It is ALMOST here…. "Keeping Christ AS Christmas" launches on Saturday!

WhooHoo!  I feel almost as excited and anxious (in the “can’t wait for it to come” way) that I did those last few days before my children were born!  I feel like I’m having another baby, and it’s name is Keeping Christ AS Christmas!  haha.

So many God-gifted people have helped me get to this point and I just wanted to take a moment and give them a big shout out! 

This is the book cover:

Like all proud mamas, I think it is most beautiful! πŸ™‚

As I was praying about what the cover should look like, the Lord kept putting in my mind a scene where Santa is kneeling and worshiping Baby Jesus.  We have a sweet ornament ball with that scene on it, so I began praying about how that could translate into a book cover.  Just a few days later, my hometown friend (and talented partner to her talented designer/decorator husband) Janice e-mailed me, offering the use of any of their decorations for pictures for the book.  Then she mentioned that they had a beautiful Santa kneeling at the manger of Baby Jesus!  Can you believe it????  Only God! 

Janice and her husband, Charlie, pulled out their beautiful decor and took some amazing pictures!  I only used this one, so I’m saving the others for future use. The original pictures of Jesus and Santa are incredible, but I didn’t want Santa to be too prevalent, so I blurred him out (thanks to Picasa), and one thing led to another… until the book cover plan was born. πŸ™‚

Then, God used my gifted friend (and Children’s Minister at our church) Jackie to sit down with me and actually bring to life what He had given me in my mind and heart.  I’m still amazed at the things that she and her Mac (and the Lord) could do!  When the cover was completely designed, I looked at it through teary eyes.  It looked like a “real” book, and I finally felt like a “real” author!!! 

During the book cover process, the Lord led me to send the Jesus/Santa picture to another artistically talented friend (and blog author) Ashley, of Joy Treasure.  I’ve known Ashley since she and my sister were freshmen in college (translation: for about 19 years).  I asked Ashley to pray about painting Santa kneeling to Jesus, and what she sent back was this precious painting that God used as the springboard of next year’s edition of Keeping Christ AS ChristmasKids Keeping Christ AS Christmas!  God has already laid out the outline for this next book – which hopefully, will be released early Fall 2012!  I can’t wait to see what God has planned for that book!  So, thank you, Ashley, for being used a year in advance!

The most time-consuming investment in Keeping Christ AS Christmas has been by my precious friend, Mrs. Janie Bradley – also known as Dr. Janie Allen Bradley of Delta State University.  She offered her gifts of deep knowledge of the English language, and edited every page of this book … except 1 or 2 that I threw in at the last minute… If you see any grammar mistakes, you’ll know that it’s on the pages I didn’t get to Mrs. Janie in time!  She went over every word, dash, parentheses, quotations, and formatting with a fine toothed comb.  If it hadn’t been for Mrs. Janie’s help, we’d be drowning in a sea of commas by chapter two!

The book production has been a family affair.  My sister, Rebecca, taught me how to take a word document and turn it into a PDF.  It was amazingly easy, and one of these days, I’ll do a little tutorial on it. 

And my brother, Chris, designed and is upkeeping the web page – which will launch by Saturday morning:  He is an amazing computer-man, and I’m so thankful that God has gifted him to help me beyond the actual writing of this book. 

I don’t know how this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the generosity and obedience to the Lord of these dear people God called to walk beside me in this journey.  Many of you shared your input and your prayers, and I treasure every one of them.  I sent the rough draft to a few people to read and they sent me back some quotes.  This is what they had to share: 

Keeping Christ AS Christmas is a book that will literally change the heart-attitude toward Christmas of every person who reads it.  If you know Jennifer Walker then you know that she has a true, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ which guides her in everything she does.  What I love about this book is that Jennifer gives practical, tangible, and realistic ways to develop our own relationships with the Lord day by day.  She then shares how to keep our hearts focused on Jesus in the midst of the worldly distractions during the holiday season.

Keeping Christ AS Christmas will bring us back to the true spirit of this precious season and make a lasting impact on our hearts that will last the whole year through. 

“If you can buy only one book this year it should be Keeping Christ AS Christmas.  This thoughtfully written book provides both encouragement and inspiration for celebrating this very special season.  Using some simple strategies Jennifer Walker Crawford details how she began to prepare her heart to have a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.  As she shares in her book, that sweet fellowship with Jesus produces a heart and a home filled with CHRISTmas every single day of the year!
  If you are searching for the path to that PEACE, you can find it here.”
-Janice Dulany
“Jennifer’s e-book Keeping Christ AS Christmas is filled with ways to live the holidays honoring the real reason for the season – Jesus. The book is informative, inspirational, and entertaining. It has been a privilege to read the book and plan with renewed conviction to have the most ‘Christ AS Christmas’ holiday season my family has ever had.”
Janie Arnold Allen Bradley, Ph.D
Keeping Christ AS Christmas will be one book I will read and reread every Christmas season. It is jam packed with practical advice, ideas, worksheets, and helpful resources. Jennifer writes in a beautiful conversational style. Everything focuses on the gift of Jesus, including the motivation behind gift giving. Jennifer includes the history behind many Christmas traditions. I loved the questions asked at the end of each chapter to help make it personal for each family. And, I loved how Jennifer outlined how to spend 10 minutes with Jesus in the morning. She writes, β€˜10 minutes with Jesus will make a world of difference in the next 23:50 hours of your day.’

β€œI would highly recommend Keeping Christ AS Christmas as the perfect gift to give to yourself, your friends, and your family. I know this Christmas will be different for my family after reading this book.”

Debbie Petras,

More than anything, I am so thankful to Jesus, who IS Christmas, and who called me to be His typing fingers as He wrote another  “how to” book on keeping Himself as the center of this upcoming holiday season. 

Jesus is the reason for the Season… and for every other day of the year.  To Him be the glory! 

I’ll see you back here on Saturday… πŸ™‚


About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at