🎄 Merry Christmas to You & Yours! 🎄
“To me, family are God’s hugs and kisses.”
They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and I have to agree. Since both of my children live many states away, Keith and I spend Christmas with Keith’s family in St. Louis, then celebrate our Christmas with our kids weeks prior to Christmas or after, when we travel to where each of them live. But their absence on the actual holiday itself has brought me an appreciation for family that is sharper and deeper than I ever had before. A keener awareness that family is a gift from God, whether our circumstances are good or bad.
It took me LOTS and LOTS of prayer and repentence to forgive my mother and father for an upbringing that caused me a lot of pain, and yet, that very pain brought me to God Who has since taught me that His love — unconditional love — is the glue that binds families together. Through God’s love for me, I learned how to forgive my parents, to pray for them, and to love them the way He does.
My mother died when I was sixteen — seven years before I came to Christ — so our reconciliation yet awaits in heaven. But with my father — who died shortly after I became born again at the age of twenty-three — God gave me a year or so to make it right, to reach out to him and love him like Christ does. It was my first assignment as a Christian, and the most life-changing thus far. And, I’m very proud to say, the real-life basis for my award-winning, 5-star novel, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love. When Daddy died, God gave me hugs and kisses galore through a healed relationship in which I was “Daddy’s girl,” a woman he respected, loved and yes — even called “pretty” — something so very critical to an insecure little girl who thought she bayed at the moon.
As a young mother, I’ll be the first to admit that I was so busy, I didn’t always give my kids the attention they deserved. And when I became an author, the busyness seemed to spin out of control, further stealing my time. But after writing about God and family for twenty-five books now, I am happy to say that I have finally learned that family is not only the most important thing to me after God, but it’s also the most important thing to God as well.
Holidays have a way of illuminating family, whether good or bad, but the good news is that with God — through God — families can be healed to become the ebb and flow of His amazing love in our lives. I thank God it’s a lesson I’ve learned before it’s too late, when I still have time to be His hugs and kisses in their lives, deepening my relationship with them and with a Father to Whom we all are — joyfully — the apple of His eye.
Although Keith and I spend our Christmas Eve and Christmas morning apart from our children and grands, their absence brings an awareness that helps make it wonderful nonetheless, allowing us to cherish stolen moments on Facetime, through phone calls, and an eventual “Christmas visit” that is always one of the best gifts I receive over the holidays.
Even though I have never met most of you, I want you to know that I consider you “family” as well and very dear friends. Some of you have written me in the past, many of you have prayed for me, but ALL of you have blessed me more than I can say.
And so, from my family to yours — we wish you a new year overflowing with God’s abundant blessings … and endless hugs and kisses from the God of the Universe Who calls each of us His own.
Hugs and Happy New Year!
🎄 We Have a Winner!
JOURNAL JOTS CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY! Mega hugs to everybody who entered, and I wish you all could win, but unfortunately only one person can, and that person is …
SUPER CONGRATS to Anne for winning a $15 Amazon gift card, all six of my Christmas e-books,her choice of any one of my indie e-books, and a character named after her in my next book. So, Anne, I will be in touch.
🎁 99-Cent Sale on A Gift Like No Other
Have you read A Gift Like No Other yet? If not, now is the time to snatch it up at 60% off at only 99 cents for a limited time only. Here’s what the reviewers below are saying about this 5-star Christmas novella that is truly “a gift like no other.”
🎁 “IF LESSMAN WROTE A MARRIAGE COUNSELING BOOK, I would definitely read it and recommend it to others.” — Pause for Tales blog
🎁 LESSMAN REALLY PUNCHES THE READER IN THE GUT with the truth & reality of what real life marriage relationships can be like. It can be hard and painful, but it can also be wonderful and glorious. — Singing Librarian Books
🎁 THIS STORY WAS A GIFT LIKE NO OTHER! Full of love, laughter, forgiveness, and spiritual growth! I laughed so hard when the sisters all gathered together to discuss life! The scripture Julie used to back up her spiritual lessons were perfect!! Pure fun! Pure passion! Pure joy!! A must read!!! — Amazon reviewer Kelly Brown
🎁 AS ALWAYS, LESSMAN GOES FULL TILT WITH SWOON-WORTHY ROMANCE (on the “spicier” side of Christian Romance) equally matched with a strong spiritual thread. — The Artist Librarian Blog
🎁 THIS IS BEYOND 5 STAR WORTHY NOVELLA! If you’ve never read a Julie Lessman novel, then run, don’t walk, to grab this one up. Ever since her first novel, where Lessman gave prominence to parents Marcy and Patrick’s relationship besides her younger main couple, I’ve grown to appreciate her attention on married couples, which you don’t often seen in romance novels: What comes after the “happily ever after.” — Cover-to-Cover Cafe Blog
🎁 “THE HONESTY OF THIS STORY IS THE BEST PART, with its message of trust and cherishing the gifts god has given.” — The Green Mockingbird blog
So, give yourself “a gift like no other” by downloading A GIFT LIKE NO OTHER HERE & MERRY CHRISTMAS!
🙏 StoryFest ACFW!
ATTENTION CHRISTIAN FICTION READERS!! Do we have a deal for you! This year at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in St. Louis, MO September 18-19, 2020, there will be an intimate author/readers retreat that you will NOT want to miss! ACFW is literally crawling with every Christian author you have ever wanted to meet or have coffee with, so check out the following fun events included and mark your calendars.
PLUS … you will receive a $20 discount if you use my author code (JLESS) when you register, so check out all the details on registration and pricing right here: STORYFEST ACFW
🎄 Keynote speaker LIZ CURTIS HIGGS!
🎄 Meet & Greet with 40-50 of your favorite Christian authors such as Rachel Hauck, Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, Becky Wade, Mary Connealy, Dani Pettrey and many others including MOI!
🎄 Bookstore & Book Signing!
🎄 Games, Panels, Giveaways!
🎄 Group Breakfast or Lunch with Your Favorite Author!
🎄 Worship Time with Your Favorite Authors
🎄 Chance to Attend ACFW Gala (like the Oscars for Christian Fiction!)
Hope to see you there!