… in the face of little Omran.

God is there, crying in silent agony for what was meant to be a beautiful world where babies die and children are bombed.

I don’t know the answers to all my questions. But I do know that I can help.

I don’t understand God. But I understand my responsibility.

I cannot turn away. I am called, ALL believers are called, to be part of the healing in whatever way they can.

Only healing can take away the hurt.


Sign this British PETITION to help 300 refugee children who are stranded in Calais.

Sign the petition or donate to the WHITE HELMETS.


Happy Birthday to Snuggle Time Psalms…and Who Won the Giveaway?

The publication day for Snuggle Time Psalms has finally arrived! It’s like holding a brand new baby! 2016-08-09 10.44.04

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the giveaway. And the winners are, (drum roll please)…

Liz, who is going to snuggle with:

My five kiddos. But especially my 5, 4 and 2-year-old.

And Annette, who said:

I would love to snuggle up with my (hopefully) future grandchildren with Snuggle Time Psalms. Until that day I will share God’s love with the children at our church’s daycare and church school through Glenys’s wonderful books like Snuggle Time Psalms.

If you didn’t win, don’t despair! Just enter this giveaway which is open until tomorrow.

May God, the real author of Snuggle Time Psalms, and the One who never leaves us, bless, watch over and hold the hands of all who will turn its pages.

2016-08-09 10.14.22

Snuggle Time Psalms Giveaway!

With just one week to go before Snuggle Time Psalms is released, (did you know it’s at the number one spot on Amazon’s Children’s Inspirational list), we thought we’d celebrate by giving away two copies!

The giveaway will be open for the next seven days.  As long as you live in the USA and you don’t have a PO box, you can enter. All you have to do is fill in your contact details below and tell me who you would snuggle with as you read the book.

And in case you wanted to peek inside first, here’s a sneaky preview. This is my favorite page, because it reminds me of my little grandson…

2016-08-02 14.50.39