Tag Archives: Christmas stories

Here Comes Christmas 2018!

My November started out dreary. My world felt as grey as the cloudy sky. Where was the sunshine? We may need the water, but day after day of rain, then snow felt endless. I tried counting my blessings. Tom’s five week wait for surgery is half over already. And the miracle of a new hip is amazing. In our wonderful province, our public health insurance pays. And there are so many more blessings. My gratitude list was long. Still, I needed something new to lift me out of the doldrums now that Christmas 2018 is drawing near.

Another day dawned. I rose early to pray. I gave thanks for a magical evening the night before with our Vancouver grandchildren, Lise 2 ¾ years and Alex 4 ½ years. Once supper is over their nightly routine includes baths and storytime. One at a time, Tom and I cuddled our beautiful little grandchildren and read book after book. My love exploded and filled my soul as I soaked in the warmth of their young bodies between us, their relaxation, enthusiasm and laughter as they pointed out special parts of the pictures.  When we’re old and sitting in our rocking chairs, the memory of that evening will bring smiles and joy.

As I poured out my gratitude to God that next morning, God spoke, “Create a book for them.” Immediately, I remembered a story I started a few years ago, I had titled An Elephant at the Manger. I smiled. Of course, I could finish it. Maybe Tom would help. Could he do the illustrations? He’ll have time as he recuperates from surgery. A new book created with love by Grandma Jan and Grandpa Tom. What better gift of love for these two precious children, God’s gifts to us! It could be our Advent project, maybe not ready for this year, but possibly for next. I trusted that God would help.

Today, I suggest to you, regardless of your state of mind – dark and gloomy, overloaded with busyness or relaxed and at peace. Seek out an Advent project that uses your creative gifts – growing things, woodworking, cooking, whatever – create a special gift for someone you love. Yes, it will be work, and it will take time. Trust that God will be a part of your project, helping, applauding, welcoming your efforts to share your love. After all, giving gifts at Christmas is our response to God’s gift of love to the world in Jesus. God’s gift required a long journey, struggle, pain and risk. So why shouldn’t ours? Remember, God will walk with you as you prepare your gift of love.

Give a gift of faith this Christmas. Check out Janet Stobie’s books for children and adults at www.janetstobie.com


The second edition of Can I Hold Him? Christmas Stories for All Ages,  has arrived. It’s available on Amazon in both print and ebook form. It’s already selling well. My mystery novel/grief resource, Fireweed, is also available on Amazon in print and ebook form. If you order a print copy of both Fireweed and Can I Hold Him? through Amazon you will qualify for free shipping. Every time I have an opportunity to do inspirational speaking, people line up to buy my books. I am slowly beginning to feel like a “real” author.


"Fireweed" by Janet Stobie
“Fireweed” by Janet Stobie

Joyful Moments

river cruise boat

Today we packed. Tomorrow we board the plane for Amsterdam. Our Scenic River Cruise adventure has begun. For four years we have dreamed about this trip. Last year we bought the tickets. Tonight, both excitement and nervousness rattle through my being. Will we be safe? Will I be able to keep up with the others on the excursions. For me this is the trip of a lifetime.

Writer Michael Singer says, “The greatest gift we can give to God is to be pleased with God’s Creation,” (p. 294 Untethered Soul).  For me, our entire world and all that dwells within it, is God’s Creation. Too often we rush through our days, focused on past problems, present tasks, or future worries and miss the joy that surrounds us. Moments of joy can last only a few seconds or minutes. They’re rather like a rainbow that appears, it’s beauty overwhelming us, and then fades even as we stare at it. I believe God wants us to expect Joy.

For the next three weeks I will be opening my heart and all my senses to the joyful moments I believe God has in store for us on this trip. Every night that we have internet available to us, I intend to post a description of at least one joy-filled moment, along with a picture. I encourage you to check out my blog each day. Share in our journey.

Today’s moment came this morning. Greg Phillips, of 404 Small Business Solutions called to say, “Your book has been uploaded. We’ll order the proof copy this morning.”

Cover4 for Create Space

The second edition of “Can I Hold Him?” is right on schedule. It will be available this fall. We did it. I am truly grateful to Greg. His wisdom, determination, and patience has made this task fun. I am pleased and happy and satisfied. We met our deadline. Tonight I’m still smiling as I write this.

Search out and soak in your glimpses of Joy. Every day open another of God’s gifts of Joy.



NEW BOOK – Can I Hold Him (2) – Second Printing

small can I hold him

Can I Hold Him (2) is not exactly new but it’s coming in a new way. Last year my book of Christmas short stories,  Can I Hold Him?,  sold out. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about publishing a second printing. Finally,  I have started the process. Using Create Space/Amazon, Can I Hold Him: Christmas Stories for All Ages will be available to order “print on demand” and as an ebook. The process is supposed to be easy. So far, I’ve learned that it’s not a walk in the park, but I have help.

Greg Phillips of “4hundred4.com” web development is working with me. Greg is the greatest. He’s patient with people like me who seem to find the simplest computer process difficult. He’s skilled and honest and affordable. I happily recommend his services. Together we will make this journey.  My hope is that this experience will mean that I can prepare and upload the files for my sequel to Fireweed all by myself. That’s one of Greg’s specialties. He’s a good teacher and willing to share his knowledge.

We plan to have Can I Hold Him?  :  Christmas Stories for All Ages ready to purchase by the end of September. If you’d like to pre-order an autographed copy, email me at info@janetstobie.com . Cost will be the same as before – $10.00 plus shipping. I will keep you posted as each stage of this process is completed.  Please say a prayer for Greg and me as he leads me through this learning curve.