Christmas 2009
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Not so SAD

Up here in northern MN, where it gets dark at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, it's common for northlanders to have an ailment called SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. It affects the mood...people find themselves sluggish, and overwhelmed with depression. This time of year, I don't think you have to have SAD to feel overwhelmed - from the wish lists of our children, to the realties of tight budgets, to the balancing act of broken families, for many people this season is anything but jolly.  

In fact, it's sad.

I was reading recently in My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers) and I came upon this line. "Self-awareness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of our life in God, and self-awareness continually produces a sense of struggling and turmoil in our lives." Or, as my husband often says, (He's a smart guy, like Oswald), when we focus on ourselves our worlds can get pretty small.    

So, where do we put our eyes, then? Not on the television commercials that can make us feel less, or tell us what we aren't or don't have. Not on our to-do lists. Definitely not on our wallets.

I've recently been reading the book of John. I love the focus on Christ, the poetry, the way John so confidently calls himself the disciple that Jesus loved. To know this so well that it defines you - it's simply breathtaking. I long for such a confidence.

But as I read it again this season I happened upon the seven declarations Jesus says about himself.  

6:35 - I Am the Bread of life
8:12 -   I Am the light of the world
10:7-9 - I Am the gate for the sheep
10:11-14 - I Am the good shepherd
11:25 - I Am the resurrection and the life
14:6  - I Am the way the truth and the life
15:1,5 -  I Am the true vine

Nourishment. Light. Acceptance. Protection.Hope. Direction. Our connection to God.
I Am, He says.  

He is. Enough. All. The One who saves me  

See, He says... 

Come to Me....I and I will give you rest. Christ awareness...instead of self-awareness.   

This season, wherever you are, however you are, I pray that Jesus overwhelms you with the I Am that He is.  

Thank you for all the ways you blessed me this year, through your letters and reading my books and passing them onto others.  It's a gift to call you friends.

In His grace,

Susan May Warren
PS:  I pulled this picture from my files - one of my favorite Warren Christmas pictures, taken when we lived in Russia. I love the look on my son's face - I think he's wondering what he got. Yeah, we are too.

The Great Christmas Bowl

The Great Christmas Bowl made the CBA best-seller list for November! Thanks to all who helped put it there!
"Get Hallmark on the phone! Call Sherwood Pictures! Anyone have Michael Landon, Jr. on speed dial?? Susan May Warren's newest novella MUST be made into a movie! I haven't laughed or cried this much in weeks...and I didn't want it to end."
Deena Petersen, blogger
Read the rest of Deena's review here as part of her 25 Days of reviews series on her blog.

Sneak Peak ... Sons of Thunder!
Sons of Thunder is book one in my new Brothers in Arms series releasing in SOTFebruary from Summerside Press.

The book will be available to purchase at Wal-Mart nationwide by mid-January.

Sons of Thunder is the epic World War 2 story of two Greek brothers who are forced from their island home after a tragedy. They immigrate to America and take with them the woman they both love. They both make her a promise...and it's their story and hers, of how they try to keep it. It spans the Jazz era of the 1920's all the way to the liberation of Europe in 1945.

Read and excerpt here!

My Book Therapy News!
Interested in writing for kids and teens?

This December, come explore the world of children's publishing with Sarah Anne Sumpolec, My Book Therapy's Young Adult Specialist!  We'll not only look at the unique challenges of this kind of writing, but you'll get lots of great resources and links. A Market Spotlight will uncover some important info from YA and children's publishers and authors.

Is there a particular question you have that you'd like to make sure we cover? Just let Sarah know at and she'll be sure to get it in.


Also don't miss My Book Therapy's Deep Thinker's Retreat!

Friday, February 19, 2010 1:00 PM -
Sunday, February 21, 2010 11:00 AM (Eastern Time)

Windemere Inn by the Sea
815 S Miramar Avenue
Indialantic, Florida 32903

A focused look at taking your manuscript the next step toward publication!

So you have your plot, and maybe you've written a few chapters, even the entire book!  But you're not sure if it works...
or maybe you've even had a rejection and don't know why...

Get one-on-one help!

Designed to meet the individual needs of every writer and their story, this retreat concentrates on your writing craft, and how to make it stronger.  We'll review up to 20 pages of your manuscript and synopsis beforehand, and develop your personalized game plan to help you ramp it up.  We also teach you how to deepen your characters and widen your plot so that your book takes on new resonance.

With a limited number of participants, you will learn from others, be encouraged and be challenged to think deeply about this story... and the next one. 

More info - register here!